Daily Archives: August 17, 2011

Angry Birds should really be called Murdered Pigs

Yesterday, I played Angry Birds for the very first time. It was bound to happen. You can only avoid these things for so long; it’s kind of like how everyone eventually joins a social media site, no matter how vocal they are about hating those sorts of things; granted, every website these days integrates some kind of social media element in it, and then you’re there, stuck, updating your status, liking posts, and adding “friends” you’d never consider friends if you bumped into them while out shopping for books or something. Um…yeah. What was I saying? Oh, right: ill-tempered fowl.

While it’s been pretty easy to ignore almost all games on Facebook thanks to some settings tinkering and the fact that I really don’t hang out there as much as before, a host of new clickfest titles debuted this week at Google+, a website that I originally called “like Facebook, but without the games.” Guess I can’t say that anymore. What is nice though is that the games section is totally separate from the main feed of the site, so I don’t have to see how many points Joe Hoeblow got on level 9-154 of Murdered Pigs as I’m trying to see what people are really up to. That said, don’t you want to be my friend on Google+?

For those that don’t know, Angry Birds is a physics-based game of tossing birds via slingshots at rather innocent-looking pigs, trying to kill them all. I think there’s a storyline here. Something about the pigs stealing these birds’ eggs, which doesn’t really make sense when you consider that pigs don’t often climb trees. You toss the birds and gain points for how effectively you murder these pigs, as well as how few birds it takes to do so. I played up to 1-15 of Poached Eggs, the first episode, without a hitch, just sort of floating along. At 1-15, a new type of bird is introduced: a tiny blue bird which, when clicked again while in mid-air, splits into three birds. Very cool. Sadly, the game itself neglected to tell me this. I guess it did try with an unclear image while waiting for the level to load, but nothing ever specifically stated that these birds had a secret power, one vital to solving the upcoming level. I only learned this key strategy skill by accident after trying to beat 1-15 for the nineteenth time.

At no point did I ever get the sense that these birds are angry. If anything, they seem cracked out of their tiny  bird brains, shrilling in glee as they are hurled at stone walls and piles of wood, tossed to their death so systematically. All for the murdering of pigs, purported to have stolen eggs. A pig steals, a pig dies. What? I mean, things weren’t even this harsh in 16th century medieval times. Severe cases of theft back then could be punishable by flogging or the cutting off of one or both ears or a hand. And yeah, death by hanging. But surely that’s better than death by bird to the face.

It’s an okay little game. I just don’t get the logic of it all, but that’s the writer in me. Pigs and birds have no famous (or infamous) connection in nature. Might as well toss pineapples at polar bears. I’ll probably continue to play here and there as I find a moment of gaming emptiness, but I can’t really imagine myself going the distance here and seeing all 250+ levels to the end. That kind of grind is for the birds…

BONUS UNUSED BLOG POST PHOTO:

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George Stobbart is dirty, makes me laugh

The other week, Tara and I spent most of the afternoon moving stuff into our new place. Since I got out of work earlier than she did, I arrived at Grimmauld Place first, did what I had to do, and had a good hour or so to kill until she arrived. Thank goodness I never go anywhere without my Nintendo DS 3DS!

It’s been some time since I played Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (first half-hour review here), and I had a hankering for something other than my usual go-to titles (Dragon Quest IX, Pokemon White, Let’s Golf! 3D, or Scrabble). I couldn’t quite remember where I had stopped plot-wise, but I do remember that I had just finally broken free from the restraints of only exploring Paris, arriving in Ireland outside a pub and schmoozing with the locals about a ruined castle–that’s also haunted. Oooooh. I did not actually enter the pub back when I saved the game for the last time, which was around the six-hour mark, so it was a great re-starting point, entering a bar with lots of people to talk with and lots of new items to pick up. Eventually, George learns a heap of new information and leads, and we’re back to Paris to see what Nico’s up to. Mostly spoilers.

Back to George, and the game decides to suddenly get really funny. I mean, it’s been decently funny from the get-go, but when George infiltrates the hospital and has to pretend to be a competent doctor amongst an array of incompetents….it goes to a whole new level. Exhausting dialogue options has never been so humorous.

Plus, this little bit of inner dialogue happens later on in a church:

Sorry for the shoddy camera work. I had to resort to using Photobooth on my Mac, holding my 3DS up at an angle I can only describe as awkwardly decent. If you can’t make out the text, George is talking about the firm buttocks of young ladies. In a church. Ya dirty boy.

I’m kind of stuck on a tripod puzzle at the moment, and it’s basically “steal a tripod,” which is not as easy as it sounds. While online looking for better screenshots of the above moment of glory, I discovered that Ireland is like only the second place out of six or seven locations that George and Nico will be visiting during their search for shadowy Templars secrets and killer mimes. And I’ve played for six-plus hours so far. This is a long game. I hope to finish it soon, but if I continue to only nip away at it in bite-size increments…it might take a good while. Hmm. So long as George continues to voice his dirty thoughts, I’ll make a more of an effort then.