Ultraman: Little Adventure

Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 10:10 am June 16, 2010

Game: Ultraman: Little Adventure
Purchased from: Big Lots
Price paid: $6.00
Platform: PC

I never really bothered to familiarize myself with Ultraman, so all I really know about him is that he looks kind of like a guy wearing a robot costume and fights other things that look like guys wearing other costumes. So I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Ultraman: Little Adventure. All I had to go on was the stuff that they put on the back of the box: three screenshots, a vague description, and the corner proudly proclaiming “Ages 5 & Up”, which isn’t really all that descriptive, but is enough to sway me into buying a game, apparently.

Ultraman plays a lot like Pac-Mania, but since you’ve probably never actually played Pac-Mania, that probably doesn’t help you. Picture regular Pac-Man, change the viewpoint to 3/4 overhead, and make the nondescript mazes into nondescript cityscapes, and you’re starting to get there.

You guide Ultraman (or Ultraman Taro, or Ultraman Ace, whoever they are) and walk around something that looks like it came directly out of SimCity grabbing ‘crystals’ that are scattered all over the place. Grab ‘em all, and head toward the teleporter to go to the next level. Easy, right?

Hah! You wish!

Standing in your way are monsters with names that I’ve never heard of and can’t spell. Just be content to know that they’re generic, monstery things bent on keeping you from completing your civic duty. And by “bent on keeping you from completing your civic duty”, I mean “kind of wander around the maze aimlessly and bump into you from time to time”. Which isn’t even as debilitating as I’ve made it sound. They just kind of bump into you and flail around while you lose precious energy. Your defense? Other than your smarts, Ultraman can shoot energy beams to temporarily take out the guys that stand in his way.

Typical gameplay shot. I don't know who any of those guys are.

Typical gameplay shot. I don't know who any of those guys are.

And that’s pretty much it.

Yeah, the layouts of the levels change (“25 different stages” the box hollers at me), and there are some wimpy obstacles in the way on some of them (switches that raise and lower bridges? sweet!), but nothing special.

There’s nothing wrong with this game, exactly, but there’s nothing particularly great about it, either. You just guide Ultraman around one generic level after another, solving puzzles mostly without actually trying, and generally just passing a few minutes of your time.

Planet Minigolf

Filed under: PSN Update — CJ @ 3:01 am June 15, 2010

Imagine that you’re eight years old. Your days revolve around nothing more than waking up, eating a bowl (or two) of cereal, and playing video games. You have video game characters on your notebooks, folders, bed sheets, and pajamas – you love video games. Got it? Now imagine that all of the video games in the world have somehow been erased from existence, save one: Planet Minigolf. Your schedule now has two items written in pencil: Cereal and Planet Minigolf. Now, and this is important, imagine an eraser and remove anything from your schedule that doesn’t say “cereal”.

The demo for Planet Minigolf promises all sorts of good things for the full version of the game like “over 100 challenging courses”,  “create your own mini-golfcourse”, and something revolving around the word “fun”. The demo itself only lets you do two things, customize one of around six goofy pre-made characters and play a pirate-themed 9 holes of frustrating putt putt golf. There are three different control schemes, one is actually called “easy”: push X, hold it until the swing meter reaches the desired point, and release. There is another “3 point” control scheme: Push X once to start the swing, again at the top of your swing, and a third time to actually connect with the ball. The third control scheme has you use the left thumbstick to pull back and push forward, mimicking some sort of a faux swing. I chose “easy”.

I was pretty much through with this game by the fourth hole, and not because I was losing, either. I manged to get 7 over par (not good) by the third hole and was only in second place. Once I got the hang of the swing meter, Planet Minigolf became an exercise in repetitive annoyance and frustration as inevitably some crab or seagull or something would wander into the path of the ball and interrupt my shot. I suppose I’d rather play this game as opposed to playing nine holes of actual golf, but that’s not saying much. I’d rather do a lot of horrendously tedious tasks before putting myself through that kind of torture. So if you wake up one morning and find yourself to be the above mentioned eight year old, get out the milk because you’re going to be eating a lot of cereal.

Balloon in a Wasteland

Filed under: Web Games — Cameron @ 4:15 pm June 14, 2010

This weeks game is Balloon in a Wasteland.  You play as a fella with a snazzy hat trying to repair your crashed hot air balloon .  The game has a tower defense type feel to it but i wouldn’t call it one.  Your objective is to fend off hoards of black blobby things all while trying to repair your balloon.


As the game progresses it throws more and more blobs at you until there’s more than you can handle.  To fight back you can upgrade your weapons, build a fort that keeps you safe while the enemies pass, lay down traps and even build turrets on your fort.  If you do not upgrade the enemies move slow enough that you will never get enough time to repair your balloon between waves and the game will go on forever.  You also have to watch your stamina bar because once it gets below 50% your accuracy starts dropping fast, so don’t forget to hop into your fort and sleep for a bit to quickly refill it.


The one thing that usually keeps me away from these types of games is that there is never a real objective or an end. In BIAW once you get the balloon up, you win.  I quite enjoyed the game, it had a good pace and the art style was very good to convey you being stranded in a field with a bunch of bad guys.  I didn’t notice until i was done with it that it was made by the same guy that made Achievement Unlocked and a few other really good games I know will show up on this site here soon.

I hope you enjoy Balloon in a Westland as much as i did.

My 2-in-1 post

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tyler @ 6:12 pm June 11, 2010

I honestly used to think that advertisement had no affect on me and I thought people were idiots for even listening to advertisement. I used to think it was all about people persuading others to buy their products. However, thanks to playing video games, I have recently learned that it is more about getting it out their in the media so people know it exists. Once they know it exists it could spark their curiousity.

For example: I’ve been playing a lot of Monster Hunter Tri lately. I love it! When looking up info on what items I need for certain combinations and where to find them I happened on a website with data on everything Monster Hunter. I noticed something on Monster Hunter Portable 3rd coming out later this year in Japan. I clicked on it and I became intrigued. I found myself wanting the game already even though there is not a scheduled US release yet (it will probably come out here a year after it is released in Japan though). However, I don’t even own a PSP and I actually found myself seriously thinking about getting it just because I saw one game that looked really interesting to me. I snapped myself out of it and told myself to not worry about it until the game  comes out and then if I have the money to get a PSP then, well why not. If I do not have the money well then I won’t get it. I find myself dwelling on how I’m going to save up for a game that I saw in a tiny advertisement or news article online. Maybe it’s because I play one game and then I get the urge to play every other game of that series which is very impractical and time consuming.

That’s how powerful advertisement can be my friends.

This brings me to my other discussion: Specialization. I bought a Wii and DS when the current gen consoles came out. I love Mario, Zelda, Samus, and Pokemon and I only had the money to really get one system. Wii and DS have the franchises I love plus the consoles themselves and the game are the most inexpensive so that was a bonus. I have been having hours of fun with my favorite Nintendo made characters and those few “under-the-radar” third party gems that I love to play.

However, I am not an elitist and I do find many other games on the Microsoft and Sony systems that are very interesting to me and I also enjoy playing them very much if one of my friends happens to have them. But like my mom always says, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” and like my dad always says, “You think I can sh*t money!?” My parents taught me so much =]. Even if I had all the money in the world, I certainly do not have all the time in the world to play all these great video games out there. If I did own all three home consoles and both handhelds I would have to learn some more self control with buying games because I own around 15 Wii games and still haven’t beaten them all because I also spend time on my DS games and games for PS2, Gamecube, N64, PSX, SNES, Genesis, and other retro systems I own. If I stopped buying new games all together, I’d have enough games to keep me busy for the next 4 to 6 years probably!

Sorry I rambled on there! All I’m trying to say is that next time you know somebody who only has one of the systems don’t think to yourself “Well, he’s missing out on the other systems!” because you know what? You are probably missing out on some cool video games too. One thing I’ve learned in life is to enjoy what you can and not worry about what you may miss out on from time to time because no matter how you live your life, you will always miss out on something.


And always remember, if you make a mistake that’s not big enough to have to reset, just Push Button B! (I just made that up; that is not the site’s slogan, because that would probably be a bad slogan. I make cheesy slogans haha)

Dear Sir, Hello

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:38 am June 10, 2010

I’ve been wanting to write a post about Red Dead Redemption for the past couple of weeks. It has taken over as my current favorite game. Seeing as how I’ve been spending all of my free time playing the game, finding time to write about it has been problematic.

I’ll just say…
In some ways it is very much like Grand Theft Auto (gameplay wise– flawed targeting system too) but this is definitely not GTA and it’s fantastic.

There are so many side missions, jobs, interactions…

However, my favorite thing is how jazzed John Marston gets about picking flowers. He nerdily says “That’s one!” or “That’s what I’ve been looking for!” even when wolves are howling and creeping up behind him.



Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 8:00 am June 9, 2010

Purchased from: Xbox Live
Price paid: 80 Microsoft Points (equivalent to $1 American)
Platform: Xbox 360

One of the great things about the Indie Games channel of Xbox Live is that pretty much anyone that wants to pay the entrance fee can develop and publish their vision for the world to take in, which also is one of the biggest weaknesses. Pretty much any pile of dreck can make it to the service, which can make sifting through them to find the gems a chore.

But that’s what I’m here for.

One of the games that maed some waves last year was (and I quote) “I MAED A GAM3 WITH ZOMBIES IN 1T!!!1″, a game with a four-pronged hook.

Prong 1: Using ridiculous ‘Leet Speak‘, which virtually nobody uses seriously any more, to ‘maek the gaem’ look like it was put together by some kind of gamer. ‘One of us’, so to speak. But since I don’t know anyone who actually uses that kind of phraseology, I can only assume it’s supposed to be some kind of ‘inside joke’ that’s so not a secret that anyone who’s had access to the Internet for more than five minutes knows all about it.

Prong 2: A ridiculous self-referential theme song that plays for the length of the game. Throughout the first few minutes of the game you’re treated to (what I’m pretty sure is) the author of the game singing about how great his game is, about all the zombies, and how he hopes you buy it because it’s only a dollar. I’ve found several references that say that this song lasts for 13 minutes and 37 seconds, or 13:37, which is another reference to the ‘Leet Speak’ referenced above. I haven’t actually managed to find my stopwatch to time it, so I don’t actually know if that’s true or not.

Prong 3: You might remember a little game from a few years back called Geometry Wars that kind of exploded all over the Internet for a while. It’s a game that features you, a thing that moves around a playfield, shooting waves upon waves of things that aren’t you until they disappear. It’s probably safe to assume that the mechanics were ripped off from Geometry Wars, but since those mechanics were lifted almost wholesale from Smash TV, that’s not too big of a deal.

Prong 4: The game costs $1. You’re bludgeoned over the head with this fact repeatedly until you’ve lost consciousness, and then it’s jammed sideways into every open orifice on your person. There’s a good chance that you’ve got a dollar sitting in your Xbox Live account after buying shirts for your avatar, and this guy really wants you to use it to get his game instead of some pile of fetid bleu-cheese masquerading as a game.

And should you?

Well, that depends. The game is fast-paced, challenging, and kind of silly… And you can pretty much experience everything the game has to offer by watching the video above. Not to mention that playing it by yourself is kind of boring. But if you have two or more people, then it starts to get interesting. You can either work as a team or play for yourself, but I can guarantee* that there will be a lot of cross-chatter, some backstabbing, and a general good time held.

Unless your friends don’t like having mindless, silly fun. And who really wants to play video games with those people anyway?

*Not actually guaranteed.

A Story, A Vacation, and A Poll

Filed under: PSN Update — CJ @ 3:38 am June 8, 2010

The school year was drawing to a close and several of my students realized that they needed to find some way to get on my good side, and fast. Among their offerings were Mt. Dew, homemade cookies, Drumsticks (delicious ice cream cone treat), and other sugar-infused goodies. One gift - because bribe is such an ugly word – stood out above the rest this year.  I received my first video game from a student: God of War 3. For those of you paying attention, this is a very nice way to end the school year.

Summer break started with a four day marathon of graduation and going away parties before I was able to settle in and really enjoy all of the sugary goodness and bloody carnage (high calorie snacks and God of War, respectively). With a little bit of yard work out of the way and a couple months to catch up on some games and books ahead of me, I find myself at a loss for this week’s PSN installment. I’ve been too busy playing God of War, ModNation Racers, and finishing up Stephen King’s Dark Tower series to really get into what the Playstation Network has to offer.

With the story and vacation explained, we find ourselves staring pointblank at the poll. I’ve compiled a list of all of the demos that have surfaced on the PSN since my last real update and provided links to videos and reviews for each. The premise is simple: take a look at what’s available, then leave a comment with  your vote for which demo I should review for next week. If there is a tie, I’ll pull double duty and cover both. If nobody replies, I’ll stop spending so much time on these weekly posts.  Let the polling commence! Click more to find the polling information.


Hello Worlds!

Filed under: Web Games — Cameron @ 3:11 pm June 7, 2010

Hello Worlds! is a indie flash game that’s been getting a bit of air time lately, and it deserves it.  Hello Worlds! is a puzzle platformer where your mission is to get your little spider guy through the exit door of each level to collect stars to progress through the game.  You earn stars by collecting all of the coins in a stage, by finishing a stage and by completing the stage in a certain amount of time.

hello world

Each of these door sin the main world lead to an “Overworld” where there are more levels to choose from, and this is when it starts getting interesting. 


The level is split into multiple panes sometimes one sometimes up to four, but the trick is that you control all of the guys at once.  The red door is your exit and the green door removes that part of the stage from the level.  The goal in this level is to remove the stages in the right order to let you get the coins and make it out of the level. Be cautious because if you remove them in the wrong order you may get stuck, fortunately you can hit “V” to rewind and try again without having to restart.  You can hit “C” to see what the level would look like if it were all together.  As you can see some of the coins are inaccessible and the red door is buried pretty deep until you remove some of the stages.

Click through to read the rest of this article.


Light post Friday now a bit heavier

Filed under: Potant Potables — Cameron @ 5:28 am June 5, 2010

Well, since we have a bit of a lack of content today I figured I’d surprise everyone with some bonus material.  As a musician myself (yes I actually play an instrument) I really enjoy when people go out of there way to redo some classic video game music.  One of the neatest moments I’ve witnessed was seeing the live fully orchestrated Final Fantasy concert in Chicago a few years back.  So in honor of video game musicians everywhere I present you with my favorite video game music covers (and some originals).

The Mario Kart song

 Nintendo Themed Talent Show Medley

 Random RPG Acoustic Cover

Hit the jump for a ton more…


This post is relevant to your interests

Filed under: Potant Potables — Cameron @ 4:22 am

I hate watching youtube videos and being blasted with those stupid popup annotations, heres how to get rid of them.

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