Crispy Gamer

Crispy Gamer | Blogs

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    Oh Tropico 3, I've missed you. I bought the game on a whim some months back, after almost writing the city-building genre off for good. Games like 1701 A.D. and CivCity Rome had slowly worn away at my patience for the hard and fast rule-following that was required to be success. 1701 went so far as to enforce a strict radius for service buildings, such that a homeowner on a given block would receive the full benefits of say, a school, while his next-door neighbor would be completely bereft of education. It was nonsense like that that made me think the genre was pretty much done.
     
    Upon trying to demo of Tropico 3, I knew I had to buy it. There...
  • May is a good month to be a fan of arcade racers. There's Blur, a Burnout-esque racer with powerups, Modnation Racers, a cart racer with a great map editor and online track sharing, and Split/Second, a game that encourages blowing lots and lots of things up. I'll be covering all three of these racers this month, so keep a look out for a buyers guide!

    Split/Second takes the concept of destructible powerups from other games and turns them into Power Plays. By drifting, drafting behind opponents and getting airtime you build up a power meter. Once you have a third of the bar filled you can unleash a power play; icons above other cars indicate which ones will likely be hit by the shot. A power play, simply put, makes things go boom. A crane can sweep some cargo across the field, a helicopter may drop a bomb, a burning bus may begin tumbling down the racing field. Rest assured something explosive will happen and there's a good chance it'll wreck some...

  • Happy Birthday YouTube! Yes that’s right, YouTube turns 5 today, or maybe it was yesterday, or… Happy Birthday! Well, since this is a videogame website, I had to make this game related, so, I actually ended up finding an interactive YouTube Street Fighter game. Using linked videos, you get to fight Zangief, Dhalsim, or E. Honda as Guile. A, B, X, and Y buttons on the video allow you to execute moves when they’re flashing and if your attacks are mistimed, you take damage. My first thought: Boredom is truly innovation’s impetus. Upon playing the game though, I really had to admire the amount of work that went into this project.

    Patrick Boivin is the mind behind this game. He’s a French-Canadian film maker who’s best known for his stop-motion animation shorts. He usually takes on all aspects of his films, including directing, lighting, editing, and even music for...

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    So I hate to nerd out, but in the past few months I've become something of an Assassin’s Creed fanboy ever since my romance with Assassin’s Creed 2. Even today I can't stop talking about that game. Maybe it's the historian in me talking (I majored in History, not that that was any useful) but the 15th century setting just froliced it's way into my dopamine synaptic pathway and slowly bloated and gorged like a Renaissance fair corset. Ah, bar wenches. Even though we split for a bit (The Battle of Forli), we made up by the roaring fires of burning idols and charred vessels of sin, compliments of Savonarola. I got all the U Play downloads, all the feathers, bought the extra maps. I even fashioned a hidden blade out of rubber bands, a batman gauntlet, and a butter knife; it tends to shoot out whenever it feels like it though.

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  • When it was announced that Steam would be coming to the Mac platform, the world rejoiced. Mac users and Justin Long alike danced in the streets, celebrating the moment when Macs would take a major step forward in computer gaming. Well, Steam has been available for 5 days thus far, and at the time of this writing, I am not happy with the product.  

    Take a look at the debuts of major consoles. Successful launches always came with a killer app game that would coax potential buyers to shell out the considerable amount of cash to purchase a new machine. Consoles that didn't (Saturn, PS2) had miserable launches that were not well received at all by media and consumers alike. Obviously, in the case of the PS2, the poor launch did not hurt the console over the long haul.

    So what games were available for the Mac on day one of the Steam launch? Essentially nothing.

    Yes, Steam for Mac technically launched with 63 games, but when you look at the...


  • Well, because I’ve apparently been under a rock for the past few weeks, I guess I’m the only one online surprised by the Halo: Reach live action trailer, “Birth of a Spartan.” I’m not the biggest Halo fan, but I admit, I’ve always had a thing for Bungie’s trailers. They really know how to throw together these great short films that compulsively make me throw money at the screen. Though not as intense as its predecessors, “Birth of a Spartan” carries this great weight behind it in its own sobering way. So, in the midst of this fanboy-hot-flash, I thought we’d look through some marketing at its best.

    “Believe” trailer:

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  • The moment is nearly upon us, the moment where Macs will finally be on par with PCs in terms of gaming.

    Well, not really, but it’s a start. 
              
     
    On May 12th, 2010, less than a week from today, Steam will launch for the Mac.  With it come beloved games from Steam and Valve, such as Left for Dead 2,PortalTeam Fortress 2, and more.
     
    There have been a few questions rolling around concerning Steam for Mac, and with the launch date so near, I just want to answer the most common.
     
    “Will I have to repurchase a...
  • My first PC game was Red Baron. I borrowed it from my godmother's husband and never got around to returning it *cough*. It started me down the path that I'm still on today, as a devoted PC gamer. So when I heard that a Russian developer, neoqb, was developing what looked to be Red Baron for the modern age, I was ecstatic.
     
    Upon buying Rise of Flight, and jumping head first into the forums and online community, I quickly realized just how "indie" this scene really was. The first English-language blog post written for the site was an immediate apology for the unfinished state of the game, an explanation that development money was extremely tight and a commitment to make the playing experience better over time.
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  • Remember arcades?  Those magical places where gaming rigs stood shoulder to shoulder, filling up entire rooms?  Patrons used to flock there to spend their collective quarters in the hopes of reaching the next level, beating the game, or besting their high score.  Then there was me, a goofy ten year old who didn’t have much to spend in terms of money, but had a small fortune of time to waste.  

        I would swiftly make my way across the room and find the coolest, sweetest looking guy in the whole arcade, and watch him play for hours on end.  Following him from machine to machine, I remained in awe as he bested level after level, and as his score reach astronomically high numbers.  My reason for doing this: the games he played were difficult.  So difficult that I figured I could never possess the skill to duplicate his efforts.  Beating an easy game… no one cares.  Beat a hard game… that’...

  • It’s not that I’ve played the new iPhone game by Linkin Park and found it detestable or in any way unsatisfactory. I don’t have an iPhone or an iPod touch or an iPad. It’s just sad to see video games going down the same path so many other mediums have traveled. Of course I should really say going further down, since every major movie comes with a matching game nowadays.

    Linkin Park may or may not have made a great game. Either way, their popularity as musical artists is what will get their game sold—especially when beating the game unlocks an exclusive track. An, oh, the music in the game is remixed Linkin Park songs made to sound "old school."

    For me Eight Bit Rebellion’s premise is far too aware it’s clever. The game is about an evil corporation trying to ruin games...

  • Video game music is a huge part of my collection. Honestly speaking, it's the music I hear the most because I spend more time playing games than I do listening to my Zune. So often times, I like listening to video game music when I'm at work. Except, aside from what is on my MP3 player, it's difficult to find good video game music unless I've played that game myself.

    That is, until I discovered rainwave.cc. Rainwave streams video game songs from hundreds of games, both classic and contemporary. It was through this site that I discovered that I really enjoy music from the Advance Wars series. I love turn-based strategy games as well, so I don't know why I never got into this series. Either way, I was just stoked to find a place like rainwave that was able to introduce me to songs I haven't heard before. It's essentially the...

  • I just got my grubby little hands on the $2.00 Black Market Aerial Pack DLC for Just Cause 2. Apparently, developer Avalanche will be releasing a few of these in the coming months, each containing about three equipment and vehicle additions a piece. This pack includes a new rocket launcher, fighter plane and parachute jets, all purchasable from the in-game black market. Is this first entry worth the price of admission?

    Going with the aerial theme, the rocket launcher is primarily an anti helicopter weapon. It gives you the ability to lock onto 4 separate enemies (vehicles or people) by holding down fire and dragging the cursor over your targets. Once they are cued up, simply release the button and watches as a volley of pure destruction homes in on your victims. I say that it's mostly useful for choppers because on the ground, there are just too many obstacles, such as...



  • "Oh wow, blood." Yes, that was my first reaction to Dead to Rigths Retribution. Seriously, it's like the Red Cross ran out of water for their Supersoakers in the middle of their yearly Supersoaker staff barbecue. There's blood when we meet Jack Slate, our protagonist, there's blood when we meet Shadow, star puppy of the game, there's blood when I sneeze too hard... okay that's not true, but my point is made. Yes Namco, I get it, this is a hardcore game with an attitude and apparently a lot of hemophiliacs. I expectations weren't too high for the game as of that moment, but, I see potential.

    I can't help but feel a slight thrill of nostalgia every so often. I used to love playing a Genesis game called Streets of Rage, if you have a working Genesis, you should definitely try it. Well, DtR feels like I'm playing that old beat 'em up game every so often. Yes the AI is pretty dumb, graphics are...

  • I've been spending some time with Kingdoms of Camelot, yet another one of the many casual social games on Facebook.




    KoC borrows from the core ideas that made Farmville so successful - a...

  • Heading into Nier,  I really did not know what to expect. Square Enix's first published release following the media blitzkrieg that was Final Fantasy XIII in March posed quite a quandary; in a week that sees the release of the latest entries in the Street Fighter IV and Dead to Rights series, a brand spanking-new IP from Square received little fanfare. Browsing over my local Gamestop, I noticed that only one new copy of Nier flanked on both sides by multiple copies of its release date brethren. So what is it about Nier that's drawn pretty much, well, non-interest within the gaming community? Could the blame lie in the nearly incomprehensible and manic game trailers promoting Nier? Are American gamers simply burned out on Japanese RPGs in the wake of Final Fantasy XIII? (Domestic game sales would obviously hint at no, but personally, I...

  • Rumor had been circulating recently that Nintendo was developing a new DS system that could achieve real 3D effects without the use of special glasses.  Naturally, the world exploded with speculation.  Topics ranged from how the glasses-free device would operate, to whether or not Sony should follow suit with the PSP, to whether or not anyone would even give a damn about the new DS.  

        Nintendo, however, has been relatively mum on the subject.  A quick look at the Nintendo of America front page displays no information about the 3DS, nor does the DS front page.  It appears as though Nintendo is more...

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    M 60’s, pills, virulent cannibals, but worst of all… ugly bridesmaid dresses; yeah, there goes the neighborhood. Valve didn’t just toss us a new map to shoot zombies on; not that this isn’t addictively fun, but it’s really Valve’s attention to detail that really makes The Passing memorable. I hadn’t played Left 4 Dead 2 in a while, but it was easy to jump back onto the zombi-cycle with a hot dishing of banter between Zoey and Nick at the beginning of the campaign. Let’s just say, someone finally called out Nick on his Colonel Sandersesque suit. I really liked how familiar the map felt; not in a “I’ve played this before” way, but in a “I’ve walked down this seedy alley before” way. Everyone’s been to this little southern town before, and you can tell something is wrong. Neon lights shining to no one in general, lonely shops that should be full of little old...

  • When I hear anyone use the word “gamer” without irony or air quotes I cringe. It’s always the same line—“I’m a gamer”—with the addition of some trivial attempt at supporting the claim—“I have three old school consoles”—and no attempt to explain what the term “gamer” means.

                Logic should suggest that a gamer is simply one who games. After all, a writer is one who writes, a actor is one who acts, a painter is one who paints. Of course, “er” words tend to lean towards serious hobbyists or (aspiring) professionals.

                With video games, there are very few professionals and very many serious hobbyists. Wikipedia suggests that nowadays gamer...

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    Coming off of my review of The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom and all the misery that entailed, one theme kept cropping up: the idea of somehow cognitively separating the DRM from the game itself. I was peppered with questions like, "Taking aside the DRM, what do you think of the game?" and comments such as, "Your review focused too much on the DRM, not enough on the game". Similar to how some people "feel" that there is a difference between mind and body (relating to souls and such...there isn't one), many feel that DRM is somehow disconnected from a game.  As if we could simply cover one eye, turn our heads and squint, and somehow, the DRM would go unnoticed and we would suddenly now own a game we actually want. To submit to this faulty line of reasoning is both stupid from a consumer...
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    On April 6th, WikiLeaks released a video of a US Army Apache helicopter firing at a group of men in Baghdad in 2007. It later turned out that the group of men included a Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, who was only 22 years old, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. WikiLeaks has attached to the video a label of "Collateral Murder." There has been much outcry over the video and what it portrays, with the military defending the contents, and elements of the media claiming that the events and actions depicted are deplorable, immoral crimes. Julian Assange, editor of WikiLeaks, said: "The behavior of the pilots is like a computer game. When Saeed is crawling, clearly unable to do anything, their response is: 'come on buddy, we want to kill you, just pick up a weapon'...It appears to be a desire to get a higher score, or a higher number of kills." (...