Friday, 31 October 2008

we named the DOG indiana

Another Indie Games round-up - the only one vaguely catching my eye this time around is a platformer called Archibald's Adventures, but look for yourself.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


Another for my pile of potentially-interesting DS titles.

Stumbled across this on DS Fanboy just because I saw the name in the list of the week's scheduled releases and wondered what it was. I am still fairly in the dark about it, other than vague mutterings about "survival horror", "adventure", and "disturbing plot". Possibly with hints of incest.

Probably not one that I'm going to want to pick up, but I'd at least like to hear more about it.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Fallout 3

While so many reviews have simply gone on and on about the combat that I've been losing hope for this title, this review actually focuses on plot and dialog (without spoilers) and manages to make me vaguely optimistic again.

However, I suspect that my current computer wouldn't be up to it. By the time Christmas comes around, more opinions should be available as to how the game turned out and whether it's worth building a new rig for it.

click and slash

According to the email they sent me, Sacred (gold edition) is due out on Good Old Games in the near future, for an affordable $10. Looks like another Diablo-style game, nothing terribly special, but I haven't played it, and while I am all for deep storylines and feminist characterisations, I also occasionally glee at being a hot vampire chick and just killing stuff.

it looks so easy!

but that Malice/Alice platformer gets tricky fast. It took an awful lot of tries to get past the first boss challenge...

Monday, 27 October 2008

supergirl adventure game

found here

Malice and Alice

A simple Japanese platformer, whose plot is slightly incomprehensible, but whose gameplay is really quite simple. There's a little blond witch-girl (Just in time for Halloween!) and another girl has pulled her hat over her eyes, or blindfolded her, or something. Anyway, she can't see. So she stumbles forward blindly. She moves in the same direction until she encounters an obstacle OR you click on her (the mouse cursor taking the form of a little fairy-like girl).

You can also click the cursor to make blocks appear and disappear, and so on. Some blocks will stay changed until you click them again, others are on a timer. And to get the best grade for each round, you have to grab all the stars.

Most of the interface is in English, so if you can just click rapidly through the conversations you don't understand, you should be able to play. Reach the other girl (probably the one who blinded you!) to win the level.

Download Demo Here
(Warning - while THIS game is not naughty, other products sold on that site do include adult content, so expect to stumble into such things if you explore the sidebars for more games!)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

condoms? in games?

Developer Lionhead Studios (and, one suspects, designer Peter Molyneux in particular) very much wants you to be aware of its sex-related feature set: the first item I encountered for sale by a merchant was a condom. Not long afterwards, my dog excitedly guided me to some buried treasure, and then panted and wagged his tail happily as I dug up another prophylactic.

from GameSetWatch

... I am somewhat boggled. Perhaps because it feels anachronistic for a fantasy RPG, even though it isn't *really*... Perhaps it's also that I remember the first time I encountered condoms in a computer game, and how completely I failed to understand what was being discussed.

Me, as a young girl, playing Leisure Suit Larry, told by snickering adults that I could buy a "rubber" at the drug store, had NO IDEA what either "rubber" or "prophylactic" meant. (I probably would have understood the term "condom" but I'm not sure, I can't remember my nine-year-old brain well enough.) I was deeply puzzled by this mysterious object. Ribbed rubber sounded like a tire or something, but then, why would it be mint-flavored?

So I guess what I'm getting at here is - does the game explain what these items you find are for? Or are there, out there, many more children playing their latest new game and being hopelessly, if amusingly, confused?

(Yes, it's M-rated, someone will say kids shouldn't be playing it. Well, they will anyway. And some kids are perfectly capable of handling a bit of innuendo without being shocked or scarred. However, being young and inexperienced makes it very easy to fail to grasp certain aspects of what's going on, is my point.)

But is it RPG?

GameSetWatch has an article up about Monstania, a somewhat obscure Japanese SNES title now available through the powers of ROM and fansubbing. I mention it because this is the game I was talking about during some discussion on the Rampant Coyote about what constituted an RPG. This game, in my opinion, did not, owing to the complete lack of ability on the player's part to customise the characters and their development. It's a 'strategy' (I suspect 'tactics' is more appropriate, but less common usage in game genre) game. You take what you're given and you fight with it. You have highly specific rules and you learn to work with them.

I don't think it's a bad game, either, despite that article's dismay. It's just not an RPG. If you know what you're getting into, it's enjoyable. Constantly referring to it as a bad roguelike is missing the point.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

trembling in horror

Someone mentions that Princess Debut's dancing may also be peppered with pointless "Yay" and "Whee" and "woohoo"?


Saturday, 18 October 2008

An amusing review of Princess Debut

It’s like Nintendogs, only the cute Pomerian is replaced by a lily-obsessed prince who will not leave you alone even if you’re clearly seeing that new prince Klaus Rosencrans on the side.

from this here blog

(My copy is still in transit. It is currently in a holding cell, being felt up by crossdressers. This is more true than you might imagine. :) )

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Henry Hatsworth's Puzzling Adventure

Apparently crossing a platformer with a match-3.

I love my DS, but it just overburdens me with games that might be fun to play if I had more time/money! For me, this sounds like it goes under "I'd play it if someone loaned it to me."


Here's something you don't see every day - an Icelandic film about a popular girl falling into the world of role-playing games.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

nuts about nuts

Cute little platformer in the style of some reaaaaaaally old games (run around on platforms, make enemies fall into holes... I had something kind of like that back on my coleco but I can't remember the name), and it's free. Not perfect (in particular, difficulty is very uneven - since you don't HAVE to collect powerups to win the level, at least in the build I have, most levels are quite easy and only a few now and then are tricky) but cute.

my wrist hates me

So I finally got around to poking at the demo for Noitu Love 2. Which is gorgeous and absolute buttloads of fun, but OMG, carpal tunnel much? I don't think I dare launch that again if I want to type for the rest of my life!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

meanwhile, in outer space

I am lost in a maze of bureaucracy, on a quest to find toilet paper!

bling for jesus

Is there any other way to describe this crazy project/trailer/website?

(Well, I can think of some, but they're even less flattering.)

a non-anime DS adventure game

I can be a little too Japan-focused and miss the European titles until they smack me upside of the head.

Due out shortly for the DS, Last King of Africa, a "complete reworking" of a PC adventure game by someone who, iirc, is better known for gorgeous environments than brilliant gameplay. There's some gameplay video here.

So, why do I feel underwhelmed? Do I only want to play anime games on my DS? Maybe I just want my DS games to be lightweight? Maybe it's because I know how very easily I give up on a game that isn't sufficiently well-matched to my DS controlstyle/playstyle? Maybe just because I have SO MANY GAMES that I already want to play that I can't deal with adding another to the stack? :)

Friday, 10 October 2008

good old games, in progress

So, you remember I mentioned being interested in an animated ex-laserdisc game...

I logged into my GOG account. I clicked on the game. I sent them $6 by paypal (It did include a mailing address and I didn't try setting it to none, so I can't report on that). After processing the transaction I was sent back to my account, listing the game for me, with links to the forum threads in the system about the game and all related downloads. Game is now downloading. Smooth, simple, hassle-free.

Installer comes with DOSbox and allows me to change location and deselect components.

As for the game itself, it's.... weird. It's what you'd expect, really, if you're familiar with the laserdisc games. Full animation (stripped down to super-low-color; you can see the original was prettier but it had to be chopped for PC release, and it wasn't worth the effort of restoring that for this re-release) but super-quick action jumping from point to point with little explanation of how to play. You were, after all, supposed to read the manual. In a few clicks I've managed to be eaten to death by rats, although the wizard helpfully restores my skin to my skeleton to let me continue. I think I'd best go and look up the instructions.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

say it with MANGA

This isn't directly game-related, but it was just too weird not to pass it on.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

so I guess I don't need a new DS after all

Way to go, Nintendo. Most people talking about the issue weren't excited about the new DSi. I was. Until you admitted that you intended to region-lock the games for it.

Dear Nintendo - I live in England. I have a great fondness for Japanese games. I also speak English and am therefore quite interested in playing games that come out in the US that will never be released in Europe because of the translation burden. I happily pay stupid prices to import games, and I have absolutely zero interest in pirating them. (I pay *really* stupid prices to import PC games from Japan, as anyone else with my habits can sympathise. DS titles are easier.)

Frustrations with region-locking are a reason I don't own a 'big' console, and there's no way I'm buying a DSi if it's going to be like this.

I was a completely easy sell if they hadn't muffed it, but if that's the way it is, I have an awful lot more non-locked games to play.

Speaking of importing games, I've heard just enough from early reviews that I'm really leaning towards snapping up that dancing game. And it has no European release date.

At least Time Hollow is intended to come out in Europe by the end of the year, although reviews suggest that you don't actually get to solve puzzles, you're mostly just trailing along following a set story. Alas.

when the stars are right

So, yesterday evening my internet connection went down unexpectedly and wouldn't be up again until business hours this morning. This is quite annoying, as it means I was cut off in the middle of talking to friends, couldn't finish giving instructions to a business partner, had to stop working on LARP prep because I was writing characters on Google Documents in order to share them more easily with co-conspirators, couldn't continue reading the ebook I'd just paid for but not downloaded... (Which was just silly of me. I always download them. But that one time, I thought, it'll be easier to just keep reading it online, I can download it later...) Couldn't work in general because I so often want to look up references.

So what did I do? Played games. Good thing my video games don't require an active internet connection at all times to be sure I'm not stealing...

Relatedly, in Magical Starsign, I've gotten far enough to encounter a kleptomaniac dog that hides in a large seashell - a 'hermit lab'. Snicker.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


I do enjoy my pixely DS goodness. Ooo shiny windmill thing!

being a holdout

Hinterland is out, but only on Steam. Not being the sort of person to play Half-Life, I don't have Steam. (Okay, someone very nearby does, and I have played a little bit of Portal, enough to know how it works, but it's not installed on my computer.)

Whenif there is a demo available for unsteamed people, let me know. :)

imagine figure skaters SHUTTING UP

Poking at it again so I won't be tempted by ballroom dancing, I am reminded that I would forgive this game a lot of its quirks if not for the REALLY ANNOYING VOICE ACTING.

Who thought it was a good idea to have a girl constantly going "Looking good..." "WOOHOO!" "Great!" "Here I go..." "La la LAAAA!" while on the ice? It's distracting and just plain odd. She doesn't talk the rest of the time, why does she have to babble when I'm trying to do something?

And it's not like she only says them when you finish a move to cheer you on. She babbles CONSTANTLY. She says about six cute sayings PER MOVE while doing the move... and she only HAS five cute sayings. So it's a constant, constant, constant annoyance that makes me want to stab her in the face with my stylus. Which would, of course, ruin my score for the routine.

Divinity 2: Ego Draconis

Convoluted plots with multiple solutions and lots of options for double and triple-crossing? I am intrigued. Please tell me more.

(And speaking of doublecrossing, how's the next Eschalon coming?)

Friday, 3 October 2008

new DS

No, I don't have one yet, I'm talking about the new model being announced.

Many Kotaku respondents don't seem to care (but when do I agree with them about anything?) but I'm interested. I skipped the DSlite - my old gray one works just fine, why pay just for a slightly prettier case? But since I *have* an old working DS with GBA slot (and I almost never use that GBA slot) i don't mind losing that slot on a new toy. Sure, most people carry around a camera phone and an ipod, but I *don't*, and having a camera and music player added to my precious toy is actually handy for me.

As for the new downloadable content idea? I wonder how hard getting on that platform will be? I would *love* to adapt certain game designs to the DS...

On the other hand, there are rumors they may decide to try region-locking. And if that goes down, then of course, I cannot buy a new DS. The features all sound cool, but they are hardly necessary, and the ability to PLAY THE GAMES I BUY is far more important to me.

Co-Op Games

Another indie game competition releases its winners

Thursday, 2 October 2008

quick, make a token gesture!

An Internet game in which players roam a school and kill kindergarten students with a shotgun has been pulled from a Finnish children's gaming site one week after the country's worst school shooting.

What's really odd about this to me is... WHY was this game on a "children's gaming site" to begin with? What were they thinking? (Or was it actually a children's gaming site at all, or just something like Newgrounds that gets lots of random crap posted to it?)

Certainly removing an inappropriate violent game a week after some incident isn't going to do anything to make anyone actually safer. (From what I understand, news coverage is far more likely to incite copycat killers than a stupid cheap game is.)

So... gaming site trying to grab publicity for themselves by taking a token stupid action in the name of children/safety, or bored journalists attempting to invent a story and waggle fingers about evil video games?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

also for dancing

Princess Debut, the ballroom-dancing prince-dating game, is out in English.

Considering my general disappointment with the princess-skating game, I'm holding off on this for the moment and hoping to find *someone* else willing to buy and review it... But are there enough other girls blogging the DS for that to happen? Hrm...

I've seen some comments on the imported version which go along with my general perception... cute, possibly too easy. Really, I want to hear someone comment about the writing. Will my brain leak out my ears, or will I be giggling?

Decisions, decisions... Y'know, if someone came around door to door selling DS games I would probably be up to my eyeballs in them. What with having to make arrangements to have them delivered, it's easy to talk myself out of it.

I suppose I should play some more of that silly skating game first.

the DS is for Dungeons

Another interesting dungeon-based game to go with the huge OTHER pile of stuff I might play (I'd make a wishlist and invite you to buy me stuff for Christmas, but somehow I doubt anyone would contribute)

Dungeons And... Dams

During the day, you'll recruit adventurers who will mine for materials and build defenses around the city, including dams. At night, creatures will come, but so will flowing water which, depending on how you have directed it with your dams, can help hold back or defeat enemies. At the same time, you'll be traversing the dungeon and fighting.