Progress Quest (Review)

“The game that is so self-aware and mind blowingly awesome that it doesn’t even need you.”

“Since time before time the Vorlak had held the Crosshutch at Thraeskamp. The ancient reckoning held that the Five Skrelkampi (and their Truebine) would return when the great Trond-feast could be held anew and the Belnap reunited. But this legend became lost to all but the Papperboxen at Horbug. One of their own was Yallow the Speldrig, who found an unlikely pupil in Torbole Understeady, the discarded illigitimate waif of Wainthane Topknox, whom Yallow renamed Grumdrig and began to school as a boar-pulmet’s apprentice. …And, as it was said by some, in aberdoxy.”

So, I’m reviewing Progress Quest. Perhaps I should just lean back and let this review write itself, just for the hell of it.

… … …

Alright, I waited about a full minute and there’s been absolutely no progress on the review writing itself, which is the complete opposite of what Progress Quest does. Progress Quest is a very detailed RPG complete with a seemingly infinite number of equippable items, loot, monsters, spells, and quests. There is, however, one catch.

You don’t play Progress Quest. It plays itself.

So how does this even classify as a game and why am I reviewing it? Just because, that’s why. Progress Quest is so tongue in check and does not take itself even slightly seriously, so nor will I take this review seriously.

So, Progress Quest! There are two game modes – single player and multiplayer. After choosing your desired mode of play, you get to make your character. There are many interesting race choices such as Demicanadian, Enchanted Motorcycle, Land Squid, and Talking Pony. The classes are just as diverse and include Bastard Lunatic, Inner Mason, Tickle-Mimic, and of course the legendary Tongueblade. After choosing a race and class combination, naming the character, and then choosing a set of randomly generated stats, it’s play time. Or watch time.

After you are finished making your character, you are treated to an awesome screen of progress bars.

This is literally the entire game right here.

Basically all you do is watch the game play itself. The status bar at the bottom dictates what your character is doing, which is either killing things, selling loot, or advancing the game’s plot (which doesn’t even exist).

This may sound incredibly dull, and it would be if it weren’t for the fact that Progress Quest is pretty darn funny. Common enemies to encounter include beer golems, porn elementals, and even giant were-will-o-the-wisps. The spell names are just as odd and range from hydrophobia, to holy batpole, to spectral oyster.

Does this game even make any sense? Or does this review? I don’t even know, but I’m going back to watching my Demicanadian Tickle-Mimic kill more beer golems and underage spectres.

Final Score

6/10

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Why APB: Reloaded Will Succeed

Sometime in Q1 2011, APB will return as “APB: Reloaded.” The original designers are onboard thanks to the game and studio being bought by K2 Network. Numerous improvements are being planned, and there are a few reasons why I think APB: Reloaded will succeed. “Gasp! APB succeeding?” Why, yes. As a player of APB during it’s original run, I saw the huge amount of potential that the game has. Unfortunately, due to EA forcing Realtime Worlds to rush APB out the door, the game was not what it was promised to be.

APB: Reloaded promises to make the game what it was originally supposed to be while improving the bad aspects of the game that became evident during the game’s original run. So, what will APB: Reloaded do that will make this game succeed? I have three points that I think will lead to the game working out this time around.

1. Tougher Crackdown On Hackers
Towards the end of the game’s life cycle, APB was plagued by hackers. Countless people used aim bots, wall hacks, and god mode hacks. It was a little out of control, and Realtime Worlds are already discussing the matter of eliminating foul play from APB: Reloaded. There seems to be a good amount of confidence coming from them at the moment, and they’ve had a bit of time to learn from their mistakes in APB and, presumably, they’ll be able to close a fair amount of holes that hackers exploited originally.

2. Revamped Gameplay Focus
Realtime Worlds has stated that they want San Paro to be a more enjoyable city this time around, the core PvP gameplay will not be the complete focus of the game anymore. Apparently there will be true PvE objectives in parts of the city, and plans are in place to make players want to return to specific areas of the city. To the average reader, this sounds like Realtime Worlds wants to implement something in the districts that will make players want to hang around at certain streets and locations. Minigames? Fun and rewarding quests? I’m willing to bet on both. Perhaps we’ll have access to a miniature casino, an arcade, or something else along those lines? It’s completely probable judging from Realtime Worlds’ comments. They want people to want to hang out in specific areas of the districts. Something is at work here, and I feel that it will add a lot of replayability to the game. The fact that PvP will not necessarily be the core focus of the game is also a great idea. They want the cities to feel more like, well, cities. Let’s hope that the revamping of the gameplay is going in a good direction.

3. Free To Play/Microtransactions
Free. To. Play. Those are the three most important words in this entire article. Players will still be able to perform microtransactions to probably obtain premium features and items, but paying to play is absolutely not required anymore. This is fantastic, as the original APB simply was not good enough to warrant monthly payments at all. Not having to pay will give the developers a lot of breathing room, and players will have more patience with the game if it is still lacking when it relaunches. By not having to pay, more players will be likely to stay on and wait for improvements.

Overall, APB: Reloaded may very well be the game that we were originally meant to play. Can’t wait! Stay tuned for more info.

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AVGN: The Angry Video Game

“A game that is probably just as frustrating as the ones that James plays.”

The header, of course, is only fitting. This is indeed a frustrating game, but that does not mean that it is a bad one!

The AVGN Angry Video Game is made by Eric Ruth, a guy who is awesome at making platformers and video game demakes of many varieties. Most of his games are indeed fangames and he seems to be able to replicate various characteristics of the games that his are based off of very well. This applies to the AVGN Angry Video Game as well, and I’ll explain how.

In the Angry Video Game, you play as James as he just… I don’t even know. In traditional 8-bit fashion, the protagonist (in this case, James Rolfe) is thrust into a series of levels that don’t seem to make a lot of sense or have any meaning – just like the games featured in the AVGN episodes!

Another similarity between the Angry Video Game and the games featured in AVGN episodes is a distinct lack of good controls. James moves just fine with the controls he has been assigned, but they are in very awkward and unconventional locations on the keyboard. Those who cannot adjust to strange control layouts or do not have any tools to use their own gamepads (Hint: Joy2Key) will definitely have problems adjusting to the controls in Angry Video Game. If James were to make an AVGN episode about this game, he’d probably call the controls ass.

The graphics are actually very good. Graphically, the game sits somewhere between NES and SNES visuals. Eric Ruth has shown that he is no slouch when it comes to spriting. Everything looks pretty good in this game, except for perhaps one or two animations. James looks amusing and the enemies are all easily identifiable.

The game likes to thrust a lot of tough enemies at you, however. They aren’t necessarily difficult to defeat, but so many enemies shoot projectiles and move erratically that it just makes it a little frustrating if you’re not doing well. Bosses in particular are pretty annoying, as there are usually several projectiles moving across the screen all the time.

The game’s biggest redeeming factor is, coincidentally, James Rolfe. You see, as soon as you begin the game you hear his voice, and he doesn’t go away – ever. To diehard AVGN fans, this is pretty great. It’s a lot of fun hearing him curse at the game when you die, and he comments on various things in the levels as you experience them. It sort of makes it feel like James is playing the game with you, which is pretty cool. I know that it was done to emulate an AVGN episode, but the feature accomplishes so much more. Definitely the best part of this game.

There’s little else to say, so I’ll wrap up the review! If you’re a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd or like tough platformers, give this one a try. It’s up in my downloads section.

Final Score

7.6/10


Venetica – Further Impressions

Due to the holidays, and now bad work hours, my time with Venetica has been a little limited. Still, I’ve made more progress with the game and have become better at playing while discovering new features as well. I originally intended to show off about 60 minutes of me playing, but I lacked time to upload all of that to YouTube, only managing to upload 30 more minutes instead. However, it’s a good amount of gameplay and you can definitely get an idea of how the game plays from these videos.

Here are two videos that are to be played back to back. It is me playing through one of the game’s dungeons.

The video ends kind of abruptly with that boss battle, but in the following videos there will be a conclusion to the fight. Overall, it was a pretty epic fight and is the first real “cool” encounter in the game.

I don’t really want to say too much about the game, because I want to save my comments for the inevitable review that should come this week sometime provided my schedule cooperates with me. I will say that I’m liking the game more and more as I get further into it. Initially, I would have given it about a 7 when I wrote my first impressions a few days ago, but I now suspect that I’d be more inclined to give it about an 8.5 or so. It’s a quality game and if you can look past the slightly cartoonish presentation, then there’s a very enjoyable action RPG waiting for you!

I will say one thing, though. Venetica plays a lot like a cross between The Witcher and, surprisingly, Diablo. The game has a hack n’ slash element to it that Diablo possesses, but the gameplay (how you control Scarlett and how the camera works) is more like The Witcher, especially with the combo attacks.

Truthfully? It’s a great game. I can’t wait to play more, and I’m really looking forward to writing a review about this game. I’m even interested in doing a sort of “Let’s Try” series of videos, if only I can get my darn headset to work. It may be time to invest in a new one.

Return to December 2010 Articles

Mario Paint Composer

Chances are good that if you grew up in the 16 bit era, you were able to play around with Mario Paint and it’s awesome music composer. It was pretty darn popular, which is fairly evident with the creation of Mario Paint Composer. I can’t quite recall when the program came out, but it is basically a Windows version of composer in Mario Paint. I’ve collected some awesome tunes that people have made in the composer. Check them out!

Breath of Fire – Second Battle Theme (By Lumunaire271)

Castlevania – Vampire Killer (By adolfobaez)

Duck Tales – Moon Level (By Levus28)

Final Fantasy IV – The Dreadful Battle (By HCBailly)

Final Fantasy V – The Land Unknown (By HCBailly)

Final Fantasy VI – Celes’ Theme (By NorseFTX)

Final Fantasy VII – Still More Fighting (By HCBailly)

Final Fantasy VIII – Man With The Machine Gun (By HCBailly)

Final Fantasy IX – Boss Theme (By HCBailly)

Mega Man 2 – Wily Stage 1 (By TomBobBlender)

Mega Man X – Spark Mandrill (theEvilGrimace)

Sonic the Hedgehog – Green Hill Zone (By TomBobBlender)

Super Mario Bros. 2 – Main Theme (By The Lymphocyte)

Super Mario World – Athletic Level (By Fredfischer)

Tetris – Theme Music (By TomBobBlender)

The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind – Theme Music (By MickeRamone)

The Legend of Zelda – Main Theme (By adolfobaez)

And here are some non-Video game ones. Mostly real songs and TV themes. Very cool as well!

Angry Video Game Nerd Theme (By TomBobBlender)

Collective Soul – Run (By dfarkins)

Dexter – Opening Theme (By Afrodude50)

Dragonforce – Through the Fire and Flames (by Levus28)

Europe – The Final Countdown (By Bangario)

Flintstones – Main Theme (By Friedfischer)

King of the Hill – Opening Music (By Aceticacidplease)

Metallica – Battery (By EverlastingLuigi)

Pirates of the Caribbean – He’s A Pirate (By Uhiwi)

Rocky – Gonna Fly Now (By lapras509)

Star Trek – Movie/Next Generation Theme (By EcLipsE1982Fat)

Star Wars – Main Theme (By MisterAlphabet)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon Theme (By longsocksilver)

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning To Fly (By JealousGuy)

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Top 25 Movie Themes

Today I am taking a step back from video games and am turning to the big screen. I’ve compiled my top 25 favourite movie themes of all time into one handy list and YouTube video. Check it out and see how your favourites stack up against mine.

Here is the list for folks who are too lazy to listen to some great movie themes.

25. 28 Days Later
24. Jaws
23. Halloween
22. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
21. James Bond
20. Gran Torino
19. E.T.
18. Mortal Kombat
17. The Exorcist
16. Requiem For A Dream
15. Top Gun
14. Monty Python & The Holy Grail
13. Batman
12. The Lord of the Rings
11. Pirates of the Caribbean
10. Terminator
9. Jurassic Park
8. The Green Mile
7. Star Trek
6. Superman
5. Ghostbusters
4. Back to the Future
3. Rocky
2. Indiana Jones
1. Star Wars

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