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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I didn't need to write the above paragraph, you already knew Duke Nukem was an outdated character and series, that's all that needed to be said.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.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Update: 8/4/14

Doom 64 (N64): First Appearance
Does it seem like I've been playing a lot of N64 games recently? Because I've been playing a bunch of N64 games recently. It's a secret mission, essentially. But hey, Doom 64 is a very good port of the PC game (but with new levels). I would've liked to see a direct port of the original Doom, but the levels in this port are very solid. Also, I bought it used on eBay and it came in immaculate condition (like almost new, and with the manual included).
The Doom series is one of the only games where I really care about the music, so IMAGINE MY DISAPPOINTMENT when I figured out that they dropped the old music, which was iconic, but most importantly melodic, in favor of the same type of music that was used on all of the 32-bit ports, which was sort of atmospheric but ultimately forgettable.
Compare this:

To this:

It was definitely more atmospheric, but in the end I don't care about the first one and I like the second one.

NBA 2K14 (XBONE): Third Appearance, Third Straight Appearance
My living room is getting re-painted so I couldn't get any time with 2K14 in until midnight last night when I placed the console downstairs. Fuck playing with the Kings we lose every game.
2K14 represents a new step forwards in the life of sports gaming - getting punished for staying out late and partying. That's my favorite part of the game, when it gets unnecessarily realistic and it asks you if you want to fund an independent movie. Next year they need to add a dating sim, ability to star in a film about being a magic genie, and give you a broadcast career after retirement.
Also please get me off the Kings thank you

Wave Race 64 (N64): First Appearance
Fuck, this game is good, and that's all I can really say. I ignored it for a long time, but I finally tried it and damn, this is good in the most unphenomenal way.

Blast Corps (N64): First Appearance
It's a game about breaking things and it's weird as hell trying it today. Nintendo needs to bring this series back (actually it's a Rare property so it wouldn't come back on the WiiU, but rather the XBone, so, again, I wanna see this return in FULL HD). It's a game about breaking things and exploding things. Also I bought it used and all the levels were beaten.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Update: 7/28/14

NBA 2K14 (XBONE): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
Well hey this is actually sort of enjoyable now... I've played it for two weeks now, so I figure I should talk about the differences between the XBOX 360 and XBOX One versions of 2K14. So here we go-

The XBOX One version is a much smoother basketball experience. At least on the floor, I find it much easier to score and especially to reach the basket than in the 360 game. Players move much more freely, and called plays are more successful (at least if feels) on the modern game.

Features-wise, the XBOX 360 version is far and away the better game. There's not very much customization on the modern generation game, and The Association mode, the sort of "franchise" mode equivalent (though MyGM mode is similar). The mode that focuses on LeBron is also nixed.

The 'MyCareer' mode was the most important reason that I bought the game, and the modern generation version is superior to the last generation version. On the XBOX One version, the gameplay is mixed in with a series of cutscenes featuring your player, and also features a few practice modes, which is a nice touch. Your team's star player helps guide you as a rookie to reach your potential, and you even have full animated meetings with your coach and GM. At the end of it all, I've enjoyed my XBOX One copy far more than the 360 game due to the improved MyCareer mode.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (XBONE): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
So hey, this is at least a fairly standard World War II FPS only one hour in... That's about all I have to say about it, I got a little irritated by the dogs, which I had a hard time with, so I stopped playing it. Remember I am a child. I'll pick it back up later this week

Destiny (Beta Build) (XBONE): First Appearance
Well I'd love to talk about the online multiplayer for this game but apparently I haven't unlocked it and the single player barely interests me. I may cancel my pre-order.

Other games I played that don't warrant mention
Turok (N64) First Appearance Holy shit, the draw-distance fog in 1997 was nuts. I wonder what it would look like on technology that could actually handle it. Also: How did people deal with it? I get that it's a good game and a new idea for the era, but I mean, people had eyes back then.
Killer Instinct: Gold (N64) First Appearance I don't care for the Killer Instinct franchise all that much, but I might try out the new one that came out for free last year. I talk about how much I like Mortal Kombat 3 a lot, but it had a strong competitor in 1995 with Killer Instinct. The sequel, Killer Instinct 2 (called Killer Instinct Gold on the home port) was supposed to be a system seller for the N64 in the earliest years of the console, but I don't think it holds up too well today.

As a side note, Killer Instinct always had a better storyline (at least in my mind) than Mortal Kombat did. Though the characters could get a little generic (Guys like Glacius, a man made entirely of Ice), I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the end cutscenes on YouTube at 1 AM one night.
As another side note, apparently this bland ass game apparently did warrant mention somehow.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Update: 7/21/14

Well alright here we are, back on Monday!

NBA Live 14 (XBONE): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
I actually sorta like this game, specifically the Ultimate Team mode, which I tried out this week. I never really had tried a mode like this before, but (at least to me with my little experience) I enjoy it thoroughly. I don't have anything to compare it with, but the challenges you can play to earn more coins to buy more players are well executed. Not much more to say about that, I probably should wait until the next game to come out.

NBA 2K14 (XBONE): First Appearance
I'm counting this one as a different game than the one I've been playing since March. This port is far more playable and feels a little smoother than the XBOX 360 version. Also I think I've figured out how to play this game finally after trying this version, probably making this the longest time that I've spent before figuring out how to enjoy any game.
Here is a list of the things I did wrong:
1. Wrong position picked in MyCareer mode. I tried playing with both a 6'7" Shooting Guard and a 7'3" Center. Neither of those positions are good for a novice such as myself, because you can't call plays yourself and I'm not good at getting rebounds. Choosing to be a point guard is significantly easier than any other position at least offensively. I'm not good at defense though.
2. Picked by the wrong team each time - When I played on the 360, I was picked by the Mavericks when I was a shooting guard and picked by the Bulls as a center. You may notice that the best player on those teams are, respectively, a shooting guard (Monta Ellis) and a center (Joakim Noah) (Even though Derrick Rose exists as well, but that doesn't fit in to what I was saying)
3. Player was far too tall - It's basketball, right? Supposed to pick the tall guy. But I did exactly that. It's harder for tall guys to move around quickly in these games. Picking a short guy (I'm not sure how tall but like 6'1 I think is what I picked) allows for better mobility and a faster pick and roll so I've found myself being much more successful and effective with getting shots and assists. Still awful at getting rebounds, though.

This game also comes with a fun story. Wednesday, I bought this game at GameStop, used, for 35 dollars. I took the game home and tried to install it on my XBOX. As I waited, it got to 14 percent and I couldn't get any more installed, for it gave me an error message stating that the disc was either dirty or damaged. It was scratched. So, I took it back the next day to the same Gamestop, and they were happy to take the return. 35 Dollars back.

I then took those 35 dollars downstairs to the Microsoft Store and bought a brand new copy of the same game for 29.99. I profited on it, and got it new. 2 extra dollars, spent upon a pretzel the next day.

Wolfenstein (XBONE): First Appearance
I raced home from the store (I picked the game up out of the basket where it sat for a few days) and I excitedly tore the case from its shrinkwrap (I had opened the game a few days earlier to enter in the code on Id's website so I could have access to the Beta for the new Doom game) and I popped the game in my XBOX and enjoyed several hours of World War II era shooting fun! (It took 2 hours to install and I had to go to bed and didn't get to start)

Trials Fusion (XBONE): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
I don't have anything to say actually. I wish I did. I guess I could point out that I find the commentary from the A.I.s genuinely funny, and I have some sense of shame that comes from that. I don't know why I have that shame, but I guess I'm supposed to feel cooler than that or something? It doesn't matter. This is a good game

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monday Update: 6/15/14

Next week The Monday Update will be back to the usual schedule instead of being done on a Thursday and then the next Tuesday. Luckily, I do have games to discuss, because on Sunday, I purchased an Xbox One. Here are some thoughts.
-It was surprisingly easy to set up, just the console, cords, and controller
-It immediately updated, which made me wait 40 minutes or so before I could actually enjoy my product
-I couldn't properly log in to my XBOX Live account so I made a new one with my discounted 12-month Gold subscription. Add me on XBOX Live at Golftar
-My Gamertag is a Cheap Seats Reference just so you know

NBA Live 14 (XBONE): First Appearance
We did it. Ladies and gentlemen, I now own a copy of NBA Live 14. It only cost me 16 dollars, which I believe makes it genuinely the least expensive product available for purchase at the Microsoft Store unless I'm missing a few mousepads. Anyway, I played through three games, did two challenges (both Vince Carter and Damian Lillard's buzzer beaters in the 2014 playoffs), and went through one fantasy draft, and let me tell you, this is a pretty average game.
I didn't realize it, but the first game I went through was on the factory default settings, the ones which earned such rave reviews as "one star" and "mediocre" back in November. After that, I figured out how to download the patches released later.
The current version of NBA Live 14 is, indeed, fairly mediocre. There's something exciting about playing a new NBA Live, but it falters in some aspects, most notably these:
-Movement in the post feels sloppy. After playing 2K14, I can't go back to sloppy post play.
-It's far too obvious when an animation begins, especially when it comes to dunking.
-Shooting sometimes doesn't work like it should. I've found good shooters wide open and have been consistently unable to make shots, then again, I've made threes right in defenders' faces.
-I can't get defense inside to work well but that's probably just me.
-I hate all of the camera angles
-Passes get intercepted very frequently
However, movement on the court, especially amongst your teammates feels very good. One of the things I didn't like about 2K14 is how often you'll see your teammates just stand and wait for you to do something, instead of trying to get open. Setting picks works very well and helps open players up. It's very easy for a new player to get into the game, especially when it comes to calling plays.

In the end, Live 14 feels like an experiment above anything else, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Live 15 and 2K15 have in store.

Trials Fusion (XBONE): First Appearance
Well hey, here's this series again. I think Trials HD set the record on my 360 for the most time spent on a demo (also probably on the best OXM Demo Disc I owned). Anyway, this is the perfect game to purchase alongside a new console. Regardless of whether or not the gameplay is good (and it is, it reminds me of the old flash game Free Rider 2, which I played the shit out of), the visuals are amazing. I mean, it's one of those games where you can look and exactly see the graphical capabilities of the new console you just dropped 400 dollars on.

The futuristic settings look great (and shockingly reasonable for a near future in some aspects) and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes all Portal on us and we visit the dark scary side of the future where the lesser people were sent underground but this is a game about motorcycles so I'd like to believe that the future in the Trials universe is nice and fun and contains motorcycles.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Mid-Week Update because Joe hasn't had a solid Internet connection all week: 7/10/14

Well hey, it's July already, happy independence day and all that, get ready for Christmas, understand how hot it can truly get under the burning sun, and Share a Coke with Monique.

NBA 2K14 (X360): Eleventh Appearance, Last Appearance 6/9/14

Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition (VITA): First Appearance
When I started doing these updates at the beginning of the year (back when they were on Sunday and not whenever the hell they wanted to be), I played a little game called Heart of Darkness. If you've stuck with me since then, you'll know that I enjoyed almost all of Heart of Darkness aside from the final level and the main character.

I never talked about it back then because the Sunday Update consisted of only about 3 sentences per game back in February, but I figured out what I liked about Heart of Darkness the most: Your character never really feels like they're ever that much stronger than the enemy. You have a weapon, sure, but most of the time it's unwieldy and unreliable.

Everything is trying to kill you, rather than in contemporaries like Doom, Duke Nukem, or even Super Mario 64, where often times the one making the first strike is the player. As Mario, there are many times when you feel like you're significantly stronger than your enemy, be it a Goomba or Bob-Omb or some low-level enemy of the sort. Along with that, in every game mentioned, it takes more than a couple of hits to kill you. I don't know that one single Goomba has ever killed me by itself in Super Mario 64. It may get two hits in at the most, but the player can punch the Goomba right in its fuckin face and then go get more coins if that's the case.

In Heart of Darkness, you die in one hit. You die instantly, and there's no recovery. On top of that, every enemy can kill you in one hit, and most enemies take more than one to kill. With those facts in place, you don't ever feel like your character is necessarily stronger than anything. Sure, you figure out how certain enemies work and how to defeat them easily, but even with that knowledge there's still no certainty in anything. Low level enemies will still overpower you even in later levels if you aren't putting enough effort in. That feeling is pervasive throughout the entire game: You're in over your head.

One-hit deaths aren't unheard of in games, in fact, many early games had your character perish with one hit, from the fairly innocuous Gumshoe on the NES to the infamous Transformers on the Famicom. What set Heart of Darkness apart from those was an incredibly simple tactic that I can't believe I haven't seen more: Checkpoints. Not even checkpoints that you can necessarily see, but just checkpoints where you can start getting through the next bit of the game without having to go back and replay the past 3 minutes. It works so simply, and keeps the player from wanting to quit playing. After a bit, at least for myself, running through the same 2 minute stretch to try one tricky section again is a waste of time.

Anyway, Heart of Darkness did both of those things perfectly. Another World (you'll notice I've gone through 5 paragraphs before bringing up the name of the game at hand, a new record) was created a few years before Heart of Darkness by the same man, Éric Chahi, a Frenchman. It does all of those things I talked about just as well, and features fully polygonal graphics which lend a certain style to the game that I've never seen anywhere else. It's cliché to say it, but that art style is linked with Another World and nothing else.

The remake is available for just about all major consoles, and I'd say it's a pretty solid remake. You have updated graphics and sounds, but you aren't forced to use them if you don't want, the controls are simple for modern consoles, and you can earn Trophies or Achievements if you'd like. I'm looking forward to finishing it, hopefully it doesn't disappoint like HoD did.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Update: 6/30/14

Mario Kart 64 (N64): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
I have been very into creating content lately, and with the content I have created, the created content will contently create content. Monetize your youtube views. This is a good game

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): Fourth Appearance, Last Appearance 6/16/14
I took a week off from Mario Kart 8 until last night when I figured out that 150cc mode in Mario Kart 8 is really, really difficult especially when playing with friends. I don't remember it being that hard on MK7, but then again I wasn't stuck with a Wii Remote & Nunchuck back on Mario Kart 7.

Super Mario 64 (N64): First Appearance
My friend Joe came up with a theory about Juicy Fruit a long time ago. To really understand this theory, you have to understand that Kansas City's airport has a few stores scattered around before visitors can access the terminals/go through secuirty and all that. This is very nice for people who live in Kansas City because going through security is quick and simple, and you immediately end up in your gate. If you are not from Kansas City and, say, have to transfer between two flights that aren't in the same terminal, it's not good at all.

Anyway, Joe's theory essentially states that every time he goes to an airport, he buys a pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. He tries a few pieces, then the flavor runs out after like 7 seconds, then he realizes he hates Juicy Fruit. However, he only ever sees Juicy Fruit prominently displayed in airports, and he rarely visits airports, and the 7 seconds of good Juicy Fruit is all that sticks in the mind. So, the next time he visits an airport, he buys more Juicy Fruit, and the cycle begins again. The main idea is this: if you stay away from something enough but still have some fond memories, the longer you stay away, the more you remember the fond memories and the more you forget the negative ones.

Super Mario 64 is exactly this way with me. The Juicy Fruit Theory applies with Mario 64 mainly because of two reasons-
1. It was the first game I ever owned on a console
2. That's it
I always had fond memories of Mario 64, so I tend to go back to it after waiting for periods of about a year. Last time I tried was early June of last year, previously it was September of 2011*, I guess this year it's late June. Mario 64 does not hold up terribly well today. After playing some of Shifting Sand-Land, I figured out what my main issue was - The control! It's basically the first game to control that way, so I understand why it's flawed, but I had forgot how finicky they are. You have to be absolutely precise in exactly the way it wants with very little leeway. On top of that, the camera doesn't stay still for more than about 2 seconds at a time when I need it to do so. Even with all this, I don't think it's terrible, but it's not a good game for revisiting in 2014.

*The phrase "There is no God in Wet-Dry World" comes from the star titled "Top of the Town". Wet-Dry World has two different segments, a large room with a large tower where the water level may rise up and down (the room in which the player spawns), and a second room which contains a small town. From the name of the star, one might assume that "Top of the Town" would be found in the "town" part of the only level in the game which has a town. This is false, as the star is in the first area. It tricked me. There is No God In Wet-Dry World.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Update: 6/23/14

Mario Kart 64 (N64): First Appearance
I'm gonna do something about this game soon. Clay and I enjoyed this title yesterday. Have you ever noticed how amazingly easy it is to fall off a ledge and not be picked up by Lakitu, but end up on the road behind you having lost time and position in the race. This happened to me on Choco Mountain, Royal Raceway, and Frappe Snowland. (actually, on Frappe Snowland, I fell into some water between a jump and the rest of the track and was unable to work up the momentum to continue going so I had to turn all the way around and then build up more momentum because the game replaces you on the track in no position to build up speed). Mario Kart 64 is not my favorite Mario Kart, but damn if it isn't one of the most interesting.

Adventure (Atari VCS): First Appearance
I read a book about this game so I figure I better talk at least a little bit about it.  Crazy how games like that, games that are 35+ years old, can still be readily enjoyed by friends. Clay and I tried streaming it and then figured out that we had possibly the dumbest problem of all time happen, wherein I had the stream itself playing in one window and you could hear us talking and then us repeating ourselves a few seconds later in what must have been the most confusing thing of all time. But hey, Adventure is still enjoyable.

Pilotwings 64 (N64): First Appearance
This is such a weird game but I love every second of it. I never enjoyed flight simulators all that much (except for Microsoft Flight Simulator 98, which was installed on the computers in my 8th grade industrial technology class and was about the only thing we had planned for stretches of about a week at a time). Pilotwings really isn't any typical flight simulator, though. Also if it looks like I'm playing a bunch of N64 games from 1996-97, it's because I am, I'm trying to collect N64 games and I'm going to do it... Chronologically. Starting with the games from 1996 (I currently have 5 of the first 8, missing Shadows of the Empire, KI Gold, and Mortal Kombat Trilogy at the moment).

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (GBC): First Appearance
I played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for the Game Boy Color and it went about as well as you'd guess.

So that updates you on most of the things going on in my life games-wise. What a weird ass week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Update: 6/16/14

Alright a bunch of whatever with little to no substance this week, sort of like... most weeks?

Mario Kart 8 (WiiU): Third Appearance, Third Straight Appearance
Well my sister left for camp for like the entire summer so looks like I have the Wii U and the family's one copy of Mario Kart 8 to myself FOR TWO MONTHS. Looks like I'm just gonna have fun being not all that good at Mario Kart.

I got fairly solid at 7, though never really "great" and I never figured out the Maka Wuhu trick. I was never particularly good at Mario Kart Wii, either, mostly because I never purchased it and instead rented it four weeks in a row from Blockbuster (It doesn't feel like that was too long ago, but hey, it was. Back in 2008 Blockbuster was really still the best option in terms of rentals compared to Netflix (whose streaming service hadn't totally taken off at that time) or Redbox (still relegated pretty much exclusively to McDonald's lobbies). Now, I haven't seen an open Blockbuster in over two years. It doesn't feel that long ago but hey, here we are.

I'm going to start trying online play later this week, so we'll see how that turns out.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS (Wii U/3DS) First Appearance
Oh, no, wait, no I didn't. I stood in line at Best Buy for 3 hours to be told that there wouldn't be enough time to get everyone through and then we had to leave. But I lost at Mario Kart 8 to some random kid and I did this:
also I had to work on Saturday so I couldn't ever make it to try it out. I'm gonna go ahead and say it's the best game I ever played and I've never seen anything more enjoyable in my whole life. Truly the most life-changing game I have ever tried, it will destroy all other forms of entertainment. Music? You have four months to come out with your final album, because the only thing that you'll need coming circa-October 2014 on 3DS and Q4 2014 on the Wii U will be Super Smash Bros. Movies? Stop making them. You're wasting your time. Theatre? Replaced by people playing Smash Bros. Hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl, we're never doing that again. Netflix? It's going the way of Blockbuster. Smash 4 is that good.

Castlevania (NES/GBA): First Appearance
I hadn't played Castlevania for the NES in probably about 15 years in all honesty, but I tried out the GBA port at Clay's house the other day and, unsurprisingly, I'm not good at it. Granted, Clay's Gamecube controller is fucked up, one of those third party controllers with the grips on the sides, and the A button is smashed in so it sometimes presses itself. I always preferred the later PS1 and Game Boy Advance style Castlevania games to the older ones.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (GB): First Appearance
Clay had me play this too. Imagine one of the most atmospheric horror movies turned into a Super Mario Bros. clone somehow.

Super Mario Land (GB): First Appearance
HEY! HEY! THIS GAME IS GOOD. PLEASE RECONSIDER ALL OF YOUR THINKPIECES WHERE YOU'RE LIKE "Hey actually Super Mario Land is bad because the turtles turn into bombs and the fire flower's different" AND JUST ENJOY IT PLEASE THANK YOU

NBA Live 2004 (XBOX): First Appearance
I'm considering an idea called "The Alternate Clay Bennett Timeline" in which the Sonics stay in Seattle due to a random number of coincidences and changes. It'll be like the Butterfly Effect mixed with the Mandela Effect mixed with AfterEffects and everything will be beautiful.

Thank you very much for reading the Monday Update, now go win some soccer games no matter who you are or what country you call home. Unless you're Belgium. I'll never forgive you for the Smurfs

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Update: 6/9/14

Hey there's an E3 going on and I've played some weird shit

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PSV): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
So apparently I'm not supposed to play this one first, apparently it's "The Fourth game in the series"-Ben Higbee, and "You have to play the first ones first or else you're gonna be confused" -Ben Higbee, But hey the next few levels were fun and it's a good game to have on the Vita because the objectives don't seem too long to get through. That's what I want out of a portable game, I'd rather finish something in 10 minutes than get partway through something and forget about it after the same amount of time. That was my issue with the Ocarina of Time game for the 3DS. So yeah, Sly Cooper, Platforming game for a Sony console, I'm on board, and I shouldn't have waited this long to try it out.

Tomb Raider 2 (PS1): First Appearance
I know it means a lot to a lot of people, but how the fuck did you guys in the mid 1990s play this game? The control's just so difficult for my small "born in 1995"-Shawnee Mission Medical Center brain, who thought pressing down on the controller should make you walk backwards and not turn you around? It's very clumsy and I was bad at it so instead of being an adult and figuring out how to play this properly, I'm just going to complain.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
Yeah it's good. Now that Microsoft announced that Master Chief collection I want DLC Mario Kart tracks, I want to play all the old tracks, please, that would be great. Also I'm really genuinely excited for that Master Chief Collection and the Madden 15 defensive additions are either going to make or break the series because they had something okay going already, so if they mess this up the Madden series is going to have some issues.
Also Mario Kart 8 is fun

NBA 2K14 (X360): Tenth Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
NBA 2K14 has run away with the record for most appearances on the Monday Update. But I'm never playing this dumb game again because I am too bad at it and it's too hard. Why the fuck did I make my shooting guard character 6'10" that is too tall for a shooting guard but without the skillset built in for a small forward or power forward or center goddamn it Dalembert got hurt and they put my guy at CENTER 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Update: 6/2/14

Another fairly small week for the Monday Update
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PSV): First Appearance
Sly Cooper was always one of those games that I was supposed to have played, but I never did. I have now. Rather, I played the epilogue and then had to go to work. It's pretty solid and I will try more, but I haven't played a good 3D platformer game in a long, long time, probably since the Mario 64 Incident of Summer 2013. I hear that the characters and dialogue are very unique in this game, so I might have to finally play a handheld game with the audio on, which I rarely ever do.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): First Appearance
So I'm never going to buy a Wii U, however my sister did and therefore sometimes I get to share a Wii U with the rest of my family. I have been known to call Mario Kart 7 my favorite game of all time, but I typically try not to get excited about games all that much so I actually knew very little about what to expect from MK8 beforehand. I wasn't disappointed with the quality of the game by any means, though i was pretty disappointed with my own performance against the rest of my family, only winning two races (though, to be fair, my sister won almost every race  and she had been practicing all afternoon so I don't feel bad, also I had to use the Wii remote and Nunchuck for controls which I wasn't used to [actually why am I making excuses for my poor performance that's not something good players do]).

I don't love the new tracks so much, but that's how I typically am with newer games. The remastered old tracks are great, though, and I hope they make use of the DLC possibilities, so we could maybe, theoretically, hopefully, in some universe, be able to use all of the tracks available in the history of Mario Kart. That would be perfect. Anyway, I like Mario Kart 8 and I get to use the Wii U all by myself now that my sister's off at Summer Camp (funny how that works).

NBA 2K14 (X360): Ninth Appearance, last appearance 5/19/14
What if Kansas City had an NBA team? I questioned this last week. There will be a post coming out sometime soon in which I consider this idea. This may be a mildly angry post for there are many things that need to be said by me that probably won't be entirely correct but eh, it's just a funny post about video games and also how did we lose the Kings to goddamn Sacramento?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I forgot to do the Monday Update yesterday 5/26/14

Hey sorry I had to work until 6 and then I had the nerve to attend my sister's birthday party so oh well there was nothing yesterday. You didn't miss much, though.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star First Appearance
I might get some criticism for this, but I remember enjoying Sticker Star when I first played it and I still think it's pretty solid. The combat is certainly different from the prior games, but I still enjoy it. After coming back to it this week, I actually found the solution to one of my main issues with the game: you can actually purchase some of the real-world items at a kiosk manned by a shady figure in Decalburg. I don't know why I didn't know this. I'm glad to get back into it, though.

Wow, really, is this it? I guess I'll include this one-

NCAA Football 2014 First Appearance
Okay, I honestly don't know why I chose to play this one again, but I got to the Sugar Bowl. I've had my dynasty in this game running all the way to 2018. Started as an offensive coordinator at Old Dominion, won eight games, moved 'up' to Eastern Michigan, somehow lucked my way into a national championship because there were no other undefeated teams in the country and only one team with 1 loss. Also this happened-
anyway I somehow got a job at Louisville still as the OC after that, and I won a championship there (the offensive job is very easy in NCAA 2014) and then went on to lose to Tennessee by 40 in the first game of 2017. I won like 6 straight after that and then stopped playing back in October 2013 or so, then I picked up back on Tuesday. I won the rest of my games from then on, but, in a near reflection of the Eastern Michigan situation, I was one of about 5 teams with one loss, then another one with 2 losses and a better schedule strength. I did not return to the championship game despite 12 straight wins, and instead ended up with the Sugar Bowl against SEC runner up South Carolina. That game was a win, which left me with a 26-1 record at Louisville. Then, because I'm dumb and I hate winning games, I chose to go to Illinois for the head coach job.

I want to keep playing a game like this for years at a time. The furthest that I ever got in one game was five seasons of NCAA Football 2005, and I'm entering season 5 in 2014 right now. Can't wait for next year's entry am I right boys

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Update: 5/19/14

I had to pack up my room this week so I didn't have much access to anything until Thursday night, unfortunately. But this weekend I was able to turn that "unfortunately" into a FUNfortunately.

I'm ashamed of what I just said

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (SAT): First Appearance
I'll admit I've never been a huge fighting game fan, but Mortal Kombat 3 (and Ultimate MK3, and Trilogy) is always my favorite one to play against other people. There was last year during lunch at school when a friend brought a portable SNES. There was the one guy at camp who owned Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the N64. There was that random Ultimate MK3 machine in that tiny alcove in the mall in Alexandria, Minnesota. I've always had a strange history with MK3. It was one of the first games that I ever tried, oddly enough, as there was a SNES with a copy of it at my daycare. I played it last night against my girlfriend, and neither of us were particularly good at it. We still had fun with it.

NBA Jam: Tournament Edition (SAT): Third Appearance, Last on 2/2/14
If this game taught me one thing, it was that Sean Elliott wasn't all that good in NBA Jam. I have no idea how he was in actuality, but he couldn't make SHIT last night. Still won in overtime, though my opponent had never tried the game before and also chose the New Jersey Nets.

Gex (SAT): First Appearance
How have I not played Gex yet this year? But I love Gex! He's voiced by Dana Gould, the music is classic Saturn stuff, and it's actually a pretty solid platformer all things considered. If I had to describe the Saturn in one game, I'd choose Clockwork Knight or Bug! or Sonic R (mainly because Gex wasn't exclusive to the Saturn), but Gex is a great example of an era of gaming that has passed and will probably never return. Video Games were still relatively new, and things that were "cool" look absolutely ridiculous today. Granted, I don't think today is necessarily worse, but it's certainly different. In 18 years, people looking back at what was "cool" in 2014 might see something genuinely cool, like Titanfall. At the opposite end of that is the muddy Gears of War kinds of action games from 2007-2010 or so, which may have been "cool" then, but not the kind of cool that makes you laugh 14 years from now, like a talking gecko who gets sucked inside a television.

Well that's your "too much about Gex" update for the week.

Assorted Others:
NBA 2K14 (X360): Eighth Appearance, Second Straight Appearance: I hate this game but I cannot stop
Tecmo Classic Arcade (XBOX): First Appearance: There may be a video that comes out of this
NBA Inside Drive (XBOX): First Appearance: There will definitely be a video that comes out of this

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Name Game Finishes Round 1

The bracket that I made for this tournament is weird, I know.
The first round ends with this post, and it includes two matchups featuring teams that played in the play-in round.

THE MILLERS have already defeated the Jacksons by ten points, making use of the play by Andre Miller (Still playing in 2014) and running and gunning with DUAL REGGIES. 

The Reggies are not the only team with two guys both with the same name who are also the same guy. Meet THE ROBINSONS, who also seem to lean towards the inside with a tag team of David and 90's David. NBA Live 2003 came out the year before David Robinson retired.

Surprisingly, this turned out to be a very good game. It went right down to the wire when Larry Robinson got hot and started making threes. When they ended up with the final possession via an intercepted pass, they ended up having to settle for an almost half-court shot. The AI is weird, I tell you. The Millers will move on to the second round to face the Thomases.

THE JOHNSONS have already won a game, defeating the Anderson/sens in their opening game. There isn't that much to say that hasn't already been said about the Johnsons, though they are very, very proficient at blocking shots. Their opponent was THE JONESES.

The Joneses have one hall-of-famer on their roster, '60s Celtic legend Sam Jones. I know next to nothing about him other than the fact that he has the second most NBA championships of any singular player. He also wears notably short shorts.

So could the Johnsons... keep up with the Joneses??? Yes, actually. They really never had any difficulties with the Joneses after halftime. Even though the Joneses had a pretty solid team together, their lack of great inside talent is probably what hurt them the most. None of their players were terribly skilled at making shots either, only one ended up being over .500 in shooting percentage. I had an issue with this game because the game started to sub in the Hawks' backups (whose names are not Johnson) once they were up by about 20. Garbage time was destroying the sanctity of the name game, but I didn't care too much about Jason Terry getting a few minutes. Terry himself probably could have beaten the Joneses that day.

Join me next time for the second round, where the Johnsons play the Davises, and the Millers meet the Thomases. We bid the first round (and play-in games) farewell. Farewell, both Admirals, Jason Williams, Young Birdman, and I'm sure there was someone notable from the Browns as well.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Update: 5/12/14 - finals studying edition

I FINISHED WARIO LAND 4 Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance IT WAS GOOD
I PLAYED A FEW GAMES OF NBA 2K14 Seventh Appearance, Last Appearance 4/28/14 

Thanks. If you have any questions about the history of France please send them to me via twitter @joebush_joebush

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Name Game in NBA Live 2003 Round 1 (Part 2)

The next entry in round 1 is as follows:

THE MILLERS were sort of fudged here, but who cares. Like stated in the last post, many of the best players of the 1990s are playable in NBA Live 2003. One of those is Reggie Miller. However, unlike Isiah Thomas, Reggie was still a part of the NBA in 2002. So I put both Reggies on the team in order to make it work. The rest of the team is rounded out by Andre, Mike, and Brad.

THE JACKSONS had a bunch of guards. Their starting five Jimmy, Bobby, Mark, Jermaine, and Marc. Phil probably could have been their coach, but I didn't think about that and I don't think I could do anything to make it so.

The Millers were at an unfair advantage all game. Only a few of the Jacksons were of above average NBA height, while the Millers were anchored by the twin Reggies, relatively tall when talking about shooting guards. With that added to two of the better big men in the NBA at that time in Mike and Brad, the Millers got quite a few blocks in.
Turns out basketball is best played by tall guys
Credit to the Jacksons for not backing down, but a win is a win, and two Reggies are hard to beat.

Game two features teams from Houston and Oakland
THE WILLIAMSES feature the most popular name in the NBA, with eight players! Eight Williams are present in the NBA, enough to legally fill an entire team up with no others. Unfortunately, there's nothing to write home about with the vast majority of Williamses. Outside of Jason at point guard, there are no Williams on the team with a rating above 80. Also, they're almost all small forwards, no big men.

THE THOMASES had almost the exact opposite problem, with three centers, one small forward, and one point guard. However, that point guard happens to be Isiah, so it sort of works out.

Surprisingly, the difference in blocks for this game was much smaller than in the prior contest. That didn't change the fact that the Williamses were unable to do almost anything on either side. Eventually, J-Will started heaving up desperate threes

and then promptly got dunked on by Isiah
low quality .gifs - "we're working on it"

The Williamses just couldn't get anything going, masking a pretty subpar performance by the Thomases.
Here's how the bracket looks after four games:
It will make more sense in the next installment, probably not written until Friday because this week is finals week.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Name Game in NBA Live 2003: Round 1 (part 1)

Alrighty folks, check THIS OUT:

This is the opening round of "The Name Game" in which I take entire teams of players with the same name and play them against each other in Electronic Arts' NBA Live 2003. Most of these teams are a mishmash of random players from random teams, so the continuity of the name and the positions may not make sense sometimes. If a name happens to breed a number of players, but only Shooting Guards, they might run into a couple of issues. This tournament is made out of ten teams, each of different last name potential.
THE JOHNSONS are led by their Hall of Fame point guard Magic (and I included any HOFers with these last names on these teams, as NBA Live 2003 has a "legends pool" of the best players from each decade). This team finally makes use of the dream combo of Earvin and Ervin Johnsons (Magic and "No Magic") (Weird how I don't even put quotes around Magic's name, it doesn't feel right). They're fairly guard-heavy, but they have size on the inside, almost like a real NBA team! Whoa!

THE ANDERSONS(feat. Andersen) feature stars Derek and Kenny, both of whom were sort of short, but still solid shooters in their prime. I had to fudge this one a little, but what we sacrificed for complete and total continuity, we made up with Young Birdman at center.
The Anderson/sens don't have much in the way out height (outside of Young Birdman), so they had to focus on cutting inside, setting pick & roll plays, and shooting from the outside. This worked well early, and the seemingly less talented Celtics had a double-digit lead on the Hawks. The tide really started to turn on the Anderson/sens in the mid second quarter, once the Johnsons started blocking all of their shots.
fuckin watermarks
Many a shot got blocked. In the end, the Johnsons proved that they were a better team, taking the lead on a thunderous layup by Avery in the third quarter, and they didn't look back. In the end, the Anderson/sens were a solid team with a solid two names, but not strong enough to beat the Johnsons.

Game 2 was uploaded on Monday, I think.
THE DAVISES are led by a bunch of talent, including their point guard Baron (who was an up-and-coming player at that point), and the inside presence of Antonio. In terms of pure talent, the Davises are more talented by far than their opponent in the second round (the bracket is weird and I wasn't thinking in the order in which I recorded, you'll see by the end of the post)
THE BROWNS are on the Cleveland Cavaliers. They're the Cleveland Browns! The Cleveland Browns! It's like the football team is named! Isn't that something? It's crazy how life works sometimes. Anyway, they're not good. Apparently the last name Brown doesn't create great athletes.
But anyway, the Davises came out and destroyed the Browns. They destroyed the Browns by so many points that Steve Nash and Nick Van Exel actually got into the game in garbage time. The Davises are so good that they got to stop being the Davises.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Update: 5/5/14

So this has been a weird week

Wario Land 4 (GBA): First Appearance
I used to say that I'd never ever play Wario Land 4. This wasn't because I didn't like the previous games, it was actually because I liked the original three games so much. (Especially the third one.) Wario Land 4 was originally one of the reasons why I wanted to get the Game Boy Advance when it first came out. That desire waned after seeing screenshots in Nintendo Power (I think it was Nintendo Power, or possibly at one of the old Toys R' Us displays).
You see that up in the upper right? Who did they think they are? Running around leaving scars?
 Collecting their bar of hearts? Health bar. That's the point, there's a health bar. That was an issue for me, because I was always bad at platformers, I couldn't survive most of them, like Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong Country. I wasn't skilled enough to keep playing if they gave me a limited number of lives, and generally, I didn't have the patience to go and play through a bunch of levels I had already completed. Wario Land 3 didn't have a life bar or anything of the sort, so I could get hit by enemies as much as I wanted and not have to face any consequences. Having that life bar in Wario Land 4 was exactly what made me turn away twelve years ago.

But anyway I was wrong the whole time, the whole thing is good.

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 (GCN): First Appearance
Foreshadowing for a possible new video??????????????????? Yes, actually. I have owned Dave Mirra's Freestyle BMX 2 since 2002 or so, but I haven't ever actually finished it. I'm in the process of that right now, actually, and I have just realized how clumsy the whole thing feels. The levels are a little cluttered, the physics feel weird, and - actually I'm going to make a video about the whole thing soon so hold on.

NBA Live 2003 (GCN): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
A new venture has been started:

I have picked ten teams based purely upon last name and I have pitted them against each other. This will be fun.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (GBA): First Appearance
I can not for the life of me figure out where to go, that's probably an issue.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Update: 4/28/14

I turned 19 this week, for what that's worth.

MechAssault (XBOX): First Appearance
Remember this game? I do. I only had a chance to play it on one of the old "EXHIBITION" demo discs for the XBOX back in 2003. I had only been able to play about two missions from the game, but I never could beat either of them and never knew exactly what was going on. I enjoyed the hell out of it, more than anything else on any of those discs. (For the record, I had two of them, the March 2003 and July 2003 discs.) (Actually, I'm having a bit of a nostalgia trip looking at the list of what was on those. MX Superfly had this short 2:00 minute run mode, and I'd just try to do a double backflip for the whole time. All-Star Baseball 2004 had a home-run derby between modern players and legends. I would just accelerate on MotoGP 2 and crash into things.)

Anyway, MechAssault was one of the first games on XBOX Live (which I desperately desired despite the fact that I was only eight years old and my dad wouldn't let me have an account), and I never owned it until 2011. I played through about half of it then, until I had to stop myself from playing video games due to slipping grades. That XBOX died, then the next XBOX died, then we got to April 2014 and I've started playing MechAssault again. MechAssault is strange, being a part of the MechWarrior franchise, but being developed for the XBOX controller on a series that was already well known for mouse-keyboard controls. I imagine that this was an issue for some of the series' fans, but I didn't go online and look that sort of thing up at that time. But hey, it works on the controller, and it's actually genuinely enjoyable. I'd love to play the multiplayer sometime, though.

Pro Wrestling (NES): First Appearance
I don't really know why, just felt like it.

Ten-Yard Fight (NES): First Appearance
Dear god, this is the SLOWEST FOOTBALL GAME EVER. Why is it enjoyable, though? I can't put my finger on it, but I actually had a very good time with it.

Maniac Mansion (NES): Second Appearance, Last Appearance on 4/14/2014
I need a guide or something. Typically I'm not this dumb, but I'm so used to games that only use one protagonist, and the way that you switch characters throughout the game is really refreshing but still difficult to get used to.

NBA Live 2003 (GCN): First Appearance (I think)
FIRST: Michael Jordan versus the Memphis Grizzlies. "Michael Jordan" is a game I invented at camp 2013, originally in NBA Courtside 2002 for the Gamecube. You pick Michael Jordan, and score every point with him. Nobody else puts up a shot. Nobody. Even if he fouls out. If he fouls out, you freeze after half court and wait for the game to end. Here's how it went:
SECOND: Shorts versus Talls 2003. The shortest players (Celtics) versus the tallest players (Hawks). It worked as you may expect. The shorts only had one really good player in Damon Stoudamire. The talls had two in Dikembe Mutombo and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. I might do a deeper look at this particular game in a little bit, actually.

Others That Don't Warrant Mention®
NBA 2K14 (X360): Sixth Appearance, Sixth Straight Appearance: Played nearly one game, but got bored. 2K's reign may end this week
RollerCoaster Tycoon (PC): Second Appearance, Last Appearance on 4/14/2014: It takes some time to get going sometimes, especially on Dynamite Dunes, so I didn't play too much.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday Update: 4/21/14

A very busy week for me, as I was writing everything that ended up on, so go check that out please. There were games, however.

F-Zero GX (GCN): Second Appearance, second straight week
I feel like F-Zero and Star Fox never get much respect when it comes to Nintendo franchises. I think they're in what I would consider the third tier (First tier being Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon, second being Metroid and Kirby, then third being Animal Crossing, Star Fox, and F-Zero amongst others and I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two somewhere). I have nothing more to say about the quality of F-Zero GX, though. It's simple racing at abnormally high speeds which is great, and it makes every movement important, because there's a very real possibility that you end up off of the track. The whole series is great with friends, and the Gamecube version is my favorite of all of them.

Also, there's an arcade game, though I've never seen it in person. I have seen the Mario Kart arcade game in person, though. I love the idea of having a camera for the player's face in multiplayer modes (although the machine I tried in tomorrowland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom had a broken camera so the effect was lost). Apparently the full arcade game is present somewhere within the GameCube game as well.

Atari Anthology (XBOX): First Appearance
I purchased another original XBOX last weekend. I mainly own the original XBOX for three reasons:
1. Playing the exclusives, like TRON 2.0, MechAssault, or Halo
2. Old Sports Games, because I like this era of sports games
3. Compilations
I've always said that the PSP is the best console for compliations (Mainly because they're the only thing that I ever played on the PSP), but for whatever reason, the XBOX is great for them. Atari Anthology was actually a game I had for the PS2. Anyway, for me, the best compilation games are focused on quantity, not quality. If I can try the entire library from one specific company, I'd be happy with that rather than just cutting down to the hits (which is what most compilations on the PS1 are forced to do).

Atari Anthology perfectly embodies that "quantity before quality" idea, because you can play basically anything put out by Atari post-1975 or so (no Gotcha!, unfortunately, but I think I'm the only one who would be sad because that's an awful game that had breast controllers). That includes both arcade games and VCS games (none on the 5200 or 7800, sorry Ninja Golf fans). They leave almost no stone unturned for the VCS, down to the three infamous SwordQuest games, and even the VCS conversions of arcade games already playable in their original forms. I prefer this compilation to Intellivision Lives! and the Midway Arcade Treasures, though they're both great as well.

Knuckles Chaotix (32X): First Appearance
Sonic fans get upset about the mid to late 1990s because there were no "true" Sonic games for the Saturn after CD. Most of those people forget about Chaotix for a few reasons, mainly that there's no Sonic, it's for the 32X which nobody has but me, and the whole thing with the rubber-banding is weird and unnatural. All three of those things are completely true, but they don't make Chaotix a bad game by any means. I like how the stages are vertically constructed rather than the typical horizontal fare. I like how the characters interact, I like the kind of puzzle platforming, and I think it's a solid part of the 32X library.

For those wondering how I attained a copy, I got it from an eBay auction after this guy's house burnt down and he had to sell off some stuff. There was a warning that there may have been "possible smoke or water damage," but it has worked fine for me. I don't know why I wrote that anecdote out.

Others that don't warrant mention:
NBA 2K14 (360) Fifth Appearance, Fifth Straight Appearance: Played one game very late at night
NCAA Football 2004 (XBOX) First Appearance: Played 1 quarter to see if my new XBOX had a functioning disc drive
WWF: Wrestlemania (32X) First Appearance Sort of like that shot of vodka that the French take before eating dinner, I played this before I played Chaotix