Window Mode

Left 4 Dead 2 - Window Mode

I have a pretty decent computer, a Macbook Pro from 2008. But it isn’t powerful enough to drive many modern games at the native resolution of my external display (1900×1200).

I could reduce the resolution, but the problem with reducing resolutions on an LCD is that anything other than the native resolution looks like garbage. A full screen game at 1280×800 resolution has to be rijiggered for a 1900×1200 display and it ends up looking awful.

But then there’s window mode: an option for games to play in a window instead of fullscreen. This way you can at least get the game in a playable resolution, but you still have to play it in a window.

“10 Stupid Things Terribly Wrong with Skyward Sword” by Tim Rogers

Rogers ultimately recommends Skyward Sword for Zelda fans, but I will probably pass on it for a couple of reasons.

  1. I don’t have a Wii connected to my TV anymore.
  2. I’ve been disappointed with every Zelda game I’ve played since Ocarina of Time

When the Wii was announced I was hopeful that all the great Nintendo franchises would get updated…and they did. But I think they coast on the greatness of their previous installments and how much I enjoyed playing them as a kid.

In The Time Machine Over The Sea

Kill Screen takes a look at In The Time Machine Over The Sea, a game based on Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

“I know they buried her body with others / Her sister, her mother, and 500 families / And she will remember me 50 years later / I wished I could save her in some sort of time machine / Know all your enemies / We know who our enemies are.”

— Neutral Milk Hotel, “Oh Comely”

The above quote is pretty much the impetus for In the Time Machine Over the Sea, a game based on an album based on a singer-songwriter’s terrifying dreams about Anne Frank. The idea behind this game is that you, the (probably) bespectacled, erudite gamer who is into other things—namely, indie-rock music from the ’90s—have always wanted to act out five decontextualized lines of a Jeff Magnum—er, sorry, Mangum—song.

“Voicebox 360” by Tom Bissell

Bissell profiles Jennifer Hale, the actress who plays Mass Effect’s female Commander Shepard, as Hale records dialogue for Mass Effect 3.

It states that Bioware says that only 20% of players choose the female Shepard, leading to speculation that most players are uncomfortable with a woman in a position of leadership in the game.

When I played Mass Effect 1 and 2 I picked the male Shepard not because I was uncomfortable with a female lead, but because BroShep is on the box art, he was in the commercials, he’s in the preview videos. To me it feels like BioWare intended for me, and most players, to play as BroShep, at least the first time through. BroShep is the default.

If I were to replay Mass Effect I may choose FemShep, but I don’t usually play these kinds of games a second time.

  • Voicebox 360 (you’ll need a New Yorker subscription to read the full article)

Flash Game Saves Die After Clearing Cache

If you clear your Flash cache then any game saves you have are in danger since that’s how Flash games store data. I discovered this after starting VVVVVV thinking I was going to do some time trials.

VVVVVV developer Terry Cavanagh responds:

Yeah, it’s pretty annoying, but there’s aren’t really any alternatives for flash based games (or at least, until recently there weren’t). For future updates I’m looking into using something else.

Does the App Store version of VVVVVV do this?

Double Dragon II Arranged

Double Dragon 2 Arranged

I played a lot of Double Dragon II when I was a kid. I don’t think I would have if the music hadn’t been decent.1

These arranged versions of themes from Double Dragon II are heavy on synth and guitar and should sound comfortable to anybody who had a Nintendo growing up — if they can get past the J-Pop vocals on some tracks.

Check out Low Pursuit, which I believe to be an arrangement heavily influenced by Phil Collins’s Easy Lover, and Advancing Towards Sunset.

So 80s.

Track Title Rating
1 Dead or Alive (Vocal Version) ★★
2 Unleashing the Ogre (Mission 1) ★★★
3 Low Pursuit (Mission 2) ★★★★★
4 Night Sky Tension (Mission 3) ★★★
5 Advancing Towards Sunset (Mission 4) ★★★★★
6 Escape To The Forest (Mission 5) ★★★★
7 Wicked God (Mission 6 ★★
8 Breaking The Barrier (Mission 7) ★★★★
9 Entering The Enemy Base ★★★
10 Roar of the Double Dragon (Final Boss) ★★★★
11 Miracle of the Double Dragon (Reunion) ★★★★
12 Rising Desire (Ending Theme) ★★★
13 Dead Or Alive (Edit Version) ★★
Album Rating ★★★

  1. My hypothesis is that games like Double Dragon and Mega Man intentionally used catchy music to discourage players from giving up, but games aren’t that difficult these days so we don’t need to do that anymore