- GameGavel.com Writer - L.T. Blaize
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- GameGavel.com Writer - L.T. Blaize
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Four words, “Multiple Use Labor Equipment”. Or what is better known as M.U.L.E. Now if you are of the younger generation of gamers these initials probably don’t mean squat to you. But if you happen to have grown up at the dawn of gaming, then you will more than likely know MULE as one of the best, if not the best, multiplayer video games of all freakin’ time.
MULE was created in 1983 by Ozark Softscape and published through EA. Ya, that EA. MULE was an epic adventure where you and three of your friends each chose a competing alien race. The alien races ranged from Pac Man like creatures, to a long necked E.T. looking creature and everything in between. Once everyone chose their alien race you were then dropped on a new, barren undeveloped Martian landscape with the goal of out producing your alien “friends” while at the same time contributing to the “whole” of your new society and surviving. Games take place over twelve “turns” and usually took two to three hours to complete.
Once the game starts a swift moving land marker moves across the alien landscape, which is a randomly generated screen with flatlands, rivers & mountains. Players would “click” on the land square they want to inhabit and develop. Once all players picked their land plot the real fun begins. Now each player, while timed, has to pick a MULE, outfit it for one of three duties: farming, mining or energy and quickly lead their MULE to their plot of land where they let it go so it can start producing. After the MULE is placed in the plot a quick return to the pub is needed to score some cool cash. Generally the faster you outfit and place your MULE on your plot and return to the pub, the more money you will win.
Generally, to be successful at MULE you need to diversify your MULES and produce equal amounts of energy & food, while also amassing some mining wealth. If you neglect any of these you will pay for it in the end. After all four players take their “turn” by outfitting and placing their MULES the game takes over and randomly generates crops (needed to fuel the MULES), energy (needed to fuel the MULES), and either Smithore and/or Crystite. Food and Energy are required to keep your MULES top producers. Fall short of either of these and you plots stop producing and you fall behind in the game. Smithore and Crystite can be sold to the “store” for big money. After this “development” stage is over there is yet another new aspect to this game – a live “auction”.
The auction is where you get the chance to buy or sell food, energy, Smithore and Crystite from your competitors. The auction is handled ingeniously by each player choosing if they want to buy or sell each of the individual commodities. If you choose to sell, you simple move your player to the top of the screen. Players that want to buy stay at the bottom of the screen. Once the auction starts a timer starts and then players move up or down trying to set a price for said commodities. This is now a game of supply and demand at its essence. If you need energy and two of the other players have a surplus of energy they will compete to sell to you. They can drive the price up or sell to you for less. If there is more than one seller you can expect to buy cheaper than if there is one seller asking enormous prices for the valuable energy or food. Players go back and forth through the four auctions (food, energy, smithore & crystite). After the auction phase is over the screen goes to a tabulation screen and the four players emerge in order of their wealth, one x one to the top of the screen. Then the cycle starts over again by players choosing another plot of land. Choosing plots of land adjacent to each other is recommended. The games sees this as better than dividing your attention among scattered plots. Rivers are better for farming. Flatlands are good for energy and mountains obviously good for mining. So picking correct plots is important to exceeding in MULE.
To mix things up even more the developers throw in random events prior to each players “turn” that can either add to your wealth (your MULE won first place in the colonies talent contest and you won $200) or take from your wealth (your MULES require fixing and will cost you $100/MULE). The randomness of each game insures that no two games will ever be the same.
So where can you find this great game? And should you play it if you have never heard of it or played it before? To answer the second part of this question, “Yes!”. You need to play this game at least once to appreciate one of the best multiplayer games of all time. And thanks to the team at http://www.planetmule.com you can now play this game free of charge. And best of all there are always people in the lobby so you can experience this game as it was intended, with others.
MULE originated on the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit computers but was later released for the Nitnendo NES. Whether you hunt down an original game or play it through the newly released version so graciously served up on PlanetMule, do yourself a favor and log some time with one of the greatest multiplayer games of all freakin’ time.
Will your race win out and will your colony survive? Play and find out now.
- GameGavel.com Writer – So Cal Mike
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
10. Final Fantasy X – Getting the Venus Sigil
“Just got the Venus Sigil! Gonna go post a rant on Craiglist about it! LOL! Oh, btw, please kill me.”
This comes in at number ten because in theory, you can simply forget about it and move on with the game, avoiding any broken controllers and strokes… but if you are a complete hardcore gamer YOU ABSOLUTLEY NEED TO DO THIS FOR THE VENUS SIGIL because all the rest of your life depends on it. For those who need reminding, the Thunder Plains are a place in the game where you must dodge lightning strikes by quickly pressing the X button. The more you dodge, the better your reward. At 200 dodges, you get the Venus Sigil which enables you to brag to your online friends that you did, indeed, somehow, waste the time to dodge lightening 200 times. Good job. You win.
9. Everquest – Dying
Brunette: “did you HAVE to aggro you dumass?!” Blonde: “brb leeroy jenkins”
This is more of a ‘kick your keyboard and then go to the bathroom to care for your bedsores and weep about wasted hours’ kind of moment. We all know it’s frustrating to die in your MMORPG, but for you WoW players who never grew up playing EQ, maybe you should try to imagine what it feels like to have your brain whipped with a cat o’ nine tails. After accidently aggro-ing one creature that follows you FOREVER and then KILLS you, you lose a crap load of experience you’ve spent days or even weeks earning. If that wasn’t enough, you then have to go back to your corpse to retrieve your equipment, and if you don’t do it in the allotted time, you lose all the equipment you’ve probably spent months getting. Playing Everquest was very similar to putting sea urchins in your pants.
8. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out – Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson: f*cking scary even in 8-bit pixels
Sure, most of us could figure out the patterns of all the other boxers and get to Tyson (or we just used the infamous 007-373-5963 code, because we loved to cheat), but then when we actually got to him we realized just how ‘little’ Little Mac really was. How many times did you try this fight before ol’ Mike knocked you out one too many times or you ended up throwing your boxy NES controller against the wall and went for the Game Genie? I think I tried once… because I am a real champ.
7. Ninja Gaiden – Act 6
Five seconds later, they were killed by an eagle.
Ah, if the game wasn’t sadistic enough, when you finally reach the last level, you not only have to battle through four or five stages (I don’t recall, so don’t kill me), but you have to defeat three bosses… the kicker… you have to do it all without dying or you start over again from the very beginning of Act 6. At the age of ten I actually started balding because of this game.
6. License Tests– any Gran Turismo
Just another day of working on those damn Gran Turismo licenses.
Ah, who didn’t love spending hours and hours of their time trying to complete a course in a set amount of time, or drive really, really fast and slam the breaks to stop your car between certain distances? Some of you may have liked this, but I sure didn’t. I just wanted new cars… and a new Playstation controller after I whipped the sucker against the wall using the cord in pure video gaming rage. Hey man, getting that A license was vital to my existence.
5. GTA: San Andreas – Final mission
Why couldn’t this have been the final mission of GTA:SA? Dear God.
If the R.C. missions weren’t enough to destroy your brain and boil your blood, the last mission will serious cause some controller breaking reactions. After about twenty minutes you’ll remember you’re playing a GTA game and you’ll just throw in some cheat codes (as if you weren’t using them already, you cheater)
4. Super Metriod – Wall Jumping
Screw you hot-shot monkey things that can wall jump perfectly.
See if I save you when Zebes friggin’ explodes. Some of you may have mastered this, but I never did, and I am still pissed off to this day… and I am sure there are others who feel the same way… yep… that’s all I gotta say… stupid wall jump… so much easier to do in real life (see below).
3. Mega Man 9 – All of it
“Kiss my ass, fish! Load State! Oh wai-“
Not that I assume playing any Mega Man game would be a walk in the park, but geez! I have never felt like such an epic failure of a video gamer after playing a few levels of Mega Man 9. It is possible I just suck at video games… too many RPGs have softened my reflexes up? Too many save states? Maybe Mega Man 9 is just real freakin’ hard. And it’s such a great game, I just… sometimes I crawl under my bed and cry… because it won’t play nice… and I want it to.
2. Getting your character muddled or confused in any RPG
Cloud would later claim he was suffering from Confuse status at the time.
There you are…. floors past the last save state, maybe even several bosses after the last save crystal… you get into some ultimate ridiculous epic fight, and it’s going YOUR WAY. Way to go partner! You are about to kill the ultimate beast… the ultimate enemy that if defeated, will get you the boyfriend or girlfriend you’ve always wanted (what?) and then you realize you forgot to recast your protection spell.. Or forgot to equip your most powerful character with some kind of relic… and suddenly… your own hero is killing your entire party with one swing of his sword. OMFG WHAT THE HELL ARGRGRGHGHGEdjewdkwkfhekfrhejhhrrr….. Pardon me… I think I just saw my chest hair go gray from thinking about this. That’s right… I’m a hairy guy… so what? Chicks love it. Shut up.
1. T.M.N.T. - Defusing bombs underwater
Urge. To kill. Rising.
This comes in at #1 because if I ever think back to one moment that just utterly chapped my ass for years on end, it was this. Your goal was to diffuse a certain amount of bombs while swimming around killer seaweed and do it in a certain amount of time. Sound easy? Give it a shot and report back to me. After ten minutes you will be back to your world of God-modes and save states.
Runner up for #1:
Losing to your mom at Wii It happens. We don’t know how. You’ve been playing video games all your life, every hour you can, and well, your mom hasn’t. In fact, she didn’t even glance at a video game until Wii became the staple of family hipness. Still, you should be able to win… no matter what… and yet… maybe it was a bad day… maybe you burned yourself out on L4D2… either way… your mom beat you… and that should never happen. Go throw your controller at the wall. It’s okay. I won’t tell anybody.
I will end this blogging with my two favorite classic lines of a frustrated gamer:
“This game cheats.”
“This would be easier in real life.”
- Gamegavel.com writer - Tinydinosaurs
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Take this sucker to the vet, see what happens.
Sure, he’s not much to look at and he might end up tearing you to shreds. But as far as a guard dog for your yard, used car lot, junkyard, daycare, or whatever, he will never falter, except against a well placed shotgun round.
Good Uses: Protecting beer supplies, fighting terrorism, doggie kisses.
Evil Uses: Sending out into shopping malls, Lady Gaga concerts, marching band events or other large crowds to destroy.
9. Yoshi from Super Mario Bros.
You’d never know this guy could eat you, then fart you out as a egg.
He’s a dinosaur you can ride on and he won’t try to kill you. You also don’t need to take the time to train him and modify with thousands of dollars worth of armor. He also wears boots. I mean, isn’t that enough? Sure he has a lot of strange fanboys/girls out there, but if they get in your way, you can command Yoshi to eat them. Amirite?
Good Uses: Charity parades, educational petting zoos, beer delivery runs.
Evil Uses: Eating just about anybody or anything upon command.
8. Chocobo from Final Fantasy
Take a wild guess what he tastes like.
There isn’t much to say about a chocobo other than after years of playing Final Fantasy, you just gotta have one. Sure, he may not do much but run really fast (unless you find a rare flying one), but who wouldn’t want to mount up on a giant two-legged bird and run circles around their friends?
Good Uses: Delivering messages in a timely matter, saving people from floods (if flying), finding and reporting news about good deals on beer across town before it sells out.
Evil Uses: Commanding it to kick people in the face, putting it in fights for gambling purposes
7. Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog
It’s ok Tails, there’s always gonzo porn.
Tails? Seriously? The little whiney twerp from Sonic? Yeah… because, if you are a guy, you can train him to shut up and not talk and then put him on a leash and the ladies will DIG it. A two tailed fox? OMG KAWAII !!!! Oh yeah, the furries will dig it to, if you’re into that kinda thing.
Good Uses: uh….
Evil Uses: Impressing ladies, tormenting furries.
6. Donkey Kong
Hi kids. This is what’s called a “shit-eating grin”.
Let’s face it, having an intelligent ape who won’t punch you to death is pretty damn awesome. This is all about strength and intelligence.
Good Uses: Lifting kegs of beer, defending the helpless, chasing down bad guys and punching them to death, opening up stuck jars
Evil Uses: punching people to death.
5. Spyro the Dragon
Spyro obviously knows that purple = pimp.
He’s cute and he’s deadly. Best of all, he’s compact so you can take him on airplanes and into little snooty cafes in Beverly Hills.
Good Uses: heating up food, melting ice so children can go to school (debatable whether this is good or evil), warming up your hands with a gentle flame after you have dranken too many cold beers
Evil Uses: Burn! BURN MY PRETTY!! MWHAHAHAAA *cough*
4. Dragon from Panzer Dragoon
RARRR! That’s it, just “rarr!”.
Another mount pet… many of us born in the early 80s might have dreamed of riding that freaky Luck Dragon from Never Ending Story. Those of you born past 1995 have no idea WTF I am talking about. Needless to say, having a dragon that can breathe fire, is loyal to you, and can fly, is pretty damn sweet.
Good Uses: Anti-terrorism operations, burning poppy fields, flying you home safety after beers with your friends.
Evil Uses: More burning, more evil.
3. Ecco the Dolphin
That’s not really Ecco, but I bet you couldn’t tell the difference anyway.
Of course Ecco had to make our list because he is like… a super dolphin... Not only does he have some kind of weird super sonar that will kill just about anything, but he can swim REALLY fast. Hitch a ride on this guys fin and he can take you anywhere. Okay, maybe he doesn’t belong at number three, but he is just so classic!
Good Uses: Bringing imported beer across foreign waters, destroying poachers with sonar, saving manatees and other marine life.
Evil Uses: Destroying intercontinental underwater internet cables so people can’t download porn or twitter anymore (evil?)
2. Amaterasu from Okami
Yep, rad as hell.
She’s a wolf God. She can fight like it’s nobody’s business. And she looks rad as hell. She also can command the celestial brush to make shit happen. I’m talking, like, anything.
Good Uses: drawing up more beer when it runs out, keeping your feet warm on a cold winters night, bring to schools to educate children about demi-gods.
Evil Uses: drawing doors on people’s houses so you can sneak in, the ability to destroy anything with a metaphysical paintbrush actually brings a lot of things to mind.
Can your dog turn into a submarine? No, so shut up.
Rush, simply put, is a kick-ass dog. Let’s start with the fact that other than some (probably expensive) maintenance, you don’t have to feed him or walk him. Hell, you might not even have to pretend to love him since he is pretty much idiotically loyal. But let’s look at what he can do: he can turn into a flying jet sled, a trampoline, a pogo-stick thing, a submarine, some kind of super strength armor, a jet pack, a motorcycle, and who knows what else… I mean, if that isn’t rad, I don’t know what is.
Good Uses: Thousands of uses, in fact, Rush could probably turn into a micro-brewery too.
Evil Uses: Don’t get me started. I’m the kind of guy who would take The One Ring and use it for evil, imagine if I had Rush.
GameGavel.com Writer - TinyDinosaurs
Monday, December 28, 2009
Ever wonder why Sony dived into the gaming industry suddenly in the 1990s? The major reason: Nintendo’s third party licensing sucks.
Ironically, Nintendo came into the spot light by developing games as a third party publisher party to begin with. In the early 1980s, Shigeru Miyamoto, created Nintendo’s two stars, Donkey Kong and Mario, and began porting their classic arcade games to home systems at the time, which profited the company enormously.
Eventually this led to the creation of the NES later in the decade and the rise of video game fascism would begin. According to David Sheff, author of “Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children,” Nintendo had strict guidelines for its third party publishers, such as:
· Licensees were not permitted to release the same game for a competing console until two years had passed.
· Nintendo would decide how many cartridges would be supplied to the licensee.
· Nintendo would decide how much space would be dedicated for articles, advertising, etc. in Nintendo Power.
· There was a minimum number of cartridges which had to be ordered by the licensee from Nintendo.
· There was a yearly limit of five games that a licensee may produce for a Nintendo console. This rule was made due to caution of over saturation which caused the North American video game crash of 1983.
Simply put: If you didn’t salute the führer of video games of the 1980s and early 1990s your company was out of luck.
Companies such as Konami formed two companies, Ultra and Palcom to get around Nintendo’s rules so that they could publish more games. To me this is ludicrous because if a company can consistently produce quality games why limit them? That’s just outrageous.
Think of the possibilities that could have happened if Square-Enix or Konami wasn’t limited at the time. How many more games would we have to remember? How much more profit would they have made? It just doesn’t make sense to me to put in so many rules and regulations on third party developers.
Earlier in the 1990’s, Sony tried to reach a deal with Nintendo trying to add a CD drive to the SNES that would be attached to the bottom of it. If you don’t believe me, check the bottom of your SNES. See that port on the bottom? That’s where Sony’s CD drive would have gone had Nintendo had their way.
Thankfully, Sony stood up to them and created the Playstation, which many of us have fond memories of.
With increased competition from Sony in the 1990’s to the present Nintendo still hasn’t learned its lessons after being pummeled by Sony and Microsoft over the years. It still has strict rules about what can and can’t be published. In fact, it’s the main reason why Final Fantasy 7 was published on the Playstation rather than the Nintendo 64. Square-Enix was tired of all the red tape and decided to move on.
Fast-forward today and take a look at Nintendo’s Wii. Is there a Final Fantasy on it? Nope. A Metal Gear on the Wii? Won’t happen. Third party publishers are tired of Nintendo’s unflinching desire to just let go of the rules. As a result, the Wii is just a novelity to most serious gamers. It’s something you play when you have your grandma over and that’s pretty much it (excluding a solid game that comes out once a year which is rare).
Nintendo: Either loosen up your third party rules or join the graveyard along with Sega. This isn’t the 1990’s or 1980’s anymore. People are so over Donkey Kong and Mario (including myself, who grew up with them). Get rid of the garbage rules or Microsoft will dominate yet another aspect of our lives.
- Smiling Cobra