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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
Ethereal Being 1

2078 Posts

SimCity Social BETA was released recently and I just checked it out. Its a Facebook game and I figured it would get out of the typical Facebook game mold because, its SimCity. It doesn't. SimCity Social seems to do the same thing as Farmville, CityVille, etc by allowing you a certain amount of free actions per day and then requiring you to include you friends to get more actions or pay to play. I don't mind the pay to play model for games, but in the case of SimCity Social it mines the FarmVille model that just seems stale to me.

I would love to play a modern SimCity in my browser. It would be awesome to build my city and share it with my friends so they can see my progress. It would be cool to have them do stuff in my city if they want that isn't annoying. It would be great to be able to play the whole game and not be stopped to enter my credit card every 15 minutes. It would be great if I could drop in and play for 15 minutes or 5 hours if I wanted.

I guess in the end SimCity Social is just too similar to other games I have left to be compelling to me. That said, its free on Facebook and you should check it out for yourself if you are interested.

You can do that by here:
https://apps.facebook.com/simcitysocial/welcome?pf_ref=x1035_fanpage_openbetaannounce_global&redirect_addr

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Recently I was on vacation visiting the Grand Canyon and other sights in Arizona and took a few pictures of things I thought were interesting. I snapped a pic above of a green porcelain pig at a Native American Store. Couldn't help but want to throw a bird at it.

At the same store I came across some computer mice that had Spiders, Scorpions and Beetles encased in them. I don't know, its kind of cool but this would creep me out.

http://i.imgur.com/d70zM.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/bwhMl.jpg

At the Grand Canyon I saw a rock formation called "Isis Rock." This might just have been my nerdy side thinking but.... Well yeah it reminded me of the Wind Fish Egg from Link's Awakening.

http://i.imgur.com/wndTe.png

Finally, I found some Native American art that reminded me of something from a Mario game. Funny what comes to your mind when you see things.

http://i.imgur.com/FZOl9.png

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The new Diablo 3 1.0.3 Patch dropped a few days ago. More details here:

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/blog/5238315/Patch_103_Now_Live-20_06_2012

A few items I felt interesting:

"Attack Speed bonus values on weapons and armor have been reduced by 50%"

Heard for quite sometime people should stack attack speed, I guess Blizz thought it was too overpowered.

"Magic Find will no longer be considered when looting objects in the environment such as chests, barrels, vases, pots, and corpses"

Doh!

"The item quality of all components needed to craft the Staff of Herding, as well as the Staff of Herding itself, have been changed from Common to Legendary (i.e. their item names will appear orange in color)"

I have a Staff of Herding now and this doesn't seem to effect it but I don't quite understand this. Can someone with more knowledge chime in on this change? Does this mean all the items drop as non-white or orange? I hope its not harder to get, it was tough as it was.

"Combinations for these ranks now only require 2 gems, down from 3"

This is the best change in the patch.

Many other changes are in the link above, so check it out if you play. Do you think these are mostly good or is this just the long arm of a Blizzard nerf cannon?

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For Retro Tuesday I am going to nerd out on a game from a galaxy far far away.... Queue John Williams please....

In a world where movie tie in games go horribly wrong Star Wars is one franchise that does pretty well for itself. More recently with the Knights of the Old Republic MMO Star Wars has had good luck with its tie-in games. One such game I played was Super Star Wars on the Super Nintendo.

Super Star Wars is a fast paced action side scroller where you played Luke Skywalker starting the game with a simple blaster. As you progressed you could upgrade your blaster and after meeting Obi-Wan you got the lightsaber. At one point you can play as Han Solo but I never opted to use him as Luke could use the blaster and lightsaber and all told the lightsaber was too good to miss.

One thing I really liked about Super Star Wars was that for two missions they tossed out the sidescrolling elements and you took a first person view for a Landspeeder run in Tatooine and ended the game in the Death Star trench in Lukes XWing. The Landspeeder run in Tatooine was fun as you spend your time collecting items and shooting Jawas and bullseying Wamprats.

A few months into owning the game I discovered an issue of Nintendo Power that dropped a hint on a secret area of the game where you could collect unlimited lives. Getting all these lives allowed me to replay certain hard levels to master them. After I mastered some harder levels beating the game with the standard life set wasn't too hard. The game didn't allow a continue at the level you left off at so losing all your lives was pretty annoying.

I really dug this game and as far as side scrolling action shooters go its one of the best I played on the Super Nintendo. I didn't pick up Super Empire Strikes back or Super Return of the Jedi though. Always looked cool to ride a Ton Ton though.

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Want to know all the game secrets? Doesn't everybody?
http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/563218-super-star-wars/faqs/40138

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Downloaded this demo on the PS3 after hearing in a podcast that the game was exceptionally violent and gory. It is. The first few seconds of the demo shows your enemy knocking rail road spikes into your hands while you dangle on a cross. Some vivid imagery and then the game pulls you into a flashback.

The games tone is very Godfather-ish but the voices are as if people are mocking Italian Americans. The demos first few minutes are not too hard as you just hit X a few times and try to kill a few guys though I missed most of them and it didn't seem to count against me.

If you are familiar with The Darkness, this game is similar. You are the host to "The Darkness" which is a spirit that possesses you giving you evil super powers. You can shoot out tentacles that can grab on to bad guys and rip them apart. You can have the tentacles nab a car door to use as a bullet shield or toss things at guys to knock them down.

The shooting in the game is good but its meant to be played as a shooter/grab stuff with your tentacles game. You get bonus points for more gruesome deaths and its kind of fun to see how creative you can be.

That said, the game has a few tones and they are all scary dark. I don't mind the gore but games that are just one style throughout wear on my pretty fast. That said the demo was pretty interesting and if you loved The Darkness this looks to be more of that with a Godfather like feel to it. It's also very apparent to me it's a 2K game as the character models look Borderlandsy. It has the same drawn look just not as pronounced.

In the end I stopped playing the demo because it just kept adding bad guys to make it more challenging. Fun but I wasn't blow away by it. You should download the demo and check it out if you are interested it's worth a look!

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Traveling this week and without PC and console wondering what games people are playing on their phones? Ive been playing Sword and Sworcery, Harbor Master & Ticket to Ride in the down moments between stops. Harbor Master is fun as my wife and I play it a bit before bed and on flights to pass the time. Harbor Master is a game much like Flight Control where you tap a route for boats to unload cargo. There is a free demo for Harbor Master on iOS.

Still playing Tiny Tower off and on, that said it has lost much of its appeal after a few weeks intially. I have about $650k and growing if I put a few days into it ill have a cool million. No real reason, just hoarding because I have a pretty large tower as is and don't have much incentive to build a taller one. Still fun every so often. Tiny Tower is a free game on iOS and Android.

WhiteboySlim clued me in on PewPew a really fun space shooter very similar to a modern Asteroids twitch shooter. Many game modes to keep you interested for sure. Oh right, its free too.

Are you having fun with any of these games? Any game you love I should check out?

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I love playing board games. One game I am looking forward to is Descent 2nd edition. I signed up for the preview game event at Rainy Day Games and will pre-order the game the second I am able to. Recently Fantasy Flight released the PDF rulebook that you can check out to be up to speed on how to play the game before it drops. I put it on my iPhone for easy access and ill be reading it over the next week.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=3353

I have a pretty limited time set these days and can only really put time into so many new board games, this being one of them.

If you are interested in going to the preview event with me let me know.

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Few video game companies tinker with hardware like this. Taking a mounted display and making it work really well with your video game is amazing. John Carmack is well suited to this because he deeply understands how this technology all works and I envy him for being able to talk the time and dabble in this kind of work. The video is a fascinating look into the tech he has been working on with head mounted displays. Have to admit, slapping a screen inches from my face doesn't appeal to me, but it the game adjusts to my movements that does appeal to me.

The video drops a few tid-bits about Doom 3 BFG edition in that it will ship with 3D and a few other features. A recent Penny Arcade article goes over the head mounted display and some of the Doom 3 BFG edition design points.

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/hands-on-with-doom-3-bfg-and-the-terrible-secret-behind-the-original-games

From the article:

"There was controversy over the flashlight in Doom 3 when the game was originally launched. You couldn’t have the flashlight on while you had your gun out, and the player had to choose which one to use, and flip between them quickly. I thought it was inspired, other people wondered if the future existed without duct tape. The flashlight is mounted to your body armor in Doom 3: BFG, so you can finally use it while a gun is in your hands, although the battery life is limited. My thought on the matter? id sold out. "

I heartily agree with this statement. Doom 3 made a bold choice in many situations between seeing and shooting. In a jump/scare shooter this was magical for me. I know the flash light feature had its haters but I loved the difference. Many times I had my flash light out and enemies would jump out and I would scramble for a weapon. Often that meant I took a beating in the scramble. Sometimes I did fine but it was a choice I had to make.

I hope there is a setting to turn it back to the old method. That said, I have the original box copy so I can always go back to playing it as it was I suppose. Feels a little like some of the changes made to the original Star Wars because of my mad love for Doom. Regardless of how this all shakes out, ill still pick it up as the new stuff really interests me.

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http://i.imgur.com/Yh1Kj.jpg
Recently panickedthumb and chowda helped me get to Whimsyshire. Whimsyshire being D3's version of Diablo 2's cow level. Grinding for the items took an evening of solid runs on items but after a few hours I had all the gear to craft the Staff of Warding. It was nice of panickedthumb to walk me through the parts he had done as it was my first time in a game grinding for certain loot drops. Not too bad but you should expect things not to drop more often than they do. Or said another way, it can get tedious. The payoff is well worth the time spent though.

Oh and the total amount of money it takes to get the normal Staff of Warding is 150k. 100k for Wirts Cowbell and 50k blacksmith cost to craft.

If you want to get the Staff of Warding to open Whimsyshire I recommend doing the runs in normal and this helped me out quite a bit:

http://diablo.wikia.com/wiki/Whimsyshire

Mooooo:
http://i.imgur.com/o8Hao.jpg

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Today's Retro Tuesday is an old DOS game I loved as a kid called Fairy Godmom. It wasn't as well known as Doom or Mario Brothers but it was fun. Some games I can't forget and this was one of those games. It wasn't amazing, but it was fun and I spent many hours playing in on my old DOS machine.

Back in the day DOS systems had a few graphics layers. Basically at a certain point you had a CGA, EGA or VGA graphics card. Since we didn't have the top of the line computers for many years we have a DOS CGA computer. Many shareware games could run in CGA, EGA and VGA mode. VGA being the pinnacle of awesome computer graphics. I remember playing Commander Keen on a VGA system and the graphics blew my mind. Needless to say, it was many many years before we got a computer with a VGA graphics card.

Fairy Godmom was a game that I played in CGA graphics mode and I still had a great time playing it. The premise of the game is that you must free the other Fairy Godmothers. You had a magic wand you could use to sample a item and then transform anything into that item. So if you sampled a ladder, you could turn blocks and bad guys into a ladder. Fun the amount of puzzles that you can create from that. Since I had the Shareware version it came with the first level pack but I never actually complete all the levels to draw me to purchasing the real game. Many old games I never purchased because the free shareware copy game with plenty of game included.

Not a game I recommend booting DOSBox over, but something fun to consider from an age long since past. Doom on the other hand? Absolutely.

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My first thought about this game was that it was designed to give people seizures. Not that it does give people seizures, in fact I imagine it doesn't but it has fast blinky lights that I don't see too often in games. In fact the art style of this game I don't see often in games for that matter. Obviously one draw this games has is its unique style.

The premise is that floors fall on your condo and you have to choose which monster to slide any given floor to. Helps if you slide the yellow floors to the yellow monsters and the like for all the different colors. You can do that and a few other things to score points but you mostly choose where to slide floors and if you get a special floor/move when to use those as well. Its a game best played to understand I think.

I picked endless mode for my first play through and noticed 10 minutes in I wasn't doing anything wrong. I then just randomly tossed floors and a few minutes later lost but I scored 26 million points. Odd. Then again it was cool to score 26 million points but then again, I was just flipping blocks randomly.

That said, the timed mode is fun and its got a really unique style you should check out.

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