I don’t think I’m playing Hitman: Blood Money correctly.

October 12th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I started playing Hitman: Blood Money, and so far every mission has ended like this:

Remember when you could use that strategy in every game?  I think I almost won here, just had to make a little more noise (damn silencers!):

There’s an achievement for 100% notoriety, so at some point I was killing everyone on purpose.

The fun of the game is using different disguises and finding clever ways to kill your targets. All of that is still great, but the controls really don’t hold up.  The aiming doesn’t feel like they did anything to compensate for the lack of precision of analog sticks, and the button layout is…strange.

During each mission you can buy “intel” which gives you hints about characters, secret entrances, etc. I feel like that stuff should have been included in the mission briefing, and then you could decide which strategy to use. Without it you have to run around trying to learn the map layout and where the targets will be, but maybe I’m just being impatient.  Blood Money definitely has me excited for the next Hitman game — as long as they keep all the stuff that makes this one fun, and update the controls.

How to Fix GameStop.com

October 5th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

GameStop - would you like to pre-order?

In my last post I exposed GameStop’s wish list lies. Now it’s time to fix GameStop.com, so let me outline my proposal step-by-step — but first, I’ll fix those stupid mismatching icons:

There. That took me five damn minutes, GameStop. I would be happy to send you those graphics if you’d like. Okay, so now to fix the real problems.  The cornerstone of any relationship is honesty, and we can improve that in a few ways: Read the rest of this entry »

HOT NEWS ITEM! GameStop’s Wish List lies

September 26th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I use wish lists on various sites to track prices on games, and one of those sites is GameStop, everyone’s favorite store to hate™. While adding a few games, I noticed they had a warning next to them:

First of all, couldn’t they spend $20 to have someone match the background color on that icon? Anyway, scrolling through the list, I noticed that every item had that warning. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, Amazon even lists the actual number in stock when it’s low (e.g., “Only 3 left in stock–order soon (more on the way).“). But it was pretty clear that GameStop was lying to me, as I definitely have some games on my list that are not rare or in high demand. To be absolutely sure, I added a bunch of other games to see if they’d all have that warning: Read the rest of this entry »

Double Fine’s “Trenched”: Things I’d like to see in Trenched 2 (now Iron Brigade)

July 7th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I just finished Double Fine’s 3rd XBLA game, Trenched (update: now called Iron Brigade), and loved it. I got all the achievements, which means I got gold medals on every mission (“Volcano” was tough!), and I even leveled up every weapon just because I wanted to keep playing. I beat the game in about five hours, and spent another five on gold medals/leveling. I actually wish this had been a full retail game if it meant more missions and achievements. Still, there are a lot of things they could have done to extend the replay value of this game. Here’s what I’d like to see in an update/sequel:
Read the rest of this entry »

Rock Band 3 achievement progress: pro drum trainer!

April 11th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

Finally! I waited months for the MIDI adapter so I could use my Yamaha DTXplorer drumset, and then it took me a couple more months to figure out how to calibrate it properly for the game (guide coming soon!). I was able to complete most of the pro drum trainer without much trouble, but a few beats were really hard to do until I fixed my drums.

Some quick XBLA/Indie Game reviews (LIMBO, Costume Quest, etc.)

December 31st, 2010 by Tommy Gun

I haven’t written any reviews in a while, so here are some quick ones:

LIMBO:

Really fantastic game, the art style is great. It’s funny how disturbing some parts of it are even though you can’t really see what’s happening. Ripping off a spider’s leg makes you squeamish, though it’s largely in your imagination. I haven’t gotten the “Complete the game in one sitting with five or less deaths” achievement, and don’t know that I’ll try. I wish they had made it “complete all chapters without dying” — that way you could do it in chunks, and replay any chapter you messed up.

Costume Quest: Psychonauts is one of my favorite games, and I was really looking forward to this. I loved it. Yes, it was easy, and yes, the battles were a bit repetitive, but I didn’t really mind. The game was adorable, and that rainbow unicorn? Amazing. And I’ll never get tired of seeing the Statue of Liberty’s special attack animation. I think they should have required the use of certain costumes in some boss battles, and also required certain battle stamps to win. I don’t mean they’d tell you which to use, I mean you’d have to figure out that a certain special attack was the key to winning. That would have changed up the battles enough I think, and added more strategy to it.

Costume Quest: Grubbins on Ice DLC I also got the DLC pack. I had hoped that they would have improved some things and changed up the combat a bit, but they didn’t. It came out so quickly that they probably had it almost ready to go right when CQ first launched. I don’t mind supporting Double Fine, but it was really just more of the same, so I’m not sure it was worth $5 (I completed it in one sitting).

Trials HD: Really fun but holy shit hard later on. I was able to get most of the achievements, which I’m pretty proud of, especially “Unyielding” where you must complete it using only gas/brake, no “leaning.”

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom: Love it. Got all the achievements, wish there were more levels. Really great concept, and it would be perfect for user-created levels. (Also, I just bought it again on Steam for 49 cents! BUY IT if it’s still on sale! Crazy!)

Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition: Weird game, love the style, had fun playing it, but no achievements in the main game? Really? Come onnnnn.

‘Splosion Man: Great game, love the co-op.

Just bought Hydro Thunder Hurricane (fun so far!), and am looking forward to Ilomilo and Stacking.

Green Day: Rock Band achievement progress

November 22nd, 2010 by Tommy Gun

Today I tried for the “get 400,000 points in a single song” achievement in GD:RB. I tried to do it on drums previously, but even on the longest songs (“Jesus of Suburbia”), I couldn’t get more than around 340k. I read online that guitar was maybe the easiest to get it with, so I tried that, even though I’m WAY better at drums than guitar. First try:


177 points away! If I had hit literally ONE more note I would have gotten it! I even FC’d the solo, although I used OD too late, and ended the song with 1/4 full. That would have done it too. So after that I just had to try again, and figured it should be easy since I was ready for a few parts that I messed up during the sightread:

Yay.

The Beatles: Rock Band achievement progress!

November 21st, 2010 by Tommy Gun

Aside from playing lots of Rock Band 3 (love the new keyboard, still waiting for the drum MIDI adapter and the Squier guitar), I’ve been trying to get more of the achievements in Green Day RB and Beatles RB. After playing through one of the album challenges in GD:RB, I played Beatles to see if I could get any of the achievements I was missing. When the game came out I gold-starred all but two of the songs, each needed for separate achievements. And then there was the good old “I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!” (100% Helter Skelter) achievement. I really haven’t played it since then (except with friends when they wanted to sing), and figured I may have gotten better since then and could beat those last few songs.

I started with “I Feel Fine” and missed an Overdrive phrase. I played it again and missed one note, while OD was active I think, no gold star. Tried a different OD path, but broke combo three times. Gave up and tried the other song, “I Wanna Be Your Man.” It’s super fast and tiring on your right hand, but I did really well and GS’d it on my first try! Yes! Feeling good, I went back to I Feel Fine. I knew I could do it, and after a couple tries:

Sweeeeet! I was about to turn off the game, but figured I should play Helter Skelter just for the hell of it. I remembered that there are two weirdly timed drumrolls at the end, and that’s where most people mess up. Since I hadn’t played that song in a year, there was no way I would hit those, but it was good practice anyway. I started the song and was doing fine…got to the end, first weird drumroll…broke combo. Second drumroll…nailed it! Wait, did I miss a note or overhit on that first one?

Yes! 100% on my first try! Uh oh, was the achievement for FC’ing it, or just 100%? *achievement popping noise*

So happy. I still have a few achievements to get: two are for guitar, which I probably won’t get. Two are for vocal harmonies, which is really a crime I haven’t gotten those, since that’s what this game is all about! It’s entirely my fault for not playing it more…and not having the ability to sing. It would be awesome to 1k this game. We’ll see.

Kodu Game Lab: Full Game Video Tutorial with Narration! – Generic Wars

August 19th, 2009 by Tommy Gun
You can download this tutorial as a single divx file from the Downloads page. See my previous Kodu Review if you’re unfamiliar with it.

Learn how to create an entire game from scratch with Kodu! This 4-part video will teach you how to make a Geometry Wars style twin-stick shooter. Kodu is only $5 on the indie games channel on Xbox live.

Part 1

In this part we’ll learn about land tools, and setting up basic character controls.



Read the rest of this entry »

Kodu Game Lab video tutorials: 3 Keys, Popcorn Popper

August 19th, 2009 by Tommy Gun
You can download both of these videos from the Downloads page. See my previous Kodu Review if you’re unfamiliar with it.

Note: I also put up a much longer tutorial showing how to create a whole game from scratch!

3 Keys Tutorial

Here’s how to use three separate keys to open color-coded doors, all using a single variable (score). This isn’t really needed now that they’ve released Patch 1 (more variables), but it still may be interesting and give you some ideas. It will at least teach you how to use keys in general.

The Popcorn Popper

A game I made just for fun.