Monday, 31 March 2014
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Thursday, 27 March 2014
So today, I had a day off work and I decided to have a bit of a stint in my local game centre. In that game centre there is a game I have mentioned on this blog before known as Code of Joker. I did a post on code of Joker outlining what that games all about here
To sum it up though its a card game that's sort of like smashing Pokemon, Magic The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh all together at the same time. Now my record on this game is bad, I think out of the 21 games that I've played I've won 9 of them (it might be 6 but I'm pretty sure it's 9), which is a less than satisfactory performance to say the least.
Now don't get what I'm about to say twisted, I'm not making excuses, I do genuinely suck at Code of Joker but my suckage isn't the only factor at play here. You see, everything in Code of Joker is obviously written in Japanese and as a foreigner it obviously takes me a little more time to understand what each card in the game does. However, when you consider how the game handles play time and credits it creates problems for someone like me.
Inserting money into the game doesn't give you a credit equal to one go, it gives you something called GP which is equal to time on the menu. Playing one match of the game costs a set amount of GP and after each game you are given about 45 seconds of "Service Time" to make any quick changes to your deck before you start the next match. If the 45 seconds of service time run out, then it starts ticking down from your GP.
So how does this create problems for me? Well because I'm sort of bad at reading Kanji it's basically impossible for me to create and effective deck for myself unless I pump the machine full of money and take my time working out what each card does. This isn't a fault of the game, it's all my fault for being terrible at Kanji. This has become a factor in a number of my losses at the game where I think a card does one thing, and then it doesn't and the mechanic works slightly differently to how I thought I read it and this causes everything to go wrong mid duel. I'm then left to lick my wounds and scour my dictionary to re-translate what the fuck was written on the screen.
But it's not all doom and gloom!
Obviously I don't want to lose and I do really enjoy playing Code of Joker so I do want to get better at the game and what's the one way I can do that? Practice my Japanese more!
So by sucking at the game I'm indirectly being forced to improve my language ability in order to increase my win rate. As someone who is currently studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, this is no bad thing. So even though my performance at this game is laughably bad there is something positive to be gleaned from the situation at the very least.
Basically what I'm trying to say with this post is that if you're a foreigner in Japan and you enjoy going to the arcade, expect to lose...A LOT. But don't get all sad and discouraged and use it to motivate yourself for some language study. Doesn't matter if you've been studying it for 5 years like me or you're a beginner; if not wanting to suck at games is the kick in the ass you need to learn something new, then get to it.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
So to sum up the tragedy that has just happened; Facebook has bought Oculus for 2 billion Dollars.
Now just in case there are people reading this post who aren't in the know, the Oculus was a Virtual Reality headset that was open source. This means that anyone was free to go on their website and purchase a devkit and start developing things for it. This was really interesting because the rift devkit itself was actually pretty cheap, which means that the thing was being worked on by hobbyists and enthusiasts and there was lots of really interesting stuff in the works.
Now, there are some hopeful people on various forums and comments sections that I've seen saying that it's a good thing because now the Oculus has way WAYYYY more funding. Considering that they were only a small operation this injection of money will be really helpful for them to make the rift even better.
But I think these people are being wilfully ignorant to all the terrible things we already know about the Facebook company. Just think about that for 2 seconds, we had a product made by a small company that was dedicated to delivering a quality product, being bought out by a huge company who's ONLY focus is monetization. Now that Oculus is part of Facebook it has to start dealing with shareholders who are only interested in one thing, profits. That means no new and interesting ideas, just safe shit that will turn a profit which means that a lot of the creativity that was coming out of the Oculus will now be killed.
I could write a big long post about all the terrible things that come with this kind of deal, but I won't because that would take all day and anyone with a working brain probably already understands all the negatives.
A piece of cutting edge hardware that was once in the hands of gamers and technology enthusiasts now belongs to Facebook and if you don't see something seriously wrong with that then you may just need some kind of professional help.
Monday, 24 March 2014
On paper, the game sounds boring as fuck. It's a fighting game with 2 buttons and you're not allowed to move or do anything but punch dudes. Now if you were turned off by that description, I'd ask you to wait and stay a while because One Finger Death Punch is actually a really interesting game.
At it's core, it is exactly how I described it but when you actually start playing it the game manages to suck you in with really faced paced combat that has a little bit more depth that just clicking dudes one after the other. Each level tasks you with murdering a certain number of guys and as the game goes on there are different types of guys that require certain combinations of clicks to dispatch. On top of that you have to factor in things like weapon drops, your characters abilities and the ever increasing game speed that comes with each victory and you end up with a unique but simple experience.
The game then goes to mix things up even further by adding different types of game modes to each level. The standard mode is called a mob round which is the aforementioned punch the required number of dudes. After that you get things such as sword and nunchaku rounds which are a bit faster, time trails, smash a certain number of level props and my personal favourite, the retro film round which makes everything black and white. There's a few more than that but they escape me right now.
As you play through the games absolutely staggering number of levels you unlock a variety of skills that can be used for things such as extending the life of the dropped weapons or giving you a defensive manoeuvre or even healing. These abilities become active on killing a certain number of dudes so the abilities add that little extra level of strategy to each stage, trying to get yourself in the best position to maximise the effectiveness of your abilities.
Apart from the games levels, you also have a survival mode that comes in 3 flavours that tasks you with killing and endless number of dudes until your life meter runs out. Just so that doesn't feel like a total waste of time the game features some online leaderboards so you can compare just how much of a Kung Fu master you are with the rest of the world.
However the absolute best thing about this game for someone like me is the nostalgia value. When I was a kid I was a big fan of these little stick figure animations on a site called Newgrounds that were known as Xiao Xiao. One Finger Death Punch manages to bring all the awesomeness that was Xiao Xiao into a really fun and fast playable experience. Some people may be turned off by the idea that the graphics are so simplistic they used stick figures, but for people my age who grew up with silly things like Stick Death and Xiao Xiao, One Finger Death Punch brings those happy memories flooding right back.
So I suggest that everyone goes and buys One Finger Death Punch. It's super cheap and it's a great little game that is surprisingly addictive for something so simple in concept. You can tell all the effort went into delivering something fast and enjoyable rather than something visually appealing or pandering to anything artsy which is something quite common with the indie scene. Support this game, Silver Dollar have created a really fun game here and it needs some love.
Sunday, 23 March 2014
Thursday, 20 March 2014
But one thing I remember hearing around the time that people were complaining about this was that it's just not possible for Sim City to have an offline mode. Apparently the game was SO advanced and there was so much shit going on in the game that it absolutely had to be online. I think anyone with half a working brain knew that was a load of crap but that was their story and they stuck to it.
On March 18th 2014, Maxis released a patch for SimCity that allowed the game to be played offline and it stores all your shit locally so you don't have to worry about server wipes of whatever crap was going on around release time.
People are understandably happy about this development, people love the Sim City games and rightly so, they are really good. But just forget that you get to play your latest instalment of the series offline for a second, why are people not more angry about being lied to? Why is this an acceptable practice for publishers and developers to just flat out lie to their consumers to get their money!? Why aren't people marching into EA to punch whoever runs that absolutely shit stain of a video game company in the face?!!
Now I'm picking on SimCity because it's the most recent example I can find but it's not the only one doing it. Remember how awesome those Dark Souls 2 gameplay videos looked?
Not that this reflects on the quality of the game itself, and I'm still hoping that the PC version will look as good as those preview videos, but it's a little bit annoying to be told it's going to look good and then it comes out and it looks no better than anything else.
Like I said about SimCity, I'm only using these examples because they are fairly recent but this trend of just lying to people has been going on for a long LOOONG time and it's really sad and needs to stop. How about instead of lying to consumers to get their money, how about you just make a quality product that people will want to pay for?! Fucking idiots.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Sunday, 16 March 2014
So word on the street is that some kind of Last of Us movie is in the works. This is a TERRIBLE idea and should be scrapped right away. I'm not saying this because of any negative opinions I might hold about the game, but video game movies have a habit of being absolutely terrible.
But The Last of Us is one of those games that's bordering on being a movie anyway, so surely it would be easily adaptable for the big screen, right? Well even if that was true, what would be the point? The game is already pretty cinematic and if you do a quick google search of the movie, all they are planning to do is adapt the games story to the movie, thus making the whole thing pointless.
If you're a fan of The Last of Us, you've already played the fucking story, why would you want to see it again but with all the interactivity taken away? Seems like a complete waste of effort to me. This is the problem with almost every video game movie adaptation; it just turns into a shitty version of the game it's trying to copy.
Now maybe, if the movie was going to be an expansion to the games story then there would be SOME merit there, but even that is made completely pointless because Naughty Dog can do and have done that with DLC.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that this movie is a complete waste of time and the only thing it will accomplish is to piss off fans of the game. The game is already cinematic enough and people enjoy playing it, why waste all this money creating something that will only serve to annoy the fan base? Why not channel all that effort into an original movie or some kind of spin off to expand on the world of the game?
But no, they are going to go ahead with this movie just so they can squeeze some money out of the more gullible members of the fan base. If it ends up being an amazing movie then I'll be genuinely surprised but I think I have more chance of winning the lottery or something.
Friday, 14 March 2014
Thursday, 13 March 2014
Now generally speaking, the politically correct crowd have been fairly hush hush about this. Is it because there's no offensive content in this game? HA HA! NO! There's TONS of offensive content in this game and the stuff that I've seen is only the tip of the ice burg I imagine. The reason the usual internet whiners have not been getting riled up about Stick of Truth is because attacking Matt Stone and/or Trey Parker is a good way to get their attention so they write an episode about you and expose how much of a fucking moron you are.
However, it finally happened on Polygon with an article written by some tosser and was about how she was upset that she couldn't "pick a female character". I'm not going to link the article because Polygon is a piece of shit but this writer had very little to say about the game itself, and it was just paragraph after paragraph of her whining that she couldn't be a female. Luckily when she contacted Ubisoft she was told to fuck off and play the game (in much nicer terms) but we all know for most gaming writers that actually playing the games they are moaning about to the end is way, WAY too hard.
This isn't the first time this shit has happened either. I saw an equally stupid article and got into a huge Facebook argument myself about the game Deep Down which is coming soon to PS4
Now I know I've chosen 2 examples of the same issue, but I'm not going to rant about it may or may not be sexist or whatever stupid bullshit. No, my problem with this is like the title states, you aren't the developer or the writer for these games so shut the fuck up.
If a developer creates something then you are more than welcome to criticise their game or their choices for character and story but crying "misogyny" at something just because it doesn't suit your "needs" or agenda should not fly, ever. If Matt and Trey don't want you to play as a little girl in Stick of Truth, then that's THEIR creative decision from a story standpoint and you have no right to complain about that. It's their story, not yours, and if they want an all male cast then they are allowed to write a story based around an all male cast.
The same goes for Deep Down, if the developers don't want any playable females in their game, then that's THEIR decision and who are you to tell them they can't or shouldn't do that? Why shouldn't they do that? Just because women exist, doesn't mean that you have to be featured in every single piece of media ever created.
The same thing goes for anything. If a developer or writer wants to have an all female cast, then I don't have any right to tell them that's wrong because that's the story that THEY want to write. You can argue about it being a bad story all you want, but telling them they aren't allowed to do that is wrong and stupid.
Imagine if a game had a cast that was made up entirely of animals, you don't see people complaining about how "humans are underrepresented in this story" or whatever stupid bullshit. It's their story and while you absolutely have the right to criticise the decisions of the creative team, you have NO right to tell them it's wrong or that they should change it just because it doesn't fit in with your way of thinking. If games are supposed to be heading towards becoming some kind of art form, then these people just have to realise that not all art is made for them and they just have to deal with that.
So, if you want a game with equal representation of all genders and walks of life, go play a game that does so, and if a game like that doesn't exist, then get off your stupid whiny arse and MAKE ONE. Don't go around slagging off other peoples work because you have the imagination of a goldfish with brain problems.
So play the game and criticise it by all means, but unless you're going to say something of value then just shut the fuck up.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Now, I've not played Thief yet, so this post is not commenting on the quality of that game but this is the most recent example of what I'm about to talk about so don't freak out if you really like the game, I'm not slagging it off (yet)
Now just in case you weren't aware, Thief (the original) was an old as fuck first person PC game released in 1998 created by Looking Glass Studio. 2 Years later it got a sequel that was quite well received and then another one popped up in 2004 which I didn't play but it I've not heard many complaints about it so it can't be that bad.
Then 2014 rolls along, it's been 10 years since the last Thief game and then BAM! New Thief game for everyone to enjoy. Except it's not everyone who's enjoying it, is it?
No, for all the old school Thief fans, by the sounds of things, they've been left in the dust and the game has been severely dumbed down in order to appeal to a mass market and now there is a group of players who are upset that a series they held so fondly has been fucked in the ass.
Except I haven't played Thief, so let me take another example that is more relevant to my experiences.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a little bit of a different category since it's not so much a reboot or a remake but rather just an absolute beating of an already very dead and very rotten horse.
For in uninformed, Silent Hill's 1-3 and to a lesser extent 4 are some of the best horror games ever made ever. Once the original team stopped making the games and the series was over, a bunch of western teams jumped in to try and carry things on and squeeze every last dollar out of the series they possibly could.
Book of Memories was the most stand out offensive game that ever came out though and can you guess why? It's because it wasn't survival horror! It was a fucking Diablo style dungeon crawl and a terrible one at that.
There is absolutely ZERO reason why that game had to be called Silent Hill. In fact, it probably would have worked in its favour to not have been called Silent Hill because even though it's not very good, people would have been a lot kinder to it if it wasn't going around spitting on everything that came before it.
It's the same with Thief, why did it have to be called Thief?! Once you throw that name on it, all the fans of the old games are going to come into it comparing it to the originals, and then when it doesn't match up (and it never does) you end up just feeling disappointed and betrayed.
If you just called the game "Sneaky Twats Stealing Adventure" and put "Inspired by Thief" on the box, then people wouldn't be so harsh on it. But no, all the greedy fucks that populate the games industry nowadays just want to push whatever shitty games they can by banking on brand recognition.
Basically what I'm trying to say with this post is stop "remaking" or "rebooting" things and try to use some of that actual creativity that I know is kicking around in that cesspit of an industry somewhere. Use the old classics as inspiration for your project, but there is ZERO reason to shit all over the legacy of long standing classics just so you can make a quick buck.
Monday, 10 March 2014
One way heroics is a game developed by Smoking WOLF and I know very little about this person/these people so I can't comment on any other their works. However, One Way Heroics is an amazing little rougelike that is simple on the surface yet contains a surprising amount of depth.
The story involves your hero on a quest to kill some kind of dark lord but as you adventure through the land, the left hand side of the planet is being swallowed by the abyss. Therefore you can't stop for too long to level up and gather equipment, you gotta haul ass and carefully plan your route to maximise EXP gain and item acquirement.
At the start of the game you have to choose a name, a class (of which there are about 6 or 7 if I remember correctly) and a few perks. After you're done creating your little doomed avatar, you have to choose a world. You can choose the world that you played previously or you can have the game generate you a random new one, but on top of that you can type in a string of letters to have the game generate a world OR you can choose one of the special worlds that change daily.
When you win (or die, which is more likely) you are given a stats screen to tell you just how well you did that's broken down into easy to understand parameters and based on these results you are given points. With these points you can expand an interdimensional box that allows you to transfer items from a dead character to a new one OR you can use the points to unlock new features such as classes or perks. As you start winning you begin to unlock things like different difficulty modes, which turns a rather pleasant rougelike into a gruelling challenge that will really test your skill and luck.
The game also features an online element where you can enter a dimension with other players and you are able to see how far they got or what they died to and I think this is to help you plan ahead, but I just like laughing at the people who get killed early on because I'm a bit of a bastard.
With a game this good you'd expect it to be expensive right? Well wrong, it's one of the cheapest things I've ever seen coming in at a mere $3.50 on Steam and $1.99 if you get it off a website called Playism. So really you have no excuse NOT to check it out. It's a great game, a good way to kill some time if you're busy yet has enough depth to sink hours and hours into if you're that kind of player.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
The site used for racing is called Speed Runs Live and through the magic of an IRC chat room players from all over come together to discuss games and perform speed run races. Now going in I was extremely apprehensive because the majority of video game communities are complete trash.
Take DotA for example, if you suck at that game, people rage at you and throw all manner of insults which doesn't exactly do much to make you want to learn how to play and get good. Even when you play the Vs Bot mode, which is designed for new players to learn the game, people STILL rage at you, it's a load of shit.
Now with speed running it's something different. Now mainly I've been speed running Hotline Miami and They Bleed Pixels, and while I don't hold any records I've gotten pretty good at those games. However, the game I started to race with was Megaman X, a game I started running a week ago.
Now I suck at Megaman X, it's a tough game to run and there is so much going on and so much to remember that I find it rather difficult. So I hop on Speed Runs Live with my buddy, set up a race and start racing.
Now I'm getting SMASHED, and people are more than welcome to come and see the suckage happen live on my twitch channel but none of the aforementioned shit slinging went down. In fact, the opposite, people don't care if you suck, it's just not a big deal. If you suck, then people will help you out, give you tips and offer advice. I had people from the IRC in my chat room laughing along with me and telling me not to give up when I fucked up a skip and lost a bunch of time. Racing Megaman X, despite my suckage was a truly enjoyable experience.
So to anyone out there looking to get into speed running but are afraid of "not being good enough" or whatever, it doesn't matter. Just pick a game, get some splits and join the fun and the community will be there to help you and enhance the fun rather than berate you for your lack of skill or knowledge of the game.
Seriously, come race me at Megaman X sometime, you're guaranteed to win.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
So today, instead of raging about the industry or talking about a specific game, I'd just take a little bit of time to tell you what's going on with the blog and what might be coming up soon.
Donation IncentivesLet's start with this one since this is the stuff that people have paid for and therefore it's the most important.
You may have noticed that a couple of the incentives have been met for a while but I've not done them. Well I just want to put your minds at rest and let you know that I've not forgotten.
For 1000 Words, I was initially waiting to get to FFX-2 and sing it live on stream, but because I took up speed running as a hobby and that takes a great deal of time, it's taking me a while to get through those Final Fantasy games. So, hopefully some time soon I'll be heading to a Karaoke booth and performing it there instead and it'll go on YouTube shortly after. The only problem there is that my wife and I are quite busy even at weekends so we haven't had much time to hit a karaoke booth in a good while. Next time I go, it'll be the first song I do!
Also the Japan Poop Story and the Habanero Pepper on stream need to be done. It's basically impossible to find peppers in this damn country, so I'm going to use the hottest death sauce I can get my hands on. Also I'm going to kill two birds with one stone and do those goals together but a few of the donators want to see it live and it's proving rather difficulty to sync schedules but as soon as we do that'll get done.
I'm also planning to add a bunch of new incentives next month, so keep an eye out for that and keep the donations coming!
OutlastI'm hoping to get this game done before the 16th of this month. I was hoping to have it done sooner but then I got wrapped up in speed running Megaman X and THEN I got a cold, so my recording schedule got messed up. Sorry for the delay and I'm not trying to make excuses but the game is kind of shitty too....which doesn't help matters.
Gone HomeA while ago a reader donated £25 for a Gone Home playthrough and even donated the game itself, so big shoutouts to you. This is the next game to be played after Outlast and I'll be sure to try and get through this steaming pile as fast as I can.
The Japan GamerI have penned a bunch of episodes for the Japan Gamer, but putting them together is taking longer than I imagined since it's not a one man job, but you can expect quite a few individual game showcases coming pretty soon (I hope)
10 Minutes of YarozeI started this series while I was still in Sweden and once I moved to Japan it kind of fell to the wayside. Well I want to rectify that and get some new episodes up, so expect some real strange PS1 indie nuggets soon.
New Content and Prize Givaways
The UFO CatchersThe UFO Catchers is a series I've been planning for a while now. Basically me and a few buddies are going to hit a game centre at least once a month and try to win shit from the UFO catcher machines. Anything we win will be put up for grabs via a charity raffle! So if you're into anime or video game stuff, then you might want to get that donation money ready. More details to follow.
Future MarathonsDue to jobs and stuff, I've had trouble finding time for marathons. That and my webcam is busted so I can't do any facecam stuff for the stream, which kind of sucks. But SOON, I'm getting a new computer so the monthly marathons will come back real soon. Also I'll make a prize available every marathon for donators, so get your wallets ready.
Well that's it then folks, that's all the updates for now. On a side note I'm planning to rework the site a little bit to make the content easier to navigate, but I have no clue how to go about doing that so that might take a while until I can find some time to chat with people in the know.
Thanks for your understanding and support! Keep the donations coming and I'll keep producing content for you to enjoy!
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Monday, 3 March 2014
"No way!" I hear you say, "There's no way in hell a bad Metal Gear Solid exists!". Well before you start getting upset with me for slagging off Metal Gear, I'm not, I love Metal Gear but MGA is a fucking mess.
Story wise it's a pretty classic Metal Gear setup. There's a bunch of terrorists who have invaded some place and they are after something that isn't called Metal Gear but is blatantly Metal Gear and it's up to you to stop it. Since I'm writing this so long after finishing it I've kind of forgotten some of the plot. Mainly it involved Metal Gear, some shit on a plane and child experimentation but the fact I've forgotten the plot might clue you in to just how forgettable and lack luster it was.
But the story isn't the reason Metal Gear Acid is a fucking mess. No, the story is just a bit dull but it's the gameplay that really makes this game just unenjoyable. In case you're not aware, Metal Gear Acid isn't played like any other Metal Gear game because this is a card game.
That's right, a fucking turn based CARD game.
You have a deck of cards that fall into different categories such as weapons, items, actions and special effects that are represented by different characters. Every card is used to move around the board and lets you move 3 spaces, while special movement cards will allow for greater movement. Every card also has a cost, so the better cards cost more to use and that means that you have to wait longer between each turn.
Now the reason this game is a load of bullshit is because everything you do is dependant on what kind of cards you draw. It's fine at first but there are certain points in the game where you NEED specific cards to do specific things and if you don't get lucky and draw your card then you'll just be sat there discarding shit for 5 or 6 turns until the card you eventually DO want shows up.
An example of this is there is a level where you are required to snipe flying cameras so that you can cross a bridge. By that point in the game I had maybe 3 or 4 sniper rifle cards available, but I lost the mission multiple times because the game wouldn't give me the fucking cards to use, so they would just eventually move into my half of the map and spot me, calling a bunch of guards to enter the level and fuck me all up.
Now I guess you could just say to me "well why didn't you go and get more sniper rifles then?", but the problem with that is the only way to really get more cards quickly without having to tediously grind out old levels is to buy booster packs. A booster pack gives you 3 cards, and usually it gives you 3 shit ones. Through my entire playthrough I only got one rare card in a booster and the rare was so shit that I ended up never using it. The one good thing about the boosters is the variety in the packs. For example, at the start you only have access to Metal Gear Solid 1 themed cards, but as you progress you unlock MGS2, 3 and even Metal Gear 1 and 2 themed cards, so if you're the kind of person who enjoys collecting digital cards then you have a lot to work with here.
I'm being overly harsh when I say Metal Gear Acid is a fucking mess, but it's certainly frustrating and sometimes VERY unfun to play with certain levels being made an absolute chore by the games fucking stupid card thing. Still though, it's a unique take on the Metal Gear series and maybe the sequel that I've not played is way better, so it's at least worth a quick go on your PSP.