Patrick R

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Everything posted by Patrick R

  1. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Today I learned about the existence of Peggle Extreme, the Orange Box themed Peggle game, which lead me to discovering that 2007 was also the year the original Peggle debuted. I played a ton of Peggle Nights and will have to go back and get the original as well. The theming is completely irrelevant for a game like Peggle (and I'm honestly a bit surprised they never cranked out an endless stream of licensed Peggle games a la Angry Birds), but more Peggle is more Peggle. Pretty sure there were portals (just not Portal portals) in the original game, but either way those levels at the end of this are definitely the highlight. I always remember Peggle as a game that is kind of mindlessly satiisfying, but the later levels are actually a real challenge that have you thinking in terms of positioning, resource management, and risk/reward. It's just that there's enough random elements (between orange peg placement and landing in the bucket) that even if you stink you'll probably eventually be able to beat a tough level by dumb luck.
  2. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    I guess my point is there is a difference between lazing around your house and the frequently more cramped spaces of transit. On Giant Bomb they talked about how Nintendo's mock airplane seats at the Switch event seemed laughably large, so I will be curious to see how people feel about it once it's in the wild. On the other hand, as someone who lives in a one bedroom apartment and shares a single TV with my partner, a console you can just grab and take into the other room (without the Wii-U's apparent connection problems that I've heard of) seems like a good concept.
  3. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    Does the Switch seem like an impractical handheld to anyone else? It looks massive and even if I had an hour or so commute by train/bus/subway, I can't imagine playing it in a situation where someone was sitting next to me. Have they listed the actual measurements anywhere?
  4. The holy grail of restorations is, as far as I'm concerned, owned by Tim Burton. Apparently he owns a print of a fully edited version of Mars Attack that has NO CGI in it. It's an entire movie of people freaking out over invisible invaders. Word is he will occasionally screen it for friends and people in the industry and it is a hilarious and completely moronic thing.
  5. Movie/TV recommendations

    Curse of the Jade Scorpion has maybe some of the worst/most hilarious self-casting of any of Woody's movies. The "suave macho detective played by Woody Allen" would have been wrung for all the irony it was worth in one of his early movies, but I genuinely think he was trying to play him as sexy and cool. Allen likes to complain that no one notices his acting range and while I agree he has some range, he does not have that range. Mostly what I remember about Jade Scorpion is Allen's typical 30's fetishization, the great music, and that it was the last time he cast himself as the romantic lead opposite someone 30+ years younger than him (though he has a bad sex comedy scene opposite Saved By the Bell's Tiffani Thiessen in Hollywood Ending).
  6. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch) I don't like Mario's hat having eyes. Not one bit.
  7. I used to get tired trying to argue that Lost World isn't actually that much worse than Jurassic Park, but now I can just link to this article. Unlike the author I still think JP is a little better than Lost World (the mentioned flattening of Ian Malcolm really hurts it because none of the new characters can really pick up the slack) but only a little. It's highs are higher, but I think it's lows (Grant learns to be a dad, endless hand-wringing over science going too far, the embarrassing ice cream speech) are so much lower. Not that I think this argument is gonna get much traction on this, the most Jurassic Park loving of all podcasts I've ever listened to. But I always feels like it needs to be said. One of these days people are gonna look back and re-evaluate The Lost World. And then still probably say it's terrible solely because of one gymnastics scene that is only marginally more ridiculous than Lex's hacking.
  8. Best uses of vocal tracks in games

    I don't care about the stories or characters in Saint's Row the Third one iota, but this moment was so nice it almost made me forget that. Especially since my character had a Russian woman's voice, and sang in an adorable accent. EDIT: I guess this is actually kind of a Saints Row trope, now that I check out the other recommended videos? That's too bad. SR the 3rd was the first one I ever played and it came as a total surprise.
  9. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    A quick three! Crayon Physics, the game that would become Crayon Physics Deluxe two years later, had it's debut as a tossed off proof of concept in 2007. As an early version it's very limited (you can only draw rectangles), and I cannot for the life of me get past the fourth screen. Stumped. Kyntt Stories is an engine of some sort by Nifflas for people to create platforming adventure games. It comes with one story, The Machine, but there are more to download from the site. I feel like I've played a dozen games identical to it on on the past couple years. Maybe they were made with this engine? Got lost 10 minutes in, called it quits. Kinda dull. Pretty good music though. Rose and Camellia is kind of a joke Flash game, but it's a joke that made me laugh really hard. You should probably just play it for a couple minutes, or watch this video.
  10. Moirai: Fast Farm Fun

    I really like the recursive nature of this, as well as the subtle multiplayer.
  11. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    [Sorry, accidentally prematurely posted right before leaving for a doctor's appointment.] Me and Painkiller Overdose are done, professionally. Still interested in giving the original a play someday, but Overdose isn't my jar of jelly. According to Gama Sutra and a baby Griffin McElroy writing for, Chain Factor is a game that was only made to be part of an ARG for the CBS show Numb3rs. I can't speak to any of the fictional ARG hooks in Chain Factor, but I can say it's a really fun and addictive puzzle drop game. The premise is somewhat difficult to describe well (pop bubbles by putting them in rows or columns that are as long as their number), but like any good game of it's ilk once you get the hang of it it opens up as a game of spacial and resource management, and trying to make every move work towards clearing out garbage blocks. The music is fantastic and Gamasutra's write-up of it seems to suggest the music comes courtesy of minimalist composer Steve Reich, though it's entirely possible they only meant to imply it reminded them of his work. The whole thing makes me wonder if ten years from now someone might stumble upon Glittermitten Grove blissfully unaware of what Frog Fractions 2 is. Going back and doing more research I discovered the game Drop 7, which I had heard referenced on Idle Thumbs (I think) but never seen in action. I've found videos listing Chain Factor as a Drop 7 clone except that Drop 7 was officially released two years after Chain Factor? So either Drop 7 is a Chain Factor clone or the people who made the game for the ARG went on to further develop it for themselves and release it as Drop 7. What a strange development! EDIT: Talked about this in Slack and learned that not only is it the same developer for both, but there's a good Designer Notes episode about the whole thing!
  12. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Maybe it gets funny later. I sat through the dialogue of about two conversations before I started skipping it all.
  13. I just think the one thing Alien 3 gets really really right is it's tone, and that opening (and later, Newt's autopsy) is a big part of that. I think Alien 3 doesn't work because the side characters are all underdeveloped and the action scenes get incoherent when you don't understand the geography of the environment and all the bald-headed prisoners look identical and they never started with a full version of the script. But the only reason people call it an interesting failure is, I think, that tone. And you don't get that doom and gloom hopelessness from Ripley if Hicks and Newt are auto-jetissoned into space and there's a hope they got found and had a chance at a good life. That said, I'm not really a big fan of Aliens (I find Cameron's badass grunt characterizations to be mostly intolerable, and the budget really isn't there for the scope he's going for) and I find Michael Biehn to be a particularly boring actor, so there's not a lot of love lost from me when they killed them off. Especially when the way they get killed off is in this spectacular series of impressionistic edits: It works better with the hard cuts to black of the titles, but that image of the facehugger unfurling it's legs will be stuck in my nightmares forever. This is honestly one of the more memorable sequences in the entire series for me.
  14. I'm constantly amazed at the people who get mad at Alien 3 because they wanted more Michael Bland and Chirping Little Kid in their Alien movies. A3 is a failure on some pretty major levels, but thank God they didn't try to just do Aliens again.
  15. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Painkiller Overdose is the first Painkiller game I've ever played and maybe that's my first mistake. I am totally onboard for a game that's Serious Sam but, like, full of wicked shit. I was even ok with the totally awful and nonsensical 8 minute word-salad exposition dump opening cutscene*. But for such a simple game, it's also way more obscure than it needs to be. All the enemies and weapons are too abstract for their own good. Should I be firing a skull laser at an armored knight? What about firing a bone shotgun at an enemy that just looks like an enviromental clump of fire? Or spinning a cube at a rock monster? What the hell is happening? The two major things you do in this game, take damage and issue damage, seem to occur with little corresponding onscreen info. Enemy death animations are often confusing and I'm often still firing ammo into dead enemies because I can't tell they aren't alive. It's hard to distinguish between the rubble and fire that's setting the mood of the world and the rubble and fire that most the enemies are made out of. And when I take damage it can be hard to figure out who attacked me and what I could have done to dodge their attacks. My best guess is that the proper Painkiller game does a better job setting up the world and enemies and weapons, because as far as I can tell in the original Painkiller you're just a typical Grim White Dude Protagonist © instead of a fallen angel/devil/Duke Nukem (seriously, the one-liners your character spouts out are so bad and repetitive), so your weapons wouldn't be all crazy demonic magic objects. Probably Painkiller Overdose was made primarily for people who've already played the main game and want something different. I've probably only played about 20 minutes, but it has not made a good impression on me thus far. *So based on this video, the opening cutscene is only about 4 minutes. It felt like 15.
  16. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    I've been playing more Puzzle Quest and realized that I've been looking at it wrong. I've been thinking of it as akin to an iOS game, but it's really deeper than that. All the base building and equipment crafting and solo puzzles and spell learning and conquering other towns and finding runes and etc. etc. etc. it's a much larger and deeper strategy RPG than I was giving it credit for. It just happens to also be a match 3 game. I said earlier that, if it were to come out today, the first thing that they'd change is all the story stuff, but probably it just wouldn't be as fully featured. I think I've reached the end of my time with it (about 6 hours in) because I don't think I can really wrap my head around the whole thing and I don't find the core gameplay that compelling as to power through it. Matches (even against easy opponents) just take too long for me to try out different builds, strategies, etc. But it's definitely a cool game.
  17. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Goldeneye 2D is a demake of the N64 Goldeneye game by Perfect Run that renders it as a Game Boy side-scroller, not to be confused with the actual 007 Game Boy RPG that I remember kinda liking. It's got all the mission objectives (and difficulty!) of a 00 Agent run of the Dam level. There may also be the Facility and Runway levels (there's a news post about them working on an update to add them), but I don't know for sure because the first level is hard as shit. It's not enough I have to fight Oddjob and Jaws in two separate boss fights, but there's also an attack helicopter. I wonder if it was inspired by Codename: Gordon and how early the whole demake trend started.
  18. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    I bought the Orange Box at Best Buy a couple years after it came out (December 2009, according to my Steam account's birthday), but that was definitely what put me in the Steam ecosystem. Then I had a Microsoft store gift card from a new laptop purchase, which I spent on a retail copy of Left 4 Dead 2 that I think was just a steam code. I think Puzzle Quest, which I'm playing now, might have actually been the first game I downloaded from the store.
  19. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Is it weird that I didn't know they made more than one Crazy Taxi? Also, I'm shocked no one has brought that back in some form, either as a licensed sequel or an indie spiritual successor. Unless they have and I've just never heard of it.
  20. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    I am playing Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords now, but I don't know for how much longer. I'm really tired of sinking a lot of time into a match only for luck to randomly grant the computer character a x5 combo that creams me. Even after grinding repeatable missions for a bit I feel like I constantly die to enemies that randomly pop up on the map, that aren't even part of a quest. Right now I'm trapped in the lower quadrant of the map because a griffin spawned on the road and I cannot beat it. I think the match 3 RPG battle system is clever, and when I'm able to plan and execute strategic moves like denying the enemy gems they need to power up their strongest attacks it feels great. But match 3 games involve so much random chance (given that a lot of combos occur via blocks that fall down onto the board AFTER you've made your move) that battles can feel frustrating and arbitrary. Also there's a hint arrow defaulted that turns on if you take longer than 15 seconds to complete your turn, which encourages you to strategize less. Sometimes the move it suggests isn't even a good one for you, just a possible one. I figured out how to turn it off but before that I kept forgetting and it was always a pain in the ass. Maybe, like Geometry Wars, this will be another game I leave installed and pick at from time to time, leveling up on repetitive matches until these problems feel arbitrary. I'd probably be more motivated if I didn't think the art and story were totally awful and boilerplate fantasy garbage. That's definitely the aspect of Puzzle Quest that has aged the worst. If Puzzle Quest came out today I think the world would either show way more personality or the story elements would be scaled way back.
  21. I think I'd enjoy it more if there were more people with the same approach, but since no one else really does it as much (except Dan, who seemingly hated the entire premise of the Best Computer category, but still fought hard against Quadrilateral Cowboy at every turn) it comes across as him trying to muscle more of his taste onto the lists. And since he is everyone else's boss, that has a weird vibe to it to me. I don't really have a dog in the race (I played none of the games from 2016), but I like where they landed of letting the personal favorites of Stardew, Hyperlight and Thumper on the list, even if no one made an argument for them the way Austin was able to for Invisible Inc.
  22. Maybe it's because he feels Giant Bomb represents him more personally than some of the other guys, but I find Jeff has the hardest time just saying "Well that game wasn't for me, but if everyone else likes it I'll step aside." He'll eventually do that, but he usually mounts a handful of arguments about how something is an Objectively Bad Game first.
  23. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Penumbra sounds like my cup of tea. I was gonna say that the licensed games are a classic indicator of the final years of a system, but apparently the PS2 kept getting games made for it through 2013?!? I guess that's what happens when you have a massive install base.
  24. You guys are in rare form at the start of this episode. The Mario lore discussion feels like classic 2012 era Thumbs. Good start to the year!