Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hiatus OR The new bigtime

So there was a point in time when I was dead set on being a Previews Editor, and then there was a time when I was dead set on being a Producer. Of videogames. Now videogames are the out window completely because I am working full-time for Twitter.

I kept saying I would still freelance, but that was denial talking, I think. I always wanted a full-time job to focus on, and then once I got one -- and a GOOD one -- I tried to cram as much in around the edges as possible? That doesn't make any sense. So I finished my last Otaku USA deadline at least for the time being, on Saturday.

In the future, once things have progressed a bit at work, I may go back to the mag, especially since I can afford to do imports now (and I'll be working with a Japanese tutor, so I should end up understanding them better, too). That said, I don't want to make any promises or make a countdown widget. Twitter is really great and I want to give it my all there, which is really hard to do when instead of going home and working more, you go home and freelance.

It's sad in a way, but in another way it's kind of a relief. Of course, in yet another way, it's really, really exciting; I'm not failing, I'm just succeeding in a way I hadn't thought of yet.

**EDIT** Incidentally, I'll still be blogging here. I may still have things to say about videogames, and I'm certainly playing them. Should be finishing DQIV, but instead I made the grave and wonderful error of leaping into the English translation of Mother 3. Remembering how crappy it is to grind ghosts... My supervisor plays Rock Band bass, so we make a pretty kick ass rhythm section. I definitely have a huge of games I haven't even touched yet (including all those DS game I recently bought). It'll be good times...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Deal time! OR I feel lucky!

I just bought:

for a grand total of 32 and change. Love buy 2 get 1 free sales. Love DS games. Ready for all the train rides in the world.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Browser Tag and....

So yes, I added a tag specific to browser games. PC will be downloadable PC games and boxed PC games.

The "and..." refers to the fact that my first writing assignment completed since the advent of GMness at Cryptic has gone up: a crazy, experimental Beat.Trip Beat review, yayyyyy. (If you love it or hate it, please post your feedback over at that link and not here!! Of course you can also comment here...I need more comments...)

For now, I think my lunch break is over, but I look forward to writing about more browser games on future breaks.

QWOP for your daily fail

Hit the ground falling.

So this actually has been around a bit, and I am too slow of a blogger, but let's take a look at QWOP, because it's so horrible!

The idea is to snap this little rag doll's tendons with the Q and W keys, as well as the...O and P keys, yes. Fast twitch muscles! Yeah! (Please don't correct my anatomy...)

So what we really have here is a puzzle game masquerading as a sports game. Perhaps all sports are puzzles, but that is another blog post and it will not appear here (!) I'm just saying that it's more about finding the correct sequence and timing of button presses than it is about jogging, nevermind sprinting.

It is pretty easy to uncover any variety of cripple runs, where you skid the avatar along on one heel and a knee. Some of these may cause you to giggle a bit, but of course, the best part is watching him finally flail out of control and whack his head, particularly because of concussion icon that pops up:


Satisfaction in fail! Great! Excellent! I need a new game to play! ;p Novetly for an Internet moment, QWOP nevertheless has a FB fan page.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do I like Gears?

I guess the brief amount of time I spent playing the game this evening has not really furnished enough experience to allow me to answer that question. That said, I switched to Geometry Wars 2 after not too long (Glowing Triangles of War), so that might indicate something in and of itself.

My first and constant thought is, "Wow, these graphics have not aged well." Have we really come such a long way since 2006 that these look incredibly outdated? I guess so. The frame rate does that, "Hello, I am in a cut scene" thing, like, "Look at how hard I am working to get these characters walking across the screen." I'm not sure how else to describe it. A little fuzz on the motion, almost. *not a tech person, clearly, although you'd think I would be at least a bit by now* The character models are great, but some of skin textures look rather plastic. On the whole, I just can't remember the last time I played a game that looked like this (2006?) It's almost like playing a PC game with a computer that can't crank all the settings.

Aside from that, I'm not really getting the cover mechanic very well. It seems really clunky to me, for some reason. I thought that was the main draw of this game, the great cover system. Perhaps I'll do some instruction manual diving before my next outing (which is either tomorrow, or next weekend). Could probably use some systematic education.

The other thing I'm curious about is co-op. Maybe I will try that tomorrow -- see if there are any lame souls like me playing the original instead of 2. I have had people tell me to skip the first one, but I feel like it's probably important to at least give it a shot. Or two.

I'm really raring to go on DQIV, now that I'm not stuck anymore, but I will try to save the handheld stuff for the train.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

DQ Breakthrough!

I really thought I was going to have to FAQ it, but Friday night in the train I managed to get past the place I was stuck in Dragon Quest IV. Where I was stuck is not really the topic here, though (although it really a pain in the ass to have a lock picking character in your party who cannot pick certain plot-salient locks just because), but moreso that I managed to resolve it on my own. What a rush! What a thrill! What a blast of genius ray!

(Or so you feel at the time before you realize that probably a bunch of people just waltzed right through it.)

It also seems to be a point for my theory of difficult games and probably difficult problems in general. If I am having trouble with a certain fight or a certain race or a certain pong-like acid trip (see Beat.Trip Beat), I just take a break. There is a limit to how effective you can be when banging your head against a brick wall. After a while of giving it all you got you just have less and less to give. Better to recharge those reflexes and come at it the next day.

In this particular case I was away (reading Dostoevsky) for almost a week before I came back to it. I wasn't even sure I had batteries. Then I was so giddy at finding my way into the mine (Chapter 4) that I accidentally rushed headlong into a boss fight without saving, ha! Luckily, managed to pull it out. Glory to the healer!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Grand Theft Velo

It's a bike race inspired by GTA. Check out an interview with one of the creators at Bike Blog NYC.