- 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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