Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Crash Bandicoot HD Marathon Update

So as you may or may not know, the incentive for the Crash Bandicoot HD marathon was met a little while ago and now I have some information regarding the event for you.

So I'm planning to run the event on the 24th February and I will play Crash Bandicoot HD on PS4 until I have either finished all 3 games or played for 24 hours.  Now I feel that Crash 1 is a little bit of a challenge but Crash 2 and 3, if memory serves, are pretty easy to at least finish.  So in order to spice things up a bit, I'm adding a stretch incentive to make things a little bit more interesting.

Between now and the end of Crash 3 if an additional £100 are donated to the charity I will play the 3 games to 100% (no DLC) or until I hit the 24 hour mark.  As a backup, if that goal gets met and for some reason I at least don't finish the 3 games in 24 hours, I'll take a rest and then dedicate the 25th to playing even more Crash HD to get as close to 100% as I possibly can.

As always, big thanks to everyone who has donated for this and everything else so far!  Keep the kindness coming and keep supporting IG! It means a lot!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Battle Circuit

So today I had a massive 3 hour gap between my driving lessons so I went down to the arcade about 5 minutes from the school to play DDR.  To my dismay however, there were a couple of people already on it and with limited time before my next class I wasn't about to waste it waiting around for those guys to finish.  The place had the usual selection of rhythm and card games but nestled in the back of this place there was an older cabinet running a game called Battle Circuit. 

Now I've never heard of this thing before but Battle Circuit is a side scrolling beat em' up made by Capcom and released in 1997.  After having a quick glance at the wikipedia page to get that date it looks like the game could support 4 players but the cabinet I was playing on only had 2 sticks so that wasn't happening any time soon.

After you put in your money you get to pick 1 of 5 characters to play as.  These involve a strong guy, a tough guy, a speedy guy , "death blow" guy and one that I don't remember.  I went for the strong guy because I like to keep things as simple as possible.

From there is a pretty standard side scrolling beat em' up.  If you've ever played anything like Final Fight or Streets of Rage then you know what you're getting with this.  The screen fills up with dudes and you punch all the dudes until they fall down dead.  There was some kind of story going on about a disk or something but I was just skipping all of it so I don't have a fucking clue.

What I was kind of surprised with though was just how fair the game felt in comparison to a lot of other titles in the genre.  I'm more than willing to admit that I'm not exactly the best when it comes to games like this but it feels like in a lot of titles enemies, especially, bosses will have moves that come out of nowhere, are crazy hard to dodge and do tons of damage.  Also the further you get into these games the more getting hit feels like coin guzzling dogshit than actual challenge.  Battle Circuit however didn't really do this and there was only one instance where I thought I lost life because of the game cheating me.  It was a woman boss with big thighs who liked to kick things (not Chun-Li, called Barbara or something) who would break your combo to spinning bird kick you across the screen which felt a little shitty but, like I said, she was the only one with an attack like that.

The game also had this upgrade system where you could buy moves or improvements for your character by beating coins out of the enemies as you went.  The extra life however was like, 1000 coins and I was only getting like, 200 a level.  There's only 8 stages too so if you're buying extra health meter or the actual useful skills then you can kiss that extra life goodbye.  The only thing I really disliked about the game was that fact you only got 1 extra life but this was offset by the game only being 50 yen a play instead of the usual 100.  I think if I had to put 100 yen for every continue I probably would have quit after my first game over.

Anyway it's a pretty good game so if you can find a way to play it then you should absolutely give it a try.  I think if you live outside of Japan the chances of you finding a cabinet are pretty slim because even in Japan I've never seen this game before.  But you know, MAME is a thing.....

Friday, 12 January 2018

That Nintendo Direct

So last night this Nintendo Direct went down that I didn't watch but I sure as fuck caught all the information about it via my Facebook and Twitter feed.  Now I don't yet own a Switch and I sure as fuck want one.  They've been restocked in a bunch of stores near me and I'm definitely not lacking the funds for the thing but I just can't bring myself to pick one up and this mini direct pretty much made it clear in my mind why.

On the surface, the Direct was pretty cool.  They announced a whole bunch of titles that were coming to the Switch including a port of Dark Souls and (another) remake of The World Ends With You with a new extra campaign bit stapled on the end which kind of made me a little excited.  But that's exactly the problem, there's nothing new on the Switch AT ALL.  It's either ports, sequels or ports of sequels getting released and that goes for the direct and the current library of games.

Think for a second about what you're getting excited for here.  Just taking the two games that I'm the most interested, Dark Souls came out originally in 2011, that makes it nearly 7 years old.  TWEWY came out in 2007, that's over 10 years ago!!!  Not that remaking or remastering these games (depending on how you view it) is a bad thing but is it really worth sucking the Switches dick for doing so?  I've been playing this game for a long as time and the system is going to have to do more than that to sell me.

Now I understand that some people haven't played these games, especially TWEWY, so for some it's a reason to be legitimately excited but I get the impression that if you've been gaming for a long time and you have eclectic tastes then the Switch right now just isn't for you.  It's a shame too because it's a really cool piece of kit that I WANT to own but I just can't quite justify the purchase yet.

All that said though, Shin Megami Tensei 5 will be dropping at some point and despite it being a sequel I'm an absolute sucker for that series so I'm going to HAVE to buy one at some point.  I just wish the system had a bit more originality going for it.  I'm sure one day it'll happen and when it does I'm going to run to the nearest shop with a fat wad of cash and buy it all.

What excited you the most about the Direct?  What games from the current library are you enjoying?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Overwatch First Impressions

Very recently someone gave me a free copy of Overwatch for PS4 and I've been playing it quite a lot over the last few days.  It's been a game I've been kind of avoiding for a long long time, not because I thought it would suck or anything but because I've got a huge backlog so playing online games like this was something I was trying to keep away from.  However I couldn't say no to a free copy and now I'm fucking hooked.

If you've been living under a rock and somehow don't know what Overwatch is, it's a team based first person shooter akin to Team Fortress.  Each player picks a character and then you fight to take an objective on each map which can vary from pushing a big car to the end of a stage or capturing points or sometimes even doing both at the same time.  There's some kind of story but I'm not really paying attention to it but each character seems to have a backstory you can get into if that's your thing but there's no single player campaign to speak of, it's all online.

The game itself is actually really fun, there's a lot of style and polish to it and even though I'm playing on a console rather than PC the controls are tight and each character has a nice varied play style which prevents things getting stale.  Aside from that I find it hard to think of things to say about this game.  Nothing about it is particularly new, we've been seeing this exact kind of game since 1999 but what the game does do it does extremely well.

At time of writing I've only played the quick play mode so there's still a lot for me to explore.  There's an "arcade" mode that has players competing in other sort of mini game type affairs and they seem kind of fun and there's also a competitive mode but you can't access that until you're level 25 and I'm only about 14 right now.  I'll come back and do a followup post once I've explored much more of the game.

The one thing that might turn people off is the loot crate thing.  I'm sure there's a lot of people who would be wary of the term "loot box" after the whole Star Wars thing but I can promise you there is absolutely nothing game breaking in these boxes.  There's a mode where you can customize the skins of each character or change their victory poses along with other things.  The loot boxes ONLY contain this cosmetic stuff so you don't have to worry about another player having better gear or anything like that.  The loadouts and skills of each character is set an cannot be changed so everyone is playing with the same set of tools.

I'm looking forward to playing much more of this game and I'll update once I've explored more of it's content but right off the bat it's a solid class based shooter that I could recommend for any fan of the genre.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year! An Update

Well at time of writing it's New Years Eve but I'm going to be out partying when it actually ticks over so I'm making the post now.

First I want to extend all the usual thanks for the continued support and even bigger thanks to everyone who donated over the course of 2017.  Of course, going into 2018 I hope we can raise even more money for the charity and improve the site considerably.

As for blog news going into the year we have the 2players 1controller mini marathon coming up on the 7th of January and hopefully I'll be able to find time in February for the Crash series marathon.  I'm actually hoping to do a marathon at least once a month from January, if not 24 hour some kind of 12 hour general gaming stream where maybe people can donate for what's played.

Also the Advance Wars playthrough will be continued at some point but the guy I'm recording it with got married and moved house so he's been busy as fuck.  Anyway we're hoping to jump back into the battlefield sometime early January.  I of course have a number of playthroughs planned for my solo efforts AND there will be a streamed playthrough of Haunting Grounds (Demento) which was donated for by a friend of mine during my birthday.

So watch this space and keep supporting the site and the Alzheimer's Society!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

2018 Speed Schedule

So 2018 is nearly with us so it's about time I informed everyone what games I'm planning to speedrun this coming year.

While it was fun last year to try and run 12 games, there were a number of problems doing it that way.  First is that I had to spend a few days de-rusting, so I wasn't actually doing any proper runs for the first few streams.  Then after that, a single month of running the game wasn't really enough time to build up enough skill to get any kind of decent time in anything.  On top of all that I was losing days to social gatherings, parental visits and other events and the like which cut the time for actually speedrunning things down even further.  So this year I'll be running 4 games for 3 months each and then if you wanna see the other speed games you can donate for the mini speed marathon incentive

So with that said, here's the list

January-March- Silent Hill
April-June- Megaman 4
July-September- Super Mario World 11 Exits + Casually learning a new game maybe
October-December- Super Castlevania 4