Posts Filed Under: geek night
Our first Game Night with Giant Robot (and Attract Mode and The UGTL!) was a resounding success, in part thanks to two great video games. Sure the hard work of everyone at GR2, gr/eats, Friends of Meat Bun, Adam Robezzoli, and Eric Nakamura played a huge part in making Game Night 3 a blast, but we have to give it up for two highly addictive, crowd-pleasing games.
Super Meat Boy (Xbox Live Arcade)
Like N+, only less prone to drive players completely insane, Super Meat Boy is pure platforming perfection. Guide the bloody…err, ketchup-leaking Meat Boy through dozens (hundreds?) of levels filled with deadly saw blades, meat-seeking missiles and insta-kill mountains of salt in an effort to save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil Dr. Fetus.
Super Meat Boy draws a hardcore crowd, the type that loves watching a cycle of grisly deaths, but roars with delight when someone completes its incredibly challenging levels. Here’s some extended Super Meat Boy gameplay video that better shows off the wall-jumping, bandage-getting action!
Super Meat Boy is out on Xbox Live Arcade on October 20, coming to PC, Mac and WiiWare in November.
The game that drew bigger crowds, however, was a good ten years old.
The Typing of the Dead (Sega Dreamcast)
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing the most absurd edutational typing game ever, it’s essentially SEGA’s light gun shooter The House of the Dead 2 with typing controls slapped on. Combining intense typing action with the hilariously awful voice acting of THotD2 makes for a real crowd pleaser — mostly because, well, who doesn’t know how to control a keyboard?
While most of the phrases you’ll need to type include seemingly random strings — “Rental underwear,” “Woman diver,” “Enormous hair” — some typing challenges are more intense. You’ll need to answer questions by typing or re-type the deep inner thoughts of someone who worked in SEGA localization in the early 2000s. Everyone should own a copy of The Typing of the Dead. If only SEGA made it a little easier…
To see what you’re missing out on, watch this clip.
Last night’s Geek Night was more fun than E3.
Bold statement if referring to, say, E3 vintage 2003. E3 2008, on the other hand, was laughably poor. I got to play more upcoming unreleased titles last night in my living room than I did at this year’s farce of an E3. Rock Band 2 kicked off the set, setting the stage for an aural thrashing of my apartment. Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky”, Talking Heads “Psycho Killer”, and Dinosaur Jr. “Feel the Pain” were all cranked to 11. And what shambles were left were polished off by a couple of proton packs from Ghostbusters the Video Game. If this game doesn’t get a publisher soon, and subsequently get released, streams will be crossed. No amount of manual venting will keep me from over heating.
The evening took a decidedly adult direction when Mike fired up some Gal’s Panic.
There is a chance next year’s E3 will be reincarnated into a grander version of Geek Night with the proposed changes the ESA is evaluating. But until they start serving Newcastle, and allowing for decibel levels louder than a Prius, I won’t hold my breath.
Dave and I have done some stupid things together in the 17 years we have known each other, but we were both wondering if this crossed the line. Blindly following the GPS, we found ourselves driving out past Skid Row in LA, at dusk, behind some random warehouse.
We were heading to Capcom’s own real-life version of Fight Club. Dave was joining me because this was going to be his first chance to play Street Fighter IV. SF II Turbo was the game of choice during high school, and into college. Many a night was spent at Grand Prix in Massachusetts owning noobs even before the term existed. Dave’s Ryu was close to unbeatable.
The scene was great. Run down warehouse, door men with tasers, caged off areas with pristine Street Fighter IV arcade machines straight from Japan. They still even had the 100 yen stickers near the coin slots.
(1st and 2nd photo by Jared Rea)
SF IV played smooth and fluid. I know this because if it didn’t, Dave would have been livid. Years of training would have been wasted if the fighting formula had been tampered with. The matches played out like all good fighting game matches should: the cream rose to the top. The order of the the night was dethroning some expertly played Ken and Zangief.
Dave was good, but it seemed other Street Fighter fans had been practicing on the off season. Dave would win a couple matches here or there, but the years off showed. I think it stemmed from the sporadic Geek Night attendance, and something to do with being married with newborn twins. Dave wasn’t able to run the 10-15 win streaks he could do in high school, but he still looked semi-pro on a game he had technically never played before in his life.
That rocked. Capcom knocked it out of the park with Street Fighter IV. Looks-wise the game was stunning. Playability was solid and balanced. And this promo event made me feel like destroying something beautiful.
Last night was Geek Night. This happens every first Thursday. To fill in a little of the back story: a few years ago some gaming-enthusiast co-workers and I wanted to create a kind of “book-of-the-month club/poker night” (sans books or poker chips) that centered around gaming. The rules were simple, first Thursday of the month, revolving hosting, and the host supplied the food and drink. It turned into demo sessions of everything we had either bought or were playing that month. Damn fun.
Geek Night has since hopped coasts and followed us to LA. Now it’s next-gen gaming with next-gen food and beer. While I miss my East Coast pals, my West Coast buddies sometime bring dev boxes with stuff I shouldn’t be playing yet. Damn fun!
This Geek Night was a little different though. It was the first time we announced Meat Bun, and got to demo a few prototype shirts.
It was great to finally remove the self-inflicted gag order, and to give the inner circle a look at the project we have been spending so much time on. Hell, things really started officially for Meat Bun last Tokyo Game Show, and the next TGS is around the corner. I’m thrilled with the reactions we got during Geek Night. If these guys are digging the concept, then I have a sneaking suspicion others might too.