Latest From Blog
Every now and then, a game comes along which takes the world by storm and even revolutionises the way we think about video games.
For me and plenty of others, the most recent example of this was Bioshock Infinite. It was a practically flawless example of why games should be considered as art – high art, at that – and I’ve been wondering how long we’d be waiting until something at this level of brilliance would hit the market.
Not long, apparently.
Since the full version of Soda Drinker Pro (the premier in software in the first person soda drinking genre) is now on Steam Greenlight, I took some time out to chat with creator Will Brierly as part of a N00bs on a Plane interview. We talked about his trials and tribulations getting the game onto Steam, the nostalgic joy of old arcade machines and the possibility that his cat has eaten a peice of dead old woman.
As is the protocol for the show, we conducted our chinwag while trying to land a plane. Not only did we attempt a landing at one of the world’s most difficult airports, but we took to the skies in a full-sized passenger plane.
Here’s how it went down, though you might want to click here if you want to watch it in super-duper 1440p quality (which is one notch below me coming around your house and doing the interview there).
If you’re new here, a quick catch-up: We’re playing Final Fantasy VII in Iron Man Mode, so the second we die, this blog comes to an immediate stop and all saved games are deleted. In fact, this is also the last game of FF7 I’ll ever play. Sad face.
Given that our one life has stretched into the longest IMM series on the entire site (by far), you might want to read some previous entries to bring yourself up to speed. Or not. Crack on, sports fans!
It’s been so long since the last blog post, I was kinda hoping the boss I was battling had gotten bored and scuttled off to do some bossing elsewhere. No dice, unfortunately; we’re back with the rather menacing Materia Keeper, and despite a strong start from our side, he’s now really starting to push back.
Dunno what’s wrong with him, really. Anyone would think he’s trying to guard the exit or something.
Materia Keeper Mt. Nibel boss
With all my most powerful attacks used up, the battle quickly changes from an epic dick-waving competition to a very fraught tug-of-war. I can’t get more than a single blow in without having to spend the next round healing up, and the one time I foolishly try to skip a restoration round the Materia Keeper nearly floors the entire team. The only saving grace is that he seems to have taken a shine to the newly-recruited Vincent for whatever reason (probably because Vincent is literally wearing – and waving around – a red rag).
Having to revive Vincent every 0.3 seconds takes yet more time away from launching our own attacks, but we’re playing a long game here. I’m happy to let the boss distract himself with bullying the goth kid while I slip past unnoticed. And yes, Mount Nibel appears to have become an analogy for high school.
Things go well. Until this happens.
I dunno what this is.
Some kind of triangle bullshit.
Trine Final Fantasy VII Materia Keeper
Following directly on from this tetrahedral madness (one of my favourite ska tribute bands), this happens:
Vincent: “Ooh look, a penny!”
The Materia Keeper has gone from wailing on just Vincent to kicking the crap out of everybody in one fell swoop. Have a Snickers, dude!
Panic stations are set to overdrive – any one of the team can now be downed with a single attack, which would put us in a precarious and probably unrecoverable downward spiral. And if he does another one of those weird spinning triangle things… well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Iron Man Mode series.
But unless you’re one of those dicks who email me to ask when I’m going to put an end to this – and if you are, hello Steve – you’ll be happy to hear that we get through this predicament in one piece. Just as I’m flailing around in panic and wondering how I’m supposed to take down this absolute behemoth, with a crushed team and no strength left between them, Vincent fires off a final and pitiful pistol round at the Materia Keeper.
Against all expectations, the lone bullet hits the boss and it dies. This is how that scene played out:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – we’re to the point in FF7 at which any boss battle (or even random encounter) could wipe us out and kill this blog, so I genuinely count my blessings that I got through another one.
And speaking of random encounters, I run into a bunch of them after emerging from the caverns of Mount Nibel – at long last – and into the dazzling daylight of the world map. I’ve spent so long away from the game that I’m staggering all over the joint like I’ve just been kicked out of the pub, trying to figure out where I’m supposed to go next and if there’s anywhere to get a kebab along the way.
Editor’s Note: As mentioned right at the beginning of this series, Sim City is a game which never really comes to a close. Not great material for an Iron Man Mode blog, no? That’s why – at the very outset – Nate decided that once we reach Post #11, he’ll unleash biblical-scale disaster on the very city he’d spent the previous ten posts building up.
This is the eve of destruction: post number #10…
CHANNEL SEVEN NEWS
As the final days came to a close on our fair city of Khantonia, we decided to take a look into the lives of people living in the city from various perspectives.
Richard R. Richington
Prominent business owner Richard Richington came to Khantonia to relax and enjoy the many venues of our city. While here, he rode on the SS Wealthy from the port, and visited the Washington Monument. He also took a tour of the Trade Headquarters, where they let him actually make a few suggestions for better improving Khantonia’s economy.
“It’s nice here, if you don’t mind the smell of industry just down the way,” Richard said, sipping his martini, “The people recycle their plastic and they drink unpolluted water. The wind farms are really nice, and they have plenty of parks to relax in. Not to mention this gorgeous twenty-nine floor luxury hotel!”
Lynda von Snippet
Lynda von Snippet is from Germany, visiting the United States of Khan for the first time. She rode the train from the airport two cities away, and decided to stay in the rustic Castle Retreat in downtown. Lynda is a clothing designer who brews beer in her spare time. She also owns a small sheep ranch.
“Vonderful little city, this Khantonia,” she said, gesturing at the taxi cab window, “Great shopping here. Und I like the advanced police department. Ja, keeps the criminals from snatching mein purse. Also, the beach is nice, if you like to svim and have goot time.”
Oscar is a resident of Khantonia, only he lost his house to a fire caused by a second fireworks show hosted by the Khantonia fire department. Unable to afford a new house (mostly because he was fired from his job afterthey knocked down the Nuts and Bolts factory when the company went out of business), he now lives with his wife and three kids in the Ceedy Hotel on the edge of town. They have a good view of the industrial parks, as well as the sewage plant.
“Some days it don’t pay to live here,” Oscar said, having a beer in the lounge, “The traffic is bad, the buses are slow and the pollution is pretty bad. Yeah, it might be pretty to look at, all them tall buildings and neat monuments. But the cops can’t keep up with crime, and the fire department is over-worked. It won’t be long before the health care system falls behind, as well.”
Peter is a high school student at the newly re-opened Zeke Iddon High School. They just voted on a new mascot, so they are now the Spittin’ Llamas. Peter is a model student and a basketball star, as well as working at the Khan Burger on the other side of town. His parents live in a modest house just several blocks away from the recycling center, and Peter lives in their basement. His hobbies are video games, girls and basketball.
“I can’t believe there’s no college here,” Peter says, catching a ball thrown to him by one of his teammates at practice, “I’m going to have to go elsewhere for higher education. That’s why there’s no high tech industry here. At least the crime is low and there’s enough to keep most kids out of trouble. I just wish we didn’t have to go to school all the time. And that the police would stop following us around in vans.”
Yikes, so it’s been a while since I last wrote about our adventures with Garreth and the Mod he has lent his name to. Might be a good time to do a catch up if you want to refresh your memory.
Wow, we’ve survived to post number 4. This is going pretty well! Granted, I lost a bathtub to the cold void of space, fell out of a floating minecart and I’m currently getting smacked all ways to Sunday by an angry antlion, but… y’know. Post number 4! Whoooo!
When we left off last time, I was indeed getting my ass kicked by the antlion I’d spawned. This, my friends, is no good: I now have no option but to kill the creature I helped bring in to the world.
I’m like the Half-Life equivalent of Casey Anthony.
Antlion garry’s mod
Too soon? Yeah, still too soon.
Anyway, I’m now standing on top of a roof. I’m sure the antlion is stuck in the building below me, so I peer through a hole in the roof and prepare to drop a grenade into it. It should be noted that I’m feeling all smug at this point because I think I’ve got the drop on it. In reality and unbeknownst to me, the antlion had already left the building, scampered around the outside, stopped for a cigarette break, climbed onto the roof and is now standing right behind me.
By the time I notice it, I’ve only got a second to react before it slams into me. I need to use this second very wisely indeed…
I take the time to drop a live grenade at my feet, which is inexplicable really, but it now means I’m definitely going to get blown off the roof. Really, this is a good thing; it would have been a terrible blow to the antlion’s self-esteem if it failed to cause much damage with its sneak attack, so I’m very happy to help.
In the end, I actually jump off the roof voluntarily in an attempt to escape the grenade blast. This ends up being the best possible outcome; I avoid the antlion’s charge, miraculously avoid taking damage from the explosion, and the blast stuns the antlion long enough to for me to put some distance between us. I do take a 10HP injury through fall damage however, so I’m left with only 40HP before this blog meets its terminal end…
Garry’s mod water
… scratch that, I’m down to 20HP because a lapse in concentration results in the antlion catching up to me and connecting with a blow. She sends me flying into the big lake at the corner of the map, then dives right on in after me.
Being an exoskeletal, light-weight insect thing, it sinks straight to the bottom like a rock straight to bottom. Being a fully-armoured dude carrying a whole arsenal of weaponry, I float to the top of the lake.
Half-life Antlion water
Physics. A hallmark of Valve games.
While it’s scrabbling around the lake bed, I use my newly-discovered superpower of buoyancy to shoot at her from above with the crossbow. I fire a bolt, then swim out of the lake and sprint around to the overhanging ledge to see if she follows me. As I’m watching the water with baited breath, the antlion gently floats to the top of the lake, but I have no idea whether or not she’s dead.
I suspect this could be a scenario like finding spider in a bath which you’re sure is just a corpse so you go to scoop it out with a glass but it turns out it’s just pretending and all of a sudden it unfurls its legs and goes totally mental. Brrrrr.
I shoot her again and it doesn’t react. Yeah, she’s definitely dead; I head back into the basement of the adjacent building and find her sister, which is still stuck by the seemingly unsolvable puzzle of how ramps work. Much like a kindly veterinarian who ends the life of ramp-puzzled puppies, I put the second antlion to sleep.
Well, this has all been fun and games. But I figure we’ve messed around in this test map enough – why don’t we head out into the multiplayer world, and see who’ll we meet?
Because those people are likely to kill me for absolutely no reason, and thus bring a premature end to this blog. That’s the precise reason why we don’t do that.
Argghh. I’m always criticised for not being more courageous in my decisions when playing games for Iron Man Mode, so let’s just dive on in and see how the multiplayer world looks like…
Garry’s mod error
…. okay, so it looks like an intense, horrible acid trip. Brilliant.
I don’t know what on earth I’ve wandered into here, but I suspect it’s an optical migraine. There doesn’t seem to be anyone on this glitch of a map, so I zip back into the menu and try again. I come across a number of problems, the fundamental one being that I’m an idiot and have no idea how to join a proper multiplayer game or even what one looks like in Garry’s Mod.
I take a random stab in the dark and load up the bridge level from Half-Life 2.
Half-Life 2 Bridge map
Given that ‘death-defying heights’ and ‘my fleshy body’ seem to be going hand-in-hand so far this series, this map should be perfect. Hopefully there will be a bunch of other players messing around in it and in no way threatening to knock me off the bridge to my death.
Hmmmm. I see no signs of human players.
I do, however, find this combine NPC standing on one of the gangways.
This is weird, given that I didn’t spawn him (if I had, I probably would have hooked him up to some balloons at the same time and sent him astronautin’). Stranger still is that he doesn’t seem to react to my presence.
Perhaps he’s not hostile. Perhaps he’s not even animated. Perhaps he’s just listening to headphones up in that gas mask and hasn’t even heard me.
One way to find out! I tap him on the shoulder.
whelps. Easy pickings for my drones and bolter pistols. I casually strolled down the narrow side streets, blowing away anything that mov – WHAT WAS THAT? *BLAMMO!* Oh, only a leaf. My bad. Still, it’s pretty easy until I actually reach the square and OMG IS THAT A GIANT ZOMBIE I JUST SHOT?!?!
These Hell Occupation denizens are huge!
Anyway, this one managed to set me on fire not once, but twice, before I put it down. I ran around in squares trying to dodge this maniac, that’s how fast and persistent it was. My drones helped me whittle it down piece by piece until it finally fell over stiffly. AND STAY DEAD, I yelled as I wobbled around, half dead and burnt to a crisp, looking for that careless scientist. Unfortunately, I only find one of his guards sitting on the ground, dying.