I’m not sure anyone still checks this at all (I wouldn’t blame you; I’ve been pretty bad at posting consistently), but I wanted to let you know that I’m relaunching my blog under the name Part Time Core Gaming. I wanted to try my hand at blogging again, but when I think about all of the ideas I have for articles, there is increasingly less retro stuff to be written about, so I thought it was time for a rebranding. And maybe a fresh start will help me stay motivated.
But I’m a sentimental old fool, so I’m going to keep My Life In 8 Bits around to gather dust. Let it become a strange little thing sitting in a server. And over the years, the world will move on, and this blog will be buried. And if you wanna remember me, then you can do one thing. That’s all, one thing. Have a good life. Do that for me. Have a fantastic life.
…also you could read my new blog, located at parttimecoregaming.wordpress.com.
As you’ve probably noticed if you follow my ramblings at all, I’m almost exclusively a PC gamer these days. I think the last new game I bought for a console was Zelda Skyward Sword for Wii (great game, one of the few games that really do the Wii motion controls justice, but never got anywhere in it unfortunately). As soon as I discovered Steam and its actually fair prices and ridiculously cheap sales (like the granddaddy of them all, the Summer Sale, which happens to be running as I write this), paying $40-$60 for a game just so I could play it on my TV lost its appeal. After all, I have a nice gaming computer I assembled with my own hands with better specs than an PS360, a decent-sized 1080p monitor, and even a nice controller for those rare games that play better with a controller than a keyboard and mouse.
Then this Android-based, Kickstarter-funded Ouya thing came around and invented a new breed of gaming platform now being dubbed the “microconsole.” I had seen it when the campaign was still going, but never gave it much thought. After all, I have a top-of-the-line Android phone, why buy one that’s tethered to my TV? But somehow, a few days before it came out, it captured my attention. Continue Reading
I thoroughly enjoy MMOs. They’re almost a whole separate category from general gaming in my mind. I can’t really enjoy more than one game at a time; if I get more than one at once I end up waffling between the two and get burnt out on both. But I can play an MMO and an offline game at the same time without the two interfering. Maybe it’s because of the long-term nature of MMOs; other games can be experienced fully in a few weeks, but an MMO provides months, even years of enjoyment.
Guild Wars 2 has all of the makings of a great game: a large user base, an active developer who seems to “get it”, rich backstory, a nice balance of complexity and user-friendliness, and some of the most beautiful and well-crafted graphics I’ve ever seen. But somehow it has completely failed to capture my attention. Continue Reading
When ever I see one of the myriad lists of tips for a successful blog, it seems they always include something to the effect of “Try to post regularly. If for some reason you stop posting for an extended period, it’s best not to acknowledge it. Doing so only reenforces the fact that your blog looks dead.” It’s good advice. And I’m not going to take it.
This is mostly a gaming blog, so I guess I should recap my gaming history in the last few months (ok… nearly a year) since I’ve posted.
My relationship with Linux is a complex one. Logically, I should absolutely hate it. First, I’m a big fan of standards, and I quite firmly believe that Windows has a natural, necessary monopoly on desktop operating systems. Yes, it’s always nice when someone comes along and thinks up a new technology for Microsoft to copy (poorly), and Microsoft isn’t exactly known for its elegant architecture, but when it comes down to it, as a developer, I need to know that most of my audience will be using one platform. Some will say that Windows is for geeks and businesspeople, but remember that an OS is useless without applications, and applications come from geeks. In other words, it’s all about the developers. Secondly, I’m a PC gamer. This is probably the biggest reason (followed closely by my undying devotion to Visual Studio) why I will always run Windows. Let’s face it: almost no one publishes PC games for anything other than Windows. Yes, Blizzard and Valve, two of the greatest game developers of our generation, have their entire catalog available on Mac, but aside from these two remarkably successful companies, there really isn’t much market for non-Windows PC gaming.
There’s something about Linux, however, that I love. Maybe it’s the knowledge that its underlying architecture is so much better than other OSes. Maybe it’s for the geek hipster cred of using something “less mainstream” than Windows or Mac OS. Maybe it’s that “hacker” feeling you get from using the command line all day long. Continue Reading
Everyone remembers some movie that’s so bad it’s good. The only real pleasure you get from it is laughing at how terrible it is. This effect transfers over to video games as well, and there are many to choose from, especially in the “dark times” (aka the pre-Nintendo years), such as the legendary E.T. game on the Atari 2600. Below are some of my favorite so-bad-it’s-good games. I hope you enjoy them (if it can be called that) as much as I do. Continue Reading
Is it weird that, in two of my top three favorite game series, you play as a girl? Regardless of the Freudian implications of controlling women on a screen, I love the Metroid series. I was first introduced to Metroid through Metroid Prime on the Gamecube. I saw it in the store, and was disappointed to find that Nintendo had lowered itself to make a Halo clone. I somehow had the great misfortune of missing the classic Metroid games, and my only exposure to Metroid at that point was playing as Samus in Super Smash Bros. If it tells you how little I knew of Metroid, somehow I and my friends got the strange impression that Samus was from F-Zero (actually the rumor was that she was Captain Falcon’s sister). Finally a friend of mine talked me in to playing Metroid Prime, and I was instantly hooked. Since then I’ve played through almost every game in the series (the only ones I haven’t played are Metroid II and Metroid Prime Pinball, the latter of which is hard to call a real Metroid game). Metroid, I found, is far from a Halo clone.
What really sets Metroid apart from its competition is its atmosphere. So many words come to mind when I try to describe the “feel” of a Metroid game: Lonely, beautiful, dark, compelling, eerie, awe-inspiring. Metroid’s environments really make the game what it is. The games really need very little traditional storytelling because the game makes you feel for the character simply by immersing you in their world. You are a lone bounty hunter making your way through some alien environment in order to stop some evil force (usually some form of the titular Metroid parasites) from destroying life as we know it in the galaxy. What more do you need to know?
Metroids. Aren't they cute?