Top 5 F-Zero Cars/Racers/Vehicles

3 02 2016

F-Zero GX Race

I love F-Zero. My introduction to the series began very early into my ownership of a Nintendo 64 when my Mam treated me to a game, for which I chose F-Zero X. To begin with I was alright, and wanted to be a bit sillier than play it to the full, but when I really got into it, I really enjoyed it. Definitely one of the standout games for me on that console. I then followed it up with F-Zero GX on the GameCube, which also happened to be my favourite game on that console. It’s a game I continue to play and enjoy to this day.

 F-Zero GX

For anybody currently wondering what on earth I am talking about, well, F-Zero is a futuristic video game series from Nintendo. It involves anti-gravity vehicles racing around futuristic locations. The series was a big hit from the start, spawning numerous sequels and was a base inspiration for the Wipeout series on PlayStation. The reason for me doing a post on it is due to me just finding out about Fast Racing Neo, a new video game for the Wii U, which from first glance to me looks a lot like F-Zero. Instead of going into it and trying to find similarities, I thought I would do a post on my favourite vehicles from the game series. This list is mostly based on GX (just thought I should point that out), but that is the one where I have the most experience of the vehicles and the series. Anyway, here are my Top 5 Favourite Vehicles/Cars/Racers from F-Zero (GX).

Wild Goose

5. Wild Goose (Pico) – When I first played F-Zero X, Wildgoose stood out to me for one big reason, because it was Green. Upon realising that cars can change colour, I discovered other Green Cars, however I always had an affinity with Wild Goose for that reason. Upon beginning GX, and having to start from scratch unlocking new vehicles; while the magazines (such as CUBE) suggested using Fire Stingray, I went back to Wild Goose, and for most of the time when I was racing to earn points to unlock cars, I would pretty much always use Wild Goose. Since then the affinity I have had with this vehicle has made it one of my favourites…..and also because it’s a very reliable and easy to control machine…most of the time.

Magic Seagull

4. Magic Seagull (Spade) – When I began to unlock new vehicles and try out new things, I always liked to try out vehicles that had a certain look. The look of something streamlined, and from pure looks looked fast; Vehicles that looked like Planes (or mostly) Jet Fighters. I just thought at the time that in a game where all the cars float off the ground, that something that looks more like it was designed for flying might be an advantage (as such this is one of at least two vehicles in this list that fall into it for that reasoning). Anyway, one of the ones I kept returning to was Magic Seagull. It has this sleek-looking design, with pointed out front wings, and three boosters out the back. It’s maybe not the coolest looking vehicles, or maybe the most beautiful, but it is one of the sleekest, and one of the coolest when under power. It’s also very easy to control, especially on maps that involved curved rounds, and by that I don’t mean they have turns in them.

Rainbow Phoenix

3. Rainbow Phoenix (Phoenix) – One of the most beautiful racers in the game by far. Rainbow phoenix is as true to its name more than any other vehicle (ok Magic Seagull does look a lot like a Seagull). The charm and love for this vehicle comes in what it can do. When changing colours, the shading is not necessarily mat or plain, but rather elegant and bright. The colouring of the vehicle is as it says, a rainbow, and they are nice and bright and very beautiful. While black may be unavailable, a bright Green, Blue, Yellow and Red more than make up for that, even surpassing it. The other side to the vehicle is in its look and one additional feature. The body is shaped like a bird, much like a phoenix, and has two booster engines at the back, like fleet of flames when passing bystanders (although you don’t get to see that). But the additional thing is something no other vehicle has in the game. When you initiate a boost (something all vehicles can do), the wings on the side of the vehicle sprout out. That is as in the fold out from an angular position to a more horizontal position with the bird like wings. It’s a nice additional feature that makes this racer stand out more than others.

Hyper Speeder

2. Hyper Speeder (Beastman) – Upon deciding that Airplane/Jet Fighter based aircraft might have an advantage over others, I immediately started using Hyper Speeder, because if it’s a Jet Fighter you want, what not better than the vehicle that best resembles one (even though it has no wings)? Hyper Speeder is as its name suggests a very fast car. With most vehicles it more comes down to the skill of the driver than the performance of the vehicle, and Hyper Speeder can be a hard one to control due to its enormous length. Time turns can become perilous, however, when driven to near perfection, it is one of the best. I especially look forward to sections of track which are like flying through the air, because then there is a certain level of actually feeling like I am flying a jet fighter. Apart from all those things though, it is a very cool vehicle to look at and race with.

Green Panther

1. Green Panther (Antonio Guster) – Out of all the vehicles I have played with, I think I have used Green Panther the most. It is a very cool car. It’s easy to control, and doesn’t lose control all that easy, it is very durable and can take quite a few big hits before getting into trouble, its fast either from simple acceleration or boost speed, and it has this rather cool paint job, a military camouflage like colouring, which even comes in a cool purple configuration. It’s hard to say why exactly I prefer this one, other than in a race, it is the best one I have used, and continue to use due to how easy it is to control, and how reliable it is. No matter Win or Lose, it always performs, and is always both cool to look at and fun to play with.

GENEPOOL





Timeline Of An Empire

9 12 2015

Age of Empires 2

I recently picked up a copy of Age of Empires II HD on Steam. Upon hearing that many of you are probably thinking: “What, have you only just played it” or along those lines anyway (or possibly even; “What is Age of Empires II HD on Steam? Well, click the above links). No, it is not the first time I have played Age of Empires II. It must have been when it was first released that I played it for the first time. I remember when it first came through and on that evening playing the tutorial mode with my Dad, and my Dad noting the bad attempt of someone from America trying to do a Scottish accent. Anyway, I have played it before, but purchasing this copy on Steam marks the first time I have played this version of the game (which comes packed with previously unofficially unreleased extras), plus the first time in a long time I have played it. And it has been fun. I enjoy playing different skirmish games, attaining new trophies in Steam and just generally having fun playing this game again. I am not too fussed by playing the campaign mode, I played the Tutorial again a few weeks ago, and was so bored, but general Skirmish games I find rather fun. I also find it rather fun playing Empires that I did not necessarily use before like Byzantines and Franks as well as old favourites like the Japanese, Teutons and Koreans. My one hope at this time though is to hopefully have a multiplayer game of it at some point in the not too distant future.

AoE Score

Anyway, why am I talking about this game in the first place? Well, one thing I rather like about this game comes in the end of game stats, the ones that show you statistics of how the game went. Now I am not really all that fussed by Economy or Military stats, but what I am interested in is the Timeline functionality at the far right of the menu choices.

AoE Timeline 1

I like this feature because it features a very detailed colour coordinated graph showing how your empire in the game, and those of the other players fared, and these can be very detailed. Take the above picture for example. It shows the names of the players or AI, what army they were, when they advanced to certain stages, when there was a battle, when a Wonder was built and when a Wonder was destroyed. Doesn’t seem like all that much to gawp at I know, but looking at the way that colour can take over the chart is something in particular to behold.

AoE Timeline 2

When a certain colour/nation fills the chart more than any other, it shows who at that time the strongest empire was. These strengths of colour increase and decrease throughout all the way to the end of the game as it stands (so either as overall victory is achieved, or when someone decides to quit) come the end. Some of these colours of course begin to decrease down to a small-scale as the end draws near for that empire; however abdicating is simply not enough. I have found that even if a nation abdicates; i.e. Loses, the empire can still carry on, on the timeline even if it is just a small slither across the screen. This comes in the form of leaving their buildings and some villagers and ships alive and not destroy them when they give up. Thus to end an Empire outright, and take over the chart that little bit more, you will need to make sure there are no survivors, either people, ships, or buildings. This will cause that Empire to be wiped out and disappear altogether from that moment in time, similarly to real past ancient empires of this world.

AoE Economy

I know it’s something to do a weird post about, but it’s a nice little feature in the game that I wanted to point out and mention. You can be someone who ignores the impact of ancient empires, but something like this can show, at least in a fictional video game stance how powerful an empire can become, but similarly also how it can simply disappear and be forgotten, as other greater, mightier empires forge their own future, quashing competition in their stead.

Steam (Valve Corporation, 2003 - Present)

GENEPOOL





A Poem On The Failures And Foibles Of Playing Rollercoaster Tycoon

2 12 2015

Rollercoaster Tycoon (Hasbro Interactive - 1999)

A couple of weeks ago; I wrote a poem in a Limerick format about the failures and foibles that can happen while playing the video game Rollercoaster Tycoon. So here it is. For a little more backstory; recently I have been replaying Rollercoaster Tycoon. I remember purchasing a copy of the game pretty much when it was first released in the 1990’s on the PC, but this copy is one that I purchased off GOG.com about 4 years ago. While playing it, some things happened to the customers in some of my parks that greatly affected my ability to win those levels. Though I should have grown out of and learned over the years that doing such things can cause issues for winning the game, I thought I would use that as inspiration for this little set of poems. They’re kind of bad (near Vogon Bad possibly), it was more a spur the moment kind of thing, kind of inspired by Jim and Yahtzee‘s Rhymedown Spectacular.

Anyway, Here is some Rollercoaster Tycoon inspired Poetry…..Enjoy.

RCT 2

I once built a monorail with a track of brown,

Thinking the exit was above the ground

Completely forgetting the math,

I forgot to build a path,

And as such everyone drowned.

RCT 3

I was in need of extra cash,

So I built a rollercoaster in a flash,

But I threw safety out the Window

And it was something I couldn’t undo,

And eventually it ended in a big crash.

RCT 1

Everyone was getting lost,

So I built a maze of paths at great cost,

Soon everyone got even more stuck,

So much so I would need to ship them out in a truck,

So I built a miniature railway (and even that didn’t solve the problem).

RCT 4

GENEPOOL (I know that last one did not end in a rhyme, but I ran out of ideas).





Sleeping Queens

11 11 2015

Sleeping Queens

Sleeping Queens is a card game for between 2 – 5 players released by Gamewright and designed by Miranda Evarts. In Sleeping Queens, players have to wake up Queens who are currently in a long slumber using a variety of different cards. The first player to wake up the required number of queens (dependent on how many people are playing) or score the required number of points, Wins. In the middle of the table, there are 12 queen cards laid faced down. Each Queen has a different name and picture. Some are worth more points than others.

Sleeping Queens Setup

On a turn, a player plays a card onto the table. There a number of cards and options that they can do. Some of the cards they have in their hands are action cards, and have different effects. If a player plays a King card, then they can wake up one of the queen in the centre of the table. If they play a Knight card, then they can steal a queen from another player, however, if that player has a Dragon card, they can play that dragon to prevent the knight from stealing the queen. If a player has a Sleeping Potion card, then they can put another players Queen back to sleep, unless that player however has a Magical Wand card, which prevents the potion from taking effect. In the pack there are also some Number cards. These don’t have much of an effect other than allowing players to get rid of them to draw more and hopefully better cards. Players can discard these number cards in one of 3 ways. One, they can just discard a single number card. Two, they can discard two number cards of the same number. Three, they can sell 3 cards that make up an addition equation, so for instance they can discard a 2, 5 and a 7 because 2+5=7. Once the number of cards have been discarded (so 1, 2 or 3 cards) the player then immediately picks up that many cards.

Sleeping Queens Number Cards

There is also another card of mention, the Jester card. Jester’s work like chance cards. Basically, a player can play a Jester into the playing area, doing this they immediately draw a new card. If that card is an action card, then the player keeps that card and has another go. If however the card is a number card, then starting from themselves, the player counts each player around the table the number of times it says on the card. The player that the final number lands on immediately gets to wake up a queen. At the end of their turn players draw back up to the hand size and play passes round to the next player.

Sleeping Queens Jester

As far as the rules of the game goes, that’s it. Although there is some special rules regarding some of the other Queen’s. If a player picks up the Rose Queen, then that player immediately gets to pick up another. The other Queen rule is that there is a Dog Queen and Cat Queen, and much like both cats and dogs, these two don’t like each other, so no player can have both these Queens. But apart from that, that’s the rules, nice and simple.

Sleeping Queens Action Cards

Sleeping Queens is a nice fun little game. It is easy to play, and can be relatively straightforward the first time you play it. It has been nicely created with an assortment of colourful cards with lovely pictures on them. The Kings and Queens themselves have nicely been created too by having not just some generic King or Queen, but have names like Sunflower Queen, Starfish Queen, Bubble-gum King or Turtle King. The number cards too have nice little pictures on as well, maintaining that they are not just numbers, but all cards have their own special little extras. It doesn’t get bogged down neither with lots of little extra rules, it really is a game where you can simply just take your turn and instantly know what to do. Altogether, Sleeping Queens is a nice fun little game. It’s easy to understand, play and has been nicely created to bring as much fun to the table as is possible.

Sleeping Queens Kings and Queens

GENEPOOL





“It’s A Fix!”

28 10 2015

Mario Kart: Double Dash‼ (Nintendo - 2003)

Recently I have been getting back into racing games. Well, I say getting back into racing games; I mean I have just been playing racing games recently after a while of not playing them. Anyway, I have been getting back into racing games. So far I have played F-Zero GX (which is also my favourite GameCube game), Trackmania 2: Stadium on the PC and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (back on the GameCube). It’s been a lot of fun playing these games again. So far I have still yet to complete all Grand Prix difficulties on F-Zero, have yet to get all Gold on Mario Kart, and while Trackmania doesn’t work like that, it’s fun to go up the European ranks. For this post though, the game that I want to concentrate on is Double Dash.

I have had Double Dash on my GameCube since the Christmas it first came out, I have had a lot of fun on it, and while it has been a few years since I last played on it, playing it again in the last few weeks has been a lot of fun, except for when I have been on one particular mode. One option the game has as a special unlock is the opportunity to compete for the chance to win a trophy where you race on all 16 tracks across its four cups; otherwise known as World/All Cup Tour. It’s a nice fun idea, if a long one as even on the fastest mode it can take more than 40 minutes to complete. But still it can be fun, but recently when I have been playing on it I have noticed something rather unfair.

King Boo and Petey Piranha

The winning two teams in every race I have done while playing both at 150cc and Mirror Mode are teams that include the tandem of Petey Piranha and King Boo. During neither games of that mode were the two characters in the same car despite being the same team when listed in the menu and having cars of roughly the same design. No matter how hard I raced, even if I came in 2nd at best, one of those teams would be in first and the other third. It became obvious that in the first game I was not going to catch up, and in the mirror mode game I just couldn’t be bothered.

King Boo

The issue with these two beyond most things is that they can use any special ability usually given to no more than 2 characters. Most of the time I am not too bothered by this, but when something like I have mentioned above does, something just doesn’t make sense. Also, why is it that there is no real randomness or other races giving a surprising win, it’s like the minute the first race is up, the winning team has been announced. Ok, one problem relating to this is the fact that whatever order the previous race was won, is the order the next race starts. So if you are last, you are at the back. There is some randomness to the AI in later races, but it’s just usually mid way up, no surprise wins. It’s not like F-Zero GX where if you win the previous race yo go to the back. It’s a bit more even Steven’s.

MKDD!!

Ok, Double Dash is more a family game than a serious racer, but when you play alone, it just doesn’t seem right that the races seem fixed from the moment they start. I will probably get round this as the game’s progress, but it would be nice that even if I don’t win, I don’t lose to the same AI characters. Maybe lose to my favourites: Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa.

Koopa and Paratroopa

GENEPOOL








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