As always, I have a not so timely review for something that has been available for sometime, but then again I like to review things in my own time.
The long dark is a game about survival, nothing original there I hear you say, survival games are everywhere, Minecraft, Ark, Rust to name a few. The long Dark is different. It starts the same as most, waking up alone not sure where you are or what to do but it soon becomes clear that that’s where the similarities end. You have a few items of clothing and a few scraps of food in your back pack and that’s it. Starting location can be chosen or randomised and the difficulty ranges from “What did I do to deserve this?” To “Tell my wife I love her..”
Before we get into the game lets get the business talk out the way, this is, at time of publish, an unfinished game. Developed and published byHinterland Gamesan alpha version was released through Steam Early Access on September 22, 2014. Development…
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When I recently visited a local Game retailer, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a copy of Diddy Kong Racing DS on the shelf. I played the original on the N64, and it was one of my favourite games for the console, the original premise being a kart racer with the option to choose to race as a kart, a hovercraft or a plane around the courses. It also had an interesting and colourful hubworld, which could be explored, and additional collectables within racecourses that could be found by changing to a different vehicle or by going off the beaten path. Remembering the original so fondly, I had no choice really but to pick it up!
I found myself some free time, and began to play; immediately, I began to miss the original. I was greeted by some story that Wizpig (a wizard pig, he was in the original) was terrorizing “the island”, and the inhabitants (other racers) had called for the Kongs. I didn’t much care for it, but then it’s a racing game, it’s not about the story.
So, I selected my racer and began to race. The first race, set in Dino Domain, wasn’t 100% as I had remembered it, but it wasn’t bad. The powerups were there, the speed seemed a little slow (I figured that it was a handheld device, so that’s acceptable), but around the course was dotted small coins. I picked up a few of these on the way around, and finished the course.
Here’s where the first of my major gripes reared it’s head. Once the course is complete, you cannot re-enter. If you want to re-enter, you have to clear all of the other races, and then beat the area boss, who will then set the second of my major-gripes as a challenge. He sets the coin challenge, where you are taken around the stage on a rail-style tour, and the goal is to use the stylus to tap balloons to pop them, and drag coins into a small bag (purse?) in the bottom corner of the screen, changing the way you are facing by more stylus-swiping.
Firstly, this style of level has always irritated me, but the execution is what infuriated me with this game. These are racing courses, for multiple vehicles, and as such have tight corners and blindspots – this is not an environment suited for a stylus-based collectathon. I persevered, completed the levels and was invited to re-challenge the boss to a “tougher rematch”. This was an absolute garbage race, as this needed you to trace around the touchscreen to steer your kart, and to swipe a wheel that appeared to retain speed. This is a horrible, horrible implementation of touch controls, it was literally shoe-horned in, and it shows.
Graphically, this game has been downgraded from the original. Unlike Super Mario 64, which was given beautiful polish for the DS release, this game is very granular and pixelated, however it does run very smoothly with minimal lag.
The main game is infuriating, and to a fan of the original it really does feel like a bastardization, but the main draw has and will always be multiplayer. The saving grace for this game is that it does offer single-kart download play, and so if you choose to pick this up you only need one copy to play with friends.
Verdict: This game is flawed. Like most early games for the DS/Wii, they added gimicky sections just for the sake of adding them. This fad has died off now, but it could return at any time… If you want to play Diddy Kong Racing at its best, avoid the DS version and hunt down the N64 copy, it has all of the gameplay we love with none of the tacked-on touchscreen hoop-jumping.
For those of you who have followed my seemingly random (and probably random, actually) exploits, thank you for following me this far.
Now, I know a blog post that advises someone to read something else is a little unusual, but here’s the thing – I’m going to be writing a lot that is very personal to me.
So, as always, where to begin with this update? Well, firstly I would like to announce that I am still working on Scrap Metal TCG – along with this, I have several other projects open that I am trying to divide my time between. Currently, I am actually looking to put together a “plan” on what needs to be completed and a rough date of when. It sounds ridiculously structured compared to my usual “I think I’ll do this bit next” attitude, right? But the thing is, in actuality, that I have bursts of creativity followed by nothing. So, the idea is to give myself a goal, targets to achieve, so that maybe someday I will be able to publish any of my works.
It’s incredibly frustrating to have creativity that comes in waves like this, to be honest. I could, for example, be heading into work for the day, and have one of those cartoon-style light bulb moments where everything makes sense, but for the following week I would just be staring at the work already completed trying to understand where I am in this chaos.
I also have other matters to contend to regarding works, which include my full-time job, babysitting of the balls of energy that are my niece and nephew, and on top of that I also suffer from depression. For those of you reading, you may think I buried the lead a little, there. But it is a difficult subject to talk about, and it is incredibly personal. Some days, I just sit and stare endlessly into nothing, my brain whirring away to come up with various reasons why I suck. There have been some very dark thoughts running through my mind over the last few months, but I will not discuss those further – they don’t deserve my attention or yours.
So what is the point of this post? Well, that’s just it – “what is the point”? It’s a question that I have asked myself so many times. But the point is to continue, and I know this. I need something structured to use for support, and working on projects and trying to become involved in “the world” once again. My tweets have dried up recently, and I’m no longer in a place (physically, and probably mentally) where I can make YouTube videos any further, and I’m in a job that drives me insane (but I’m surrounded by people that are amazing).
This is not a goodbye note, or a cry for help – this in my eyes is an explanation, but more than that it is me. I am rallying myself, collecting all of the pieces that are me, the thin end of the wedge that will pry apart this shell that has formed around me. I want to continue, and to be a success, as do millions of others in similar positions, so why should I let a few misplaced chemicals in my brain tell me what to do? Fuck those guys, they suck.
Hyrule Warriors. Made by Koei Tecmo, the developers behind the Dynasty Warriors series, is a hack and slash battlefield-action game. So, it’s the same as Dynasty Warriors, but with a Legend of Zelda skin, right? Actually, no…
Admittedly, I haven’t played a Dynasty Warriors game for a few years, the last I played being Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires. It’s very similar in the base-game, being that you are given a map to fight in with several strategic properties, “keeps”, to capture as you advance towards the main objective of the map, which is usually to lure out and defeat a particular enemy. So, what’s the big deal? Continue Reading
Hey everybody! Welcome back to the land of me!
So, last time I was here, I was announcing the fact that I am working on my YouTube channel. This is definitely still a thing, although I don’t have as much time for filming as I would like. I still work a lot, and still have other projects in the background, so finding time to record is difficult. I’m getting better with the video editing and such though, so that’s cool.
Now, I’m aware that a lot of people started following me due to my attachment to MGP and my work on Scrap Metal TCG. I’m not as close with the MGP community as I once was, but Scrap Metal TCG is still being worked on. I’m trying to get a lot of things sorted in the background now, not as upfront as I was. If you prefer the upfront way of doing things, leave a comment, send a tweet, you know how to reach me.
I made the announcement on Twitter a while back, but just for those who missed it, I am now working on a Zombie Survival gamebook with a friend. We’re trying to implement some new mechanics and, although it’s tough, hopefully it will be something special once it’s finished.
So, that’s my update for now. I’m starting a new job at a new company as of tomorrow, so I’m not sure how long it will be until the next post, but I’m still working away.
Back once again, and within the same year as my last post! Let me know if you think this is too much and I’ll slow down.
So, what has been happening? Well, I made good on my previous post – I now have a YouTube channel! Links to my Let’s Play videos are over to the right of the screen, where it is automatically set to play via video playlists for each game. I thought it was quite snazzy, personally.
I’ve also begun (very recently) designing t-shirts! Or “tee shirts”, if you prefer. So far, I have a few, with a more detailed design currently in the works. It’s basically fan-art, but then gamer tees usually are, right? So, briefly, let me tell you a little bit about the designs.
This first design is one of my more recent posts, and is based on the Demon Samurai borg from the Gotcha Force series for the Gamecube. It’s a half-face shadow kind of thing. I was pretty happy with it, but there is a new Demon Samurai image in the works. What can I say? He’s a pretty photogenic character.
This second design was something that popped into my head randomly – I love Nidoking from the Pokémon series(s(s)). I wanted to do a design for him, and was originally thinking of “king”, so I was going to draw him with a long beard and a crown. Then I thought Elvis, and actually started to put him together in the white suit (this might still be in the works, let me know what you think). And then Duke Nukem happened. BOOM! Decision made.
Last up is the Flame design tee, from Azure Dreams. I love this guy, he just looks so badass! I was very pleased with the fire effect, too. He too a surprisingly large amount of work for a simplistic look!
As always it’s time to break the fourth wall a little bit here, let you all in behind the scenes – each of my designs has been put together in a free version of Word (OpenOffice software, actually). They are comprised of autoshapes. Why? Because I can bend and twist them to my will (which sounds pretty terrifying until you remember what it is I’m doing). I’ve been dabbling with autoshapes, and now shapes in general with the 3D modeling, for the past 14 years – this is half of my life right now, and soon to become a larger fraction of my existence as time goes by. I have experience, basically. I use free software all the time, because I have so many projects and have so little funding. Winding up for the sales pitch…
…So if you like my projects, and you think one (or more) of my designs is cool, throw some money at it. It really does help pay off the new PC, recording software, site fees and everything else, and helps fund projects! I have set up a donate function on the site, but I’d rather people got something for their money if they want to help support me.
Enough of the pitch, on to the next topic.
I’ve been busy recently trying to keep up with posting of videos on YouTube, along with everything else I’m doing, to the point where Scrap Metal TCG has taken a backseat for a while. There haven’t been any posts for a little while (sorry), and won’t be until the end of this month. At this stage, the game requires testing and balancing, and that requires time (remember, buying t-shirts and helping support me could eventually give me enough free time to do this full time!). So, I’ll be posting, but there aren’t too many more parts for what I’m referring to as Series 1. There will be more series, depending on the success of the game, but once completed I need to find out about distribution and such… My idea? Get the game finished and THEN worry about selling it.
I’ve also a new project in mind that (as always) requires time. It’s difficult to describe, but right now it’s Monopoly meets zombie apocalypse. It’s a pretty simple game, but I’m going to throw in my usual oddities with any project.
Anyway, that’s going to be about all for this post, boys and girls. If you want to view the tees (and the rest of my designs), feel free to click on the Shop link in the menu.
– Odd (MN)