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Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Update: 9/29/14

Well this was a week
Super Smash Bros (3DS): Second Appearance, Last Appearance 9/15/14
This is the most I've ever played out of a demo. Seriously, I stopped writing for like 8 minutes trying to figure out what other demos I spent even a similar amount of time with and I can't think of anything other than Skate 3, which I spent far too much time on despite the fact that I was just trying to land a 720 off of a tiny kicker ramp.

Anyway the news here is that I placed a pre-order for Smash at a local Gamestop and I'm gonna pick it up Thursday evening

Duke Nukem 64 (N64): First Appearance
I'm kind of embarrassed that I played this at all. I guess Duke Nukem just doesn't work in 2014. At least, that's what I've drawn from playing the N64 port of Duke Nukem 3D. It's not hard, and it's never particularly memorable either. Duke's dialogue was probably funny to some people in 1997 when it came out, and the Nintendo censorship toned him (and the game's atmosphere) down even further (you can visit an "army video" store which happens to have private booths in the back for... military reasons).

I didn't need to write the above paragraph, you already knew Duke Nukem was an outdated character and series, that's all that needed to be said. People alive in the '90s will continue to consider him a great character and yearn for the days when the Nukem brand of humor ruled gaming, but I won't miss him.

Harvester (PC): First Appearance
October will happen this week. I will not disclose how I will spell it this year, however I will point out that I'm gonna play creepy games. Not quite "scary" games, because I typically don't care for horror games, but I've always been a fan of this sort of weird, slightly off-putting type of game. Harvester is about a man who wakes up in a strange town with no memory of who he or anyone else is. I won't spoil the story, but if you'd like to watch my favorite commentary on it, check it out here.

NBA 2K14 (XBONE): Seventh Appearance, Last Appearance 9/15/14
There is nothing left to say here, I've already placed a pre-order for 2K15 next week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Update: 9/22/14

I hate continuity
The Sims (PC): First Appearance
I'm surprised that this week was the first time I played The Sims this year. In 2013, I found a copy of The Sims complete collection at a bookstore and immediately installed it on my backup laptop (which had overheating problems and had a DVD drive that would immediately freeze up if slightly tapped) at camp. I do not remember how that endeavor ended up.

I also installed it upon my regular laptop last year, and apparently only started a game with one family. I continued that game despite the fact that it's about the most boring thing I've ever done. I don't know if this will turn people away from me as a person, but I'm one of the people who generally tries to play The Sims like Will Wright wants you to (I.E. not burning the house down, not drowning anyone intentionally, etc.)

Of course, my history with the Sims series is weirder than I let on in the previous paragraph, as it always is with anything I ever seem to play. I first played The Sims after my dad bought a copy of it in 2001 or so, and installed it on our old PC. Me and some friends played the hell out of it, creating the story of a homeless man we abandoned on an island in the middle of a pool along with other things. I stopped caring about it after I bought The Sims 2, and I think I literally played it one time. My sister got much more entertainment out of that copy of the game.

Anyway, where this gets interesting was in 2011 when I put that same old PC in my bedroom, then installed a new copy of the original game (which I bought off of eBay for some reason) on said PC. I had weird history with that particular installation of the game, culminating in possibly my favorite thing I ever did: The Million Dollar Challenge. Wherein I gave a group of 8 Sims one million dollars, pretty much left myself away from the reins, and waited for them to get rid of all of it. Last person living wins. I don't remember how it ended, but I'm going to put it up on this blog next time I get the chance.

I heard the new game isn't good, but I wasn't about to buy it anyway. I might get the 3DS version of The Sims 3 (or 4 if it comes out for the 3DS or Vita) someday but who knows. I think I'm stuck with the original version forever, and I'm fine with it.

Madden 2002 (N64): First Appearance
What do I even do with this
I played a game of Madden 2002 last night for some reason. I wanted to control a rookie Michael Vick. I did. We won the game 9-0 over the Arizona Cardinals because I missed an extra point because kicking field goals in Madden 2002 for the N64 is difficult to get used to. Good week.
Also check out what I wrote about Madden Ads last week

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday Update: 9/15/14

Two weeks ago I forgot to do anything the whole week. I was in shock last Monday, honestly, I couldn't believe that I had actually gone a full week without any sort of game-based stimulation. So I went for the overkill this week.

Tetrisphere (N64): First Appearance
BOOM right out of the gate, here's the triumphant return of The Monday Update to the forefront of the blogging scene, all approximately 18 pageviews of you per post are gonna go nuts, that's right folks, it's Tetrisphere. Tetrisphere isn't even really Tetris, interestingly enough, it has basically nothing to do with Tetris. Sounds like another Tetris sequel that I played once. It's not even like The New Tetris, it's barely even related to the principle of Tetris at all, it's not even like Tetris were it upon a sphere, it's just a weird puzzle game. 

NBA 2K14 (XBONE): Sixth Appearance, Last Appearance 8/25/14
It felt like an eternity had passed between me playing 2K the day before I left for school and last Friday, when I fired it up again. I watch a lot of Chris Smoove videos, and (though I didn't notice it until recently) after you watch enough videos, you'll notice that every game seems to end up with a last second shot either to win or lose a game. We used to refer to that as "The EA Glitch," wherein if one team had too much of a lead in games like NBA Live 2005, one quarter (typically the third) would see the losing team break off a string of points and you'd have a close game by the end of it. I didn't have that happen with 2K14 until recently, but when it happened, it was noticeable.

I'm not saying a tense game of basketball is a bad thing. But you start to notice a pattern when three of four games end up on your player's shoulders in the final seconds. (I made two of the three shots, just by the way) It's just annoying because I can tell that it's happening because the game's making it happen, is all. Still the best basketball sim I've ever played.

RollerCoaster Tycoon (PC): Third Appearance, Last Appearance 4/28/14
This game has sat upon my PC seemingly forever, I don't remember when I downloaded it from GOG, and I've only beaten one scenario so far. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the second scenario now, but I figured out why I stopped playing it back on that fateful day in April: So much of RollerCoaster Tycoon is based around waiting. Sitting, waiting for the development team to think of a ride that people don't hate, and then finally pouncing, and making like six Go-Kart tracks with increasingly worse and worse names. In particular, "you fuckers love these karts," "NOW FOR THE RULES LETS GO TO MO," and "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T GO IN THE BLACK CAR."

I don't remember feeling like the waiting was that much of a toll back when I played RCT when I was 8 on the XBOX. I don't remember feeling like it was that much even back when I played it when I was in high school (Around age 15). But it feels like forever at 19. Maybe it's just that Neural Adaptation that we all go through. Note: Do not click that link because it'll prove me incorrect in that statement because Neural Adaptation actually works the opposite way.

The 7th Guest (PC): Second Appearance, Last Appearance 8/11/14
Oh yeah here's this game again. It's like MYST, except it's all in one mansion, and everything's told to you, and there's music, and cutscenes happen. I see what people complained about in MYST now, that many of the puzzles were too asinine and were wrapped in also asinine but far larger puzzles that didn't really require a walkthrough. My only complaint is that I think it'd be a better game if all of the characters were also butterflies. Well, that and the acting isn't exactly top of the line.

Super Smash Bros. (3DS): First Appearance
Alright well you waited six paragraphs for my opinions on this... and guess what: It's alright. I'm alright with Brawl, I like Melee a little more, and I also like the N64 game but not as much as Melee. I was never good at any of them. In 2007, I was absolutely taken over by the pre-release Brawl coverage. I went to summer camp for one week and nearly went insane, and when I got back, the only announcements were like "yeah Ness is in the game again yep, also the ray gun is in the game again."

The message there in the end is that I haven't been paying attention to any coverage at all of the new Smash Bros and I'm feeling much better for it. In fact, I didn't even know that a demo was out until my sister gave the code to me on Saturday. Here's what I think:
-They changed Mario's down-smash to something I'm not used to, which is a problem. Also they kept FLUDD
-The Villager is alright
-Mega Man is not my favorite by any means. Any time I have the choice between "projectile" and "also projectile," I choose someone else. I'm sure someone else will enjoy having him.
-Link is the same
-I miss my C-Stick because I'm bad at Smash Bros. Hopefully it's there on the Wii U. (From what I'm reading, it'll be present on the new 3DS models that come out later, but not with the old Circle Pad Pro thing they made like two years ago and nobody bought)

I may sound cynical, but I thoroughly enjoyed this demo and I'm actually very excited to play this with friends once it comes out. Thanks. Video games.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday Update: 9/8/14

Well hey it's been a busy week and I've barely had any time to do anything game-wise. So let's get started.

Well... I guess... Uh (N/A): Technically Not an Appearance
I played no video games this week at all... I don't even know how I did it, but it happened. I've been very busy. Here are other things I have opinions on that I did this week:

The Office (NBC): First Appearance, Also not a game
I wish I was paying attention when this was the best show on American TV, but watching it 4 years after it was constantly quoted by everyone in my Jazz Band class in the 9th grade is good enough. I'm only into season 7 right now, and I'm looking forward to the end of it. I've always been hesitant to watch shows or movies or whatever that I've heard nonstop quotes from, (see: The Hangover, Anchorman, Portal 2) and this was no different, because after I hear what feels like every joke from something I don't feel compelled to try it out. However, this show didn't disappoint, and I was surprised to see how much I like all of the characters, not just the three (Michael, Jim, Dwight) whose words I heard come out of everyone's mouths throughout middle school.

The fact that The Office reached its prime when I was in middle school also contributed to why I didn't watch it, that was when I fancied myself better than everyone else because I didn't watch TV and I only consumed Premium Web Content like The Nostalgia Critic who made funny jokes with a Gun and watched Bad Movies. Even though it's been 5 years since middle school and I'm only now watching it, I absolutely regret not at least trying to see more than a few fleeting episodes at sleepovers and curiously that one time in band class when the director let us watch a copy of season 2's DVD.

Football (SPORT): I don't know how to categorize that
Virginia Tech's back?
Oregon's gonna win a bunch of games this year?
Maybe someday I'll get to see my team get its heart broken by K-State, rather than watching my team get destroyed by K-State
Ahahahaha Cowboys

KC is not going to be good but we saw that coming
KU could have been good. That first quarter was what I wanted to see against an FBS team, three touchdowns, quick offense, good decisions in the running game. Hopefully the running game works, Cozart's a good runner and passer but I wanna see more option play because that seemed to work, Tony Pierson is fast. I like that. Unfortunately the last two quarters weren't so great but it's early and I'm pretty optimistic.
My other team is the Vikings and they did well and I can't complain

Thank you. Next time will be better.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Update: 9/1/2014

Pilotwings 64 (N64): Third Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
This lasted a second week somehow. I love this game, I guess. It's a flight simulator, but a flight simulator with pizazz and personality (I took those terms from a poster by my desk in the third grade). In most simulators you fly realistic planes in realistic locations and eventually we get bored and fly the planes as far up as they can go and then watch them fall back down to earth, by then the class period has begun and our 8th grade industrial tech teacher wants us to make balsa wood towers or something. Mr. White rarely had anything really planned for us.

Anyways I can't say much about Pilotwings that I haven't already said. Still a good game.

Trials Fusion (XBONE): Fifth Appearance, Third Straight Appearance
played like a champ

NCAA Football 2014 (XB360): Second Appearance, Last Appearance 5/26/14
I stopped playing this game last summer because I figured out that I wasn't good at defense in the new game. I tried again because let me tell you I literally sat in a chair on Saturday and exclusively watched football all day. I like football. This is my thing I wrote about said subject.

Anyway I tried playing with Illinois again (in the 2017 season now, my fifth in-game) and I figured something out. In NCAA Football 2005 and 07, I would routinely shut teams out. Defense was the way I succeeded, and has always been how I succeeded. I wrote a thing about that too. However, I couldn't figure out how to do it well on NCAA 14, so when it came time to play both ends, I just quit. However, Saturday, I figured something out:

I'm still good at defense.

Halo: Combat Evolved (XBOX): First Appearance
Sunday night was Halo night with my family. I am the only one who is good at Halo in my immediate family.

Mario Kart 8 (WII U): Third Appearance, Last Appearance 6/30/14
Sunday night soon became Mario Kart night. I am only fairly good at Mario Kart, not nearly as good as Laurie. I didn't actually know that there was new DLC coming out in the next few months, with Zelda and Animal Crossing characters, so that opens up a whole new number of possibilities for Mario Kart and they can't go back on it like they did with Pac-Man in the arcade game. So, I have compiled a list of possible characters for Mario Kart 9:
-Captain Falcon
-Ricky Winterborn
-Dog from Duck Hunt
-Tony Hawk
-Moe from The Simpsons
-Great Web Design
-Wasting time online

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Update: 8/25/14

Last week was Band Camp, so there was no update, which was fine because there wasn't much that I did two weeks ago anyway. This update encompasses the past two weeks.

Trials Fusion (XBONE): Fourth Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
The developers behind Trials Fusion know how to create a difficult course. Granted, difficult doesn't have to mean that it isn't still fun. Even after 40+ faults in some cases (I'm really bad at this game), I've still been driven to at least finish courses, even if I won't get a great score on them. Also, I found out way too late in game that you can go backwards at the start of some courses:
NBA 2K14 (XBONE): Fifth Appearance, Fifth Straight Appearance
The original title for this video was "b'doop" but I felt that an impromptu Robin Williams almost-tribute was better (?)
 (Note: 2K14 would have missed the update if we only included the past 7 days)

Pilotwings 64 (N64): Second Appearance, Last Appearance 6/23/14
If you remember what I said last time about how I play weird games during the first few weeks of any venture (be it school, summer camp, etc.) this shouldn't be a surprise. I now live alone in a dorm room, and currently hooked up on my TV are an XBOX One and a Nintendo 64. The XBOX gets used mainly for TV purposes and Trials Fusion (as my Cable connection is grainy and some channels don't get sound) and the N64 gets used for trying to fly a person on a jetpack through multi-colored rings in a small scale replica of the United States.

Pilotwings 64 gets overlooked for being a flight simulator and not having much of an end-goal (as well as being released alongside Mario 64 and thus confined to being just a launch game with pretty graphics) but there's a solid game underneath it. I don't want to give away too many opinions here because you'll hear more of them in a video soon.

Doom 64 (N64): Second Appearance, Last Appearance 8/4/14
Sometimes critics will refer to Mature rated games with adult themes as "dark." This is generally used to describe a game's atmosphere and to tell possible customers that they'll be dealing with something more adult oriented than the typical affair. Doom 64 is just dark. Not that shooting demons isn't 'adult' and 'dark' as well, but Doom 64 just has a severe lighting problem and I had to turn up the brightness on my TV to figure out what was going on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monday Update: 8/11/14

So I worked just about every day last week, and the two that I didn't, I spent away from home, so I didn't play too many games this week. I thought this summer would be different because I'd have more time to play games, but I guess not. (Note, the Monday Update will probably be abridged next week and come on this coming Saturday due to camp)

NBA 2K14 (XBONE): Fourth Appearance, Fourth Straight Appearance
Oh wow, I'm getting a weird feeling from this game. It's almost like I'm good at it and I actually enjoy it or something along those lines. Let's look back at what I said about the 360 version:
March 17th, 2014: "I can understand why people have gone nuts for the series for the past few years"
March 24th, 2014: "Though I still think it's a solid game, I actually sort of wish that it was a bit less realistic"
April 14th, 2014: "I have finally figured out how to be successful in MyCareer"
April 28th, 2014: "2K's reign may end this week"
June 9th, 2014: "I'm never playing this dumb game again because I am too bad at it and it's too hard"

But hey I like the XBONE version, maybe it's because I was selected by a team that would adequately use my player's skills, maybe it's because I chose an archetypical player that wasn't like 6'9" and playing Shooting Guard, maybe it's because I didn't fuck around and just set screens all game, but actually the next gen game is actually just a better game, and that's all I can say. Now all they need to do is add back in all the extra fun stuff of the last generation games.

Trials Fusion (XBONE): Third Appearance, Last Appearance 7/21/14 
FUCK this looks good, I don't even care that I like the game, it looks really good. Also the tricks are poorly implemented and feel unnatural and I don't know why they were added because it wants you to have a level of precision that I can't come up with only using the right stick. Maybe they'll get it totally right next time. I hope they do because the rest of Trials Fusion is very good.

The 7th Guest (PC): First Appearance
School is starting back up again and that means I'm playing more PC games, and it'll probably continue that way until I get fully settled in, which I'm guessing will be early September. I bought The 7th Guest back a few months ago from GOG, it's a basic first-person point-and-click (FPPAC, pronounced 'efpee-pack' by the cool kids), and one of the first in that particular genre. I'm gonna hold off on critiquing the story until I get deeper.

Puzzles make up the bulk of The 7th Guest, much like MYST, which has been well documented as one of my favorite games. Unlike MYST, most of the puzzles in 7th Guest are not asinine and actually feel challenging and rewarding, and have a direct, immediately visible relationship to the plot. The former of those two points speaks better of the 7th Guest, but the latter can be a strength either way, as that feeling of confusion through a large part of MYST gives it a unique atmosphere.

At the moment, despite the fact that the acting is campy and the videos look grainy today (and the special effects look downright laughable sometimes), The 7th Guest seems like a promising adventure.