Facey B

posted in: meta | 0

Thought i’d see what happens if I put a facebook page for the website up.
If enough people actually get on it I may end up using it to announce content updates like I currently do with twitter (but not everyone has twitter, and most people have facebook so…)

So yeah, if you are a reader, it’d be nice if you could like the page, it doesn’t even appear on your profile anymore (unlike back in the past where it was like “Meng liked ‘BIG DICKS IN MY ASS’!”)
The like button is over there on the right —>
Or you can access it directly via – http://www.facebook.com/MengsBizarreAdventure
Thanks etc.

it’ll probably get me ranked higher in search engines and then i’ll be able to give out more WOM’s (Wrong opinions per minute).

Rogue Legacy

posted in: Games Review | 0

roguelegacyx

So anyone who has spoken to me in the last 2 days or so has probably heard me raving about metroidvania style roguelite game ‘Rogue Legacy’ by Canadian indie studio ‘Cellar Door Games’.

The aim of the game is straight out of a 90’s video game design manual, enter a demon castle thing, kill the boss of each wing of the castle to open up the final door. Problems arise however when you realise that everything in the castle is really goddamn strong (and the bosses are on another level completely), thus you send in your hero, and they die… a successor arises however, who keeps the gold their ancestor managed to salvage from the castle, and you can build your own castle or buy equipment for your bloodline.
But there are more twists, the successors you can pick from have different classes, spells and character traits/flaws – For example colour-blindness (views everything in B&W), Alzheimers (can’t remember map) or Dwarfism.
The castle also completely randomizes each time you enter, changing placement of boss rooms, chests, secrets, challenge rooms and so on, and the castle gatekeeper refuses to let you in to the castle without taking all your gold first, so you need to ensure you find enough gold before you die, or it’ll have all been for nothing.

Rogue legacy enhancement
So many upgrades, so little gold.

The options for upgrading your hero are extensive, with no real forced upgrade routes meaning you are free to spec to your playstyle (Damage, HP/Armor, Gold hoarder Crit Chance , etc).
You unlock new classes for successors in this style as well, with there being 9 total classes with different playstyles. Oh, and then there’s the equipment and rune system, both of which rely on you unlocking stuff by finding fairy chests in the castle, you can equip 1 equip and 1 rune in each slot (5 slots) and these provide stat bonuses or skills, again in whatever flavour you desire (I quite like speccing my guy into vampirism for regeneration for example). The rune/skill system is made to be stacked, and has few limitations other than only 1 rune per slot, but if you want to have 5 airjump runes, you’re probably free to do that. This complete freedom in how you want to play the game and progress your character is a really nice touch that really shouts ‘do whatever the hell you want’, and it’s great fun.

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I mentioned Fairy chests earlier, these contain the skill runes, they usually aren’t too hard to find during your playthroughs, however opening them is the hard part. Upon entering a fairy chest room you are given a condition, this ranges from the easy ‘Defeat all enemies’ to fiendish ‘Avoid taking damage’ to the equipment check style ‘No jumping!’ (usually requiring a specific rune loadout like triple jump/dash). These rooms along with my own deaths were the catalyst for many swear words, there’s nothing worse than getting so close to the chest and then suddenly failing the criteria, and having the chest just stare at you and be unopenable, there is no way to reset the room after failing, so failure really hurts and means you’ll just have to hope you do better on the next playthrough, on the flipside however, managing the reach the chest after a  hard challenge feels incredibly rewarding.

Rogue Legacy Fairy chest
There will be swearing. I Guarantee it.

At points in the game there are also hidden rooms, inside of which may be a few things, health, minigames, lore, or portraits of the studio’s previous works – I actually really enjoyed reading these short developer commentaries on their own games, and even tried one or two of them (Bullet Audyssey was right up my alley, a bullet hell rhythm game – http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/584352).

RogueLegacy 2013-06-30 09-47-15-49

The castle itself, while not huge, is big enough as you will die before you ever get to see the end of it, the 4 wings are also very thematically different, which is nice – though the amount of time you’ll spend in the default castle environment listening to that music is somewhat of a downer once you hit 6+ hours. Each of the bosses from what I’ve seen are incredibly challenging and very much skill based rather than a gear or level check which many of these metroidvania’s tend to do (though you definitely will need gear/levels unless you are some sort of Japanese bullet hell top ranker).

Rogue Legacy Castle Boss

Graphically the game is somewhere between ‘adequate’ and ‘good’ with its pixel art style, it’s not going to win any awards for graphical achievement but it is more than enough to clearly convey what is happening, as an added bonus the game scales pretty well with resolution (always sort of a worry for pixel based games). The music in the game is decent, the fact I haven’t muted it yet even after hearing the same damn background music for X hours is probably a good indicator, the music in the 4th zone sounds pretty awesome, but maybe that’s just because I haven’t been exposed to that one for hours yet.

I'm not sure if its my imagination, But I feel like the game frontloads many of these gene flaws at the start as a gimmick, and then makes them less frequent later on in the game when you are actually trying to 'win', Which is a nice touch.
I’m not sure if its my imagination, But I feel like the game frontloads many of these gene flaws at the start as a gimmick, and then makes them less frequent later on in the game when you are actually trying to ‘win’, Which is a nice touch – because nobody wants to deal with being ‘far sighted’ when you are actually trying to get shit done.

Whilst there aren’t any massive flaws with the game, there are a few minor ones:
– The controls can be slightly fiddly if playing on a keyboard, the game was probably designed with gamepads in mind as the airdash stuff is bound on 2 different keys, which can quickly lead with your hand ending up as a small ball on your keyboard if you have lots of airjump and airdash runes and intend on fighting stuff as well (compared with A,X and triggers on a 360 controller).
– The difficulty level and difficulty curve (or maybe its the level requirement curve) is skewed heavily towards hard at almost all points of the game, I can see why they have done it that way with the generations/upgrade system but this game really is unforgiving, my bloodline nearing its 100th generation is still able to die to the first rooms in the game if i’m not paying attention, and after 10 hours maybe I am still terrified of entering the 4th zone in the castle because everything there murders me and refuses to die. This mean difficulty curve leads to you feeling like you aren’t making much progress at certain points in the game, and can be disheartening.
– Enemy types repeat in each area, with even the mini-bosses being resize/recolours of existing enemies, it would have been nice to see a little more variety.
– Some will not enjoy the grindy nature of this game, many runs are simply dedicated to romping through the castle smacking the crap out of jars and boxes for money, so that you can go back and buy that new skill/armor/upgrade – so that you can do the same thing again, but faster. That which will be addictive and fun for some will definitely turn many others away after a few hours or play.

Verdict:

Rogue Legacy is an incredibly crafted little game from a studio that has clearly thought things through in an effort to make an addictive RPG that constantly captures the feeling of exploration.
The game’s core of grinding and high difficulty will turn some away, but those who get caught will be unable to resist venturing back into the castle again and again.

Approximate Game Length :  >10 Hours
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £15/ £12= 1
Should you play it : Yes, come for the gimmicks, stay because you are now addicted.

Rating: 5/5

http://www.roguelegacy.com/ – Comes DRM free and with a Steam Key

Hey I wonder what's down he-OH GOD.
Hey I wonder what’s down he-OH GOD.

Deadpool (PC) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

deadpooltitle

Deadpool is a third person action game by High Moon Studios (most known for their Transformers games). The game features lovable (?) protagonist Deadpool, famed for his mental instability and constant breaking of the 4th wall, as such, the game plays out pretty much exactly as you would expect.

The game’s story is somewhat bizarre, a confusing mix of deadpool himself knowing he is producing a video game and the story in that video game being about Sinister creating clones of himself to take over the world (or something to that effect? I think?). The game plot, like the gameplay itself, isn’t really the strong point of Deadpool, with most of it being forgettable or plain nonsensical.
A few characters are introduced throughout the game, and then completely ignored or unreferenced aside from 1 or 2 lines of dialogue or a cutscene, wolverine for example is present in 4 cutscenes, says about 2 lines of dialogue, and then… that’s it, you never see him fight, you never even interact with him aside from one scene where you slap him a few times.

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Gameplay itself is a mixed bag, it is a linear third person action game interspersed with cutscenes and set pieces, the combat (which comprises 80% of the game, with the other 20% being platforming) is split between melee and 3PS, with the melee combat being somewhat similar to that found in the Batman Arkham Asylum series of games (only less satisfying and not as deep) and the third person shooting resembling Max Payne 1 (note that I didn’t say Max Payne 3, because that would suggest the shooting is actually refined).

DP 2013-06-26 11-32-23-49
The combat ramps itself up gradually as you progress through the game thanks to the weapons/upgrade system, like many other games nowadays, killing enemies rewards you with points, which can be used to purchase upgrades. Upgrades in deadpool come in the form of more damage, faster rate of fire, special moves and special effects (bleeds/onhit effects) , you’ll be thankful these exist because without them, the game would be pretty slow and boring (particularly the guns, which fire way too slow without the upgrades). Once you have deadpool suitably kitted out, the combat does get a little more entertaining, with the ability to do gunkata, breakdance and rapid fire your guns.

Random side scrolling segment is just one of the curveballs that Deadpool throws.
Random side scrolling segment is just one of the curveballs that Deadpool throws.

Graphically Deadpool looks good enough, you won’t be mistaking it for next-gen though, even after putting it on ‘extra’ graphical detail on the PC version (which makes me worry for those playing on consoles).
To its credit, there are some neat graphical effects which are used during the game, and a few little events where the camera does some neat things I haven’t really seen before (I don’t want to spoil it so i’ll just leave it at that).
Music in the game was… once again, I find myself wondering if there even was music during the game.
I think I recall some guitarish tracks playing during fights, but it was nothing particularly special or worth looking up.

Lovely little invisible floor I found.
Lovely little invisible floor I found.

The writing and humour is where Deadpool is able to win back some points, the cutscenes and down moments between encounters are well done and filled with Deadpool personality and jokes, and then there is the constant dialogue playing with Deadpool and his inner personalities which is entertaining without being excessive to the point of annoyance.
It seems a rare occurrence that a video game actually makes me fully laugh out loud, but Deadpool managed to achieve this multiple times.

For a change in these reviews, I get to write almost a whole paragraph on things this game provides which aren’t prevalent in many other games. One of the things which stuck out as being really clever was when wolverine was introduced and a big prompt came up to essentially refresh my memory on who it is, hitting space brought up a quick narrated montage of that character’s backstory and relationship with Deadpool being jumping back to the start of the cutscene. I thought this backstory montage was a genius way to fill players in on knowledge that only series fans would otherwise know (I for example, have never even heard of ‘Lady Death’). Another thing Deadpool does well is attempt to introduce a bit of variety, granted it only happens on occasion, but there were a few short segments where the gameplay style changed  dramatically (for example, into a sidescrolling sequence), it’s nice to have little bits like that to break up the linear shoot everything in sight mentality that is the entire game.

I dont even.
I dont even.

Last but not least, we get to the part filled with all the things Deadpool does wrong (that I haven’t already mentioned), though to my surprise the list is shorter than I expected.
– The camera can be pretty bad, gets stuck in zoomed mode when you are using your ranged weapons (meaning you have to swing your sword to get out of ranged mode everytime you leave combat)
– Guns shoot too slow by default
– Cutscenes are unskippable, and replay if you die after a big encounter
– The PC controls by default, are HORRIFIC. I get that you guys optimise for consoles, but B to dodge? U to reload? N/M/J to change weapons? what the fuck were you thinking.
– Certain encounters are frustrating (particularly if, for whatever reason you do not have any ammo)
– The game itself is a little on the short side
– The environments are really dull, which is odd because it feels like they picked the most boring environments to go with their batshit insane plot, like they could have put Deadpool on Mars for a part of the game and it wouldn’t have seemed too out of place, but they go with a Sewer, an underground lab, an office building… etc.
– Certain platforming segments are frustrating

Verdict:

Deadpool proves that good writing and comedy can only carry a game so much, Whilst I probably did enjoy the game as a whole, there were segments where I was definitely just grinding through to get to the next event. Deadpool definitely doesn’t do anything awful, but other than the humour (which really does carry the game as a whole) the game doesn’t do a whole lot well either.

Approximate Game Length :  About 7 Hours (medium difficulty – which felt about right)
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £10/ £30 = 0.33
Should you play it : Yes, but not at that price. It really is a funny game, and there are a lot of interesting things it does (from a gameplay perspective) which will catch you off guard and make you smile, especially if you are used to standard third person shooters.

Rating: 3/5

DP 2013-06-26 20-31-00-09

So you want to play League of Legends (5) – Runes and Masteries

posted in: league of legends, SYWPLOL | 1

So you’ve maybe hit Level 20+, and are thinking about starting to properly build your rune pages.
You only start with 2, and purchasing extra pages cost either RP or 6300 IP, thankfully, 2 Rune Pages are enough for an AP based page, and an AD based page.

NOTE: This guide is unfinished, I intend to add more detail later

Runes

Make sure you read the description before you start buying stuff, otherwise you’ll end up wasting money.

AD (Attack Damage)

Name Stats Stats x9 Price
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration* +1.28 ArPen +11.52 ArPen 410*9 = 3690
Greater Mark of Attack Damage*  +0.95AD +8.55 AD 205*9 = 1845
Greater Seal of Armor  +1.41 Armor +12.69 Armor 205*9 = 1845
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist  +0.15 MR/lvl +24.3 MR
@ Lvl 18
205*9 = 1845
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage  +2.25 AD +6.75 AD 1025*3 = 3075

Options – Take note that there are 2 types of Marks listed above:
Easy mode / Early game advantage – ‘Mark of Attack Damage’ – This will make your last hitting easier, and your early game damage higher.
Hard mode / Late game damage – ‘Mark of Armor Penetration’ – Will do more damage than AD marks in later in the game when your enemies have armor. There are limited ways to build Armor Pen, as opposed to AD which is present on plenty of items.

Explanation:
AD/ArPen Marks – Maximize your damage potential, either early/late game.
Armor Seals – Essential on all roles to maximize survivability
Scaling MR Glyphs – AP users have to itemize to gain significant Magic Damage, thus scaling MR glyphs aid with survivability once mid/lategame arrives.
AD Quints – Help with jungle clears / Last hitting / General Damage

AP (Ability Power)

Name Stats Stats x9 Price
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration  +0.87 MPen +7.83 MPen 410*9 = 3690
Greater Seal of Armor  +1.41 Armor +12.69 Armor 205*9 = 1845
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power*  +0.17 AP/lvl +27.54 AP
@ Lvl 18
410*9 = 3690
Greater Glyph of Ability Power*  +1.19 AP +10.71 AP 410*9 = 3690
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power  +4.95 AP +14.85 AP 1025*3 = 3075

Options – Note the 2 types of Glyph in the chart above:
Easy mode / Late game relevance – Scaling AP will help you stay relevant lategame, even if you aren’t doing so well
Hard mode / Early game advantage – Extra AP earlygame can help secure kills in laning phase and help you snowball the lane in your favour.

Explanation:
Magic Pen Marks – Will help your damage output through all phases of the game, a riskier alternative is to use your Attack Damage marks (from your AD page) to do damage/lasthit in laning phase.
Armor Seals – Helps you trade in lane phase, is pretty much essential for AP jungling, supportting at bot and fighting AD assassins at mid.
AP Glyphs – You need AP for the majority of your damage, nothing more to say here.
AP Quints – Maximize Damage potential, Movement speed quints are okay too if you doubt your ability to murder people.

Masteries

I recommend going through all of the masteries and seeing what clicks with your playstyle instead of using these, but at the same time, the masteries I use are almost guaranteed to be ‘safe’ in terms of ensuring each mastery point is actually helping your game.

ADC
AD Masteries (ADC/Top/Mid) – Focused on AD damage, with 9 points into defense for survivability
AP Mid Masteries
AP Carry Masteries (Top/Mid) – Focused on AP damage
Tanky Jungler Masteries
Tanky Jungler Masteries (Suitable for AP or AD) – Focused on survivability over clears
Support Masteries
Support Masteries – Focused on Cooldowns and Passive gold/XP

So you want to play League of Legends (4) – Teamfighting

posted in: league of legends, SYWPLOL | 0

Welcome to Part 4, where I hopefully teach you how to do your goddamn job. This is an intermediate guide, so if you are just starting, maybe check out the beginner guides towards the bottom of the post.

So generally speaking, after 1 or 2 towers have been taken down, the game transitions from Laning Phase to Royal Rumble Phase (Teamfight phase) with the objective of killing the enemy team and destroying towers and inhibitors, or taking other neutral objectives like Dragon or Baron.

If everyone in the teamfight does their job properly, your damage output, crowd control, and survivability is maximized, this comes down to about 70% positioning, and 30% knowing what your objective in the fight is, so lets break it down.

Roles

AD Carry
Example champions: Graves, Vayne, Miss Fortune, Caitlyn
Primary objective : don’t die, keep doing damage.
Secondary objectives : do objectives (towers, baron, dragon, steal buffs)

Tank
Example champions: Rammus, Malphite, Shen, Sejuani
Primary objectives :initiate the fight well, apply pressure to their high priority targets, take as much damage as possible without dying,  make the enemy team blow cooldowns on you.
Secondary objectives : peel for your dps, disengage the fight if necessary (skills, items or diversion/suicide)

Tanky dps (aka. Bruiser)
Example champions: Irelia, Darius, Garen, Wukong, Vi
Primary objective : kill their priority targets
Secondary objectives : peel for your dps

Assassin / Burst Mage
Example champions: Leblanc, Talon, Zed, Akali
Primary objective : kill their priority targets and get out alive
Secondary objectives : bait / distraction –  everyone wants to kill you, let your team punish them for it.

Mage
Example Champions: Lux, Brand, Ryze, Karthus, Anivia, Lissandra
primary objective : provide damage or cc (preferably towards their back line)
Secondary objectives : kill priority targets,  peel for your carry.

Support
Example Champions: Alistar, Nunu, Sona, Lulu, Thresh
Primary objective : help your dps (Mage / adc) disengage from their front line
Secondary objectives : Help your dps do more damage, provide cc or utility for your front line fighters.
Help disengage from a bad fight (with skills, item actives or being a sacrifice if needed.

Formation / Positioning

This will obviously depend on both your team composition, and their team composition, if your team is made of 2 Tanks, 2 Bruisers and 1 Carry then obviously your frontline is going to look very different from a ‘traditional’ team. Similarly, if their team consists of Amumu/Malphite/Miss Fortune, you are probably going to want to spread out a little more than you usually would, otherwise you’re going to get chain AoE CC’d.

form1So this is about as close as you’ll get to a traditional team, A Tank Jungler, Tanky DPS top, Mage mid, ADC/Supp Bot.

In this fight, the tank is the first in and hopefully takes the majority of the CC, the Tanky DPS follows him in trying to deal damage to priority targets (Mage/ADC).
The mage is 3rd in, providing additional damage aiming towards the back half of the enemy team.
The Support tries his best to support the frontline if possible but their priority is to keep the ADC alive by peeling their frontline off.
The ADC tries to stay at maximum range and hits whoever he can without exposing themselves to danger (which will likely be their T.DPS, Tank and Mage first)

 

form2

Double Bruiser Team

Pretty self explanatory, you have no pure tank, but you put your tankiest champions in the front line because they have the most survivability.
Theoretically, the support could jump in as well if need be.

 

 

 

 

form3

The Distraction Team

In this example, note the position of the Assassin class, they should wait on the sidelines or behind their team (think ADC sort of position) until most of the enemy control spells have been used. Assassins usually position themselves parallel to the fight and as close to the back line as possible (while still being untargetable), this means that as soon as enemy CC has been blown, they can come in and do their job (kill high priority targets and get out).

 

 

 

form4 The ‘I called mid/bot’ Team

So your team is retarded and you somehow ended up with a whole team of squishies. Ok.

So here we put our mages at the front as they are more likely to have the ranged poke skills. This sort of team should probably try not to initiate fights, but poke and try to push down towers.
Should they be initiated on, the mages are in the frontline and should go straight for the enemy priority targets, whilst the support tries to peel/disrupt as much as possible. ADC’s should be firing at whatever they can.

 

 

form5

The YoloQueue Team

This is the sort of team popular in ranked Solo queue (Tanky DPS jungle, Burst and mage Top/mid with ADC/supp bot)

Mostly self explanatory if you’ve been reading so far, Burst stays behind the front line (or off to the side somewhere). The difference here is that without a pure-tank, the Assassin/Mage’s timings will be more important, as the frontline will likely be killed off quickly.

 

 

Heres an ingame example.

lol1lol2So straight away we can see here that both teams have their tanks near the front (blue’s ADC is a little far forward, but there’s no immediate threat of CC, so its fine). We can also see that Blue team has an AP Kog’Maw (notorious for his high range) so he is sitting safely behind the wall, ready to throw spells in from a distance. Purple team has a Shaco (Assassin), so he is currently circling behind (as seen on the minimap). On both teams the support is with the DPS, ready to peel or assist their frontline.

That’s all I can think of for now, So go forth and do your goddamn job.

 

Haven’t read the other parts yet?

Part 1 – Basics / WInning / Roles / Items

Part 2 – Pick a champion

Part 3 – Laning Phase

Part 5 – Runes and Masteries

Magrunner: Dark Pulse

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

magrunner2One of the major benefits of being a strong independent writer who don’t need no paycheck, is that I ultimately decide what I spend my time playing, I’m never forced to play through a bad game and then forced to write about it. Life is too short for bad video games (which is why I try to give you guys my opinion on what to play and what to avoid), which brings me to Magrunner: Dark Pulse.

So I played maybe a little under 2 hours of ‘Focus Home interactive’s Magrunner and was left so underwhelmed and unentertained, that as soon as an excuse came to stop playing the game, I took it, and only looked back for a brief moment to wonder if there was any way I could experience stuff further along in the game so that I could hate on that stuff too.

Magrunner 2013-06-23 19-56-41-47

Magrunner at the start plays like a bad version of Portal, you are a Magrunner™© selected as a contestant for some sort of show where you train and do test chambers, with the winning getting to go to the moon (or something like that), you go through brightly coloured test chambers, solve puzzles, then get dumped back into an elevator while they throw some story dialogue at you.
After about an hour or so however, the game flips the script (probably for the worse too), you walk into a test chamber to see some sort of fish creature eating a dude, and from this point on the game starts to become very very confused as to what sort of game it is, the chambers begin to devolve and you eventually end up in the sort of environment I’m pretty sure I already explored once in Doom 3. The game then attempts to become some sort of atmospheric horror puzzle game (i think?), with scary ambient sounds and progressively darker and more moody environments. From what I was able to understand from the story, cthulu was involved somehow. My personal journey with the game ended with what felt like a 10 minute long platform ride in a copy-pasted sewer maze, though from what I hear and have seen, later on in the game you get to experience enemy monsters, and apparently journey to another planet.

The puzzle game aspect of Magrunner comes in the form of Magnetism, you are provided a glove which is able to generate and control magnetic fields on objects, the puzzles themselves in similar portal fashion may involve needing to crack a lightning bubble to open a door, or simply reach the exit. Magnetic poles can either attract or repel each other, which opens up some pretty interesting scenarios, especially once you factor in magnetic power as well (ie. 4 cubes charged one colour is much stronger than 1 charged cube). Whilst the game was focused on purely being a puzzle game, my experience with the game was fairly mixed, whilst the mechanics aren’t as satisfying as those in similar chamber puzzle games (Portal / Quantum conundrum), completing certain puzzles was still fairly satisfying. After the game starts to add in the horror elements and cthulu and stuff though, I felt the game became less entertaining, I couldn’t really pinpoint the exact reason why, but perhaps the pace of the game slows down a little in favour of more story elements (or maybe I just disliked the environments).

Left side showing normal view, right side showing magnetic fields
Left side showing normal view, right side showing magnetic fields

The graphics in Magrunner are very nice, clean and crisp in the chamber levels, and atmospheric in the later levels, reflections and lighting are used very well in both, and I really loved the colour palette in the chamber levels (reminiscent of the style used in Mirrors Edge), the horror levels as I mentioned before, do just kind of look like something pulled from Doom 3 or Quake 4 and were less impressive, though detail and atmosphere were certainly present.
Music and Sound felt minimal, if there was any music or ambient noises, im certainly not able to remember any – make of that, what you will. I do remember some sort of scaryish ambience in the horror levels, which did the job of making it spooky I guess.

Magrunner 2013-06-23 21-27-26-64

Magrunner has a fair few design problems, some of which are fixable (and should have been noted at playtesting phase), and others which are maybe just taste based.
One of the annoyances you’ll run into early is the unskippable elevator, starting the game dumps you into the elevator, where some lengthy dialogue plays, if you are anything like me, you’ll be bored long before the conversation has finished. When you get released into a test chamber you may think to yourself “wow, this game might actually be kind of cool after all” , however before you know it, the level is over, and you are back to that fucking elevator for some more dialogue. This happens approximately way too many times and really slows the game down and hinders the player at the most important phase of the game where the mechanics are new and the player just wants to… y’know… play the fucking game.
Another annoyance is the lack of any form of sprint ,inability to throw items, and lack of being able to jump whilst you are holding an item. Perhaps I’ve just been spoilt by portal and quantum conundrum, but when a fair portion of the game revolves around moving around these huge areas to fetch boxes for multiple purposes, its nice to be able to actually move around the level, the other two things I mentioned are probably the same thing at heart – “okay i need to get this box onto that ledge”, cant throw boxes, cant jump with boxes, so you have to walk up to the edge of the ledge and kind of hook the box over it, maybe there are reasons for this stuff (no sprinting for when the enemies are introduced, no throwing because… devs hate fun?… I dunno.).
Oh. and I can’t forget about the section which ended up convincing me to stop playing, a terrifyingly long platform ride above instant-death water in a maze of sewers where nothing happens? and boxes and switches are in different areas and travelling between them takes ages? Are you serious? Was this level not included for the playtesters? and if it was, were they sedated? who thought this was a good idea, seriously.

Magrunner 2013-06-23 21-30-58-40

Another massive underlying problem (and im not even going to mention the whole horror/cthulu thing because that should speak for itself) is that the magnetism system, whilst cool, isn’t really implemented that well. I feel like the actual idea itself of changing polarity of magnetised items is sweet, and seeing items slowly gravitate towards each other, or fly upwards as they are repelled by each other, is very awesome. But the majority of the game mechanics seem to be based upon using gravitational fields to pull/push platforms on rails, and it’s just kind of frustrating to see it used in such a way when there are so many other cool things that could be done. This is sort of what I meant when I earlier said that ‘completing certain puzzles was …satisfying’, a few of the puzzles use the magnetism idea in really interesting ways, using moving platforms to repel each other to get them into position to attract boxes which are out of reach, using a moving platform to pull a box on the other side of a wall so that you can retrieve it… stuff like that felt really satisfying.

Verdict:

Magrunner, even with its random cthulu invasion, just had too many irritants to keep me playing through to the end. The magnetism based puzzling was interesting, and I’m 100% sure that there is a good game just waiting to be made with those exact mechanics, it’s just not this one.

Approximate Game Length :  Estimated 4-6 hours?
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £4/ £15 = 0.266
Should you play it : No, but it was an interesting (though not particularly enjoyable) experience.

Rating: 2/5

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDtjOV4hFWk
Steam store page – http://store.steampowered.com/app/209630/

Henfest 2013

posted in: blog | 0

Coming to you live from henfest 2013 in Bournemouth,  a small backyard festival done by a friend of a friend to raise money for cystic fibrosis.  The journey down here was an absolute nightmare, with multiple large traffic jams along the way, the trip supposedly takes about 2.5 hours of the roads are clear. . .  It took me 4 hours 20 mins . At one point in the journey i realised i was going the wrong way because of a road so incredibly jammed that i couldnt even access the slip road by the time i realised it was my turning, my satnav kept telling me to do a u turn and go by the  m25 but i didn’t really feel like being trapped in non moving traffic for hours on end, so o decided to forge my own path down south by setting my map to overhead mode and literally just travelling west on back roads until the satnav eventually stated directing me to somewhere that wasn’t the m25, i ended up on a tiny single road forest track in the middle of goddamn nowhere and almost getting completely stuck due to oncoming traffic (that’s how narrow that road was).

On another occasion my friend called me and i very almost missed my turning onto the slip road off, i hung up and literally made a hard left turn across striped lines to get onto the slip. Fucking nightmare.

We played some cards against humanity last night and watched some awful movies, one with nick cage and the other with the rock (‘faster’).  And then this morning 2 briefly went out to the beach before coming to the festival.

Apologies for spelling,  typed this whole post on phone lol.

edit. some pictures.

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Bournemouth Beach, shame about the lack of sun
Bournemouth Beach, shame about the lack of sun
Henfest 2013
Henfest 2013 in the morning, it didn’t get really busy until later
One of the 9 or so bands that were playing during the day
One of the 9 or so bands that were playing during the day

Dyad

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

dyad

Dyad has been on PSN for about a year now, but was released onto Steam in April 2013. Here’s a quick opinion on the game.

Dyad is marketed as a musical racing game, and I suppose, in the broadest sense, it is.
Mechanics wise, you circle round a tunnel and have to ‘hook’ onto beacon things to increase your speed, hooking onto multiple beacons of the same colour in a row will give you a speed boost, and then beacons which have been hooked produce an aura which gives you energy, the energy can be used to lance, which is a speed boost which increases in duration if you hit beacons.
It’s less complicated than it sounds mind you.

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Other than the aforementioned mechanics, the game is really simple, with all the game modes essentially being based around those mechanics, and either racing, or collecting a certain amount of beacons to a time limit.

The game looks trippy as hell, which is probably a good thing – though at times you’ll go so fast that your eyes may start to hurt. Musically the game is somewhat let down, for a game marketed as a musical racing game (and yes, hooking stuff and your speed does affect the music), the sound design in the game kind of sucks, either level has a different musical theme, and all of them are mediocre at best.

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Dyad sadly falls very short when it comes to actual fun, okay the mechanics are kind of interesting, and there are a lot of levels available, but I didn’t find myself actually enjoying any of the levels, just sort of found myself going with the flow. Once you stop playing, you’ll likely not find yourself wanting to boot it back up any time soon (or well, I certainly didn’t.), and whilst it has plenty of ways to replay it and things to do, it feels like there is little incentive to do so.

Verdict:

Dyad is quite the visual overload, with interesting arcade style mechanics. Unfortunately, those mechanics aren’t addictive or entertaining in any way. And at that price point? Give this one a miss.

Approximate Game Length :  Long enough
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £1/ £12 = 0.083
Should you play it : Nope  and that price point is seriously disgusting for the experience you get.

Rating: 1/5

Knights of Pen and paper +1 Edition (PC)

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

pap

Its a funny kind of irony where, after enjoying lower game prices on PC compared to Console, we see games like ‘Knights of Pen and Paper +1 edition’ come out on PC at 400% of the price it is sold at on Mobile devices.

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Knights of pen and paper +1 edition (KPAP from here) from ‘Behold studios’ is a D&D style game which was evidently intended for Android and iOS, but for whatever reason has also managed to find its way onto PC as well. The game is a about people sitting about playing a game of D&D, you select up to 5 players and their classes (very limited classes I might add) and then venture into the world presented to you by the dungeon master, who will give quests and throw monsters at you, and there are dice and spells and level ups and all that jazz.

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After a short period of time playing, you will realise you are essentially playing a very very simple, watered down version of a JRPG, majority of the quests are kill or collect quests and feel like the worst quests in World of Warcraft, except instead of a beautiful 3d world to explore, you get a pixel art background and a turn based combat system (which, I will add, works very badly on PC as there are no shortcut keystrokes and the ‘buttons’ are spaced out heavily).
The game does seem to have some level of depth maybe, with item systems and such in place, and the world map looked sort of big, but I’ll be honest and say I couldn’t bare to play this for very long because it was incredibly dull to watch and play, and my battles were incredibly tedious with the way the commands are spaced out.

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There is also some sort of persistent system outside of the game in the game (????) where you can buy items for the room you are playing the game in inside the game (????) which will give your game game characters extra stats, or your game players extra benefits (+1 to rolls and stuff).

The visuals are cute enough, with a charming pixel art style. The music was god awful and was probably a big part of the reason I stopped playing. Its also worth noting that whilst the PC version will let you select widescreen resolutions in the startup, the game simply windowboxes the game to preserve the aspect ratio – further evidence that this was designed primarily for phones.

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I would maybe actually play this on a mobile phone, it seems like an okay way to waste away a bit of time while waiting in a lobby or something, with its highly grindy natured quests, and its easy battle system, yeah… maybe..

Verdict:

Knights of Pen and Paper isn’t a horrible game, its just not one that I want to spend time playing. KPAP was designed with smartphones and tablets in mind, and on that platform you might be more willing to forgive its shortcomings and design choices, but as a full PC release, and at that price point, only the most diehard D&D fans will be wanting to play this.

Approximate Game Length :  Probably really long
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £1/ £8 = 0.125
Should you play it : Stay Away , maybe consider the phone version if you like grinding on boring turn based battles and don’t need a story or narrative for your RPG.

Rating: 1/5

Android Version – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=br.com.beholdstudios.knightspp&hl=en
Steam / PC version – http://store.steampowered.com/app/231740/

Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC)

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Dust elysian tail title

Long time coming this one, mostly because I grossly underestimated how long the game would be. I kind of anticipated it would be around 4 hours long or so, turns out it runs closer to 8 – which was nice actually because as it turns out, ‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ is a really good game. The game has been out on XBLA for a while now, but only in the past month has it come out on Steam.

Dust: An Elysian Tail (hereby just ‘Dust’) is a hack and slash metroidvania style action adventure game by new dev ‘Humble Hearts’ , the events and locations are all event driven with a story and side quest system which keeps you moving from place to place, and then back to aforementioned places once you have unlocked more skills – unlike other metroidvania games however the backtracking is actually mostly just for bonus items, there are very few times in the game where you will be forced to trudge through an already completed area to access a new area, which was great as following the story would constantly lead you to new unseen places and environments. Unlocking new areas is sometimes handled by coloured keystones, or by new abilities like being able to climb vines or being able to crouch-slide, nothing too fancy in that respect but the ability unlocks are nicely spaced and keep things fresh.

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Other than platforming (lots of platforming and adventuring) the gameplay has lots of combat, something which kind of terrifies me in these sort of games as they are often not very fun. Combat in Dust is fast, fluid and is actually probably more fleshed out than some budget fighting games, there are the staple ‘mash X’ combo’s, but then there is also aerial juggles, throws, airthrows, active evade, parry, 3 types of magic and sometimes environmental factors as well – this results in fast, fun combat which does a good job of just about keeping you occupied for the length of the game (I say just about as I was beginning to tire of it by the end).

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Dust also has just about every other good staple for this kind of game, all of which are well implemented and have obviously had some thought behind them: Treasure chests are hidden everywhere, area’s have % completion rates and unfound treasures are shown on the map, secret ‘friends’ (more later), blacksmith and material system, vendor and material cataloguing/stock systems, optional quests/rewards, hidden challenge rooms (with loot depending on rating), equipment system, selective stats leveling, chain combo system (and reward for doing so), and probably more that I’m forgetting.
I was very surprised to see crossovers from other indie game titles in this, in the game they are often very well hidden and are called ‘friends’, freeing them gives you permanent upgrades (eg. +5% maxHP), I wont spoil all the characters, but if you know your games, it’s pretty cool.

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The core story starts off fairly straightforward and predictable, then it sort of throws a curveball half way through, but the game still doesn’t diverge from its conclusion you probably predicted at around the 1/4 mark, it’s definitely not the game’s strongest part, but it does at least get you moving across the game world and won’t have you exploring a single mansion for the entire game. There are only a few main characters, and all of the characters you are able to interact with in the world have full voice acting, which is a nice touch, the script is also decent and has its comedic moments.

DustAET 2013-06-16 16-09-39-11

The graphics and sound/music in this game are all well done, the hand drawn art style looks beautiful, and some of the areas are very nice indeed (the caves notsomuch, but meh), the special effects on magic look great, explosions look pretty, and perhaps best of all, everything looks very clean – what I mean by that is you can clearly read the environment, tell what ledges are fall-through-able, what walls are breakable and so on. The music was good, though not so great that you will be able to remember tunes outside of the game, they definitely fill the gap while you are playing though, and it is tricky to balance music in this sort of game where you may be exploring an area for long periods of time (and anything too catchy will emphasize the fact it is looping).

DustAET 2013-06-19 21-14-32-74

Problems with Dust? mmm… I had to think a little bit for these as there honestly wasn’t much I truly disliked about this game. The difficulty ramp (on Tough mode) seemed somewhat random, being able to blaze through half of the game because the enemies pose no threat, and then being straight up 2-shot by the other half of the game, the game does provide ‘magic pixel health’ where you’ll be reduced to 1hp upon receiving fatal damage, and this helps, but some segments of the game definitely feel badly balanced.
Im also not quite sure how I felt about the voice acting at times, particularly from animal companion Fidget, half the lines are delivered well and are funny, the other half…. I’m not sure, something just sounded off about the delivery of the lines (nitpicking). Another thing I didn’t care a massive amount for was the fact that all the characters were animals, it didn’t really seem integral to the plot at all, and wasn’t played upon (they never actually act like animals) which leads me to believe somewhat that maybe one of the developers was a bit of a furry lover? I don’t know, nitpicking again perhaps, it just felt a little odd, maybe they couldn’t draw human faces well or something (legit excuse tbh).

Verdict:

Dust: An Elysian Tail is a fantastic indie action/adventure game, whilst the story won’t be winning any awards any time soon, the well crafted and visually appealing world may do so. The game borrows elements from many other games, improves on them, and puts everything together to deliver a brilliant 8 hour experience.

Approximate Game Length :  ~8 Hours with side quests (83% completion) , ‘Tough’ Difficulty
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £16/ £12 =1.33
Should you play it : Yep. Particularly for fans of the recent Castlevania games, you’ll love this.

Rating: 5/5

Other notes:
– Recommend playing using a controller and on ‘Tough’ Difficulty.

Top 10 Most Overrated Games of all time.

posted in: Games, top 10 | 2

Many games released are well received, most of these are legitimate good games being touted as good games, and yet some other releases manage to secure a long running series for themselves despite being underwhelming.

Of course, like any Top 10 list I do, this is completely my own opinion, and accounts for my tastes only. I know for a fact that many people will disagree with these, because they are overhyped – In just making this list I am more than aware I am swimming against the current, pointing out games I think are bad but everyone else considers good.
The Majority of the games on this list actually have a metascore about 80, and whilst I do not actively dislike all of them, the following are all games I feel are unworthy of the praise they receive.

o10x

Recent Metascores: 92, 94, 88, 83

Too Easy? The Call of Duty franchise achieves record breaking sales every goddamn year, yet only half of the game is worthy of being called playable – the multiplayer portion, of which I’ll admit is addictive and fun. The remainder of the experience is a game which plays practically identical year after year, with reused assets, ideas and engine year after year. Even the new call of duty: ghosts revealed for next generation consoles really doesn’t look much better.
For what its worth though, CoD does a lot of things right, big lobbies for console online, fun multiplayer, 60fps and more, hence why its only the tip of the ‘overrated’ iceberg as it is somewhat worthy of its praise.

o9

Metascore: 69

Resident Evil 6 holds a score of around 69 on Metacritic with at least 50 or so positive reviews from various websites, this to me, is mind blowing. Were we playing the same game? This broken mess of a game filled with horrific design choices managed a 69?, its shit like this that infuriates me because people buy it, which in turn secures money for a sequel.
Resi 6 was a mess of just about every single genre, it was a shit third person shooter, a shit survival horror and a shit whatever else it tried to be (movie? puzzle game?).

o8

Metascore: 93

Overhype confirmed for Brawl.
Every Nintendo generation since the 64bit era has come with its variation of the Super Smash Brothers series, a series which I’ve never really enjoyed that much. Legitimately the most entertaining part of the smash bros series so far has been the character reveals , the actual game itself almost always devolves into button mashing and death with you mostly unaware of what just happened.
Something which occurred to me whilst writing this is that perhaps I do not find it particularly enjoyable because of the features it has, an easy pick up and play style and non-reliance on skill.
I can definitely see why people would enjoy smash, but it’s just not for me and in my opinion the game is somewhat of a mix between a mediocre fighting game and a mediocre party game. How does Melee/Brawl achieve ‘universal acclaim’ when actual fun games like Kung Fu Chaos only do ‘ok’

o7

Metascore: 92

Fallout 3 was far from a bad game, however it was one which I feel left the most bitter after-taste. After finishing FO3, or even after you’ve clocked a fair amount of hours, you begin to realise its all so very samey, you may even realise that the game isn’t actually much fun at all. Looting stuff mindlessly for money which has little use, a small selection of weapons with no unique characteristics, few enemies, boring environments…..
Oh, and then there’s the binary combat system, I hate the VATS system so much it pains me.
Maybe it’s just that there are so few games of its kind (Open world FPS RPG) but I really feel that Fallout 3 was rated higher than it is worth.

o6

Metascore: 96

Starting to get deep into “Screw you that’s my favourite game” territory now…
Some people say the original Bioshock is the best game ever made, ‘the combat was so good’, ‘the twist was amazing!’, ‘morality system’ etc etc.
The one thing Bioshock excelled at was its Audio and Visuals for its time, the graphics actually still hold up okay today, which says something.
The combat was the real let-down for me, especially considering thats the majority of what you will be doing during the game, near all the guns felt oddly balanced and combat in general just didn’t feel particularly satisfying.
Score in the 90’s? Yes, Great game? Yes, ‘Best game ever made? Not a chance.
(Not really sure how it scored lower than Bioshock Infinite either, and don’t even get me started on Bioshock 2, jesus christ.)

o5

Metascores: 97 , 95 , 94 , 83 , 91 , 87

A 6/7 game series, with a further 3+ and a TV show by Spielberg scheduled…
All centred around a boring game with a confusing plot.
I’ve played practically every Halo game, and yet outside of the multiplayer, I don’t think I’ve actually enjoyed any of them. How is it even possible that I’ve completed all the core Halo games and I have NO IDEA of ANY of the story.
And then there’s the multiplayer, where headshots count for virtually fuck all unless you have the sniper rifle, a game where by default you get a radar that shows where your enemies are…
I get it, and I understand that the game is balanced around it, and maybe it’s not all that bad, and capture the flag is a lot of fun, but there is something really messed up about the fact you can hit a guy in the dome 3 times and he still be allowed to turn around and kill you.

o4

Metascores: 68 to 84

Okay, now Monster Hunter is a game I ‘get’, and yet it’s a game I cannot comprehend.
The Japanese LOVE MonHun, perhaps for the community they have there, this has sort of resulted in a positive feedback loop in the east, and a negative one in the west – where everyone  owns Monster Hunter because everyone owns Monster hunter.
Let me elaborate for those who haven’t a clue about the game, MonHun is a game where you kill big monsters, then with the items you get from killing that monster, you forge new equipment and do it all again. Eventually, you become unable to kill said big monsters without the help from other players. The concept is very cool, and it works well for co-op (and hence why I said ‘I get it’ earlier), it all breaks down however if you ever try playing it. The combat in this game is atrocious, Monster Hunter combat is literally the complete polar opposite of Bayonetta – where Bayonetta is fast, fun and responsive; Monster Hunter is slow, dull and you could probably compose a 7 minute orchestral symphony in the time it takes for your character to swing his sword – and god forbid you ever actually want to try to evade anything.

o3

Metascore: 77

Oh Jesus Christ Awesomenauts.
It looks/sounds alright, a 2d MOBA with a colourful art style.
And then you play it, a boring mess of a game featuring not enough of anything – not enough players (3v3), not enough maps (4?), not enough characters (8 or 13) and worst of all, not enough fun. How does a moba manage to be so dull to play even after taking out the farming aspect?
I played one game online and that was already more than I could stand – Partially because the matches take about 4x longer than they should.

o2

Metascore: 89 , 89

Sooooo…. Dark Souls, a masochistic game with surprise death traps and not so surprise death traps. Now this isn’t the same type of masochism as that present in fun games like ‘I wanna be the guy’ – you die unfairly, “haha that’s so messed up why would the moon just fall on me like that”, you spawn and you have lost 4 seconds of progress. In Dark souls you die and you may have just lost half an hour of progress and more. It also comes with a horrific combat system similar to that of Monster Hunter, with its horrifying overanimated attacks and movements – every weapon controls with the fluidity of a cube rolling on a flat surface.
Why is this game on its 3rd iteration? Where’s the fun? Because it certainly isn’t in the combat, the dull environments, or the cheap tricks. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

o1

Metascores: 93, 94, 91, 79

The motherload of all ‘overhype’, I’ve never really cared much for gears, I’ve played through 1 and 2, though 3 and onward look pretty much the same. Gears of War for whatever reason thought that the Halo health system was a fantastic idea, and created a third person shooter littered with chest high walls and a ‘downed’ system which means that when you play on-line you not only have to plug your enemy with 200 bullets to the face, but have to be in melee range to finish them off as well – oh joy.
The story campaign is both one up and one down on the Halo franchise in that I can at least remember some of the ….. hm… wait. Nevermind, apparently I don’t remember any of that story either. I guess it’s just 1 down then, at least Halo had enemies easily dispatched with headshots.
Again, I’m not saying that the Gears of War series is bad, but it is a game which has gained more praise than it deserves, from a review – “It’s all about the gameplay, and Gears of War delivers in that department so completely that it wouldn’t matter if you were playing the game in 16 bit graphics” – ….. Wat. Did we play the same game?
Meanwhile, Vanquish sits in a corner somewhere relatively unheard of,

ob

Like, seriously? Why is this game so popular? Its like bejeweled but with limited moves and most of the time it is literally impossible to complete the level based on the initial spawn of the blocks, and then of course once you realise you can’t even complete the level, there is no way to reset the level easily. What further confuses me is the type of people who play this game, ie. My mum and other non gamers, who seem happy enough to play this borderline impossible match3 game, but dislike other puzzle games? I really don’t get it. Also please stop sending me Candy Crush Invites, I don’t have the leet skills required to play that shit.

~~~~~~~~~~

Aaaaaaaaand cue shitstorm number 2.
I’ll go ahead and repeat that these games arent necessarily bad, just not as good as the reviews and sales figures would have you believe.
Also gonna go ahead and say that this post took me way too goddamn long to write.

Honorable Mentions: Metal Gear Solid 4, Team Fortress 2, Final Fantasy 11, Darksiders, Heroes of Newearth, Gran Turismo/Forza, Duke Nukem, Final Fantasy Series, New Super Mario Bros series, Assassins Creed Series

Life – June 2013

posted in: blog | 0

Here’s your regular update on my life, from recent posts you wouldn’t have thought so, but this was actually a personal blog at some point too :P

JobHunt
So i’ve been unemployed a little over 1.5 months now, and I’m slowly starting to become terrified that I am never going to find a job. When I quit both my previous jobs I was somewhat under the impression that i’d be able to find something better given that I now have around 1.5 years of work experience, this however seems to not be the case.
Mum is starting to get on my case now, which is pretty uncomfortable, I mean, she has every right to be annoyed at me for being unable to find work, but shit is hard yo – I imagine I could get another crappy waitering job easily enough, but finding a position which actually has progression is difficult.

Computer
Got another monitor recently and decided to mount it vertically, its pretty awesome, I’ve never had a multi monitor set-up before so its all new to me, but it does definitely seem very useful, the only drawback is now im only 1 monitor away from a triplehead set up, which is tempting.

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Project Burst
Has been mostly dormant for the last few weeks, our programmer is working on it occasionally, myself personally, I figured i’d wait for the code to catch up a little because I dont really feel like dumping hours into art assets only to find out that I have nothing to do with it because our programmer has abandoned the project.
And y’know, also because i’ve been using all my time doing other stuff.
According to the git logs, our placeholder character can officially move horizontally now, which is kind of cool – though at the same time sort of terrifying because it means the game is 1 step closer towards actually needing character models (and I am fucking terrified of attempting to learn rigging)

JET Programme
I’ve mostly given up hope on this, the website says its very rare for reserve candidates to be promoted past late june, which is pretty much now/this week.
It’s pretty frustrating considering the time and money I put in to the application, but what can I do. Just another failure to add to the list I guess.

Japanese Language
Aint nobody got time for that, or well, I dont at least.
I’ve left it on the backburner for now so I can focus on languages which might actually give me a job advantage (see below).

Coding Languages
Finished basic Javascript, and am currently quickly going through HTML/CSS just so that I know that I know it (if that makes sense). I have used HTML in the past but never actually studied it.
After that, I’ll probably give Jquery a go and then who knows, maybe C# so that I can help out a little with coding on Project Burst?

Strip Search
http://www.penny-arcade.com/strip-search/archive
I actually only recently found out about this through my friend DIl, its basically a reality TV show run by Penny Arcade, all the contestants are webcomic artists and the challenges and personalities sort of reflect this. It’s really awesome and I was surprised by just how addictive it is (maybe im just a sucker for reality TV). I actually zerged through the whole thing in like 3 days, I guess that 2nd monitor helps.

This website
I am playing through ‘Dust: An elysian Tale’ atm so expect a review of that eventually.
I am also working on Top 10 most Overhyped Games of ever, and it will likely be the most controversial thing i’ve ever put out because some of the games on this list are seriously popular.

The Top 10 Best Games of Ever.

posted in: Games, top 10 | 2

This is MY PERSONAL LIST, nobody else will agree with this list 100% (or maybe they will, who knows),everyone has different tastes and I can only tell others what I like.

num10

Ragnarok Online // PC // Gravity Co. // 2003

Ragnarok Online was probably my first major MMO experience, and it was fantastic! A ton of diverse classes and locations, heaps of world bosses and an addictive (if somewhat grindy) leveling and drop experience. I also want to point out that I still think that RO has the best equipment upgrade and slots system in any game to this day, even WoW with its enchant system doesn’t have shit on the addictive, almost gambly nature of RO’s blacksmith and card system.

num9

Phoenix Wright: Trials and tribulations // GBA/DS // Capcom // 2004

Yes I flipped the picture, Yes it looks weird with Godot on the left, Deal with it.
Phoenix Wright 3: Trials and Tribulations, was in my opinion the best of the series so far, that’s not to say that the cases were significantly better than the other games, but by this point in the series all of the characters have been so well fleshed out, they really get an opportunity to shine. This let the game feel deeper without it even needing to try as the foundations were already laid, it is around PW3 that we started to see recurring side characters and such too.

num8

The Walking Dead // PC/360/PS3 // Telltale games // 2012

Yep. Telltale’s TWD is in yet another Top 10 on my blog, I could go on and on about the incredible experience this game provides, but you’d have heard it all before. My personal favourite game of 2012 has managed to make it onto my list of favourite games of all time.

num7

Gitaroo Man // PS2 // iNiS // 2002

Oooooooooh Gitarooooo maaaan~
Back in the day when rhythm games were virtually unheard of, Gitaroo Man managed to get published in the UK, I can’t imagine it would have done particularly well commercially, but this was really one of the best games on the PS2. Original and quirky characters and gameplay, and a very memorable soundtrack. It was also hard as hell on masters mode.

num6

SSX Tricky // PS2/GC/XBOX // EA Canada // 2001

The SSX slot very almost went to the rebooted SSX Deadly Descents, but I went for tricky because the music and tracks were significantly more wacky. This fun and playful style of SSX is exactly the direction the game should have continued going in (as opposed to the open world ‘real mountain’ style they went with), anyone who has slid through Aloha Ice Jam, or the 3 laps of Tokyo Megaplex will agree that this is the best snowboarding game ever made.
It also has a brilliant cast of characters, an unlock system which rewards replay and a beasto soundtrack.

num5

Jet Set Radio // Dreamcast // Smilebit // 2000

The best thing to come out of the dreamcast (followed closely by Power Stone 2), Jet Set Radio was and still is, incredible. It’s crazy premise and story backed up by fun gameplay and characters, JSR was near perfect aside from some totally bullshit areas. JSR also rocks one of the best soundtracks to come out of a video game.

num4

Super Mario Galaxy 2 // Wii // Nintendo // 2010

Whilst many other games on this list are unique and innovative, Mario Galaxy 2 is pretty much the polar opposite – A well tried and tested formula based on a series which has been going since 1985, Mario Galaxy 2 almost felt like a tribute summarizing everything Nintendo had learnt so far, instead of trying to innovate, they just went for something they knew worked and went all out to simply create the best 3d Mario game ever. Galaxy 2 was a perfect platforming experience.

num3

Bayonetta // X360/PS3 // Platinum Games // 2009

Oh my good lord Bayonetta.
This in my opinion, is the game which really got Platinum Games on the map, it was a pure adrenaline rush throughout, with incredibly tight controls, great replay value, slick visuals and framerate and an insane world to discover.
Bayonetta is everything Devil May Cry always wanted to be, and then some.

num2fix

Chrono Trigger // SNES // Squaresoft // 1995

In an alternate universe, Chrono Trigger is totally no.1 , but for now, Chrono Trigger has to sit content at number 2. It was fantastic all the way through and so very ahead of its time (pun maybe intended?). A masterpiece in every way, characters, battle system, music, story…. everything.
It really makes you wonder what caused Square to fall so far.

num1fix

Final Fantasy VII (7) // PS1/PC // Squaresoft // 1997

Yes it’s cliche, yes it’s massively overrated, but honestly, FF7 really is one of the best games of all time (and certainly my favourite). With its great story and plot, melodic tunes and abundance of activities to occupy you, FF7 is the peak of Final Fantasy’s legacy. I’d imagine everyone has played this legendary piece of work by now, but if not, you probably should.

~~~~~~

Aaaand cue Shitstorm.

Fun fact: This post is mostly just so that I, myself, can look back and reference it for when someone asks, because prior, I had no idea myself what my favorite games were.

Honorable Mentions: Bioshock Infinite , DJ Hero, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Phantasy Star Online, GTA: San Andreas, Katamari Damacy, Metal Gear Solid 2, Red Dead Redemption, Viewtiful Joe

 

E3 Games – Get Hype for…

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So this is a big list of all the big games that were announced, but not all of them actually look that good or special. Here i’ll tell you what you should actually spend your time looking in to and why.
Coloured titles denote exclusives.

The Crew – 4 player MMOish driving game about pulling jobs and stuff, features a massive map, drop-in world stuff and looks a lot of fun to play with friends.

The Division – Ubisoft’s surprise ‘and finally’ announce of 2013, whilst 2012 gave us watch dogs, 2013 gives us The Division, which looks like an Action RPG (similar to Mass Effect) with perhaps more of a focus on 3rd person shooting. The universe for this one looks very cool, and graphically it looks incredible.

Mirrors Edge 2 / Battlefront 3 – Teased, not worth looking in to, but know that they at least exist.

Dead Rising 3 – Looks awesome, a seriously massive horde of zombies and an open world style which looks easier to move around than previous Dead Rising titles (no load times from what was shown). Looks like weapon combining and stuff are back as well. I hope this one gets ported to PC eventually because it looked like the XB1 was having some problems rendering the bazillion zombies on screen at once.

Metal Gear Solid V (Phantom Pain) – Is now Open world and looks like it has more of a freeform approach to infiltration, perhaps requiring more scouting and improvisation than previous games. Looks very nice, and has the usual cast of crazy characters.

Titanfall – Respawn’s answer to call of duty, which looks like Call of Duty with parkour, Jetpacks, and giant robots. I am totally fucking okay with this. I look forward to playing it on PC.

Project Spark – Microsoft’s version of Little Big Planet / Gmod, the types of games that you can create really look quite impressive, the trailer showed off all sorts of games remade within Project Spark, such as Limbo, Fez, Space Invaders, Geometry Wars, and lots more.

Destiny: Slightly underwhelming considering its from Bungie, looks like a more serious version of borderlands. Graphically amazing, particularly the scene inside showing off the lighting effects.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII – Looked awesome. I’m not sure how it is going to actually play/control, but it looks like a very different type of Final Fantasy than we are used to.

Kingdom hearts 3 – No gameplay, and the trailer itself was short, but oh so very sweet – particularly for the masses of people that have been waiting for this.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze – Its another DKC game, it looks awesome, if a little orthodox.

Super Mario 3d World – 4 player co-op in a full 3d Mario game? Goddamn. it looks really solid too, but then, of course it does, Nintendo have yet to make a bad 3d Mario game.

Super Smash Brothers – Yep. Another Smash game. Let the character speculation commence.

~~~~~~~~

All in all, this was the best in memory. So many big reveals, So many unexpected surprises, all 3 companies this year went full speed ahead with the games reveals.
And then of course, Sony’s unofficial shittalking of the XboxOne made for some hilarious console war drama that will go down as one of the best E3 moments of all time.

E3 Big Games reveal list (for those that didn’t watch, or cant be bothered to go looking)

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Ubisoft:
The crew
The Division

EA:
Mirrors Edge 2
Battlefront 3

XBOX:
Killer Instinct
Crimson Dragon
Ryse
Quantum Break
Dead Rising 3
Titanfall
Metal Gear Solid 5
Halo 5
Sunset Overdrive
Witcher 3
Project Spark

Sony:
Destiny
AssCreed4 (which crashed on stage)
Mad Max
The Order 1886
Elder Scrolls Online
Kingdom Hearts 3
Final Fantasy Versus 13 (Renamed to FF15)
Need for Speed Rivals

Nintendo:
Super Smash Bros WiiU / 3DS
New Donkey Kong Country
Super Mario 3d World (wiiU)
Mario Kart 8
Bayonetta 2

Tiny and Big in Grandpa’s Leftovers

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Indie spree continues! This time with ‘Black pants Studio’s ‘Tiny and Big in grandpa’s leftovers’
This is one of the games currently available in the Humble Bundle 8, available until 11/06/13

Tiny and Big title

Tiny and Big is a…. i’m… i’m not really sure what this is, an adventure platformer I suppose? A puzzle platformer? At its core, i suppose, the game is a platformer, however there are, as usual, twists. Tiny himself comes with 3 gadgets, the hook, the laser, and the rocket – i’ll elaborate.
The hook is used to pull items from afar, you are able to push items yourself, but manytimes in this game (because of the laser, and for safety reasons), you’ll need to pull stuff from a distance.
The Rocket is used to propel objects, the first shot sticks the rocket to something, and then holding the button again will propel the rocket and whatever it is connected to, it reminds me of trying to use the rocket thrusters feature in garrys mod.
The final gadget, and most important one, is the Laser, which is able to cut objects in the environment in half, most bits of the scenery can be cut, and in conjunction with the rocket and hook, you can make platforms and ramps by carving into existing objects in the game world.

In practice then, this turns into a puzzle/platformer mix, with a clear objective in the distance, you’ll need to use your gadgets to forge a path for yourself through all manner of obstacles. It’s much easier to explain this using media, I wish I had a video prepared, but you’ll have to make do with this picture guide.

Tiny and big Comic

The game ranged from awesome to somewhat frustrating depending on the level, of which there are only 4 proper levels. The two ‘ascent’ levels were by far my favourite, with the objective being to scale a giant structure, primarily by hacking stuff apart and then working out how to climb. The other two levels were less fun, with one focusing on obstacle avoidance,  and the other assumedly based on wandering around a pitch black room filled with unavoidable death traps. The experience in general was pretty short lived, with a run time of under 2 hours, though the game does have an ‘Episode 1’ suffix on the website so one can presume they have more planned.
I would have perhaps liked to have seen more variety in the gameplay, though it was only a short game, the trials begun to become repetitive over time, with me lopping off chunks of pillar to be able to climb over gaps and so on. The tools provided have so much functionality, im sure they could think of some alternate ways to have them be used other than carving up big stones.

tinyandbig 2013-06-08 19-00-12-95

Tiny and Big to me felt very much like a Double FIne game, everything about this production just seems silly, and I mean that in a good way, the plot and dialogue are batshit insane, the graphics have somewhat of a cel-shaded and hand drawn look to them, particularly prevalent on the characters themselves. This game isn’t the prettiest thing to come out this year, aside from its charming art style the environments are fairly barren and the game, if not for it’s physics, could probably be rendered on a PS2.
Music in the game was, if I’m honest, pretty bad, the music system itself however was pretty clever, you collect ‘tapes’ during the game which play on a radio and this radio acts as your BGM, it is however a shame that none of the music was memorable enough to warrant any attention.

Verdict

Tiny and Big might have actually saved itself with its short game length, though the tools themselves are great fun to use, you may find the novelty wearing off faster than you’d expect. Coupled with a penultimate level that is equal parts frustrating and boring, the game starts very strong but may leave a bit of a bitter aftertaste once you finish. The game as a whole however is very charming and creative with an interesting gameplay hook.

Approximate Game Length :  <2 Hours
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £5 / £7 = 0.714
Should you play it : Grab it if you find on offer, if Tiny and Big and Metal Gear Rising have taught me anything it’s that slicing stuff up is great fun.
Rating: 4/5

Dota2 Invites

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dota2invites

 

Pretty sure everybody and their mother has Dota2 at this point in time, but just in case, if anyone wants an invite, just let me know by comment or twitter.

The Swapper

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, apparently June is Indie game review month on Meng’s Bizarre Adventure (news to me as well).

The swapper game Title Facepalm

The swapper is made by 2 guys in Helsinki under the name ‘Facepalm Games’, from what I hear, the game uses handcrafted assets from clay, though even after playing it, you wouldn’t really have guessed unless told.

Swapper is a puzzle game at its core, though ith as elements of platforming, and many people comment on the Metroidvania style in which it has presented itself, I’d recommend people not get too fooled by this metroidvania style as there is little to no incentive to really return to areas, the map layout instead acts as a hub world for portal style puzzle rooms, self contained little challenges which are there to be figured out, and then left for good.

The story of the game is best left for the player to discover, though I will say that you have crash landed on space station Theseus, and come into contact with what I can only assume is called ‘The swapper’, a gun style device which is able to produce clones of yourself, and allow you to swap between the bodies – this device is the game’s unique feature, and whilst It has been done before, it’s never been done quite this way.

The Swapper

The ship contains many checkpoints which require orbs, these orbs are obtained from the puzzle rooms scattered about the ship, the checkpoints thus act as a forceful measure to make you solve X amount of puzzles in the area before progressing, as well as stop you from venturing into puzzles above your understanding level, the first dozen or so puzzles are made specifically to teach you the gadget, without explicitly actually teaching you anything – this style of teaching is fantastic provided you are smart enough to actually suss out what you’re supposed to be doing, however the game really does seem to throw you in at the deep end and sort of presume you will be able to work everything out.

The Swapper 2
Oh god i’m so confused.

Puzzles range from hard to very hard and things only get more complicated as more mechanics are added, coloured lights prevent you from making clones or swapping, and later on in the game you will encounter gravity changers which further add to the challenge, this really isn’t a game for children at all, unless we’re talking about nerdball Mensa members.
I touched on the metroidvania style map earlier, I thought i’d mention here that there arent actually any extra ‘powers’ to acquire during the game like I expected, the map is actually very linear despite its branching nature, further proving that the map is simply there as a hub world/interlude between the puzzle rooms.
Its also worth noting that you need to complete virtually all of the puzzles to be able to actually achieve an ending, this seems a little harsh, particularly when the puzzles in the game are so damn hard, the game sort of presents itself in a way whereby you don’t need to solve all the puzzles in order to advance, and yet right at the very end it’ll deny you an ending should you have skipped any (the sort of thing usually reserved for an epilogue, or for completionist status)

TheSwapper 2013-06-08 14-18-39-80

The plot didn’t seem all that great, it’s told with a mixture of short ingame cutscenes, computer terminals and whispers from rocks, it all takes a fair bit of effort on your part to put the plot together and without this investment from the player the game quickly begins to devolve into a linear puzzle room experience. This isn’t really a bad thing, however similar ‘puzzle room’ games like portal have managed to do both just fine so it’s slightly disappointing to play a game and honestly not have much of a clue what is happening.

The swapper 3
Once you start going upside down, the real headaches are about to start.

The graphics in this game decent, the game uses a 2.5 style (though it really lacks much depth other than a foreground, midground and a background layer) and the various lighting effects  and other little special effects add to the tone and atmosphere of the game greatly.
There is minimal music in the game, I maybe heard some stir up once or twice during the game, and those were nothing too memorable, which is a shame because I feel like some good music would have helped the game a lot, it’s not a horror game after all, so god knows why it felt the need to be so quiet.

Verdict:

The swapper is a great little puzzle game with clever mechanics and nice presentation style, the difficulty does however seem fairly excessive for most of the game, this is further compounded by the fact that the puzzles are all pretty much mandatory to achieve an ending to the story.
It’s also a little more expensive than most indie games of its calibre, i’m honestly not sure i’d value it at £12 but i’d keep a keen eye out for this one when it  goes on sale.

Approximate Game Length :  ~3 Hours depending on how fast you solve the puzzles
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £7 / £12 = 0.583
Should you play it : It’s a good game for sure, though some questionable design decisions and steep difficulty ramp mar the experience slightly.
Rating: 4/5

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