Posts Tagged ‘14th’

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Review: Omerta – City of Gangsters

March 14, 2013

Annnd we’re back. Things are starting to stabilize here, so it looks like updates are going to start coming again, but more importantly, Steam demos. Today: Omerta – City of Gangsters. The story, or at least what I got of it from the demo, is the standard gangster boilerplate – Sicilian man leaves for the East Coast of the United States during the prohibition era. The story isn’t really the important part. Where the game really starts getting my attention is in the mechanics.

Being a game from Kalypso and Haemont, half of this game bears a striking resemblance to the Tropico series, except, y’know, Atlantic City. You have x amount of gangsters who you can send to buy from (or raid to steal from) home breweries, sell the alcohol you’ve acquired by various means, conduct jobs for people outside the gang, investigate buildings around town, et cetera, et cetera.

The part I really, really find interesting is that once you get into combat, the mechanics are surprisingly similar to the first and second games of the Fallout series. Each of your characters have a certain number of Action Points and Movement Points, which really clicked with me because having a single pool of points was one of the few things I disliked about Fallout II.

Anyway, the Action Points are strictly used for, appropriately enough, actions – basically, using guns, melee weapons, and sending your meaty fist gangster-ward. And Movement Points are, equally appropriately, used only for moving. In addition, there are different attacks that your character can use based on the weapon you’re using – or lack thereof. For example, my boss character was using his meaty fists and had three options: throw a punch, sweep the legs, or a kick to the dangly bits.

If I’m being completely honest, it’s a little rough. But it definitely has potential. Right now it’s $40 on Steam, but I would wait for it to go down another five or ten dollars before it’s really worth the money you’d be spending on it.

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Review: Pokemon Red & Blue

August 15, 2012

Now that I’ve completely ruined my legs working the polls today (or yesterday, depending on your frame of reference), I might as well go into the Pokemon series and my own personal history with it.

I was in 6th or 7th grade before I was even exposed to the series – if I remember right, we were on a class trip to the local renaissance festival. I saw  a couple of the other kids playing it, thought it looked neat, and I got it for Christmas that year.

I was hooked. There wasn’t a place that I wouldn’t bring my Gameboy and at least one Pokemon cartridge. In fact, I was still carrying them around with me as late as college. Now, you may be asking your screen, “What about the story? What about the gameplay?”

Shut up and let me be nostalgic for five minutes.

Okay, on to the story. You play as [INSERT COMICALLY OBSCENE NAME HERE], on a quest to catch and record data about one hundred fifty-one pokemon, and to beat the four greatest trainers in the entire Japan-ish world, helped by world-famous researcher and your neighbor (bloody convenient, eh?) Professor Oak, and contending with his grandson and your rival, [RACIAL SLUR AND/OR SEXUAL ORGAN] Oak, who always seems to be a step ahead of you, but maybe that’s because you’re picking up packages for Professor Oak because the delivery team at the PokeMart in Viridian City are apparently playing grab-ass in the break room, or maybe it’s the old man who yells at you while lying in the middle of the road because he hasn’t had his coffee yet.

As for the gameplay, that’s fairly simple. Turn-based, rock-paper-scissors style combat. In a battle, you can do one of four things each turn: attack with one of up to four attacks, use an item (healing spray potions, poke balls, etc.), change pokemon, or run away. You can encounter wild pokemon in tall grass or on the water, and you automatically start a battle if you make eye contact with them (it’s some weird pride thing I guess, I don’t know). If you beat another trainer, you get money, but if you lose in battle, you lose some money and you pass out, proving that the player character is a pansy.

Pokemon is one of the flagship titles on the Gameboy and may well have cemented it as the handheld game console for a solid decade. But how well does it hold up? Pretty well, actually. Even with all the advancements that have been made in the generations since, the original pairing still stand the test of time, partially because the core game mechanic hasn’t changed, and partially because they are the originals. It’s like comparing a finished and set diamond to an earlier version of itself. Everything that makes it fit for a flawless engagement ring was there all along, just maybe not quite as polished or a little rougher than the cleaner lines of the finished product. They’re still great games and they’re still the foundation of the series – no new releases are going to change that about them.

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Review: Delocated

June 14, 2012

Delocated, as with much of [adult swim] fare, is a weird show. And in the same way, too, this strangeness comes from the premise. It is ostensibly a reality show centered around “Jon”, a member of the witness protection program now living in New York City after testifying against the Mafiya.

That’s not the weird part. Well, yeah, it’s weird, but there’s more to the show that’s weird. Before we get into this episode, let me summarize the third season. “Jon”‘s wife is killed, the Russian Mob frames him for both making mouth-love to a sandwich and murdering a member of a Triad tong “Jon” was using for protection, and the Chinese gangsters stand on the edge of war with the Russian Mob.

And then we see “Jon” waking up in a gray and orange half-shirt, a trucker cap, and orange zebra striped pants. As it turns out, the bar that has it’s label on the shirt and cap was the setting for a “public impulse therapy session”. Or in lay terms, they got drunk as fuck on shots and he doesn’t remember a thing. Also, there was a Girls Gone Wild parody taping in the bar, Ladies Done Gone Nuts. After his therapist advises him to be impulsive, “Jon” pulls up the balaclava he uses to hide his face.

As with most plot-based things, I’m not going to give away the end, but suffice it to say Delocated mixes just the right amount of drama and comedy for my tastes.

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Review: Dark Shadows

May 14, 2012

So, with last week’s review being finished last night, I’m sure that many of you some of you at least one of you is wondering why it wasn’t up earlier. Friday, I was just not feeling up to the task of re-watching Beverly Hills Cop III. That’s on me. Saturday…Saturday was busy. I had a very long day Saturday, and it started with the movie that I am going to review in brief for you right here in this post.

Let me start by setting the scene for you. Quarter to eleven, and the movie theater in the mall’s just opened. My parents go in and get the tickets and sit down at a table. I show up a few minutes later, and we all get our snacks (The snack bar in this theater is unlike any I’ve ever been in, because you don’t pay where you get your snacks. You take everything down to a register, and they have a separate kitchen for-you know what, beside the point.) and head to the theater. Another thing, beautiful theater, very well set up.

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Review: Republic – The Revolution

August 14, 2011

If you follow the blog regularly, you probably already know about the love I have for the game Freedom Fighters. Now you may be wondering what Freedom Fighters has to do with Republic: The Revolution. Well, unfortunately not much. Freedom Fighters is a third person shooter with an epic soundtrack where alternate history Soviets invade the United States. Republic: The Revolution is a mostly top down political strategy game with an epic soundtrack where the player character has to form a party to lead a political revolt against the man who arrested and possibly murdered his parents ten years ago.

Most of your time playing Republic: The Revolution is going to be looking at a map of the city, which is divided up into various districts. These districts are colored red, yellow, or blue based on which resource they give the most of: force, wealth, or influence. These resources relate to the various actions you can run from the map. For instance, investigate is a force action, while bribe is a wealth action. It’s really a case of rock paper scissors. Wealth beats force, force beats influence and influence beats wealth.

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