Sunday, August 31, 2008


I moved into my new dorm. I got horrifically ill and I spoke about this before. I thought I was done having a bad week but then I discovered something far worse.

My room has bed bugs.

I woke up on Saturday covered in little bites all over body, all itching like mad. NYU is supposedly working on getting an exterminator but they are doing a very crappy job, as usual. Needless to say, I am pissed off.

But, I did find a way to relate this story to Table Salt Games. In honor of my bed bugs, I'll share with you some of the coolest bugs/glitches that have appeared in video games.

1. Mega Man Multi-hit Start Trick

This only works in the first Mega Man game for the the NES. You can do this with most weapons, but the weapon it works best with is Elec Man's weapon. To do this trick, fire the weapon as normal. Then, the moment you see the weapon hit the enemy, pause the game. Don't bring up the weapon menu, just do a normal pause. From there, keep pausing and un-pausing the game and suddenly the enemy with with start taking multiple hits from the same attack! Using this technique, you can take out any boss with one shot.

This makes the Rock Monster (pictured above) actually possible to beat in Wily's stage 1.

2. Corrupted Blood

This was a HUGE bug in World of Warcraft that affected as much as half the the population on certain servers. The bug appeared in Sept. 2005 when Blizzard introduced a new dungeon called Zul'Gurub. A boss in the dungeon named Hakkar the Soulflayer, casted a spell that would do somewhere between 263-337 points of damage every two seconds. That alone is pretty bad, but what caused the bug is that this spell would be passed to anyone who was nearby the affected player. The spell lasted for quite awhile, and upon receiving the affect from another player the timer would be reset to the maximum.

The spell was only intended for the boss fight, as it would require the players fighting to use some extra strategy. Players would need to avoid the teammate affected while still trying to damage to the boss. However, this spell was bugged because it could also affect players' pets which could be called back and retain the spell's affect. People could then release the pet in a big town and have the entire city affected. Low level people would die immediately and mid-level players with no capability to heal would also die out.

Blizzard eventually fixed the problem but, the epidemic was so huge that researchers have looked into this instance as a virtual example of the nature of infectious diseases. Check out the Wikipedia article on it for more information.

3. A compilation video

The video touts itself as the funniest video game bugs ever. It isn't. But still, it's pretty funny. It gave me a laugh when I saw it.

Ah, good bugs. Bed bugs aren't good though. They suck.

Photos: [1], [2]

Friday, August 29, 2008

Flashy Friday: Alien Hominid

Alien Hominid is a run-and-gun game where you are an alien trying to stop the FBI from killing you. The gameplay is similar to that of Metal Slug, where there are endless amounts of enemies and you're just firing like mad.

This game is very well made though, so good in fact, that you can buy a Gamecube, PS2, Xbox or an Xbox Live Arcade version. The consoles levels are completely different and significantly easier. The two-player co-op in the console version is the real major difference, which prompted me to buy the GC version a couple of years ago.

The flash version is relentlessly hard but, once you get a hang of the controls, you'll be taking out FBI agents in no-time. Pressing down and the jump button when you're above an enemy will help you out a lot as you'll latch onto someone's head, freaking out any other FBI agents nearby, giving you a free shot. Otherwise, just keep moving and shooting and you'll hopefully make it through.

To play Alien Hominid, click on this link.

Photo: [1]

Guitar Band Revolution 36: World Tour of Rock

Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Rock Revolution all translate loosely into buy our accessories. These games started off somewhat simple, only requiring the user to buy a guitar accessory, or two if they had friends. Enter Rock Band. Let's mix Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution and throw in an accessory of our own, the drums.


Now these games all have their own accessories, and they're cross platform as well. The worst part for consumers, and the an ingenious marketing strategy is to make these accessories not 100% compatible with each other. This is slowly changing; they are seemingly trying to make the stuff more compatible. Producing the game discs is pretty much free, and all profit, so why not sell as many games as you can? Joystiq published a ridiculous big chart to help you know whether or not you need to buy new guitars and drums for your new music game.

Looking for a version for the computer? Into Jesus? Then Guitar Praise is for you! Featuring songs like: Made to Worship by Chris Tomlin, Jesus Freak by dc Talk, and All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises by Paul Baloche. I'm sure there are other non-Jesus versions, but this one seemed noteworthy.

I'm probably the only person on this site who is not into these games at all. Richard even wrote a bit on Will and Beyond about a guy becoming famous from Guitar Hero. I don't like the guitar much, nor the drums, and I abhor singing. My only guilty exception to this musical genre hating is DDR; for some reason, I love it so.

Image: xkcd
Image: The Gamer Gene


Top 52: Guitar Hero II (#45)

Yeah, I know, this week's Top 52 was late. Well, hopefully you can rock out with this week's game: Guitar Hero II.

Title: Guitar Hero II
Console: PS2
Release Date: 11/07/06 (US)
Genres: Music, Rhythm, Simulation
My Ranking: #45

Become a rock star. That’s how Harmonix, RedOctane and Activision marketed this game. Instead of using standard controllers, the Guitar Hero series features plastic toy guitars with five buttons on them. The guitars fit nicely over your shoulder and it feels as though you’re holding a guitar in your hands.

Most of you probably know how Guitar Hero works. Different colored notes flow from the top of the screen and you have to press the right colored note in conjunction with the strum bar at the right time. It’s a simple concept that anyone can understand but, it requires months of practice to become really good at this game.

Being an actual guitarist, the first time I picked up the toy guitar at my friend’s house, something didn’t feel right. I saw the notes flowing down on the screen, seemingly trivializing actual guitar playing. Five buttons just doesn’t add up to six strings with over fifteen frets to work with. Frankly, I was a little bit insulted.

But then, I started to play the game and found myself really enjoying the experience. Sure, it’s nothing like actual guitar, but the simulation is dead on. You’re holding a guitar-like “instrument” and when you play the right “notes” the music plays. When you mess up, you hear yourself mess up. It’s simplified, but it feels realistic, even to regular guitar players.

Despite there being only five buttons, the game can be quite challenging when dealing with some crazy solos *coughHangar18cough*. When the notes move by so fast you only have a split second to react and if you’re playing the song for the first time, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by a barrage of colors coming at you. Luckily though, Guitar Hero sports four different difficulty settings that really prepare you for the harder songs. By the time you finish all the songs on hard, you’ll be ready to take on the easier songs in Expert.

I picked Guitar Hero II over the other installments in the series since I thought this game had the best blend of song selection, difficulty and features. The original Guitar Hero has the best song list but it was too easy. Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80’s had a great song selection but no bonus songs whatsoever. Guitar Hero III had the worst song selection in the series in my opinion and for whatever reason, requires you to play co-op career mode to unlock all the co-op songs on different difficulty settings. The Xbox 360 version had a patch to fix this problem, but PS2 owners were left in the dust.

Guitar Hero II’s song selection kept me playing. Even with different installments in the series I find myself falling back to this specific game. Songs I really feel in love with include “Carry On Wayward Son,” “Hangar 18,” “Jessica,” “John the Fisherman,” “YYZ,” and so much more. Upon playing through the Guitar Hero games, I found that my musical tastes had expanded out. I’ve heard of Rage Against the Machine, Primus and Pearl Jam but I never really listened to them. When I finally heard their music, I got their albums.

Guitar Hero is also excellent for parties. The game provides interactive, good rock music so it appeals to people who just want to listen and to people who want to play video games. I still actively play this game on my PS2 and I’m happy that I bought it despite the ridiculous price tag. To get the game and two guitars you will be spending over $100. Yeah, it hurt, but you’ll love this game so much that you’ll forget how much money you blew on one video game.
My Top 52:
#44 --- Revealed on 09/02

Photo: [1], [2], [3]

Why the Lack of Updates?

Don't worry, the blog didn't die out. I've just been very sick recently and completely bed-ridden. Thankfully I have enough strength to move today, so I will be writing like mad. I will be posting the next installment in the Top 52 today, since I missed it on Tuesday. I also will be posting on Will and Beyond today, just like I do every Friday. And, I will be posting a Flashy Friday post as today is Friday.

One more bit of news however. Starting with the end of July, I have been posting Easter Eggs in some of my posts. Two of my avid readers, Shawn and Lima have caught onto this trend. Most of the easter eggs are just awesome videos relating to my post. Don't bother looking in this post for an Easter Egg though, there isn't one. >.> <.<

Or is there?

Monday, August 25, 2008

VG Advanced Strategies: Mega Man X

This week’s VG Advanced Strategies segment highlights Mega Man X for the SNES. The strategies below will show you how to get all of the hidden upgrades in all eight stages. I may bring this game up again in the future and give some tips on how to do effective speed runs but, for now, this segment will show you how to get all of the hidden goodies placed throughout the game.

There nothing of particular importance in the highway stage. Start off with Chill penguin as he is the easiest to defeat.

Chill Penguin- You won’t need to search high and low to find this capsule. Just progress in the stage and you’ll eventually hit this baby. Now you have the Dash upgrade. Hopefully you remembered to set the dash button to R; it will make your life a lot easier.

Storm Eagle- Dash and jump off this platform at about that height and keep holding left for a heart container.

Storm Eagle- See? I didn’t lie. You can trust me.

Storm Eagle- Kill the green and orange robot shooting thingy with your X Buster and then climb on top of the metal pedestal.

Storm Eagle- The pedestal will rise to this point. You can then shoot the glass to your right and enter the passageway.

Storm Eagle- Look! You get an E-Tank for all your trouble.

Storm Eagle- Man, there is so much to do in this stage! When you hit the criss-crossed tower shown above, climb it and then drop in the tiny hole Mega Man s facing.

Storm Eagle- Now that you’re on the right side of the tower, dash and jump off it to reach this area. Switch to the shotgun ice to blow up the pillars faster, though your X-buster will work as well.

Storm Eagle- W00t! Another capsule. This one gives helmet that will destroy certain blocks like the one shown in this picture.

Flame Mammoth- See those blocks in the upper-left corner? Those are breakable with your helmet. Dash and jump off the tip of this platform to reach the blocks. It may take a couple of tries, but it is possible. Make sure you jam the jump button when you hit the blocks though; if you break the block closest to you and fall, then you will not be able to reach this power-up. If you do mess up though, just beat this stage and get to this point again.

Flame Mammoth- Upon making that tricky jump, you will receive an upgraded X-buster. You can also use this upgrade to power up your special weapons attacks. Groovy.

Flame Mammoth- This heart upgrade is only obtainable if you have beaten Chill Penguin first. If you don’t, the floor will be filled with lava and impossible to reach. Just coast along the iced floor for this easy pick-up.

Flame Mammoth- Climb the wall above the heart container and then jump to the left. Jump on some platforms and you’ll eventually see two Metools (the hard hat dudes). Where Mega Man is standing was an extra life. From there dash and jump all the way to the left.

Flame Mammoth- Success! Another E-tank.

Spark Mandrill- The heart container is easy to miss if you’re just running through the level. When you see a short ladder leading downwards to a robot on wheels, then this heart container is right above you. Dash and jump off the left wall and change direction in mid air in order to reach this upgrade.

Armored Armadillo- Those spikes are going to start moving pretty fast and start running after you. Quickly climb back up the wall you fell from and avoid them. Then you can get behind this menacing enemy.

Armored Armadillo- Once behind this enemy you’ll see a cleverly hidden E-tank.

Armored Armadillo- When you see this hole, hug the right wall and keep holding right as you fall.

Armored Armadillo- You’ll land right on the platform showed above. From here you can hug the tiny bit a wall that you have and sneak in front of another spiked rolling dude. If you feel that is too risky then you’ll need to kill this guy fast from behind. The Flame Wave will kill him quickly.

Armored Armadillo- Assuming you snuck past/killed the rolling spiked dude, then this heart container will be a steal.

Launch Octopus- After the second miniboss, jump into the second upwards spiraling whirlpool. From there you can jump onto the boat to your right and kill it quickly with the Flame Wave. The boat will then sink and reveal a hidden passageway.

Launch Octopus- In that passageway another miniboss will appear. You can take him out with one shot of a well placed, fully charged tornado.

Launch Octopus- All that work for a heart container? I guess it’s worth it. Boomer Kuwanger- First, beat the entire stage to get the boomerang cutter. Then, replay the level and use that weapon to get this upgrade. The boomerang will pick it up upon hitting it and bring it back to you.

Sting Chameleon- When the color of the ground changes from a brownish soil to a green tunnel, there is a secret passage in the hole between them. Slide down the hole and jump off the blocks to your right to break them. Then do a dash and jump to what looks like to be a watery abyss.

Sting Chameleon- Tricky. A heart container is hidden all the way over here. Note that this jump is impossible unless you have beaten Launch Octopus first.

Sting Chameleon- Jump back from the heart container and climb out of the hole all the way to the top of the brown side. From there, dash and jump to the right to hit the wall shown above. Climb up to face a miniboss.

Sting Chameleon- This guy isn’t all that difficult; he just takes a really long time to kill. Aim for his head or jump in-between his claw and his body when he shoots it out and fire from there.

Sting Chameleon- Beating that miniboss gets you another capsule. This one will give you armor that reduces the amount of damage you take by half.

Chill Penguin- Once you have the Flame Wave, replay this level and destroy this igloo for a heart upgrade. To reach this point, jump into the robot they give you, jump upwards out of it past the first igloo you see, and then climb the wall to reach this point.

Spark Mandrill- You need the Boomerang Cutter in order to get this E-tank. Upon entering the stage, jump up the first ladder you see and then down the next ladder. Walk down the passageway and you’ll see this E-tank. Jump up and use the boomerang cutter and you’ll have the last E-tank.

Awesome! Now you have every hidden item in the game!... nope, there’s one more thing you can get.

Armored Armadillo- This will only work once you have all of the aforementioned upgrades. That includes all capsules, weapons, heart containers and E-tanks. Also, make sure that you have more than 4 lives. Go back to Armored Armadillo stage and go almost all the way to the end. You’ll know you’re close when you see those pesky birds. Kill them so they don’t get knock you off the moving platform.

Armored Armadillo- Just before the platform hits the wall, jump off it and climb the wall right above the entrance to the boss’ lair. Pick up the energy capsule and then jump to your death. Yes, you heard me. Commit suicide. You’ll start at the checkpoint in the level. Repeat this pattern again 4 times. Keep getting the energy capsule shown above and keep dying.

Armored Armadillo- WTF!? Where did that capsule come from!? Upon using the aforementioned strategy, a capsule will appear next the energy capsule.

Armored Armadillo- Hadouken! Ryu’s famous technique from Street Fighter has somehow become hidden skill for Mega Man. To activate the hadouken, just do a Quarter-circle (downĂ left/right) and fire. This move will instantly kill any enemy or boss except for the final form of Sigma. However, you must be at full health for this move to work and you must be on the ground. Passwords will not save this move either. Regardless, this is crazy awesome.

Now you know how to be at max power before you reach the Sigma stages. The rest of the game will be a breeze.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mario Frustration

I know that I didn't do a Advanced Strategies segment yet for this week (normally every Saturday). I'll hopefully have one up tonight but that all depends on how smooth moving into my new dorm is. I move in today and I am still in the process of packing and loading.

Until then however, hopefully this viral video will keep you entertained. Someone made an original Super Mario Bros. mod that features four insanely hard levels. The voice-over in the video is hilarious, as this guy gets so frustrated while playing this game. Be warned, this video does have a lot of swearing.

The game is possibly to beat, however. Actually, some people have done successful speed runs like the one showed below.

This isn't the BEST speed run of this game, but I think it's pretty darn good, especially after watching the hilarity of the first video.

Ugh, now back to packing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How to get an Olympic medal

The Olympics are great, and you are no doubt feeling some level of Olympic fever. The games can be very motivating, and people will push themselves to start lifting weights (assuming they haven't seen the Hungarian), running, or swimming. Some may take this motivation one step further and decide they want to be an Olympian. The ultimate goal of every Olympian is to win a medal (preferably a pretty gold color) for themselves and their country. I have outlined some options for you below, on how to get an Olympic medal.

1. Buy one
This may not be the most satisfying method, but spending money is always an option. This article tells us that a gold medal is worth about $220 in terms of the metals it contains. (No, it's not 100% gold.) Creating the medal isn't free, so let's round it up to $400 or so. You probably won't be able to buy one at this price, an athlete might want a tad more for their trouble. Otylia Jedrzejczak sold her 2004 gold medal for $82,500 to raise money for charity. A silver or bronze medal would probably be cheaper, but if you're going to shell out that sort of cash, you might as well go for the gold, so to speak.

2. Steal one
Israel's only gold medal in Olympic history (ouch), won by Gal Fridman in 2004 was stolen (double ouch) from a safe in his home, along with his bronze medal. It was eventually found by a little girl in the forest, and returned to him. He's probably more careful with it now, so you might want to target someone else.

3. Find one
To utilize this method, you should attend the medal ceremonies held after Olympic events. Pay close attention to the floor, medals have been known to be found there. Sweden's left his bronze medal on the ground out of disappointment. (Link contains video.) Don't feel bad, they took it away from him for showing poor sportsmanship, so you're not really stealing it. Nonetheless, it will be hard to not draw attention to yourself since these events are broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide, but it's just lying there for the taking. This method probably won't get you a gold medal, as few athletes will throw a gold medal onto the ground out of disgust for not winning a non-existent platinum or diamond medal.

4. Win one
This is unarguably the most honorable, satisfying and difficult method listed on this page. Since this is most likely your preferred method, I will give some pro-tips on how to make your medal-winning experience easier. Only the Summer Olympic games will be discussed, as they are on everyone's mind. The Winter Olympics are much more awesome, but we'll talk about them in two years or so.

4a. Don't cheat
The Olympic games are kind of a big deal, and people really want to win medals. Some jerks will take this desire too far, and will cheat. John Candy put weights into his bobsled, and many athletes are caught doping (taking performance enhancing drugs, steroids, e.g.) every year. Don't try doping your horse, they check for that too. As science progresses, we get better and better at detecting these things. To be on the safe side, you shouldn't listen to music either.

4b. Choose a team sport
Why try for a medal alone when you can have your team do the work for you. In fact, in some events (swimming relays, e.g.), if you participate in the qualifying heats, but don't race in the medal event itself, you can still get a medal! This method will get you less fame, since your team/country gets more glory, and your name is spoken less than it would be had you won it alone, but we're only talking about how to get a medal here.

4c. Pick an obscure sport
You want a gold medal in some swimming event? So does the rest of the world. How about sprinting? Everyone can run, and most likely faster than you. In order to maximize your odds of getting a medal, choose a sport where fewer people compete. The last time Polo was played, only five nations competed. Unfortunately, it hasn't been an Olympic sport in 72 years, so try your luck with something else. I recommend a 'rich people sport' like sailing, shooting, or something with horses.

4d. Win a 'demonstration' medal
Are the Olympics in your country this year? Do you play an obscure sport that most countries don't? Great! Before a sport is officially introduced to the Olympics, it is introduced as a demonstration sport. Some examples are ballooning, lifesaving, Finnish baseball, and Basque Pelota. If you didn't know those were Olympic events, it's because they are no longer. The only issue with this is that technically, the medals are smaller (physically) than the non-demonstration sport medals, and they're not included in the official medal count, but there are just technicalities.

So there you have it, now you know how to get an Olympic medal. If you win a medal, be sure to credit me as your inspiration. If you steal one, please don't.

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr


Flashy Friday: Motherload

This week’s Flashy Friday game is Motherload. Motherload is a mining game in which your whole goal is to make a ton of money. You control a little mining vehicle that can dig through dirt from the left, right, or underneath you. You’ll see different materials in the ground like silver, gold, or Einsteinium even. When you dig through those, you can collect them, bring them back to the surface, and sell them.

The game isn’t that simple though. You have a limited amount of fuel and hull strength and you will die if if either hit zero. Your hull and drill are pretty weak to start with also, so you’ll need to buy better equipment. I suggest getting better drill and fuel tank ASAP and then get a bigger storage unit. You can also buy a variety of items, the most useful one being a device that warps you out from the ground, no matter how deep you are.

The game map is HUGE. You will not be able to reach the bottom in one try and I’ve played this game for weeks and never reached the bottom. Obstacles will get in your way the further you go down and more spots will hurt your hull as well. Thankfully, the game has a save feature that is available above ground.

Check out this game; I highly recommend it. Be warned though; it’s highly addictive. Work will not get done upon clicking this link.

Photo: [1]

Presidental Voting via Xbox 360

You can now vote for the next President of the United States using your Xbox 360. Microsoft has teamed up with Rock the Vote and come Aug. 25th, you can go to Xbox LIVE and register to vote via your console.

Politicians have always been looking for ways to convince the 18-25 age demographic to vote and this is by far the best idea I’ve ever seen. Gamers across the country who own an Xbox 360 will not even have to leave their couches on voting day.

There’s a little more to this story also. On LIVE, users will be able discuss political issues in an exclusive forum, take part in political polls and download public service announcements from the Rock the Vote. With these features, Xbox Live has become a legitimate political source. Gamers now have a central location in which they can discuss politics and a exclusive forum to express their voices.

This is a great idea; it just needs one fix. Why stop with only Xbox 360 gamers? I hope Rock the Vote is at least talking to Sony and Nintendo to get this on their consoles. All gamers, regardless of what system they prefer, should be able to get this service for free.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: You can't vote for the President through your Xbox 360. You CAN register to vote though. Sorry for the mix up. Thanks Will!

Photo: [1]