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Benjamin Oakes

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Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

Filtering for the Video Games category. Clear

Diablo dissected by its original devs

by Ben


Among the other design decisions illuminated by the panel: Brevik and his team (who were eventually rechristened Blizzard North) copied XCOM’s “actual tile square basis.” Brevik admitted that Diablo’s design “was basically built upon a screengrab from XCOM.” Also, Brevik was the dev team’s last holdout on two of Diablo’s most iconic elements: real-time control and online multiplayer.

Source: Post-mortem: Ms. Pac-Man, Diablo dissected by their original devs

16 years later, Blizzard is still patching Diablo II

by Ben

New update helps the game run on modern operating systems

Source: 16 years later, Blizzard is still patching Diablo II

That’s some commitment.

Final Fantasy 7’s Cloud Coming to Super Smash Bros Wii U, 3DS

by Ben

Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife will face off against Mario and friends.

Source: Final Fantasy 7’s Cloud Coming to Super Smash Bros Wii U, 3DS – IGN

Super Mario World Castle Theme (Organ Cover)

by Ben

Nintendo Plans for Mobile Games

by Ben

What We Know About Nintendo’s Plans For Mobile Games | TechCrunch.

The games giant partnered up with fellow Japanese outfit DeNA, a billion-dollar company that made its name with phone gaming, in a surprise alliance announced today that will see the duo develop mobile apps. But don’t expect a sea change from Nintendo; mobile is an expansion of its existing reach and not a wide-ranging pivot away from games consoles.

Interesting… I could see this working out well, even if all they do is release some Virtual Console titles (as many companies have done in the past). I’ve bought those from Capcom, Sega, Square-Enix, and others. Offering older titles could help Nintendo’s footing on mobile, but not erode sales of their own hardware. Other tie-in games could do the same, but Virtual Console is low-hanging fruit.

Valve unveils Steam Link, final Steam controller, Source 2

by Ben

Valve unveils Steam Link, final Steam controller, Source 2.

I’m happy to see SteamOS is still moving forward. I still think it would be a smart move for Valve to release Half Life 3 as a Linux exclusive. People would definitely buy a Steam Machine just for that, solving the “why would anyone use SteamOS?” problem. If they aren’t considering taking that route, SteamOS doesn’t make nearly as much sense.

Final Fantasy Isn’t Dying. It’s Already Dead

by Ben

Final Fantasy Isn't Dying. It's Already Dead | Game|Life |

At this point, it’s tough to see a path back to relevance for Final Fantasy, if the caretakers of the series are spending their creative cycles thinking about the particulars of breast physics. That’s not why the Final Fantasy brand still carries the cachet that it does, and the modern games are at this point living entirely off an inherited reputation.

Sad. I know I bought Chaos Rings for the iPhone based on the inherited reputation that Square Enix had with me… but Chaos Rings was much more repetitive than it should have been. After my save data got reset, it was hard to want to go through any of it again.

I’m still a fan of the SNES and PlayStation era games (roughly VI through IX; FFI is tough to enjoy unless playing a remake). I have to wonder whether Square Enix is making any money on anything but remakes at this point…

Awesome: Super Mario Bros. Crossover

by Ben

This has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Such an awesome idea! I think he should have used Link from Zelda II when you get a mushroom, though.

Play the game (requires Flash)

Metroid Prime

by Ben

Being a very busy student, it was a mistake to borrow Metroid Prime. It came out a few years ago, I know, but, wow, is it ever a great game. The Metroid series was always my favorite growing up, and it’s a joy to be playing it again. At the beginning, the first person perspective felt awkward, but, now that I’ve accustomed myself, it feels strangely natural. Somebody stop me now, or else this thing that I own (borrowed, actually) will end up owning me.


by Ben

i rediscovered a old favorite of mine a few days ago: metroid. its been a very long time since i’ve played it for the nes or snes, and im enjoying every minute of it!  it brings back a lot of memories:) i also found a rom hacking utiliy for metroid (haven’t found one for super nintendo, any links?) that you can use to rearange parts of the game, basically making a entire new game. i’ve found an example of this, metroid x, but haven’t tried to get it to work yet. also, metroid comics were a feature in nintendo power a few years back. i found scans of them, and other nintendo related comics. what a wonderful thing the internet is!  :)