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Mr. Brow

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About Mr. Brow

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    Space Invader

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    Maryland, USA

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  1. Oh yeah, I remember that. Those things could hurt!
  2. It does seem like a game that depends a lot on the interface for its appeal. Even the basic concept of commanding missiles seems tailored to an arcade cabinet. A handheld game controller hardly feels like a military control panel.
  3. I just posted a review of the original arcade game. Thanks for everyone's comments so far. Concerning my own history with the game, count me as another one that grew up with the Atari 2600 version. I wouldn't say it was a favorite, but I did enjoy it -- the concept was especially memorable. Now that I've spent a lot of time with the arcade version, I do think it's considerably better, but still leaves me wanting a bit. I'm thinking I might try Super Missile Attack, anyone played much of that version?
  4. Thanks for pointing that out, should be fixed now.
  5. Yeah, it looks like the controls are crucial here. I started playing with a joystick and that did not go well. I eventually moved onto mouse controls, but it's just a touchpad and I suspect I would do much better with a trackball or standalone mouse. I bet we have one in storage somewhere, I'll have to do some digging...
  6. I just did another measurement and I think you're right, that's a mistake. I'll amend the article. Thanks!
  7. After picking apart Asteroids, I thought it would be fun to move on to another arcade classic, Missile Command. This game always struck me as brutally difficult, so I was curious to study its mechanics in detail to see exactly what made it so. My detailed breakdown is here: Missile Command Deep Dive Are there any masters of the game here? What the furthest you've been able to get?
  8. I'm not very enthusiastic for sports games either, they have a tendency to feel mechanical and unimaginative. There are plenty I have played and enjoyed over the years, but few that have left much of a lasting impression. Real sports, however, are a remarkable thing. Aside from stretching the human machine to its limits, the games themselves are ripe for detailed analysis, not to mention emergent to the extreme.
  9. Yeah, RPGs definitely require a lot of time investment, especially the big online ones. I had kind of the opposite hangup for a long time. I was only interested in story-driven games like RPGs and graphic adventures, while the action games seemed pretty mindless. I don’t think that anymore — the best action games have as much nuance as rpg/adventures, it’s just of a different variety. I didn’t appreciate how much TLC goes into creating a game like Pacman.
  10. Most of my fondest gaming memories are firsts: the first time I played a text adventure, my first Robotron run, the first time I played an RPG that required by-hand mapping, just to name a few. Do you ever make an effort to try something totally different from what you’re used to, just because it’s different?
  11. Good point. It's certainly true that early gaming platforms were very restrictive in what they allowed developers to do. But that begs the question of how much you really need to make a great game. In the visual arts, minimalists have produced beautiful, thought-provoking things from the barest of materials. I think the same can be true in gaming and I think the best 2600 developers simply restricted themselves to making games that could be great on the platform they were developing on. In my opinion, Adventure did just that.
  12. I think this does a good job of getting at the root of our disagreement, and thank you again for your well thought out response. In my opinion, no art critic worth their salt should be using objective criteria to rate things. That's putting the cart before the horse. Instead, I think things like character development and coherence should be coming up in the post-analysis, and can help explain why we were so immersed by a particular novel or game. But ultimately, the judgement should be entirely subjective. So to clarify my previous post, I don't mean that we should learn to use different objective criteria in our opinions so that we can match college professors or the New York Times. When I say that we shouldn't be quick to dismiss acclaimed works that we don't like, I genuinely mean that our subjective experience of it can change with exposure and experience. I have found this to be the case in every artistic medium I've explored, and I don't see any reason to think video games are any different. Some of my best personal experiences with art of come from just revisiting something from a different point of view. Also, I'm not advocating high-brow over low-brow. I love Steve Reich and Citizen Kane, but I also love the Monkees and slasher films. The wonderful thing about the art world is how vast and varied it is, and the more you keep an open mind, the more it will give back.
  13. I very nearly agree with you. On some days maybe I would... such an engrossing game.
  14. Thanks for your thoughtful comments so far. I agree in one respect -- our judgement of art is necessarily subjective, and this should really be taken for granted in any discussion about it. However, I don't think that's equivalent to saying that everything boils down to taste. Our perception of a game or a book is a function of a complex set of factors, some of which involve taste, but many others of which involve experience, attention to detail, introspection, etc. When college professors declare Ulysses a masterpiece, they're usually basing it on years of experience with literature, poring over the nuances and considering its implications for their perception of the world. That doesn't mean you have to agree with them, but I don't think we should feel satisfied in judgements that come from inexperience and impatience. The more I've learned to listen to dissenting views on the things I like or dislike, the more richness I've found in the world.
  15. It’s interesting so many people are mentioning Space Invaders. My view of that game is very different.
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