Come On, Let's Go.
11Jul/110

Big Finish, Part 1

So, this is going to be a bit of an experiment here, but I really want to devote some time to the ne plus ultra of the fighting game fatality sequence: Sega CD's long-forgotten time-travelling fighter, Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side. The game featured a total of four different fatality styles, each with a different method of activation. The method, the Overkill, was carried over from the original Sega Genesis Eternal Champions. Unlike fatalities based around the opponent's abilities, the Overkill is a stage fatality. Needless to say, the following is going to be graphic:

6Jul/110

Anniversary Edition

I played a lot of graphic adventure games as a kid. You remember the kind: you type (or, click, in the later ones) in what you want to do -- OPEN DOOR -- and the little guy on the screen opens the door. I was also universally bad at them. The Hugo games, Day of the Tentacle, The Dig, the lot of, I could get through the first act and that's about it. I'd watch my cousin, two years older, play Myst and Return to Zork and he could get through them pretty well. In college, I managed to get through two acts of Grim Fandango, if I remember correctly. Later, when ScummVM came out, I tried picking up a few games again -- Beneath a Steel Sky, Rise of the Dragon, the original Sam and Max, a re-try of Day of the Tentacle -- and I was as bad as I ever was. I absolutely loved these sorts of games, but they just weren't for me.

Which is why I am glad as hell this giant-ass tome exists. I have been ripping through it like nobody's business these last few days. The entries aren't simple reviews, but in-depth write-ups by people who clearly not just love the hell out of the individual games, but the history and craftsmanship of the adventure game. Not one entry exists in a vacuum, and the entries go into great detail about individual aspects of the game such as Gabriel Knight 3's infamous cat hair puzzle.

Anyhow, I can't suggest this book any harder. It's 770 pages of wonderful.

1Jul/110

Links, Awakening

This short by Corridor Digital has been described as "Braid meets FPS," but having never plaid Braid (or even seen gameplay videos, a fact that even surprises me at this point) I just think it is a great example of staggered-time storytelling, in the Primer or Cursor*10 vein. Also, the production values on this are great, reminding me of the other live action FPS videos I've covered here.

23Jun/111

To Clasp Together

CJ and I were following the development of Frozen Synapse pretty closely (read: it came up on the gaming blogs occasionally) and now that it has officially dropped, we've been playing it. It's about as much fun and frustratingly difficult as I imagined a heavily-stylized turn-based tactical assault game would be. I'm still getting a hang of the intricate control system. I haven't been this entertained by a game in a long time, although part of that is because the rounds last no longer than ten minutes apiece and that's just about as much attention span as I have let after work. Below is a game CJ and I played (and he won.) As you can see, without the entire "planning" stage, the round boils down to just over half a minute of action.

So go get yourself a copy -- well, two copies, really as each purchase comes with two licences -- and give me a heads up and we'll see who has done a better job of sort of grasping the mechanics.

22Jun/110

Shift Register

So what was your lazy ass doing after graduating high school? Me? I was sleeping/reading science fiction novels at an empty conference room table at my minimum-wage summer job. The money was put mostly toward hamburgers, as any photo of that time makes abundantly clear. Now young Jack Eisenmann? He built a programmable computer from basic logic chips and an Internet education.

29May/110

Relative Dimension in Space

The pixel video artist/chiptune genius who is Doc Octoroc (previously) has made this awesome cover of the 2010 Doctor Who intro, straight-up SNES-style -- the scaling effects are perfect. Even though I stopped watching Doctor Who about halfway into the tenth Doctor's tenure, I have expressed my love for the theme and this is a great take on it.

25May/111

Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku

So, with Family Guy, you have to take the good with the bad in order to appreciate the humor. The "good" in this case being a pitch-perfect parody of Street Fighter II and the "bad" being that one of the characters involved is an Asian laundromat owner named "Mr. Washee Washee" (complicating that further, that name was used as a "make-the-audience-feel-ignorant" joke, so it's just cans of worms all the way down.) So let's all just enjoy this for what it is before Fox takes it down off YouTube for copyright infringement and this post becomes entirely irrelevant:

Compare:

13May/110

Today Is Tomorrow’s History

A bit over a year ago, this video was making the rounds. It's a collection of terrible, terrible video game voice acting:

Now, here is a gentleman named Dean Lauderdale acting out all the clips from above, appropriately hamming it the hell up. One thing of note is that his syncing is great.

26Apr/110

Gwen and the Stacies

If the movie trailer is a form of art -- or at least a genuine medium -- both the action and the indie movie trailer is genres. And, as with any genre, ripe for parody:

20Apr/111

Moonbrooke Philharmonic

I remember very clearly the first four video games I had received for my NES. Unlike the Atari 2600 which my mother bought me when we juts came to this country -- under the mistaken assumption that it would perfectly well replace a babysitter -- the Nintendo did not come with a box of games. Rather, it was packaged with Super Mario Bros. 3, and each game after that was a struggled of dropped hints and counting the days to gift-getting occasions. I got Ninja Gaiden 2 around the same time as the NES from my mother's boyfriend, it must have been my seventh or eighth birthday. Three months and ten thousand rented cartridges later, I received Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Dragon Warrior II.

I never got far in any of these games. For all my love of video games, I am to this day spectacularly bad at them. I have neither the determination nor the patience to make it past the first act of most games. However, I did replay the opening parts of all these video games over and over again until I traded them for something else I would never finish. And nothing gives me pangs of nostalgia like the background music from Dragon Warrior II:

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