The Haphazard Blog

Video Games

Duke Nukem Forever: No Longer Vaporware

by on Sep.06, 2010, under Entertainment, Video Games

That was a lot of neglect, almost two months. It didn’t really feel like it has been that long since I blogged.

So the big news (not really big, but noteworthy to me) was that there was actually real progress and a demo of Duke Nukem Forever last week. Wired has the main details. It’s been almost 15 years since Duke Nukem 3D came out. It is crazy how long this game has been anticipated and despite it being written off as never happening, if it ever did it would still somehow live up to expectations and sell like crazy. Looks like it will be a cross platform game (PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) as well.

The original game was a huge hit. It was a great single player game and even better multi-player one. The character was awesome (quite a bit like Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead, including some of his lines) and the timing was perfect. It came out over a year after Doom II and before Quake came out.  Lots of nostalgia thinking about those days. All the endless hours spent playing either over a null modem cable or dial-up.

I’ll be sure to get my copy as soon as it comes out.

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Picross 3D (Nintendo DS) Review

by on Jun.19, 2010, under Entertainment, Video Games

I’ve been playing Picross 3D for a couple weeks now. Picross 3D takes the Japanese nonogram puzzle and adds another axis.

They take a slightly different approach from the nonogram in that they only provide one number for a row or column. This simplifies it on one hand, but on the other, the number could have a circle around it (means that it is broken in 2 pieces) or a square around it (means that it is broken into 3 or more pieces). I think this lets them make more complex puzzles using the smaller space they have. It seems the maximum size is 10x10x10.

Picross 3D Screenshots

The controls are pretty simple. You use the stylus to rotate the puzzle, show/hide layers and select blocks. By default the stylus interacts with the puzzle. You have the option of using the D-Pad (if you’re right-handed) or the buttons (if you’re left-handed) to toggle between the hammer (to remove blocks) or paint brush (to protect/mark blocks to keep). This toggle is a little bit hard for me since I generally can only work the D-Pad if I hold the DS with both hands. It works best if I set the DS down and play. I tried to come up with a way that would work better. The best I had was if you could just tap the hammer/paint brush icon (would need a 3rd icon so you can manipulate the puzzle) to choose a mode. The drawback here is the time it would add to constantly switch (the puzzles are timed) and to get a perfect score the time limit is low. You need to get a perfect score so you have a chance to unlock the 2 extra puzzles on each level. Having said that, it would’ve been nice to have that option as well so you could play it with only a stylus.

My only complaint is that you have to get through an entire level of difficulty to move onto the next level of difficulty. I’ve already completed about 170 puzzles and I would guess there are 100+ more before I finally get to Hard (there was Easy, Beginner and Normal so far). Overall. my fascination with Japanese number puzzles has me hooked and I find this to be a fun game that can take up hours of your time.

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