Now mash them all together. Oh, and mix in some ALF.
This is the world of Ready Player One.
It’s 2044, and Earth has become practically inhospitable, but people don’t seem to mind because they all live in OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory-Immersive Simulation), a free-to-play massively multiplayer online simulation game created by James Halliday. James Halliday suddenly dies, but has left a will stating that whomever can find his Easter Egg in OASIS will inherit his wealth ($240 billion) and control of OASIS.
The book’s main character is Wade Watts, known as Parzival in the game. He is one of many egg hunters, or “gunters” dedicated to finding the egg. James Halliday was obsessed with the 1980’s, so OASIS is full of 80’s pop references, and the gunters spend their time pouring over everything from the 80’s, from arcade games to movies to television to music and more. The more 80’s trivia you know, the more impressive you are. Parzivial is a low level gunter (in OASIS, you can travel anywhere, for a price, and most gunters, when they’re not studying the 80’s they’re leveling up their avatars through quests), but one obsessed with Halliday and the 80’s. He and his only friend Aech (pronounced “H”) spend all their free time playing arcade games and watching movies together, in hopes of finding clues to the location of Halliday’s egg.
Racing against the gunters is the corporation IOI (Innovative Online Industries), who want to monetize OASIS, charging for access, and for advertising space (on any and everything). The gunters are not only trying to locate the egg for wealth, but to continue the vision of Halliday, and despise anyone that works for IOI.
Now for my review
First, I will say that this book was fun to read. Entertaining and pretty quickly paced, I read this in a short amount of time. I do recommend it to anyone that 1) loves the 80’s, 2) loves virtual worlds, or 3) loves puzzles. Not that there’s really any puzzle solving for the reader. There’s no way to read a clue and actually figure something out before someone in the book does. But, it’s still fun to watch the characters explore. The action can be fun, as in a virtual world, any type of weapon can be created, from guns to magic spells and more.
A couple of times there’s some references that take me out of the story, like when someone mentions Wikipedia. I suppose that website might still be around in another 30 years, but I would have assumed something better would have come around. It just felt strange hearing a few terms that are used currently.
It’s not a very deep book. You can tell where things are going for the most part. There’s a few twists that are fun to find out, but for the most part it’s pretty heavy handed when it comes to things like “This will be Wade’s love interest.”
Overall, think of this book like an action movie. It’s fun to let yourself be drawn in and watch, but don’t expect too much in the way of a compelling story or wonderful acting.
Out of 17, I give this book an 11.
Zelda in VR? That's so rad!
Hmmm, 8-bit graphics don't translate well
Has this guy never played Zelda before?
I'd like to see more
Any thoughts on this? The idea seems cool, but I don't know if it's going to translate well to VR. From what I've heard about VR, this looks like it's going to cause a lot of motion sickness ;)
Music-driven FPS gameplay – Music matters. Chroma features innovative first-person shooter mechanics that tie the game’s soundtrack directly to combat, traversal, and more.
Music is your weapon – Unleash streams of sound and music with your arsenal and bring the musical landscape to life in battle! From deep wobbling bass to the crunch of an electric guitar, crushing metal drums to poppy synths, choose a weapon load-out that reflects your musical tastes and personal style and take your sounds into battle.
Band together – Your team is your band: Join up with your friends and battle for glory. Master multiple classes, each with their own unique musical gameplay mechanics and perks, and lead your team to victory.
Conquer shifting terrain – “Change Ups” at major musical moments dramatically alter the landscape of the battlefield in real time both physically and strategically, raising sniper towers, adding cover, and more in sync with the music.
Free-to-play, but not “pay-to-win” – Free to jump in and play with deep customization, but smartly designed to preserve a fun and fair experience for all players.
Chroma will be available free-to-play on PC via Valve's Steam platform in 2014.
I am incredibly interested in seeing how this game will turn out. I've signed up to hopefully be an Alpha player, but might have to wait until it comes out later this year. It'll be free to play, so I'll pick it up the moment it drops on Steam!
- CRUSH legions of outrageous mortals, beasts and buildings
- SMASH through over 60 nail-biting goals
- OBLITERATE your high score with boosts and upgrades
- DEMOLISH goals to unlock over 70 new destroyable objects
- DOMINATE your friends via Facebook and Game Center
- MASTER multiple control schemes: tilt, tap or joystick
- ROCK OUT to the hottest yodeling soundtrack of the year
WEAR your finest lederhosen with renewed pride and REVEL in the century’s most yodel-tastic (and FREE) gaming sensation!
Such a simple game, yet addicting. You're a boulder, rolling down a hill. And you can steer and jump. That's it! The game starts off with few obstacles along your way, and as you hit your achievements, you get rewarded with more things to plow through.
It's really an enjoyable time waster. And maddening at times. But it's basically a runner game, and each run lasts between 30 seconds and a few mins, so it's easy to get into a "Once more time" loop! (And there's something very satisfying in becoming a spiked Invinciboulder and smashing through EVERYTHING)
There are a few different modes. There’s the normal mode where you just play a game. This is a lot of fun just on it’s own. The animation looks great (although I wish I had a PS4 to *really* get the full experience) and the AI seems to be actually intelligent. There’s also a mode where you’re in charge of a team, but I’ve not played that much yet.
The mode I LOVE is very much an RPG-type experience, called My Career. You start by creating your character; I made mine to look just like me (extremely handsome, of course), and then chose a position to play. (I’ll try to not delve into too much actual basketball talk here as either you’re a fan and already know what the positions are, or you don’t care that much about basketball and will just be bored with the details) You customize your player’s height and weight and decide your play style (good at defense/offense or balanced, and your preferred method of scoring). You can even pick between dozens of animations for your shooting style (for dozens of shots, i.e. free throw, fade away, post up, etc). Honestly there’s so little difference in the shooting style that I’d recommend just going with the stock animations.
After customizing your player, you play in a rookie showcase game where you’re playing with other potential rookies. As you play, you have a rating at the top of the screen. Good plays/decisions increase your rating and bad plays/decisions decrease your rating.
Since you’re actually playing in a basketball game at this point, I’ll talk more about that now.
I really enjoy how NBA 2K14 plays in your career mode. First, you only control your player. All of the other players are controlled by AI. They all have their own tendencies. Some pass the ball more, some hog it more, some play more defense, etc. When you’re not playing, you can press a button to simulate the game and fast forward to you being subbed back in. The game tells you who your defensive assignment is and gives you a quick rundown on their strengths and weaknesses (I don’t really bother to read that though). As you’re playing, there’s an arrow underneath your player, showing you your spatial relationship to who you’re supposed to be guarding, and there’s a slight, almost magnetic, pull towards him, to help you stay on your man.
I could go into a lot more detail about the game play, but what I really love comes after the rookie showcase is over.
After the game, you are interviewed by 3 teams that are interested in you. You meet with the team General Manager who asks you 2-3 questions, and you have a multiple choice decision on how to answer. Your choices range from humble to egotistical and in between. How you answer affects if that team becomes more or less interested in drafting you.
After the interviews, you watch the NBA draft. Eventually you get picked in the first round. So far the earliest I’ve been drafted is 14th, by the Utah Jazz.
Then the season starts. As you play, you can run drills (or not if you don’t want to), where you earn SP. SP is pretty much the equivalent of XP in RPG games. You can spend your SP to increase your various stats (so many options here, from different specialized shots, to increased specialized defensive skills, to physical attributes (speed, quickness, vertical jump, etc), to emotional skills. You can also use your SP to suck up to your teammates (i.e. paying for a team dinner) or impressing the public (i.e. helping out at a school).
As the season progresses, and your play and stats improve, you earn more playing time, which then gets you more national exposure. One of the measurements of success in this game is how many fans you have. You have a (fictional) twitter account, and fans/sports writers/other players will follow you as you gain a reputation.
There are also marketing campaigns that feature you. To start, your team puts up a billboard in town promoting you. As you increase your fan base in the game, and you become a better player, your team markets you more, and companies want you to endorse them. I’ve signed a shoe deal with Nike. (And the game is linked with NikeID, so some of the shoes you can customize in game, and then order them in real life, which I think is a rad feature. I do have a pair of NikeID shoes ((Christmas gift)), and it’s so cool having my name on them). I’ve also been on the covers of magazines like Sports Illustrated.
After every game, you interact with the media, where they ask you a question, and again, you have the option in how you want to respond. After you respond, you’ll see 3 ratings. 1) How your teammates respond 2) How national fans respond and 3) How local fans respond.
Throughout the season you also can sit down and talk with your General Manager in his office, with a range of preset subjects from “I like/don’t like how coach is doing” to “I want to discuss a contract extension” to “I want to be traded.” Sometimes for fun I’ll demand to be traded, then right as I land on a new team, I’ll demand again lol
There’s probably a ton more I could ramble on about, but this post is long enough. I’m having a great time with it, and recommend you check it out in one of the Steam sales!
Code Monkeys is South Park meets The Office meets Nintendo.
The plot of Code Monkeys revolves around the fictitious video game company GameaVision (a play on companies like Activision and Intellivision) and its eccentric employees, mainly the slacker Dave and his high-strung friend Jerry. The entire series takes place in the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale, California during the 1980s. The humor of Code Monkeys relies on crude humor and stoner comedy to convey the numerous references to video games, past and present, but mostly games from the 8-bit era. This also extends to cameos from well known video game developers, who appear in the show pitching their ideas to GameaVision for the games that would later make them famous, usually to be rejected, insulted, and sometimes injured or killed off.
And it's on Netflix now :)
Here's FFIV, which I think was FFII for the SNES? Looks like it's been remade in 3D?
I started a new character and the first thing I did was run to Solitude to join the Empire. I've normally played as part of the Stormcloaks, and I wanted a different game this time. I also decided to go with a different play style. Usually I'm most comfortable in games as a tank type, but decided to be a sneaky caster for this character. So I worked on my Sneaking and Illusion skill trees, along with Destruction at times. I found that far enough up the Illusion tree, there's a perk to cause all your magic casting to be silent, so I spent a brief, but considerable (probably an hour) running around a city, sneaking and casting Muffle as much as possible. That worked both my trees at the same time, and I was able to get my silent casting perk pretty quickly.
I've spent about 11 hours on this character and have already unified Skyrim underneath the Empire. There are a few Stormcloak stragglers, but all the cities are under Empire rule now.
And when General Tullius gave me his sword to strike Ulfric his final blow, I decided to go with a Woodcutters Axe instead. His rebellion deserved no more than that.
Now to go find out about this "dragonborn" thing...
The controls are so clunky, I'm still not exactly sure how they work. Sometimes you can run, sometimes you can't, depending on the mission you're on I suppose. I like a sensitive mouse usually in games, but the camera feels WAY too sensitive, and I've not found a way to correct that yet (I guess I could change my computer settings probably).
The game constantly switches between cut scenes and gameplay. Usually cut scenes are cool, but this game tells you to walk to a spot, then it shows a cut scene, then tells you to walk somewhere else, cut scene, walk, cut scene, walk cut scene. There's almost no "game" to play in the beginning. I could deal with that if it were setting up the storyline but...
The animation doesn't keep up with the dialogue!!! And each piece of dialogue is tied to an animation, so you hear a line, then watch the animation of the character speaking, then the second character speaks, with his animation needing to finish... long sentences have killed this game for me.
This game looks like it would be so cool... I just don't know if I want to bother putting anymore time into it...
There are some great games on this list!
I'm a little disappointed Bill Lambeer's Combat Basketball was left off the list though lol.
I think I'll roll that into a $50 Steam card and get it half-off lol.
Just a random post today. Yay for free money!