Category Archives: games

everything related to videogames

Don’t Starve has been running my life

As I sit here, not having written anything for this blog in almost a month, I feel like I’m not even the one who’s responsible. I’ve WANTED to write about things. I even have some super kick-ass ideas in the queue, and they’re going to be super kick-ass.

Anyway, that stuff will be here in the coming days. Let me bring you up to speed with Don’t Starve.

I’ve been playing this game almost non-stop (not quite as non-stop as my wife, but that’s a different post) because it’s really fun to play. Or maybe not fun? More like, addictive? Yeah, I’m going to go with addictive.

Don’t Starve really has scarcity down to a science. You always have to be working toward the next thing, because if you misallocate your time… BOOM you’re dead. Trust me, I know.

So anyway, I might venture into a thorough “thinking out loud” about this game in an upcoming post, but the reality is that I just died in a game the other day where I was 58 days in… I’m still heartbroken…


Don’t Starve – I’M WATCHING

This is a post more about watching someone else play a game than me playing a videogame.

I bought Don’t Starve on Steam quite a while ago, it’s one of the games that I’ve technically played, but haven’t spent a lot of time on. I think I have a hard time creating my own fun and thus, I seem to always have a hard time getting into open-ish games like this. I need a central storyline to keep me going when I get tired of exploring. Think more Skyrim and less GTA.

Though, as soon as I saw Joce start playing it, it looked a lot more interesting. So now I have to take a break from The Walking Dead season 2 to write a few words about THAT whole experience.

Here’s the backstory: Don’t Starve is pretty popular. I’m not exactly HOW I know that, but I have a general sense that it’s true… and that’s really what good marketing is trying to do, yes? Anyway, Don’t Starve is releasing a free multiplayer expansion soon, and since we’re always on the lookout for co-op games to play, and since I already own a copy, Joce wanted to give it a try. SO, she played it for a few minutes on my account, liked it, and bought her own. (SEE! BEING ABLE TO TRY THINGS OUT ACTUALLY DOES LEAD TO PURCHASED YOU DIRTY COPYRIGHT BASTARDS)

But, why is it interesting to watch someone else play Don’t Starve?

That’s a good question. Part of it is that it’s easier for me to take the game in, if that makes any sense. I’m able to evaluate the game’s intricacies when I’m not occupied with the minutiae of not starving. I don’t have to spend time gathering grass, I can think about how the saving system affects gameplay, for example!

Saving is an interesting mechanic in this game: it auto-saves at as yet undetermined points, you can save but have to quit at the same time so it adds a bit of tension. And when you die, the game is over – no reloads.

It’s high stakes up in here.

It’s a simple thing, but it really does ramp up the importance. I mean, the damn game is about surviving and a lack of persistent saving makes the world a heckuva lot more dangerous. Need that bit of gold (required to build a science machine) over by that huge spider? Yeah, a science machine would be nice (and necessary to keep surviving in the long term), but how strong is that spider? Will it attack you? If it does, can you defeat it?

That’s just one thing that I’ve already spent waaaaay too much time thinking about. It’s one of the issues with retro games. No user-controlled save system makes even an “easy” game a lot harder, let alone a super difficult game like Mega Man.

Side note (and lifeprotip), if you’re like me and never had the patience for those old, meat-grinder-style games, try them in an emulator. Liberal use of ‘save state’ has made some of them more accessible to me. I’ve spent some time in Mega Man X that I never would’ve before because of it. But, more on that sometime in the future.

BTW – releasing a free multiplayer update is rad.

Plus, building a science machine is awesome.



Super Metroid – SNES – Part II

I started playing Super Metroid a while ago, which is awesome, and decided that because I have basically 0 first-hand knowledge of this particular game or the series in general, I would do some live-blogging. At least until I get bored of doing it (or you get bored of reading it).

So, where we left off.

I had just finished the (pretty amazing) intro sequences and started encountering enemies (which I was exterminating with extreme prejudice).

And immediately, hilarity ensues.

I found the morph ball and procured some missiles, then started to head out. This was wrong, BECAUSE when I get almost back to my ship I see a little spot where I can only go if I go into morphball (MBM) mode. I do this and BOOM, I’m stuck in a cavern I can’t get out of.

Much Googling of the Googlez revealz that past the MB there was another path for me to follow where I would get freakin’ bombs!

I return to the caverns.

AND DISCOVER THAT THERE ARE NO BOMBS. Are the missles supposed to be bombs? Emulator bug? Weird.


The problem is that I didn’t know it took 5 missiles to bust open a pink door. You see, dear reader, you shoot a door to open it. I figured that out pretty fast, but that only seemed to work on BLUE doors. Not sure how I was supposed to figure out that it takes 5 missiles to blast a PINK door open…


That’s probably enough futility for one night. This blog is rapidly becoming FORSOOTHED IS BAD AND HE SHOULD FEEL BAD.


Next time: I see if I can get out of this hilarious pit of despair.

Did you know: You haven’t played 1/3 of your Steam games?

This isn’t news, I found it in a post on Forbes from April 2014, but it’s something I’ve been wondering about for quite awhile. I mean, I have a pile of Steam games that I buy for basically nothing and while I do get around to playing some, there is an ever-increasing pile that I simply haven’t touched.

I did a count about a week ago and I’m right at about 1/3 unplayed as well. For me this is for a few reasons:

  1. If I’ve heard good things about a game, it looks interesting, and it’s like, a couple of bucks, I’m an adult and I’m gonna buy that game.
  2. I’ve purchased a few bundles containing older games and found that I really disliked going back in time with them. So that’s bumped up my ‘not played’ count.
    • For example, I bought a Star Wars pack (it had 5 or 8 games & sequels) and even though it makes me a bad person, I know, I just can’t stand playing Jedi Knight. It hasn’t aged well.
  3. I’m going to get to them. Seriously! I tried Arkham Asylum and really hated it until I broke down and bought a decent PC gaming controller (it’s awesome with a proper controller, duh). I own all the new Batman games on Steam, so I’m going to play them eventually. I will, shut up!

The thing is, I don’t honestly care about not playing all the games I own. I don’t want to spend a pile of money on them, that’s clearly wasteful, but if I buy Balder’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for $3 and don’t play it for a few years, who cares? It’ll be there when I’m ready for it.

Until then, sleep tight little Balder’s Gate.

Super Metroid – SNES

I’m going to play the heck outta Super Metroid for a few minutes and live-blog it

Stupid idea? Sure. Boring as heck? Maybe. Am I going to do it? Yes.

This game starts out in a very cool way, bringing the player (that would be me) up to speed on Seamus’ previous adventures. Since I skipped straight to Super Metroid, this is pretty helpful.

Turns out that these Metroid things are the enemy and crazy dangerous. I’m guessing if left uncontrolled, they’ll spread across the universe. Think the Reapers in Mass Effect… or Tribbles

Anyway, I’m updating this post as I’m playing, and I’m about 5 minutes in and haven’t really faced an enemy yet (aside from a mini-boss? or maybe the actual end-boss who stole the sole remaining Tribbl… I mean Metroid). Now I’m on Planet Ceres exploring. I didn’t think this game would include exploring.

This all sounds a bit boring, but it’s actually more than a little spooky. The sound effects are ominous and there seem to be explosions (or something) in the background. And for what they’re worth, the 16 bit graphics are doing their best to freak me out.


See? That’s some seriously ominous atmosphere there folks.

I’m not super happy about having to hold the right trigger to shoot straight ahead… but we’ll see how that plays out.

Oh yeah, there’s also already been a number of doors I couldn’t enter and a bunch of spots that I’ll have to get the ball-thingy upgrade to go into. I’m not sure if that’s frustrating or bad-ass… Like, let me get into the game before I know I’m going to have to make my way back.

Wow, and BOOM there’s the ball-thingy (apparently it’s ACTUALLY called a Morphing Ball). PHHT 🙂


And then BOOM MISSLES!?! Have I mentioned that I haven’t actually FOUGHT anything yet? I’m getting a bad feeling about this…

Ah, there they are! Suckas tried to ambush me BUT I’M READY FOR YOU – PEW PEW PEW!

Oh, before I forget, I wrote a little bit about my history with Metroid a few posts ago. Basically, I have no history with Metroid.

Super Mario RPG – SNES

Just what is this game?

This is another game that I’ve only heard about and never played. And while the idea of a Mario RPG is intriguing, I’m curious as to whether or not the character has the depth to pull it off. Like, dude is a plumber who’s been squishing oompa-loompas (I know I know, they’re Koopas) what happens when I customize his characteristics? Does he jump higher, squish… faster?

Since this is a little bit of a different approach (normally I’m talking about games that I’ve at least spent a few minutes with), I wanted to cheat and do a bit of pre-research to set the stage for myself.

From Wikipedia

  • Released in 1996
  • The final Mario game released for the SNES
    • One of the final games released for the SNES overall
  • The main villan is Smithy???


I’m not afraid of a videogame villan called Smithy. I’m gonna wrap this game in 5 minutes.


Elder Scrolls Online: Logging in

Yes, sometimes I play games that have just been released. Try not to faint.

And yes, “Logging in” is possibly the lamest blog title that has ever been written by anyone anywhere. I don’t care. It’s appropriate.

I’m only about 30 or so minutes into ESO, and at Level 3 if I recall correctly, so I won’t talk too much about the quality of the game or compare it to WoW or anything like that.

I will talk a small amount about one particular thing that ticked me off.

To start, Bethesda made my favourite game ever, Fallout 3. Second, I got ESO for sale on Steam for 1/2 price ($30) including 30 days of playtime. Excellent deal. Third, Skyrim was the most fun I’ve had gaming in a LONG time. I haven’t played any earlier Elder Scrolls games (though Morrowind and Oblivion are among the long list of Steam games I own but haven’t played).

Thus, Elder Scrolls Online has a lot of rope with me.


You freakin’ guys.

I couldn’t login to the game after I bought it. Seriously.

Normal steps in playing a game you buy from Steam:

  1. Buy the game (why not? you got a sweet deal, else why are you buying the game?)
  2. Download the game.
  3. Hit ‘Play’
  4. DirectX auto-installs… again…
  5. Steam pops up your game key
  6. You Cntr-C said game key because, hey, sometimes you need it.
  7. If the game is kinda lame, you go to its website to create an account… *cough* EA *cough*
  8. The game fires up, you enter your account info.
  9. BOOM you’re playing the game and shooting zombies or whatever.

That’s like 9 steps max. More like 3 if you’re not an idiot.

ESO has a secret step.


Good Gord, what a piece of crap sign-in process.

After that, I had a freakin’ blast creating my Lizard-man stealthy guy.

PS – watch this video shared to me by Rocketbouchard.
Megaman + learning about learning in games = super-rad times.

Did you ever play Colecovision?

I sure as heck did.

For some reason, my family wasn’t into Atari so Coleco was my introduction to videogames. We had a pile of cartridges, I don’t recall many names except for Zaxxon and Ladybug. My mom freakin’ LOVED Ladybug – it was basically a Pac Man clone and there was something about collecting letters to spell “LADYBUG”. Don’t remember what that did, though it was probably awesome!

BOOM, Zaxxon!

And here’s a playthrough of Ladybug with no commentary!

I don’t remember a ton of detail about games (though I remember the ADAM computer add-on and the fact that MY BROTHER HAD IT AND IT RAN ON CASSETTE TAPES… SO AWESOME), except for their simplicity, in terms of intro playability, and complete and utter soul-crushing difficulty. I don’t remember passing the 1st level of Zaxxon… it’s possible I never did…

Batman: Arkham Asylum

I know I know I know. This game isn’t nearly old enough to be retro, but it’s… like… totally old man. That’s true and irrelevant.

This is a good game. Everyone likes this game.

So as I often do, I bought it during a Steam sale and didn’t get around to playing it for quite a long time. Now, a bit about me and new (ish) games these days: I tend to dislike new games right off the hop. In the last, oh, decade it almost always takes me at least a few hours to get into any game. I combat this by waiting until a Steam and targeting GOTY editions… basically I let the gaming community pick the best games for me, I buy them, and don’t play them for a year.

It’s a great system

Eventually I’m sitting around thinking: “which of these billion games do I try?” I fire up Arkham Asylum and get about 5 minutes in. “THIS GAME IS HORRIBLE!”

I know, right? Literally everyone I know who has played this game went/goes on and on about how smooth the controls were/are. It’s a great story. Blah blah blah.

One night over (many) beers I’m chatting about this with a friend and he gets really offended and starts interrogating me, wondering what was so bad about the game. “The controls are horrific” I says (you see, after many drinks I adopt a this-is-what-I-assume-people-in-the-20’s-sounded-like accent.

“WHAT?!?” says he. “That doesn’t make any sense. Are you using a controller?”

Me: “no, controllers on PC’s are for n00bs… right???”

Turns out they’re not for n00bs

So, dear readers, I picked up an xBox PC controller a few weeks ago and SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS ARKHAM ASYLUM IS AN AMAZING GAME. The controls ARE freakin’ smooth.

Controversial declaration: controls are important for maximum enjoyment of a game. And it turns out, the keyboard isn’t always the best way to handle input. Seems like they could’ve mapped the controls better… but I digress.

Turns out I should go back to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood again.

PS – that game is damn near unplayable on PC without a controller. Seriously, try it out.

Decided to not just write about retro games

Dear reader, as you can tell I haven’t written anything on this blog in… oh… 2 months. This hasn’t been because I haven’t been playing any games. I have, though not enough. I just haven’t felt like playing any retro games, which was the original point of this blog.

So, in the interest of expanding my publishing (and seriously, excuses for playing videogames) I’m going to start writing more about my gaming experiences in general.

First off, it seems like Steam sales are addictive in a really insidious way: like, $10 for Arkham Origins when I haven’t played Arkham Asylum or Arkham City (from previous Steam sales)? Definitely! Get in my pocket…

I want to think about that one a bit more.