Flash: The Bane of My Existence

Flash is every bit a part of the internet as html is.  From websites to browser games; you’d be hard pressed to find a part of the web that doesn’t use Flash one way or another.  Designers and users alike swear by it’s ability to do anything and everything, and to do it with style.  So why do I hate it’s ever-living guts?  Allow me to impart upon you the wisdom I have gained over the years, in the form of a list.  Because everyone knows list-based articles are the epitome of internet humor.

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Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

■  Platform: PlayStation 3                               ■  Category: Action, Adventure

■  Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment      ■  Developer: Naughty Dog, Inc.


Uncharted is fairly basic in both game play and story.  While the story isn’t as deep and gritty as say Lord of the Rings, it’s a good story in it’s own right, focusing more on the characters then anything.  Almost as though the game was built, and then some poor mouse was dropped in it and must now find his way to the end.  As a third-person shooter it’s relatively simple with a decent amount of platforming and while the transition between the platforming and fighting is smooth, it is noticeable, giving you a chance to prepare yourself ahead of time.  Whether or not this is intentional or not is hard to say, though there are fights with no transition, making it seem intentional.  Uncharted uses scripted events during platforming and fighting to both impress urgency, and the understanding that you are indeed climbing across a hundred year old building that really is falling apart, so hurry it up already, jeez.

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Shadow Hearts

Shadow Hearts

■  Platform: PlayStation 2                               ■  Category: Role-Playing

■  Publisher: Midway                                       ■  Developer: Midway


Shadow Hearts is a singularly unique and innovative game.  The first thing you’ll notice about the game is the typical menu-driven turn-based combat system.  The second thing you’ll notice is a fancy white circle that pops up the second you try to do anything called the Judgment Ring.  The judgment ring has a hand that goes around the face just once, whenever the hand passes over a highlighted area you need to hit x to actually do anything, making you work for everything you do, from attacking to using an item.   This is not a game you want to play without checking out the manual first.  I should know, because that’s exactly what I did.  Unfortunately for you battle isn’t the only place where the judgement ring will show up.  It also follows you onto the field, and while you might think “big deal” the truth is Shadow Hearts did it years before Batman.  Though unlike Batman’s “press x 3 times to leave the vent” Shadow Hearts kindly tosses you a “You’ll never look cool in front of your girl friend ever” level of difficulty; where If you get it right you can continue the game, get it wrong enough times and the girl you just saved pushes you out of the way and does it for you.


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