Let me start with something that kind of blew my mind:
All these Nintendo books were a Seth Godin joint. Yeah, THAT Seth Godin. The Linchpin guy.
Don'tLet me start with something that kind of blew my mind:
All these Nintendo books were a Seth Godin joint. Yeah, THAT Seth Godin. The Linchpin guy.
Don't be fooled, from what I'm reading, Godin didn't actually pen this one. All the Worlds of Power books were written under the pen name F.X. Nine, which was a name used by a collection of authors.
This one belongs squarely to Ellen Miles, who appears to be primarily a writer of children's books about puppies.
Now let me talk about a little something that pissed me the hell off:
This book has Mega Man 2 tips in it at the end of some chapters. Which seems awesome, and in a pre-internet age would have been helpful. However, these tips are bullshit!
I don't want to get all nerdy and talk continuity errors in the Megaverse here, but one tip tells players that beating the levels in the same order as they're written about equals success. This is a whole thing in Mega Man. You can pick the order you fight the other evil robots, and then use their powers to fight other evil robots. So I get a buzzsaw, see a guy who looks like a big tree, and that seems pretty simple. The problem, I looked at quite a few different orders you could use to beat the game, and NONE MATCHED THE ONE IN THIS BOOK! Now, at first I thought it was so cool that the book contained this secret. Maybe a good trick to get a kid to read. But you make the kid read, then punish the little dweeb with bad information? For shame. Here's a guide with SIX ways to go about it, all different from the one laid out in the book (http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/563442-me...).
There's also this subplot where Mega Man has somehow been turned human. Which doesn't make sense and also has no effect. He still drinks energy tanks, whatever the hell those are, and still has all his robobilities. It reminds me a little of the Japanese kid who drank gasoline in order to become a Transformer. "I wondered why the house smelled like petrol" his father said. Jesus (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newst...)
Okay, all that aside, my least favorite part was that Mega Man had to make with a terrible pun every time he beat a bad guy. "I guess you're all hot air, Air Man!" and stuff like that.
In honor of this great achievenemnt, and because I don't like to complain about things without taking a stab myself, here's my puns for all robot masters.
1.) Air Man: Looks like you got blowed, Air Man.
2.) Aqua Man: Aqua Man? More like Aquaman, the comic character people love to hate!
3.) Astro Man: Maybe you should call yourself Astro Boy. Wait, no. He's an awesome robot. Scratch that. You suck.
4.) Blade Man: I guess you're not...cut out for this gig.
5.) Blizzard Man: You're a blizzard, I'm the snow plow. Boom.
6.) Bomb Man: I'd say I'm da bomb now. Idiot.
7.) Bright Man: Not so bright without a head and hard-earned robot consciousness, are you?
8.) Bubble Man: You just got popped, son.
9.) Burner Man: Stick to warming up Hamburger Helper for the lonely, Burner Man.
10.) Burst Man: Pardon you while you burst.
11.) Centaur Man: Haha, oh god. Why even bother?
12.) Charge Man: Now I'm in...charge!
13.) Chill Man: The heat is on. Your face. Which I'm shooting with my gun.
14.) Cloud Man: [shoots head off, which goes flying] He always had his...head in the clouds.
15.) Clown Man: Joke's on you.
16.) Cold Man: It's about to be a cold day in hell.
17.) Commando Man: The only thing you're in command of is your own explosion!
I have a suspicion that if this book were published in 2009, it would be a hit. The reason I say that, I had more fun reading it tSo here's the thing:
I have a suspicion that if this book were published in 2009, it would be a hit. The reason I say that, I had more fun reading it than I did reading a trade of Walking Dead that came about the same time. Sure, it's easier to be good and exciting in issues 1-4 than it is in issues 100+, but nevertheless, that's my stance on the thing.
I know this is an unoriginal thought, but I'm sort of ready for Walking Dead to end. Honestly, I was ready a bit earlier. It's been 11 years. That's a long-ass run for a comic book written by one dude, and I totally respect Robert Kirkman's work and his work ethic. But I think my excitement for the wrap-up, the final ending, has been fading for a while, and it'd be kind of a shame if I felt 100% over it when it comes.
Anyway: Archie. The zombie market is so saturated that something has to bring it big time in order to make a splash, and while there's nothing really wrong with this book, there's nothing that blows me away about it either. It was fun and all, and that's without any novelty, really. I didn't read Archie, so it's not crazy for me to see zombified Moose or whoever.
All that said, I think I'd like a moratorium on the following in 2015:
Zombies, vampires, orcs, elves, hobbits, dragons, exploratory spaceship stuff, overly violent robots, overly kind robots, and basically anything for which we've got dozens of options in film and literature, some of which are great and some of which suck. And first-person shooters. Throw that in there too.
This edition of Boss Fight Books is heavily interview-based, and I think it really works. As much as this book is about a game, it's also about the maThis edition of Boss Fight Books is heavily interview-based, and I think it really works. As much as this book is about a game, it's also about the making of a game, the way a studio and real human team puts something together. The book really does a nice job balancing the game with the real world considerations. Studios closing, money, and business. It's really quite an interesting treatment.
Something I found really fascinating was a discussion about the issue of programming a game in the current age, and how in some ways, less complicated gaming systems can be an advantage.
In an interview, a current developer was talking about how he wanted to add vultures to his game. You'd see them in the scenery, far off, and then before too long you'd come across them feeding. Which is when you discover a corpse and launch the next part of the game. This developer felt the vultures added texture, and hopefully the player would notice them far off, and when they became more numerous and closer, the player would slowly realize something was wrong.
The vultures couldn't be added. The thing is, to add something like that to a modern game, you have to get an art department, designers, programmers, and a whole team of people to make the vultures work.
In fact, I heard a different interview once, and the topic was a programmer whose only job in a game was designing smoke. Some fire smoke, some gun smoke. But that was his entire job, adding smoke into this game.
Things have become very specialized and niche, and that means adding something that seems small can make a huge impact. It can cost production several weeks as opposed to a couple days, maybe even hours.
In Jagged Alliance 2, the system was simple enough that small details and giant amounts of story could be added without doing too much extra work. Which is why they could afford to have a gigantic cast of characters, many of whom would go unused and unplayed depending on the choices players made. The simplicity of the system meant that the game could have a depth not available today, the option to have a game where a player might only experience 25% of the options, situations and characters on the first playthrough.
Awesome point, and really interesting stuff....more
This book gives a pretty interesting look into the world of very early homebrew games. From what I read here, it sounds like the ZZT game creation optThis book gives a pretty interesting look into the world of very early homebrew games. From what I read here, it sounds like the ZZT game creation options were some of the first home tools many, many gamers experimented with. And what's really fascinating, a lot of these creators also used the tools in their searches for personal identity.
It's kind of an amazing example of restriction breeding creativity. ZZT was, in a lot of ways, a very limited world. You only had a small number of possible icons to put on screen, the color palette was limited, and the sound? You get bip boop, and you'll be thankful you got that much!
I'm kind of a dummy. I just completed an hour of code event, and even that tested my brain. So there were portions of this book that went a bit over my head, and I felt a little lost. I don't think this is the writer's fault. She was pretty clear, and even when I was lost, the sections were short enough that I could latch on to something new after only a short wander.
That said, one of the things I want to talk about in reviewing Boss Fight Books is whether the book is best read BEFORE or AFTER playing the game. In this case, I think it'd be to great advantage to play a little ZZT first. Or, at the very least, check out a couple videos on YouTube and get a sense of what you're looking at.
Oh, and the author and I had a short introduction before I read this book. She put up a great little guide to Twine, the software that allows for players to create their own games in a Choose Your Own Adventure format. It's pretty cool, and it's free, and it's easy to learn. I highly recommend it. http://www.auntiepixelante.com/twine/...more