Tag Archives: gaming

slash Amnesty Rule

I have a quick house rule that I’d like to share for slash:


So there’s sometimes a problem with slash, where maybe a character is a little too obscure for even your pop culture obsessed friends to recognize. Enter amnesty.

First, a couple of rules about Amnesty. Amnesty is not about nerd shaming. Amnesty is about sharing and learning. In that respect, here is how I’m implementing Amnesty in my games of slash: Continue reading

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Dungeon Crawling

I’ve got this urge to just play something akin to Diablo II and Titan’s Quest, but neither of those games. Possibly something closer to the Baldur’s Gate games on the PS2.  Good old dungeon crawling and infinite loots.  I mean, I could just pop in Too Human, but I’m looking for sort of a medieval fantasy sort of thing.

Just a good dungeon crawl would do the trick.

The whole top down view, press a single button a lot, manage your inventory, and drink potions genre has kind of been ignored lately, and with good reason.  I just summarized it for you in that last sentence.  Still, there’s no reason why someone can’t make a well crafted version of the same type of game and have it stand out.  It’s not like the market is really taking chances with new franchises, developers and publishers might as well go back to some old standby titles.

I hear that Sacred 2 may fit the bill.

Although to be honest, I may start playing it and then just lose interest.  It’s entirely possible that this phase may pass.

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For Mature Audiences

Played a bit of Madworld for the Wii and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS.

Both M rated titles, and both on Nintendo platforms.

I played a good bit of Madworld, lumbering my way through a couple of the earlier levels before I really started to “get it.”  It’s really more like a puzzle game combined with a fighter, and a tiny bit of pixel hunt.  You’ve got to combine prop kills with environmental kills to really get things going, but sometimes, finding the props is difficult because everything is in black and white.

The exception of course, is blood.  Which is everywhere.

Madworld is the other answer to that knock knock joke.  “What’s black and white and red all over?”

Chinatown wars is well, it’s top down cel-shaded GTA on the DS.  It’s like a deeper version of the 1997 client.  This time, there’s a bit of Dope Wars (remember that on the Palm?) as well.  Money seems quicker and easier to come by if you’re running merchandise to different parts of the city.

It’s not bad although I’ll probably get sick of it around the impossible missions.

Madworld is just too over the top not to play through.

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Full Disclosure: My link to Dead Space in two circular degrees

So I’m twittering about my experiences playing the game Dead Space.  Awesome game, highly recommended.  I’m on my second play through.

But, back to the I get a follow (on twitter) from someone I don’t recognize, but don’t really think anything of it until I check out who it is.  Turns out it’s the Environmental Art Lead for Dead Space.  So he shows me a couple of things I missed and then I notice a name I think I recognize.  It’s the guy that lived in our group house for a couple of weeks, a friend of one of my roommates.

I do some additional research and well, he is the same artist that painted the triptych sitting in my bedroom, awaiting framing.  He painted them 13 years ago as a thank you for letting him stay.

And he did UI design for Dead Space.

Small world, indeed.

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Friday Night Frights: Dead Space, Part III

Dead Space as a social activity excels if your audience is into it.  I am going to discuss it here as an interactive movie, with the player as the cameraman and primary actor.  Imagine a movie (one like Event Horizon, Leviathan, or The Thing) where the camera actually responds to your input.

Compare the following scenarios.

Movie: While the main character is investigating a broken console, a shadow quickly flits down the hallway to the right, but the main character notice it.  Everyone yells, “What the hell was that on the right?!”  Character continues to repair broken console oblivious to their doom.

Dead Space:  While the main character is investigating a broken console, a shadow quickly flits down the hallway to the right, but the main character doesn’t notice it.  Everyone yells, “What the hell was that on the right?!”  This time, the camera turns and the actor actually investigates the hallway to the right.

The art in Dead Space plays no small part in the movie like experience. The USG Ishimura, while abandoned, is believable as a large spaceship equipped to house over a thousand people.  It has a work areas, living areas, engineering, and most importantly, a tram system and a zero G basketball court.  A shopping mall and even a virtual brothel are insinuated by advertisements that are strewn about the ship. There are trash cans and bathrooms.  Luggage is found near the flight deck but not near the mining facility.

In short, it’s a believable set.

Which is what makes it more unsettling for the audience when they find out that there doesn’t seem to be anyone on it.

If you look, really look at everything in Dead Space, the environment is telling you a story.  Literally.  The strange graffiti on the wall?  That’s all Unitology script that can be decoded because they created an alphabet for it.  Thomas Holt pointed that out to me and, I would have missed it because it was such detail.

I was avoiding Dead Space.  It came out in November of last year and I just was not sold on it.  I was done with the survival horror genre.  I had heard about it, and read favorable reviews, but then attributed those reviews to fans of Resident Evil.

Then, slowly, I was worn down by praise from people I knew and finally asked to borrow a copy from a friend.

I played three chapters on a Friday night, followed by a marathon session on Sunday because it was so compelling.  For the rest of the day on Sunday, I was accompanied by a friend of mine who was a fan of movies like Event Horizon.  She loved it not only because of the storyline, but because of the interaction and the feeling of immersion.

I’d like to see someone try, as a social experiment, playing Dead Space with an audience, a chapter a night say on a movie night.

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