In November I had a birthday, I’ve decided to buy a Sony Playstation Vita for myself as a birthday gift. Amazon had a nice Black Friday sale for the Vita – which might have pushed me to decide to buy myself a birthday gift, rather than going out there looking for a Vita and there happening to be a sale.
Amazon, for those who don’t know, won’t ship electronics to most countries outside of North America, and certainly doesn’t ship them to Israel. So, I’ve decided to use a deputy service, Buy2USA, an Israeli deputy service that has a very handy tool for ordering from Amazon – so long you order from Amazon, they tell you in advance exactly how much you will pay for the product, the shipping, the handling charges and the taxes – you know in advance the full sum you are expected to pay.
The product arrived, and all was well and good, but then I checked, and as part of the order I was supposed to receive codes for 3 months’ worth of PS+, and a code to download Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, basically Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. – I did not receive these codes. The one downside to ordering via Buy2USA from Amazon directly using the aforementioned method is that the account used to make the orders isn’t your account – it is theirs. So, these codes were supposed to be sent via email, but not to my account, but the deputy service’s.
Steins;Gate is based on a visual novel, which may explain some of the idiosyncrasies that I’ve noticed and which weirded me out while watching the show. Not all of them, mind, since some of them are probably there to keep you off your feet. A visual novel for those who don’t know is a video game which is basically a “choose your own adventure” but with less input/the choices usually being more social in nature – it is a novel told visually with some input from the user. It’s predominantly Japanese, and very often the games are romantic/erotic in nature.
The cast of Steins;Gate
In fact, one of the first things I noticed in the show, but at first I didn’t pay it much mind was that the main character was surrounded by women when the opening song ended, after a few episodes when I’ve realized this is a show about time-travel, alternate realities and conspiracies, this had become somewhat perplexing – why are so many characters of the cast women? Why is there basically one male surrounded by so many girls (the other male is a caricature for “unattractive”) in a non-romantic/romantic-comedy show?
(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. I will probably spoil major plot points in this post.)
As I begin writing this post, we are 2 hours and 35 minutes away from midnight in Israel, when Starcraft 2 will be released. For the first time, I will be going to a midnight release of a video game. Not because I’m such a huge Starcraft fan, but, why not?
The hype and excitement over Starcraft 2 is quite crazy, and it’s not like Blizzard even had to do a lot to fan it. Well, that’s not entirely true, they fanned it by not speaking too much about it, and letting gamers who were honestly excited do all the promotion on their own. This is a winning technique, when you already have people going crazy for your next release, no matter what you say or do.
Raynor. Jim Raynor. Human badass.
I really started playing serious video games in my own home when I was in fourth grade. One of the first few games I’ve received was Warcraft 2, and then its expansion (which I didn’t enjoy much with the crazy magic difficulty). I still remember after my father installed it he tried to play and couldn’t get things done, and I got things working from the first few minutes of playing the campaign – I found it intuitive; same as some years later my cousin had Age of Empires and didn’t know how to get things done, and I sat down and within a couple of minutes got the hang of the game.
Well, Portal is two years old, and recently, I assume to celebrate Steam becoming available for Mac users, Valve/Steam had released Portal for free, for about a week.
What is Portal? Historically, it’s a small game that came bundled with Half Life 2: The Second Episode, also bundled came Team Fortress 2. I passed on this game, and never did pick up Portal alone.
Portal had won numerous accolades, and if I had to describe what kind of game it is, it’s a puzzle game, and as many puzzle games, it’s also a platformer. It’s a 3D platformer, but that’s not entirely new, as there had been Rayman 3(D) before. It’s also a first person platformer, which is slightly rarer. Here is a 2D platformer flash based version of Portal someone made online. The maps from this version were later added to the actual game.
Portal, is a game that in a way is based on the physics engine of Half-Life 2, and is a game where you have two weapons: Your wits, and the portal gun. Do try to keep your wits about you. Your Portal Gun (Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device) is capable of shooting two portals, one for entry and one for egress. You can easily cross chasms or walls in this manner, or leap a great distance forward.
This will be a short post on Computer/console-Role-Playing Games (RPGs), which are why I’m so scarce this week; as opposed to last week, when it was due to me attending a convention.
Rush and Irina Sykes. Protagonist and sister.
The Last Remnant, Square Enix‘s less than stellar last game, is the one I’m currently spending too much time on, which is exactly the point: These games work their magic on me in such a manner that even when they are less than stellar, my days are lost to them.