Archive for the 'Videogames' Category

01
Aug
07

A great way to kill time (and zombies)

Anybody who enjoys a good zombie-killing spree (and who doesn’t?) should check out Zombie Grinder, and simple yet extremely addictive flash game created by Olle Hemmendorff. Essentially, you control a fat bald man with a shotgun who runs from left to right blasting zombies. The game features a nifty effect–namely, the screen scrolls at different speeds according to the tempo of the music. Said music is composed primarily of high-speed Grindcore, which means that the game moves along quite fast (at least most of the time). There are, of course, those who might find the music a bit hard to stomach. Those people are weak. They will be the first to be devoured when the invasion of the walking dead begins.

If you like slaughtering zombies to the furious tune of blastbeat-ridden Grindcore, then Zombie Grinder was made for you.

15
Jul
07

Super Mario Bros.: Frustration

This is a series of videos featuring one man’s attempt to play an extremely difficult hacked version of Super Mario Bros. To be perfectly honest, it’s been a very, very long time since I laughed this hard at an internet video. This gentleman sounds quite a bit like me when I’m sucking horribly at a game. As an aside, the voice-over sounds eerily like Christopher Walken…

20
May
07

Required Reading: Doom Wiki

Required Reading is a new column which I have instituted in order to make my blog more interesting and hopefully expose my readership, limited though it may be, to some good reading at the same time. Most featured items will be online, though every once in a while I may recommend a good old-fashioned book.

Doom, the definitive FPS by Id Software, has been a favorite game of mine ever since I first played the SNES version way back in the ancient days of 1996. Granted, this was a full three years after the game’s initial release for the PC back in 1993, but I’ve never been timely about that sort of thing. My interest in gaming, as I have previously mentioned, has been on-again-off-again, but over the years Doom and it’s aptly named sequel Doom II have been cornerstones of my video game career.

Given my status as a blatant Doom fanboy, it can hardly be a surprise that I have frittered away many hours reading one article after the next on the Doom Wiki. The Doom Wiki is a comprehensive guide to all things Doom-related, from details and specs of the original game engine to an exhaustive list of Doom source ports. As you might have guessed from the title, the Doom Wiki is identical in format to Wikipedia. Pick a topic and get reading–you just might learn something.

13
Apr
07

Losing Touch

There’s currently quite a stir in the gaming world about the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV since the recent release of the game’s trailer. As of now I haven’t seen the trailer, nor do I have any idea what the hell the game is about, other than what I can deduce given the nature of the other games in the Grand Theft Auto series. This is a symptom of a larger problem (if you want to call it that), namely that I am entirely too out of touch with the world of videogaming to qualify as a proper nerd.

The last time I was ever really in touch with the scene was way back in 2004, in the interim between high school and college. Upon my departure to college, I became wrapped up in matters academic, and my interest in video games promptly faded to a mere shadow of what it once was. The fact that I never had access to a decent television set also compounded matters somewhat.

My golden age of gaming was even longer ago, in the distant past of 1998-2000 (coincidentally, or perhaps not, those were my middle school days). That was the heyday of the original PlayStation, which is nowadays affectionately known as the PS1. In those heady days I played Resident Evil 1-3 religiously, along with a generous helping of Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy Tactics, all of which games I still have, though they’re really only gathering dust at this point. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was another one of my favorites, though I sadly made the mistake of loaning it to a one-time friend of mine who proceeded to become a furry. I never got it back, because that would entail actually talking to a furry, which is something I was not and am not going to do.

So why have I lost interest in videogames? I can think of at least three reasons.

First of all, I am entirely too busy with real world concerns. Though I only spend about twelve hours a week in class, I still have a lot of homework and reading to do. Beyond that, I also work, since I have bills and rent to pay. I simply don’t have the free time that I had back in the day, and with video games becoming more involved and time-consuming with every day that goes by, free time is a major prerequisite.

Video games are also becoming entirely too expensive. The current consoles sell for anywhere between $400 to $600, and games themselves are at least $50 or $60 apiece. Granted, new games have always been pricey, but now that I don’t have much a disposable income to speak of, I just can’t afford to be throwing away that kind of money on games.

Finally, I think I’ve simply outgrown video games. These days I’d much rather read a book or take a walk. Gamer culture (and to a larger extent the Nerd culture of which video games are a part) reflects an attitude of eternal childhood; an unwillingness to grow. This isn’t necessarly a bad thing; plenty of nerds have gone on to be quite successful. Just look at Steve Jobs. It’s just not a culture of which I want to be a part anymore.

Of course, I still play games from time to time. I have been playing Civilization II consistently for almost a decade now. And there are still games that look interesting to me; the forthcoming Manhunt 2 is one such game. Maybe I’ll get back into video games after I graduate and when I have a real job and a place of my own. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.