Sunday, 29 June 2014

Project Zero Movie Hype!

Wow, what the fuck is going on, first Ao Oni and now this!

So if you remember a few days ago I made a post about how I was excited for a movie adaptation of Japanese cult hit indie game Ao Oni.  Well now it's happened again but this time with something a little more mainstream. 

For those that don't know, Project Zero is a long running survival horror series which is also known as Fatal Frame in the US.  The game revolves around walking around creepy places and dealing with ghosts but not in the Ghostbusters way.  Your only method of defence against the evil apparitions that want you dead is a camera and the closer your attacker gets to you then the more damage you do.  It's an interesting mechanic in a genre where you usually want the enemies to be as far away as humanly possible.

To top it all off, the games tend to have pretty interesting plots, solid level design and great sound design so it's right up there with all the best horror games like Silent Hill and old school Resident Evil.

So today I discovered this

This is the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation.  I'm a little more sceptical about this one since there's a lot you could do wrong with a series like this but I really like Project Zero so I'm going to get hype for it! 

I'll cover this and Ao Oni on here as I see them so watch this space!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Tau's 10 Minutes of Yaroze: Rocks n' Gems

Remember this?!

Well I was trying to iron out some audio problems with my new computer and this video was the result of that testing.

I think it's safe to say I haven't fixed it quite yet.
I'm also terrible at puzzle games.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Ao Oni Movie Hype

A long time ago I did a play through of a game called Ao Oni, if you want to watch it then here it is

If you can't work out what Ao Oni is from those videos, it's an Japanese indie horror/adventure game made in RPG maker.  It has garnered quite a lot of popularity on the internet and as a result there has been lots of media released around this one little freeware game.

Last time I was in a book store I remember seeing that there had been an Ao Oni novelisation.

I've yet to read it or even buy it so I'm not sure if it's a book version of the game or a follow up or what but it looks interesting enough. 

So the next big piece of Ao Oni media to hit the scene is the movie, the poster is pictured above but I'll throw in the trailer just for good measure.

Usually, movie versions of games suck total balls but I really don't see how you can fuck up an Ao Oni movie.  All you have to have is a bunch of people running around a house looking for clues while the movie builds up tension for Oni attacks.  I'm actually pretty excited.

The only problem is I have to do a Japanese exam AND it's my wives birthday so it's going to be a while before I actually find some time to go to a cinema and see it but I'm absolutely NOT going to miss this one.


Monday, 23 June 2014

The Most Bullshit Game Mechanics I've Ever Seen

Recently I've been working my way though a huge backlog of DS games that I've had since I first got the damn thing and this has now resulted in me playing the above piece of shit.

I call it a piece of shit because I'm about an hour in and already it's found a few ways to REALLY irritate me, but I'm going to give it more of a chance before it write it off completely.  I thought I'd just take a moment to describe two mechanics in this game that are SO STUPID that they give me headaches.

1) Experience/Items

This is the first thing that I noticed and I can't help feel like the mechanic was introduced just to pad out the game.  When you are walking around the map you can change between a combat mode and a "virtue" mode.  When you are in combat mode you earn 0 EXP but gain items that you can sell and whatnot to earn gold and when you are in virtue mode you gain EXP and no items.

This is the dumbest shit I've ever seen because now it means I have to do everything twice and it pretty much guarantees the fact that I have to grind.  I have to fight all the monsters once in Combat Mode to get all the items and equipment I need and then AGAIN in virtue mode to make sure I'm a high enough level to fight whatever monsters are coming at me next.

Why can't the games just give me items and exp together?! Why do I gotta do all this crap?

But that's not the dumbest shit, the dumbest shit is....

2) Running

The reason why the running mechanic is so bullshit can be summed up in a short sentence.


Running is something that most people want to be doing in RPGs.  The walk speed of a RPG protagonist is like someone trying to run the marathon while having concrete shoes on after being shot in the knees with Dirty Harry's Magnum.  I can't think of a single RPG where I haven't just slammed on the run button and never let go.

But not in this game, running slowly ticks down your HP so you really don't want to be doing too much of that.  To make matters worse, the walk speed of the characters feels EVEN SLOWER than your average RPG protagonists so it's even more bullshit.  I'm getting pissed off just wandering around the first fucking area of the game, I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I get into some bigger areas/dungeons.

So if I want to run around, that means I have to spend MORE time grinding out items so I have the money to buy recovery shit (because MP costs on heal spells are also stupidly high for no reason) and I have a feeling that by the time I do the first significant event I'm going to be about 8 hours in.

That's it, 2 of the dumbest things I've even seen in a video game

But I'm not giving up on Lunar Genesis
I'm not letting this shit beat me!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Eternal Sonata

There may be spoilers here, so if you care about the spoilers for a game this old, then proceed with caution.

Eternal Sonata was a game that came out for Xbox in 2007 and while I played it at launch I didn't get round to actually finishing it until much later.  Then my Xbox version got stolen and I decided to replay it on PS3 recently so I thought I'd spend a little bit of time talking about it.

Eternal Sonata is a game with a very strange premise.  You follow the adventures of Frans Frederic Chopin, the pianist, through his death dream.  On his adventure through his own mind he meets up with a colourful cast of characters and together they have to stop the evil Count Waltz from taking over the world. Obviously there's more to it than that, but if I tried to tell you every facet of the story I'd be here all fucking day.

The game itself is actually really good with a really interesting combat system, good music, nice art and really well done voice acting (at least in Japanese) despite some of the silly lines.  You spend most of your time exploring environments and fighting monsters but the environments are so varied and the combat is so fun that the the games formulaic structure never really gets all that boring.

Aside from the interesting locales and fun combat the game is also split up between chapters with some real life information about Chopin himself which is really interesting.  Each little history section has one of Chopin's pieces playing in the background and it brings a nice bit of realism into what is essentially a very silly and outlandish anime game.

The game does suffer from a few problems though.  The story does like to stop and spin it's wheels while the characters do something completely pointless like explore a mirror or some shit.  There are certain segments and certain dungeons that do feel a bit like filler in order to pad out the game.  Also the combat, while not too challenging really is extremely unforgiving.  When an enemy attacks you have a chance to block and successfully doing this will greatly reduce the damage.  Not getting a block is OK for most normal enemies but there are some boss fights where missing the block will mean the death of a character.

The ending is also fucking retarded and I had absolutely NO idea what the fuck happened.  Someone died and then came back and then someone else died and came back and they had a chat about something or other and it all made no sense.  Also the game just fucking removed ALL subtitles for the credits sequence.  This is fine for me because I can speak and understand Japanese but for people who turned on the Japanese voices just because they prefer it that way get totally shafted in the games final moments.

However these are all little niggles in what is essentially a great RPG for the PS3 and Xbox 360.  I would recommended Eternal Sonata to any RPG fan who needs a fix of whimsy and light hearted adventure. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The WiiU ain't so bad

The WiiU has a pretty rough time in a lot of gaming circles.  It's always branded as the "kiddy" console or tossed aside because it doesn't have all the next gen military first person shooting games that the PS4 and Xbox One has.  It's also not as powerful so for the kind of people that think graphics are super important to a game then there is no way they are going to touch the damn thing.

But it's a damn shame really because to me, the WiiU is about the only console I can talk about and not get incredibly pissed off with.  There's so much drama surrounding the PS4 and the Xbox One and there are so many extra features and other useless crap on those machines that it almost feels like they have forgotten what their first function is.  Playing fucking games.

That's not to say that the PS4 or the Xbox One are bad and that the WiiU is super good, but it's just a case of the WiiU having some fucking personality that the other two don't.  Off the top of my head at time of writing I cannot think of a SINGLE PS4 or XBox One game that I am looking forward to.  However I can think of plenty of WiiU titles that I want or am looking forward to and I don't even own the bloody system yet, I've been playing one that I borrowed from a friend.

I'm sure this will all change over time but right now the WiiU is absolutely storming this generation and it's being ignored because of the reputation Nintendo created for themselves after the Wii.  There are things I dislike about the WiiU but the quality of the games and the general ease of use makes it the number 1 system for me right now. 

Will be picking up one of my very own rather soon I think

Monday, 16 June 2014

CGI Trailers Are Bullshit

With E3 just behind us the one thing that people are talking about are the new games and the trailers that came with them.  This is all well and good because some of the trailers featured at E3 2014 were actually pretty rad, but today I want to share one pet peeve of mine and that’s the CGI only trailer.

A great example of this is the upcoming game from From Software called Bloodborne.  Now from what I’ve heard, Bloodborne is gearing up to be pretty good as it sounds just like a souls game but with a slightly different setting.  However even though I’m looking forward to this title, the trailer that I saw during the Sony E3 press conference pissed me off to no end.  Check it out

I mean it’s not a bad trailer, it’s really well done at atmospheric and stuff like that but the reason why this and all other CGI trailers piss me off to no end is because there is no fucking gameplay.  When I buy a game it’s so that I can take it home and PLAY it and when I watch a trailer I want to get an idea of what the game PLAYS like.  You know what CGI trailers don’t show you? FUCKING GAMEPLAY.
As much as the video game industry seems to be in denial about it nowadays, video games are NOT movies.  I’m not going to buy or get hyped for a game based on how pretty you make its cutscenes.  What you are doing when you make a CGI only trailer is just wasting everyone’s time and hoping that you can generate hype or sales based on pretty pictures and flashing lights.

As much as the video game industry seems to be in denial about it nowadays, video games are NOT movies.  I’m not going to buy or get hyped for a game based on how pretty you make its cutscenes.  What you are doing when you make a CGI only trailer is just wasting everyone’s time and hoping that you can generate hype or sales based on pretty pictures and flashing lights.
Remember, the most important aspect of a video GAME is its GAMEPLAY.  Keep that in mind when building your trailers and stop wasting people’s time with this crap.