Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Going for a troll stroll

Well, I have midterms coming up so I'm on a temporary hiatus for the rest of this week and all of next week.

Wish me luck. See you in two weeks!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blood will tell: Why this game needs a modern day remake

Alright, I have a little bit of free time since my class was canceled so I'll be updating early. Hurray!

Alright, today I bring you one of my favorite underrated hack and slash games, blood will tell. Blood will tell follows Hyakkimaru, a chosen-child sent to one day end the war between the fiends and mankind in feudal japan. Of course, the demon god isn't just going to sit by and let this happen so he decides to counter-attack by corrupting Hyakkimaru's father who makes a deal with the demon god "in exchange to bring back peace to the land." The demons of course don't keep up their end of the bargain and instead opt to slay the corrupted father, afterwards celebrating by having each demon take one of the child's 48 bodyparts, leaving him with no hope of ever growing up to defeat them let alone live a normal life. The hero is off to a great start huh? Fortunately for him, the black market hadn't been established yet in feudal japan.

Seriously, chances are they're being used to create a dancing frankenstein for halloween in some third world country by now.

After the horrible tragedy of losing his limbs, Hyakkimaru is found and raised by a physician, Jyukai, who built his prosthetic body parts. At the age of 18, Hyakkimaru hears a voice from the heavens, who tells him that the fiends created a human with the stolen body parts, and that Hyakkimaru could get back what was stolen from him if he killed the forty-eight fiends or their human creation. A pretty bad ass setup for a revenge tale if you ask me. But on to the things that make this game even more interesting.

Lets start with Hyakkimaru's abilities. Jyukai wasn't going to be so foolish as to send you off on your own to slay impossibly powerful creatures without any form of protection except wooden prosthetic limbs so he decided to build detachable parts into you, mainly the cannon he implanted into your leg and your fathers swords he replaced your arms with. He also lends you a samurai sword, just in case you don't feel like wasting your time transforming like voltron just to deal with a single zombie samurai. Here's a video to show you exactly what I mean in case you can't believe how awesome that is. If you decide to watch past the 4 minute mark providing your brain isn't plastered all over the wall from how amazing this game is, you'll also get a little bit of the story I explained above.

This isn't even the best part either. As you gain back your body parts you also get new abilities, but not in the way you'd assume. Let me give you an example. Say you manage to slay a demon that holds your eye as it's body part, well, once you gain it back you get the ability to see the world in color instead of through your "minds eye". Take a look.

That might not seem like much but I'm trying not to spoil the game here! You'll just have to trust me that it gets better as you go. That cutscene looked pretty good for a ps2 game huh? Now imagine that on PC or one of the modern platforms remade.

Looks like my time is up! gotta head to my next class but feel free to tell me what you think about this game. Do you have a favourite underrated game you'd like to see remade with modern technology? (the entire N64 era is a good start for me. Jet force gemini!) Drop a comment and tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An interesting Excerpt

Even if you're not the religious type, it's still a good read and will probably blow your mind Anyway:

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. You wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

The End

If you're waiting for more game based articles I'll be writing another one next week. The game I choose is gonna be a surprise though. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Nom nom heart attack

Just dropping in with a video this morning.I can't believe these guys aren't dead yet! If you like food, booze or ridiculous things give it a watch and leave a comment. I'm gonna go make some pancakes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Texhnolyze witcher adventure: an introduction.

My plans for this blog is that it will involve an insight into my experiences with many games and genres, both underrated gems and known titles as I crawl through them in a hope to spark discussion or input among the community that ends up following this blog. Depending on how successful/interested people become, I might put up a vote for readers to decide what game I take on next. In the meantime I'll start off with the current title that has caught my interest, the Witcher.

I was introduced to this brilliant game by a friend of mine who had been addicted to it for quite some time, constantly telling me I needed to try it and that it was one of the best free-roam games I'd ever play. I finally decided to give in me late to the party as the sequel to this game is right around the corner, but I have to agree. For those of you that haven't had a chance to look into this game, here's a little history regarding it.

The game is centred around Geralt the "Witcher" -- a travelling monster hunter for hire, gifted with unnatural powers also known as "the White Wolf", who at the beginning of the game suffers from amnesia. He gradually learns that he was a very renowned witcher, and that he had friends and enemies almost everywhere, who remember him but whom he does not remember. Through the player's actions, he will redefine those relationships and choose his path in the political intrigue that surrounds him.

Sounds like your typical choose your own adventure RPG right? Well, almost. From the beginning it might seem that way, but as the game slowly gives you more independence you'll quickly change your mind and find that it's surprisingly well done for a game developed by an indie team entirely from scratch, including the combat and graphics engine, which I'll expand on in a minute.

Unlike other games like KOTOR or Jade Empire, the Witcher doesn't immediately show you the consequences of your choices or actions, nor does it clearly define what is right or wrong. Often you'll find yourself caught between choosing the lesser of two evils or more with many unique outcomes, some you might not expect. For instance, I was asked by the priest of a town to investigate the appearance of  a hellhound that had been terrorizing the village outskirts and stealing children at night. The priest mentions that he suspects the witch ( a woman you meet earlier whom you help with the exorcism of a small child) and you are given a choice. You can either confront the witch directly for a quick resolution, or you can opt for the longer path which involves actual investigation and a much more rewarding experience. I won't spoil that small in game story for you but it doesn't end exactly how you'd expect. But where was I? Oh, right. Combat.

As you can see, Combat in the Witcher consists of three styles, Strong, fast and group. Each style is effective in different situations and when factored in with different weapons and magic styles it makes for a pretty  complex combat system. Along with that you have alchemy which is where the real fun begins. Alchemy involves mixing yourself potions through ingredients you find from monsters you've slain or plants, oils, alcohol.. anything really and turning it into a combat enhancement. Some potions grant you super speed or armored skin for defense, Sight in darkness for increased accuracy or a blend of things. Some are even used in quests.

Well now that I've given you an introduction that hopefully got you thinking about/looking into the game, how about some discussion? Feel free to post comments on my writing style, content, what you'd like to see or just general input about the game itself. I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Also, what would you like to see included in the next big choose your own adventure RPG? I personally think Oblivion: Skyrim has everything I'd want covered but I wanna hear what you guys think.