Archives For Games

Okay so there was only a week’s break but still. Welcome back to Free Games Friday, where you get free games and the developer gets the recognition for their hard work, so everybody wins! As usual I got two games for your enjoyment, and both of them are ones that you can play right in your browser (for once).

Pause Ahead

The first game is from the creator of the fairly well known Tower of Heaven, and it is entitled Pause Ahead. In this game you play as a mysterious young girl who wakes up with no memory or idea of where she is, and you have to go through a series of trials (yes it sounds kind of like Portal). To say anymore would be spoiling it, though do be aware that the game is very hard, and some patience will be needed. You can play the game here.

TLT

The next game on our list is a refined version of a game created for a 48 hour game making tournament, known as The Last Tango. In this quick and fun game, you play as a newlywed couple on their honeymoon. However, there’s a twist. Said newlywed couple are actually international spies, and have a whole boatload of other people who want them dead. It’s your job to make sure they stay alive. With simple controls and a fun concept, this game is sure to keep you amused for a little while. The game is available to play online here.

That’s all for this week folks, tune in next time for more fun and free games!

Pokemon_Emerald

 

When I was a kid, I used to love the Pokemon games. I personally didn’t have any of them initially, as I was unable to afford a Game Boy, but I had a friend who had one along with the first generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Blue. At recess I would watch him play the game, and I enjoyed what I saw. When the anime (not that I knew what anime was at the time) began airing in North America, I watched it nearly religiously. I collected the cards, mostly of the water or flying type Pokemon, since those were my favourite. Like many of the people in my generation, I knew all the words to the theme song, and while I can’t do it now, I used to be able to recite the Pokemon Rap from memory.

 

I wasn’t until the second generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Gold and Silver, that I actually owned a Pokemon game for myself. I spent hours at a time playing the game, catching pokemon and raising level grinding, quickly filling out my team of favourites (lead by my fearless Pidgeot, which is my favourite Pokemon to date). I was never one much for battling other people, mainly because in those days battling someone required a rather bulky and expensive cable, and I knew very few people who owned one. So you would think if anyone would have been excited for the next generation, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, it’d be someone like me, right? Unfortunately, a few things conspired against me in that aspect.

 

When Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (and eventually Emerald a year later) first released, I was more or less just starting high school. At that time, Pokemon wasn’t really “cool” anymore, and being the sucker that I am, ended up following this trend of shunning things we liked as kids because we were better than that. I also never owned a Game Boy Advance, which meant that even if I wanted to play the games, I wouldn’t have had the capacity to do so. For better or worse, Pokemon left my life for the time being, to be replaced with much more hip and cooler things. Like Magic: The Gathering.

 

Enter August 2013. Having just got home from visiting some family, I found myself both unable to sleep and itching to play some Pokemon after spending the weekend with my brother, who is a huge Pokemon fan. One thing lead to another, and I found myself playing through Pokemon Emerald (which has been out for less than 10 years but shhh). Being the grumpy old man that I am, I initially figured I would only stick to Pokemon I remembered from the generations I was familiar with. So I challenged myself. Specifically, I took on what is known as the Nuzlocke Challenge, a form of self-imposed challenged popular in the Pokemon community. (For those of you unfamiliar with the rules, there are only two of them: You can only catch the first Pokemon you see in a new area, and any Pokemon that faints is dead, and must be released or permanently placed in the PC)

 

After picking my initial Pokemon (Torchic, because birds), I found myself quickly getting sucked into the game like I did all those years ago when the franchise had first come out. I spent literal hours playing the game (I think my save file is logged in at 60+ hours at the time of this writing, and I’m still messing around with it every so often), leveling my companions to be the best they could be. While my main party was composed of a few old faces, namely the ever-reliable Gyarados and Bellossom, many of the pokemon I used throughout my adventure were new to me. Thanks to the nature of the Nuzlocke Challenge, I felt myself becoming rather attached to these new Pokemon (and suffering a few heartbreaks along the way), Pokemon that I had originally written off as being “dumb” or “stupid” when I was younger. Pokemon like Torkoal, the fire-breathing turtle of awesomeness, or Mawile, a defensive power house of a Pokemon that saved my ass in more than a few tough battles.

 

Looking back, I wish I could have experienced this game when it was brand new, to discover and raise these new and wonderful Pokemon at the same time as everyone else, and experienced the joys and wonders of the Pokemon community. With the fire of Pokemon love very much stoked, I find myself extremely eager to go forth and try the titles in this franchise that came after, to see what new and interesting innovations were made further down the line. Maybe I’ll find a new favourite Pokemon, or at least someone close (Pidgeot probably won’t be leaving that spot any time soon). I’ll just have to see where the next adventure takes me.

Welcome to Free Games Friday, posted two days late because I was out of town.

 

This week I’m only going to be highlighting one game.

SMBC3

Now I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this game is hardly an unknown title. Super Mario Bros. Crossover (which recently released an updated version, featuring difficulty levels and what can only be described as  a “metric crapton” of characters) was the brainchild of one Jay Pavlina, ocassional LPer and now full time game developer. You can play the latest version of Super Mario Bros. Crossover on his site, ExplodingRabbit.com (for those of you who are eager to get straight to the game, here’s a direct link to the game).

 

With that out of the way, I’ve decided that for this week I’m also going to use my designated weekly article to get the word out on a project that is currently in the works, and as you might have guessed, it’s closely tied to this week’s featured game.

srs-title

The Ladies and Gentlemen of Exploding Rabbit have been working on their own game, a spiritual successor of sorts for Super Mario Bros. Crossover, titled Super Retro Squad. After a modestly successful Kickstarter campaign, the team have been working quite diligently on the game, and from the screen shots and pre-alpha footage, I can personally say that my hopes are pretty high. My main purpose for talking about this is because work on the game is going slower than anticipated, and they have opened up a donation drive in order to help expediate the process of making the game. If you like Super Mario Bros. Crossover, then consider checking out their Super Retro Squad page and if you like what you see, then feel free to drop them a couple dollars if you are so inclined.

 

That’s all for this (late) edition of Free Games Friday, stay tuned for more!

gen-con-logo

I did not know what to expect. I cannot remember seeing this many people in one place at one time. That’s a lie, I’ve been to the Big House to see U of M play football in front off 100,000+ people. But for a gaming convention to hold just about 50,000 people, lets just say the smells were overwhelming at times. But it was unbelievable to see so many people excited about gaming. I was only able to attend the festivities for one. And within that one day, I was only able to experience about 1/4 of what there was to do at the convention.

Along with all the gaming going on, as there always is at a convention, there was the hardcore cosplay. And there was no lack of it here. From the sexy Power Girls to the simple Minecraft characters, people were putting out their best costumes. Many costumes I did not know what they were, not really an anime person, but what I did know is that the costumes looked fantastic.

My main focus down there was one game in particular, Heroclix. It is one of my favorite games to play and it is growing in popularity. At the con, you can earn convention exclusive pieces that you only obtain at one other convention. There is also a Championship that happens that allows the winner to create their own Heroclix to be placed in an upcoming set. Past winners have created figures of Nightcrawler and Black Adam just to name a couple.

But I was not there to check out just one game in my one day experience. There were hundreds of games to check out. There were many different tournaments being held in the gaming room, with more taking place outside of the convention area.

Drunk QuestOne game I heard about on the bus ride over to the convention in the morning. People were talking about which games they had seen and enjoyed. One had mentioned a game called Drunk Quest. It was explained to me like this, “You ever play Munchkin? It’s like that, but with drinking. Lots and lots of drinking.” I had forgotten about it for most of the day, mostly because of all of the excitement at Tim “The Balloon Sculptor’s” area, where someone had accidentally knocked down his Cthulhu balloon masterpiece. But more on that to come. I was walking around the vendor area when I remembered about Drunk Quest. Standing at the demonstration area were two beautiful women that were explaining the game to passers by. I acted as if I had never heard of the game before, because I wanted to get the full experience of the game. It was basically explained to me as I had heard it on the bus, but with more detail. The game is very similar to Munchkin, but obviously with different cards and abilities pertaining to drinking. As I purchased the game and took a few pictures, I knew this would be one of the games that NerdSynq would have to demo at the home arena.

Square ShootersThere were of course many setups for the more established games, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, you get the picture. But I was looking for the more indie games, the up and comers. I had found a simple game, Square Shooters, based on a full 54 deck of cards. All of the cards are on 9 six-sided dice. The simplest game that is included in the set is to pull a card, and try to roll the hand that is displayed. If you get the generic hand shown, you get a certain amount of chips, if you get the specific hand with the suits and everything displayed, you earn double the chips. The best part of this game is that there are endless possibilities to the game-play potential, which is why they are doing a kickstarter program where anyone can create a game using their card dice. There are to be multiple categories of contests where people with the best ideas earn $2,000. And you better believe NerdSynq will be throwing their collective heads into the mix!

Best attraction of the convention, and has been for the past few years I am told, was the Cthulhu balloon monster that greeted you as you made your way toward the gaming and vendor area. He stood 18 feet tall with a wingspan of over 20 feet! Tim “The Balloon Sculptor” Thurmond is a Guinness Book of World Records record holder for blowing up the most balloon animals by mouth in 3, 6, 10, and 24 hours! All records were broken during 1 attempt. It took 24 working hours to create Cthulhu on site and there is a time-lapse video post to Tim’s website. During the final day Sunday, Tim raised $900 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana to slay the beast.

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On top of the convention, there was a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that weekend. So inside the convention center you have geeks and nerds, and then you take a couple of steps outside you have hundreds of motorcycles running up and down the street, including some roads closed off just to display how much effort people put into their bikes. For my money, here is the best one that I saw.

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In the end, one day is not enough for “the best four days in gaming.” Next year, I think four days will have to be the minimum. Next stop, Detoit Fanfare in October! Hope to see everyone there!!!

beck_mighty_no_9

Former Capcom Exec. and creator of Megaman Keiji Inafune has launched a kickstarter campaign for his new game, being hailed as the true successor to his beloved franchise, titled Mighty No. 9. It will feature a new protagonist named Beck, and from initial screenshots the game looks to be very much in line with the spirit of Megaman games from the past.

 

You can see the trailer and of course, donate if you wish, at the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter page.