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    Tempest (Arcade)    by   swiftmoose       (Feb 28th, 2015 at 19:55:44)

    Tempest is a "shoot 'em up" (shmup) developed by Atari Inc in 1981. Like most games of that genre, the objective of Tempest is to survive for as long as possible while simultaneously scoring points by destroying enemies. The design of Tempest is unlike many other shumps, in that it does not allow for free two-dimensional movement. More widely known games like Gradius or R-type allow the player to freely control the x and y coordinate of the player. In tempest, however, the player is fixed to the edge of a 3 dimensional hollow figure, and only movement along the "rim" of this figure is allowed.

    This fixed movement also defines a large part of how enemies operate in Tempest. Enemies rise-up from the bottom of the level-figure toward the player at the top. The player must then destroy these enemies and avoid their bullets by aligning themselves to be 'above' the enemy and firing down into the hollow shape. If an enemy reaches the "top" of the level where the player resides, they will begin to travel along the edge toward the player. As the player can only fire down into the figure, he or she cannot damage these enemies in the typical way. Instead, the player must use the "super-zapper", which may be activated once per level to destroy all enemies currently on screen.

    When a level is completed, the player will automatically "warp" to the next level, which consists of a different geometric shape, as well as more difficult and varied enemies. Some levels are made more difficult by not being "connected". That this, the level may take a "V" shape, so when on the left the player has only one route to the righter (versus an "O" or "8" shaped level).

    The player is initially given three lives, which, if lost, trigger a game over. Losing one life restarts the current level. Tempest cannot be won, although the level counter will stop incriminating after 99, one of the 16 designs will be randomly chosen for subsequent levels.

    Generally, Tempest is a very enjoyable game. The simplicity of the gameplay allows the player to grasp it very quickly. The skill ceiling is, however, very high. In some of the later levels, the field becomes invisible, not unlike the infamous Tetris: The Grand Master. The version available at (chrome.atari.com/tempest/), is enjoyable, but seems to have some issues with controls, making playing the game more difficult. Accurate emulators do not experience such issues.

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    Walking Dead (iPd)    by   MasterChief       (Feb 25th, 2015 at 14:51:25)

    Not satisfied with the number of people who die in Episode 2, I decide to replay Episode 2 before moving on to Episode 3. I fail to save Matthew on the bridge and the cook from the new party, even though I choose the courageous option of going out to find Luke this time. In fact, I get Alvin killed by encouraging my old friend to shoot Carver. At first it appears that it is a direct hit and Alvin is saved, but Carver gets back up and executes Alvin.

    This decision starts to make a difference in the dialog of Episode 3, as the group uses Alvin's death as secondary proof that Carver cannot be trusted.

    I am still finishing Episode 3, so I won't go into too much detail yet on my decisions, but I have noticed that since I started playing this game I start to look at real life through some of the same lenses that the game provides.

    I spoke to a friend last night and was going to compliment them and invite them to something, but I spent too long deciding how to ask, and lost the opportunity, at least for a week.

    I've also started to wonder if there might be several choices about what i could say to people, when usually I say what naturally comes to mind. What if some of these other word choices might be more positive or life changing for them than my first choice of words?

    What place do courageous and timely acts have in real life?

    I actually really like that some of the choices in the game are very time sensitive, mimicking real life. Too many games will wait forever for you to make a choice. In the real world, moral and ethical choices happen in real time, often under pressure.

    It reminds me of battlefield conditions. Sometimes you really do have to choose now and think or deal with the consequences later, especially to save a life.

    But those same consequences can backfire, as in the shooting on the bridge in Episode 2.

    What else can a game like Walking Dead Season 2 teach us about how to live better in real life? I look forward to exploring this further.

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    Walking Dead (iPd)    by   MasterChief       (Feb 25th, 2015 at 14:42:27)

    Episode 2 was more challenging to decide, since lives were often at the mercy of a word.

    I chose to take the blame for Sarah's photo. What does a real friend do? And what could they do to me?

    I sat with Luke at dinner. His invitation seemed warmer and I thought I could reassure them about the new people. Two thirds of players apparently sit with the new people to catch up. Surprisingly, choosing between people is harder than making a moral decision for me, maybe because I am aware of people's emotions and don't like to disappoint anyone.

    I told Walter the truth about Matthew. Sometimes the truth stings but people rarely forgive lies, even if told to protect them. I figured his rage would be strong either way, but the truth is a voice of reason.

    I convinced Walter to forgive Nick. I believe forgiveness is one of the highest virtues. If our two groups were to live together long, we should found that relationship on the truth. Five out of six players made the same choice.

    I stayed to save Carlos, since it seemed like leaving would take too much time and several of my friends might die in the meantime. Slightly less than half of players chose this course.

    I noticed that whenever two groups of people whose goal is to survive collide or come together, there is at first a mismatch of values and trust. I think this may have played into my desire to tell the truth and use my (our) name(s) as often as possible, to build or rebuild trust and remind people of their humanity.

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    The Walking Dead: Season Two (PC)    by   bug       (Feb 25th, 2015 at 14:40:07)

    What I'm finding more and more is that many of the choices have to do with managing what information each character knows. This includes Clementine herself: for example, your choices can give the impression to others that she was alone, and at certain points, it seems that she believes the fact that Christa died. In other words, aside from the usual choices of telling the truth, withholding it, or lying, the player also sometimes has the option of creating a new truth, at least, as far as Clementine believes.

    Related to truth and information are the choices that involve making promises, such promising to look after Nick. In some cases, what that means isn't well defined, and whether your actions live up to that is up to interpretation. For example, when Nick shoots the man on the bridge, you can give your own account of the events, which might incriminate Nick. The situation is ambiguous: the man's intentions at that moment were never truly known. I answered that the man wasn't going to shoot, since that's what I believed, before I realized that saying so would put Nick in a bad light. Does relating my believed account count as betraying Nick? Would I have had to say something I didn't believe in order to truly keep my promise to Pete? In such a case, the game can't really answer that question objectively, since it has no knowledge of the player's view of the events.

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    Walking Dead (iPd)    by   MasterChief       (Feb 25th, 2015 at 14:38:09)

    After starting the game on a PC and experiencing slow down, I play through Episode 1 on my iPhone 6 Plus. The game is full of moral and ethical dilemmas, six of which have meaningful consequences to the ongoing story. The game tells me I made the six choices most people make, the last one by only a 2% margin.

    One of the toughest decisions is who do I side with? For the most part, I try not to take sides in order to avoid offending anyone. When necessary, I help people end arguments, and rarely say anything inflammatory, with the exception of blackmailing the pregnant black woman in the cottage into being nice to me. At the end of the chapter, I have to choose between saving the older man and the son. I choose the older man since I think the younger one can take care of himself, since the older one has been bitten. When asked who to call on for help when six people are arguing over whether to kill me, I choose Luke, who knows me best and seems kind. My first thought was to ask the pregnant woman for help, thinking she might have a maternal instinct, but I’m glad I didn’t, as she turns out not to like me much.

    While sneaking around the house, I have to steal bandages, a needle, and rubbing alcohol to survive. After I find the last item, I check one more shelf and find a watch. Do I take the watch even though I already have everything I need? I decide not to, and am curious what happens if I do? Do they believe me when I say I’m sorry I stole from them? My choice ends up between stealing what I need to survive and what I want, and I choose need.

    The most poignant moment is probably when I have to decide to feed or not feed a dog, sharing my limited food. I feed it, and it bites me! In fighting it off, Sam the dog ends up impaled on sharp objects, and I get to choose to end its life quickly or let it suffer. I kill the dog, worrying that it might bite me again in the process.

    There is a similar situation at the end of the chapter. A person on the verge of becoming a zombie asks for water from my backback. Will it bite me if I get close enough to let it (or is it still a him?) drink? Thankfully, it doesn’t.

    Finally, there is an innocent girl in the house who asks me to pinky swear that I will be her friend for life. I agree, even though we’ve just met. I feel a bit like I am lying to her to get her to help me get the supplies I need to survive, and then I wonder if I am lying to her father when I apologize for talking to her and say I won’t do it again. Am I just pleasing people to survive and stay in their good graces? Is that ethical? Would I do such a thing in real life?

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    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    2 : Leress's Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES)
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    Random

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)    by   PStratton

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Wednesday 28 October, 2009
    I've come to accept the inherent irony skillfully crafted into video games these days. Most of the public see games like GTA and Manhunt as products of the minds of what they would say are demented people. But most fail to realize that video game creators are artists, and that they, like almost all artists, have an intent that is not always immediately discernible based on the external content of the game. These creators aren't encouraging the behavior in their games by any means. They are attempting to illustrate the detrimental aspects of our society and avert the very behavior that they recreate virtually. This may seem completely backwards to some, but that is what satire is.

    Having said that, I put Super Columbine Massacre RPG in the same group as aforementioned video games and ones similar. To a player who may not be willing or able to grasp the aspiration of the creator, the game seems abhorrent, disturbing, and offensive to those affected by the events. Films like Gacy and Dahmer (coincidentally both of the titles are just the surnames of the subjects at hand) depict graphic pictures of grisly acts the men committed, but the intention of the artist is very obviously not to disrespect the victims or pardon the offenders. These films and other pieces like them explore the harsh realities of these incidents in an attempt to paint a comprehensive embodiment of the distorted consciousness of these people and to find any relative basis for their justifications.

    Playing the game, I found myself being caught up in the inert attention to detail in the environments and backstory of the characters. This game was obviously extensively planned and exceptionally executed. I began to forget that I was playing a unusually taboo simulation, and found myself challenged to complete the objectives. It was easy for me to get past the content, so playing it was enjoyable. I'm actually eager to continue playing and see what else it has in store.

    [read this GameLog]

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