Tag Archives: editing

2019 Game Review Haiku, #26 – Fallen Hero

Burglar needs money
Steal celebrity diamond
Mistaken motives

And we’re back with these little haikus of mine. Go on, gobble ’em up. However, if you want to read more of my in-depth thoughts about these games that I’m beating, just search for them by name on Grinding Down. As always, enjoy my videogamey take on Japanese poetry, even if they aren’t instant classics, such as the works of Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, or Kobayashi Issa. Hey, not everyone gets to be that great.

You can tell a true cowboy by how they spell in Jack MacQwerty

jack macqwerty gd impressions capture

You’d think that, having been copyediting for almost a third of my life now–a couple years in college after I switched from pursuing art something-or-other to journalism and then almost ten years in the big, scary, real world–that I’d be more into the niche spelling genre of videogames. Y’know, things like Typing of the Dead and Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing, where the goal is to spell a word, often fast, for some kind of result, whether it is shooting a zombie in the head or moving on to the next task. I may not be a fast typer, but I’m a pretty good speller.

Jack MacQwerty doesn’t try to do too much differently with this small, but strong sub-genre, but it is cute and quirky and has fun with the mechanics nonetheless. Basically, you play as the titular sheriff, taking out opposing cowboys and bad guys by typing their names. Dun dun dunnn. Sometimes their names are traditional, like CLINT or CHERRY, and other times you’ll be feverishly hitting the keys to finish names like ISENGARD, FART, or IDAREYOUTOKILLME. Not going to lie, I totally guffawed when I saw an enemy called SHRECK quickly followed by THEMASK.

When you run out of ammo, type RELOAD to reload, which makes sense and totally gets under your skin when you hit the wrong key and have to start all over while bullets zoom your way. It’s like missing that active reload in Gears of War when you need it most. Later, you’ll want to avoid shooting bystanders with names like DONOTSHOOT and INNOCENT. Also, if you lose enough health, type HYDROMEL for a swig of power and rejuvenation, not that I believe honey-based liquor contains such powers, but that’s videogames for you. Personally, I go right for the raspberry iced tea.

Ironically, for a game about spelling, there’s quite a number of typos on both the game’s GameJolt page, as well as in the “how to play” menu within Jack MacQwerty. Not sure if they are there to be funny, but the professional part of me doubts it. Other than that, I enjoyed my time in the word-littered Wild West, and the retro aesthetic does a fine job of not getting in the way of either the fun or the jokes. If you have a few minutes to kill and like spelling out funny words really fast, give it a shot. Happy trails!

Frodo Baggins can’t sneak past Sauron’s most terrible servants


I know I’ve only played a Hobbit-sized amount of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring at this point and already gave it a decent enough blurb in the latest Half-Hour Hitbox feature, but there’s just something about this PS2 game that makes me want to dive a little deeper into it. Writing-wise, that is. I’m still not sold enough to play further, unless someone wants to come over and show a Hobbit how to creep effectively. Plus, I have a really good “game over” screen to share with y’all later, so that’s a fine enough excuse to get me writing about more things related to Lord of the Rings. At least I don’t have to write the word LEGO seventy-eight times.

Anyways, like just about every other Lord of the Rings games, this one starts off in Hobbiton. Y’know, during the safe and quiet times before the long journey ahead. Interestingly enough, from a gameplay perspective, the first hour of the game is extremely dull. You play as Frodo, and you have a long laundry list of miscellaneous chores and fetch quests to finish up before you can leave the green grassy hills of your home for Lothlórien. Personally, I loved this, as you just explore Hobbiton, talk to your fellow neighbors, and learn a few things about what Frodo can do. True, he has a stick and can swing it, but I never attacked a single enemy so far; the game purports itself to be hack-and-slash action, so maybe when you meet up with Aragorn it’ll become more like that. For now, it’s sort of a free-roaming adventure game–fine by me.

Alas, the wandering back and forth had to end eventually. Once you’re done collecting mushrooms, helping neighbors with their multitude of problems, stealing from Farmer Maggot, and giving the deed to Bag-End’s new owner, you wait for night to fall, ready to leave the Shire with Sam to bring the ring to those pointy-eared treefolk. However, your journey is instantly stymied as a Black Rider, also known as Nazgûl, arrives, searching for its master’s ring. And here’s where everything fell apart. You have to sneak past the Black Rider, but you have no control over the camera’s verticality–you can only turn it left and right, which doesn’t help when there are big hills on all sides–so you have to wait until you see a shadow approaching to know where he is, and by that time, you are spotted and it is game over. The first time I died, I learned the hard lesson that many PS2 games do not auto-save frequently, and so I was set back about 30 minutes; we’re so coddled these days where games save when you even hit pause.

I died at the “sneak past the Black Rider” section three times before I gave up entirely and played some other PS2 game for a bit–if I recall correctly, I enjoyed some fifteen minutes of bot-heavy multiplayer in Red Faction II–and each time you die, you get this gloriously unedited game over screen:


As they say, one does not simply edit text all the way to Mordor.



Okay. So, there’s this Flash-based RPG called Super PSTW Action RPG (which I’ve never played and most likely never will), and someone under the username of AXMAN13 did not have a good time being super in an action RPG. Snartleblast, right? Naturally, this reviewer left his thoughts behind for all to read, but Newgrounds users RicePirate and D-Mac-Double decided that these snippets of poetry and fine 18th century literature were better suited as a typography video. In short, a Flash video of a review of a Flash game. It’s pretty superb with some amazing voice work and sound effects, and I’d love to see all negative reviews, whether justified or not, whether written by 13-year-olds or actual gaming journalists, brought to life like so.

Go watch: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/558516

Two new AAA, 5-star, blockbuster Nintendo DS games!

I’m visiting my family for the weekend, and that means checking out my mother’s DS collection while home. Now, we’re two completely different DS gamers; I like the big name, mainstream action/RPG games like The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and Scribblenauts, and she’s very heavy into the puzzle/mystery games. I’ve played some of them, and they each have their highs and lows. Zenses Ocean is nothing more than a small collection of uninspired mini-games, but Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir, while formulaic, was actually a lot of fun. You found things, you played a mini-game, and then you went back to finding things. I dunno, I guess I’m a sucker for hidden item pictures…it’s been an ongoing love, which started by reading the comics section of the newspaper every Sunday morning.

Anyways, my mother’s stuck on two of her newly purchased DS games and rather than plow through them, she’s just giving them to me. Cool, cool. Alas, I’ve never heard of them: Titanic: Secrets of the Fateful Voyage and Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society. The former title says, “Feel the ship deck creek as you search for hidden objects, decode secret puzzles and solve the greatest sea mystery ever.” Pretty sure the ship sinks. Mystery solved!

Also, it actually says “creek” on it:

Apologies for the crappy quality. But, uh, Activision…I’m available for copy editing!