Friday, 8 December 2017

Chip 'N Dale in 11:40

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dragons Crown: Money Grub Edition

So I was talking with my friend the other day and he said that all I do is complain on here, like I'm full of nothing but rage and negativity.  This may be partly true so I planned a bunch of blog topics so that the next handful of posts would be nothing but sunshine and rainbows but then I saw this and now I can't help complaining again.

Dragons Crown is a game that was released in 2013 for the PS3 and Vita and was a bit of a side scrolly hack and slashy affair and if there's one thing I can't be mad about it's the game itself.  If you haven't played Dragons Crown I would totally suggest picking up a copy and giving it a spin, it's really fucking fun. 

So ATLUS did this a while ago with a similar game called Odin Sphere which was awesome.  The original Odin Sphere came out on PS2 and playing a PS2 game on a modern TV can look a bit crappy, which was a shame for a game with such a beautiful art style.  Not only did it get a bit of a facelift though, it came with some extra content and tweaks to game play which made it worth buying.  I have no problem re releasing an older game if it has some, even just a little, extra or different shit in it to warrant the purchase.

Dragons Crown on the other hand is a different tale.  This is a game from just the last generation that looks just fine on the PS3.   It's not like the PS4 can do all that much to improve the look of that game really, the generational face lift is not needed here.  It feels like that sort of pointless remake that's put out just  to milk a bit of extra money from the fans, kind of like the "HD" version of The Last of Us.  Not only that though but from what I can tell after reading some of the news stories about this game, there is NOTHING new in terms of content.  The only thing I can find is that it contains all the original games original features.  It's a fucking sad day when the fact that we're not having anything removed from a remake is noteworthy.

Unless for some weird reason you don't own a PS3 (or a Vita), don't buy the £50 pro edition of the game.  Just go find a PS3 or Vita version in a store or on Amazon or something.  At time of writing the original PS3 version is available on Amazon for like £30 so save yourself the money and get the exact same game at a much lower price.

Finally the thing that irks me is the name.  It's not Dragons Crown: Remaster, it's Dragons Crown Pro Edition.  With a name like that you'd expect it to be tweaked to be harder or something.  Like, the PS2 SMT RPG Lucifer's Call (Or Nocturne depending on where you're from) in Japan has something called a "maniacs edition".  This is the version that featured slightly tougher combat, an extra hard as fuck side quest and Dante from Devil May Cry.  There's nothing "pro" about this version over the other one, it's just the same fucking game with some slightly better graphics.

Anyway, go try Dragons Crown because it's fucking sick, just don't pay out the nose for this version and grab it on PS3.  ATLUS have been good in the past with shit like P4G so don't let them get away with this crap.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Cool Things In Japanese Arcades

I always have to come back to talking about the arcades since it's probably one of my favorite things about living in Japan.  Now the thing that tends to blow most peoples minds, which is the whole idea of a sort of members card that tracks stats and progress I've talked about to death.  Here is a video of me talking about it so that I don't have to type it all out again if you don't know what I'm on about.

But that's not the only cool thing about these places so here's 3 more really cool things about Japanese Arcades you may not know about

1) Recording and Sharing

Usually if you walk into a big arcade these a big signboard at the front that has all the rules and usually one of those rules is you're not allowed to bring in a camera and take pictures and stuff.  However the people who run these places know that gamers like to come in, record their game play if they are particularly good and share it with Nico Nico Douga or YouTube.  I noticed about a year ago that a lot of the machines in my nearest arcade started hooking up capture cards to the machine nearest to the aisle which you could plug a USB device in and record to it.  Not only this but recently I found that the rhythm game Chunithm has set up these sort of holders for your phone that give you a perfect angle on the screen and controller so that you can record shit and basically upload it there and then.  Before all this started people were bringing in cameras and tripods and shit which would clog up the space for people so all of this is a welcome addition

2) Manage your shit from your house

There are certain games such as Gunslinger Stratos or Code of Joker along with others that allow you to manage gun loud outs, decks or profile details from the comfort of your own home so that when you actually get to the arcade you aren't wasting your time in menus and shit and you can just sit down and play the damn game.  The one I'm most familiar with is Code of Jokers Agent Lab.

If you try to modify your deck in the arcade you are given a 120 second time limit and after that you start spending your paid credit and if you've ever tried to make a deck for a card game in 2 minutes it's a little tight.  However if you login to the above link you can sit, read through all your cards and make decks to your hearts content so that when you go to the arcade and scan your Aime you can just start playing right away. 

3) Actual Collectable Shit

I love collecting shit, it's just fun to do and one of the great things about the arcade is that they give you a chance to get your hands on quite a bit of swag.  Of course there's the UFO machines which give you prizes but they are actually worth trying for over here unlike the shitty plushies that you get in the UK.  However there are games like Sengoku Taisen (or whatever that new one is called) and Kantai Collection which give you actual physical cards to collect and trade which also level up in game as you use them, it's really cool.

My meager but much loved Kantai cards
 The best part is that you don't have to go to another shop to buy cards and then bring them to the arcade like it's Yu-Gi-Oh or some shit.  After you finish playing a round the machine itself will print a card for you to add to your collection so there's not really any extra effort required for amassing a decent collection of stuff.  There do exist specialist shops that allow you to buy the rare cards individually but these are mainly for the most hardcore of collectors rather than just regular players of the game.


It's a real shame that we don't have these kind of games in the UK because I might not hate the idea of returning home so much if we did.  That said if we did put these games into English arcades they'd probably just get abused and become unusable within a week anyway, so maybe it's for the best.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Regret Not Trying a WoW RP Server

Every so often I'll be talking with a friend and the topic of WoW will come up.  It usually goes the same way every time too with us talking fondly of memories playing with friends and shit back in Vanilla or Burning Crusade days and then getting pissed off with it some time shortly after that and begrudgingly giving up on it.

While thinking about WoW I realized that while I don't have much urge to ever return to it, I do sort of regret never playing on the games RP servers.  I always played on a PVP server and admittedly at the time I didn't "get" RP servers like that.  I just wanted to play the game, kill shit and get sick epic gear and that kind of thing was reserved for the kind of fat acne ridden, basement dwelling nerd with no real friends.  (I was a horribly judgemental teen, sorry)

Once I got to university though I started playing Dungeons and Dragons and I came to the realization that role playing was actually really fun ESPECIALLY if you've got a good group of friends and a few drinks to help things get a little silly.  It made me think though that I sort of regret not giving the RP servers a chance back when I was at the height of my WoW playing time.

In case you're not familiar with what this entails, an RP server is a place where you don't just play the game but you actually have to play your character as if it was a real person in the world of Azeroth and not just a loot collecting machine.  This of course includes stuff about the way you talk to other players but also how you move around the world and things like that.  I have friends who have tried RP servers before and they said the one of the best things about it was that the main town chats actually had conversations going on in them rather than just people spamming for groups or to sell items.

I would never go back to WoW now, my backlog is so huge that playing an MMO is probably a bad idea but I'll always kind of regret not giving that side of the game a go.  Then again, if I had done it I probably would have been all grimdark and shit so for my own sake maybe it was a good thing I didn't.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

IIDX Is Just Too Hard For Me

No one likes to admit they suck shit at a thing.  It's hard for one to throw their hands up and say "Yep, that thing, I'm fucking awful at it" but I think it's about time I throw my hands up and say yes, Beatmania IIDX (or 2 DX) is just flat out too hard for me.

I've been trying to git gud at this game for multiple years now and every time I just get frustrated and quit.  Back in high school, IIDX was the reason I got into importing Japanese games.  I got a Swap Magic, a IIDX controller and IIDX RED off Play Asia and tried to get good at it in my house since England didn't actually have any machines to play on.  Although I do think there was an original Beatmania cabinet in London, but who cares about Beatmania 1?

Rhythm games are usually something I'm pretty good at.  I play DDR fairly well and I can rock most of the top level shit in the arcades for certain titles.  Here's a video of me playing Night of Nights on Chunithm in the arcade just to prove I'm not a total inept moron when it comes to this genre.

However, that's Chunithm, now check out this video of some dude playing an IIDX song.

It's just another fucking level that I can't wrap my head around.  What's depressing about this whole this is that I actually LIKE IIDX so being shit at it genuinely saddens me. 

Still though, I'm not one to give up.  Maybe from today I'll give it another shot and hopefully in a month or 2 (or 6) I'll be able to come and make another post about how I conquered it and got good.  The chances of that ACTUALLY happening are quite low though since 1) I'll probably get frustrated and 2) The machines are usually busy and I don't wanna wait.

Still, I can dream 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Friday the 13th

God I remember all the buildup for this game.  Every other day on Facebook one of those videos from some weird baity gaming page would post a trailer or some game play footage like "erh muh gerd looks so good" and then the game actually came out and it sort of just vanished from existence.  Anyway thanks to a friend I've finally had a chance to give it a go.

The short version of this post is that if you followed the hype train then you'll probably be disappointing by how the game turned out but for me, I thought it looked a bit shit to begin with so I was actually pleasantly surprised.  Nothing special but a fun little game that you could happily kill a few hours with.

The game itself is pretty simple.  You join an online lobby with a bunch of people and everyone chooses a camp counselor and a Jason.  Which characters are available is dependent on your level which seems a little bullshitty to me since each character does seem to be a little bit different but whatever, you get EXP pretty quickly.  Once the game starts, one player is assigned to be the Jason and everyone else has to run away.  The goal is to escape or survive until the end of the timer for the counselors and to murder everyone for Jason.

On each map there are a number of objectives which involve things like repairing a car or calling the police and doing this will help speed up your escape but the items required for this are placed randomly throughout the map so if you want to get it done, working with other players might be a good idea although I'm playing the game in a busy bar with no voice control so for me that's pretty much impossible.  For Jason it's just a case of kill as many people as you can but you're a slow bulky piece of shit so you have a few powers to help you out like the ability to sense players or teleport around the map.  Once everyone is dead or has escaped the game ends and you're given experience with which you unlock characters and perks and whatnot.  Then you do it all again till the end of time.

I have two major problems with what limited time I've had with the game.  The first being that Jason just isn't fun to play AT ALL.  Maybe it's because I'm bad but he's super unwieldy and just sort of needlessly hard to use.  It's hard to articulate but maybe if you try the game you'll know what I mean but generally the counselors are just a lot more fun to play.  My other problem is that the game is buggy to fuck.  The worst bug I saw was when another friend of mine was playing Jason and I don't quite know what happened but the HUD vanished and he was completely locked out of using his powers and couldn't smash doors and stuff properly.  Eventually he got lucky an someone clocked him in the face with a frying pan and when he came out of the stun all his shit came back.  One other minor annoyance is that if the player controlling Jason drops from the game then the game just instantly fucking ends.  I get why but couldn't thay have maybe just let a bot Jason take over or something?

Either way, while Friday the 13th is nothing special it's at least a bit of mindless fun for a few hours.  I imagine if you get a team of good counselors and a Jason that actually knows what he's doing it could be pretty intense but unfortunately every game I've played/witnessed up to now seems to be populated with dribbling children but that isn't exactly the games fault.  Not something I'd pay full price for but put that shit on a Steam sale and I'll pick up my own copy eventually.