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Friday, December 6, 2013 09:14 PM
I made a dumb new game
 by Fëanor

Clickety!

Had an idea, threw it together. Might make it better some day. Click away!

I have another idea for a much more complex RPG that I'm finally returning to after some years. It will probably be some time until I have a version of that that's ready for play-testing, but it will need plenty, so you'll probably hear from me again then!
Tagged (?): Meta (Not), Video games (Not)
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012 09:07 PM
(Last updated on Friday, January 4, 2013 10:35 AM)
LEGO Lord of the Rings (Wii)
 by Fëanor

I got a video game for Christmas! And poppy and I played it for a while today! Crazy!

The LEGO video games are all pretty similar, but all pretty solid fun. You play through a series of story-based action/platforming levels collecting stuff. There are fun cut scenes in between with a silly sense of humor. You unlock new playable characters and new abilities as you go. This means you can go back and replay earlier levels to collect even more stuff, and replaying those levels is actually rewarding and fun because now there are new things to do and new sections to explore. If all you want to do is beat the game, by which I mean, complete every level and see the end of the story, you can do that pretty quickly. It's collecting 100% of the stuff that's the real challenging part.

Some things I really hate in a video game: if it is punishingly difficult; if it makes you redo long portions again and again until you get them exactly right; if it makes you play for a very long time before you can safely save and quit (I don't have a lot of time here, people!). The LEGO games do not have any of these problems. Not only do they auto-save often, they also give you the option to manually save pretty much whenever you want. Also, although you can be "killed" in the game, there are no consequences to dying beyond losing a handful of the studs that are the "money" in the game; you immediately respawn and keep going right where you left off.

This particular game has all the advantages of your standard LEGO game, with the added advantage that it's set in Middle-Earth! It starts with you playing as Elendil, Isildur, and Elrond fighting Sauron himself!! That's how it opens! Of course, it quickly jumps thousands of years forward in time and acquaints you with Sam and Frodo. I was a little disappointed that you don't get to explore Bag End (UPDATE: we've discovered since that later on in the game you do get to go back and explore Bag End, although only a limited portion of it), but you do get to wander around a surprisingly expansive Hobbiton, and then down the road to Bree, and out into the Wild. When you pick up the rest of the Fellowship at Rivendell is when things get really fun. Legolas, Gandalf, Gimli, and Aragorn are all bad-asses (especially Legolas; bow and arrow! Jumping and swinging and climbing!), but even the hobbits have all been given useful and unique abilities so you often find yourself jumping between many different characters to get through a particular puzzle or sequence. Something they've added for this game that I haven't seen in the previous LEGO games I've played is that each character actually has an inventory and can carry multiple objects at one time. The way it works is a bit awkward (every time you pick something up you have to immediately indicate which spot in your inventory you want it to sit in; why not just have it automatically go to the first empty spot?), but still, inventory!

One of my favorite things so far: not only can you pick up Gimli and carry him around, you can also throw him at things! And not only can you do this, you actually have to, and often! It is pretty hilarious. Oh, and also? I got to rocket down a pit in Moria, jump on the back of a Balrog, and hack at him with Glamdring until he was dead. That was awesome.

UPDATE 1: Now that we've played a bit more, I can reveal that the Balrog was not dead yet! They split the Balrog fight into two sections, and the second part is pretty great, too. Also, you eventually get to play as Ents, which is fantastic. Once you're that big, you don't even have to fight the Orcs anymore; they're just little scurrying things that you sometimes step on.

UPDATE 2: We've now gotten to the end of the story in the game, but haven't even collected half the things yet. Last night we built something called the Disco Phial. You owe it to yourself to seek out this item and equip it. Then sit back and witness the hilarious awesomeness.

Of course, the game has its problems. For one, it's a bit buggy. Even in the few hours of play we put in, twice we ended up stuck in a dead-end where the game would not let us continue because the thing we needed to do to move forward had become impossible. (In the first case, a rock we had to push over to move on got stuck and would not go any further; in the second case, the creature outside the gates of Moria became invulnerable.) We had to quit out and go back in to get things going again. Luckily, like I said, it lets you save often, so we didn't have to repeat too much, but still. Also, although the game is often good at giving you onscreen tips and hints so you can figure out what to do next, sometimes the path forward is highly counter-intuitive and frustratingly difficult to discover. (Fighting the troll in Moria was particularly annoying.) Finally, the way the game splits the screen so each player can see their own surroundings is sometimes either confusing or simply doesn't work at all; for example, while we were fighting that troll in Moria, I sometimes couldn't see myself at all.

Still, even with the flaws, the game has overall been fun so far, and I'm looking forward to jumping back into Middle-Earth as soon as we can.
Tagged (?): LEGO (Not), Tolkien (Not), Toys (Not), Video games (Not)
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Monday, September 24, 2012 02:19 PM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Clothing (Not), Comedy (Not), Dune (Not), Harry Potter (Not), LEGO (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Mario (Not), Mashups (Not), Monsters (Not), Movies (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Shirts (Not), Tolkien (Not), Toys (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not), Weather (Not), Web comics (Not)
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Sunday, August 5, 2012 09:16 PM
Game On!
 by Fëanor

Hey there! Remember Japhex? That's that online game I made where you're a spaceship and you shoot things. Well, I made a small update that knocked out one of the more annoying lingering issues with the game: the long load time when you first brought it up. A lot of the file loading now goes on in the background, so you can start playing almost right away. As always, please let me know if you have any issues, and good hunting!
Tagged (?): Meta (Not), Video games (Not)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:44 PM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Advertising (Not), Animals (Not), Art (Not), Automobiles (Not), Cartoons (Not), Celebrities (Not), Clothing (Not), Comedy (Not), Commercials (Not), Diablo (Not), Diablo 3 (Not), Harry Potter (Not), Hayao Miyazaki (Not), Highlander (Not), LEGO (Not), Links (Not), Mario (Not), Movies (Not), News (Not), Photography (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Scooby-Doo (Not), Shirts (Not), Star Trek (Not), Star Wars (Not), Toys (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not), Web comics (Not)
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Friday, June 22, 2012 03:57 PM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Aliens (Not), Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Business (Not), Cartoons (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Diablo (Not), Diablo 3 (Not), Links (Not), Movies (Not), Muppets (Not), News (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Robots (Not), Science (Not), Tolkien (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not), Web comics (Not)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012 03:05 PM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Cartoons (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Diablo (Not), Doctor Who (Not), Hulk (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Movies (Not), Music (Not), News (Not), Photography (Not), Pixar (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Superman (Not), Toy Story (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not)
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Friday, April 27, 2012 04:33 PM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

I didn't have time to do my usual thorough examination of the entire internet for this entry, but I figure I'll post what I have now and maybe add more later, we'll see.



Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Batman (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Fantastic Four (Not), Fringe (Not), Hayao Miyazaki (Not), Language (Not), Links (Not), Movies (Not), Music (Not), News (Not), Photography (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Sesame Street (Not), TV (Not), Twitter (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not)
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012 11:05 AM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Man, it's been a while, huh? Let's fire up the old Recyclotron again for old time's sake and see what comes out.



Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Books (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Craft (Not), Game of Thrones (Not), Links (Not), Mashups (Not), Monty Python (Not), Movies (Not), Obama (Not), Photography (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Song of Ice and Fire (Not), Star Trek (Not), Star Wars (Not), Technology (Not), Tolkien (Not), TV (Not), Video games (Not), Web comics (Not), Wonderland (Not)
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Monday, February 27, 2012 10:34 AM
Recyclotron
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Computers (Not), Craft (Not), Dinosaurs (Not), Food (Not), Links (Not), Mario (Not), Mashups (Not), Movies (Not), Music (Not), Oz (Not), Photography (Not), Products (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Robots (Not), Science (Not), Star Trek (Not), Star Wars (Not), Technology (Not), The Killing (Not), Tolkien (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not), Zelda (Not)
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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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