Please just look at the title. My dreams just came true.
If you can't appreciate and play the bejesus out of this, then please don't ever consider trying to talk to me. I won't be your friend. You probably like Laser Cats or something.
Go play here.
The secret ingredient is space horse
In space, things are apparently much more neon-hued and bouncy. Instead of fighting off giant worms and space pirates, most aliens spend their days blowing up incoming pink, blue, and green orbs. Or so Glue FO2 would have you believe.
The concept and play is quite similar to the classic Asteroids, save for it feeling much more happy and there being no trackball (unless you use a trackball, in which case you're a dork). You just pilot your little ship around, collecting tiny orbs and firing them at the bigger ones. All is fine and dandy until the other little bastard UFOs show up. They do the same thing, except the orbs are fired at you. I'm not sure what we did to them, but they sure seem pissed.
This simple game is actually deceptively tough. I whizzed through the first five levels only to find it getting tougher and tougher as they went on. Once things start blowing up all over the place, good luck keeping your eyes uncrossed.
Go play here.
Chrissy Tashjian of Philly's dangerous dance rock band Dangerous Ponies ' the subject of a recent John Vettese interview ' filed this report from GayBiGayGay, a queer music festival in Austin. Her bandmate Sarah Green took all the great photos and did the video, too.
Dear Friends and Readers,
Five days ago my band, Dangerous Ponies, and our good friend and acoustic performance artist Dave End, embarked upon what will total a seven-day/eight-night tour to play GayBiGayGay, Austin's queer spin-off of SXSW. After playing four very different and exciting shows, breaking bread with new and old friends, seeing America shift from sparse, chilly and green, to plush, warm and mountainous, then balmy/flat and flowery we left our show in New Orleans to pull a sleepy eyed coffee filled-all nighter through the marsh lands of Louisiana.
After our 10-hour overnight drive in our overly stuffed, underly comfortable 1993 tour van (Mama Cass) we found ourselves on the front steps of Hazey Fairless' Ranch home in Austin Texas where they were preparing for a mighty festivus of a day.
Walking into the backyard we passed four hot pink OUT houses, which really set a precedent for the day. The stage was set up and decked out in plaid and spraypaint, put together with various found objects including fencing, and golden branches. To the right of the stage was a bands-only garage for equipment, and next to that some fabulous volunqueers were setting up a station for grilled pizza, 4 kegs of local beer, and an espresso shot stop for refueling. A porch containing the merch of queer bands from all over the country was attached to the back of the house, and a face and body painting table was being readied where your imagination was the only limit to your body decoration. So far this festival was screaming of what it really means to be a well-organized D.I.Y-ER.
As the event was getting under way Bitch magazine showed up to give a shout out of support and away we went. Kicking off the day was Austin's very own BTOX who did a socially charged spoken word performance. Then it was our turn to play. Lynn the stage manager/sound person was incredible, and got us set up and ready in no time. The event had just started but the reception was amazing. People filtered in, spread out their blankets and started dancing with our tambourine totin', singing and dancing hype duo Brooks A. Breakdancer and Sarah Green Wolverine.
Following us, Polka Dot Dot Dot took the stage. Three of America's biggest sweethearts, a magical trio of step dancing, ukelele playing, banjo slinging minstrels whose three-part harmony could melt the coldest of hearts. After being wooed by the musical stylings of Polka Dot Dot Dot I took a breather and walked around the yard eating grilled pizza, drinking some solid Austin local brew, and recharging just in time for our tour mate, Philadelphia's own queer acoustic performance artist Dave End.
All associations aside, if you haven't seen Ms. End perform yet, your missing out, BIG TIME. So make it happen. Dave played a five-song set in five different outfits, starting out in a purple-tentacled piece he made himself with a song about body positivity and self-love. Then he picks up the accordion and with much witty banter sweeps you into a piece from his musical in progress, Fabulous Artistic Guys Get Overtly Traumatized Sometimes (or F.A.G.G.O.T.S The Musical). Dave End's performance is bordering on vaudeville, it's comical, it's queer and political and in all respects all-inclusive. Before you know it you've entered the Bea Arthur portion of the performance where, decked in a gray-sequined dress, Dave shares with you the tale of his best friend and gossip co-hort named Sophie, the golden retriever he safely stashed all his secrets with growing up in an all-boys catholic school. By the end of the set you know all about Dave End's imaginary boyfriend Josh, how to positively combat street harassment, and how a gem is born through a rough and tumble childhood.
As the day went on, the space was PACKED with people from all over the country. A roaring fire was started in the corner of the yard that went well into the night. I got to meet the likes of so many good folks including queer people, radical fairies, trans folks, allied friends, farmers and city dwellers from so many backgrounds and walks of life that traveled all the way to Austin Texas to be a part of this amazing day. I would say it was a major success, and as the Ponies would say: All's well that ends with a dance party.
And we're back ...
Sorry to be away for so long, folks, but the 1-Upper bought a house and started referring to himself in the third person. I've been spending my days installing storm doors and not helping you waste your precious time.
Anyhoo, I give you Don't Look Back this week. Doing throwbacks seems to be all the rage these days, what with Mega Man showing up in all his 8-bit glory on the next generation consoles and new franchise entries like Street Fighter (which I used to play in the arcade) outselling everything else by miles. Don't Look Back does exactly the opposite of its name and looks and plays like it strolled right out of the Atari 2600.
A straight-forward platformer, which you don't see often enough, the game is simple to play. Arrow keys move you and make you jump, spacebar makes you shoot your little rectangle of a pistol. It's a little like Pitfall meets Super Mario Brothers. Just watch out for the darkness.
Play it here.
|The Rolling Stones at The Spectrum, June 29, 1975
Annie Leibovitz read excerpts from her new book, At Work, last night at the Free Library. She recalled with fondness the concert the Stones played at the Spectrum on June 29, 1975. She was on tour for Rolling Stone when someone told her to come out from backstage and hear the performance. They both thought it was the best show they'd heard the band play.
"When I think of Philadelphia, it seems all the best shows were there, I remember that concert well."
She told the crowd she brought her tennis racket on tour thinking she'd be able to play during the day.
"I realized after the first show I wouldn't see the light of day."
The story ran on the cover of Rolling Stone, July 17, 1975.
It’s always nice when someone does something innovative in video games, especially when it comes to first-person games. For the last 10 years it’s been the same old, same old, with waves of World War II shooters – countless, even – and looking Master Chief’s visor, blowing away hordes of aliens. Mirror’s Edge changes a lot of things about the genre, many of them good, but in the end it does manage to come up a little short.
In Mirror’s Edge, you take control of Faith, a runner in the game’s bleak totalitarian setting. Runners are the carriers of sensitive information in this world, and they’re forced to move where no one can see them: across rooftops, underground, and through empty buildings. If you haven’t heard already, the game is based on Parkour, and you’ll move Faith across said rooftops and over obstacles using only the abilities of the human body. And when I say jumping across rooftops, I mean across really, really high buildings. Be advised that it’s been said that some people get motion sickness from playing, but I felt fine the whole time.
One of the game’s most significant achievements is its simple control scheme. One button controls all the high movements, like jumping, while another the low movements, like sliding. For someone like me, who was raised on button mashing and memorizing Mortal Combat fatality sequences, I was caught off guard by the simplicity. It really does work well, though, especially given the fact that Mirror’s Edge has you leaping, rolling as you hit the ground, hanging from ledges, and sliding down pipes, all of which are accomplished with just two buttons.
The thrills in Mirror’s Edge can be found when you hit your stride. As you start to string moves along, Faith picks up the pace, and the flow of the moves feels and looks good. But that’s where the game hits its first major hurdle. There are a lot of points where you’ll mess up, spend 10 minutes figuring out what you’re supposed to do or just die about 20 times trying to accomplish a sequence. For a game that puts so much stock in movement, it can be maddeningly frustrating to hit such a wall.
The game also looses some points in the combat department. The game made you feel like you should be running from enemies – which is a unique feat in a first-person game – mainly because it only takes a hit or two to put you on the ground. But when forced to fight, the system reveals its clunkiness. Faith doesn’t have weapon beyond her fists and feet, so the only time she gets her hands on a weapon is when she disarms on of the many cops on her tail. You can make a disarming move with just one button, as long as you time it right, but it seems to not work all of the time. The disarming animations are interesting the first time you see them, but they get really repetitive quickly.
Taking a page from a lot of other recent games, Mirror’s Edge is really short. If you’re an avid game player, you could probably whiz through in a sitting or two. You also have the option of doing speedruns of different levels, but unless breaking records and trying over and over again to do so is your idea of fun, you might be better off making this a rental.
Overall, Mirror’s Edge is fresh and really fun, but with a bunch of missteps along the way. If you look past that, you’ll see a game that makes all the right moves but just doesn’t get a 10 for the landing.
Amazing. Props for going the distance with this, mysterious bike-guitar hero.
Put on your Jnco jeans and strap on your wallet chains, because it’s the late ‘90s all over again – at least on my Xbox, anyway.
Back when the original PlayStation came out, some of the more heavily played games focused on vehicular combat, where you would take charge of a tricked-out ride and blow your other dorm dwellers to smithereens with missiles and machine guns. Maybe it’s just me reminiscing, but I spent I recall spending an inordinate amount of time with the Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8 series instead of studying for my third world history class. Most of that was spent swearing and tossing controllers at my friends who were better than I was, though. Since then, the genre pretty much disappeared.
Developer Activision has brought the Vigilante 8 series back for the Xbox 360 with Vigilante 8: Arcade, available through the Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft points (about $10). In terms of gameplay, not much has changed since the original was released in 1998, save for the vastly updated graphics. You choose a car – which does have a goofy character associated with it – and ride off into the sunset, annihilating anyone else that gets in your way. You start off with just machine guns and accumulate additional weapons that spawn on the level at regular intervals. You win if you’re the last man/woman standing.
At least that’s the idea. Maybe I’m rusty, but my two biggest complaints about the game are that the controls felt a bit sloppy – just tapping the stick slightly is enough to send you veering off target, sometimes wildly – and that it take a lot of damage, and time, to eliminate other players. The AI seemed a little wonky, too, and each time I played against the computer, it felt like all the other cars were ganging up on me rather than being in the midst of a free-for-all. It took a good five or six matches before I notched my first kill.
Vigilante 8 does support online play through Xbox Live, but be forewarned that it can take a while to get a full game going. The online population for the game is a bit sparse, but if you can get a match going – with up to eight people - it’s great fun.
One of the best things Vigilante 8 has going for it is the nostalgia factor. It still supports the ‘70s theme – though there’s something weird about blowing up cars to disco music, but I guess it makes sense when the other car is a dune buggy – the game is known for and overall doesn’t feel all that different from previous iterations. But I’m going to guess that if you missed the first go-round with games like this you’re not likely to have as much fun with this one.
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