Archive for the Retro-gaming Category

It’s a Book, it’s a Game, it’s a GAMEBOOK!

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, iGaming, iPhone, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Retro-gaming, RPGs on February 11, 2010 by thelonegamer

Wow, does this bring back memories…

Back when I was a kid, we didn’t have PSPs or DS’s or even mobile phones that could play cool games. Scratch that- we didn’t have mobile phones, period. Back then, RPG’s were played with actual dice, pens and paper, with flesh-and-blood players and a Dungeon Master/Referee/Storyteller. If you were a loner or didn’t know a gang of geeks but wanted to play wild portable adventures, the best way to do it was with a book- an interactive gamebook.

The Choose Your Own Adventure books started the trend of books with readers as heroes, followed by the predictable clones and variants-Which Way, Be An Interplanetary Spy! Escape! and so on… But these were just the first step- then came the books with actual COMBAT. Some needed dice, some coin tosses or even the time of day to decide battles. There were tons of them, but surely the best were some of the first- the Fighting Fantasy books, in particular. These page-driven adventures sent you into realms filled with monsters and mazes, where your choices and luck with the dice decided on your fate. Treasure and fame, or death by fang or fire.

Man, I loved these books- However, one problem I had with them was that I often cheated; it was too much trouble to get dice, keep track of stats and God Forbid- actually WRITE on my book? So more often than not I just read through the adventures without actually playing the fights.

Well, now that all can be rectified as the Fighting Fantasy books are being released on the AppStore for play on the iPhone or iPod Touch. These adapted FF books contain the original text, art and fighting system, but have the wonderful convenience of in-game dice (which you use by shaking your phone! Cool!) and automatic recording of progress, items, stats and stuff… which is AWESOME. You still have to roll the dice yourself for both you and your enemies, and you have to still turn pages by yourself- but well, that’s being this is still half a book, and half a game.

All I can say is that adapting the Fighting Fantasy (and other interactive fiction books) on iPhone is PERFECT. This is certainly not for everyone, but RPG fans, bookies or anyone who loved these books years ago would do well to give these refreshed game lits a try. At present, the AppStore has The first two FF books- the classic Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and Deathtrap Dungeon, available at the reasonable price of $2.99. A bit pricier but chunkier and with arguably better presentation and all-new material is Gamebook Adventures, the first release of which is An Assassin in Orlandes, out for $4.99.

I’m already playing Firetop Mountain, and it’s so far awesome- I think it’s a MUCH better and more faithful adaptation than the DS release. Gonna get Deathtrap Dungeon next.
Wow, I can’t wait for them to release Forest of Doom! Or City of Thieves! Ah, welcome back, great gaming memories of youth. I feel like a kid again.

Praying for the Devil’s Return

Posted in Gaming, PC Gaming, Retro-gaming, RPGs on June 26, 2008 by thelonegamer

No, I haven’t turned to devil-worshipping. All week, Blizzard has been teasing something online about something… BIG. It’s an announcement that many are speculating to be a sequel to their much-beloved dungeon crawler, Diablo 2. Dare we say it…? DIABLO 3. Man, I remember Diablo 2- that was the game that made me buy my first PC. I just HAD to have that game. I loved everything about it- the character classes, the combat, the stages, the enemies, the creepy music… Levelling up was awesome as you built up your adventurer with ever-more-powerful skills and powers. My first character was a Paladin- pretty straightforward and easy. Then I moved up to Necromancer, since it was just too cool to walk around with an army of undead at your beck and call. When the expansion came I of course gravitated to the martial-artsy Assassin.

Good times. I spent countless hours lugging tons of stuff, fixing up my inventory, filling up my chest… And that freakin’ awesome Cow Level. Awesome.

My gosh. Please let it be Diablo 3. PLEASE let it be Diablo 3. We all find out this weekend. Cross your fingers.

Remembering Xenogears

Posted in Gaming, My Stuff, PSOne, Retro-gaming, RPGs on May 7, 2008 by thelonegamer

It may be hard for me to fathom this nowadays, but back then, in the days of the PSX, I wasn’t a Hardcore Casual Gamer. I was a HARDCORE Gamer. Back then, it was par for the course to spend days on a game, hours on end, with just the minimum of sleep, food and human companionship required. There were games that consumed me to the core, so much that every waking moment spent away from the console still revolved around the titles that made gaming so sweet.

One of my most cherished RPG titles of all time is, without a doubt, Xenogears. This Square RPG wasn’t as big as FFVII (it came sometime after, and was even mentioned by Cloud Strife in-game) but let me say that any Xenogears fan will swear on their deathbed that the experience of playing this title was sublime.

Set in a world where martial arts and mammoth robots existed in everyday life, the player took the role of Fei, a young man who soon embarks on a journey to discover the secrets behind his violent and strife-ridden world. On the way he’ll meet the love of his life- and of his past lives- friends and allies who will stand by him to the end, horrors and tragedy, betrayal, war, science, magic, false gods and more. But even with the complex, twisting storyline, I remember never being lost- it was like playing or living a marvelous anime series, with you in the pilot’s seat. The story was amazing, the presentation awesome with anime cutscenes and great music (though some of the english voice-acting was off-sync) and dramatic moments that will stay with you forever.
You just know you love a game so much when you care deeply about the characters- I truly cared for the members of my party- but Xenogears pushed the envelope to eleven when I found myself worrying about the fate of a side character- a very minor side character at that- after a planetwide crisis ravages the world (don’t worry- the character, a kind nurse who helped Fei out in his time in a gladiatorial arena, came out fine). Man, I didn’t just play Xenogears… I lived it.

Coupled this with addictive gameplay with the coolest characters (my favorites were Sitan Uzuki after he picks up his sword again, and Billy the gun-toting priest). Could you say bad-ass and kicking ass? Xenogears let you do it in style.

Yeah, these days we have Xenosaga, but it just isn’t the same. If there’s a game that should be given a remake treatment, along with FFVII this should be one. Xenogears is GOLD, and the generations of gamers who missed this gem who consider themselves RPG or anime fans owe themselves the pleasure of getting a PSX and playing this game. It’s that awesome.

Man, those where the days.

Tekken 6 Arcade Intro

Posted in Fighting Games, Gaming, Retro-gaming on December 1, 2007 by thelonegamer

Here’s the CG Intro to Tekken 6, courtesy of some cool dudes on Youtube who hijacked it from the previously impenetrable Nico Video. Cool stuff with the new characters abound in this short but sweet movie, along with the two warring Mishimas. It’s actually been seen before, but it’s a bit clearer this time around. I fully expect the final, final CG intro for the PS3 version to be a lot longer and contain more characters. For now though, we can just let our mouths water at the prospect of playing this awesome brawler on our PS3’s next year.


Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, PS3, Retro-gaming on October 3, 2007 by thelonegamer

In a recent interview posted over at Gametrailers,  it was revealed that Metal Gear Solid 4 will feature cutscenes from the previous games as flashbacks to help thresh out MGS4’s narrative. This was shown in one cutscene where Snake and Meryl first meet in MGS4. These ‘memories’ of games past would appear as they did in the games they came out in, so the footage from the original Metal Gear Solid will look as as primitive as heck next to the footage from the next couple of sequels, not to mention MGS4 itself. Still, it will be pretty nostalgic and neat to see stuff like the Shadow Moses infiltration, meeting Olga at the start of Sons of Liberty and perhaps Naked Snake’s little interludes with Eva AKA Big Momma.

Anyway, another aside, there won’t be any more trailers coming out for MGS4 since the devs are hard at work with finishing the actual game instead of readying any more promotional material. Sounds fine by me. MGS4 is still set for an early 2008 release, which really isn’t that far off. Can’t wait.