Archive for August, 2008

The Current Situation

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 by zordran

I’m barely aware of foreign matters, and as such, didn’t know the importance of the invasion of Georgia until I read this. But then that got me thinking of how darned fun it all sounded. Secretly gathering a coalition of states who separately don’t even like each other and forming them with funds piped in secretly into an envelope that Russia simply cannot penetrate, and if Russia gives us crap, scare them a bit. Because of our plan, perfectly executed in secret, there’s nothing that they can do to us. Let Russia enact her death throes in isolation, and she ceases to be a world power, then we pull out, silently and smoothly as we snuck in, and go back to our regular internal squabbles about so many pointless things.

Was it Tommy Franks who admitted to war being fun? Some stodgy guy before him tried to make it into a pithy maxim, but it never sounded right to me, and hence I forgot it. Thing is that this is exactly why video games about war always sell it so well: war is a battle of wits where the stakes couldn’t be higher, and if you take away all of the horror that war comprises, even the inept can take part in the glory and the intrigue of keeping the world at peace for another day.

Revelation!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2008 by zordran

I just dug up a copy of BC’s Quest for Tires, and, while the gameplay is as weak as I remember (and it’s weirdly short, ending completely without notice), the background graphics are actually quite good, faking what wouldn’t be done on consoles until the Super NES.

Final rating: 2-4: Not ambitious for its time, but cute, and worth playing now for the five minutes that it lasts. If you don’t feel like tracking down a C64 emulator, there’s always Jumpcat, which is pretty similar, only instead of controlling your speed, you control the height of your jump.

BeeCeeKeweffTee

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2008 by zordran

Good stuff, Parish, though I’d like to go off on a tangent here. In the fifth article, he mentions Moon Patrol and BC’s Quest for tires as platformers. It’s funny, I’d never thought of them that way before. I found out about Moon Patrol well after its expiration date, and I tend to think of it as “that really frustrating shooter where you die a lot and have to jump,” but BC’s Quest for Tires… I played that one extensively from ages four to six, and it’s weird thinking of it in the same category as Super Mario Bros. SMB’s physics made it feel totally different. Even without all of the fancy words (like “physics”) that we use today, SMB was in a class all its own, and it wasn’t just that, but how completely mundane BCQfT’s world was. Do you know what BCQfT’s primary enemy was? A hole. Super Upgraded Scary Enemy? A hole with a rock in it. And sometimes, you’d go up a hill (which you never did in SMB. Take that, Nintendo!), and the rocks would be MOBILE!*

I wouldn’t encounter the syndicated comic for some years after (’95-’96), and then I’d notice what a darned odd license for a video game BC was.

Also, back in Australia in 1983, they didn’t have the advantage of the one great axiom of side-scrolling video games: autoscrolling sucks.

*And on a completely different tangent, the first pun that I remember involved my mother and my aunt, minutes from going to a concert, and me going up a hill in BCQfT, and mentioning all the rolling stones coming at me, and she quipped, “No, we’re going to see the Beatles!” That Mom, what a joker.

Who would’ve guessed?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2008 by zordran

Look at the chorus of this song:

I got my twin glock .40s, cocked back
Me and my homies, so drop that
We rollin on twenties, with the top back
So much money, you can’t stop that

(Emphasis mine)

It appears that Ludacris plays D&D. After all, if he were playing White Wolf, he’d be rollin’ on tens.

And that last line, So much money, you can’t stop that, gotta be a Monty Haul player, too.

ACHILLES!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 20, 2008 by zordran

I’ve been out of work since June now, and got sick of WoW about three weeks ago, so, in between attempts at landing a job, I’ve been whiling away my unemployment playing Flash games, and some of them have been very good. This, however, is not one of those games.

Kongregate promotes a game every few days out of its many thousands and more every week! And i really can’t mock that–they really do put in at least one worthwhile game a week. The promoted game has a fairly east challenge attached to it–in Kongregate’s hierarchy, it falls between an Easy and a Medium achievement, and the reward this time is entry into a raffle for Fallout 3, but only if you can kill 60 guys in Survival mode of…

ACHILLES!

Achilles is a game where you walk along a beach. You walk right, stab guys, kick them in the privates, and do a stiff little jump-stab that never hits. For variety, you can walk left, stab guys, kick them in the privates, and do a stiff little jump-stab that never hits. Sometimes you do a shield bash, and that’s pretty cool. That’s really all there is to it; it’s more of an excuse for gore than anything else, but check this out:

..Screw it. I had a picture of Achilles throwing a spear straight through a guy’s head, but I lost it and don’t feel like getting another one. It’s unfortunate that the two really cool moves in the game are either meaningless (the shield bash is exactly the same as a sword swing) or completely challenge-gutting (the spear throw instantly kills anything that isn’t a boss, and you can do it once for every spear you find–which is a lot), and the really annoying move (a kick that’s even stiffer than the jump) stuns enemy soldiers, but when they do it to you, you’re stunned longer, and the cheap-as-hell stage 3 boss can stunlock you with his lolcat routine. I’m Achilles, dammit! Hero! Invincible! You’re riding an invisible bike! In the sand! Though it is cool that, rather than disappearing and respawning like everyone else, he falls down and bleeds a puddle, then unbleeds a puddle and gets back up again. That’s some legendary invincibility for you! Except that you lose at 1 life, which is decidedly unheroic. Also, you decapitate guys way too easily. It should only happen maybe once every 20 kills, and a little dramatic slo-mo would be great.

Here’s my real problem: This is exactly what a Flash game shouldn’t be. I’ve seen some fairly amazing stuff on Kongregate, and why they would highlight a game that’s basically a crappy commercial game wannabe, as opposed to the equally simple Jumpcat, which, in addition to being surreal video-gamey goodness, could never possibly be sold in concept. That’s what a Flash game ought to be, and it’s exactly what Achilles ain’t.

tl;dr: Blood-splatter game for 11-year-olds, with stiff controls, too-frequent decapitations, ludicrous archery (why do I have to block when I’m close enough to SNAP HIS BOWSTRING?), and really repetitive action.

Rating 1-5 out of 5-5: Aimed low and hit the mark perfectly.

Man, we rock

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2008 by zordran

“Hey guys, you know that building that you blew up a few years ago? We made it into a battleship.”

Is awesometude (aw – sum – eh -tood) a word? It should be.

Oh, no!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2008 by zordran

It just occurred to em that those people who make the New Year’s glasses that are made of the year only have one New Years left, two if they’re clever! I sure hope that they have a backup plan, or tens–maybe dozens–of people will be out of job come 2011. 😦