blast from the past...

Yesterday there was an event at my old high school, Newton North, entitled "Bringing Down the House."  Basically, my school (class of 2002) is being torn down in a few months, and replaced by a newer high school build next to it on the same property.  This event was organized as a way for alumni of the school's 37-year history to come back one last time, see the school, meet old friends and just take in the experience before the building is destroyed forever.  I won't get into all the emotion and nostalgia that I feel about this, but I would like to share something cool that happened yesterday. 
There was a "yard sale" during the day-long event, in which tons of old equipment, books, uniforms, albums, etc from Newton North High School were being sold off to the attending public.  I picked up a few cool things, like a locker front, a lacrosse helmet and even a microscope.  It was only $1, and it works great!  The most interesting object being sold, however, was an Asteroids arcade cabinet.  Seriously, like I never heard anyone ever mention that we had a damn Asteroids machine somewhere in the building.  It was sold for $200, but I don't know how well the machine worked.  It looked to be in great condition, I couldn't really notice anything like wear and tear.  


The cool thing that I experienced was when my friend and I were leaving the school grounds, to bring our purchased items to my car, before heading back to the school.  As we left, we saw the Asteroids machine on a cart, and two guys were attempting to load it into their minivan.  I just had a vision of good faith enter my mind, and offered to help them load the machine into their car.  It wasn't so much the desire to perform a good deed, rather I just wanted to say that I helped somebody load a damn Asteroids machine into a car, which is just cool to think about.  I hope for their sake the machine works fine.


you've been down too long in the midnight sea...

Wow.  What a game that was.  I just played through Irem's Holy Diver, an NES game from 1989 that was only released in Japan (I played the ROM on my PC).  I had only heard a little bit about this game, since it was never released in the States, but I am totally impressed by what Holy Diver has to offer.  It's a very challenging game, with lot of frustrating enemies that hit you and knock you back, ala Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania, and lots of harrowing jumps.  Fortunately, the game controls respond very well, and it's just a great gaming experience overall.  Holy Diver is totally a Castlevania clone, complete with the demonic enemies, the castle setting and the main character, Ranay, even looks like a Belmont. 
Holy Diver is such a beautiful game, with colourful backgrounds, amazing lighting effects, and some surprises that were very much welcome.  The one things that sucks about this game is the length.  Maybe it makes up for it with its difficulty, but Holy Diver only features six stages.  They are long stages, and it will take the player many tries to master the jumps and enemies, but I would love to have played at least ten giant levels like these.  Still, it's a very satisfying experience playing Holy Diver. 
I've yet to read an official confirmation that Holy Diver is in fact based on Dio's Holy Diver album/song, but regardless, this is a great game, especially for a 1989 release.  Even if the game has nothing to do with Dio, nor was it influenced by him, it still felt nice to play this game this week, as a tribute to the greatest heavy metal singer to have lived.  Rock on!

what an experience...

I had some free time this afternoon so I took advantage and played through levels 2-5 of Rez for PS2 to beat it.  Damn, am I impressed.  I had played the first level already, and tried it a bit a few years back when I bought the game, but actually dedicating some time to Rez really made me appreciate it for what it is.  For a long time I've heard how awesome of an experience Rez is, way beyond simply a game, and I totally agree with those comments.  The music, the sounds, the graphics, the atomosphere; they all mesh so well together. 
Rez reminds me a lot of N2O: Nitrous Oxide for the Playstation, in how they are both crazy rail shooters that are heavily influenced by the music they feature, and they are both fun to play and total visual treats.  That reminds me, I'm going to do a review of N2O soon.  It will be a very positive review on a game I feel has been totally underappreciated during its life.  I remember back in 2002 playing N2O like every Friday night once I got home all summer long, and it was so much fun.

gaming update for the weekend...

This week I finally dove into two games I haven't played since the mid-90s, Space Shuttle Project and Chrono Trigger.  SSP was an NES game from 1991 in which you must prepare a space shuttle for launch, launch into space, perform missions and EVAs, and re-enter the atmosphere and land successfully.  I played it way back when I was like 8 and I had no idea what to do, but 18 years later it was really a lot of fun.  I posted a review of Space Shuttle Project as well, my first on the site! 
The next game I got back into this week is Chrono Trigger for the SNES.  No introduction obviously, aside from the fact that I've been dying to seriously play through this game since I last rented it in 1996, and it's been nagging at me ever since.  I always loved this game, and I want to really enjoy every second of this playthrough.  I've been meaning to do this for several years now. 
The final game of this week I'm playing is Rez for the PS2.  I love rail shooters, and the immersion factor of Rez is great, the way that the player essentially controls the music and tempo of the game.  A feast for the eyes and ears, I'll put much time into this tonight and tomorrow night.


scratch n' sniff...

started earthbound (snes) last night.  got about an hour's worth of play in it.  damn that game is fun.  already played earthbound zero (nes) back in october and i loved it.  i've been wanting so badly to play the snes game since it first came out in '95 and now is the time.  this is gonna be awesome.