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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Space Invaders Arcade - High Score Tutorial & Tips

Space Invaders Arcade - High Score Tutorial & Tips

Space Invaders can be a grueling game when you initially pick it up with a shoot first and ask questions later mindset.  However, if you steady your wits and attack the invaders with a tactical approach your new personal best high score will be well within reach.  This tutorial is here to help you do just that.

I first learned of this technique by watching the current world record high score holder of 184,870 points, Richie Knucklez, at a video game festival held by Twin Galaxies.  Needless to say when I first saw it I was amazed, and somewhat puzzled.  "What the heck is going on here?"  "Why is he not dying when the invaders fire from the bottom?"  "How the heck is he getting 300 points for each flying saucer?"  These were just of a few of the questions going through my mind while watching him.  Well, through much befuddled research and by trying my best to remember what he was doing here is what I figured out.  

*As a side note, this may not be the exact tactic he used or uses, but this is what I do and it works well for me.  There are certain areas in my game where I can see a bit of room for improvement, so this tutorial is still a work in progress.

First Watch The Video:

Now that you have seen what i'm doing let me explain it first as a whole, and then step by step.

The main idea behind this tactic is to achieve the highest amount of points possible from every flying saucer that passes along the top of the screen, while systematically destroying each invader one by one.  This is achieved by making a column space in the invader wall and using a specific firing pattern which triggers the 300 points for each flying saucer.  This technique is also made possible by the fact that the invaders, once at the bottom most level, are unable to hurt you.  However, if the invaders on the bottom row are not cleared before they move down one more row to the kill zone, your ships level, its game over.  This holds true no matter how many lives you still have.

The General Rules For High Score Play:
1: Clear two columns of space invaders minus the very last row on the appropriate side for the level with 22 shots or less
2: Avoid hitting any other space invaders, and with your 23rd shot hit the flying saucer for 300 points
3: Every other flying saucer hit from here on out until all the invaders are cleared from the level should be on your 15th shot, netting 300 points each.

Sounds easy enough, now how to pull it off?  Well, if you follow the firing method mentioned above the flying saucers will come from the sides of the screen in a very predictable manner.  As long as you stick with the pattern they will always come at you like this: 

First one comes from the RIGHT
Next two come from the LEFT
One from the RIGHT
Two from the LEFT

This pattern for the saucers continues until you are down to your last two rows of invaders and then no more will show up until you reach the next screen, at which point you repeat the firing process over again, starting at your 23rd shot for the first saucer, and your 15th shot for each saucer thereafter.

If you watch the video again you will notice that my firing pattern changes a few times throughout the game.  Although at some points it may just be that I lost track of my numbers, or that I was distracted somehow, most of the times there is a reason for it.  Once the invaders get to the bottom row, you have to account for the number of invaders you have to kill to clear the row into your 15th shot saucer kill pattern.  When you have the two columns of invaders cleared, that leaves you with 9 invaders per row.  As you will see in the video I generally fire 5 shots, kill the row of invaders, and still have my 15th shot for the saucer when this happens.

Now, besides which side two clear your two columns on for each particular screen, which I will cover in the next section, the only other tricky part left is how to survive the last row of invaders.

Once your reach the bottom row of invaders you want to first kill the single invader separated by the column, then make your way to the last invader, moving in the direction of it during each kill until you get to the 2nd to last invader in the row.  Stop and kill the 2nd to last invader and then immediately change your direction to move AWAY from the last oncoming invader and fire upon it once it passes over your firing port.  Watch the video again during the last row and you will see what I mean.  Again, if you fail to kill the last invader, no matter how many lives you have it is GAME OVER.  It is crucial to get this down.

Column Clearing Pattern:
In order for this pattern to work on each screen there is a specific side of the screen you need to clear your columns on.  If you watch the video above you will notice I change sides every few levels or so.  This pattern is NOT random, and goes as follows.

Level 1: Right Side
Level 2: Left Side
Level 3: Left Side

Level 4: Right Side
Level 5: Right Side
Level 6: Right Side
Level 7: Left Side
Level 8: Left Side
Level 9: Left Side
Level: 10: Left Side
Level 11: Left Side

There are an infinite amount of levels in Space Invaders so the list does not stop here, however after level 11 the pattern simply repeats itself in the same manner as from level 4-11.  So starting level 12 you do your columns to the right for three levels, and starting level 15 you do your columns on the left side for the next 5 levels and so on.

Also, once I hit the right side of the screen in levels 4-6 I change my firing pattern up a bit.  It allows me to get 300 points for each saucer minus the last one which I always hit for 100 points.  If you go to the 8:26 mark of my video you will see what I am talking about here.  What I do different is first I clear the column on the right as usual, fire the 23rd shot on the oncoming invader from the right, THEN I fire 13 shots here instead of 14.  I now wait for the invaders to reach the bottom level, kill the single invader to the right, (14th shot), and before moving over to kill the rest of the invaders hit the saucer with my 15th shot.  After the saucer I kill the remaining 8 invaders making my way to the right again, fire 5 empty shots, (back at 13 again), and do the same thing.  This only works for the first two rows, after those I break the pattern and fire no extra shots after killing the bottom row of invaders.  Once you are down to the last two rows of invaders the saucer will come in from the left side and can easily be shot for 100 points.  There may still be a way to get 300 out of it, I just haven't figured it out yet.

Once the column pattern is back to the left side the firing pattern is business as usual.

A Few Last Words Of Caution
This game is old and glitchy as hell, even in the Space Invaders Deluxe (Which this guide still works for), and MAME versions.  Sometimes when the invaders move down a level you just die.  Don't worry you didn't do anything wrong, it just happens.  This is really on frustrating when you are going for a record at your local arcade, or even just a personal best, and because of this I personally tip my hat to Richie Knuckelz for his high score.  I can only imagine the arcade gods shined on him during that day when he set his record and kept the glitch monsters at bay.  There are also times when you shoot a saucer that it will not die.  AND, sometimes you will kill a saucer and fire at the 300 point mark at the top of the screen and hit it and it counts for more points.  This is far and few between though.  Glitches happen...  You have been warned.

Also, as a last tip.  If you are doing the firing pattern correctly as far as the numbers are concerned, and yet for some reason the ships are coming at you differently, it is likely you are not firing off the pattern fast enough, or at least that has been my experience.  99% of the time the pattern holds true if you execute it properly.

So, practice up, hit your local arcade or open up some MAME and get your patterns down, and let us know how it goes by posting a response in the YouTube video comments.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adobe Flash Player Not Working In Chrome? How To Fix It!

Adobe Flash Player not working in your Google Chrome browser?
Here is a quick fix!

First make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer.

Then click on Google Chrome's menu in the upper right hand corner of the browser and click on "Settings".

This will open upon the Settings page in a new window.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom and click on "Show advanced settings"

Next go to the area labeled "Privacy" and click on "Content Settings"

Now scroll down to "Plug-ins" and click "Disable individual plug-ins"

Once here Disable the Google Chrome installed Flash Player plug-in under your user folder, and Enable your separately installed Adobe Flash Player plug-in.  It should look something like this now.

Restart your browser and get back to watching or playing your Flash files in Google Chrome!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stronghold Kingdoms is Worth Your Time

Stronghold Kingdoms -- Crazy Addictive

Stronghold Kingdoms

There are a million multi-player online games on the market today, making it harder than ever to justify charging a monthly subscription, or even an initial fee for the game in the first place. Firefly Studios' Stronghold Kingdoms is no exception here -- it is a free to download, free-to-play, online multi-player real-time strategy game, and boy is it fun.

At the macro level SHK pans out a bit like a good old fashioned board game. Something like Risk, let's say. But at the mirco level it's a bit more like Sid Meier's Civilization. Consider the fact that combat is handled in a nuanced tower defense mode, and you have the makings of a game that's got something for everybody.

Players manage villages, much like in Civ: juggling resources and plotting out long-term research. This game is very versatile in terms of play style and approach. There are four basic research categories you can rank up: Industry, Military, Farming, and Education. You can focus on any one of these, or develop any number of hybrids. Imagine a farmer merchant. Or an industrious merchant. What about an industrious warlord. Or a warlord that leaves farming for others, choosing instead to scout or pillage for resources.

Every point in research you spend, every building you construct, takes a little longer than the last time. Patience is a virtue; SHK is a game that rewards you for ignoring it.

This game supports full-on PVP, and ultimately has the goal of global conquest. Players can join Factions or Houses, and there is a voting mechanic for electing leaders. Politics are important, so be careful who your friends and foes are!

SHK is not without its bugs. There is the occasional hiccup -- sometimes map icons take a moment too long to refresh, or the game itself will crash unexpectedly, but overall the design is solid, and all but the most critical will have little to complain about. As mentioned, the game is free, but there is a pay structure in place for those who would like to take advantage (or to simply reward Firefly Studios for sharing such a fun game with us!). Aside for a couple acceptions, premium tokens require real money, and they allow players to queue actions in advance, making gameplay far more efficient, but not necessarily offering an unfair edge.

Stronghold Kingdoms can be downloaded for free here.

Neo Scavenger Flash Demo

Neo Scavenger Flash Demo

Neo Scavenger

How To Play:

To adjust the size of the screen zoom in with your browser controls by holding control and press the plus or minus button on your keyboard, or hold control and scroll in and out with your mouse.

After adjusting the screen size click anywhere inside the game screen to activate the game controls.
    For help with using a gamepad to play this and other flash games, check out a nifty (and free) program called JoyToKey. And be sure to check out our JoyToKey guide for help setting up your controller.

    *Note: It is recomended that you play this demo in full screen mode.


    Use the mouse to navigate.
    A or D or left or right arrows will rotate items.
    W A S D or arrow keys will scroll map.
    Spacebar will End Turn, Confirm, or Continue.

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Grand Theft Auto V Wallpapers - GTA5

    Grand Theft Auto V Wallpapers - GTA 5

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    E3 2012 Official Press Conferences

    e3 2012

    It's that time of the year again! Call it the Superbowl of the video game world, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is the place to learn about the next year in gaming. This year's highlights include going hands on the Nintendo's Wii U, Pikmin 3, and a slew of Mario titles announced, the WiiU supporting a second touchpad, Sony and Microsft not announcing new hardware, Elder Scrolls online details, and a whole host of other gaming news. Watch the press conferences to see for yourself!

    Nintendo E3 2012 Press Conference

    Microsoft E3 2012 Press Conference

    Sony E3 2012 Press Conference

    EA E3 2012 Press Conference

    More gaming events info

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Code of Princess Coming Stateside

    Code of Princess confirmed for US release

    The team that developed the Sega Saturn classic Guardian Heroes has struck gold once again -- this time on the 3DS with a title called Code of Princess. Although not technically developed by Treasure proper, the original development team was hand picked to create this spiritual successor to one of 2d gaming's finest achievements.

    Code of Princess Much like Guardian Heroes, Code of Princess is a side-scrolling beat-em-up, with multiple characters, an experience and leveling system, and multiple story paths and endings. This is one game you don't want to miss (and if you don't believe me, that's probably because you haven't played Guardian Heroes ;-).

    Code of Princess was released in Japan April of this year, and is slated for a US release this fall.
    Code of Princess

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    The State of Wakfu's Economy

    MMO Economics

    Why Wakfu Needs Inflation

    minting kama in wakfu
    I've played a fair amount of MMO's in my time, and although I may not have played all of them, I've seen enough to recognize that Wakfu is different.

    One of the many interesting nuances with this game has to do with it's economy. In most regards Wakfu has a typical MMO auction house player-driven market, nothing unusual there. But Wakfu has one thing going on that I haven't seen elsewhere: mobs don't drop money, and players don't start the game with any money. Oh, well then you must get money from quests, you're probably thinking. But you'd be wrong.

    So where does the money come from?

    Players make money, or kama, as they call it in Wakfu, by minting ore. The amount of money in circulation is entirely based on how many kama players have minted. Players are in direct control of inflation and deflation. Even a level 1 noob can mint kama -- it's one of the easiest entry-level crafting skills in the game.

    bonta market It has barely been two months since Wakfu launched, so there are far fewer kama in circulation now than there will be in the months and years ahead. The value of items in the market is out of touch. A single kama can buy you a level 3 item as easily as it can buy you a level 20 item.

    With so little money in the game thus far, and tight inventory space being a constant issue, the incentive lies in selling your loot as quickly as you can. Asking one kama for an item makes sense, as you can't sell it any cheaper than that. The fastest, most assured way to get rid of an item while still making some profit is to sell it cheap (this is especially true considering the tax players pay when placing their items on the market). The problem lies in leveling up and trying to sell superior gear, but falling into the same conundrum. To receive any payment at all for an item is better than just tossing it, so you are willing to ask for a single kama for your higher level loot.

    Now, this isn't always the case. Some items are obviously more valuable than others, but even the rarest items in the game are selling relatively cheap right now. The problem is that there isn't enough money in circulation to make a meaningful spread in value from one tier of items to the next. Ankama is not to blame here; it is simply how the game works.

    Minting Kama

    At low levels a player is most likely going to make their first few kama by minting iron ore. After they "get over the hump" and make their first 20+ kama, they are less likely to want to mint much more. At that point they are selling the loot they collect and making a meager income that way. As fewer players mint kama the economy's stock of cash tops off, whether there is enough money to properly spread value in the market or not.

    What we need to do is mint more kama! Mining is a fairly easy harvest skill to rise, and once you can mine for bright copper or magnesium you can really start to mint a lot of kama a lot faster.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    New Record For Sony: $6.4 Billion Annual Net Loss

    Sony might just be in a financial nosedive, and what this means for gamers has yet to be seen. Even though the driving force behind it appears to be the writing off of deferred tax assets, the problem is multi-dimensional in scope, and will take some serious effort to mend.

    After a fourth year in the red, I'm not sure what credence Sony's "forecasts" lend when a previous one expected only half of these losses, while another boasts a bounce back by the middle of 2013. It would seem a forecast is about as dependable as a weather report. "Today it'll be... mehhhh, you know... outdoorsy. And stuff."

    With job losses now inevitable, and a constantly slipping grasp of the electronics market outside of the PlayStation 3, what can the company do? At an average loss of $1 billion-per-year in the TV division alone, this is one ship whose holes need plugging, fast. However, on the bright side, if you have faith in the company, you might consider dumping some money into investments, seeing as how the stock has basically halved itself in a year, and continued into a sharp, recent decline. (I, of course, will accept a 15% commission if you gain, and no responsibility whatsoever for your losses...)

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Wakfu Nation Comparison

    How to Choose a Nation in Wakfu

    owls of nations of wakfu

    Selecting a nation is one of the few permanent choices a player makes for a character in Wakfu. Each nation is considerably different in terms of climate, terrain, monsters, resources, dungeons, etc. Once a player gets their passport for a given country, they cannot change their allegiance (as of this article). 

    Wakfu is a game with a heavy dose of politics. Nations can go to war with one another, so make sure you and your friends are on the same side!

    Wakfu World Map

    Amakna Sufokia Brakmar Bonta
    Key resource Crops Fish Ore Trees
    Top professions Chef Fisherman Miner Lumberjack
    Baker Tailor Kama Minter Armorer
    Leather Dealer Herbalist Weapons Master Handyman
    Crest Royal Gobbal Squid Bat wings, sword Large tree
    Colors Orange on Black Purple on White Red on Black Blue on White
    Exclusive mobs Crobaks Snappers Bellaphones Moogrrs
    Field Plants Crabs Striches Boos
    Toads Albatroses Chafers Bliblis
    Magik Riktus Kokokos Musslys Moskitos
    Sharks Stalagmotes Boowolves

    The Nations of Wakfu




    Amakna has always offered some of the finest cuisine in the World of Twelve.

    There is no meat tastier than Amakna meat, nor any baker more inspired than those you'll find before Amakna's ovens. What's more, Amaknian leather dealers strive to make each of their game products more solid than the last. But the territory conquests have begun and we have to step in to save these natural reserves!

    Amakna: an archipelago where lovers of good meat won't have to pay an arm and a leg for a full stomach.

    Become a Citizen of Amakna and enjoy the best benefits nature has to offer!

    Master Pigmy,
    Official Archivist

    Amakna's crest is a royal Gobbal, and it's colors are orange on black. Amakna's primary professions are Chef, Baker, and Leather Dealer. Compared to the other three nations, Amakna excels in crops, with plenty of zones and terrain suited perfectly for planting and growing.

    Monsters that can only be found in Amakna:
    • Crobaks
    • Field Plants
    • Toads
    • Magik Riktus
    • Polters (this monster can also be found in Bonta)
    • Arachnees (this monster can also be found in Bonta)
    • Treechnids (this monster can also be found in Bonta)



    Sufokia really knows how to keep its head above the water.

    Our waters swelled in the flood and now there are even more Snappers in them. Things were ship-shape, though we found ourselves in deep water when the fight for free territories began.

    The docile fishermen will have to rise and conquer new waters.

    Sufokia: the archipelago where Snappers are king.

    Come and reinforce our ranks!

    Master Screech,

    Official Archivist

    Sufokia's crest is a squid, and it's colors are purple on white. Sufokia's primary professions are Fisherman, Tailor, and Herbalist. Compared to the other three nations, Sufokia excels in fish, with plenty of zones and terrain suited perfectly for catching them.

    Monsters that can only be found in Sufokia:
    • Snappers
    • Crabs
    • Albatroses
    • Kokokos
    • Sharks
    • Kraloves (this monster can also be found in Brakmar)



    Once again, Brakmar has risen up above the others. This city is unshakeable.

    Our presses are constantly transforming our minerals into freshly minted Kamas, ensuring our wealth. The world has finally started to fight over control of the territories. We need to get the best bits for ourselves, and leave the rest for the others to scrap over. The sound from our forges already drown out the sound of the other nations' pride.

    Brakmar: an archipelago where your holidays could be numbered.

    Come and strengthen our ranks!

    Master Barney,
    Official Archivist

    Brakmar's crest is bat wings around a sword, and it's colors are red on black. Brakmar's primary professions are Miner, Kama Minter, and Weapons Master. Compared to the other three nations, Brakmar excels in ore; with zones that have more spawning points for ore than the other nations.

    Monsters that can only be found in Brakmar:
    • Bellaphones
    • Striches
    • Chafers
    • Musslys
    • Stalagmotes
    • Kraloves (this monster can also be found in Sufokia)



    Despite Ogrest's Chaos, Bonta, often referred to as the Divine City, is still the pinnacle of order and justice.

    Our forests are the thickest in the World of Twelve, and our wood is the finest. But the world is in conflict, fighting for control of the free territories. We can't let the other nations extend their hold any further. Bonta's Armourers' know-how will help you defend our great city once more.

    Bonta: Pining for the company of kindred spirits? 

    Visit the archipelago of Bonta, where adventurers from all over can branch out and plan the best route to conquering their next adversary. Come and strengthen the ranks of the white city!

    Master Hoot, Official Archivist.

    Bonta's crest is a large tree, and it's colors are blue and white. Bonta's primary professions are Lumberjack, Armorer, and Handyman. Compared to the other three nations, Bonta excels in trees; with zones that have climates and terrain perfectly suited for planting and nurturing forests.

    Monsters that can only be found in Bonta:
    • Moogrrs
    • Boos
    • Bliblis
    • Moskitos
    • Boowolves
    • Whirligigs
    • Polters (this monster can also be found in Amakna)
    • Arachnees (this monster can also be found in Amakna)
    • Treechnids (this monster can also be found in Amakna)

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