What happens when you take the first person shooter out of Halo and take a real time strategy game off of a computer? You get nothing really that good. Halo Wars is an RTS game pretty much stripped down to the bear essentials. Where are my damn Hotkeys??? You can choose between the Marines or the Covenant. With each of the groups having their own unique advantages and disadvantages. You are limited on locations of building your base(s) and have a very small cap on the amount of equipment as well as personnel. This is what makes the game somewhat challenging.
Now I might be a little biased about the game. I needed something to fill the gap before StarCraft II hits the shelves. Whenever the hell that will be. Halo Wars just does not cut it. It is an okay game in small doses. But again it is a very low key RTS game. Not enough to keep the RTS gamers busy for very long. Damn you StarCraft, when will you come out.
Monday, 16 March 2009 14:44
Rarely we'll find someone out there in the interwebs looking to make a change. A gaming console change; and sometimes I'll bite- though not very often. Sunday morning I was sitting on Scott's couch watching 'Darkplace' when he passed his open laptop over to me, with an open Craigslist ad on-screen. The author had a Sega CD unit he was hoping to trade for a NES or SNES working system, and was local. Though I have a Genesis, and lots of crap for it, it had been a while since a Sega CD graced the console shelf, and I had a few games left from my previous one I sold back in 2000 (what a pity), as it was a CD-X. After an email to the poster, I received a phone call 2 hours later while loading a Stargate cabinet into my pickup. The guy was ready to meet and swap out the consoles. The real fun thing here, is trading an NES for anything didn't really hurt my feelings. I went home and pulled one (of many) off the shelf and put together a package, rounding up all the original cables and hookups. I threw in a Super Mario / Duck Hunt cart and Whammo! We're ready to go. I drove down to the corporate whore convenience store at 15th & Denver to meet the guy, and while I waited I stopped in and grabbed a bit of an old favorite:
Returning to the truck I saw a guy in camo's and a backpack, a few piercings, looking around, I said 'you meeting someone here for a trade?' to which he replied 'yeah, I'm the guy'. I grabbed the NES package from the cab of the truck and as I turned to give it to him my jaw almost dropped- not only did he have a Sega CD unit for trade but it was a generation 1 system, on the dock! Very, very rare anymore!!
The unit is in good working order as far as I can tell- though one thing remains. The CD/Dock portion of the unit ALSO has it's own power supply, and the trader had only supplied one. And if that wasn't bad enough, the power supplies are proprietary, running at 9V DC /1.2A. The amp rating has to be exactly correct or the GD-Rom will not run correctly. So, off to Amazon I go, and ordered a replacement. So last night saw a little bit of BattleTech and Shadowrun, two of my favorite Genesis titles, and everything seemed to be in great shape, and everything worked. Changing out a homemade PS for a brief second showed LED activity on the GD-Rom but I disabled it quickly as the amp rating on this TF was only 500mA, and I don't want to damage this vintage console at all. But, once the Amazon mail arrives, it will be time to again resurrect 2 of the most awesome CD-based video games of all time: Revenge of the Ninja, and Night Trap! And Dana Plato plays a terrific terrified teen in Night Trap, just a little trivia. Click the images to see some gameplay footage!
Until next time, Cheers, and dark beers!
Written by Arcot Ramathorn
So, many of you have probably also experienced this bastard of a stomach bug that's been going around. I, for one have mastered it. And I did so under the shadow of my Japanese 3DO system, which I had to dig out of the vault with a shovel and sandblast off some dust. If you got my voice mail, I'm sorry.
With the heavy price tag of 599$ when it was first released in the 90's, I felt it was a good idea to preserve one of these consoles as long as possible. And, upon plugging it in and turning it on, it fired right up! This was a surprise to me, since everything else I have worked with this week was broken. Anyway. Things could be worse than stretching out on a blue velvet couch and chewing 1000 'Tums'. But, being a fat American I really needed to fill the void of entertainment the best I could. And I reached far down into the 3DO game pile with my eyes closed tight, and pulled out an old favorite: Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. And after about 20 minutes of gameplay, I began to wonder just how this became a favorite in the first place- though there are some pros- and some cons.
The 3DO (a disc-based system) had the ability to host some really great games, (Hell, Slayer, Myst,) and most arcade games ported to the system were exact replicas. And SSF2T was really no exception. The gameplay was about as arcade-authentic as I could expect from a console and then some- with a few noticeable differences. First of all, in keeping with the CPS2 arcade version, the same mousy 'Sesame Street' announcer voice was present. Now, some of you will think this is no big deal, but after listening to this jackoff announce every location, fighter name and round/winner for about 20 minutes you are ready to hit you ears with a hammer. He almost sounds like the guy in this ad. Another con was the wait. I've seen better loading times from an SNES. Literally. But, overall, it's only about a 2-3 second wait. There is no wait time between rounds, only before & after matches. The gameplay itself is very smooth and accurate to the arcade version- with the option of choosing from 3 speeds of play. The medium setting is what I felt most comfortable with, since the first is wayy too slow, and the third is faster than hell, and impossible to keep up with. Thank you, Goldilocks. All the characters from the SF series are present, with the addition of four new fighters, Fei Long, Cammy, T-Hawk and DeeJay, each with another stage to battle in, and again, things looked pretty arcade-realistic.
The only real gripe I had at the end of the evening was the sound- it's pretty bad, considering this system is CD-based and can do much better. Did you notice Akuma on the cover? It's always fun to include Akuma. But when he is the boss character and un-selectable, and he grinds you into pate every single time (even on the default difficulty setting!!!) he's a right bastard. Overall a good game, just not 100% sure the port went well. Some delay in waiting for battles, cheesy announcer voice and crappy music really took away from the total enjoyment value of the game. In short, I would rather play 100 hours of SF2CE (Champion Edition) than 2 hours of SSF2T. And that is taking at least 2 steps back. Anyway- time for another dose of Tagamet. Til next time, cheers, & dark beers.
Street Fighter 4
This is just ridiculous. Put together a MUGEN engine, get a group together and find out who's best. But on a level of competitiveness the likes of which GAAD has never seen. This brings me to the point: Newkillergenius (Evil Ken) VS Power Glove (Demon Ryu) in a fight to the finish in front of the whole neighborhood. And as the beer cans emptied, the fists flew. Click the image to check the outcome. I wasn't so lucky.
In a time where Cancer, AIDS, Salmonella and many other debilitating diseases are circling the globe, It's really tough to take anything like this very seriously. Enter "Palmar Hidradentis". Called "PlayStation palmar hidradentis" by the scientists, the skin disorder can cause painful lesions on the palms similar to patches found on the soles of children's feet after taking part in heavy physical activity, they said.
"The tight and continuous grasping of the hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons produce minor but continuous trauma to the (palm) surfaces," Vincent Piguet and colleagues at University Hospitals and Medical School of Geneva reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.
A spokesman for Sony Corp, which makes the PlayStation, noted the study involved one person and said the company had sold hundreds of millions of the consoles since the product was introduced in 1995. "As with any leisure pursuit there are possible consequences of not following common sense, health advice and guidelines, as can be found within our instruction manuals," Sony spokesman David Wilson said. "We would not wish to belittle this research and we will study the findings with interest, but this is the first time we have ever heard of a complaint of this nature."
Excessive gaming is already seen as a public health issue, sparking addictive behavior that can lead to a range of psychological problems, the researchers said.
Other researchers have identified acute tendonitis from playing too much of Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii, and now a disorder related to the PlayStation can be added to the list, the team said. Their study described the case of a 12-year-old girl who attended the Geneva hospital with intensely painful lesions on her hands, which she had developed four weeks earlier. She had no other lesions anywhere else on her body. After questioning, the doctors discovered that several days prior to the appearance of the lesions the girl had started to play a game on her PlayStation for several hours each day. The researchers suspected that grasping the console's hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons produced minor but prolonged injury to the palm of the girl's hands, which can be made worse by sweating during a tense game. The doctors recommended the girl stop playing and she recovered fully after 10 days, the researchers said. "If you're worried about soreness on your hands when playing a games console, it might be sensible to give your hands a break from time to time, and don't play excessively if your hands are prone to sweating," Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists said in a statement.
My opinion: you either got it, or you dont. And after 20+ years of "intense gaming" I guess I've seen for myself. I need to call my attorney.