file under: Arts & Crafts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Amy @ 6:34 am April 15, 2010

When I saw this amazing, handmade Scribblenauts plush, I couldn’t believe how awesome it was.

It was expertly made by Rosmary Travale.

See her post about it for more amazing details!

Farm Frenzy

Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 7:00 am April 14, 2010

Game: Farm Frenzy
Purchased from: Wal-Mart
Price paid: $4.96
Platform: PC

It’s not too often that I’m lured into purchasing a game simply because it has cartoony farm animals on the cover. In fact, I can’t think of any time that’s ever happened. No, what drew me to this game was was the giant, red $4.96 price sticker on the box, the promise to ‘Join 20 million players!’, and the promise to ‘Show Old McDonald how it’s done!’ (No, not the five star review rating. Sorry, Gamezebo, I don’t take your reviews too seriously.)

So what’s Farm Frenzy all about? Shockingly, the back of the box isn’t real helpful, so let’s take a quick look at a screenshot

A typical Farm Frenzy moment, geese being terrorized by bears.

The game mostly revolves around caring for animals on your ‘farm’. The only things you can do to them are: purchase more of them, and water the ground, which produces grass. The animals eat the grass and fart out goodies for you to collect. Collect the goodies and either send them to the shop in town to sell them, or spend a few seconds processing them into finished goods. For example, eggs become ‘egg solids’ (whatever that is), egg solids, become tasty cakes, and tasty cakes become $80 when you sell them at the market (eggs go for $10).

Occasionally bears will drop from the top of the screen where they’ll rampage through your farm and punt your animals off into the horizon, which is pretty hilarious to look at, but ultimately bad for your progress.  Since a goose hurtling through the ionosphere is laying eggs you can’t get your hands on, you’re going to want to trap the bears by clicking on them a bunch of times, which puts them in a cage. You then put them in your warehouse and then ultimately sell them somehow at the same shops that take eggs, egg solids, and cakes.

So what you end up with is a game where you manage workers that produce resources while consuming other resources, build buildings to produce other, refined goods, and unfriendly-types that occasionally come in to wreck up the place. Sounds to me like we’re dealing with a simplified real-time-strategy game, and while it’s no Warcraft, it’s still decent.

It’s interesting to note that this game is also available for free (as in, $0) from the developer’s website, and lots of other sites around the ol’ Internet. The catch? You only get to play the thing for an hour before you’re expected to pony up a few bucks for a full version. Sounds like a fair deal, right? My only problem is that one hour was about all of this game I wanted to play. Mostly because I got past the ‘gimme’ stages and the difficulty ramped up further than I wanted to go with it, but also because clicking on animal products, turning them into sellable goods, and catching bears with repeated mouse clicks gets old kind of fast.

Or at least fast enough that I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen everything that I want to in this game.

Mushroom Wars

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — CJ @ 1:23 am April 13, 2010

As a general rule, I don’t play strategy games. If a game requires me to move small battalions around a map attempting to capture key locations while at the same time defending my base, I’m going to fail on at least one of those two fronts. Honestly, I’ll probably fail at them both. However, Creat Studios’ PS3 exclusive Mushroom Wars looked innocent enough, so I gave them five of my electronic dollars – a recent price drop from the initial ten dollar tag.

With adorable avatars like these, how hard could the game be? Right?

The premise is pretty simple: you (the red mushroom army) are trying to defeat the enemy (the blue mushroom army) by completing whatever set of guidelines are presented. That about sums up the amount of customization you have in your troops. Sadly, there aren’t different types of mini-mushroom men like Full Metal Armored Mushrooms, ready to lead the front lines or Super Secret Ninja Spores, stealthy and cunning units lying in wait to unleash massive amounts of mushroom pain – you just get to control hundreds of normal, unassuming mushroom minions.


Karoshi : Suicide Salaryman

Filed under: Web Games — Cameron @ 1:54 pm April 12, 2010

KAroshi 1

Karoshi Suicide Salaryman is a great game from 2008 that changes everything you know about platform puzzle games.  Your mission is to guide a funny little “salaryman”  through 50 hair pulling, monitor punching stages. Unlike most games, instead of guiding your man through each level to arrive safely at the other side, in Karoshi your one and only mission is to kill yourself.  Whether it be jumping into a pit of spikes or dropping a safe on your head this game will keep you guessing for different ways to end it all.  Sounds easy right? WRONG!


Monster Hunter Tri

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tyler @ 10:58 am April 9, 2010

Some people who may appreciate the sport of hunting but do not find real live hunting very exciting or convenient can’t really get into games like Deer Hunter. Fortunately, our plane of existence is blessed with the game developer called Capcom. Capcom took hunting and made it a much more exciting experience. Their special ingredient was monsters and their successful outcome was Monster Hunter.

The demo of Monster Hunter 3 Tri for the Wii was not my first bite of the Monster Hunter franchise. My first bite was a tiny little nibble when I played my friend’s Monster Hunter game on his PSP for about a minute or so. I knew then that the games were awesome, but I did not own a PSP, nor did I buy one knowing that Monster Hunter 3 Tri was being developed for the Wii. When I first noticed that preorders were available, I reserved my copy of the game and received my free demo disc.

First thing I noticed was that the manual was a fold out poster with descriptions of the controls for each type of weapon you can have. The descriptions only cover the Wii Remote and Nunchuk control scheme, but the bottom of the instructional fold-out poster said something about viewing complete instructions including other control schemes at their website. I’m assuming that the classic controller is one of those schemes since the game has had numerous advertisements as having a bundle with the classic controller.

Finally, on to the game itself. It isn’t a whole lot different from the ones for the PSP. It consists of one central town with many vendors and many different environments you can go to in order to hunt down monsters. Besides the hunting there is also an extensive amounts of ways to upgrade your weapons using items you carve from the corpses of the monsters you slay and/or items you find from foraging and mining. A big difference from the PSP games is the underwater combat. This allows players to hunt monsters that dwell underwater, making a whole new way to fight. Of course, one can assume that there will be all new items, weapons, monsters, etc. that were never seen in the PSP version.

Who doesn’t like killing monsters then using their bones to upgrade weapons and armor and then using that equipment to kill more monsters? If you’re interested, pre-order and get a demo, or wait till April 20th and just buy it. Either way, take a seat, grab your ridiculously huge sword and go slay some monsters!


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — stanleylieber @ 2:08 pm April 8, 2010

FINAL FANTASY XII is by some measure my favorite video game of all time.

Certainly, I like other games. Tetris, Katamari, Super Mario Brothers; some installments are more interesting to me than others, but I’ve found that over the years I keep returning to the same archetypes. (Possibly, this says more about the dearth of innovation in the video game industry than my own tastes. Anyway.)

FFXII struck a perfect balance between classic virtues and modern craft. An entertaining story with engrossing action. Great character designs and deep, deep combat strategy. In short, polish with substance. I usually tag-team JRPGs, playing a couple of hours a day switching off with a partner, but this one I played all the way through, start to finish, all by myself. I bought action figures of the game’s characters. I bought another stuffed Moogle.

So, if FFXII was so great, why have I quit playing FFXIII altogether, mere weeks after its release?

I used to bristle when people criticized the FF franchise for being nothing more than movies you have to sit and click through. Sure, some of the games forced you to sit through a lot of cut scenes, and the combat systems have once or twice felt a bit empty. But for every FFX, which was heavy on cinemas and perhaps weak on strategic depth, there would be a FFXII, with a combat system I still find myself trying to map, mentally, onto my everyday life.

Hey, I said it was my favorite game of all time.

When it comes to FFXIII, there’s frankly not much I remember about the game after turning off my system.

The game finally fulfills what less easily entertained people have been saying about the franchise for over a decade:

- The characters are 1-dimensional cliches
- The storyline is a rickety scaffold upon which are hung gorgeously rendered music videos
- You don’t so much play the game as you simply click a single button at the appropriate times in order to trigger the next music video

Now, I used to think those complaints were silly. And I still would, if we were talking about FF 7-12.

Unfortunately, we’re talking about a game that appeared four years after its last installment and cost $60 at retail.

FFXIII producer Yoshinori Kitase seems like a nice guy. I feel a little guilty here saying I don’t feel like his game was worth the wait.

But… I don’t.

I want to love FFXIII. Seriously! I scheduled the beginning of my spring vacation this year to coincide with release day — specifically to maximize my FFXIII first-run enjoyment.

Now I find myself looking around to see what’s next.

FINAL FANTASY XIV, a MMORPG I have no interest in playing, is set for release later in 2010.

FINAL FANTASY: CHAOS RINGS, an original game for the iPhone, is set for release “soon.”

I suppose it’s possible that the last three chapters of this thirteen (get it?) chapter game really do comprise over half of its playable hours. It’s still possible that the game will take a drastic turn towards something that will hold my attention. But I’ll be frank: that’s starting to seem doubtful.

I don’t expect this game will sour me on the franchise. I’ve waded carefully around dud installments in past. But I had higher hopes for FF’s debut on the seventh generation consoles. Especially after waiting since 2006 to see the end result.

Flipwords 2

Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 7:00 am April 7, 2010

One of my weaknesses is that if I’m strolling through a store and I find a game priced below $10 I’m pretty well obligated to buy it. Usually to see how bad it is (sometimes games are so bad that they’re awesome), but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. But what all that means is that I’ve got lots of those cheapo games and a forum to tell you all about them. But first, a couple of qualifications: The game has to be new (no used or gifted games), and it can’t be part of a sale package (like buy one get one half price).

And with that out of the way, here we go

Game: Flipwords 2
Purchased from: Target
Price paid: $4.98
Platform: PC

I was not fortunate enough to actually play the first Flipwords game, so I got into this one not really knowing what to expect. It’s kind of hard to describe what the game’s about without showing, so let’s start with a screenshot.

At first glance, there’s a lot going on here, but it’s actually slightly less complicated than it looks. At the top of the board you have the Secret Phrase, and it’s your ultimate goal to guess the phrase, Wheel of Fortune style. But you can’t just choose letters willy-nilly, that’d be way too boring. Instead, you have to use the grid of letters in the middle of the screen to form words, Bookworm style. Words must use contiguous selections of letters, but can go in any direction once you’ve started. Find a word, get some points, and if the first letter of the word you found is in the Secret Phrase, that’s revealed.

Adding an extra layer of complexity is the limited amount of turns you have to work with. Every time you find a word, whether it reveals anything in the Secret Phrase or not, it goes down by 1. Once you’re out of turns, you get one last chance to guess the Secret Phrase. Blow that, and it’s game over for you.

You might notice that down in the corner it says ‘Classic Mode’. There’s also a ‘Strategy Mode’ that has differences so minor that I’m not going to bother going into them here, and ‘Party Mode’ where you get to play with up to 3 more people. Yeah, I didn’t do that.

But even better than three (yes, three!) game modes is the ability to create new Secret Phrases and to download new ones from the Internet. And even though I wasn’t downloading great gobs of new phrases every time I tried, I did get about 4 dozen new phrases each time I updated, which isn’t too shabby for a game that came out in 2008.

Even more surprising is that this game has leaderboards. And even though the top couple of spots look like they’ve been taken by cheaters, positions 4-20 are totally up for grabs. (J Train, I’m coming for you!).

So what does all that mean? It means that I got more enjoyment out of this game than I would have if I would have flushed my $5 down the toilet, and I probably won’t immediately uninstall it as soon as I post this, if that means anything to you. And I sure hope it does, because it didn’t mean much to me.

PushButtonB’s Playstation Network Update: A History

Filed under: Uncategorized — CJ @ 2:30 am April 6, 2010

I know all of the cool kids release at least two solid games, movies, or (gasp) books before punishing fans with a prequel. I’m out to change all of that. Let’s get the prequel out of the way, because they’re usually terrible, and look forward to the good stuff!

Four Weeks Ago: I ran into Will at a local Long John Silver’s. I’m on my planning period between teaching 11th grade American Literature and Student Publications. He’s taking a lunch break while a client’s network server bends the concept of time as we know it by doing three months worth of updates and subsequent reboots in a single afternoon.  After a short conversation about PS3 hard drive formatting and networking issues I was working through, Will brings up PushbuttonB (hereafter referred to as PBB). There was apparently some sort of web site resurrection in the works and thanks to this fortuitous lunch meeting, I was destined to play some part in it.

Three Weeks Ago: I sit down to check out the Playstation Network Store to see what new, free demos came out for the week. Mega Man 10 is the only release that week that even remotely sparks my interest, so I give it a try. If you’ve played any 8-bit iteration of the franchise, you know exactly what to expect from the tenth installment. After I played the whopping four to five minute demo, I realize that I found the part I was to play in PBB’s rebirth: giving my two cents on what PSN has to offer in the way of weekly freebies.

Last Week: Due to what doctors are diagnosing as the March Madness, the only available free demos to choose from during my first inspired week are  NCAA Basketball 2k10 and NBA 2K10. Since I still have a week before PBB goes live, I decide to give the NBA version a chance. I knew that this endeavor would eventually require me to play and review games, nay genres, that I couldn’t possibly care less about – little did I know that it would happen so early. In short, NBA Jam is the only basketball video game worth playing. This new-fangled 2k10 business (when did the number 10 start coming after the k? I remember when saying 2k3 was new and edgy) is more like watching a live basketball game, not playing one. The only purpose this demo served was allowing me to reminisce about the golden era of basketball games that gave birth the term “Boomshakalaka”.

This Week: It would seem that Sony’s only intent is to destroy my weekly contribution to PBB. What sacrificial lamb did they offer up to my reviewing prowess this week? Nothing. This week they decide to make news by taking away the “Install Other OS” option on their older, “husky” consoles, we’ll call them. As far as free downloadable content and demos go, there wasn’t a single offering. This isn’t to say that there weren’t plenty of opportunities for me to spend money in exchange for entertainment, but that’s not really what I’m after here. Besides that, the R&D fund at PBB isn’t exactly bursting at any hypothetical seam. Here’s to hoping for some not only free, but worthwhile demos in the not too distant future!

Achievement Unlocked!

Filed under: Web Games — Cameron @ 6:04 am April 5, 2010

First of all, welcome to the all new Push Button B! It’s 77% better than the old Push Button B but only marginally better than pushing button a.  I feel like I should be declaring some sort of mission statement or outline the goals of Push Button B, but I don’t know about any of that I’m just the Monday guy… So… Here is a fun game I played once!

Warning, graphically intense...

Its got a jumping blue pachyderm, polka music, graphics from the 80′s and more achievements than you can shake a stick at.   Interested? You should be…


« Newer Posts