Get Jiggies With It

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

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Banjo-Kazooie, one of the most fun games I ever have had the pleasure to play during my childhood. The open, nonlinear levels kept this game fresh and fun for a very long time.

The Nintendo 64 behemoth, developed by Rare is one of the highest rated games of all time, and very well critically acclaimed. You played as either Banjo or Kazooie over several levels collecting “Jiggies” or musical notes and jigsaw pieces. Basically, it’s a puzzle solving game, but it is a load of fun.

Each character has their a set of unique abilities. From acrobatic stunts, to being able to fly, to collecting certain feathers that allow certain abilities, or having a shaman friend that can transform you into certain creatures, there are multiple ways to advance to the next level.

The plot is a little silly, but surprisingly it works. Basically a witch is jealous of Banjo’s attractive sister, and tries to steal her so the witch can steal her beauty. Yup, that’s about it. But hey, it works, so I can’t complain, it kept me playing.

Another thing about this game, that very few people really acknowledge, is the artwork and design for the game. Not that it is necessarily stunning, but it’s interesting. It has cool voodoo type of art. People who play know what I’m talking about. It has a strange, Gothic type of theme and it isn’t dark, rather it is really damn cool.

It was a fantastic game, and almost everyone I know has played it. If you haven’t played it, you owe it to yourself as a gamer to play this. You won’t be disappointed, it is time well spent, and is one of the best games ever created. Yes you read that right.

Emulating a Childhood (Part 2)

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

pokemmmoo

Most people think emulators are only used to play the basic games. Play an old game they no longer own. However, some of the most fun I’ve ever had gaming, was with games that weren’t real, rather it was all with hacks.

When emulators came out, coding was needed for the games as well. However, people figured out that if they had the blueprint for a game, they could go in, and basically create a hack, or their own game. One of the best Pokemon games I’ve ever played is called Pokemon Light Platinum. It’s a game not by Game Freak or Nintendo, but a hack created by a random fan.

There are endless possiblities, and there are a ton of hacks. One of the most popular are Super Mario World 3 hacks, where a new story and new levels were added. Brutal Mario is one of the most popular, and it’s also one of those hardest. If you’re a Youtube junkie, you most likely have seen Mario Frustration. The game he plays in that is a hack, and is one of many hard games made for the hardcore computer gamer. Games are made to test skill, and others are just fun with really great stories.

Lastly, and personally this is my favorite hack of all time, and this hack actually answered so many of our prayers as a child. Thanks to hacking, PokeMMO was created, and for those who don’t know what MMO means, all you need to know is this is Pokemon online, where you play, trade, battle other real life people while progressing through the normal Leaf Green story mode.

Emulators have endless abilities, thanks to smart people acting on wishes, whether it be an impossible Mario level, or online Pokemon. This is where I get the most use out of emulators, it’s expanding my gaming horizons and playing hacks that are basically playable fan fiction. Do some research, and download a hack today, they are surprisingly more fun than some of the originals.

Emulating a Childhood (Part 1)

Friday, November 15th, 2013

super mario

Based on a request, I decided to make another post about emulators, and even though they aren’t retro, you can certainly play retro games with these. So for this post, I’ll give a little info about emulators, and in a later post, the best things to use them for.

Emulators are basically the computer version of a gaming system. You look up an emulator for a system, download it, and you can play that system, with limitations such as multiplayer, on your computer. Then, you look up Rom files for games you want to play.

The most popular emulators and Roms are Game Boy based. The reason for this is because they are the easiest to code. I have yet to see a functioning current gen emulator, and that’s where the retro comes in. Emulators are basically used for the younger generation, like myself, so we can experience games that would cost hundreds of dollars just to find an ancient relic of a system, and most likely a game that is no longer widely sold on the market.

Emulators are technically illegal, and I really strongly suggest buying games, however, in my next post, you’ll see why I am really big on emulators, and the endless possibilities they bring. Emulators made hacks a good thing for gaming.

It’s Tricky, Actually No It’s Simple

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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SSX Tricky. The hip, fun, and musically astounding snowboarding game that entered stardom in 2001 for PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox.

SSX Tricky, even though it wasn’t a revolutionary sequel to SSX, was different and unique enough to be considered a game all on its own. Tricky added Uber tricks, a rivalry system, and a fantastic soundtrack. Doesn’t seem like a lot, however, it kept the incredible game mechanics, and kept the wacky, sometimes unbelievable tricks that have and never will be completed by a real life snowboarder.

For one, any game that has Run DMC on it deserves to be an instant classic. However, there was more than just Tricky as a part of the soundtrack. All the music was old school hip hop, techno-ish, dance club music. And quite frankly, it just pumps up the user, and makes you want to keep playing for hours on end. This game proved that sound and music are essential to a game’s success, and can sometimes be the game changer, well for a game.

This game is ridiculous fun, and deserves a play by almost anybody, especially snowboarder, or sport fans. I enjoyed this game a lot as a child, and enjoyed it so much decided to buy it again for the PS2 before this last summer. It’s simple, it’s fun, and to be honest even if it wasn’t I could just sit there and listen to the soundtrack all day. It’s not tricky, it’s simple to know, this game is something else.

Hidden Gems – Let’s Give this One a Hand

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Glover (U)

Despite that terrible pun in the title, there is one game that isn’t well known or well received, except by IGN, that was simply a blast to play as a child. The game was called Glover, and it was the definition of unique.

This game for those who don’t know, lets you take control of a four fingered glove, that had to use a ball to maneuver around or advance past levels. The ball could be used in a few different forms, all that helped in certain specific areas, from precision movement, to bonus points. This game was so special and different, it was almost impossible to ignore. You think wow a glove, that sounds boring. Well it wasn’t. The story however was.

The problem with the game was definitely the story. The game never got the recognition it deserved for originality and fun game play mechanics because the story was just boring. It was typical, nothing special. You are a magical glove, and you have to save crystals. Wasn’t the greatest story, however the game play made up for it.

The puzzles are fun, and the originality keeps the flavor fresh. If you’ve never played it, I recommend playing it, as it was released in the prime of the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, so it used the graphics and mechanics to the fullest extent. Glover was a weird, but excellent game.

Gaming History – The First Emulator

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

StarWars

Let me start off by saying, I think you should buy games, however for consoles that are not so new, or not so easy to buy, I think emulators can be very useful, and a very fun time, however if possible, do buy the game.

Emulators have actually been around much longer than you, and even I would’ve guessed. Believe it or not, they were around pre-2000s. And the first ones worth mentioning were made by Marat Fayzullin.

The first emulator he released was the Virtual GameBoy, however the first console emulator he released was the iNES, and that’s where the only real history lies.

The first release of iNES and  was in 1996. However, Marat wasn’t the first one to attempt this, as in early years a Alex Krasivsky found the initial coding for the NES and put it online, however he lost interest and Marat took over. At the time of the first release, there was only one working emulator, however it was extremely difficult to use. So iNES became the first program to use the .NES extension and the be able to easily be operated by a non computer expert.

Thanks to people like this, it’s easy to play games that are near non-existent nowadays. It helps the younger generation appreciate games that aren’t available, on systems that are near extinct. If the game is still buyable, by all means go buy it. However if you want to experience something that hasn’t been heard of or played before, and is hard to find, we should all know the pioneer who allowed this to happen, and thank him as well.

The Turn Based Megapower that Almost Never Happened

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Worms1_screenshot

Turn based games are and always have been a fan favorite across all platforms. However, one of today’s biggest and most fun ones nearly never happened. The fun turn based strategy game that was almost non existent that became a huge franchise, is Worms.

Everyone knows this game now. It’s the simple, yet very difficult turn based strategy game, that has led to many remakes, many rip-offs, and many more turn based games. Very few people knew the story however of how this so well known game, barely became so well known. In fact, not only was it a miracle it was published, but got popular, because it was originally made for Amiga on initial launch (also for CD 32 and Mac and Game Boy) which was a Commodore based system (so was CD 32).  However, it luckily took off and was soon on PlayStation, SNES, Saturn, Jaguar, and PC.

The game was created by one man, Andy Davidson. It was actually only an entry for Blitz BASIC. It ended up losing  the competition. He tried to reach several publishers and all had no luck. After many failed attempts in the US, he went to the European Computer Trade Show looking for a publisher. It was suggested from Mark Foreman who was the head games buyer for GEM Distribution, that he speak to Team17. This was his last chance to get Worms big, (which at the time was actually called Total Wormage most likely a reference to Total Carnage) and as soon as it was presented, they offered on the spot to develop and publish the game.

Shows us how we should all be lucky that our favorite games took every necessary step into the right direction. Even though a majority of those steps were pure luck, or on the last straw. Also makes you think how many incredible games have gone unnoticed. Guess we should all show a new appreciation of Kickstarter now.

Giving Credit to a Game that Rarely Receives the Due Recognition

Monday, October 21st, 2013

aloneinthedark4

The post for today is in honor of the new episode of the Walking Dead, yes a fan boy moment, and it is also to honor a game that gets overlooked in part to Resident Evil and the console it was on. The game I’m talking about is Alone in the Dark.

This is considered one of the first survival horror games ever. Usually people consider that Resident Evil, but Resident Evil actually took many ideas from this game. The reason you never heard of it, or me until a little bit ago, is due to the fact that it was on computers only back in a time when PC gaming was viewed as a joke. Nonetheless, this zombie, horror filled game is where it all started, if you exclude some pretty badly made movie remakes like the Evil Dead.

Even with this being said, it is very well received by critics and is considered the 88th best game of all time by Computer Gaming World. It also was given the award as a top 25 most influential game by GameInformer. It’s safe to say it left a lasting impact, but is still greatly overshadowed by the heavyweight of Resident Evil, even though Resident Evil took the idea of strategy puzzles and killing as two completely different ways to progress while trying to scare the player at the same time.

It was actually way advanced for it’s time, being credited on game play, graphics, the 3D, originality, and realism in things such as being able to carry things based on weight, not inventory space, which is something still rarely seen in games, with the exceptions of fantastic games like Fallout or Skyrim. Either way, for a game that came out in 1992, not only was it incredibly influential and revolutionary, but it was also very fun; unfortunately overshadowed by Resident Evil of course.

I have yet to play this, but I plan on to soon, and I think anyone reading this should as well, the game has deserved it, and nowadays very few people even know what you mean when you ask have you played Alone in the Dark. Most people would assume it is some strange version of hide and go seek, when in reality people don’t realize you are talking about a stepping stone for the gaming community.

The Greatest Shooter of All Time

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

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GoldenEye 007.   Enough said for that intro.

GoldenEye 007, the Nintendo 64 hall of fame shooter. It came out in 1997, and jumped into possibly the number one spot for gaming all time. This first person shooter lets you be every man’s idol, James Bond, the secret agent playboy. The combination of action, stealth, and the cool movie story line, made for an instant classic.

The game play was so deep, it kept people playing for hours. With the numerous guns you can unlock, to the great combination of both full out gun warfare, to careful strategy, the unheard of realism in bullet damage, where certain areas  caused more damage, so for once a head shot wouldn’t do the same amount of damage a bullet to the foot would do, to a state of the art multiplayer mode. The multiplayer in this game, is one of the things that put this game above the status quo.

The multiplayer was way beyond ahead of its time, and was considered the most fun, even more so than Mario Kart 64.  There were fun game modes and all were fully customizable to how the game could be played. And the place where hours on end were spent? Paintball mode. I think after it’s all said and done, I’ve played that game mode more than I’ve played the rest of the game combined. It wasn’t even a game mode, rather a cheat. Nonetheless, this game mode was just fun, and I’m not really sure why, maybe because it was different. But it was time consuming, and it was incredibly fun. Not often you can say a cheat code in a game is more fun than a majority of games that have ever come out.

This game is an icon, it’s revolutionary, and it’s James Bond. There is a lot that can be said about this game, but at the same time, nothing is really needed if you’ve played it or know the history and legacy behind it. I could go on for pages talking about this game, but at the same time a fitting closing to this game after you read the title, could simply be GoldenEye 007. And anyone reading it instantly understands, and then gladly likes my post for simply reminding them that this game exists.

Sometimes Sequels Do Succeed

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

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This was a personal childhood favorite. The game was fun, in depth, and time consuming, but it was worth the time spent. It’s the famous multi-platform game, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.

This game had everything. Tony Hawk before he was a 45 year old man still trying to skate, awesome levels, an amazing soundtrack, and great physics which is the hardest part to get right for sports games, especially for skating. There was just so much packed into such a little cartridge.

There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to game modes. A simplified career mode, two player, which had two great game modes as a subcategory, free skate, and perhaps the best game mode, custom skate parks, where you could build and skate on insanely fun or insanely wacky levels. Inside the game modes, you can choose from a plethora of skaters, all with unique traits, boards, clothing, and skill sets. The beauty of this game, everytime you hit the select button, there was just more customization and more options to choose from.

The gameplay was great too. I play this game still, and to this day I’m still learning new tricks, and still learning of new places to test them out. Not only were the tricks deep, but there were other little places where you could do tricks, but not the kind that require button mashing or memorization. Rather, tricks such as trying to land a deep drop after a large ramp, clearing huge gaps, or sliding on certain things that would break or unlock more places to skate.

The soundtrack however, is what keeps you playing for hours. As if the game wasn’t just fun, you kept skating to music. It was “so 90s” of us to skate to such rebellious, yet incredibly good music. I still find myself going back just to listen to certain songs.

This game had everything, and if you think I’m lying, there’s a reason this game is rated the 25th best of all time (as of December 2012 and according to GameRankings). It was a huge success, and a huge front for all skating games to come out afterwards. No disrespect to the first game, but this game single handedly can be used as an argument for why sequels sometimes can succeed, and sometimes steal the show from the original. It also shows graphics sometimes can be almost pointless in how good a game can truly be. If a game with graphics like this is a top 25 game of all time, you may wanna rethink passing on some classics due to poor graphics.

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