Game-related ramblings.

Month: October 2021

History Lessons: Metroid

Other History Lessons posts can be found here. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Three months ago, I wrote about The Legend of Zelda, after playing it to completion for the first time. It’s still impressive today, absolutely deserving of its classic status. It also reminded me of Metroid, which released six months later in Japan but only one month later in the United States. Both games let players loose in open worlds, to explore and find upgrades that let them reach previously inaccessible places. Metroid simply trades the top-down, screen-by-screen exploration of Zelda for side-scrolling action platforming with a science fiction theme. This combination was so influential that it spawned an entire genre: the metroidvania (named for Metroid and Castlevania, more specifically the second Castlevania game, Simon’s Quest). Unlike The Legend of Zelda, I never played much Metroid myself when I was a kid, I just saw bits and pieces of it at friends’ houses. But the third game in the Metroid series, Super Metroid, is one of my favorite games ever. So I decided to go back to the beginning and play the original Metroid.

Scratching That Itch: ANTI-GORGIAS 2

This is the eighty-ninth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our next random selection from itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is ANTI-GORGIAS 2, by Jared Sinclair. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

A practical guide for OSR designers, and a useless road map for pundits.

From earlier entries in this series, I have learned that “OSR” stands for Old School Renaissance, referring to a style of tabletop role-playing game that reaches back to the earliest examples (such as Dungeons & Dragons) for inspiration, but offer various modern design twists on the classic formulae. As far as I can determine, ANTI-GORGIAS 2 has absolutely nothing to do with this.

Scratching That Itch: Guppy

This is the eighty-eighth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Once more, the random number generators have pulled a random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. This time, it’s Guppy, by Christiaan Moleman. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

2D watercolor fish simulation

Heh, watercolor. I see what you did there, Christiaan Moleman.

Psychonauts 2 Is Fantastic

As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Roughly two months ago, I wrote about Psychonauts, which I was replaying in order to get ready for its crowdfunded sequel, Psychonauts 2, which released on August 25. The original Psychonauts is a wonderful game that I encourage everyone to play. I thought I’d take a break and play something else before tackling the sequel, but then I decided to just jump right in. I’m glad I did. Psychonauts 2 is brilliant, managing to improve upon its classic predecessor in every way. I don’t play enough games to be able to make a judgment about the best games released each year, but it’s hard to imagine anything topping this. I recommend it without reservation. Go play it! If you need further convincing, I’ve written more thoughts on Psychonauts 2 below, which I’ve tried to keep as spoiler-free as possible.

Scratching That Itch: Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica

This is the eighty-seventh entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

It’s time for another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. It’s Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica, by girl software, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

marble girl hacks computers, eats cake

I have long suspected that the primary leisure activities of celestial hacker girls include hacking computers and eating cake, especially when the celestial hacker girls in question are also marbles. Vindication!

Scratching That Itch: Ripped Pants At Work

This is the eighty-sixth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Ready or not, here’s another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. It’s Ripped Pants At Work, by Scott Ethington. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

A frantic stealth game about searching for new pants

In life, does the search for new pants ever truly end?

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