The Half-Life 2 Files, Part 2: The Road to Ravenholm

HL2 DogNote: This series is a correspondence between fellow writer Anthony Taylor and myself about one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, Half-Life 2. In the first HL2 file, we talked about our history with Half-Life and the opening of Half-Life 2.

This week, we cover the levels Root Kanal through Ravenholm. Continue reading The Half-Life 2 Files, Part 2: The Road to Ravenholm

Chrono Cross Game Blog Part VII: 20th Time Is The Charm

Chrono Cross Viper ManorHaving just obtained the key to Viper Manor from Dipshit, the Dragon Keeper and World’s Worst Rent-A-Cop, Serge, Kid and Nikki are ready to explore the grounds and maybe, just maybe advance the plot an iota or two. Now, an iota is a unit of measurement rarely used in reference to story advancement, but it’s late and I would rather be playing Halo: Reach, so things might get a little trippy in this post. Continue reading Chrono Cross Game Blog Part VII: 20th Time Is The Charm

Chrono Cross Game Blog Part VI: The Stupidest Man Ever

Welcome back! When we last left off, I had just made the pivotal decision to go with Miki as my guide into Viper Manor, in order to figure out just what in the hell is going on around here. So, I thought it would be best if I actually tell Miki about my decision. She thanks me and tells me to head to the very originally named Shadow Forest to look for Nikki, the wayward rock star. I thought she was going to guide me! I feel betrayed and hurt. Is this what pain feels like? Continue reading Chrono Cross Game Blog Part VI: The Stupidest Man Ever

Chrono Cross Game Blog Part V: A Magician, A Dancer and A Frenchman Walk Into A Bar…

Welcome back! To refresh you, we are in Termina, searching for a way to break into nearby Viper Manor. We already met Guile, a Magus-reject in a bar and are now looking for other possible allies in our effort to penetrate (Insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here) the fortress-like mansion.

Heading left, we come to the Termina docks. We meet a human overseer…overseeing the work of demi-humans. Ah, slave labor exists in Another World. How quaint. Seems this is a prerequisite for most fantasy/sci-fi. There are signs everywhere for a festival coming up and I climb aboard a wooden ship docked nearby. Apparently, Miki and Nikki, two popular musicians, are going to give a concert on the ship. But Nikki is, you guessed it, missing! Miki has been searching for him, but to no avail as he disappeared into the Shadow Forest. How foreboding! Continue reading Chrono Cross Game Blog Part V: A Magician, A Dancer and A Frenchman Walk Into A Bar…

Chrono Cross Game Blog Part IV: The First Disappointment Is The Worst Disappointment

Welcome back! When we last left our heroes, they were heading to Termina, the largest city on the El Nido archipelago. But to get there will require a brief journey through Fossil Valley, a place that sounds like a track from Mario Kart.

Turns out there are some soldiers who are excavating the area and apparently are in need of an exorcist? A few lies later and I am past the guards, who clearly have no idea what an exorcist looks like. PROTIP: They’re usually wearing a white collar and carry a crucifix. It seems there is a spooky howling noise and the soldiers want me, the alleged exorcist, to make it stop. Personally, it sounds like the wind to me, but maybe that is due to the limitations of the PS1’s sound card.

Walking up to a very large fossil of a dragon, when a skull bounces up to greet me. Suddenly, I wish I had done more drugs in my youth.The skull claims that he can tell Serge is dead, which is partially true, at least in this world. He wants me to help him find the rest of his body. Sounds like Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest but with slightly better graphics. How do I know this guy is on the up and up? Answer: I don’t, but what the hell else am I going to do right? It’s not like I’m stuck in a parallel dimension or anything, far away from home and my loved ones. So now I have a HEAVY SKULL. Jealous, much?
Continue reading Chrono Cross Game Blog Part IV: The First Disappointment Is The Worst Disappointment

Chrono Cross Game Blog Part III: Revelations, Puns and Mojo

Okay, back for another blog post! OMG. The music is back. Must…resist…tranquil beauty…of song…

Whew. Made it back to Lizard Rock, which, if you recall correctly, is where we nabbed those Komodo Dragon Scales for Leena, AKA Spiteful Bitch. Sorry, still bitter. Allegedly, the enemies here are supposed to be tougher because we are in an alternate world, but not for me and my uber-party of Serge and…Poshul. *Shudder*

So we arrive back at Arni village, but no one seems to recognize Serge! What can this mean? Is he in Hell? Purgatory? Did he fly on Oceanic Airlines? Is Poshul really Hurley? How do I know so much about Lost and only have watched it once? Most of the people in Arni are the same, but there are some differences, like the tavern is now a flower shop. I wonder if Aeris works here? There is still a group of thieves calling themselves the Radical Dreamers causing some havoc in Termina, so some things are the same in both worlds.

A visit to Serge’s house shows that things are quite different here. The house is empty and Serge’s room is a junk room. Hmm. Mystery! As I exit, some guy who claims to live there tells me to get out. About time! I’ve always wondered how RPGs let people get away with walking into stranger’s homes and ransacking the pots and family treasure chests. Just seems kind of klepto-ish to me. Anyways, this dude says he has lived here for 5 years, which freaks even Poshul out. Trust me, a freaked out Poshul is not something you want to experience sober. Continue reading Chrono Cross Game Blog Part III: Revelations, Puns and Mojo

Chrono Cross Game Blog Part II: Pink Puppies and Rejection

Welcome back! We last left Serge as he was about to start murdering poor, defenseless Komodo Dragons in order to secure a piece of ass. What a great start for our heroic…uh…hero.

Before I head off to commit genocide, I run back into the local tavern to gather some info. Nothing too exciting going on, but I did find a Heckran Bone. Remember that pink dog? *Sigh* I guess I will go ahead and have him join my party. You know, for posterity. What follows is a transcript of exactly what Poshul says when you offer him the Heckran Bone: “Sergiepoo? A p-p-pretenth!? F-F-or I!?” Already, I am regretting this decision and wondering if I can somehow boot him from the team. The music that plays when the game tells you that Poshul has joined you is directly from Chrono Trigger, so I guess all is forgiven. Maybe these Square guys know what they’re doing after all.

I travel just a little bit south to Lizard Rock, a jungle/beach area that has not aged well in the last decade, thanks to decaying polygons. The enemies here are no match for my New Game +, so fret not, dear readers. The real challenge is sneaking up on the Komodo Dragon Pups. The little bastards see you coming a mile away and run off at the first sign of trouble. I’ve had a change of heart and decided they all need to die for this. I manage to trap one in a cave and it’s time to fight! A few quick hits later and that kick ass music from Chrono Trigger is playing again! That sure hits the sweet spot.

Okay, one scale down, two to go. The second one leads me on a merry chase, but fares no better than the first once I catch it. One more to go! This is a little too easy. I might be feeling guilty about this again…NOT! The third Pup goes down faster than Paris Hilton and my quest is complete.
Continue reading Chrono Cross Game Blog Part II: Pink Puppies and Rejection