Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Freaks of Bioshock, Part 2: Little Sisters

Last time we covered the freakiest of the Bioshock characters, the Splicers.  In part 2 of this series we will look at everyone's favorite creepy brainwashed children: the Little Sisters.

If the glowing eyes don't make you run for your life, maybe the bloody syringe will.
Little Sisters were "created" in order to produce ADAM, the substance discussed in part 1.  They are girls who have been implanted with a certain sea slug, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two beings.  Using the girl as a host, the slug generates massive amounts of ADAM, which can be harvested by causing the Little Sister to vomit.  Pretty disgusting so far right?  It gets worse.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Freaks of Bioshock, Part 1: Splicers

Bioshock is a great game with an even greater atmosphere to experience.  If you can use your imagination and get past the fact that it is impossible to build such a city as Rapture, then you really feel as if you are exploring the wreckage of a once-grand underwater metropolis.  The eery environments are made even creepier due to the fact that you know you are going to encounter a myriad of the game's signature freaks, some of which will gladly appear at unexpected moments when your guard is down.

Since there are so many weird character types in Bioshock, this will be a multiple part blog series, starting with the creepiest inhabitants of Rapture: the Splicers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gaming News: Sony Cuts PS3 Price to $250

Let us deviate from our path of game strangeness for a minute and report that Sony is cutting the price of the PS3 from $299 to $249.  Looks like Sony decided to play a little follow-the-leader after the recent price drop of the Nintendo 3DS.

Regardless, it is now a bit more affordable to try out some weird PS3 games such as Catherine, where you get to experience the nightmares of the protagonist, while solving puzzles along the way.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Annoying Sidekicks That Make You Want to Go Solo

Sometimes, even the mightiest of game characters need someone or something to provide assistance.  When done properly, a sidekick for the main character can be a valuable asset, providing hints or new abilities that wouldn't be available otherwise.  Sometimes a good sidekick can be there mainly to provide observations that help to pull you into the story, such as in the Halo games when Cortana provides the Master Chief with updates about the Covenant's whereabouts and current actions.

However, there are game developers out there who want to ruin our fun by providing annoying and sometimes worthless sidekicks that rarely do more than get on our nerves.  Here are some of the offending characters that you may have had the misfortune of putting up with.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Many Odd Choices for Protagonists

When playing video games, we all like to play as interesting characters, from the mighty Link to the Jedi and Sith of the Knights of the Old Republic games.  Seeing as how we'll be stuck playing as these characters for the 10-30+ hours it usually takes to complete a game, we'd like the characters to be somewhat likeable.

Fortunately a majority of the games I have played have included protagonists that I found thoroughly enjoyable.  However, as with everything in life, there have been some serious mistakes made by game developers when choosing a main protagonist for their games.  What follows are a few protagonists that I think should never have been allowed to make it past the drawing board.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Strange Gaming Moment: Gravemind the Talking Plant

Remember back when you had your first play through of Halo 1?  The suspense as you made your way through the dark and creepy swamp level?  The anticipation of what kind of terrifying enemy would make the Covenant run for their lives?  I admit I was a bit let down upon finding out that the main reason for the suspense was just the zombie-like Flood, but it was still a nice change of pace to have a new enemy to battle.  The Flood were a pain in the ass to fight, mainly because of how resilient they were to most weapons except the shotgun and the rocket launcher.  Even the sheer numbers of the parasitic forms could be a nightmare if your shields were down.

Go ahead, unload that entire assault rifle clip into him, he can take it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Odd Moments in Japanese Arcade Gaming

Let's face it, games developed in Japan can get downright strange.  I'm not saying all Japanese games are weird, because it would be gamer blasphemy to knock such masterpieces as the Mario and Zelda franchises, and the majority of the Final Fantasy games.  Although, think about the concept of Super Mario for a second and tell me it's not weird to play a game where a fat plumber warps around using pipes while battling killer turtles.

Anyway, the strangeness of some of these games extends to the arcades of Japan, where we see games that would probably not survive in censorship-crazy America.  One such game is Boong-Ga Boong-Ga.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Strange Gaming News: Gotham City Impostors Beta

While we all wait for the dark and serious Batman: Arkham City to arrive, why not sign up for a beta test of a goofier, much stranger Batman-themed game?   The beta for Gotham City Impostors (available for Xbox 360, PS3, PC) will start in September, but you can head over to the game's main site to sign up right now.

For those who haven't heard of this game, it's a team-based first person shooter consisting of one Batman team and one Joker team.  Each team consists of psychopathic average Joes dressed up as either Batman or the Joker, depending on their team.  The trailer, which showcases fast paced action and over-the-top weaponry, brings back memories (for me at least) of frantic Timesplitters multiplayer matches.  Chances are it won't be able to dethrone Team Fortress 2 in the area of team-based game play, but it should still be fun to fire rockets at murderous Batman wannabes wielding machine guns.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Awkward Gaming Moment: Cloud Strife in Drag

In an earlier post, I claimed that Cloud Strife was one of the most badass characters in the Final Fantasy games, certainly more so than Tidus and Vaan of later games.  However, there is one moment in Final Fantasy VII that puts this into question, which is when Cloud dresses up in drag.  For all five of you who haven't played FFVII, I'll have you know that I'm not making this up.

In an early mission in the game, Cloud wanders through the Wall Market section of Midgar, collecting items of clothing such as a dress and lingerie, and even finds himself obtaining a wig.  The point being that Cloud needs to enter a mafia leader's house where he believes Tifa has been kidnapped.  Apparently cross dressing is the only way to do this, I guess Cloud forgot that he carries a body-sized sword and is powerful enough to match Sephiroth.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Fighters of Soul Calibur: Meet the Freak Show

First off, before I get accused of bashing, I would like to say that I'm a fan of fighting games, especially the Soul Calibur games.  They are some of the easiest games to pick up and play, with enough depth and fun factor to keep you coming back for years.  In a game a such as Soul Calibur, where the battle between good and evil is always present, mainly due to two magical swords, you expect to see a certain degree of mystical character design.  Soul Calibur definitely provides the mystical characters, such as the ghost pirate Cervantes and the possessed knight Nightmare.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Strange News in Gaming

In "exciting" news, Excalibur Publishing Limited has released their thrilling game titled Street Cleaning Simulator!  Who needs Grand Theft Auto, with it's fast cars, police chases, and all-out carnage?  Excalibur Publishing claims that you'd rather be cruising the streets at a comfortable 5 MPH pace, scrubbing away dirt, fast food wrappers, and all other exciting pieces of trash.

Seriously, whenever I think that developers are running out of ideas, along comes a group of developers to prove that yes, they are indeed running out of ideas.  I understand the existence of other simulation games; railroad simulators have a generous following, and obviously flight simulators are very popular.  But why did someone need to develop a street cleaning simulation?  You are marketing to a very small, if non-existent niche here.  Judging from the harsh review courtesy of Gamespot, it's as if the developers figured nobody was going to purchase this game anyway and put no effort into creating a polished simulation.

Street Cleaning Simulator, coming to a bargain bin near you.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tingle: The Man-Elf From Your Worst Nightmares

When you stop to think about it, the Legend of Zelda games have some genuinely creepy characters.  People have plenty to fear from these games, be it Ooccoo from Twilight Princess, the Redeads from Ocarina of Time, and probably the most feared character of them all: Tingle.

Tingle first appeared to haunt our nightmares in Majora's Mask for the N64,  where he desperately wants to be a fairy.  He has become so delusional that he thinks wearing green full-body spandex, acting extremely flamboyant, and flying around with the help of a balloon tied to his waist has magically transformed him.  Sadly the only way to receive maps for certain areas of the game are by buying them through Tingle, so for most of us, this creature was unavoidable.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Left 4 Dead Boomer Necklace

I thought this was a funny/strange idea for a necklace, so I had to share it!  Behold the Boomer necklace:

What better gift than a gigantic, dangerous sack of vomit?

The Final Fantasy Xperience: Where Main Character Design Goes Wrong

Ah the Final Fantasy series, just thinking of it evokes memories of epic quests, magical and technologically advanced worlds on the brink of destruction, and lately, sissy-boy main characters who do nothing but whine and complain.  What has happened to the leading characters in FF games?  We didn't have this problem in earlier games in the series.  I'm sure that when you first read the words "Final Fantasy" in this post, most of you immediately thought of Final Fantasy 7, with the badass leading character Cloud Strife.  This guy was pure awesome, the only character in the game able to face Sephiroth one-on-one and carve him to pieces.
It's time to kick ass and chew materia gum.
Side note: I'm not even going to touch the topic of the emo Cloud in the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie; as far as I'm concerned, movies based on games are not canon and therefore do not exist.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Strange Moment in Gaming History

This installment of A Strange Moment in Gaming History is a piece of shit, literally.  I'm talking about none other than The Great Mighty Poo from Conker's Bad Fur day for the Nintendo 64.

Who would have thought that something so strange as a sentient, steaming pile of crap could be among the best features of the Conker game?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Historically Bad Voice Acting in Games

We've all played a game or two in our lives that has made us either cringe or bust out laughing (or both) upon reaching a cutscene.  I don't know about you, but when I'm watching a cutscene, I like to feel at least some immersion in the game world.   Even if it's a comical world such as in the Sonic Adventure games, the voice actors should at least give us the impression that they are trying to do their jobs.  But alas, in too many cases we have received some of the most cringe-worthy voice acting in gaming history.