Friday, January 31, 2014

A Bit of Speed: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog. I mean, who doesn't or didn't love Sonic the Hedgehog? While I don't think that I was quite old enough to play Sonic when it first first came out, I definitely did when I was a bit older. I remember myself, and two boys who lived near my dad's house each gave each other nicknames corresponding to the different Sonic characters—I was Tails. Either way, Sonic was a game that defined our generation, to my understanding, and I felt that it deserved to be mentioned here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Bit of Fleen: Logical Journey of the Zoombinis

When I look back on my favorite games as a child, I start to see a trend—the games that I loved required puzzles, intelligence, and...gasp...learning. Chrono Trigger, Secret of Monkey Island, The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain and, yes, Zoombinis, were all logic games deeply immersed in puzzle solving and riddling. This seems, to me, a pretty far cry from games that we have nowadays, but I guess that is the sign of things evolving and me becoming older. Anyway, if you are one of the few individuals of my generation that has not played Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, here's a breakdown of what you missed.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Bit of Bullshit: Solar Jetman

Solar Jetman is both one of the simplest and most difficult games of all time. I felt like it needed to be included here because, obviously, it is an important game in the development of video games, but this post will be a short one because, well, it's just too dang simple to truly devote any kind of real thought to.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Bit of Love: Appreciating my online (and now offline) friends

Every once in a while I, like many similar to me (I assume), go through a period of wondering whether there are things in my life that I could be doing better. Maybe I could go out more, or try more actively to make friends, maybe I should try cooking more at home and eating less Dominos, or being a better lover. This happens usually about once a month and tosses me into a guilty spiral of feeling like I am not a real adult, or am not living as much of a life as people that I know who are in the Peace Corps or doing capitalized Big Things. But, inevitably, I come out of it with the help of some of my friends — my internet friends, that is — and realize that life is great whether it is filled with capitalized or lowercased things.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Bit of RO: Ragnarok Online

I started playing Ragnarok in 2006 when my boyfriend at the time developed an addiction to it while I'd finished up my senior year at boarding school. I had played other MMORPGs in the past, like World of Warcraft, but hadn't really delved deep into things like raiding, joining guilds, and other "extra" features beyond leveling and questing. Ragnarok was what did it. And, while this game is still being played and may be quite popular, it is old school to me.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Bit of Halfshell: Turtles In Time

TMNT: Turtles in Time (along with Chrono Trigger) holds the prestigious title of One Of My Favorite Games. Even now I can remember sitting in my grandmother's house, passing the crappy SNES control back and forth between my cousin and I, and sometimes to my onlooking uncle when there was a level we couldn't beat. Frequently, I'll have flashbacks to scenes from these games and almost forget where they come from—for example, for some inexplicable reason I always associated the band Butthole Surfers with the second level of the game where the dudes are surfing along in the sewers. Strange? Yes, I think so. While I am aware that the SNES version of this game was a port, it was the version that I played first, and will be the version that I focus on here. They are basically exactly the same (kind of), but if that's a problem for you because you are some kind of arcade elitist, you have been forewarned.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Bit of Something Different: Depression Quest

For those of you that actually know me, you also know that I have struggled with depression both seasonally and for no apparent reason. While I generally do not like talking about my emotional struggles, it is refreshing to find someone or something that seems to "get it."When I first heard about Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Shankler's game, I was both intrigued and concerned. A literary game about depression? I was so sure that myself, or anyone like me would want to role play something that they have been afflicted with the whole of their adult life for all the wrong reasons. Luckily I decided to give it a try anyway—turns out that while it isn't something that I would play repeatedly, Depression Quest is an innovatively designed game that has more to it than would originally meet the eye.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Bit of Intelligence: Intelligent Qube/Kurushi

While the gameplay for Intelligent Qube is a basic principle at best, this game for the original Playstation had me obsessed when it was first released in 1997.  This probably is because of the beginning onset of a completionist gamer mentality, but each time the blocks crushed me or I continued to persevere through each of the game's increasingly difficult levels.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Bit of Lead Pipe: Streets of Rage

Ah, Streets of Rage. From the sassy, prostitute-esque lady cops to the rugged names of the three main characters, this game wins on so many fronts for me. Originally released as a side-scroller for Sega Genesis, this game has since been duplicated on any number of platforms, from virtually online, to iOS, to Steam—it is still well-loved today. With good reason, this game deserves to be noted as one of the most awesome games ever released.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Bit of Possession: Shining Force II

I thought that, given that the last few posts have been about platformers, that it was time to return our gaze to my most loved game genre: RPG. Shining Force II was such an RPG and, while the plot now seems pretty basic, was very advanced for its time. Because of its advanced nature and the fact that this game was a best seller, I thought it deserved mention here.

A Bit of Amphibians: Battletoads

Battletoads, along with being one of the most popular NES and NES ports of all time, won numerous awards. In fact, it won first place in the categories of: Graphics and Sound (NES), Theme and Fun (NES), Best Play Control (NES) and Best Multi-Player or Simultaneous (NES) and was nominated for 9 awards in total at the 1992 Nintendo Power Awards. Despite this, it is most commonly associated with its difficulty, something that sometimes even the most advanced players were not able to overcome. All that being said, I loved the game and I know that many of the people that have played the various versions of the game or watched the cartoon feel the same way.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Bit of Training: HabitRPG

Every once in a while, as you all know, I will write about a modern game that I think espouses the mentalities of old school gaming. HabitRPG is one of those games. This web-based application is based on the principles of an RPG—complete tasks, upgrade your gear, get pets, join parties, fight bosses—but the tasks are all based on your own personal betterment and goals. You are able to set up "dailies," "habits," and "To Do"s that, when completed, all contribute to your experience points and help you to level up.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Bit of Bosses: Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 is widely known as one of the best games in the series, and to some even as one of the best games of all time. Not only did it evolve the earlier Mega Man game into something that could be more easily playable, but its graphics, sound, and plot are also known as some of the more enjoyable ones in the series.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Bit of Brainpower: Dynamite Headdy

Originally released for Sega Genesis and designed by Treasure, Dynamite Headdy is a creative platformer which requires you to use your head. Literally. While there were many platformers around this time, it being the main style of game used in 8- and 16-bit games, this one took the typical tropes and skewed them, making for an incredibly unique experience.