Machinima News

Top Ten Feel Good Games on PC

posted Apr 7, 2014, 12:16 PM by oneclipleft .

Tired of the BS top ten lists clogging the internet? Sick of having each entry on a separate webpage? Fear not! Here is a top ten list you can read all at once! Following my previous top ten list from Halloween 2013, and in the spirit of Spring, here are my personal Top Ten Feel Good PC Games of all time! Remember, I only include games I’ve actually played, so if you’re missing your favorite game then I either didn’t like it enough or haven’t played it. Now, on with the list:

10. Sonic Generations
Released: 2011
Developer: Devil’s Details
This choice might cause some controversy, but I really enjoyed Sonic Generations (until it stopped recognizing my Logitech controller and now demands an Xbox 360 controller, which really pissed me off). Bringing together the new, slightly-annoying Sonic with the older, gloriously silent original Sonic was a great way to stay modern while still delivering the classic 2D gameplay. Add into that a strange story about the world being whitewashed, and Sonic having to restore normalcy and color to the world, and you have a recipe for some great feel-good moments. This works to great effect when Sonic rescues one of his friends, and even when restoring some of the levels and worlds back to their former luster. If you want a new Sonic, but either hate the 3D sections or the 2D sections, this game has half of each and might be worth your while.

9. Botanicula
Released: 2012
Developer: Amanita Design
In a world full of dark, gritty, gore-infested murder games, Botanicula stands strong and positive like Gandhi against the British Empire. Players control a handful of unidentifiable bugs or animals that must save their tree-habitat from being destroyed by evil looking spider creatures who are infecting everything. There is no intelligible dialog, but each one of these creatures is filled with personality and goofiness. While many of the game’s puzzles might frustrate the average player, the overall tone of the game will keep most players feeling warm and cuddly. Definitely worth checking out when you’re feeling low.

8. Knights of Pen and Paper +1
Released: 2013
Developer: Behold Studios
Knights of Pen and Paper +1 is an RPG spoof that isn’t afraid to be genre aware, self-aware, industry aware, and even just plain brave enough to break the fourth wall now and then. The game itself can be way too easy at times, so most of the enjoyment comes from the game’s witty and convoluted narrative and unique characters. You play as a few good friends who sit down to play some D&D clone. That’s right, it’s a game inside of a game, which makes for some great meta moments. About halfway through, the gameworld your characters are playing in starts leaking into their real world, and things get really crazy. The game isn’t too deep in terms of mechanics or locations or quests, but the dialog and characters are entertaining enough to keep the game flowing along. Expect to smile and chuckle a lot when playing this one.

7. Sam & Max (All Seasons)
Released: 2006 - 2010
Developer: Telltale Games
Sam & Max is a hard IP to describe, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you’ve never read any of the comics, seen the cartoon show, or played any of the games, then you should probably remedy that as soon as possible. Sam the Dog and Max the Rabbit-Thing, private investigators, are at their comedic finest during their episodic, classic point-and-click adventure game series. The highlight of these episodic games clearly lies in the ridiculous characters and dialog, as well as the hilarious and unbelievable plots. The low points of these games often comes in the puzzle solving sections, as these titles sometimes fall prey to completely non-intuitive puzzles. However, if you can deal with a little extra clicking to get your laughs, then Sam & Max are ready to deliver quality goods.

6. The Stanley Parable
Released: (2013)
Developer: Galactic Café
While I never played the mod back when it was released (although I knew of it), I’m almost glad I waited for the full release (which I had no idea was being made). This was one of my more appreciated purchases last year, and while the game may be extremely short with little to no replay value, the core experience is unquestionably worth the price. There are few games that will successfully mess with your head as effortlessly and effectively as The Stanley Parable. This is what happens when you pair a seemingly simple idea with many, many insane ideas.

Never before in a game have I ever interacted with a janitor’s closet for close to 15 minutes while laughing my ass off the entire time. Never before in a game have I thought “what if I did this?” and have it pay off in ways I never expected so many times. Never before have I played a game with a narrator that I hoped would never shut up. I can’t explain this title. You just have to experience the madness for yourself. Had this game been longer or had more replay value, then it would have easily been in the top 5. Instead, it has to settle for 6th place.

5. Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness (1 and 2)
Released: 2008
Developer: Hothead Games
Many people may prefer Zeboyd Games’ retro takes with Episodes 3 and 4, but for me, PA:OtRSPoD Eps 1 and 2 are where the magic is. Woefully overlooked by many gamers, the first two episodes of this series are comical and enjoyable, if not a little short. These games bear a striking resemblance to the #1 game on this list, but their brevity and repetitiveness prevent them from rising any higher than #5 for me. Still, if you’re a fan of Penny Arcade’s near monopoly on gaming comedy, then you’ll definitely enjoy these two titles.

Players create their own character and are immediately thrust into high adventure with two of the most beloved webcomic characters of all time, Tycho and Gabe. The comedy is nearly flawless the entire way through, and I found myself becoming immersed with the game’s goofy world and characters. While there are some sections that feel tedious (fetch quests mostly), the games overall hold together wonderfully and provide tons of laughs along the way.

4. The Bard’s Tale
Released: 2004
Developer: InXile Entertainment
Originally released for PS2 and Xbox, this spoof of fantasy RPG dungeon crawlers is one of the funniest and most self-aware games I’ve ever encountered. Players take control of The Bard, a sarcastic, selfish womanizer, in the hopes of rescuing a fair damsel in distress. This quest takes him to many unique locations packed with hilarity (especially the drinking song sections). Although not connected to the original Bard’s Tale game from 1985 or its sequels, this game definitely stands on its own as an action-packed laugh-fest from beginning to end.

The story is intentionally cliché, as are the locations and characters, and they all work to wonderful effect, creating a world that is 90% overused fantasy and 10% modern humor (or maybe more like 60/40). There is a twist in the storyline toward the end which is nice, and also manages to play itself for laughs. This is another title I haven’t played in a few years, but I can’t remember many low points. The only criticism I can offer is that sometimes the combat can drag on a bit, but there’s plenty of interesting abilities, weapons, and bard songs to keep things flowing. The Bard’s Tale definitely earns its spot at number 4.

3. Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Released: 1999
Developer: Ubisoft
Originally a Playstation 1 game, Rayman 2 greatly improved upon the already winning formula of its predecessor. With a cast of lovable characters, awesome art and level design, and nearly flawless controls (with a few minor exceptions toward the end), Rayman 2: The Great Escape would’ve been an awesome game no matter what it was about. Add to that a thoroughly enjoyable story and the fact that there is literally no comprehensible dialog in the entire game, this gem shines even brighter. It even holds up today, although I haven’t played it in a few years.

The story, while simple, is told so well that running around destroying robot pirates in pursuit of Admiral Razorbeard is a true exercise in joy. Rayman somehow manages to be cute and tough at the same time, with his faithful pal Globox serving as sidekick. Clearly the best linear 3D platformer of all time (beating out classics like Crash Bandicoot and even Donkey Kong Country for me), I encourage everyone to appease their inner child by finding a copy of this game and enjoying the hell out of it.

2. Psychonauts
Released: 2005
Developer: Double Fine Productions
If a game as hilariously awesome as Psychonauts is a developer’s very first game, and especially when the amazing Tim Schaefer is at the helm, then it deserves all the recognition it can get. A quirky romp through pseudo-psychology and summer camp, Psychonauts clocks in at number 2 for its endearing characters, hilarious storyline, and insane level design. The only complaint I can even imagine would be leveled at the game’s less-than-perfect controls. However, at least one of the game’s levels are so mind-bending that even perfect controls wouldn’t have helped much (but this is a good thing in this case).

Floating above the rest, often literally, the main character Raz (voiced by none other than Richard Horvitz of Invader Zim and The Angry Beavers glory) gives Psychonauts much of its attitude and enjoyment as he runs, jumps, floats, and zaps his way to victory. Supporting characters are equally enjoyable, and jumping into their minds to help save the day is always a unique experience. Even the item collecting quests and challenges are fun, which says a lot since I usually hate such things. All in all, Psychonauts is one of the greatest 3D platformers of all time, and definitely leaves me feeling upbeat and refreshed.

1. South Park: The Stick of Truth™
Released: 2014
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment/South Park Digital Studios
I’ve logged about 15 hours into this one, and although I haven’t finished it yet, I’m supremely confident placing SP:TSoT™ in the number 1 slot. It’s like being a part of an extremely long and well-paced episode of the titular show, which is something I’ve been waiting for since South Park premiered way back in 1997 (a very good year for entertainment, I must say).

This game makes great use of South Park’s many characters and locations. Add to that an engaging combat system, extensive equipment lists and customizations, stellar voice acting, and hilarious comedy and it’s small wonder that this game tops this list. Just to name a few of the inventive things you can do in this game, you can: throw your own (or others’) feces at your enemies to gross them out, hot-swap allies in combat, roshambo your enemies into submission, and beat the ever-loving shit out of characters such as Al Gore and even Eric Cartman himself.

Games that tickle your insides like this only come around once in a great while, and despite the game’s somewhat less than impressive length, playing around in 17 years of South Park history still makes me grin from ear to ear every time.

Honorable Mentions
Gone Home
King’s Quest 6
Poker Night at the Inventory (1 and 2)
Quantum Conundrum
Rogue Legacy
To the Moon

RTA Voice Acting Commences!

posted Mar 16, 2014, 4:50 PM by oneclipleft .

Today I have completed all the voice acting for the rest of RTA Season 3! The voices are a little different than they used to be (3 years of not doing the voices takes its toll, who knew?), but I think these episodes are up to par for sure. I'm excited to finally bring RTA back to the internet! I'm editing the voice acting right now, and have completed all edits for episode 29. As you may have guessed, I'm ensuring that EVERY remaining episode in Season 3 is COMPLETELY COMPLETE before anything is released. That way, I won't have the opportunity to skimp out on production, and every episode will come out practically back-to-back.

I briefly considered switching to Morroblivion for the remaining episodes, but I feel that might be too big a change in the middle of a season. I'm keeping that idea on the back-burner for now, but I'll probably have RTA show up in Oblivion graphics eventually. Anyway, I'm getting back to work so we can finally see this story arc to the end!


Delays in Production

posted Feb 10, 2014, 9:08 PM by oneclipleft .

Yet another RTA anniversary passes me by! This is the sixth year the show has existed, and I haven't released a single episode in over 3 of those years. Unfortunately, even though all scripts are complete, I have not yet had the opportunity to record voice work for the final episodes of Reynaldo The Assassin Season 3. There's a lot of weird shit going on in my personal life at the moment, nothing too serious, but it's very time consuming. However, it's still definitely on the plate. Keep the hope alive! IT WILL BE FINISHED EVENTUALLY! Now, back to boring life business (for now).

All RTA Scripts Complete

posted Jan 20, 2014, 1:38 PM by oneclipleft .

Well, I've finished the rest of the RTA scripts for Season 3! Unfortunately, I've been having a hard time finding an opportunity to do the voice acting due to noise and lack of free time. However, once I get the voice acting complete, all I will need is free time, so that helps. The remaining 6 episodes to wrap up the story clocks in at about 6800 words, so it's been quite a project. Adding in the first three episodes and the Season 3 special, the word count will likely be over 10,000. I hope I can get this project complete in a timely manner now that I have begun working on it again, and hopefully everyone will enjoy the results after this long wait.

Confessions of A Bad Director Released!

posted Jan 10, 2014, 2:59 PM by oneclipleft .

Hi all, I have an exciting update today. About 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my friends from Youtube, Dulvluspa, in real life! An aspiring filmmaker, this guy has completed some amazing and complex film projects at a young age. When we met in Orlando, FL, we shot some footage for a kooky idea called "Confessions of A Bad Director," a reality-TV style show centered on fictional versions of ourselves. I would play the hapless director who desperately needs advice from Dulvluspa, who plays the rich filmmaker who is trying to decide whether to help me out or not. Well, it's been a long project, but it is finally complete and released! I'm very proud of how this turned out, and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to work on this with some great people. Dulvluspa handled nearly everything after we shot the initial footage, and the resulting video definitely showcases his style and narrative skill. Check it out!

Confessions of A Bad Director

OCL’s Two Cents: Zombies Need to Die For Good

posted Jan 5, 2014, 4:37 PM by oneclipleft .   [ updated Jan 5, 2014, 4:41 PM ]

Well, at least for awhile. A long, long while. Zombies have been going strong in gaming for a long time now (probably since Half-Life’s original batch of zombie mods), but the sheer volume of zombie flavored games currently swirling around might stagger even the most stalwart survivalist. From just a quick glance on Steam’s front page, I discovered 12 games featuring zombies to some extent. Here’s the list of titles in the order in which I found them:
  1. 7 Days To Die
  2. The Walking Dead Season 1 and 2
  3. DayZ
  4. Project Zomboid
  5. Nether
  6. Zombie Tycoon II
  7. Dead Sky
  8. Wasteland 2
  9. State of Decay
  10. Killing Floor
  11. Dying Light
  12. Ray’s The Dead
Don’t get me wrong, some of these are great games (The Walking Dead anyone?), and some of these are goofy or even spoofy, but after awhile these titles just start to bleed together. Take DayZ for instance. Is this a continuation of the mod Day-Z? Is there any connection to the book or the movie World War Z? Ignoring the fact that they’re selling something that won’t be released for over a year, the mere concept of another DayZ, regardless of spelling/punctuation, is simultaneously confusing and unmemorable. Here’s the description for the game (keep in mind, I’m not knocking the game. It might be awesome. I’m just knocking the tired subject matter):

“Welcome to the world of DayZ, hit by a new and presently unknown infection which has wiped out most of the world's population. You are one of the few that have survived and now you must search this new wasteland in order to fight for your life against what is left of the indigenous population now infected with the disease. Go solo, team up with friends or take on the world, as you choose your path in this brutal and chilling landscape using whatever means you stumble upon to survive.”

Replace “DayZ” with nearly any other multiplayer survivalist game featuring the increasingly vague threat “the infected” and nothing will change (Dead Island immediately comes to mind at least). Hell, if you remove the multiplayer survivalist angle, this might fit the description of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. The first thing that bugs me is how there is a big ol’ capital “Z” in the title, but no mention of the word “zombie” anywhere on the Steam page. Why even call it DayZ then? Why not just call it Day of The Infected or DayV for Virus? The description doesn’t just avoid the cliché word “zombie,” though. They actually go to great lengths to make this tired overworked idea sound fresh.

I particularly enjoy how they emphasize that whatever infection this game features is “new and presently unknown.” Right. Like the zombie virus is a fresh concept from some visionary horror genius. I also enjoy “you are one of the few that have survived.” No shit? I get to play one of the survivors? Then they mention new again with “new wasteland.” Will it really be different from any other zombie wasteland ever envisioned? Not likely. But they have to keep pressing words like “new” and “unknown” in order to keep this game summary even remotely engaging. It’s the illusion of the new thing, but definitely not a new thing in itself.

Now, I’m not saying that every game needs to be experimental and interesting like Overgrowth, The Novelist, or two of my recent favorites, The Swapper and Shelter. Those types of games have their place just like tired, overused survivalist post-apocalyptic zombie shooters do. And I’m definitely not saying that we need more games like Professional Farmer 2014 or Woodcutter 2013 (yes, someone made these games exist for some reason). I’m just saying we as a gaming culture should move on to the next big obsession already. Zombies are over. Decapitate and set aflame already. Well, that's my two cents at least. Peace!

Only 2 RTA Scripts Left!

posted Jan 4, 2014, 7:46 PM by oneclipleft .

I only have 2 more RTA scripts left to write, and Season 3 will be completely written (so no more Season 2 type endings)! The story is shaping up pretty well, although it has been a great challenge writing for so many characters. That's one reason why the episodes in Season 3 are roughly twice as long as the first two seasons. I have the RTA mod all set up and ready to go, more or less. So, after I finish the last script I will be doing all the voice acting at once, then I'll be getting characters placed and ready to film. Since it's been over 3 years since the last episode came out (wow, I suck!), I will be releasing all of the remaining episodes back to back once they're all complete. I'm going to crack down on this, so I hope it won't take too much longer to finish everything. What comes after that? I don't know yet, but whatever it is I'll try to make it as awesome as possible! I can say one thing, RTA will not die with the end of Season 3!

RTA Script Writing and Other Things

posted Dec 10, 2013, 9:38 AM by oneclipleft .

Well, I'm back to finishing the RTA scripts! Like I said once a long time ago, I want to have every script finished before continuing Season 3 in order to avoid another weird ending like Season 2 had. I already have the idea in my head, and I'm trying to add enough foreshadowing so that it'll be satisfying when we get there. Just as a refresher for us all, here's a layout of the major characters:

Reynaldo: We should know this guy by now, his name is the freakin' title of the show! Reynaldo is ostensibly 18 or 19 years old (it's unclear how long the timeline takes), but he's bald and looks about 40. This is what having Caius Cosades for a father will do to your looks, apparently. After completing the nearly pointless quest of reclaiming his father's missing Assassin's armor, he helped the Ninja's Guild retain their name by fighting a bunch of robots? He also befriend Captain Pirate, the Pirate Captain and Lil' Rey along the way, among a bunch of other insane characters from Season 1. Now, he's gotten himself into the Hero's Guild, much to Lil' Rey's chagrin.

Lil' Rey: Ah, the lesser demonoid of the subtype Scampus. He is probably the reason why people continue to watch RTA at all. He's Reynaldo's total opposite in almost every way. A short, foul-mouthed, angry, and pessimistic Summoned Demon, he's made the Demon Realm his home for like 10,000 years or so (his age is unclear). He becomes bound to Reynaldo forever when Reynaldo summons him in Episode 4 of Season 1. He possesses Ancient Demon Magic which makes him get kinda bigger than normal? It's not clear if Ancient Demon Magic confers any other benefits, and probably doesn't help Lil' Rey fight any better. He's the Hero's Guild's 2nd newest member after Reynaldo, although he wasn't too pleased about that development, being generally non-heroic most of the time and all.

Strong Man, Intelligent Man, Fast Man, and Sensitive Man: Our Heroes! Adapted from a canceled series, Heroes of Oblivion, these characters form the core of the Hero's Guild. They go on noble quests by the bidding of the Guildmaster, and strive to be righteous and awesome at all times. They each possess double the amount of their eponymous qualities, although the reason for this has not yet been revealed. They are inextricably involved with the evil Doctor who has caused eternal night to fall on the land, but they don't yet know why or how. Their quest, and by extension Reynaldo's quest, is to bring light back to the land and defeat the evil Doctor who seems to be taunting them. They have also recently recovered the Ancient, Sacred, Blood Amulet of the Sea.

The Evil Doctor and Harry: Although we don't yet know much about this evil Doctor, we do know that he is a Doctor, and he is evil (not to be confused with Dr. Evil, mind you). His name will be revealed in the very next episode, which is delightfully stupid, and eventually his motivations for antagonizing the Heroes will eventually become clear. Right now, he has caused darkness to fall over all the land forever, which is pretty inconvenient as it turns out. But! The darkness itself is not the Doctor's main goal, of course. That would be too easy due to his Magic Technology Machine. What does this evil Doctor have up his sleeve? Don't worry, it's not a bunch of robots this time XD

Durzog: This is a terrifying creature summoned accidentally by Reynaldo, who thinks it is some kind of illusion. Of course, Durzog is no illusion, as our Heroes have encountered him once already. According to Intelligent Man, Durzog is abnormally large for his species and is wandering quite far from his natural habitat. Of course, Reynaldo and Lil' Rey aren't going to admit they summoned this powerful beast, so what will happen? No one knows yet, but you can expect Durzog to show up again before Season 3 is finished. He might even play a pivotal role in the plot!

As I've mentioned cryptically once before, SOMEONE WILL DIE this season. It won't be Lil' Rey, I already pulled that one on you guys, haha! We might even get a few appearances from past characters as well! I know at least one kneecap-biting rodent will make a cameo, as well as one rapid-talking salesman! Will the fabled Janet finally make her appearance, too? I'm not sure! But things are definitely coming together, albeit a little slowly. But steady progress is being made. I have all the characters recreated in the Morrowind CS. I just have to place them in the world, film, record dialog, edit, and render! And, thanks again to Teechan, I might even incorporate lip syncing! We will see how it goes.

Last thing, and I want some opinions on this. Should I release each episode weekly like I used to? Or should I just wait and release them all at once when they're done? I'm definitely going to have all remaining episodes complete before releasing the next one, but I thought maybe to make up for the huuuuuge haitus I could release them all at once instead of making people wait even longer for each one to come out. Let me know! Peace!

OCL Featured Game - Bloom: Memories

posted Nov 29, 2013, 3:14 PM by oneclipleft .   [ updated Nov 29, 2013, 3:17 PM ]

Today I ran across a Kickstarter project that really piqued my interest. Bloom: Memories seems to be one of those action-adventure RPGs (a la Diablo and Torchlight), albeit with a slightly different focus than most gamers might expect from the genre. In Bloom: Memories, combat and killing are not the only ways to progress. From the short trailer, there seems to be stealth elements and cooperation with other NPCs included as options for advancing the story. Combine these new game mechanics (new to the action-adventure RPG genre at least) with lush, colorful, and quite frankly beautiful backgrounds and landscapes (see screenshots on the right), and Studio Fawn just might have a recipe for success.

Pledging $10 will get you a digital copy of the game, so there's no reason not to back the project now. Besides, there's only 10 days left in the campaign! Studio Fawn still needs about $5500 to meet their crowdfunding goal, and I cashed in at the $99.00 tier (because plushies are awesome). At this level, I get an extra copy to give away, so I'll probably do some kind of contest like I did with the logo awhile back. Fun for everyone!

Anyway, this is only the second Kickstarter project I've ever funded, the first one being the Dick Figures movie (which was awesome, by the way) over a year ago. I usually miss the funding time-limit for some reason like I did with the Torment: Tides of Numenera one, so I was glad to be able to catch this project while it's still being funded. Go contribute to the creative development of a genre! Also, vote for it on Steam Greenlight while you're at it!

Nice view!
Go toward the light!
That is one big face.

Morrowind Graphics Extender

posted Nov 23, 2013, 6:13 PM by oneclipleft .   [ updated Nov 23, 2013, 6:13 PM ]

Oh yes, I have re-setup the MGE and all. Distant land is working wonderfully (check out the image to the right). Why yes, that is Vivec that you can see from Balmora. Frame-rates are staying high and consistent so far, but I'll have to see how FRAPS changes things. Right now, I have Distant Land setup to show 20 cells away, which is quite a lot, but the fog is set to start after only 2 cells, so that helps. Anyway, hopefully now the CS won't crash every other day like it was when I was using the Morrowind Graphics Overhaul 3.0 for Steam mod. I'M GOIN' OLD SCHOOL ON THIS.

From Balmora to Vivec!

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