Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tweet20 - August 2011

Tweet20 # 15 - Yep, that's the logo and it's exactly what you think it is.
Now it's time for the monthly round of news that didn't fit and/or didn't have time to write. 

  1. 3DS Ambassador Program: Started a day early, and seriously needs a "download all" button.  Now I get to play 8-bit games on my fancy 3D system... in 2D!
  2. Also Concerning the eShop: Still think a lot of games cost too much, especially given their age and lack of colors. Even some full-color iPhone games are $0.99!
  3. West Coast has the Cons: Between E3, Comic Con, and PAX, I wonder why I'm still on the east coast, because our cons just aren't the same.
  4. PS3 Price Drop: PS3 gets a price drop, so now what Microsoft?  Unless you need Halo or the Kinect, the PS3 is the obvious buy now.
  5. But What About Nintendo?: With Mario 3DS, Mario Kart 7, Zelda, Kid Icarus, and Kirby out before the holidays, it's time to remember that you own a Nintendo system.
  6. In the "Do I Need It?" Department: Zelda: Skyward Sword now has a gold Wiimote Plus with the Triforce on it... the fine line between wanting it and not needing it.
  7. Also in the Same Department: Assassin's Creed: Revelations Collector's Edition includes an Ezio doll action figure, not sure if worth the extra $40.
  8. Humble Indie Bundle 3: A great success! Over $2 million! Sort of wish I paid more than I did. Next time.
  9. Osmos: Good game, however my ADD and impatience kick in fairly quickly on some levels and have limited my progress in the game.
  10. Cogs: Reminds me of an old computer game I played at school called Gizmos and Gadgets. Anyone ever hear of this?
  11. Revenge of the Titans: My refusal to step down the difficulty and some bad upgrade choices caused me to start levels over many, many times.
  12. My Metroid VVVVVV Level: Progressing slowly, most of Kraid's Lair mapped, though the tough part is making the puzzle elements. Demo following next game patch.
  13. Also by Terry Cavanagh: Just played his 2009 game Don't Look Back - beautiful, haunting, especially the moment the game's title made perfect sense.
  14. Reboot Syndrome: Seeing way too many of these lately, and I just don't get the point of the new Spyro. The franchise should have stayed with Insomniac.
  15. Mario with a Portal Gun: First just a parody video, now (hopefully) becoming an actual game. Looking forward to this! Especially multiplayer.
  16. Good Thing I Waited: Uncharted 1 & 2 are now in a dual-pack to get people like me up to speed. More to the backlog!
  17. Something I'll Get Around to... Eventually: Reception of Deus Ex: HR is great, so I should probably play the original before adding yet another game to the backlog
  18. No Wonder I Couldn't Remember: In retrospect of this post, I fired up Final Fantasy II and I apparently never entered the final dungeon. Why did I stop so close to the end?
  19. Happy 25th Anniversary, Metroid!: Doesn't seem like Nintendo is going to acknowledge it at all. Poor Samus, all alone on her anniversary.
  20. Didn't Forget About You: I haven't played Pokemon White in a while, though I still need to finish all of the post-game stuff. I was very distracted.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The War Against Gamestop*

It took me way too long to Photoshop the damn gun out of the guy's hand.
*Unfortunately, the majority of people who purchase games from Gamestop, namely parents and grandparents looking to buy a whiny 12 year-old a birthday present, will not participate.

If you follow gaming news even in the slightest, it seems the biggest headline this week was NOT the aftermath of Gamescon or the impending Penny Arcade Expo, but the handling of a simple coupon in the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  For the uninitiated, in short, the PC DXHR included a coupon to redeem a copy of the game on OnLive.  Gamestop, citing it as Square Enix promoting a competitor, opened the sealed games and discarded the coupons.  Once this fact hit the internet and following gamer rage, Gamestop pulled the game from store shelves and later issued a $50 giftcard as an "apology."  So, in the wake of Gamestop's shady tactics, will you continue to buy games from Gamestop?  And if you are, WHY?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"What You Remember, That is the Illusion" - My Horrible Recall of Final Fantasy Storylines (Part One)

At least this quote survived the three subsequent English releases.
After playing it on and off for a few months (beginning when I realized it was still in the shrink wrap after three years of ownership), I recently played much more of Final Fantasy V Advance to the point where it can actually be considered progress.  This got me thinking about the other Final Fantasy games that I played and that despite playing many of them to completion, for the life of me I can't remember many significant plot points.  Granted, for some it has been about 10 years since I last played them, so details will indeed get fuzzy.  But on the other hand, there are other games that also have convoluted plots that I can remember despite the length of time since my last play-through.  So after the jump is what I can remember of the plots of the first five Final Fantasy games, so here's a spoiler warning! (Or not!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

New layout, new domain

I wanted to change the blog's layout for a while since I no longer wanted one of Blogger's default templates.  I first wanted to do that way back in June, so it only took me two months to finally get it done.  Instead of designing something from scratch, I grabbed a design from Deluxe Templates and altered the graphics to fit with the established color scheme. 

Also, I went ahead and grabbed a domain name.  Sadly, the obvious choice was already taken, so the new shiny URL is  Luckily the old URL should continue to redirect properly, but it would sure be nice to update any links and bookmarks, should I actually have any readers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Da Vinci deNied a Hug from da Fiernze

I can only assume this is a screenshot of the hug, as I missed the hug.
Ok, apologies for the terrible post title, but it accurately describes the events that took place while I continue to slowly make my way through Assassin's Creed II (along with doing level-editing in VVVVVV.)  I'm generally not a fan of Quick Time Events (QTE) in games, but this was one of the very few cases where it actually had an effect on me.

The scene in question is where Ezio and Leonardo da Vinci are given a tour of Venice.  At its conclusion, Leonardo welcomes Ezio to visit his studio anytime, and stretches out his arms, giving the implication that he wants a hug.  But I, of course, had no hands on the controller at this point in time since it was a cutscene and did not plan for there to be any interaction.  So by the time I realized that there was a "hug button" and grabbed the controller, the prompt disappeared, Leonardo puts him arms down, feeling rejection, and hides in his studio.  I'm there yelling, "NOOOOOOO!" at my computer screen because I really did want to give Leonardo a hug and I didn't like that sad look on his face.  And thanks to auto-save, I did not get the opportunity to play the scene over again.

So given that my game-playing time is limited and I have quite a number of other games waiting to be played, my only option other than playing the entire game over again was to find a clip on Youtube so I could see the hug.  And judging by the comments, many people missed the hug and subsequently felt sad for doing so.  Comments such as "I don't think I've seen homeless puppies sadder than Leonardo when you miss the hug button," "When I played that game for the very first time, I missed that button... and I seriously had to restart again because his face was SO sad," and "I was close to crying when I missed the chance to hug him, and I still can't forgive myself," express this sentiment.

 So while this little QTE bears no significance on the story and there's no in-game penalty for missing it, it still made me feel terrible for denying Leonardo a hug. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Making Metroid V

What's this?  Metroid V?  A fifth game in the main Metroid Series?  No, that would be Metroid 5, which does not exist.  THIS, however, is a project of mine titled Metroid V where I attempt to pay homage to the original NES Metroid using VVVVVV's new level editor.  Released in conjunction with the current Humble Indie Bundle, the latest version of VVVVVV includes a new level editor that enables players to create their own crazy, puzzle-platform levels.  The game's official forums allows for players to post their levels to offer feedback and assistance.  For my first experiment in the level editor, I looked to the original Metroid for guidance as far as design and direction go.  Then comes the hard part: making the level both recognizable as a homage to Metroid and having the stages work within the design of VVVVVV.