Category Archives: nucleus

Infamously Better

One of the reasons I have never been much of a gamer, and the PS3 with its aversion to multiple player games is a big culprit, because I dislike the ‘turn wait.’ That is to say, I don’t like waiting for my turn at a game when the other player is infinitely better at it than me. This reared its ugly head back in the Nintendo days when The Bride and I used to play Super Mario Bros., and her turn would last for hours. It was also the reason I preferred Dr. Mario as we could both play that at the same time.

The night I talked about a while ago when Jeff and Crystal came over and played the demos, they just didn’t whup my butt at Zombie Apocalypse and Nucleus, they also tried their hands at Watchmen and my favorite, Infamous. I was not disappointed by the long long looong turn wait.

In Watchmen, I had gotten past the wonderful Dave Gibbons motion comic animated art from the original Watchmen comics that form the introduction, but had barely moved anywhere in the prison break. I did find it annoying that whoever you picked to play – Rorschach or Nite Owl II – the other would just stand there doing nothing. Not realistic. Jeff and Crystal ripped through the prison break like they were the real characters.

Then they moved on to the Infamous demo. I had never gotten past zapping folks and cars with electrical powers, and riding to the first station atop the train. For those who don’t know, that’s really not far. Fun, but not far. That keen mutant skill, of both Jeff, and Crystal, derived from years of gaming experience, kicked in and soon they were sailing far ahead in the game and fighting bad guys that I had never even glimpsed in my hours (yes, hours) of playing this game.

The Bride who had watched me play the same two or three scenes from Infamous multiple times, was treated to almost an entirely new movie never seen before. The turn wait was starting to get to her as well, so then they moved on to Little BIG Planet 2. Three people can play that at once.

This turn wait was much longer. I went to bed. When I got up in the morning, I swore I was gonna practice. Years of experience can’t be that hard…

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The Zombie Apocalypse and Why I Hate Jeff

One of the games hat I downloaded a demo of from the PlayStation Store was called Zombie Apocalypse. It seemed a natural based on my desire to “just shoot stuff.” I mean, come on, what’s better that shooting zombies? Shooting zombies is the basis for so many fun things – the Night of the Living Dead movies, the House of the Dead games, and even government disaster contingency plans. When I saw this one available as a demo, I went to downloadin’.

The characters provided as your controller-controlled protagonist are intriguing and would do better in a role-playing game than as videogame fodder, but still it adds some charm and flair to the game. Essentially, like most zombie scenarios, you’re left alive and zombies are attacking – you fight back. Every time I tried this one, the zombies descended on me quickly and I died almost immediately. Even if I had a gun, or a chainsaw, it didn’t matter – I became one of the walking dead rather quickly.

I had moved on to other games in the meantime. Jeff and Crystal came over one night and we gravitated to the game console and were looking for something to play. I wanted to show them the demos I had downloaded. First Crystal one-upped me in Nucleus, showing me new games and new levels I was unaware of. See what I mean about needing a PS3 mentor when you’re a beginner?

Next, I showed them Zombie Apocalypse, mostly because the title jumped out at them as much as it did me initially. Crystal first reaction to the player characters was pretty much the same as mine, she thought they would be great for the Call of Cthulhu tabletop rpg. She lasted a bit longer than my sixteen second record. She even managed to tear up some of the zombies with her chainsaw.

Then Jeff took the controller. He immediately began to mow through the zombies. After a bout a minute or two, Crystal and I began to object. Jeff shrugged it off as years of experience and having watched the two of us play first. As he continued to trash the dead and even perform new abilities like save innocents and offer bait to the zombies, I got angrier. I had been watching people play videogames on this thing for months and I’m still not any better at it.

I’m convinced Jeff is a mutant, and his mutant power is an unnatural ability to play videogames. I’m going to report him to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, or better yet, tell the Sentinels where to find him… after he tells me all his gaming secrets…

The Universal Language

The Bride and I went to Finland a few years back to see the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Helsinki. For the night of the finals, The Bride got a ticket but I did not. So I ended up at a party in the city. These were friends of friends, and only a few folks there spoke English. As it happened however, many of the people at the people were similarly ‘orphaned’ with partners at the actual show. What was odd, was that there were many people there who did not just speak English, but did not even speak the same language. There was Finnish, Japanese, English, etc., it was a house party of Babel.

When I arrived at the party there were still a few hours left before Eurovision came on TV. So there was a roomful of folks, eating and drinking, and sitting in front of a big screen television – but no one was talking. Well, we tried to talk, we just weren’t doing very well at actually communicating.

Then someone turned on the game thingy and we all began taking turns playing a game. It was a simple game, understandable to all of us, and we bonded quite quickly while playing and taking turns. The game was about microscopic creatures eating smaller microscopic creatures while trying not to be eaten by even bigger ones. As the main little guy got bigger and evolved, so did the prey and the predators. It was fun, and by the time Eurovision started, we were all pretty much Babel friends. I never knew what the game was called, but I liked it quite a bit.

So when I finally figured out how to download demos from the PlayStation Store, there was a game that looked similar, so I got it. Lo and behold, I was right, that game from Helsinki was called Nucleus.

I was able to play it for a while. There doesn’t seem to be much more to it than I had seen before. Mostly racing the clock, dodging cells and grabbing sunshiny things. This is a good demo download, very much a game I would consider buying to try and play. Also, it might be a step toward world peace. I wonder if President Obama has a PS3?