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Games

Year In Review: 2011

[originally posted at Total PlayStation]

My 2011 tale is one filled with regret and shame. I’d love to regale you with a long list of magnificent titles like everyone else preceding me, but the sad fact is that I hardly beat any games last year. And the list of games I even bothered to play at all is not much longer. Sure, I was busy with work, writing, and other mandatory components of life, but I don’t want to make excuses.

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Games

Make Ultima 7 more readable with new fonts

These are instructions for replacing the fonts in Ultima VII: The Black Gate and Serpent Isle to make them more readable, especially to those of us not familiar with medieval typeface.

This guide works with the Good Old Games release of Ultima 7: The Complete Edition. I did not test other versions.

Disclaimer: I did not create these files. I found them on the Exult Discussion forum, and the project was apparently started by a fellow named Ken Kato and completed with help from other forum members. I’m simply rehosting these files for posterity and including cleaner instructions because poor instructions peeve me.

  1. Download files FONTS.ZIP and FONTS-SI.ZIP.
  2. Back up FONTS.VGA in each of the Ultima VII static directories. You know, in case you want to go back to the original fonts someday. Here are the locations of these directories in Windows 7 x64:
    • The Black Gate:
      C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\The Complete Ultima VII\Ultima7\STATIC
    • Serpent Isle:
      C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\The Complete Ultima VII\Serpent\STATIC
  3. Extract FONTS.VGA from FONTS.ZIP to The Black Gate‘s static directory.
    Extract FONTS.VGA from FONTS-SI.ZIP to Serpent Isle‘s static directory.

That’s it! See the results below.

Ultima 7 - Original fonts
Ultima 7 - Original fonts
Ultima 7 - New fonts
Ultima 7 - New fonts
Categories
Games

Payday: The Heist review: Four guys walk into a bank…

Payday: The Heist

[originally posted at Total PlayStation]

Who are you? Who do you want to be?

All video games are about role-playing. Not just RPGs, the eponymous genre that typically involves fantastic locales and lots of statistical exchanges. In every game you play a role. Maybe it’s a plumber in a mushroom kingdom, or a grizzled marine in outer space, or a psychopath in a cape and cowl. In any case, a large part of a game’s appeal can come from the role you inhabit and the locations and situations that role will experience.

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Games

Spider-Man: Edge of Time review: Dueling Spideys

Spider-Man: Edge of Time

[originally posted at Total PlayStation]

“Look, do you want a two-hour lecture on quantum physics?” a man named Miguel asks a man named Peter. What sane person would say yes to a question like that?

Spider-Man video games seem like a natural fit for the open world genre, with New York City and its towering skyline practically serving as a jungle gym for the swinging superhero. Some of his more successful video game endeavors have captured that sense of freedom. Spider-Man: Edge of Time eschews this structure for a more linear time-traveling narrative with two Spider-Men, which is down from the four featured in last year’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, also from Beenox.

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Games

Rochard review: Saddle up for adventure in space

Rochard

[originally posted at Total PlayStation]

The metaphor of outer space as the old western frontier is not a new concept – “space westerns” have been represented numerous times in many forms of media, and it’s not hard to see why. The emptiness of space makes for a fitting analog to the open prairies, and the rugged loner archetypes of the old west feel as natural in the cockpit of a spaceship as on the saddle of a horse. From its opening sequence, Rochard sets the tone immediately with a country blues tune, and it takes the metaphor one degree further with its main character, John Rochard (voiced by His Dukeness, Jon St. John), a good ol’ boy space miner filling the role of the lone cowboy. He’s down on his luck – what western hero isn’t? – and his company desperately needs a big find. Of course, he gets his break, but not without a whole mess of trouble.