Showing 11 - 20 of 20 posts found matching keyword: games

Move over chocolate and peanut butter, you've got company. I was supposed to be updating the website this weekend, but instead I spent all day playing Dungeons and Dragons the way it was meant to be played: as a pinball machine.

The future is now.

Bally/Midway released this TSR™ Dungeons & Dragons™ cabinet 25 years ago, and I can attest that it is still all awesome. I haven't had this much fun playing pinball since high school. Though to be honest, I haven't played that much pinball since high school.

If you think role-playing games and pinball machines make an unlikely combination, consider the technological odd couple presented by pinball machines and the internet: specific details about this cabinet, its innards, and its marketing materials can be found online at the Internet Pinball Machine Database. Thank you, internet.

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Call me a misogynist if you will: I walked out of a GameStop video game store today because of the three employees working, 2 of them were females. I don't mind equal rights for the fairer sex. If those girls want to work in a shitty customer service job, that's fine by me. But they should stick to the jobs in their domain like cosmetics counters, flight attendance, or hooking. Leave the manly work of selling video games to the men who play them, ladies.

I am aware that the Entertainment Software Association claims that 40 percent of American video gamers are women. But are we really going to believe the trade association for the video game industry? They also say that the average gamer is 34 years old and has been playing video games for 12 years. I'm 34 years old and have been playing video games since I was 7! So that proves that their data is faulty. Besides, compared to the US government's claims that women account for greater than half of all Americans, 40% doesn't look like such a big number, does it?

Girls, you can keep your browser-based Bejeweled and Farmville and any other game that you can play with your 3-inch long press-on nails. And if you must have a PS3 to play your adorable Little Big Planet between trips to the mall, I'll not hold a grudge. Those aren't really games, anyway. Meanwhile, if you can stop talking on the phone long enough to remember to stay out of my GameStop, I'll promise to stay out of someplace you like to go. Like, say, hair salons. Or kitchens. Deal?

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Not too long ago, I stayed awake until practically daybreak running calculations on the statistics of Risk dice rolls. And because I'm such a great person, I'll share what I learned with you: Always roll as many dice as you can.

Rolling 3 attack dice versus 2 defense dice, the most dice that can be rolled in one attack, the defender will win at least one of the attacker's pieces nearly 73% of the time. (The defender will win both rolls almost 37% of the time to the attacker's 27%.)

In fact, the defender will win at least 1 piece at least 42% of the time, no matter how dice are rolled. The defender will win all of the pieces outright at least 32% of the time. That's almost a full 10% over the attacker in both cases.

If the attacker is worried about attacking and losing any pieces, his opponent must be able to defend with only one die. The attacker has at best a 27% chance of total victory if his opponent is defending with two dice, no matter how many dice the attacker employs. (If the attacker rolls 2 or more dice against his opponent's single die, he'll still win less than 58% of the time.)

So I'd recommend putting at least 2 armies on every territory you control, then play a game of slow and steady expansion, relying on defense rolls and card redemption.

Now, don't you feel smarter? I just feel tired.

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While doing some work in front of the television, I watched Match Game 75 on the Game Show Network. A little old lady played for two rounds wherein she gave some of the worst answers ever. Originally, I had planned to just list them here. Instead, I've embedded them in the following game simulation. The contestant got zero correct in the episode. See if you can't do better. (My apologies to Joyce Bulifant. I gave her the answers that the idiot contestant gave to make the game more playable. In this episode, for a change, Joyce gave reasonable answers.)

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Have you ever played the Milton Bradley board game Aggravation? Fundamentally, it's the same "race around a track game" as Parcheesi, Sorry! or Trouble, but without any of the fun associated with those other games. (Granted, Trouble's fun stems entirely from it's addictive Pop-O-Matic Bubble and television jingle. The bubble itself would always bounce the dice without actually turning them over, but chanting "Trouble, Trouble" somehow made it entertaining.) I had once sworn never to play Aggravation again, but I had forgotten why. Well, I played it and I remembered.

Fortunately, the game doesn't quite live up to its name, producing very little actual aggravation. Really, the game fails to summon any emotion at all. After playing it again for the first time in over a decade, my brother and I agreed that it is the least exciting board game ever. The only thing aggravating about it was that it was still in our game closet after all of these years. So I threw it away. Now, thanks to me, there is one less Aggravation in the world.

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After completely schooling me at NCAA Football 2006 on the PS2, my brother made the horrible mistake of trying to teach me to play his favorite card game, Cribbage. (Note, please, that my brother was playing the mighty Georgia Bulldogs, a team boasting two recent Heisman Trophy candidates and a National Championship, and he had given me the lowly Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a team that couldn't find its ass with three hands and a sliderule. In the first quarter, I tried 4 passes: 3 went to receivers that I DID NOT throw to -- seriously, pressing triangle and watching the ball sail to the R1 or circle receiver gets really, really old very, very fast. Apparently the computer decided that my pressing the triangle button only constituted a suggestion -- and were not caught. The 4th pass was intercepted. I did not attempt another pass until the 4th quarter, when I went an entire drive calling ONLY Hail Marys, 4 of 5 of which were completed, resulting in my only touchdown of the game. In a fit of pique, I ran my linebacker into the offensive line before every future attempted play, preventing my brother from ever running a play again because the game was not programmed to prevent me from repeating the gambit as a real referee would do by ejecting players or ultimately declaring my team forfeit. So, to summarize, NCAA Football 2006, like all the Madden games on which its physics and rules are based, sucks balls.)

Now where was I? Oh, yes. The so-called "game" of Cribbage.

Cribbage, it should be noted, was apparently the invention of a seventeenth century poet named Sir John Suckling. After making up a shitload of completely inane and nonsensical rules, he reportedly passed marked decks out to the English nobility and traveled the country ripping them off for a small fortune. Though at first hearing, that anecdote may seem ridiculously implausible, once you realize that only a truly foolish individual would appreciate a completely random game such as Cribbage, you will recognize the likelihood of such a misadventure.

In case you can't tell, I think Cribbage sucks. But what else should I expect as the offspring of a poet named Suckling?

If you've never played Cribbage, I can sum it up thusly:

  1. The Deal: The dealer deals everyone 6 cards and then everyone throws 2 of those 6 away.
  2. The Play: Take turns turning over the 4 cards that you kept. Every time you turn over a card, yell out a number and then score yourself anywhere between 0 and 12 points.
  3. The Show: Once you all have turned over all 4 of your cards, reveal how many ways you can combine the cards that you turned over plus the top card revealed from the remaining deck to total 15 points or just create some pattern that you find pleasing to your eye. Then give yourself anywhere between 0 and 29 points.
  4. The Crib: Now the dealer gets to look at all the cards that were thrown away and repeat step 3.

I'd like to say that there is some sense to the game, but there simply isn't. A player is rewarded for reaching an odd-numbered 15 points or having pairs which can never add to an odd number. Triples are scored as multiple pairs but runs of cards are scored by the number of cards in a run, thereby rewarding a player holding a three-of-a-kind but comparatively punishing a player for having a much rarer Royal Flush. Playing a run is worth more points than having a run in your hand. You get a point for playing a card that prevents other people from playing, unless the added total of the cards played equals 31, in which case you get 2 points instead. Rhyme? Reason? No, not with Cribbage.

When my brother revealed a Jack of Clubs and with a chuckle said, "I get a point because this card is the same suit as the card that is on top of the deck," I was done playing.

There is a Star Trek episode titled "A Piece of the Action" in which Kirk tries to trick aliens who look and act like Al Capone's gang by luring them into a card game called Fizzbin. As one of my favorite episodes, I've seen Fizzbin played many, many times. Since Kirk's rules for Fizzbin change based on times of the day or days of the week, I always chuckled at the gullibility of the gangster trying to learn the game. Now the poor gangster seems that much more the sap to me; Fizzbin probably sounded like a likely game to him because he was probably a Cribbage player.

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This morning on The Price is Right, the bidders on Contestants' Row were given the opportunity to bid on a "computer" with keyboard and mouse. The Price is Right has been on the air for a continuous 35 years, and I think it's really showing its age when it is a "computer" up for bid. If it were a dishwasher or chest of drawers, the manufacturer of the product would be displayed in big letters and would be announced at the top of Rich Fields' voice when the product is revealed. But when the product up for bid is a high-tech device such as a "computer," the make and model are information that is useless to the common TPiR viewer and is therefore conveniently ignored. To no one's surprise, a young man in a rock band from California won with a bid of $1650. Everyone else went over. Actual retail price? $1699.

The computer happened to be an Apple Mac Mini with JBL Creature II red speakers, a 20" flat-panel monitor, and wireless mouse and keyboard. I'd tell you what the available memory and hard drive size were, but it's hard to tell when the only information that you get is a picture of the case.

$1699? On apple.com, the build that gets me closest to the TPiR "computer" includes a 1.66 MHz processor, only 512MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive. From scratch, I can build a much faster PC for the same price. Dell can provide a better PC for even cheaper than I can from parts. Of course, my PC wouldn't come in a cute little white plastic shoe box and my mouse will have more buttons and will therefore be useful, but I think I'm willing to sacrifice aesthetics for actual functionability. Then again, I'm actually interested in doing good work with my computer, not just having a pretty, expensive paperweight on my desk.

Oh, yeah: Macs suck.

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This past weekend, my brother and I were attacked by a spontaneously exploding tempered glass bathroom door that we were planning to install. (I blame witchcraft, I do!) My mother insisted that my brother go to the hospital to get stiches for his sliced hand. To cheer him up, I bought us Clue!, one of the very few "classic" board games that we didn't already own.

I had only played Clue! a few times, and I had certainly never won. Ever. So I was determined to win at least once. My mother, my brother, and my brother's girlfriend agreed to play with me. They were pretty good sports about it, too.

In the end, I made them play game after game for over 5 straight hours, until at last I won a game. I'm pretty sure that they let me win, especially since at one point my mother accused Col. Mustard of committing the murder in the Study with the Revolver when she was later revealed to have the Study in her own hand. But who cares how I won? I won! That's the important part. And everyone else was a loser! Ha! Take that, losers!

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Finally, I put content on the Bio pages. It took 3 versions of this site, but now my adoring public will have some scant knowledge about the evil genius behind this site. Not that they really care. (Rule #1: no one cares about your site.)

On a much more interesting note, I just sold a set of Crossbows and Catapults on eBay for $100.00. As much as I'm going to miss those l'il plastic vikings, the cash sure helps to cushion the blow. A lot.

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Ok, well, an update is in order. Knights of the Old Republic: Great. Heroclix: Great. City of Heroes: Great.
Now consider yourself updated.

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To be continued...

 

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