15 January, 2012

More Holiday Leftovers

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 15 January, 2012


Sequence is to DDR as Puzzle Quest is to Bejewelled. Basically it's an RPG, but instead of making matches to fight your opponent, you're completing DDR step sequences (Get it? Huh? Huh?) using your keyboard. Since I like DDR better than Bejewelled, I found it much more engaging than Puzzle Quest. The writing is also a lot better. I also enjoyed the credit sequence where all the voice actors got to say thanks for playing.

A big part of my enjoyment also came from being able to rebind my controls. I changed them so that my right hand was using J, K, L, and semicolon to input arrows. And my left hand was selecting which note track with D and F and selecting spells around the spell wheel with W, S, X, Z, A, and Q. Using "JKL;" felt a lot more natural than trying to remember that the third column is the up arrow and the second column is the down arrow.

Hard Reset

Hard Reset is a game where you shoot robots a lot. It's pretty repetitive, and the main gimmick, transformable guns, is cool to watch but doesn't really add much. Also this picture is of me shooting a metal robot with a shotgun, which isn't very smart but works fine for some reason.

Tropico 4

Ah, Tropico 4, the the game about ruling a banana republic. No wait. That picture's from Tropico 3. Let's look at Tropico 4.

See how different?

Tropico 4 is basically the same game, which is fine if you just want to mess around. But I can't imagine trying to really dig into the gameplay side of Tropico. The interface does a terrible job of highlighting important information and has probably needed a major overhaul for half a decade now. I generally just play the first few missions until I start failing without knowing why and call it a day.

I wouldn't have bothered with Tropico 4 at all, but it's free with my GameTap subscription. Technically it's my defunct GameTap subscription, but I was paying by the year, so I'll still have access to GameTap until sometime in the fall.


GameTap was one of the first services that you could pay money to in order to legally play old arcade games. The companies that owned the rights were happy to pretend those games simply didn't exist, and I didn't feel right about just downloading them off the internet. So GameTap made it legal. But they laid off most of their staff and sold the business to another company and stopped updating their software to work with any browser besides IE, so it was well past time for me to give them the boot.

I'm still a little sorry to see it go. I tried some games I wouldn't even know about because of GameTap.

Magicka DLC


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