Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Played on: Wii-U
Release date: March 4, 2016 (Original November 19, 2006)

Many people don't like Twilight Princess because it's very vanilla. It rehashes a lot of stuff from Ocarina of Time. And they changed Link's sword hand. But we got this because everyone complained about Toon Link when Wind Waker came out.

All of those things mean nothing to me because:

  1. I never had a Nintendo 64, so I never played Ocarina of Time.
  2. I'm not a man baby when it comes to Toon Link, sword hands, or all the other things Zelda fans complain about.
I actually really enjoyed my time with Twilight Princess on the Wii in 2006. I have a Wii-U, so when the HD version of Twilight Princess was announced, it was a no-brainer, I was going to pad my Wii-U collection with this. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Division

Played on: PlayStation 4
Release date: March 8, 2016

When Ubisoft showed The Division at E3 the first time, it was when I realized, "Wow, the new consoles really are coming." It was the first game I wanted for my PlayStation 4.

Ubisoft has my number. If they slap Tom Clancy's name on a box, I'm probably going to buy it because dammit, I love my shooters to be based in a more realistic world. The Division is probably the most non-Clancy game Ubisoft has released under the name. Honestly, I think the game suffers from trying to shoe-horn some Clacy-ness into it.

I've been putting off writing this review as like most MMO type games, this one is constantly evolving and unlocking additional content. I've gotten to a point where I feel comfortable in knowing what the current version of The Division is.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Editorial: Fear Effect

With the Kickstarter launching for a new Fear Effect, I decided it was time to dust off the double jewel case and see if I still enjoyed the original, almost 20 years later.

It was a weird time in gaming. Japanese games still largely ruled and anime was incredibly popular on Cartoon Network. At the same time, to appeal to American's, a lot of games sort of had this injection of "attitude." It's something you can see in the top walk through on GameFaqs. The author really told that mom off. Many games felt like a Mountain Dew commercial with samurai.

I remember drooling over the advertisements in previews in the Official PlayStation Magazine as far back as when it was still called "Fear Factor." (Before the metal band, Fear Factory, threatened a lawsuit)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Day of the Tentacle

Played on: Windows
Release Date: March 22, 2016 (June 25, 1993 original)

Warning: There are a couple of puzzle spoilers throughout.

In 1995, I spent most of my time in our dark, partially finished basement playing first person shooters like Doom and Wolfenstein.

I was also a giant Star Wars fan, so naturally I coveted Dark Forces. I wanted it so badly, but I was 11 and my paltry $2.50 a week allowance wasn't enough to cover the Dark Forces price tag.

Then one fateful day, I was taking in the giant wall of Sam's Club computer software, and I saw The LucasArts Archives Vol. 1. Ignoring most the games in the package, I saw Dark Forces included. My parents granted me a loan. I covered $30 of the package and forfeited my allowance over the next several weeks/months.

Dark Forces ended up being a three mission demo that came on it's own disk, but I couldn't see the text that said, "Demo" through the clear plastic window on the packaging.  I was taken like a chump. I can forgive the prequels, but this is the real reason I dislike George Lucas. (Just kidding, George seems like a really nice and cool guy)

It took me so long to figure out how to beat that terrible maze of a sewer level on Dark Forces, that the refund policy expired and I couldn't return this box of games.

Not wanting to feel like I lost money on the deal, I went ahead and installed Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle and what happened was magic.

I was immediately pulled into one of the toughest, funniest, and most rewarding adventure games I've ever played.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Editorial: The 3D Beat 'Em Up

Beat 'em up games were incredibly popular on 8 and 16 bit systems. They usually took the framework of an arcade like game and let you and your friends team up. There was a hesitation when the 3D platforms were coming out. What do we do with the Beat 'em up?

Some games just boosted the graphics and stuck with 2D like Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal. But some took the challenge of 3D on.

There was a period in 1996-1998 where 50% of Playstation demo disks had a demo for the first level of a 3D beat 'em up called Fighting Force.