Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Indie Survival-Horror: Darkwood

Holy mackerel! I just watched the pre-alpha gameplay trailer for Darkwood and I am soooo pumped for it! Acid Wizard Studio have been developing a top-down, roguelike game for the PC which is set to be put out through Steam... provided it's Greenlight'd. Which I hope it is!

I think this will be a game worth playing, given its unique game play. Despite it being top-down, the atmosphere is dark and creepy, which is helped in part by the ambient weather sounds and the lighting that I think looks great.
The game play itself is also noteworthy as the world is procedurally generated, the ability to craft items, construct and reinforce barriers, a skills system, exploration! It almost feels like as if a proper game were made of Evil Dead, with some RPG components thrown in. And it holds no punches either, with its permadeath and lack of "hand holding", as they put it. Just throws you in to a survival-horro type situation in which you have learn and adapt for yourself. I think that will potentially be great, especially for this sort of thing they're going for.
I think this game has real potential, so be sure to check out their website below, watch the trailer (also below), give it a vote in Steam's Greenlight section, and so forth.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Retro: Full Moon Rising!

First off, I'd like to start by saying thank you!
It's been an absolute privilege to interact and speak with all of you video game enthusiasts and fellow bloggers about gaming, and just random things in general through Google+, Youtube, and also by email. Writing this blog and the Youtube'ing has turned out to be a very enjoyable opportunity and I have you all to thank for making it that much better, so again, thank you!

But enough of that... It is my great privilege today to tell you all about Full Moon Rising! :D
And this sums up your mission in the game.

This has to be one of the most excellent, albeit short, throw-back titles I've gotten to play of late. Really top-notch. Developed by the Drunken Devs group, whose site is linked via the above picture, Full Moon Rising is definitely a well-crafted game. It's free, pretty basic, and short, but what makes it truly excellent is the charming, retro-style graphics and the goal of the game itself.

That goal, as you might have deducted from the above picture is to "baste the notch" of your in-game girlfriend, as they put it. In order to get laid, you must satisfy your girlfriend's weird furry fetish by acquiring a "moon piece" and becoming a werewolf. This is done by traversing to the other side of town while avoiding dangerous hobos and electric eels, stealing the moon piece from a vampire hunter (which probably isn't the best idea), and making it back to your dear Victoria. It ends with an awesome boss fight and an even more awesome ending, which I won't spoil. It won't quite be what you expect, though. ;]

The game itself is pretty standard old-school platforming. As a human, you have no attack and must avoid all baddies. As the werewolf, you get a rushing-forward attack where you eat your enemies that get in your way which I admit, feels pretty good given the hard time they give you as a human.
Another Drunk Dev game. :]

Aside from this, the Drunken Devs have other games which are definitely worth trying, which are a bit of a riot. I also really liked their Destroy The Porn game, and they have others. Also worth mentioning is that they actually have a section for giving them ideas for games, which I think is a pretty neat idea. These guys definitely deserve some kudos!

Anyway, thanks for reading, all!
It's been a real pleasure so far. ;]

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Retro Odyssey - Jikkyo Oshaberi Parodius

Now this is a particularly interesting title.. Jikkyo Oshaberi Parodius is a side-scrolling shooter type game for the Super Famicom, much like the famous title Gradius. It plays very similarly, but Jikkyo is a bit more... unique? That doesn't even properly describe it. Jikkyo is downright strange, and absurd, but in a very excellent way. I wish I knew more Japanese so that I'd know some of what is going on, but then I have my doubts if that'd even help. It's just so off the wall! What were you all smoking, Konami?
My first major "WTF"-moment in the game...

This odd-ball game certainly has its charm, being a parody of other arcade shooters, most notably of Gradius. Its cast of characters as well are equally charming, but strange. From the selection screen, you have your choice of sixteen characters, ranging from baseball cap-wearing octopi, to penguins, paper planes, fairies and so forth, and they all each are given their own style of attacks and techniques. I personally like being the cat and bombing space-chickens with my mousey-bombs.
The Colorful Cast
As I said before, the game plays fairly well, much like a number of old-school arcade shooters from back in the day. The impressive size of the cast makes for differing play through experiences as they all get their own abilities and upgrades. The upgrades are picked up from shot-down enemies, which is a standard feature, and also from the bells that come onto the screen which give you varying effects.
In addition to the strange cast, there is also a large amount of equally strange and random baddies, ranging from dancing, wig-wearing penguins, to chicken leg-throwing Santas, hula-hooping monkeys, and the list continues. And the bosses are no different in their bizarreness.
Uhm... er... Shall I come back later, ma'am?
One last final thing I should warn you about is the sound and music. Keeping to the running motif, it too is rather "off the beaten path". Throughout this particular title, there is a running in-game commentary in Japanese, much like you'd hear in a Japanese game show, which I've read is where the game gets it's name-sake. The music itself are parodied remixes of more popular songs, ranging from 70s disco to more popular tunes, and even classical.
The characters, the baddies, the settings themselves, and the sound all work together to make a really excellent, albeit, an odd Super Famicom title. Overall, I liked it and I recommend it to anyone in a funny mood. Aside from this one, there are more of these games, a popular one being made for the PSX by the name of Jikkyo Oshaberi Parodius: Forever With Me.

Below you can see me be decimated by drum sticks and penguins. Think you can do better? Let's see it, Starbuck! :P

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lucas Arts - The End of an Age

Now I'm sure most of you have already heard by now, but Disney has closed the doors to Lucas Arts and laid 150 people off at the studio. I didn't believe it at first when I found out. I happened across an article at Business Insider, looking for an article to supplement an economics assignment. Essentially, it wasn't something I was looking for and certainly not expecting. And my fears were only further confirmed after seeing all the Google+ and Facebook posts about it.
End-game screen that gets me right in the nostalgia.

Honestly, it kinda depressed me. Game companies rise and fall all the time, but this is different. I mean, I know that they'll still exist as a licensing entity, but it won't ever be the same. Especially if Disney decides to whore out to some less desirable gaming companies. (A new Full Throttle with micro-transactions is the stuff of nightmares, my friends...) Regardless, it's like Mickey Mouse himself has taken a giant-ass, mouse turd over a very dear part of my childhood.
Why! Why!?!
Something that didn't make sense to me though, is both the cancellation of Star Wars 1313 and also the underlying reason given by Disney's conversion to a licensing format for Lucas Arts. They said in their statement that, "we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk." Risk? Risk!? Anything "Star Wars" sells. Of all things, what was the risk in Star Wars 1313? It was my understanding it was coming near to fruition, and everyone I knew was so hyped for it, myself included!

Even though it's been quite some time since Lucas Arts' golden age, the closure of the studio hits me right in the childhood. I grew up with all the classics, with my particular favorites probably being the Monkey Island series. Day of the Tentacle and Sam and Max: Hit the Road too are both ones that I enjoy replaying on occasion. And also Full Throttle. And The Dig. And Indiana Jones. Screw it, they were all good back in the day!
Guybrush to honor the lactose-intolerant volcano-god.
I encourage you all, in honor of Lucas Arts' contributions to gaming society, to pop in maybe Grim Fandango or something. As a sort of "moment of silence", memorial-type of thing. And then go give Mickey Mouse a big ol' middle finger for taking Star Wars 1313 from us, and canning all those good people at Lucas Arts. It's a sad thing to see happen, to be sure.

I made a short little good-bye video to Lucas Arts, so be sure to check it out.
Peace out guys, and stay strong! Don't let Disney see you cry.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Final Fantasy 7... for the NES?

(Article originally posted at FPSX Games as a guest piece, so be sure to check them out.)

That's right, I said it. Final Fantasy 7 for the NES. Or the Chinese-made, knock-off system, the SUBOR rather. It's none-the-less playable on the NES through an adapter, but I digress..

We all know and love this monumentally epic gaming experience, first released on the Playstation by Square (back when they were just Square, as opposed to the Square Enix of today). It had everything; gorgeously beautiful polygons, an epic story with all the feels, and a fantastic battle-system and game play. It was and is to this day a great addition to anyone's gaming library. Since its release, more than 10 million copies have been sold, and it has been elevated to a high status as a paragon of games.

I'd laugh and say you were lying if you've never heard of Final Fantasy 7, assuming you the reader are at least minimally a gamer or just slightly nerdy. I dare say no game has had nearly as long lasting and significant an influence on all of Nerd-dom. You can see it in the games that succeeded it, in our conventions and cosplaying, in comics and mangas (and by extension, hentai.... (rule 34! :O)), the merch still comes in droves, and there have even been a number of spin-off movies and games!
Geez, what a bad-ass!
What is little known though, is that there was the unlicensed port of Final Fantasy 7 that I mentioned previously. Developed in the early 2000's, this was developed for the Chinese's SUBOR which was essentially an NES or Famicom gaming system. After this, an English patch was developed for this which is how I played and was able to follow along. But anyways, unlicensed or no, this was a huge feat for the team of developers.

Some liberties had to be taken, however, given the restrictions of the hardware involved. One of these liberties taken was the shedding of some of the optional missions and characters. Also, the battle system was changed to be more like the Final Fantasy's of old. Aside that, this was pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle, with the original story very faithfully followed.
You're so pretty, Miss Cloud!

I thoroughly enjoyed this and my criticisms are few. The biggest problem I had were with the battles themselves. I'm not sure if it was just me, but they seemed a lot longer and drawn out than say a typical old-school Final Fantasy battle, or also a battle in the Playstation Final Fantasy 7. I usually get some amount of satisfaction out of the battles provided I'm not just in grind-mode, but the battles got to be almost horrendous. Just trying to get to the next area, I wanted to pull out my hair!

The only other major problem I had was the mishaps that occurred translating the original Final Fantasy 7 story with all the cut-scenes and luscious visuals, over to the NES-esque format which had cut-scenes reduced to pure dialogue and sprites moving minimally. This is particularly apparent and egregious once you meet up with Aeris in the church. It was hard to follow what exactly was going on without the full visuals and the action of the original cut-scene. Especially if it's been literally years since picking up and playing the original game.

Aside from that, it was a pretty enjoyable experience, and it was really neat and impressive. I recommend tracking it down for yourself to at least try it out. If anything, it's quite a marvel of skill on the part of the Chinese development team, and deserves some pretty hefty kudos.
Below is a short video I made to complement this article visually and give you a brief look at the "NES Final Fantasy 7".

Happy Zombie-Jesus Day!!
Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Retro Challenge: Ghouls 'n Ghosts (#1)

So I'm sure a fair few of you are familiar with the classic Ghosts 'n Goblins series. This blisteringly difficult set of games has confounded and frustrated many a gamer in its day. I have been one of those many gamers never able to see the ending.
Now if you missed this (did you never set foot in an arcade?) or those too young, the original arcade Ghosts 'n Goblins featured Sir Arthur, a knight, in his quest to reclaim his princess from the clutches of the Demon King. With your trusty lance, you have to make your way six punishing levels, defeat the Demon King, and then play through the entire game on a harder difficulty in order to get to the real final battle and get the true ending. What makes all this even harder, you can only be hit twice and then you die, easy as that. THIS was one of a number of classic games that will forever be a true achievement in gaming, if completed. Think you're such a hot-shot with your easily obtained XBOX "achievements"? Play this game, I dare you!
Flying-ass, monkey-dude! I curse you!
Ghouls 'n Ghosts is much the same affair, not surprisingly as it's the direct sequel, but with gorgeous SNES-era visuals and effects, there's more weapons and items, and has some great tracks. Much like the previous one, you don't simply beat the game by going through the six levels. Once you get to the end of stage five, you're informed you need a specific weapon to defeat the Demon King, so you're sent back to level one and during your way back up to level five you are supposed to find the specified item which will be a random drop, then once you have that, you defeat the stage five boss and proceed to the end stage.
Those damned dogs!
Many years later, I've picked up Ghouls 'n Ghosts with the intentions of finally wiping that smirk off the Demon King's face. So far, I've seen lots of deaths and game overs, but I will persevere!
I challenge you readers to do this for yourselves as well, but remember! Pics or it didn't happen! Good luck! :]
Wish me luck too...? :S
You'll see that I in fact need it......

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Retro Classic: Ghost Chaser Densei

This particular title is probably one of the more obscure beat-em'-up titles released for the Super Famicom, but a worthy addition to its library of games. Though I cannot read Japanese or find anything at all about the plot, it really isn't all that necessary. It's a beat-em'-up after all. Story isn't all that necessary. I just wish I knew why the name? Playing through, there is an obvious and utter lack of ghosts, specters, and phantoms. But I digress...

As I said, it's a Japanese, "beat the tar out of everything" type affair that is a solid, competent title. In the game, you have your choice of three characters. The first I tried out was the robot character, Belva. He plays pretty decently, and packs a punch. The trade-off is that he's kind of sluggish as a character. Makai, the human male martial artist, is the middle ground character while Iyo, the cat-lady, is fast and agile. As you would expect a feline-esque character to be. They also all have their own special sets of moves and special techniques, blocks, and a power bar system that comes into play as well.
You play through some pretty typical sets of stages, with crates and semi-destructible environs, an end-stage boss, yada yada yada. The kind of stuff you'd expect from a brawler. There's also quite the cast of baddies to beat down, ranging from mermen, to obese cyborgs and robots, failed experiments, and so forth. While this wasn't a trend-setter, off-the-beaten path game, it was an enjoyable experience. Certainly with a try. :]
Below can be found some game play, so you can see its excellence. :P

Friday, March 22, 2013

Retro, 8-Bit Team Fortress!

Just recently I gave Pixel Force: Left 4 Dead a whirl, and I really liked it, despite moments of frustration because of my noobish-ness. Well, I liked it so much, I went and tried out Pixel Force: Team Fortress Arcade. Let me just say, it was excellent. It felt like a pretty well made side scrolling, classic shooter, much like Metal Slug and other "run-n'-gun" type affairs of yore. This is something that if you found it in an arcade, it wouldn't in the least look out of place. The visuals are well executed and has that nice, retro graphics look, excellent explosions and animations.. Me gusta!
I mean, just look at it!
Die, robot-scum!

It also feels and controls pretty well, despite the controls being a little goofy. You have access to the regular cast of characters like you'd find in Team Fortress 2, each with their own special guns and abilities and varying stats. In my run-through, I played as the scout, the spy, demo, and heavy. Naturally, scout is fast, maneuverable, and has a nice double jump, but low health. Conversely, heavy is rather slow, can't jump for crap, but a large amount of health. He also wields his mighty chain gun which decimates. The spy was interesting to play as also. Though he only wields a pistol, he can also turn invisible and "one-shot" most enemies with his trusty butterfly knife. Last and certainly not least, I played as the demolitionist. He was especially fun to play as. With his grenade launcher, he can shoot sticky mines which are detonated with the jump button and if you're on top of said mines, they'll launch you into the air for a kind of super jump. It's a really excellent way to both avoid enemy fire, and blow them up with. It felt pretty satisfying. Heh heh heh...
Definitely give this a whirl! If you haven't read the previous post for Pixel Force: Left 4 Dead, that and this were made by Eric Ruth games, a budding game developer. Check out his work. He deserves kudos for sure, so click the pic above. (It's secretly a link.)
Below is my video of myself playing this bad boy if you need some extra convincing to try it out. :]

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RPG Maker and Story-Telling in Games

I'm sure by now a lot of you have at least heard about To The Moon. For those whom haven't, it is a game with SNES-era RPG style graphics by Freebird Games, and it puts many big studio games of today to shame. It puts them to shame not in terms of graphics of course, or gameplay (the little slide puzzles between memories was a little out of place, I thought), but in terms of it being a rich narrative in what is a very story-driven game. So good so, it outbeat bigger titles for Best Story from Gamespot in 2011. Others in the running were Portal 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, and others. Also worth mention, it was nominated for best music too!
Ah, so full of the feels..
What I'm getting at is that there seems to be an emergence of a movement towards better story-telling, albeit an underground one. Of late, some really great story-experiences have been coming out. One such experience was Journey, which is such a well-crafted experience. It is able to tell a whole story without a word of dialogue or text throughout the entire game, which built up to quite an ending. Also worth mention, the recent episodic game series that was The Walking Dead. It had such a rich and fantastic character development and delivery, it's able to make you give a rat's arse about them. It's games like these that give me hope for the continuing idea of video games being considered an art medium. Especially after story-telling travesties that was Gears of War and others. You played it, right? I pointed this bit out the other day to someone, but the section of the game where you find Dom's wife in the second game (spoilers!!)? That was horrendous. I laughed out loud, quite literally. The whole "lore" itself behind the games is just sloppily done, almost as if it were an after thought after all the graphics work, the character models and aliens, the game play (which is solid), the doses of ultra-testerone machismo, and so forth.
I won't ever say it was a bad game though. Just as everyone else did, I thoroughly enjoyed chain-sawing through my enemies, but the story is just ridiculous and full of cliches and piss-poor dialogue. If I were a professional reviewer I'd give the game play itself an arbitrary, numerical score of 4.75/5 and the story a "did you just complete a fiction writing course at your local community college"/5. (Granted, I realize that last rating is technically alpha-numerical, but shut up. :P)
I know not everyone will agree with me, but to me, a story is just as important as the game play feel. Not only do I want to enjoy what I'm doing whilst progressing through a game, but it's also important to me to have a well-crafted story that sucks me in and is able to get me to care about and emotionally invest in the characters. I absolutely adore a game that can do this as it sets a part a game from others that are merely entertaining diversions.
This is why I thoroughly enjoy the recent rash of games made through RPG Maker, like the afore-mentioned To The Moon. Despite the old-style JRPG type graphics, many of these games are very well done in terms of story. These games are often very thematic, ranging from the surreal to the sublime. To The Moon was a fantastic story about ambitions, personal tragedy, and the desire I think we all have to right things we've done in the past. Put simply, it was beautiful.
This relatively new medium for gaming are even capable of horror elements, with the right setting of mood. Don't believe me? Try One Night, by Dark Gaia. Mad Father is another good one. They do well to set that horror tone, even without the cutting edge graphics.
From the 3rd installment of One Night.
What many of them also do is to try and instill some sort of message and provoke thought. Misao, a popular one, has a very clear theme of the depths and horror of bullying that a victim and those around them can experience. I won't give away more than that, but it makes it worth at least a play through. Another that tries to tackle something bigger is Clock of Atonement. Quite honestly, it's kinda messed up but stirs up an internal discussion of morality and the ramifications of one's actions (or inaction).
Now I'm not gushing over any and all RPG Maker made game, as there are some that are less than good. However, seeing this indie and community driven push by passionate gamers and developers gives me hope that one day, many AAA titles will be, or strive to be, as rich and vivid and real as these grass-roots efforts.

Below are links to some of the games I mentioned as many are free, but worth checking out. :]

Clock of Atonement -
One Night -
To the Moon -     (Also on Steam.)
Misao -
Mad Father -

Not mentioned, but one's that look interesting that I would like to try.

Space Funeral -
Corpse Party -

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lone Survivor: First Impressions

I've begun to play Lone Survivor recently. I've been putting it off for ages, along with other games I often get on Steam-sale. A travesty, I know, but I'm sure loads of you Steam users do it as well. But that's beside the point. Let me just say, this is pretty excellent so far. I don't want to spoil too much for those whom I hope to convince to try it. First off though, it definitely has a very stylized, retro look to it, which I think is just fantastic. Despite the old-school graphic look, it's able to immerse you into the world and give you all kinds of goose-bumps and willies. The sounds and ambient music also add to the spine-tingling. It's all really well done.
I love the dialogue in this game.
Developed by a Jasper Byrne, it's a rather odd and often surreal type of experience. It even is able to go so far as to spook me at times. It plays pretty well as well, though the weapon mode is a touch awkward. You have to exit it and reenter in order to face your enemy if you happen to be facing the wrong way.. I may have had an issue with that once or twice playing it.. :S
Other than that, you're given lots of different kinds of items that you find scattered about that solve puzzles, satisfies your hunger (you'll find that the protagonist is a hungry bastard), keeps you from going loco, and a plethora of items to craft with. I think this scrounging and what-not adds to the overall mood of the game, which is one of a post-apocalyptic type event. But it's more than that. Lots of strange events, and things to mess with your head happen throughout your survival adventure. I've found that alot of things in this game are not as they appear, so be wary. One last thing of note is that apparently how you play has an effect on the path of the story you experience. I'm curious to see how my experience will turn out in the end, based on the choices I've made thus far. I love a game that'll do that as it makes it more a personalized experience, overall.
But enough of my blabbering. Be sure to check it out on Steam. It's just $10, so if you end up not liking it, no big loss I guess. I really think this is an interesting and unique title though that can be very enjoyable. Excellent for any into survival-horror type games.
If I haven't convinced you about it thus far, be sure to check out my video below.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Retro, 8-Bit Left 4 Dead!

Yeah, that's what I said! Let me just say, I love it. Made by Eric Ruth Games in 2010, the Left 4 Dead concept is repackaged into a glorious 8-bit dream of classic visuals, sound and game play. Not only that, but it's also free! What's not to like? Be sure to click the pic below to check out Eric Ruth's site, because this guy deserves some real kudos. Not only has he done this, but he's also made an 8-bit Team Fortress arcade-style shooter which is very nostalgic and reminiscent of similar classic games of the same vein, and also an 8-bit Halo, DJ Hero, an Angry Video Game Nerd-inspired game, and others. It's all really awesome, but I digress. Back to the topic at hand, Pixel Force: Left 4 Dead.
Look at those gorgeous pixels!
Pills here!
In the game, you get the choice of the classic four characters, just as you did in the original incarnation of Left 4 Dead. You have your various weapons and item pickups, but they're only semi-persistent. For example, if you have the shotgun and you pick up the sub-machine gun, you don't drop the shotgun as you would in the original game, but rather, it simply disappears. You have your regular zombie baddies you have to fight off, but then there are also special zombies as you would find in the original as well. Let me just say, LEAVE THE WITCH ALONE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!! D:
And then there are also hunters and boomers in addition to witches (which is good because how could one reinvent Left 4 Dead, but not include a witch?). The game itself plays pretty well, but it can be pretty difficult. Either that, or I just was sucking it when I went and tried it out..? One annoyance is that if you have a zombie on top of your character, it's really hard to get away from them because there's no player-enemy collision and zombies follow you at or faster than the character's speed. This just sucks the life out of you and you can't shoot at it that close. Maybe there was a melee button that I missed though? You have to figure out the controls when you hop in as there is no tutorial. I still recommend trying this out. Despite it eventually getting frustrating, I enjoyed the game overall.
Below are highlights to a playing of the game I performed if you want a further taste of the awesomeness. But whatever you do today, go to the site and try it out for yourself. You won't regret it. Even if you get frustrated towards the end like I eventually do. :P
Let me know what you think! ;]

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Retro - Meteor Mess 3D

So a while ago, I came across the project Meteor Mess 3D. For those whom did not read my previous post about it, Meteor Mess 3D is a re-imagining of the classic point and click Lucas Arts adventure game, Maniac Mansion. If you're also unfamiliar with Maniac Mansion, you ought to track it down as it has significance in gaming history. Essentially, Maniac Mansion tells the tale of Dave and his companions saving Sandy from the mad Dr Fred whom is under the influence of a maniacal meteor entity. As far as the game play, you select three of the unlikely cadre of heroes, all with their own special abilities and effect on the overall story/puzzle line, and you take every item not nailed down and use them to solve a number of classic adventure game style puzzles. Anyone who's played theses sorts of games knows what I mean. ;]
It's a great classic game, and one I highly recommend. It's because of this that I became excited for Meteor Mess 3D by German developers Vampyre Games. I may have given it a little crap in my video (albeit I gave the disclaimer that at that point in its development, it was pretty beta), but they've kicked it up a couple notches and it's looking pretty damn good, and sounding pretty damn good. As I've stated, I can't wait to play a final product (it's going to be free, but I'd pay for it if necessary). Especially a final product in which I can blow up the mansion. Mwahahahaha! Here's a quick gander of the latest incarnation:
Dave is starin' down that week-old roast..

Looking good, right? Especially the character models. Much improved. Click on the picture to check out the progress of the project, to check out the Vampyre Games group, and give 'em your kudos and support and so forth. I personally think that this undertaking is great. Maniac Mansion paved the way for many more similar point and click adventure games like Gabriel Knight, Sam and Max, Monkey Island, Clock Tower, and many others. I think it's especially important to preserve and keep alive classic games like these, and not just for the nostalgia. A game like Maniac Mansion had a huge impact with its original, innovative game play, the gorgeous animation (I think it was), and its sometimes dark humor. It was truly a unique experience, both then and now, and as such we gaming geezers need to pass it down, so to speak. Lest we condemn the whipper-snappers of today to naught but mediocre FPS's and city-planning simulators with god awful DRM-nonsense.

But anywho, below is the video of what is now the previous version of Meteor Mess 3D. It is my premier video on my youtube channel, and while it is a decent first attempt, I have some things to keep in mind for the next video shall we say. Input is welcome, as always.
Thanks all!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wooh! Youtube channel up!

As the title suggests, I have launched my Youtube channel. From there I'll be posting vintage gaming related content, which I am rather excited to do. For the actual content, I was considering review type content, maybe the occasional play through, gaming challenges, et cetera and so forth. I'll probably play around with a couple formats and ideas as I embark on this odyssey of mine. The first two things I'll be tackling will most likely be Meteor Madness 3D, which I mentioned in a previous post, and also Black Mesa, which I can't help but gush over. It's just so great!
Anyhow, so far I've only posted a tentative intro I'll be using for future video content, which I may be tweaking. If you have input, comments, criticisms, feel free to email or comment. All input is welcome.
Thanks all!

Here is a link to my channel, by the way;

And a gander at the intro;

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Black Mesa Overhaul; Half Life in glorious modern graphics.

Title says it all.. I've been in a Half-Life mood after playing through Episode 2 again, recently. Horrible ending, by the way. Especially considering it's been 5 or 6 years since it came out and neither an Episode 3 or a third Half-Life game has yet to come out and is only hinted at or rumored on occasion. It's truly maddening...
But my post today isn't about that. Rather, it's about Black Mesa. Black Mesa while is the name of the facility in which the events of Half-Life take place, but is also the name of a total overhaul of the original game. Let me just say, it looks freaking fantastic! Holy gerbils it looks great! In case you're unfamiliar with it, the Black Mesa Modification Team took the original game and used the modern Source engine to update and overhaul everything; the texturing, the lighting, effects, soundtrack, et cetera and so forth.

Here's a comparison;

Old (Half-Life)

New (Black Mesa)

Ah, man... Back in the day, I played the crap out of this game and I'm so glad that this was made. It looks gorgeous, sounds gorgeous, and by golly, I love it. I highly recommend trying this out for yourselves. I've only discovered it recently myself, and have only delved into it just a wee bit, but I thought I'd rave about it a little bit. I plan on getting more in depth with it later on.

Here is the Black Mesa site to check out at your leisure;

Seriously guys, well worth the very minimal effort it is to click the link and download. Beautiful update to a historic game.
Soon I'll also be revisiting Meteor Madness 3D, Full Throttle, and maybe the original Alone in the Dark (?). And I'll also be launching my vlog, once I get some vital material components.
Well, cheers!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Star Control 2!

Here we go! New post. It's been longer than I've meant for. Still setting up my new computer, waiting for some parts to get here so I can get into this odyssey of mine. As I've said, I wish to bring to you the re-imagined Maniac Mansion and also Full Throttle, among other potential things I've been considering. Again, if you have suggestions, please don't hesitate to comment or message me personally (so far, only one person has contacted me by either means. Yay audience engagement! :D).

Now to the meat of this post. While I've been waiting on parts, and other such prep work, in my free time I have been literally sucked into and old DOS game called Star Control 2. Up until recently, I had largely been unawares of this classic until I had seen a Yogscast video of it that was sent to me by a colleague. Rather a video of a rebooted Star Control 2 being called The Ur-Quan Masters.
Lemme tell ya; this game is so cool! So hype!!

I mean, how sweet is that pic right there?! It's hyper-sweet!! It's also a link to the site so you can download and try it for yourself.
I won't give away too much. (I hate spoilers too guys..) Essentially though, Earth and much of the galaxy is enslaved by the Ur-Quan, and it is your duty to emancipate your species and others from Ur-Quan tyranny. I love the lore and feel of the story. It's so rad in a retro B-movie sort of way, with its dynamic array of alien species you can come in contact with, the stylized look in all its cheesiness (the good sort of cheese), the many different interactions the aliens have with you and also amongst themselves, et cetera. It draws from many sources to create a great science fiction experience.
Lore and aliens and what-not aside, the game play mechanics are awesome! You captain your own ship, which you name and customize with its own upgrades and compliment of escort ships. You have to manage your fuel and crew numbers as well. To fund all this, you're required to go to various planets in the many, many galaxies within the game and harvest minerals and resources. You can also acquire other upgrades and items through trading with other species, and also through diplomacy.
It's great, just great. Don't believe me? Go download it and try it out! I don't know if you will, but I had to monkey with the settings for it to look good, and I messed with the control scheme a little bit too as it was a little awkward to fly with the arrow keys, and fire my weapon with Enter..

Anyways, I should have material coming next week when I should be all set up, but school just started back up so we'll see.
Cheers mates!
The Elusive Red Herring

Ps Happy Martin Luther King Day y'all!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Another Updated Maniac Mansion!

So in my previous post I had mentioned the Maniac Mansion project being done by Edison Interactive... I've also discovered another similar project which I am also excited for! Vampyre Games currently has in works a 3D re-imagining of the classic Lucas Arts game. They likewise are giving it their own name, Meteor Mess 3D, and so far it looks really killer. And they even have a demo up, which I plan on trying out and potentially vlogging about. I'll include a link below so you can check it out yourself, which I recommend you do. Maybe even try out their demo, and get amped!

The infamous dungeon; seen myself locked in there many times in the original game.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Working on content currently + Full Throttle

Hey gang!
As the title says, I've been working on content (whilst juggling work and life stuff, plus I'm getting a new comp as my current is starting to die on me). I've been looking at games to delve into, paying extra attention to titles that either I've never played, or it has been so long that I don't remember. For the most part, anyways. I've particularly had my eye on Phantasy Star, which I hear is a great cult classic, and a great looking remake of Maniac Mansion... I read about it on Kotaku and got real excited for it, but they're not done with it yet. Also, they're actually calling it Night of the Meteor for legal reasons. Definitely going to be future content. Click the pic to check it out and the guys at Edison Interactive and thank them for bestowing this on mankind.

Any other game suggestions?
Input welcome!

On another note; Full Throttle!
What's that you ask?
I scoff at you sir!

Check that out! Full Throttle isn't just a game about a biker though. It's more than that. So much more. Next post though.

The Elusive Red Herring

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The work continues...

Now with the holidays out of the way, I can really begin work on this epic venture of mine. I've been brainstorming, idea-izing (which is now a word), eating skittles, and I even redid the layout a little bit and made a nifty background to boot, which is essentially just a bunch of screencaps from some of my favorite games from my youth. Anyways, real content coming soon!

The Elusive Red Herring