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July 17th, 2014

07:27 pm - Splatterhouse
The original Splatterhouse, not the PS3-era one (and on TG-16 not the arcade or wherever else it was available). It's a brutally hard platformer based entirely around memorization. Brutal is also the only way to describe the graphics, with zombies splattering into goo, severed hands, mirror-spawned clones, flesh eating worms, disembodied heads floating about...

Which is to say that it's fantastic. Even now, 20-something years later it's great to look at in its low-res, ugly graphics. There's more... appeal here than there is with the PS3-era remake (which of course has much better looking graphics from a purely technical perspective).

And like with Keith Courage, thanks to save states I finally made it past the level 5 boss to beat the game. Yay!

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07:18 pm - Keith Courage in the Alpha Zones
This was the pack-in game that came with my TG-16 way back in the day. It's an okay platformer with some cool looking enemies (the one with the GUN for a head is a favorite), but nothing really special about it (i.e. it's a terrible pack-in game).

Today, thanks to the abusive power of save states, and exploiting glitches (twice I had bosses not move and just stand there while I killed them) I managed to beat it. It was a good time, but a bit repetitive, and farming for money was a bore.

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February 28th, 2014

11:21 pm - X-COM: Enforcer
...Not much to say about Enforcer. It's a pretty mediocre third-person shooter. It plays okay. The first five or six stages that I blew through were pretty fun, but then I looked and saw there were 40-something stages in the game and... I don't think I want to go through all of that. You can tell they rushed it, it's missing a lot of polish, and given that its contemporaries were things like Deus Ex (2000) and Oni (2001), it's easy to see why it was a disappointment.
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February 25th, 2014

12:36 am - Post Apocalyptic Mayhem
Post Apocalyptic Mayhem has been pretty fun in single-player. It reminds me of a cross between Twisted Metal (vehicular destruction) and Hydro Thunder (...I think just because of the nitro boost).

I'm sure in multi-player it would be even more fun, but eh. I've been enjoying the carnage. Since I'm pretty sure I got it in some bundle or pack, it's definately worth the dollar or two that I paid for it, but even at 10 bucks, it seems pretty worth it. I think they added a lot of tracks, etc., after its initial release, because there's a lot of reviews that complain about having only 3 tracks and... there's a lot more than that.

My favorite car is SKORCH, because it sets things on fire. :D

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February 22nd, 2014

08:34 pm - OpenXcom
OpenXcom is a nearly complete (so complete I haven't noticed anything non-complete yet) port of the old X-COM engine to modern OSes. All the assets rely on having a legit copy of X-COM to load the graphics and sound. The gameplay is just what you'd expect, and I've been having a blast fighting aliens again.

I somehow managed to swarm 4 battleships at the same time with Interceptors and only lose one of my birds, a remarkable feat!

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February 4th, 2014

10:05 pm - La-Mulana
I beat La-Mulana, and then I did the bonus dungeon, the Hell Temple. If I ever play the game again, it will be too soon. Also blindly stumbling around for 2/3rds of the game, then resorting to help for increasingly cryptic puzzles got me almost but not quite to the achievement for speed running it. So close, yet, so far.

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It's not that La-Mulana ever got Hard like Super Meat Boy, just frustrating, because unlike SMB, you couldn't just restart 30 seconds back in time at the start of the stage, you had to go through multiple screens of platforming. And the puzzles... some of them were easy, but others were just so much cryptic crap that it hurt my head.

So 10/10 for the frustration factor, only 8/10 for actual difficulty that wasn't due to crazy game design.

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December 22nd, 2013

07:17 pm - Brutal Doom
Is completely awesome.

We're all played Doom, I'm sure. Well ... maybe not everyone. But Brutal Doom takes Doom and makes it the gory, exploding bodies, machine-gunning game that I remember it being. I have it all set up for modern shooter controls (WASD instead of arrow keys) with mouselook.

I just played through Episode 1 this afternoon and it was fantastic. I also learned I am completely terrible at Doom anymore.

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November 28th, 2013

08:48 pm - Wreck-It Ralph
I just watched Wreck-It Ralph today. (I know, a year or so late.) It was a lot of fun. Good pacing, funny, actiony when it needed to be. 10 out of 9 points.

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September 3rd, 2013

09:17 pm - Super Metroid
So I'm only 20 years behind the curve here. I finally played and beat Super Metroid. I had fun with most of it. There were... 3 places I think where I got kinda pissed off. The noob bridge (Look I didn't know there was a dash button okay?), this one crazy room with an acid floor in Norfair that took me forever to get past, and then the entire area of Maridia.

I'm not really a fan of one-way paths through areas.

But it was fun. And got kinda ridiculously hard. And I never managed to figure out how to wall jump more than one time in a row.

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September 1st, 2013

11:51 pm - Apparently the thing that made CoH awesome was a terrible problem
Quoth the Positron: Sometimes we make Alts because we are bored. That is a terrible reason because our focus gets split among two characters.

He's right, we should just stop playing instead and move on to something else.

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July 25th, 2013

11:52 pm - Organ Tail
Ah the Oregon Tail, I remember playing that on an Apple computer at school one time. We didn't get a lot of time on th-- Wait, wait, Organ Trail?

Organ Tail is the Oregon Trail, only full of zombies, set after a nuclear horrible war.

The game opens with you picking up your friends in DC as the government announces it's being abandoned and nuked. And thus begins your trek to the west coast... in a station wagon.

You lose mufflers, starve, get shot at, bitten by zombies, and die of cholera. Every now and then there's a settlement to buy supplies at. Go foraging and zombie fighting. Fend of biker gangs. Dodge zombie deer. Get bitten by zombies and infected. Get radiation poisoning.

It's a pretty faithful remake of Oregon Trail, only reskinned.

It was a lot of fun to play, but it's pretty gimmicky. At least to me. I played a game of it for the twisted nostalgia factor, but now that I've done it, I don't really have any urge to go back to it.
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11:12 pm - Dead Pixels
Dead Pixels is a pseudo-retro looking side scrolling action-survival game where you, the protagonist, have to battle through city streets to reach other survivors that are preparing to evacuate a zombie-overrun city.

When a zombie dies, it barfs up a coin. This reminded me of River City Ransom. That illusion went away very quickly as I found myself running out of ammo and had to run away screaming from zombies until I found a store with ammo to sell me.

The stock in stores is limited, and I don't think it ever refreshes, so you're stuck with literally what you scavenge up.

It was pretty good times, I enjoyed myself a lot. I think this is one of those games that's really meant to be played with a friend while you're both making bad jokes. I didn't really have that available, but I had a good time for the couple of games I played through. I got it as part of a bundle, so my net cost for the game is like $1, and getting an hour of zombie splattering fun for a buck? Not bad. If you've got someone to play it with, I think there's some great replay value in there.

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July 12th, 2013

09:17 pm - New York New York
Went to New York again. Business trip went swimmingly until the returning home part.

First flight was canceled. Get hotel. Wake up at 3:30 AM to get to airport for 2nd flight. Check out of hotel. Go to airport. 2nd flight is canceled. Spend 9 hours in airport. Thankfully 3rd flight is not canceled.

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July 6th, 2013

08:40 pm - Team Homer's Odyssey
So our very own Doman, my good friend, was busy graduating recently. Which means he had to work on a final project. This project was Odyssey by Team Homer (which he was obviously part of). As I understand it he did graphics-related programming. When you go play the game (you are downloading it right now, I hope), you'll be wowed by, well, the presentation. It's got mountains of it. Big piles of it. That's why I like it. If the embedding thing works, there should be a Youtube frame below with my LP of the game in it, so you can see for yourself.

The platforming action (it's a 3D platformer) is okay, mostly I kept playing it to keep seeing new sights! The bosses took some trial and error and being completely puzzled to kill. I think the boss fights made up about half of my time with the game, which is kind of a downer in a game where I kept wanting to see more and newer things. Overall it needed polish, and length, and ...I'd complain about the controls, but I think I got used to the way it handled after the first time I'd played it so it stopped feeling quite so stiff when I played it for my LP.

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July 4th, 2013

10:15 pm - EXPLOSIONS!
From my apartment balcony, I had a decent view of the fireworks from four or five different towns.

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June 26th, 2013

06:22 pm - Technical Readout: Diesel Power

So I've gotten the BattleTech bug again.

This can only mean one thing: Designing Mechs.

The theme of them? Diesel Power.

Giant hulking warmachines powered by the almighty internal combustion engine. Only have branth spleen oil for fuel? No problem, pour it in! Have high-grade diesel? Sure the engine loves that stuff! Burn anything you can to fuel your engines of war!

So far I've got a few mechs put together:

4/6 15-tonner quad omnimech for low-key security gigs (omni-tech is fluffed as modular turrets that can be dropped in or out)
5/8 20-tonner with an SRM-2 rack
5/8 35-tonner, uparmored from the 20-tonner and also packing a machine gun
4/6 55-tonner with a Heavy Rifle (the 'trooper')
3/5 70-tonner with 2 LRM-15 racks (a poor man's archer - 3/4ths of the performance at half the price!)
2/3 80-tonner that's almost but not quite an Awesome (1 PPC, 2 Light PPCs)

Not sure what else to build, but I'm sure I'll think of something. Maybe see if I can make an ICE-locust or something equally ridiculous.

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June 25th, 2013

11:02 am - Alien Breed: Impact
Continuing from the alien carnage last night, while I wait for an appointment, I wanted to get in some glorious alien killing combat. I installed Alien Breed: Impact. It just won't run on my PC. At all.

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12:19 am - Alien Shooter 2: Conscription
So I love shooting aliens. It's right up there with pumping a zombie full of lead from a double-barreled shotgun in things I like.

No telling where I got it from, but I own Alien Shooter 2: Conscription. It's a simple isometric alien-shooting action game that feels like it came out of the late 90's. I mean that in a good way.

There were explosions, at least a dozen different aliens, a conspiracy to unearth and fight, and a battle with a guy in a huge mecha suit. It was a great way to spend the hour or so it took me to play through it.

If you're looking for some mindless action, I recommend it. It's alien carnage in the finest tradition of old top-down or isometric shooters like Alien Syndrome. It's not Alien Swarm, but it doesn't pretend to be. And it sure is a whole lot more forgiving than the "Oh god we all died again" fest that Alien Swarm always turned out to be when I played it with Stephanie and friends.

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June 16th, 2013

02:26 pm - El Pastor
Madison, like many other places that are not Berea, Kentucky, continues to disappoint me with its lack of decent Mexican food. Yesterday, as a sort of "pre-Father's Day" Father's Day dinner we had a late lunch at El Pastor on Park Street.

None of the good was any good. Well. The tortillas were good. They were nice and homemade and fresh.

The chips had been fried like two hours before we got there, so they were horrible.

The salsa that came with the chips was good. Lots of tomatillo in it. I could get down with it. Needed a whole lot more of it to go with the basket of chips we had. (To every silver lining, there is a cloud I guess.)

I ordered "Barbacoa (Lamb)". How could I go wrong? Slow cooked, shredded lamb, served with rice, beans, tortillas? It went horribly wrong right from the start. My plate came out 5 minutes later than the other two entrees, and that's after we waited probably 25 minutes. Keep in mind when I say "late" lunch I mean like 1:30, not 3 PM.

I should have known it was all wrong, because the restaurant stank. It was musty. There was a smell of old coffee, maybe stale cigarettes lurking underneath the fungal must. And there were other customers in there, who I assume were just as bewildered at their food as we were. One was a group of college-age people who didn't eat their food. That should've told me something there, but they didn't get their dishes until after we'd ordered.

My Barbacoa tasted like Arby's Roast Beef. Which while something I secretly and darkly enjoy (especially with Arby's horseradish sauce and curly fries - I love them curly fries I think they put drugs in them to make them addictive) is not something I ever expected to get at a Mexican restaurant.

So either the dark secret to Arby's Roast Beef is that it is in fact slow-cooked lamb... or I had a beef roast that was absolutely sad. It wasn't even properly shredded, someone had just put a fork in it and pulled it into a couple of chunks.

I couldn't taste it over the tortillas. I also got a nice half a lime and a bowl of cilantro and raw onions. I skipped the 'salad' such as it was.

The other two entrees fared only slightly better.

In short, do not eat at El Pastor.

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June 8th, 2013

05:38 pm - New York Story 12
So we're done. We're going home. First we need a ride. How do we get a ride? Call a taxi company of course.

Now none of us have money. Well, one of us has 3 bucks and another has 20. So we don't have enough to get to LaGuardia.

So we need a taxi that takes credit cards.

We try calling cab companies. One that has "Bronx" in its name declares "We don't go to the Bronx." I guess they really hate taking money, like the restaurants in Manhattan do.

So 20 minutes later, I'm starting to despair. We're going to miss our flight. We're going to be stuck in New York. Game over man! Game over!

Then who would drive up but the Rastafarian from yesterday.

I sit in the pile of junk this time. He takes us to a bank so Drew can hop out and get some money to pay him and then we're off to LaGuardia in the black cab of awesome.

The airport terminal is amazing. It's got fancy bar stool seats, booths, iPads, and then I learn that I can use the wireless for free. Holla yall!

The airplane has no air conditioning when we first get on it, bringing back horrible memories of my trip home after I interviewed at my employer. But everything goes fine. The flight arrives a little early.

I'm back.

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