Friday, 30 November 2012

Weekly Freebie: Don't Look Back

Well I've decided to stop calling it the "Free game Friday" because I never fucking do them on Friday, so from this day forward this feature will now be called the weekly freebie!

Anyway, this week I'm bringing you a nice short little game made in flash that is actually rather fun.  As the title of this post says, the game is called Don't Look Back and it's a game made by the same guy who brought us VVVVVV.

Do some platforming, shoot some things and fight some bosses, a very simple game but extremely fun despite being a little short.  There isn't really much else to say, I mean it's a goddamn flash game so just go and play the damn thing.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Stop Releasing Broken Games!

This is something that has pissed me off to no end and has become more and more apparent with this generation and is probably only going to get worse.  My problem, if you can't tell from the title of this post is that there are too many games released this generation that are just full of fucking technical bugs on launch.

Here, take a look at this video

I'd imagine it's not like this now but this is how the damn thing was shipped, and it's not just Skyrim, you could full a fucking heavy goods vehicle with copies of all the games with big glaring technical bugs.

The thought processes of these companies must be "oh it's OK, we can just patch it out later", well it's NOT fucking OK you gigantic bags of arse, games should NOT ship like this.  What's sad is that years and years ago, this was never a problem.  Hell, even games as recent as the PS2 didn't have problems like this, so why has it suddenly become a thing this generation!?

What's sad is that with a new generation of consoles on its way, I only see the problem getting worse, not better.  Developers will keep shitting out untested, buggy games and we'll have to keep waiting for fucking patches. 

I understand that nobody is perfect, and the guys putting all the code together and testing their software might miss something, but right now it's just stupid how glaringly bad some games are made.  I'm using Skyrim in this case, but the worst offender off the top of my head (not counting Silent Hill collection since it's remake) is The Last Remnant on 360.   Good LORD, that frame rate was so bad in that game is was basically unplayable, I had to buy the PC version, and I'm glad I did because that game is awesome.

So, just because you can patch a game later, doesn't give you an excuse to be lazy and devs need to make sure their shit is tight as possible before they go charging me £40 and up for that crap.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Difficulty is NOT a bad thing!

So a few days ago I started playing Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition on my PC and then today I started playing Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure on my DS.  Both of these games are fucking fantastic and I will go into detail about why these games are so good in future posts.

But for now, I've come across a problem with today's gaming community, and my problem is that there is a vast majority of people who have all become little nancy boys afraid of a little difficulty!  Now to be fair, I don't blame them, games today ARE a lot easier than they used to be, but for good reason.  Modern gaming gives you experiences upwards of 8 hours while older games only really had an hour or two worths of time on the cartridge or whatever, so older games were made really hard so that you'd play them longer.

But a challenge is fun right?  Part of the appeal of this hobby is that you are kind of being issued a challenge by the developer to beat their game, they've spent time programming shit to try and stop you, so you have to overcome that, right?

Well apparently I'm wrong and being challenged and being made to learn to play well is too much for people today.  Dark Souls AND Henry Hatsworth have both had criticisms thrown at them for being hard and having "unforgiving" or "frustrating" difficulty.

Now there do exist games which are "bullshit" hard, but Dark Souls and Henry Hatsworth are NOT that, yet people still get upset when the game throws up a couple of road blocks.  I mean come on, what the fuck happened?!  Back when I was a lad, when we played a hard game we wouldn't throw up our arms and say that the difficulty was a problem, we'd band together and come up with techniques and strategies to get to the end of the game!

It's about time companies started making MORE hard games, not less, and it's also about time that people started actually started earning those endings instead of just giving up after they realise they can't win if their brain dead playing doesn't work.

We need a balance of hard games and games that can be played just to chill and relax, and right now we don't have it.  But we're never going to achieve that balance if critics keep pointing out difficulty as a negative point.  Call it out if it's bullshit, but games like Dark Souls and Hatsworth are NOT bullshit, so fucking stop it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ultraman: Towards the Future

First of all, apologies for missing a post yesterday, I was rather sick and in no condition to be writing anything, but having made a speedy recovery I'm now back and ready to continue!

So, ever since beating that SNES Empire Strikes Back game, I've been wanting to go back and beat all the games that I never beat as a child, and Ultraman: Towards the Future was one of those games.

At this point I'd tell you what Ultraman is exactly, but to be honest I'm not entirely sure.  From what I can tell Ultraman is a popular kids series in Japan which has a similar vibe to the Power Rangers which used to be popular back in my day (which itself takes scenes cut for cut from Super Sentai, another similar kids TV show in Japan)

So the whole deal with the show is that big monsters come and attack and its up to Ultraman to give them a beatdown.  The game has the exact same premise, where each stage is a different monster, which I assume is from the show, and you have to give them a thrashing.

Whats strange is that despite the fact that Ultraman never made an appearance outside of Japan, his game was available in the UK and in America.  I got my copy when one of the staff members at my old primary school sold it to my mother for about £5 and it was then passed on to me as a present.

So Ultraman is a fighting game, but a really fucking bad one.  Basically, you fight the monster, but when you empty his bar, you don't win, it just says "FINISH".  To win the fight you have to let the meter in the middle charge all the way to L4 and hit him with that when the finish sign appears.  This makes some enemy's way harder than they should be since you end up dying before your thing can charge despite having beat them 2 minutes ago.

When you run out of lives, you go all the way back to stage one, but despite that I managed to beat the game on my third try.  Unless your a fan of something like Ultraman, don't bother trying to play this one, it's a piece of shit, I just had an axe to grind from my childhood.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Review Scores

Before I start I just want to make it very clear that this post isn't going to be about how some people think that certain reviewers are in the pockets of X Y Z company giving stupid high scores in order to promote sales, this article is going to be on the concept of a review "score" in general

So, with that out of the way, lets get down to it

Personally, I'm not really one for reading/watching reviews, I'd much rather formulate my own opinion on a game and not have it tainted by listening to what someone else thought of it before I've even had a chance to play it.  That said, reviews are not a bad thing, they can give a good insight into what a game is like if you're not sure that you want to spend some money on a certain title.

That said, reviews have had this strange habit for fucking years of putting a number out of 10 on the end of a review.  What is the point of this exactly? How to you quantify a fucking opinion?  If, lets say, game X gets 8/10 and game Y gets 7/10, that means that game Y is 10% worse than game X right?  Well how the fuck does that even work? I don't understand how that one point between the two games really matters and these on 10 scores is a practise that should be fucking abolished. 

If you are reviewing a game, give an opinion on whats good and whats bad, and then sum up those points at the end for those who can't be arsed to read the whole article in a little pros/cons list because at the end of the day, the number at the end doesn't really fucking mean anything.  I get that it's supposed to be a quick guideline but 9s and 10s are thrown around like fucking nothing in this day an age so the system has lost all meaning.

Also, the weight behind this numbers has gotten fucking stupid too.  If a game gets anything lower than a 9 its a fucking nightmare.  I've seen some videos that describe a 7/10 as "OK", I mean since when did 70% of something mean just OK!? 70% is pretty fucking good to me.

Either get rid of this system or give it more definition so we know exactly what causes a game to gain a point or lose a point.  Also, reading a list of bullet points is NOT harder than reading a number, shut up.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Slender Attempt 3

I took another crack at Slender but this time I performed some preparation!  I realised that Slender is a game of navigation and patience, and if you spend a minimal amount of time being lost, then your chance of winning is so much greater. 

However even with my shitty map I still only got to 4 notes in this run, but the part itself is a lot shorter since I spent a lot less time just aimlessly wandering about the trees this time. 

Even with a piece of shit map like this, I feel a win coming very soon.  Hopefully I'll have this shit done within 5 goes, so for now, enjoy the video!


Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Free Game Friday on Thursday

So this week I know I have a busy Friday evening coming up, so instead of mugging you all off and not providing more free shit, I thought I'd do it a day early, hooray!

So this week I'll be talking about a browser based flash game, and before you get all uppity about it, it's a damn good one so just hear me out.

Right, so the thing is called Pandemic 2, a simulation game of sorts where you play as a virus and you must try and kill everyone on earth by becoming the most badass and most resistant motherfucking virus to ever strike humankind.  When you start the game you get a "class" choice of Virus, Bacteria or Parasite which all have their own traits.

From there you spend most of your time watching a map screen and paying attention to events that happen throughout the world.  You can then use this information to apply the best upgrades to your disease, or you can ignore them and just build it however the fuck you want.
As time passes, you gain evolution points to spend on your disease in order to give it more symptoms or resistance or different methods of being carried from subject to subject, there is quite a bit of choice.  The game also lets you sell already bought upgrades just in case you need to adapt to the way things are going.

Not all that deadly but will cause large amounts of embarrassment
I'm not usually the kind of person who enjoys playing flash games, I tend to avoid them most of the time, but this one is actually really good.  So if you need something to fiddle with while you procrastinate productive things, Pandemic 2 is the way to go!


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

What you are looking at in the opening picture today, is the end credits for Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.  That's right folks, despite a lot of complaining about it in various posts over the last few weeks, I finally beat this fucking thing, so I thought I'd give a little review.

Well first of all, I was describing the goings on to a buddy of mine via facebook chat, and the impression I got from him was that this game doesn't really do a good job of following the movies too closely.  Some of the core scenes are there, but it does a lot of stuff to sort of "game" it up, which is fine I guess.  When making a side scrolling platformer you can't really expect it to be too faithful, as long as it's fun really.

So that's the big question here, is it fun?  Well to be perfectly honest with you, for me, yes, for most people, probably not.  This game is HARD, and when I say hard, I mean that unless you play a level perfectly this game will shaft you up the ass so hard that you will not be able to walk for days.  The checkpoints in some stages can be really unforgiving, especially in the final level.

My two major complaints however, do not lie with unforgiving checkpoints or game difficulty, but with taking damage and boss life bars.  When you take damage you dont fly back like you do it games like Castlevania, you get pushed back.  This is fine, but in some situations the whole being pushed thing will fuck with the controls and you'll die for stupid reasons because the enemy has been placed somewhere really obnoxious.  When it comes to bosses, their health bars are just flat out too big.  These make easy bosses really tough because it turns into an endurance match rather than a test of your accumulated skill.  The most bullshit example is that bogmonster I posted a while back, which required you to shave off bits of his body before you could even touch his main health bar, he wasn't tough, just resilient as fuck.

In the end though, the game is pretty fun, but if you want to win you have to be one hell of a patient player with a high tolerance level for bullshit.  If you like a challenge then go emulate it or find a cart or something but if super hard games aren't your thing, no matter how much you like Star Wars this one is just not for you.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Change of Plan!

This is just a short update post regarding the blog event I mentioned.

In case you've not been keeping up to date, I planned to do an event where I would challenge 100 of the hardest games I could think of and try to beat all of them over the course of December and January.

Well of course, I've done that thing I do of trying to do way too much all at once on my own, but that doesn't mean that I'm giving up!  Instead of being an "event" it'll just become a "feature" instead I've decided to call "Tau's Challenges" for the time being.

Keep an eye out!  I'll be starting with something nice and well known, so once I've prepared everything I'll begin filming and get it up!

I miss the floppy disk

God damn do you remember these things?!  Well we have reached an age where there are now a significant number of people who fucking don't, and that's sad.

These plastic squares could hold an absolutely massive 1.44 megabytes of data and it was the games came on for shit like the Amiga and other systems.  I never owned an Amiga myself, but I do remember having some kind of computer thing with a green and black screen that played some kind of golf game that came on a floppy disk, that was the shit back then.

Back in my old school days, I remember we used to get a free floppy disk from the library, and we'd fill it full of stupid pictures from some picture website and go giggle at them at home.  It was dumb but I have a lot of fond memories with this old file storage format.

The best thing about these damn things though was the sound it makes when you put it in the drive.  It would make this awesome kind of click sound, pushing one of these bastards in was so satisfying.  On top of that, one way to stave off boredom during the IT classes was to flick the metal bit on the top back and forth, I could do that shit for hours.

But alas, the floppy disk is no more, but I'm glad I got to experience the tail end of their existence.  Maybe one day we can have something that looks like a floppy but has shit tons of storage on it, that would be nice.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Can't give a shit about the WiiU

Read the title again just in case you saw it and got angry.  It's not "don't" give a shit about the WiiU, it's "can't" give a shit.  I've been trying really hard to get myself hyped up for this new bit of hardware from Nintendo, but I just don't give a fuck and I can't bring myself to give a fuck.

Initially, I was really interested in this thing, mainly for it's controller with a screen in it.  When I first saw it announced and got a glimpse of that thing my mind started thinking about all the cool concepts that could come out of a bit of gear like that. 

But I'm not really one for following hype so the WiiU dropped off my radar for a while, then I eventually got round to looking at a list of launch titles for it and good lord was I disappointed.  Everything that's coming out for this damn thing already exists on another system, is garbage aimed at non-gamers, or is just not very interesting.

ZombieU was the game I paid the most attention too, but it still doesn't seem all that interesting to me.  The controller screen stuff is cool, but you don't NEED the controller screen to have those features, it feels like a gimmick and nothing more.  That's the problem with the WiiU I think, for me at least, it feels like a gimmick.

That said, I thought the exact same thing about the DS and the exact same thing about the Wii, and after it gained some steam we got some really impressive games out of those systems.  So, either hurry up and come up with a really cool game concept with that controller screen thing OR release a Trauma Centre, because that'll do it really.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

That feeling of satisfaction

You know, I was going to use this post to complain about how bullshit some bosses can be in certain video games, but after I took the picture to complain with I won, so I'm gonna talk about this instead!

The super hard Empire Strikes Back playthrough continues, and just as I'm starting to get frustrated at the Cloud City boss, I go and pull a win right out of my arse.  This reminded me of one of the reasons I love playing games so damn much, and it's that feeling of satisfaction you get when you finally overcome something that felt previously impossible.

Sure, it's face meltingly frustrating to have to do the same part for hours and hours (or in the case of this stage, days) but when you finally do it, you feel like king of the goddamn world.  It's a feeling that I've not had for a long time with modern games being a lot easier than they used to be, which is a shame but I understand why it's happened.  There are a number of reasons but the main one I think, is that it's just not profitable to make super hard games anymore.  There is a majority of people today who don't want to actually have to try, or think, or use strategy, they just want something fun to whittle the hours away with, and it's these people that companies are making games for.

It's sort of a shame that this seems to be the case, but at least it opens up the medium a bit.  So if you're getting tired of the easefests, fire up something retro, get that passion for clearing a challenge back. 

Blog update and the Yakiniku Review

Well I've been a little busy this weekend, so I've not really had time to sit in front of my PC and write posts, but I'm just about finished with all the weekends arrangements, so I can get back to blogging.

So now I'm gonna announce a new blog feature starting from December, and ending whenever the hell it's finished.  The event is something I've decided to call "The Centurions Controller" (Working title) and with the help of my buddies and the people at a few forums, I'm in the middle of compiling a list of the 100 hardest games I can think of. 

I will then try to play them through all of them, and hopefully beat them too.  I'll outline more details of this in a vlog or something later, so look forward to that.

In the meantime, since I went to Yakiniku on Friday, you can have my 15 second review of what I think about it!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Annoyed by Silent Hill: Revelation

Goddamnit, I've not even seen this movie and just watching the trailer makes me angry.  Before anyone asks why I haven't seen this movie yet, well, 1. It's not out in Japan yet, and 2. I don't want to give them money for this monstrosity.

What I'm about to write isn't so much a movie review, just a few reasons why this film really pisses me off.  So, obviously it's supposed to be based on the third game in the series, this was common knowledge before the film came out, but, it ALSO follows the first movie.  You know what this means? It means it can't possibly follow the third game, because the first movie had basically nothing to do with the Silent Hill games bar cameos from the monsters and the whole changing world thing (and they even fucked that up)

OK, this article is going to have a spoiler for Silent Hill 3 in it, so if you haven't played it by now, stop reading.

So, in Silent Hill 3, the thing that gets Heather (the main character) to the town is that Claudia (The main antagonist) kills her dad.  Well in this fucking movie, Claudia appears to be absent and her dad gets fucking kidnapped.  Why is he being kidnapped?  Harry Mason wasn't even mentioned in the first movie.  I get why they didn't like him in the third game, since he ruined their shit in the first game, but he's just kind of popped up in this film.

But I'm sure the film comes up with a bunch of shitty reasons for it's shitty plot, but there is something worse that REALLY gets to me.

This is Vincent, what seems to be Heathers boyfriend or some shit.  But wait, Vincent wasn't like that in the game was he?

That's because he didn't even come CLOSE to being Heathers boyfriend, mainly because he was one of the fucking antagonists, but on top that, he was one of the most interesting characters in the whole damn story, and his entire role has been reduced to THAT?! Fuck....

Also why is Pyramid Head still in this damn thing?  He's a monster specific to James Sunderland, please stop putting him in places he doesn't belong (i.e. Anything other than SH2)

I want to see this movie so I can have a good proper rant about the damn thing, but I don't want to give them money for this crap.  Maybe when it pops up in a used DVD store I'll pick it up but until then, I'm just going to get mad at the trailer.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

More Star Wars Woes

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back continues to give me trouble with what might be the most arse boss fight I have ever had to play through in my life.

Basically, this huge bogmonster scrolls left and right, shooting worms at you.  The monster himself isn't that hard to dodge, but when you hit him you don't damage him right away, oh no!  There are 5 nodes on the top of his head that must be shaved off before you can reduce his life bar.  This means the fight is extremely long and eventually the constant onslaught of crap just ends up killing me.

On top of that, for some reason I keep clipping through the fucking floor, and when that happens he just rams into me and takes off a big chunk of my HP.

I'm sure I'm probably doing something wrong, and because I'm so thick headed I'm not taking the time to truly figure him out, but goddamn is this one hard son of a bitch!

Just to give you an idea of how hard
Me- 0

It's that bad...

UPDATE: I killed him!  Turns out there was a healing force power hidden away in the level, once I found it, dealing with his bullshit was a lot easier.  He still takes far too long to die though



Borderlands Cartoon!?

So if you've been paying attention to the Now Playing bar on the blog, you may have noticed I've been playing Borderlands recently.  While I was digging around the internet I came across a certain video.

This video is called Codehunters and was released in 2006 and if you watch the full thing all the way through it has a striking resemblance to Borderlands.  Now I'm not sure the full story behind this and Borderlands, but it's safe to say that the artists took quite a few "inspirations" from this little animated short.  Hell, the bus intro and the ass shot are basically unchanged from Codehunters.

What makes this whole thing even more perplexing to me, is that I discovered that Borderlands has a completely different look and feel while it was in development.

Still, rip-off or not, I'm glad they went with the Codehunters art style in the end, we don't need any more "realistic" looking shooters nowadays anyway.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Game Centre CX

OK! Recently I discovered a TV show that's been in airing in Japan for a long time but I've only recently discovered, and good lord is it AWESOME!

The show has a simple premise, there is this guy called Arino, a comedian from Osaka who puts himself into a small room with a filming crew and plays some super hard games.
The thing that makes the show so entertaining is this guy has the most tolerance for retro game bullshit I've EVER seen.  No matter how often he dies, no matter how often the game flat out fucks him over, he always remains calm, but his reactions are really funny.  Think AVGN but he's filled with joy and wonder rather than rage.

If you're like me and you live in Japan, he also covers some unusual game centres and does interviews with various well known people in the industry.  Not only is this show super entertaining but you can learn a lot about old games that you probably didn't know before.  For example that Shuwatch article I posted, I gained that bit of knowledge from this very show.

So check it out, you can pull them up on youtube, but I'm gonna be hunting down the DVDs from now on!

Monday, 12 November 2012

"Cinematic Experiences"

 Let me take a moment to explain why I love gaming as a hobby so much.

I like a good challenge, it doesn't matter if its some kind of super hard puzzle or something more skill based, I love being challenged to do something and then doing it.  One of the reasons I love gaming so much is that I see every game I play as a challenge issued to me by the developer, so I have to step up and beat it.

It sounds stupid but its what makes the whole thing so appealing to me.  Of course, this does sometimes lead to controller biting fits of rage on some of the more obtuse titles but the feeling of satisfaction one gets when overcoming a huge problem feels really good.

But this leads me to a problem with games today.  Gaming for a while has been trying it's damned hardest to mimic the film industry, so all the challenge is gone nowadays.  Sure, there do exist hard games, and they are usually the best ones but companies seem to be more focused on delivering pretty looking "cinematic experiences" rather than an actual game.

It's kind of a shame because when I was a kid, I would pick up a game and have no idea if I would ever see the ending, but now anything I buy I know I'll see it to completion with basically no problem.  It's a shame that people would rather have interactive movies than actual games.

It's not like these "cinematic experiences" aren't enjoyable, but I want to be challenged, I want to have to use my brain and overcome great hardship!  People always talk about how far gaming has come, but to be honest, right now, it's the most brain dead it's ever been.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Snowspeeders are not fun!

So you may have noticed that Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back appeared on the sidebar of the blog.  Well that wasn't just some random urge to play a Star Wars game, hell, I don't even know all that much about Star Wars, I never really followed it, but I was challenged to beat this game, so that's what I'm doing.

But this is one of the hardest goddamn games I have ever played in my life.  Not the good kind of hard either, the bullshit kind of hard that makes you want to tear off your own face and frisbee it out the window so you don't have to look at the damn thing anymore.

Yet, I am carrying on, beating this thing one step at a time, one password at a time.  But I just now beat 2 stages that are quite possibly the worst stages I have ever played in any game ever, and these are the snow speeder stages.

The first is a  faux 3D stage where you have to destroy certain numbers of things.  First it's probes and bikers, which are easy, then some ATSTs (I think) which are a little harder since they take more punishment, but they are OK.  Then the bullshit flies when it wants you to kill AT-ATs, and you have to fly round them with the cable.  It's not too hard but after playing it with a while it fucks with your eyes.  Also the first time I beat it I think it bugged and it wouldn't give me the results screen, piece of shit game.

The next stage is even worse

So it's a kind of shooter stage, but it's the most bullshit fucking shooter stage I've ever seen.  First, your ship is the size of 3 elephants glued together, which is bad enough because you can't dodge oncoming fire, but what makes it even worse is that shrapnel from shot down enemies fucking hurts you!  What's the fucking point of letting me shoot them down if they are just going to hurt me anyway?! It just makes the stage needlessly hard and to beat it, all you can do is mash the button and move up and down and HOPE TO GOD that your life bar lasts out.

So fuck this game, needlessly hard piece of crap.  Still, I won't let it beat me! ONWARD!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Button Mashing....Serious Business

Things such as APM (Actions Per Minute) are an important aspect of games such as Starcraft, but APM has been an important concept to many gamers way before people started playing Real Time Strategy games seriously.

What you are looking at in the above picture is something known as the Hudson Shuwatch (or Shooting Watch) and it was designed for players to practise and improve their skills at the top down shooters of the time.

If you play a top down shooter now, you may be familiar with the idea that you can just hold down the fire button and the ship or whatever it is you are controlling will just fire constantly.  Well, back in the day people didn't have it so easy, you had to mash, and mash hard if you wanted a fast rate of fire.  So not only did the old school shoot em' ups test your spacial awareness, but also your ability to mash like a motherfucker.

The idea behind the Shuwatch, as far as I understand it, is that it let you test your mashing ability and gave you something to practise with outside of the game.  As far as I know it didn't do much else, but the existence of this thing just blows my mind.

I know that I'm going to be hunting one of these things down in the local retro shops so if I pick one up I'll do a video of it in action or something.

Japanese Medal Games

Up to this point, I've never seen the point of these things, but today I discovered why they are so popular!

For those that don't know, in a little area of pretty much every game centre I've ever been to, there is a section for "medal games".  These are games where you buy a load of medals, and feed them into a machine to earn more medals.  They are usually those push machines, you know, where you feed in coins so the machine can push a big stack and make coins on the edge fall off.  There are other machines such as non-gambling versions of pachinko and slots too, as well as an actual game that I will cover in a post tomorrow.

So what can you do with these medals?  Nothing.  When you are done, you feed them into a machine that tracks how many you have and then you can come back and use those medals later.  So you may be asking, well what's the fucking point then?  I know I was asking this question for a long time, but today I sussed it.

The reason these games are so popular is because they are a cheap alternative to actual coin-op gaming, or at least that's my theory anyway.  Just think, when I play Voltex Sound Booth, I spend 100 yen for 3 songs.  With a medal game, 1000 yen will get you a shit ton of medals, and assuming you win something (which isn't all that hard really) you can come back and play again for free.  Also these games are very laid back and don't really contain any potential competition, so people who like game centres but are worried about being bad at the proper games still have something to enjoy.  It seems to be quite popular with older people too, probably gives them something to do.

The cool thing about this whole medal thing is to access the account that you create with the game centre, you have to scan your arm.  Most games come with stat cards or something but from how the woman explained it to me today, the machines for medal games scans the shape of your veins or something, either way it's cool as fuck.

So, the next post will be the game that made me want to try this shit out, I want to pop down to the game centre tomorrow and play it a bit more before I write about it, so keep an eye out!

Free Game...Saturday: 100 Floors

Well, another late Free Game Friday post due to a busy and tiring Friday evening, but here we are!  This week I'll let you know about another little free gem on the app store called 100 Floors!

The idea is simple, there are 100 floors and each floor has a puzzle, solve the puzzle to move to the next level.  The game makes a point of using as many of the iPod/iPhone features as possible so some of the puzzles end up being pretty cool.

The game is also updated pretty frequently with new content at no extra cost (or none that I've seen so far), so if you get a kick out of this kind of game you will have enough to do for a while.

Not much else to say really, its just puzzles, so download it and give that brain a workout!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Tiny Troopers

Whenever I flick through the app store on my iPod touch looking for games, I never actually expecting to find anything good, or even halfway decent, but every now and again I come across something actually pretty fun to play.

This is Tiny Troopers, a game that they were just giving away for free a while ago but now it has a price tag.  I don't know how much it costs in the UK or America but in Japan it's 85 Yen, which is basically nothing so it can't be that expensive.

Now I don't even need to review this game, because you know what this is?

That's right folks, it's fucking Cannon Fodder for the iPhone!  It doesn't feel exactly like this old Amiga gem but it's essentially the same damn thing.  If you don't know what Cannon Fodder is, then go youtube it, or get it on an emulator or something, it's fucking fantastic!

For those that can't be arsed (shame on you) Tiny Troopers tasks you with taking a couple of dudes around a map, gunning down enemy soldiers and fulfilling objectives.  If your troops survive the mission they get stronger and if they die, they are replaced by a new soldier. 

The game also has this "command points" thing, where you can call in extra equipment or hire an extra soldier for that level, it's the games way of trying to make you spend more money, but they give you a load of command points daily and I've never needed any extra.  Also as a nice little bonus feature, the game has a zombie mode, where you play for points until you die.  Shit has leader boards too so if that's your thing rather than mission based gameplay, then there's something for you too!

So check it out, if your looking for something that's actually pretty good for your iPod or iPhone or whatever, this is well worth buying.  For those that don't own an iPod or iPhone or iPhucknuts or whatever, it's also avaliable on Steam!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Outlast Extended Trailer

A while ago I did a little post about how excited I was for the new Outlast game that is being developed by Red Barrels, well, since then there has been an extended trailer for it, if you want to take a look, you can do so here.

Well I was pretty hyped for it before but since watching this trailer, a few of my hopes have been put down.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm still excited, but not as excited as I was before and I'll tell you why.

First, it really does just look like Mirrors Edge. If you watch the trailer you have parkour-esque sliding over desks and it even has that little effect where you can see the hands moving back and forth in the characters periphery.  There is nothing wrong with this, Mirrors Edge was a good game, but I don't think this style of gameplay works in this genre, you need time to take in the atmosphere rather than just frantically run through everything.

Second, it appears to be full of jump scares, and I fucking hate jump scares.  This is what really kills games like Dead Space for me, because having things jump out at you and scream is not scary, its just shocking, it makes you jump for a moment and you feel like an idiot, but after that there isn't much else and doing it over and over kills the effect. I wont talk about this part much more because I'd rather talk about what makes scary games, scary in a future post, but jump scares are no good!

Finally the plot, I don't like it.  I'm no expert writer but I'm sure they could come up with something better than "criminal insane nut jobs go on a killing spree in an asylum".  I mean it's not a bad premise but it's so fucking stock, at least try to push the boat out a little bit.

But I'm being overly critical in this post, I still have high hopes for the game itself being good, just any hopes of it being a scary one are gone.  That said, I'm still excited and I'm looking forward to seeing some gameplay, and maybe being proved wrong on stuff I said above, that would be nice.

Panzer Dragoon Session 10

Well, I filmed this about a week ago, so anything that I was going to say about it in this post, I've forgotten, so just kick back and enjoy the game! 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Fuck off Mountain Dew

Last night I saw a horrifying video, something I wish could be erased from my mind and from existence, but alas, that will never happen.

I am talking about this!
What most people are upset about when it comes to this video is the state of the industry, and while I'm upset about that, it's not really what I'm most upset about.

No, what I hate most about this video is that THIS, this congregation of wankers playing a mediocre shooter is the face of gaming, the face of the hobby I have known and loved for many many years. If you tell anyone that you enjoy video games now, this is what you are associated with, a bunch of pricks pounding soda like it's whiskey playing mindless shooting games and covering yourself in face paint like a fucking 5 year old at the fair.

It's pretty obvious that not everyone who enjoys games are like this but this is what people will think if you bring it up. 

What double sucks about this whole situation is that this shit is holding back gaming as a medium.  There aren't really any games right now that stack up to the great books and films, but that's because it's still a young form of entertainment.  That said, if we ever hope to achieve something truly great, we need to stop doing this bullshit!

I don't have a problem with Call of Duty and games like it, these kind of games have their place and they are a good laugh at the end of the day, but this shit shouldn't be at the vanguard! 

So fuck off Mountain Dew, stop pandering to the lowest common denominator and let the medium grow.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Japanese Prison Bar

Well it took a long time, but finally I'm in a position where my brain works well enough to actually write something.  Since this state was caused by a large amount of drinking, before I go back to video games, I'll give a run down of one of the most interesting bars I've ever been to.

The bar is called Kangoku and is situated about 15 minutes from my apartment.  From the outside, the place is ominous as fuck because all the windows are blacked out and aside from the neon sign, the whole thing is pretty featureless. 

So the first thing you are treated to as you walk through the door is a skull right in your face
At this point you already kind of know what you're in for, so you navigate a dark corridor filled with other scary things and then you come to a recreation of a prison cell block where you are greeted by a waiter. 

With this being a prison themed bar, all the tables are inside cells that you are put into by the waiter.  Some of the cells are closed and your orders are delivered through a hole in the door, our cell was not closed and the waiter would just take and bring orders normally, probably due to the size of our group.

The food here was really good, and all for a good price too!  We got a course that involved a load of shashimi, soup, potato wedges and some of the must succulent chicken ever as well as some sushi to top it all off.  As well as that, for about 1000 yen, we got an all you can drink deal, so for about 90 minutes we had a never ending supply of booze.

Prison food has never been so good
I'm not sure what time it was exactly,  but at what I think was around 8pm, everything goes dark and a sort of show type thing starts.  This involves some spooky story being told over a loudspeaker, but the loudspeaker was a load of crap so it was basically incomprehensible.  Once the announcer is done, the whole place goes pitch black, and a couple of guys in a scary glow in the dark mask starts terrorising the customers.  It's actually really cool to see, and the way the guy in the mask moves is really impressive.

Once the show is done, they do special stuff for anyone in the establishment with a birthday, and then you're free to move on.  It's a great place with good food, good prices and good service, with an entertaining theme and an impressive little show, so check that shit out if you find yourself in Nagoya

Extra pics!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

A couple of updates

Well I got back from Disneyland last night but the friend I recorded the Die Hard showcase with is visiting again so chances to blog so far have basically been none, so I'll just give a mention of whats coming so you all know I'm not dead.

I've got about an hour of Panzer Dragoon recorded and ready to upload so keep an eye on the YT channel for that. 

Accounts of Tokyo Disney Sea will also be written here with lots of pretty pictures.

Finally, I'm planning to do a new series for the YT channel involving me and my friend, it should be pretty good to stay alert for that one.

In the meantime, I'm going to hit Nagoya castle and go drop coins into arcades today, so there will probably be stuff on that soon too, watch this space!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Gunslinger Stratos

Well, in a couple of hours I'm hopping on a night bus so I can spend my Saturday in Tokyo Disneyland, but before I start being driven round the country, I thought I'd let everyone know about an extremely interesting arcade game I saw the other day.

What you are looking at here is a game called Gunslinger Stratos.  Judging from the shape of the cabinet, you are probably thinking this is some kind of rail shooter, right? WRONG!

I've not played it yet, there seems to be a lot to have to figure out with this bad boy, but from what I can tell, Gunslinger Stratos is a Light-Gun Arena PVP game.  Sounds fucking nuts right?  How the hell do you have something that looks like the free PC game Gunz, but then operate with a lightgun?  Well it's easy, the lightguns have sticks in them with which you control the character, and then you point at where you want to shoot.

The other thing I noticed about this game, is that your character seems to be fully customisable, but having not played it yet I'm not sure about just how true that is, but no two people in the game centre that day had identical characters.

The action in this game is fucking crazy, once I have a whirl on it I'll try and get some footage but I saw people flipping and wall running and doing all sorts of crazy air dashing nonsense and good lord it looked fun.

I'll try to get some footage over the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Expendables 2 short review

Well it's about fucking time this movie came out over here, foreign movies coming to Japan can time an extremely long time and I'm not sure why, I mean the fucking Woman in Black is not being released until December and that shit came out in February in the UK.

Anyway, I can sum up this film in about 4 words.  Loud, dumb, stupid, Awesome!

If you saw the first movie you already know the drill for a flick like this, you check your brain at the door and you sit down and enjoy shit blow up.  I'd talk about the plot but chances are you don't give a fuck, all you really need to know is that the all star cast of action heroes blow shit up, and the blow shit up good.

While some of the lines in this movie are fantastically fucking stupid, it still had me giggling, it doesn't fall into that whole "oh how terrible war is etc etc." crap despite some of the plots goings on, and just takes pleasure in finding creative ways to stage gunfights.  For those that haven't seen it, I wont spoil anything, but this movie has my personal favourite knife kill AND contains a scene where men are murdered using incense.

I also thought this movie was a lot better than the first one, the action is better shot and it's a lot easier to tell whats going on, and while I don't remember all that much of the first film, I do think I warmed up to the merc group a lot more this time round, they are an extremely likable bunch here.

So if you have not done so already, go put down all that intellectual crap and watch shit get dead.