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Out of the Blue

"Do not inject opinion." The Elements of Style - Strunk and White.

I recently promised to discuss why games are almost never the topic of the rambles in this Out of the Blue section, so here goes: First a little background to point out that I never really intended to create this section as a daily feature, it was meant to be something that popped up when needed, it just turned out that once I started it, popular demand dictated I couldn't skip one unless I wanted to ignore the death threats (something that can be tough on those occasions when my muse eludes me). Anyway, once it became law that there'd be a daily Out of the Blue, the games I was playing would indeed be the topic sometimes, but as has been noted, this has become a less and less common subject. There are two main reasons for this: One is that my time is constrained. Not, as some have suggested, to the point where I can no longer find the time to play games at all, but enough that I rarely get the feeling that I've really captured the essence of a game before it reaches old age, and I think it's unfair to offer opinions on games that I haven't really properly evaluated. This would actually probably be more unfair to anyone reading this than to the games, because my early impressions tend to be favorable (what can I say, I like games), and no one needs me repeating "It seems like fun, what little I've played so far" over and over. The other reason is objectivity. Even for the games where I've formed enough of an impression to consider valid, I fear that sharing them has the potential to do more harm than good. Games do not earn greater or lesser coverage here based on my preferences, but my concern is that saying something positive about game A and something negative about game B will cause attempts at correlating whether game A is getting preferential treatment over game B because it's the teacher's pet or something. I know this is not automatically the way everyone would interpret this, but it's hard to deny the likelihood that many folks would, as it's pretty much human nature to try and divine causes and effects. There are plenty of people writing enough good game reviews that the world is not going wanting for lack of me adding my opinions to the pile, and with the potential that doing so could harm the site's credibility, choosing to keep my opinions to myself becomes an easy decision to make.

Sorry that this all is not nearly so dramatic as it may have seemed it was going to be when I forestalled discussing it, as it's pretty straightforward, but it is a mouthful, and I wanted to make sure I managed to get that all covered.

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26. Re: Rrrm Aug 27, 2002, 12:53 Toad
There is a lot more to the game. Unfortunately, the difficulty selectors in that Shockwave interpretation are non-functional. Level 1 cuts out much of the game's enemies and topography. There are at least two more castles, a large fog-enveloped maze (the player can only see a short distance around his avatar), the blue maze becomes far larger and more complex... the most irritating enemy, the bat, which steals items and drops them in random locations in the game world...

The magnet is for use in retrieving items dropped in screen locations you can't easily reach. Enter a screen with the magnet in hand and any items on the screen are drawn to it. Sometimes that's the only way to reclaim an item dropped by the bat (locations like the space between a castle's towers). If I remember correctly, the magnet is the only item the bat won't touch.

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