Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wasteland 2 Gameplay Preview – I can’t Wait

Almost a year ago, Brian Fargo posted that inXile was going to do a kickstarter campaign to make a sequel to the best computer RPG of all time, Wasteland. I, of course, donated a decent amount to the campaign, which was well funded (over 300% of the original goal). The developers recently released a preview video of the gameplay. The video is kind of long, but it’s also more than kind of awesome:

This looks pretty much exactly like I hoped it would and I can’t wait for this game to be released!

posted by neil at 10:21 pm
under video games  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wasteland (aka the best computer game ever)

It’s been a while (over a month!) since my last post. I obviously failed completely to do a post a day, but no matter. It’s time for a new post!

Let’s go back in time to the late 1980s, 1988 to be precise. Imagine you are a 13 year old boy who likes computer games and you come across a poster advertising this:

You find the game, perhaps a week later, and turn to the back of the box:

If you’re anything like I was 24 years ago, you’d do anything you can, including spending a couple of weeks allowance, to buy the game. Which I did.

The game itself was similar to some other games at the time – most particularly the Bard’s Tale games from the same studio, Interplay, but it had some notable differences, not the least of which was that it was set in a post-apocalyptic world, instead of a fantasy world. But the story, about a group of survivors from a nuclear war at the end of the 20th century was far more gripping than any story of magical heroes in a made up land could ever be. Your young team of Desert Rangers is sent off into the great desert to investigate some disturbances, and this leads to ever more adventures throughout the American Southwest. Demented farmers, giant bunnies, and deadly robots are some of the fiends you will face as you carry out your mission, which grows to epic proportions as you learn more about the state of the world.

The game, of course, is not perfect – at least on the Apple II version that I played, healing was very slow – you basically had to hit escape and ‘wait’ over and over to recover health- and hope that no random encounters came up while you were still weakened. I ended up sticking my joystick on the escape key to simulate it being hit over and over, while I would read for five minutes or so.

Anyway, I doubt I can sell this game to anyone who hasn’t played it, and I don’t think it’s quite help up so well, mostly because of the graphics. The game is also rather hard at some points – remember this was before the days of the world wide web and, so most of the secrets had to be discovered by one’s self. I remember spending days trying to get through the sewers of Las Vegas, because I couldn’t find the one item I needed to open some door and let me out. But the joy of actually finishing the sewers, and coming out with enough firepower in laser weapons to beat the dread Scorpitron filled me with much joy. I enjoyed the game so much that I ended up playing through it several times through during my high school and early college years.

The real point of this post, and why I am so excited about something from the 1980s, is that Brian Fargo, the founder of Interplay, has started a kickstarter to fund a sequel to Wasteland, almost a quarter century after the original’s release. It made it’s funding goal of $900,000 within the first day, and it is currently at almost $1,500,000 at the time of this posting. The more money donated, the better the game will be and at the $1.5 million mark, there will be a Linux and OS X version of the game released, in addition to the Windows version. Hopefully the kickstarter will hit that amount – I’m very excited to play the sequel (I pledged a fair amount of money), and I can’t wait until it’s released. There’s still time if you are interested in pledging!

posted by neil at 11:47 pm
under video games  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land review

Last year someone pointed out a Call of Cthulhu Advent calendar app to me. I, of course, downloaded it and ended up scoring 100% on the daily quizzes, but that is neither here nor there. The calendar was put out by Red Wasp Design. and late last month they released an IOS strategy RPG/Horror game – Call of Cthulhu:The Wasted Land. The original release was a bit buggy, as these things can be, but the patch that came out about a week later fixed the major problems and in the end it’s a very playable game.

The basic game play is turn based strategy with role-playing game elements. Your team of 4-6 ‘investigators’ are involved in a mission to save the Allies and the World from … well, unknowable horrors. In fact, that horrors are so unknowable that every time your characters interact with unnatural foes their sanity slowly ekes away. If sanity hits zero, the character will go insane, which sometimes causes them to freeze in panic, and other times allows them to go berserk. Either way, sanity can be restored, both before and after insanity, with a properly equipped character with the Psychology skill. See below for a picture of the intrepid investigators fighting various horrors:

This is a great game, compatible with both iPhones and iPads (in HD) for the low price of $4.99. Per the developers an Android version is in the works. I highly recommend this game!

posted by neil at 7:53 pm
under Uncategorized,video games  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Please play, and rate Snailiad

My friend auriplane recently (yesterday) released her first flash game, Snailiad. I helped play test it a bit while it was under development a couple of months ago, and I think it is a great game. It’s a platformer, reminiscent of Metroid, done in an 8-bit style. Fans of old NES games should find a certain joy in it, but I think it appeals to about anyone with any interest in video games. Please give it a try, and rate it – 5 stars if you think it deserves it. Also, please review it if you have the time, with either praise or criticism.

posted by neil at 8:50 am
under video games  

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Things And Other Things

I’ve been neglecting the blog this month. I don’t have any good reason besides a lack of much to say. However, now I do have a few things.

  1. Rock Band: After naysaying for a year and a half, I bought an Xbox 360 last fall. This turns out to be one of the best electronic purchases I’ve ever made, considering the use I’ve gotten out of it (mostly from watching video on it – either via playon , netflix or hosted on my windows machine (which died and had to be replaced recently, which caused me much angst, but…). However I’ve played a few arcade games, and two games I’ve purchased – Bioshock and Fallout 3. The latter I played the crap out of, but its time had come to get a new game. After spending a weekend playing Rock Band in Lake Tahoe (the first time I’ve played it in a year) I decided it was time to take the plunge. So I’ve been rocking out on Rock Band 2, and will likely get the Beatles version later this year.
  2. Where the Wild Things Are: I saw the second public showing of this evar last night – a benefit show for 826 Valencia, where I’ve been volunteering for the past few weeks. I won’t lie – the tickets were not cheap, but it was for a good cause, and for a movie I’d been wanting to see since I first saw a trailer. Spike Jonze, who directed and co-wrote the move with Dave Eggers (founder of 826), decided long ago that he wanted to do benefit shows at all the chapters before the movie was released (in fact the Chicago chapter had the first public showing the night before). The movie is out on 10/16 and I do recommend you see it, especially if you have children or enjoyed the book as a child. Also, I got a cool crown:
  3. Halloween: It’s coming in a few weeks. I don’t really have any plans yet, but I do have a costume in the making. It’s a costume not quite as obscure as my Zenmai Samurai costume from 2007, but not main stream either. Most of the implementation of it is complete, but I need to buy one more piece of clothing for it to be complete. Here is a hint – if you can figure it out from it, you will get a lot of credit:
posted by neil at 9:23 pm
under crafty,movie review,rambling,video games  

Friday, March 13, 2009

Childhood Delusion Destroyed

I, like many guys around my age, spent countless hours as a youth in front of the Nintendo Entertainment System(NES). On the NES there are three games that strike me as iconic:

  1. Super Mario Bros
  2. The Legend of Zelda
  3. Castlevania

I owned all three of these, and of them, I finished the first multiple times (but I admit I was more amused by the turtle trick than actually finishing the game)

Zelda was a fairly easy game to finish, in that you had save games, and infinite continues to accomplish it. I will admit the first play through probably took me a couple of weeks, but mostly because of time spent trying to figure out puzzles, not dying randomly.

The final of the three, Castlevania, that was the tricky one. I never personally finished the game, and it was a good game where I made it to the penultimate boss, the Grim Reaper. I don’t think I ever made it past him, or if I did it was only a single time. I saw a friend of mine cower before and die to the mighty Count Dracula on a single occasion, but that was it as far as the end of the game goes.

Now, imagine my surprise when I find this pair of videos this morning:

Not only is the game finishable within 15 minutes, but the damn Grim Reaper is as easy as any of the rest of the bosses, thanks to the mighty holy water secondary weapon. If only i had known this then…

posted by neil at 8:40 am
under rambling,video games  

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