Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I, for one, welcome our new Israeli overlords!

Imagine my surprise this morning when I checked my blog stats and saw that I had 980 views yesterday!

I figured something was amok, since I usually have about ~20 per day. I'm up in the 30's on a good day. Apparently a bot or web crawler of some kind hit up my site like a warhead. I got 950 hits from Israel last night alone. No idea how or why.

However, that does lead me to believe that my site and show must be the #1 Best Blog and Web Show in Israel. The Israelis LOVE me! (The opposite of those stupid "Linguists HATE her!" ads) I'm blowing up! I'm the best! I don't plan on making any changes to adapt to a mainly Israeli audience, at least not in the short term. I'll just keep on keeping on with the quality content you (and by "you" I mean my new best friends from Palestine) have come to expect!

New show tonight! Tune in on twitch.tv!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Humble Bundle Acquisitions: Aquaria

So I played Aquaria, which I got probably a couple years ago. Turns out it's really good! I shouldn't have waited so long!

You play as a mermaid named Naija. Yup, you read that right, and you have an epic quest/destiny/thing to go on. Using the power of your voice and mystical songs, you can solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and cook food. Yes, that does not sound very good, but I felt that it was definitely worth the time I played. It has great underwatery visuals and music (as you would hope...being that singing is a primary mechanic) I plan on playing more. Also, I was going to put down money that the narrator was the same person as in the new Tomb Raider game. I was super wrong. Sorry everyone.

It's pretty cheap on Steam, but it's also available on the iPad, which sounds like would fit it well.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Humble Bundle Acquisitions: A Virus Named TOM

A Virus Named TOM was created by indie studio Misfits Attic, a husband and wife duo, which is completely adorable and awesome. However, I still think this game stunk.

Let me elaborate. It's your standard action puzzler. There's a cute story and swell, futuristic, art, but those things aside, I just felt really bored after about 10 minutes of playing it. Each level is constrained to such a small board where the solution is either blatantly obvious or (as more mechanics are introduced) so obscured that it comes down more to trial and error than anything else. It was very infrequent that I really felt like I was really solving a puzzle or having an "Ah ha!" moment.

Maybe it's just not my kind of game, but I think this title would be better suited to a mobile format for easy pick-up and put-down-ness. Playing straight through on my PC got old really quick. Video of play through below.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Humble Bundle Acquisitions: Guacamelee!

Imagine a bold artsyle, luchadores, and countless jokes about tequila.If this sounds at all interesting to you, go play this game right right now. It's hilarious and I thought it was a whole lot of fun! The game focuses on Juan, who, after an untimely death, is chosen by a mythical lacha mask to be resurrected and restore balance to a Day of the Dead festival as the ultimate luchador. Seriously. That's a perfect premise. I wanted to play a bit more before writing a post about it, but I didn't have time for it over the weekend. My 30 minutes of HBA: Live is right here and as you will be able to tell, I had a great time!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Humble Bundle Acquisitions: Surgeon Simulator 2013

I went into this game expecting one thing and getting something a lot weirder.

Firstly, there was a lot less blood than I expected. Actually, for the most part, this game is more or less bloodless which is especially surprising when you consider that "Blood Loss" is a key losing mechanic in this game. Sure, you get little blood spots on your hands and arms during a procedure, but as far as drops, puddles, pools, squirts, or sprays of blood, I was surprised by their complete absence. It was a good surprise.

The surprise that I didn't like was just how obscene the entire game felt at all times. Ripping out a person's lungs with my bare hands does not feel good, even when I know it's fake. It just felt very wrong, like I was desecrating something sacred. I've been a gamer all my life, so I've done some terrible things in the name of high scores and victory screens, but this was one of the actions I have felt least comfortable with. The somewhat cartoony visuals made it feel even more bizarre, and I can't decide if more realism would have been an improvement or not.

And the controls! My heavens the controls!!! They were simply terrible, and more or less seemed to be so intentionally. For me, that does not add a layer of complexity or mystery or anything else; it's just irritating. It made the game feel like you were playing Operation (which I imagine was point), except there's someone sitting behind and purposely constricting your movement the entire time. Eventually, you would want to punch that person in the face. While playing Surgeon Simulator 2013, there is no face you can punch, it's your own face, constantly slamming into a wall of terrible controls until you either win or lose, occasionally at random.

All in all, I'd put this game at a solid "Try it." I have no intention of ever playing it again, but it was a pretty fun time for a little while. Even better, I'd say to play it with a couple of friends, so there's someone to enjoy the antics with (just like the original Operation! :O).