Retro Game Friday: Indiana Jones The Infernal Machine

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that I can barely remember playing. It’s Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine!

Plot Synopsis: The story of the game is set in 1947 and depicts archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones returning to his digging career after his involvement in World War II. Sophia Hapgood, an old friend of Indiana and now a member of the Central Intelligence Agency, visits him at his dig site in the Canyonlands, and informs him that the Russians are excavating the ruins of Babylon.

Plot: I’ll be frank I don’t remember much of this game. I remember having fun, but that’s about it.

Gameplay: I played the 2D version of this that was made for the GameBoy Color, so despite it being a port it was actually the full game. It was however really frustrating to die and have to restart a level, and I’ll be honest puzzle clues were pretty non-existent. These are pretty much the only things I remember, probably because I got so annoyed at the game.

Art: It was purely 2D so it’s aged alright, but it’s also not that amazing.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, sorry.

Overall: Probably worth skipping playing, but if you want the story you can probably watch a Let’s Play on YouTube or something.

For those who like: Puzzles, Frustration, Indiana Jones.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Video Game Tuesday: Eventide Journal Entry 01

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m doing something a little different. I’m chronicling my first attempt at what I’ve found to be the toughest “puzzle” in Breath of the Wild yet. It’s my Eventide Journal Entry 01!

Eventide?: There’s an island way off the eastern coast in Breath of the Wild and me being the curious type I decided to try getting there and seeing what it held, it’s called Eventide Island. I failed miserably trying to glide there and died to drowning in the ocean, but that was more due to a thunderstorm occuring and blowing me off course than it was due to me not trying hard enough or packing enough food to sustain my stamina gauge. I did forget to heal up though, so when I drowned it was game over for me.

So what next?: Well I decided that there was no way in hell I was going to wait out the storm and because the rain douses any fires you try to set to use the resting system to skip time, that option was out as well. Than I remembered I had a handy and reusable tool to freeze water into pillars, so I started skipping across the ocean from another island closer to the mainland. Well not really skipping, more like gliding for a few feet and grabbing hold of the pillar that was far away as possible to lengthen the space between each use of the Cryonis rune. Then I got attacked by some Lizalfos sporting of all things, lightning attributed weapons. That almost killed me, due to me losing my weapons from being shocked and standing on a bunch of water. Thankfully I quickly equipped a couple tree branches that I keep in case I need to throw something fragile to beat annoying enemies, and proceeded to do just that in order to buy me time to get out a wooden bow and equip some lightning attuned arrows of my own. Payback is a bitch, but it was pretty funny to watch them getting fried.

I finally reached the island and got onto it. Then I was really thrown for a loop when some text appeared from a shrine saying that I was relying on my equipment to do stuff and that I wasn’t resourceful enough. Next thing I know I’m completely naked with only my Sheikah Slate on an island full of really nasty enemies. The goal was to pick up three orbs and put them into three different platforms. So I quickly started to sneak around and proceed to grab an oar as a temporary weapon, along with a half dozen tree branches courtesy of me bombing the hell out of the beach’s treeline. I found one orb and tried getting it to the small island it was on just off the shore of Eventide. I had a bit of trouble until I remembered to use Cryonis to freeze the water under it to throw it onto the island.

Things were going pretty well, until I ran into one of the world bosses called Hinox that had an orb around it’s neck. I tried to sneak up and get onto it’s chest to grab the orb, but only woke it up. After dodging it swinging around a good dozen trees for about 10 minutes and me tossing bombs at it, I finally got the orb knocked off it somehow. So I dashed in, grabbed it and booked it for a part of the island I had cleared. I proceed to put the orb in another platform and start looking for the last one, coming across a hill with a ton of enemies on it. I clear it off and proceed to cook up some food for the last hill which I had guessed might have a ton of enemies on it.

Turns out I was completely correct and this had the worst pack of enemies yet, even the Hinox didn’t cause me too much problems as long as I kept away from it, it being fairly slow. Remember that storm that occurred and blew me off course? Well it hit again and this time I was in the middle of fighting a ton of nasty enemies with metal weapons that made my tree branches look pathetic in comparison. Thankfully the storm actually helped me out this time and struck a majority of them to death with a lightning bolt. I was pretty ecstatic and was glad to be almost done, right up until the sky started glowing red just as I had picked up the last orb.

Sky glowing red?: Yeah, for those unaware when the moon is full it glows a really nasty shade of crimson and it causes every single monster to respawn. EVERY MONSTER. The island that I had nearly cleared out? Not so clear anymore… I grabbed the orb and was trying to dislodge the stone covering it so I could place the stone in when they all respawned. Queue pandemonium and me running around throwing bombs again, and trying to live. The only problem was that the orb I had placed to keep safe ended up getting knocked down a hill by an enemy I had blown back. I caught up to it just as it was going over the edge into the ocean, and fumbled the controls. So I jumped down to get it out of the ocean like I had the first orb, 15 minutes later I was finally on land again with the orb. Except that I couldn’t get up the hill with the orb. I had absolutely no way up with it. After trying to wall run my way up the side of the hill, I ended up sliding down and dropping it onto the Hinox causing it wake up and grab the nearest tree. I had just started running away when it killed me.  Next thing I know I’m once again completely naked with no items at the same spot I started this stupid trial. That details my first time trying to clear it. I’ll write up my second attempt next week, hopefully it’s the last attempt. I’ve got some ideas to break the system in my favor to allow me to easily deal with this.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday? Do you like me writing this kind of post? Please comment below with your thoughts.

Video Game Tuesday: Breath of the Wild’s Puzzles Are Refreshing

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m continuing my little mini-series of my thoughts on the latest Zelda game. It’s how Breath of the Wild’s Puzzles Are Refreshing!

Puzzles?: Yea, as any self respecting gamer will know, Zelda games have some pretty intense puzzles that require you to really think out of the box sometimes. However Breath of the Wild’s physics system really allows the player to truly dismantle puzzles in bizarre ways occasionally in particular. I haven’t had this much fun figuring out how to break puzzles since Portal 2.

How so?: For me certain puzzles are always difficult, especially when you include motion controls. My hands are always shaking almost imperceptibly and this causes me to deal with certain game mechanics with increased difficulty. For instance in Breath of the Wild you are required to tilt your controller in order to move around a ball in a maze. The first time I encountered this mechanic in the game I spent 20 minutes trying to get it to work correctly. This was mostly because the maze’s walls had holes for the ball to drop into an abyss.

I was getting increasingly frustrated until I realized something had been happening, but I hadn’t been paying close enough attention. Exiting the control panel that allowed access to the puzzle kept the puzzle in the position you had it in at the time of exiting, even if the position was titled straight up so the ball would just bounce into the abyss constantly. So I quickly used this to flip the maze over completely and use the bottom of the platform as a simple slope to drop the ball into where I needed it to go. Instead of properly doing the puzzle the game allowed me to completely break it in a way the game makers probably weren’t expecting.

What else?: Well I used the wood you can carry around in the game to solve a puzzle that required torches to be lit up. Instead of moving around a cube to light up certain torches and avoiding both the pool of water it was hanging over and the water spout, I just set a fire to the pile of wood I had dropped and used it to light an arrow on fire to light the torches instead. Another time had me trying to bridge circuits to allow electricity to get to certain switches, and instead of using the intended metallic boxes lying around I just dropped a few of metallic weapons in the correct spots allowing me to completely bypass the entire puzzle with ease.

So what’s special?: Well not many games allow you such freedom in breaking their puzzles or tricky situations. Often times you just have to go in guns blazing instead of using your brain. The best games I found that allow such freedom are those games that have been in development for ages. Metal Gear Solid V is another example.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Retro Game Friday: Mario and Luigi Partners in Time

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga! It’s Mario and Luigi Partners in Time!

Plot Synopsis: During Mario and Luigi’s infancies, Shroobs from a withering distant planet find the Mushroom Kingdom and invade it. The invasion forces Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Toadsworth the Younger, and Baby Bowser (who had been attempting to capture Baby Peach at the time) to flee in the Koopa Cruiser. In the future, Princess Peach, Toadiko, and Toadbert travel to the past via Professor E. Gadd’s time machine, which is powered by the Cobalt Star. But when the device returns, it is occupied by a hostile alien, forcing Mario and Luigi to use a newly-formed time hole in the castle gardens to go to the past and find Peach.

Plot: The plot  was okay, but it wasn’t super spectacular like a Final Fantasy Game. It was humorous though, like most Mario RPGs are.

Gameplay: Like other Mario RPGs this game is turn based, but if you input certain commands at the correct time you would be able to do more damage. It’s decent gameplay, but looking back on it I really don’t find it super amazing either. I guess the Tales of games have influenced my taste in RPGs a bit too much.

Characters: It’s a Mario game, so expecting incredibly deep characters would be kind of silly. The cast was fun though.

Art: Thankfully this game is like it’s predecessor in that it’s 2D so it’s aged much better than 3D games from the time.

Music: It’s Mario, through and through.

Overall: A decent sequel, it added enough new features that it didn’t feel like a repeat of the prior game with new paint.

Retro Game Friday: Spirit Tracks

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Hey all I’m back with the “sequel” to The Phantom Hourglass for this week’s Retro Game Friday! It’s The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks!

Plot Synopsis:

Spirit Tracks takes place one hundred years after the events of both The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. The game is set in the land of New Hyrule, a new kingdom founded by Tetra, some point after the events of Phantom Hourglass. An incarnation of the protagonist Link, an engineering apprentice ready to become a qualified train engineer, travels to Hyrule Castle to receive his engineer’s certificate from current incarnation of Princess Zelda (Tetra’s granddaughter/descendant). Although Zelda’s adviser, Chancellor Cole, believes the ceremony is pointless, as the Spirit Tracks that make up the train systems around Hyrule are slowly disappearing, Zelda continues with the ceremony.

Plot: The plot is okay, pretty decent, but frankly the gameplay wasn’t quite as good as the previous game.

Characters: The characters were good for the most part. Not super duper amazing though.

Gameplay: It played a lot like Phantom Hourglass, but the Train system wasn’t as good as the sailing system used in Phantom Hourglass. Frankly the dungeon design was also fairly frustrating as well, with the puzzles in the Tower being frustratingly difficult at times.  At least that’s how it was for me, granted that I hate touch screen controls, I just didn’t like using them all that much. Give me a standard control scheme over gimmicky ones and I’d be fine with the level of difficulty.

Art: It’s aged poorly. But that’s 3D artwork for you.

Music: Classic Zelda, nothing more need be said.

Overall: If given the ability to play with a normal control scheme this game would’ve been much better, but otherwise this wasn’t the best Zelda game I’ve ever played.

For those who like: Trains, Action, Adventure, Zelda Games, Decent Plot, Okay Gameplay, Good Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Portal

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game I love. It’s Portal!

Plot Synopsis: In Portal, the player controls the protagonist, Chell, from a first-person perspective as she is challenged to navigate through a series of rooms using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, or portal gun, under the watchful supervision of the artificial intelligence GLaDOS. The portal gun can create two distinct portal ends, orange and blue.

Plot: The plot is full of dark humor and is still widely referenced in today’s pop culture. It’s wonderful and well done, but rather short along with the gameplay.

Gameplay: The game is quite short, averaging a first time player’s run through at 3 hours, though some maniacs have managed to do it in just over 15 minutes. The actual gameplay is wonderfully done and has an amazing set of physics that let’s the player use the full scope of the portal gun to their own advantage.

Characters: GLaDOS is awesome, and that’s all that really needs to be said. Although the Companion Cube is pretty great too.

Art: Pretty good, although slightly dated now.

Music: One of the best parts of the entire game, the musical score is wonderful and the ending song is perfect.

Overall: If you haven’t played this game you really need to.

For those who like: Puzzles, FPS games, Thinking, Action, Dark Humor, Little Violence, Excellent Cast of Three Characters, Fantastic Plot, Great Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Anime Sunday: Zankyou no Terror/Terror in Resonance

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This week I’m covering another of this summer’s new series. It’s Zankyou no Terror/Terror in Resonance.

Plot Synopsis: In an alternate iteration of the present, Tokyo has been hit by a terrorist attack that has devastated the city, with the only evidence of the culprits being a confusing video uploaded to the internet, which only spreads paranoia throughout Japan. Unbeknownst to the authorities is that the terrorist masterminds who call themselves “Sphinx” (スピンクス Supinkusu) are two teenaged boys, who go by the names Nine and Twelve, who apparently should not exist and have decided to wake up the world with their heinous plans of death and destruction with their fingers on the trigger.

Plot: The plot for this series is pretty freaking awesome, and it’s only 4 episodes into the series. That being said it’s only a 1-cours series which makes me a bit sad, as I’d love for it to be a bit longer.

Characters: I really like Twelve and Lisa, as I find them to be much more interesting than Nine is, although I think Nine could be just as interesting given a bit more backstory. I also like Shibazaki, as he’s quite an intellectual.

Art: The art for this series is amazing, and I particularly like the opening sequence.

Music: The music is just as great as the artwork.

Overall: If you like a thriller, and mind games, you need to watch this series.

For those who like: Crime Thrillers, Mysteries, Amazing plots and characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but can you really hate it?