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THE VT » 2008 » February

Archive for February, 2008

Webcomics: the Ignored Art

Friday, February 29th, 2008 || Slash

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We as a community know our fair share of webcomics. We also hate more than our fair share of them, but that’s not really the point here. The point is that too many of these bits of creative genius go under the radar, and the writers and/or artists eventually give up on them, depriving what audience there was of a regular bit of thrill when they click the bookmark to find a new comic awaiting them. What you’re going to be reading is a list of comics that I think you may not have heard of, and reasons why you should have heard of them, and should now dedicate your lives to them like they are that lumpy bit of flesh that is you undeveloped twin brother…or more than that, because I think most people usually chop that thing off.

ANYHOO.
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Bubbleman Review: Megaman Powered Up!

Thursday, February 28th, 2008 || Bubbleman

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While there’s no better authority than myself to review anything, I would say that it’s even more so with “Megaman Powered Up” for the PSP, remake of Megaman for the NES. And since I am obviously the best suited for this critique, it is not beyond my powers to sum up the game in one word:

“Murder.”

“Murder” coming from the general feeling it invokes when one plays through the game. It definitely captures the retro feel since it keeps intact what I like to call “Nintendo hard,” which is the schizophrenic difficulty that shifts from accomplishing a given goal to instant pitfall death in a mere missed platform jump. Yes, this game reduces us back into the controller-throwing spazzes we were back in the 80s, when we weren’t cushioned with save spots and good game design. I suppose Megaman P.U. reflects a shift in the gaming atmosphere, but that does little to quell my rage.

Ironically, the unforgiving difficulty is also what makes this game addicting. I found myself playing through Challenge Mode way longer than my patience would normally allow, simply because I wanted the satisfaction of getting through the spiky-fucking-pit area with one health bar while the area exploded with enemies. It helps there’s a variety of boss robots to control, each with their own unique powers and moves. And it is rather cool to play through the original game with any of them and get a new set of dialogue based on their extreme personalities. But myriad of robotic abilities does not make playing through Gutsman stage for the fifth time any less dreadful.

There are two new robotic additions to the original robot lineup: Timeman and Oilman. And instead of melding well with the theme of do-what-their-name-implies robots, they stick out like bolded text in a paragraph. This is mainly a visual issue; Oilman looks like the way African Americans were drawn in the fifties and Timeman sports a pair of tits on his head.

Speaking of weird looks, the overall giant-head artstyle is a big “what the hell?” But then again, once a player gets passed the initial visuals and concentrates on the game, all images become grouped together until the mind only sees it as a bunch of generalized symbols and colors being lead one side of the screen to the other. Really, we haven’t strayed far from eight color adventures of the Atari days when you look at it that way. But on the subject, you forget about the giant heads about ten minutes into the game. It’s only when the robots resemble extreme stereotypes, or naked chicks does it become distracting.

In the end, the reason to pick up this game (beyond me telling you) is the nostalgia. Megaman Powered Up offers classic Megaman gameplay that can’t be found in the blue bomber’s current Pokemon rip-off franchise. The developers were obvious fans of the old school version and they’ve added enough innovation to an old formula to create an incredible thing: a game that is both a new and classic experience.

Now go buy it so Capcom will be encouraged to make Megaman Power Up 2 so the glorious Bubbleman can return. Then I will have enough head to finally satisfy all your mothers.

Knytt Stories

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 || decoy

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Knytt Stories is the spiritual successor to the game Knytt, an atmospheric platformer with elements inspired by Shadow of the Colossus and Pikmin. If you haven’t played Knytt, I recommend you do so immediately.

There are several areas where Knytt stories improves upon in predecessor, including music and graphics, but the single function that stands out most is the built in editor. You see, Knytt Stories is not a single game, but a collection of stories revolving around the character Juni. Included with the game are the tools to make your very own story about her as well. While I do say story, story is not heavily emphasized in the game, but serves as a nice backdrop, and a simple motivation for progressing, although exploration alone is enough to keep some (myself included) satisfied.

Knytt Stories’ level editor gives people who have always wanted to make a game, but have never had the means or time to do so, to make a modification (very easily) for a very polished platformer. I have seen mods that introduce brand new functions into the game, and it is very impressive. Imagination, and a bit of artistic ability, is all you really need here.

Official Site: Knytt Stories
Direct Download: [link]

NO NEIGHBORHOOD IS ROUGH ENOUGH. THERE IS NO CLIP THAT’S FULL ENOUGH.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 || Cancer

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  • MONDAY-Mondays usually suck the worst, since that’s the day every women starts her period and a large swarm of bees attack an Orphanage. I forgot what happened here last monday, but I’m sure it wasn’t that epic to distract me from the fact the streets were filled with blood and some orphans were sad.

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Five Things That Have Been Pissing Me Off

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 || aliasam1337

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5) When People Ask You For Cigarettes

Everyone loves those goddamn cancer sticks. I’ve been smoking cigarettes since I was probably 13, and before I could buy packs I used to have to ask people to buy them for me. At that time I had no realization whatsoever that I was annoying the hell out everyone who happened to cross my path at 7/11 or Citgo whenever I was in need of some nicotine. I was also broke as a little kid and couldn’t afford packs anyways, so I would bum cigarettes off of everyone. Now much older, I buy a pack of Newports and go to class from 2pm to 8pm and the pack is devoured. Between every single goddamn poor college kid or all the little kids wandering the campus from the high school a block away, I go crazy. They literally ask me for a cigarette every time I pull one out, scavengers who scope out the entire campus for the first person they see reach into their pocket. My friends are even worse as I’ll be hanging out with a big group of my friends who all smoke and most of the time nobody will have a pack except for me. I’m cutting you grimeballs off, cigarettes are $7.15 in Queens, times are hard.

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