Sparky's Shorts - Games Galore

Shit, it's been a while since I wrote an honest blog.  Thanks to a change in my personal situation, I was able to procure a few games during Amazon's Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.  And while I haven't had a chance to get really in-depth with all of them, I've played enough of a few to give you some brief thoughts.  I know, you're slathering at the bit to read my thoughts on cheap ass games that came out quite a while ago, but hey, that's what I do, babycakes.  
Oh, and uh... no editing tools available on this one, kiddos.  No idea why the editing bar isn't showing up, but it isn't.  Not like my writing on here was ever all that tidy anways (damn you, lists and buttons). 
I didn't much care for what I saw in the Quick Look of this game, which thankfully didn't keep me from picking it up.  The level demonstrated in the Quick Look doesn't quite do the game justice, as it's definitely the most generic bit of the game I've encountered.  The rest of the early missions are fun, have some memorable sequences (I cannot stress how much I really liked the opening level), and lay out the groundwork for the rest of the game admirably well.  It never tries to really break the mold, but what it does, it does really well.  And what is that, you ask?  Well, the platforming is actually entertaining and easy to do (think inFamous's excellent controls, but on more of a guided path).  The combat is fairly simple but promises more complexity as the game goes on.  The alternately beautiful and haunting atmosphere gives the game a sense of style, and the environmental graphics are great.  The two leads have an interesting dynamic and some solid dialogue, though the character models themselves could use a little bit of work.   Alone, either character would seem sort of like your basic game archetypes of warrior and damsel in distress, but the two mesh together both in terms of the story and gameplay in effective ways. And while I'm still just scratching the surface, the story seems relatively intelligent and drives the game forward at a nice pace.   The idea of a wrecked American city feels quite a bit like The Time Machine's future portions, but that's actually a positive thing, as you really get the idea that in the hands of a clever writer, this could be a fantastic homage to that novel as well as the work it's actually based on.
Like I say, none of that isn't anything we've seen before,   But give it a chance if you can.  I hope you'll find it as pleasantly entertaining as I am. 
I know I'm way behind the times here, so I'll just quickly summarize.  Arkham Asylum is superb.  I really like the combat, and the fact that stealth is mostly optional really makes me enjoy it all the more.  I'll freely admit I'm playing it on Easy, but I full intend on playing this one through multiple times.  As a long-time comic fan, it's a joy to see something so cleverly written and fun to play.  Joker's insanity and violence are almost shocking to me here, and that image of the guard in the visitor center with the monitor where his head should be is pretty damn striking.  Looking forward to spending more time with this one when I can. 
Everything that was said in the Giant Bomb review of this was absolutely correct.  It's a lazy half-assed "update" of a tired game franchise that owners of last year's game should avoid like the plague.  Very little from last year has changed, and even at the discount price I bought it for ($20), I don't think it's worth the money.  Now, if you haven't owned a Smackdown vs. Raw game since before 2010, you might be interested in the file-share content, which is easily the best part of the game.  But seeing as how that was available last year and (I believe) the servers are still up for that one, you'd be much better off buying the prior game at a discounted price.  As a long-time fan of this series, it's time I say enough is enough, and I won't be buying another one until they make some sweeping changes to the series.  The animations need to be completely rebuilt from the ground up, as there are tons of clipping issues, weird hiccups in move animations, and a frustrating lack of new movesets and entrance positions.  This shit has been recycled for years, and it's time I stop supporting that kind of bullshit with my dollar bills. 
I guess that'll do it for this one, folks.  I used to do a question of the week type deal, so I'll throw a random ass question out there for you.  Since you've been a gamer, which year do you think has been best for gaming?  Keep in mind, I really only want personal opinions here, so don't list something that's before your time.  I really believe this year has been my favorite year in terms of gaming, and I intend on writing an end-of-the-year blog on that topic soon, so I thought I'd get your opinions. 
Anyways, take care, folks.  Enjoy your holidays, stay warm, and keep on gaming.


Why mediocre reviews of Fallout: New Vegas are misleading

Like with all popular games, movies, TV shows, and all things nerd-tacular, Fallout: New Vegas has become the latest game for Giant Bombers and the Internet in general to rip on, even if they haven't played it or haven't given it a fair shake.  The Giant Bomb crew ripped on it a bit in the Bombcast, the review pointed out in great detail the many technical flaws of the game, and the Giant Bomb forumverse exploded with, "Man, this game suckzors, totally epidicedimal fail broseph."  It's the sort of thing that pisses me off about the Internet in general, and there's a term for it - it's called dick-riding.  If you've ripped on this game or any other game just because the Giant Bomb crew ripped on it?  You're dick-riding.  Sucking up to the rip-on-the-popular-game-of-the-month club without having actually watched the Quick Look or any other real preview of the game, or (God forbid) trying it yourself?  Dick riding.   But if you've seriously done your homework or played this game and determined that you don't like it, congratulations.  You're not dick-riding.  We just have wildly different opinions.
The reviews of New Vegas are right on one thing - this game is buggy as all get-out.  I just finished my first playthrough.  New Vegas crashed on me three times.  I had a few instances when I had to load up my quicksave because of weird technical glitches.  The factions, while adding a breath of fresh air to the karma system in general, create some frustrating moments of confusion. 
But if you're willing to actually play the game, Fallout: New Vegas is a fucking masterpiece. 
On a technical level, the fact that this game exists at all in a playable form is mind-boggling.  Without any hyperbole, the game world is huge.  I'm going to be discovering new quests, weapons, snow globes, and other goodies a year from now,  There are an insane number of NPC's to interact with.  This is without a doubt the single best example of how far current technology can go to creating worlds, not just games.  At no point did I feel like the game had been shipped broken, as so many people on these forums and others have claimed.  The game is far from broken.  Bug-ridden, yes.  Hiccuping, yes.  But broken, no.   
That isn't to say that the game is perfect.  There are a lot of areas that can be worked on besides the technical errors.  Options to sort quests and narrow down multiple area quests should be a priority.  Allies should return to the Lucky 38 after a set amount of time if told to "wait" somewhere (I have no freakin' clue where the hell I left my robot).  If radio DJ's continue to be used, they need quantity as well as quality in the music and the speeches given, perhaps with new bits being available via patches or downloads, even if that means celebrities can't do the voices.  New body and weapon models look good, but some variety in body sizes would go a long way.  Clear definitions of which quests will affect each faction should be laid out, especially in regards to the main quest, which can be super confusing.
Now for the good.  Massive world aside, the writing in New Vegas is top-notch.  The characters felt more human, the choices I could make as a player were often morally muddled and therefore fun to play out, and the followers are all excellent.  The same rock-solid gameplay of Fallout 3 is here, and smartly keeps most of the systems already established while expanding upon the universe.  There are a lot of throwbacks to the classic Fallout games.  There are no clear-cut good guys, as everyone in the game has an agenda.  There are benefits to all the skill branches, with speech rolls not just affected by your speech skill anymore.  There's an amazing richness to the new areas, while still maintaining a large amount of the charm from the original games.  And overall, the game is just flat-out fun as all hell.  I found myself genuinely wanting to explore the wastes and the hundred-plus areas within. 
If, for any reason, you're not playing this game because you've heard about how flawed it is, your fears are for nothing.  Yes, New Vegas is riddled with bugs, but that shouldn't stop anyone from giving this game a go.  And if you're not playing it just because it's popular to rip on it, well... have fun with that.


Time for a Change - Fallout New Vegas short story

The following story was my submission for a Fallout New Vegas writing competition.  It took first place, and my brother's took second.  I have no idea how many actual entries there were, but when I find out what kind of Fallout shwag I've won, I'll post it in the comments section below.  In any case, this was the first piece of fan-fiction I've ever written, and it's more flash-fiction than an actual short story, so keep that in mind.  Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.  


            The pain shot through his hip faster than old man Jasper had anticipated.   He fell into the chair unceremoniously and with about as much grace as a flying oven.   The bar was nearly empty, so at least he was spared some of the embarrassment.   Then again, the bar rarely had anyone in it at all these days.   It was the same with the rest of the dying Edsel Springs.   The town had never been a popular tourist spot anyways, but once the springs disappeared, so had her residents.   As irradiated as the water had been, at least there had been something.   Now the town’s rusty purifier only occasionally spit out a thin gurgle of putrid smelling liquid.

            Normie, the rail-thin bartender and owner of his self-named bar, hawked up a ball of spit and nodded in his direction.   Jasper gave him a thin-lipped smile.   “Any chance for some clean water today?”

            Normie snorted.   “Nope.   Same as yesterday.   Same as tomorrow, probably.”

            “Whiskey, then.”   Jasper sighed.   He only had one bottle of water sacked away in his hovel, the tin shack he laughably called home.   That wasn’t going to last him through the week, no matter how much he conserved.   And as for trading, the only thing he owned was the flimsy little .32 strapped to his hip.   He was loathe to part with that, but if it came down to it, steel wouldn’t keep him alive any longer than water.   “You know anyone in town willing to trade?”

            The bartender thought about it for a long moment.   “Emma might.   She’d probably be your best bet.”

            At the mention of the wispy Emma, Jasper perked up.   The woman might have turned a trick or two, but she was always kind to Jasper, and had once gave him a freebie on a birthday.   She didn’t even seem to mind the pus-leaking radiation sores that dotted his body, either, like some of the old hags he’d knocked around with.   “Any idea where she’s-“

            Their conversation was cut short as something boomed in the distance.   Normie muttered, “Gunfire.   Fantastic.”

            But old Jasper, once a soldier, knew better.   “No.   Something bigger.   An explosion.”   Another one, deafening and much, was much closer.   A woman screams cut short quickly.   Something roared indistinguishably.   “Normie, get down behind the bar.   The rest of you too.”   He vaguely motioned towards the other two or three customers scattered in the bar.   They did as he asked.   Only a handful of residents of Edsel Springs had any real background in fighting, and these folks definitely didn’t.   “Normie, you still have that shotgun behind the bar?”

            Normie stared at him uncomprehendingly, and then snapped back to reality.   “Yeah, you want it?”   He reached under the bar and pulled out a surprisingly well-maintained long-barreled shotgun and a handful of shells.   Six.   Jasper swore under his breath.   Not enough for any real trouble, but it’d have to do.   His own gun only had a few measly bullets, and he wouldn’t trust it to fire any more than the shriveled thing in his pants.

            He loaded a shell into the chamber, blew out a long breath, and limped to the door.   He eased it open slightly.   The screams had come from the south, where he could barely make out plumes of smoke and dust.   Something out there was grunting laughter.   Something definitely not human.   He pushed open the door, and his worst fears were confirmed.

            In the middle of the street stood a goliath of a monster, a super mutant.   It held a long, crude hammer in one hand, and in the other, looking pitifully small, was something that could only be a rock or a grenade, and guessing from the bangs, Jasper knew a rock wasn’t his kind of luck.   It brought the grenade up to its mouth and grasped the key with its teeth.   Jasper had no time to think.   Old instincts burned dully to life, and he swept the door open, rushed outside to the street and away from the bar as best he could, and brought the shotgun up to his shoulder.

            The gun’s recoil made him stumble backwards, and the shot went comically high.   The super mutant turned towards him.   Jasper fumbled with another shell as fast as his arthritic hands would allow.   The mutant hefted his hammer high into the air, bellowing a wordless war cry.   Jasper’s second shot didn’t miss.

            It was the mutant’s turn to stumble backwards, but his recovery was much swifter than that of the old mercenary.   The torn flesh in the creature’s side seemed only to anger him, and the grotesque approximation of a man rushed at him with its red-tinged teeth bared.   Jasper dropped the shotgun.   No time to reload.   He drew the small pistol from its holster and fired blindly into the monster.   At least two shots hit point blank, and still nothing slowed the thing.   It hit him with lumbering speed and knocked Jasper done.   He felt something crunch in his chest.   Blinding, consuming pain speared through his chest.   Broken ribs, at least.

            The mutant lifted him up by his scrawny neck with one meaty, leathery hand.   It snorted and huffed.   Jasper kicked at the thing feebly and beat at its hand wildly.   The monster leaned in close as it tried to articulate the vague words it loved most.   “You… die… now,” the super mutant growled.

            Jasper had no witty comeback.   He had no air left in his lungs to speak,, no one to help him.   He had no savior angel that day in Edsel Springs.   All Jasper had was the pin of the grenade he’d managed to snag from the monster as it had lifted him up.   With the very last of his energy and his life, Jasper waved the key in front of the monster’s face.   Mute horror dawned on the creature’s face.

            And then the world erupted one last time.



If you were to buy 2 games and get 1 free, which games?

Rumor mills are churning at full force over on CAG this last week over the specifics of the seemingly inevitable B2G1 free sale from Toys R Us and other places.  This was a fantastic sale last year, and it should be again this year.  So hit me up.  What would you pick up?  Any oddball titles you missed out the first time?  Or are there some big name releases that you've been holding back on and would pick up in just such a sale?  Inquiring minds want to know.  
I'm thinking I'd like to pick up Dragon Quest IX, Halo Reach, Singularity, Darksiders, and Bayonetta in some capacity this time around.  Now, to maximize the savings you get from a sale, you generally want to pick up three games of a similar value, so of those, Halo Reach is obviously the odd man out, cost wise.  So maybe I'd pick up something like Dead Rising 2 and Metroid: Other M to go with it.  But I'd definitely be more tempted to pick up a few $20-$40 games first.  So my picks would be (based off prices at the moment): 
Dragon Quest IX 
Resonance of Fate 
Uncharted 2 
God of War III


Sparky's Shorts - Eat 'em!

Readers, let me tell you something slightly personal.  For over two years, I had some of the worst luck a guy can have without losing his immediate family.  I can't go into details here, but this week, I found out the first bit of wonderful news in a long, long time.  I have something to hope for again, something real this time, and it's lifted my spirits like you wouldn't believe.  I've been kept afloat this last couple of years by the awesomeness of my family and friends.  In some ways, Giant Bomb's community has been a part of that, keeping me entertained while I searched for jobs and just being flat-out the best community on the 'net.  I may not know you all by name or in person, but thanks, guys - you are all some of the most kick-ass people out there, and you've helped keep a knockaround guy on his feet. 
So let's move on to some briefs and shorts, shall we?  We shall. 

-Starting next week, I'll be having my 360 repaired at a friend's Play N Trade.  They do quality work, and since my Xbox is past its warranty, I figure, why not have them do it rather than send it to some nameless bozos?  I've regaled you all with wild (or not so much) tales of my disk drive, which requires me to hammer on it like some wannabe Thor before it'll read disks.  Well, no more.  While there, I'll also be picking up a used PS2, which will be tested in-store right in front of me.  Rock.  Now I can finally get around to Persona 4, the last Wild Arms game, and a few other assorted titles I didn't finish or start. 
-Civilization 5 is amazing.  If you haven't seen my hundred updates over the last week or so, it's easily one of the most addictive games I've ever played.  I think it requires some balancing issues, but honestly, I'm not sure if it's my strategy at fault or if it really is the game.  I'm speaking generally in regards to getting a technological victory, which feels like it requires way more turns in the end game than it should, due to some questionable technologies you have to research such as dynamite when you've already researched gunpowder.  Yes, I know the two are day and night apart, but it still feels strange having to research dynamite to unlock so many other technologies.  Again, maybe I'm approaching it wrong, but I'm kinda good at Civ games in general, and this does feel like a slight misstep.  That being said, it's a very minor quirk in an otherwise superb game, and I really am nitpicking at details that are more than likely my own damn fault. 
--Been playing a ton of demos lately.  Loved the demos for Bayonetta and Darksiders.  Didn't much care for Vanquish's demo, but that's more or less due to my color blindness and visual limitations.  Shoot-em-ups just aren't in the cards for me anymore, unless it's something like Halo or Resistance, where the enemies are very clearly defined.  I tried Sonic Adventures for about as much time as it took for me to realize it's not a good game at all.  Camera mechanics and iffy controls broke that game for me.  Kind of striking visuals, though, even for a game of its age.  I also played demos for Shank, Risk Factions, and a few other XBLA/PSN games that I intend on picking up when they come on sale. 
-Watched and enjoyed the first two seasons of Chuck, though its one-off format for nearly every episode grates on me a little.  Things definitely picked up in the latter half of the second season, and I'm excited to watch the third season soon-ish.  Netflix has been spitting random movies from my list at me here lately, mostly due to the large number of short and long waiting lists on my titles.  Nothing really great to mention, except that I've still got an inexplicable fondness for Rules of Engagement.  Screw you, it's funny and sweet.  That's good enough for me. 
-Diana Francis's newest novel is all sorts of great.  It's the latest in her Crosspointe series, which is my favorite of the three very different worlds she's created (Path of... series, Bitter Night, and Crosspointe series).  The plot is the strongest yet, though her main female characters are starting to feel very much alike.  If she can knock a character out of the park with her next novel, she'll have become one of the best modern-day fantasy writers out there. 
That's it for now.  I might edit this later with a playlist and some updates from other writers you should be reading here on Giant Bomb, but I'm exhausted and there's a heap of cheeseburger pie calling my name.  Thanks again, folks - you are all true duders!


This has no relevance to gaming whatsoever, but...

...I was flipping through the Netflix streaming movies on my 360 tonight, looking for something sort of dumb and entertaining.  I found a movie called Supernova.  It looked eerily familiar, and for some reason, it stuck out like a sore thumb.  I read the synopsis and thought, "Oh, OK, I probably have deja vu confused with Event Horizon."  No big deal.  So I started it up. 
Flash back ten years or so ago to a bad night's drinking in my freshman or sophomore year of college.  Let me set the mood for you.  I drank like a fish (do fish even drink?) back then, mostly because my college town never bothered carding and because I looked about 25 when I was eighteen anyways.  Being able to grow a beard at 12 does have its advantages, kids - learn to groom a beard the right way, and no one will ever look at you twice at the local Hustler's.  Anyways, on this particular night, I must have been fucked up beyond all recognition, because I didn't remember setting foot into any sort of theater to watch Supernova until right fuckin' now.  You get that?  Ten years of an event totally blacked out from my memory.  But now I distinctly remember going into the "B" side of the theater, hitting it up because it was a cheap month-old release, and slinging a bottle of whatever the fuck I was drinking under my enormous leather jacket.   Good times, I guess.  I'd later go on in future years to pass out during a matinee of Shrek 2 (though I'm pretty sure that was the movie's fault and not the booze), but at least I remember that shit.  Well, sort of.  I remember waking up and being poked with a mop by a theater guy (waiter?  Janitor?  What the hell do you call those guys in the monkey suits?) checking to see if I was alive or not. 
What really has me thinking is... how many other times did I do this?  How much shit have I forgot simply because of booze, my shitty memory, or just time? 
Oh, and the movie?  Yeah, it's an arthouse wannabe version of Event Horizon.  It's not terrible, but not great.  Cast is surprisingly good, though.  David Spader really should have been a bigger name in movies.


Taking PC screenshots?

Hey folks,  
I know this is a bit of a stupid question, especially for a guy who's been PC gaming for over 20 years, but I was wondering if anyone could walk me through the basics of taking PC screenshots and saving them to my computer for possible uploading to Giant Bomb?  I've got a huge back catalogue of PC games, and I feel like I could contribute quite a bit, but I just don't get the basics.  If anyone has any tips, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Sparky's dirty briefs and shorts...

...briefs and shorts about games and movies, that is.  Ohhhh, I've got jokes.  
-I played through a bit of Heroes of Might and Magic V this last week.  Still not a good game, despite my love for the series.  There's a sudden jump in difficulty towards the end of the Queen's missions that still has me shaking my head, as everything up until that mission feels right.  But the storyline is as bland as any fantasy game or novel I've ever read, the "reveals" are foreshadowed a mile away, and there's just a peculiar lack of care to the game, as though it were the PC's version of a paint-by-numbers project.   Uninstalled it, and am moving on to Might and Magic VI-VIII, which should hopefully get full reviews, write-ups, and the whole Sparky treatment soon. 
-Ended up keeping Red Dead a little longer, thanks to my brother, who is far more patient with people returning stuff than I am.  I feel like I've played through the bulk of what I want out of the game, and beyond maybe nabbing a couple of more achievements, I think I'm done with it for a good long while. 
-Only three more achievements in Forza 3 until I get my first S-rank.  Exciting stuff.  I nabbed the elusive "Connoisseur" achievement after finally earning enough money to purchase a car from every manufacturer - and mind you, that's after all the DLC car packs came out.  I should hit level 50 soon, leaving only the "get all gold" and drift achievements to nab.  Still practicing my drifting occasionally, but I've been mostly concentrating on knocking out gold medals and getting to level 50.  Favorite cars in that game to date, either to drive or to look at, are: Saleen truck, 370Z, Morgan, and just about anything Ferrari or Lamborghini.  Very stoked to see how Gran Turismo 5 turns out, though I'm still waiting to hear if it has hirable drivers. 
-Games I'm looking forward to the most in the next couple of months?  Fallout New Vegas and Fable 3.  There are a TON of great looking games coming out, which makes me sorta glad I can't afford to spend any more money on games at the moment.  Fallout 3 and Fable 2 were two of my favorite games of the last decade, and both would be in serious contendership f or favorite game of all time, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with their new releases. 
-Getting into Fringe.  It's a hard show to like at first, but once you get beyond the "case of the week" format, there's a lot to enjoy.  The overarching storylines are far more interesting to me than Lost's, although the characters aren't as compelling.  They're still fantastic and they definitely get a lot more interesting towards the latter half of the first season, so I'm really psyched to check out the second season when it hits DVD. 
-I Sell the Dead is a superb movie.  Starring Dominic Monaghan (of Lost and Lord of the Rings), it's a buddy monster movie that's light on the horror.  Good stuff, and excellent writing. 

Music I'm Gaming To 

1.  Korn - Word Up 
2.  Bubba Sparxxx - Deliverance 
3.  Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man 
4.  Radiohead - Reckoner 
5.  Jay Z/Linkin Park - Numb/Encore 
6.  Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies 
7.  Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Kiss the Sky 
8.  Tenacious D - Double Team 
9.  Mannie Fresh - Real Big 
10.  Flipsyde - Someday 
What You Should Be Reading Instead of This
Sweep's recent blog about the 10 GB features you never knew about is all sorts of awesome. 
TDS418 is running a hell of an interesting blog series on revisiting the early parts of the Xbox 360 catalogue.  Give it a read.


Music I'm Gaming To #1

The title should say it all.  Or most of it.  OK, I'll settle for some of it.  This is going to be a semi-regular (insofar as "regular" meaning whenever I damn well feel like writing) thingamajig.  Feel free to join in, create your own, do whatever.  I'm going to limit myself to listing ten songs of the moment, so here you go, in no particular order:  
1) Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim 
This song makes every game better.  I remember playing Driver 2, and playing this game as I purposefully hit jumps, big ass ramps, and other cars.  Today, it's my go-to song for all things cars, guns, and sports.  Really, it is the sort of song that goes with every genre of game. 
2) I Luv It - Eastsidaz 
Yup.  I'm white and I listen to rap.  Piss off, this song was great.  I think I first used it on a playlist in the days of Tony Hawk 3.  It's still a good song today, especially Snoop Dogg's bits. 
3) Show Me How to Live - Audioslave 
One of my favorite music videos makes the transition to being a badass gaming song pretty smoothly.  This is always a good choice for Halo 3, or just about anything with guns and general badassery. 
4) Ghetto Bird - Ice Cube 
Look, if you play Grand Theft Auto or Saint's Row without Ghetto Bird on a playlist, you're straight-up missing out on half the experience. 
5) Blood on the Dance Floor - Michael Jackson 
I'm an unabashed old school Michael Jackson fan.  Always have been, always will be.  This is a fantastic song that works very well in a lot of games, but I especially love it for racing and sports games.   
6) Hold On!  I'm Coming! - Sam and Dave 
Classic song.  Works fantastic for any team based game, but honestly, I could play this in just about any aspect of my life, and it would make it awesome. 
7) The Spicy McHaggis Jig - Dropkick Murphys 
Dropkick's one of those bands that has a ton of entries in my gaming playlist, so expect to see it a lot in future blogs.  They're a great drinking, fighting, and gaming band, and you really can't go wrong with any of their songs.  This just happened to be the one that came up when I was typing this. 
8) Requiem for a Tower - Clint Mansell and London Music Works  
Mixed among my songs are a ton of movie and movie-related songs.  This was a remix of Clint Mansell's excellent song from Requiem for a Dream, done up for The Two Towers.  Great for RPG's in particular. 
9) Never Gonna Stop - Rob Zombie 
My favorite song for wrestling games comes from Mr. Zombie, who will also make multiple entries in future blogs. 
10) Go Getter Greg - Ludo 
Not a song particular to any type of game, but just a fun song to have as background noise.  Ludo's a superb band - if you haven't heard of them, give them a go.


Finding lost treasure!

Tonight, I felt a little like Tom Green's character in Freddy Got Fingered.  No, I didn't do the Backwards Man or shtup Drew Barrymore, but I did find some treasure.  Quite a bit, actually.  As I've mentioned on here once or twice, one of the ways I keep myself entertained while living at the folks' house until I find a job is to dig through our old boxes and storage in a vain effort to introduce some sort of order to the whole shebang.  Laughably lofty intentions besides, I have found some cool stuff, including a Nintendo 64, some NES cartridges (no, sadly, nothing worth more than a couple of bucks), and tonight, I found part of my old trove of PC games. 
One of the things I'm kicking myself for (and pay attention here, kiddies) is the fact that in my youth, teenage, and college years, I never ever kept PC games in their proper boxes or plastic cases.  Yeah, I know - really goddamn stupid.  Over the years, I've thrown out 99% of their actual boxes, and misplaced probably 90% of my PC games.  And let me tell you - I have a shit ton of PC games dating back to the mid-eighties.  I didn't find all that I wanted (where the holy fuck are my LucasArts and Sierra games?), but I did find the following: 
Lara Bow: Dagger of Amon Ra - Definitely not the greatest adventure game ever made, but there's a certain charm to it.  My copy seemed irrevocably broken when I first played it (there's a scene in a museum where I absolutely could not advance), so I think I might rip through it one afternoon to see if anything has changed. 
Starcraft - Perhaps the most exciting find in terms of GB's recent Starcraft 2 madness.  I also found the Brood War expansion, which I forgot I even owned. 
Might and Magic VI - IX - Definitely my favorite find of the night.  Holy shit, I played the hell out of these games.  I'm sure I logged in over 200 hours on VI and VII alone, and I fully intend on playing the hell out of them before Heroes of Might and Magic VI is released. 
Leisure Suit Larry VI - Cautiously optimistic about this find.  Some little niggling feeling in the back of my mind tells me that there are two disks for this, when I only found one.  Still, the last really hilarious Larry game (liked VII, but thought it lost its way at that point). 
So what am I missing, you ask?  Grim Fandango.  Full Throttle.  Monkey Island 1, 2, and 4.  The Quest for Glory collection (if I find that game, expect me to shit rainbows on blogs here - no, really, I will probably Photoshop my poo to look like a rainbow, and I don't even think I've run Photoshop in my life).  Leisure Suit Larry Collection.  Quest for Glory V.  Wing Commander series.  I know I've got 'em in a leather bound CD case somewhere around here, but the question, obviously, is where?