Wednesday, 30 January 2008

well duh, I never played Resident Evil

Is there a *reason* that Zero Punctuation is harassing Jill Valentine and calling her a hooker? At least the primary image of her seems perfectly respectable...

... okay, the Wikipedia entry shows that in a later game and especially in a movie, she does look fairly ridiculous. That outfit looks a lot dumber in live action.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Aveyond 2 Walkthrough

Since the main-site forums went down, a lot of links (like the Gamezebo Tips and Tricks) to the strategy guide for this game are not currently working. If you're looking for a guide to the game, try these:

Thursday, 24 January 2008

legal free games

So, there's this site, Game Giveaway. Every day, a new game free. These are usually games that ARE sold, so they're free for one day only - but they're also usually games that weren't top sellers.

I wander by and have a look now and then but usually the games they have aren't that interesting to me. Even free, there are an awful lot of games out there, so I don't bother downloading everything just because it's free. A lot of it is just same-old-same-old... another dynomite clone, another brick breaker...

Today's offering looks different enough that I'm at least downloading it, although the user comments suggest that there's a game-breaking bug in the download. Ah well. What do you expect for free?

Game Giveaway of the Day

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

good deal on adventure games

I've been holding off on buying these because I heard they were more puzzle-focused than plot-focused, but at a pile of five full-length adventure games for $20, it's pretty hard to say no.

The Adventure Company: 10th Anniversary Adventure Collection

I think I'll be ordering that.

Cosmic Collector - Gotta catch em all!

A cute little free flash game where you must click and drag the mouse to draw lines around groups of the same-color planets to pop them and create showers of jewels, which you must collect. But the planets move around, and if they hit your lines they explode without leaving you any jewels. THe more you catch in a group, the more points you get. Also, touching your mouse to a comet releases more jewels.

Like many flash games - completely pointless, but sort of fun and draws you in. :)

i have a weakness for vampire games

I love the art style of A Vampyre Story, but the voiceover in the trailer is annoying.

(More vampire and goth games)

great idea! pity about the execution

So, I got passed a link to something curious. It's either a game or an online dating program or maybe both. Maybe it's a virtual mystery. Maybe it's an alternate reality. Unfortunately, I have NO IDEA. Since visiting their site leads me to everything being in Flash, slow Flash, and no clear links to information about WTF it is. There is an 'FAQ' link but it doesn't seem to do anything.

So, it's set in Venice. There are ballrooms and gondolas. There are people wearing masks. This is all good, in my book. There are candles. There is dramatic music. There are various deadly sins being named while pictures are shown. This could be cool. But WHAT IS IT???

Anyone got a clue about this Venice Chronicles thing?

pirates of the burning sea

No, not for me - see previous notes on 3d and multiplayer and MMORPGs being boring.

However, other family members wax eloquent about various interesting details in the systems - systems that go beyond just hitting rats until you level up. For instance, getting the hang of using the wind in your sails is apparently helpful for naval combat - I expect that just pointing in the right direction will get you there eventually, but tacking correctly makes you move faster, and fighting smart is useful. There's also complicated trading and resource-creation... the gang is forever chattering about who's got how much sugar and where did you put that rum and how many cows does that take...

(It's not just family, they're gathering together a small gang of friends to work together.)

There's also a combat system which is trying to get some of the feeling of actual fencing instead of just whacking mindlessly... you worry about keeping your balance and knocking your opponent off-balance in order to get in a hit. The fellow who's done a little bit of rubber-sword fighting points out that even in the amateur combat larps, it's not likely that your every blow will connect and do 10 HP damage - and fights in movies are definitely not like that. You press each other and try to find an *opening*. Most of your blows are deflected.

Naturally, some people who love standard boring MMORPGs find this irritating and will probably whine and demand something more like Warcraft.

Anyway, remember that this is all third-hand, I'm not playing the game even if they did desperately try to drag me into the beta and even if some of the quest writing was actually amusing. I still don't like MMORPGs. But rather like EVE, this game seems to lend itself to at least being able to tell more interesting stories about it to people who aren't playing.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

an email I got

quoting directly from email:

GarageGames is building an exciting new gaming site: InstantAction. You'll be able to play high end, multiplayer, 3D games directly from your web browser. The site will be launching in beta soon, but early access is being provided to the GarageGames community.

Sign up today at and register for the beta so you can:
  • Reserve your GamerName.

  • Earn 500 ActionTokens just for registering. Tokens can be redeemed at launch to unlock games, new levels and more.

  • Get a chance to play in the private beta, which includes new versions of Marble Blast and Think Tanks.
Join in and become part of a new way to play 3D action games online with your friends!

... I think you know about how interested *I* am in playing 3d action games online with my friends.

Hate 3d. (Generally.)
Hate multiplayer. (Generally.)
Hate browser-based games. (Unless they're very small, because I don't want to wait to download them every time I play them.)

But, going along with the just because I think something's crap doesn't mean you will, I'm sure SOMEONE wants to play this stuff.

payola, game reviews, blah

An interesting read on the relationship between money and opinion in games magazines. So hey, in the interests of disclosure, I'll say that no one has ever given me even a free game in order to get me to review it! :) I do link through for affiliate sales, but I'll do that even on a game that I say up front is crap. Because just because *I* think it's crap doesn't mean *you* think it's crap, so I may as well still sell it to you, right?

Saturday, 19 January 2008

now here's a silly idea

Drive around in a jeep - SMASHING INTO DINOSAURS!

Off-Road Velociraptor Safari from Matthew Wegner on Vimeo.

westward ho! (without the brothels)

I have heard there is a sequel to Westward nearing the end of development, so, it seems like a good time to talk about the first one.

It's a strategy game, of the sort where you identify resources and plant buildings to take advantage of resources and try to balance the needs of your growing community. I enjoyed it, I bought it. It had a sense of humor and it kept the 'combat' element very low. Some bandits would show up occasionally and menace your town, and you needed a sheriff available to deal with them, but it wasn't overwhelming like the typical RTS is to me. Having my base mowed over by an opposing army makes me upset. Dealing with some obnoxious troublemakers who have damaged my houses and harassed my womenfolk makes me feel the pleasure of Restoring Order after I chase them off.

On the downside, the version I had included a stupidly annoying bug (saved games, if saved in the special sub-levels, didn't work) and once you finished the story mode there was nothing else to do. I would have liked to be able to just play around building communities on randomly generated maps, instead of always following the trail of breadcrumbs.

Friday, 18 January 2008

phantom hourglass - final battle

Okay, I lied, I tried it again.

For anyone who is having as much trouble as I had with Bellum/Linebeck - spin attacks are very good at getting him to the weakened 'Rub!' stage. Even when he's doing the cyclone whirlything attack, if you can manage to get your spin attack to go off (which for me isn't easy) and intersect him, it'll knock him straight to Rub. This is actually EASIER, for me, than dodging the blow while hitting him normally.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

thar be whales here

A free game about the Japanese, er, 'research' tendencies...

wintry freeware

The results are out for YoYoGames's winter games competition. Haven't actually played any of them myself, so this is partly to remind myself to look at them...

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

peggle - still not king

But I am having a go at the 100% clear extreme grandmaster, one level at a time. Have at least a handful of them done... About 25 at this point I think.

phantom hourglass

grrr... unfortunately, even with a walkthrough the final battle is currently impossible. first, it takes about eighty tries to even get the hourglass drawing to activate. second, once I've done it once, I absolutely CANNOT trigger a second glowy golden orb. the walkthrough says hit him until he jumps to the side, then hit him again. but when he jumps to the side, he immediately HITS ME, doing damage and making it take quite a while before I can hit him again. which means no glowy thing.

edit: although having just seen this video of using the silly spin attack on him... I STILL can't do it. And I really, really hate the game designers for making you sit through this long cutscene and pointless eye-stab repeatedly. I'm not sure I'm ever going to complete this boss battle, simply because this is ANNOYING.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Blood Ties surprise

Until I saw it mentioned on the gamezebo review, I had no idea that the Tanya Huff books had spawned a TV series, much less a hidden object game based on that series. I guess I'm just not paying enough attention.

I have actually read at least one of the books. And I find myself tempted to take a look at the game, even though I doubt Tanya had anything at all to do with it. Pity - a game based on a book series OUGHT to have good writing, but I've heard the game is actually rather short and simple. And completely drops the ball on the plot. Which is just dumb.

Anyway, look here for more goth games.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Fatal Hearts walkthrough

Someone's made a video showing some of the puzzle solutions here

You're probably still better off going to the game forums where you can ask other players for advice, and many questions have already been answered.

If you're interested in story-based games like this, you should also check out Date Warp or this blog's Visual Novel category!

phantom hourglass

Someone keeps stealing my game.

However, I can now perform the Hurricane Spin. (Or as I say, the 'ridiculous spin attack', since it takes a bit to get it going and I'm not sure when that's ever going to be useful...)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

shiny. boobies. but what is it about?

Does anyone have the faintest clue what the game Heaven is about?

Other than, well, heaven, where the streets are paved with gold and the angels are blond chicks in corsets who carry you around on winged steeds?

Friday, 4 January 2008

phantom hourglass

Got down to the third door-that-needs-a-key (not through it yet, just to the sea chart there), with copious amounts of swearing and only a minute to spare. I can just about do this but it makes me GRUMPY!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

cool tech stuff

Okay, i don't really play FPSes, and while I'm aware of the whole procedural graphics, tiny filesize scene, I don't really follow it.

This is still pretty cool. And 96k!!

And I think I prefer the slightly chunky object feel over the super slick trying-to-be-realistic look popular nowadays...

Wednesday, 2 January 2008


the part of the phantom hourglass right after you pass the 'halfway point' of the ocean temple is TRULY OBNOXIOUSLY HARD, in a not at all fun way. challenge i can live with. the intense frustration of the ridiculous time limit that decreases dramatically every time you even slightly make a false step is not so fun...

i'm basically having to give up and restart constantly because I cansee that ican't possibly reach my goal in the minutes i have left on the clock...

cryptex of time

Ever thought 'Those color-matching games are fun and addictive, but I just can't bring myself to play a game that's not in 3d!'

... Well, i hope not, because if so, you're reading the wrong journal. I am known for being rather cranky about 3d. Not that I can't enjoy it at times. And certainly, if you want to trance out while rotating shiny shiny jewels and making them match and glitter and vanish, this game can do that for you.