Friday, June 6, 2008

Kill screen coming up!

This is a little late and I said I was going to talk about something else today, but I can't help myself. I finally watched the movie: King of Kong. What a great movie! When I first heard about it, I thought that a documentary about someone beating the long held Donkey Kong high score would be a little boring, even for a gamer like myself who grew up in the Video Arcade era. I couldn't have been more wrong. I fired up the trusty ol' Netflix streaming and settled in to watch. What followed was a funny, touching, sad, and eminently enjoyable film.

I don't want to go into too much detail lest I spoil the movie for people who haven't seen it yet so I won't talk about specific things concerning the movie or the controversy (yeah seriously) surrounding it. I would like to discuss the feelings and memories the film evoked within me. Back in the day, during the video game craze (it really was a craze) I spent many hours in the local arcade. The games were not as involved or sophisticated as what we are used to these days, but what they lacked in sophistication they more than made up for in charm and difficulty. I say that in a good way. The games were more difficult. They were designed to eat your hard earned quarters. It was only the best of the best who could play extended periods of time on a specific game - especially Donkey Kong. High scores were a badge of honor and seeing your initials on the high score list at the arcade was a satisfying accomplishment.

There is something about playing a game knowing you only have a limited amount of lives that heightens the tension dramatically. Add on top of that the atmosphere of the arcade with people watching and a high score at stake and you have a recipe for fun. It speaks to those of us who are compulsive which I think, is common to gamers. I remember thinking I would spend just one more quarter and then it would be an hour later and I would be broke. We don't have an arcade locally that let's me relive these memories. However, the Funspot arcade where many of the scenes were filmed is within driving distance of where I live. Maybe I will just have to convince my fiance to take a trip down there. I'll tell her it's to vacation at the world famous Lake Winnipesaukee. After you watch the movie take a look at the Twin Galaxies website to see some of the "official" high scores for various games. It takes some serious skill to do stuff like that.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hope remains...

Sorry for the lack of posts today, my fiance and I are in the process of buying a house so I haven't played much to talk about. Some good news though, it looks like the proposed buyout of Take Two by EA has been put off longer while the FTC investigates. Click here for details.

On Friday I will have some impressions of the Civilization Revolutions Demo if I am lucky and Monday I want to talk about the new Battlefield: Bad Company demo if I get a chance to try it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Fallout 3 Screens

The kind folks at Bethesda sent me some new Fallout 3 screens, I guess in order to stoke my already raging game boner. Seriously, this is like gaming Viagra for me with the side effect of an extremely prolonged erection. It looks like you can make called shots if the image to the left is any indication. I have to say that I think they definitely have nailed the feel of the game world. the graphics are highly reminiscent of the old Fallout games. I guess that is the relatively easy part though. Gameplay and content will be the real judge. It has been years since I played Fallout 2 and like anything else the memories are heightened by a great deal of nostalgia. This is going to be another one of those times where I have to make up my mind about whether I want the game on PC or 360. I won't buy both like I did with Oblivion you bastards! I know that the lead development platform is the 360, but the great memories all come from the PC and I think it will be much easier to control with a mouse. Mods will be readily available for the PC and if the past is any indication they will be some great work by inspired people. Here are a couple more shots to whet your appetite.

UPDATE: Here is a picture of what the collector's edition will contain: