Archive for the ‘Impressions’ Category

Caffeinated Thoughts on Mutant Mudds!

September 7, 2012

Coffee Beans
Mutant Mudds was released last week on August 30th, for PCs everywhere. A portion of the game’s description reads, “Love pixels? Fond of platformers? Is there a special place in your heart for the 8-bit and 16-bit era? Want to have fun? Yes!? Well, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. Mutant Mudds is a ’12-bit’ action platformer full of pixels and platforming fun!”

Being that I have a fondness for platformers, I took advantage of an early sale price and downloaded Mutant Mudds for my PC 2 nights ago, and I have already played through several of the levels. How far have I made it battling the filthy Mutant Mudds, and what do I think of the game so far? Brew yourself some coffee and take a look!

The Brew
I have made it through 15 levels in Mutant Mudds so far, with Level 4-2 being the last one I finished. Of the 15 levels completed, 14 have been the main levels and one has been a secret, or neo-retro, level. Each main level I have played had 100 Golden Diamonds spread around them, and you can collect the Golden Diamonds to upgrade Max’s equipment in Grannie’s Attic, which is located on the level select screen.

I have been playing the game with the default control setting which is mouse and keyboard, but it does support the Xbox 360 controller as an option, and it allows you to customize the keyboard and/or gamepad if you want that option as well. You can see an image of Mutant Mudds’ controls customization box in the image below to get an idea of what you can do:

When I posted up the, “Mutant Mudds gets official PC release date, price, & trailer!” piece last month, a visitor, Hover, commented about the 3DS version saying, “And even as the levels get harder and harder, you never get more than 4 minutes to finish a level.

If you own Mutant Mudds on the 3DS and perhaps have been a little frustrated with only having 4 minutes to finish levels, I have some good news for you about the PC version. Mutant Mudds for your PC has a timer in the levels, but not a set time to finish them in. I tested it in Level 1-1 and let the timer run past the 4 minute mark to make sure, and the music just kept on playing.

While Mutant Mudds for the PC doesn’t have a 4 minute limit per level like the 3DS version, finishing the levels as quickly as possible is highly encouraged in the PC version. How? The PC version has on-line leader boards that allow you to upload your times and compete against other players for completing the levels the fastest. Has my coffee drinking helped any in my speedrun attempts? The image below shows you where I was able to rank on Level 1-1 the first night of playing the game:

Coffee With Beef? Or, Beef With Coffee?

Caffeinated Thoughts
I’m really enjoying the challenge of the platforming elements in the game, and I like how the game is set on three different 2D plains that Max goes between during some levels. I can honestly see how this effect would benefit from the 3DS’ 3D screen, but the solution they came up for it on the PC works very well.

As for “enjoying the challenge”, Level 1-4 has proven to be the most challenging for me so far. Why Level 1-4? The game has fading platforms placed throughout levels, adding a bit of difficulty to your typical spiked pit jumps. The fading platforms will appear, then fade away, then appear again; with the fading/appearing pattern usually being 1-2 seconds.

Level 1-4 has a spot where you have to jump across two alternating fading platforms in a row, and beneath the platforms is a nice bed of spikes waiting to break your fall. Spikes are instant death in Mutant Mudds, no matter how many hearts you have, and I made my bed in the spiked pit many times at that spot.

This was the spot!

The image above is from the spot in Level 1-4 that I was having issues with, and it might help you understand the fading/appearing platforms a little better. I probably tried the spot 20 times, before finally timing my jumps correctly and making it across grabbing both Golden Diamonds along the way.

I think the music in Mutant Mudds fits the “12-bit” theme extremely well, with Level 1-1 and Level 2-1 having my favorite tunes so far. If you are a fan of chip-tune music in games, you can listen to (even download) the soundtrack for the game, HERE.

Like the music, I think the art style used for Mutant Mudds fits the “12-bit” theme really well. I like the brightness of the levels, and seeing small graphical details on certain objects in levels I think is really awesome. The fact Renegade Kid took time to add the little details I think is great, and if you are just running through the levels quickly though, you might miss the little details that have been added to certain objects. The screenshot below is from Level 3-2 in Mutant Mudds, and you can notice how a fire/lava heat reflection of sorts, has been added to the platforms above the lava. The platform that is up and to the left of Max’s head in the screenshot (behind the “100”), does not have the same heat reflection. Attention. To. Details.

Attention. To. Details.

I believe I have encountered all of the enemies in Mutant Mudds, and so far I think Royal Mudd and Pork Plop are my favorite enemies in the game. I remember being surprised when I was first attacked by Royal Mudd, simply because I wasn’t expecting the attack! Pork Plop has been the most surprising to me, because I wasn’t expecting the range of its attack. Almost all of the enemies in Mutant Mudds appear to be, well, muddy, and each one usually goes away in splatters when defeated.

As for the default control setting I have been using, it works well enough for me, though I can see how some might prefer using something like the Xbox 360 controller perhaps for comfort. I do suggest playing the game in “FULLSCREEN” mode though if you are using the default controls, because I have gotten to clicking away in the game and have accidentally clicked off the game screen while playing, which will cause the game to pause and can throw off your momentum.

Just based on my time with the game over the last 2 days, I definitely recommend Mutant Mudds to fans of retro-platforming games. I believe it is challenging enough for the price, and if you are picking it up for the first time don’t expect to speed through the levels right away. While it may take a little bit to learn the play mechanics and how to handle Max properly for platforming success, once you do, you should get a solid number of enjoyable platforming hours out of the game.

Did any of you purchase Mutant Mudds for your PC since its release last week? If so, how far have you made it in the game, and have you been able to place in the “Top 10” leader board on any level?

If you own the Nintendo 3DS version of Mutant Mudds, does the removal of time limits per level, and the addition of on-line leader boards make you more likely to purchase the PC version, if you haven’t already?

If you are interested in purchasing Mutant Mudds for your PC, you can do so from,,, and The Renegade Shop. If you have a Steam account, Mutant Mudds has been submitted for Steam’s Greenlight project, and you can vote for it HERE.

FPS Monday? "I feel like Jack Bauer!", Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Wii Impressions

November 14, 2011

Coffee Beans
     Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released this past Tuesday, November 8, for all the current generation home consoles.
     The game was developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, and published by Activision.  The Wii version of MW3 was ported to the Wii console by Treyarch, and it is the first Modern Warfare title to be released day one on the Wii along with the other console versions.
     The game received a “Maturerating from the ESRB with “Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

     I played some of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on the Wii a few days last week, so what are my initial impressions of it?  Let’s take a look!

The Brew
     The last Call of Duty Wii game I played before Modern Warfare 3 was Call of Duty: World at War.  One of the control settings in MW3 is listed as “W@W STYLE”,  so if you played Call of Duty: World at War on the Wii and enjoyed the controls in that game, you should find the controls in Modern Warfare 3 enjoyable as well.
     The first thing I did before firing one bullet in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was to find the control settings.  Once finding them, I adjusted my “Dead Zone” making it slightly smaller than the default setting, but other than adjusting the “Dead Zone” all the other controls were left at default settings.

Dead Zone width and height can be adjusted.

     I have played through four of the single-player campaign’s levels.  At one point in a level I said, “I feel like Jack Bauer!”  Why did I feel like Jack Bauer?
     Well, if you don’t know who Jack Bauer is, he is/was the star character of the television series 24.  He was shot at a lot, and was placed in crazy scenarios all the time.  As I was dodging bullets(and taking some) in one level, it reminded me of 24.
     Not only did the dodging of bullets and taking out enemies remind me of 24, but it appears to me that the writers/level designers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 were fans of 24, because two out of the four levels I have played so far seem like they were taken directly from 24’s seasons, and put into Modern Warfare 3’s story.

     Mrs. Coffee watched me play a few of the levels.  I was battling an enemy military vehicle at one point, and when I finally took it out she said, “Oh, that’s really cool!“, in reference to how it was destroyed.
     As I was wrapping up my time with the game that night she said, “Well, one thing the game is definitely not lacking is action.“, and I have to agree with her.  While my impressions are off just a few of the first levels, if you like movies that have a lot of action sequences and you enjoy FPS games, you will probably find yourself enjoying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s single-player campaign as well.
     I have enjoyed my time in the levels and I think the game runs well, especially with so much happening in the levels.  The game-play controls are solid and I have not had any issues with them, and being able to adjust the bounding box/dead zone is a great customization option that World at War was lacking.

     Have I played any of Modern Warfare 3’s online multiplayer?  I have.  I am currently rank 7, and have played right about an hour.  A few matches have had some lag issues and I have not been playing with my Wii directly connected to my USB LAN adapter, but overall it seems to be running pretty well over the WiFi.
     From what I can see right now, MW3 Wii has 11 different multiplayer match types to choose from:

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Mercenary
  • Free-For-All
  • Domination
  • Team Defender
  • Demolition
  • Sabotage
  • Headquarters Pro
  • Search and Destroy
  • Capture the Flag

     Not all of the match types are open to play right away, and access to them has to be unlocked.  So far I have only played matches from “Team Deathmatch” which can be played with 6-10 players at a time.
     I have enjoyed my time in the matches, even though most have resulted in me getting absolutely destroyed.

Caffeinated Thoughts
     Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “Coffee, you failed on your new year’s resolution didn’t you!
     Actually no, I haven’t.  I was very fortunate last Wednesday to receive a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for the Wii from Activision.  I will continue providing coverage of the Wii version over the next several weeks, if not months, and sharing my impressions of the game with you.
     If any of you own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on the Wii, and will be playing it online, my MW3 friend code, or “Ally Code” as the game labels it, is 0359-9573-5494.  If you add me to your list, make sure to leave a comment letting me know, and also feel free to leave your MW3 “Ally Code” in the comments below.
     Would I recommend Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to other Wii owners, based just on my early impressions of it?  Yes, I would.  If you enjoy Wii FPS games, I have not encountered anything in Modern Warfare 3 yet, that would make me question recommending it to other Wii owners.

     Did any of you purchase Call of Duty: Duty Modern Warfare 3?  If so, which version did you purchase and have you been enjoying your time with the game?

If any of you are interested in Modern Warfare 3, you can see prices for the PS3, Wii, and 360 versions on linked below:

>Greg Hastings Paintball 2 – Video Preview and Impressions

April 14, 2011


Coffee Beans:
     Last September, I received a package in the mail from Majesco Entertainment.  Inside the package was a copy of Greg Hastings Paintball 2, for the Wii.  If you just started following my blog in the last few months, you may have missed my previous posts about Greg Hastings Paintball 2, but I have them listed below for you!
     1)  Quick Brew Preview: Greg Hastings Paintball 2 (Wii)
     2)  Greg Hastings Paintball 2: X-Ball Round
     3)  Greg Hastings Paintball 2: Online Multi-player Match
     4)  Greg Hastings Paintball 2 – 4 vs 4 Online CTF Matches
     5)  Greg Hastings Paintball 2 – Local Multi-Player Footage & Thoughts

Filtered Thoughts:
     I finished the “Career Mode” in Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on March 30 this year, and I was really impressed by the amount of content in the game, so I decided to make video on it.
     I started editing the video together last Thursday night, and what I thought would be a 2 day project, turned into basically a 7 day project.  Any feedback, good or bad, on the video would be greatly appreciated!

     As I said in the video, if anybody has any questions about Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the Wii, that I didn’t answer in the video, or previous posts; please leave a comment on this post with your question, or send an email to Scott(@) the ( ) from around the @).
     Also, if you liked the video, or didn’t like something in the video, please leave a comment/feedback letting me know.

     Have any of you played Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the Wii or Xbox 360?  If so, what are your thoughts on the game?  If you haven’t played it, are you perhaps looking at getting the game when it releases on the PS3 soon?

If you’re interested in Greg Hastings Paintball 2, you can see prices for the Wii and Xbox 360 versions on linked below: 

>Caffeinated Thoughts: My Nintendo 3DS Demo Unit Impressions

March 24, 2011


Coming soon, coffee in 3D. Imagine that caffeine boost!

Coffee Beans:
     When news started spreading around the internet last week that 3DS demo units were popping up in Best Buy stores, I decided to start checking one of the stores I drive by almost daily.
     Last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I stopped by the Best Buy store, but there was no 3DS demo unit.  I didn’t check over the weekend, as I didn’t go by the store Friday or Saturday, and I took a different route home from church on Sunday.

     I stopped by the Best Buy again on Monday after class and I walked straight to the video game department; neatly on an end-cap on the backside of the video game department was an Aqua Blue Nintendo 3DS.  Now, why this Best Buy store had the 3DS demo unit on the back of the video game department didn’t make much sense to me, as I thought a new device like the 3DS would have an end-cap at the front of the department, but that didn’t stop me from finding it.
     I broke out my Zi8 and was recording the 3DS demo setup and the system itself, when a sales guy walked up.  I didn’t want to be rude and ignore him, so I said, “Hey, have you seen the 3DS?”  He hadn’t seen it, but had heard about it.
     The sales guy wasn’t a Best Buy employee, but one of those sales guys from either the cable or satellite company trying to get Best Buy customers to sign up for service, and somehow I passed his radar when walking through the store…and his homing beacon activated and he followed me all the way to the back.
     Once I told him I was just there checking out the 3DS system, he never mentioned the cable or satellite service, but did hang around to watch me fiddle with the system.

Pilotwings Resort, the only demo that was available.

The Roast – Day 1:
     I started the Pilotwings Resort demo with the 3D slider in the off position, and once I selected an airplane mission, I then started to adjust the 3D slider.  I wasn’t holding the system up in front of my face(as the instructions show!), but I could see the screen changing…though the screen wasn’t changing the images for me with any noticeable 3D effect.
     Now, you may be thinking, “Well, why weren’t you holding the 3DS up in front of your face?”  Well, when I play my DS Lite I’m used to playing with it held down, usually resting my hands on my legs, so I started playing the 3DS demo with it at a downward angle from my eyes.
     I thought I remembered hearing that it can take a few minutes/seconds for your eyes to properly adjust, so I was thinking that was the issue.  I would give it about 10-20 seconds, and when I didn’t notice a 3D effect, I would adjust the 3D slider.  I actually noticed my left eye feeling a bit strained, because of adjusting the 3D slider so many times.
     While I wasn’t noticing any real 3D effect, the sales guy was still standing behind my left shoulder, watching.  A few times I adjusted the 3D slider up, he said, “Is it clear for you?”, because as many have noted, the “3D window” is very small on the 3DS, and for anybody not directly centered on it, the top 3D screen will be blurry.
     I played around with it a little while longer, before heading home.

     So, what was my first day/experience impressions of the 3DS?  Well, I couldn’t say I was impressed, and I honestly thought Pilotwings Resort was not the correct choice to show off the capabilities of the system…though perhaps it is?
     I commented Monday on RespawnAction’s impressions of the 3DS, “If Pilotwings is the extent of 3D effects, I really don’t see how the 3DS is going to take off.  I hope they have some more games in-store, that really show off the 3D effects.”

The Roast – Day 2:
     I decided to stop back by Best Buy on Tuesday after class, and give the 3DS demo another try.  I headed straight to the 3DS demo unit, and nobody was around looking at it, and I wasn’t followed this time.
     As I was picking up the 3DS unit from the demo station, a Best Buy employee that was helping another customer looked over and said, “Make sure to hold that thing up in front of your face, directly in front of your eyes.  The closer, probably the better; though each person is a little different.”
     I will say, his advice is the best advice there is for getting the 3D effect to work with the demo station.  If you go out to find a 3DS demo station and test it, make sure to pick up the unit and actually hold it up in front of your face, like the pictures and videos show of people using it.

The way to view 3D

     So, I was holding it up, and started to adjust the 3D slider.  As I adjusted it this time, the images on the screen were changing, and I could tell there was a difference.  I had finally found a “sweet” spot with the 3D, and noticed the slight depth that had been added to the display.
     Now, I’ll be very honest, my initial reaction wasn’t, “Wow!  This is awesome!”, it was more, “Wow…this is it?”
     I spent a good amount of time with the 3DS demo unit on Tuesday, as I had the “Time expired…” message pop up twice on me.  Being that nobody else was around though, I just kept playing it.  I tried out all the missions in the demo, and tried the 3D slider from 100%, to just barely being on…and everywhere else.

Filtered Thoughts:
     As for the system itself, I didn’t really examine it a lot, just because of the way they have it secured, but I do think the circle pad worked well in the game.
     I did turn the system off and back on, hoping I could access the main menu, but it immediately loaded the Pilotwings Resort demo.

Don’t expect to see the menu if you find a 3DS demo station.

     I had read how the 3D effect for the 3DS was more like looking into a window, than actual images flying off the screen, so I wasn’t expecting movie theater 3D effects.
     One issue I think the 3DS will have, is how small the 3D effect window is.  I don’t exactly like the idea of holding the system up in my face the entire time to get the 3D effect.  While Nintendo is touting, “3D without glasses!”, it’s a very limited “3D without glasses”, as the viewing angles are extremely narrow.
     Yesterday I was chatting with Brad, from WhoBurnedMyToast, and said semi-jokingly about the 3D effect, “3D without glasses…just don’t move the screen and please hold it really steady while playing, and make sure that you aren’t wanting anybody else to see the 3D effect while you’re playing.”

     From my two brief days at the 3DS demo station, I really think Nintendo could have picked a better game that showed off the 3DS’ 3D capabilities, or just had the system running a 3D demo video(as they did at E3).
     Perhaps if I spend more time with the 3DS, and try out the AR games included with it, I will enjoy it more, as the 3DS demo didn’t make me feel thrilled about having the system reserved…it actually made me think about canceling my reservation.
     While I haven’t canceled my reservation, I think I’ll make a decision over the weekend as to whether or not I’ll be picking up the 3DS day one.  I’m more interested in the AR games that are included with the system, than any retail game, so at this point it looks like purchasing the system is the only way, for now, that I’ll get to try the AR games.
     Overall, the 3DS demo unit for me was like drinking a cup of decaf coffee, while thinking it was caffeinated coffee, but not knowing it until later when waking up from the nap it was supposed to prevent you from taking.  I was expecting the 3DS demo unit to provide a positive “Wow” factor for me, but I didn’t get that from my time with the system.

     Have any of you found a 3DS demo station, and given it a try?  If so, what do you think about it?  Was the 3D effect what you were expecting, and was it a “Wow, this is awesome!”, or more like mine, a “Wow…this is it?” for you?

You can read some other 3DS impressions from sites I follow, at the following links below:
Nintendo 3DS Demo Tour…with video reactions from “Real” people
The ‘3DS First Impressions’ from Joe Average
3DS and Pilotwings Resort Hands-On Impressions!

If any of you haven’t reserved the 3DS yet, you can still reserve or pre-order the Nintendo 3DS system on, with the links below: