Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Grand Theft Auto

GTA1Huh? They're GIVING AWAY the first three volumes of Grand Theft Auto? That'll be over at Rockstar Games who are in a generous mood then. Good on 'em I say. This game revolutionised game playing at the time (1997) and was the first driving game I (amongst others) actually enjoyed playing. Except thaGTA2t it wasn't a driving game, it had a massive role playing aspect, and even elements of a shoot 'em up. Except that most of the time you spent driving it seemed, so it was a driving game ... you see what I mean? It crossed boundaries and genres with a mass appeal and competent skill. Not happy with just releasing these classics to the like of us for free they've even tweaked them a little so they will play better on modern computers and operating systems. These are big old downloadGTA2s though so be aware:

328 MB for GTA1,
165 MB for Wild Metal &
344 MB for GTA2

You will also need to register with Rockstar to receive the downloads but so far I haven't received any spam from that quarter yet, and even if they do, I'll be too busy playing their games to notice. A small price to pay. If you grew up GTA San Andreasor played games in the nineties these are worth a free revisit. Even if you didn't I heartily recommend it to find out what all the fuss was about then and the roots of what you get today. Ok, It's a long way from the sharp 3D graphics of their modern offering, GTA San Andreas but there's a massive replayability to this series. The graphics have that correct retro feel to still appeal to the subconscious as you have loads of fun destroying things or traveling from pGTA San Andreashone box to phone box completing the missions that can be picked up from them. Our favorite, even on the modern version is to see how many police you can kill or get chasing you and still survive. Can't remember what the records were but I've a feeling I'm about to be making new ones.

Footnote: ... hmmm, just noticed this ... "Your life of crime begins on foot in Liberty City, in an area called South Park. " ... South Park ... I wonder...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Some terms explained.

Just to explain some terms I've used or may use in the future. First off is the expression "Mod" or "Mod.". This is taken to mean a modification of any kind, usually done by a fan and/or a coder, but should not be considered as only being related to games. You can mod your car or your computer case or anything else. Indeed, my case had to be modded slightly to fit the sound card in.

A "Coder" is anyone who uses code on a regular basis or is capable of using computer codes of any kind. Further identification can be made by adding the type of code they are familiar with (as in C++ coder or html coder), although most coders have several codes under their belt so the generic "coder" is more commonly used. At least by me.

A "bug" is something that doesn't work right or an undocumented "feature" of a computer program. A "Patch" is supposed to fix bugs or rebalance the game.

Which should cover most of the things I'm likely to talk about. Anything else I will endeavor to cover at the time.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Blogging Games

It wouldn't be right for a gaming blog to go without mentioning blogging games themselves. There are a few I've come across so far from the Comment Game brought to us by Michele, which is an innovative and wonderful idea. Top game. I've been a little too busy to play it myself recently but yes, a definite winner.

The post below is about a fantasy shares game for blogs. That was a surprise I must say, when I discovered people had already been buying and selling shares in my blog! Ah, the power of a search engine. Well, I've had time to look at it now and it seems a great resource for the blogging community as well as a top game. Being the strategy head I am though, I'll see how much I can suss out before I risk ruining my profile with stupid buys or sells.

Then there's the Interview Game which I first encountered at Clever Lines From Yellow Napkins, regular readers will have already seen it, but my answers are here. I couldn't resist ;)

Well, that'll do for an introduction I reckon. I'm missing a film about a game on UK Channel 4. Gotta go :D.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Post to claim your prize :D

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster



My prize for that one being to edit the feeds that feedster picks out of my blogs &

Listed on BlogShares

is where there is a fantasy stock market game selling shares in blogs, believe it or not. Apparently Gamer is fairly hot property for a new blog so I'm getting in there with the ownership shares. Yes, there will be another post later today. ;)

Java Games

Ice Break AlphaI notice from looking at my links that I have been neglecting more than just the comics blog. Java games deserve a further expansion as their are many free games out there to discover and play. Some real gems too. Ice Break Alpha (java) is one of those. It has stunning graphiBlast First Sci-Fics for a mini game as well as a real addiction value. No direct link available due to the Terms and Conditions of the site that has written it, Java Game Play but this place has got to get a mention for some of the stunning games it develops. Another one of theirs to show you is the Sci-Fi edition of the Blast First series. Nice games.
Pentalpha
If puzzles are more your thing, can anyone solve this one? Pentalpha (java) drove me near dotty in the hour or so it took for me to give up. It's at Darkfish Games where you can also find Checkers (that's Draughts to me), Reversi (Othello) and a few others. It took me five attempts to eventually beat the thing at Five Field Kono (java). Some good stuff to go at.

RunescapeThen again, maybe adventure games are more your thing. Runescape (java) from Arcade Pod might be the one for you. It's a Massive Multiplayer Online Game using java and seems very well done at first glance with a useful tutorial and well-populated as the screenshot shows. It has " ... monsters to kill, quests to complete ... treasure to win," and an experience-based character development ruleset that makes it very addictive. ThGlinxe more you play and do, the more you experience, the more powerful and developed you become. If you're a role player it could be right up your dark alley. Another good one I found there is Glinx (java) which is excellent for a de-stressing strategy type game.


Finally a mention of Free Arcade the home of Wicky Woo (java), a platform-based game in the best traditions of the eighties. Great stuff!
Wicky Woo

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Web-Fu for Freelancer fans

When I was Admin at a Freelancer server an excuse often used for having an incorrect mod installed on an online game was "Mod Manager didn't uninstall it properly." Which may have been true (although no acceptable excuse). Freelancer Mod Manager whilst being the standard for installing Freelancer mods is not a foolproof method of switching between mods or switching between a modified and unmodified game. By far the best way is to arrange different Freelancer files, each containing different Freelancer mods. This way you will never be running a different version of Freelancer than the one you think you are. Here's how you do it.

You will need space available for these installs. As Freelancer including Nomad's Revenge (a large mod) itself is just under a single Gig this shouldn't be a major issue. If space is an issue however, check the size of the modded files you need to include before you go any further. You will also need a basic understanding of how your PC works and the original CD.

First, let's do a clean version of the game and a back-up. Go to your Freelancer install folder. On default:

"c:\program files\microsoft games\freelancer\"

right - click on the freelancer folder and delete it making sure you have backed up any saved games you wish to keep. This only applies to Single Player games. All the information about your multi-player files is stored on the server(s) you visit. Make certain you have a permanent record of your Account ID which is the number the server uses to recognise you. You will need to re-enter this manually when you connect to the global server after a re-install. Find this in your start menu. Go to START, ALL PROGRAMS, MICROSOFT GAMES, FREELANCER, EXAMINE MY ACCOUNT ID for this information. Then empty the recycle bin. Then re-install the game to the same location. Once installed reboot your PC. Now, go back to:

"c:\program files\microsoft games\"

Where you will find this new version of Freelancer. Make a copy of it, that is right click, select COPY then right click in the open window (away from the original Freelancer folder) and PASTE it into the window. This will be called "Copy of Freelancer" and is your FL back up (so leave it alone - lol). Whenever you need a clean version of FL just copy "copy of freelancer" into the same window, renaming the file to "Freelancer" after deleting (and emptying the recycle bin) the FL folder you want to replace.

Now install the mod you want to install. This is a massively variable section and depends alot on the mechanics of each individual mod. I will assume you are able to follow the read - me files for each of these mods and can follow the install process. If not, don't be afraid to ask me for help. Once you have installed the mod, rename the Freelancer file to reflect that - i.e. "FL Nomad's Revenge" or "FL Asgard" or whatever. Make a shortcut on your desktop (go into the Freelancer mod folder you have just created, then into the "EXE" folder, locate the "Freelancer.exe" file, then right-click and select Create Shortcut. Then simply drag it onto your desktop) and be sure to rename it to reflect the mod. Now simply rinse (reboot) and repeat for each different server with a mod you play on. Don't forget to leave a clean version of Freelancer apart from your back-up so that you can still play on vanilla servers or servers with server-side only mods. It's also a good idea to reboot your PC each time you switch mod versions while playing.

Note: This (or variations of it) will NOT work with all games, although it will with some. It's included here because part of the richness of Freelancer is contained within the vast variety of mods available for it and the many online communities, but playing the wrong one in the wrong place will get you banned. This is a very simple way to keep your online experience hassle free. Well, at least from being accused of being a cheat when you've made a genuine mistake with mod manager. I can only protect you from the online pirates for a suitable fee.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Doppleganger

"Have a look at this," a regular reader said to me the other day and sent a picture of this little thing:
Dust-Puppy at sushi bar
After a quick search I found out it was the Dust - Puppy from User Friendly a daily web comic strip. It was a few more minutes before he said "I'm impressed."
"Yeah, It's not bad at all." Was my reply, which was considered funny, to my confusion. "Actually," came the explanation, "I was impressed by your speed in finding it. I think the strip is pants."

Ah, you couldn't have looked very closely, is my considered opinion. Very funny, and here is how come I can get away with posting this in here and not my long-neglected but not forgotten comic blog.

August 19th
August 20th
August 22nd
August 23rd

Fair enough sometimes it doesn't quite work as an individual 3 panel strip (the joy of the short format), but as the story shows it's hilarious. Or at least I think it is - and although it may be only a tenuous link to gaming I'm sure you will be highly amused by it.
Enjoy.

Empire Earth

Hee, hee, sorry my post is a bit late today but I got carried away playing a game. Empire Earth is another game that's had a (fairly) recent update and release. The original is as addictive as ever and sees you starting from a neolithic culture (or wherever you want) all the way up to nano age technology. There's many really nice features one springing immeadiately to mind being you don't have to follow it all the way through. A friend of mine always sets the maximum technology available to the Rennaisance period as this gives him most enjoyment. Many other things are resettable which gives it loads of replay value. My current favourate is island - hopping on gigantic planets, that is set the map type to either small or large islands and the map size to gigantic. That way in the early campaign it's alot easier to defend your coast. I like to play against alot of opponents though so almost always have to fight hard for those first few islands. I've also got to be absolutely honest here. Since re-installing it I've again been bitten by the bug and can't wait to get back to the fray. Typical of this type of game you utilise resources to build more and different buildings depending on your technology. Right now I'm still in the stone age on the one I started for this article but that wont last long. Right, where's the nearest stone mine...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Shoot that Crazy Frog! Retro games and introducing Yeti Sports.

Shoot Crazy FrogOk, whose had enough of that Crazy Frog? I found an answer, simply shoot the little varmint. Shoot Crazy Frog (flash) enables you to get your own back in a way that is particularly satisfying after the twentieth or thirtieth time youve launched him into the ether. Now I can smile at the adverts when I see theDonkey Kongm because I know that little froggy is getting his. Oh yes. It's one of twenty two titles brought to us by Student Free Stuff.com and there are many classics already mentioned, but one that sticks out to me is Donkey Kong (flash), an arcade master. This is a pretty good version of the original and better than many others out there, I've actually been looking before and it was a friends' 14 year old son who pointed me in this direction. I'm glad he did, although he bent my ear raving about the penguin games. Got us both in trouble too, as he was supposed to be eating his tea. Suppose I'd betteSpank the Penguinr take a look. Hee hee - glad I did that too. The Yeti sports section of four games down at the end of the list is great fun. From Spank the Penguin (flash) a kind of Yeti baseball (Pingu is the ball) to Orca Slap (flash), more of a darts game taking a in a bloodier version of Penguin Spank (flash) it leads to Seal Bounce (flashOrca Slap) which is excellent for a laugh. There's a lead off to another site hidden in there somewhere - I believe the home of Yeti Sports. I'll have a closer look at that in a later post. For now, have fun and my highest score on the bloody version of Spank the Penguin is 851.9.
Seal Bounce

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Enclave

Duck!Enclave is one of those games that you forget just how good it is. The makers describe it as, "... the ultimate fantasy action/combat game," and while nothing is ever ultimate they can be justifiably proud of this product. It has the look of a classic First Person Shooting game and manages to convey a dark fantasy feel to the setting. Skillfully done within the first few minutes you are almost afraid to step around that next corner. Each section of the storyline is a seperate mission with clearly defined goals and comes complete with a counter showing you how much cash is available in each section so you can easily track your progress. You can also go back and replay previous sections Assasin meeting an overlord.to get anything you've missed. If there is a failing it's that within each choice section there is pretty much one way to do it (to some degree an injustice, but it does follow a definate path). Replay value is good with the choice of playing either the light or dark path options and different character's to choose from. Every time I've played this I've enjoyed it and I actually think it's got a very strong storyline, particularly well done in how it feeds you each piece of information.

Other nice touches are the menu screens which I think look great and work really Menu screen.well and the music. Very rarely do I find a game where the music can be bothered with so I usually listen to something like Rush for action or combat games and something mellower for more sedate role playing situations. With this their own music wins out. In the game itself there are puzzles to solve, secret areas, obstacles to be overcome, monsters to kill and of course you must save the world.

On the whole, well done and I have no hesitation recommending this game to any players who like action, combat, fantasy or role-playing games.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Calling all writers.

Announcing Writers Blog. A new venture just started today by me. I'd like to invite missives from anyone out there whose got anything from any genre. Your own stories only please and please be sure to run your story through a spell checker and/or grammer checker first. Been a bit busy with doing this today so no long gaming thing. Might get time later but wanted to unveil this first.

Happy writing.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

-Pandora-

Not all asked questions. Some kept their attention firmly fixed. Where there had been a place teeming with human life there was only desolation. Some focused solely on this area. Those few that were at the precise angle reported later observing one word seemingly "written" in the patterns there. Only for a few moments but it had been quite clear. "Pandora" spelled out in human pain, suffering and death. The watchers became very afraid.




Coming soon to a blog near you.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Black and White

Ape in the Creature caveAnother day trying to sort Black and White and got nowhere. This is becoming addictive. An attempt at therapy is to write the article anyway and see what happens. I think Black and White is great. You play a god. In control of worshippers and their village(s) there are many very nice touches. By far the best and most immediately visible is the creature you get to control. Every god needs a creature and many are available including hidden ones that you'll have fun trying to find and ones you can download for free. There are other gods out there of course, the game comprising of trying to survive, help your villages to grow and thwart the plans of others. Oh yes, anGood, slightly tubby ape walks away from a battled to save the world. There are many side quests to follow as well which kept me amused for hours. It's not a straight strategy game either, contrary to the way it was marketed, with aspects of role playing and the inimitable creature. That in itself is a joy. You have to train your creature you see. It learns, has it own developing personality and intelligence and is such fun in it's own right there's a game in itself. I heartily recommend it for that alone. If you want to know how to train it there are many many sites that go into it in great detail. Some tricks I learned, apart from the obvious ones. I had my monkey to the point where I Lightning spellcould leave it in a village and it would take care of ALL the villagers needs as well as itself with the added benefit that it would set fire to it's own poo or throw it out to sea. Was really hard to get it out of the game of "toss the villager" though.
There's Easter eggs (look in the schoolhouse in the first village), hidden secrets, magic to learn (and teach), a main quest, side quests, puzzles, battles, strategy and much more in this game.


And LionheAdult Creaturesad are releasing B&W 2. It looks awesome as these few screenshots show. I'm really really looking forward to it, wondering just what (apart from graphics) they can improve in this excellent addition to my gaming pleasure.



Ahh, that'll be it. Proper real-time strategy-based large battles. Cool.

Lion and Greek army


Japanese Army

Friday, August 19, 2005

Web-Fu for beginners

Windows XP helpI'll start with the manual and assume that Windows is the operating system you are most likely to be using. Click START, HELP & SUPPORT, or HELP on older versions of windows. These are the Windows Help files. Believe it or not, it's a very powerful resource that will tell you much you may need to know about working and maintaining your PC.

Now maintenance. Your car needs maintaining. You put oil and water in the engine, air in the tyres and screenwash in the resevoir. Or you should. It's the same with your PC. STOP! Put down that oil can and step away from the back of the computer. What I mean is that it needs maintaining. Every week you should perform a virus scan as a matter of course. You should always keep your virus scanner and Firewall up to date. Many (if not all) have an automatic update option. What I actually do is have mine tell me when an update is available and then do it manually. I might be playing a game online at the time, and the download may cause it to lag (I'll talk about lag in later posts). At the very first opportunity I get it sorted though. I'd only have myself to blame if I didn't and something went wrong. If you don't have a virus scanner and/or Firewall stop reading this right now and go get them. [understatement] It's important [/understatement]. There's several freeware ones available, and I may take a look at a few in the future. You should consider the option of a router or gateway when you accept an internet connection from a provider. These can act as firewalls and can be very good, depending on suppliers, prices etc. but it should be noted that the Firewall that comes within Windows is only the most very basic you can get (in service pack 1) or a particular pain in the rear (service pack 2) to use. Check it's turned off if you have another Firewall installed. That's another thing you need to keep up to date as well. Windows itself. Make sure you regularly check for updates from Windows update.

Other applications you need are some sort of anti-spyware and anti ad-ware. Although these are the same things you want a couple of them as they are amongst the most up-do-date forms of maliciousware or invasions of privacy out there. Personally I use Ad-Aware and SpyBot with no problems. What one doesn't get, the other does. There are reasons for this that I'll go into in more detail at a later date. Keep them up-to-date and do regular checks. Once a week or less if you frequent some of the more questionable places on the net.

Next is error checking and defragmentation. If you have Windows XP there will be less of a need for this but I'd still say once a week perform these tasks. It doesn't take that long and may well improve performance and free up hard drive space otherwise being wasted. The order is important, do the error check first and the defrag after.
Error Check help screen, WinXP
Click START, HELP & SUPPORT to open the help files. Then type "error checking" in the little white box in the top left-hand corner. You should get something like this. Simply follow the instructions given and you should have no problem.

Defragmentation is in the same place as error checking as is a facility to back up your files. Regular back-ups are a good idea too to avoid data loss but if you maintain your system, hopefully you won't suffer a catastrophic failure and be forced to use the back-ups you made, hardware failures, lightning strikes and floods notwithstanding. If possible, put them on a seperate drive that isn't used daily, or back up to a DVD or CD. Always verify these back-ups and if the data is important do two or three verified copies, never rely on only one copy.

Regular maintainence may well see you preventing potential problems instead of having to deal with them as they arise. Hopefully this will enhance your game playing and all round pc experience.

Many thanks to FatBob & Wes for valuable help with this article.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Double Dragon (retro game)

Todays experiences of gaming then. Well, a few hours was wasted trying again to get Black and White to work with no results. Well I say wasted but I do have a much more efficient and very up to date system now. Still doesn't work though as many irritated frowns can tell. Only Black and White (have yet to test the Freelancer stutter but I think that'll now be fixed - finger's crossed), all the others seem to work fine. It's got me scratching my head and no mistake. To avoid getting too obsessed and this blog being renamed "Fuzzy's obsession with fixing his games" I thought I'd give us all a new learning curve to entertain. A friend recently suggested I go in search of abandonware or freeware games. Never one not to bother googling my first target is a game that had a massive cult following in the late 80's and early 90's. It rocked. Double Dragon was awesome. The graphics may seem a bit laughable now, but for the time this was cutting edge and has influenced a vast amount of games since. Just a quick look at these few shots gives an idea how many. There really is a huge amount of games (and other programmes) available if you're prepared to look for them for free that have now been given over to the public domain. Remember to keep your web-fu switched on though as some of them require complex installs and other such frown bringing things. I found an easily installed Double Dragon at the Games 4 Win ulitmate games archive. Be aware, the villians are a bit harder than the original and you'll need to go into options, set config, controllers, then define to set the key controls (no idea as to what the defaults are). I've left the rest of the settings the same and it works fine. Remember to ALWAYS check anything you download for virus' or other malicious ware before you install it. Anything I suggest will always be checked beforehand but I can only hold my hands up to anything I miss or if anything changes after I've checked it. Best to check for yourself too. Make it a habit. With that word of warning over, I'll bid you all happy hunting and gaming. Let me know if you come across any good stuff.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Black and White and Alpha Centauri

Glitch from start-up sequenceI sat down and planned a marvelous article on Black and White today. An old game but a goodie and with Black & White 2 having just been fully revealed at the Games Convention in Leipzig 18th - 21st August 2005 it would have been good timing. Unfortunately technology had other ideas. I discovered rather nasty glitches...
Ok, that's probably a driver problem (also been suffering glitches with some video players). Just to make sure I try an uninstall and re-install of the game to no avail. Fair enough, I go off and get the latest driver (77.77 from Nvidia). I try an install of that and still no joy. Hmmm, well maybe an outside chance of it being codecs (I know that doesn't exactly make sense, but you never know). A lengthy download of the latest K-Lite mega codec pack and I try again. Again with the same results. All my videos play perfectly in all players now though. Ah well.
Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri is a logical conclusion to the Sid Meier's classic Civilization series. Having completed the space ship at the end of Civilization 3 the survivors find themselves colonizing a whole new, alien planet. Factions already decided en - route the rise to power quickly goes astray as the planet they have landed on slowly reveals that it has many secrets. An extremely well - written strategy game it gives massive insights into how all such games work. One of it's strengths (to make me still want to play it and write about it 6 years after it's release) is the ability to reset so many things. This adds massively to it's replay value and I enjoy playing it for new facets to the game each time I do. It's also a great world domination thing and the society has to be carefully managed to achieve final overall authority. It's no push over on the harder levels but if you can become proficient in all aspects of this game there is little you will not master in the strategy world. Add the extra benefit that being an old game it will run fine on older or lower spec machines and it's still a winner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Interview with a FuzzBuck

The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying interview me.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here are your five questions:

1) If you had to live in a world of complete light(without sunglasses) or complete darkness (without electricity-so not even a flashlight) which would you choose?


1.)As light is a pre-requesite for life it would have to be light I guess...



2) Would you rather eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly for every meal or only eat two days out of the week?


2.) Can't stand peanut butter. And I'm guessing by jelly you mean jam? (two very different things to us brits). I reckon I could cope on jam alone (as long as there's enough of it) - it wouldn't matter when my teeth fell out & Diabetes is merely an occupational hazard. Mind you, the second option isn't that far away from my usual eating pattern anyway, so I might not notice. Jam, definately the jam (eating a cheese & jam sandwich right now ;))



3) Would you ever let anyone kill you for money?

3.) Yes. (but it would need to be ALOT of money)


4) If you had to choose between listening to country or death metal for the next 24 hours,what would you pick?

4.) That's a toughie. Would I be able to pick which death metal & country or would it be random?

5) Shag,Marry,or throw off a cliff: Glenn Close, Demi Moore,or Britney Spears

5.) Glenn Close - throw off a cliff (who?)
Demi & Britney - shag, both together. Hey - if I'm gonna have a fantasy, I'm gonna make it a good one

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cutting edge.

Is this the shape of things to come? Games that actually make you feel the forces involved when hurtling your car around a race track or banking that spaceship round a sun for a slingshot? Are we to feel the acceleration when blasting out of the atmosphere of a planet pulling at our skin? Great stuff! Ok, a patent for this kind of thing was made in the US as long ago as 1999, but this working model was unveiled on the 2nd of August. The only thing is ... am I the only one to be very afraid by a technology that controls which way we walk? What's next? Something that only allows us to see certain things or hear other's? Oh? What do you mean we've got that already?



Ok then, how about a robot we can send into battle from miles away? Oh? Them too? Well, how about a balloon that can go to orbital distances? Really? They're working on it?

The future is here folks, time to get out that tin - foil hat and go looking for the alien lizard conspiracists who had it right all along. Either that or it's witchcraft. Burn the scientists I say - but only after they've invented the latest game-playing technology.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Clever Media

Pac InvadersThose clever people at Clever Media do themselves proud. Their site is well worth a closer look with several gems hiding away. First for a mention is the Make your own game (shockwave) game. Here's a quick look at one yours truly came up with. I call it Pac Invaders. Hours of fun right there. Check out also the strateStar Conquestgy games. Star Conquest (shockwave) is a classic take - over space game involving exploration, founding colonies, terraforming, building a fleet and of course, defending yourself from alien invasion. Great fun if you like the civilization - type games.




World Conquest
World Conquest (shockwave) is a basic risk game but if you're any good, you'll want to change the hardness levels (which are quite amenable to change).



Then there's Everchess (shockwave).

Everchess
You know I like Chess from the post the other day. This is a Massive Multiplayer Online version of it. Extremely impressively done, you're on an infinite board (the pieces still only move up to 8 squares) and can be facing many opponents at once from any direction. It gives a new edge to the game and is innovative. In fact it most reminds me of an ancient Scandinavian or Norse version of Chess I played years ago for four player's. This fascinating, far more refined version is a joy to watch, play and even listen to as Microsoft Sam's voice calls out the moves and in-game chat (imagine my excitement when I found that this voice is built-in to Windows, I know, I know, small things). So by taking a step back, it's a leap forward. Clever people.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

-Pandora-

Pandora sat like an angry giant brooding in the darkness. Too long, too long alone in the void. Those would come who would end the loneliness, bring light into the blackness. They were not here yet. Pandora knew they would come though, with a certainty greater than any of the ancient teller's of the future. They would come because they must. It was simple. Pandora had learnt that in the thirst for knowledge that accompanied contact, they had to know, to explore and exploit. To change the Universe to suit themselves. Oh yes, they would come. They would come and Pandora would be waiting.


-Pandora-

Coming soon to a blog near you.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Chess

Shockwave live chessNever let it be said that FuzzBucks Blog is purely about video games. Chess is a classic board game that makes the transition to cyberspace very well. If you're interested in the history of this ancient game I found a very good article here. Fascinating stuff. There are many many games that offer competition against a pc out there but I find that once I've played them a dozen times I can pretty much beat them on any level (except speed chess). Playing a human is a very different matter altogether. There are those that consider 10 minutes as adequate for a game of Chess. If that's your kind of game then Shockwave live chess (shockwave & java) is for you. Be aware though, that's all you get. 5 minutes each total to make your moves so it's speed chess really (although the version of that that we used to play was 10 seconds per move or lose a piece - your opponents choice). If your more of a sedate player then Shockwave e-mail chess (shoShockwave e-mail chessckwave) may work if you have a ready-made opponent. It suffer's the occasional problem with loading new games and doesn't call check mate, but if you can handle these minor annoyances it may be for you. AlternativelyGameknot, try Gameknot (java) who offer a sedate gameplaying environment including leagues, tournaments and open games for you to join, although their speed chess (blitz chess) is still in beta stage. I really can't emphasise enough how much of a great game this is. If it wasn't, would it really have been around for thousands of years? There are no doubt entire blogs about just chess and I will be looking a little more closely at different elements of this timeless game in future posts. For now, hope that's enough to get you started in the world of online chess and always check your mate.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Even more online and retro free games

You lucky people. You lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky lucky people. Even more freebie games. Remember this is only a slice of the vast amount available on the web. Get searching. Even something as banal as "free shockwave games" in google will get good results. Here's a few I found that way (not all of them though). Anything you find not already covered, please feel free to mail me the url or post a comment, but no driving games. I don't like driving games.

Ok, maybe one.


Redline Rumble (shockwave) is a driving game with a role playing idea behind the backstory. You are kidnapped and must drive to survive. It's got some stunning graphics for a mini-game and shows just how much can be done with Shockwave.

To concentrate on their games for a moment though, Shockwave themselves have a good selection including Redline Rumble above and Boulder Dash Treasure Pleasure (shockwave), the latest in a long line of Boulder Dash games, a platfrom classic. It's not just action games there either, offering mind games and multiplayer sections as well.

Mini Arcade (shockwave) offers great value (free) with two games in one. The picture is from Star Striker (the one on the right) which I preferred but if you like a bit more realistic approach to spaceship handling, click the one on the left. Candystand are the people who bring us that game and many others.

Aqua Breakout (shockwave) from Madcool Games Galore is really cool. In their own words, "It's is like Break Out but you're under water as a submarine! Check it out!"



Please excuse me now for a proper retro moment as I've found a really playable version of Frogger (flash) at Gameroom 2000.


*SPLAT*


There, now that's over, time to tell you about just one more. A bit of a frantic one, Chopper Rescue (shockwave) has you running around trying to avoid enemies and rescue your stranded soldiers. It's brought to us by those clever people from Clever Media. For controls & description click here



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