Archive for the ‘Brian Vacek’ Category

Mercury Meltdown Revolution

January 28, 2008

Over the years there has been a handful of puzzle games that involve rolling an object through an obstacle course. You can go as far back as the arcade classic Marble Madness or as recent as the Super Monkey Ball series. Though it has failed to generate similar name-recognition, my favorite from this sub-genre has thus far been Mercury Madness Revolution. Mercury Madness is available for the PSP and PS2, but do trust me on this: the Wii version is best thanks to the excellent control scheme.

I should mention that though my last review was for “The Seventh Guest” (an old-school PC puzzle game), I am not a puzzle game purist. I generally prefer action-adventures, side-scrollers, platformers, RPGs, strategy games, empire-builders and FPSs. So when I thumbs-up a puzzle game, it generally means I think it has some cross-over potential for those who occasionally like to dabble in the best of the puzzle offerings.

Let me be clear, though, that the Mercury Madness Revolution (MMR from here on out) is a pure puzzle game. Both casual and hardcore gamers are invited, but those with absolutely no interest in non-narrative straight-up puzzle-play shouldn’t even bother to show up. This is not Zelda or Vagrant Story where puzzles are a single factor of the game. Nor is this an eye-popping graphics showcase for your next-gen system: you can expect just pleasantly tasteful cel-shaded visuals and innocuous techno music that falls short of catchy. It is, however, one of the best of its breed.


Grump Alert: Film Walrus Guide

September 5, 2007

Hello, all! While rest assured I am working as fast as I safely can to provide you with the next installment in our Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass series of superhero movie adaptation grumps, it doesn’t mean I’m too busy to alert you guys to a prime opportunity to immerse yourself further into the heady depths of film!

You might have noticed the link over to the side that takes you to Film Walrus and wondered what the hell that was and then forgotten entirely about it. Shame on you! Film Walrus, apart from being a beloved friend and contributor, is an exciting up-and-coming film blog several times more literate and legitimate than our Youtube-filled “fuck”-fests. In fact, he’s the reason I proposed this entire venture to Magus at all! Consider him our older brother, or if you’re a weeaboo, our sempai. n__n;;

Anyways, long story short, he’s written up a new article that introduces him to newbies and guides them towards his interests and particularly interesting past articles. If you haven’t checked out Film Walrus by now, you definitely should. You can learn a whole lot about movies by reading his stuff and even find some movies you might like that you would have never found out about otherwise. Have fun browsing! And don’t miss the awesome article on Give Me My Wilted Spinach Leaf Back.

The 3rd Guest Arrives

May 7, 2007

Box Art


Although this is mostly a game review, I’m going to stick a little introduction here at the beginning. I’m Brian Vacek, a guest-contributer for Grump Factory and associate by way of friendship and my own film blog: The Film Walrus. You won’t see any of my film reviews here, although you’ll likely see some cinematic repartee between Tim, John and myself. I’ll be doing the odd game review and other pop culture commentary to help the factory meet its quarterly grump quota. To continue an analogy made in John’s introduction, if Tim is the bad cop and John the good cop, I guess I’m the grim third cop behind the one-way mirror, analyzing the suspect’s expression and hurriedly scratching down some notes.


So what game will I be reviewing as my debut? The 7th Guest. Yup. The one on the PC from 1992. I know some of you know what I’m talking about because more than 2 million people bought the game. Well I just got around to playing it. Don’t ask, but it involves E-bay and my girlfriend.