GAMING: Hylics

Hylics is a JRPG-style game made by Mason Lindroth and released on August 29, 2015.

The concept of “hylics” is taken from Greek gnosticism, where it was the basest portion of what made up a living person: their physical body. This was the evil portion of a person, the part of them that demanded to eat, to have sex, to do anything that would keep a person away from perfect spiritual enlightenment. Hylics doesn’t portray itself as an evil game, but it is an intimately physical one where the entire world is molded out of malleable, changeable clay.

After the jump, we’ll sculpt our opinion out.

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RETRO: Taco Bell – Tasty Temple Challenge

Tasty Temple Challenge 01

Hey kids! Do you like Taco Bell? Do you like Duke Nukem 3D? Of course you do? Well, what if I told you there was a way you could enjoy Taco Bell and Duke Nukem 3D at the same time Wait, did we do this already?

Taco Bell: Tasty Temple Challenge was an advergame given away with Taco Bell’s kids meal in 2000. Even for advergames, the concept is pretty inane: You play as “Baja Bill”, an adventurer exploring deep into a lost jungle temple to find an imprisoned Grande Meal. Yes, you’re on a quest to rescue precious Taco Bell food from an ancient faux Mayan-Incan-Aztec-Racist Caricature temple. As you battle your way through the temple, you combat snakes and scorpions by… lighting them on fire?

After the jump, we’ll explore the Tasty Temple, discover its secrets, and figure out how some free games demand their own kind of payment.

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RETRO: Chex Quest

Chex Quest 01

Hey, kids! Do you like Chex Cereal? Do you like DOOM? Of course you do! Well, what if I told you there was a way you could enjoy Chex and DOOM at the same time? No, no I’m serious – wait – no, don’t leave – hold on –

Chex Quest was an unusual entity in the world of video games, namely because it was one of the few games ever used to promote a brand of breakfast cereal. Released in 1996, it was packaged in with boxes of Chex for free and given nationwide distribution. It’s doubly unusual because the game in question is a commercially sold DOOM mod – a total conversion of the first DOOM game, completely done over with new graphics, sounds, and gameplay.

A second Chex Quest game was made hot on the heels of the first one, but promises of a third never realized. Although fans made plenty of mods to fill in the gap, it wasn’t until 2008 when Charles Jacobi, one of the lead artists on the original Chex Quest, made his own official Chex Quest 3 with the first two games bundled in.

Get out your bootspoons, because after the jump we’ll dig right in and discuss the history, gameplay, and our thoughts about all three games.

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RETRO: Sonic’s Schoolhouse

Sonic's Schoolhouse 01

Why the hell did they decide to make Sonic the Hedgehog the star of an educational game for children? Who allowed this to happen? We want names. Who, somewhere in the leadership of Sega, let this happen? Who?

In the mid-1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the hottest video game characters out there. His too-cool attitude and the blisteringly fast gameplay of his games made him the slick alternative to the stuffy Mario. And with how popular he was, this meant there was a bounty of Sonic the Hedgehog branded everything: Sonic the Hedgehog toys, Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, Sonic the Hedgehog canned pasta… The list goes on. It only makes sense that Sega would want a Sonic the Hedgehog game for elementary schoolers, right?

In comes Sonic’s Schoolhouse, a tale of bad branding decisions and corporate failure. (more…)