The ULTIMATE Internet Site of Games-Related Speech

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Update: 3/31/14

Happy opening door everyone. Let's open that door and let the bass in. Thank you. Barry Bonds

Golf (NES): First Appearance
I wrote a post about this.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1): Second Appearance, last appearance on 2/24/2014
I love SOTN. I love the way that the castle is designed, I love fighting through the castle to get where I want to go and then gaining a higher level as a result of it, I even have figured out a way to enjoy boss fights to a certain extent. I can only think of a few games like it, that I recommend on almost every front. My only real regret is that I didn't try to get further in it when I first played it back a year ago

NBA 2K14 (XB360): Third Appearance, Third Straight Appearance
So now that I'm done fawning about the cool action-RPG here's me about a dumb sports game again. I think Sacramento's in a position to be good next year if they can get a solid player at Power Forward possibly coming out of the draft like Julius Randle maybe. I like how NBA 2K14 lets you download other people's draft classes and draft those players, so I don't have to draft some fake name guy from George Washington University or something like that. That's a good idea and I'm glad they did it. I've figured out how to be more successful in a 5-on-5 game situation as well. I have devised a system over the past few years called "The Joe Bush Video Basket Plan" and it works like this:
1. Steal the ball That's the most important thing, steal the ball and jump pass-lanes
2. Jam Jam the ball down the hole
3. Make quick passes in transition Do that
4. Get blocks and I don't mean LEGOs boy
6. Shoot the 3!!! Always have a good 3-Point shooter because 3's are worth more than 2's
7. Did you notice I left out the five? 2/5 Americans don't!!!
8. INBOUND BANDIT Whenever a team gets a chance at a sideline inbound pass, that's when they're at their most vulnerable. Pick that off. If you get that strategy going, you're going to be good
9. How many animals did Moses put on the ark? The answer might surprise you

Ninja Gaiden (LYNX)
Ah yes, the coup de grace. The ol' 1-2. The "why are you talking about anything for the Atari Lynx Mr. Bush?" Well, I'll tell you why: Morbid Curiosity. While the Ninja Gaiden games for the NES and SNES are fun, fast paced action games, the LYNX port opts for a traditional beat-em-up style. It doesn't work all that well, especially on the LYNX's blurry ass screen.

Keep your eyes peeled for any suspicious characters tomorrow... they might... fool you

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Golf Quest

This post will be a bit of an odyssey, so hold on, buckle your seatbelts, place lap-bars in their locked position, keep hands inside the ride, don't sprinkle your dead relative's ashes everywhere etc.

On the morning of Saturday, March 28th, I entered Gamenut. It's a really nice store in downtown Lawrence where they sell used and new games ranging from the earliest age of games to modern consoles. They have a commitment to quality that they uphold very well, and they have one of the best selections of games in the state of Kansas (which has a surprisingly solid number of game stores, actually. Gamenut and Gameguy in Lawrence, Gamecycle in Gardner, Pittsburg, Iola, and Olathe, Vintage Stock throughout most of the larger cities).

Atop the main shelf sit a number of stacks. Stacks of older cartridge-based games complete in box. N64, Sega Genesis, SNES, NES, and all of that. The cartridges themselves are in the glass cases by the register.

This paragraph might seem like a digression, but it leads into the rest of the story, please don't worry. I don't typically buy CIB games unless I really, really like them, or I am particularly interested in the box. In that weird second category stand the original NES "Black Box" games, documented in this video by Pat the NES Punk
They come in all uniform black boxes with art from the game instead of any sort of drawn representation. I like the aesthetic of these, and I try to buy them whenever I see them for a decent price. Gamenut, on Saturday, March 29th, 2014, had Golf in-box (no manual, unfortunately, but hey). Fifteen dollars. Of course, I make the transaction. 

They keep all of their boxed games (that includes disc-based and cartridge-based) in the back for understandable reasons. So the guy working there goes back and looks for a cartridge. He can't find one in the usual place. He looks in another place. It's not their either. He looks in the racks of unboxed carts. It's not there either. He goes upstairs. No luck there, either. There is no Golf in this store. Along with being one of the first, Golf is one of the most common NES games, so I'm actually sort of surprised that any store could feasibly run out of Golf because not many people go looking for a Golf cartridge and a lot of people had them back in the '80s, but that's not important in this case. Point is, Gamenut on that day, Saturday, March 29th, 2014 is a Golf-free zone.

He then offers me a way out of this. "Buy the box here for 14.99, then go to the store on Iowa street, and show them your copy of the receipt and they'll give you the cartridge, they have a few."

So, me being me, I buy an empty box for $14.99 and go on my way. Upon reaching the other location, I am presented with one of the most bizarre transactions of my life. I walk to the counter, with my empty box, and say "Hi, this is weird, but I was just at the Mass. Street location and they said you guys have some copies of Golf for the NES." The employees there knew what I was talking about, thankfully, and gave me the cartridge that they had.

Anyway, the point of this shaggy-dog-esque story here is that on Saturday, March 29th, 2014, Joe Bush spent $14.99 on an empty box.

This story will eventually become my award winning Twine game.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Update: 3/24/14

I had Spring Break last week, so we're going to get into some sort of a greatest hits of last week here on the Monday Update
NBA 2K14 (X360): Second Appearance, Second Straight
I continued with my single character, but I figured out it's really hard to defend any good player only controlling one player. It's really hard to defend LeBron James or Kevin Durant, and the game gives you lower grades for being unable to stop players from scoring, even if your individual offensive play is solid. Though I still think it's a solid game, I actually sort of wish that it was a bit less realistic. In many games, especially when playing as a team with a lottery pick, you'll find yourself losing, and since my player has to come off the bench, you feel sort of helpless. I've found that you almost always lose to the teams you're supposed to lose to, which is realistic, and expected, but not exactly what I prefer when I'm playing games.

Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis): First Appearance
I played this for way too long yesterday because it was the only game I wanted to try on my Genesis. I've never been a fan of the Shinobi series, for no real reason other than the fact that I have not tried any of them up until this point. I believe I will remain not a fan of the Shinobi series after trying Revenge of Shinobi. The fact that I associate ninja-action games with Ninja Gaiden is probably the cause of why I don't like Shinobi very much, I'd rather hit things with a sword than throw shurikens at them and my tiny baby brain can't accept anything else.

Tetris (NES): First Appearance
Interestingly enough, I've never had a copy of Tetris for the NES in my possession until this week. It's just about everything I expected.

Dr. Mario (NES): First Appearance
Why have I gone for NES games recently? Beats me. Dr. Mario is vastly overlooked when it comes to puzzle games, probably because it's so much different than other games like Tetris or Columns, where the pieces falling from the top of the screen are the only pieces in the game. Having a second aspect to rid from the screen is a smart idea, and unlike in Tetris 2, it's done well because the pieces are all the same aside from colors. My only real complaint is steeply the difficulty curves: the jump between the fourth and fifth screen is a wee bit too much for my likes.

Dr. Mario's soundtrack may be the best soundtrack on the NES in terms of saturation. Since there are only two themes, Fever and Chill, fittingly enough, and they're both classics, there's a 100 percent chance that you're going to end up with a good song. I like those odds, and I like this game. Also the little viruses are cute. Also I like the idea that Nintendo found the best idea to make this game work was making Mario a physician, because there's a little more flair to it than in most other puzzle games. Nintendo could have made this emotionless like Tetris 2, but they chose to give it a personality of sorts, and people remember the characters, music, and atmosphere of Dr. Mario (It takes place in a giant pill bottle! I don't think there are any other games that can boast that.) more than Columns, which is of similar quality game-wise but absolutely forgettable in terms of atmosphere. At least Tetris had that Russian vibe with the music and graphics going on.

Well, Rest In Peace Spring Break, and also my school's basketball team lost in the second round so we have two stupid dumb weekends until the Masters take place. I am ready. I don't even like golf that much but I get really jazzed for the Masters.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tetris 2 wanted to be both Tetris and Dr. Mario and failed at being either

Tetris was originally made sometime in the 1980s somewhere within the Soviet Union by a man named Alexey Pajitnov. Pajitnov had no real ownership of the game, living in a communist country and all, so the burden of releasing Tetris to the world fell upon Elektronorgtechnica (ELORG for short, thankfully), the Soviet Union’s organization in charge of releasing and licensing software. Pajitnov didn’t end up seeing the rewards of his product until the Soviet Union fell in the 1990s.

What’s interesting about the paragraph that I just wrote is how almost none of that (ELORG, Mr. Pajitnov, communism, Tetris) has anything at all to do with Tetris 2 for the NES.

The actual gameplay and general idea of Tetris 2 is barely comparable with the original Tetris. The tetriminoes (yes, that’s the official term) are still present to a certain extent, but every piece has multiple colors to it, and some of the pieces are barely connected at all.
But they finally added the "looks like a penis" piece the first game was missing
I refuse to believe that anyone does not know the rules of Tetris, but on the off chance that anyone reading proves me wrong, please understand that the rules of Tetris 2 are almost completely separate from its predecessor. Oddly enough, Tetris 2 is closer to Dr. Mario than it is to Tetris.

Single blocks start scattered near the bottom of the play field (like the viruses in Dr. Mario) and the player must match at least two other blocks of the same color to those blocks in order to make them disappear. One of the blocks of each color will be flashing, and if the player can eliminate that particular block, the rest of the blocks will be eliminated as well.

That's it, down there at the bottom
The fact that the blocks have four segments instead of two and the thing with the flashing block are basically the only things separating Tetris 2 from Dr. Mario. Well, that and the droning music loop in Tetris 2. The main problem with all of this is way that multicolored pieces of four blocks don’t work nearly as well as the two-segment blocks of Dr. Mario, and clog up the screen quickly. That’s the biggest problem with Tetris 2 right there. It’s too similar to Dr. Mario in concept, but not in quality.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Update: 3/17/14

Okay so last week I didn't put anything up due to the reason of I only played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and I don't consider that worthy of a weekly blog post. But let's get started

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (PS1) Second Appearance, sorta kinda second straight appearance but also sorta third
I'm back on one of those "get really good at one of the Tony Hawk games and see how quickly I can beat it" things that I get on every once in a while. I'm not enjoying it, though, because THPS2 gets very tedious around the later levels. I said in my THPS4 video that I thought THPS4 had the worst level design until Project 8, but the lows (Philadelphia, New York, Bullring) are very low in THPS2. At the same time, the best levels (School II, Venice, Skatestreet) are some of the highest in any entry in the franchise.

NBA 2K14 (XB360) First appearance
Hey, remember when I said I'd go buy this game?
I did.
I started with the MyPlayer thing or whatever it's named and I got drafted by the Bucks, then my save file got corrupted.
Then I started again with the MyPlayer thing but I gave the same model a goatee in memory of my first guy. Then, I got drafted by the Mavericks, which was better for me because I don't know about anyone on the Bucks. Anyway, only playing as one guy is fun, but I don't like it as much as I like playing the regular mode "The Association." I have not played a 2K NBA game since 2K5 really (and I'm not counting 2K13 for hopefully obvious reasons) and 2K14 actually works very well! I can understand why people have gone nuts for the series for the past few years (even though to my naked eye, it doesn't look like the series has changed much since 2K11).

Tetris 2 (NES) First appearance
This is going to out me as horribly boring, but Tetris is one of my favorite games of all time. I always knew there was a sequel, but I didn't know the sequel was quite as unplayable as it ended up being. It's a mix of Dr. Mario and Tetris, but those two actually don't work together at all! Along with that, the music is like a droning 14 second loop that never ends.

The Three Stooges (NES) First appearance
I bought this and Tetris 2 at a new game store that I heard about recently. They had this on the cheap, and I knew a little bit about it from the old Pat the NES Punk review from like 2009 (Jesus, that was five years ago? oh god)
I don't enjoy it like Pat did, but that video gives you as much of a description as you'll need. What's really important is the opening sequence. When you turn this game on, you're greeted with the logo for Ghostbusters II. (of course, then, the Three Stooges come out and joked about it). I barely got through the second mini-game so I don't think I'm in a great position to speak on it.

RBI Baseball (NES) Second Appearance
Welp. Detroit-Minnesota, I'm Detroit. The Twins take a two point lead at the bottom of the eighth, but I managed to go on a late rally with two outs and I took a two point lead in the top of the ninth. I was worried that Minnesota would come back and win, and they did. Kirby Puckett, that motherfucker, hit a walk-off home run and they won by one point god damn it.

Also, I've heard that a new RBI is coming out next month supposedly! I'm pretty excited for that for two reasons. First, if they stick to the old formula, this could be a great modern baseball game. Second of all, the remake was apparently commissioned by Major League Baseball because they're disappointed with the quality of recent Major League Baseball games. This would be the first I've ever heard of something like that happening, and I totally get why. If you're a professional sports league, and you have to watch every game licensed by your league be unplayable garbage, it makes sense to be upset, and I'm glad they're finally taking initiative (I'm not sure that 2K was even planning to put a baseball game out this year, which would leave XBOX players in the dust). It will be good to see it back.

Spring break. I have Florida winning the tournament because I'm original

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Update: 3/3/2014

Oh god, it's already the THIRD! What can we do? RUN

NBA 2K13: something something Jay-Z (PC) First Appearance
Let me let you guys in on a little secret: I don't have a PC that can even sort of run NBA 2K13 at a decent level. I have everything set to as low as possible, my framerate is terrible (literally in single digits FPS at some points), and I don't own a controller so I'm using WASD and a variety of keyboard keys to attempt to maneuver Chris Paul into driving down the lane and not out of bounds. But I got through three games of it because I was really,
really bored on Saturday morning. I lost all three of them, but I blame that more on the playing on a Keyboard than anything and I'll probably buy NBA 2K14 for the XBOX 360 sometime soon (whatever happened to companies developing games for handheld consoles? I know for a fact I'd play the Arvydas Sabonis out of NBA 2K14 for the Vita if it were ever released there) (actually I'm going to e-mail 2K games or Sega or Left Field or whoever makes those games anymore and ask if they're planning on putting 2K15 on the Vita) (Scratch that, I'm sending them a postcard)

But anyway even though I lost all three games and my experience was on an outdated piece of technology, I definitely recommend NBA 2K13.

Pinball Arcade (PSV) First Appearance
I forget how much I love pinball every once in a while (I'm like that with Futurama, Asobi Seksu, and the Silversun Pickups to a certain extent as well) but I was introduced to Pinball Arcade, an emulation of classic tables, by Jeff Gerstmann from and I purchased the first four tables earlier today. I'm really impressed by it, because the physics feel very realistic, and though the Vita's shoulder buttons leave a little to be desired in terms of using flippers, everything went very smoothly. The standalone game on the Vita comes with four games included, but you can purchase more. It's like Game Room for the XBOX 360 to a certain extent. The makers of Pinball Arcade seem to have more investment in Pinball Arcade than Microsoft did with Game Room, however; which is to say that they care at all and hopefully will get to tables like RollerCoaster Tycoon sometime (the Chuck E Cheese that I used to go to had that one and I'm sorta nostalgic for it)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (PS1) First Appearance
The PlayStation original version of THPS2 was the first version of THPS2 I ever played, but also the one I've played the least probably. I never owned this version of THPS2 until I obtained it in the Great PSone Deal of 2013 (My friend Christian gave me his old PSone that he didn't want with a few games, one of which was this, along with Tomb Raider II, Madden 2002, and Medal of Honor). Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is admittedly one of my least favorite entries in the Tony Hawk series, and I absolutely prefer the Dreamcast port. That didn't stop me from completing the game 100%, however; so I still clearly enjoy it.

That was a pretty eclectic mix for one week if I do say so myself