How to Backup SNES Saves With the Super UFO Pro 8

  • June 10, 2017
  • James Skemp
For the last handful plus years I’ve been worried about losing some of the saves I have on a few SNES (Super Nintendo) games. Recently I saw a video review by My Life in Gaming on the Super UFO Pro 8, which promises to be able to copy carts, as well as backup saves. Based upon that video I decided to ignore some of the negative reviews of the Super UFO Pro 8 and pickup one from eBay (which was slightly cheaper, and faster, than picking one up from Amazon).

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How to Copy a PICO-8 Game From a PocketCHIP

  • November 19, 2016
  • James Skemp
Having recently received my PocketCHIP I decided to start going through PICO-8 Zine #1 and its first tutorial. However, being the person I am, I hadn’t written too many lines before I started wondering how I could source control the games I work on on my new PocketCHIP. Since I’m using a MacBook Pro, here’s how I was able to copy my games off of my PocketCHIP and get them into git.

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Review: Alienware Alpha and Steam Machine Carrying Case (A7888952)

  • April 30, 2016
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of the Alienware Alpha and Steam Machine Carrying Case (A7888952), provided to me as part of the Amazon Vine program. Nice tight fit for the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK In February of this year I was lucky enough to receive an Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK for review. Since I’ve been trying to be better about putting away my consoles when I’m not actively using them, which I was treating the Alienware Steam Machine as, I was starting to look at picking up or using one of my usual containers for the purpose.

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Review: Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK Desktop Console (Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD) NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU

  • March 1, 2016
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK Desktop Console, featuring an Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. A weird hybrid First I’ve got to say I’m not sure how to review the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-4980BLK. Do I compare it to the consoles, as that’s what they’re trying to make (especially with SteamOS being the OS on this machine)?

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Review: Fury of Dracula Third Edition Board Game

  • January 10, 2016
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of the Fury of Dracula Third Edition Board Game, which I received as part of the Amazon Vine program. So many pieces, but easy after a week I haven't played any of the previous editions of Fury of Dracula, so I can't speak to the changes made in this third edition. However, as I understand it, the game has changed for the better. This supports 2 to 5 players, with one player controlling Dracula and the others controlling one or more of the hunters.

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Review: Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart (2012)

  • September 20, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart (2012), available on Steam and for physical purchase. A good way to get into the genre (I played the Steam version of this game, and this review is based upon that.) This was the first real hidden object game I played, thanks to a kind Reddit user who gifted me a key. It was actually quite good, with great artwork.

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Review: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous Base Set

  • September 15, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous Base Set, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. Too soon to tell When I saw the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game available from Amazon Vine I jumped on the chance to give it a try. Unfortunately the complexities of the game currently result in this partial review. This review will be updated in the coming days and weeks as we further play the game.

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Review: Dimension: The Spherical Stackable Fast Paced Puzzle Game

  • September 14, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Dimension: The Spherical Stackable Fast Paced Puzzle Game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. Fun, but I don't think it'll turn into a staple (Normally I'd work this into my review, but it's a little harder this time. As noted above this is a review of a product I received for free, through Amazon. I try very hard to not let that impact my rating.

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Review: Batman Fluxx

  • September 6, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Batman Fluxx, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. Not just a minor tweak of Fluxx Ever since I was introduced to Fluxx well over a year ago (I think it was Oz Fluxx) I've been interested in the game. Thus far I've played Oz Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, and Cthulhu Fluxx, having purchased the latter in July 2014. When I saw that a copy of Batman Fluxx was up for review I wondered how the game would play compared to the others, and requested a copy.

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Long Live the Queen: Attempt 4 (Blind)

  • June 13, 2015
  • James Skemp
Week 0 Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: We're almost home. Your room is just the way you left it.Elodie, Crown Princess: ...Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: I know it's hard to leave your school and all your friends, but I've arranged the best possible tutors for every subject.Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: You'll have to work hard this year to prepare yourself before your fifteenth birthday, but I know you can do it.

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Long Live the Queen: Attempt 3 (Blind)

  • June 13, 2015
  • James Skemp
Week 0 Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: We're almost home. Your room is just the way you left it.Elodie, Crown Princess: ...Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: I know it's hard to leave your school and all your friends, but I've arranged the best possible tutors for every subject.Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: You'll have to work hard this year to prepare yourself before your fifteenth birthday, but I know you can do it.

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Long Live the Queen: Attempt 2 (Blind)

  • June 13, 2015
  • James Skemp
Week 0 Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: We're almost home. Your room is just the way you left it.Elodie, Crown Princess: ...Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: I know it's hard to leave your school and all your friends, but I've arranged the best possible tutors for every subject.Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: You'll have to work hard this year to prepare yourself before your fifteenth birthday, but I know you can do it.

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Long Live the Queen: Attempt 1 (Blind)

  • June 13, 2015
  • James Skemp
Week 0 Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: We're almost home. Your room is just the way you left it. Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: We're almost home. Your room is just the way you left it. Elodie, Crown Princess: ... Joslyn, King Dowager, Duke of Caloris: I know it's hard to leave your school and all your friends, but I've arranged the best possible tutors for every subject.

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Review: Just Desserts

  • May 15, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Looney Labs' Just Desserts, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. Just Delicious Having played the game with three different groups, consisting of 2, 4, and 5 people, I can honestly say that every group I've played it with has had a great time. I won't go into the actual rules, other than to say that they're relatively simple to learn and pick up.

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Review: Mars Attacks The Dice Game

  • April 14, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Mars Attacks: The Dice Game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. Fun, but the theme may be an acquired taste Being a fan of the Mars Attacks movie, I was interested in just how well a dice game based upon it would be. The game actually puts you into the role of the Martians, and does not really tie into the movie.

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Review: Karma Card Game

  • April 10, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of the Karma Card Game, provided to me by the Amazon Vine program. Simple enough for kids, but fun for all A number of years ago I was introduced to the SET Card Game by a former co-worker. SET is fairly basic game that requires a deal of thinking, and is something I really enjoyed playing. So when I saw the SET name on the box for the Karma Card Game I knew I had to request a copy.

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Review: SET Dice Game

  • April 5, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of the SET Dice Game, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. A pleasant twist on the SET card game I was introduced to the SET card game a little over four years ago by a former co-worker. Having more experience than I, she kicked my butt every time we played together, but it was enjoyable, and I still did sufficiently good at the single player variant.

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Review: LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

  • March 8, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of the LG Electronics Gaming 24GM77 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor, released in late 2014, and currently available for purchase for a little over $270. The product I received was free as part of the Amazon Vine program. Very nice, but may not be required For context, I have two rather old HP monitors, from 2007, which up until early last year I was using for my PC monitors.

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Review: RADical ROACH Deluxe Edition (2014)

  • January 11, 2015
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of RADical ROACH Deluxe Edition, available on Steam and Amazon. Not Rad 'RADical' ROACH is just not very enjoyable. I somehow made it through the first two levels, and recently opted to run it for a little over an hour today to just get the trading cards (which are worth next to nothing in money and gems). I'm thankful I only paid 17 cents for this, thanks to a bundle.

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Review: Cash N Guns Second Edition

  • November 6, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Cash N Guns Second Edition, received as part of the Amazon Vine program. Fun with a good group When initially reading over the instructions for Cash N Guns I wasn't sure how it would actually play. The idea of robbers trying to split the loot from a heist is pretty easy to understand, but would it play out fairly? Having now played the game in a group of five I think it went fairly well.

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Review: Gray Matter (2010)

  • October 26, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Gray Matter (2010), available for the PC on Steam and on Amazon.com. An enjoyable story, with minor puzzles I find point and click adventures to be generally enjoyable, but the older I get the more interest I have in the story they tell than the puzzles. So when I finally started playing Gray Matter, which I received for very cheap as part of a bundle, my main focus was on the story.

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Review: Shadowrun Returns (2013)

  • August 2, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Shadowrun Returns (2013), available for PC on Steam. Enjoyable story and gameplay After having the game for a little over 9 months, I've finally beaten the main campaign, Dead Man's Switch, of Shadowrun Returns (2013). It didn't take this long to beat it because the game wasn't enjoyable, but rather because the machine I had until a few months ago wasn't ideal for gaming, so it wasn't until the last three months that I really got into this.

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Review: Still Life (2005)

  • July 29, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Still Life (2005), available for PC on Steam. Great story, interesting puzzles Having liked Syberia (you have to like a game if you've bought multiple copies over the years), when I saw the Still Life trilogy in a bundle (Post Mortem, Still Life, Still Life 2) a few months ago I decided to pick it up. While it's taken me a while to get to this game (not thinking, I played the second in the series first), I'm glad I finally did.

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Review: Fearless Fantasy (2014)

  • July 13, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Fearless Fantasy (2014), available for PC on Steam. Enjoyable, but controls are a bit iffy While Fearless Fantasy isn't long (there's only 13 sections), it's nonetheless an interesting game. The combat mechanic is probably more suited for touch-based devices (I found windowed mode makes the game a little easier, than playing full screen in 1920x1080), it still keeps combat interesting. Because of the mechanic, I did find myself having to grind earlier levels for experience, and ended the game with level 17 characters.

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Review: To the Moon (2011)

  • June 28, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of To the Moon (2011), available for PC on Steam. Good story, but iffy controls From the reviews of this game I was expecting a short game with a good story. And having now beat the game in a little over 3 and a half hours (having only looked up if I needed to get off the horse to exit the stage; we'll get to that in a bit), that's exactly what I got.

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Review: Hexcells Plus (2014)

  • June 20, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Hexcells Plus (2014), played on the PC. More of the same, with a bit more complexity Having gone through the first Hexcells rather quickly, I just as quickly started playing the standalone Hexcells Plus. While this game contains the same number of puzzles as the original, it adds additional gameplay dynamics. While I finished the first in less than 2 hours, Steam reports that I put in 8 hours on this version.

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Review: Hexcells (2014)

  • June 14, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Hexcells (2014), played on the PC. A short, but enjoyable, puzzle game Ultimately, I recommend Hexcells, especially for the price I paid ($1.25 with the standalone expansion), as I got a around 110 minutes of play. It's a pretty basic puzzle game, with some extra dynamics added in as you progress. I do wish that the puzzles were a little more complex, but I also tend to enjoy this type of game, so the general idea wasn't new to me.

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Review: Radiant Historia (2011)

  • May 30, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Radiant Historia (2011), released for the Nintendo DS. Fantastic music and interesting branching story When I ordered Radiant Historia back in February 2013 I'll readily admit that I played for only a few hours before I let it, and my 3DS, sit and gather dust. At the time the cheapest new copy of the game I could get was $70, so I was expecting much more from the game.

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Review: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (2013)

  • May 15, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (2013), played on the PC. An enjoyable hack and slash dungeon crawler Having recently built a gaming PC I had to think hard about what game(s) I would initially pick up. Since Diablo II was such an enjoyable game, and one of my most memorable experiences when I was PC gaming, I initially looked at Diablo III. However, the current state of the game, and knowing that eventually the DLC and base game would be selling for half the price, led me to look elsewhere.

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Review: Ghost Trick (2011)

  • April 3, 2014
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Ghost Trick, released in 2011, for the Nintendo DS. What a very good game A very short while ago I watched a video that featured Ghost Trick briefly, and I fell in love with the graphic style of the game. After ordering it with some other DS games, for use on my 3DS XL, I decided that it would be the first of the batch that I would play, and therefore also one of the first games I had played on the system in months.

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Review: Contrast (2013)

  • November 16, 2013
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Contrast, released in 2013, for the PlayStation 4. Charming Since Watch Dogs was delayed, I've been thinking about what game would be my first PlayStation 4 experience. Between Contrast, Flower, and Resogun, I ultimately decided upon Contrast, since while I had played flOw first on my PlayStation 3, I had already played (and enjoyed) Flower on the PS3, and wanted something slightly different.

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Review: Alice: Madness Returns (2011)

  • September 8, 2013
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Alice: Madness Returns, released in 2011 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A dark masterpiece I picked up a new copy of Alice: Madness Returns for the Xbox 360 back in April of 2012. Since it came with a copy of the original American Mcgee’s Alice, I decided to start with that in May. However, it took me until November of that year to beat that game (it was good, just long), and then I didn’t start the main game until the middle of August.

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C2-12828-1 and Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

  • August 10, 2013
  • James Skemp
Last month I was playing Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention on the PlayStation Vita. I had finished the game, but had started a new game and was picking up the Diez Gentleman by losing to Raspberyl. Unfortunately, when I lost to her I kept getting the error code of C2-12828-1, and the game crashed. In my particular case I just didn't have enough room in homeroom. Unfortunately I forget the exact number, but the game wants you to keep more slots open than you need.

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Unofficial Xbox Live API wrappers

  • June 9, 2013
  • James Skemp
This morning I created two API wrappers for the Mashape implementations of XboxApi.com and XboxLeaders.com. These unofficial APIs allow you to pull information from Xbox Live for particular users. I've used a simiilar structure for both (based upon XboxLeaders.com's PHP wrapper, since I thought I was working against there API when I was in fact working against XboxApi.com's ...), and both are available on Github. XboxLeadersWrapper XboxApiWrapper In order to use these APIs you'll need to have an account on Mashape, subscribe, and generate keys.

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Review: Tomb Raider (2013)

  • April 12, 2013
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Tomb Raider (2013). Reboot: Successful I’ve never bought a Tomb Raider game before this one. Actually, I did buy the Lara Croft PSN/Xbox Live game, but that’s not really a Tomb Raider game in the classic sense. I also received a free copy of Tomb Raider: Underworld via PlayStation Plus, but I’ve yet to finish it, and don’t have much drive to. However, Tomb Raider is not only the first Lara Croft game I’ve paid full price for, but one of a very few games I’ve picked up almost immediately after it was released.

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Review: Spec Ops: The Line (2012)

  • March 9, 2013
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Spec Ops: The Line (2012). A squad-based shooter with an excellent story I really bought the SOCOM 4 Full Deployment Edition because at the time it was the cheapest way to quick up everything to get started with PlayStation Move. And in fact I only played it for a short time before I moved on to other games. I’ve since tried to get back into it, but since I had issues getting the game running again (odd patch issues), I haven’t done so.

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My Video Game Tracker (for Windows Phone 7) on GitHub

  • January 15, 2013
  • James Skemp
Yesterday morning I committed version 1.2 of My Video Game Tracker to a public repository on GitHub. At this time I intend on letting my publishing license lapse on Windows Phone development (which is still a number of months away), and have decided that I probably won't do anything further targeting Windows Phone 7. In the coming weeks I'll probably also post the Madison Metro application that I was working on, warts and all.

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PlayStation Plus for PS Vita launch line-up

  • November 16, 2012
  • James Skemp
Updated 11/20/2012 with PlayStation Network prices. On November 19th PlayStation Plus members will get access to free PlayStation Vita games, as part of the Instant Game Collection benefit. The question is, if you’ve been sitting around waiting to pick up a PlayStation Vita, is now the perfect time to do so? If the question then becomes, how much am I saving by getting these games for free, keep reading.

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Review: Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (2009)

  • September 16, 2012
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (2009), for the Xbox 360. Ignore the cover, Onechanbara actually isn’t that bad Honestly, I hesitated bringing this up to the counter to pay for it. However, with the 3-point-something rating, new copies selling for over $60, and the store having it used for $6.30, I had to pick up Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. I’ll admit it, as I guy who likes girls sex can get me to purchase something, and Onechanbara certainly promises that.

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Review: Mafia II (2010)

  • May 8, 2012
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Mafia II (2010), for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If you enjoyed The Saboteur, you’ll enjoy this While I was playing Mafia II I was constantly reminded of The Saboteur (2009), and since I enjoyed that game, I would consider that a good thing. The game features much of the same, with gun and hand fights (the latter of which plays an important part in the story) and driving.

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Review: Ninja Blade (2009)

  • April 24, 2012
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Ninja Blade (2009), for the Xbox 360. A lot of quick time events, but an overlooked gem God of War was a pretty good game, but the game made popular quick time events, which I absolutely despised. When I saw Ninja Blade at a used media store I was taken back by how little it cost, for what seemed like a fairly enjoyable game, similar to Ninja Gaiden (note: Ninja Gaiden 2 for the Xbox 360 is kicking my butt, but I fully plan on finishing it, have picked up Sigma for the PlayStation 3, and am semi-interested in picking up others in the series).

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Review: Yakuza Dead Souls (2012)

  • March 27, 2012
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Yakuza Dead Souls (2012), released for the PlayStation 3. Inconsistent targeting is easily overlooked in this gem When I first heard about Yakuza Dead Souls I was a little worried. The best part about the Yakuza series is the story, and I feared that they were jumping on the zombie bandwagon (albeit late). However, I should have reminded myself about the multitude of games I have that has the Sega logo on the box, as there was nothing to fear with this iteration in the Yakuza series.

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Review: MindJack (2011)

  • February 29, 2012
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of MindJack (2011), released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. MindJack got a lot of grief when it came out, and it hasn’t gotten much better. However, seeing it for under $5 one day, I decided to pick up a copy and see just how bad it really is. MindJack tells the story of a man who’s name I can’t remember (and that I don’t care enough to look up) as he tries to discover what he can, as within the first few minutes of the game he’s treated as something of a traitor.

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Review: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010)

  • January 22, 2012
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Enslaved, Odyssey to the West (2010), released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A wonderful short story When Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was first being discussed I was keeping my eye on it, as I had picked up Heavenly Sword when I picked up my PlayStation 3 and thorougly enjoyed it. However, after lackluster reviews I opted to wait until I picked it up.

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Review: Saints Row: The Third (2011)

  • December 17, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Saints Row: The Third (2011) for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Over the top antics delivers just what I needed After the bombardment of commercials online for this game, I had it on my list to pick up after the price dropped into the $20 range. However, since PlayStation 3 users can get a free copy of Saints Row 2 by picking it up before January or February of next year, and the price at retailers had dropped to $40, I decided to pick up a copy early.

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Review: Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition (2010)

  • December 17, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition (2010) for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Amazing value, for a great RPG A while ago a friend lent me his copy of Dragon Age Origins for the Xbox 360. While I enjoyed the game, I had a number of other games that I was playing, and I returned it without finishing it. With the price drops of the Ultimate Edition, I decided to finally pick up a copy, for the PS3, but it sat unused until a short time ago.

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Review: The 3rd Birthday (2011) (PSP)

  • October 29, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of The 3rd Birthday for the PlayStation Portable. Fairly incomprehensible story, but wonderful game play Way back in 2005 I found a copy of Parasite Eve. While I tried playing through the game shortly after, it wasn’t until many years later that I actually started and finished the game (twice). I also happened to come upon a copy of Parasite Eve 2, but outside of a very little bit of play (less than an hour), I never really got into the game.

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Nier weapon data in XML (and LINQ sample query)

  • October 16, 2011
  • James Skemp
Going through the game Nier yet again, I wanted an easier way to track what weapon levels I had already upgraded to, and what items I still needed to unlock weapon items. Phase one towards that goal is creating an XML file with weapon upgrade information which is available online: Nier weapon data. An XML schema document for this information is also available: Nier weapon XSD. Sample LINQ query The following query can be run from LINQPAD, and will either display all items with their counts, or a grouped listing of items with the total quantity needed.

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Review: Yakuza 4 (2011) (PlayStation 3)

  • October 1, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Yakuza 4 for the PlayStation 3. A masterpiece I picked up Yakuza 4 without having played any of the previous iterations of the game. After looking at reviews online I thought it might have a pretty good story, and provide a good amount of entertainment. After playing a little under an hour of the game I was quite impressed what I had seen. Used copies of Yakuza 3 were available locally, at a pretty decent price, so I decided to pick up a copy of Yakuza 3 and play that first (since Yakuza 1 and 2 were a little harder to find, and more importantly on the PlayStation 2).

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Yakuza 4: Tanimura Hostess Guide

  • September 18, 2011
  • James Skemp
This is a very rough guide for the hostesses for Tanimura for Yakuza 4. This only includes the questions/answers I needed to complete his hostesses. Chihiro (Jewel) Italian Scarf +.25 - never wore Orange Juice +1 Fruit Platter +1 When I was twenty? I wasn't interested in love yet. +1 I see. It's nothing, really. +1 What do you think of a girl who can't drink? It's cute. +1 Something interesting?

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Review: Last Rebellion (2010) (PlayStation 3)

  • August 28, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Last Rebellion for the PlayStation 3. It’s interesting how badly this game is generally rated, yet I didn’t find the approximately 12 hours I put into the game all that horrible. Sure the graphics don’t push the limits of the PlayStation 3, and the game could certainly have been released for the PlayStation 2, but given the current pricing of the game I’d argue it’s worth a purchase.

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Review: Yakuza 3 (2010) (PlayStation 3)

  • August 21, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Yakuza 3, for the PlayStation 3. Around the time Yakuza 4 was being released I began hearing about the game, although after further research I do remember hearing about those who had asked actual Yakuza to play a Yakuza game (the 3rd specifically). Either way, everything I had heard about 4 suggested I would like it, especially when I heard it had a great story.

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Review: Eat Them! (2010) (PlayStation 3)

  • August 6, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Eat Them!, for the PlayStation 3, and released on the PlayStation Network. I just recently picked up a copy of Eat Them!, for the PlayStation 3, as it was on sale for PlayStation Plus members. According to some Eat Them! is a Rampage-like game, where you control a monster that lays waste to an area of a city. Indeed, this an extremely apt description, as playing this game brought to my mind fond memories of putting quarters/tokens into the Rampage machine, and later playing it, and later releases (such as for the Nintendo 64) to mind.

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Review: Bullet Witch (2006) (Xbox 360)

  • July 20, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Bullet Witch, released in 2006 for the Xbox 360. It is what it is, and that’s just fine Years ago I was hooked by the uniqueness of the first few levels of Drakengard, released for the PlayStation 2. When I finally found and picked up a copy I found it had hooked its claws into me even more. So when Drakengard 2 came out I of course picked up a copy.

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jQuery Mobile version of my video game listing

  • July 9, 2011
  • James Skemp
I picked up an electronic copy of jQuery Mobile by Jon Reid a little while ago and have been slowly making my way through it. I've finally gotten to the point where I wanted to try creating a jQuery Mobile version of my video game listing. View the jQuery Mobile version of my video games listing. In addition to jQuery Mobile, this also uses oXygen XML Editor, for taking the original XML source and transforming it via an XSLT 2.

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My favorite Final Fantasy mini-game

  • July 6, 2011
  • James Skemp
I've had Final Fantasy VIII for many years, but have never finished it. In fact, I've never gotten through the first disc. However, having recently started it up once again, after picking up an electronic copy on the PSN (I still have the original, but this is the only legit way to play it on my PSP), I have to say that Final Fantasy VIII contains my favorite mini-game of the series, and perhaps one of my top favorites of all.

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Review: Dante's Inferno (2010) (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3)

  • June 9, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Dante’s Inferno (2010), available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Enjoyable, but quick, with some annoying platforming As I continue playing games that received less than critical acclaim, I found myself playing Dante’s Inferno for the Xbox 360. Dante’s Inferno tells the story of Dante who journeys through Hell to save his beloved Beatrice. As we progress through the story we learn more about Dante himself, and why it is that he doesn’t seem so out of place in this land.

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Review: Darksiders (2009) (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3)

  • May 30, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Darksiders (2009), available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Darksiders, like Nier, the last game I played through and beat, didn’t get all that much respect when it first came out. But Darksiders features more than just God of War meets Zelda gameplay, it tells a story worth seeing through until the end. The following review is based upon a playthrough on the Xbox 360, on the hardest - Apocalyptic - difficulty.

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Review: Nier (2010) (Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3)

  • May 21, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Nier (2010), available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Yes, the main character is ugly, but the story is anything but Nier, released in 2010, and developed by Cavia, gained mediocre reviews when it was released. The one thing I remember most about those reviews is the common statement that the main character in Nier was rather ugly. Of course, he (named whatever you name him) is rather ugly.

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Review: Parasite Eve

  • January 16, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Parasite Eve, for the Sony PlayStation (1). Almost six years ago, back in 2005, I found and picked up a copy of Parasite Eve. I don’t recall the exact circumstances on why I picked it up, but I’m willing to bet that seeing ‘Squaresoft’ on the jewel case had more than a little to do with it. With The 3rd Birthday’s U.S. launch fast approaching, I put the first Parasite Eve back on my list, having not played it since a short time after I bought it, and even then not having finished the game.

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Review: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

  • January 11, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, for the Sony PlayStation Portable. Having played Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 years ago, I skipped most of the other iterations of the Kingdom Hearts series either because I didn’t have the console (DS) or because the games just didn’t seem to have the same appeal (Chain of Memories). Shortly before picking up my PSP I heard a lot of really great things about this game, with most reviews saying it had a good story, graphics, and an improved combat system, but a quirky camera.

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iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch - digital-only distribution devices that work

  • December 13, 2010
  • James Skemp
Former colleague Rob Lumley posted an article a few months ago about Netflix instant viewing. While responding to another comment I had an epiphany. The PSPgo was Sony's attempt to go all digital for game distribution. And it wasn't much of a success, especially since not all games are available (even recent titles, like the 'new' Kingdom Hearts). However, the iPhone, iPod Touch, and now iPad use completely digital distribution for their games, and they're doing absolutely wonderful.

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The Kinect is selling really well; but is that good for gamers?

  • November 29, 2010
  • James Skemp
Techmeme had a couple of interesting titles this evening. "Kinect is Selling 2X as Fast as the iPad" and "Microsoft: Over 2.5M Kinect Sold." Even if I thought I had the space for it (I'd have to move furniture every time I wanted to play it in my current apartment) I still wouldn't pick up the Kinect. Why? First there's the price. At $150 you might as well buy a PSP (which I did) or a Nintendo DSi.

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Review: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

  • November 28, 2010
  • James Skemp
This is a review of the Sony PlayStation Portable game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII was the game that made me want a PlayStation 1. I played Final Fantasy VII briefly after it was initially released at a friend’s house, then my own copies later in college on both the PC and PlayStation 1. So when I ordered a PlayStation Portable (PSP) recently it seemed like a no-brainer to pick up a copy of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII as one of my first games.

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Sudoku observations and programmatic considerations

  • November 28, 2010
  • James Skemp
At the lowest level, any Sudoku puzzle consists of a number of squares. There are rows times columns squares consisting of a single value. There are x number of larger squares consisting of y values, where x is the smallest of rows and columns, and y is the largest of rows and columns. As already mentioned, there are a x number of rows, as well as a y number of columns. Overlap is possible, but the puzzle still consists of these basic parts.

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Game Informer's The 30 Characters Who Defined A Decade is an excellent read

  • November 12, 2010
  • James Skemp
Having just received this month's issue of Game Informer I was pleasantly suprised by the article 'The 30 Characters Who Defined A Decade,' contained on pages 46 to 69. I was particularly surprised to see Elena Fisher on the list, since Nathan Drake was already present, but feel that was an excellent choice. Lost Odyssey doesn't show up as much as I feel it should, so it was great to see Kaim Argonar showing up on the list.

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Oh why can't I find a reason to buy a current gen portable console?

  • October 30, 2010
  • James Skemp
I've spent a great portion of the day researching current gen portable consoles; the Nintendo DS(i) and Sony PSP. MLB for the latter was disappointing (I'm not much of a sports fan, so no surprise), but the Pokemon (I'm ashamed to admit) game was a blast. If any of the stores in Madison actually carried the Metal Gear PSP bundle I would have purchased it, even though I logically have a difficult time justifying it.

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On why I purchased another PlayStation 2

  • October 2, 2010
  • James Skemp
This afternoon I picked up a PlayStation 2 slim model from Best Buy. I've already got a fat PS2, from way back in 2004 (after a bit of research, it looks like January, and that I paid about $200 for it), that still works pretty darn good, although the controllers are a bit ... discouraging. My PlayStation 3 is also backwards compatible, so between the two I should be able to play my 52 PlayStation 2 (plus those I purchase in the future, as purchase I will) games for many years into the future.

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Did you know? Xbox Live auto-renewals

  • December 4, 2009
  • James Skemp
Did you know you have to go through 4 screens - 3 of which are adverts - to turn off Xbox Live auto-renewals? And it seems like there's only one click (or one purchase) to turn them back on.

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