Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Games

It's been a long time since I've done any video game writing here on the main blog. Now that I don't need daily content, I've been more...selective about what goes up here. That said, I have been doing a bit of game-centered writing recently that I thought I'd share.

I now have a separate Twitter account that I use specifically for game- and nerd-focused content (@Active_ate), and have been busy tweeting my progress through various old games, sometimes with self-imposed restrictions for extra challenge.

To give all this writing a home, I started another Blogger page ( and have been writing about my game variants over there. If you like math and bad jokes, you'll love what you read. Here's an extra-nerdy excerpt from a Final Fantasy 5 Solo Time Mage challenge run report:
Earlier in the Ship Graveyard dungeon, a well-hidden chest contains a new kind of weapon. The Flail has some very interesting qualities: it boasts a slightly higher Attack (16) than the Dagger (14), it deals equal damage from the back row, and it cuts the enemy defense to 25% of its original value.
What's the catch? The weapon is wildly random, both in Hit% and damage dealt. Here's the formula from the Algorithms Guide:  
Attack = (Weapon Attack/2) + (0..Weapon Attack) 
M = (Level*Strength)/128 + 2 
Defense = (Defense/4) 
ATTACK: 16                 HIT%: 70 
The above Attack formula means that, on any given attack command, the Attack value will be anywhere from 50%–150% of the listed weapon Attack. For the Flail, that means 8–24. The Multiplier (M) will usually be the same as that with the Knife (due to the bug), and the Defense/4 property boosts damage significantly. 
The Hit% of 70 means just what it says on the tin: this weapon will flat-out miss on three of every ten attacks—before calculating any enemy physical evasion, of which Siren thankfully has none. I like the narrative suggestion with this mage-only weapon: picture a frail robed wizard wildly and blindly swinging a spiked ball on a long chain with one hand while protecting his face and eyes with the other.
The Final Fantasy 5 Four Job Fiesta is fast approaching, and in honor of the most wonderful time of the (retro RPG enthusiast) year, I wrote an article about it for Laser Time, one of my favorite pop culture/video game podcast networks. I was proud to share this article with the Internet gaming community, and hope it will attract a few new players to the Fiesta this year.

I also started a new sports project with an old friend, Sticky Bleachers. We hope to one day build it into a multi-writer sports blog and podcast, but for now, it's a Twitter account and some unique video content. We kicked off the YouTube channel with a simulated NBA Finals series with NBA Live '96 for Sega Genesis (that's Sega Mega Drive for you European fans) with a current rosters rom patch. This means we can see LeBron James face off with Stephen Curry in a pixelated dream world – with commentary by my friend and Yours Truly.

I'm also continuing work on Five Suitcases – the book and the travel blog – so I'm keeping myself busy indoors as the days in Dublin grow longer and warmer.

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