Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 9

We see credits! All of the decisions that matter at the end are made! Blue side boob! Mysteries of the Protheans revealed! Also, I accomplished something I wasn't able to do my first play through (I think) in the final confrontation with Saren.

If you want a refresher of the important parts of Mass Effect 1, this is pretty much the video to watch.

Here's the video.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 8

I started off doing side quests, but at some point I decided to just push forward on the story. We face off against Saren for the first time in this video, and lose a ... "valuable" "member" of the team.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 7

In this episode I do some of the side quests around the Citadel. This feels like busy work after already having a gist of what the story is, but hey... gotta grind them levels somehow.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 6

The motherfuckin Thorian. The fight up to the Thorian? Great. The Geth are moderately intelligent, and the level is a joy to play - tense without being obnoxious. The Thorian itself? I had to save scum a bit to get through it. Limited healing, an enemy that is impossible to take on with my build's strengths, and the SECOND dumb mind control plot in the game make the Thorian my least favorite part of ME1 so far. I think I'm pretty close to the end at this point, just some side quest cleanup and one or two more main line quests.

Some of the DLC counts as a main line quest, which seems to have advanced companion dialog a little faster than was intended. Whoops.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Friday, February 24, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 5

In this episode I wrap up a bunch of side quests - including many I haven't started yet! I am sewing seeds of future bugs... welp, the only way to go is forward.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 4

The Rachni Queen! I remember loving this the first time through. But then the matriarch's mind control story went came up. Woof. I forgot about that. Maybe the appeal of Mass Effect is that it crams every rote sci-fi trope into the first game. I don't remember as many groans the first time through the series, but... hopefully that's just because the first game came out so long ago.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 3

It's around this video that I realized the Mako is actually not good. I defended it back in the day, but now? It's pretty awful. Maybe it's the different platform that makes it super bouncy, but ...I do not remember it sucking quite this hard. Watch me suffer.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Monday, February 20, 2017

Massively Mass Effect - Episode 1

The 4th game in the Mass Effect series comes out in about a month. To get ready, I'm playing through all of them. It's going to be a bit of a rush, especially as I take days off for work and my social life. So... here is the first of several long streams where I play through the franchise.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 12 - The Finale

This is it! All Sega CD games have been played (with some exceptions). It was a bit of a grind, but it's a pretty big notch in my belt.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 11

I was kind of surprised to see The Terminator was 1) Not a port of the arcade light gun game, and 2) Sort of competent? I'll probably play some more of that one. The Amazing Spiderman vs Kingpin was the game I was looking forward to playing. It seems to be fairly bad. I might play through that with a walk-through at some point, after reading the manual and maybe catching some youtube videos of how to play it correctly. Both of those are going in the pile of games that need collecting sooner than later.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 10.2

Sorry it's been a few days. I've had some computer issues/a few rough days at work. I had a video in the hopper that I forgot about. We should be back in business after this so... Here's more Sega CD games!

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Importance of Games

The other night I came home after hanging out with a couple of friends, playing board games. I was merrily intoxicated, and I was thinking about how awesome games have been in my life. Just about every significant relationship in my life - friends, lovers, enemies - has had some component of gaming involved in it. I know this isn't quite the case for most adults - or is it?

Let's take a brief look at this from an evolutionary stand point. If you've watched birds for any length of time, you've noticed them doing something playful. Some gulls will play catch with themselves, perhaps practicing their ability to hunt clams or steal them from their neighbors. When you look at smarter birds like crows or ravens, you'll find they go sledding.

If we move up to mammals you'll find otters that juggle...

Dogs wrestle...

and Dolphins have an equivalent of devil sticks (or competitive vaping, if you suck)

It seems the smarter the animal, the more complex the game. Humans are no exception - as we age our play seems to get more complex. The otter juggling? Looks a lot like a baby playing with rattles doesn't it? Dogs wrestling? 4-9 year old kids. Dolphins blowing bubble rings? Teens to twenty year old kids. 

But we don't just play as humans. We develop structured play. Games. Why? Well, I wasn't able to find a study on this, but I think most humans need rules in general. For some, it keeps us safe. For others, it lets us know when we have crossed into unacceptable behavior. For others, it allows us to manipulate others. So, as humans are working our way up the complexity of natural play, we begin to introduced games. It starts simple. Candyland and Shoots and Latters as kids are migrating between otter and dog phases. It gets a little more complicated, Boggle and Sorry for the dog phase of play, maybe some introductions to complicated games like risk and monopoly. We also show them physical games, baseball, football, soccer, rugby. An acceptable outlet for that aggressive play they want to engage in. This is where a lot of people stop developing play. Some go on to devil sticks, magic the gathering, and Pokemon, and then stop.

But some of us go further. We see the strategy of chess and crave deeper systems. We love the allegories in Monopoly, but want a more realistic representation of reality. We see the way Mario or Link encourage us to explore a world and we want new worlds, closer to the ones we're trying to make for ourselves. Some of us just like to keep our hands busy and have an activity to occupy lulls in conversation with company.

So, let's consider the last 100 or so years of adult pastimes. Your grandparents and great grandparents probably played Euchre, Gin Rummy, Hearts, Spades, or Poker to entertain company. Many people still do today. Your Grandparents and parents probably watched sports on tv, maybe bet a little on who was going to win. Many people still do today. People in their upper thirties to mid twenties? We played Mortal Kombat, Mario Kart, Golden Eye, Tekken, Smash Bros, in our dorms, and many of us brought it with to our living rooms. Then there are people across the generations who have been apart of the niche tabletop scene that has been brewing since the 60s.

(Clearly, humans have been making games for as long as there have been humans. But starting with David Wesely's Braunstein miniature war game in 1967 we have had a Renaissance of new niche games. Braunstein quickly turned into Dungeons and Dragons, which inspired virtually everything that came since - not counting Europe's near simultaneous boom in resource management games.)

So why do I, personally, crave games so much? Part of it is escapism, sure. But most of it? It's exploration. I get to learn systems and think about the interaction of objects and events in different ways. I get to see the world through someone else's lens. Games tell you something intimate about how the creator(s) see people. They are sharing something artistic that is meant to engage your emotions and imagination that non-interactive art cannot do. A great game will take show you loss, gains, hope, despair, and triumph. It will leave you with a sense of accomplishment. Over the course of hours it will give you a gamut of emotions that may take months or years to experience in normal life.

That doesn't touch on the social aspect at all. There are people I know of. I say "hi" when I pass them in the hall at work, or when I bump in to them at the mailbox. Then there are people I know. Maybe I played poker with them at an office party. Maybe we vent about work over a game of Battlefield. Maybe I met them playing a phone game. Maybe I fell in love with their laugh while playing Elder Sign. Maybe I spent hundreds of hours bullshitting and camping named monsters with them in Final Fantasy XI. The time I spend with people playing games is the time I spend building relationships. Everyone else is just occupying the same space at the same time.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 10.1

The S's! There are a lot of S titles, so I broke this one up. This episode goes from Samurai Shodown to Sonic CD. A few quick notes: Sega Classics 4-in-1 and Sega Classics 5-in-1 contain Golden Axe, Shinobi, Columns, and Streets of Rage. 5-in-1 adds Super Monaco GP.

Sherlock Holmes - Consulting Detective for the Sega CD is INCREDIBLY boring.

Shining Force CD seems like an interesting turn based RPG. However, there's a slight load before every attack which makes it unplayable.

Snatcher might be a cool game. The controls took some figuring out, and it had some blind instant deaths that made it difficult to stream in this format. I could see myself doing a playthrough of it on stream though.

Sonic CD is still the first bad Sonic The Hedgehog game.

Enjoy the video:

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 9

The Rs have some good titles. Road Rash is a classic. Unfortunately my emulator failed to play it. I did get to try Rise of the Dragon, which seems like a cool little cyber-punk adventure game. I'll probably revisit it on my own time.  There's also the best video game title of all time. "Revengers of Vengeance."

Here's yer video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 8

Today we cover the N's and P's. In my rush to get to Night Trap I skipped over the NBA, NFL, and NHL games, so we got two videos out of it.

I learned that I don't remember how to play NBA Jam as well as I used to. The game I completed was actually close. I did zero dunking from the three point line. Total scrub league play.

I learned that Night Trap actually had little-to-no objectionable content. The US Senate was looking for a witch to burn, and a cheaply produced slasher-horror video game (without blood) seemed like a good target. Additionally I learned that playing Night Trap without a walk-through or copious notes would be a nightmare. I doubt anyone would have played this game if not for the controversy around it.

Panic! is a weird Monty Python-esque with surrealist humor that... well, doesn't really deliver. It plays like a hypercard stack and as near as I can tell there's no way to be good at it. Whomp-whomp.

Pitfall - The Mayan Adventure is a well made, but poorly designed Pitfall game. Missing jumps forces you to retread segments of the game over and over. I lost patience with it pretty fast - but if I had gotten it while it was new that flaw would have been easy to overlook.

Puggsy seems cool. It was a character action/platformer where you have the ability to pick up, use, and drop items. You end up building platforms to use to reach higher levels. The character design certainly is novel. My chief criticism from the sample is that I was not able to determine a good strategy for dealing with the first boss. Perhaps it's something I'd learn over time. I'm pretty sure Puggsy is love, and that Puggsy is life.

Here are the videos.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 7

The M's. There were a lot of no-shows in this section, but I can say Mad Dog McCree would be a rad game if this were an era where lightguns existed and functioned. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein had some novel ideas which is cool for a movie tie in of that era. It was essentially an adventure game with fighting game mechanics. Neither seemed particularly well executed; but it's a start. Mickey Mania's graphics are really good. Unfortunately I had difficulties distinguishing which objects were safe, which were dangerous, and which I couldn't interact with.

I got a phone call mid-stream, so this one is broken into two parts.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sega CD A through Z - Part 6

This episode has me trying Lunar for the first time. While playing through it's peers on the Sega CD Lunar really stands out as a high quality product, even in the short amount of time I spent with it. I was so impressed I decided to check eBay to get a physical copy of it sooner rather than later. It currently goes for $70-$80 complete, around $50 if the manual or case is missing. The sequel, which didn't work during the stream, goes for around $100. The game has had rerelases on the Saturn and PS1, so I may end up getting it for the Saturn (my next collection goal) where the prices seem to be around $10-$20 for both.

Anyway, here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sega CD A through Z Part 5

Today's installment, E through F. There are a few classics in here that more-or-less hold up. Ecco the Dolphin/Ecco The Dolphin Tides of Time. Final Fight, I think Flink shows some promise too. I was bummed that Eternal Champions was not as fun as I remembered, and that Fatal Fury Special was pretty framey. I've never been great at fighting games, but I've frequently entertained the idea of going back to 16-bit fighters to learn how to play. These titles are not where I'd start.

Here's the video.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sega CD A through Z Part 2

Oh man, I really enjoyed playing watching Bug Blasters: The Exterminators. I decided to see if I could find it on Ebay. No dice. So I took to google. Turns out this game was shelved in 1995. A publishing house called "Good Deal Games" bought the rights and decided to release the game in 2000 - long after the Sega CD was canned. I went over to GDG's website and found they've done this for several games - including another one played on the stream below! The ordering process seems pretty shady, and their linked ebay account has had not activity in over a year so... not sure how I'll get a hold of these titles.

Anyway, check out the stream.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sega CD A through Z Part 1

I do a little bit of game collecting. Right now I'm focusing on getting a complete set of Sega CD games since it's library is pretty small. I grab games as I come across them at yard sales and thrift stores... I'm not actively hunting them down. If I were, I think I'd be able to get 90% of what I'm missing over at Discland - which may be the only store in the world targeted directly at me.

Anyway, I'm playing a bit of all of the Sega CD games over on Twitch. Some of these games aren't working in my emulator, so you'll see some struggles as I go through. Here's the first installment.

Watch live video from Confessional on www.twitch.tv

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cyberpunk Shorts vol 1

We don't get a lot of cyberpunk movies. Thankfully, people are out there making short films. The more popular of them get optioned for feature length movies. This is one such short film.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Spring/Summer TV

I'm finicky about TV. I don't watch a lot of it, by some standards. Most of my video viewing is of the Giant Bomb variety. Or maybe Twitch. BUT! There are a few shows I'm excited about. Let me give you the heads up.

The Expanse - it comes back today. It's on Syfy. This is a show about political tensions between three (sometimes four) factions of humanity. It's like Firefly on steroids, especially in the first couple books.  I watched the first season last year, fell in love, and have read all the books during the off season. If you have a cable subscription, you can watch the shows live on Syfy.com, and if memory serves they put episodes up the day after at http://www.syfy.com/theexpanse/episodes.

The Magicians - it's been back for a week. The premise is a slightly more realistic Harry Potter. Characters have unaddressed flaws such as drug addiction, social awkwardness, habitual lying... it's basically a soap opera where the cast also has to save the world with magic. There is a rape scene in season 1, be warned up front. http://www.syfy.com/themagicians/episodes

Iron Fist - This is a Marvel hero show on Netflix. He's the last member of The Defenders. Iron Fist is a martial arts expert and trust fund kid. In the comics he has a similar origin story to Doctor Strange, if I remember correctly they trained in the same area. Expect this series to do a lot of the set up work for The Defenders series coming later. It will be on Netflix 3/17/17.

Arhcer  - Is an animated comedy about a former secret agent turned private detective. It started to lose me last season. I will probably check this one out on FXX on 4/5/17. FXX does does live streaming with a cable subscription http://www.fxnetworks.com/live-tv/fxx/pacific.

Twin Peaks - The continuation of the classic TV show comes back May 21st. I still need to get through all of the original show, it's pacing is a bit trying for modern sensibilities. It's coming to Showtime, which means you'll be looking at subscribing through Amazon to watch it legally.

American Gods - This Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name still doesn't have a release date, but I've seen speculation that it'll come out in April. It's driving me bonkers. The show is set in a world where all gods are real. A mortal, ex-con named Shadow is recruited by a man named Wednesday to be a sort of body guard. It gets more strange, and awesome from there. I cannot get this show into my eyeballs fast enough. Starz has a direct subscription package, and you can also get it through Amazon. Ash vs the Evil Dead is on the same network, those two shows are pretty compelling reasons to subscribe - and then you remember how much better Netflix' movie selection was when they had the Starz partnership.