Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's a-Me, Mario!

Ya, I saved me a princess, and she baked me a cake.

See that Copyright year? Yaaaa....
Super Mario 64 was a good time.  It was a nice mix of thinking, platforming and exploring. I also appreciated how easy it was to pick up the game without feeling lost. While the game is single player, the lady also enjoyed sitting down and being an extra brain and set of eyes.

It was def cool to go back and run around one of the original 3D platformers. I have to give them credit. They do some things in a 3D environment that modern games lack. Many games that are 3D are still trapped in a 2D design, whereas the Super Mario 64 team exploited every bit of that third dimension they could. If you have chance to play this game, just note how each zone is almost always as high as it is wide.

Now that the princess has given me a kiss and cake, I've decided to annihilate the FBI.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Black & White - Love & Hate

The other night, I completed the story of Black & White. I actually had to run through it twice to properly complete the story, because the first time a bug screwed up the story (but not the creature! phew) on the final quest. Fortunately, the second run was plenty of fun. And this is just a part of my love and hate relationship with Black & White.

Knickerbuck, my flamboyant companion.
My first time through, I was juggling the raising of a creature and completion of the quests, and they often interfere with each other. The game allows you to restart the story, but keep your creature, so I got to experience the story without fretting about my creature's upbringing. I think the story was meant to be slowly tackled while you spent a LOT of time with your creature in between quests opposed to knocked down in a efficient manner. Peter Molyneux is about the slow paced games with incredible moments.

I'm actually so intrigued by the AI that I plan on raising another creature or two. My current fella is a little short and greedy and seems to be on his learning capacity now. I've also got a few of the mechanics under my belt and am interested in applying them to a new creature.

I'm also considering contributing heavily to the wiki or writing up a walk-through as the surviving documentation for B&W is poor. The original forums have been lost to the internet and the available guides are severely lacking (One of the walk-throughs even said for the last level "Well this is the last level so you should probably figure it out on your own.").

I'll have to see if I can play the expansion pack, Creature Isle. I installed it and my computer had such an angry fit the next time I restarted it, that I had to do a System Restore.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dwarf Fortress: Mubunzuntir 112

5th Limestone, 112, Early Autumn.

Welcome to my dwarves town of Mubunzuntir (that's 'Practiced Anvils' in dwarvish, for you scrubs). Population: 82.

"Holy crap those graphics are bad!" is what you're thinking. Yes, and this is with a graphics pack. Even then DF uses such low end graphical capabilities that I couldn't use FRAPs to catch screenshots.

This fort's layout was designed with the concept of vertical output stations. Each level has one or a couple related outputs. Unless long term storage is needed, an output from a certain level is brought directly to it's dependent workshop's stockpile on a different level.

Surface. This is the most recent addition to the fort. And what an addition it was! It features an outer wall lined with fortifications and ditches. These wealls are dotted with four draw bridges and a couple hundred traps to keep invaders uninvasive. The siege engines are so far more just showy than practical. For industry, the surface contains farms, beehives, a freshwater well and a place to dump all those useless rotting things.

Subterranean Farm
Underground Farm.  The underground farm contains a seed pile and a farm for each subterranean crop.

Under gate.

Undergate. This level was the original first line of defense against surface invasion, but is now the backup retreat station. It features a retracting bridge over a pit of spikes, a jail, military training and a danger room (a place to throw stripped-down invaders for military "practice"). Note: lots of blood here.

Kitchen and Dining

Kitchen and Dining. This level contains all food output industries and consumption headquarters. Fish dissection, butchery, brewing and cooking are all completed. Beehive and rock nut processing are undergoing sections.

Wood and Stone Furniture

Wood and Stone Furniture. This is the beginning of the industrious floors.The wood and stone furniture are currently the bread and butter of the fortresses expansion. This level may become obsolete once magma is found and metal becomes the primary material.


Barracks.  The barracks is a slowly expanding level featuring wings of 10 bedrooms. Expansion may continue on another floor or on subwings on this floors.


Tomb. The tomb is an extraordinarily anti-tantrum-spiral area. I've got to make sure to be one row of tombs ahead of capacity to prevent serious dwarf-on-dwarf carnage during the next goblin siege.

Sellable Goods. This level includes the cloth and crafting industry. Both of these provide base work to be later pimped out and sold.

Soap.  I need clean dwarves, y'know?

Furnace. This is where the burning and melting of stuff happens. It's hot in here.

Armory. The metal and leather industry are located on this level. Generally speaking, it's about equipping the squads. Metal furniture is also included on this level.

Glass. This level is relatively useless as the dwarves don't have access to sand. It was only built to allow a dwarf in a strange mood to satisfy his glassy needs.

Siege Supplies.  Catapults, ballistas and ammo.

Kiln and Pit. This here is one of my favourite levels. It has the pit of "I can't butcher you and I can't be bothered to get my squad to kill you, but I really need the cage you're in now!".

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I dusted off the Genesis and popped in NBA Jam last week. To my girlfriend's boredom, I played a few matches a night to finish it within the week.

This game evokes a gleeful childhood (like back when I was a legit baller) memory for me. I think I traded games with my brother's brother (I know) for a week and got NBA Jam. I was totally in love with the over the top dunkage and my jaw dropped every time I found a new dunk animation. NBA Jam still evokes me with a lot of excitement with it's complete ridiculousness. I get giddy every time I see a quadruple flip dunk, wind down the clock in a close match or start a match as Bill 'Mo' F'ing' Clinton.. The style of the game holds a dear place in my heart.

Guess who Washington picked up.
One great thing about playing an old sports title is that you're reminded of the great players of the time. After beating all the teams, I looked up some of my old favourites and a few of the names I didn't recognize. Realizing that the 'Edwards' on the Buck was Blue Edwards made me happy inside. (He was one of my favourite Vancouver Grizzliies players). It's also amazing how my favourites seriously influenced which teams I played as. It wasn't until I really looked at stats that I switched from Utah's Stockton-Malone combo to the even more effective Orlando Andrews-whatshisname 2 hit punch.

Well that's my NBA Jam ramble. For console fun (and to my lady's entertainment) I'll be switching to the Assassin's Creed series. (Seriously, I saw AC3 at PAX and I forsee gooooood times).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why Diablo 3 is 'Meh'

I picked up Diablo 3 on account of my friends playing it and having just been a huge Diablo 2 fan. Going in, I did not expect to be blown away. With each of Blizzard's releases, it becomes more apparent they're gliding off solid franchise history and less on their current talent's ability. Still, I wanted to give it a run. After playing quite a few hours and many characters, I came to the conclusion that the game is simply 'meh'.

The game becomes a drag because the items are boring. In my opinion, it really is that simple. Go take a look at the items on the modifier list. Especially if you don't know the mechanics of Diablo, they're all boring. All the bonuses are just basic stat boosters.  And even the variety is 'meh' because each character focuses one stat as well as vitality. Oh sure, there are intricacies to the items when maximizing your damage output, but I don't always consider that fun. It's doubly annoying because Diablo 1 and 2 had lots of fun modifiers. Chance to proc skills, vision, movement speed, poison ticks, etheraelity and a whole wad of stuff. Other games have even introduced new item concepts like levelling items, auras and increased healing. I think the developers dropped one of the best parts of the ARPG.

Look how exciting this legendary item is!

Okay, so everything else (except the story) is actually pretty awesome. Combat is fluid and exciting, lots of the monsters are engaging, and the game looks great. Why can't I enjoy that? Because every 15 mintutes I have to do the equivalent of washing the dishes and if you've been to my place, you know I hate washing dishes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

False Nerevarines: Sanami Vibato

Sanami Vibato was a sharp Elf, but not sharp enough for the Morag Tong

Before her end, she got her foot wet and expelled from House Hlallu. She cleared the trivial entry tasks with smooth talking and a touch of her natural wit. Unfortunately she didn't realize she was ripping off a fellow house member while trying to help a cheap-ass Redoran smith in Vivec (really...a fire bite axe?). She went to the stars disgraced from what little family she knew.

After slaying two Dark Brothers with little hassle she felt she could handle the responsibility of the Morag Tong. Alas, Feruren Oran, her initiation contract was not a freebie.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

False Nerevarines: Dasselle Swinym

Daselle managed to visit Balmora and wet her foot in the business of House Hlallu.

She made the error of returning to Seyda Neen with intentions of exterminating a nearby bandit camp. Unfortunately, one of the bandits was aware of the Altmer weakness to magicka and crisped her to sweet delicious bacon.