Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sound Voltex Booth

Sound Voltex Booth is a new rhythm game I've come across during my travels around the various Japanese game centres and despite the strange name it is a hell of a lot of fun.

For those of you that need a western comparison, I suppose this game is most similar to DJ Hero, but even that is a pretty bad comparison as the control schemes are completely different.  It's your standard rhythm game though, notes flow down the screen and you hit the buttons in the right order not to fail the song. 
What you are probably noticing in that picture though is the two little turny knobs on the left and right side of the buttons.  There are notes in this game that take the form of long bars that you need to trace with an indicator in order to get the points.  In order to make that indicator move, you turn the knobs.  It's a very simple control scheme but the game still feels challening, and the way in combines button notes with the knobs can actually be rather challenging on the higher settings. 

Speaking of the settings, there are 3 difficulty levels in Sound Voltex Booth; Novice, Advanced and Exhaust.  I've not had too many runs of this game yet as I've only just started playing, but even on Novice the game can still be a bit of a challenge depending on the song.

As you can see in the above image, the Exhaust mode is locked, so I hope to god you brought your e-amusement pass card.  For those of you who don't know, an E-Amusement pass looks like this.
The E-Amusement pass is a stat card that works basically for all Konami games (IIDX, Jubeat, DDR and more) and having one is basically a requirement to enjoying any Japanese coin op rhythm game.  You see, playing without one is fine but the song list is actually pretty small.  As you play with a registered card though, you gain skill points and unlock points in order to get new music to play through.  Also having one of these cards allows you to access any new songs they upload to the game via the internet and they are not expensive to get hold of, about 300 Yen from a little dispensing machine inside the arcade.

So if you ever find yourself in Japan, give this game a spin.  If you don't ever come to Japan, or never plan to then cross those fingers and hope that they release a console version for you to import, but I don't think it's likely.

Just as a little bonus I've uploaded 2 gameplay videos so have a lookie see.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Free Game Friday......On Saturday! Zenonia

First of all, apologies for free game friday being a day late, I ended up in a karaoke booth all night and by the time I got home I was too drunk and tired to even consider making a blog post, anyway, I'm now well rested and ready to bring you more free entertainment!

So, break out your smart phones and iPods because this weeks free game is a mobile game called Zenonia.  I find it strange that I'm finding games like this on the app store for my iPod Touch, usually I associate the mobile games market with casual stuff, you know, stuff for people to kill 20 minutes on a subway train, not proper gamers stuff.

Anyway, Zenonia is a Hack n' Slash RPG where you play as a young lad called Regret (Fucking stupid name by the way) as he is on a quest to avenge his dead father.  On the way you have to deal with the ongoing war between some holy knights and some clan of evil dragon people.  Basically the story is kind of dumb and the names of all the characters are pretty shitty too.

While I'm thinking about it the combat is a little bit shitty too.  It's basically one button combat and you just wail on an enemy until his life bar dissapears in most cases, that said though I still enjoy playing this game quite a bit.

First of all, you can pick one of three classes at the beginning, a Paladin (magic user), a Assassin (sneaky man for the dirty player) or a Barbarian (2 handed tough guy).  There is a chance that one of the reasons I find the combat so dull is I chose the Barbarian class so my guys whole deal is just wailing on enemys with a 2 hander anyway.  I'm still part way through my first playthrough so there is a chance that the other classes may make the combat a bit more compelling.

While I'm at it there is A LOT to this game, and I do mean A LOT.  The gameplay basically boils down to a single player MMO which would usually turn me off in most cases but as a time killer for the subway? yeah it's pretty good to grind out a few quests on my way to work.  Anyway, the world is pretty big, filled with dungeons and plains, snowfields and the like.  It does limit you to where you can go for each bit of the story, but it's OK because leaving the designated quest areas would mean getting your ass kicked anyway.

There is also shittons of items and stuff to pick up and collect and you have to keep all your junk in good shape if you want to stand a chance against what lies ahead.  Also there are skill trees, because every fucking game has to have a skill tree now and whenever you level up you get points to put into your stats and skills so you can really customise your guy to suit your own play style.

There is in fact quite a lot of depth here in preparing for combat and managing your quests and abilities, more depth that I would ever expect out of a goddamn iPod game.

So put that Angry Birds down and play a real game!  Maybe for those of you who class yourselves as "casual" gamers, you'll find that "core" gaming isn't as scary as it's all made out to be.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Asura's Wrath and Movie Games

So a while ago before I came out to Japan I played through a game on the Xbox 360 called Asura's Wrath.  I'm not exactly going to "review" the whole thing here, but it was a strange little game as there was very little actual game to be had in Asura's Wrath.  The whole game is a series of quick time events and little beat em up segments that are piss easy and require no real effort or strategy on your part even on hard mode.

Despite all that though, I quite enjoyed Asura's Wrath, it was cinematic and the story was interesting and watching a very angry man punch a God the size of earth in the face was quite entertaining, I'll do a full review thingy later.

Anyway, the thought I had about this game, was that maybe, the guys over at Capcom have discovered a way to make movie games good.  You see, for those of you who may not be aware, 99% games based on movies are fantastically bad and equate to nothing but cheap cash ins from developers and no one is happy with this crap.  You go and see a movie, probably a marvel superhero movie or whatever, and then you see the game and if you're really stupid you go and drop money on the game and shortly after you pop it in your machine you want to kill yourself in some kind of extremely painful way for falling for that crap.

lol movie games
By the way, I didn't buy Thor, but it was the worst recent movie game I could think of.

Anyway, what I thought when playing Asura's Wrath was, that what if you make all movie games like this one?!  For example, take the  Iron Man games, right now, they suck massive sweaty balls, but if you turned it into an Asura's Wrath clone, it would actually be pretty good, or at least playable.  On top of that, recreating scenes from the movies (what most people who buy these games actually want) would be really easy.

So in short, since Asura's Wrath feels more like a movie than a game, the best way to make passable movie games would be to just remake the movie but add timed button presses.  Asura's Wrath was never a movie to start with, which is what kept it interesting, so these games would still be arsebags, but I bet people would feel a little less ripped off if they were made this way as apposed to a buggy rushed mess.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

R-Type Tactics Update!

So you remember a few days ago I made a post on what I thought so far about R-Type Tactics and how I thought I liked it but when I thought about it the game is actually a pile of shit?  Well even if you don't I've been playing it a bit more and I've come across something that has annoyed me even more.

You see, the amount I've actually been playing this game is quite low, partly due to being distracted by playing League of Legends recently, and partly due to the game being huge amounts of horseshit.

Anyway, lets play a little game of spot the difference, look at these 3 pictures I just took.

Can you spot the difference? NO YOU CAN'T IT'S THE SAME FUCKING LEVEL and yes, these are from 3 different missions.  Sure, the purple crap that makes you move slower changes shape over the course of the stages, but that does NOT make it a different goddamn mission.  Oh, and on top of that, the music is the same in each of these stages. 

This is just lazy on the part of the developer.  Sure, I'm warping a huge distance into the Bydo homeworld, but you do not need to convey the distance by repeating the same stage 3 times.  I've not even bothered to play the third one yet so there may even be a 4th.

I want to beat it, I don't like to leave things unfinished, but I'm THIS close to sodding the whole thing and just starting on Dracula X Chronicles instead.

Castlevania Series Run: Castlevania 2

What a horrible night to have a SHITTY FUCKING GAME! HOLY CRAP THIS SUCKS SO BAD!

OK, cruise control out of the way, yeah, the second game as part of my Castlevania series was obviously, Castlevania 2: Simons Quest.  This game is so bad it makes me want to cut off my own hands for having played it, it's a disaster of a game and was barely worth my time, but still, I couldn't say I did a proper go through of the series if I didn't play it.

Anyway, before I start talking about how awful this game is, lets go over some good things about this game, and surprisingly there are a few.  First of all we have the day and night thing, which is surprisingly an awful thing and a good thing at the same time.  See, it's a cool idea and it does a lot for building tension when your low HP and quite far from the nearest town to heal in, but it's so badly implemented it kind of just falls flat, but more on that later.

The other good thing is the soundtrack, most notably Bloody Tears.  When ANYONE thinks of Castlevania, they think of that damn song and this is where it all began, as an overworld theme in the daytime segments of this shitty game

But unfortunately, that's about it for the good points behind this game, so time to dive headfirst into the shit.  So yeah, back to that day and night shit.  Sure, I said it's a cool concept, but the problem is that every time the game transitions between phases, EVERYTHING stops and you can't do shit for like a good 15 seconds.  It's a pain in the ass and it really adds a lot of unneeded length to an already arse game.

Leading me onto my second point, GRINDING!  Now I'm a bit of a glutton for the grind.  I used to play the shit of World of Warcraft back in vanilla and Burning Crusade days and hell, I've even had my fair share of hours on those free Korean grindfests, but THIS is a pisstake.  Basically you need hearts to buy important shit that you need to move on.  However these hearts take fucking ages to get and the only thing you ever really want to do is walk back and forth between 2 sets of enemies hoping one of them drops a big heart so you don't have to grind as long.  What's super double bullshit turbo is that if you die, you lose all your goddamn hearts, so you have to grind out those 4,000,000 skeletons AGAIN! fuck this game...

So when you do eventually get your shit together, you get to go questing in what is quite possibly the worst designed levels fucking ever.  There are 4 mansions in this game, each housing a bit of dracula that you have to pick up.  The first 2 don't even have a boss and you just have to fight your way through some easy mode skeletons and slimes or whatever.  Then when you finally do hit a boss, it's so easy it may as well have not existed in the first place.  But your worst enemy in this shitheap game, is the floor!  Some of the blocks you just fall through and you either day or have to backtrack like 5 minutes to get to where you were, and by that point you're so angry you forget AGAIN and fall down AGAIN.

Writing about this game is actually giving me pretty much ever disease ever, so I'll wrap up with this last point, and that's the puzzles.  Holy shit the puzzles.  This is the most cryptic as shit game that you'll ever play, more cryptic than Z grade point and clickers from the 90's.  Unless you have gamefaqs (which lol, you wouldn't have done if you played it new) or a copy of Nintendo Power (lol, enjoy spending more money, dickface) you were just fucked up the ass with a broomstick.  There is NO WAY you would ever figure out from the hint "hit your head off the cliff" to go buy a red gem, and duck in front of it for 5 seconds, and that's just the most famous example.  There is so cryptic shit in this game that it could take up a good 10+ entries on the "Thats some BULLSHIT" bit I'm doing.

So yeah, that's Castlevania 2, and if you're still interested after all that, here's one last thing to maybe put you off the game entirely.  The final dungeon has no enemies or traps, and you can stunlock Dracula with fire until he dies.

Fuck this game, and fuck everyone associated with its development

Monday, 25 June 2012

Now that's some BULLSHIT! #1: Nasty Fog of War discoveries

Well this is a segment I'm going to start periodically on here called "Now that's some BULLSHIT".  What this segment is, is little rants from me about shit that happens in games or whatever that makes you just throw you arms up in the air and call bullshit.  There is lots of instances of this both in and out of gaming, so we're probably going to hit a pretty high number for these one day.

Anyway, the first piece of bullshit I'm going to needlessly get angry about today, is the nasty shit you'll find in fog of war in some strategy games, mainly turn based ones.

What I mean by a nasty fog of war discovery is when your playing something like Advance Wars or Civilisation or something like that, and you're happily uncovering the fog of war when BAM! one of the other assholes on the other team has some kind of superweapon that just wrecks your shit.  This is double bad if the game does that thing of letting the enemy get off a free turn because you blundered into it like a retard.

Now, I'm going to make this clear right now.  If you're playing something like starcraft 2, and you walk into some kind of Protoss deathball (or a big fuck off army of tough shit for all you none SC2 players), that's YOUR goddamn fault.  You didn't scout it well enough and it's your own dumbass that caused you to lose that game.
(Unrelated picture lol)

 No, what I'm talking about is like shit that happened to me today when slogging through R-Type tactics.  I'm scouting safely, making sure I can see whats ahead of me before I go throwing all my ships to the grinder, when I encounter some enemy ships.  I'm dealing with them in a manner that allows me to keep my scout ship safe, when all of a sudden a HUGE FUCKING CHARGE WAVE comes out of the fog and just destroys 2 of my units. 

Whats the point of having a scout unit if it can't effectively scout the HUGE 10 panel ship blasting me from the fog!  Now I'm not saying Fog of War is a bad thing, it adds challenge and depth and shit would be too easy without it, but that right there, is some bullshit! 

Anyone who plays strategy games has had this moment at least once, where there has been some unseeable, unexpected sack of arse waiting 3 like spaces of a map away.  So fuck fog of war sometimes, and double fuck the nasty shit that lurks in it too.  Turning missions into trail and error crap, shit off....

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Castlevania Series Run: Castlevania

What's that? Is that come Castlevania?! HOLY SHIT ITS SOME CASTLEVANIA!  Basically, since before I came to Japan me and a buddy have been slowly working out way through the Castlevania games.  Most of these playthroughs are replays for me as I've already played the ever loving shit but the series is always a ton of fun and I can't get enough.

So the story so far is that I've beaten Casltevania 1,2 and 3 along with Super 4, Dracula X and Bloodlines.  Once I finally finish slogging through R-Type tactics I plan to move onto the Rondo of Blood remake on PSP and then Symphony, Aria of Sorrow and all the games after that.

So what I thought I'd do, was retell my experience replaying this series.  It's been mostly rage, but that's OK, it would be boring if every post read "beat it in like 3 hours, game's well easy" so at least my lack of skill makes things interesting.

Well, the best place to start I figured would be at the beginning of the series, so about 3 weeks ago I fired up Castlevania for the NES!

Now before I continue, reviewing old media has been kind of played out and it's not something I want to spend a great deal of time doing.  Granted, I've been playing video games since the age of 4, so old games have been a big part of my life, and using this blog to reflect on them would be fun, but it's not something I want to get bogged down in.

Anyway moving on...HOLY SHIT THIS GAME IS SO DAMN GOOD!  One thing I really love is a hard game, and Castlevania is one hard goddamn game.  Most of the time the challenge isn't too bad, but other times it's just complete bullshit, but that's fine, when you do beat this beast of a game it feels satisfying as all hell, like you really earned that win.

Anyway, the story is simple NES stuff, you play as Simon Belmont, professional vampire killer and you have to storm Dracula's castle and go wreck his shit.  On the way you'll fight all sorts of shit like bats, mummy's, gorgons, Frankensteins monster and all sorts of shit.

Now with NES games being limited in space it's not exactly a long game, so of course its hard as all damn hell.  Like I said before, mostly the challenge is fair except for one thing that really makes me want to go and smash my face against the closest flat surface, and that, is the damage jump.  What I mean by this is when you take damage, you fly backwards, and when you fly backwards, you usually end up in a bit or some spikes or whatever, and you die.  The level design is actually really good for this game but it's so hard to appreciate it properly when you die for the god knows how many time because of that damage jump.

That said, I think I've gotten a lot better at this game since I last played it because this time round I got through the game with little to no problem.  There is one corridor, that's famous for being the ultimate in 8-bit dogshit, where there is these resilient axe throwing enemies, and their backed up by flying gorgon heads and getting through that corridor is a real trail in patience and skill, however, CHECK THIS SHIT OUT!

This is a screen shot I took to show my buddy of me getting through that godawful corridor without taking a damn hit, pretty proud of that crap right there.

Anyway, it doesn't matter how proud you might be of pulling that off because the boss right after that is Death, which is something that always confused me a bit.  Death himself, takes orders from goddamn Dracula, how does that even work?  I mean, Dracula's pretty strong in this series, but why is the deity of death itself taking orders from one goddamn vampire, surely Death is stronger than Dracula?! but whatever, Death makes a good boss, albeit an annoying as shit one in the older games

So you kill Death, go through some more annoying as shit stages and then you fight Dracula.  Dracula has 2 forms, one where you gotta hit him in the face, and then some big monster form...that you have to hit in the face.  In all the older castlevania games you ALWAYS have to hit Dracula in the goddamn face.  You think after being killed and coming back so many damn times he'd have one of his minions make him some kind of metal face mask or something, but no, I guess he's not that smart.

So you kill Dracula and his castle crumbles, you watch the credits and then you can walk away safe in the knowledge that the world is safe from evil Vampire bastards.  Castlevania 1 is a brilliant little game and it's a shame that a lot of the fans of Lords of Shadow or the newer metroidvanias, the younger fans that is, probably haven't played this. 

So go buy it or emulate it or whatever, just play it, its really goddamn fun.

Next time I'll be recanting my tale of Casltevania 2.....oh dear

Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Gamers Dilemma: The Eternal Backlog

OK, well since last nights post was a little bit on the crap side, I thought I'd shoot for doing 2 today.  This post I want to talk about something that I've been struggling with basically since I gained a second video game console, and that's the backlog.

I think if you own a PC and a gaming system at least, chances are you have some kind of backlog.  For the luckier gaming enthusiasts, your gaming backlog may be around 2 or 3 games, maybe 5 at a stretch.  However, I'm not what you would call one of those lucky gaming enthusiasts.

Usually what I do, is I'll be playing through a game, usually quite a long one, and during that time I'll be buying basically every daily steam deal, scouring GoG for cheap stuff and picking up obscure JRPGs and the like that I'm convinced will disappear from existence if I don't buy it RIGHT GODDAMN NOW!

So the situation that this has left me in is that I have a HUGE gaming backlog, some games I bought on release day about 2 years ago and STILL haven't touched.  What makes this even worse is that I have now moved to Japan and most of my gaming stuff is back with the family as I'm not about to take all my consoles and all my games on a plane with me.  So the only thing I really have access to now, is my PC and a PS3(not including bits of my old collection which I can emulate) which I recently bought and I know that when I do go home, I'm going to be buying all the stuff for Xbox and Wii that I couldn't buy when I was here, and new systems if they are released by then.

What makes matters even worse is the fact that I'm spending a great deal of time in Japanese arcades, playing coin-op shit rather than slogging through my ever growing backlog, so I'm doomed to an eternal backlog of games that I'll be trying to get through until I either quit gaming as a hobby or die.

For those who are lazy and don't want to read the above post: So many games, so little time

Holy crap! No time! Gotta make a post! plans for the blog!!!

OK! No pictures or any of the fancy shit I usually give you today, I'm in a rush to head out and fulfil social obligations (I know, I know, I'm a disgrace) so I thought I'd very quickly give you guys a run down for plans I'll hopefully be able to bring forward in the future.

First of all I want to set up a stream, I just really need enough time to find something A) Worth streaming, and B) figure out how to work some free streaming software that I found

Of course going hand in hand with the streaming would be lets plays, but I'm going to be very careful about doing this because there is an over saturation of people doing this shit already.

Once I start getting some time of work I'm hoping I'll be able to do some events where I'll be streaming or doing something  gaming related in order to raise more money for the Alzheimer's charity.

Finally, stuff that I plan to fulfil a bit more short time is getting some footage of all the really cool coin-op games I'm playing in Japan and do some bits on there, so stay tuned, things should be good!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Free Game Friday: Realm of the Mad God

OK! It's Friday night so it's time to give you mugs some free shit to play so you can flush your weekend down the toilet and have a shitton of fun while doing it!

So the game this week is a little gem called "Realm of the Mad God" and oh lord is it awesome.  Realm of the Mad God is a top down, 8 bit MMO Shooter.  If this sounds weird to you its because it is, but that at least makes the game worth checking out. 

Basically, after doing a short tutorial you spawn in a hub world populated with a few entrances to the game worlds.  Up to 65 people can enter the game world at a time and you're all sort of in one huge party with the aim of killing the Mad God.

So you create a guy, give him a name and a class and go questing.  The pace of the game is fast, and I mean REALLY fuckin' fast and after the first few levels the enemies get tough.  Finding people to group with (which is done automatically by standing near them) is super important for survival.  So go forth, collect loot, and after you kill enough shit, you get teleported to go fight the Mad God.  Winning gets you loot and fame which you use to upgrade your guy and unlock more classes so you can go questing with different equipment sets and abilities.

However, the real kicker to this game, the thing that makes it really interesting, is the fact that there is perma-death.  That's right, if you die in this game you lose your guy and all your loot and have to start right from stage 1.  Granted, levelling to the cap of 20 is super fast, but losing a load of fame and items is still as bad as a spiky stick to the ballsack.

So give it a go, you can play it for about 15 mins and still get good progress in but the game is addictive as all hell.

The game can be found at or you can play it off Steam if you have an account there, so have it!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

R-Type Tactics

The next game that's been taking a pretty significant portion of my time is R-Type Tactics, which is a weird way to take the series I think.  For anyone who may not know, R-Type is a dirty big long series of side scrolling shooter games for various formats, most notably in the arcades so to see it appear as a turn based strategy game more than raised an eyebrow the first time I saw it.

Anyway, the story for this thing is that there is this huge alien army called the Bydo that's being ruining Earth's shit for a long long time and its up to you to get all your ships together and go wreck face.  It's a pretty minimalistic plot that tries to flesh itself by talking about the state of the Earth army and crap like that, but if you've ever played a shooter, you don't give a shit about the plot then and you won't give a shit about it now.

 I'm actually finding this game kind of hard to write about as now that I think about it, it's actually pretty boring.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy playing R-Type Tactics, but I can't ever do more than one or two missions in one sitting and by the time its over I'm pretty burnt out.

I think the problem is that there is very little variation in the missions and all the objectives boil down to "kill the enemy flagship" and on top of that all the maps are just expanses of space or boring orange looking interior levels.  Granted I've not beaten the game yet, there may be some cool looking levels coming up, but I'm pretty far and it's been dull as shit so far.

The second problem I have with this game, is the "tactics" part of the title.  I've used the same strategy every time and I've never even come close to losing a level yet.  Oh, and before anyone calls me out on my progress, I'm INVADING THE BYDO HOME WORLD, so that must be getting on to the last section of the game at least.  Every level I just scout, keep the bombers close behind, keep the fighters in the back until their charged and then let them rip, and that's it, missions usually over by that point.  That feeling of routine that has sunk in with each mission really makes me not want to play it for long periods of time, it does an absolutely garbage job of keeping me engaged.

The third issue I have with this game is the ships.  Here is an example of the Research and Development menu to build new ships.

Sorry about the image quality, I had to take it off my camera because I don't know how to get proper screen shots off a PSP, so whatever.  Anyway, unless you've played the game you have no idea how good or bad these ships actually are, but take it from me, apart from the bomber they are ALL garbage.  I refuse to even waste resources on a Orbit Fighter because it's going to be a load of crap just like the rest of them.  Oh, and that bipedal thing is a load of wank too, and that's the upgrade that I own down at the bottom.  It has like, 2 movement and can only melee, so yeah, fat lot of fucking good that ship is.  Finally, that bomber, is the most overpowered goddamn unit in any turn based game I've ever seen.  It comes equipped with a nuke, that just bodies whatever the hell you fire it at.  It never misses and it does HUGE damage.  So you keep a resupply unit on each of your bombers and your set for every mission.  Sure, the fighters get a super powerful charge shot, but it takes like 4 turns to charge so that can piss off too.

Anyway, one final issue I have with this game is the load times.  Loading between missions is OK, but occasionally the game will do that Advance Wars thing where it shows the groups of ships firing on each other.  At first its cool, as an R-Type fan to see the ships and bosses rendered in 3D but the problem is, the game has to load each sequence and it takes a LOOONG time.  You can add about 10 minutes of mission time just in loading time for those sequences so to make the boring missions go faster you end up just turning that shit off anyway.

Up there I said somewhere that I enjoy playing R-Type Tactics, but over the course of writing this post I think I've made myself hate it.  Anyway I'll slog through it and post some updates about the rest of the game later.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Binding of Isaac

Well, this is the first real post I'm going to make, so I figured I'd make it about the game that's been taking up a pretty significant portion of my time.

What you are looking at up there, is the splash art for The Binding of Isaac which is available on Steam and created by the dudes who gave us Super Meat Boy.  The game itself isn't exactly new, as with most games, due to my massive backlog I don't play new releases usually for a LONG time, unless I've been particularly excited for it.

Anyway, before I get into talking about this game properly, I'll give a quick overview of the story.  Basically, you play as Isaac, a naked baby who is a victim of abuse from his fundamental christian mother.  Isaac's mother believes that she is hearing the voice of god, who has commanded her to sacrifice her only child to prove her love for him.  Isaac then promptly jumps into the basement and so begins your quest to kill your own mother.  AWESOME!

OK, so the story is kind of dumb but that's OK for this kind of game.  Basically what Isaac is, is a Rougelike.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it means that you have to deal with randomly generated items, loot and enemies in order to go kill the big bad at the end and if you die, you die permanently and have to start over.

Now I'm not a huge rougelike player, I have enjoyed things such as Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup and the like but I've never really been any good at them.  Isaac streamlines the dungeon crawling thing and makes it very accessible to those who aren't familiar with this genre.  There is no character creation, no option of race, gender, class etc. just a few naked babies to choose from (which are basically all Isaac wearing some kind of wig or eye patch or something) and a big dungeon to explore.

Now this isn't exactly a long game, it's actually pretty short as far as most rougelikes go.  The game has about 5 stages from the outside, which expands to 8 or so when you beat it for the first time.  But don't let that fool you into thinking this is an easy game, oh no, its HARD and it will kick your ass every which way until your crying like a little bitch in the corner of the room.

The game starts out out weak as shit, your bullets do sod all real damage and you have very little health, but the game provides you with HUGE amounts of treasure to find to upgrade your naked baby into a god killing powerhouse.  However, the game only turns you into a god killing power house every once in a while and will most of the time give you crap items and then fuck you over with a really hard room of enemies or a really annoying boss.

I mean, check this goddamn screen shot out
In the 56 runs I've had of this game so far, I've beaten it a grand total of 2 times.  Oh yeah, the real kick to the nads here is when you beat it that one time, it doesn't count, you gotta beat it AGAIN to make the mom kill count.  That first time just gets you the epilogue and the final few stages.

But this is the beauty of Isaac.  Even when the game gives you a crap set of items the challenge never feels unfair, it still always feels like you have a chance and no matter what shit happens to you, there is always that vague hope that the next item room will give you that one thing you need to win.  Plus the other great thing about this game is the sheer variation in the items.  My count reads 107 and that's not even nearly all of them and whats crap to me will not be crap to another player, so each person can really adapt to their own kind of play style.

I could talk for hours and hours about this goddamn game, but instead of gushing on here maybe I'll try and find a way to record some footage and gush there instead because this is turning into a bit of a wall of text.

However, before I wrap this post up, there is one thing I want to mention, and that's the DLC.

That up there folks, is the logo for The Wrath of the Lamb DLC for this game, and oh my god is it a case of DLC done RIGHT.  When I look at most DLC for games recently it just irritates me as tacked on garbage or shit we should have got anyway, but this, this is a perfect example of how DLC can be used to really improve a game.

This shit adds so much goddamn content.  Alternate levels, new rooms, new bosses, new versions of Isaac to play as, new endings, new enemies, NEW GODDAMN EVERYTHING!  It adds difficulty as well as a shitton of new stuff that makes the game feel fresh.  I can't commend the developers enough for providing DLC of this quality.  Also its cheap, I snagged it for a mere $3 off Steam, and who can't afford that!?

So hopefully you'll give The Binding of Isaac a go, I'm done gushing on here.  Any more gushing about this game will hopefully be done in hilarious videos of me failing to win.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

First Post! Goals of the blog and the story so far!

Well, here I am trying my hand at blogging yet again, but this time with something in mind to keep me going.

This blog has two purposes.  The first is to inform and entertain you, the reader.  My focus, as you can probably guess from the title will be video games and everything related to them, but I may see fit to go off on tangents about movies or weird shit I see on my travels round Japan as I am currently based there.  The second purpose of this blog is to raise money for the Alzheimer's society as its a condition that people very close to me have had to deal with so I thought I'd do something to help try and eradicate the condition from existence.

The link for the donation page can be found at

Donate as much or as little as you want, even if you don't want to donate anything and just listen to me ramble about games, then that's also fine, but anything anyone can spare is much appreciated.

With all the "admin" out of the way I can start talking about some damn games

The story so far is that I'm currently based in Japan on a working holiday visa and luckily due to my hours I have a lot of free time for gaming.  I'll go into more depth in later posts, but right now I've been playing R-Type Tactics, The Binding of Isaac and League of Legends along with a ton of stuff found in Japanese arcades which I'll talk about later.

So for now, that's it, keep an eye on this space, in the future I plan to have all sorts of crap going on!