I took an unannounced week off. Actually my mind was otherwise occupied and I just totally forgot. That’s becoming a pattern as of late, and I’m going to try to do better. This week I have another mess of random crap, so let’s dive right in.
Two things that kept my attention last week were LittleBigPlanet 2, which I got on the 4th, and then Pokemon White which I got on the 9th. I haven’t played a whole lot of LBP2, really. I’ve gone through the creation tools tutorials and I searched out a few player-made tutorials on logic and sprites. I have an idea for a level that I want to create. Back in 2005, for a game programming course, I made a very basic but functional game. I’ve hardly touched it since that class, so it’s still in an early phase (everything works, but it only has two proof of concept levels). I’ve been trying to wrap my head around “porting” the game to LBP2, and I honestly have no idea how I’m going to handle the AI. It’s fairly simple in programming code, but I don’t know how I would do it using LBP2 logic gates and stuff.
Then there’s Pokemon White. I only have one gym badge so far. I’m working on trying to level up my Pokemon as well as expand my collection. I’ve never been one to “catch them all,” even though that’s the main goal of the games. I just try to find Pokemon I like and stick with them, occasionally swapping out with other Pokemon I like. But with the Gen 5 games, all my previous favorites are locked away until I get the National Pokedex, and there’s currently no way to get the previous generations’ legendaries. Sure, there might be regular Mystery Gift offerings, and there will be Action Replay codes aplenty, but I hate waiting and I’d rather not cheat if I don’t have to. (Cheat to get Pokemon, I mean. I’ll cheat to win and level up for sure.)
Speaking of having absolutely no real transition, this week’s Zero Punctuation nicely sums up what’s wrong with today’s first-person shooter games. Yes, it’s about Bulletstorm, but Yahtzee adds in some commentary on modern FPS games. Now, I don’t mind cover-based shooting. It adds a nice bit of strategy. But I do get tired of chest-high walls. It’s a little hard to accept that bombs and nature resulted in all these walls that are of the perfect height for hiding behind. Some games throw around sandbag walls, which kind of makes a little bit more sense, but they sometimes seem placed more in favor of the attackers than the defenders, which seems quite stupid on the enemy’s part. My biggest complaint is something I already voiced in a previous Rambling, which is that almost all shooters nowadays are either about space marines or wars on Earth (historical, future, alternate history, etc.). The creativity has run dry, it seems.
Jumping back to Pokemon for a second (at this point you might be able to tell that I’m writing this week’s entry one section at a time). Why is it when you lose a battle you “black out” and are carried to a Pokemon Center? Is your character’s health and/or consciousness directly tied to his or her Pokemon? Does your character faint from the sheer amount of suck you just displayed? Does the winning trainer or wild Pokemon just viciously assault your character and then drag your beaten and bloody carcass to the hospital? Now that I mention it, if you lose to a wild Pokemon and there are no trainers around, who finds you and brings you to the Pokemon Center? How long were you laying on the ground before someone else happened to pass by? And isn’t it dangerous for ten year old children to just be passing out in the middle of caves and forests? I can think of some really bad things that can happen to those kids. Especially if the wrong person finds their unconscious body before a good samaritan.
A couple days ago I hooked up my N64-to-USB controller adapter and gave Mupen64Plus a try. It’s supposed to auto-configure based on the adapter, which it did. I tried Super Mario 64, and I don’t know if it’s just been so long since I played Super Mario 64 (which I rarely ever did to begin with) or if the controller was somehow misconfigured, but I totally sucked. I more want to blame the controller, because I’m never at fault (/sarcasm). I think that watching all these speed-runs of Mario 64 has made me underestimate how hard the game can be at times. I couldn’t reliably pull off the cartwheel jump and wall-kicks eluded me. The paths I’ve seen people use in speed runs were impossible for me to take, as I simply lacked the skill. Those guys make it look so damn easy. It gives a person delusions of grandeur. Thoughts of “It doesn’t look that hard” and “I can do that.” Then you try it and you fail miserably.
Anyway…I set up an email address so readers can contact me. I suspect that this will create a gigantic flood of spam, so I created a separate account so I can keep my others squeaky clean. So you can email me at email@example.com and discuss this or any other article I’ve written on the site. Sorry if this week’s Rambling was more rambling than usual. I really have no topic and I’ve been procrastinating on doing those Classic Gaming Retrospectives. If you have any CGR ideas, shoot me an email with “CGR Ideas” as the subject. Keep in mind that I can’t do every idea, as I’ve not played every game, but it will help to know what people are interested in reading.