Olympic Fever!!!

Woohoo! It’s here! It’s here! After four long years of not thinking about it in any meaningful way whatsoever, the Winter Olympics has finally returned to dominate our very souls. And, could anyone be more ready for it than Sochi, the city that fought for, and won, the honor of being this year’s host? I mean, they’ve had years to get things done, and nothing cuts through red tape faster than a Russian government, right?

Photo Taken, Like, 10 Minutes Ago From Atop a Pile of Napping Workers

Photo Taken, Like, 10 Minutes Ago From Atop a Pile of Napping Workers

Er…okay. So, a road or two isn’t exactly “finished,” or “safe,” or “passable by anything other than the sturdiest of pack mules.” So what? Certainly, the Russians with their ruthless efficiency will have at least put together a clever facade for the international media, so as not to cast a bad light on Uncle Vladmir’s pet project?

Photo Courtesy of BBC's Harry Reekie, Who is Fucked Big Time

Photo Courtesy of BBC’s Harry Reekie, Who is Fucked Big Time

Oops. Well, maybe a couple of hotel rooms aren’t quite up to snuff yet. Is it that big a deal to find a couple of stray dogs or sleeping construction workers in your rooms? These things happen. Where’s your Olympic spirit? If nothing else, we can count on the Russians to put together an opening ceremony that blows the 2010 Vancouver ceremony out of the water. It’ll be tough to beat:

As in all things Canadian, the Vancouver ceremonies were charming, inoffensive, and smelled vaguely of poutine.

As in all things Canadian, the Vancouver ceremonies were charming, inoffensive, and smelled vaguely of poutine.

Not an easy act to follow, but the Russians have done it. Don’t believe me? You fool! My vast spy network has managed to sneak out some exclusive video of the upcoming Sochi opening ceremonies, and it doesn’t disappoint:

World Games, by Epyx. Best Sports Game Ever. It had Caber Toss. QED.

Yeah, a week ago I wasn’t looking forward to these Olympics and their accompanying hype at all. Now? Oh, I’m riveted. This is a supersonic bullet train on a collision course with hilarity about to come to a climax on an international stage. Unpreparedness, cyber-crime, homophobia, danger that makes perma-baked, world-class, extreme athletes say “uncle?” It’s got it all! What could we possibly add to make this month-long pseudo-extravaganza any more interesting?

There’s only one thing.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team is feeling very Olympic today.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team is feeling very Olympic today.

 No worries, mon. Got that covered, too.

—–

Since this blog is ostensibly about video games, I want to offer up a couple of quick game reviews from iOS titles I picked up this past week:

Hoplite, by Magma Fortress

Hoplite, by Magma Fortress

Hoplite, by Magma Fortress

You know the problem with most roguelike games? All the roguelike elements. Restarting, permadeath, lost progression–those things that define the genre and at the same time make it infinitely infuriating. Some games punch through the pain, though. Hoplite is a turn-based strategy/roguelike with upgrades and procedurally generated levels. And it’s fun. Your goal is simple: get to the staircase at the end of each level without dying. In your way are four types of enemies, each with different behaviors, along with a temple in which you’ll upgrade your character. It’s quick, smart, and is only $1.99 on the App Store. Good stuff.

Bardbarian, by Tree Fortress

Bardbarian, by Tree Fortress

Bardbarian, by Tree Fortress

Continuing my accidental theme of “roguelike hybrids by developers with ‘Fortress’ in their names”… I offer up Bardbarian. This one’s a dual stick shooter, with multiple progression paths and some NimbleQuest elements thrown in. You play as the Bardbarian. See, he’s a barbarian who stops being a barbarian and starts being a bard. Hence, “Bardbarian.” See what they did there? And, he makes music with his “axe.” See what they did again??? Whatever. The game’s a blast. The main character is some sort of peace-loving hippy freak, so he won’t bash skulls. Instead, he hires friends to do it, and sings them songs to make them do it better. You get to upgrade the different classes he’ll bring along, as well as the Bardbarian himself and the town in which you play. It’s only $0.99 on the App Store, so just go get it.

That’s all for now. I’m off to crack a beer, settle in, and watch the Olympic magic unfold (while playing my own Olympic drinking game). Got your own Olympic plans? A good game worth taking a look at? Tell me! I crave feedback, so feel free to comment.

BREAKING: In the time it took me to write this, Russian officials have responded to the outlandish criticisms they’ve received from visiting journalists. And, while doing so, Russian officials have also admitted to spying on people in their showers. And not just Erin Andrews.

I love it when I’m right.

Uncle Vlad Teaches Proper Use of Klingon Bat'leth for Torch Lighting. Because He's Clearly Not Completely Fucking Crazy.

Uncle Vlad Teaches Proper Use of Klingon Bat’leth for Torch Lighting. Because He’s Clearly Not Completely Fucking Crazy.

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