WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
DESC wp_comments

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h02/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 96

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
DESC wp_comments

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h02/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 105

Archive for August, 2008

Four Day Work Week…

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

…and a crazy busy one at that. Nonstop since 8am. Taking a quick break from an article on targeted advertising.

Google linked to DHGF as an example of awesome layout. Okay? Really, it’s nearly the same exact layout as Fortune’s website, so hey. Thanks Google, but Fortune deserves the nod.

I have a nice little interview with Nippon Ichi up about the remake of Rhapsody, including an exclusive on X (Cross) Edge coming stateside! It’s game everyone from Kotaku to Gamestop said would never come to the US. Personally I’m excited for some Disgaea vs Darkstalkers action.

Dracula III review coming soon. It’s basically “The 9th Gate: but with vampires. It’s…interesting, I’ll give it that. Good story, but awful puzzles - basically the reverse of Dracula: Origin, which also came out this year and is also an adventure game, but is made by a different company, put out by a different publisher and they have nothing to do with each other. Wacky that.

4 mile hike in MD on Saturday. EARLY Rising though. Bleck.

Book of the Week - Week 1

Monday, August 18th, 2008


One of my plans for my birthday was to ensure I stay literate considering the shiutload of gaming stuff that I get hit with every day. As such I decided to do a book of the week to remind myself on a regular basis than literature > video games. Sorry oh mighty publishers that read this, but ’tis true.

We kick it off with The Fearless Diner by Richard Sterling. Before celebrity chefs, there were celebrity eaters, and Richard Sterling is one of those men that are a legend unto themselves for his ability to combine food and philosophy. I read this book every year around this time as it is a wonderful reminder of how important food is in all aspects of our lives, and how it shapes cultures, politics, and even humanity itself. Plus he gets to eat camel, which is one of my holy grail meats.

It’s a short little book and it can fit in your pants pocket, but the commentary, detail, and discussion makes this easily the best book on eating I’ve ever read. It’s out of print now and has been for some years, but you can get it for as little as a penny from Amazon affiliates and I strongly recommend you do so.

I’m back

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Nice long four day weekend and I’m loving it.

Friday was an extra long jog and a lot of writing. The new dryer arrived and I introduced Vlad to Qdoba and in return, he introduced me to Georgetown Cupcakes. Cool day off!

Saturday was a lot of running around. I went for a jog, came home, then went to…Fort Washington and then to the National Harbour which is beautiful.

Sunday was the birthday and thanks to everyone for their messages. Sorry to those who hit me up on IM and I wasn’t around. My computer was one downloading that damned Dracula III Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. Stupid 6 gig download. Kim wanted to do something with me last night, but I’m all about biorthdays being a time for self-reflection and goal setting rather then a time to party over being a year closer to menopause. Except for that year where I got banned from Chevy’s with Matt. Oh. Also -Fudgie the Whale cake. Whoo!

Today has been a productive day rather then a fun day. I cleaned my bathroom, cleaned the litter boxes, took a hose and steel wool to the bunny cage liner to clean that digusting thing and then went grocery shopping. Now it’s settling in for some D3, and editing an interview I did with Nippon Ichi about their Rhapsody port - complete with a really nice exclusive about a game no one ever thought would come stateside…but is.

Also - http://www.dharmawantsyou.com


Review #205

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Bangai-O Spirits
Developer: Treasure
Publisher: D3
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: 8/13/2008

I love Treasure Games. My favorite game of all time? Guardian Heroes. My favorite game from 2003? Ikaruga. From 2004? Gradius V. I’ve played both of those two games to the point where I can beat both the GCN version of the former and the PS2 version of the latter without dying. From Gunstar Heroes to Dragon Drive I love Treasure.

There have only a single flaw – they can’t do sequels. Remember how I said Guardian Heroes was my favorite game of all time? Advance Guardian Heroes for the GBA was the biggest disappointment I’ve ever had in gaming. It was pretty bad in every way possible and had only a token nod to the original game. It was not received well by fans and it was widely considered the worst game Treasure ever made, mainly because it played nothing like the original game and you spent the whole game killing characters from the first. The GOOD GUY characters.

So here we are now with Bangai-O Spirits. Much like Guardian Heroes, this sequel to Bangai-O has only one thing in common with the original game – the use of the Bangai-O Mech. It plays nothing like the original, has no actual connection to the original and in fact, it’s not even a Shoot ‘Em Up like the original. It’s a puzzle game with only the vague illusion of being a shooter.

So has the Treasure curse struck again, or has Bangai-O Spirits managed to be a worthy successor to its Dreamcast predecessor?

Review #204

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The Sinking Island
Developer: White Birds Studio
Publisher: Microids
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 8/12/2008

This is one of those titles I picked up on a lark. Sinking Island originally came out in the middle of 2007 in Europe and I never really heard too much about it. I was curious because it was a Microids game, who I have missed for the past few years as they haven’t had anything published stateside (Encore however has started publishing their titles for US gamers with this and Dracula III, albeit in VERY small quantities). I knew it was coming to the DS for Europeans sometime in late 2008, and I assumed I was just going to be importing it since DS games are region free. Then I noticed that Microids was letting people download the games directly from their site. That combined with the fact Sinking Island was made by White Bird Studios, who I recently interview about their upcoming release based on the Nikopol graphic novels, and I decided, “Eh. Why not?”

I’m not really an impulse shopper, especially with video games, but it’s supporting both a publisher and developer I liked and besides, my copies of Murder in the Abbey and Dracula III were pushed back a bit, so I needed to review SOMETHING.

So how was it? Did this obscure little game turn out to be worth my $29.99, or was it doomed to go into the same pile of games as Heavenly Guardian where I kind of wish I had my money back?

Whoo! Four Day Weekend

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Alright, today I’m whipping out some advertising and a review of Sinking Island, which is pretty much the BEST mystery game I’ve ever played.

Whoo! Raise and a promotion. Life is good.

Heading to the beach some day over this four day weekend. Going to do some touristy things in DC another day, and see Mirror as well. Also get some reviews of Dracula III and Bangai-O Spirits written up. A lot of writing this week, no?

I did an interview with a brand new Wales-based development company on their upcoming game. I’m a big believer in supporting those mom and pop gaming companies, because it’s where the innovation comes from these days. The bigger companies are all but incapable of it.

Not much else has been going on. I’ve been hit with an onslaught of games, and I have a ton of Pokemon stuff going on, so it’s been a rather busy busy week for me. Too busy to write in here because I’m writing everyplace else. :-P

Review #203 (all screenshots are from my actual playing time)

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People Episode One: Homestar Runner
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 08/11/2008
Also Released On: Nintendo Wii

2008 is certainly the year where Adventure games returned to prominence. It’s also the return of licensed Adventure games. Remember the days of the LucasArts Indiana Jones point and click titles and games of that nature? Well in 2008, I’ve already reviewed Adventure games like Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, LOST: Via Domus, and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

Now I’ve picked up yet another licensed property that uses the point n’ click genre to tell its tale, based on the characters from the popular Homestar Runner website created by the Brothers Chap. I’ll admit I’m a pretty big Homestar Runner fan. I have friends that have gone as Teen Girl Squad for Halloween. I have a Trogdor label for the rear window of my car, and I even own a “The Cheat” stuffed animal.

I chose to review the PC version for several reasons. One, my time with And Then There Were None left me with a bad taste towards Adventure games on the Wii. Two, The Wii has such little space for games that I’ll choose my PC and its massive hard drive over the Wii for something like this any day. Three, it’s $10 per episode on the Wii, make this a FIFTY DOLLAR Adventure game, which is insane considering this is the age of $19.99 to $29.99 adventure games. On the PC however, you can buy all five episodes for a bundle price of $34.95. This is still a bit pricier than the average game in this genre, but hey, it’s also $15 cheaper than the Wii version.

So is this game worth it, or does the fact this review will take me longer to write then it did for me to beat the game sticking in my craw?

Another Monday, another work week.

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Yeesh. Long Weekend. I got up at 7am to take my car in for it’s 60K checkup. Four hours and 800+ dollars later, I was able to come home and find…Art of Murder at my door meaning I was in for a weekend of playing an Adventure game.

Besides those two things I managed to get in three runs and dread the coming of this week as Strong Bad hits today, Sinking Island hits tomorrow, Bangai-O comes Weds, Murder in the Abbey is Thursday and Dracula III is Friday. Too many damn games! I also have to get those essays on Trolls and Ogres done today. Shit.

FYI, if you want the Homestar Runner game by all means buy it for the PC $35 for the PC version or $50 for the Wii with its limited space for saving things. Not much of a choice there. A big boo to Nintendo for jacking up the price $1 per episode for each of the five bits when Telltale was advertising it at $9.

Six days until I hit 31. Dear god in heaven. For someone that thought he’d never get to 30, that’s quite a dubious achivement.

Review #202

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Art of Murder; FBI Confidential
Publisher: City Interactive
Developer: City Interactive
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 07/29/2008

Art of Murder is the first North American published game by City Interactive, Poland’s large video game developer and publisher. It’s great to see all these European developers coming to the States, as we American gamers tend to (erroneously) only think of the US and Japan as the two big areas for game development.

When I first saw the screenshots of Art of Murder and heard a little bit of the plot, I thought the game was going to be a rip-off of Microids and The Adventure Company’s game, Still Life. Even the main characters look a lot alike. What I discovered however was that the games are only similar in that they are both games featuring FBI agents who are trying to stop a mysterious serial killer. Still Life took the #30 position in my Top 30 Spooky Games Countdown, but how does Art of Murder: FBI Confidential compare?

Whoo Weekend!

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Holy shit, this is the first week where I haven’t been hit by an onslaught of packages from gaming companies.

Next week though, I know of at least wow, 8 coming.

Scheduled a 60K tune up and a new headlight for my car tomorrow at 8am. Yay! Well, not yay for the 8am part, but yeah for car fixing.

I’m spending the weekend with Kim in two weeks. Just hanging out, going for a hike, eating Nandos and having a good time. She told me yesterday she’s bringing her son along who is “Super excited to meet me.” Ouch. Here’s the thing. I have no problem being on when I need to be. I have no problem being that role model for the zillions and zillions who read me in all my myriad forms. I have no problem spekaing in front of thousands or being that guy that makes parents love me even when I’m running around in vinyl pants and have wacky adventures. But spending a long extended period of time with a single Kid who knows and loves my work and whose mom is a fun person to be around? That my friends is pressure. It takes a lot of self awareness to have to watch my “European vocabulary,” and to keep away from certain topics that are second nature for me to talk about. If you let that younger generation at all, even for a second, you’ve lost them and their trust, possibly forever and kids remember these things as they get older. Which is not something I could ever live with doing.

I guess it’s hard to describe why the only time I feel anxiety is with the kids of my friends. It’s probably because if I let the kids down, it’s also letting the friends down as well. I never have and I know I never will, but I always get a picture in my head of me doing something Swarley-ish and then hearing “Alex sucks! Pokemon sucks! I’m going to go be a cock to people that aren’t exactly like me in every way.” Then generally Megatron comes in a blasts humans with his fusion cannon and I’m left holding the charred remains of people while the Decepticons over run the city.

Or something like that. ;-)

On another note, it’s weird to see how the Europeans love the DHGF. I realize *I* have a very european style of writing and also similar tastes, but we’re at that point where we have a siginifcant Euro audience, people translating our works into French, Itallian and German, and European companies asking directly to work with us even though we’re an American publication. Nifty. Especially since you don’t see that very often in the industry.

I’m part of the Sony “Home” beta. I’ve yet to care.

Vlad & Dave - I just read the rough draft of Matt’s Purr Pals review. Mother of God -it actually has an American version of the Jingle Cats game in it.

Holy crap! It’s 11am already.

Moved Permanently

Apache/2.4.29 (Ubuntu) Server at www.zak.co.il Port 80

The document has moved here.

301 Moved Permanently