Saturday, 16 September 2017

Tau Plays Hotline Miami Part 1


Friday, 8 September 2017

The Journalist Skill Debate Again

Cuphead is an upcoming run and gun game coming out soon that I'm fucking excited for.  It looks like a cartoon from yesteryear and mixes that with challenging game play similar to things like Contra.  It looks awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

However controversy has once again reared its ugly head however this time it has nothing to do with the game itself and more to do with the people playing it.  If you remember when DOOM was coming out and a dude called Arthur Gies played it and sucked massive cocks at it?  Well it's that AGAIN.  People are pissed off (rightly so) that so called industry professionals can't handle a fucking tutorial level and of course gaming press is shooting back by claiming people are over reacting.

I would recommend at this point to go look up the video, it's easy to find but I'm not linking it here because I don't want to give any of the idiots at Venture Beat views on their shit, embarrassing video.

Let me start by saying that I have ZERO respect for games journalism.  It seems to be entirely populated by fucking morons who don't know anything about games and are more interested in writing clickbait or sucking corporate cock rather than ACTUALLY helping consumers in any meaningful way.  I'm not the only one who holds this view either, go find any thread about the state of video game journalism on social media and you'll see a lot of people repeating that sentiment.

So big question of the day, do video game journalists have to be good at video games?

The quick answer is yes, of course they fucking do.  The job of a reviewer or someone reporting on industry goings on is to assist the consumer.  Therefore, you MUST know what the fuck your on about or your failing at the most basic facet of your job.  No one is asking journalists to be pro gamers winning The International every year or speedrunners with 5 or 6 world records under their belt but we ask that you at least know how to finish the tutorial of any game that you might come across. 

Imagine if you were trying to buy a car so you look up reviews of various vehicles.  Imagine then you find out that the person reviewing the cars CAN'T FUCKING DRIVE.  This is what the Cuphead/DOOM debate is basically all about. 

If you are an individual and you make a YouTube video or write a thing for a personal site, it's OK to suck at games or suck at just that one game.  For example I don't know shit about sports games  so if I gave a scathing awful review or did a terrible gameplay video of the new Fifa and then called it shit, it's clear that it's just one tossers opinion on the sea of piss that is the internet.  HOWEVER, if I was writing for a PROFESSIONAL news website in a PROFESSIONAL capacity and then couldn't even finish the most basic stage of a game with like, 2 button controls, of course people are going to question my ability to do the job.  In the case of Cuphead it brings into question everything that Dean Takahashi has EVER said because clearly the man lacks the basic motor function to hold a controller properly.

Which leads me to my other point about this.  Arthur Gies and Dean Takahashi didn't just show "bad" performances.  People can have an off day or just be not particularly geared towards a certain genre, that's fine.  These performances were INCOMPETENT.  The kind of game play I'd expect from a child who has never touched a game before.  No word of a lie, I could give my mother a copy of Cuphead and within 26 minutes she would finish the tutorial level.  Even my wife, who doesn't game and who has put in some FANTASTICALLY embarrassing attempts at certain titles would probably finish the fucking TUTORIAL of Cuphead in 26 minutes. 

You couple this with all the problems that games journalism has had over the years and now we're at a point where people have a problem trusting these websites.  One stupid prick writing for some stupid website Game Revolution said "If one plumber fucks up your taps, do you never hire another plumber?"  Which is a fair point in a way but he's missing the bigger picture and generally being an apologetic little bitch.  If a plumber fucked up my taps, I'd hire a different plumber FROM A DIFFERENT COMPANY.  So we now know that Venture Beat can't be trusted to pick up a control pad without probably choking on it, where am I going to go?  Gamespot? IGN? Kotaku?  Well these websites are also full of complete bullshit.  People are mad because, if we're using the plumber analogy, that ALL the plumbing companies in the towns are staffed ENTIRELY by inept wankers.

You want game news?  You want game reviews?  There are plenty of enthusiastic individuals on sites like YouTube/Twitch or various blogs and personal websites that you can get your info from?  This is ESPECIALLY important if you are into a niche series or niche genre.  If you're into dungeon crawling who are you going to trust?  Some cunt on IGN who played Grimrock once for 20 minutes and gave it an 8/10 or someone who has been playing games in that genre for fucking YEARS. 

Sort your shit games journalism.  Maybe if you hired some actual passionate people who aren't borderline brain dead, people wouldn't hate you.  Stick to writing about "social issues" for easy clicks and leave the games, to the gamers.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Video Games, the Olympics and stupidity

I think anyone who has even a passing interest in video games is aware of how much of a thing e-sports have become.  Most people are familiar with the big competitive games like League of Legends or Starcraft 2.  You probably have heard of certain big events such as Dreamhack in Sweden or the EVO fighting game tournament just to name a couple.

E-Sports have become so much of a thing that they are now being broadcast on TV the same way you'd broadcast any other sports.  When I was living in Sweden a few years ago I watched the Dreamhack Starcraft 2 tournament on the TV as it was happening live and on the plane to Rome two videos under the "TV Shows" section of the entertainment were finals from a DotA2 and Hearthstone tournament.

I think even ESPN are showing LoL, DotA and Hearthstone on TV and we also have Twitch which is basically the place to go for live feeds of tournaments so it's safe to say that the e-sports scene has come a fair way.

Then I hear that there's been talk of putting e-sports in the Olympics which is an interesting topic for discussion.  I can totally see why some would see e-sports having a rightful place in the Olympics but I can also understand why some people wouldn't want them there either.  But that's not what I'm here to talk about with this post.

This is Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee.  If you take a quick look at his Wikipedia page you can clearly see he's a well educated man and some kind of ex-fencing beast that took home a gold medal in 1976.  But just because he's got some decent academics and can wield a foil like a pro doesn't make him immune from saying some of the stupidest shit I've ever heard in my life.  Here's a quote

“We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people, This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line.”
[Source: https://www.sporttechie.com/no-violent-video-games-in-the-olympics-says-ioc-president/ ]

What in the name of fuck is wrong with this guy.  Video games are about violence, explosions and killing?  This is the kind of stupid statement I expect to hear from my elderly relatives that barely know what a computer even is, not the head of the IOC.  There are good arguments for and against putting e-sports in the Olympics like I said before but games being "violent" isn't one of them.

The olympic is host to a number of combat sports which could be seen as violent.  I mean this guy making this statement used to be a fucking Fencer.  I could easily make some kind of ignorant bullshit comment like him and say something like "We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people, this doesn't match with fencing which is just stabbing and slashing at folks with bits of metal"

It sounds to me like Mr Bach is just an old, ignorant man who has a tired old view of gaming and doesn't want to do ANY research on the topic and expand his knowledge on the topic.  Go and watch any kind of analytical video on a game like Starcraft, Street Fighter or Counter Strike and you can easily see that there's so much more going on that just "violence, killing and explosions". 

There's no place in 2017 for stupid, ignorant and misguided comments like that.  Should video games be in the event? I don't know, but should they be disregarded entirely because of "violence"?  Hell no and that idea is so fantastically fucking stupid that my head might just explode violently and kill me in reaction to reading something that dumb. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Some Persona Fans Piss Me Off

I can feel the hate mail coming just from the title so hold your fucking horses and let me start with a clarifying statement.  I fucking love Persona 5, it was an amazing experience with both style and substance and is probably my personal favorite game on the PS4 right now with very little chance of being overthrown any time soon.  I'm also a big fan of Persona 3 and Persona 4, also great games that I sunk many many hours into and loved dearly.  Persona 4 Golden (and Dancing all Night) was pretty much the entire reason I bought a Vita.

But with that said, god DAMN some of you Persona "fans" on the internet piss me the fuck off.  Now I'm not talking about the legions of Weaboos that seem to make up the games fanbase, that's just sort of par for the course when it comes to titles like this and while they are cringy as fuck their slightly overzealous enjoyment of games in this style aren't really the problem.  My problem comes when I see posts from supposed "fans" shitting on mainline SMT or Persona 1 and 2.

First I think it's important to understand where I am with this series.  Way back when I lived in the UK, I remember my mum telling me about this game called Lucifer's Call on the PS2.  God knows how she came across it but it piqued my interest and I grabbed a copy and went from there.  This game blew my goddamn mind.  It was a bit like Pokemon but instead of shitty little woodland animals coming out of my balls and winning the day with friendship the whole game was basically a struggle to survive in a harsh world of demons that you had been thrown into (there's more to it than that, but for another day).  So I played the fuck out of that and then I don't remember playing much of the series until Persona 3.  It wasn't until that game that I realized that I wasn't just playing "Persona 3" but I was playing "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3".  So I did some research on the series at large and the obsession grew from there.

Now the reason I can't stand the people who shit on Persona's 1 and 2 is just because I'm a ponce.  Those games are harder and a bit dated but it just seems silly to shit over the first two games and then go around the internet touting yourself as "a fan of the series".  Let's face it folks, Personas 3 and up and designed for ages 3 and up.  Easy mode SMT for people new to the series, a nice little way to break you in.  It's a great place to start if you've never played a MegaTen game before (although I'd argue that Digital Devil Saga is better) but by ignoring the rest of the series because it's "too hard" for you is just a crying shame.  As Souls fans say, "Git gud" because you're really missing out on so much and if you just spent even a LITTLE bit of time learning the basics of these games even notoriously hard entries like Strange Journey won't seem so impossible.

The people who get my back up though are the ones who shit on SMT as a whole.  The ones who are elated to point out the fact that ATLUS dropped the "Shin Megami Tensei" off the front of Persona 5.  The ones who will type out pages and pages of stupid, backward reasons about why the series sucks and Persona is the only thing keeping it alive (untrue).  These people are a bunch of stupid fucks that need to shove a Mara up their gaping assholes.

I can get why one might say "I don't like these games, they are hard and dated" because they are.  I'm currently replaying Megami Tensei on the NES (not even Shin) and coming off the back of P5 GODDAMN it's taken some readjusting.  But to turn around and say that SMT sucks is just fucking stupid.  Without SMT there wouldn't even be a Persona and as much as you probably don't want to admit it you are just playing easy mode MegaTen.  Hell, you could rename Persona "Shin Megami Tensei USA" because that's almost what they are at this point.

For those of you who didn't get the joke
Persona as we know it today wouldn't even be a thing if it wasn't for a very specific Shin Megami Tensei game called Shin Megami Tensei If...

It wasn't a hugely successful or popular title but two things in this game were direct inspirations for Persona.  First was the high school setting and the second was the guardian spirit system but if you think Persona 1 and 2 are dated you don't stand a chance with SMT: If...  The point is, everything that you love about the later Persona games has been tried, tested and perfected throughout the rest of the series at various points.  Disliking it is fine but shitting on it just makes you look like a fucking moron.

If you've tried the games and felt that they are dated or too hard, I implore you to go give them another try.  Use a guide if you have to or play the next best entry game after Persona in terms of difficulty, Digital Devil Saga.  If you think that SMT in general just sucks and you aren't willing to try again or even accept the massive impact its had on your so called "favorite" game, then have Morgana put you to bed and then do the world a favor by never waking up.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Roman Holiday and In Flight Video Games

I know it was YouTube month so I shouldn't really be doing written posts but things got thrown a little out of whack with my trip to Rome.  My original plan was to post a few Vlogs from my phone when I was connected to the hotel WiFi but when I arrived the WiFi sucked massive cocks and I could barely load single images let alone upload whole videos.

Anyway, because I basically walked the entirety of Rome exploring I'm shit I'm far too tired to make/be bothered to upload a video so I thought I'd make a quick, barely game related post about my trip in Rome just to get things rolling again.

First of all let me start by saying fuck Air China.  Air China can eat my dick.  Bad service, bad food, delayed flights, shit movies on the longer flights and Beijing Airport (which I have to go through from Japan) sucks massive cocks.  If you're gonna take a long flight somewhere, don't EVER fly with Air China, the cheap tickets aren't worth the trouble.  Pay a little extra and get an airline with some good service because Air China is easily the worst airline I've ever flown with. 

Anyway Rome was a really nice city, lots of beautiful buildings and churches and whatnot.  The food was fantastic and the people were generally really friendly.  If you ever get a chance to go, you should.  This is a gaming blog so I'll leave the description of Rome there but if for some reason you want to know more just throw me some questions in the stream, I'll be happy to talk about it.

Really what I want to comment on is aeroplane video games.  I never really tried them before in favor of shit I brought with me or the in flight movies but because the security staff at Beijing airport think that all charging devices are highly dangerous I opted to put my chargers in my suitcases and so I was trying to not use all my PSP battery all at once.  The games on the flight were you standard sort of puzzle game/parlor game stuff with a couple of tower defense titles for good measure. 

Now maybe this is just another shitty aspect of flying with China Airlines but the games were fucking unplayable.  I don't mean because they were bad, because it's hard to make things like chess suck, but because they didn't fucking work.  I tried to play Reversi (or Othello or whatever you call it) where the screen just wouldn't respond to inputs, I played a mahjong game where the AI just decided it didn't want to make moves and with no time limit the game effectively soft locked itself and I tried to play a tower defense game but it kept crashing on startup.  To sum it up, in flight games are a bit like playing Action52 but everything is made in flash or unity or some shit.  I'm glad I had a portable with me because if all I had was that to entertain me I think I would have died to boredom or frustration.

The YouTube uploads will resume tomorrow so check back for new videos soon!  Watch this space





Also fuck Air China

Friday, 28 July 2017

YouTube Month Is Coming

Well this is going to be a very short post just to let you all know that next month (August) will be YouTube month! 

Basically this means that every day in August I'll be posting some kind of video every day so if you haven't already subscribed then make sure you do to catch it all!

Just a fair warning though, I am going to Rome for a few days and I'm hoping to line up content and post it from the Hotel Wifi when I'm there but I don't know how reliable that will end up being so if there is a few days with no content I'll try to make up for it!

If there's any playthroughs you'd like to see done then also don't forget that you can donate for them, just leave the game title in your comment and I'll do my best to get a series done for it!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Crash Isn't That Hard

This is going to be a short post but ever since the Crash HD collection came out there's been a number of posts about how hard the game is.  There's been videos of "oh my god look at this stage" or stupid meme pictures comparing it to things like Dark Souls

Let's be honest though, Crash isn't hard, you're just shit

Crash is one of those games made back when games were a bit more challenging, I'll give you that but it isn't THAT hard.  This becomes less true as the series goes on too with Crash 1's later stages posing some legitimate challenge and Crash 3 having very little challenge at all.  The games were pretty well designed and controlled pretty tightly so it was a pretty fair challenge.  One friend suggested to me that the controls might be a bit wonky in the remake so that could be a reason why all this idiocy has started popping up but until I get my hands on a copy I can't confirm that.

I wouldn't usually be mad about people being shit but the impression I get from the social media posts is that people don't ACTUALLY think Crash HD is that hard but they are jumping on a bandwagon and just saying it's hard because that's the thing to do right now.  Kind of like what happened with Dark Souls.

Either way, Crash is a great series and it's nice to see it get remade.  I just wish could celebrate some ACTUAL challenging titles rather than this little trip down memory lane.



Friday, 14 July 2017

Super Castlevania 4 Isn't That Easy

Castlevania has changed a lot since its days on NES and SNES but whenever you talk about classic Castlevania with people the common opinion is that Super Castlevania 4 is the easiest in the series.

There are a lot of features in Super Castlevania 4 that basically all the other ones didn't have, including other SNES Castlevania games like Dracula X.  These included an 8 way whip, the ability to crouch walk and a sub weapon mapped to it's own key rather than being up+whip.  This made managing the games many challenges a lot easier to deal with compared to earlier games however what gets my back up is that people talk about Super Castlevania 4 as if its an easy game.

Despite all the advantages you get in this game compared to others there's still plenty of bullshit that will make you want to tear your hair out.  For example any stage that scrolls up will have the bottom of the screen instantly kill you if you fall down rather than just scrolling back down to where you came from.  This is especially annoying in some stages with tight platforming or a cheeky enemy that will smack you into a bit because you let your guard down for a second.  However that's not the worst of it because once you get to stage 8 in this game things start to get really bullshit.  One hit kill spikes fucking EVERYWHERE are the big offender and I do mean absolutely everywhere.  Then there's the clock tower which has the aforementioned death drops but only this time with TONS of enemies that could potentially knock you into them.  Then you get to stage A and there's fucking stairs that fall from underneath you that will sometimes not allow you get a proper footing on them and if you make it through that there's random floating platforms that will carry you up into more spikes if you are unlucky and aren't given another one to jump to.

This becomes all twice as hard if you're trying to speed run because not only do you have to worry about these traps but also things like health management so you can damage boost off basically everything to save time and making sure that you always have a triple shot cross.

If you really think Super Castlevania 4 is an easy game go and replay it right now, I think you'll be in for a little bit of a shock.  Still though its a great game so it doesn't matter if you breeze through it or die an absolute shit ton, you'll have fun with it.  If you've not played it before then what the fuck are you doing?  Go play it right now

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Back From Korea

At time of writing I have basically just come from my trip in South Korea and I just thought I'd say a couple of things about my trip before going to bed since I'm absolutely shattered from walking around in 35+ degree temperature for such a long time.

Usually I hate capital cities no matter what country they are in.  Tokyo, London, Paris, doesn't really matter I fucking hate them however I don't quite have the same levels of hatred for Seoul.  It's not exactly what I'd call the nicest place in the world to be but it's definitely the least "offensive" capital city I've ever been in for lack of a better word.

Anyway I did the usual touristy bullshit like visit temples and little historical villages and stuff.  The temples/palaces in South Korea are really weird because they all seem to be copy pasted.  All sort of arranged like dungeons from the original NES Zelda game with large expanses of nothing much going on.  Granted the palace I visited this time had a "secret garden" that I didn't get to see but that was extra money AND only available as a guided tour so fuck that.

The food in South Korea is really good though, especially if you're into spicy stuff.  We were taken by my friend to some kind of beef restaurant and they give you about 7000 different side dishes for you to construct your own meat-lettuce wraps with.  The following lunch time me and my wife went to a place where they served something called Galbi.  It was chicken and rice in a spicy sauce that was served on a sort of huge hotplate and they cook it for you at the table.  Fucking delicious.

As far as the gaming scene in concerned out there I didn't really see much of what was going on.  According to the friend that we stayed with the famous net cafes are of course super popular but I think everyone in the world knows about that shit since Korea is famous for Starcraft 2 and shit pop music above all else really.  Outside of that the big thing seems to be mobile gaming.  We spent an afternoon in a big shopping area and I didn't see a single game store but the subway had adverts for mobile game apps fucking EVERYWHERE.  Sort of similar to what I saw in Singapore with PC and Mobile markets being huge while console users are pretty few and far between.  I could be wrong about this of course since my total time spent in Korea is probably equal to about 3 days.

Don't know if I could recommend it for a long trip but if you're passing through or you already live in Asia and need a weekend destination then Korea is a good bet.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

MSN Gaming Zone and Others

A few days ago I had a sudden flash of memory back to my early days of online gaming.  A time when connections weren't as stable and the idea of playing and talking with other people who weren't in the same room as me blew my goddamn mind.

Nowadays online gaming is very easy, you just hop on PSN, Xbox Live or Steam and you hit "Multiplayer" in whatever title and it will find people for you and then drop you in a match.  Back then though things were very different and a lot more annoying.  There were these 3rd party services like MSN game zone where you'd have to chat to people and set up little rooms and wait for folks to join you.  That was the easy part though because I seem to remember once you were actually in a game connections being really unstable and games being dropped left right and center. 

This was OK if you were playing a Tom Clancy game or something where matches were short but me and my friend would often try and play things like Heroes of Might and Magic 3 through this thing and those games are fucking LONG.  If you dropped connection during a match of that there was no chance to reconnect, you were just done and that made things very frustrating.  It could have been a problem with my internet rather than the MSN Gaming Zone service but the point is that stable connections during games are something I think we very much take for granted now.

There was this other service called Gamespy which was kind of similar but I remember that had chat rooms where you could use a microphone to talk to people which was another thing that absolutely blew my mind.  It was also something that sort of freaked me out because I came from a time when I was constantly told that everyone on the internet was a predator so the idea of voice chatting with people was not something I enjoyed at the time.  Probably for the best because I was a bit of a twat as a child so I saved myself some embarrassment.

I sort of miss the these times but at the same time I'm so happy that online gaming is mostly hassle free nowadays.  I'm more than happy to sit here and reminisce but I don't think I'd ever really want to go back to using these kind of services ever again.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Pianista

Pianista is a game that just randomly came up in an advert while I was scrolling through Facebook one day.  Usually I steer clear of mobile rhythm games because despite their fairly decent quality they are almost always full of bullshit that makes me quit.  However the idea of a rhythm game based on classical music piqued my interest so I gave it a try 

So the bullshit that I'm talking about with other rhythm games usually involves the collection and leveling of characters.  You can play a song perfectly in games like Love Live but still end up with a shitty rank because your characters don't have enough levels to earn you the required points.  Luckily Pianista doesn't do that.  You just pick and song, play it and you're graded based on your actual skill rather than any money-grubbing character breeding system.

The game has I think about 50 songs at time of writing with new stuff getting added every so often and songs are played on something called Tour Mode and clearing them in this mode unlocks them for your collection where you can play them freely.  There are 3 difficulty levels of play which are normal, technical and master.  I've not tried master yet so I can't say just how challenging it gets but if you aren't really all that familiar with the genre there are certain songs on normal that may give you a hard time.

As you play songs you earn gold and you can use this gold to upgrade your piano which will get you different bonuses and such but apart from that you don't use the gold for anything else.  There's also a premium currency which I think lets you cut down the wait time on your plays recharging but considering this is something I'll do a song or two with on the train that's not really an issue.  The game also has leader boards so if you're the competetive type you can see how you stand up to the rest of the user base.

My only real complaint is that you get 5 song points to play songs with and then after that you have to wait before you can play any more.  1 song point regenerates every 30 minutes so if you're just fiddling with it it's not much of an issue but if you have a long journey and you were hoping to jam out to some Chopin you may have to start spending premium currency or just listening to him on a music player and live without the game part.

Either way, it's free to download on the app store, the game looks slick, plays really well and has a decent number of songs for you to enjoy.  So unless you hate classical music you should probably go and give it a try.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Why Do I Even Like Musou?

So recently I started playing a game on my Vita called Sengoku Musou Chronicle 3 which I got for free of PSN ages ago.  I'm having and absolute blast with it but as I play the game I can't help but wonder what it is about this series I find enjoyable.

Before I say any more, allow me to explain what Musou is to those who may not be familiar.  "Musou" in Japan has a number of different names in the west depending on the series.  Dynasty Warriors if the setting is China, Samurai Warriors if the setting is in Japan, Pirate Warriors if you're crossing over with One Piece and Hyrule Warriors if you're crossing over with Zelda.  However don't get it mixed up with Devil Kings or Sengoku Basara because despite the fact that they are almost the same thing, they aren't made by the same people and I'm sure there's some hardcore fan somewhere you'll offend by putting them together.

So in these games you pick or make a character and then you get slammed into various historic battlefields where you are a super human war god and everyone else is brain dead and barely knows how to swing a sword.  You run around mowing down hundreds and hundreds of dudes until eventually you come to a special dude with a title above his head and you murder him to lower enemy morale or win if it's the REALLY special dude.  The combat involves mashing one button and watching guys die until a meter fills up and then you press one other button once and you watch a little animation special move where a whole bunch of guys die at the same time.

Yes, there's a little more to it than that, of course, but that's essentially what it feels like to play a musou game.  It sounds and feels like something that SHOULD be boring and repetitive after maybe 1 or 2 stages but for some reason I just can't stop playing.  There's something incredibly satisfying about watching that kill count slowly rise up and just running around a huge battlefield mowing down tons of dudes single handedly.  Maybe I enjoy it so much because when I was younger playing the earlier games I was too stupid to tell how dumb it was and now I play it on the train after work where it works as a sort of stress toy rather than a proper video game.

If you've not played a Musou game you should try it out.  Maybe it won't be for you and you'll see it for the boring piece of crap it probably is.  OR you'll get sucked it by it's highly stylistic approach to historic warfare and the bloodthirsty loon buried deep inside you will have an absolute blast.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

[Donation Incentive] FF9: Kill Ozma [Video]


Only Half Fucks Given for E3

So E3 is going down as I type this very post and unfortunately the fucks I have to give about this evet are pretty minimal.

I'm sure I've talked about this somewhere on the blog before but up to a few years ago I used to get really excited for E3.  Back in my university days I'd pool friends together either in my tiny room or on Ventrilo/Mumble and we'd all watch the conferences and talk about the event as it happened.  Now I'm barely even paying attention, only having certain tidbits of information trickled to me via other peoples excitement on Facebook and I don't feel like I'm missing out on all that much.

I guess its because over the last few years the big conferences have really bored me to tears.  They showcase a few games, usually with pre rendered bullshit or some crappy staged "game play" footage where they have some guy sit in a corner and pretend to play a sequence while a short movie plays on the big screen.  After that there's a lot of waffle about features for a system which are being added, usually stuff that no one gives a toss about like that year it was all about Facebook or fucking sports and then it ends.

So while I'm not watching the event live or really even following it at all I'd be lying to you if I said I gave absolutely 0 fucks about  the event.  Despite the boring nature of the pressers the games that do get announced are usually pretty cool.  Already I've been intrigued by Monster Hunter World and Dragon Ball FightersZ and I'm sure once the event is done and I look up a list of announced games my excited will pique for something.

So while I won't be commenting on the event itself look out for a blog post on shit I'm looking forward to 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tau and Friends Play Advance Wars Part 7


Persona 5

Well it took a fucking age and a half but last weekend I finally beat Persona 5 and HOLY SHIT it's actually one of the best RPGs I've ever played.  I'll try to avoid spoilers as much as a can but there's a CHANCE that some may get dropped at some point, I'll mark them appropriately if I get into that but just be on your guard since people seem to be very uppity about spoilers for this game.

So here's a short version of my thoughts for people who are familiar with Persona and Shin Megami Tensei as a whole.  Persona 5 doesn't actually do anything particularly new with the franchise but it has an absolutely INSANE amount of polish on it.  If you like Persona you'll adore this game and if you are a mainline SMT snob then even you will find it hard not to get a kick out of this one.  It's just generally a damn good game.

For those that aren't familiar, Persona 5 is half monster breeding JRPG and half school life simulator. The story begins with our protagonist being set up for a crime he didn't commit and then getting sent to some shit school in Tokyo where everyone hates his guts.  From there he runs into a couple of other outcasts and they discover that they can enter an alternate universe where they dress like gentlemen thieves and can invade the hearts of certain people to change them from shitty people to not shitty people.  When you aren't doing that however, you have to go around making friends various folks around your school and Tokyo which has a knock on effect of making your Persona's stronger when you fuse them together to make new ones.  When you aren't doing THAT you can go around a number of places raising stats like charm, courage and academics in order to make you better at doing stuff/providing chances to deepen your friendships with the people mentioned in the sentence before.

The monster breeding, JRPG side of this game is where it really comes to life though.  When you are wandering around the hearts and minds of your targets you run into demons.  If you beat them up in just the right way and knock them down you can hold them at gunpoint and "negotiate" with them.  If you're negotiation is successful they will give you money, items or best of all join you so that you can use their skills in battle.  Once they've joined you can go inside a prison in order to put them under a guillotine and fuse them together to make new ones that are even better which in turn makes stealing  the minds of your targets much easier.

This is just a basic overview of the main two parts of the game but there's so much going on in P5 it'll make your fucking head spin.  There's no way I can do it justice in a short blog post like this, just go and play it.  The fact that I've not dedicated a paragraph to things I didn't like should say a lot about how I feel.  The only "complaint" I do have is that this game is fucking LOOONG but that wasn't really a negative for me and won't be for a lot of other people.  Just be warned though you will be probably at this one for at least 90 hours just for the main run through.

If you like RPGs, play P5
If you don't like RPGs, play P5 anyway
Just if you like games in general, play P5.  Just play fucking P5, right now

Monday, 5 June 2017

Pixeljunk Monsters

I've had this game on my PS3 since my second year of University and I've never fucking beaten it.

Pixeljunk Monsters is a tower defense game that came back in 2007.  The game play is simple, you control a little man who goes around building towers on trees.  Monsters come out of one end of the map and walk towards a little house on the other end of the map.  If the towers fail to kill a monster by the time it reaches the house it kills a little thing inside and if this happens 20 times then it's game over.

The game itself isn't too hard but it makes a big deal out of perfectly clearing a stage.  To perfectly clear a stage you have to complete all waves within a level without losing any of the little guys from your house and maybe I'm just shit but this is a really difficult task.  What will usually happen is the game will throw one type of enemy at you for a whole bunch of waves so you end up with a large amount of towers that counter that specific type.  You spend ages thinking everything is just fine and then BAM out of nowhere a different type comes out late in the level with tons of health that you're just not ready for.  Then you restart because you lost a guy and you start trying to prepare for the thing that you know is coming but you find yourself under prepared for the shit the comes before so you end up losing guys and restarting again.  Rinse and repeat this process for fucking HOURS and eventually you strike the right balance and beat the stage with a perfect and all you get for the trouble is a stupid fucking rainbow above the level tile on the map.

Beating the game itself isn't actually that hard but because I'm a perfectionist I feel obliged to try and perfect every level on the map.  If you aren't like that you'll probably have a lot of fun with Pixeljunk Monsters but if you want those fucking rainbows this game will drive you absolutely mental.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

New Repeating Donation Incentive: Speed Marathons

So of course I'm always looking for new donation incentives to put on the blog to help aid the charity and here's an idea I'm surprised I've not come up with sooner.

So at time of writing I can sort of semi-competently speedrun about 10 or 11 games so the obvious outcome of this donation incentive is that I'd play them all back to back.  Only I'll do you one a little better which would be that I'd do 3 runs of each game before switching to the next title.  That will add a decent amount of length to the event and make it worth the donation money I feel.

However usually when I run an event once the event is done it gets deleted from the incentive list.  The only repeating incentive that has been featured on the blog before this was Euro Truck Simulator 24 hours and the only reason that repeated is because I failed to make the 24 hour mark on the first attempt.

This is the first donation incentive on the blog that won't disappear after it's been met and instead it'll just reset back to 0.  That means if you wanted to see 10 (or more in the future) games get run back to back, you could keep donating for it and making me do these marathons as often as possible.  There will also be a sort of stretch goal during each marathon to make me play one extra game that I don't usually run one time and that will be decided at the start of each marathon, I'll pull it from a hat or something.

Let's do some speedruns for charity!

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Sushi Game

So I went to a place called Kurazushi and they had this game that you could play every time you slide 5 plates into the machine. The prize you get was a little gatcha thing that had either fancy sushi sticky tape or a little key chain.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

I miss Instruction Manuals

A lot has changed in the gaming scene since I was a wee lad, some for the better and some for the worse.  However the one thing I miss more than fucking anything is proper instruction manuals.

Back in the day, when you'd buy a game I always thought the manual was something to look forward to.  A lot of the manuals for games I bought had things like backstory or character profiles in them as well as instructions on how to play the game.  When I was a kid, I had to take a bus into the city center to go to my closest game store to pick up a title and after my purchase I'd read that shit on the way home.  There was something really satisfying about opening a new game case and flicking through that nice glossy manual.  Even the smell of the damn thing as incredible as weird as that sounds.

Hell, I've even bought games based on the quality of their manual.  I remember discovering The Elder Scrolls for the first time at a friends house.  Yeah, the game looked cool as fuck and all but the manual was just full of all sorts of information that really drew me into the idea of playing the game and then on top of that it came with a sick as fuck glossy map of the world.  I had that Morrowind map on the wall next to my computer pretty much up to the day I moved out of that house.  Neverwinter Nights was another example of a game I purchased purely based on the manual.  I was at the same friends house when he got it as a gift from his dad. He opened that box and there was a fucking thick tome that you could kill someone with inside there with instructions on how to play.  I didn't even have to read the fucking thing to know that I wanted that damn game.

Nowadays, getting a new game is a bit of a disappointing experience.  A lot of my purchases, especially for PC are digital so there's no way in fuck I'm getting a nice manual there.  Even if I purchase of Good Old Games or something where they have the manuals, it's just not the same when it's in PDF, I wanna hold the fucking thing.  For other systems it's probably even worse than nothing at all.  Usually when I open a box there's usually just some legal information, an insert for the controls and a card advertising some DLC or some shit.  Even if the game is amazing, opening the box upon purchase brings nothing but sadness.

I wish they'd bring back proper manuals but I guess that's a practice that's long dead and will never return.  If a company put a big proper manual in a game now I'd probably buy it regardless of what the game was just to support the practice.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Affilates and Ad Revenue

So if you've been looking at the YouTube content, reading this blog or as of yesterday, watching the Twitch stream, you may have noticed that a lot of it is registered under various affiliate programs and has adverts and stuff on them.  Considering that this is first and foremost a charity site, I can see why some people might raise an eyebrow at the idea of me putting ads on things and making some money.

Well initially with the blog page and YouTube the logic was that these will generate some revenue without actually costing the viewer anything.  You click an article or watch a YouTube video and the less than a cent value of what it's worth just gets shoved into some account somewhere that will build up over time.  I then thought that I'd use that passive money to do things like upgrade the website, make the quality of the stream better, do more events, offer more charity raffle prizes to the readers/viewers etc etc.

However the reason I'm doing this post is because last night I found out I was eligible for the Twitch version of all this, thinking it would be a similar deal, only to find out that it works via something that's known as "Twitch bits".  This involves buying "bits" from twitch and then using those bits to "cheer" for a streamer when you are in their chat and I think 1 bit is equal to one cent and once you accrue $100 you can pay out to your bank or PayPal or whatever.

Let me make something very clear.  When I set up this website I set it up with the intention of raising money for the Alzheimer's Society and of course that is still the main goal.  My problem with the Twitch affiliate service is that it's not passive like a YouTube ad and incurs a cost to you, the viewer.  So what I want to stress is that if you have a choice between buying twitch bits or throwing a few dollars/pounds into the charity, please please PLEASE for the love of everything holy pick the charity.

As far as improving the site/stream and stuff like that is concerned, I will be doing that ANYWAY from my job money, ad revenue or none.  Please do NOT spend any of your own money to support me directly fucking EVER.  Always prioritize the charity, no matter what.  Do however keep supporting the various content and spreading the word so that there can maybe be more people who would be up for donating to the society.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support

Tau and Friends Play Advance Wars Part 5


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

RPG Difficulty Spikes

Before anyone asks where the top picture is, I'm currently on a road trip with my in laws so I'm posting from my phone.  The blogger app crashes so I'm stuck using fucking Safari and this thing just hates the idea of pulling images from from my photo roll.

Anyway, difficulty spikes aren't exactly a new concept to anyone that's been gaming a while.  There are plenty of games in all genres that have but I feel like it's the most annoying in RPGs because of the greater sense of security before the spike.

Now the main reason people have trouble with RPGs is because they are either underlevelled from running away from enemies.  Of course RPGs can pose all sorts of challenges but when people are complain that's usually the reason. However there are times where everything will seem completely fine but then you reach a boss and you just get your shit kicked in.

For example I was just playing pervy vita dungeon crawl Dungeon Travellers and the dungeon I was currently in was a complete breeze.  Enemies aren't really doing shit to me of any concern and and I'm killing enemies with ease.  Hell, my magic user was one shotting stuff for fucks sake.  So I get to the end of the dungeon and BAM the boss just shits all over my face.  Eventually I won but it required some extra grinding for skill points to get it done.  Other examples of this could be the wall boss in FF7 or Matador in SMT: Nocturne

It's annoying because the game makes you believe that everything is fine with easy as fuck trash mobs and then slams the breaks on your progress with a bullshit boss battle that makes you fuck off and rethink everything.  In other genres it's either easier to deal with or faster to change up what you gotta do to progress.  In RPGs all the management and preparation you have to do means that dealing with a spike could potentially take hours of tedium just to get on with the game.

Being challenged is good and all but any developer who puts these sudden spikes in their games need something sharp through their cheeks.  Fair challenge please guys

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Cthulhu Fluxx

I know it's not strictly a video game but I played this a few weeks ago and fucking loved it so I'm taking a moment to talk about it.  Plus Cthulhu is one of those things that people love to go on and on about when talking about shit like Eternal Darkness and games like that so it's sort of related.

Fluxx itself is a sort of series of card games where the rules and the conditions for winning (or losing) change pretty rapidly during play.  I'm only just discovering that Fluxx is actually a huge thing I've been unaware of as I googled the above image.  Turns out there are tons of versions of this thing including Batman, Zombies, Cartoon Network and Monty Python just to name a couple outside of the original "Fluxx"

Anyway the game is simple, you draw a couple of cards at the start and then you have to draw 1 and play 1 each turn.  The deck consists of a number of types of cards including goals (how you win) keepers (stuff you want) and rules (self explanatory).  In Cthulhu Fluxx there are also Ungoals which make everyone lose and Creepers which prevent you from winning unless you end up with a fucked up goal on the table.  The game gets really interesting once players start throwing down rule cards such as Play All which means that whatever you have in your hand you have to throw it down right away.  When this shit starts happening players can go from really strong positions to really weak ones in an instant and seeing someone get fucked over is pretty satisfying

Another thing that makes this game so appealing is that you can play it very quickly.  Each game can take only a few minutes and won't really extend over about 20 at a stretch.  It's easy to understand so you can easily bring all your friends into the game quickly and it's surprisingly compelling to play.  We started the evening with my friend saying "I'll just show you this game real quick" and ended about 2 hours later like "Think we have time for one more?". 

You can pick it up at any sort of hobby shop I imagine or you can get it on Amazon for about £12.  Get some people together and give it a spin, it's fun as fuck.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Attack on Moe

It's times like this I start to question my own tastes in games. 

So a few days ago I was drunk in a bar and at one point in the evening I took to looking at one of my social media applications.  An advert popped up for a game called "Attack on Moe" which depicted a dude fighting giant anime girls that lost their clothes when you beat them in combat.

So OF COURSE I fucking downloaded it

What I found was a fan service clicking game similar to that of cookie clicker but instead of cookies its monsters and anime girls.  The game is very simple, you tap the thing until it dies and you do this until you get a boss.  Then you have to tap the boss until it dies but you're on a time limit for that and if you kill it then you progress to the next stage.  Every 5 stages you get to fight a "Moetan" which is a big anime girl which when defeated, goes into a "Moepedia" (seeing a theme here?) and then you can sort of rub them down for bonuses and images of them slowly losing more and more items of clothing.

As you do all this you earn money which you can use to buy upgrades for you guy as well as hero characters that will support you and farm you more money while you're offline.  There's also a "PVP" feature where you and a friend see who can mash this fastest and you earn points which earn you various rewards as you do this every handful of hours.  There's also premium currency which you can buy/earn by playing which allows you to buy items that increase stats or unlock more anime girls for you to fight in later stages.

There's not much to say about it other than it's just a fucking clicking game.  It's the kind of thing you fiddle with for about 30 seconds to a minute at a time when you're taking a shit or REALLY bored on a train or something.  I'd say it's worth checking out because if I'm going to waste my time monotonously tapping things the experience is so much better with some anime titties to go with it.

What Happened To Silent Hill?

If you were following the stream schedule you may have noticed that April was supposed to be the month where I was doing Silent Hill 2 "speed" runs.  If you were following the stream then you may have been disappointed because not a lot of Silent Hill 2 actually happened in the end.

Well there was a number of reasons for this.  First, I'm playing on original hardware and my knowledge of doing this is basically zero so setting it up again after months of not doing it turned out to be a lot harder than I expected.  Plus April was a pretty crazy month with Hanami (drinking in a park while looking at Sakura trees), work stress just generally tiring me out and an old friend coming to visit which has been the focus of my last few weekends. 

However these are just excuses and I feel bad about not delivering on a decent amount of SH2 attempts so instead of boring you with details, I'll just make up for it.  May was supposed to be a month of Ys1 however I know not many people know what the game is and a lot of people kind of don't like watching it.  I'm not going to cancel Ys month on the stream but I will be trying to alternate between a Ys run and an SH2 run each evening to make up for the lack of SH2 in April.

The remainder of April will be spent hammering out Final Fantasy 9 because I've been playing that shit for ages and I'm only on Disc 3.  So the next few days will be focused on that and then it'll be back to nightly runs!

Of course, I won't be able to stream every day of the month but I'll try my very best to cram in as much as I possibly can.  If I'm not streaming and you want to know why, Twitter is a good place to find out how I'm wasting my time doing things that are not streaming, so follow there for updates (@Taurinensis)

Thanks for the understanding and continued support!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

F.E.A.R 2

I've been on a little bit of a F.E.A.R kick again and about a week ago I played through F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin.  It actually took me a long time to finish because I'd play for an hour or two and then not touch the damn thing for about a week.  So a game that could have been finished in a single lazy weekend ended up being stretched to maybe a month or so.

The game starts out just before the ending of the first game where you play as a team going to get some scientist woman.  You have a couple of gunfights, the town explodes and you end up in a hospital where you've been experimented on and then there's a dude on a radio telling you how fucked you all but he also has a solution.  So you go to him, he gets murdered and from there you have a bunch more gunfights and then you get a girl pregnant and the game ends.  It took me so long to finish the game that I don't really remember the plot very well but I feel like I have the core parts of it right there.  The story is sort of dull and uninteresting and none of the characters are memorable aside from Alma so I just sort of tuned the whole thing out while playing

In terms of game play it's more of the same as F.E.A.R 1.  Rooms of dudes that you kill with slow mo vision followed by corridors of "scary" set pieces.  Instead of doing anything new with the core game play F.E.A.R 2 now lets you pilot giant robot suits in certain areas which, while fun, goes against the games tone a little bit.  Also everything looks and feels all streamlined and modern which I feel works against it.  There's a sort of charm about going back and playing the first one, that same feeling you get when you sit down to play something like Deus Ex or Half Life and the modern presentation, while probably a good idea at the time, sort of hurts the overall feel of the game when you replay it in 2017.

Once again, the game fails to be scary in any regard relying heavily on jump scares and lots of blood to try and get the fear pumping but falls flat on almost every occasion.  You can tell it's trying really hard but because it looks and plays like a modern shooter now all of the scariness feels even less effective.  The robot suits that I mentioned before pretty much put the nail in the coffin on any chance of it having any scary sections because nothing says horror quite like a giant invincible robot suit with machine guns and missiles mowing down hundreds of dudes who are walking out of doors in single file.

Still, it's not a bad game and if you need something easy and mindless to play then F.E.A.R 2 is a fairly decent option I guess.  The game is just so sort of "meh" that I promise you won't be remembering that lazy weekend play through about a year from now 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Spoilers: Really a Big Deal?

I recently did a blog post about how I felt regarding ATLUS blocking streams and video content of Persona 5 and how the main reason for this choice seems to be an overly zealous effort to help people to avoid any kind of spoiler for that title.

Whenever there's a new game, especially a story driven one, the one thing people panic about above all else is hearing spoilers for that game before they've played it.  I find that spoilers are a lot easier to avoid than most people make it out to be.  The way people go on you might feel that the internet is some kind of massive spoiler danger zone where you can't go on any website at all without having something spoiled for you.  Aside from this being far from the case with most websites that I see writing about new games take quite careful measures to avoid spoiling anything usually I find that even if you do catch a spoiler it's not really a big deal.

Back when Resident Evil 7 came out I started streaming it right away and I had a grand old time.  Lot's of discussion about the game itself and the direction that the series had taken as well as just general banter and fucking around in the chat, streaming that game was a ton of fun. 

There will be spoilers for Resi 7 from here so if you've not played and you're THAT worried about it, skip the next paragraph

So one night I'm streaming a section nearer to the end of the game where you're dealing with the Baker's son, Lucas.  Everything is going well when some guy turns up in my Twitch chat.  He drops a greeting and then a few minutes later posts something along the lines of "Ethan dies and you end up playing as his wife at the end of the game".  So some people might think "WHOA NOW! Don't tell me that! what the hell?!" but for me, while the fact was shocking it just made me curious to play longer for that evening than I originally intended.  Yeah sure, a key event in the story was "spoiled" for me but it was spoiled with no context and that's why I felt that it wasn't a big deal.  Plus his spoiler was shit and without dropping any end game spoilers in this paragraph, he was clearly a player who hadn't finished the game

Here's maybe a better way of explaining what I mean.  Imagine that you're playing Final Fantasy 7 way back when for the first time.  Let's say your friend approaches you gets overly excited and drops the "Aeris dies" spoiler at you.  Is that really such a big deal?  Wouldn't it make you want to hurry up and get to that point to see what the fuck he's on about?  How does she die? Where? Why? What was Cloud doing?  Is it mandatory? A spoiler like that, at least for me, just raises more questions than anything else.  If someone told me that she dies before I got to that point I'd just want to hurry up to that point to find out what the fuck he's on about.

I've actually already had some Persona 5 spoilers thrown at me on one of those silly nights I decided to browse the video game board on 4chan despite the efforts of ATLUS but all the spoiler did was sort of confuse me.  Now I HAVE to get to that point of the game and find out what the fuck is going on because I single sentence about one character just, once again, raised more questions that I need to play through and answer for.  Plus there's even a chance the person posting could have been flat out wrong or misunderstanding things so I've got no reason to lose any enjoyment from just a few contextless words like that.

People need to chill and if you care that much just avoid any places that may post that stuff for a while.  Surely if you're THAT passionate about a title where spoilers would ruin everything for you, you'll probably be playing it through pretty quickly anyway.  I get why it sucks but at least to me, spoilers are not such a big deal.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

ATLUS Blocking P5 Streams

I think I may have talked about this when Persona 5 first got released in Japan where I discovered that you cannot stream Persona 5 AT ALL past the opening scene.  The entire game is blocked for streaming directly from PS4 and there were rumblings about people using capture cards and the like having their shit taken down and whatnot.

Well I was hoping that this was because ATLUS wanted to keep a sort of air of mystery around the title until it got the worldwide release and that the block on streaming would be lifted after the western release.  Well that was nothing but wishful thinking because the English language version of the game was released recently but the game is still blocked.

Not only is it still blocked but ATLUS have released a bunch of fucking guidelines on what you can and cannot do.  Here it is

http://atlus.com/note-persona-5-streaming/

Now I love ATLUS, and I've loved ATLUS for as long as I can remember but this is complete and utter bullshit on a level that I can't quite comprehend.  The logic is that Persona 5 is a "Japanese game with a single playthrough story" so they don't want you streaming it/making videos of it so that people don't get spoiled.  You ARE allowed to stream/share up to the first major boss fight but after that you risk getting content ID strikes on your account.

Now I'm aware it's their game and they are well within their rights to do whatever the fuck they want with it but issuing such heavy punishments for anyone trying to share their experience with the game is just stupid.  If it was just a case of taking a video down, having that content they don't want removed then fine but trying to ruin someones ENTIRE channel or stream just because they showed a bit of the game past the first major story arc is just mean spirited.

Also the argument that it's to avoid people getting spoiled is the flat out stupidest thing I've ever heard.  I'm going to do an entire post on what I think about spoilers at a later date but if you're stupid enough to catch spoilers for a fucking niche JRPG then maybe you shouldn't be using a computer.  If someone is dumb enough to go into a Twitch stream for P5 or watch a YouTube video of a playthrough and then gets mad when they walk face first into a spoiler then that's their own fucking fault.  Also, being 70 hours in, I don't really see how you could deliver a spoiler in a quick simple sentence that would catch someone out like that, there's A LOT of explaining to be done behind each plot point.

Because of all these bullshit guidelines my head is filled with horrible ideas such as going on the ATLUS USA Facebook page and sending PMs to anyone who comments on P5 shit with major story spoilers or recording key cutscenes on my phone in short clips and spamming them on twitter.  The reality is I would never do anything like that really because I still quite like ATLUS and P5 is one of the best RPGs EVER FUCKING MADE that I feel that everyone should at experience and I wouldn't ever want to remove the impact of some of those key scenes.

Avoiding spoilers for anything is the easiest thing in the goddamn world and I can't help but feel this overly controlling attitude of ATLUS may sour the opinion of some people.  Personally though, despite this bullshit I find it hard to stay mad at the company that gave us SMT, Trauma Centre, Etrian Odyssey and many other heavy hits.  I guess I'm a little bit of a fanboy in that regard.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Picross

The last few weeks I've been depressingly busy with stuff and finding time for any real meaningful gaming sessions has been tough.  With what time I can squeeze in I've been playing Persona 5 which I can't share with you guys so I've had to horde that experience all to myself.  However, if I didn't find time to game at least a little bit in a 24 hour period I might go insane and that's when Picross came to the rescue.

I discovered Picross a few weeks ago in my local bar on a weekend.  That seems like a weird place to discover a video game but it's a video game bar where there are systems on the counter and games for days, it's a great place I'll do a post on it one day soon.  Anyway, I'm just sat having a drink but the dude next to me is playing Picross and usually I'm not drawn to puzzle games but for some reason I couldn't stop watching him play it.  Eventually I ask him to explain to me what's going on and after the evening was done I got curious and gave it a try myself the next day.  Well I was fucking hooked since it's incredibly easy to understand and yet still manages to be quite challenging.

The idea is simple, you get rows and columns of numbers and those numbers tell you how many filled in squares there are on that line.  If there are multiple numbers in the column it means that there is a space between the filled in areas and using nothing but these numbers you must uncover a picture on the grid.  The game on Gameboy and SNES has you trying to figure out these puzzles within 30 minutes and hitting an incorrect space causes you to lose time.  As you go on the grids get bigger and bigger which of course means the puzzles get harder and harder.

It's just an incredibly relaxing game to play and the challenge never really feels stressful.  Despite the timer going in the background as long as you take your time to work it out it's never really an issue but in the instances where mistakes are made and you really do end up battling the clock you get quite an intense experience. 


There are a pretty large number of Picross games.  There's the original game boy game and the sequel to that on the Super Nintendo.  There's also Picross 3D on the DS and a sequel to that on the 3DS which I'm told are very good and the extra dimension adds a good amount of extra challenge.  There's also a number of free Picross games on mobile too so if you wanted to give it a try then these might be a good place to start too.  There's even a fucking Final Fantasy Picross RPG for mobile called Pictologica where you solve small Picross puzzles in order to make your party of heroes attack stuff.


There's probably a bunch of other games I don't know about too but that should be enough to get you started.  Give it a try, it's fun, addictive and can be played in very small and quick bursts which means that even if your schedule is fucked you can squeeze in a quick puzzle here and there.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Gaming Log March 16th

Today has just been full of absolute shit.

I woke up and did next to no gaming in the morning just because shit was cold and I didn't want to get out of  the bed.  The little gaming I did do involved firing up Dungeon Travelers on the train and just having a bunch of story dumped on me.

Then I come home and I do a Mega Man 4 speed run which I fucked up immensely and ended up getting a 50:01 time which is just crap and then Waifu Wednesday happened.

So if you missed the first post, Waifu Wednesday is a little stream bit I do every week where I play Japanese dating sims.  There are millions of these games and I'm here to explore the genre live so that you can get some insight into the appeal of these games.  Anyway, today I'm playing and everything is grand.  There's a girl I'm after who I'm in good standing with, my test scores are getting slowly better, everything seems great.  But then I get a message saying "some girls have been saying things about you at school", so I call up my info guy and I get this screen

The little bomb markers mean that these chicks are pissed off for some reason and if I don't fix it then they'll start spreading rumors around the school.  So I try and fix it but there were too many of them and too many mandatory events eating my time.  Not to mention one girl rejected my offer to take her out like 4 fucking times so even though I was trying desperately to remove that bomb marker, she wasn't having ANY of it.  So of course, the rumors pop and this happens

Now everyone hates my guts except for that one ugly girl with the mullet.  From there, my Tokimeki life just went to complete shit.  I nearly got kicked out of the yearly Christmas party, chicks don't want to walk home with me, on valentines day I got 0 chocolate from anybody (chicks give dudes Chocolate on Valentines in Japan) and I failed my University entrance exam. 

The whole aim of Tokimeki Memorial is to build up a relationship with a girl and then ask her to be your girlfriend under some legendary love tree at the end of the game.  On this play through however, every girl basically wanted me dead so I got this for an ending

Fuck it, my right hand will never spread rumors and betray me......


Tau and Friends Play Gauntlet Part 6


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Gaming Log March 14 2017

Well shit I fell asleep after streaming so I'm awkwardly posting this log from my phone

Whenever I have to work early my days are quite uneventful so I spent most of it playing Dungeon Travelers again.  I managed to kill that boss though pretty easily after I discovered that my characters could be class changed.  You would think it would take an idiot not to notice that but character levels aren't displayed on the main screen and you have to go into individual status screens to find out.  Since I don't check that shit too often I had no idea that class changes were even an option.

Once I got home I streamed Megaman 4 speedruns which went well for the robot masters and then I fucked basically every end game stage.  I finished the night with Final Fantasy 9 where I watched a bunch of cutscenes and then played Chocobo Hot and Cold which may be the only mini game worse than Blitzball

Monday, 13 March 2017

Gaming Log March 13th 2017

Here's a new blog feature for you all that will keep the written side of things flowing daily once again, a gaming log.  I know most of you don't give a flying fuck about what I'm doing day to day but I quite enjoy the idea of making a sort of public diary of my gaming so here I go!

Well this morning I did what I do every morning which is skip breakfast and fire up Persona 5.  It was a largely uneventful time although I am a little concerned with the current point in the game.  Without spoiling anything I THINK I've cleared the dungeon and done everything I have to do but there's still a big fat red countdown in the corner of my screen that basically reads "8 MORE DAYS TILL YOU LOSE!"

I'm assuming everything will be OK but the progress I stand if the story doesn't get off its arse and start moving soon is pretty great.  Still, I finished the session by heading into the optional dungeon, Mementos and fighting a boss that was susceptible to magic.  He nearly one shot my entire party in the first turn but after I survived and healed up, everything was fine and he went down pretty quickly.

Of course though, I can't spend my entire day playing P5 because I have my job to go to so that means I have to switch to something a little more portable.

Right now my current game of choice is Dungeon Travelers 2 on the Vita which I got for free a couple of months back on PS+.  So far its been a pretty enjoyable experience.  It's a competently made dungeon crawl game with an absolute metric shitton of fan service.  All the main cast with the exception of one character are cute anime girls and all the monsters are cute anime girls and at frequent points the game will show you full screen images of cute anime girls in their pants.  Well I love dungeon crawls and I love titties so everything has been pretty peachy so far.

UNTIL TODAY

The dungeon I've been currently crawling though is just bursting at the seems with complete bullshit.  Monsters doing absolute shit tons of damage with area of effect magic was just the tip of the iceberg with this place.

If you can't read Japanese then the big red text at the top of the screen basically says "No magic zone".  I'm pretty heavily reliant on magic for both killing shit and staying alive so these corridors are particularly annoying.  I don't mind being challenged in a game but this is just balls, I hate having my hands tied behind my back like this, it's just not fun.  Luckily, my main damage dealing spell caster has a rod that does instant death sometimes so it's not all bad I guess.

As if that wasn't enough though, I manage to make it to the end of the dungeon and then this bitch shows up.

HO-LY fuck the game has just thrown some impossible bullshit out of nowhere.  Every single boss up to this point has generally been pretty easy but this bitch is just smacking me all over the place.  If she isn't doing some weird party wide physical attack that comes pretty close to one shotting people, she's doing some weird debuff dance thing where at the start of her turn I just go and take a handful of damage.  Before I could figure out how to kill her I got home and stopped playing but I'm thinking that a little bit of grinding might be in order for this one.

After that I was sort of planning to stream but I made this mistake of getting into bed and lazing around for a bit and now I'm far to sleepy to do anything properly.  I'm sure there's going  to be errors in this post somewhere... Anyway I have to go to work a lot earlier than usual tomorrow so an early night and an early rise might do me some good.