Saturday, July 30, 2011
Today's Top 50 Gaming Moment comes to us from the mostly unknown freeware game Eversion. What I'll be discussing makes the game essentially pointless to play, so if you haven't checked it out, do yourself a favor and go here and pick it up. A quick playthrough (i.e. not the 100% perfect ending) only takes a little under an hour to complete. It's free, so it's got to be worth it, right?
If you've played it already (or if you foolishly plan not to or even more foolishly plan to spoil it for yourself before playing) the rest of the article is after the jump.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Stats of Import
Platform: Playstation 2
Absurdly Specific Genre: Fighting Game (Non-Hadouken Class)
Difficulty: 3 (I generally played on Normal. The game didn't just give up, but it didn't punish you for playing, either)
Beaten: Yes. I beat the game with the hidden characters on 'hard' (not 'very hard', though... that's just absurd)
Most every gamer eventually settles on a one of the fighting game series. My friend Branny is a Mortal Kombat guru, my other friend Benno is a Street Fighter nerd. Another acquaintance loves Virtua Fighter. My friend Matt and I, though... we're Tekken folk. The nights we spent passing the controllers as we played Tekken 2 til the wee hours of the morning are some of my favorite video game times. Considering these fond memories, it was a great surprise for me to walk into a Target shortly after purchasing my brand new PS2, only to see this game, Tekken Tag Team Tournament staring up at me.
Upon bringing it home, I found it to be an absolute treasure trove of things I wanted out of a Tekken game. There were characters, tons of them. All the best ones from the other different games of the series. There was Tekken Bowl mode (which my wife and I have since spent a bizarrely large amount of time playing). Most interestingly, though, was the addition of tag team dynamics into the fighting. You constructed a team of two fighters, and could tag between them at any time, only losing when one of them was KO'd. A fighting game where four people could play at once? Ridiculous! But awesome...
|Unrelated screenshot of two people fighting using capoeira.|
It'll be a little strange to some that Street Fighter gets left completely off the list, but I've always prefered Tekken's button based controls. If I want to punch, I use the punch button. If I want to use some crazy flurry of punches kicks and impossible energy-based attacks that attack the laws of physics and decency right in their faces, it's still mostly done via buttons, with limited D-Pad action. These are the controls I've gotten used to, and Street Fighter just feels weird now because of it. I've always preferred Tekken, and since Linds also prefers it (she's pretty good, too... this is one of the only games where she can beat me with any kind of consistency), I don't see any reason to switch it up now.
|Besides, there are velociraptors with boxing gloves. It's almost too awesome for words.|
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Greetings, readers. This week on Spookymilk Survivor, we played Scattergories. Spooky gave us each a letter (two for two members of Ugly Juanita, since we had fewer players left) and ten categories. The name of the game (which I erred on, as we’ll see in a bit) was to play Scattergories, taking each category and coming up with an answer which had as many words that start with the target letter as possible.
I took on two letters – ‘F’ and ‘H’.
Movie: Familiar Foods From Foreign Folk
Musician: Five For Fighting
Book: Freedom From Fear Forever
Actor: Frederic Fenimore Forrest
Sports Player: Frank Francis Frich (The Fordham Flash)
Beverage: Funeral For a Friend
Food: Fresh Fried Fish Fillet
Party Game: Fusion Frenzy
Fictional Character: Fin Fang Foom
Sentence: Funky’ Frank Fonda first fears flash fried fresh foods.
I was pretty pumped about the movie title, as well as the sports player. The food seemed a little generic, but four seemed like a good score for it. Fusion Frenzy was the only entry in either list where I wasn’t able to pull off at least three.
Movie: A Hen House Hero
Musician: Hot Hot Heat
Book: Holly the Happy Hairbrush
Actor: Harold ‘Happy’ Hairston
Sports Player: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Beverage: Humble Hippie Holiday
Food: Ham Hock Hash
Party Game: Hungry Hungry Hippos (drinking game)
Fictional Character: Hannah Hariet Hayes
Sentence: Herb’s happy hyena howls; Horny Henry hears.
Hungry Hungry Hippos is kind of a cheat as a drinking game, since all you actually do is play Hungry Hungry Hippos and make the loser drink. I was a little burnt out after ‘F’, so I didn’t put nearly as much effort into ‘H’, and I’m pretty sure it shows.
Now for the reason that I’m a muttonhead: I thought every word in the answer had to start with the target letter – it did not. I had a “How He Hits His Home Runs” (a 1920’s documentary about Babe Ruth) for a movie, I had a ton of books that would’ve been a lot better (though nowhere near as good as Rachel’s book title – holy crap, that was brilliant). Also, when Spooky said that the sentence “had to make sense”, I didn’t think about the fact that I could just put as many 5-letter adjectives as I could think of and just string them along, that way. Well, I kind of did, but I could barely wrap my mind around Herb’s happy hyena howling while Horny Henry listened on (surely aroused in some sick way, that dirty bastard).
Ugly Juanita pretty well crushed Spy Tag this week (aided by a weird submitted nonsub, but that by itself wouldn’t have made much difference). We stay safe, and Spy Tag feels the sting of the blade.
Woot for UJ!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Stats of Import
Platform: iPod/iPhone/Android Mobile Phone
Absurdly Specific Genre: Avian Rage-based Porcine Evaporation Apparatus
Beaten: I had, but then they added a bunch of new levels, and I haven't beaten those yet.
That 'whoosh' sound you hear is likely this list losing all of its credibility. Angry Birds? Better than Goldeneye? Better than Mega Man 2?? Maybe not, but these furious little avian projectiles pierced my armor like no other 'casual' game before it. Generally speaking, I find truly casual games an interesting diversion for a little while, but none of them ever capture my attention for more than about a week. When I was first exposed (and, like a viral infection, 'exposed' is definitely the right word) to the game in Christmas 2009, I found myself unable to stop playing. I beat all 60+ levels in a little under 3 hours, then started looking for a system that I could play Angry Birds on.
|How could I resist? It's an angry bird - launching himself at little wood houses... to kill pigs. What's not to like??|
It's just good.
|Except Boomerang Bird, no one loves Boomerang Bird.|
Friday, July 22, 2011
Today's entry (number 40 already! One fifth the way there!) comes to us from Halo 3. Pretty sizable spoilers abound, so unless you're all into that sort of thing (or unless you're one of the 9 trillion people who have played Halo 3 to its completion), stay away..... stay far away.
Spookymilk Survivor rolls on, this time with his world-famous (okay, niche-internet-famous) Twenty Questions. These are always fun, but this year had the added wrinkle where instead of submitting the lists as a team, each player had to submit their own list. More on that decision in a bit… first the questions, my answers, and a short commentary (if mine was picked by the judges, it appears, along with their comments, in italics).
1. What’s the worst way to die?
About to score with the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen, you begin to shit yourself uncontrollably and fall into a coma, where you remain for the next 40 years, forced to unconsciously relive your final moments for all time.
B: “the worst” is quite subjective. Does it mean painful? Sad? Ironic? I don’t know, so I just went with the two that tickled my funny bone the most. Shitting one’s self into a coma is one I’ve never heard of.
Comments: This was the last one I came up with. The idea of dying right on the verge of something great is tragic. The idea of shitting yourself into a coma is comedic. Best of both worlds!
2. The ‘80s hair metal bands are having a fight to the death. Who wins, and why?
Noted apothecary Brett Michaels puts his skills to good use and envenomates the alcohol and drug supply at the reunion tour. Everyone dies, but in a tragic twist, Brett then succumbs to his own plot, as he is unable to turn down alcohol, even if he knows that it is laced with cyanide.
K: Somewhat ordinary, until the awesome twist.
B: When it comes to hair bands, I think over the top descriptions of the actual deaths is the way to go. I almost picked H as well.
Comments: Meanwhile, this is the first one I tackled. “Noted apothecary” is a funny phrase, and the idea of Brett Michaels taking his band’s name that literally was funny. I actually sort of thought the ending might have been a bit obvious.
3. The Wiggles are on tour, and their opening act is 50 Cent. Name the tour.
The “Repent For the End Is Nigh” tour.
Comments: There are some that I really didn’t try on. This is one of them.
4. If you had been the second person to walk on the moon, what would you have said?
So help me, if there are any Transformers sequels up here…
Comments: The new Transformers movie is about as good as one might expect. I didn’t expect to win with this one, and my expectations were on target.
5. You’ve decided to get back to someone who wronged you by putting them in your will. What do you leave them?
“To [name redacted], I return two lengths of rubber tubing, a blindfold, two gallons of gasoline and a shovel. I do not know why you were so insistent on having me store them all these years ago, but you may have them back.”
K: Yes, you sick bastard, that would do it.
B: Most of these were just gross, and I’m not much a fan of gross-out contest. I like both [Nibbish’s] and H because they actually attempt to embarrass someone at the reading of the will, and that’s the best kind of revenge.
Comments: Semi-inspired by an XKCD joke (which I am currently too lazy to look up) about certain items being very suspicious when placed together. I agree with Beau, gross wasn’t the way to go with this one.
6. Convince me in thirty words or fewer that the sky is red.
“I have a knife, I will insert it between your ribs should you not repeat after me… ‘the sky is red’”
Comments: I think there was a much better way to go with this one. My mental wheels just started spinning in their tracks when I went to look for it, though.
7. What is Stonehenge?
The little-known inspiration for the crowning architectural achievement of our time, Nibbhenge.
B: Nibbhenge…tee hee.
Comments: This is Nibbhenge. You’re welcome.
8. “Roses are red, violets are blue;” Finish it.
“I shat on Jenn’s desk and blamed it on you”
Comments: First read, I thought this was funny. Much less so a day or two later, but I didn’t have the motivation to fix it.
9. Intelligent aliens finally arrive and they land in the Yukon. What is the first thing they say?
God, how can you guys stand this kind of heat?
Comments: Get it? Because humans think it’s cold, and the aliens think… never mind. See #3.
10. When the pyramids were being built, what was the big inside joke amongst the workers?
So, I invited Apep over for burritos the other night, and the neighbor’s cat walks into the house. Well, you know how Apep is about cats. Suddenly, he was just totally freaking out, killing everyone. My mom got scared, and said “You’re movin’ with your autie and uncle in Bel-Air”.
Comments: Apep and a relatively well known bait-and-switch meme? GOLD.
11. Biathlon combines shooting and skiing. Describe a new Olympic sport that combines two or more events.
Javgrapple (A combination of the wrestling and javelin events). Both players have javelins, both players must attempt to pin the other, while maintaining a tight grip of their javelin. If the projectile is dropped, forfeiture will ensue. Pinning the opponent is key, as it allows you a two second buffer during which you may break free and throw the javelin. Drawing the blood of your opponent is frowned upon, but there is no formal rule against incidental javelin/genital contact.
Comments: I actually thought this one out, and probably spent more time on it than any other entry. It seemed like a funny concept, but I think my definition was too clinical. Ah well.
12. If yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. And today is Friday, Friday. And tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards, what happens next?
Comments: No attempt was made for this one. Sorry. I agree with Beau’s comment re: “not the worst lyrics in pop music” (Sk8r Boi, anyone??), but it’s hard to come up with a joke for this one that hasn’t already been told, so I put my time into the other ones.
13. Ned from Pushing Daisies brings Marie Curie back from the dead for sixty seconds. What does she say?
[Translated from Polish: My word, I’m alive! Sir, I don’t know who you are, but this is very important, millions of lives can be saved if you take note of my final work, I put my notes in the old... wait... you don't understand Polish? Why are you speaking in English? Hurry, find a translator! This of the utmost urgen...*dies*]
B: The two Polish to English translators I found turned your phrases into gibberish, so if there was something funny in them, I missed it, sorry. Though I think she swears in the first one. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of any of the others, so I’ll just pick two.
Comments: Well, thanks for picking mine, I guess.
14. If you had the job of redesigning humans (but only the parts that other people can see), what would be the first change you’d make?
Adding a helicopter into the top of the skull, Inspector Gadget-style.
Comments: My design for a human would look a lot like Inspector Gadget. Go-go Gadget Copter!
15. Kelly Wells (I) and Kelly Wells (II) are locked in a room for two hours. What happens?
An honest and thoughtful discussion of the direction and cinematography of Blackzilla Is Splittin’ That Shitter 3.
K: Sweet Jesus, that is the perfect title to pay off this joke. Whether player-created or just picked from her list of films, it’s awesome.
Comments: I checked out Ms. Wells’ IMDB (which I’ll not link to), and that is a real movie. Blackzilla is, in fact, splittin’ that shitter – for the third time.
16. Tell me a new flavor of Doritos that actually sounds worth buying.
Tortilla chip flavored doritos! Now with 100% less of that awful orange Doritos dust!
Comments: So, the joke here is that I don’t like Doritos, and… yeah, that’s about it.
I actually liked having to come up with a complete list, even if it was almost certainly a huge pain to judge. My answers generally don’t get picked by the rest of the team when we do these, so I got to have my revenge by getting a full nine of them picked out sixteen. Second best – I’ll take that.
Regrettably, Ugly Juanita got the butts handed to them by Spy Tag*, so we’ve got to vote out a member. I’m immune, and two of our guys were nonsubs, so I guess that makes it pretty easy. I’d really prefer if UJ didn’t end up like NPF/Likes Bacon, but until people start submitting, we’re in trouble.
* On an unrelated note. Spy Tag?? Really?
Stats of Import
Absurdly Specific Genre: Video Game Controller Destruction Inducer
Difficulty: 9 (oh GOD)
Beaten: No. I've gotten close a couple of times, then my Nintendo died. I've beaten it using an emulator, but I'll be damned if I'm going to count that kind of cheating cockflickery.
This is too low. I know that. Unfortunately, as mentioned back in the beginning, I didn't have access to an NES in my formative years, and the Mega Man series was one that none of my friends wanted to play as a party game. I didn't get to experience the joy of the Mega Man series in any meaningful depth until a few years ago, but it's worth the wait.
Spooky commented on the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 entry a week or so back, mentioning that the older style of platformer (even a relatively easy one like Sonic 2) has a bite to it when a player is used to the newer, more forgiving games. So yeah, Mega Man 2 kicked my ass. Repeatedly. Over and over.
|...and over and over and over...|
Monday, July 18, 2011
Stats of Import
Platform: XBox 360
Absurdly Specific Genre: Manly Men Doing Manly Testosterone-laden Things
Difficulty: 7 (it probably doesn't deserve that high a score, but it's exactly the type of game that always gives me a hard time.)
Contrary to what this spot on the list might have you believe, I'm not a huge fan of the Gears of War series. I like third person shooters, but Gears of War seems slow, and everything you shoot at takes forever to die. The chainsaw bayonet is cool, but the only color in the universe is brown (except for the occasional bursts of red when you split an enemy in half with said bayonet. I didn't get too far in the first one before getting annoyed by it. It's sitting on the shelf - I suppose I'll get to it when my current queue goes down a bit.
|It might be a while...|
Even better than the campaign was Horde mode. Fifty waves of enemies, the only objective is to use teamwork and survive. It's been adapted to several different games since, but I still enjoy the mechanic most in Gears. I have more people on my xbox friends list that I met while playing Horde mode than from any other game. At it's heart, that teamwork is the prime appeal of the Gears of War series.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
This week's challenge was "Punch to a Quick End", where the point is to make the shortest possible complete story to form around two movie quotes, which are provided. Last time, I fell right around the middle in both length and quality. I decided to go the short route this time...
We came, we saw, we kicked its ass. It was too bad about the orphanage, but hey, nobody’s perfect.
K: I don’t know exactly what happened here, but there’s enough to make it a story. It doesn’t take much, folks. (3)
I had been debating making the story even shorter, but decided that I'd probably have a good chance at being one of the shorter ones. Ha, I needn't have worried, as mine was one-third the length of the next shortest. It seems that no one caught the "shorter is better" vibe. My entry from last season (one that was right around the middle in terms of length) would have been the fourth shortest this time around. I'm not sure what to make of that.
My team, 'Ugly Juanita' showed an unsettling trend, as three of the four nonsubs fly under UJ colors. Not only that, but the only nonsub that didn't come from UJ did so by accident, thinking that the deadline was later than it actually was. Hopefully that turns around pretty quickly, or we're going to be kind of screwed straight out the gate.
I see that Spooky just asked if I was going to be blogging this again this season. The answer is 'yes'. I've got a blog, and with the video game lists and whatnot, it finally feels like it's getting used a bit. Hopefully I'll follow this one up with another fifteen just like it.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Stats of Import
Absurdly Specific Genre: Statistical Anomaly Exploitation System
Beaten: I Won the World Series as the 1991 Twins (and later, in a much more difficult accomplishment, won the world series as the 1998 Twins) That's about all I wanted out of it.
The Jester knows what's up with this.
I've previously shared my childhood love of the old grocery store shareware computer games. That love led me to some treasures (Highway Hunter, Wacky Wheels, etc) and some truly wretched wastes of (my parents') money. One of those wastes of money was Epic Baseball, which essentially allowed you to make managerial decisions as the 1927 Yankees took on the 1965 Dodgers. As a kid, this was a bitter disappointment. At the very least, I wanted to play as my hometown team. I certainly didn't the team that denied them the '65 World Series. Therefore, when I saw Tony LaRussa Ultimate Baseball 2 peeking at me from the store shelves, I decided that this was something I needed to pursue. Sure, it was expensive (five dollars!), the graphics looked cool.
Then I found the player editor.
Suddenly, there was literally no limit to the players I could make. I immediately created the entire 1991 baseball season. I learned that the game had very little idea what "small sample size" was (1991 Paul Sorrento was a god among men), but that did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm. Pretty soon, I made a league made up of my friends, comic book characters, and heroes of baseball past. I mean, seriously... in the above image, Waite Hoyt is pitching to Joe Mauer. With a little imagination, Pedro Martinez could be trying to strike out Spiderman, or Han Solo could be facing off against Babe Ruth. There have been better baseball simulators out there, and there have been better statistical games out there, but I've never played a sports game of any type that has captured my attention and imagination like this one has.
|It turns out that using five pitchers in an inning isn't the only thing that he knows how to do!|
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Since I’m loathe to give you an all-text entry, here’s an XKCD joke.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Stats of Import
Platform: Playstation 2
Absurdly Specific Genre: Magical Broken Bone Prevention Game
Before the brand got too diluted, back before the infamous overpriced peripherals, Tony Hawk games were absolutely awesome. It was the one skateboarding game I could find that had tight controls (even if your hand ended up turning into a claw after a couple of hours, because of the way you had to hold it to properly hit the grind button), a perfect learning curve, fun looking tricks, and most importantly, interesting environments.
|I can't go to baggage claim anymore without wanting to grind forever.|
|This type of behavior was frowned upon|
Friday, July 8, 2011
Enough pitching. On with the list.
Platform: Nintendo 64
Absurdly Specific Genre: Movie Tie-In Game That Doesn't Suck (Maybe the rarest genre out there)
Beaten: No, though I won my fair share of multiplayer matches.
Though the list thus far doesn't look it, it will eventually be dominated by games known for their single player experiences. This is not that game. Though the game does a pretty good job of giving the player a runthrough of the James Bond movie that it shares its name with, it is cherished for being a wholly multiplayer experience. I cannot count the numbe of times that my friends and I packed around a TV and played this game.
|Usually on a TV with a screen not much bigger than this image|
|There's no way to beat prox mine spawn campers, though. Screw those guys.|
Other games of note: Perfect Dark was actually set to appear on this list, itself being a near clone of Goldeneye (but with cooler guns!). Then I replayed it - holy chop, Batman! Any explosions or simulants, and the game would slow its framerate to a dead crawl. That, combined with the fact that the single-player campaign wasn't anywhere near as cool as Goldeneye's, and I think I made the proper choice. If I had to say where Perfect Dark would end up, I'd say somewhere just outside the top 50.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Platform: Playstation 2
Absurdly Specific Genre: Road Rage
Beaten: Yes. I unlocked Minion and beat the game as every character.
If we are to be overly kind, the Twisted Metal series has a spotty history. For every decent entry, like Twisted Metal 2, there's a game like Twisted Metal: Small Brawl which seems to lose focus on what the series is about. To be clear, the only elements you really need in a Twisted Metal game are interesting cars loaded to the gills with guns and crazy special weapons and crazy, darkly over-the-top characters.
|Also, destructible environments|
Moment number 45 comes from Final Fantasy XIII. If you're one of the people who wasn't turned off by the game's first twenty (!) hours, but still haven't managed to finish the game, I suppose you should think twice before clicking the 'show more' link.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Platform: Xbox 360
Absurdly Specific Genre: Kinetic Creationist Defense Platformer
Difficulty: 7 (it gets pretty crazy in the end, but patience and repetition made it work
Beaten: Yes. The ending ranked as my 47th favorite gaming moment.
I guess I didn't realize when I said on Monday that 'Splosion Man would be on the games list "soon" that it would actually be showing up next. Funny about that.
Platformers are a nickel a dozen. If all you wanted was a platformer, the XBox Indie section has somewhere around a billion of them (some of them are pretty awesome, but Sturgeon's Law is in very harsh effect). Inventive platformers? That's a different story.
'Splosion Man tells the story of a man made out of fire who can propel himself into the air by exploding. He can explode three times before he needs to recharge by standing on the ground or refueling himself via explosive substance. There is but one control to be learned.... SPLODE.
|You get an achievement for trying to change your control scheme. That's a joke, of course.|
'Splosion Man started out easy, but the learning curve ratcheted up just about perfectly. By the end of the game, you've got absolute razor-thin timing puzzles to be solving, testing the limits of your reflexes. Yet it never gets too frustrating. If you got stuck on a particularly challenging section, you just felt compelled to finish it.
|And there certainly were... challenging sections.|
Friday, July 1, 2011
MS Paint, ftw