A short lived Pokemon Y life

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Gave Pokemon Y a quick playthrough before deleting the save data and wrapping it for my brother’s christmas present. It was pretty decent, though as usual the battle system put me to sleep.

It was kind of refreshing to play through a pokemon game with almost no prior knowledge of… anything. I didn’t know the world, I had no idea what the fuck I was fighting, I was catching pokemon just to find out what type they were, and so on. It’s been a while since i’ve played a Pokemon game in such a disorganized manner, but at the same time it was nice to discover things.

2014-12-15 12.09.27

2014-12-15 12.09.09

Old habits die hard of course, and so I ended up with a gyarados along with a venusaur. Maybe I should just play Pokemon ORAS instead.

Merry Christmas!

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Super short blogpost just on the days proceedings.

Just the usual over in Mengland, a visit over to the grandparents for some casual gambling and sitting around waiting for the day to pass by – Saw Bolt too (the film) which was a pretty fun watch, though a little simplistic plotwise.

Didn’t get too much for christmas, a new desk chair which is pretty nice (and lets me retire my old chair, which is falling apart), a LoL workout vest (which probably won’t see too much use until i get DEM GAINS or something, because I look like a poser with it on), some socks…………….. and a zip hoodie which is too big for me, so we gon get a smaller size. Oh anony got me The Wolf Among Us as well, so thats neat, I only played the first episode of it, so i’ll storm through that sometime.

On the festive giving side of things, got my dad some iced tea powder(hard to come by here), mum a chromecast, and a 3ds and pokemon Y for my brother (of which I already played through and completed before giving it to him of course, but that’s its own blog post)

Top 10 PC games of 2014

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2014 Marked an almost upsetting year for video games, even with the new consoles released last year, we saw depressingly few truly good games on the PC (Though to be honest, this list could probably cover consoles as well because destiny was supposedly crap, and Smash bros isn’t really my jam anyway)

I practically had to scrape together this list, and even with all contenders there were only 12 choices (Watch_dogs and Alien Isolation are just off the list)

Nonetheless, here are my favorite 10 PC games from 2014.

 

10theevilwithin

#10 The Evil Within // Action Survival Horror //

I mean, yeah the last 1/3rd of the game was pretty shit, as soon as you start introducing enemies with machineguns in a survival horror game, things tend to go downhill pretty rapidly. However the rest of the game was pretty tense, there were some pretty damn scary enemies, and the action portion of the game was decent too – even if the upgraded handgun was overpowered.

 

09shadowsofmordor

#9 Middle Earth Shadows of Mordor // Open world Action // October

Shadows of Mordor went ahead and basically stole everything that other games in the genre had done well, and mashed them all together to make a game that was great fun, but somewhat lacking in depth. It doesn’t keep you gripped for long, but the short time it does have you entertained is an enjoyable one.

 

08wolfensteinneworder

#8 Wolfenstein: the new order // FPS // May

A trip back to the olden days of FPS, where ADS is merely cosmetic, and you can dual wield sniper rifles. Wolfenstein gave no fucks, and the result is a satisfying and fast shooter. It also had some pretty damn good graphics and ran well, which is a nice bonus.

 

07divinityoriginalsin

#7 Divinity: Original Sin // RPG // June

I often find it hard to get into these sort of games, but Divinity:OS really captures the RPG feeling, forcing you to pay attention to the story and lore. The combat system is also pretty good, and less RNG reliant than similar games in the genre. It’s also a pretty damn long game, i’m not sure how long i’ve spent on it, but it’s a while for sure. Also, gorgeous graphics for a top down RPG game.

 

06jazzpunk

#6 Jazzpunk // Comedy // February

With some very hit-or-miss comedy, Jazzpunk isn’t for everyone, but if you are on the same wavelength as the developers and their sense of humour, Jazzpunk is goddamn hilarious. Try not to spoil it for yourself by watching letsplays, just grab it when it’s cheap (or the other thing) and enjoy the ride.

 

06battleblocktheatre

#5 Battleblock Theatre // Masochistic Platformer // May

Battleblock isn’t really what it’s advertised as, I expected a fairly plain platformer game with some multiplayer built in around it, but what I got instead was an impressively deep masochistic platformer in the vain of Meatboy, and a whole campaign and slew of community made levels for co-op play, forcing you to use head boost jumps or similar to progress. It’s really good fun to figure out some of the puzzles, and pure satisfaction to complete some of the harder levels (of which there are plenty)

 

04southparkstickoftruth

#4 South Park Stick of Truth // Comedy RPG // March

Admittedly more of a playable Episode of South Park than a full on video game, the combat was fairly simplistic and binary, much like the gameplay, but the feeling of being able to walk around south park, the attention to detail in all of the environment, the story, the cutscenes and humour… It was a south park fan’s dream come true, and more than enough to make you overlook the actual game component of Stick of truth.

 

03darksouls2

#3 Dark Souls 2 // Masochistic Action // March

Maybe a year or two ago, I mentioned that I didn’t ‘get’ the dark souls series, and here we are, at the end of 2014 with Dark Souls 2 in a top 10 list, and Dark Souls 1 completed as a side result. Some portion of me still doesn’t ‘get’ the Dark Souls series, I play, I die, I get fucking furious, and yet I can’t stop playing it until it’s beaten. I kind of don’t want the improved version out next year, because it mean’s I might have to play this piece of shit again, and i’m not sure I want that because so help me If I have to beat the smelter demon again.

 

02titanfall

#2 Titanfall // FPS // March

Titanfall is an odd one, I rarely feel the urge to play it, and often in between rounds i’ll feel like I want to quit out, but 100% of my time spent actually playing Titanfall is great fun and pure adrenaline rush. The movement system is fantastic and fluid, the gunplay is solid, the time to kill is just right, the weapons (though few) are balanced well, and being able to murder waves of real players in a gigantic robot is exhilarating and even leads to videos being made.
As sad as it is, I wish there were more bullshit carrot on a stick things like Call of Duty does, because if there were, i’d probably be playing this constantly.

 

01shovelknight

#1 Shovel Knight // Retro Platformer // June

Goddamn shovel knight is so good. Probably easily the best game this year despite it’s simplicity. Tight controls, great level design, catchy music, it just does everything so well, and feels like a game designed by gamers, for gamers.

 

(Untried and thus unjudged, Dragon Age Inquisition, Grimrock 2, Talos Principle, Super Time force

A day out at Escape Hunt London

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Went to Escape Hunt London today – http://london.escapehunt.com/ , apparently the London edition of a concept which has found success across the globe – I actually remember seeing a similar escape room style thing while we were on Holiday in both Singapore and Bangkok, though we didn’t go at the time for various reasons.

The london venue was fairly randomly placed, and sort of out of the way from the main street, situated on the basement level of a normal looking building, down there was an array of rooms and seating area, and a bunch of adorable looking girls dressed up in detective outfits (A fetish I didn’t realise I had until today).

Pose as a team, coz shit just got real
Pose as a team, coz shit just got real

I rather enjoyed the safety briefing before we went in, our host telling us not to break into the ceiling, not to smash open any objects, and not to try moving any overly large furniture. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t explicitly tell us not to remove fuses from plugs, or try to remove the flooring (thanks Ian, goddamnit)

The experience itself was an hour long, with the goal of course to escape the room before time is up – there was a vague kind of backstory involved, but honestly it was all pretty unnecessary and unfortunately didn’t really tie into the game at all. No pictures inside as they took both my phone and my camera, but it was possibly everything you would expect from a physical escape the room style challenge – though there was admittedly less useless objects than I expected (I imagine to expediate their cleaning and resetting of the room later). Puzzles mostly involved finding numbers for combination locks about the place, but there was a fun amount of turning the room upside down as well.
Possibly as expected from locking a group of 5 university graduates into a room, after tearing through the first batch of puzzles and making our way into the second area, we found ourselves stuck on a relatively simple clock puzzle which we completely overthought. We spent about 25 minutes on the one puzzle before eventually giving up and asking for a hint, and then everything from there was relatively smooth sailing, though we were all starting to panic a little due to the time limit.

We got out after 58 minutes, hardly a world record, but still cleared – and arguably a better use of our money than finishing it in 40 minutes had we worked out the clock puzzle in a reasonable time. We were shown to a lounge area and served tea by another girl in detective outfit before taking some pictures.

Overall it was really good fun, and actually much harder than I expected – I kind of thought that we would blow through it in no time at all, but I guess partially because we did overthink most things, it posed a decent challenge.

Here are a few other pictures from the rest of our day out too, though we mostly spent it just sitting in the pub catching up (and playing some games)

Shadows of Mordor (PC) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Shadows of mordor! Came out a while ago but I couldn’t be bothered to play it because, honestly, it didn’t look particularly interesting to me. Finished the game today after a few days of playing, and I guess it was better than expected – it’s probably the best Assassins Creed game in a long time, wait. what?

ShadowOfMordor 2014-12-04 10-56-28-40

I was kind of shocked to find out that the game is Monolith (FEAR, Condemned) and NOT ubisoft montreal (AC) or even Rocksteady (batman). The game is very easily described as a mix between Batman Arkham’s fighting and Assassins Creed’s murdering of key characters and world – and actually kind of does both of these better than the game’s it has stolen ideas from, nothing wrong with that though imo. An easy example is that because the main character is supernatural, he can climb almost comically fast, and jump off from viewing towers straight onto the floor without giving a shit.

Missions are relatively short and are triggered in the universe and are usually just killing people with a narrative to it, the main mean of the game however comes from the multiple generals and warchiefs placed throughout the world – this is tied into the main storyline by having you need to take out the top 5 generals in the world, effectively turning the game into a free form version of Assassins Creed. The top generals have bodyguards which bring extra options, charge in and take all 3 generals at once? Or kill off the bodyguards first before even starting the mission? Being allowed to murder generals as you wish is probably the best part of the game (each of them drop runes as well, which give extra perks to your character), it was awesome then to find out after I killed the top 5 warchiefs in the area that the game would introduce a second area with even harder warchiefs to kill, awesome.

On the other side of the coin however, that’s more or less all the game has going for it, the main missions are kind of plain, and the rest are a bunch of kill-em-all or stealth side missions, and then of course there are collectibles…
The upgrades system is kind of neat and introduces some cool attacks which feel impactful (eg. execute commands similar to those in Batman).

Graphically the game is fairly nice, even on low settings, though the world is a little plain in places, the sound is nothing special (though there is some sweet chanting when the warchiefs come out, which is badass).

Verdict:

Best Assassins creed game in a while, it felt great to sneak into fortresses and kill generals just for the fun of it, but overall you’ll only likely finish the game because the combat is fun – not because you cared about the story or rewards for side missions. It’s also perhaps on the short side, my playthrough only taking about 13 hours.

Approximate Game Length : ~13 Hours for main story and some side quests
Actual Worth / Steam Price:
 £15 / £21 = 0.71
Should you play it : No? It’s a clone game, but it’s a well done one – it’s fun to play, but i don’t think there’s much need to go out of your way to play this one.

Rating: 4/5

Top 10 of 2014 : Anime

posted in: Anime, top 10, WYSBW | 0

Probably an above average year overall for anime, with every season having at least two standout shows. For my own sanity, we are counting shows that started in 2014, not those that ended in it.

 

10akamegakill

#10 Akame ga Kill // Action // 24 Episodes

Whilst a fairly standard shounen style dudes killing each other with superpowers thing, the interesting part of Akame Ga Kill for me is that plot armor is pretty nonexistent, main characters both friendly and hostile are introduced and then killed off and the story runs with it without making any attempt at trying to bring them back from the dead, characters truly fight to the death and possibly because of this, the story actually feels like it progresses somewhere rather than in other shows like bleach where people spend 3 episodes fighting, only to show mercy on their opponent and have to fight them again later.

 

9barakamon

#9 Barakamon // Comedy Slice-of-Life // 12 Episodes

Lovely relaxing Barakamon up at number 9, it’s nice to have a calming show like this every now and then, and the inclusion of adorable little girl is still as effective as it was back in 2011’s Usagi Drop.

 

8nozakikun

#8 Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun // Comedy // 12 Episodes

One of summers little surprises, Nozaki-kun turned out to be a lovely little comedy with quirky characters. Would have liked to see a little more progression in terms of plot, but I suppose it’s to be expected from an anime derived from a 4 panel manga

 

7jojosbizarreadventure

#7 Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders // Action // 48 Episodes (Ongoing)

Somewhat of a love it or hate it affair, Jojo’s Part 3 doesn’t waste much time beating around the bush, after an initial introduction it plays enemy of the week for 20 straight weeks, introducing and then rapidly removing characters – fantastic for those that just want constant action, with the result being almost a boss rush in anime form.

 

6parasyte

#6 Parasyte – the maxim // Action // 24 Episodes (Ongoing)

Parasyte has almost managed to feel like two separate shows since the incident a few episodes ago, however this works in it’s favour. We’ve had a great chance to see both sides of the coin, with shinichi going from fear of his power to his acceptance of it. It’s been a very solid action show so far, and the plot is progressing nicely so far.

 

5haikyuu

#5 Haikyuu // Sports // 25 Episodes

Sometimes simple is best, Haikyuu throws a sports team together and then has them train and compete in the interhigh competition, it’s a tried and tested formula but Haikyuu does it exceptionally – filled with likable characters and powerful rivals, it’s a great watch from start to finish though the pacing sometimes can be a little dragged out. I also thought the final battle of the show was really interestingly done, though i’ll leave you to find out why.

 

4spacedandy

#4 Space Dandy (1+2) // Sci-fi Action Comedy // 26 Episodes

The show where anything goes, the pure episodic nature of Space Dandy is both it’s strongest weapon and it’s weakness – the show lacks in episode quality consistency due to shifting directors and story writers almost every episode, however this is also means you really have no idea what to expect when you start watching, perhaps you’ll get a romantic comedy episode, a surreal dreamlike episode (Goddamnit plant episode) or maybe you randomly get a goddamn high school musical episode complete with 80’s training montage.
PS, the dub is actually solid for this one, so feel free to go for that if you can’t be bothered with subs.

 

3pingpongx

#3 Ping Pong // Sports // 11 Episodes

Style for days, Ping Pong may look rough around the edges but proves that style and direction is more important than art. Scenes have clearly been well thought out, and there is an additional layer of symbolism hidden behind a fair portion of the shots to give the show that extra depth. Back this with an interesting story and killer soundtrack and ping pong is one of the best shows of this year for sure.

 

2nisekoi

#2 Nisekoi // Love Polygon Comedy // 20 Episodes

I love this show so much, the character interactions and the ridiculous misunderstandings they get themselves into really remind me of the fantastic School Rumble from back in the day – which is high praise imo. While some of the girls are less lovable than others, Nisekoi really succeeds in making sure there is a ‘best girl’ for everyone (#teamonodera). Some typical ‘Shaft’ animation really helps the show do it’s thing, and while the plot is fairly slow moving, you’ll be happy to just see the characters interact.

 

1shigatsunouso

#1 Shigatsu wa kimi no uso // Drama // 22 Episodes (Ongoing)

Yeah, it may be premature considering the show hasn’t even hit the half way mark at time of writing, but when you take to twitter to proclaim that something is AOTY every episode, it probably is. Shigatsu no Uso really has a full package of beautiful visuals, amazing BGM and a slew of lovable characters with interesting personalities and backstories. Every episode feels 5 minutes long, every week feels like too long until the next episode comes out. As if it needed more accolades to it’s name, even the opening song (Hikaru nara, by goosehouse) is the best this year. It really does feel like a while since a show aired that demanded to be watched as soon as it’s put up on the internet, and I envy those that have the opportunity to marathon it in the future. Best show. AOTY.

 

 

Some honorable mentions: Amagi Brilliant Park, Tokyo Ghoul, Seha Girls, Kokkuri san, SAO2, Mikakunin

Rhythm Game Q4 Meetup

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Spent the weekend over at Astro City again, this time however, the quarterly rhythm game meetup was occuring – As I understand it, these have actually been going for a fair while, so I was sort of worried and anxious about kind of intruding on a regular meet as a fairly new face – Of course I knew the regulars but there were going to be a relative ton of people I had never met before, and I’ve never considered myself fantastic at social interaction.

My fears were thankfully for nawt, I arrived on the saturday to a mixture of familiar welcoming faces, and some intrigued new ones. Greetings, waves, and so on, and then videogames for hours on end. Got to meet adorable scraggly Corin, shy Lucy and almost comically tall Richard, as well as hyperactive joe, ‘lost child’ Lewis and dongsaeng Gideon (Whom I actually gave my dance mat to some years ago).

Got to give the new Smash wiiU a try (won both matches, ehehehhe) and chris brought his sound voltex controller so I got to play that as well (was bridging from level 13 to 14 by the end of the night). There was also some DJhero being played, and towards the end of the night we got the kinect out to play Dance Evolution – basically Dance Central but more gay, and without any charting so it’s impossible to sight read – there was some video taken, but thankfully I don’t think it’s been uploaded anywhere (though unfortunately that means you don’t get to see my killer performance of ponponpon).

Few other oddities occurred during the night/morning:
– Network connection for the machines breaking multiple times
– Corin getting his goddamn debit card stuck in the pop’n card reader
– Catching Brittany playing runescape
– This gaytastic brohug during Dance Evolution
– Gideon and Chris’s double 7th dan clear (I still can’t clear Safari for shit)
– Josh getting mad at the waiter in the curry house
– Aforementioned curryhouse charging us £16 for poppadoms and dips between 11 people
– Random guy joining me while I was playing Ghost Squad and being like “Have you played this level before?”, cue the leaderboard afterwards and my name is basically the entirety of the top 10
– Random guy who brought his own copy of Guitar hero to the arcade, and spent pretty much the whole night playing it on his own
– Josh using 75% of a whole bottle of mayonnaise on his burger in the morning
– And lucy managing to get mayonnaise on her glasses
– Random german lady who wandered in during the day who apparently found about the arcade via my blog (wut)
– Alex infecting everyone with german ebola (approx 6 or 7 infected)

 

Overall, really fun night, amazing seeing and meeting everyone, and I look forward to the next one :O

Telltale’s Game of Thrones Ep 1 (PC)

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Sat down and gave Telltale’s latest a try, it’s sort of impressive how similar it feels to the TV show, while still definitely being a Telltale game.

Similar to the show, the game separates the game by putting you in the shoes of multiple characters – This sort of works for and against the game, you won’t feel as attached to your character as you did in say, ‘The walking dead’, however on the other hand, this allows the game to clear a big hurdle that plagued those other single playable character games – it removes ‘plot armor’. By introducing so many playable characters, the game can easily do away with any of them at any point, perhaps you settled a dispute badly and get stabbed in the back, the game keeps moving with little regard.

Thrones 2014-12-03 17-04-58-09

Telltale are however, starting to slip into a bit of a routine, with the episode playing out as expected for the most part – The emphasis in this game is more in the dialogue rather than puzzle solving of earlier TWD episodes, however there were a fair few QTE segments in the episode which is perhaps to be expected when half the characters walk around with swords. This episode plays it fairly safe, and at some points reuses ideas from previous games, it would be nice to see them step things up for the future episodes.

Of which there are 6 by the way, 6 total episodes, this one lasting maybe around 2 hours? or somewhere around there. So we can probably be expecting a 12 hour series.

Thrones 2014-12-03 17-11-26-55

It’s definitely worth a play for fans of the series, however for those unfamiliar with the thrones universe the game does appear to make assumptions that you’ve already seen the show. It’s also kind of hard to follow, in true GoT style the game introduces a shitload of characters and expects you to remember all of them, who am i supposed to be allied with? Who is invading us again? etc etc.

This war of mine (PC) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Gave this war of mine a try, it seems like a decent game, with some fair depth if you get into it, but it’s extreme nature mean’s it’s hard to enjoy it as a video game.

For those who haven’t heard of the game, it’s basically a chronicling of war survivors, you have some survivors, you live in a bombed out house, you need to scavenge during the night to find resources or you’ll rapidly find yourself starving to death. And therein lie all of it’s issues as a fun game, TWOM is more of a challenge or similar than anything you would actually play for fun, the intentional slow pacing of the game, coupled with the high difficulty level will only leave the most hardcore to be able to see the later stages of the game, and as the game is a roguelike, one wrong move and you could find yourself murdered while scavenging, or mortally wounded while guarding your safehouse at night.

My reaction after a few hours with this game.
My reaction after a few hours with this game.

A brief overview of the gameplay entails the following: Wander around safehouse for a while, manually get each person to eat food so they don’t die, manually get someone to sleep during the day, possibly deal with someone at the door, then go out at night and scavenge a nearby level – stealthily walk around and collect supplies before realising you have no food and basically need to steal from other people to survive, steal from people because there is no way around it, people then start to attack you – forcing you to either attack back or flee/die.
And that’s basically the entire game from what I saw, you come back to your safehouse, which has probably been raided while you were away, maybe upgrade some of your equipment, and do the whole thing again, with stacking stress levels as each time you leave and don’t come back with food, water and medical supplies, your camp are one step closer to death.

This War of Mine 2014-12-02 19-46-04-93

The game tries to do the ethical / moral thing, and succeeds on some fronts, an example being one of the earlier levels where you can burgle an elderly couples home. Problems begin though when you are forced into actions you would rather not take. A similar issue is that it’s impossible to talk with most of the characters you come across, making it hard to resolve situations peacefully – your character just silently walking around, pilfering through their stockpilings (of which is all useless shit like sugar cubes anyway)

This War of Mine 2014-12-02 19-03-47-64

TWOM on the whole reminds me of a more fleshed out version of some newgrounds flash games where you have to do essentially the same thing but without the pretty graphics, these flash games were at least fast however, and didn’t require me to click on each individual character and tell them to eat (and then watch them slowly plod over to the fridge and spend 5 whole seconds consuming food, blocking everyone else from using it)

Verdict:

It’s a good challenge, and has some interesting ideas, but it’s simply not a fun video game on any level. Some gameplay tweaks could help it be less frustrating and speed things up, but ultimately TWOM’s core gameplay is that of a hardcore survival sim – something which will only appeal to a small subset of the roguelike fanbase. I personally couldn’t play this for very long before getting bored of the routine.

Actual Worth / Steam Price: £3 / £15 = 0.2
Should you play it : No, It’s a novel game, but i wouldn’t recommend buying it. It’s like the sims except nothing happens during the day, and you get burgled every night.

Rating: 2/5

This War of Mine 2014-12-02 19-26-20-61
Guess what happens next?