Category Archives: demo

The Injustice Demo

My friend Ray and I got together to try out the new Zinburger in Cherry Hill, then came back to the house to chill and of course, sooner or later, the PS3 was turned on. I always cruise through the PlayStation Store before I do anything with the PS3, and lo and behold, there was a demo available for the new Injustice: Gods Among Us. If you think these two comic book nerds could resist trying it out, you’re fooling yourself…

Once it downloaded, we found ourselves with a two-player fight game that only allowed us the use of three characters (well, it is a demo) – Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor. Once we started playing this game, that Ray had initially heard bad off-putting things about, we were having a ball.

Once Ray started to actually pay attention to what controls did what actions, and I started getting into my button mashing groove, we started to not only have fun, but also really get the hang of the game. We really dug it, and I’m betting we’re both getting copies of the game the day it comes out. Yeah, it was that good.

The Lego Pirates

I love Lego. It was a toy I didn’t have as a child so I have always had a fascination with as an adult. And now that recently Lego has been putting out Lego versions of superheroes, I love them more. I really groove on having my own Lego versions of the Justice League and the Avengers.

That said, I think having special Batman, Avengers, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and all the other sets for Lego kinda takes some of the imagination play away from the kids. Especially when a set is supposed to be put together a certain way, rather than letting the kid built what he or she wants, ya know?

Soapbox time over. Lego also seems to be a major force in videogames. Heck, one of the first games I reviewed here was a Lego game. Folks seem to like using Lego-ized characters in videogames. This time we have Disney’s Pirate franchise in Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. The animatics in the opening of the game are recreations of many moments from the movies done Lego animation style. The game itself however is something else.

The demo I downloaded from the PlayStation Store wouldn’t let me free play until I completed the story mode. That was disappointing. And once I hit start, there were more movie recreations in Lego style. There was more TV watching here than actual game playing.

When finally I was allowed to play, there was more disappointment. Without an instruction manual (good luck finding one online, PS seems dead set against supplying instructions), I was at a loss as to what to do. I collected coins Mario style but then found it impossible to leave the room I started in. I suppose I’ll have to wait for one of my gaming guru friends to come over. At least I can play with my Lego Avengers until then…

Taking Inventory

With the addition of the PlayStation 2, I felt it was time to take inventory of exactly how far down the rabbit hole The Non-Gamer has fallen since this started. The first problems were that Ray also gave me PS2 games with the PS2, then I bought a few myself. Damn you, GameStop, for liquidating your PS2 games at buy-two-get-one-free.

Of course I started this blog after the purchase of a PS3. So far we haven’t purchased many PS3 games actually. I got one of the Ultimate Alliances because I really wanted to play it. I bought DC Universe Online as soon as I learned it was going to be free to play. The Bride bought Disney Universe and Sing It, and then there are all those games Ray lent us. There have been a few other games, but for the most part we have been downloading them.

The PlayStation Network provides an amazing, ever-changing selection of demos and trial versions of games. At last count, we had over eighty games in our system, including at least a dozen we have purchased. Pain is one of my favorites to this day. Whenever I open the PlayStation Network, I will end up playing it for at least a little while, good for a bit of stress relief.

Now even though I call myself The Non-Gamer, and this blog started with the purchase of the PlayStation 3, I do own other game systems. As I’ve mentioned I bought an Atari 2600 back in the 1980s. We have almost two of the old Atari game shelves full of the little cartridges

Once we got married, one of the big deal buys we made was an old Nintendo Entertainment System along with all the bells and whistles, not to mention about thirty different games. While I love stuff like the Mario games, there is always the problem of “turn waiting.”

We also have a Super Nintendo as well, but only two games for that, Justice League Task Force and Super Godzilla. Yeah, it was a Christmas gift, and was feeding two of my peculiar obsessions. It did not get much play as no instructions came with the game system, or either of the two games.

I haven’t even thought of the dozens of games on iPhone if they count.

Wow, I guess I’m not much of a Non-Gamer after all. Now, can someone please tell me how to turn off the PlayStation 2?

Flash Friendly Blob

Tales from Space: About a Blob, another one of my free downloads from the PlayStation Store is cartoony fun that doesn’t require much thinking or much imagination. In other words, it is just The Non-Gamer’s speed. And sometimes, after trying to play DCU Online, or heavens forbid, BioShock, that is exactly the kind of game you want.

The game borrows quite liberally from Monsters Vs. Aliens‘ B.O.B., more than it does from the original movie The Blob with Steve McQueen or any of its sequels and/or remakes. And that’s kind of cool, as I said, this is more cartoon than anything else.

You’re a blob, small b, and you absorb things, and you’re on the move in a laboratory (or a farm if you’re daring and want to try the ‘hard’ level). Honestly, I don’t know if there’s much more to it. Don’t get burned, and keep moving. Simple. Just like life.

About a Blob has a nice flash animation intro in the spirit of keep-it-simple-stupid, ya know. It’s easy to learn, lots of tips, all the stuff that for The Non-Gamer makes for a near perfect demo. Just my speed, I like it. The longer I played, the better I got. I had a good time. What more is there to say? Thumbs up.

Partially Fatal Inertia

Now I downloaded a lot of free demos for the PS3. Some because I knew the game, some because I thought they looked cool, and some because I thought I could write about them here in the blog. Fatal Inertia EX falls squarely in both the second and third categories. And apparently it’s not even really a PS3 game, as it is only available as a download. I’m not sure what that even really means bottom line, but it is an interesting point.

Stripped down to the basics, Fatal Inertia is just space motocross, so yeah, just a race game basically, but wow, what a race game. The graphics are startling and fun just to watch, as long as you’re not playing. The problem, at least for me, was, as usual, the controller. I needed lots of practice steering before I could master anything else like the racing part. It’s fun though, and I can see how this would be a blast for someone who had mastered the controls.

Once you know what you’re doing as far as the racing part goes, you can worry about other stuff like smashing into stuff, running out of gas, brakes overheating, or, say, even winning the races. It was very frustrating at first, but the more I played, the more excited I was about it. That said, I still can’t play, but I want to.

At higher levels it becomes a bit like the old “Speed Racer” cartoons where you can fight with the other racers as you race. Nice. It adds a whole new dimension to what I thought was just a race game. I just need one of my game gurus to come over and show me how to do this.

Trapped Like a Cat in a Box

Blade Kitten was one of the first free demos I downloaded from the PlayStation Store. Cool name, cool anime look, and it seemed like it would be fun. Somehow, I just never got around to trying it out. Once I did, I was very happy I downloaded it… until I got trapped.

First of all, Blade Kitten is something very different in the videogame world. It’s not based on an anime, or a comic book, or even an animated movie or TV series – it’s based on a webcomic. I was pleased and surprised too. The webcomic (and the game), coincidentally by game designer Steve Stamatiadis, follows the anime adventures of Kit Ballard, and half-cat, half-human bounty hunter, as she pursues her prey, troublemaker Terra-Li on the artificial planet called Hollow Wish.

I rushed into it blindly, with some tutorial help showing and telling what to do, but markedly, as usual, with zero instructions. I was actually doing well, taking names and kicking ass, and then I got cocky. I somehow made my way past a laser beam and into a box that I couldn’t get out of. So for an undetermined amount of time I mashed buttons, yelled at the screen, and listened to the catchy dance rock music until I gave up.

Maybe I’ll go back and try again, or play from the start and just avoid this part, but I think I will go back. I had fun. Or maybe I’ll have Crystal, or Jeff, or Ray get me past this part. Either way, this was a very good download. And if you want to know more about Blade Kitten in all its various forms, the official website is here.

Somebody’s Been Watching Way Too Much Tim Burton…

Just the introduction of Scarygirl made me want to run out of the mall Hot Topic I was trapped in and throw up whatever hallucinogenic drug I had accidentally swallowed. Then I realized I was neither at the mall nor at a Tim Burton movie marathon. I was in my living room with the downloaded demo of Scarygirl. Sigh. At least I can delete it when I’m done writing about it, or at least that’s how I felt before playing it.

Scarygirl is based on the gothic graphic novel by Nathan Jurevicius and can probably be found at Hot Topic more often than your local comics shop. No offense meant, but it is 2012, and this whole Goth thing was over some time ago, like probably about the time “South Park” got wind of it. If you’re still Goth now, you’re either a vampire, living in the past, or really really committed – or all three. Again, no offense, The Bride leans that way sometimes, and I still love her.

Scarygirl is the story of a Goth chick who looks like a Tim Burton ragdoll and meets a friendly octopus who’s kind of obsessed with her. There are bunnies and owls and all manner of oddities along her way, but Scarygirl is a Goth chick with a mission, and that mission is to find out what’s what with a nightmare she keeps having. I think. I kinda dozed off.

Now all that said, gameplay is something else altogether. It’s still looks like Tim Burton threw up all over the screen, and the images are a bit disturbing, but it was fun, and even though it was a demo, I got a lot of play out of it, and for me, that’s saying something. It’s a fun world to explore, notably more fun to me than say Little BIG Planet or certainly Incredible Hulk. This is a platformer (see, I’m learning) definitely worth playing, thumbs up from the Non-Gamer.

The Infamous Demo

When we first got the PS3, a remarkable thing happened. The entire PlayStation Network was hacked and personal information and passwords were stolen by Mario knows who to do Mario knows what. Nothing bad has happened yet, but Sony encouraged us all to change our passwords and hope for the best.

Oh yeah, as an incentive to get folks to trust them again, they also had what they called their “Welcome Back” program where they would outright give you two free games from The PlayStation Store for each account. The Bride and I looked at each other and said “Hells yeah,” cuz that’s a total of four free games for our inconvenience. That might be fair – as long as no one who stole our info ever uses it.

The problem of course is that there was a 30 day expiration on those free games, and neither I nor my non-technically challenged wife could navigate the terrors of The PlayStation Store/Network/Home to make this thing work no matter how hard we tried. It’s a damn shame, because I was kinda looking forward to two of the free games offered – Little Big Planet and Infamous.

Now we’ve talked about the second Little Big Planet here before, but Infamous was a game whose interest caught me elsewhere. I co-host a weekly vidcast about comics, The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast, and a few months back, one comic book grabbed my attention. It was Infamous from DC Comics, and it was, you guessed it, “Based on the Best-Selling PlayStation Videogame.”

What got me the most was that there was a story here. This wasn’t like the mini-comics that came with the old Atari 2600 games like Star Raiders and EarthQuest that really had nothing to do with the game at all. Infamous had a compelling story and characters, and from everything I had read, this carried over directly from the PS3 game. I really wanted to try.

Dejected at not finding my free games in exchange for being hacked, I was exploring the rest of the Store/Home/Network and found that there were demos that could be downloaded – among them, Infamous. So I went clicky-clicky. I was a bit surprised to find it would take well over two hundred minutes to download, but I let it go overnight and decided to play it the next day.

Unlike a lot of things on the PlayStation, the downloaded game was actually easy to find, and when I clicked it on the intro started, looking very much like a comic book, not the comic book, mind you, but a comic book just the same. Nice art, and animation and flash working together to tell a narrative close to what I already knew. Then it was time to play, and then it got hard.

A diagram of how the controller worked came up on the screen, no, two screens. Wow, maybe I am just a technology caveman, or just easily perplexed, but that’s a whole lotta buttons and functions. Again, I am flummoxed by the controller. I’m going to have to take a picture and print it out to use as a cheat sheet so I can play. Or I can do what I always do, just push all the buttons and move all the levers and hope for the best.

When it comes to playing, I am eased up a bit by the way everything is pretty much spelled out as far as what you have to do, with missions, and onscreen directions. It still doesn’t make it easy. And the controller shaking in my hand is an interesting sensation. There is a learning curve involved, and knowing the basic plot of the game helps. One annoying factor is that when you leave the mission area, you start over.

All in all, I’m still learning, and still trying to play, but this has great graphics and is fun for those who know how to turn on the PS3, and those who don’t. I might just buy the whole version of this one.