Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I'm not a big believer in first impressions anymore.  I know you have only one chance to make one and all that, but there's other factors at work, I'm saying.  Take Trevor Noah, for example.  He's going to be the new host of The Daily Show with Stew Beef at some point.  Sure, the First Impression dynamic is at work, but what about the Second and Third and Fourth?  Is The Daily Show going to make a smooth transition between these two hosts?  Of course, I'm still scratching my head over how Adam Sandler was able to build and retain an audience for his concerts and what not.
Which brings us to Juice / Pipeline by Arti Haroutunian, author of the meh-Amidar clone Kid Grid.  When I played this at first many moons ago, I admittedly wasn't impressed.  What, another Q*Bert clone by way of Flip and Flop?  It's just not the same without the purple meanies blowing my mind with their alternate gravity!  And yet.... here we are again.  I took a second look at Juice and, I gotta say, compared to Kid Grid, the game play's like, a zillion times better.  Also, the music pointed the way for Datasoft's Zorro and The Goonies
But mainly I'm just a sucker for tough levels.  I had to find out if there's a level beyond six on Juice.  (Spoiler alert: no)  Also, I appreciate the fourth level being not as tough as the others.  Of course, I'm a guy in a hurry so I eventually had to use saved states to really beat the sixth level.  And sure, it's a little depressing because the red balls of Q*Bert have been replaced here by multi-colored guys jumping with a lot less "free will" than the red balls of Q*Bert.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Bone to Pick

Okay, so who's at fault here?  Is it Firefox and Chrome?  Is it Adobe?  Is it Facebook?  Am I really doomed to spend the rest of my days playing Zynga Poker on the now-defunct Internet Explorer?
I've rebooted after downloading the "latest" Flash player.  Adobe says it's version 17, but Flash says it's version 10.  Chrome says I need at least 10.1.0 to run.  Well, maybe I'll just have to live without Tetris Battle and Clash of Candies, but my dad's depending on that Zanga Poker!  What's he supposed to do, go play actual poker instead?  Nurtz to that!  There's only one solution: hire me on the Adobe Tech Support team so people who talk to me can say "... is there someone here who actually knows something?  Anyone at all?"  At which point they'll move on to "Oh!  I didn't know bags of steer manure could wear clothing and speak!  Interesting!  You learn something new every day!"

(later) Help is here, maybe!

I Can't Resist

This has nothing to do with video games... unless you consider that these appear next to the games I'm trying to play today.  Take that, Doom!  Where's your ads?
Anyway, this seems to be a Facebook app called "Are You Interested?"  Spoiler Alert: the Lisa Kudrow-looking chick on the left is not.

The Plutonia Experiment for Windows 95

As you may have guessed, I'm very very very very late to the party when it comes to video games.  But I've fished my blessed Book of Id out of the endless bankers boxes, and I've finally set up the various "Doom"s on my Windows XP computer.  Ah, the good old days with the SoundBlaster card, the 220 port, and what not.  And yet, problems problems.  Quake doesn't want to work, and the various booms and groans slow the game down too much.  Might actually prove to be a benefit when playing the crazy Plutonia Experiment variation.  But I think I've experimented enough with Plutonia to reach the following conclusion: it's too much.  Too many baddies, not enough ammo.  The creators of this fiendish variation have a fondness for the Heavy Weapon Dudes and Revenants that I don't share as zealously.  Okay, maybe one or two, but four or more around every corner and behind every trap door? 
So even though a game of Doom may seem like a very individualistic affair, there are some Socialistic overtones that we're apparently supposed to be on the lookout for.  I mean, the supplies, for one.  All this violence and mayhem just wouldn't be possible if the boxes of ammo and health "kits" weren't just lying all over the place.  Not to mention that everyone wants networking mode, so they can blast the hellspawn side by side with their best buddies.  So as fun as it is to try and take on four Cyberdemons at once, it's just a bit much.  But I'll probably want another bit of the hair of the dog within the next couple days and try it once again.  I plopped the Plutonia wad file into the right directory, and it works great on my Windows Vista computer.  Fits right in the Doom II game, of course.  Thirty two levels, with an Icon of Sin on level 30, two bonus levels... no.  Not enough ammo.  Level 31's just too fiendish, but at least you only have to take on one cyberdemon at a time... I still don't know if an arch-vile can resurrect a cyberdemon.  What does the web say?
(later) ...the web says no.  Commander Keens!  Lol.  Well, never mind then!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Diggy's Adventure

Well, I hate to question the wisdom of the job creators, but to me, an adventure does have an ending.  An adventure that never ends is what they call a desk job.  Also, that maze doesn't look terribly exciting, but that's just me.  I know the type of computer code it takes to generate that.  Any programmer worth their weight in stock options will tell you as such.
10/7/'17 - ...boy, I must be desperate.  Well, I tried Diggy's Adventure a little bit, and... boy, I haven't played one of those games in a while where stuff appears and you have to roll the mouse over it to collect them.  Coins, stars, what have you... Also, I hate to say it, but it's not my idea of a game adventure.  You got that professor guy who's always two or three steps ahead, and he's kinda pointing you to the next thing.  You do all the hard work of digging and smashing stuff, and he's there, waiting for you to hurry up and finish already.  I feel like such a dumb slowpoke.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Atari emulator -> Crystal Raider

I'm relieved in a way.  I thought I was going to have to make the map!  Digitpress dot com has already come to the rescue... but they don't have the one for Firefleet!  Nyaah nyaah... Alas, Crystal Raider wasn't a childhood favourite of mine, so I don't care so much for it now.  But they do have one of the sound effects from Gridrunner!  I recognize that!  Also, I can't tell if I'm jumping or just have an exhaustless jetpack.  ALSO also, when the screen turns lime yellow I can't see the bad guys as good as I should be able to.  Oh, this is so not a Microsoft game.