Retro Review: Dark Forces – Steam Edition

December 17, 2015

dark forces

Tomorrow is the release of the new Star Wars movie! “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”! Actually, so is today I guess if you live in one of the areas doing an early showing..But tomorrow is the official opening day! So, in honor of the films release, I decided to do a review of a classic Star Wars game! So, I dove into my Steam library and picked out Star Wars: Dark Forces!

This title is a classic FPS(or as they were called back in the day, a Doom Clone) set in the Star Wars Universe. I played this game first on the original Playstation, and it was my first encounter with the expanded universe. I quickly fell in love with the idea and started buying other EU games, the books(And Comic books) and it all started with this title.

While this game may no longer be canon, it’s still an extremely fun experience. If you are familiar with DOOM, then you know what this is. You run around, blast your enemies and press switches and gather colored keys to open doors. Typical 90’s FPS gameplay mechanics.

The game has held out really well over the years. The graphics obviously are dated, but not so much as to leave you scratching your head trying to figure out what that batch of pixels is supposed to be. Difficulty is fairly challenging. Not so much in combat, but some of the levels get downright confusing and might leave you lost.

The only major downside to this classic titles is the control system! It uses your standard arrow key controls, but looking up and down is a bit of a pain. In order to look up and down, you need to use page up and page down keys. Since you are having to move around with the arrow keys, take your hand off the movement keys in order to aim at an attacking enemy on the ledge above you can be a tad annoying.

Thankfully the game does have Auto-Aim. So, if you fire your weapon in the general direction of your enemy, it will start shooting at him, even if he is a level above you. Yes, it would be nice to aim at your foe easier, but you technically never even have to look up or down to finish the game thanks in no small part to auto-aim.

Pros
  • Star Wars!
  • Good graphics for the time
  • Runs well on modern systems
  • Auto-Aim!
  • Classic look and feel adds to the Nostalgia.
  • Most levels are fun
  • Good UI
  • Great story
Cons
  • No longer Canon :(
  • Dumb AI
  • Levels can get boring and repetitious. Mainly the sewer level.
  • Clumsy controls.

 

RATING: 7/10

 

 

Party like it’s 1859

December 9, 2015

The other day the unthinkable occurred! My washing machine broke down! This is a horrible time of year for things to break down, yet it always seems like if somethings going to break, it happens around Christmas. Why? Because Christmas hates me, that’s why!

Anyway, as I was saying! My Washing machine broke down, and because I put things off to the very last minute, all my clothes were dirty. I couldn’t very well go to a laundromat wearing dirty stinky clothes! I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off! What was I going to do? I can’t go wash clothes without clean clothes…and I can’t get clean clothes without washing my clothes! It was quite a paradox!

After I calmed down a moment, a thought struck me from out of the blue(that totally just reminded me of that song “Believe it or not“)..Washing Machines are a relatively new invention! They were only invented in the 1850’s, what did people do BEFORE then?? They washed them by hand of course! I could do that! Of course, I wasn’t alive in the 1800’s, so I wasn’t sure what the proper way to do clothes washing by hand…you know, other than what I saw being done on the first season of Walking Dead, so I googled it!

After reading up on how it’s done PROPERLY I did it myself, and they came out smelling and looking nicer and cleaner than when I machine washed them. However, I am old and not in very good condition, so afterwards my arms, and back were killing me…they still are killing me actually. Still, at least I had clean clothes now! So, there’s that!

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PC Game Review

December 6, 2015

ethan carter title

Are you are looking for a first person horror/mystery game that feels like a cross between Alan Wake, and Murdered: Soul Suspect with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft thrown in for good measure? Then this might be what you are looking for!

First, let me talk about the graphics! The graphics are gorgeous! Right from the start when you find yourself standing on the train tracks at the end of a tunnel, surrounded by a dense woodland area. It’s probably one of the most beautiful games I have played. In fact you might spend more time wandering around the game world, looking at the scenery than you do solving mysteries. In my 8+ hours of playtime I spent 2 hours of it just looking out over oceans and frolicking around in the woods.

ethan carter screenshot

(Actual gameplay screenshot)

In terms of gameplay, the game starts off telling you that it’s not going to hold your hand, which it doesn’t. this is a double edged sword in my opinion. On one hand, you don’t have some clumsy UI detracting from the immersion of the game. On the other hand, the games definition of “Hand holding” apparently includes: Explaining controls, explaining your abilities, explaining why you are wherever it is you are, letting you manually save and letting you view an inventory(or notebook system….or map). So, in the end it’s kind of cool that you have a nice clean screen to enjoy the visuals of the game, but that also means that if you quit playing for a few days and forget what you have collected, or what you were trying to do, yer pretty much up a creek without a paddle.

-Pros-
Beautiful graphics.
Challenging yet logical puzzles(mostly)
H.P. Lovecraft vibe
Good voice acting
Excellent controls
Clear UI
Flawless gamepad support

-Cons-
No tutorial explaining controls
No manual save
No inventory/journal system
Insanely short(I beat the game in 6 hours with 100% achievment completion)

Pecan Pie Flavored M&Ms Review

December 4, 2015

pecan pie m&mRecently M&Ms came out with a Limited Edition Fall flavor. A lot of companies do this, and M&Ms does it a lot! In fact, I think M&Ms could duke it out with Oreos for the number 1 spot of “Most limited edition flavors per year”. Anyway, the flavor M&Ms came out with this fall was “Pecan Pie“. It was sold only in Walmart stores, and not even in all of them! You could (And still can if you wanna drop a large chunk of coin on them) pick them up from Amazon as well.

So, are they delicious? Worth the cash? Well, yes! They are delicious! In fact, they are one of the better M&M flavors I have tried. However, despite what they are called they do NOT taste like Pecan Pie! Not even remotely! I’m not even sure why they named them that really! There’s literally not a hint of pecan pie in the little candy coated morsels of goodness!

So, if not Pecan Pie, what’s the flavor? The closest I can think of, would be a Maple Log flavoring. Which lovers of Pecan Pie might recognize as totally not Pecan Pie! In fact, it probably should have been marketed as some kind of Canadian patriotic flavor. Perhaps released on the Canadian Thanksgiving. That at least would make since! Plus, you wouldn’t be disappointed biting into these expecting something that tastes at least slightly like pecan pie and instead getting a mouthful of Maple.

Still, it’s a delicious flavor, and well worth the cost, as long as you aren’t buying from someone overpricing on Amazon.

Sleep is for the Weak

December 2, 2015
WWS-InsomniaI have this annoying problem! I’m not sure if it’s common or not, but I am unable to go to sleep if I have to wake up at a certain time the next day. It doesn’t matter if I have to be up at 7 in the morning or 12 o’clock in the afternoon! If I am expected to be awake at a certain time, I can’t sleep! It’s like my body is trying to mess with me! It knows I have things to do, so it makes sure I am tired, run down and on the verge of passing out.

Don’t get me wrong! I do get tired! In fact I get so sleepy my eyes burn, and I am swamped with headaches that brings me to the verge of tears. Yet I just lay there, tossing and turning. Forcing my eyes closed, hoping they will stay closed. They never do though! They never do!

I wouldn’t say I suffer from Insomnia, because it’s not a regular occurrence. In fact, if I have no plans the next day I can fall asleep on command! No problem at all. So, not Insomnia in my opinion. Just my body being a jerk to me!

Why would my body do that you ask? Because it’s an asshole! That’s why! My body hates me, and wants to make me as miserable as possible!

 

Mad Max PS4 Review

November 25, 2015

maxresdefaultMad Max: The Gamefollows Max(Who is presumably mad) as he journeys across the wasteland building up his car and gaining support from friends, and fighting enemies all in the quest to find the plains of silence.

Let me begin by saying that I love the Mad Max movies, and I really wanted to love this game! However, the game turned me off right away because it’s just like a post apocalyptic version of Shadow of Mordor(Another game I didn’t like, for the same reasons)! However, this is just my personal taste..there’s plenty to love, which I will talk about first, followed by why the game just didn’t make my grade.

The combat is awesome! It’s very fluid and has a similar feel to the combat from Arkham games as well as Shadow of Mordor. Even though you are punching and kicking, the combat moves still look different, so it seems almost like watching an actual fight since it’s not just the same punch and kick move over and over again.

It has a HUGE open world! You can go anywhere and explore from day one! Follow the missions/story or just cruise around the wasteland and striking fear into the hearts of raiders everywhere.

Customization to your car! Add on stickers, paints, hood ornaments…..whatever! You can also purchase upgrades to your car to make it handle better or just withstand more of what the wastelands throw at you!

Customize yourself! As the game plays on, and you rank up you unlock various face skins that give you different looks…sometimes hair, sometimes beards…sometime just a lot of grime. You can also upgrade to new clothes, like the classic Mad Max leather jacket. You actually don’t feel complete without it!

No need to go it alone! You can have your handy dandy Blackfinger(Mechanic) Chumbucket riding along with you to make on the scene repairs to your car. You also later on get a dog.

So, the game sounds perfect right? What could I complain about…Here goes! There’s just too much combat for my taste! Nearly every encounter ends in combat. There’s also not much in the way of plot. Sure, there’s some vague plot, but it isn’t expanded on as you progress really. There’s no twists and not much in the way of surprises.

The wasteland gets BORING! As I mentioned before, it’s HUGE! It’s also a wasteland, which means there’s not much to see! just open dirty mountainous regions littered with shipwrecks. The area you start out is going to look similar to end game areas. It’s difficult to tell where you are without the map, by using landmarks, cause there’s very few landmarks!

Basically, I played through it, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it. Although, if you are a fan of Shadow of Mordor, you might like this. I didnt like SoM for the same reasons.

Fallout 4 – PS4 Review

November 23, 2015

Fallout-4-Wasteland-Logo-700x389

I have spent every waking hour anticipating the release of Fallout 4, ever since they announced it only a few short months ago! So, when it finally got released, I popped it into my console eager to play. Did it live up to my expectations? Let me put it like this: It is one of the worst Fallout titles to date(The only exception being brotherhood of steel)……That doesn’t mean it’s horrible, it just sucks when you expect something as good as Fallout 3, or even New Vegas and end up getting stuck with this.

What’s wrong with it? Well, for starters it’s a Bethesda game! That means that it is very bug heavy! A patch has been released which fixed SOME bugs…but not all. For instance when you are installing the game, if you have the game loaded and watch the “S.P.E.C.I.A.L” video you will encounter a “The disc is not readable error”, and then have to start installing over again. Thankfully this is easily worked around by putting the disk in, and letting it install completely before loading the game up(You can’t play until it’s fully installed anyway). Another bug is for crafting furniture. The furniture will be red and float in the air, where you will be unable to place it. There is an easy fix for this too, it’s just not quick. The only way to fix it, is uninstall the game, and reinstall it and hopefully you will be fixed..If the issue persists, do it again until it’s fixed.

Bugs/Glitches aside, the games story seems mediocre at best. The only fun aspect of it, was seeing life before the great war briefly during the…I guess it’s a tutorial?

What really makes this game bad though, is it’s like it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s like bethesda was just WAY too ambitious with this project and tried sticking features in it that make it less fun, and more annoying. Still, there’s worse games out there, and to be fair the game is very pretty with an incredible character customization feature and fairly decent voice acting…and as usual, an awesome soundtrack.

Is it worth getting? If you are new to the series? Yes, it’s a great jumping on point, and you aren’t expecting anything from previous titles. If you are looking for more of what made past Fallout games great….I would suggest holding off and getting it while it’s on sale or discounted..or wait for a Complete Edition that will include the DLC.

Post Halloween Wrap-up: 2015

November 1, 2015
Jack-o-lantern

Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday was Halloween, the night where children don spooky costumes, and run around the neighborhood pounding on doors and shouting “Trick-or-Treat” in order to get themselves some sweet gobs of sugary chocolate. Basically it’s the best childrens holiday since Christmas!

Well, this year I decided to write about all the horrifying costumes the kids wore as they galloped to my door with their bags open wide, demanding treats or be faced with trickery most foul. unfortunately I live on a busy street (akin to a highway really) with no streetlights! so, we don’t really get a lot of trick-or-treaters. Mainly just neighbors and the occasional kid who just doesn’t care about safety.

Point is, this is a shorter list than I expected it would be! However, here is the list anyway! I had a visit from the following monstrosities! A princess, A pirate girl, A boy wearing a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt and a Cowboy hat(I’m not sure if he was supposed to be a Dallas Cowboy or just a normal cowboy honestly), A Unicorn…Wait..Sorry..a RAINBOW Unicorn, A lumberjack, a generic Assassins Creed Assassin and for some reason a Snowman. I think it might have been that Snowman from the Disney movie “Frozen”, but since I am the last person alive on the planet who hasn’t seen it, I can’t say with any certainty.

Seriously though you guys, what the heck?!? When I was a kid we dressed up in spooky costumes! If not spooky, at least a monster! It was all about the Ghosts, Ghouls, Goblins and Gargoyles! Now it seems to have been replaced with “Who can be the cutest???”

Oh god! I never wanted to be one of those people who ever said “When I was a kid…” and lookit what you did to me Halloween?! You forced my hand! Forced me to play the old man card! Yanno, when you start throwing that phrase around you are only a few years away from peeking out your blinds and yelling at neighborhood children to get off your lawn!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

October 21, 2015

Everybody who knows me, knows that I am a geek. Especially when it comes to 5 major Sci-Fi franchises. Those Being Star Trek, Firefly, Doctor Who, Babylon 5 and Star wars(I don’t consider Marvel/DC movies Sci-Fi, even though many of them fall into that category. Super Hero flicks I consider more Adventure than Sci-Fi). So, I have been very anxious for the release of the new Star Wars move “The Force Awakens”. Unfortunately, that won’t be until December, However they DID release a trailer. Obviously I was breathless with anticipation!

If you have been living under a rock or a bridge with a secret troll lover, then you have heard about it, and already watched it. However, I will put it below so that the Troll lovers out there can catch up with what the rest of the world is experiencing.

Watched? Good! Now, most people I know thought it was awesome. One in particular cried because seeing Han Solo brought her so much joy. Yeah, I’m not the biggest geek in my circle of friends. Surprised? You can be surprised about me either not being the biggest geek in my social circle, or about me having friends in general. Both are acceptable surprising factoids.

Anyway! My point was that I didn’t love the trailer. In fact, I was somewhat disappointed? The whole Melted Vader helmet thing? Seemed stupid, and like it was some kind of forced lip service to fans of the franchise. It just didn’t feel natural. Then there is Darth Wannabe! I hate his voice! He doesn’t sound bad ass at all! Not like Vader did!

In fact, the trailer didn’t reach out and grab me at all, which is insane because it’s Star Wars. It seemed even MORE boring than the prequel trilogy. The only good thing I saw in this trailer was a lack of lens flares! I was honestly expecting the movie to be unwatchable due to lens flares!

It’s like Abrams is going out of his way to direct and ruin all the Sci-Fi movies that are based on franchises that I hold dear. Please keep him away from Doctor Who! I don’t want that ruined for me any more than it already has been.

Lastly, there’s the poster!

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster-691x1024

Missing Luke Skywalker! Now, for me I am fine with this. His trilogy was the original trilogy. I don’t believe it’s his story, but on that same note I don’t think it’s Hans or Leias story either. However, THEY made it to the poster! So, while I don’t have as big an issue with this omittance as much as others in the geek circle do, it’s still a tad frustrating that they give two other supporting characters a poster place, but not another. His name is printed on the poster, between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, so It’s obvious that he is going to be in it. Either put him on the poster, or Remove Han and Leia!

Anyway! I will probably still see it, but I won’t be one of those people dressed as Ewoks(Not that it’s ALWAYS a bad thing) and camping in line for tickets…though you don’t really need to do that now anymore I guess huh? You can just order them online these days! If I see it, most likely I won’t even bother going to the movies. Might wait for DVD….Might even just wait for it to come out on Netflix. I’m just not that into it anymore. I would rather have the expanded Universe back. At least THAT was enjoyable. Instead they made that non-canon and gave us this. Not a good trade for Star Wars geeks.

Related articles

The Goldbergs? Season 3? Huh?!

October 12, 2015

SHOWSHEET_Goldbergs_stand-640I was bored this evening, and flipped through Hulu to see if anything worth watching was on, when I saw a listing for Season 3 of the ABC series “The Goldbergs“. I rather enjoyed the show, however I thought it got cancelled after the first season! Apparently it hasn’t and now season 3 has started. This means I need to watch ALL of season 2 in order to catch up. Thankfully the entire second season is available for viewing on Hulu, so catching up will be a cinch!

I’m not sure why I thought the show was cancelled. I checked it’s Wiki page, and apparently it never got cancelled! It’s not like it’s a show that got the axe, but then got saved thanks to the love of it’s fanbase. It was just renewed. What I did see on the wiki is that the show changed days/time and got moved behind the show “The Middle“, which is an ABC show I don’t watch, and in fact until last night thought it was “Malcom in the Middle
just renamed after the character Malcom left. Imagine my surprise when I discovered myself to be wrong. Fun fact: I never watched Malcom in the Middle either!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers

%d bloggers like this: