Monthly Archives: April 2009


Here’s a sample of the hit game RNZ reenacted over AIM:
(12:35:42 AM) William Long: Do you like mudkips?!
(12:36:09 AM) William Long: NO WAI
(12:36:12 AM) William Long: KNEE
(12:38:10 AM) EAGLE EYE
(12:38:31 AM) William Long: NO WAI
(12:38:41 AM) William Long: GET CLOSER
(12:39:14 AM) William Long: GET CLOSER
(12:39:57 AM) William Long: GET CLOSER
(12:40:11 AM) WAIT…
(12:40:19 AM) William Long: DISTANCE MYSELF
(12:40:32 AM) GET CLOSER
(12:40:41 AM) William Long: GET CLOSER
(12:40:44 AM) KNEE
(12:40:50 AM) William Long: GET CLOSER
(12:41:04 AM) How close are you? Did my KNEE hit? I’m confused
(12:41:06 AM) PUNCH
(12:41:12 AM) William Long: GET CLOSER

WarioWare: Snapped! (DSiWare)

WarioWare: Snapped! is the latest entry in the WarioWare series, and was a launch title for DSiWare. I was pleasantly surprised with how much fun the game was! The DSi is placed on a table and opened so that the camera points at the player’s face. The games are all controller solely by moving your head and hands within the camera’s view. The microgames, which are what the minigames are called in the WarioWare series, were all fun, and I did a lot of laughing while playing with my friends. One game has a wet dog controller by the player. The player must shake wildly to get the dog to dry off!

I did have some issues at first getting the camera to recognize me. At my desk, the game said it couldn’t distinguish between me and the background. I tried again later while at a restaurant and had the same result, although my friend was able to play. When I got home I tried again at my roommate’s desk and the camera saw me perfectly. You definitely have to be in good lighting conditions for the camera to operate correctly. You also need to make sure other people do not enter the camera’s vision.
Unlike the abundance of characters in the other WarioWare games, Snapped! only has four characters. Even with multiple tries needed for some levels, I still completed the game in under a half hour. I don’t think I see a lot of replay value besides using it as a tech demo for camera games for my friends, but WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! for the GameCube was the only one I did replay because of the excellent multiplayer.
Each character has different microgames to play. Three of them are for one player, and one is for two players despite not actually specifying that. In addition to the cartoony graphics on screen, a gray blob represents what the camera sees so that the player can align himself or herself. The microgames involve moving your head and hands to particular locations, swatting things, grabbings thing, and other various activities. The game is able to detect when you open and close your mouth, which is used in one of the microgames. I was also surprised to find out that the game can tell when you turn head to the side. At the end of each character’s set of microgames, video or playfully edited snapshots of the player are shown. These range from small movies with simple stories starring the player to fun little photos that seem like the type that would come from photo booths.
In addition to the microgames corresponding to the four characters, the credits is also a game. The names scroll down the screen, and the player moves his or her head to cause a rollercoaster to collide with the letters. The more letters you get, the more points you get. At the end your photo is taken and your score is saved and displayed on the title screen.
At only 500 Nintendo Points ($5), I found it a worthwhile experience. I’d be very happy if Nintendo published more small, cheap, downloadable WarioWare games!

Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl (Steam)

Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl did not feel like a very good game. It’s dark and ugly, and it felt like a bad mod. The interface was designed badly and was not as responsive as it should be. It had the same feel as the Hellgate: London interface, only Stalker’s interface belongs to an uninteresting game. The game is a first person shooter and role playing game. An accident in Chernobyl yields radiation that causes strange effects to the surroundings. You play as some sort of hunter or explorer. The area around the accident, known as the Zone, is off limits; however, people known as hunters go in anyways looking for strange artifacts. You have amnesia and have one mission in your PDA at the start of the game to kill a particular person. The game is very boring visually, and the a lot of the graphics are just bad on top of the boring colors. Using the interface is annoying. From what I saw early in the game, dialogue was pretty boring too. I did not find this game worth my time to explore further.

Warfare Incorporated (iPhone), a Great RTS

Warfare Incorporated would be a fantastic game even if it was not a cell phone game and is my favorite iPhone game. In this RTS, you play as a young miner for the ACME corporation named Andy. You discover a secret on a new planet, but the rival corporation OMNI as well as the Free Radicals find out about it also! There’s only one campaign, played as Andy, which is different than a lot of PC RTS games. OMNI and the Free Radicals have the same units and buildings, which is a little disappointing. The game plays well with many different types of levels, including levels in which the goal is to wipe out the enemy, mine, stealthily infiltrate, and destroy waves of incoming enemies. The graphics and sound are nice, and the storyline is interesting and provides great motivation. I’ve loved this game for years on Palm OS devices, and it continues to be excellent on the iPhone with touch controls. You can download new mission packs from within the game, adding a lot of replayability to the little RTS. There seems to be two different styles of on screen dialogue, and I don’t know why. I feel like the game should only use one style if there isn’t a precise reason why some messages use a particular style. There are occasional grammar errors and unpolished dialogue, but the problems are minor.

The gamplay is similar to many other RTS games. In order to create new units or buildings, you need to have enough Galaxite mined. You also must have enough power generators to power your buildings. The more buildings you create, the more generators you’ll need. Warfare Incorporated has three identical factions with ten building types, seven vehicle types, and four soldier types. Unit selection is done my creating a rectangle on screen using two fingers. There isn’t a way to switch between different groups quickly, which is a feature present in most PC RTS games. Each time you want to select troops, you have to reselect them manually. This does get in the way of playing. There are three difficulty settings, all available to be chosen from the first time Warfare Incorporated is launched. Depending on how well you do in a level, you could get promoted one or more ranks. This allows you to see how well you did overall after finishing the game. The game also comes with challenge maps for an extra test of skill after finishing the main game. These are also available from the beginning if you want to play them without playing through the main campaign.
After discovering the secret on the planet Icarus, players can take advantage of it to change the strategy of battle. Of course, enemy factions can also take advantage it. I’ll refrain from saying exactly what it is because it would spoil the game, but it is an interesting feature. The game has many save slots, so you don’t have to worry about saving at a point that is impossible from which to recover. The game will also continue right where you left off if you press the Home button to exit the game. It’s a great game that I’ve enjoyed playing through multiple times. Warfare Incorporated really is a fantastic game and by far the best game on the iPhone!