Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 17, 2015

Email: Yes crusader kings is that good

Hello master malstrom!

Crusader kings is really, really awesome. I can only describe it by telling you what I have been able to accomplish in my campaigns so far. During my campaign as the vikings of Svitjord, I spent my time raiding europe and kidnapping christian princesses, whom I then used to get heirs which had claims on european titles. Instead of converting to christianity, I reformed the norse pagan religion into an organized religion, and then founded the empire of unified Scandinavia. With my new power, I declared pagan crusades on Britain and Frace which were successful. When raiding rome with my new powerful armies, I ended up capturing the POPE, whom I of course immediately sacrificed in a blòt ceremony to Odin.

In my new campaigns, I play as a zoroastrian lord who is trying to throw out the muslim invaders from Persia, and rebuild the zoroastrian persian empire. I am also playing as a Byzantine emperor with dreams of reunifying the roman empire, wich hasn’t gone too well because a succession crisis fractured my empire into little tiny states, and my time has been spend declaring de-jure wars to unify my empire again.

It’s a time-consuming game, but man is it fun.


Long time reader

It’s currently 75% off at Steam for $10 (normally $40). Seems to have held its value well for being several years old (not even counting the DLCs and expansions. All together it is $150!!!!

I would get it, but I’m about to disappear into Heroes of the Storm.


Oh no! Look at what Aonuma has to say:

When I first showed off the new Zelda game on the Wii U, it seemed everyone was very excited and started proclaiming that a Zelda game had at last become open world! Zelda games have always allowed you to roam and explore a huge world.

Alas, Aonuma agrees with me. Has the entire world gone crazy!? Is Aonuma going to then say that Zelda also has had RPG elements to it (such as getting one sword and getting a better sword)? Is Aonuma going to say that it is NORMAL for Link to have a sword?

I cannot take this craziness. What is next? Is Sakamoto going to say that Metroid is not about Samus’s maternal instincts?

No. I cannot believe it. As a result, I am hereby suspending myself from my website for the next few days. I require this suspension to think over what has occurred and re-examine what I’m doing. Most webmasters would never suspend themselves from their own websites, but Malstrom has standards above and beyond the gaming rabble.

I will punish myself and think long and hard over what has happened here tonight.

There really isn’t much to say about Generation 8 at this point. I don’t see anyone doing ‘well’. Microsoft’s Xbox One is a disaster. Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS are disasters. Sony’s PS4 isn’t a disaster but the Vita is. I don’t hear about any truly amazing games going on (like a Wii Sports or GTA 3). Gaming has been pretty boring despite the second year of Xbox One and PS4.

I know people tune in here to find out where Nintendo is going. I don’t know at this point. Wii U seems to be having nothing more than fan service at this point. What does surprise me is the New 3DS with Nintendo making games that can only be played on that hardware. Why go that step? Unless they think Xenoblade port of the hardlycores will get them to buy such new hardware. Nintendo’s 3DS is done. As is the Wii U.

Splatoon is gonna bomb. The more I find out about the game, the worse it gets.

There’s a huge problem arising on the Nintendo platform that not even Nintendo is aware of at the moment. I was seriously thinking of buying a Wii U. It has a 2d Mario, a 2d Donkey Kong, Mario Maker, Mario Kart 8, and some other interesting games (Hyrule Warriors). What compels me to purchase Nintendo hardware again is that Nintendo stuff can become collectibles. What this means for me is that I would rather buy it full price today instead of full price or more for a used version of that hardware or software.

But I do not think Nintendo software will become collectible anymore. The reason why is due to the digital re-releases. So what if I miss a Wii U game? Nintendo will re-release it one day on a future console. It’s not like any of the software really needs the Gamepad.

I keep getting the sense that Nintendo is in an alternate dimension (which we might as well call Nintendo Land). In Nintendo Land, Nintendo believed NSMB U would hit the impact around that NSMB Wii did. It didn’t. Why? Because fans of the game aren’t retro gamers, they’re futuristic gamers. 2d platforming simply ages better than the alternatives and is better to collect down the road.

It’s a mystery to me why Nintendo never got aggressive and went after Minecraft. I’m sure in Nintendo Land, having Shovel Knight checked off a box somewhere. But that isn’t the game classic gamers wanted. It would have been Rogue Legacy which only Sony approached for. I don’t know what world Nintendo is in, but they are missing games they should have on their system. It’s like they don’t care.

And they may not care. In Nintendo Land, Nintendo may have just thrown in the towel already and think “We need to come out of the gate strong when the console launches”. Wii, after all, came out strong. But if the 3DS and Wii U teaches us anything, it is that Nintendo doesn’t understand why the DS or Wii were successful.

More frightful is that Nintendo DOES understand why they were successful and doesn’t want such success again. “Why would you say that, Malstrom?” It was success away from Nintendo’s vision of Gamecube-esque gaming. 3d Mario and Aonuma Zelda did not become more popular with DS and Wii. They became less popular. To someone like Miyamoto, that may be seen as a step back since the entire idea is to get everyone to like the games Nintendo would prefer to make.

Aonuma says he is retiring soon. I hope that Nintendo is putting the guy out to pasture. He took the Zelda franchise, which was at the height of any game series ever after Ocarina of Time, of cartridges made in gold, and he destroyed the franchise. Zelda is no longer cool. Other fantasy games have become far more popular such as Skyrim. There was no market excitement for Wind Waker, the DS Zeldas, Skyward Sword, and such. The only thing people get excited for in an Aonuma game is that the Zelda game will be like a pre-Aonuma game (original Zelda, Ocarina of Time, Zelda 2, LTTP, or such). If Aonuma got on Nintendo Direct and said, “Oh boy guys! Here comes a bunch of puzzles!” no one would get excited. But open world Zelda? Open world Zelda is Classic Zelda. Zelda was the GTA of video games before GTA came around.

Zelda needs different cooks instead of just Aonuma. I prefer Nintendo retiring Aonuma instead of retiring Zelda.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 16, 2015

Is Crusader Kings that good?

Getting back into gaming. Will be playing Heroes of the Storm soon.

Still loving Rogue Legacy. Anyone who likes games like Super Metroid or Castlevania and does not own Rogue Legacy is someone who is missing out.

This strategy game got by attention. Certainly sounds interesting. It has a TON of DLC. All the expansions and DLC with the base game cost $150!!!!!! From the sound of the video above, sounds like Game of the Forever. Good to see something new in strategy games.

Wing Commander IV - The Price of Freedom Coverart.png

When a new game comes out of a series you have been playing, you want to buy it. However, if you do not have the right computer at the time (and Origin loved putting out games that required you to buy new computers), then you are out of luck. I told myself, “One day, I will play through Wing Commander IV.” I never realized it would be twenty years later.

The original Wing Commander was a watershed moment for gaming in that design began to shift toward production instead of design. Wing Commander came out in 1990. This was before the Super Nintendo and during the NES Era. It simply astounded everyone. We were like that guy in Gladiator who looks up at the Roman coliseum and says, “I had no idea that men could build such things…” Wing Commander pushed for 3d gameplay before 3d but really did a number with the sound. I remember gaming then requiring sound cards after Wing Commander.

Wing Commander 2, my favorite in the series, had the same rich tactical gameplay but with very good storyline mixed in.

Wing Commander 3 got a ton of attention due to the game being true 3d and being an interactive movie with actors like Mark Hamil. I didn’t like the direction Wing Commander was going with this. I preferred the hand drawn storyline of 2 instead of these actors. But who knew that twenty years later, it was the interactive movie that has aged well and not the gameplay. Thus, Wing Commander IV is nothing more than a basic sequel to 3.

As old as I am, I just didn’t feel like messing with the gameplay. Besides, the gameplay doesn’t seem that good in Wing Commander IV. The early missions are harder than the last missions because you fly a piece of shit. The graphics which were so ‘awesome’ back then now look like dogshit. I think Wing Commander 1 and 2’s graphics have aged better than the ‘true 3d’. The good news is that you can cheat in Wing Commander IV. Open up the command prompt and type in the exe to run it but have a space and put -chicken. Whenever you target an enemy, press ALT-W and then the enemy goes kablooey. You’d think you would run through the game in a matter of seconds of just going through it like that. But you would be wrong.

The ‘Interactive Movie’ is very lengthy. I’m actually surprised how much I enjoyed it despite its campiness. The movie starts off pretty cliche and bland at first but gets more interesting. The ‘Interactive Movie’ hits the same pleasure centers as when I read a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book. Most of the choices don’t seem to have any true bearing until during a mission when Vagabond asks which side you are on. I chose both. Even if you choose the wrong side, the game will let you be ‘wrong’ for a few missions and then force you on the rebel side. So lame. I enjoyed hanging out with Seether. Seether is my type of guy!

The plot of Wing Commander IV reminds me more of Star Trek VI than anything. It really isn’t well written. It will forcibly manipulate the audience in order to hate the bad guys. Seether shoots a prisoner. Oh no! What a bad man that Seether is! Oh no! Bio weapons! Oh no! Holocaust! Oh no! Hilter rhetoric! It is so cliche. However, the mass audience wants cliche. I kept trying to side with Seether and rooting for him as much as the game would let me. It is funny to see how far the game will let you go.

The ‘ethics’ the game’s plot shows, which are cliche, is not universal but only after the conclusion of World War II. After World War II, Nazis became ‘bad’, Hitler became ‘bad’, genetic purity became ‘bad’, and so on. Before World War II, none of those things were ‘bad’. After the upcoming World War, the ethical matrix is again going to change. My point is that no author is going to write against WWII ethics. No one. The mass audience wouldn’t be able to absorb it. Imagine if Seether was the hero and Blair the traitor!

The finale of the Wing Commander series (which is this game, not that damned Prophecy) ends not with a spectacular battle but with six Interactive Movie choices where, if you choose the wrong thing, the bad guys win at the end. I kid you not! My first time through the ending, I chose all the correct ones and (damn it!) I got the good ending. It was so cliche. Of course you choose ‘seize the moment’ and talk about ‘bio weapons’.

One thing I have to give Wing Commander IV writers credit on is at least they are halfway educated. The Price of Freedom quote, which is the title, is from Thomas Jefferson. But he may not have been the originator.  Irish orator John Philpot Curran: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

Another instance came with the quoting of William Butler Yeats poem of ‘The Second Coming’. It is the most quoted poem of the twentieth century.

The most amazing thing did occur to me after completing Wing Commander IV. It did not occur to me until I read a youtube comment (when finding the trailer to benefit the incredible reader). The comment said: “good lord this game makes modern releases look like poop.” While the comment referred to modern game releases (and modern game releases ARE poop compared to the Origin and Old School classics), such a comment also compares to movie releases. When I think of great, fun movies, I think of Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and Terminator. Those were from 1980. But the 1990s also had great films too. Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic (I know, I know), Terminator 2, the Matrix. After the 2000s (not counting the magnificent Gladiator), most of the ‘big’ movies became trilogies from Batman to Lord of the Rings to the too many Harry Potter movies. Many of the films seem just special effects wastelands. Which is… ironically… what Wing Commander IV was condemned as. Yet, Wing Commander IV, as a movie, is more entertaining than most of these new movie releases. Why is that? Perhaps it had to do with the PC gaming audience back in 1995 (which I thought was dumbed down at the time).

Wing Commander IV is probably enjoyable as a game. However, it is more enjoyable as a movie. It is worth the six bucks or whatever from GOG to purchase it. You will get hours of entertainment even if you cheat through it all.

“You want to get interactive?” hahahahahahaha

Seriously, people should stop adding subtitles to that Hitler video and just add subtitles to the German editions of Wing Commander 3 and 4. Much more entertaining!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 8, 2015

Email: Nintendo’s health stuff

I’m worried that you’re right.  It looks like Nintendo will try to use these new health devices to bail out the gaming portion of the company, similar to Microsoft.  That way Nintendo developers can keep doing what the hell they want.

This bothers me: “Nintendo believes health care is a way it can reclaim customers.”

Aside from Wii Fit (which was, in fact, a game), why would a health device reclaim video game customers?  If you were so concerned with retaining customers, Nintendo, why did you make the Wii U and stab Wii owners in the back?  Why did you shove more Toon Link and 3D Mario down our throats?

I think these devices need to fail so that Nintendo is forced to focus on gaming.


Who are these customers? Maybe they see the health devices as a way to get people in gaming? Nah.

For a Japanese company, health care is an important industry since the entire country is pretty much dying off. If Nintendo reclaimed their patriotism, they would be reintroducing Love Hotels so the Japanese can reproduce their population.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 6, 2015


Master Malstrom,
Pardon for the interruption, but here’s something you might want to look at.
Several notable aspects are how people keep comparing the game to Team Fortress 2, when Scott Mercer already mentions the team looking outside the sole context of FPS in order to design the game, hoping to create a genre busting title by focusing on things the FPS genre lacks (*cough* more Blue Ocean and Disruption *cough*). While the author is quite open-minded in his approach, it’s the comments that take the cake: people are complaining about “another MOBA” and “another TF2 wannabe”. Hardcores never cease to amuse me.


I don’t feel Overwatch. Then again, I’m not a fan of Team Fortress 2. I think this game is going to be a dud. (I also despise Winston. I don’t see Winston, I see Beast from X-Men.)

Yeah, that is Beast, not Mr. Winston. Damn, that intro is so good. That theme! Damn. Overwatch seems like such a bore.

Blizzard is going out of its roots with this. Blizzard’s roots are not multiplayer but strategy. Even with their SNES games, there was a type of strategy to theme. Lost Vikings wasn’t the typical platformer. Real Time Strategy was strategic. RPGs have a strategy interweaving in them. MMORPGs and Action RPGs are why WoW and Diablo succeeded. Hearthstone blew up because it was a strategy game that people wanted. It was pure strategy too. No real-time in it. This doesn’t mean Overwatch doesn’t have strategy in it, but I haven’t heard any talk of strategy. I have heard talk of ‘shooter’ and such.

What I really want is a Blizzard turn-based strategy game such as Civilization, Master of Orion, or Heroes of Might and Magic. And I want them playable on modern computers and on tablets. There is definitely a Blue Ocean potential there.

Overwatch? Meh.

The Internet’s multiplayer giving abilities are THE REASON behind the rise of Blizzard. Modem play for the success of Warcraft 1. Kali for Warcraft 2. for Diablos, Starcraft, and Warcraft 3. Broadband is a big reason for World of Warcraft being so successful.

Now, I feel the Internet is the great bane of Blizzard. All of Blizzard’s games now must be on the Internet, you cannot ‘own’ the game. All Blizzard games must be designed around ‘online multiplayer’. The third Starcraft 2 expansion is likely the last single player portion of a Blizzard game we will ever see again.

If I were Blizzard, I would start to look at other ways to make games that did not rely entirely on the Internet. The Internet, being a mass medium, is only twenty years old. It will not always be the mass medium. Surprised? Things change in Computer Land.

The rumors of remasters of the Warcraft trilogy is something I would buy. But I want STRATEGY. Give me a Warcraft styled Civilization game or Starcraft styled Alpha Centauri game. Give me more strategy.

The best way I can word my criticism at current Blizzard games (and why I don’t play them) is that they feel like the games are playing me instead of the other way around. I feel like I am in a hamster wheel. They don’t feel like games anymore but psychologically designed digital soma release devices.

Minecraft is more fun than anything Blizzard has made in the last ten years.

It was atrocious when it came out. I had never seen a worse console launch video… until Xbox One that was.

At 1:15 I always break out laughing when they introduce the ‘dog’ and show the 3d model of the dog slowly spinning. Hahahahahahahaha.

It just amazes me how there are so many ‘so called’ smart people in these corporations that are soooo stupid. How can you launch consoles, that are billions of dollars worth of investments and revenue, to this? What gets me is how non-gaming both these console launches are. It is like no one wants to be for the gamer.

Sony won Generation 8 because it stuck up for the gamer. Nintendo won Generation 7 because it stuck up for the gamer while Microsoft and Sony were doing Blu-Ray/HD-DVD and various junk.

Game consoles are about gaming. Who would have thought!?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 1, 2015

Email: The massive drop in Metroid Prime Trilogy eBay prices

How is it that a lot of “collector” games like Earthbound keep the resale value versus what just happened with Metroid Prime Trilogy? Over Christmas the game was going for over $100, and now you can buy the game for $40-$50 on eBay. I want to speculate that’s in the end the value of Metroid Prime was in the game itself, not the niche rarity, not the packaging. Knowing that you can play this game right now for $10-$20 will probably dissuade people who just want to play the game to spend $150. Why do you think Earthbound is still $200 (I’m personally not the biggest fan) and Metroid resale value plummeted?


16 bit era and earlier, no one bought video games as an investment that would grow in value. Today, they do. This is why Amiibos and other games won’t ‘go up in value forever’ like people think. Also, the earlier games hold greater value being on cartridges which is hardware that doesn’t fall apart as CDs or DVDs do.

Earthbound is part of Generation Four. Metroid Prime Trilogy is part of Generation Seven. Further back in time you go, the greater the rarity. Even non-sports NES games are getting fairly expensive. A decent NES game starts at $20, and they go up from there. $80 for some of the Mega Man games.

The 16-bit and N64 games tend to be very value specific. Smash Brothers and Mario Party will be very, very expensive. Generic third party games? No. I recently bought Yoshi’s Island for $30 which I thought was a great deal seeing how the SNES title hasn’t been easily duplicated in other avenues. But I suppose that is because the demand for the game isn’t that great. Contra 3 is like $50-$60! But it is a very fun game that people still want to play today.

I thought it was funny how they still thought they were gonna sell 9 million Wii u’s I’m guessing they were hoping New Super Mario Bros to hit 10 mIllion like it did on Wii.  Problem is you can’t give it a B team budget and expect people to bite. I hope they keep the series going, but get rid of the “NEW” theme already and bring it in another direction for god’s sake!

The guy to blame is Tezuka as Miyamoto has put him in charge of all Side scrolling games like Yoshi’s Island.  He oversaw Tropical Freeze I believe, but honestly the stuff we saw in Donkey Kong needs to come to Mario. If you ever get a Wii u and play Tropical Freeze I personally think you will enjoy it.

Its a very Challenging like NES platformers, and the production is top notch if you liked Returns on Wii u this one is even better! Brutal but not as brutal as returns is near the end.


I remember this when it came out. I think Iwata sticking to the forecast was really Iwata having faith in Miyamoto thinking it would succeed.

I’m really pissed off what has been done with the Mario series. 2d Mario is being intentionally castrated and relegated to B or C tier for the ‘new hires’ and sent out at launch to die (because Nintendo didn’t know how to do HD despite half a decade of watching their competitors do it). Notice how Nintendo never thought Wii U not selling at first wasn’t a problem? The reason why is because the *real* Mario game didn’t come out. And we all know what the *real* Mario game is…. 3d Mario. Miyamoto has been on a fool’s quest to make 3d Mario more accessible so everyone will like 3d Mario. Many of the things people have been wanting for years, nay, decades in a 2d Mario like more Giant World, the Tanooki Suit, and playing Princess Peach like in SMB 2 were purposefully not done so they could be saved for 3d Mario. Remember Miyamoto’s quote?


“Originally, I thought it would be nice if we could have Princess Peach in there as a playable character,” he said through a translator, “but in fact, the Toad characters have a physical that’s a little bit closer to Mario and Luigi. In particular, if we had one character ou of the four that wore a dress, we would have to have special processing and programming to handle how the skirt is handled within the gameplay.”


This is an outright lie. The NES could handle Peach’s skirt just fine and the Wii couldn’t?

Where was Peach in NSMB U then which DOES have more processing power?

Explaining Peach’s appearance in Mario 3d World, Miyamoto says she was included because of ‘fan requests’. Apparently, fan requests only apply to 3d Mario. 2d Mario never gets fan requests. Hell, they didn’t even give us a new game for 16 fucking years.

Shigeru Miyamoto is lying straight to everyone’s faces. What a turd.

Anyway, lack of my posting is due to being full time worker and full time student. Very difficult to manage.

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