Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2003: Paul Myers Show

I've written about this elsewhere, but back in 2003, Mr. Nash and I appeared on AM730 MOJO Radio "Talk Radio for Guys" in Vancouver. The station is long dead, at least the talk radio format. It switched to all sports, and is currently a traffic station.

But back to 2003 in a time just before Christmas.

Nervous would have been putting it mildly. I was practically vibrating with anxiety as Jeff and I sat in the Corus Radio reception area waiting to be retrieved. Which is the only reason I can come up with for the fact I made up answers on the spot rather than say, "I don't know." If Jeff and I did the segment again now, 9 years on and a ton of more experience under our belts, this would have gone very differently. And I wouldn't be as nervous.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Police Quest III Murder Map"

I know Gabriel Knight III gets stuck with the "worst puzzle" award but if my memory serves, this one was just as maddening. If those stars weren't exactly in the right place you just couldn't go any further. It was pixel hunting taken to it's most sinister and damning form!

I stumbled on the picture above after trying to install my 1995 CD version of the Police Quest Collection. It's a little bit of a nightmare to get running but I found all sorts of things I forgot about, like a video interview with former LA police chief Daryl F. Gates talking about "Did OJ do it?"

He says, "Yep."

Well, to be fair he does a very good job explaining his answer.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Video Commentary: The Attempt

Over on The Armchair Empire's official YouTube channel, Mr. Nash has been providing an assortment of commentary and video for the last few months but it's only recently I've tried my hand at doing the same thing.

I've done two videos so far, one for Prototype 2 and the one above for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. There's plenty of room for improvement on my part but it is quite fun though I don't think it will replace my written articles.

Friday, August 17, 2012

12 Years

Celebrating 12 Years!

The date came and went without even a ripple. In fact, it didn't dawn on me until about a week later that The Armchair Empire has been in existence for 12 years.

The official date of registration of the URL -- www.armchairempire.com -- was August 5, 2000, two days before my first son's first birthday and on the same day Alec Guinness died.

That was when all the trouble started.

Monday, August 13, 2012

In My Other Life I'm Emperor of the Universe

It's not exactly the feeling that I was meant for something greater -- some alternate Aaron is probably enjoying being Emperor of the Universe -- but there's definitely the feeling I was meant to be doing something else.

It's kind of a dangerous thing to admit because people tend to jump to conclusions about what that something else is or what spurred the thought in the first place.

Sometimes, it's just a feeling, something that lurks just beneath the soul line. Sometimes I see ripples.

Did I just see that? Is that the thing I should be doing? Is that the one thing?

And what do I do to catch that thing? Wait until it leaps up and lands in my boat? Bait a hook and trawl along? Next time I see the ripples, leap into the opaque water with fingers outstretched?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Playing Inverted

Hours and hours of my early gaming life was spent playing Wing Commander, X-Wing, Tie-Fighter, and Stunt Island. (One of my earliest memories was playing the original Falcon on my XT.) In those games, the Y-axis -- the up/down axis -- was always inverted. Pull down on the joystick and the nose of the craft would incline; push the stick forward and the craft would angle downward.

The control method ingrained itself so deep into my brain that when consoles began to come packed with controllers that featured dual thumb sticks -- and even before that with the N64 controller -- I played with the Y-axis inverted. (Playing with mouse and keyboard, this issue just goes away.)

Gears of War, TimeSplitters, Prototype 2, Halo, LA Noire, Batman: Arkham City, Rainbow Six Vegas, Stranglehold, Max Payne, the list goes on... games and series that I've played inverted. It helps to cement that Y-axis quirk that was established so long ago. So, when I come across a game, especially a modern game, that doesn't feature the option to make that switch (or even makes it the default control preference) it's enough to completely stonewall any enjoyment I might otherwise squeeze out of the game.

Right now I'm thinking specifically of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. The PC version of the game.