Fishing some new slices of life…

Good and not-that-famous games

Blue Lacuna : let your imagination lead you to another world…

Hello fellow readers,

I’m still surprised my blog has as many visitors. I wonder why, since I haven’t made a post for 3 months… But do not worry, for I am not dead (I wouldn’t be writing this article now otherwise, right?). I just had quite a lot to deal with work which was becoming pretty intense, as well as some odd… events happening in real life (although not exactly, but here is not the place to talk about this).

As for now, I would like to make you discover a new game I found earlier rotting on my hard disk drive : Blue Lacuna.

This is the story of a Wayfarer, a person able to travel through dimensions. However, Wayfarers cannot control neither when, nor where they travel. In this game, you have to answer a Call, which is basically an inner feeling that another Wayfarer in a different dimension needs help. Yet, as you arrive in this new world, mysterious events start to unfold…

You can discover this story here. Hope you’ll enjoy it !

G&NTFG : This is the only level

Hello dear readers,

Today I’m going to tell you about a time-wasting flash game I discovered some time ago : This is the only level : Adventures in singularity.

In the first level, you’ll just face a normal, standard platform game (although the star character is an elephant, which is pretty unusual). Nevertheless, everything starts with level 2.

The aim of the game is to find a way to reach the exit. And the whole originality lies in that : how you can solve the game. Your arrow keys and your space bar won’t be enough to beat it, every level is a challenge by itself, so get ready to use your brain to figure out what the solution of each puzzle is !

This is the only level of this game. Controls will change with every attempt though. You’ll know it perfectly !

Well, as it is a little game, there’s not much to add there… except where to find the game.

Have fun !


Hello readers,

Are you bored with your friends? Are you tired to keep playing the same MSN games, if you ever do that? Well then, lemme tell you about OMGPOP, the most social flash game I’ve ever seen.

First of all, for you gamers… If you’re looking for some loong grinding time, or another way to enjoy quests with friends in a nice MMO… well, this is not for you.

For all the others, OMGPOP is a communautary website based on short and simple flash games. No complex and smart games here that leave you totally puzzled, the website’s purpose is mainly conviviality and fun, so the rules are simple and entertaining. You can invite up to 7 friends here, and fun starts right now! Besides, as it is a community by itself, you can meet nice people there too.

And the games themselves are classic ones. Expect a version of the Pictionary, a word-finding game, a mario-kart-like one, or something like Uno, among many others.

Here’s a example of minigames available there. And it’s only a small bit of them all!

You can invite up to 7 people to play with you.

The graphics are nice enough to focus on playing, and you can customize some elements if you create an account there for free.

Tempted? Try it here!

G&NTFG : Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Hello dear readers,

I think it’s high time for me to present my favourite game to these who still don’t know it: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. I have been playing this game for more than a year now, and for more than 250 hours (without including the countless times I failed a quest and didn’t save), but I still love it as much, really. Why, you will ask?

The first episode of this series, named Monster Hunter, was released on the Playstation 2 in 2004. It had a pretty nice success, so various sequels were developped afterwards. This one is named Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and got released on the PSP in June 2009 in America and Europe.

Basically, the game’s concept is simple : you are a hunter, and as the village’s guardian you have to repel monsters from the city. The whole hunting system is regulated though, since you have to go on quests to be allowed to enter a wild zone and chase one monster. The more quests you succeed in, the harder the remaining ones will become. And with some luck, you’ll start to face really powerful beasts… So at first, it seems like a normal action game. However… the greatest strength of MHFU (that’s how most fans call the game) is not in its story, and if you’re only playing for it, you’d better give up now.

If you start playing this game, you’ll just be almost bored in the tutorial (if not amused by your instructor’s witty comments… this guy is just awesome). It’s just some basic cooking, item-collecting and meat-hunting tasks. After you have tested the 11 different classes of weapons, you will have to face your first real hunt : a Giadrome. And here… as adrenaline rushes in your body, you’ll become filled by excitement, and you will understand the true meaning of the word “hunt”.

Here it is, the famed Giadrome ! He doesn’t look that strong ? Fight it and see by yourself !

Monsters from MHFU are not your typical, easily-killed Zelda-like bosses that you can quickly finish in less than 5 min when you figure out how you can kill them (well, you can quickly finish the easiest ones, but this would rather be due to experience and weapons). These monsters… they have no apparent weakness. There’s no typical “critical time” when you have to hit them. They are chasing you. They don’t wanna play or fool around, only chase you. You’re the prey… or you aren’t, depending on your hunter’s soul.

Facing the Tigrex.

And everything is made to maximise the hunt immersion. Each beast has its own cry and behaviour. Some will try to flee, others will fiercely retaliate. When you play for the first time, your moves will seem to be quite sluggish, but it’s’ due to realism; no magically-eaten potion here, your hero will stop and take time to drink it. Your weapon will lose sharpness while you keep using it, so you have to sharpen it every now and then… You’ll get hungry, cold/hot, and your status and global stamina will be affected.

Besides… There’s no ingame experience in this game. You don’t get “levels” once you kill a monster, and you can’t hit stronger because of it. Of course, you can improve your weapons and armour (and it is very important to do so)… but if you keep playing the bad way, you’ll always get killed, no matter how good your equipment is… The true worth of a hunter is in his real hunting skills, like his reactivity, his ability to guard and avoid attacks, how he can notice the weaknesses of a beast and hit it at the right time and so on. And this real-experience-based system is one thing I really appreciate.

Wanna have a little glimpse of it ? Look at this video… The person fighting doesn’t have better weapons/armour… this is training equipment, so you can’t choose it. All their skill comes from player experience.

Also… This game has a ton of equipment. Really. More than one thousand weapons and armours, each one with very nice details, and not always serious stuff (the cooking sets, or all the felyne-flavoured weapons are quite enjoyable… and trust me, killing a monster with felyne dolls as weapons is really funny).

Don’t ask.

As for sound… the musics are nice, although sometimes annoying while fighting a monster. These legendary giant monsters’ themes are just gorgeous! (which monsters? Oh, you’ll know soon enough when you start playing).

So… to sum up simply, MHFU is a wonderful game. Play it!

… Still not convinced ? Look at the game’s intro. It always works !

G&NTFG : Exit

Hullo witty gamers!

Today, I shall tell you about a game I like pretty much. Again, it’s on PSP (one of my favourite consoles, and yeah, I know I’m biased about games on it), and the game is called Exit.

Exit is a nice and not-so-well-known game developped by Taito and edited by Ubisoft.  It has been released in december 2005 in Japan and 3 months later elsewhere. So far, a sequel named Exit 2 has been released, but I haven’t tried it (both versions of the game seemed too similar).

In this game, you have to save people from different kinds of natural (or human-made) disasters, would they be floods, fire, earthquakes or anything else. To achieve this goal, you have to explore the whole level (which is usually composed of some floors of a building), find the victims, and guide them to the building’s exit (hence the game’s title).

As for gameplay, it is a platform game… but not really actually. The game itself is very special. The escaper’s movements (this scarf-wearing running guy that you control) are slow and sluggish, but the game doesn’t focus on that. Don’t expect a Super-Mario-like opus, it’s not.

Don’t even try, you can’t jump over these flames.

However… as you find people stuck in the building, you can order them around. Almost everyone can use items normally; some can go to places you can’t reach, others are stronger than you are, but most of them are mere people who are stuck in the building with you and just want to get out of here sound and safe.

You will have to help many different persons.

And that’s the hardest part. Because it would just be too easy if the exit were right in front of you ! So… you have to use weight-limited lifts, bring back the impaired, and find your way through flames, collapsed walls and other dangers to be the hero of the day. And… it might not sound like it, but some places really demand in-depth thinking. An example ? Well, look at this :

As for the graphics, they have their special style, you like it or you don’t. It’s really designed like an american comic, and actually the city and people really make me think of New York. The music is not that bad, although some might not like it; it really suits the emergency situations you’ll have to face.

Yup, definitely a whole New York feeling.

Coffee obsession, the american way.

I hope you’ll get to know this game more than I described it to you! If you don’t, here’s the game introduction.

G&NTFG : Grow games

Hello fellow readers!

Lately I’ve solved for the first time a Grow game, and it made me quite happy, because these are pretty hard. So I wanted to share that on my blog, as well as take this opportunity to show you these games that you may not know. So what is a Grow game?

The original Grow game.

Grow games are a type of very special flash games. You have a goal to reach, which can vary a lot according to which flavor you’re playing, ranging from helping little guys tapping their environment, to waking up a heavy sleeper (in a very unorthodox way). To achieve this purpose, you can interact with your surroundings by clicking on several buttons (usually 7 or 8), each one triggering a different action.

Wake up this guy!

Actions usually make evolve an element of your environment. As it gets more sophisticated, it gains levels, and to achieve your goal, you have to make each part reach its maximum level. And the most significant thing to keep in mind while playing a Grow game is that some actions need some others to be done before, otherwise they won’t have any effect, or won’t be really beneficial for part you need to improve. Let me explain : for instance, you have to kill a ferocious dragon that wreaks havoc during nighttime. However, you can only make appear a hero that’s not good enough to slay it. Therefore, you have to help him a bit, and make him appear only after you have used another button that summons daytime, so that this hero can kill the beast while it’s asleep.

Something has been created, the corresponding field gains one level.

Final levels at the end of a party!

The whole challenge of the game is to do the right action at the right time. In other words, you have to do things without any mistake and to find the perfect sequence in order to achieve your goal.

Well… I don’t think I could describe these games any further. The best way to know more about them is to try these! Neophytes, you should start with the first grow versions here (Grow original version), or here (Grow Cube). I also liked this version which can be really surprising, and this Grow Cannon which made me write this article. For RPG fans, try this Grow RPG, and if you like technology, try this one.

I hope you’ll have some fun with these!

G&NTFG : Umihara Kawase

Hello again, dear wanderers!

For today, I shall tell you about another forgotten video game treasure that left me a very good impression. I am aware that, of course, some people won’t agree with me about this, saying that this game’s problems are too obvious to be eluded… but after all, this is quite a subjective post, so it’s about some positive sides of a game that was forgotten for too long…

This game I will shortly introduce you is called “Umihara Kawase”. It was released first in 1994 on the SNES (Super Nintendo), and a sequel called “Umihara Kawase Syun” appeared on PlayStation some years later.

The story: a girl got lost in a strange world populated by giant fishes, seaweeds, lobsters and other overgrown, earth-trodding versions of various seafood species, and she has to find her way back home through several warping doors found all across the country. Don’t ask me how she arrived in this place, there isn’t any kind of introduction/explanation/plotline in the game, so everything is a blind guess from your humble servant.

Basically, it is an almost-classic platforming game, where you control this little girl. As soon as you start playing, you notice that she doesn’t have anything with her… but a mere fishing rod – that works exactly like a grappling hook. And here the game shows its whole interest. The whole gameplay revolves around your ability to control the girl’s movement as she hooks on to various surfaces. The range of possible moves is quite impressive, and as you chain levels you’ll quickly realize that the traditional “monkey-like swinging” move is just a little part of all the possible uses of a hook. You’ll have to do some “bungee jumping”, to cling to a moving platform to pass some places, to use your speed smartly to reach places that couldn’t be reached otherwise… All the levels are well designed, and the gameplay is really wonderful (I would even say she’s as reactive as Mario or Yoshi are in their SNES appearances). As for foes, you’ll have to fish them using your fishing rod (logical, eh?).

As for graphics… They are amazing, I think. However, I’m probably influenced by my fishing obsession. Yet, they make it easy for you to actually believe you’re in this strange world. Everything is well drawn and well animated, and the worlds are really colourful and pretty to look, although you’ll want to eat seafood and vegetable meals after a while (plenty of them everywhere). The music is cute, not as legendary as in a Starfox game, but it’s enough to make you dream.

Foes are all sort of fishes… A living dream for any fisherman! (Or is this All-Blue?)

Yeah! Finally caught a fish! I won’t be starving for today!

As for the game’s negative points… If you try it, you’ll notice soon enough : the game is HARD. Not hard as in “oh well, it’s okay, I’ll be stuck on this for a dozen times, and then I’ll make it!” or as in “I’ll have to level up to get stronger and pass this boss”, but hard as in “Oh my God, how the hell can you pass this part!?”. Okay, the easiest path can be humanly done, after having spent some time playing. But holy cows, the hardest path… It took me more than a hundred lives to finish it. And that was very lucky. Add to this that you only have 10 lives and scarce 1-ups through the whole game, and that you die after one single hit…

Finally, when you play the game… of course, you’ll get tired, because it’s really hard… And yeah, it’ll be annoying after some time, and you’d better not play the game all the time, or you’ll get mad… Still, it’s not a reason not to try it, since it will give you this dream-like feeling that you can only experience with such poetic opus, and the gameplay and the way it is exploited definitely worth the trip. Hope you’ll enjoy it (a bit, not too much)!

And if you still don’t want to try it… at least, view this amazing speedrun!