It’s been 37 years now since Pong became the first commercially successful videogame. 37 years isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things, so with gaming still so young it’s not surprising that only recently there has been a popular interest in its history. Although the medium owes its existence to computer technology, games are unlike most computer software in the sense that the latest versions aren’t always the “best.” Every game offers its own unique experience.

Unfortunately most games don’t manage to transcend time completely, and large aspects of them are trapped as artifacts of their era. Essentially no one today could enjoy Pong the way its first audience did in 1972. This is why remakes are not just popular, but essential for most games. And sometimes someone will make a completely new game that borrows the best qualities from games of the past, and integrates them with the best qualities of today. →  Read the rest

Review – World of Goo

What a strange and intriguing little beast this is. I’m hesitant to call it a game. It most certainly is a game in the sense that it places a series of challenges before you, with rewards meted out along the way, and then a credit sequence plays. But in some ways that are intangible, and other that are, it doesn’t quite feel like a game. Before I go off on some bizarre experiential recollection of my time spent with it, I will give you a more straightforward recounting of what I felt about the game. I believe in times past they were called “reviews”.

There is a lot to like about World of Goo.

I’m going to get the look and feel out of the way first, because it’s pretty much perfect. →  Read the rest

Strongbad Flash game better than Strongbad console game

I just started and finished the Dangeresque Strongbad game on the Homestar Runner site and it is a pretty cool little game. I’d go as far as to say I preferred it to my play through of the first episode of the WiiWare Strongbad game, Homestar Ruiner.

The downloadable title has a ton of voice acting, pretty graphics, a handful of locations and is playable from my couch. The Flash game has only a voice acted intro, 2d sprite graphics, a single room to explore and requires me to be in a handstand to play (my computer is in a very inconvenient location).

Yet it is the intimacy of the Flash game that makes it so enjoyable. It’s only a few minutes long but the whole time you’ll be solving small little riddles. →  Read the rest

Big Tuesday Blog Post

Initially this post was going to be about one topic, but several other things have come up that warrant discussion. Let us begin!

– Yahoo! Music is closing its doors. You probably never used Yahoo music, but it was big enough to warrant some sponsorships with Pepsi in the past, and worked as both an iTunes style store and a Rhapsody style subscription service. Strangely enough, the remains of the service will be merged with Rhapsody.

Meanwhile the DRM keys used to play music purchased from Yahoo will be going away, forcing Yahoo to give refunds – though the details are flaky as hell for subscribers.

The lesson here? These same dangers are a threat to gaming. Digital downloads are getting more and more popular, and for good reason. They are convenient, more reliable (no moving parts), and can potentially be cheaper. →  Read the rest

Review – LostWinds

As I searched for the final area of LostWinds my entire family died in a flaming plane crash. I mean the game crashed as I was going from one area to another. The controller stopped responding and I was once again forced into physical activity by the Wii. I made my way to the system and shut it off, annoyed that I had stumbled upon one of the LostWinds glitches I’d read about but still psyched because I knew I’d finish the game in the next half hour. So I rebooted the console and loaded up the game again. All the save files were gone. Crashing and being turned off during the hang up removed all the progress I had made. It’s safe to assume I am reviewing a game I did not finish. →  Read the rest