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The Week in Aliens

On 09/15/2023 at 10:49 AM by KnightDriver

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Specifically the Irkens from Irk, and more specficially, Invader Zim, voiced by Richard Horvitz (Chaos in Skylanders). This 2001 animated TV series didn't even make it through its second season, but its still pretty good. It especially appeals to me for its angular design, wild humor, surrealism, and sometimes dark tones. Zim is assigned to take over Earth and he assumes the disguise of a middle schooler to hide his secret. Dib, a fellow student, is not convinced and seeks to expose him. Another selling point for me was the voice of Kevin McDonald from Kids in the Hall as one of the Almighty Tallest, co-leader of the Irks and Zim's boss. Oh, and there were more aliens in the games I played this week. 


God of War (PS2): Revisted this with a vengeance and stuck with it for several days. My only gripe is that I often came to a dead end in a level, had to retrace my steps, only to find that there was a breakable barrier or a partially hidden ladder I had missed. Level design is somewhat maze-like or circular in nature, making it sometimes confusing. However, I love the presentation of this game, the camera angles are so dramatic. The music adds a great feeling of primal action, and the ease of controlling Kratos' chain-blades and combo/special moves is a delight. An absolute gem of a PS2 game. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (PS1): A very late 2001 PS1 game released to go with the film. It did very well in sales that year too, and it's not bad. The visuals are good as is the presentation of the story. All the characters models follow the film's actors. You get to use your wand. Gameplay is pretty simple with auto-jumping for platforming. What stopped me was the flying through hoops on a broom sequence. I just could not get used to the controls and kept diving into the ground or soaring high above the target. Was it me, or the game, I'm not sure. I got too frustrated to persist in finding an answer. 

MDK2: Armageddon (PS2): Memories of playing this on my new PC in 2000. This PS2 port is okay but for one thing, the left analog stick for movement is not assigned a role. You have to use the d-pad for movement, the right stick for looking. WTF! It's a very uncomfortable control scheme I didn't want to fight with. Moved on...

Game Pass: 

Quickly I'll state how tired I was after Retro Con on Saturday, and so I was doomed to rage quit both Starfield, Atomic Heart and Age of Empires IV. Starfield wouldn't let my ship dock at a space station, Atomic Heart made me stealth around mechanical flower/cameras, and Age IV burried me in menu screens. Three things that I was in no mood to put up with. I may go back to these sometime though. 

Quantum Break (XSS): Great game I've played before by the makers of Alan Wake. I had to get head shots. I set the game to hard to see if I could hack it, and I did until one enemy blew up the car I was using for cover (or was it me?) and killed me. 

Cassette Beasts (XSS): I got the points for just playing this but kept on going because I really like it. It's a RPG with turn-based battles utilizing music and retro cassette tapes as gameplay elements. Consider combining mix tape making circa 1982 and a 90s RPG. Me likey. I'll keep playing it for the daily achievement I need to get. I may even try to stream it on my phone when not at my Xbox. 

Social Game: 

 Earth Defense Force 2025 (XSS): I also rage quit this on Saturday, but I reinstalled it a few days later. Mad Krammer and I played it some more and I finally hit 70% completion and unlocked weapon/armor limits in multiplayer. This is now going to be a lot more fun as Mad Krammer can now use his best weapons on any difficulty level. Finishing Hardest and Inferno difficulties for all four characters is still going to be a trial though. However, with the right team of bad-asses, it can be done. Mad Krammer got the Inferno completion achievement for his Ranger with the help of several people with characters with armor ratings in the hundreds of thousands. I have no idea how they got so much and suspect tampering. Across all my characters and hundreds of hours of gameplay, I've only amassed about 12 thousand armor. There is the posibility that some of the DLC levels have mad drops that I can farm though. I'll be looking into that as armor rating is so important for survivaling Inferno difficulty. 


Grinding medals still in Sukudo, Mahjong and Wordament. Almost at Gold for the month for all. I booted up my GBA SP in preperation for other handheld gaming when I'm finished with these. The GBA SP screen is still not bright enough for me, so I switched to my DS Slim. I love the form factor of the GBA SP so much though. I have to see if I have the SP with the brightest screen or not. There were two SPs, one with an even brighter screen. I want that one. 

Bye now. What did you play?



Cary Woodham

09/16/2023 at 08:03 AM

I love Invader ZIM.  Everything that comes out of GIR's mouth is hilarious.  I have the DVD box set that comes in the box shaped like ZIM's house.  It even has the episodes that originally didn't make it on Nick's second season until much later.  

I had the opportunity to review Cassette Beasts.  I turned it down because I've got too much on my plate right now.

I've been mostly playing games for review.  Notable ones include Sea of Stars, Rune Factory 3 Special, and F-Zero 99.  I asked for two games for my birithday: Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe and Samba de Amigo: Party Central.  We'll see if I get them.


09/16/2023 at 09:06 AM

Cool! I got the complete series DVD from the libray, but I want that collectors edition. I'm visiting a FYE store later today and will look for anything IZ they might have. 

Too bad, because Cassette Beasts is pretty good. 

I'm interestested in Rune Factory 3. 

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