Quality reviews of computer and video games, from Pong and Pac-Man to present.

12 / 30 / 2012
 
 
 
We'l close out 2012 with some classic adventure - Gabriel Knight 2 (4/5) for the PC, and Shadow of Destiny (2/5) which was a 2009 release for the PSP, but is more or less a direct port of a game that was a launch title for the PS2.
 
See ya in 2013 with a clean news page!
 
12 / 28 / 2012
 
Metal Gearrrrrrr ... it can't be! Mopping up the Metal Gear entries for PSP today with Metal Gear Ac!d (2/5), Konami's attempt to get the moneys of both Metal Gearsians and Card Battlers, and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (2/5), sequel to MGS 3 and prequel to Peace Walker.
 
12 / 26 / 2012
 
Oh the weather outside is frightful ... so let's play some horror games? The Suffering (PC, 3/5) is your game if you ever wanted to mash Max Payne up with Silent Hill. Ghost House (Master System, 2/5) is your game if you ever wanted to mash up ... uh ... Alex Kidd, Dracula, and gameplay jank?
 
12 / 21/ 2012
 
 
Ho ho ho! Let's get in the holiday spirit with my favorite Xmas movie ... Die Hard! Die Hard (3/5) for NES is a surprisingly complex and ambitious action game for the time ... but also very dated and hard to play. Still worth a look though.
 
See you on the other side of Xmas if our heads don't explode into fluid like the Evangelion movie at some point today.
 
12 / 18 / 2012
 
Investigatin'! The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel (4/5) for PC, a wonderful forgotten 90s adventure game, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law (2/5) for PSP, which is a jokey Phoenix Wright ripoff basically
 
12 / 15 / 2012
 
Back to the somewhat frantic world of Ys with Ys 4 (2/5) for SNES and Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (3/5) (aka Ys 6) for the PSP. Both are ports from more powerful systems, so the originals might well be better.
 
12 / 12 / 2012
 
Save a horse, play a cowboy game. Gun: The Showdown (1/5) is something like an early, smaller-scale Red Dead Redemption ... it came out for PS2/Xbox/PC and apparently those versions are better, but this PSP port we're looking at today is balls. The Tin Star (3/5) is an ancient arcade game from Taito that's actually pretty fun, but uses a funky rotating knob control scheme that's hard to compensate for on emulators.
 
 
12 / 9 / 2012
 
Arr, more pirates. Treasure Adventure Game (3/5) comes free when you make an account over at GoodOldGames, but you can also download it directly from the author. It's a freeware Metroidvania with charming graphics and presentation but a little too much of the ol' Fiddly Jumpin' for my tastes. Puzzle Pirates (3/5) is an old MMO I used to play back in the day when it required a monthly subscription ... now it's on Steam F2P (but with the usual optional microtransaction stuff to buy your way to glory.) Both for PC.
 
 
 
12 / 5 / 2012
 
 

Today, two PC indie games that were the inverse of what I was expecting of each. To The Moon (2/5) is one of those little indies that comes Highly Touted from message boards and blogs and such. I thought it was going to be a great story. It wasn't. Home (3/5), on the other hand, I had never heard of before buying and only picked up because it was on sale for $1 and looked a lot like Lone Survivor. I thought, "for $1 this has to be kind of crap." Turns out it's actually a very interesting narrative experiment in one of the unique ways that games can be used to tell a story!
 
 
12 / 2 / 2012
 

THREE SUPERKICKS?!!!! THREE SUPERKICKS!!!!! We conclude our Rainy Weekend Special of consecutive updates with two games that really don't have a theme other than both being pretty bad - Darkened Skye (Gamecube, 1/5) and Shinobido (PSP, 1/5). Former is some weird attempt by Skittles to sneak a game full of marketing into your house. The latter I just found out (after posting the review) was actually made by the designer of the first two Tenchu games for PS1, after he went independent, and tries to recapture their style, but somehow fails terribly. It's a port of a PS2 game tho, maybe the original doesn't suck as bad? Having a 2nd analog stick couldn't hurt any.
 
12 / 1 / 2012
 

Yep, still raining. Wipeout (2/5) was a launch title for PS1 and kinda was Sony's challenge to Nintendo's F-Zero series in the futuristic hovercar magnetic track racing department. There were a couple of sequels in between, but Wipeout Fusion (3/5) was the first (and only) of the series for the PS2.
 
 
11 / 30 / 2012
 
PSP! Exit (2/5), Taito's pretty-but-clunky puzzle-platformer about the slowest guy in the universe saving people from burning buildings, and Everyday Shooter (3/5), a little budget indie shooter with unique gameplay mechanics and trippy visual style.
 
Looks like I'm totally rained in here until Sunday or Monday so maybe some Moar Stuff tomorrow.
 
11 / 28 / 2012
 

Cibbilidzation! Civilization (4/5) for SNES and Civilization III (4/5) for PC
 
11 / 25 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Old-ass game shows! Family Feud (1/5) for PS2, American Gladiators (0/5) for NES
 
 
11 / 23 / 2012
 

Welcome back from the feasts! Hope nobody got trampled to death at a Wal-Mart.
 
Since everyone is still all bloated up, let's keep the fare light and simple today. Three small, inexpensive indie games for PC - The Tiny Bang Story (2/5), Greed Corp. (3/5), and Caster (1/5). An adventure game that totally rips off Amanita Design's style, a pretty good and inventive strategy game, and a rather poor animu-tinged action game respectively.
 
11 / 21 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today's theme is ... uh ... well there isn't one. Oh wait! '90s games with really nice sprite art?
 
 
 
11 / 19 / 2012
 

Arr, a piratey day. Skull and Crossbones (1/5) is some weird action game from Tengen/Atari for the NES. Skies of Arcadia Legends (3/5) is a port of a much-beloved RPG from the Dreamcast to the Gamecube.
 
 
11 / 17 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OK troops, here's the situation. Thanks to those months of downtime over the summer, we're sitting on a whole bunch of half-completed reviews. Looming ahead, however, is Black Friday and then the Holiday Sales, threatening to create a whole new Pile. So, while I have a week off from school here, we're gonna go Hard In Tha Paint and try to clear up this review backlog. Updates every 2 or 3 days for awhile. Good times.
 
Today ... we chip away at Rockstar's endless GTA clones. L.A. Noire (3/5, PC) was advertised to shit and back, prolly needs no introduction. GTA: Chinatown Wars (2/5, PSP) is a trip back to 2D for the franchise. I see people romanticize the old 2D games in comments and such, but really, there's a reason why the franchise moved on - those games had hecka gameplay problems and the 3D incarnations are really just leagues more fun.
 
 
 
11 / 14 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Men in rubber and spandex! Let's see what kind of weird Google traffic that gets me. Anyway, Diabolik (1/5) for PSP, which is an adventure game starring a weird Italian anti-hero, and Batman: Arkham City (4/5) for PC, which is that thing that was the big thing.
 
 
11 / 11 / 2012
 

Let's fighting! Super Street Fighter IV Arcade (PC, 4/5) is pretty great, but you probably already knew that. Final Fantasy Dissidia (PSP, 2/5) ... not so much, unless you're into shitty animu fanfic stories and a videogame approximation of LARPer battles.
 
 
 
11 / 8 / 2012
 

Cyberpunk! Gemini Rue (4/5) is an indie adventure game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (4/5) is a not-indie not-really-adventure. More of a shooty thing, but with plenty of talky too.
 
11 / 5 / 2012
 

A little unconventional racing action today. Super Runabout: San Francisco Edition (1/5) is part of Interplay's obscure series of Driver clones, and the only entry for the Dreamcast. ATV Offroad Fury (3/5) is one of the few ATV racing games out there, and is for the PS2.
 
 
11 / 2 / 2012
 

So, a couple of updates ago we had JRPG and WRPG disappointing us together ... today it's, uh, J-Strategy and W-Strategy. Majesty 2 (2/5) is an RTS for PC, very similar to Warcraft, but you have to bribe all your units to actually do shit. Yep. Valkyria Chronicles 2 (3/5) is the oddball sequel to a innovative turn-based modern war strategy game that took the PS3 by storm, inexplicably scaled down and released on the PSP.
 
10 / 26 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Yep, Mandatory Halloween Spooky Update Time. Enjoy while hiding at the back of your house on All Hallow's Eve with the lights out, so the kids don't even bother knocking. 
 
Three indie horror games for PC - LIMBO (3/5), Lone Survivor (3/5), and Amnesia: The Dark Descent (3/5). What are they like? Click the links and find out ... IF YOU DARE OOOOOOooooOOOOOOooOOOOOOooooOOO ... ehh.
 
 
 
10 / 21 / 2012
 

JRPG ... and WRPG / Suck together in per-fect ... har-mon-y / Side by side on my web-site .... oh hello there. I guess "suck" is too harsh for today's entries, but I think "disappointing" is definitely fair for both. Tales of Eternia (3/5) for PSP, and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (3/5) for PC. Neither deserves a bad grade, but they're both late entries in long-running series that could have done better. 
 
10 / 18 / 2012
 
A couple of arcade compilations for PSP today: Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded (2/5) and Taito Legends Power Up (2/5)
 
 
10 / 14 / 2012
 
Whew! Managed to get all my Weekend Shiz under control yesterday, now I can have a lazy Sunday.
 
Let's start off by attacking Le Pile some more. Next up are possibly the two biggest strategy-RPGs for the PSP: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (2/5) and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (3/5). Both of which are just ports of older games, from the SNES and PS1 respectively. The scores will probably seem like sacrilege to some people, but I think they've both aged pretty badly.
 
 
10 / 10 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ergh ... looking like a super busy week-and-a-half starting tomorrow, so I figured I'd better bloop up another update while I still have one lazy morning to work with.
 
Psychonauts (4/5) is a unique platformer with a dash of adventure game, natural given its pedigree of former LucasArts developers. Sequence (3/5) is a fairly recent indie game that merges button-pressing rhythm with RPG elements. Both for PC.
 
 
 
10 / 7 / 2012
 
Ain't no stoppin' us now! We're on the move! Actually, we've got a big backlog of reviews thanks to all the time off, so updates should be pretty frequent for a while.
 
If today has a theme, I guess it would be "art games that got a little too worried about their high concept at the expense of gameplay, but are still pretty good" day. And here we have Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP (3/5) and Bastion (3/5), both for PC. The former is an adventure in the old-school style, with a very artsy bent, and ported over from the iPad. The latter is a much-ballyhooed "indie" game that actually isn't all that indie. It's kinda like Legend of Mana meets a '90s PC isometric run-and-gun type of game.
 
10 / 5 / 2012
 

WISE FROM YOUR GWAVE! It's Plato's Cavern v. 2.5!
 
Not all the changes I wanted to make are implemented yet, but if I kept the site offline until that was all done, it'd be well into next year. So instead we've got the functional skeleton all done, and stuff can be easily added in on top from here on out.
 
Quick overview of the new hotness:
 
* Spiff cascading menu system
* New review indexes with Moar Informations
* All the articles that were off-site (i.e. the old Associated Content stuff) are now hosted here locally for Moar Convenient Browsing
* Went through and did a massive sweep on every old page fixing broken images, links, spelling and punctuation errors, etc. Still not 100% perfect but much, much better.
* Will be a site search function here shortly, though it's not quite ready yet
* Converted to a 5-point rating scale
 
 

We took 2 months off so let's not dilly-dally, let's get right back into the muck and the mire. We've got a new NFL season on our hands here so we'll kick off with some miscellaneous ball-kicking-related action: AFL Challenge (1/5) and Blood Bowl (3/5) for the PSP, and Blitz: The League (3/5) for the PS2.
 
 
8 / 18 / 2012
 
Couple more quickies today, both for DS. Rhythm N' Notes (0/5) is a terrible edutainment game,  Touchmaster (1/5) is a collection of those bar games on those little touch-screen monitors. Been pouring my time recently into really making headway on this site refurbish/improvement thingy we're doing. It's going well! I still don't wanna put a date on it tho.
 
8 / 15 / 2012
 
Coupla quickies today. Chak's Temple (3/5) is a story-driven freeware spin on Arkanoid that also adds a lot of tree-choppin'. Super Stardust Portable (4/5) is a really nifty downloadable little shooter for PSP that has made itself a permanent home on my memory card.
 
8 / 11 / 2012
 
Today we're checking out what might be the three best multiplayer party games on the Gamecube short of Smash Bros. - Mario Kart: Double Dash (4/5), Bomberman Generation (3/5), and Super Monkey Ball (3/5). The somewhat tepid overall scores are due solely to the fact that the single-player experience in all of them isn't as great.
 
This is also one of those odd updates that's actually relevant, as the Wii is fully backward compatible ... looks like the Wii U won't be though, as Nintendo wants to sell you these games again as Virtual Console downloads.
 
8 / 5 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Don't worry, no rants about Barry O'Bummer's America here, we're just looking at some old board game/game show adaptations that were pretty neat.
 
Clue (3/5) for Sega Genesis, Monopoly (4/5) and Wheel of Fortune (2/5) for NES.
 
 
7 / 30 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I think u doin' it wrong, brah. :(

Isn't it about time for Summerslam or whatever? I lost track of pro rasslin' a long time ago but I still like a good game of it every now and then. Today let's check out WWE All-Stars for PSP (2/5), and Pro Wrestling for the Sega Master System (1/5)
 
 
 
7 / 27 / 2012
 
In one game, you Hashashinate; in the other, you protect from Hashahinations. Assassin's Creed (2/5) and the freeware Black Shades (2/5), both for PC.
 
7 / 21 / 2012
 
It's fun to watch videos of the Fighter Maker series on Youtube, particularly the stuff that comes out of NicoNico like Whirlwind Technique v.s. Epileptic Master. However, actually trying to make them with either of the games? Or even trying to make a "serious" fighting game? Not so much fun.
 
Fighter Maker for PS1 (2/5), Fighter Maker 2 for PS2 (2/5). Also worth noting that the first Fighter Maker doesn't actually let you edit the appearance of a character ... all you can do is alter the moveset of the pre-existing roster.
 
7 / 15 / 2012
 
As far as that site overhaul ... at this point I'm gonna have to slap the ol' "it's done when it's done" on it. By the end of this month is now clearly not gonna happen; in a month-and-a-half I've got a 15 unit semester (followed by an 18 unit semester as I push to finally graduate this academic year.) This is where having a small readership that primarily comes in through Google and doesn't even look at updates comes in really handy! Anyway, no later than the end of this year. I work on it a bit most days, it's just a lot of tedious grindwork, but it's getting there.
 
Today's games - Oldschool Run-N-Gun Dystopia with The Terminator (2/5) for Sega CD and Hunter Hunted (2/5) for PC.
 
7 / 11 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
JAPAN! Banana Prince (1/5) is your typical cutesy platformer for NES, but with some odd mechanics. Ball Bullet Gun (2/5) is an odd fusion of Airsoft and turn-based strategy for SNES.
 
7 / 7 / 2012
 
Nippon Ichi and their spazzery again. Z.H.P Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman (PSP, 2/5). This is what happens when you take the Disgaea engine and force it into a Roguelike somehow. A Roguelike with heaps of Grindan? Yep, they've managed to pull it off.
 
7 / 2 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Samurai, and nin-jer-....y  /  Live together in perfect har-mo-ny! Kengo: Master of Bushido for PS2 (1/5), and the two Tenchu games for PSP: Shadow Assassins (1/5) and Time of the Assassins (2/5).
 
Meanwhilst ... I was counting on the Steam Summer Sale to replenish the ol' supply of Enjoyable Games on a budget, but Valve is being very Mystelious about it this year ... why is it starting later than usual? When will it start? WILL it start? Gabe Trollwell only sits silently, with a jolly but inscrutable smile on his face.
 
 
6 / 30 / 2012
 
Just two random-ass games today: Hammerin' Harry (Arcade, 2/5) and Trip World (Gameboy, 2/5). Big Steam summer sale is rumored to start tomorrow. Ffffff. I haven't even touched a few things yet from the Xmas one.
 
6 / 26 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today is Unconventional Open World PS2 Day. Bully (4/5) and Jaws Unleashed (1/5)
 
 
 
6 / 21 / 2012
 
  Today, two Mega Man games headed in opposite directions. Rockman 8 FC (NR) is the follow-up to the delightful Rockman 7 FC, and strips away the cutesy colorful childish aesthetic of the source material to bring the game back to its NES roots. Mega Man: Powered Up (PSP, 2/5), on the other hand, takes an NES original and MM8s it up with sugary fluff through the roof.
 
 
6 / 16 / 2012
 
Moar Minis! Ninjamurai (1/5), Canabalt (2/5), Run Ghost Run (2/5). Not real impressed with the Minis thus far - is there anything really good out there that I'm missing? Nevertheless that's it for Minis for a bit.
 
6 / 12 / 2012
 
Gettin' hecka Casual today with Arcade Essentials Evolution (0/5) and Angry Birds (2/5). Both are downloadable Minis for the PSP and PS3.
 
6 / 8 / 2012
 
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Will Du Watch Endless Cutscenes. For PS2 (2/5).
 
6 / 3 / 2012
 
The horror ... the downloadable horror! Two PSP games that are download-only today, at least in Engrishland. Corpse Party (3/5), which nails atmosphere and tension but struggles a bit more with gameplay, and Hysteria Project (2/5), which is strangely like a Sega CD game.
 
On the site update front ... it's looking like late July-ish instead of late June-ish
 
5 / 28 / 2012
 
Given that the world is going to end in December, I guess we should be playing more disaster-themed games to get ready? Today, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (3/5) and Disaster Report (2/5), both for PS2
 
5 / 24 / 2012
 
Ys Chronicles for PSP ... the "safe" thing to say about this apparently is that these games Haven't Aged Well and needed to be Updated Moar ... as it happens I don't agree, so (4/5)
 
5 / 18 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today, Le Broken Sword Trilogy for PC, which I got off Le Steam for Le Pittance during Le Last Big Sale. THE GAMES ARE SET IN PARIS BY THE WAY.
 
 
 
 
 
5 / 11 / 2012
 
Hello! For the newcomers out there, the site is kinda a janky mess at the moment as we're in the middle of a re-build. That's slated to launch late Juneish. Keep a sharp eye out for asbestos and crackling wires until then.
 
Today's weekly contribution to The Pile is a couple of Bond games: From Russia With Love for PS2 (3/5), and Goldeneye: Rogue Agent for Gamecube (1/5). I have no idea what happened to that Hacker Evolution: Untold review down below, got beamed off the planet by aliens or something. Unfortunately I also deleted the original text of it too so I'd have to write another from scratch. I don't think it's key to the internet's survival so I'm in no big hurry on that. Review was basically just "more of same, still sux" anyway
 
5 / 5 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I take on three spy/hacker-themed games that are cult favorites, but that I thought were pretty much rubbish. The only people who will read these reviews are fanboys (who have already played the games in question to death) who might find them through a Google Alert or something through happenstance, go sneer about this affront to their collective tastes on a message board, or possibly escalate to sending me some shitty email about it.
 
Y I KEEP DO DIS.
 
 
4 / 29 / 2012
 
Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires (PS2, 3/5) is all we got for today. Yep, it's true.
 
4 / 22 / 2012
 
 
Whew, we had our first 90-degree weekend here, so I guess it's a good time for ... Scantily Clad Wimmins Day? Our offerings are Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP, 1/5), which fails even in the modest task of polygonal perversity, and Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2, 3/5), which manages to be fairly substantial (without scrimping on the fanservice)
 
4 / 13 / 2012
 
I didn't even realize today was gonna be a Friday the 13th, probably should have planned something. Oh well. Instead, you get some unrelated PSP action with Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (3/5) and Ys: The Oath In Felghana (4/5). Felghana actually just came out a few weeks ago for PC (via Steam) as well, but it's a complete coincidence that I happened to pick up the PSP version just before that.
 
4 / 5 / 2012
 
Zeboyd Games seems to be movin' on up in the world, having landed the third installment of Penny Arcade Adventures. As it happens I picked up their previous games Breath of Death VII (3/5) and Cthulhu Saves The World (4/5) over Xmas on the Steam sale. They're very good parody romps of 8- and 16-bit RPGs, the latter with notably more depth and polish than the former.

 

As for site update news: Slow progress, but progress. I'm anticipating launch of the revamped site around Juneish. Also, some questions as to why no ratings for the last couple months of games? Well, we're switching over to the 5-point system with the re-launch and for some reason I felt like not bothering to list them here. I guess I can if you really want them though.
 
3 / 27 / 2012
 
Apparently the new Kid Icarus for 3DS is some big thing now, so it seems like a good time for Mythology Day. First we have the little-known Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (3/5) for the original Gameboy, the direct sequel that's actually better than the NES version due to being way more playable and less frustrating. Then it's round two with Kratos in God Of War II (2/5) for PS2, in which they seem to have isolated the worst gameplay elements of the first game and then centered the sequel almost entirely around them.
 
3 / 20 / 2012
 
Cowabunga! For some reason I got a bug up my ass to play some old-school TMNT beat-em-ups, but then I found out yesterday it's the latest property from our childhoods that Michael Bay is going to shit up in cinematic form with ugly CGI. Hooray! In the meantime here's TMNT for GBA (2/5), TMNT 3 for NES (2/5), and Hyperstone Heist for Genesis (3/5).
 
 
 
 
 
 
3 / 14 / 2012
 
 
Spring Break bruuuuuhs, get your spray tan on! I'm off for a week and a half as of today, and made some decisions about the site. I think we're gonna go for a Plato 2.5 thing here at Talkspot rather than jumping to Plato 3.0. The place won't be as slick as I want it to be, but it'll definitely be more appealing and usable. And I'm doing the work in such a way that it's an intermediate step that can be built on in the future to finally create the Ultimate Turbo Super Collector's Edition of the site.
 
All the drudge work will be going on in the background, no worries about service interruptions or whatevs. For today, here's Actraiser 2 (SNES, 2/5), a disappointing follow-up that I think suffered most from being a "budget" project and not getting a save battery, and Taboo: The Sixth Sense (NES, 0/5), a bigger waste of money than Miss Cleo.
 
3 / 10 / 2012
 
Still futzin' with the site. In the meantime here's a completely unneccessary review of Portal 2 (PC, 4/5), kinda like that 8 month old copy of Newsweek or Good Housekeeping you flip through while waiting at the dentist's office.
 
3 / 4 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Haven't had time to have a good Diddle with the site improvement stuff yet. Got a midterm coming up in a couple days here, so probably after that.
 
Always have time to blow off some steam with some games and then rant about them afterward, though. FEDA: The Emblem of Justice (3/5) answers the question of "What would Shining Force have been like if it came out on the SNES intead?". Well, sort of. For further detail please consult le review. Ultima 4  (2/5) for the Sega Master System is an interesting attempt to do a fairly straight port of a complex PC RPG to a not-so-complex console. Unlike the NES port, which JRPG'd everything up, this one stays pretty faithful to the PC original.
 
 
 
 
2 / 28 / 2012
 
First, today's update - the Urban Chaos series, which is only a "series" in the loose sense that its two games that came from the same publisher with the same name. And centered around chaoticness in urban areas, I guess. Otherwise pretty different.
Urban Chaos (1/5) for PS1 and Urban Chaos: Riot Response (3/5) for PS2.

 

Next, onto the ongoing Site Improvement/Moving Saga:

 

 

After poking around in the bowels of my Talkspot account, I found that they actually let you execute your own Javascript on-site now. So it's possible that I could have the full functionality of what I want to do here, it just wouldn't look quite as nice (still Web 1.0-ish, but better than it is now.)

 

So, will we stay in place after all? WHAT A TWEEST! It would save a heck of a lot of time and trouble in moving the 1000-ish pages that are here and setting up a new support structure for them. Would save a bit of money too. The only downsides would be that the site is still stuck in a prefab "template" system that could be made to look better, but still not entirely professional. And there's also always the possiblity of a future unexpected Talkspot "update" knocking everything out from under me somehow.

 

Hmm. Gonna fool around with stuff onsite and find out. Don't panic if the site disappears for a bit or does something weird in the next few weeks.
 
 
 
2 / 24 / 2012
 
Decided to continue with the updates here while the whole moving process goes on in the background. Won't really generate all that much extra work, after all.
 
Got some stuff in the pipes here, for now please enjoy this statue of Dr. Mario perving it up
 
 
2 / 21 / 2012
 
I've been jobbing Talkspot a bunch so far this year, but we've had some good times here. I like the ease-of-use if you're content with a Web 1.0-ish looking site based on a limited set of templates. And the HTML editor is working again now, so there's that. Can't beat the price for (theoretically) unlimited storage and bandwidth either, even if the whole site is about 120 MB all told and we get only maybe a few hundred visitors a day.
 
All these issues with updating lately have made me realize, however, that I've lazily just been Web 1.0ing it up the last couple of years, when really I should have been more ambitiously building toward what I envisioned this site being when it started out back in 2007. Actually, that's not a lot more complex than what we have now, but it would involve a more Brofessional looking frontend and some PHP, neither of which is possible here.
 
So I've made the decision to move and rebuild. Not anytime soon. The place is paid up until the end of the year anyway, so there's no real pressure, I can spend as much time as I need taking this slow and doing it right, and in the meantime what's already here is in no danger of going anywhere. If you need it for some reason. I was just looking at my live stats and apparently someone from Google does. Sup bro or brodette (as the case may be).
 
Anyway, what you can (eventually) look forward to in Plato 3.0:
 
+ Brofessional frontend with PHP database search functions, search reviews on the fly with multiple variables. Good times.
+ New 5-point rating system for increased patina of legitimacy. Also so we can wreck Metacritic and Gamerankings metascores and send fanboys into a tizzy. Also also so maybe you can actually click on a review on those sites of a game that's more than 5 or so years old and not get a dead link or some bullshit that was written by a chipmunk.
+ Re-reviewing a few games that I was kinda lazy about. None of them are indie games though.
 
+ Fixing ALL broke screenshots and gameplay vid links. I'd estimate 1/3 of the gameplay links are dead now, mostly stuff from 07-09.
 
+ Moar Groader
 
I'm divided on putting any new reviews here. It's back to being easily doable, but it's more work that just has to be ported later. Let me get a better handle on how long a transition is going to take.
 
Alright, I'm missing a Pens game so that's it for now. More later.
 
2 / 14 / 2012
 
For all my bros and brodettes Han Soloin' it out there today, let's ease our pain by pointing and laughing at a terrible game. I can't even remember how I found the wall of our hearts (PC) originally but I had a note scribbled next to it saying "play for V-Day maybe?" Now I can't help but read that in a Zoidberg voice for some reason. I guess it's another arty-farty platformer, I don't even know anymore.

In sadder news, Talkspot instituted yet another sudden unrequested "update" that is supposed to "improve" the service. tl;dr, it didn't fix any of the prior problems, and actually broke the HTML editor severely. I'm not gonna rant about the gory details here, I'll contact them and see if they have any plans to make it not suck ass, and if they don't ... I don't know. It could be a few before I update again, I might even look into relocating, I'm tired of dealing with this broke-ass Widget system. We'll see. Just wanted to give a heads up that this place might be dark for awhile though, I'm not dead, someone just keeps urinating in my toolbox.

 
2 / 11 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to suck dwarf cork.
 
I didn't originally plan to pair these two games up for an update but they make an interesting comparison in using "mature" themes. God of War (PS2) is just balls-out blood, violence and tits to excess (though I'll give it credit for being the first time I can remember seeing bare tits in a console game). The Witcher (PC) isn't above some tits, but goes about it in more of a restrained way, and focuses more on mature writing and characters. Also both games you can get for like 3 bucks if you fish around a bit.
 
 
 
2 / 7 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Two more games for the Inferior PS Dipple with Shadow of Rome and Silent Hill 2 . Actually I've got a whole pile of PS2 and PC games right now so if you don't care about either of those platforms, uh ... maybe check back in April or so?
 
1 / 29 / 2012
 
We're back to bagging on overly hard games for a bit. But this time, ones from major publishers, so everyone can feel good about it. Well, except fanboys, I guess.
 
Anyway, two entries to the PS2 stable - Shinobi and Gradius III & IV . The Shinobi review comes off as negative but I actually thought it was OKish, if you see it lying around for 2 bucks I'd grab it and give it a shot, it might tickle your ninjer balls. Gradius 3 and 4 are garbo, on the other hand. Which is baffling since I liked Gradius 3 on the SNES, but apparently the original arcade versions of Gradius games suck worse than their eventual console ports.
 
1 / 26 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The masses have spoken and they want MOAR OBSCURE ODDBALL GAMES!!!
 
We are pleased to oblige. First there's Revengers of Vengeance (Sega CD), runner-up to the title of "Worst Game Name Ever" (presently held by VVVVVVV). The game, surprisingly, is not a *complete* train wreck. It's actually an interesting fusion of RPG, fighting game and space shooter, even if it doesn't come out all that well.
 
I'm sure you've heard of the Sega Genesis Moonwalker, and maybe you've seen the arcade version too ... but did you know there's a PC version of Moonwalker that predates both of them? It actually came out for all the major home computers of the time ... and is markedly worse.
 
 
1 / 22 / 2012
 
 
The beast Lu Bu must die today! I dunno why it took me so long to get around to Dynasty Warriors. Up 'till now I only played a demo of #3 ages ago and that craptacular one for DS. Random trades landed me Dynasty Warriors 4 and Dynasty Warriors 5 at the same time just before Xmas, and I think the smileys speak for themselves. Of the two I think Dynasty Warriors 5 is probably the better introduction to the series if you're completely new since it does a better job of explaining stuff in-game and has more linear campaign missions, but Dynasty Warriors 4 I like a little better for various reasons (mostly butt rock soundtrack tbh)
 
1 / 18 / 2012
 
Not gonna bother with the blackout thing today because only like 20 people read this site and I'm sure they're already very familiar with and opposed to SOPA and PIPA already if they're in the U.S.
 
I had to share this, though, absolute comedy gold has come out of the Wikipedia shutdown today: Herpderpedia, retweeting the tweets of random people who are clueless about what SOPA/PIPA are.
 
The thing that really gets me about this one is all the students tweeting "OMG I HATE U WIKIPEDIA I HAVE ESSAY DUE 2MORROW". I don't even know where to start. I'm in university myself and Wikipedia is a great "starting point" to get a general overview of something you're unfamiliar with and leads to follow. If you completely rely on it to write papers at the last minute and don't even consider maybe even going to a library, you're officially a joke-tier student that doesn't deserve any sort of college funding and should be kicked out of uni immediately and shipped off to a Wal-Mart Training Camp.
 
 
1 / 18 / 2012
 
OK, after this one we're done beating up on poor struggling indie game designers who donate their games to charity bundles for a while. The Binding of Isaac is actually a pretty interesting take on the Roguelike genre, but I felt like it came out of the oven way too soon or something.
 
Unfortunately the PSP gets its first (and the first of 2012) with Generation of Chaos, a strategy/RPG that also appeared to come out of the oven way too soon. That or the designers were smoking something through the whole dev and shipping cycle.
 
1 / 16 / 2012
 
It's Indie Opposites Day! Nightsky is part of this whole sedated Zen Games thing where you peacefully roll a ball. Shank is a game that gives you the opportunity to kill 30, maybe 40 men (per screen), in a variety of gruesome ways. Both for PC, incidentally.
 
1 / 14 / 2012
 
Tearing thru the Indie Bundle while I have time. Today, for PC, Bit.Trip Runner , Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles .
 
1 / 12 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Man, back to the student grind in just a week :(
 
I got in the mood for lighter and more arcadey fare so I decided to finish up the Humble Indie Bundle 4. Mixed start so far. The quality of Jamestown surprised me for a little first-time indie outfit, but Super Meat Boy is another in this trendy "overly hard Flash platformer" thing that I don't understand. File it away with dubstep I guess.
 
 
 
 
1 / 10 / 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We'll start off 2012 with Daggerfall (which is freeware now) and Morrowind for PC. Instead of Skyrim. Because this is how we ball in the y12k.
 
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