Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekly XBLIG Picks - 1/31-2/6

In this week's installment of Weekly XBLIG Picks (just imagine I stretched that out and used a deep, booming voice), there really weren't too many games that evoked the jump up and scream response. Well, some did, but not in the way that will make you rush to enter your 16 digits and buy more Microsoft points. When the week ended, I really only found three games that I felt comfortable recommending. And here they are, in no particular order:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random - Indie Board Games

A quick note before I go to bed. If I could turn everything into some sort of card-based game, I would. Fighters, RPGs, street racing, heck I almost joined Weight Watchers because of that awesome card system they had for keeping track of your points (I'm 5'8" and weigh 130, so this would probably kill me). Needless to say, few things capture my attention like shuffling and drawing. Earlier tonight, as my girlfriend and a good friend of mine were playing a three-player game of Innovation, I was reminded of my love for all games indie and how that spills over to my hobbies that don't involve electricity.

So, would you believe there's the board game equivalent of XBLIG?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thoughts - Why XBLIG's Online Requirement Kills Certain Genres

There's a requirement for certain Ubisoft games that you MUST be online while playing said game. The punishment for trying to play offline is the obvious: you don't get to play. If you're a gamer, there's a pretty good chance you already knew about this and have made your long, angry, anti-Ubisoft blog or forum entry. But Ubisoft is a giant Splinter Cell-cranking corporation. Surely it's an isolated incident that wouldn't reach the world of indie gaming, right? As unfair as it is to word it like that, we all know it's been like that for XBLIG since the beginning.

And until this changes, competitive gaming will never be seen on XBLIG.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekly XBLIG Picks - 1/24-1/30

Every week, I'll slave over a hot 360 to bring you a list of what I consider worthwhile downloads, picked from the deluge of games that hit the XBLIG Marketplace during the previous seven days. On this first edition, we've got a platformer, a brawler, a physics puzzler, an RPG, and a twin-stick shooter; a decent variety and all worth at least a demo.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Late New Year's Resolution

Looking back at last year, I realized that even though the vast majority of the games I reviewed were bought and paid for out of my own pocket, I probably still spent less on video gaming than any other year in the last decade. How much is uncertain, and I don't feel like going back and doing some seriously unnecessary guessing, but with only four or even fewer games bought on disc and a handful of XBLA/WiiWare titles I doubt it was over $300. That seems like a large number when you just throw it out there, but considering that counts GameFly for the first few months of the year as well as the fact that many gamers can spend that much in two trips to GameStop it starts to look like a pretty small number for someone who lists video gaming as his main hobby.

And I think I can cut that number down even further. Would you half?

So here's my late resolution: by year's end, I'll only spend $150 on video games. And each Saturday I'll document every last cent I threw into gaming. That's $12.50 a month on gaming And consider that snagging a new game at retail kills 40% of my budget for a year.

Think I can do it? I'm willing to wager that, for every dollar I go over, I'll put that much into a charity of someone's choice (dunno who yet, I'll decide on that part later). If I don't, I'll still put the remainder into that charity with a minimum of $25. The only allowance I have is that I can use the remainder of my MS Points (roughly 950 MSP or $12) without it counting, since they were part of a Christmas gift. After that, $150 for the rest of the year.

And yes, I think I can do it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Four Quarter Friday - Vorpal

At about 2 in the morning on New Year's Day, after a buddy of mine and I spent eight hours with Raskulls, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and BBC's Top Gear, I decided to hop on over to the Indie Games Marketplace to see if anything from the Indie Games Winter Uprising had hit XBox Live. There wasn't, but I was greeted with a box art that reminded me of the simple Japanese Final Fantasy boxes. White background, one-color title, and a drawing using nothing but black ink yet being detailed enough to catch my eye. I didn't find a 16-bit RPG underneath the classy digital case, but after an hour or two with Vorpal I'm pretty glad I didn't.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Resurrection - Return of Gano--er, Hogosha.

Over the last few months, I've struggled with my writing. And I mean that in the most all inclusive way I can outside of literally printing my blog entries and having no holds barred cage matches with them. Everything from subject matter to sentence structure to just the overall flow of how I write has become more than a little elusive. Even these few simple paragraphs letting you know that I'm not only alive but also ready to come back and write the good write don't produce themselves as naturally as they did last year.

So let's do something about that.

Starting tomorrow with the return of Four Quarter Friday, I'm writing something every day about either the world of XBox Live Indie Games or, at the very least, gaming in general. It could be a review, a summary of all the games out over the last week, an opinion on a certain genre and how it's being handled in this age of gaming, how awesome a soundtrack is, or just a general rant about how much I hate nearly every game with the word "Avatar" in it. And if it isn't one of these things, it'll be a link to anything I've jotted down on other sites like or

And if I don't do this, I demand that someone kick me in the bum.

So there. My butt is on the line. Either I get it in gear and start writing or I get it beaten.

See you folks tomorrow evening with a review of either XBLIG bullet-hell shmup Vorpal or radiangames' final monthly title, twin-stick shooter Ballistic.