Archive for September 2014

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale   Leave a comment

This game is the gaming world equivalent of fan service. Hot on the heels of the wildly successful crossover fighting game, Super Smash Bros. franchise, Sony developed PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and released it in November 2012. It follows the same concept as Smash Bros.: Characters that made their name on PlayStation consoles are drawn to various “time holes” scattering everyone across different points in history of PlayStation. Parappa the Rapper, Kratos from God of War, Heihachi from Tekken, good and evil Cole from inFAMOUS, and many more battle it out among the who’s who of PlayStation games.

Colonel Radec (Killzone), Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter), Heihachi (Tekken), Nathan Drake (Uncharted), Kratos (God of War), Cole MacGrath (inFAMOUS), Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal), Big Daddy (Bioshock), Sly Cooper (Sly Cooper), Fat Princess (Fat Princess), Parappa (Parappa the Rapper), Toro Inoue (Doko Demo Issyo)

Colonel Radec (Killzone), Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter), Heihachi (Tekken), Nathan Drake (Uncharted), Kratos (God of War), Cole MacGrath (inFAMOUS), Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal), Big Daddy (Bioshock), Sly Cooper (Sly Cooper), Fat Princess (Fat Princess), Parappa (Parappa the Rapper), Toro Inoue (Doko Demo Issyo)

Up to four players can battle each other using characters from various Sony franchises, as well as third-party franchises. There are, however, differences in how opponents are defeated. During the game, players damage other players to receive “AP” orbs that build up a power meter at the bottom of the screen (These orbs can also be found on the stage over the course of the match). Earning enough power allows players to use one of three levels of special attacks named “Super Moves” which can be used to defeat opponents and earn points. The game features cross-platform play between the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions.

The game features a traditional single-player arcade mode, in which players must defeat several randomly selected opponents, followed by a character-specific rival battle and, ultimately, a battle against the game’s main antagonist and final boss, Polygon Man. Multiplayer modes include time-based matches, where players compete to achieve the most kills within a time limit, stock based matches, where players attempt to be the last one standing, and kill-limit matches, where players compete to be the first to reach a certain number of kills. The game also features a single-player challenge mode, in which players attempt to complete specific objectives. [1]

First half of the Hades stage based on God of War.

First half of the Hades stage based on God of War.

Along with the host of varying playable characters, All-Stars also comes with a range of items and levels influenced by various PlayStation franchises. The game features 14 different arenas for battle, with elements in each one that can damage characters and cause them to lose AP. Each stage is based on a combination of two games, such as “Sandover Village” (based on Jak and Daxter and Hot Shots Golf), “Dreamscape” (based on LittleBigPlanet and Buzz!), “Stowaways” (based on Uncharted and BioShock Infinite), and “Hades” (based on God of War and Patapon). As time passes, a stage’s second representation takes hold, usually introducing a map hazard into the level. In addition, there are several item pick-ups that can be utilized by players, such as the Hedgehog Grenade from Resistance, the Gravity Shield from Wipeout, Baumusu’s Axe from Rise of the Kasai, and Razor Claws from Ratchet & Clank. These items can be used to augment a player or do damage to an opponent. [2]

This can be a fun casual game and be treated as a serious fighting game. There are a few downsides. Players can only win a match if they have the most points based on number of kills (+2) and deaths (-1). The only way to kill opponents is by using your Super Moves. On time-limited matches, players can just make the first kill and avoid being killed for the duration of the match. This requires a different strategy compared to most fighting games. Single-player mode uses still images in both the character intros and endings, only using in-game graphics of the characters having a pre-match conversation with their sub-boss before fighting Polygon Man.

Overall, it’s a good game. The controls are easy to pick up. No long string of character-specific button combinations to memorize. The story is cheesy and just what you’d expect in a crossover game. It’s currently free for PlayStation Plus subscribers on the PlayStation Network for September.

I’m done.

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Posted September 14, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Games, Reviews

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LEGO Architecture – The Eiffel Tower   2 comments

I made the nanoblock version of the Eiffel Tower before. This is the LEGO Architecture version.

Posted September 5, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Building Toys, Timelapse, Video

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My Memories   Leave a comment

Kelly Gunderson’s 87-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s disease and on some days, her mother can’t even recognize the daughter she raised. Despite the odds, Kelly’s mother manages to remember long enough on this day to have a conversation with her daughter.

I pride myself in remembering a lot from my childhood and, generally, a lot of my past with vivid, almost absolute, accuracy. It would be devastating if I suffered dementia such as Alzheimer’s (God, forbid). There’s irony in contemplating memory loss. The thought haunts and disarms me. Of course, my mental health would deteriorate and, eventually, I’d be incognizant of my condition.

The people I know… relationships… places I’ve been… home… sights, sounds and scents… the only treasures all should cherish… slowly unwinds… phasing in and out your mind… then, suddenly… gone.

Strangers. Foreign. Alien. Confusion. Alone.

“Oh, Mama, look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I’m dead. You’re a grandmother, Mama! Wally’s dead, too. His appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it – don’t you remember? But, just for a moment now we’re all together. Mama, just for a moment we’re happy. Let’s really look at one another!….I can’t. I can’t go on. It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back — up the hill — to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you…” – Emily’s monologue in Act 3 from Our Town

Such a final farewell is fitting for an afflicted mind that’s fleeting.

I’m done.

Posted September 1, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Personal

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