A new blogger and an indie game sale!

Indie games are cool and fun

Ahoy folks! I’m fydo and apparently zakk wants me to write some stuff on this silly blog. I like to hang out in the indie games / opensource games crowd, so I’ll try to share any interesting tidbits I pick up on. Meow?

For instance, I might mention that this weekend there is a weekend sale going on at Steam, featuring 5 pretty awesome indie games. These games are:

  • Eets
  • Gravitron 2
  • I-Fluid
  • Multiwinia
  • Trials 2

I personally know the developer of Gravitron 2 and he’s a great guy too.

So I’ll talk a little bit about Gravitron 2. It’s got a really retro look and feel to it, tight controls and a difficulty ramp that reminds me of the NES days. There are over 40 levels in the original game and the game author just recently released a map pack which adds even more. There is another update in the works involving the map editor, but I probably shouldn’t reveal too much about that. Suffice to say, Gravitron 2 is more than worth the $5, and within this indie pack, it’s a steal! (figuratively speaking, of course)

I’d love to hear your opinions about any of these games in the comments, so flame away, dear readers.

(Note that I’ll try to avoid turning my posts into advertisements in the future. Hardy har.)

You Know What, Valve?

Steam Forums Search

captcha2

“I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”*. Really, can you read that CAPTCHA? Because I can’t. Maybe it is because I’m red-green color blind. Maybe it is because you guys are a bunch of horse’s asses who don’t have a forum for second sight which is why I’m searching to see if any of your Top Men are working on it, on the forum. Whatever the reason, that captcha is unreadable no matter how many times I click refresh. So, “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”*, Valve. Really. When I say “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”* what I meant is “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”* with your “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”* and your “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”*. If that isn’t making it clear, when a significant percentage of the teenage boys that play your games have this color deficiency, then “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir”* with whomever, but mostly just your mom.

Also, as a point of how much I am worth to you as a customer, here is that total.

*All references to swearing, sexual deviation, or other such inappropriate language have been replaced with the phrase “I do not approve of your method of handling this situation, good sir.” at the behest of the ESRB. Please click the following age-gate to unlock the swear-filter:

age-gate

Space Combat Sims for fans of X-Wing v Tie Fighter Part 1: Hardware

porkins

A lot of people like myself miss the old days. Let us then reminisce, and also blow the crap out of our enemies.

To get started, you’ll need some kind of joystick. I use Logitech joysticks because I like the twisting functionality on the stick itself for adjusting yaw on helicopters and jets in games like Battlefield 2 and sometimes roll in space sims like Freespace 2.

The two Logitech sticks I have are the Force 3D Pro and the Extreme 3D Pro. Names are kind of goofy, but they get the job done with the features i like and a reasonable price. Unfortunately, some games don’t support the force feedback. However, that can been taken as an advantage seeing as how the version without the Force Feedback costs half as much.

If you’re really cheap, you might even find an older USB stick at goodwill. I found an older USB Microsoft SideWinder there that I haven’t even tried yet. Adapters probably exist to go from gameport to USB, but I doubt they would work for joysticks unless such a product is designed specifically for them. Older gameport joysticks often required special software, unfortunately.

In my next post I’ll talk about some of the games you can play with these sticks.

What do you think? Are there some sims you want to see covered? Or maybe some sticks that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below.

3-On-3 NHL Arcade (PS3) Review

nhl_arcade3 On 3 NHL Arcade is the first PSN game I’ve tried where the demo version converts to the full version with just a token download. It is also fantastic with just a few minor nitpicks, and one big one.

  • Minor: Your teams, while easily distinguishable, are just red/blue. So you can’t pick the Flyers and get their jerseys.
  • Minor: Limited player selection, you can’t pick the Flyers and get their players.
  • Giant Humongous Failure: No friend invites/searching for friend games

What were they thinking with the no friend invites! In order to play versus a friend I had to set the custom unranked game to play-to a certain number of goals so my buddy could find it when he searched for a custom game. I know the PSN isn’t the best in the world, but I’m sure that NHL 09 had some kind of system for inviting friends, right?

Despite all that, I heartily recommend NHL Arcade, it is a fun game with almost all of the complications removed. In the place of those complications remain the tight skill stick or button controls, and cartoon stylings to the characters along with power-ups.

Killzone 2 (PS3) Demo Impressions

After setting up an EU PSN account, I downloaded the Killzone 2 demo and here are my quick-take impressions as posted on my twitter feed:

  • the killzone 2 menus are neat
  • “Unass this thing” Really?
  • yay, kz2 lets you remap controls so I can use my RealTriggersâ„¢
  • I can’t make crouch a toggle, wtf?
  • KZ2 graphics are beautiful.
  • Acceleration on the view controls is a little weird, as is the fact that you can melee (rifle butt), or stick a knife into those pigs..

Finally, the gameplay is extremely similar to COD4:MW, this is not a bad thing. Right now I’m sure I buy the idea that the enemy AI is superior to that of the extreme dumbass AI in Gears 2. Though the Hellghast do seem to cycle through their routine faster, which is a nice change. It is also nice to see them attempting to flush me out with grenades instead of just vice-versa. Overall, an enjoyable demo, which ended with perhaps not the best slice of gameplay. I’m excited for the finished game later this month and will post a full review some time after the game is released then. Until then I will be content with the pile of games I haven’t finished yet and confused as to why on earth sony would push Resistence 2 over Killzone 2 last fall when KZ2 is arguably the superior game.

Instructions For Downloading the Killzone 2 Demo without a Pre-Order

Many folks are like me, unwilling or unable to pre-order Killzone 2 from Gamestop in order to get the Killzone 2 demo. For whatever reason, here are step-by-step instructions for setting up an EU PSN account so you can download that demo without pre-ordering the full game:

  1. Create a new e-mail address from any free service like gmail.com
  2. Create a new user on your Playstation 3, you can do this from the left-most column of options on the XMB.
    I suggest using a name like <YourRegularUsernameHere>EU. I have TimeDoctor as my regular PSN name, and TimeDoctorEU for the EU PSN downloads.
  3. Proceed to the second icon from the right of the XMB, “Playstation Network” and make a new Playstation Network account.
  4. Here you will want to select the United Kingdom as your Country or Region.
  5. Select English as your language, of course.
  6. Use the e-mail address you created earlier in the dialogs that follow.
  7. Use the username you created earlier as your new online ID.
  8. The last thing you’ll need to do is to find a valid address in the UK, and enter it.
    I recommend placing yourself at TimeDoctor Games, Onslow House, Onslow Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4TN
    But that is just a suggestion 🙂
  9. Go into the Playstation Store and download your free demo of Killzone 2!

Now you’re all set! If anything went wrong, feel free to ask in the comments. Don’t forget about all the other cool paid content the brits get that we don’t like Command and Conquer PS1 and Dark Mist! Also, these instructions can be used for almost any region, just find another mailing address and email address.

Cast Your Net unto Thy Darkness. It is Time for Some Pods.

podcastGenerally when I look out on the surface of the Podcast listings on my iPhone I’m confronted with two things; NPR and Video Games. Neither of which are exactly expanding my listening horizons.

Every so often though, I find a few that fit within those publishing categories but also expand my interest and thinking. Here are three episodes listed in order of least-to-most video-gamey.

  1. Fresh Air from 1/28/09:
    This episode continues the fine tradition of Terry Gross’ 30+ year tradition of excellence through interviews of cultural and intellectual icons. The recently deceased John Updike’s past Fresh Air appearances taking the place of the show’s usual format. I will admit to having never read one of Updike’s books, though after hearing this interview I am inspired to try them.
  2. What They Play from 02/03/09:
    The meat of this episode has little to nothing to do with the usual content of this podcast, which is why I find it so surprising. The usually chipper host John Davison surprises us by being boring and uninterested in his own show to start, and then he throws out a substantial bit of discourse with ngmoco‘s CEO, Neil Young. Complete 180 from a usual What They Play episode, but not entirely unexpected from John Davison. Listen to this show if you have any interest in the iPhone gaming market. Then go download ngmoco’s great games if you haven’t already.
  3. A Life Well Wasted Episode 1:
    Usually when you get to the most game-y side of discussion you’re prepared for unintelligible fart jokes and prattling on about the latest Gears of War in a round table format from a group of schmucks over Skype. I’m certainly no exception having contributed to that for a good while. Then along comes Robert Ashley to class the joint up without giving up any kind of personality. Though the subject matter of the first episode is kind of played out, it is a great example of what to expect from this new podcast in the future.

There you have it, three podcasts to which you most likely haven’t listened. Enjoy.

Supreme Grievences Filed with thine Commander 2

Giant RobotJeff Buckland over at AtomicGamer has written up something that I wouldn’t normally dream of reading, a wish list for a game. However, this is one game that I happen to think was overlooked by many strategery fans for the minimal things in which it was lacking, instead of the greatness for which it is.

So, What does Jeff want for Supreme Commander 2?

For all of Supreme Commander‘s talk of epic scale and millions of lives hanging in the balance, we never saw a single one of those people we were fighting to protect. The whole battlefield was full of robots with humans only occupying the ACUs, and you never seem to fight in population centers or heavily inhabited areas. Other than what the story dictated to us, for all we knew we were just fighting with robots out in some field somewhere for fun. For the sequel, having fights in cities would be incredible, and would probably do a better job of showing off the scale of the units than the original game did.

And that is a point with which I couldn’t agree more, the main thing that lacked in the first game was atmosphere and personality beyond robots. I didn’t care for the single player at all due to the restrictions placed on the tech tree throughout and  would have loved to have played some multiplayer missions through SimCity style cities as they’re pulverized beneath the feet of my giant robots.

It is like that old science fiction trope of “What is the point to conquering the universe if you won’t have any sentient beings left under your control once you do it?”

So what then is the point of having giant robots if there aren’t any squishies (and their dwellings) for the giant robots to trample underfoot?

In any case, read the rest of Jeff’s article. Not because it talks about giant robots, but because it is written in the style of a real Supreme Commander fan instead of the generic “fan(s) of the genre” tone you might get on other sites.

Real Triggers Review (PS3)

realtriggers2Most people would probably expect the Dual Shock 3 to be the best of both worlds; the useless wobbling from the SIXAXISâ„¢ disaster, and the great design and heft of the Dual Shock 2. Unfortunately, someone at Sony forgot to fix the triggers (R2, L2) for first person shooters.

Most likely they don’t understand why that is important for shooters.

Well, that is all in the past now, and what we’re left with is terrible for shooters or anything else that relies on you to retain your grip on those triggers. Fortunately, some kind pacific rim company is popping out these accessories as depicted in the above diagram which repairs the issue. I’ve finally got a pair of the “Real Triggers” via amazon and can say they work as intended. Not sure they’re worth the $5 they go for on amazon, but they’re still good.

Now the only problem is that some games refuse to let you rebind the button layout so you can use your newly repaired triggers. Battlefield: Bad Company I’m looking at you.