The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Nerdery’

DON’T READ VOLUME 222

Posted by Matt on June 18, 2011

Oh god, what now?

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Gamezzzzz, Nobody Cares | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More not reading

Posted by Matt on April 21, 2010

Still not done important stuff. Still, I’m almost done. And then this happens.

So let’s talk about that for a minute.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Comix, Gamezzzzz, Nobody Cares | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Do not read!

Posted by Matt on April 14, 2010

I just finished the first draft of the second last essay of my academic career. Let me have my fun.

Now, let’s talk Pokemon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Gamezzzzz, Nobody Cares | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Matt on April 10, 2010

Link blog time:

AV Club’s Doctor Who primer. Really well-written and comprehensive look at the series’ history.

I still need to see the premier of the new season; I’ve been hearing good things about it. And reading the synopses, the series has a lot of neat-sounding stories coming. But I don’t know if I’ll torrent or just wait until next weekend when it premiers on Space.

Posted in Idiot Box, Leinks | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Matt on March 8, 2010

Now to finish the series.

Star Fox

It’s actually only been four years since the last Star Fox, but that one was on the DS and had stylus controls so everyone hated it. “We need another REAL Star Fox!” they will say. The last one closest to the older games came out 5 years ago, but it had on-foot missions, so they hated that too.
Essentially, what they want is a remake of the first two games (which is funny because 64 was essentially a remake of the first game) with Wiimote controls. But that doesn’t require a full disc-sized game (just like F-Zero), unless you want to make it pretty, which is what they also want. So Nintendo is pretty stuck when it comes to this series.
Not that I’m totally against it. Arcade shooters aren’t all that common today, with only a few (including, surprisingly, Nintendo themselves with Sin & Punishment 2) daring to do it. And the game isn’t a bad fit for Wiimote controls. With the Remote/Nunchuck set-up, you have the ability to give the crosshairs and ship movement more freedom, and hell, throw in shaking to do a barrel roll if you must. But of course, every fucking game on the planet could work with remote controls. There’s gotta be more to it to justify it.
How about online multiplayer? Maybe, but even a more robust system is more of an elaborate extra than a real innovation. Some might suggest making it more like Rogue Squadron, with mission-based levels and epic battles (isn’t that what Assault was? I don’t know, I didn’t play it)? That could work, although it seems to lose a bit of that arcade charm if it isn’t on-rails and just about shooting down as many Escherian spaceships as possible, although there’s nothing that would stop it from doing both.
This is a bit more difficult to think of, as there seems to be equal sway for both an advancement into more modern gameplay and retaining the classic simple gameplay system. And even then, is simply turning it mission-based a big enough leap to justify a completely new, big budget game? I don’t know.
Miyamoto has shown to secretly likes the franchise, and that the biggest hurdle the series faces is a lack of popularity in Japan, much like Metroid did. A swing towards more western markets could be good news for the series, and let’s not forget that the aforementioned S&P2 was made because the game was a pretty popular Virtual Console download all over the place, especially NA. So, while I don’t expect anything new for Star Fox anytime soon, it’s not totally impossible. And I can’t say for sure that there needs to be a whole lot of brainstorming done in order to make it worthy, although listening to the fans clamoring for regression may not be the best idea.
It’s an odd situation, this. Maybe even more odd than the situation for Pikmin.

Posted in Gamezzzzz, NERDS! | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Matt on March 6, 2010

Continuing on the journey to madness:

Kid Icarus

Here it is: the big daddy of possible revivals. Considering that there hasn’t been a Kid Icarus game since 1991, one can understand why that is so. Also, the fact that as a Metroid-esque game centered on Greek mythology, it can provide something that is not normally found in most Nintendo games.
On one hand, there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for Nintendo to make another game bearing the Kid Icarus name; the original came out nearly 20 years ago, and the games only resonate with a small section of the gaming populace. The only reason to produce a new Kid Icarus game would be to please a few hardcore fans, and that’s about as niche as can be. As for my own feelings, I don’t think a game should ever come out just to shut up a real niche audience, especially when those resources could be used for more worthwhile projects.
Yet…yet there is something about KI that could make for a good game. As a myth buff, I kind of enjoy the Ancient-Greece-as-told-by-Nintendo style that the game offers (which is partially why the supposed Factor 5-developed concept art being tossed around did nothing for me: they just looked…so dour and generic). Considering that the major Greco-Roman-themed game these days is the juvenile God of War series, KI could provide an alternative Hellenism game (still juvenile, but in the innocent Nintendo way). A Zelda-style adventure game using the archery, flying, and multiple-worlds ideas featured in the original game could be pretty neat, actually.
Not that I ever expect the game to come out at this point, for reasons I already explained. But still, even those who hate the first game must admit there’s some potential there.

Pikmin

This series is in a slightly different position then the rest I have and will talk about, as Nintendo has already stated there is some level of development going on for a new Pikmin game. But that was two years ago, and there has been very little said about it since (except that it has been stalled as the EAD team has been sidetracked by a billion other projects). And who knows how much we should expect from statements that something is in the works – two years ago, they could have still been kicking ideas around and nothing more.
Pikmin is an odd series, as the original idea was pretty strong and didn’t immediately call out for a sequel. We got one anyway, and it actually did what sequels are supposed to do by taking the base elements of the first game and using them to make a different experience. If they are making a third game, it would rather disappointing for it to not follow in the previous game’s footsteps and do something a little different, although it seems most fans would enjoy something not terribly different from the last two games, but with Wiimote controls (which they technically already did by remaking those games with Wiimote controls, even though the second one hasn’t made it over here).
I really don’t have many ideas about where they could go with Pikmin. The underlying gameplay is about strategy and exploration, with the first game applying those to a survival theme and the second to a treasure hunting focus. Considering they added a two-character mechanic in the previous game, it would make sense for them to expand it to include co-op this time, instead of just dedicated multiplayer modes. They could add a number of new environments to explore (the fact that the game essentially takes place in someone’s backyard gives them lots of interesting possibilities). Other than that, though, and I’m at a loss. You’ll have to get back to me on that.

Posted in Gamezzzzz, NERDS! | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Matt on March 2, 2010

And for no reason, I will now look at the sequel viability of several Nintendo videogames, part one of whatever. Enjoy…or not!

Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong, despite being one of the most well-known names in gaming, is not exactly a major franchise anymore. Or, at least, not since the days of the Donkey Kong Country series. Since Rare left, Nintendo has not been entirely devoted to releasing a steady stream of DKC-esque platformers, instead opting for more experimental stuff (like the Jungle Climber games) or going back to the original arcade games in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong line.

Despite what some gamers might say, this isn’t entirely a bad thing. To be honest, the Rare games, while still fun, were highly derivative, and just wouldn’t stand out in the modern game environment. Jungle Beat, which I will admit is a favourite of mine, was a breath of fresh air for the franchise, and for Nintendo as a whole (they really haven’t made many arcade action games this past decade, aside from stuff like Sin & Puinshment). It would be great to see more games in the same style, but I’m not expecting it or anything.

I think it was also a good idea to make more games like the old Donkey Kong, because people often forget about the series’ roots, and how utterly enjoyable those roots are. Having released a new Mario vs. Donkey Kong as a downloadable game last year, I think they’re pretty good for now, though. But, if you want to ‘revive’ the franchise, here’s a thought: combine Jungle Beat with the older games. That would be an exciting idea.

F-Zero
The last major F-Zero (not counting the cartoon spin-off games on the GBA, as most people don’t) came out in 2003, so there’s been a pretty decent gap. Things have also advanced a bit since the GC days: Nintendo, for one, has embraced online play, to a degree. So: been a while since the last game came out, online play is now possible, what’s stopping them from releasing a new F-Zero?

Well, perceived level of interest for one. Fans are clamoring for it, but they always are, and they barely make up a majority of the market. That’s just being realistic, though, and that’s not what this post is all about in the end. So on to the fantasy developing!

As much as online play would add to the game, I can’t help but feel that it would still need more in order to feel like a satisfactory sequel. It could be cool, then, if they released a graphically-enhanced, online-enabled remake of F-Zero X on WiiWare. It could give the fans something to look forward to, distracting them while you consider how to improve the concept further. Unfortunately, as cool as idea would be, the distraction probably wouldn’t last long, as fans would tune into it pretty quick and complain how lazy it would be compared to making a ‘real’ sequel. Fans are picky like that.

On the other hand, chances are they’d take a graphically modern, online F-Zero as a retail game, even if it didn’t have much else added (which would indeed lead to an eventual backlash). So really, they are only selectively picky. Or completely bipolar. Whichever term you prefer.

I don’t have many ideas myself about how the series could go. Part of me thinks that, in order to keep the series’ pretty well-respected legacy intact, they really shouldn’t make a new game unless it will really add something to it, no matter how much the fans beg. Rather not rush out a sequel just to satiate the hordes…especially when they’ll just complain it’s not as good as previous games and turn against you.

Posted in Gamezzzzz, NERDS! | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Posted by Matt on February 2, 2010

Now time for nerd stuff.

I found this site today. I knew about this game a while ago, but now they have stuff explaining it in-depth. It has some of the same guys behind it that were behind my precious VS Series before it folded a few years ago. They were awful nice to us nosy, ungrateful fanboys on the Internet, so I do wish them luck in their endeavors.

Anyway, the game seems like a streamlining of many of the ideas they had in VS. The teams with their characteristic gimmicks, the resources, and the terms used are very reminiscent of the earlier game. The idea of the ‘leader’ character I know is something they were thinking about during VS, as I’m pretty sure they had implemented a similar idea in their World of Warcraft CCG (which I really don’t know much about). It was also an idea that had plenty of player support back then, because they thought VS didn’t do a good enough job making the most prominent characters…well, prominent (although, unlike VS, it seems Marvel Superstars will have to go on without a certain spider man). The leader mechanic, as it is, seems like a decent variation on the tropes that have been around since Magic began, especially since they get stronger as the game goes on, adding a real sense of risk/reward with them.

Speaking of Magic, the battle system abandons most of the innovations VS had and goes back to being pretty much exactly like Magic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: the leader mechanic actually mixes things up in that regard quite a bit. The also went for a Magic-style resource system (albeit much simpler due to lack of colors), but had the ingenious idea to give the player some resources to start with, as to (for the most part) avoid mana screw-ing players. This also plays off the leader mechanic quite well. See? One good idea in a game like this makes everything else interesting.

As for the aesthetic…very clean for the most part, logos are clear and easy to understand. I can’t help but find the use of live action movie stills a bit gaudy (and they remind me of failed games of the past, many of which went for the same look), but that’s no shot at the designers. Personal quibbles aside, the cards look perfectly okay. The fact that they are slanted horizontal instead of vertical is different. I’m curious to see what a game board looks like.

The major point for distribution is the fact that they are going to try to tie in releases to Marvel movies, which is a perfectly decent idea. Basically, you get as much out of the current films (from the looks of things, they have the rights to everything Fox and Marvel themselves produce, although they also have Ghost Rider, which is Columbia, but no sign of Spider-Man, which is owned by the same studio) as you can in a few basic sets, and then release new releases alongside the new movies (like they are for Iron Man 2), so as long as Marvel and the remaining licensees pump out new films for the next few years (like it looks like they will), then you have plenty of material for releases. I’m not entirely sure if they’ll be able to do the three-sets-a-year thing like they do for other games, but who says they have to be so traditional?

So, in summary, the game looks pretty good. It seems like the designs are still on the ball. And again, I wish them luck with their new game and the new community they hope to build.

Posted in Bored Games, Nobody Cares | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Posted by Matt on December 23, 2009

Let’s talk Christmas.

In the last few years, I’ve enjoyed giving just as much as I’ve enjoyed receiving. It’s fun to think of something that my family would really like, and seeing their reactions. Especially when I do it on my own, and don’t just get them what they tell me to get them. I’d like to think I’d know what kinds of things they’d like whether or not they give me any direct ideas.

I also enjoy real surprises more. I can barely think of things to ask for anymore. I used to ask for a lot of games, but I’ve just been buying them on my own the last little while (not to mention that my taste has narrowed so significantly, there are usually less than a dozen games I’m actually interested in each year). Most of the stuff I’ve asked for are either practical (this year, I want new winter gloves) or stuff that I pretend is practical (various office supplies). This year, I tried to make the gift ideas better (they complained that I was hard to buy for last year) by including several things that I think are nice, but I would probably never buy for myself. Apparently, that didn’t fix things. Oh well.

***************

And now, some things in fiction that I like for some reason:

Fantasy meets Sci-Fi
I just find it awesome when wizards and dragons suddenly come face to face with robots and lasers. I think this can extend to many other things as well (cartoony meeting non-cartoony, for example) that feel like something really special, because they shouldn’t happen. Throwing together incongruous elements is a bad idea…unless you can think of a way to make them work. I try to do that (most of the time), and throwing together incongruous elements is pretty common in my ideas.

Good Guy Monsters
Because there’s nothing in any rule book for ideas that says weird looking things can’t be one of the ‘good guys’. Monster protagonists can often be more compelling, because unlike the standard human figure, you don’t automatically understand their situation. Yes, even humans on other planets or in some bizarre other-realm are still easier to relate to because they still look like you, sort of. I was reading an article about Avatar, and it asked whether the human protagonist was even necessary. The reasoning for him, it seems, was to act as the ‘audience relation character’, because people watching just can’t connect with tall blue cat people. Aside from the more troubling aspects of this concept (most ‘audience relation characters’ are white males), it also shows how a legitimate way of looking at fiction (studying the audience) could be turned into a marketing function.

But yeah, good guy monsters. Love ’em.

Separate or Conflicting Antagonists
Sure, the odd team-up could happen, but for whatever reason, if the thing has more than one villain, having them at odds rather than working with eachother is sort of interesting. It makes the world seem bigger, because it houses all these different personalities who don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other hanging around. And of course, different motivations leads to conflict, so it’s fun to compare and contrast how your antagonists think.

If you noticed, most of these ideas apply mainly to a very specific kind of genre and atmosphere, which I here dub ‘Nerd Fiction’. A lot only really applies in something long-form, episodic, and…well, Saturday morning. It is entirely possibly to fit some this stuff into something actually substantial, but mostly it’s fluff for a very juvenile kind of fiction. While I hope to have a wide variety of things to write about, I must admit that I’m still drawn the juvenile stuff. I’ll try to bring some intelligence to it, though! I promise!

Posted in In My Life, Nobody Cares, Writin' & Other Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LLLOOOKKK

Posted by Matt on November 2, 2009

Could it be that I’ve actually come up with a game design that I generally agree with? Hurray!

Now, to figure out how that matters in the slightest.

Well, this has been rather disappointing. Take this as a gesture of apology:

Posted in Nobody Cares, Videos Ahoy!, Writin' & Other Creativity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »