Dark Souls: strange ingame x-rays located

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 | Games, Tech-savvy | No Comments

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Manowar vs. Turrican

Friday, January 21st, 2011 | Games, Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment

Recently I came across two things, Manowar on Malta and Turrican as one of my all time favourite games. This reminded me of a fact that should not be forgotten: The guys who did Turrican apparently were into Manowar as well – this is a comparison of the album art of Manowar’s “Kings of Metal” and the Turrican title screen (I guess M.T. stands for Manfred Trenz).

Hmm, those were the days … 😀

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1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 | Books, Games, Reviews, Tech-savvy | No Comments

1001 (rather short) game reviews and a foreword by Populous mastermind Peter Molyneux. I simply had to buy this. I totally underestimated its dimension and weight though. This really is something for the display or the couch table. If you want a more serious and comprehensive read try Gamespite Quarterly.

A big heavy book that makes you reminisce. It covers great games from the seventies (Space Invaders, Asteroids) as well as recent hits like Heavy Rain or Mass Effect 2. There is just one thing missing. Turrican. I know that the Turrican series was especially well received in Germany, but it seems that folks abroad didn’t really get it. For me Turrican 1 & 2 are among the best games ever released. A pity they didn’t make it into this book. I wonder if everyone has a favourite game that this book misses and will be included in some re-release if enough people complain. 😛

Right now this beautiful book is on sale for as low as £9.40 an Amazon.

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Guitar Hero Pro Gear \m/

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 | Activities, Gadgets, Tech-savvy | 3 Comments

Browsing for Xmas gifts I cam across this beautiful toy. It’s a Guitar Hero controller made from high quality materials. It comes with a solid body, rosewood fingerboard as well as metal frets and tuning peg handles.

Originally it was sold for 200 bucks (€, $, £), way too much for the average air guitar hero. Today you can get hold of a new copy for justifiable 60 bucks (guess there weren’t enough nerds out there willing to spend that kind of money, so they had to drop the price significantly).

All in all a great toy that enhanced the Guitar Hero experience even more. Whrock on! :mrgreen:

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Game frustration. How did that ever happen?

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 | Games, Reviews | 2 Comments

Are you a gamer, too? Did you ever freak out because some part of a game was too hard to conquer? That’s pretty much normal in my opinion and it’s a good thing, a game should be challenging to some degree after all.

But then there are the games that are unfittingly hard. Or do not go along with the rest of the gameplay and plainly annoy you. Scenes that make you think WTF? Have the developers ever played this part themselves? Games that make you stop playing, maybe after hitting a hole in the wall throwing away your controller in frustration or barking at your partner. This is what I would call game frustration that should never happen. But it does. Here are a few of my game frustrations:

God of War – Rotating blade pillars

Let me recite Sean Gandert’s Review of GoW:

Ultimately, only one section of God of War seems sloppily executed and tends to slow down for players, even upon multiple replays. During Kratos’ short sojourn in the underworld, he eventually finds himself face to face with spinning pillars lined with rotating blades. Your goal is simply to climb to the top of these pillars, which wouldn’t be frustrating if not for the fact that not only does a single touch from a blade knock you back to the beginning (leaving you quite battered to boot), the pillars are also really tall. It’s a tedious affair that not only feels irrelevant to the rest of the game—even by the most lenient use of the term, it doesn’t begin to qualify as a puzzle—but which also truly adds nothing to the game experience.

Most noteworthy of all is that in a game which emphasizes the importance of speed and spectacle, this particular section requires a great deal of patience and repetition. The 15-20 minutes most people spend here in this section aren’t actually that much, but when the average time for most rooms in the game is two minutes or fewer, it brings the game’s otherwise exceptional pacing to a halt. Unsurprisingly, it was also the only section of the entire game that wasn’t playtested. With the recent re-release of the game on PS3, it was even commemorated with the only gold trophy awarded for a specific challenge, since going past these spiked columns without being hit really is on par with beating the game in under five hours.

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Red Dead Redemption: the flying case

Saturday, November 20th, 2010 | Games, Tech-savvy | 4 Comments

I’ve seen a lot of glitches in games, the usual clipping stuff or being stuck somewhere in the ground/wall. Just yesterday I was out for a little horse riding when I heard a stage coach driver screaming for help. As I was busy hunting a rattlesnake I left the stage coach for the pursuers … or so I thought. Finishing my snake business I jogged back to the road finding a lone case flying in mid air.

After enjoying this phenomenon for a few minutes I realized the stage coach still waited for me to be rescued. So I did what I had to do and shot the attackers. Oddly enough, despite being grateful for that none of the passengers was looking for a missing case … :mrgreen:

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(Long) Weekend of the Dead

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 | Games, Reviews, Series | 4 Comments

This weekend was affected by an all time Zombie high. First, Rockstar released their brand new Red Dead Redemption add-on “Undead Nightmare” and FOX aired a new Zombie series called “The Walking Dead“. This alone made my weekend, but both the game and the series really kicked off big time. It is too early for a full featured review, but so far I enjoyed myself a lot riding one of the horses of the apocalypse making sure I don’t waste ammo by just giving headshots and after that relax by eating a greasy pizza and watching “The Walking Dead” pilot with Zombies that scared even a veteran like me.

“Undead Nightmare” is great value for money as you can get it for 10 bucks. It’s a very well done Zombie apocalypse set in the Wild West, which is pretty much awesome by itself, buit is supported by Rockstar quality storytelling and gameplay! It just feels great to jog into the sunset after clearing another town of the flesh eating infestation!

Talking about “The Walking Dead” I gave the pilot a shot because I saw some pretty breathtaking Zombie make up that looked very promising.

The last time I tried to watch a Zombie series it failed after a few episodes (Dead Set). The pilot of “The Walking Dead” did not disappoint at all, it was very well done, thrilling and quite repelling in a positive way – f*ck, these Zombies are really scary folks! Let’s hope the rest of the series can keep up with the high standard the pilot sets. Tonight I’m going to continue with the first real episode and some gyros – yummy!

“Undead Nightmare” and “The Walking Dead” – both highly recommendable for the Zombie affectionate :mrgreen:

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It’s been a while …

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 | Misc | No Comments


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5 retro games I should have played

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 | Games, Misc, Tech-savvy | 6 Comments

I recently started a list of games that I played for record keeping and nostalgia reasons. Doing so I came across a few games that people used to talk about a lot or that seemed to be important in some way at their time in gaming history.

I tried to pick the top 5 retro games I should have played (High Fidelity anybody?).

1985 Bard’s Tale, The (C64)
I love RPGs (like Eye of the Beholder, Ultima) and I guess The Bard’s Tale series would have let me dive into a great fantasy world that I just missed by a few months of age – at the time I didn’t own a Commodore 64.

1985 Super Mario Bros. (NES)
My fist (non-handheld) Nintendo was a Super Nintendo. I already played Super Mario Land with great enjoyment, and loooved Super Mario World. I missed out on the “original” Super Mario Bros. though (I consider this the original, not the single screen arcade Mario titles).

1986 Metroid (NES)
One of my all time favourite game is Turrican (respectively Turrican 2). Well, this reminds me of Turrican AND I loved the Metroid Prime games on the GameCube.

1985 Elite (C64)
In fact I don’t know much about this one, except that it is some kind of space trading simulation, right? Anyway, one of the first games that everybody talked about and I didn’t have a clue what it was all about, it just seemed to be an unmissable game at the time.

1985 Thexder (PC)
Years after I madly fell in love with Turrican I realised that there used to be a title that reminded my of Turrican. So I guess I would have liked Thexder.

Writing this list I did not realize that almost all games I kinda missed out on were released around 1985. I guess this is due to my increased interests in computers at the time without owning one yet. I got into computing with an Commodore Amiga 500 in 1986 and into “consoling” with a Super Nintendo aka Super Famicon in 1992 (apart from the original GameBoy in 1989).

BTW: This is NOT me, just a fun 80’s picture. I would have never put up a Duck Tales poster (the rest is pretty close 😀 )

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