bomba's House Of Flancakes

Posted on Feb 27th 2012 at 07:28:45 PM by (bombatomba)
Posted under Backlogs, Stellar Fire, Super Mario Brothers, Retro

I haven't been playing very much in the way of games this past week.  Part of it is because I upgraded from a basic cell to an Android phone and the rest is lack of sleep due to my daughter's illness.  I've spent a lot of time watching Netflix and Youtube (Gamecenter CX and Crab's videos) while sitting in a rocking chair.  And thinking.

I want this to sound not like a confessional but a realization: I may have been neglecting my retro roots.  I have been neglecting my retro roots.  This came to me in the forums when Apollo.Boy kept telling me how much better older games look on a good CRT rather than an LCD.  While I was trying to think of another way of reinforcing my point I began to wonder: when was the last time I really enjoyed playing a retro game on an old television.  When was the last time I enjoyed playing a retro game at all?  I had no idea.  Sure, I've playing a lot of games (some of them old), but I was looking more at my backlog as a whole then as individual games.  I was playing my games with the goal of completion, not enjoyment.  This was the essence of my problem with Stellar-Fire, I think. 

In the spirit of this I will be republishing two of my earlier articles, neither which appeared on RF Generation (that I can tell).  I will also be once again be revamping the way I choose games to play.  From now on I will choose both a game that closer fits with the overall spirit at RFG as well as a game that is more in character with, well, me. 


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Post Mortem

GTA: Episodes from Liberty City: I haven't finished these games yet, but yet I have.  Let me explain.  Because of the content I cannot play these games around my children I am limited to after they are asleep, which basically means that I am playing about two missions a night.  I am satisfied with this, so I feel that I can put these games on the Post Mortem list and walk away.  Anyways, I think I have more pressing issues to confront.

                                                                         


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Games For This Week

                                                                                                                                   

Stellar-Fire

Platform: Sega CD

Purchase Date: 1998

Cost: $1.00


Despite what I wrote at the beginning of this article, I still firmly believe this is not a good game in any capacity.  Regardless, I shall strive forth.  I've found a somewhat decent recorder (Hypercam 2), but I am having some sound issues.  Below you will find one of my earlier experiments with Hypercam (as well as Stellar-Fire).  Sorry about the fumbling sound.


The goal for each level is to collect a certain number of crystals scattered about the landscape while fighting and avoiding enemies at every turn and finally facing a boss.  The problem is that the crystals are scattered in a very non-linear pattern that only gets more spread out with every level, eventually bordering on the ridiculous.  To add to the difficulty there is no compass, so you are forced to rely on the background landscape.  Very interesting.  If I can ever beat this game I plan on writing a FAQ.


Title: Super Mario Brothers

Platform: NES

Purchase Date:2002

Cost: $1.36


Like many of you, this was the first game I ever played on the NES.  I first played back in 1987 after a friend, who spent many days mowing lawns and selling rebuilt bicycles, purchased one.  Initially I sucked quite a bit at this game, despite my arcade experience.  I kept dying at the elevators in World 1-2.  Later when I received an NES for Christmas I was able to get better, but only a bit as I also received The Legend of Zelda as well.

I've never actually beaten this game.  Did I say that already?  I've seem most of the game, but for some reason I never saw it to the end.  Very strange, though I have been assured by a friend that this is actually pretty common.  I am reluctant to believe him, but I guess it could be true.

While I will be challenging this game on my NES, I might do a playthrough on an emulator so I can record it.

                                                                         
                                                                                                                                 

Title: Boku No Natsuyasumi 4 (My Summer Vacation 4)

Platform: PSP

Purchase Date: 4/2011

Cost: $45


The Boku No Natsuyasumi series revolves around a boy (Boku?) visiting relatives during summer vacation in Japan.  The game is considered very nostalgic and features many games and activities Japanese men would have enjoyed during their childhood in the eighties (such as bug collecting, beetle-fighting, and toy collecting).  There is a story, but since I don't understand Japanese I don't know it, though I've been told that the series is perfect for those wishing to learn to read Japanese.

I've never tried to beat the game, but instead just putter around the island, collecting things, sticking my nose into everything, and enjoying the atmosphere of nostalgia the game creates (even though I don't have a cultural reference for it).

Will there ever be a game about a nerdy kid in the eighties as he trolls around the woods and roadside looking for returnable bottles so he can play arcade games at the laundry-mat and 7-11?  I sure hope so.  Then again, there is always Shenmue.




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In The Bag For 2012
Alan Wake - 1/25
Dead Space 2 - 2/4
Portal 2 - 2/10
Enslaved -  2/17



Posted on Feb 20th 2012 at 11:13:52 PM by (bombatomba)
Posted under Backlog, Treasure Adventure Game, Enslaved, GTA, Stellar Fire

I've decided to start using a numbered system instead of just associating my post titles with dates, partly because it will enable me to add a secondary post and title it in a more intuitive manner (Backlog Gamer 4.1, 4.2, etc), but also so I won't feel so guilty when I post the main article in the middle of the week.

Not a whole lot to say this week.  Due to my Game 2 selection last week I am starting to regret not being more selective with my game collecting.  If I would have just put the crap down my sense of self loathing would be at an acceptable level, instead of the gargantuan level it is at now.  Is this how Emo-folk feel all the time?  If I go stand in the corner with my crappy game(s) and cut myself with a game manual will I feel a accomplishment?  Man, that was dark.


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Post Mortem

Enslaved: I really enjoyed playing this game, even though I have to recognize its often glaring flaws, but instead of focusing on camera angles, proportionate bodies, and the quirks of the Unreal Engine, I think I will instead view the game as a whole experience, because I feel that taking this game as a whole is the only way to truly enjoy it (much as I felt about Jak II).

                                                                         


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Games For This Week

                                                                                                                                   

Game 1 Title: GTA IV: Episodes From Liberty City

Platform: PC (Steam)

Purchase Date: 11/25/11

Cost: $2.49


I was pleasantly surprised to see this chosen as a random game, especially as I had started playing it anyway as a pallet cleanser to the piece of trash below.  So far everything is fine, though in the beginning I had quite a bit of trouble with the controls.  I just don't feel that I will ever be comfortable playing a GTA game with a keyboard and mouse.  It just doesn't feel natural, almost like I am contorting across the keyboard like a damn Twister-nut just to powerslide into a turn.  I suppose that I could just play Lost and Damned on the 360 and come back to the PC for Gay Tony (that sounded awkward), but the game looks so much better on my computer.

The only downside is that the main characters swear so much during gameplay that I can't play this during daylight hours.  While this doesn't kill it, these games will take longer to complete.

                                                                             

Title: Stellar-Fire

Platform: Sega CD

Purchase Date:1998

Cost: $1.00


I spent around three days trying to beat this game and only managed a few levels.  On the plus side I learned how to beat the game, and on the negative side I don't think I want to go through the effort.  Dare I explain?  In the game the goal is to collect gems, which can be easily located by following the white bar displayed on the radar.  The problem is that the gems seemed to be scattered around the level, so that in some stages following the radar will almost ensure repeating the level (meaning that you will die).  However, if you make a map you can find a better, more optimized route than the shitty GPS route the game gives you.  This way of playing is just not an option in some of the latter stages.  Should I give up?  Should I pull an "Arino" and call in a AD to finished the job for me (which means using a cheat to see the ending)?  Only time will tell.  Likely I'll end up just giving in and making the damn maps. 

Once I find an acceptable recorder I'll try to record a playthrough.

                                                                         
                                                                                                                                 

Title: Treasure Adventure Game

Platform: PC

Purchase Date: N/A

Cost: N/A


I found this little title while mindlessly clicking on links in my Bookmarks Toolbar.  Even though I spend a lot of time on the Internet, I had all but forgotten that I have a Fileplanet link.  Weird, huh?  Although it is described as a platformer, I find it to be a pleasant combination of platforming, action, and RPG.  I especially like that the game has fully customizable controls (a rarity amongst free Indies games), so I can finally assign my movement to the WASD keys and the action buttons to the arrow keys.  I know you don't understand this but just believe me that it is important.  I might even be able to use a gamepad.  Oh, the possibilities.

Please play this.  You will be surprised then you will have fun.  You will exclaim the first time the character hook-grabs onto the edge of a platform, then you will want to play longer.




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In The Bag For 2012
Alan Wake - 1/25
Dead Space 2 - 2/4
Portal 2 - 2/10
Enslaved -  2/17



Posted on Feb 16th 2012 at 07:30:00 AM by (bombatomba)
Posted under Backlogs, Enslaved, Portal 2, Stellar Fire, Kyles Quest 2

I kind of regret reposting my first Backlog Gamer article, so click here for the second one if you want to read it.

Well, my posts are getting closer to the beginning of the week.  At this rate I'll be posting on day one by the middle of next month.  All right me!

As I stated last week, when I first conceived this I thought it would be best to show some sport and only pick games randomly.  I failed miserably when the first group of games turned out to be some of the most highly rated recently released games in my collection.  However, this week I decided to play by the rules and  pick randomly.  Will I be rewarded for my honesty, or will I feel the flames of redemption?

                     

                                                                       
Post Mortem

Portal 2: Wow.  I mean, wow.  The only way I think I can express myself properly is to directly beam the information to your brain in the pure emotional content (so as to not spoil the nice bits).  Ready?  Errrrrm.  Got it?  Yeah, what did I tell you!  Awesome, right?

                                                                         

                                                             
Games List For This Week

Game 1: Enslaved
Game 2: Stellar-Fire
Game 3: Kyle's Quest 2


         



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Title: Enslaved
Platform: Xbox 360
Purchase Date: 9/29/11
Cost: $9.99


At last, Enslaved finally gets the attention it deserves.  I know that in the past I seemed a little "blah" on it, stating that it seemed a little average and maybe generic.  I would now like to formally take this back.  Sure, in some cases the action can be a bit predictable (I'm speaking specifically of the general direction of the action, not the action itself), but Enslaved has sunk its claws into me, and not just the story this time: The characters, action , along with the story are equally as important to my experience.  I especially enjoy how, for all his supposed strength, Monkey is often completely outmatched by the mechs in combat (even against the "weaker" ones) and is forced to rely almost exclusively on his unmatched agility.

If I reviewed games I would give this game a solid B as long as it holds out to the end.



                                                                             

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Title: Stellar-Fire
Platform: Sega CD
Purchase Date: 1998
Cost: $1.00


The funny thing is that I thought for sure that most of the games I randomly picked would end up being PC or NES games, which makes sense as those platforms make up over 26% and 20% of my collection (respectively).  In the end I think I had to hit the random button three times.  The first two were either demos or games I'd already beaten, and on the third Stellar-Fire popped up.  I have to admit I am rather nervous.  I have never played this game, not even to test.  I purchased all of my Sega CD games in a lot, and I was only really interested in the Working Designs games that came with it.

Playing this game might prove a little harder, as my Sega CD was acting "weird" the last time I booted it up.  Therefore, I will use my laptop as an emulator, which should be interesting at the very least.

             

                                                                                                                                     

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Title: Kyle's Quest 2
Platform: iOS
Purchase Date: N/A
Cost: N/A


Once upon a time there was a group of devices called PDAs.  While they were mainly for organizational and productivity purposes, it turned out that people wanted to also play games.  Many of these games were fun, but most sucked.  A game that didn't suck on this platform was a little series called Kyle's Quest.  At heart modeled after 8-bit role playing games, this two Kyle's Quest games featured Japanese-inspired big-head characters but with a nice Western twist: you could make your own adventures.  While this sort of control didn't appeal to everyone, it wasn't long before there were a ton of great adventures to play.  While the games weren't free (very little quality titles were free on PDAs) the adventures were, meaning that one could easily make the $14.99 price tags a non-issue.

Kyle's Quest 2 (and the innumerable downloads for it) provided me many hours of entertainment in a very dark part of my life.  Because of this I didn't expect to care much when I found this game in the iOS App Store (just thinking about it brought back memories of hospital-sterility) for free, but I was surprised.  Though the game has lost the ability to load player made levels from the Internet, there are still twenty different games loaded in, and since many of them are short, they fit the aesthetics of a mobile platform.

I don't see myself deleting this game on Monday as I have done with the previous weeks "Game 3" title.


In The Bag For 2012

Alan Wake - 1/25
Dead Space 2 - 2/4
Portal 2 - 2/10


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
This is bombatomba's Blog.
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So I'm an odd ball. So I am usually the last to post on a blog/forum. So I only post about weird games on weird platforms. So I have a strange relationship with commas and parenthesis. So what? Hey, at least you don't have to car pool with me to work, right? So have a heart, eat a blueberry, and don't forget to drop the empties in the box on the way out. I get deposit on those.
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