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ZANMUSHI http://www.zanmushi.com Michigan Gaming Blog Thu, 10 Oct 2013 23:07:06 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.1 Limited Gameplay with Electronic Handhelds http://www.zanmushi.com/2011/limited-gameplay-with-electronic-handhelds/ http://www.zanmushi.com/2011/limited-gameplay-with-electronic-handhelds/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2011 01:45:05 +0000 Dennis http://www.zanmushi.com/?p=153 order discount viagra

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Today it seems that handheld game systems can do just about anything. In some cases they can do more than their big brother consoles. But there was a time when some handhelds couldn’t do a whole lot, and we liked it. These were known as electronic handheld games. I’m not talking about your fancy pants Game Boy. I’m speaking specifically of LCD and LED games.

Most people who follow games are probably familiar with the LCD handheld games from the 80’s and 90’s. The two most well known examples of these are the Game & Watch series made by Nintendo and the billions of handheld games produced by Tiger Electronics. Back in the 70’s, Mattel and Tandy produced handhelds, which used LED technology and have gaming experiences similar to their successors. I could break down the difference between LED and LCD games for you, but science is hard and I don’t believe anything I read on the Internet. Sorry!

While the technology used to create these types of games are different, the gameplay is essentially the same. Move your character along a path of predetermined locations on the screen while fighting and dodging the attacks of your enemies who navigate the same way. This could mean only having three places to move on the bottom of the screen in a Space Invaders knock-off, or only being able to jump up and down while attacking enemies who appear on the either side of the screen. In some cases you were lucky enough to actually move around the whole screen. These games were known as “The ones where you can move around the whole screen.”

During the next few weeks I’ll be featuring some of these games from my personal collection and discuss how the games work, and in some cases, find out if they still do work.

Format

Today it seems that handheld game systems can do just about anything. In some cases they can do more than their big brother consoles. But there was a time when some handhelds couldn’t do a whole lot, and we liked it. These were known as electronic handheld games. I’m not talking about your fancy pants Game Boy. I’m speaking specifically of LCD and LED games.
Most people who follow games are probably familiar with the LCD handheld games from the 80’s and 90’s. The two most well known examples of these are the Game & Watch series made by Nintendo and the billions of handheld games produced by Tiger Electronics. Back in the 70’s, Mattel and Tandy produced handhelds, which used LED technology and have gaming experiences similar to their successors. I could break down the difference between LED and LCD games for you, but science is hard and I don’t believe anything I read on the Internet. Sorry!
While the technology used to create these types of games are different, the gameplay is essentially the same. Move your character along a path of predetermined locations on the screen while fighting and dodging the attacks of your enemies who navigate the same way. This could mean only having three places to move on the bottom of the screen in a Space Invaders knock-off, or only being able to jump up and down while attacking enemies who appear on the either side of the screen. In some cases you were lucky enough to actually move around the whole screen. These games were known as “The ones where you can move around the whole screen.”
During the next few weeks I’ll be featuring some of these games from my personal collection and discuss how the games work, and in some cases, find out if they still do work.
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http://www.zanmushi.com/?p=61 You didn’t hear it here first, but in case you haven’t, Portal 2 is a well crafted game—a well crafted full game in comparison to its experimental (and shorter) predecessor. We all know how the Portal series handles controlled enlightenment through cleverly designed puzzles, subtle visual cues and creatively written voice narration. The perfect mix of difficulty and reward which act as the addictive, drug-like incentives to keep playing.

I picked up Portal 2 a few days after it’s release and had the single player campaign completed in 2 days. I’ll explain some expectations I had for Portal 2 and elements I believe made my experience enjoyable and memorable.

Half-Life, we miss you.

I still haven’t decided if a main reason Portal 2 is so appealing to me is because I know it takes place within the Half-Life universe. Not to say it wouldn’t be interesting otherwise—but that specific tie-in makes the Portal games so much stronger. Knowing the Combine resides only a few test chambers above you on the surface is a fun thought. Although this isn’t really a complaint, I was incredibly excited for possible tie-ins to the Half-Life series with the new Portal. Wishful thinking? Maybe. We haven’t heard from Freeman since 2007 in Episode 2—other than a few Black Mesa bones thrown at us with the Portal series. However, after completing the single player campaign in Portal 2, I did go online to see if I missed any tie-ins. The only hint of Half-Life I should have discovered was the empty Borealis dock, which I missed anyway. Oh well. My fingers are crossed that we’ll hear more about the next Half-Life installment soon.

Logos, yes lets talk about logos.

I had written down a note to “Talk about the different logos” while I was playing Portal 2. Being a graphic designer and seeing the evolution of the Aperture brand while venturing from the facility’s depths was most amazing. Yes, there was the large, obvious, decayed type spelling “Aperture”  hanging from ceilings at times. But I’m talking about the little treasures found throughout the facility; in offices, printed on coffee mugs and plastered on walls. Subtle, visual cues such as warning labels or posters referencing past eras. Minute glimpses into a modest narrative if you took the time to explore.

I really wanted to shed light onto the graphic design within Portal 2
because I’ve noticed Valve usually does a great job with this in their
other titles as well. It’s nice to see them continue this trend with
witty, well designed graphics, posters and environmental material in
Portal 2. It would be great to see more of this trend with other developers; I wont point fingers, but we have all seen our fair share of sub-par typography in one very specific zombie survival-horror franchise that has the initials: R.E. If you think about it, maybe there’s an absence of visually interesting, static imagery in most video game environments. I think I’m complaining again.

_

Thanks for sticking with me while I find my “voice” through this second article—and please, stay tuned for some more great content from some pretty cool guys that know games.

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Dragon Age & My White PT Cruiser. http://www.zanmushi.com/2011/bioware-dragon-age-my-white-pt-cruiser/ http://www.zanmushi.com/2011/bioware-dragon-age-my-white-pt-cruiser/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2011 22:13:21 +0000 James O'Briant http://www.zanmushi.com/?p=3 Video games.

Welcome to Zanmushi. This is my first and humble attempt writing about video games—bear with me. A little late to be writing about Dragon Age: Origins, I know. I’m currently all over the place with my Playstation 3 libr

ary. With this site, I’m aiming for personal gaming experiences that tell stories—reviews are a dime a dozen and there are plenty of great sites for that. That said, enjoy the site and my first article.

After finishing the new PS3 port of Mass Effect 2 last month, Bioware hunger had set in. Dragon Age: Origins (in my unpredictable consumption order) was the next stop. After traveling to three stores on a Michigan winter night, I finally got my hands on Dragon Age—the Ultimate Edition, expansions and extra content included. I hopped back in the white PT Cruiser and rushed home.

The story telling is done well and quite possible the driving force behind my 10+ hours clocked thus far. Starting out, the game has you run through a traditional character creation—what you’d expect from modern action RPGs. Aside from choosing race (Human dwarf or Elf) your main decision lies between three classes. After spending a few hours with each, I settled with a Rouge over the Mage and Warrior. The Warrior seemed a little straightforward while the Rouge class acted as a middle ground. Too many times I have chosen to hack’n'slash my way through game campaigns—and if you’re wondering why I didn’t go with a Mage, well, a close friend steered me away (due to difficulty) for my first play through. Besides, entering stealth mode and sapping unsuspecting AI just sounds fun—and it is.

As you may know, Dragon Age gets its subtitle “Origins” from the initial story arcs activated depending on the class and race you choose, each usually lasting around an hour before the game world begins to opens up. This makes it worthwhile to try a few Origin stories before making your final decision. And for a game lasting upwards of 50+ hours, I wanted to be sure.

I’ll be honest, initially I was under the impression Dragon Age would suffer from it’s genre’s (action RPG) indecisiveness, underdeveloped action or weak RPG elements being the case—sometimes both. Because it’s neither one nor the other, the genre can sometimes risk lacking depth in both areas. Surprisingly, after spending more time with Dragon Age: Origins, it’s RPG side exploded—almost to the point where action ceased to exists and individual battles had to be micro-managed. This of course in stark contrast while descending from mountain Mass Effect. I might have been expecting the seamless transition between action and role playing elements that Mass Effect 2 offered, but even Mass Effect lacked total fulfillment in the RPG department. Tear. But that’s another story.

Congratulations! You made it to my article’s conclusion.

With Dragon Age, I’m confident the complexity will expand as the plot thickens and my every decision leads me down a completely unique path. Let’s hope my spoiled attention span will endure.

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