Tag Archives: arcade

2017 Game Review Haiku, #70 – Cat Poke

It’s raining outside
Have some fun, poke cats in butt
Got them all, got poked

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

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2017 Game Review Haiku, #27 – The Shadow Realms Arcade

2017-gd-games-completed-the-shadow-realms-arcade

Here, a dark arcade
Open back door, see hidden
Puzzles too obtuse

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #56 – Umbri

2016-gd-games-completed-umbri-capture-01

King of illusions
Cleanse the infected tiles
Must move fast, flip skills

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

Recruiting all companions in Fallout: New Vegas only took three playthroughs

Man, I have to imagine that if you’re not a fan of Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas and that you’re still following my blog day in, day out, you must be sick of me blathering about these games by now. I know I am. No, not really. Never ever evah. They are great for musing. There’s way too much to this franchise to explore–both good and bad–and considering I still have at least two more playthroughs left (for a sickening lump sum of five playthroughs) before Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes over…well, expect more Fallout-based posts. Sorry, haters. Congrats, lovers.

But yeah, check this baby out:


The Whole Gang’s Here (25G): Recruited all companions.

Got it last night. Only took three playthroughs, and I’ll explain why, as it’s actually a simple Achievement to get, but requires the Courier to do things in a certain order or to grow a cold shoulder. There are eight companions to recruit during one’s time in the Mojave Wasteland, and they are are: Arcade Gannon, Craig Boone, ED-E, Lily Bowen, Raul Alfonso Tejada, Rex, Rose of Sharon Cassidy, and Veronica Santangelo.

During my first playthrough, I collected all of them, but I only managed to pick up Veronica after a certain incident, the kind of happening that’s unforgivable, the kind that involved me wiping out everything she ever knew. Once she was “recruited” she quickly realized who I was and what I had done, and that was it. She left, never to join my forces again. I’m guessing the game didn’t consider that one to two minutes she was on Team Jareth enough for this Achievement. Oh well.

During my second playthrough, the same thing happened without me realizing. I murdered all her BoS friends before recruiting her and didn’t even bother attempting to track her down. Besides, my second playthrough character was Samantha, a fiery redhead, and there wasn’t room for competition.

Now, my third and most recent Courier, that creepy Kapture, he went after Veronica as soon as he could. Well, right after getting Boone and ED-E, of course, but long before the main quest got in the way. And then he still murdered all of her friends. Only this time, we kept our distance. Sent her off to Lucky 38, never spoke to her again. Harsh, right? Nah. Saved her a lot of pain and trouble, I suspect. After that, it was just a matter of time and getting a high enough Speech skill for Arcade, after which…ping. Achievement unlocked!

This Achievement is notorious for being buggy. Glad to know that during playthrough #4 or #5, I won’t have to worry about getting everyone and keeping all neat and happy. Also, no more Lily. She freaks me out. It’s mainly always going to be ED-E and either Boone or Rose.

So yeah, three playthroughs and nearly a year later. Closing in all finishing up all the Achievements for Fallout: New Vegas, but I know a few more come out tomorrow with the next DLC, Gun Runners’ Arsenal. Mmm…guns.

30 Days of Gaming, #24 – Favorite classic game

I hate coining anything as classic. Such a term is relative, and considering how wide the gaming generation gap is nowadays, many might not even know what game you’re talking about–or only know it, having never played it and more or less missed the chance to. You might think everyone and their mother’s mother has played Pac-Man and that it is irrefutably a “classic,” but that actually might not be the case.

First, some light history: Pac-Man, developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway, was first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It made it over to the United States a few months later in October. Three years later, on a warm, summer Sunday afternoon, I would be born. I can’t even begin to fathom when I actually played Pac-Man for the very first time, but this image of me at a friend’s roller-skating birthday party comes to mind; I was never a good roller-skater, and so when the other kids went zipping around the rink, doing the “Funky Chicken” or whatever the DJ was blasting, I was wandering around on my own, often finding my way to the arcade room. This was more like a shadowy closet with two to three arcade machines up and running, one of which was definitely Pac-Man. The other two? Who knows. Probably a space shooter and maybe the Claw Machine.

But I don’t have as many fond memories of playing Pac-Man in dark, seedy arcades as I do enjoying it online via Flash remakes or when Google had it as part of their logo image for a day. Sure, it’s a little bizarre to be excited over playing a thirty-year-old game on the latest and greatest technology, but it’s not that bad when you consider how great of a game it is. You are Pac-Man, a little yellow fellow, and you are trying to do two things: eat as many pac-dots as you can and not get eaten by ghosts floating around the map. Sounds simple, but the gameplay works, and can be quite addicting, especially when you only have one or two pac-dots left to devour and an army of ghosts to slip past; there is no tension like the tension of seeing three ghosts begin to surround Pac-Man, and the relief upon eating a power pellet is orgasmically god-like.

It’s an easy game to pick up and play for a bit, and to step away from when you gotta doing something else. Pac-Man himself became quite iconic in the 1980s, and the game is easily recognizable by its colors and minimalist design. It seems to be considered the first game to feature both power-ups and cutscenes; kudos to them. It’s an age-old game that I still enjoy playing today, no matter where I end up playing it: on my computer, on my cell phone, on my Nintendo 3DS. The gameplay remains golden, and I’m glad I was–and still am–a bad roller-skater, getting to actually experience the game as it was meant to be played: in a dark room, engulfed in stark, colorful light, sweaty hands making stupid mistakes, drowning in a wash of never-ending beeps and boops, immersed, caring for the little yellow dot, trying to keep him alive as long as possible.

BONUS QUESTION TIME: Can you name the four ghost enemies in Pac-Man? (Reward: 1,000 XP.)

Hense, the Goddess of Pain and Pleasure, loves this blog post about Bastion’s difficulty

Suddenly, the Kid died three times in a row, unable to stop the swarm of Squirts and Gasfellas from overwhelming him with their lethal attacks. Up until that point, the Kid had never fallen in battle; sure, he’d come close, exiting the battlefield just barely, chugging his last bottle of health potion, wiping the sweat from his brow, quietly ignoring the narrator’s snide commentary. So, what had changed? Did the Bastion developers decide to ramp up the game’s difficulty without rhyme or reason?

Nope. What happened was that I built a shrine at the Bastion and turned on all of the god-like idols, thinking they were there to help and bestow great benefits on the Kid. Actually, they do the opposite of that. They make the game a whole heap-load harder, rewarding the Kid with more XP, but chances are that XP won’t be gained due to the fact that these enemies are now faster, stronger, and more deadly. Some even drop exploding bombs upon death, one last eff you before the darkness takes them. Because Bastion suffers from the tiny text disease, I couldn’t read the flavor text that went with turning on each idol and decided that surely they existed to help us on our journey to rebuild the Bastion. The idols also stack, meaning you could turn on a dozen and really wish your thumbs never existed. I believe I had turned on Acobi, Pyth, and one other idol before heading out to find Shards. Eep.

So, to help me and my bad eyesight out in future adventuring, here’s a table of all the idols you can unlock at the Bastion’s shrine, as well as what they do to ramp up the game’s difficulty:

Idol Description
Hense (Goddess of Pain and Pleasure) Foes are more ferocious
Acobi (Goddess of Oath and Abandon) Foes drop a live grenade when defeated
Lemaign (God of Hope and Despair) Foes’ attacks slow down the player
Pyth (God of Commotion and Order) Foes are quicker, both with movement and attacks
Jevel (God of Health and Atrophy) Foes are more resilient
Yudrig (God of Impulse and Bravery) Foes cause damage on contact
Roathus (God of Thirst and Plenty) Foes never drop Health Tonics or Black Tonics
Micia (Goddess of Loss and Longing) Foes have regenerating health
Olak (God of Chance and Whim) Foes occasionally turn to air, making them invulnerable to attacks for a short period of time
Garmuth (God of Purpose and Folly) Foes are more capable of deflecting attacks

Yeah, imagine all of those idols turned on at the same time. Can’t even stomach it. Thank goodness there’s no Achievement tied to utilizing these idols or anything; they are just there if you, the player, really want a different experience. I think I’m content with the default difficulty for now and will not be going back to the shrine any time soon.

Hard to say how far along in Bastion I am, but I’d wager either halfway done or a little more than halfway done. I’ve been using the machete and the scrap musket religiously, and haven’t really done much with secret skills. I constantly forget that I have a third attack. Oh well. Here’s to remembering things and reading important text then!

Fun and funny times with Guybrush Threepwood

Why did nobody tell me that Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge was one of the funniest pieces of videogame medium ever to be crafted? Well? What’s your big excuse?! Don’t tell me it’s because you lost your monocle either.

In truth, I guess I always knew it was a bit funny, seeing as it always came up in gaming forums and such as a good time. Yet I never got to play it, or any other entries in the series, and dang it, I’m now totally kicking myself. The writing is top-notch, with some of the best dialogue choices ever to be selected. Seriously, Tara and I spent minutes trying to decide if we wanted to Guybrush to say “I’ll BE back!” or “I’ll be BACK!” These things matter, people. And while the voice acting is new for the special Xbox Live remake and done with great personality, the writing remains the same text that was typed up way back in, uh, December 1991. It takes coconuts to do some of the things LucasArts did here, but without ’em, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge would be a less special game; the fact that you can basically make Guybrush beg and plead for a shopkeeper’s item despite never getting it is beyond the call of duty, but oh so wonderful.

The game’s funny, but somewhere in the middle of Act II, the one where you have to find four map pieces for Big Whoop, I had to trade in laughing a few times for Googling walkthroughs. Some of these puzzles are just plain obtuse, and I have to imagine it was a real struggle eons ago when your best solution was to just click everything and then click everything on everything. More in-game clues would’ve been appreciated, and I’m not talking about the brand new hint addition, which I’m not using in order to unlock an Achievement come the credits. Speaking of those delicious pingers, here’s a couple Achievements I’ve unlocked too that I find to be pretty great:


Old School (5G): Switched to classic mode at least once


Five Minutes Later… (10G): Allowed Guybrush to die.


Call 9-1-1 (10G): Called the LucasArts helpdesk when walking through the jungle on Dinky Island.

All right, so we’re on the home stretch now actually. The final island, which is a mess of jungle paths. Just finally ended my little talk with Herman. Now I gotta take down LeChuck…again?