BLOGTASTIC

 

30/October/2008

I miss the days when I could actually do something with Cheat Engine. I mean, I found a goddamned level warp in Super Princess Peach at a point in my life!

Now I make no progress on reclaiming those level warp values in Metal Slug Advance, and end up making the game explode when attempting the same in Bomberman Tournament. Sigh.

 

Reminder for my future self: Do not drink a glass of water when Kissin' by The Archies comes on if you value your keyboard.

 


29/October/2008

I was having one of my politically incorrect rambling thoughts last night, about racial slurs - mostly about how "cracker" is a derogatory term for white folk, but it doesn't really sound offensive. Nigger has that hard "ger" sound (not to mention the simple presence of "nig" makes it look offensive), and chink has a hard "K" to add roughness to it. Gook just sounds wacky, so much like mukluk, it sounds bad because it just sounds unearthly. But... cracker. I think it fails because it's got several meanings, whereas chink is only a shortened term for "flaw in your plan" or onomatopoeia for a metallic sound, and gook... well, more onomatopoeia? Crackers are biscuits, Christmas pulling gift things, a term for "crazy" (which also lends itself to a "quackers" duck pun) and probably more. It's like trying to make "bike" into a new derogatory term for Italians. It sounds like dyke so it's got the potential for rudeness, but society has associated it with propelled transport for way too long for it to work.

It probably doesn't help that whenever I use "cracker" is the context of a sentence that should sound offensive, I end up using an Upper-Midwestern accent. At least, my interpretation of one based off Coach Z. "Aw, dem ass-backwards crackers, what are dey up to this time?"

... I really need to have an outlet for my creativity (if any!) again. If this is what I talk about without one, I DON'T WANT NO MORE OF IT

 


28/October/2008

This is probably going to come across the wrong way, as the latest RAU Gallery sketch was great, but what made me laugh out loud for fifteen minutes was this.

I mean... recognition! Cute recognition! With me next to a bunch of people who actually post on the Flying Omelette forums! I'm not worthy!

Totally made my day, FO. Thanks a bundle. :]

 

And seriously, it's way cuter than my interpretation of myself. I don't even have moustache hairs, but I draw them anyway!

 


26/October/2008

"Whoa! Be the first person to comment on this video and go down in history!"

I thought being the first to comment on something and making a big deal out of it was just an easy way of getting people to make fun of you, but Flurl thinks otherwise. How very progressive of the internet.

 

I finally got playing Sonic and the Secret Rings today, through... let's call it illicit means. That's nice and vague!

Now, I'm no big of the recent Sonic games, and personally, the last good game was Sonic Adventure 2. Heroes had potential, Shadow was amusing in all the wrong ways, and Rush did a decent job of cleaning up the shitty engine from Advance 2 and 3, but didn't actually lend itself to a good game. I wanted to believe the 2006 game would've been the new Sonic Adventure, but yeesh, just watching it is painful. Meanwhile, everyone is wetting their pants over Sonic Unleashed, and I'm struggling to feel any resemblance of excitement for it. Until the newest footage, it just looked like horrible Rush gameplay (now with longer moments of uncontrolled action!) merged with Secret Rings gameplay. Now, it looks like those except with actual walk-around-everywhere 3D bits. Which, sadly, is the most interesting bit. The basic concept of 2D Sonic on a console should excite me, but the definition of that has been soiled ever since Advance 2 came along, in my eyes. It was nice knowing you!

The thing is, despite this lack of hope, I was almost thinking Secret Rings would be a good game. And with that proven wrong, I wonder why I even bother with positive thinking anymore!

In a nutshell, you control Sonic from a behind viewpoint by tilting the controller sideways, one button brakes, the other jumps but also slows you down as well for whatever stupid reason, yadda yadda yadda. Instead of just going the game level by level like it normally does, each level has a variety of missions. This is interesting. What isn't interesting is how only a scant few of these missions are actually relevant to the story (absurd as it is), and many are just irrelevant challenges that are still needed to access the succeeding level. You've met Ali Baba, seen the king get kidnapped, and you want to find out what happens next? TOO BAD, JUMP THROUGH HOOPS PLZ

You'd think after a decade of working in 3D they'd find a camera that works for the franchise, but no, even in a game where you can't control the camera, it still frequently leads to cock-ups! In a mission titled "Don't break the jar!" (which is logically incorrect because the "the" indicates that there's a prominent jar you mustn't break, but there's like a million littering the level. Apparently changing it to "don't break any jars" would've been too logical!), Sonic brakes at a hairpin corner and zips off in another direction, the camera trailing dramatically to show how cool this is, except there's a jar on the right side that you can't see until you run into it or are aware of its existence in advance.

Oh, and the homing attack doesn't work half the time, preferring to do a regular air dash and plunk you into a pit. They got it as good as it needed to be in the Sonic Adventure games, why on earth can't they just make it work as good as it was then?

Not to mention that, well, like every Sonic game I've played since Shadow, there's a distinct lack of "wow" when you begin playing. Even the original Mega Drive games that I've played far too many times to enjoy the levels as much as I used to, I turn them on and there's this distinct, vaguely-defined charm that makes you go "aw yeah, this is a fun game." Secret Rings, meanwhile, makes me think "I am so glad I didn't pay money for this."

Oh, and there's a mini-game multi-player thing that makes me bored and depressed just by thinking about it. Considering one game required me to rotate the remote like a crank could be done (and won!) by swinging the remote by the wrist strap, I like to think I have good reason to feel that way.

Everyone has their own theory as to how they should revamp the Sonic series to stop sucking so hard. My theory? Expansion packs. Make new levels for Sonic Adventure and Sonic 3, and sell. If they still have anyone who knows what a level design looks like, it could work ever so slightly!

 


22/October/2008

Place is back up again.

...

Yup.

Sure is.

 


17/October/2008

Picked up Animated Soundwave for 4.98 in Tesco, of all places. Good times!

My Skywarp-painting chum was enthralled with the figure in an email he sent me, but it personally didn't leave me astonished, in all honesty. The vehicle mode is nice and chunky and a kind of vehicle I'd almost like to see more often. The transformation is a bit fiddy with the wacky movement in the legs and the panel-based arms, along with the large chunk of the back remaining immobile and just acting as a "hood" on the robot mode; Cybertron Mode Optimus required the arms to fold up in just the right manner for the roof to go on, and Blitzwing needed tiny pegs on his arms to connect while underneath the wings, but there was at least some space for you to fiddle with those before moving onto the next step. Soundwave compresses into a solid chunk of car - aside from a small gap underneath the front, there's no other gaps on the underside of the car. The bulk of this problem comes from Soundwave's chest, which is essentially two flaps; a core flap to peg into the rest of the body, and the decoration tape deck flap. In robot mode they're not much hassle, but in car mode you've got to extend them out to two separate flaps again for the car mode to work, which is a severe hassle thanks to the back of the car having to hold them in, but also have to stay in while crushing for space against the bonnet/boots. For a line of figures that has primarily avoided the tightness of space problems most "realistic" figures suffer, Soundwave has one very bad flaw in it.

But, yeah, the robot mode! It's a fun looking robot with the visor, the bulky appendages with skinny limbs and the fact he's got a frickin' guitar. The feet lack heel spurs, but the hips have got some great motion on their ball joints, the knees are ball-jointed and on a rotating hinge, and only while writing this did I discover the feet can move 90 degrees inward for better stabilising. Neato! The arms, sadly, are another story. The shoulders rotate fine, but they can't move outwards due to their bulk. The lower arms are on both ball joints and rotating hinges, but being large and having thick car doors on the sides means that up against the mammoth shoulders it can be quite difficult to get them moving. I seriously thought people have modified their Soundwaves to get them to strum Laserbeak, but it is possible - it's just a pain in the ass. Soundwave's hands are mere flaps, but Laserbeak's knobs (lol) can slot into screw holes on his arm so it works out pretty well.

Soundwave's an odd one. The vehicle mode, while basic, is nice to look at, while the robot is dynamic and flexible yet simultaneously limited and clunky. And let's try and brush the hideous transformation under the rug because bleck. The thing is, the robot mode is a good robot mode, and the car is a good car, but I almost feel they would've been better as separate figures. The car obviously has influences of Soundwave, with the buttons on the front and all, but the wheels are about all you get vehicular about the robot. If they made a more car-y robot based off the car (hurf) and essentially Soundwave's robot wrapped around a less fiddly transformation, that'd be super.

Plus 4.98, man. Can't beat that with a big stick.

 

In vaguely more interesting news, I've always been interested in hacking into Bomberman Quest and Bomberman Tournament to see what makes them tick, to find all that they contain, and if allied with the right tools and the people with know-how, make editors for them for new game making opportunities. But for the most part, just finding unused stuff. There's a spiritual successor to Tournament released only in Japan, Bomberman Jetters, which, of course, is based off the series of the same name. Some kind fellow on GameFAQs made a walkthrough of it, and I've been interested in giving it a shot, but the idea of playing a game when I can't understand a bloody thing sounds quite unpleasant.

Still, it's structured in essentially the same manner as Tournament, even being so kind as to have all text in the game clearly visible with Notepad, though in Jetters case it's a bit harder to tell because it's in Japanese and Notepad doesn't like anything not using our alphabet. Hurf. Still, surely a basic Google Translate and replacing the text but keeping the formatting will work, right? Let's try replacing text in Tournament to find out!

DEEP DICKS  ND  SS  WITH  NUS

Now we know that it kind of sorta works, and that I should be kept away from such tools at all costs. For the world's health.

 


14/October/2008

Finally got around to completing Mega Man 9. As sickeningly satisfying the whole start-from-the-beginning-of-the-last-stage thing was, it did kind of put me off trying again for a while. Hooray for mildly amusing endings that do nothing to actually further the story's development!

 

Keeping up with my very lazy game project that was made to give me something entertaining to write about but in my two instances so far it's been a depressing waste of an hour. Here's hoping someone's entertained, but I aim to cover six games before thinking of giving up, just so it looks less like an idea I would be good and proved not to be. Which it kind of is. It works so much better when I'm talking while playing while very very tired.

Today's game: Double Strike!

Just to add more hype to my failure this time, I'm going to assume this is, in a worse-case scenario, a baseball game, or in a interesting-case scenario, a shooter. Or in a best-case scenario, a genre I actually enjoy. Let's boot it up!

A fist crushing missiles with the subtitle "Aerial Assault Force." This is gonna be one hell of a baseball game! Let's play some waaaait a minute

 

Sachen

Sachen? Oh dear. Judging from what I've read, they aren't a very good developer, and their games are often best described as painful.

... and it's actually not too horrendous a shooter.

 

You're a plane. You shoot other planes. With bullets. Differently coloured planes hold power-ups when exploded, which can increase the number of bullets per shot and so on. There are only three regular enemies, two of which have no set pattern, but alternate between doing nothing, shooting, moving, and moving and shooting. And believe it or not, it took me three tries to reach the boss because of that subtlety. And you're given like eight lives each time. Look, there's an enemy that shoots diagonally and you're given no shields, and your plane moves like some kind of sky slug. Those are my excuses for dire failure!

I'd dare say it's enjoyable, considering it at least gets the basic job of being a shooter done. There's nothing unique about it, but if you need something even vaguely new, it's there.

 


10/October/2008

About a year ago, someone who could loosely be considered a friend, or at least an acquaintance, gave me a bunch of PS2 games with the intention of me selling them online and handing him the profits. Considering there was about three versions of FIFA in the lot, it wasn't a terribly good set, nor would it have gone for much online, but I was saved the uncomfortable situation of handing him 5.50p or something silly in exchange for the ten games when he moved to the other side of the country. So I've subsequently saved myself the hassle of putting them online for 1p by trading them into GAME!

One of the games actually got me three whole British pounds, which was a surprise, but for the most part they've been 1 and 2, which is no hassle since I just want rid of them and it helped me get Wario Land: The Shake Dimension for cheaper.

However! Today, I discovered that they don't accept FIFA games anymore.

I laughed.

Personally, I wasn't surprised they didn't actually charge me for trying to trade them in, because every store in existence is littered with them and they drop in value instantly, but nope, just your basic ol' denial.

Good on them.

 

As you can see, it's one of those uninspired times where I just don't really update with anything that isn't Galvatron's work or just something very lazy. I've totally got an action figure review that will blow your mind, unless you knew about it already in which case it won't be anywhere near as exciting as I think it is, but it's just lack of camera access that's delaying it, really. That and my lack of words for the greatness.

 


 

05/October/2008

In this modern world of save states, easy difficulty, convenient save points and all that, it's surprisingly soul crushing to make it all the way to the final boss of Mega Man 9, run out of energy tanks and weapon energy of all the good weapons, effectively blowing my chances of completing the game, thus giving me the option of trying again without any energy tanks (which is kind of impossible given the third Wily form) or having to start from the first fortress stage, with the option of buying more stuff.

It hurts.

But it's a welcomed hurt. It's something I haven't experienced in quite a long time in gaming, so it's almost satisfying, really.

 


03/October/2008

Finally got a few non-working WiiWare games working thanks to some haxxing. See, I wanted to update my firmware so I could play them, but my Wii's internet connection seems to work with just about everything except for bloody firmware updating and the Wii Shop, which is a severe inconvenience, as if it weren't for that I may have been a law-abiding citizen. But LOOK WHERE I AM NOWWW

So with this revelation, I've discovered the following:

1) Dr. Mario Rx is pretty meh.

2) Gradius Rebirth is okay, but I'll blatantly admit Star Soldier R appeals to me and my five second attention span more.

And 3) Mega Man 9 is lots and lots of fun.

I've beaten four Robot Masters and died too many times for my dignity to accept, but yeah, it's pretty great. The ability to charge I can live without, but losing my slide is sacrilegious, man! Still, to play a game that's made of devious design and not just cheap computer AI is very nice, though the mid-stage bosses really remind me of Mega Man Zero 3 in how frustrating they are; especially that goddamned flower in Hornet Man's stage. Good stage designs and all, but I'd like to move on quickly instead of spending five minutes avoiding a rotating spike and not falling on spikes while trying to shoot this florasshole.

So, uh, how about making more of these, guys? I mean, motion sensitivity's okay and all, but give it a few more years to iron out the bugs, stop making shovelware and churn out some more retro crap. That'll keep me entertained.

Okay, I'm fifty billion years late to jump on the "hilarious fan-made Robot Master" bandwagon, but Sacrilegious Man sounds like one.

I WIPE MY ASS WITH THE BIBLE

I'm not sure why a robot would need to wipe his ass for, but that's a subject best left ignored.

 


02/October/2008

Hyper Olympic. Also known as Track & Field to people who aren't playing the Japanese version. It's not very good either!

Though considering Olympic style games aren't exactly my forte, I suppose that's a justified response from a complainer such as myself. My problem lies on the fact that due to all the crazy sports that go on in those environments, your typical "A = JUMP, B = KILL" way of controlling things rarely (if ever) applies, so you've got to work with brand new control schemes for each game. That's no big worry, really. I can adapt. The problem is that being an ancient game, tutorials were totally reserved for manuals, which no one has ever made a very good effort in archiving online, so you have no idea what to do.

Take the 100 yard sprint. You have to tap A to sprint. That's no problem - except for whatever reason, tapping A does absolutely nothing, and my jogger only makes progress when I tap the turbo-A button. Holding the button does jack, though, which is contrary to what a turbo button should actually do, really, so I'm just a bit baffled. That event is followed up by the long jump, which features the same method of jogging, but since I'm familiar with it, I've no problem there. But now I have to jump. How do I jump? Well, I can't find out until I'm two inches from the sand pit, in which case I've got A and B, turbo-B, Start, Select and the D-Pad to all thumb about with in the space of five milliseconds in a vain attempt to find out what makes me jump.

On one occasion, I jumped a whole three feet! On every other occasion, I fell on my arse.

Then I figured out it was just turbo-B. Except now my player decides to, after sprinting like a jaguar for the run-up, decides to jump straight upwards, float there for a bit, and make a pitiful score that can't even beat the qualification score.

And it goes on from there.

Why didn't I just pick Gradius or something? I mean, it has stuff exploding.