King of the Hill

king of the hill koenigsegg agera r

See that car right there? That’s a Koenigsegg Agera R. It’s a pretty sweet car. It has an approximate top speed of 273 mph. It can reach 200 mph in a hair over 17 seconds and then brake to 0 mph in less than half of that. At the current exchange rate, it costs around $2 million, but that’s for the carbon fiber version which adds an extra $270k.

Along with being a hypercar that I will never be able to afford, or probably even be allowed to look at, it is the final car to beat and then shut down in Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

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Sword of the Stars: The Pit in Review

 

The other day, I was thinking “wow, I sure would like to play some kind of turn-based Roguelike…but with maybe a science fiction setting.” As if fate decreed, I got an email from thousandaire board game tycoon and AWOL NHS editor Bill Abner. It was a forward from the PR gentleman at Gamer’s Gate and on offer was a review code for their new $10 corker The Pit, from Kereberos Productions . It was exactly the game I wanted to play at exactly the right time. It reminded me of the time that I was dying to hear Soft Cell and I turned on a random stereo on display at a Best Buy literally right as the first notes of “Tainted Love” blared through the speakers. Continue Reading…

Jumping the Shark Update

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Just a quick update on the JTS status for the week. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances made it so that Bill could not attend this week’s show. Todd was sailing the high seas, like the slacker man of leisure that he is, so that left just me to do the show. I think it’s safe to say that I am barely competent when on the show with two other people, so doing a show solo would lead to nothing good. Yes, I have done it in the past but that was with time and preparation on my side, two things I didn’t have this time around.

So, in short, I’m very sorry that there’s no new episode this week. If you missed last week’s episode, on account of no one posting about it because Todd was gone and we’re all lazy sots, here it is. I’ll do a better job in the future covering for Mr. Brakke and making sure that JTS gets served up hot and fresh. I’m grateful that people care when we miss an episode and I don’t feel particularly good about taking that for granted. For that, I apologize.

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Calendar Man – Week of 3/4

square E3 preview tomb raider shot 1

A lot of games are coming out this week, yet the only one I care about is Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, the gods of GameFly saw fit to grace me with a PS3 copy and not an Xbox 360 copy, but given how many points are available only via multiplayer, I guess that’s ok. I prefer the 360 gamepad over the DualShock, but alas, I will raid the hell out of some tombs nonetheless.

Until Tomb Raider shows up, I have two more races to complete before successfully coming in first in every single player event in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Both are speed runs, and one is a hard speed run, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it, but hopes are high. It certainly doesn’t help that no one on my speed wall has completed this particular run. I’m a trailblazer! Other than that, I’m still loving Fire Emblem and am very happy with my decision to play on Casual. Otherwise, I’d be knee deep in corpses right about now.

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in Review

games of q1 metal gear revengeance

Irresponsible, irreverent, and illogical, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a peanut butter and chocolate proposition for folks that love video games in the classical sense, pairing up Kojima with Platinum for an operatically absurd masterpiece. It is the heir apparent to two of this generation’s best action titles, Bayonetta and Vanquish, and it’s also one of the best and most focused Metal Gear games to date. It’s the kind of video game that makes me want to go out and gut punch every failed Hollywood screenwriter that thinks they can make it in this business by making games more like movies. It’s the kind of game that makes the claim that Japanese design is heartless or passionless look completely wrong, slicing and dicing with a rarified energy and a preposterous- but completely not macho- level of aggression.

With his high heels, eyeliner, and Aqua-Net abused hair, Raiden is a glitter rock cyber-ninja, the blatantly androgynous and homoerotic hero of the greatest electro-chanbara movie never made. He’s had his star turn in the Metal Gear Solid games before, sharing the bill with Solid Snake in Sons of Liberty, but never before has he been so fleet of feet and quick with a blade. Revengeance is fast as a shark, standing in stark contrast to the slower, measured pace and intentionally clunky controls of the core Metal Gear titles. Lightning Bolt Action indeed. The action is furious, with dramatic parries of skyscraper-sized swords and acrobatic counterattacks punctuated by the occasional slow-motion blade mode wherein Raiden can slice through a cyborg assailant and rip its spine out, drenching himself in precious nano-fluids. Continue Reading…

Cracked LCD- LOTR LCG Retroview

 lotr

I  reviewed Fantasy Flight’s Lord of the Rings Living Card game not long after its core set released back in 2010. To refresh, there were some things that I liked about the game but I chafed at its packaging and the way that Fantasy Flight was effectively limiting the game’s capability as a standalone product by not including a nominally complete and self-contained set of cards that would not require further purchases to link to existing keywords, combinations, or other potentialities. I stand by this review, but I thought it would be interesting to try the game again now that it’s matured over the course of nearly two years with monthly expansion packs and a couple of larger add-ons.

I felt that the game was good enough to give a second chance, and thus here is the first ever Cracked LCD Retroview- a post facto review where I’ll go back and re-examine games that got middling to even bad reviews to see how they fare a few years on. I’m not going to tell you how to play the game, describe every piece in the box, or anything like that. Read another review if you want that. This is a way to dig a little deeper and analyze a little harder with the “new” worn off and with the hype long dead.  I think this is particularly a compelling opportunity to revisit games that have changed a lot or that have taken on a life of their own Continue Reading…

Talking About Television on the Ouya

As I mentioned on the podcast a few weeks ago, Clayton Grey, No High Scores reader and Don’t Shoot the Food Photoshopper extraordinaire is currently working on Television, an adventure game/WarioWare-esque mashup for the Ouya. Clayton and his partner-in-games Sam Strick recently took the Most Surprising award in the Create game jam sponsored by Kill Screen and Ouya.  Clayton was kind enough to answer some questions via email and give a glimpse as to what life is like for independent developers looking to make a go on the Ouya.

Once you’re done reading, be sure to head over to their Kickstarter for Shift, a single card CCG currently in development.

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Calendar Man – Week of 2/25

calendar man 2-28 dynasty warriors 7

Not much out there this week, but that’s ok because the next couple of weeks will bring a bevy of new games to your doorstep. Let’s see, Brutal Legend finally hits the PC, a new map pack hits Halo 4, another Dynasty Warriors game releases for the PS3 and a bunch of other things I can’t bring myself to write up come out. Seriously though, you’re not missing anything important. I wouldn’t do that to you. Honest!

For me, I sent Dead Space 3 back this morning. It just wasn’t doing anything for me, so I ditched it. I’m one boss fight away from finishing Revengeance and then it’s nothing but racing and Spartan Ops until Tomb Raider comes out. Whee!

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Year Walk (IOS) in Review

year-walkI’m not going to tell you much about Year Walk, a new IOS App from Swedish developers Simogo. You might remember them from a cute game/metaphor for relationships called Bumpy Road from last year. Year Walk isn’t anything like that. Roughly, it’s a very brief and hugely atmospheric adventure game with just a handful of puzzles. It’s based on an archaic Swedish tradition wherein a person would fast on typical feasting days such as New Year’s Eve and at midnight set out for a church. It’s a sort of vision quest myth, as the walker would encounter spectral entities and symbolic  figures before reaching the church, where future events might be revealed.

If you really want to know more- because I’m just not going to spoil this masterpiece of chilly suspense, dread, and the impossible ways the supernatural intersects the “real” world- there’s a free companion App that Simogo has released. It’s a couple of pages of text with some very evocative and very spooky woodcut images. It’s all based on actual folk beliefs. And it’s really the key to Year Walk working as well as it does, touching upon deep-rooted, elemental fears and the psychology of myth. Continue Reading…

Lords of Middle Earth : War of the Ring Extraveganza

War of the RingLicensed games based on well-known films or books are nothing new, and while of variable quality. generally rather better than their digital counterparts. But since its publication, the love for War of the Ring has been little short of astonishing.

It’s not hard to see why. The biggest achievement of the game is to allow players to re-tell a plausible version of The Lord of the Rings on each play through whilst still enabling plenty of strategy and freedom of choice while doing so. When you consider how difficult that balance is to maintain, and how venerated the source material is, the astonishing scale of that achievement becomes clear.

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