The 99s and 100s of the NHL

There’s only one 99 in hockey, but in video game hockey there are several – actually, there are a few 100s, too.

In EA Sports’ NHL series, players are given an overall rating that reflects their skill level, based on the hockey prowess of the real-life player. EA’s sports games come out for the year ahead (NHL ’94 was released in ’93, for example, ahead of the ’93/’94 hockey season), so player ratings are based on the past year’s performance. Before patches and online updates were the norm, player ratings could get out of date pretty quickly. I thought it’d be interesting to look back and see which players lived up to their scores, and which ones maybe didn’t deserve them in the first place. Continue reading

No Man’s Floor

Alternatively titled: Jetpack to the Centre of the Earth

With the new update and the game being on sale, I finally got No Man’s Sky. I’m hesitant to give it a yay or a nay yet, as I haven’t played enough, but so far I’m enjoying it — for the most part. It is, ultimately: go here, gather that. But the concept of exploring an unfathomably vast, mostly undiscovered universe remains very exciting to me. It’s also gorgeous.

What I love:

I’ve chosen the Atlas path and the story is actually really cool — time travel and a forgotten purpose.

The game does a remarkable job of making you feel small and (almost) alone.

Learning languages is proving to be my favourite thing to do.

What I dislike:

Your character, for some reason, doesn’t keep track of where he’s been. There’s no map on a planetary level, which means you may find something and then never find it again. A little into the game you learn how to make beacons, which allows you to mark places you’d like to return to, but I still find it silly that anyone would explore uncharted territories without keeping a map.

Scanning flying creatures is beyond frustrating. You need to scan creatures for — I don’t know — like three seconds for it to count. But it’s so precise that as the flying creatures move it cancels the scan, and you have to adjust and start again. I’ve almost given up on trying.

There’ve been a couple glitches. The most annoying was when a quest didn’t complete when it should have, and I had to spend a bunch of extra time looking for the resources again. The other glitch I’ve experienced was just a silly clipping error. Here it is:

Anyhoo, it was the first and only body of water I’ve discovered. Too bad I had to reset without saving.

Way Cool Picture from a Way Cool Stream

Bonjour, Super Gamers!

It’s been real quiet here as of late, but let it be known I am… sometimes… working on things. Should be a couple songs and a fun little story coming down the pipe. In the meantime, check out this awesome picture I had drawn for me on the Weirdle Sisters’ stream:


Here’s how I came to be the owner of such fine art:

First, I went to the stream ( — check it out! Super fun.), then Troll Slayer was all, “Everyone type chicken races and we’ll randomly pick a winner!” The winner got to choose what was drawn and then got to keep the art. I didn’t win.

“Burrito is the winner!” the sisters yelled. Bretto, the winner, didn’t realize that meant them. And so, the call was not answered. And they picked at random again, and this time I was the winner! Sort of! A friend of mine won and gave the spoils to me.

I was asked what I wanted drawn, and told it had to be video game related. I blurted out: Mario tending to his flower garden. It got lost in the shuffle. I repeated: Mario tending to his flower garden. By this time, Bretto realized what was going on and declared themselves the true winner. Now, this wouldn’t be my first fight to the death, but we opted for a more civilized approach: a compromise: we’d both come up with a concept.

I think Bretto wanted a chicken. Just a chicken? I don’t remember. But to tie it all together I suggested Mario gardening and being attacked by a loose Zelda chicken. And there was much rejoicing.

So here’s the end product. I love it! Thank you Asteriodea and Troll Slayer! Once again, y’all can check out their stream here.

Oh, and one more thing. I made this short, silly “1950s Bowser professing his love to Princess Peach through karaoke” track that is perhaps fun and definitely dumb. Enjoy!

Video Game Pitches

It’s about a three hour drive from Dauphin to Winnipeg. I make the drive often enough, and on my latest trip I tried coming up with game ideas. Here’s what I got:

Bowser’s Funhouse – No mushrooms in this Modern Day Mario. The titular character changes between tall, short, skinny, and fat based on his appearance in funhouse mirrors. Each form has unique abilities.

Eat Up and Away – A little girl wants to meet an alien. She eats clouds to float higher and higher.

Blarney – Bullshit your way to the top. Dialogue puzzles, multiple endings. Bonus stage: vertical platformer in which you scale Blarney Castle to kiss the stone.

Universim – Set the parameters, then watch a universe grow.

Conservation Officer – Protect Manitoba’s lakes from zebra mussels by inspecting and cleaning watercraft. Bonus stage: monitor the emerald ash borers’ movement and stop people from transporting firewood. It’s edu-tainment!

Body Builder – From the inside out, design creatures to inhabit and withstand various environments.