Retro Game Friday: F-Zero X

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that is often overlooked. It’s F-Zero X!

Plot Synopsis: This didn’t have a plot.

Gameplay: This is a high speed racing game ala Wipeout, but with a hell of a lot less forgiveness. You could and were able to destroy your competitors on the race track by bashing them off it to their doom, and that was actually a whole game mode in and of itself. Honestly I had a lot of fun with it, as I’ve always been a bit of a speed freak, it being my go to mode of combat, or in this case racing, in pretty much any game.

Art: The art has aged really poorly, but that’s to be expected with a Nintendo 64 game.

Music: I don’t remember much of it, but it was intense that much I do remember.

Overall: A great game and loads of fun, if you had the reflexes to play it at least.

For those who like: High Speed Games, Racing, Unforgiving Gameplay.

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

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Video Game Tuesday: Strategy Games

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a look at some different types of games and the bigger differences between them and the common features. It’s all about Strategy Games!

Strategy Games?: There are two main types of games that come to mind when you talk strategy games at least to me. There is the RTS, or Real Time Strategy, and TBS, or Turn-Based Strategy. They are very different in how you play them, and while there are some common strategies between the two, how you go about them is completely different.

RTS?: So RTS games are games like Starcraft or Command and Conquer. These take place in real time with you giving orders and building armies and bases to destroy your opponents. Often the biggest skill that professionals in this kind of game look for is APM, or Actions Per Minute. Getting 100+ APM consistently is generally a good thing and means you may be cut out to try becoming a pro if you so desire. If you can’t do that you’re unlikely to be able to ever compete at a professional level. I think I remember getting 100+ apm for brief spurts of time in some games of Starcraft 2, but I never considered myself ever cut out for the pro scene. One because I dislike competing immensely, and two because even getting 100+ for those brief times is already rather incredible with my physical disability.

TBS?: Games like the Civilization series are a good example, these aren’t always as action or war oriented, and sometimes you can even play a game and win without ever getting into conflict once, at least with AI opponents.  I tend to prefer these sorts of games, although I’ve not played too many strategy games in general with more in the RTS category, although those are mainly for the custom game maps and types that you could create in games like Warcraft 3. Angel Arena is still one of my favorite custom game types, beating over any DotA clone easily.

So what are some similarities between the two?: Well in both games the key to success, at least to me, is to always increase your production capabilities. This means increasing the number of your base or cities as the game progresses to constantly produce units that you may need to fight off an opponent quickly. In RTS games this means quickly building your worker units and getting a steady supply of resources as your first steps. Once that happens you can start building up your fighting force while constructing your base. In TBS games this is still the case, but it’s more about buildings and land improvements at least in the Civ series.

In addition always upgrading your units with tech upgrades as much as possible is always a key to winning, if your units can launch more powerful attacks than your opponent, battles will quickly turn your way even if you have the same amount of troops in a battle.

What’s different?: Well in RTS games speed is always going to be a priority, can you attack your enemy before they get a defense going? If so you have a quick victory in sights and can probably clinch a fast win. In TBS games, it’s more about location and choke points. If you can block your enemy from getting resources or funnel them into one area you can easily defend your bases and prevent them from overwhelming you.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are some of your favorite strategy games? What type are they? Leave a comment below!

 

Movie Monday: I am Legend

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with a movie that I have only seen once and will never, ever watch again. It’s I am Legend!

Plot Synopsis: In 2009, a genetically re-engineered measles virus, originally created as a cure for cancer, turns into a lethal strain which kills 94% of those it infects, mutates 5% into predatory, nocturnal and vampiric mutants, who are extremely vulnerable to sunlight, with only 1% immune. Three years after the outbreak, US Army virologist Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville lives an isolated life in the deserted ruins of New York City, unsure if any other uninfected humans are left in the world…

Plot: I really don’t like Horror movies, but somehow one of my college roommates convinced me to watch this. I hate that roommate for absolute destroying my ability to listen Bob Marley’s song Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry Be Happy) without bursting into tears. The irony of that fact is not lost on me, believe me. The story is okay, but honestly I will never ever watch this movie again.

Cast: The cast is okay, but with the majority of the screen time captured by Will Smith and the German Shepards who play Sam, they don’t get a bunch of chances to shine.

Cinematography: The special effects are pretty decent, but honestly it wasn’t even the most spectacular movie of that year for special effects.

Music: Like I stated above the music really gets to me, and not really in a good way. The music is good I guess because of that, but I can’t help but feel bitter about that fact.

Overall: A good movie, but honestly I can’t recommend this one to anyone who cares even a little about animals.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Drama, Action, Will Smith, Good Special Effects, a very memorable musical score.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Cherry Blossom Girls by Harmon Cooper

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with another LitRPG, sort of. It’s Cherry Blossom Girls by Harmon Cooper!

Plot Synopsis: I was a just normal guy until the night the cherry blossoms bloomed, the night that Grace appeared on my doorstep. A failed sci-fi writer, a gamer, but a normal guy nonetheless. Grace was everything I was not, a psychic shifter, beautiful beyond my wildest imagination, a government conspiracy waiting to be unraveled…

Plot: The plot of this is rather bland. Honestly while it takes a ton of influences, and states what those are, it also isn’t turning it into something new or interesting. If you’ve ever read the original Elfen Lied manga you’ll know the story of the book pretty freaking quick. It’s not new, and it’s not that great. Another thing against it is that the book is constantly swamped with our main character’s, Gideon, thoughts. It’s also a plot point, Gideon is constantly thinking about things, and usually in a rather stupid way. There are some clever tricks, but honestly the guy is like a giant walking self-insert for the author and it’s not even attempting to be subtle.

Characters: Our leads are okay characters, with our two female leads being much more interesting than Gideon. Honestly I’d almost rather have her be our main Point of View except that we’d still get to hear all of Gideon’s thoughts anyways.

Overall: A mediocre LitRPGish story that has heavy influences by a ton of things, including Elfen Lied, but doesn’t really innovate at all. The fact that our lead is a self insert of the author doesn’t help at all.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, LitRPGs, Action, Drama.

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

Movie Monday: Groundhog Day

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering another classic. It’s Groundhog Day!

Plot Synopsis: Weatherman Phil Connors reassures Pittsburgh viewers that an approaching blizzard will miss western Pennsylvania. He goes with news producer Rita Hanson and cameraman Larry to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the Groundhog Day festivities. Phil makes no secret of his contempt for the assignment, the small town, and the “hicks” who live there. The next day, Phil awakens at his Punxsutawney bed and breakfast to Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” on the clock radio. He tapes a half-hearted report on Punxsutawney Phil and the town’s festivities. Rita wants to stay and cover other events, but Phil wants to return to Pittsburgh. The blizzard blankets the region in snow, stranding them in Punxsutawney. Phil shuns the celebrations and retires to bed early. However the next day Phil wakes to “I Got You Babe” again….

Plot: The plot is awesome, and really quite fun. There have been other time loop stories that came before this movie, but Groundhog Day is the one everyone remembers. While the Romance aspects didn’t appeal to me as a kid when I first saw this movie, I can appreciate it now as an adult.

Cast: Bill Murray plays Phil, and honestly does an amazing job with the role. The rest of the cast is just as good.

Cinematography: There isn’t a ton of special effects, but it had enough that it was fun to watch. In particular the groundhog was a personal favorite of mine.

Music: I don’t remember much about it except for the iconic “I Got You Babe”.

Overall: If you haven’t seen Groundhog Day, you ought to watch it.

For those who like: Comedy, Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi, Laughing, Time Loops.

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

Anime Sunday: Dance with Dragons Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Spring 2018 season. It’s my Dance with Dragons Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: A long time ago, dragons were the only creatures capable of wielding magic, which they used to terrorize humanity, until humanity learned to channel magic through special formulas and spells called “jushiiki”. Those capable of using jushiiki became known as jushikiists, and became crucial in fighting dragons throughout the years, until a peace treaty was enforced to prevent both races from wiping each other out. In the modern day, Gayus and Gigina are two jushikiits who take special jobs from a variety of clients in the city of Eridana.

Plot: Honestly this series doesn’t really introduce us to the world very well. Most of the time I had no clue what was going on. Whether this is a problem with the original source material, a Light Novel series, or it being an adaptation I have no clue. But frankly I wasn’t interested enough in the world after this first episode to continue watching this series.

Characters: The characters seem to have some depth, but with the plot being thrust upon us in the manner it was, I didn’t get too attached to them and couldn’t really relate to any of them. This isn’t a good thing, and only further cements my own decision to not continue watching the series. Gigina and Gayus are okay leads, but they just don’t mesh well and don’t give me any reason to care about them.

Art: The art is okay, I’ve seen much worse series, but I’ve also seen much better series. This includes series like Sword Art Online which while being good doesn’t come close to the quality of work of my favorite studio, ufotable.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not really amazing either.

Overall: This could be a decent series, but it didn’t grab my attention enough in the first episode for me to dedicate time to watching it personally.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Action, Drama.

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

Serial Saturday: Kuro’s Days Chapters 1-13 by Branya

This week for Serial Saturday I’m covering a real oddball series. It’s Kuro’s Days Chapters 1-13 by Branya!

Plot Synopsis: I was a 30-year-old good for nothing, but because I had run out of food, I had to rely on my only hope. Expired instant noodles… When I finally awoke, I found myself as my loli game character from the game Skyrim in a magical cyberpunk world. I could tell that this new life was not a game and it would be a struggle just to survive. I experienced too much unreasonableness in my life. This time, I will absolutely live a happy life in this new world. Huh? You say instant noodles don’t expire? I also believed that, but in reality, they can….

Plot: Like I said, an oddball series. Honestly this is a self insert fiction that takes the main character’s abilities from Skyrim. It’s not that great, amusing at times, but not that great.

Characters: The entire cast is pretty odd, and while they aren’t lacking depth, they don’t have a ton of it either. Also Kuro is a huge pervert, so if that is a deal breaker you’ll really want to stay away from this series.

Overall: You can find a lot better series out there, but you can also find worse ones. This has it’s own amusing moments, but it’s got no overall plot, and really just showcases the protagonist’s daily life as she gets used to the new world she finds herself in.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Slice of Life, Action, Adventure.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, mediocrity, or perverted lead characters.