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    Logic Machines (DS)    by   jp       (Dec 5th, 2017 at 16:42:59)

    Played this for a few hours - did 30 or so puzzles. I have no idea how many more there are but I think a lot!

    Two things I wanted to get down:

    a. It works remarkably well for a DS game since it seems to be running a physics simulations, uses the styulus and has all these (increasingly more) complicated bits and pieces that get added - gears, lights, explosions, fuses, balloons, etc. It's a pretty good "rube goldberg" game that feels closer to the really open-ended ones (e.g. Super Crayon Physics Deluxe) rather than the "there's a single solution to this puzzle, figure it out" games. This is mostly because I think I solved a few of the puzzles in weird/alternative/maybe plain lucky ways.

    b. I looked at the credits and it seems like the entire production team is/was Polish! Yay for happy discoveries like that and I've since learned that "City Interactive" is decent-sized publisher and developer with a ton of titles under its belt...

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    Bakugan: Battle Brawlers (DS)    by   jp       (Dec 5th, 2017 at 16:29:40)

    My kids had Bakugan way back when though I don't think they ever played the "real" game - just had the figures. Since I picked this game up for next to nothing I thought it would be interesting to see what the actual game was about and how it was adapted into videogame form.

    I played for a few hours, with no real intention of continuing and I'm both impressed and disappointed...

    a. I don't really understand the basic stats/mechanics of the game - as it is played for "real". Your monsters have a value - higher number is better, and a "type" (element). Since combat in the videogame is resolved through mini-action games (swipe really fast, match your taps to these icons flying across the screen, follow this path quickly with your stylus, etc.) I have no real sense of how the stats matter and to what degree. If your monster's value is higher, I know you get an advantage, but I'm not sure if you can always make up for a disadvantage with, say, really good stylus skills.

    b. The real game has a dexterity component - I think - because you have to roll/throw your monster in ball form onto the playing field and get it to land on a metallic card, at which point the magnets kick in and the ball opens into a creature (a pretty cool toy if you ask me). Anyways, the same mechanic applies in the game and its implemented in a way that's pretty clever. You select a direction and swipe to launch your monster. Then, you can swipe more to move it around the play area (pick up bonus tokens) before trying to get it to stop on a card. There's additional stats that make this easier/harder (get more/less time to move around, ease in changing direction, strength of the magnet and a few more). So, for what is ostensibly a card game - with toys - it was neat to see that they made sure that dexterity mattered in the game. I can't think of other card games where this might happen, so I guess Bakugan is a more interesting game than I thought initially?

    c. AFAIK, the overall structure of the game is that you play in a series of tournaments - improving your Bakugan along the way, buying new ones, etc. until there's some showdown at the end (there's strong hints that your Bakugan is up to no good, so I'd expect some reversal at some point). I played the first single player tournament and almost finished the co-op tournament where you're paired up with an AI teammate against a pair of AI opponents. It works and is interesting UNTIL I lost a bunch of matches where I had no input (AI played AI, lost, played lost, and we lost the match). THat was a bit frustrating - AFAIK, I can't change what my AI teammate has/ I felt a bit powerless and at the whims of chance.. So, I decided it was time to move on!

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    The Typing of the Dead: Overkill (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Nov 29th, 2017 at 23:45:37)

    This was my "play at work" game since last semester. So it took me about 6 months to play 4 hours and beat this. Looks like I'm earning my salary.

    I've long been fascinated with this game since I first played it on Dreamcast in college. I enjoy typing and typing fast. When I was like 25-26, I worked as a transcriptionist for a company doing mostly medical and legal dictations for a year. Then I branched off on my own and started transcribing interviews and focus groups for researchers at UGA. So I appreciate a good typing trainer, especially this one where typing letters kills zombies.

    It's in the House of the Dead series, that old rail shooter everyone used to play at the arcade. So like. I don't really need to describe this. Instead of shooting a gun to kill zombies, you type letters, words, and phrases. Every zombie has some text in front of it. As they charge you, just type the text correctly. Finishing the text kills the zombie. And that's the entire game. Congratulations. Do that 5000 times.

    Boss battles aren't any different really. Since it's a rail shooter, you just worry about typing. No jumping, dodging, or anything else. The last boss was different though, and involved a poorly executed word association game. It displayed characters in the game and you had to type words associated with them. This was what I did today to beat the game, and it was a little difficult since I hadn't played the game since summertime at least.

    The main thing that breaks up all the typing, which does get repetitive (play the game in small chunks), is the grindhouse/exploitation film aesthetic. The game is full of sex and violence and probably more F-bombs than in any other game I've played. It's got its own style of self-referential humor, and it knows it's over-the-top, sexist, and generally offensive; occasionally there is some real cleverness in the dialogue. The characters were messed up enough to keep me entertained. So yeah. Easy, short different type of game. Check it out.

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    Sonic Colors (DS)    by   jp       (Nov 27th, 2017 at 12:20:58)

    Made it all the way to the 5th world and it's been fun. The game is quite like the classic sidescrolling sonics, but with new mechanics and things - there are these wisps that grant you a special ability. Also, there are boss levels, which are rendered in low-res 3D polygons.

    I only stopped playing because, in the underwater levels, I got tired of dying from running out of air while also experiencing weird checkpoint glitches. A few times I had to re-start really far back and, though this only happened in boss fights, the boss would get stuck in the "final mode" but not really be vulnerable in the way it should have. So, I got frustrated, looked at the pile of pending games and decided it was time to move on. :-)

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    Planescape: Torment (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Nov 24th, 2017 at 22:40:03)

    It has taken me forever to get around to playing Planescape: Torment. I somehow missed this when I was playing all the CRPG games of the late 90s/early 2000s and bought a copy on GoG years ago. This is NOT the new enhanced edition, which sounds like it has some nice modernizing features, but the older GoG version.

    I've had two play sessions, one for about two hours, and this one I just finished for about four hours (punctuated by occasional texting). After the first two-hour session, I was tempted to quit because (a) the game is old and has some seriously outdated UI and controls and (b) the combat is horrendous. But I didn't want to quit because (a) the story, world, and characters are really cool and (b) like every reviewer says it still holds up and is one of the best RPGs of all time. I went so far as to find out there are BOOKS based on the game's dialogue, and even downloaded a couple versions (one is 2000 pages long), but after reading forums, the consensus is that the books aren't that good, a couple lack context since they are almost all game dialogue, and that if you're going to spend the time reading a book, just play the damn game. Fair enough.

    However, the game is supposed to be about 50 hours, which is long for something so old and text-heavy with bad combat. But I decided to hunker down and try to get into it. I'm glad I did. I was more than engrossed during most of the four-hour session, and wound up getting a bit tired of it because you have a massive city to explore. I'm maybe 2/3 of the way through walking around and talking to all the NPCs. It's a bit overwhelming, but I'll make it through systematically. The writing is outstanding, really. It's definitely the best part of the game.

    I just want the combat to stooooop. I have two characters, and one of them has one special ability that I don't know what it does. So all combat is just clicking on an enemy to auto-attack. And I die a lot. And I've pissed off some big dragon thing in one part of town and every time I enter that part of town, it comes after me. I wish it would calm down so I could just walk through there. I'm not sure how linear the game is, as I've several times come across enemies that are overwhelming now.

    Anyway, looking forward to getting all this initial exploration of Sigil out of the way so I can get on with probably more interesting stuff in the game.

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    Recent GameLogs
    1 : jp's Logic Machines (DS)
    2 : jp's Bakugan: Battle Brawlers (DS)
    3 : jp's Sonic Colors (DS)
    4 : dkirschner's Planescape: Torment (PC)
    5 : jp's Astro Boy: The Video Game (DS)
    Recent Comments
    1 : edGarcia at 2017-11-10 00:53:11
    2 : jp at 2017-11-06 19:12:02
    3 : jp at 2017-06-20 09:01:19
    4 : dkirschner at 2017-06-17 22:14:15
    5 : dillon.young at 2017-03-19 18:38:10
    6 : Jeff_Nay at 2017-03-10 14:24:46
    7 : Jeff_Nay at 2017-03-10 14:19:25
    8 : Jeff_Nay at 2017-03-10 14:17:46
    9 : Jeff_Nay at 2017-03-10 14:15:56
    10 : Jeff_Nay at 2017-03-10 14:14:35
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    Asteroids (Arcade)    by   Test

    A classic that hasn't aged that well.
    most recent entry:   Thursday 17 September, 2009

    [read this GameLog]


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