Category Archives: Video Games
In Part 1, I described the motivations behind what would become a goal of completing every console-based title in the The Legend of Zelda series before the release of Skyward Sword the weekend before Thanksgiving. In this entry, I give a brief review of my experience playing each of these games.
The Legend of Zelda
Sitting down and playing the Legend of Zelda for the first time in 20 years was pure, concentrated joy. I was amazed at both how much I remembered and how little I remembered. I still remembered the location of every heart container, and the locations of all the hidden rupees. I had no trouble navigating inside the dungeons–the secret passageways and bomb-doors were all easily found without effort. However…what blew me away was how TERRIBLE I was at the game.
I got killed. Over and over and over. Read the rest of this entry
When I was a kid, like many others, I fell in love with the first Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). There were a number of titles that I played for hours and hours–Metroid, various Mario Bros games, Mike Tyson’s Punchout, Tecmo Bowl, to name a few. One game, though, has always held a special place in my heart that no other title has ever approached: The Legend of Zelda. I can’t honestly recall the first time I played Zelda, but I will never forget the seemingly endless fun I had exploring every aspect of a game which didn’t constrain me to time limits, forced side-scrolling, or plot/strategy linearity. Fearless, clever, able to carry an awesome array of weapons, tools, and gadgets, and decked out in all green, Link was always my favorite video game character. Read the rest of this entry
I found an interesting iPhone/iPod Touch game that is free today. Tap Studio Pro lets you create guitar hero/tap tap revolution style tap tracks (my term, not theirs) for the songs that are already on your device. You can then play the game with those tracks or search their online database for tracks that other people have uploaded for songs that you already have. Seems like a great idea: you get to use the music that you already like and if people make enough tracks there is the potential to have a lot of replay value. The server just stores the tap tracks, not the songs themselves, so there isn’t any copyright infringement going on. I assume that a tap track that someone created while listening to a particular song isn’t an infringing use.
I tried it out today and found it entertaining. The primary limitation was my own lack of ability to create a compelling track the first time through. I haven’t tried the online features yet, but thought I’d post this while the game is free.
This is an other entry in my occasional series where I demonstrate how out of touch with modern pop culture I am by reviewing something that was all the rage months ago but which I’m just getting to. Last time was my review of New Moon. This week I turn to video games. All around Christmas I was hearing how the first major take on the whole political turmoil of the war on terror was a video game rather than a movie. Yes, Hollywood has been pretty ham-fisted and out of touch dealing with the war on terror. And most of the movies have been disappointing. I kept hearing how Modern Warfare 2 was complex and brought you to understanding what is going on. (I’m going to abbreviate it as MW2) Then there was the notorious level where you play a terrorist.
OK, let me tell it like it is. First this game does not live up to the hype. Maybe it is a killer game if you are playing it on XBox Live. That’s where most games aim nowdays anyway: the multiplay competitions. I’m judging it on its own merits as a single player scenario. The problem is that it wants to be Tom Clancy with all these characters everywhere. That’s great in a novel but just doesn’t work well in a video game. (Halo tried this with Halo 2 but wisely moved away from it with Halo 3 â€” but there we had only two characters not tons) This switching between characters lets you see events around the world but de-engages the player from the game which also dilutes the effect of the game. It loses a certain “virtual reality” quality to it.
LostWinds, a game I bought for only 1000 Wii points ($10) just might be one of my favorite games on the console. It’s beautiful, a joy to play, and makes very good use out of the Wii’s motion controls. It’s not terribly long or deep, but for the price and the experience, it’s can’t miss. Read the rest of this entry
This weekend I picked up Grand Theft Auto IV. My wife wasn’t super excited about the idea so I asked her why and she said because it’s so violent. I asked her why punching someone on the street and stealing their car was more violent than shooting someone in the back of the head. She said because it’s in the context of battle and defense and something about WMD’s and that’s when she started to laugh at the absurdity of the issue and said that the one just felt more violent than the other. Read the rest of this entry
Runners up: Dr. Mario, Welltris
1) Standard Issue Pistol Ã¢â‚¬â€ Halo
2) Spread Shot Ã¢â‚¬â€ Contra
3) M4 Carbine Ã¢â‚¬â€ Call of Duty 4
4) Red Turtle Ã¢â‚¬â€ MarioKart
5) Sniper Gun Ã¢â‚¬â€ Bond (Nightfire)
Energy Sword Ã¢â‚¬â€ Halo 2
Sticky Grenade Ã¢â‚¬â€ Bond (The World Is Not Enough)
Chainsaw Ã¢â‚¬â€ Gears of War
Rail Gun Ã¢â‚¬â€ Red Faction
This brilliant documentary purports to be about the elusive high score on the classic arcade game, Donkey Kong, but is in fact a classic tale of Good vs. Evil, Weak vs. Powerful, and Trimmed vs. Mullet. Billy Mitchell is widely recognized as one of the greatest classic video game players of all time as he recorded the high scores on games such as Centipede, Donkey Kong Jr. and the notoriously difficult Donkey Kong, a record which stood for nearly twenty years. Steve Wiebe is a normal dude who got laid off from his job at Boeing and with his extra time decided he’d like to beat that record.
But beating it wasn’t the problem. Read the rest of this entry