Warp Drive

Showing posts with label Listings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Listings. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2019

Games of Yesteryear

Below is a handful of my favorite classic computer and video games that have been thoroughly discussed in other articles on The Grig Post. I have included snippets from those articles here. I decided to present them in chronological order because I just cannot seem to bring myself to number them.

Chrono Trigger

I first played Chrono Trigger in 2000; one year after the "Year of Lavos." Technically, I first played it on PC, since I used an emulator (Snes9x). Before I played Chrono Trigger, I was not much of an RPG fan. I had a few friends that were very much into RPGs, however. They strongly suggested that I play a few. I was blown away by the depth of Chrono Trigger.

Nintendo Rhapsody (World 6: It's About Time):
What is time? We like to think of it as a straight line from past to present to future, but our hearts and minds often dwell exclusively in the past or future. We rarely exist in the present moment. Time, it would seem, is merely an earthbound construct. It was the year 2000 AD in actuality, but my mind was fixated ever in the past. 1995 AD to be more precise. I was trying to hunt down a copy of Chrono Trigger for the Super Nintendo. I was very unlikely to still find the game in any store, and virtual console services would not exist for another six years. Thus, I settled on an emulator for Windows 98. I downloaded Snes9x alongside a ROM of Chrono Trigger. I would eventually find and purchase the Sony PlayStation compilation with Final Fantasy IV and the Nintendo DS version of Chrono Trigger, but for now, emulation appeared to be my only option. Chrono Trigger begins with a legitimate sense of joy and wonder. Crono is a carefree boy just out to have fun with his friends on the morning of the Millennial Fair. A stark contrast from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in which Link's adventure begins with a frantic quest in the midst of a storm. Both story techniques work effectively in their respective games, but Chrono Trigger does a far better job of building tension, and boy does it deliver on surprise twists. From the moment Crono's mother drew open his bedroom curtains, I knew that I was in for something special. Lucca, one of Crono's dearest friends, is a dedicated scientist and a rather talented inventor. Her latest invention, a teleportation device, was about to take the Millennial Fair by storm.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Computer Love

A short history of my former and current PC hardware. Most of the information below was retrieved from an entry I made on March 8th, 2009. I have revised its contents and attached a few photographs. Yes, the new title is a reference to a Kraftwerk song.

#1. IBM (486/66MHz)
August, 1994

My first PC was a beast. 66MHz of raw computing power, 8 megabytes of memory enhancing RAM, 16-bits of surreal audio processing (Sound Blaster 16) and 2 megabytes of mind blowing onboard video memory. It could run Doom II: Hell on Earth at maximum settings. This PC was originally packaged with MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1. Later, I upgraded to Windows 95. "Where do you want to go today?"

IBM in 1995

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Year of the Adventure Game

Something miraculous happened last year. Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions asked for $400,000 on crowd funding site, Kickstarter, to make an old school point and click adventure game, and the world gave him $3.3 million. In doing so, he and his company bypassed the usual publisher route needed to secure funding for a game, and maintained full creative control of their project. People just about everywhere took notice. Among them, a number of past and present game developers from such origins as Access Software, LucasArts, Revolution Software and Sierra On-Line. They all wanted a chance to take another stab at the adventure game genre, which until then, had been regarded by publishers as a genre that did not typically generate a significant amount of revenue. Translation: It did not make as much money as Call of Duty. Could lightning possibly strike twice? Not only did it strike twice. It struck again and again and again. It was a bit like the end of It's a Wonderful Life, with an angry CEO at Activision, Electronic Arts or some other such place playing the part of Mr. Potter. And as a teacher once said, every time a bell rings, an adventure game developer gets his paycheck.

With that said, Happy New Year! This year is going to be very special because all those adventure games that we Kickstarted last year are going to be released this year. To celebrate, I decided to put together a list of adventure games being released in 2013, including a few that were funded beyond Kickstarter.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Steam Holiday Sale Game Grab 2012

Yet another year has gone by, and with it, yet another holiday sale on Steam. These are the games that I grabbed at super low prices this holiday season. It is worth noting that I do not plan to play all of these games right away, but some of these deals were too good to pass up. It will give me something to play on a metaphorical rainy day.

Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition ($4.99, Normally $19.99)
Assassin's Creed II Deluxe Edition ($4.99, Normally $19.99)
BioShock Franchise Pack ($9.99, Normally $39.98)
BioShock 2
Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition ($6.79, Normally $19.99)
Deus Ex Collection ($11.24, Normally $44.99)
Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Augmented Edition
Far Cry ($2.49, Normally $9.99)
Far Cry 2: Fortune's Edition ($2.49, Normally $9.99)
Humble Indie Bundle 7* (http://www.humblebundle.com)
Cave Story+ (Already Owned) (Extra Key Available)
Dungeon Defenders + DLC
Indie Game: The Movie
Legend of Grimrock
Offspring Fling
Shank 2
The Basement Collection
The Binding of Isaac + DLC (Already Owned)
Mass Effect Collection ($9.99, Normally $39.99)
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition
The Longest Journey + Dreamfall ($6.24, Normally $24.99)

Total: $59.21* / Without Savings: $229.90*

Did anyone else discover any good deals, and if so, what did you pick up?

* If bought individually, the items contained within Humble Indie Bundle 7 would total an astounding $134.89 (if my math is correct). This is not factored into the above total. It was not directly a part of the Steam Holiday Sale. Plus, the money raised by the Humble Indie Bundle team goes to several worthy charities. You cannot put a price tag on that.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Top 10: Movies

A few months ago, I wrote Top 11: Video Games. It was originally Top 10: Video Games, but after my cat passed away, I added Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles without making any omissions. Now, I will attempt to list my 10 favorite movies (of all time!).

1. Back to the Future (1985)

I do not remember where (or when) I first saw Back to the Future. I just know that I have seen it hundreds of times since. Whenever I spot it on TV, I cannot seem to turn the channel, and I already own both DVD sets. It is the kind of movie that you can watch again and again, and every time, experience a little differently. I consider it to be a modern classic. By the way, I have a video of Courthouse Square on YouTube.

2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

If you thought that this movie would not be on my list, you underestimate the power of the dark side. Certainly, almost everyone will agree that The Empire Strikes Back was the best entry in the Star Wars franchise. It had everything. A badass bounty hunter named Boba Fett, the always menacing Darth Vader, and a little green fella named Yoda. It also had one of the most epic fight sequences in cinema history.

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Only the penitent man will read beyond this point. In other words, duck! Out of the other two (wait, three) movies in the Indiana Jones franchise, I found The Last Crusade to be the most enjoyable. It seemed to cover more ground than the last two movies combined, and the puzzling situations seemed perfectly suited for an adventure game. Oh, right, there was an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is also excellent, but I digress. This is a movie list.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My PCs

1. IBM (486/66MHz, 8MB RAM)
August 1994

My first PC was a beast: 66MHz of raw computing power, 8MB of memory enhancing RAM, 16-bit's of surreal audio processing (Sound Blaster 16), and 2MB of mind blowing onboard video memory. It could run Doom II: Hell on Earth at maximum settings! This PC was originally packaged with MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1. Later, I upgraded to Windows 95.

What Kind of Chip You Got in There, A Dirrito?

2. HP (586/366MHz, 128MB RAM)
December 1998

This PC had a 366MHz CPU, 128MB of RAM, Sound Blaster Live! (Original), and GeForce 2 MX (64MB). It shipped with Windows 98, which I later upgraded to Windows 2000.

3. Compaq (AMD/2GHz, 1GB RAM)
February 2003

For this PC, I went to OfficeMax, where I filled out a customization form. It had a 2GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, Sound Blaster Live! (5.1 Channel), and GeForce 4 MX (128MB), which I later upgraded to a GeForce 6800 Ultra (256MB). It could run Doom III at maximum settings! This PC shipped with Windows XP. Toward the end, I tried to install Windows Vista, but the PC took a shit. I halfway expected that, though.

4. MikeBox (AMD64/3GHz Dual Core, 4GB RAM)
June 2007

The first PC that I built myself, and the PC that I am writing this note on. It has a 64-bit 3GHz CPU (Dual Core Processor), 4GB of RAM, Sound Blaster X-Fi (7.1 Channel), and GeForce 8800 GTX (768MB). It can run Grand Theft Auto IV at maximum settings (sort of). I installed Windows Vista on this PC, which is what I am currently using (don't throw stuff at me!), but I alternate between this and Ubuntu 8.10.

Note: I had to swap out the MB and CPU in August 2008 (different MB, but same model CPU). So, technically, this PC is less than a year old.

Top 11: Video Games

This is my attempt to list my 11 favorite video games (of all time!).

1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
I first played Chrono Trigger in 2000; one year after the "Year of Lavos." Technically, I first played it on PC, since I used an emulator (Snes9x). Before I played Chrono Trigger, I was not much of an RPG fan. I had a few friends that were very much into RPGs, though. They strongly suggested that I play a few. I was blown away by the depth of Chrono Trigger. I still don't own a legitimate copy, but plan to when I pick up the DSi.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
I first played "ALttP" in 1992. It was not the first Zelda game that I ever played, mind you. I played The Legend of Zelda (NES) a few years earlier, which was also a good game, but nowhere near as great as this one. Furthermore, I have not played a Zelda game since then that has matched it. Until I played Chrono Trigger, A Link to the Past was my favorite video game of all time.

3. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
I first played Super Mario Bros. 3 on Christmas Day 1990, as evidenced by these two YouTube videos. The addition of items, map screens, and warp whistles set it apart from Super Mario Bros. and Doki Doki Panic: Mario Edition...Okay, Super Mario Bros. 2U.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (GEN)
I first played Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in 1994. By itself, it was very much an underwhelming game, but when locked-on to Sonic & Knuckles, it transformed into something of beauty. Knuckles became a playable character, Super Emeralds could be collected (unlocking Hyper Sonic/Knuckles and Super Tails), and additional levels were available.

5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)
I first played Super Mario RPG in 2000. It was around the same time as Chrono Trigger, and also via Snes9x. You can save the rotten tomatoes, though. I recently purchased the game on the Wii Virtual Console.

6. Sam & Max Hit the Road (PC)
I first played Sam & Max Hit the Road in 2004; a few days after the cancellation of Sam & Max Freelance Police. The outcry made me wonder just how good the original game was, so I decided to play it for myself. Of course, I was sad afterward.

7. Psychonauts (PC)
I first played Pi...Pyc...Psyco...Psychonauts in 2005. I am not afraid to admit that I couldn't spell Psychonauts until I bought the game. The game itself is mind blowing (literally). You can't expect anything less than awesome from Tim Schafer. Who knows, maybe BrĂ¼tal Legend will make my list. That is, if a PC version is released.

8. Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (PC)
I first played "SQ4" in 1996. I found it in a bargain bin at Price Club for five bucks, so I was not expecting much. It was better than I originally anticipated. Although, it did take several months to complete the Galaxy Galleria sequences due to timer issues. I still consider Space Quest IV my favorite in the series, seeing as it was the first one that I played. I later picked up Space Quest V and Space Quest VI individually, and the "prequel trilogy" (Space Quest I, Space Quest II, and Space Quest III) in the Roger Wilco Unclogged Collection.

9. GoldenEye 007 (N64)
I first played GoldenEye 007 in 1997. For me, it was the pinnacle of first person shooters. Perfect Dark would have made my list, but looking back, it was more of a retooling of what made GoldenEye 007 so good.

10. Star Fox 64 (N64)
I first played Star Fox 64 in 1997. I was never a very big fan of rail shooters, but this was one of the best. Of course, it does also contain a few free roaming stages.

11. Donkey Kong Country 2 - Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
I first played Donkey Kong Country 2 in 1995. I actually played this one before Donkey Kong Country. "DKC2" was the high point of the series for me. It fizzled a bit with Donkey Kong Country 3, and became mediocre with Donkey Kong 64.