Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Late Christmas!

Well, only a day later.

Hopefully you got a nice laugh. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas season as much as I have!

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010


It's about time I got this back up. This is my . . . second game that I consider worthy of actually being made.

BlankLand was the result of my attempt at a reasonable game for the YoYoGames Competition #05. Although much time and work went into this, I still think people will just grumble and say it's just another Jumper clone.

-45+ Levels
-Working, well-programmed gameplay
-Kinda cool music (it fits, so it works)

You are a stickman. No story. I know you're all extremely disappointed that there is no story, but it's the sad, sad truth.

Stuff the the tutorial doesn't tell you:
-In the menu, you use up and down to navigate, a space to select
-It saves after every level
-Ice is slippery

This was a collaboration between myself and my good friend Ethan Kilgore. We both did a good share of programming, and we both deserve credit. The music was done by a nice chap named Ness2022 (via GMG), and the credits music was from Yngwie Malmsteen. The track was titled "Farewell".

Enjoy, though I must warn you that it's hard!


Super Mario World

Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 for the Game Boy Advance, originally released as Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, is one of the funnest games I've ever played on a handheld system. Sure, the Metroid games were awesome, the Pokemon games were adventuresome, the Harvest Moon games were addicting, but so far the only handheld games I can think of that are better than this game are the Wario Land games for the Game Boy Color.

Super Mario World is a 2D platformer game developed by Nintendo in 1991. The GBA re-release that I love so much was released in 2002.

The story is about the Mario Brothers, Mario and Luigi (their last name was never revealed, even though their games have been coming out for the past 29 years), and their quest to save Princess Peach from the evil . . . guy named Bowser. Well, he's more like an extra-big koopa.

Along the way, the Mario Bros. are helped by the strange supposed-to-be-dinosaur called Yoshi. Along the way they help Yoshi rescue his friends from the Kooplings, who are Bowser's children (though it's never revealed who their mother is, or if they even had one).

This game is old enough to be considered one of those games that are actually long enough, unlike present-day games. It's long enough, with eight worlds full of several levels each, and about forty-five million secrets. That's an exaggeration, but there are way too many secrets in this game. And I love it.

With several power-ups, a long enough game, and an overall super-funness, this game will occupy your time for a long time. There's no way you're going to beat in in one sitting . . . unless you know how, of course.

-Super fun
-A whole ton of different levels and worlds
-It's a Mario game that's not too short

-Some levels are kinda hard
-If you have a cape you can clear a lot of levels very easily

In case you're wondering, I do actually own this game. I very rarely use ROMs. Why? Because it's always 5-10 times better to play a game on the original system it was intended for. That means you could play this game on either the GBA or the SNES.


Deep Magic

Deep Magic is a game created by the almighty Excalibur333. Just kidding, he's not almighty.

Deep Magic is a 2-dimensional platformer game about a wizard who must stop a giant, evil beast. Sound familiar? Well the story isn't that original. You level up by collecting exp that you get from defeating enemies. The higher level you are, the more spells you can use.

The game has five levels and a boss. It's fun for a while, but eventually you need to start leveling up a lot before proceeding. That can get very boring, but it's super satisfying once you get higher spells. It makes your job a lot easier.

You can get up to 20 different spells. Some are very different from others, and the really unique ones are the later ones you unlock.

I can't say I've use all of the spells myself, because they're not all necessary. They're optional, and actually you could, theoretically, beat the entire game with the very first spell. I would definitely not recommend trying, though.

The music and graphics are fitting. Overall, this is a pretty cool game. That is, if you don't mind grinding for a while.

-Fun, addictive gameplay
-Large variety of spells
-Fitting (and sorta cute) graphics and music

-Only five levels, not including the boss
-A lot of time goes into moving up levels
-Hard difficulty later on

Download Deep Magic on YoYoGames


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


After plenty of annoying time taken up that I should've spent with my dad, since it's his birthday, I gave up trying to find a good redirect URL for my blog.

But I ended up with these:

I'm not satisfied with any. Plenty of other ideas went down the drain, too.


The Bishop

Now this book is not just a normal thriller, it's the fourth book in a series of epicly awesome thrillers by best-selling author Steven James, who is a complete genius.

The Bishop follows the story of the previous novels, The Pawn, The Rook, and The Knight. Is the series about chess? Well, in a way. It's actually about FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers, in first-person, and some of his very interesting cases. Cases that involve the things that the FBI usually get involved in . . . such as serial killers.

This particular story takes place in and around Washington D.C. The daughter of a congressman was found brutally murdered, which eventually leads to a long string of crimes that have been perfectly orchestrated. The killers are two people, a man and a woman. They go by the names they used when they met in a game online, Astrid and Brad.

Torn by relationship issues and personal matters that threaten to tear his life apart, Pat Bowers is stuck in the middle of this case that seems to go nowhere, except when the killers allow it to go on.

This story takes you in and doesn't let go. Steven James is a grammatical genius and I looked and studied the entire novel looking for just one typo. I finally found it in the last ten chapters or so, and it made me more satisfied that you would guess. James is such an amazing person at storytelling and english-related subjects that he'll have my respect for the rest of my life.

Though, as this is a series about solving crime, the series is sometimes pretty gruesome. I could handle it, but I wouldn't be able to if it were a movie. I'd rate the book PG-13. If there will ever be a movie, I'd rate it R.

James is a Christian and finds small ways to hint at his faith through his novels. My guess is that by the end of the series, Patrick Bowers will find salvation. He needs it.

Armed with a gripping story, an unforgettable cast of characters, and cool futuristic elements (even though it takes place modern-day), The Bishop is a must-read for anyone who can handle the happenings. But please remember what I said about the ratings, and definitely read the series in order, starting with The Pawn.

And actually, The Queen is set to come out Summer 2011. Not nearly as far away as I thought it might be.


P.S. For those who might possibly be wondering, I returned Bill Myers' Blood of Heaven to the library when The Bishop came in. Myers is just kind of boring. I'm sure it would've gotten better if I'd continued, but I desperately wanted to read The Bishop, since it'd been at least half a year since I read The Knight.

Monday, December 20, 2010


VVVVVV is a game created and developed by Terry Cavanagh that was released in early 2010. It mixes awesome platforming elements with those weird gravity-involving games.

At first glance this game looks like any old platformer game with elements that involve gravity, and to some people, it might just be that. But I, personally, had a lot of fun with this game. It's like a mixture between Jumper (without the double-jumps and such) and that weird gravity engine that was released with Slayer64's "everything pack", or whatever it was.

You are a man. Well, maybe not a man. A humanoid at least. You are a humanoid who is the captain of a spaceship. This ship explores the galaxy for one reason or another. So, anyway, one day something strange shows up on the ship's radar, and suddenly it crashes for no discernible reason. You, the captain, are apparently the only survivor. You set out to find out what happened and, if possible, rescue any other live crew members.

In this adventure, instead of jumping, you can flip the personal gravity of the captain by 180 degrees. In other words, the ceiling becomes floor and the floor becomes ceiling. There are strange things with C's on them all over the game, and these are checkpoints. If you die anywhere in the game (which will happen a lot), you will be teleported to the last checkpoint you touched.

There are many secrets in VVVVVV, and also alternate game modes. Though the game isn't too long, it'll occupy your time for a long time, and has a lot of replay value. The soundtrack (composed by SoulEye) is very catchy and keeps you happy throughout the whole game.

Unfortunately, this game is not freeware. It costs $5 to buy/download, but then after that, you can give the installation application to anyone you like, as long as it's privately (and not for any money). Unfortunately, the soundtrack costs money too. $4, I believe.

-Fun, addictive gameplay
-Checkpoints everywhere, so if you die, it won't be a very big deal
-Sizable overworld
-Lots of fun platformer elements
-Awesome, addictive music (if music can be addictive)
-Tons of secrets and unlockables

-It's not freeware
-Could be longer
-Extremely hard in a couple places

I'd say, in my opinion, this game is well worth the money. It's jam-packed with as much as a little game could handle, and it's super fun. The addictive gameplay ups the replay value by a ton.

Official Homepage
Play 2-Level Demo at Kongregate
Buy the Full Game ($5)
Buy Official Soundtrack ($4)


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Today I got to see the film adaption of the award-winning classic by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is both the third book in the novel series and the third movie in the film series.

The story follows King Caspian X (portrayed by Ben Barnes) on a journey in his ship, the Dawn Treader, to locate and find Seven Lost Lords of Narnia. Somehow yet again some children from our own world are thrown into the great journey (this time they got to Narnia through a picture).

The movie takes place three years after the events of The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian, and a lot has changed in the world since then. In both worlds, actually.

I saw The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D, but since this isn't a review of 3D theaters, I won't say too much. I'll say the 3D was cool, but it failed to meet my expectations. I'd like to see a 3D movie in an IMAX theater sometime, so I can see 3D at its best.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Dawn Treader. The acting was good, the special effects and music were completely awesome, and it was all done very well. It differed from the story of the book in several places, but I'm sure C.S. Lewis, if he were still alive, wouldn't mind too much.

I loved the character development of Eustace Scrubb, a no-good-very-bad-boy (boy, in opposed to day). The actor, Will Poulter, did an excellent job of playing a spoiled kid, and then later, after he changed, a used-to-be-spoiled kid. A changed kid. Poulter was just great at portraying the character created by Lewis. He'll probably do great in the next movie, too.

One thing I love about the Narnia movies is that you get to see the characters/actors grow up as the story progresses. It's already been around five years since The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was initially released in theaters, and not even half of the series has been made into movies yet. The Dawn Treader was just released in theaters a week and a day ago.

My final conclusion is that this movie is well-made, really cool, intriguing, touching, and overall just plain awesome. I, like usual, would recommend waiting until it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray until you watch it, but if you're a theater lover, totally be my guest. It's worth the admission fee for sure.

-Awesome story
-Amazing special effects
-Awesome music
-Extremely well made

-Story differs from the book in several places
-3D was disappointing (but that's the theater's fault)

Now, I can't wait for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair to come out!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010


We're up to an hour of internet per day, and it'll stay that way until Christmas (then we'll decide what to do next).

I'm currently working on various projects, and I've started reading another book (Blood of Heaven, by Bill Myers). It's slow progress, since the reading assignments I've gotten at school have made me lose my reading appetite for the most part (I used to love reading, but now I've almost grown to hate it since school started), but hopefully I'll get it done before The Bishop (by Steven James) comes in at the library (it's the fourth book in an awesome series).

Anyway, I'll see ya around. I might write a book review or something tomorrow.