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    Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (DS)    by   jp       (Sep 21st, 2020 at 13:40:39)

    Oh, I forgot to mention there is a cool little thing I don't think I've seen in other DS games...

    ...there's a few DS games that play with the clamshell form factor of the device in that you can do in-game actions by closing it (Hotel Dusk has a puzzle you solve only by closing). These are things that "shouldn't" work - they break the 4th wall.

    So, in this game - when you close the DS Mario will say something! He's got a few phrases:

    - "Owww, my head!"
    - "Hey, you! Come back again"
    - "What are you doing?"

    Anyways, it's a neat little very-Nintendo-like thing. Very playful!

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    Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (DS)    by   jp       (Sep 21st, 2020 at 13:11:21)

    I've cleared 4 worlds (one less than half?) and, it's fine. I think if there was a "mario maker" toolkit for this it would be great for level/puzzle design education. But, I'm looking for something with a little more...meat on the bones? THat sounds mean - I guess the game isn't what I'm interested right now? I guess this would work really well on phones as well?

    It is quite grindy - in the sense that there are tons of puzzles, and puzzles have special objectives, and getting coins unlocks more puzzles and I think there's a "do it all again but harder" mode you can unlock as well. But I'm not really up for it right now.

    There is definitely some fun/interesting stuff here - conveyor belt levels, the warp pipe puzzles (lots of warp pipes in a level, but you can only have two active at a time).

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    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4)    by   jp       (Sep 21st, 2020 at 13:04:25)

    Yesterday I played a bit more. I played two of the character intros which was nice. I now understand how to "activate" each character's special ability - and, for two of them, I also understand what they are and how to use them. Yay! There's a lot of characters and I'm not sure I'll get through all of them but we'll see.

    I'm finding the menus really confusing - there is so much going on and it's hard to find what I'm looking for since everything has a fancy name that is - while flavorful - not that helpful for someone who isn't familiar with the series.

    I did want to try out zombies - I figured it might be the most accesible to me? Thankfully there is a tutorial! (actually, it seems like there are two, but I only did the first one). So, I did that - learned some stuff that was helpful and then had the hardest time trying to get into an online match. Obviously I was the only level 1 player, but things went "ok"? It's hard to know... The more advanced players knew what to do/where to do and spent their time running around and doing things. I didn't. It also seems that following them around isn't a good idea either since I think there's stuff we should be doing separately? I suspect I'll get a better handle on things as I play more matches. I wish there was a "play solo on easy mode" you could try just to learn what the different objectives are... so far the only thing I understand is to shoot zombies and unlock new areas - but I don't know why we are unlocking areas and what the progression is supposed to be (in terms of objectives and such).

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    Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (DS)    by   jp       (Sep 12th, 2020 at 16:09:38)

    I've played this for a few hours (started world 3) and I've been having quite a bit of fun. The game has such a Mario structure it's pretty amazing tbh. Worlds with levels, each world ends in a boss stage/challenge, you collect trophies and Mario coins (there's on in each level) to unlock bonus levels and so on. So far each level is pretty short (though I sometimes have to try to solve them in a few tries in order to get the trophy and the coin) which is nice. I'm worried that the size will grow a lot which I'm not sure is a good idea. Each world seems to introduce a new element - again, very Mario-like - and I'm curious to see what new board elements pop in...

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    Clustertruck (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Sep 10th, 2020 at 23:54:31)

    This semester hit like a ton of bricks and I have had zero time to even think about playing a game for the past few weeks. But man, tonight I had a great time for 45 minutes just playing this stupid stream-friendly, meme-worthy, speedrunning game about leaping across the tops of semi trucks. I exhausted myself from working ungodly hours this week and not sleeping enough, passed out at 7pm, woke up at 10:00pm, and felt oddly rejuvenated. I decided not to grade essays, which my brain was trying to default toward. I watched some YouTube, talked to my girlfriend, and then, surprised at not being tired yet, thought it would be nice to play a chill game. Enter Clustertruck, an old one that I got from Twitch Prime years ago.

    The game isn't actually that chill. It's pretty frantic. But you can pick it up and put it down, which is what I realized I wanted, not necessarily chill. The premise, like I've said, is simple. There are semi trucks. They drive forward. You run along the tops of them and jump between them. They will crash and there are obstacles. Avoid all that mess. Jump higher, run faster, do some tricks and rack up points. Use your points to buy upgrades (double jump, mid-air dash, slow time, etc.) so you can go faster and correct mistakes before they kill you. That's it. That's the game.

    I found two ways to play. The first is how I think the devs intended. You play it like a crazy twitch game and try to chase high scores. The second is actually relaxing. You stand on top of the trucks and ride. Yes, they will crash and you'll need to jump occasionally. But, see if you can get on a truck that takes you all the way to the goal at the end of the level. You have a good vantage point to observe the mayhem happening around you. I wonder if the devs considered a photo mode, or if anyone has found out which trucks in each level will go all the way to the end without crashing. I'm not sure how scripted the trucks' paths are. Like, does truck #52 always collide with truck #36 going around the sharp turn on level 1.4? Does the boulder trigger after truck #11 crosses a line and always roll into trucks #23, 24, and 25? Not sure!

    Controls are sufficiently balanced between tight and floaty for this kind of game. It's not built for precision really, but more to make the player panicked all the time because you don't know exactly if your character (which you never see because of the first-person perspective) is going to land where you intend. I do wish you had more control over your lateral movement in midair. Speaking of your character, when you run and jump, there is a sort of metallic clanking sound effect sometimes. I think this is probably meant to be the sound of running on a truck trailer, but I like to imagine it is my feet and I am a robot.

    It was so nice to relax for an evening and not be prepping online classes or doing the schedule or teaching someone how to use technology or preparing assessment reports or writing another abstract or blah blah blah. Just. Dodging exploding trucks. And the world hasn't ended.

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    1 : dkirschner's Clustertruck (PC)
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    4 : jp's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4)
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    Random

    Katamari Damacy (PS2)    by   SpamHead

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Friday 19 January, 2007
    Katamari Damacy has been beaten. Level 10 requires that the player roll objects until you are at least 300m in diameter. There is ample time in this level, however, which allows the player to become bigger than this minimum size requirement. My finishing size was 778m. I think a diameter or 1km would be possible. The end credits of the game were quite impressive, as you get the opportunity to roll up every continent on planet earth as they are systematically listed with their respective flag on the left side of the screen. What a crazy, amazing game...

    [read this GameLog]

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