For the next 44 hours or so (as of this posting), GOG.com is offering the classic LucasArts point-n-click adventure Full Throttle Remastered for free.
Presumably they fixed all the bugs that made it nigh impossible to finish back in the day. I recall giving up in a scene where you had to outwit a junkyard dog…
For the next 44 hours or so (as of this posting), GOG.com is offering the classic LucasArts point-n-click adventure Full Throttle Remastered for free.
Let’s start with a load of 80’s-style imagery combined with Star Wars in “Sunrise on Endor”:
Now, onto less glam-festooned (but still interesting) matters:
• Fans of the SCP Foundation will be glad to know Dr. Jack Bright is reviewing games on Steam.
• Scientists have discovered something they’re calling “Spider Milk.” Even if it cured baldness, gave people eternal youth, and was a perfect sugar substitute, it’d probably still have some major marketing problems if it was cultivated for consumer consumption.
• A YouTube animator might have the solution to Bethesda’s current problems with one of its more well-known franchises. How about giving us a LEGO Fallout? It’s only the intro to Fallout 3 thus far, but if they were really serious about making a game involving scavenging and crafting…
• Speaking of Fallout, if the devs ever want a nifty thing from the futuristic past on which to show videos, they could adapt the Panoram and Scopitone, 1940’s and 1950’s era video jukeboxes.
• From the “headlines I thought I’d never read,” especially having grown up on the old Superfriends cartoon, here’s an article about how a sequel to Aquaman is already being planned.
• I’d post this game just for the name alone: Total Party Kill has you controlling three adventurers, each with their own special attack, with the goal of getting at least one to survive each level, often at the cost of the others’ lives. Just like at a real gaming table.
I know nothing about this game other than I like the work the developers have done in the past:
I hope the joke about choosing means there are actual choices in this game, which wouldn’t be unexpected given their history. Still, it’s raised my expectations. I do wonder how much of this is a dig at Fallout 4, given that you’re a thawed out protagonist, “the corporations bought it all” could refer to the Fallout franchise, and their latest game is pretty much nothing but shooting things.
Anyhoo, I hope it’s good.
Long ago, probably thanks to comic books and TV shows, I thought that in order to patent something, you had to have a working model of that something to patent. I’d seen countless fictional inventors having to get their world-changing gizmo away from evil-doers who had stolen it either for a nefarious plot or to patent it themselves. I now know better, thanks to things like recent news reports about the possible replacement for the U.S. Attorney General.
Don’t leave, the political side of this isn’t what I’m concerned with here.
The person in question had dealings with a now defunct company that claimed to help people exploit their ideas and inventions. They defrauded many hopeful inventors, but one of their “projects” caught my eye: They claimed they were working on an investment scheme that involved time travel. Here’s their promotional video for it, uploaded two years ago to Vimeo:
It turns out that there are lots of patents that have been filed dealing with time travel. The fact that these were granted makes me wonder if the people who approved them weren’t exactly ignorant of the improbability that they could work, but instead approved them thinking, “Yeah, I dare you to try and build this thing.”
Of course, this could all be moot if someone uses time travel to patent other things to fund the development of their time machine. I wonder if I can patent the boostrap paradox and force them to pay royalties?
No, not Blizzard, who is having enough troubles with their latest Diablo game. It’s another update for No Man’s Sky, which is remarkable for the scenery they added, if nothing else:
And on a similar sightseeing note, the people behind the updating of the original Half Life game into a more modern form have released a trailer for the final level of the game, “Xen.” Some found this alien world a little lackluster compared to the rest of the game, if not a bit oddball when compared to the previous levels. I have to hand it to those who worked on this, they really sell Xen being an alien planet in another dimension:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to dispose of a little over half a foot of snow on my sidewalk, then it’s back to work. 🙂
As I want to remain a MSTie in good standing, I’m obligated to post the trailer/announcement for the upcoming Mystery Science Theater 3000 event, The Gauntlet:
As a side note, Ator, the Fighting Eagle is the first film in the Ator series. The second, Cave Dwellers, is already a classic MST3K episode.
• If you thought George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones stories were the height of “anyone can die” TV, Hulu is going to adapt the superhero novel series he edited, Wild Cards, for television. I never finished reading the entire series, as I fell off somewhere in the high teen-numbered volumes, but it was the first book collection I’d ever seen referred to as “splatterpunk” for all the inventive ways people died.
• 2019 will be the year planned to see a Harry Potter mobile game from the makers of Pokemon Go. This game, Wizards United, will probably move a lot of licensed scarves for players to wear.
• Making me think a bit of the news anchor from the old Batman Beyond cartoon, China has shown off some virtual news anchors. If they look like video game characters, maybe they’ll deliver salient plot points on whatever quests you need to accomplish during the day?
• On the sidewalk outside of Hollywood’s Chinese Theater, Mel Brooks made handprint impressions in the cement with an eleventh finger on display. Yes, they say it’s a prosthetic, but I’m disappointed that no one floated the possibility that he’s secretly an Andoran.
• The Dangerous Minds blog shows us loads of photos demonstrating how we really need to revive the concept of novelty radios. I had the Tropicana Orange one at one time, but time was unkind to the circuitry inside of it.
• I had no idea (though it makes sense) that jigsaw puzzle companies would use the same dies to cut different puzzles. An artist takes puzzles with the same cut pattern and makes interesting art pieces by combining them.
• As mentioned previously, a “Who Year’s Special” is set for January 1st, 2019. It’ll be preceded by a Doctor Who marathon starting on midnight of December 24th. I’m still not sure what to think of the new Doctor. Like I did with Capaldi, I think I need about one-and-a-half seasons to see if the writers can figure the character out again.
• And this post’s browser game is a little experimental. It’s called Stick Ranger 2, and it’s sort of a click-n-hack-n-slash game. You drag your stickman to move him across the playfield, then sort of jiggle him with the mouse to make him attack things (I think).
Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95. I first knew him by name thanks to the venerable (and massively cheesy) cartoon, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, which Lee narrated, usually finishing each show with a cry of “EXCELSIOR!”
But my favorite tribute to his work as the face of Marvel Comics comes from the YouTube channel, “The Cosmonaut Variety Hour.” With a warning that adult language is employed, here’s the host’s ranking of Stan Lee cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Given the advances in CGI, most recently in the de-aging of Samuel L. Jackson in the Captain Marvel trailer, how likely do you think it’ll be that we’ll still have Stan Lee cameos until the last Marvel movie in the history of humanity is made? I suppose it depends on the contracted fee to his estate for his likeness rights. Then again, if Leonardo Di Caprio gets to play Lee in a biographical film, perhaps Leo can take over the duties of StanLee2.0?
I almost think the games No Man’s Sky and Starbound are mirror-universe versions of the same basic game premise: You get a ship, you improve your gear via crafting, you can go through a story-based quest, and when you think you’re ready you can go explore a vast universe of procedurally generated planets.
They also encourage you to build bases on these planets. These planets which you’ll probably eventually leave far, far behind you.
While I didn’t really like how Star Trek Voyager was handled, I appreciated the feeling of isolation. Unless you have the JJ Abrams
poorly thought-out and totally universe-breaking concept of transwarp beaming, giving you access to every place in the galaxy you could want to visit, distance feels like it matters when you’re in a spaceship. Otherwise, you might start wondering why you bother with having a spaceship in the first place.
Starbound uses a kind of transwarp beaming system, in that your ship has a teleporter on it that can send you to any other teleporter you’ve bookmarked (usually you build them yourself) or to any flag you’ve placed as a marker. That flag you planted on your first humble shack and farm when you started the game means your “home” planet is only as far away as the nearest teleport booth. Also, as long as you’re on the surface of any planet, you can always beam back up to your ship, no matter how far away it might be.
This might irk a few sci-fi buffs who are already annoyed with the easy availability of FTL drives, but you’ll be thankful for this if you sink several hours into building the base you’ll need to house all your crafting materials and show off all of your stuff. You can craft/loot furniture, decorations, attractive wall and floor materials, etc., and naturally you’ll need a gallery of mannequins to display those costume sets you’ve been picking up. And then you can have colonists living in this wonderland you’ve built, paying you rent to do so, which is always good even if you’re so rich that money has become meaningless. And you’ll still want to travel beyond the stars to find the right kinds of planets with the right kinds of biomes and structures to
pillage and loot acquire new decorative items from or solve quests for your tenants, who often reward you with otherwise unobtainable furniture.
You can also dig for fossils and assemble them into museum displays. That takes a lot of room.
No Man’s Sky works with a similar setup. You have your ship which can warp between planetary systems. Later, you’ll probably grab a freighter that can hold six ships total as well as provide some space for storage, crafting stations, and a mobile base of operations for sending out frigates that will earn cash and find stuff for you. They’re kind of like the colony tenants in Starbound, but they’re bigger, metal, and require fuel to get income from. Your journey in this game will definitely take you away from where you start. Planets are fleeting things, fun to explore for a bit, but ultimately left behind as you either just wander about, go on the main story quest, or head towards the galactic core.
You’re also encouraged to build bases. Needless to say, you can easily leave them in the space-dust in short order. That’s what the game’s Gateways and Portals are for.
Portals exist on every star system’s main space station. You can visit any station you’ve previously set foot on, so the list of systems can get rather long. You can also build portals on your ship as well as in any base, so they can be connected to this network as well. The strange thing is that when you zap yourself through a portal, you’ll drag whatever spaceship you’ve got set as your current ship with you. This is because in No Man’s Sky, you always have a spaceship with you, though it can be damaged and require repair.
The Gateways are another beast altogether, though if you’ve watched Stargate, you’ll get the idea. It takes some doing, but every star system has a gate code, so if you find it and the system’s gate, you can always “dial home,” as it were. And yes, your current spaceship will come with you.
What kind of breaks the game’s rules for me about this setup is that once you have a freighter, you can summon it to your current in-space location. This is handy if you’re done with a system, you’re out at the farthest planet, and you don’t feel like taking the five minutes and pulse engine fuel needed to go back to your capital ship and warp away. This summoning works anywhere in the galaxy. You can be on the edge of the galaxy, go look up the gate code for the system closest to the galactic core, jump all the way there, then summon your freighter instantly. Normally, the fuel required for the multiple jumps needed to get to the core the long way around is a pretty big pile of antimatter. For reasons of “video game,” however, you can get around that by finding the gate codes and whistling for your freighter to follow.
Contrast this with Minecraft, a game that has a nearly infinite landscape to explore, but no easy way to connect distant places without modding the game. You can use the Nether as a kind of hyperspace dimension, since it’s 1/8th the size of the overworld, making Nether Portals a great way to cross oceans or vast tracts of land you’re not interested in. You’re more likely to be tied to certain areas just because once you build a base, city, or giant habitable dragon-shaped mountain, you’ll want to be able to get back to it at some point without spending hours in transit.
Now, I’m not dunking on Starbound and No Man’s Sky for how they’re doing what they’re doing. A more realistic virtual universe would result in players just making a string of abandoned structures or restricting themselves to a handful of systems if they were enamored of their construction projects. That would make the exploration part a lot less appealing. What I find interesting is that while No Man’s Sky seems to have two sets of rules for travel (one with fuel as a needed resource, one where it doesn’t matter at all), the game manages to make me feel more like I’m really leaving things behind, even if I’m not breaking a connection with them. In my Starbound game, I think I have three main colonies that I occasionally tinker with, but they feel connected to my ship, almost like they’re just through a door somewhere in my cargo hold.
Unless someone hits on a better set of mechanics, I think this is how a lot of space-exploration-with-crafting-and-building games are going to go if they have nigh-infinite universes. For most players, it’s likely not fun to end up in a situation where they’re 100% stranded and can’t ever get back to the stars. It’s also not usually fun to have to play a round of Kerbal Space Program with realistic orbital mechanics when you just want to get to the next planet and see how much chaos you can cause while depleting its resources (unless it’s a game of Space Engineers). We gladly hand-wave a lot of things so we can get to the good stuff, and when the good stuff involves vast cosmic spaces while putting down roots… Well, you kind of need a macguffin to get between Space Base Awesome and the final frontier.
But trans-warp beaming in Star Trek was still a bad idea.
• A man (whose eyes appear above) was arrested in Pennsylvania for threatening to put holes where holes ought not to be in a polling place. He wasn’t able to pull off his plan, but he did give us what’s probably going to be one of the most popular mugshots ever.
• When you need to affix one thing to another thing and you’re not sure what adhesive is best, This to That dot com is the site you should (wait for it) stick to.
• Doctor Who is scrapping its Christmas episode this year. No, they’re not shortening the season, they just feel they’ve run out of ideas and will probably celebrate New Year’s instead.
• A script for a Labyrinth sequel has been completed. I’m not sure how they’re going to fill David Bowie’s… role in the original, but I’m sure they’ll think of something.
• Taking a cue from what sci-fi fans, authors, movie makers, TV producers and cartoonists have been doing for decades now, CBS has commissioned an animated Star Trek comedy show. Everyone get ready to cite where nearly every joke has been done before.
• Showing once again that Wikipedia has an article about everything, here’s the list of YouTube’s most downvoted videos. This isn’t to say they’re not popular, and many are; These are the vids that have received the most downvotes in total.
• A viral video supposedly of a plane making a crazy landing during Typhoon Mankhut isn’t real, and the CGI artist who created it has acknolwedged the hoax on Twitter.
• And this video is more of a follow-up to a previous post about an unfinished FMV video game called Duelin’ Firemen. It’s a completely unhinged production that would probably be a cult classic today, if only for how strange it would probably have been. Anyway, some production footage was recently uploaded, so give it a watch if you want more strange antics that likely won’t make any sense.
• It’s fall, so how about a game of Nuclear Autumn? It’s kind of like a pixel-puzzle-platformer with a dose of the SCP Foundation thrown in. Explore, try to get the facility back online, and do something radioactive.