So squint

After yesterday’s minor tirade — a squall in an Internet teacup, really — I’ve decided that the ultimate fault for all of these non-functioning Mac games ultimately rests with MacPlay, a publisher with a terrible track record of keeping its releases current compared to other Mac publishers such as, say, Aspyr or Blizzard. So screw ’em — I’d rather deal with more reliable publishers. At the moment, I’m getting my old-school CRPG mojo on with the surprisingly engrossing Avernum 5.

Of course, I’d rather be playing BioShock, since I’m already deeply engrossed in its wonders; I reached Fort Frolic last night. I wasn’t so keen on the first few hours of the adventure, but somewhere in middle of Neptune’s Bounty the game totally clicked for me. Alas, I’m leaving town for a week and don’t feel like dragging my 360 along with me (as I’m almost certain that subjecting it to TSA’s gentle ministrations is a quick ticket to a Red Ring of Death), so I’ve decided to hold off on advancing into the second half of the game until I’m back from vacation. With my luck I’d have to call it quits five minutes from the end of the game. So! Avernum 5 it is.

I am a little sad that my growing interest in CRPGs coincides with my becoming old and fat. I swear, what a cliché. Next stop: beard, then suspenders.

Other items of note: I managed to mail off the last of the spring cleaning packages today, or at least the ones that were paid for via PayPal. So you should see those by Monday. Exception: if you live in Mexico, I have not sent your stuff yet, because I dread dealing with the holiday season line at the post office desk. It’s madness. But I guess I will suck it up and deal with it tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Secondly, we recorded a new Retronauts this week due to our shockingly efficient ad sales team. I did not even realize that it was possible to convince an advertiser to buy time in a classic gaming podcast, but here we are, so bully for the ad doods. (Amusingly, we had a to do a second take on the ad, since Adam read “Atari 2600” as “Atari Two thousand six hundred.”) Personally, I was sort of hoping to hold off on recording a Retronauts episode for a few more weeks and get a fresh start on the show once our new podcasting arrangements are in place (early in January), but this worked out pretty well anyway, what with all the crazy Street Fighter IV info and series retrospective we’ve been publishing. I hand-picked a team of the four people at Ziff who are most into Street Fighter, and it’s the first episode ever in which my editing consisted of nothing more than inserting music — a really excellent conversation by people who know the games well but aren’t freakishly obsessive about them.

If nothing else, the podcast is worth listening to for the outro music. I’ve been sitting on that for ages, waiting for a moment to share it with the world. Seriously: best song in the history of forever.

18 thoughts on “So squint

  1. I have actually been thinking about trying out those Spiderweb software RPG games. I feel curious about Nethergate in particular, since it’s not fantasy but more like real world celtic/roman themed, which sounds pretty awesome.

    Alos, anyone who wants to try a neat, free, play using browser, flash based MMORPG, try this:

  2. It’s from the Street Fighter II Tribute album. It has tracks by Yuzo Koshiro and Yoko Shimomura, among others, but Ryu’s Theme is THE stand-out. I seriously would listen to that song all day.

  3. There are not many specific game locations I wish I could encounter again for the first time. Fort Frolic is one of them.

  4. VGM nerd alert: Yoko Shimomura started out at Capcom and was responsible for all the stage themes in the original Street Fighter 2, save Sagat’s (which was by Isao Abe).
    Shimomura’s other Capcom works include Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, Code Name: Viper, King of Dragons, and contributions to the first Breath of Fire.

    Just a few more reasons to worship at her altar of awesomeness.

  5. Yeah, I recently learned Shimomura was part of Alph-Lyla. That makes her officially awesome. As if she weren’t already!

  6. Gah. I’m just hoping that Sakurai posts some of whatever music Shimomura’s working on for Brawl on the Smash Dojo soon. Personally, I would have been perfectly happy if their all-star musician lineup had consisted solely of her, Motoi Sakuraba, and Hip Tanaka. But hey, the more the merrier, right?

  7. I actually preferred the old Exile games to the Avernum updated versions. Very fond memories of Exile II – the battle against the Twelve in Akhronath was fantastic, a well built up battle that more than paid off (and yeah, I did find myself counting as I fought them). The huge graphical leap the series made with Exile III was also an impressive moment.

  8. The Neptune’s Bounty area is where Bioshock really clicked for me as well. I played the rest after that in two marathon sessions because I found myself actually caring about what was going on. That is a very rare thing for me with video games. Good times ahead for you, sir.

  9. Yay Spiderweb software! They helped fill the cold void of RPGs for Macs back in the dark days. Though I finished Exile III, I never got around to finishing Avernum 3. And I only finished the first Geneforge. Still, they are awesome. Nethergate was really good too – its fantasy world based off Celtic legends and history was truly great.

  10. The most fun I had with the Exile games (Windows versions, anyway) was the extra campaigns you could dl and play on Blades of Exile [think that’s right]. Unfortunately, mine was a loaner copy and has long since been lost to the winds. Sigh.

  11. The podcast mentions how hard it is to make a fighting game that works for both the hardcore tournament scene and more casual players. Guilty Gear sure made it look easy.

  12. Hi,
    I’ve been reading your stuff for 7 years now and have never commented before, but I gotta say it is awesome that Mr. Toastyfrog himself plays Spiderweb Software games. Wow.

  13. Wow, lots of Spiderweb fans here! I was mostly into Exile III and Blades of Exile. Didn’t really see much improvement in the change to Avernum, though. Might give V a try if you’re down with it, though.

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