Saturday, April 30, 2011

Aquanaut's Holiday Impressions

Good day friends, how are you? I just managed to get my greasy mitts on a copy of the semi-obscure game Aquanaut's Holiday for PS3, so that's what we'll talk about today. Aww yusss.

When I first heard about this game I was really excited because I thought it was about the LEGO Aquanauts. Then I was disappointed to learn that it wasn't. Then I was excited again because it's actually a game where you explore the ocean and discover different fish. Let me tell you something, the ocean is just rad as all hell. Fucking stingrays, turtles, anemones, sunken treasure. It's got it all. I love watching documentaries about the ocean (Yes ladies, I am still single).

First let me start by saying the title is incredibly misleading. Not only is your character not an aquanaut (He's actually a reporter) but he's also not on holiday. In fact you go to this marine research center to investigate a scientist's disappearance. Maybe that's a holiday...if you're Nancy Drew.

That would probably have made a much better game, in retrospect. This is because your character is actually a huge moron, and constantly repeats the instructions given to him by the only other 2 characters in the game. Why they let this genius have control of a multi-million dollar submarine is beyond me. Anyway...

Ok so you control Captain Shortbus, who pilots a talking submarine (Yeah, it can talk. Everything in this fucking game talks) around the ocean floor cataloging fish. Sounds fun right? Well that's when the game says "Well hold your gosh darned horses there Mr. Dinglenuts!!! We can't go letting you have too much fun now can we?"

There are some kind of sonar navigation buoys floating every 10 yards. And you can't explore any farther until you replace the batteries in each one. So you have to catalog fish and crap to get money, then go back to the base and buy batteries. Then go back and activate the buoy. Repeat every 3 minutes. It's tedious and annoying as all hell. Right now there is an awesome looking sunken ship sitting just out of reach...taunting me. But I can't get to it yet because I can't reach the stupid buoy and it's infuriating.

This is compounded by the fact that nothing in this game ever shuts the hell up. They love to drone on about inane things in hilarious engrish. It would be funny if it wasn't so boring. I literally peed due to boredom. I just want to explore the ocean, but I can't because the magical annoyance fairy shit all over this game. You know what? I don't even care about finding Professor Poopsock anymore, I'm gonna go eat some fish sticks. Peace!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WTF Japan? - God Hand Commercial

The best commercial for the best game. I can't believe I just remembered this.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gears 3 Beta Impressions

By the number of jokes we make at it's expense, you would probably think that we don't like Gears. Well it's actually the opposite. Jaison and I both loved the first Gears of War, which is why we are very critical of the series in general. We just want it to be as good as it could be. And frankly, that doesn't always happen.

As for multiplayer, I've been disappointed in the series so far. I love the concept of small 4 man teams forming strategies and working together to outflank the enemy. But by the time I started playing Gears 1 online, it was full of cheaters, glitchers and crazy fucking androids that headshot you across the map before you can move. We both got in on Gears 2 day one, and despite some gameplay improvements it was ruined by the lag, poor matchmaking and various other bullshit.

So is the third time a charm? If the beta is any indication, absolutely. I am loving it so far. And as someone who hasn't enjoyed the multiplayer in the past, that's big praise. What makes it better? Well for starters, you can actually get into matches quickly. And once you're in a match lag usually isn't an issue. I mean, it's there. But compared to Gears 2, and even Call of Duty it's negligible most of the time.

Movement has been sped up slightly, and seems to be more fluid overall. I don't feel like I am fighting the lag and the controls anymore. When I die (Which happens a lot) I feel like it was my own fuck-up. The best change is that rifles actually do damage this time around. The hammerburst still sucks (Surprise!), but the strategy of rolling toward someone while they pepper you with bullets is somewhat less effective. The retro lancer is an awesome addition, and while less accurate than the regular lancer, it's a great all-around gun especially for enemies just out of shotgun range.

Shotguns so far are a mixed bag. In King of the hill, the gnasher is like punishment from god. In deathmatch it's still quite effective and a good close-range choice. Definitely feels more like the Gears 1 shotgun which Jaison will enjoy. The sawed-off shotgun is a total pain in the dick. People love to hide around corners with it and 1-shot you. This is balanced by the fact that it's almost useless outside of point-blank range and takes forever to reload.

Other nice additions include a better exp and unlock system, an overhead map at the start of each match showing where the power weapons are, and the ability to mark enemies like in Bad Company 2. Team balancing still sucks octopus balls, but I guess we can't expect miracles.

I admit I was skeptical of their decision to make the gameplay more fast-paced, but so far I think it's working really well. I've had more fun with this beta than I ever have playing Gears online in the past. I don't think they've made the game any easier, just more approachable. Gears 3 takes a moment to hold your hand, before ripping it off and beating you to death with it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Keith Talks Turtles

A man after my own heart.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More Honest Video Game Boxes

Warhammer 40K Space Marine

Warhammer was one of those games I was never able to get into. Mostly because I was always too poor to afford to spend hundreds of dollars on tiny toys you have to paint yourself. Still, I've always thought it looked cool in an over the top "Sci-fi nerd's wet dream" sort of way. I think the premise is goofy enough that it lends itself to a video game perfectly.

Oh yeah, did I mention this is a space marine shooter with NO COVER? These guys don't need cover, they just jump in and rip dudes in half. Y'all Gears a bunch of pussies!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite NES Games

Today's list should prove a little less surprising, if equally as inflammatory as the the last. I'm sure if you took a poll of the Top NES games of all time, you'd see the usual suspects sweep the podium. Zelda is great, Mario is great (Except the second one), Metroid is great. We all know this.

The thing about children though is that they don't always like the things they are supposed to like. You can't tell them that they should love a game just because it's popular and well respected. Kids are brutally honest in that regard, and utterly without pretensions. They like what they like and nobody is going to tell them different. With that in mind, here are the 5 NES games I loved most.

#5. Micro Machines

No surprises here. You can read my earlier article on this one. Alone or with a friend, Micro Machines was always a great time. The best thing about it though would have to be the sound it makes when you score a point against the other player. Like a chorus of angels. The sound of pure, unadulterated victory.

#4. Little Ninja Brothers

What kid didn't love ninjas? My brother and I would play the hell out of this game. Then we'd watch Three Ninjas on VHS and pretend that we were ninja brothers. Simpler times those were. This game was a strange mix of RPG and beat-em-up, with catchy music and a lot of personality. Definitely an under-rated gem of the NES library.

#3. Mega Man 2

The best Mega Man game to date. This game pretty much established the template that the later Mega Mans would follow. To me this game maintained the perfect balance of fun and frustration. There was no sliding and no charged shot, but you didn't need them anyway. I was never able to beat Dr. Wily's castle so my older brother had to do it for me. I didn't mind though, fighting the robot masters was the best part. I didn't really give a shit about Dr. Wily.

#2. Super Mario 3

Maybe the reason I disliked Mario 2 so much was because it completely and utterly paled in comparison to this fucking behemoth of awesomeness. It's like God himself on the 7th day created the most incredible, sublime, dick shittingly, fun-fuckingly fabulous Nintendo game in the history of the universe. So great in fact, that it had it's own movie starring Fred Savage. Times change, people come and go, but Mario 3 will always be awesome.

#1. Guerrilla War

Hail the heroes of the revolution! This one probably isn't a big surprise. Sure there are more polished, more technically impressive games on the NES. But more fun? I seriously doubt it. This game defines couch co-op. Just you and a buddy plowing through waves of enemies, fighting over power-ups and trying not to shoot hostages. Guerrilla War is complete chaos from start to finish. Beautiful, wonderful chaos. It might not stand out as a single player game, but as a bonding experience it's hard to top. Now I know how the real Guevara and Castro must have felt.

Honest Video Game Boxes

Courtesty of the goons at the Somethingawful forums.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Interview with Brink Lead Designer

Some great stuff in there. He seems to have a good grasp on what it takes to develop a multiplatform game. Funny to see his take on the console ports of Quake Wars and how they hope to avoid that with Brink. I've learned to take these promises with a grain of salt, but so far Brink is shaping up to be awesome.

My Top 5 Most Hated NES Games

A lot of old geezers love to drone on about the "golden age" of the 8-bit era, and how they just don't make games like that anymore. To them I say, "Shut it old man!"

For those of us that really remember what it was like, good games were very much a rarity. For every Megaman 2 or River City Ransom there were about 10 broken, boring, impossible or unplayable turds that weren't even worth the time you'd spend blowing into them. Here are the five I hated most from my youth.

Disclaimer: Battletoads will not appear on this list because in spite of everything it did to me, I still love it. It made me the sour, broken husk of a man I am today.

#5. Mario 2

I am gonna come out swinging here. Not that Mario 2 was a bad game, but at the time I was really confused as to why it was nothing like the other Mario games. You can't kill guys by jumping on their heads? What is this dinosaur shooting eggs? Why am I pulling turnips and shit out of the ground? Of course I had no idea that it wasn't even originally a Mario game. But it was so different that it really put me off and I regarded it with so much disdain that it always sat at the very back of my collection.

#4. Metal Gear

This one will probably make more sense to people. Metal Gear may have been good on the MSX, but I think we can all agree that it was horse shit on the NES. "I feel asleep." The fuck does that mean? "The truck have started to move!" As a kid this really confused me, as did pretty much everything about this game. Why the fuck are enemies re-appearing when I come back through an area? What the hell do the cigarettes do?! Even Game Genie wasn't enough to make this piece of crap fun.

#3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Two words. Dam level. I don't think I need to say any more. If you know what I'm talking about, you're probably in the fetal position right now. I'm sorry. We can all take a bit of solace in the fact that TMNT 2 on the NES was actually pretty good.

#2. Silver Surfer

Sometimes you just know when a game is impossible. This was one such game. If you get hit once, you die. If you touch anything, you die. If you eat a burrito, you die. If a bee farts in your general direction, you die die DIE!! I think this was the second hardest game I owned, after Battletoads. Even if you actually made it to the end of a level, the mini boss would show up and fuck you with a rake. At the time my older brother was akin to a video game playing god, but even he only managed to beat a couple stages.

#1. Action 52

Clearly the winner here. Instead of one shitty game, you get 52! All for the exorbitant amount of $199. We got this at a yard sale for a quarter, and even then I felt ripped off. That quarter could have bought something infinitely more entertaining, like those little sticky hands in the gumball machine. The ones that were hilarious until they got covered with lint and hair and didn't work any more. Or those little styrofoam planes with the plastic propeller that you could throw once and they would immediately snap when they hit something. Or maybe even a Fundip or some garbage pail candy. What was I talking about again?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Wii 2 have predictions

With all the rumors and speculation going around the interwebs these days about Nintendo's impending announcement of the Wii 2, I figured it's time Game-Fudge threw it's hat in the ring with our own insider information. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here's our predictions for Nintendo's new wii.

1. Keeping with Nintendo's tradition of not using sequential numbers in their titles, Nintendo announces the name of the console will not be the Wii 2 but in fact will be called "the Wiii". And therefore it will be referred to as "the Wiii" for the remainder of the article.

2. To prevent any future lawsuits from idiots throwing their controllers at the TV all new Wiiimotes will be made entirely out of Nerf.

3. Nintendo goes back to it's root ditching all disc based media in favor of cartridges made from a combination of USB sticks and old DS cards. In addition Nintendo launches a risque ad campaign in Europe to attract an older more sophisticated audience. All I've heard so far is it's has something to do with blowing and cartridges.

4. To combat Playstation plus Nintendo has launched it's own Free service offering up to 10 games for only a penny as long as you commit to buy 6 more games in the future. No word yet on future pricing.

5. Not only will the Wiii be more powerful than the PS3 and the 360 it will be as powerful as a 360 and PS3 duct taped together.

So there you have it, Nintendo's new Wiii, ready to take over the universe one grandparent at a time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

...It Was the Blurst of Fantasies (Part 2)

So now that we've learned what worked about Final Fantasy XI, what didn't work? Well, lots of stuff. It had two big things working against it right from the start. First it was an MMO, and second it was Japanese. If there's one thing I have learned about Japanese RPG players it's that they fucking love to grind. Combine that with the typical amount of grinding you'd expect from an MMO and you've created a perfect shit storm.

It's not like I didn't expect some slow going, but these assholes cranked the grind to eleven and broke the fucking knob. You could only level up solo for about the first 10 levels of the game. After that monsters got way stronger and you pretty much had to party to get any amount of exp. Monsters yielded tiny amounts of exp for their level, so you were forced to fight incredibly tough monsters to level at a reasonable pace. In order to do this, you needed a very specific party setup. Finding six people of the right level and class to form a party was always a giant pain in the ass.

Healing classes were in huge demand, while there was an abundance of damage dealing classes. So if you were a dragoon, monk, warrior, etc. you could wait for days without getting a party invite. Bards were as rare and precious as wizard's gold.

To fight harder monsters you also required better gear. Unfortunately most basic gear was useless and a few rare pieces were so incredibly superior to everything else that you needed to have them. Most of these rare pieces dropped from monsters with very predictable spawn areas and timers, so they were completely monopolized. Prices went through the roof, and you had to grind for weeks to earn enough money to buy good gear to go out and.....grind exp. Yay!

This wasn't helped by the fact that the game launched in Japan about six months before North America. So by the time we were just learning how it worked, they had mastered everything and figured out where all the rare items and valuable resources were. They were also very xenophobic and many refused to share any knowledge or even party with North Americans (Not that I can blame them). This lead to a big divide and an "us versus them" mentality that persisted for quite a while among some people.

The last thing that sucked about this game was just that it was balls-in-the-ass hard. It explained very little to players about how anything worked. Quests only gave you vague directions on what to do. How stats and abilities affected different things was a complete mystery and you had to spend a lot of time reading guides and forums to understand how they actually worked.

Even once you knew what to do and how to do it, many of the monsters and bosses would easily grind you into a bloody pulp. To have a chance against any of the high level bosses, your guild really needed to have their poop in a group. I guess that's why games like Demon's Souls and Monster Hunter don't even faze me. Nothing in any of these games can compare to a boss that takes over 20 hours to beat, to a point where people are passing out and throwing up. The sad part is, after all I had played (Max level monk with dynamis gear) that article doesn't surprise me in the least. The truth is, this game was made by assholes who hate you.