Archive for Hacks

The gAtari looks silly, sounds rad

I think my favorite part about the gAtari 2600—besides, you know, the body of the guitar is an actual 2600—is how the “frets” are just these ginormous footpedals, all fused onto the “fingerboard” in a row.

No, I realize the pedals are actually being used to play loops (Right?? And then the “whammying”), but they look hilarious. This machine does not sound hilarious, however. Rather, it sounds awesome.


‘Love Plus’ now playable in English

Screenshot: Rest Mode in 'Love Plus'

I have, more than once, written in defense of Love Plus, a game I have never even played. (In fact, I have only played and critiqued one high school dating simulation, Brooktown High for PSP. My review appeared in Electronic Gaming Monthly in 2007; I remember feeling very conflicted, because that game was hardly The Worst.)

In early 2010, the Japanese-language dating simulation got a ton of maybe-undue coverage, mostly because the types of people we figure are playing Love Plus on their Nintendo DSes are, we imagine, Akihabara-dwelling hikikomori who have never touched a breast that isn’t made of plasticized vinyl.

In April of last year, I admittedly got a little agitated and said too, too much about Love Plus+’s “Rest Mode.” Soon after that post, someone anonymously asked me to go into more detail, so I did:

…I can’t condemn a love simulation like Love Plus+ because that game only asks the heart to do real things in artificial situations.

Much worse, I think, is behaving artificially during true situations. And that is a truly human behavior. I guess in that way, some games train us to be better than ourselves.

So if Love Plus+ really is about manipulating girls and playing romantic odds, to hell with it. But if it instead teaches painful moments of human connection, which are rare in these times, that’s awesome! Embrace it! “Personal Trainer: Heartbreak.”

The point of all this is, I’ve always wanted to play Love Plus, since God knows I’ve already stormed the Internet with all my readymade assessments of the game. No more excuses: an English-language fan translation is now available as a patch.

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Could you run as far as your WoW character?

“My character was running all over the place,” I wrote in 2005, “and I freaked out because I was like, ‘If I were running this much and this often, I would weigh 90 pounds.’ And then I quit playing because I felt like I should have been investing more time in, uh, moving.”

I’d just sworn off playing Final Fantasy XI for PS2. That version of the MMORPG had come bundled with a proprietary hard drive; consequently, I’d felt obligated to play the game for months. I had tired of levelgrinding, and of fetch quests, but above all I was tired of running.

Over at Hack a Day, there’s a blurb about two guys who wanted to “see what it would be like to run as much as their World of Warcraft characters”—I guess the existential weirdness of watching your avatar live more healthily than you do had gotten to them, too.

These WoW fans rigged two treadmills up to their computers and, in full WoW regalia, commenced on what they’ve christened the RL Race Across Azeroth. The whole write-up (edit: since removed) is hilarious, the rig itself is extremely clever, and the corresponding video (edit: since removed?!) is adorable.

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