Thursday, January 31, 2013


Time to jump into the way-back machine and play something from the fabled and mist shrouded age of 1998. A golden age where legendary events took place: like Bill Gates getting a pie thrown in his face, Elton John got knighted, Seinfeld ended, and Dune 2000, one of the grand daddies of the real time strategy genre was released. Be sure to walk without rhythm because we got worm sign the likes of which even GOD has never seen.
Oh Westwood, why did you have to die?
Dune 2000 plays like the standard base building RTS, with three sides to choose from. House Atreides and House Harkonnen, which people would be familiar with from the books and movies, and House Ordos, which was made for the game. All three Houses play differently, and have different campaign missions, giving the game more depth and replayability.
Gotta turn all that sand to glass
The name of the game is Spice, The Emperor has issued a challenge that whoever can get their hands on the most gets to control the planet Dune, so the result is a three way beat down with no rules across Dune's surface. You'll not only need to beat out your opponents but also deal with Dune's hazardous environment and the giant sandworms that can swallow vehicles WHOLE.
If you like Real Time Strategy games, the Dune universe, or you're training yourself in battle strategy and logistics so you can take over in the power vacuum after the bombs fall, then Dune 2000 is worth a shot.
"My time will come, soon. Soon."
You can get Dune 2000 here and here

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Swords, sorcery, and traps

To wash out the terrible aftertaste of that INDIE PLATFORMER, I got something that's basically its exact opposite, so strap yourself in because we're going to weird and violent places. What I got for you today is a game of good verses evil in a in a horrible land filled with traps, witchcraft, ghosts, angry dog monsters that probably have rabies and demons! Welcome to Hexen!
Sound familiar?
Hexen is a game made on a slightly modified version of the DOOM engine, and it plays in the same FPS style as its predecessor. The basics of the plot is that evil is afoot and three heroes are rolling up to beat the shit out of it. The three heroes fall within the typical DnD party formation: A Warrior, a Cleric, and a Wizard. You choose one of the heroes to play as and they all play differently, both in terms of character statistics (Warrior obviously has the most strength, Wizard the most magic, Cleric is the middle of the road well rounded choice), and with what weapons they get over the course of the game.
The whole game feels like this picture
Hexen doesnt mess around, the levels are big enough to get lost in (you will be glad you have a map), most of the time there's over a hundred monsters per level, crushing wall traps, fireball and poison dart traps, death pits, dark rooms where a bunch of mace wielding lunatics just hang around waiting for you to walk in. And lets not forget that at the start for every level past the first one the main bad guy sticks his face through a magic mirror or something to talk smack to you, to give your likely impending murder a personal touch.
Gotta get up close and personal
Hexen originally came out on MS-DOS way back on the day before Halloween in 1995, developed by Raven Software and published by id Software. The same Raven Software that did work on Call of Duty Black Ops. God only knows how they fell so far. Whats notable is that John Romero was the head producer for Hexen, yet at no point are you told to suck it down, or that you are about to be made someones bitch. So that's good.
All that means though is that you get no warning
 If you like DOOM, or other similar games, or games with a dark fantasy theme, then Hexen is worth checking out. However, as an addition, you might want to snag ZDOOM as well to get it run, it works best with games made with the DOOM engine.
You better be
You can get Hexen here, and ZDOOM here

Friday, January 25, 2013

Its like someone took a baseball bat to your monitor

Short post today, because this is a short game. Straight to the point: the game today is "Fractured". Its a short indie platforming game where you from point A to point B across a series of small levels. The gimmick for Fractured is that the gameplay screen is like a busted pane of glass with all the shards twisted around (HAHA ITS FRACTURED, GET IT?).
But lets be frank, the game is short, kind of "eh", and its completely unneeded plot is "DEEP". I cant really recommend this unless you're looking to kill some time. I mean really, if this game was a painting it would be that "painting" thats just a blank white canvas. You might think I'm joking now, but play it, especially the last level.
"Not my fault you're too much of a plebeian to understand the underlying themes in the story and the gameplay"
You can play Fractured from the browser here

Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's like the Terminator, but in SPACE

In the future, unemployment will be even higher than it is today because everything will be done by robots. Repairmen? Robots. Truck drivers? Robots. Teachers? Probably robots already. Those guys who look over tax forms? You KNOW those guys are robots. Even the position of car salesman has fallen to the cold might of the machine.
Look at this job stealing son of a bitch
 It seems that the only jobs positions left that are still filled by people and not robots are either: sketchy corporate stooge, or awesome space fighter pilot. You can already see where this is going. In their haste to downsize what few human employees they had left, the Post Terran Minerals Corporation replaced the staff on their off world mines and laboratories with robots. Robots that have gone rogue and taken the few humans left out there as hostages. In response they hire a mercenary to take an advanced fighter ship out there and go kick robot ass, with copious sketchy corporate stuff going on on the side as well, because it's just expected at this point.
"if we power our robots with orphans hearts we can say we're 'green' on the environment issue" "Genius"
The gameplay revolves around going through these mines and labs full of killer robots to find and destroy the main reactor, which after a short countdown blows up the whole complex, so its better that you find the exit before you start the countdown to a nuclear explosion. Also, in typical dystopian corporate fashion, saving the hostages is a optional secondary objective. The working world of the future, everybody!
Can't you smell the despair?
What made Descent stand out when it was released back in 1994 was the six degrees of movement you had. There is no gravity in the game, so you can fly in anyway and anywhere in the level you like, even upside down. If you ever get confused about orientation just remember: the enemy's gate is down.
If any of this sounds appealing to you, then you should snag Descent and give it a shot. You can get it at a bunch of places, such as here or here

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weird dreams are why you shouldnt eat before you go to bed

Got something that might interest you, especially if you like Blade Runner and other cyberpunk stuff. The game today is called "Dreamweb", a point and click adventure game that was developed back in 1994 by Creative Reality, published by Empire, and became freeware as of last October. Stick your sense of normalcy at the door and take the red pill because were going places!
That's actually just how the sky looks in the future
With a story and atmosphere maybe best described as dark noir cyberpunk, Dreamweb stars a bartender named Ryan who is suffering from strange dreams. In the game's intro, we learn that the Dreamweb is threatened by seven great evils back on earth that have yet to come into their powers, but if they are given the time to discover them they will, and then there goes the dreamweb, the earth and the whole house of cards. The Keepers of the Dreamweb have chosen Ryan for an important, if simple job: Kill the shit out of seven people, they aren't reality breaking demi-gods yet but they will be if he doesn't do something. If that doesn't make sense then you did the opposite of what I wanted and took the blue pill, what the hell.
I know I technically gave you a choice but seriously, c'mon
Dreamweb might sound peachy so far, but its important to note that there are technical limitations that might make the game way less appealing, and when it was released it recieved some reviews that are best described at "ouch". For starters the view for the game is top down, which doesn't look too good for a game made in 1994. Dreamweb also has items that you can pick up in game that don't have a purpose beyond taking up space in your inventory and giving you false leads ("Maybe unlocking this door has something to do with this baguette I snagged earlier? I've just been holding on to this thing...").
"Maybe I can break the door down? I mean its pretty stale"
If that doesn't turn you away from Dreamweb, then by all means dive in, but remember I gave you a fair warning and all that. (Plus it's free, so what do you have to lose?
Nothin' but hard drive space you were just using for cat pictures anyway
You can snag Dreamweb from a bunch of places, like here and here

Monday, January 7, 2013

Who you gonna call?

Got another weird indie RPG for you today, its got ghosts, bats, and onion rings (maybe?). It's called OFF. It's hard to go into detail about this game and not give anything away so I'm going to keep this short and quick. First off: ghosts
 Ghosts are the primary enemy of the game. There are big ghosts, small ghosts, typical ghosts, weird ghost, upside down ghosts, stretchy neck ghosts, people ghosts, animal ghosts, and even more types of ghosts. The art for the enemy sprites in the battle screens are also well done, they're exactly as weird as you'd expect for this game. Moving on to the second topic: Bats
This kind, not the flying kind
The protagonist of this game is known only as The Batter, and his goal is the purification of all specters everywhere. At his disposal are the various bats you find through the game, and his moves, which are all named after baseball in one way or another. No pitches though, so that kind of sucks, but then he'd be the pitcher, not the batter, wouldn't he? Moving on to the last topic: Onion Rings.
By "Onion Rings" I mean everything strange in the game, from the music (all great, especially the battle theme), the plot (no spoilers here), and the world  that the game takes place in and the people that you meet there (The over world map is mostly a black void with strange voices whispering at you). You'll eventually see what I'm referring to in the game by Onion Rings, though they aren't golden or delicious.
The only problem some people might have with this game is that they might see it as a poor attempt at being "deep". But that's down to personal preference, and it's a part of what makes the game weird. Still, if you like RPGs, oldtimey stripped baseball uniforms, ghost busting, things that are shaped like onion rings but aren't actually onion rings, and talking cats, then you should like OFF.
Watch out, ghosts
You can snag OFF here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thanks to Indiana Jones ALL archeologists use whips

Happy new year! Since the Mayan's weren't actually faking everyone out and planning on blowing up the planet at the dawn of 2013, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, and get right back to the important things: preparing for the post apocalypse, and video games.
"Man, if the world really HAD ended I wouldn't have to clean this"
Today I got something REALLY good for you, its difficult enough and long enough that it's going to take more than a lazy afternoon to get from start to finish, and that's not even counting the bonus dungeon, that game is La-Mulana. The game plays like an adventure platformer game, with items to find, puzzles to solve, and traps to get murdered by repeatedly until you figure out how to get past it.
I'm surprised the traps still work after all these years
The game itself has a strange history to it. Starting out as a PC game way back in 2005 for the first release in Japan, at some point being translated into English for PC, then coming out on the Wii in Japan in 2011, then it was updated and remade for PC in 2012.  La-Mulana  for the Wii was localized for American and Europen markets later that year. The Wii version obviously isnt free, and neither is the fancy updated PC version, but the original PC version is, so if you're a hobo playing this on a laptop, you're still good to go.
"I'm no hobo! I'm differently financed"
LA-Mulana is an extensive game, with multiple bosses, great music, secret stuff to find, and puzzles that are harder to solve than "put the red block in the red hole", all with a difficulty curve that will kick you right in the face if you give it half a chance. If any of that sounds appealing to you, then you should snag La-Mulana and prepare yourself to get really mad at scorpions and bats.
Bring on the scorpions and bats
you can snag La-Mulana at a bunch of places, like here or here