Happy 30th, Tetris

Today marked 30 years since the original release of Alexey Pajitnov’s amazing puzzle game, Tetris. To celebrate, I quit Dr. Mario Express on my DSi for the first time in months and played some good old Tetris DS.

Most of my Tetris playing over the years has been on Nintendo handhelds – Tetris, Tetris DX, and Tetris DS. It’s funny, but each time a new one was released, I was very resistant. I remember hating the look of Tetris DX at first, but I got over it. I still think that the lack of a similar puzzle game with the same longevity still hurts iOS. Nothing else really comes close.

I also have a ton of great memories playing TetriNET, an unofficial, online Tetris game. Besides playing like normal Tetris, it also had modes with powerups. If you cleared a line with an item in it, it went into your inventory, and you could press a number key to use the item on that player. For example, you could add a line, remove a line, jumble the blocks, switch fields, etc. It was a ton of fun, although maybe I shouldn’t talk too much about a game that’s infringing on the real Tetris.

The original designer, Alexy Pajitnov, designed other games as well. Most notably, he designed Hexic and Hexic HD, which was pre-loaded on all Xbox 360 consoles. I had no idea that Hexic HD was his game, but I played it a ton when the 360 was new.

Countless nights I’ve stared at the ceiling in bed, seeing falling tetronimos under the Tetris effect after playing a lot of Tetris. It’s definitely an amazing game created by a talented designer. Thanks for all the fun, Pajitnov.

Another month, more games crossed off my list

My backlog is now down to 314 unfinished games and 269 unplayed games, down from 323 unfinished games and 277 unplayed games from my last post on April 25. Slow and steady wins the race.

SquidsOdyssey_WiiU_turtle

SQUIDS Odyssey

I was given a download code for this game to review for Game Boyz. You can read the review, if you’d like. It’s a port of the first two games in the series with additional content. Fun game. This increased my backlog count by one, and I haven’t crossed it off yet because I’m not quite done with it.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and Cataclysm

As usual, I won’t spend too much time talking about WoW. I’ve been playing three characters. First, I’m still doing some LFR for transmog on my main, Devee, the troll priest. I’ve also been playing Voidgazer, my undead warlock. Voidgazer’s in his 50s now. Lastly, I made a pandaren monk named Sleepypaw that recently joined the Alliance. I have some friends that play together every Friday night Alliance-side, so I thought I’d try to catch them. Sleepypaw is 12 or so, and my friends are approaching level 30.

phoenix wright justice for all

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All

I’m currently in the third case. I don’t spend a lot of time in this because I only play while I’m walking at lunch at work. It’s fun though!

Dr. Mario Express

I just can’t stop playing this. My high score is currently 55,200.

Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic 2

This game was part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, and it was about time I finished it. I’ll admit, I didn’t go for the Chaos Emeralds. There was some pressure to reload save states when I failed the special stages, but at this point, I need to decide whether something is worth my time and provides enjoyment. I hated those special stages, so too bad. The game was fairly fun, but I wish the stages were updated more for Knuckles. There were many places in which I climbed and then suddenly hit an invisible wall. Also, I remember there being better enemy and pit placement. If I’m moving fast, as expected of you in a Sonic game, and in a ball, I shouldn’t roll right into a spiky enemy. The game should reward you for going fast. Even so, I like Sonic 2.

Sonic Drift, Sonic Labyrinth, Sonic Blast,The OozeFlicky, and Dynamite Headdy

Here’s a nice set of games in Sonic Mega Collection Plus or Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection that were just bad. I was glad to cross them off my list. I jotted some notes down in my backlog after I tried them; I’ll reproduce them here.

Sonic Drift: “Wow, this is bad. I’m glad that they improved the formula by the time Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing was released.” It’s a racing game but just barely.

Sonic Labyrinth: “I finished one level. It’s nothing like a Sonic game and quite boring.” It’s like an even worse version of Sonic 3D Blast.

Sonic Blast: “Played one zone. It’s so slow and bad.” Surprisingly, this isn’t like Sonic 3D Blast. It’s just a really slow, bad Sonic game.

The Ooze: “What? No. Just no.” I don’t know how to explain this one. You’re a puddle of ooze, and you ooze around in a boring fashion.

Flicky: “More fun than I expected, but I’m not going to keep playing it.” You play as a flicky bird, and jump between platforms gathering up your little chicks.

Dynamite Headdy: “Cute style but weird game. I don’t want to keep playing.” You fling your head around or use it as a bomb. Reminds me a little of Vectorman.

Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2

I own Streets of Rage in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and thought it was about time to give it a try. It seemed boring as beat ’em ups go. I decided to stick with it until I either beat it or got game over. I was on the last round with I reached that game over screen. I’m crossing you off the list, Streets of Rage.

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection contained Streets of Rage 2 as well (and I also own it on iOS). I went it with the same mindset as the first game and actually liked it a bit more. This I managed to beat.

Ecco: The Tides of Time

Here’s another Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection game. I think the Ecco series contains some really interesting and eerie games. I’m very glad to have experienced them, but I don’t think experiencing more of this game is worth the time put into it. Unfortunately, I’m crossing it off my list.

Shining Force

Okay, one last Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection to mention. It’s interesting to me how old RPGs spend such little time building the story at the beginning. It’s seems less realistic to have you mission and be on your way within two minutes, but at the same time, it’s refreshing to jump into the game. I was also expecting a menu-driven RPG and not a map with a grid. I didn’t realize it was a tactical/strategy RPG. I played it a little, entering a few battles, but I don’t think I’ll play it more.

Rock N’ Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings

I didn’t play either of these, but I added them to my backlog because Blizzard added them to everyone’s Battle.net accounts. Unfortunately, that causes my backlog account to increase by two.

February gaming recap

I couldn’t help myself. I bought games in February. I have so many games to play that I know I shouldn’t, but then I always do anyways. My current backlog is at 338 unbeat games, 284 of which are unplayed.

World of Warcraft klaxxi

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

I don’t like to talk about WoW too much here since I have a separate blog for it, but we did manage to defeat the Paragons of the Klaxxi last month, putting us at the final boss of the expansion.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

In Cataclysm content, I got through Silverpine Forest on my warlock.

Twitch Plays Pokemon

Twitch Plays Pokemon

I’m not sure if you count this as playing, but Twitch Plays Pokemon did take up a decent portion of my gaming time in February! If you’re unfamiliar, you really missed out. Basically, it’s Pokemon Red, but the emulator’s inputs were tied to chat inputs over Twitch. Effectively, everyone was in control at the same time. In the screenshot, you’ll notice people saying “anarchy” and “democracy.” If enough people vote for democracy, it changed into a mode during which it only took input periodically based on what was the most common. It was used to get through puzzles, but usually the game was in anarchy mode. Anyways, it was incredibly fun to watch, and the lore and content that was created by fans along with the game are what really made it amazing.

poker night 2 portal

Poker Night 2

I continued playing Poker Night 2 last month, really getting into the swing of things. I unlocked everything and got every achievement save one – the achievement for having a net $1,000,000. I’m not sure if I’m going to get that or not. I marked this game as beat.

Castle Doombad

I purchased this Adult Swim iPhone game at my friend Joe’s suggestion and have been enjoying it. It’s a defense title in which you set traps to stop heroes from rescuing the princess in your tower. It has three level packs, and I’m in the last one.

Super Monsters Ate My Condo

Here’s another Adult Swim iOS game that I purchased in February. I loved MAMC, and the Super version is similar. Instead of going as long as you can, there’s a time limit. The other big change is that there are power-ups you purchase for coins, and you can buy coins as IAPs. Unfortunately, I don’t like it as much. I feel like I’m not going to get a highscore without the good power-ups, but if I don’t have the coins, I have to grind.

QuizUp

This one’s free, so while it’s a new game I started playing, at least I didn’t have to spend money on it. It’s just doing trivia against random people or your friends in a variety of categories. The game tracks your win rate versus each person, and you can level up by playing. It’s pretty great, especially because there’s a huge amount of categories. I marked this game as beat.

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

I have no idea why I’m still playing this. Someone stop me.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

I continued playing this just a tad. I got stuck on a puzzle, so I had to skip it. I feel terrible.

Wii Fit

Wii Fit saw a little bit of use but not as much as January.

Dr. Mario Express

This is still a fantastic game, and it’s a great way to fill a little bit of time.

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright – Justice For All

I’m still playing this one too in my free time. I’m in the second case.

AVSEQ

AVSEQ

AVSEQ is an interesting game that I decided to try from my backlog. It combines music with gameplay, but the game itself basically consists of chaining together atoms of a particular color. Connect all the red, detonate them, then connect all the blue, etc. It looked fun, and I enjoyed trying it, but after playing it the one time, I’m done.

Cause of Death Volume 2 – The Connoisseur

I was near the end of the volume as February started and quickly beat it. Good stuff! I’ll probably move on to volume 3 in the future when I have less things on my plate.

World of Tanks

Here’s another game that I played a little but not much. I’d like to play more. It’s fun with my friends, but they play on Friday nights, and I’d rather go out if I can.

pid

pid is some sort of platformer that looks cute on Steam. I picked it up because it was, for some reason, free, but I haven’t played it.

Hawken

I found this in my Steam library. What is it? No idea. I have no memory of picking it up, and it wasn’t in my backlog.

New high score in Dr. Mario Express

Dr. Mario Express

It’s been a while since I’ve played Dr. Mario Express. It’s a DSiWare game, and I used to play it all the time. I recently checked my DSi for something and was surprised to find that there was battery charge in it still. I decided to play some Dr. Mario! On the second day of playing it again, I beat my previous high score! I was pretty surprised but definitely thrilled. And then I tried again and sucked the next round. Oh well, that’s how these things go!

bob’s game from bob’s game for OUYA Kickstarter

After six months without news of bob’s game, there’s been a new development. I’m sorry for being slow to post about it. I received an e-mail from gbev, former bob’s game forum moderator, on November 25 that discussed Robert Pelloni’s new Kickstarter. Thank you to Nathan M. (@shicky256) for commenting on The strange tale of “bob’s game” to let me know about the Kickstarter (and to pr0ton for replying as well)!

Edit: The Kickstarter was not successful.

Pelloni has started a Kickstarter for the bob’s game from within the bob’s game Java game. I know, I know. The tale of bob’s game is always confusing. Back in what I called Act VIII in my “strange tale” post, Pelloni created a web-based, Java version of the game. The Java game lost some of the child-like wonder I felt from the original .nds demo, but like that first demo, it also contained a minigame. This was the “bob’s game” within bob’s game. It was a puzzle game that involved falling blocks, but the rules of the game shifted – think Tetris, Dr. Mario, columns, but with a ruleset that shifts between them as the levels progress. In the comment I linked above, Nathan M. says that Pelloni “…wants it to be the MUGEN for puzzle games…” I think that’s a good assessment. The game was interesting, although I actually liked Tetrid from the .nds demo more.

The Kickstarter is for that rule-shifting puzzle game. Pelloni hopes to raise $6,667 so he can release that puzzle game for OUYA and PC. To be clear, this is not for the bob’s game RPG; it’s only for the puzzle game. Pelloni keeps it simple with only two pledge levels. For $4, you get the GAME PACK that comes with a digital download of the full game. For $25, you get the ENTHUSIAST PACK that comes with a full copy of the game and access to beta builds and the developer forum. As of this moment, there are 11 backers for the GAME PACK and 10 backers, including me, for the ENTHUSIAST PACK. There are six days left, and I don’t think he’s going to make it.

You may remember that the online demo asked for purchases of BobsPasses. All BobsPass purchases have been refunded, and Pelloni claims in the Kickstarter comments that those accounts that purchased it have been marked as permanently premium. There was no reason given as to the refunding of the BobsPasses. Perhaps he didn’t raise enough and knew that keeping a handful pledges without enough to make a difference would just make angry customers.

When I first saw the BobsPass sales pitch, I was skeptical of Pelloni’s true goal. Did he really want to raise money with them, or was he commenting on crowd-sourcing? Did he think gamers were naive for giving money to a developer without any guarantee of a game? I have no idea. I didn’t pay for a BobsPass, but I did contribute to the Kickstarter. What’s coming next for bob’s game is a mystery, but I’d still love to play a full RPG that felt like that original .nds demo!