Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 27, 2017

Finished Ultima 6

It’s been over a decade or two since I completed this game.

Ultima 6 is an open world game where you can do anything. Ultima 6 is like Breath of the Wild and has been directly compared to in Time magazine.

Tips:

  1. Use Nuvie. In the options, it will allow you to use Ultima 7 style inventory for bags and bodies. It will also allow click and drag for inventory. It smooths out the most annoying of Ultima 6 issues.
  2. Dupre is very strong. Have him carry a skiff throughout the game. You will need it!
  3. Get Dispel Magic, Unlock Magic, and Telekinesis for spells and their reagents.
  4. Free the shrines last as your party will be stronger.
  5. Characters strong in dexterity make better warriors. They move faster and have better hit rates.
  6. Ranged weapons do best. Use bows, crossbows, and wands. Sherry with a lightning wand is a very, very scary thing as she starts off with 27 dexterity.
  7. Get the rune and mantra BEFORE you slaughter the gargoyle army at the shrine or else you cannot free the forcefield, and the army will reappear.
  8. Keep all the moonstones in a bag on the avatar until you get the Vortex Cube.
  9. There are many ways to get gold, but buy magic armor at Trinsic.

Ultima 6 with Nuvie plays like a prototype of Ultima 7. Ultima 7 fans should check out 6 again because you can only replay Ultima 7 so many times.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 24, 2017

Why Disney will not buy Nintendo

NASDAQ writer is missing the big point:

Japanese government would never allow it. Nintendo is not LucasArts, an American company. LucasArts sold itself to Disney because of upcoming changes in the tax laws but many people don’t know about that.

One thing I see often are nerds who ‘love everything Japan’. Since they are ‘experts in Japanese culture’, I tell them to go to Japan and become a Japanese citizen. They look into it and realize that it would never, ever happen. Then the reality of Japan begins to dawn on them.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 23, 2017

Mega Man 10 leaked, box art looks insanely bad

It makes Mega Man 1 box art look good. And WTF is with the Robot Masters?

Fuck this game. You can’t ‘convince’ me of anything. LOL at the ‘surprise’ being ruined.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 23, 2017

Email: Microsoft and first party problems

I came across a short article in Game Informer about the Xbox’s lack of true exclusives. Any intelligent person knows people buy consoles for games. Zelda: BoTW proved that.
While Sony despite most of their exclusives not moving hardware, at least keeps trying to give people a reason to own one as opposed to just having a gaming PC. Microsoft keeps dropping real exclusives. Halo and Gears of war were passed off to second rate studios. Stuff like Fable Legends and Scalebound got cancelled. It also doesn’t help that most Xbox exclusives are on PC as well. I don’t get why anyone who bought an Xbox One at launch would turn around and buy a Scorpio. At that point you might as well just invest in a gaming PC.

Never mind that any studio under MS seems to die or run away. Former Rare developers got out while the getting was good. In Yooka Laylee apparently the villain is a giant corporate overlord who wants to control everything. Wonder who they’re referring to?

MS doesn’t get it. The only reason the original Xbox didn’t completely Tank was Halo. People bought Xboxes for Halo but the 360 mostly thrived on Call of Duty and Madden.

Honestly I think if MS could charge PC gamers for online play, they’d drop the Xbox in a heartbeat.

 

You make a game console in order to outsell all the other consoles. There is no known console manufacturer that made a console just to chase a niche except for one: SNK and the Neo Geo. The Neo Geo with its $100 cartridges were never intended for the mass market. Every other console, including the 3DO and cd-i, WERE intended to be the new NES.

Xbox can only sell in English speaking countries. Xbox does very well in United States and the UK (not sure about Australia). Xbox cannot sell in Asia or most of Europe. I don’t think Xbox does that well in Mexico.

Microsoft knows it cannot win. And Microsoft tried. Microsoft threw billions at the Xbox project.

Also, the Sony threat is no longer existent. Remember that the Xbox Franchise is a defense strategy against Sony’s takeover of digital entertainment. The Xbox 360 was released in 2006.

What was released in 2007? The iPhone.

To Microsoft’s astonishment, Apple entered resurrection and took over digital entertainment and mobile entertainment.

Why did Sony’s PSP die? Aside from DS, PSP’s strength was its digital entertainment. iPods and iPhones absolutely destroyed that PSP advantage. Only reason to buy a PSP or Vita was for the games which meant Sony had to compete directly with Nintendo’s handhelds instead of use digital entertainment to ‘outsell’ Nintendo.

Microsoft’s First Party is irrelevant because Microsoft has no intention of winning the Console War anymore. Microsoft is not going to Dreamcast itself. It still wants to service existing Xbox fanbase. But the Xbox Franchise is now more like Microsoft Mobile. Xbox is no longer a gaming ‘culture’. It is just an electronic box that plays games which can be played on almost any system.

We’ll see how Microsoft plays with Scorpio. That will be the deciding role. If Scorpio is presented as just a box, then stick a fork in the Xbox Franchise. It’ll be done and ready for the Console Graveyard.

Generation 9 could be just Sony Vs. Nintendo.

Home console Vs. Handheld

Who owns the future?

It’s gonna be Handheld. Sony is stuck in a box. Watch for them to make a Switch like product soon in order to get out of their box.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 22, 2017

Banana Switch

Well done! What country is the creator from? Somewhere in Eastern Europe?

The best fan made video for the Wii was this one (which sadly could never be made today due to the lack of humor people have).

The above fan ad also sums up my dating preferences as well… until you play Zelda then they get upset. “Either choose me or choose Zelda!” Happens with the early Zeldas, happens with Breath of the Wild. The right answer is always choosing Zelda. Always.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 22, 2017

Ultima 6 still holds up

It  has been forever since I played Ultima 6. I probably stayed away from the game due to the interface. If you use Nuvie, you can have Ultima 7 drag-and-drop interface. You double click a dead body and you see all the items in a graphical box like in U7.

At first, I was very frustrated by the bad graphics, annoying music, and all. But Ultima 6 is an inspiration for Breath of the Wild’s open world (has to be!), so Ultima 6 is this vast sandbox where you can do the plot in a non-linear way. Or you can just go about the world and mess around.

Strangely, I found the game increasingly addictive. I would play hours at a time. Not BoW “Wow!” addictive, but that game came out a few months ago while Ultima 6 came out in 1990 (27 years ago!!!!!). Before the SNES came out, I was playing Ultima 6. And to this day, I wonder why RPGs today are nowhere near as much fun as this.

I can only replay Ultima VII so many times. And speaking of U7, found this interesting Gaming Forum thread.

Here is a review of Ultima 6 that I found.

Above: Remember folks, this game came out in 1990. This was 8-bit NES era.

Somehow, Sherry the Mouse became my most powerful warrior. She is Mouse of Death now.

I didn’t realize you could pay the gypsies for sex. Imagine what happens when Sherry the Mouse is the lead in the party when you do this!!!

And I didn’t realize when you pickpocket animals, you could take meat off them! Weird game! So good.

Take a look at this gaming message forum thread. The poor gamer, perhaps sobbing when typing it, asks the Internet why they hate the game he loves: Zelda 2. He says not only he loved it, all his friends loved it too. If you look at the sales, Zelda 2 sold very strongly. “But Miyamoto doesn’t like it…” Miyamoto thinks even Super Mario Brothers 3 is badly designed. Miyamoto knows shit from the consumer side which is why Nintendo goes through its dark ages (i.e. when Nintendo devs stop thinking they are geniuses and stop considering consumer feedback. See ‘Virtual Boy’, ‘Gamecube’, ‘N64’, ‘Wii U’, and ‘3DS’ for such examples).

Zelda 2 has an Open World where you, the magnificent player, progresses via himself. You gain levels via experience like in a RPG. You get new spells and items. In some ways, Zelda 2 is like an Open World Metroid RPG. But Zelda 2 is more Zelda than, say, Twilight Princess or Wind Waker. Zelda 2 actually has an open world and has RPG roots which is Zelda.

Breath of the Wild has come and gone, and people still don’t understand Zelda. It fascinates me how these hardcore gamers can be so stupid. Breath of the Wild is ‘open world’ with ‘RPG conventions’ and, viola, sales and review juggernaut. Zelda 1 and Zelda 2 are very much identical in that respect.

I think we’re coming to a point where gamers do not understand the games they are playing. Casinos rely on this ignorance. So too will the Game Industry.

Zelda 2 does do one thing differently from every other Zelda game that no one mentions: scaling. Zelda 2 does not scale while all the other Zelda games do. Scaling means everything is on the overworld (except dungeons and caves. Even BoW cannot put the Hyrule Castle or Shrine levels in the overworld. Non-scaling means in Zelda 2, when Link walks over to a town, you go to a new scale. When Link gets hit by a monster, it goes to another screen. I seriously doubt THAT is the issue people have.

I think it all comes down to Zelda 2 haters just plain sucking at the game. Only Breath of the Wild early game can remotely compare to the intensity of Zelda 2.

Consider the original NES Metroid. People today say it is ‘terrible’. Is it? Or are you terrible? What sucks in NES Metroid are the passwords, the slow, slow refilling your life and missiles, and the lack of a map screen. But there are maps on the Internet and there are save states. So get good. Metroid has always been designed for experienced players. The intention is to be difficult on the 8-bit standard. Today, gamers are such pansies that Super Mario Brothers is considered hardcore to them where in the 8-bit standard, it was considered the child’s game.

Anyway, work continues on my future articles concerning Origin of open world gaming. You will see. You will never see RPG gaming in the same way again. Ba ha ha ha ha!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 16, 2017

Polygon says Valve is a corporation. Viral marketers go nuts

Check this out. Anyone reading this site would find nothing surprising in that link. Valve Corporation isn’t a gaming company. The reaction I am seeing on some gaming message forums to that article reminds me of responses I got to Birdman and the Casual Fallacy. Attack the author, mock the writing, but don’t dare dispute the facts because the facts are correct.

Fuck Steam. Bring back Kali! That’s MY online gaming service of choice!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 12, 2017

Secret to Miyamoto is his stamina?

Let us take a look at how game development goes on inside Nintendo.

When Nintendo hires new people, they only ‘hire the best of the best’ because Nintendo is at a position where it can do that. Miyamoto commented (paraphrasing), “Under this filter, I never would have been hired at Nintendo.”

So what makes Miyamoto Miyamoto? The answer is in the text.

In those days, Miyamoto would come to us at 11 PM, after he finished all of his board-member work, and say, “It’s Mario time.” At that point, we’d start a planning meeting that would run until 2 AM. At that point, Miyamoto would go home, leaving us with the words, “You should return home soon, for your health.” Over the next two or three hours, we’d write the game design documents and summarize the instructions for our artists and programmers.

It was the craziest crunch time that I’ve ever experienced in my development career. But if the God of Games was working so much, could we give up? Miyamoto had incredible stamina.

 

The last paragraph sums it up.

People have a high school mentality of ‘smart’. In high school, ‘smart’ means work comes easy to you, and you get done with homework fast meaning you get to do more of ‘nothing’. ‘Stupid’ in high school means spending tons of time at homework and classwork and not being able to have more time for ‘nothing’.

Hence, those who live life with the high school mentality think ‘winning’ is having as much time for ‘nothing’ in their lives.

In the real world, 40 hours is not enough. It is what you do in 40+ hours that matter. For example, someone working a shit job and going to school on the side is doing something that gets that person ahead. But say you get your career going. Doing more like starting a small business on the side or increasing your skills somewhere else gets you ahead.

Miyamoto’s secret is plain simple hard work. Hard work = stamina. Farmers do not work hard because they sweat, they work hard because they have stamina to get up at crack of dawn and be consistent with their productivity until night day after day.

“He’s still here!?” gasps the Nintendo developers when they realize Miyamoto is still in the building working at 2 AM.

Note how Miyamoto says it is a good idea for them to go home FOR THEIR HEALTH. Taking care of your health keeps you productive. Miyamoto does not say it is good idea for them to go home and DO NOTHING. The developer writing that gamasutra piece says, “It was the toughest crunch time of my career.” This is leverage Nintendo applies. If there was a company as equal to Nintendo, he would write, “Their crunch time is as tough as Nintendo!” But he does not write that.

I think laziness, not ‘lack of genius’, is the reason for most bad games. Look, today, most games are made out of a software kit. They don’t even have to program their own engines anymore. And before people start crying at me, remember that this is an inside sit-down job. This is not climbing on ladders, outside, dealing with high voltage electrical lines. This is not driving a truck hundreds of miles. It is a cush job physically.

The best classics had ‘terrible terrible crunch time’. I remember with Starcraft 1’s crunch time that the developers were falling apart, totally beat.

Miyamoto’s secret isn’t that he is the SMARTEST game developer. His secret may be that he HAS MORE STAMINA than his competitors.

Consider this a life lesson.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 6, 2017

Lord British talks to Martha Stewart

Now this is something you don’t see everyday. I ran into it doing some research. It is Richard Garriott on the Martha Stewart show talking about what he collects: little automatons. Let’s watch!

The mass produced drawing toy from 1950s is amazing. I want one!

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