Backlog: Big G Edition

What, pray tell is "G"? Beyond an uninspired sports drink ad campaign, methinks the man pictured above knows a thing or two.

In any case, G's up this weekend on the Backlog. Nick has been fly like a G6 and popped into the rejuvenated Ground Kontrol, Doug got some AP English flashbacks playing a Great American Novel-inspired flash game, and Aaron apparently has the world's gnarliest bird flu or ebola or something and has bravely pushed through to make an appearance here this week.

Now, unfortunately, the schtick is wearing thin so onward! Backlog, ho!


Guys — guys — I gotta show you something. Something awesome. Many thanks to Dan (whose first contribution to Silicon Sasquatch should be posted next week) for sending along the link to The Great Gatsby Game, which is very simple but awesome in its execution. Take one part F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, a mish-mash of NES influences (Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, Mario, etc) and some cheeky nostalgia for both and you've got this Flash game. Super pared-down in its controls, you use your hat to attack, collect martini glasses to refill your health, and fight period-appropriate enemies like train engineers and flappers. It gets kind of tricky in the second level, with the Ninja Gaiden influence seen in the way birds attack. This is a fantastic example of what you can do as an independent developer.

It's so good, it makes me want to go read a book again. That hasn't happened in like, forever.

Otherwise, this week has seen more of my steady gaming diet — a little F1 2010 (after frothing at the mouth and taking it back from Nick), a touch of Marvel vs Capcom 3 with Nick, more Super Street Fighter IV, a bunch of PES 2010 and another touch of Assassin's Creed II. I need to sit down and properly blitz through the very end of ACII, because I'm incredibly close to the end. Also, I've burned my phone battery something fierce with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which is awesome.


I've been playing an old favorite game of mine this week: The Endurance Test. For those unfamiliar, this rendition consisted of several days of job interview preparation, a marathon, 23-hour day of traveling (including four separate flights), and four interviews in a row in the space of two hours, followed by my favorite part: waiting to hear back.

Fortunately, it was all worth it: I totes got a job!

I'll be able to talk a bit more about what that job entails in the near future, but for now I just wanted to mention a couple important things:

1. I love Silicon Sasquatch like a furry, ugly (but very charming) baby, and I fully intend to keep doin' what I do with the site; and

2. I am totally out of it this week so our "weekly" podcast will be delayed until next Monday.

Now that the boring stuff's out of the way, let's talk about Ground Kontrol's big remodel — and Pac-Man Battle Royale.

Holy shit, you guys. Holy shit. Somehow, Ground Kontrol managed to snag one of these machines and has installed it front-and-center at the iconic classic arcade/bar in Northwest Portland. The bright yellow cocktail cabinet features four joysticks, plenty of oversized cup holders, and the best multiplayer action in an arcade game since Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

The goal of Pac-Man Battle Royale is to outlast your fellow Pac-Mans by avoiding ghosts and consuming power pellets to go on the offensive. Here's the twist: When a Pac-Man eats a power pellet, he doesn't just gain the ability to eat ghosts. Instead, he grows to a massive size and is able to consume other Pac-Mans who are unfortunate enough to wander into the gargantuan one's path of destruction.

It's a nuanced, clever, exciting game, and it's an awful lot of fun. I'd say it makes the trip to Ground Kontrol worthwhile on its own.

Speaking of Pac-Man: Namco is now three-for-three in making brilliant new Pac-Man games in recent years. I don't know about you, but I think it's nothing short of miraculous that a thirty-year-old game can feel so fresh, innovative and thrilling. My hat's off to Namco; they've really achieved something special with this one.


I'm going to be lame this week, not because I want to be...but well, I guess I choose to be this way.

I beat Enslaved. It was better at the end than it ever was at the beginning. Really, it's a once-in-a-lifetime game, and it's sad to think there'll never be a sequel.

I also popped in the copy of Darksiders I borrowed from Nick some months ago. It's stupid fun so far, but I definitely can't keep my attention focused on the game. Honestly, whether or not I finish it is very much up in the air.

And that's my contribution this week! I've been sick, so I haven't really had the chance to just play games. It's ironic to say that consider when is there a better time to veg out than when ill, but oh well. Life is strange.