Categories
Gaming

Frontiersman Gamer: Not the Gathering

I’ve decided to start a new semi-regular column, which I have lovingly named Frontiersman Gamer. Here I’ll talk about games – video games, board games, card games, etc. – that will probably not be familiar to the average video gamer. In the beginning I’ll be focusing on tabletop games, and in this one I’ll be starting with the very familiar name of Richard Garfield.

It would not be a stretch to say that readers would be familiar with Magic: The Gathering, the popular collectible card game designed by Richard Garfield. Readers may also be familiar with other collectible card games (CCGs) such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon and Cardfight! Vanguard. The premise of these games is straightfoward – you collect cards buy purchasing multiple booster packs and preconstructed decks, you construct a deck out of your cards, and you compete with a friend in a head-to-head battle.

But there exists a plethora of other card games that do not fall within the category of collectible card game (in fact, they might be more aptly described as board games despite lacking, well, boards). One of which was designed by Richard Garfield himself many years ago. Trading random packs of cards for core sets and expansions with fixed decklists, you can often get complete game experiences out of the box without the need to invest in building a competitive deck (though drafting does go some way to solving that issue for CCGs). Sometimes they do away with the premise of players battling head-to-head entirely. Let me expose you to a series of games where the story that emerges is sometimes more enjoyable than the mechanics of the game, and where building cities can be just as fun as fighting orcs.

Categories
Gaming Web Design

Pokemon Black and White 2

The Pokemon Black and White 2 website came out, and I am simply amazed at how they created it using only JavaScript. It seems only a short time ago that they were relying on Flash to make their interactive game sites.

Categories
Gaming

PS Vita and Gravity Rush Impressions

So I decided to get a PS Vita, and it came last Friday. Mine was ordered from SuperUFO for US$254, with a 16GB memory card for US$49.95. Together in Australian dollars, that $345.20 including shipping. Pretty cheap compared to Australian prices.

Now as for why I got a PS Vita, it was essentially for one reason – Persona 4: The Golden. The fact that I could play the PSP games I already owned on PSN, and the ability to play any other future interest PS Vita games, are bonuses as far as I am concerned.

With that in mind, lets move onto my impressions!

Categories
Gaming

E3 2012 Day 0: Psychics, Survivors, Pirates and Hackers

On the whole there was disappointment at Microsoft’s conference (apart from the South Park game and segment), a better response to Sony’s conference, and great reception to the games shown at Ubisoft’s conference. That said, Ubisoft’s conference also had the worst presenters, with an awkward Tobuscus not as awesome as his literal trailers, and a woman who made references to ‘girl wood’ (as opposed to the more common term ‘lady boner’). While these two might be awesome in other places, they are not good at hosting media events. Then there’s EA. Tumbleweed would fit on that stage. Dead Space 3 was the only thing that blipped for me in that conference.

Rise Kujikawa on the other hand would be an awesome host.

The big ones to watch so far are Watch Dogs, AC3, The Last of Us and BEYOND: Two Souls. Far Cry 3 doesn’t look to shabby either (and boobies), while Rayman Legends fulfils some inate need for good 2D platforming.

One thing to note is that this year is the year of the bow! Here’s a preliminary list of games shown so far that feature a bow:

  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Crysis 3
  • Far Cry 3
  • Tomb Raider

Hooray for archaic weaponry!

Categories
Gaming

Humble Indie Bundle 5

Just mere days after the Indie Game Music Bundle, the 5th Humble Indie Bundle is perhaps the best bundle of them all, containing several mega-indie-hits:

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent, perhaps the best horror game in recent years.
  • Psychonauts, one of Double Fine’s best adventure games. And that’s considering all of Double Fine’s games have been excellent.
  • LIMBO, the nightmarish child-death simulator. I mean a puzzle platformer with mysterious story.
  • Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, an amazing pixel art musical journey.
  • Bastion, the game I consider to have the best story of 2011.

Plus all the soundtracks to those games, and Bastion and Superbrothers have some great soundtracks. There are still 10 days to pay for this amazing bundle, and you can donate some or all of that money to the Child’s Play charity or the EFF. So you get some awesome games and contribute to some good causes.

Categories
Gaming

Indie Game Music Bundle 3

The Indie Game Music Bundle returns for the third time with a set of sweet soundtracks, including the wonderful soundtrack to Dustforce, Fastfall by Lifeforced, and Laura Shigihara’s great Plants vs Zombies soundtrack. Pay over $10 and you also get Alec Holowka’s (Aquaria) soundtrack to Offspring Fling, along with the soundtracks to Noitu Love and inMomentum.

Categories
Gaming

Diablo III Launch Incoming

I’m so excited!

Categories
Gaming

A short time with Katawa Shoujo

Seeing as it is Valentine’s Day, I thought I might as well play a game I’ve heard a lot about and have wanted to try for quite a while. Katawa Shoujo is a bishoujo-style visual novel (in plainer terms, a visual novel with a focus on romance) set in a private school for disabled children. The full game is going to be an eroge, but from what I have played they will either be tastefully done or skippable. You play Hisao Nakai, a boy who is diagnosed with serious arrhythmia, meaning that serious stress or exercise can cause cardiac arrest.

But apart from the premise, there is something else unique about Katawa Shoujo.

Categories
Gaming

PSP additions to my game library

Disregarding MGS Peace Walker and Gran Turismo PSP, which I already had…

Valkyria Chronicles II! and Space Invaders EXTREME

I hope I have enough left to get Pokemon Black.

Categories
Gaming

Summary review: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Platform: Nintendo DS
Single-player, puzzle solving, visual novel

Ghost Trick comes from creator of the widely beloved Ace Attorney series of games, Shu Takami. It’s very much in the vein of those games. However, rather than presenting evidence and identifying contradictions, the puzzle solving is much more grounded in the everyday task of identifying what inanimate objects can do. As for the story, you’ll fall in love with a dog with a heart of gold amongst the large cast of personalities in this game.