Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dead Rising

Last weekend I streamed Dead Rising from start to finish and oh boy was it fun.  It took just a little over 9 hours and the last hour of that was pretty grueling but generally speaking this game is pretty fantastic.

If somehow you have never heard of this game I'll take a quick moment to explain.  Originally released back in 2006 for Xbox 360, Dead Rising follows the adventures of Frank West, a photojournalist who gets trapped in a mall full of zombies.  The game was interesting because you only had 72 in game hours to play with and the story segments happened at specific times which, if you missed, would lock you out of the plot for the rest of the game.  What really made this game popular though was that the mall setting allowed for the player to use a whole crazy array of weaponry against the undead.  You could opt for more traditional stuff from a hardware store like a sledgehammer or go nab a gun from a zombie police office OR you could get silly and use gumball machines, shopping carts or children's toys to try and beat the undead back to death.  There are also human boss characters the game calls psychopaths which you must kill to rescue people or to progress the game.  There was a colorful cast of lunatics which made each encounter interesting and you would really have the think on your feet the first time playing if you wanted to win.

I love this game personally, it's one of those titles that is not only fun but sort of doubles up as a stress relieving tool.  If you want to uncover the zombie mystery of the mall, then play the story but if you just want to beat the fuck out of some zombies then ignore that timer and just go crazy.  Once you beat the game there is an Overtime mode which gives a bit of extra story and and endless mode if you want all the zombie killing with none of the pressure.

I only really have two problems with this game.  The first being is that it's too fucking easy.  I said above  that the first time you play you really have to think on your feet with the bosses but once you learn that an early boss unlocks a sort of pocket chainsaw in infinite supply the game becomes super easy.  The pocket chainsaw is SO strong that I think that there's only two bosses in the game that aren't insta killed by it in like 3 very quick hits.  Once you fill up your inventory with chainsaws the game becomes LAUGHABLY easy and the need to have any other weapon sort of goes away.

My other problem comes in the third day of the game.  You end up finishing all the games "case file" missions and then you are left to just sort of wait for your ride to arrive.  The lack of things to do of substance sort of makes the last hour of the game quite dull.  Even the zombie killing comes to a screeching halt as the mall fills up with dudes with machine guns which is a damn shame really.

However don't let my two complaints about the game deter you, if you haven't already played it then you absolutely should go and try.  Oh yeah, finally, don't try to rescue survivors because the AI for this game sucks dick.

The series seems to have taken a bit of a downturn with 3 and 4 since it's trying to be all gritty now from what I can tell but the first game is a ton of fun and fantastically dumb story and dialogue will leave you with a huge grin on your face.  Play it.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Upcoming Horrible Games

Jesus Christ I feel like we blew our load far too early with Resident Evil 7 and now that it's October and I'm actively looking for shit to spook me I don't have anything.  I've been having to go back and replay old horror games.  But not only do I not really have anything to play right now, but it doesn't look like there's much good on the horizon either.

I decided to do something very uncharacteristic of me which is to go and look up the upcoming horror titles to get myself excited for something in the future.  What I got was a great amount of disappointment.  Most of the games I found were you usual "horror" fair.  Walking simulators in first person that thinks horror is dark empty buildings full of jump scares but some titles were so offensively bad I'm going to put them in this blog post

First is The Evil Within 2 (pictured above), a game I think will be so shitty that I can't help but feel that if you saw the trailer and got excited you may want to see a doctor about your mental state.  Did you play the first game?  Did you see that shit?!  The first game was a horribly paced, horribly designed, unscary and clunky piece of shit and from what little I've heard about the new game it's just more of that.  This is the game that thought that they could make their own Pyramid Head by putting a large man in a butcher apron and then placing a SAFE of all fucking things on his head.  Clearly the team behind The Evil Within don't have a fucking clue what they are doing so don't get too excited for this one.

Days Gone is coming second on the list and it's one of those games I just can't figured out why people are getting excited for it.  First of all, it's a fucking zombie survival game so already in belongs on the trash pile along with all the other zombie survival games I found.  The thing that really grinds me about this game is that the only gimmick the game seems to have aside from vaguely ripping off The Last of Us is that they put enough zombies on screen that would make a Warriors game blush.  It doesn't look bad per se but it looks just so fucking by the books boring as fuck "survival" "horror" in an open world that I just don't care.

This one I find particularly offensive to my eyes because it reminds me out Outlast and anything that reminds me of THAT steaming pile of shit needs to be put down immediately.  Judging from the trailer I found on IGN it seems to be the aforementioned walking simulator type game in a dirty building probably filled with jump scares.  What makes this really bad though is the story intro I got was "An abandoned prison, a character with amnesia" which is that kind of line that makes me roll my eyes and scroll down the page.  Why use such a cliche setting and such a cliche plot in an age where you can load up Steam and literally find HUNDREDS of games like that for probably a lot less money and probably about the same quality that this game is offering.  Outlast burnt me once and I'm not falling for your shit Inmates.

I could do this all day but I'm gonna talk about this game last because when I first saw it I thought it may have seemed like a neat idea.  The idea is that you have to escape a house and the guy in the house will try to stop you and then catch you.  The gimmick is that every play you do, the AI learns how you play and will adapt to your style.  Now I saw this game for the first time almost straight after seeing Don't Breathe and I thought this basically sounds like that movie only the villain isn't blind.  Maybe more like The Collector now I think about it.  Anyway when I actually sat down and thought about the concept behind the game I realized that it's probably going to be bullshit.  It may be effective for the first couple of times but once you realize what makes the AI tick you'll just game it so hard that you'll be guaranteed to win every time.  It reminds me of a game called Warning Forever, a free to play shmup boss rush game where the enemy ship changes based on your play style, basically the shmup version of this.  However once you figured out what the game was looking for to make the boss grow a certain way you just did that every time for crazy high scores and after that it just became boring.  Unless this game is like, £5 or you have the brain function of a goldfish then I'd probably wait for a big sale on this one.

Anyway, I know I'm being super negative and the upcoming list of games did have SOME interesting ideas on it so I'll cover those tomorrow.  I'm also secretly hoping that all these games will prove me wrong and just being fucking fantastic once they're released. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

I don't understand the NES/SNES Mini

Unless you've been living under a rock or something you've probably heard of the NES/SNES Mini.  If you are unsure of what they are then they are little versions of the classic systems that come pre loaded with a bunch of games and you just plug that shit directly into your TV and have a grand old time.  The SNES Mini even comes with the unreleased Starfox 2 so if you're a fan of those games I'm sure that enough is reason alone to jump up and down in excitement.

Now what I'm not going to do in this post is fly off the handle in my usual offensive "fuck you" nature because I don't think that if you buy one or are excited to buy one you're an idiot.  It's a convenient piece of kit, a cool collectors item if you're into that or if you're an oblivious parent looking for a gift then this seems like a sure thing.

Personally though, I don't understand it. 

If we look at the SNES Mini in particular, from what I've heard it's about $80 but that's only if you can actually find one to buy.  Apparently it's selling so fast that actually getting a hold of one is pretty difficult.  For that $80 you get about 21 games and everything you need to play them such as cables and controllers.  Now 21 games for $80 may SEEM like a good deal until you take a look at something called the Super Everdrive


For a mere $6 dollars more you can get a cartridge that plugs into the original hardware and then you play games via an SD card that you load down with ROMS.  I'm not going to discuss the legality of all that in this specific post (not that I'm unwilling in a comment section though) but that means for $6 more than the SNES Mini, providing you have an SNES already, you could play all 783 officially released games rather than just 21.  But maybe you don't have your SNES anymore, fair enough, but you probably have a PC.

Emulation is what seems to make buyers and fans of the SNES Mini roll their eyes in disgust and granted I can see why.  Every Tom Dick and Harry is making that argument against the system that emulation is basically free and you can play any game you want.  You don't even need to look very hard on google to find hundreds of websites just offering ROM dumps of these games providing you can tolerate their 80,000,000 pop ups.  But maybe you have a problem with the legality, maybe it doesn't sit well with you.

Well doesn't almost every modern Nintendo system come with a virtual console that allows you to buy these games for like, $5/6 each?  Granted that would be more expensive than just buying a SNES Mini and of course you can't play Starfox 2 but unless you really like ALL 21 of those games then you aren't really getting the full value.  For example I have absolutely NO interest in playing Street Fighter 2 when I can just pop Alpha 3 in my PS2.  I personally have no real interest in replaying FF6 or Super Mario RPG any time soon.  I don't really take much pleasure in the original F-Zero (not that it's bad mind, it's just hard to play after X) and why the fuck would I play Super Mario Kart when I can just play Mario Kart 8, online, with more than 1 friend.  So already that's cut the value down for me but I understand that not everyone will feel that way.

There's alternatives too but it would take me literally all night to type them out

Like I said, I don't think you're an idiot and I can KIND of see the appeal in certain ways but ultimately I just can't see why you'd drop $80 on a system when there's cheaper (and arguably better) alternatives that you can access without having to desperately search stores for.  Still, power to ya, you do you, enjoy a box full of great games.