Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crack Smokers

I finished Stage 5 of the addictive Space Invaders Extreme, thus unlocking the Extreme mode of the invading space marauders.
Were the developers on crack? They must have been. The laser fire that flies around is akin to Contra, only much more chaotic, if you can imagine that. Oh, and I haven't found any Up, Down, Up Down type of nonsense to help out. Not that I would use cheat codes anyway, as I don't often do that, but every once in a while it is nice.

I played the Extreme levels for a bit before I put it aside to go for N+, my next quest. This game seems to have the same drug-addled developers as it is just as insane. It makes me long for my FIFA games, actually. Run, jump, avoid mines. Ninja blows into a thousand pieces. Who the hell ever thought ninjas wanted gold anyway? Ridiculous.

I'll let you know my thoughts on this one after I play it more. One thing is for certain, however. It has a tough act to follow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taito Time

Anyone who reads my other blog (Cancerous Zeitgeist) knows my obsession with Space Invaders Extreme. I play it on the PSP. I am addicted. There are no twelve step programs for this game, though. You just have to play.

I am stuck on Stage 5. It's ridiculous. I feel like a moron, and I'm pretty sure there is some strange glitch with the game so that I can't advance. (It's the old "this controller doesn't work" argument.) I've been told I have to play to at least Stage 10, and believe me, I want to hear that sexy female voice tell me I've arrived. I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

I'm giving it until the end of this month. If I can't beat Stage 5, I'm moving on. I will revisit the game at some other time. Yes, I'm addicted. Yes, it will be hard to put the game away, but I'm not masochist. I know when I'm beat for a time. I need to regroup.

The funny thing is, I used to hate, fucking hate, Space Invaders. It drove me nuts in the arcade, and when we bought the Atari 2600 game in Canada with like 40 variants on the main theme, I played the hell out of it hating it the entire time. Centipede was my thing. Now, however, I play the hell out of Space Invaders Extreme and love every minute of the frustration. The level designs are brilliant. There is some incredibly serious thought that went into this game. And I can't put it down.

The end of April. Then it's onto N+.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dance, Fatboy, Dance

Okay, I could lose some weight. Problem is, I hate the overwrought homosexual vibe of gyms, I don't enjoy sweating, and I'm a big fan of soda and pizza. Yes, I walk a lot and ride my bike (even skateboard when the mood strikes), but that isn't enough.

Enter Dance Dance Revolution Supernova 2.

Yeah, I can hear the snickering, but it actually works. The game has a workout mode that tracks your weight, calories burned and distance you would have jogged had you not been in your living room screwing around on a dance pad. That alone made it worthwhile to me. The fact that I've been losing weight (coupled with changing my diet and so on), has kept me playing it.

What's the only problem? The music.

I'm a fan of punk, metal, industrial, blues and so on. A-Ha and some wacky Japanese pop stars (not to mention Bobby Brown) doesn't really motivate me the way the game makers probably intended. I know there's a game out there that utilizes your own CDs to make workout routines, but I haven't bought that yet. So, I have this grudge against the music.

The music is probably the worse thing about this game ... if nobody is around. If you are with a crowd, though, the worst thing is actually playing it. Simply put, you'll look foolish. And if there's a ten-year-old girl in the crowd who has played the game twice, well, she will hand you your ass on a plate. It's embarrassing. When my daughter watches me play, she coaches. "Way to go, Dad. You almost got it. It's getting faster. You're screwing up." I'm playing it on beginner and she is four.

Like masturbation, alcoholism and cross-dressing, playing DDR Supernova 2 is something best done alone. It will save you from looking like you are about to have a heart attack in front of your peers, and will also save you from comments like, "Wow, you aren't really that co-ordinated for guy pushing forty."

Enjoy, but consider yourself warned.