Posts Tagged ‘september’

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Indie Hell: A Pimp RPG

September 12, 2013

It’s been a while, huh.

Well, I can explain the lack of updates very easily. I ran out of ideas.

But, I have since discovered the vast wasteland that is the Xbox 360’s Indie Game section. Holy shit.

So tonight, I would like to talk about  A Pimp RPG.

In a technical sense, it’s not bad. For something made by an enthusiast in their spare time, the engine works pretty well.  There aren’t any major hitches.

And then there’s the content.

Holy Shit.

Let’s start with the player character: a black gangster, likely straight from Poser, with a huge afro, named Daddy K. And the first thing you see is Daddy K surrounded by three women in a splash screen that states “No hos were harmed in the making of this game.” Also, your contact throughout the trial is a woman named Queen Mateefuh, who will give you pin striped pants and a shiv in return for two sets of platinum “grillz”, and then sends you off to kill some dude who is trying to join a gang.

Oh, and the description for said “grillz” is “Look at those teef sparkle!”

I swear to God, I didn’t make a word of that up.

Look, it’s pretty clear that this game is supposed to be satire (or maybe that’s just what I’m telling myself to keep from going into a wordless rage and crawling through a plate glass window), but it goes a little overboard. There is a fine line between satire and just complete tone-deafness (called Poe’s Law), and I can’t figure out which side of the line this comes down on. It takes Blaxploitation movies from the ’70s and Final Fantasy-style, turn-based RPGs, puts them in a blender with not enough of a smiling wink (and I seriously need the satire option to be the right one, for the sake of my mental health) and put it up on Xbox Live.

So in short, if you want your brain to continue functioning in an effective and proper manner, don’t download this.

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Review: Aces High and Prisoner of War

September 19, 2012

I’m…kind of hesitating about describing Aces High, because I’m not entirely sure how to go about it. Aces High is essentially a World War II-era combat simulator, but there’s more to it than that. There certainly are planes – there are a shitload of planes – but there are also ground vehicles, there’s a PT boat you can pilot, there are ground defense guns, and there are also aircraft carrier groups.

There are also a number of editors for the game: a terrain editor, which lets you create your own arenas to play in (I’m currently working on a Southern California one centered around LA), an object editor which I haven’t played around with enough to know what it does, even a cloud editor! You can edit how clouds form in the arenas! I…that is a level of incredible, almost obsessive depth that I am utterly unfamiliar with.

Hell, I recommend it even if you never go online with it. And I recommend not going online, because after two weeks there’s a monthly fee. Just be well aware that you’re going to need a proper joystick or a controller.

And then there’s Prisoner of War. This one is really easy to explain: USAAC Captain Lewis Stone and Lieutenant James “J.D.” Daly are shot down during a reconnaissance mission over Germany in the summer of 1944. Both men bail out and are eventually captured by the Wehrmacht (more specifically the German Army) and sent to a holding camp. During an escape from the camp, J.D. is shot and killed by General Stahl, in charge of at least a portion of Nazi weapons research and in the area purely by chance.

From there, Stone is bounced between Stalag Luft I and Oflag IV-C (better known as Castle Colditz) along the way getting roped into an English SOE operation to steal plans for a new type of V-rocket, calling for British bombers to launch a night raid on Stalag Luft I to destroy this new rocket before it can be launched at London (the raid itself is a goddamn miracle, because the bombers managed to hit the rocket and only the rocket), and to sabotage the weapons research taking place underneath Colditz.

The gameplay is heavily stealth based, and it is the only videogame I’ve seen that features soldiers of Nazi Germany and you aren’t shooting them. In fact, this game has the lowest bodycount of any World War II-era game that I’ve ever seen – exactly two people die. Three if you count one of the Colditz prisoners who is possibly taken to a concentration camp during your second visit to Stalag Luft.

But the most amazing thing about this game is that, despite being a decade old, it runs fine on Windows 7. Well, unless you count the fact that it doesn’t capture the mouse. That can get annoying sometimes.

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Review: McHale’s Navy

September 19, 2012

Well, let’s just face the facts: It was only a matter of time before Tom Arnold and Tim Curry would show up here. I’m just surprised that it was in the same movie. I feel that I should give some backstory on this one because it’s a little more obscure than Wild Wild West was.

McHale’s Navy ran from 1962-1968 and starred the late, great Ernest Borgnine. The series was spun off from a dramatic one-shot called Seven Against the Sea, in which McHale uses a stolen Japanese PT boat to assault a Japanese carrier. The series was…considerably lighter, mainly dealing with the comedic differences between McHale and his second-in-command, Ensign Parker.

And then we come to the modern remake. Tom Arnold plays the son of Quinton McHale, Quinton McHale. The younger McHale has just retired from military service, and now trades with the officers and enlisted at the San Ysidro Naval Base, in exchange for food and medicine for the people of San Moreno. The newly-arrived Capt. Binghampton (played by Dean “Al Calavicci” Stockwell) believes that the sailors have gone native, and confiscates the goods McHale’s been selling them.

Then Tim Curry shows up and generally starts making everybody’s lives hell, because he wants to steal missile launch codes. That’s the rest of the plot, it’s just McHale and Curry’s Vladikov fighting.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen this movie in a good many years. From what I remember it wasn’t bad, but reading over the Wikipedia page, it sounds like they took an episode of the series and stretched it out to an hour and a half by adding post-Cold War plot elements.

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Review: Wild Wild West

September 9, 2012

Oh boy, Will Smith. When I was doing my minimal amount of research for this review (by which I mean looking up Will Smith on Wikipedia), I found out that Will Smith actually turned down playing Neo in The Matrix to be in Wild Wild West. Oh, to imagine what could have been – a black, wisecracking Neo. But I digress. We’re here to talk about a freedman Army captain turned U.S. Marshall fighting against a legless Confederate scientist with a steam-powered robotic spider I’ve lost you, haven’t I?

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Coming Attractions: September 2012

September 5, 2012

Hey, you know what’s fun? Movie adaptations!

No, that’s a lie. But mocking bad ones is. So, Adaptation Month is go!

September 7th: Things kick off with a film thirty years in the making, about a secret service agent, his inventive friend, and the legless ex-Confederate with a giant mechanical spider they fight, Wild Wild West.

September 14th: Tom Arnold goes against Tim Curry in the month’s second feature, McHale’s Navy.

September 21st: We continue with a movie that I’ve heard some bad things about, The X-Files: Fight the Future.

September 28th: We finish out the month with another example of  a distinct lack of quality, and possibly the worst thing I’ve seen Christopher Lloyd in, My Favorite Martian.

Huh. Now that I think about it, all of those movies are from the late nineties. It’s almost as if that decade was the epicenter of suck for adaptations of TV shows.

You’ll also see a double review of Aces High, a World War II combat sim and Prisoner of War, a 2002 stealth game taking place in, of all places, a series of German POW camps, and the completion (for real this time) of my SimCity Retrospective.

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SimCity Retrospective: SimCity 3000

September 1, 2012

This is the post I was writing when I decided to spin off the Todd Akin stuff into a new category, which means I’m about a week or so behind on this one, and this head cold sure isn’t doing me any favors.

SimCity 3000…it’s complicated. See, this is the point in the series when Electronic Arts took over as the publisher. I’m going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here, so if you’re not interested in my opinion on EA, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph. EA has…well, they’ve got somewhat of a spotty record in taking over publishing for established series, the biggest example I can think of  being the rush job they made Origin do on Ultima VIII, shipping a product that was basically unfinished and damn near unplayable, but I’ll get deeper into EA when we hit SimCity Societies.

Now, as for SimCity 3000 itself, I don’t know. It’s-the game isn’t bad, it’s just a big shift from where SimCity 2000 was. The best way I can think of to describe it is that it’s cartoony. Let’s just quickly touch on some of the things the game introduces. First, starting with this game you had advisors for each of seven different matters, and they would give a detailed  account of situations in their field rather than just a short summary. Secondly, it is much, much more stylized, with the advisors being-

Moe Biehl

HOLY JESUS! WHAT ARE THESE GODDAMN ANIMALS?!

Er, yeah. That’s the transportation advisor, and the rest aren’t any better. The buildings are also more stylized. In addition, once your city gets to a certain size it starts producing trash, which has to be disposed of by either building incinerators or landfills, and now you can also deal with your neighbors, buying or selling water, power, or garbage capacity.

PROTIP: Never sell water to a neighbor, because you will eventually run out and when you do, you are going to be paying out the ass because of it.

SimCity 3000 came out in February of 1999, despite Maxis wanting it released in time for Christmas 1998. I’d say it came from the problems EA had with Ultima IX, but SC3K came out almost a year before. So there’s that theory shot down.

All things considered, SimCity 3000 isn’t bad. It’s different – very, very different – from almost everything else in the series, but…well, let me explain it like this. It’s the Temple of Doom of the SimCity series: Not bad, but the weakest until something worse comes along.

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Review: Minecraft

September 1, 2012

There’s actually a little bit of a story behind this one. Last…November, I think, I was helping my mom pick out some stuff for her two year old class. On the way to the puzzles she was looking for, I spotted Legos and my mind instantly turned to Minecraft. I decided to do a post comparing the similarities between Minecraft and Legos, but later decided against it when I realized that comparing Minecraft to Legos: A.) wouldn’t even come close to sustaining a full post, and B.) was kind of a dumb idea.

So, MinecraftMinecraft is the singularity of sandbox gameplay. It far surpasses any other title in terms of sheer potential. Do you like crafting? There are shit-tons of it. Hate crafting? A mod lets you give yourself any items you need. Enjoy model railroads? Build one! Like gold? Dig perilously close to lava to get it! Are you a fan of wheat and the process wheat goes through to become bread? Minecraft has you covered.

See, this is the real problem I have explaining this game. It’s barely a game, but what’s there is so far-reaching that you can get lost in all the aspects of this game for hours. Literally. I have gotten lost wandering around in the game, and if you don’t have a map it is very easy.

But if you need to waste some time, Minecraft is the game for you.