Analysing Battlerite

posted in: Games, Highlights | 0

So I’ve been playing Battlerite for the last 2 weeks or so, and I have to say, I’ve been really impressed by it.

Unlike some other games where I spend my non-playing downtime thinking about what the hell the developers were thinking, Battlerite has a really shocking amount of fantastic design choices, and I wanted to talk about some of them.

You are always left side

Through some crazy wizardry, Battlerite has you always spawn from the left. Your enemies will always run at you from the right. I’m guessing it does this through some mirroring and client side magic but god is it cool. The maps are, of course, completely symmetrical.

You only get coins for winning

I’m guessing this is primarily to combat botting or any form of ‘cant be bothered’ attitude. If you don’t win, you won’t get any money. This effectively rules out most bots or any form of AFKing or low effort game joins, as they are essentially pointless.

Maximum health, and fulfilling the counterplay trifecta

Your maximum health can only ever be +X from your current health. What does this actually mean? Say you start at 200hp and take 20dmg, your max hp is still 200 and you can be healed to full, if you were to take 80 damage, your maxhp will drop to 150ish.
So why is this particularly clever? Because similar to other MOBA’s where you particular playstyles have counters, they exist in Battlerite as well. Heal beats poke, Burst beats heal, and poke beats burst (usually).
It also means people can’t whore 3 support/healer teams, which is nice.

Chat is disabled by default

Because nobody really needs to get called a retard.

3v3 Matchmaking tries to give a balanced team comp

Playing solo, about 90% of the time you’ll get matched into a team with 1 support, 1 melee and 1 ranged. Which you would think is just common sense, but other games have shown us otherwise.

Everything is as obvious as possible

All the big damage spells have obvious casting animations and noises, all the buffs and debuffs are obvious. This basically means you always have the opportunity to counterplay.

No shared vision

Holy shit the jukes. 1vs3? still not impossible.

The centre orb keeps the action where it needs to be

Essentially king of the hill all the time, the orb in the middle provides massive benefits and basically keeps the action in the centre.

 

Battlerites let people play how they want, diversifying the champions they have by 2 or 3

The perks system is fantastic. You want a damage support? You want a super slippery Ranged? The battlerites provide plenty of choices, and mostly none of them are wrong.

 

As an aside, The community is surprisingly nice, and everyone seems to acknowledge that if you lose, it’s almost certainly because you got outplayed. Even the few times we’ve seen people leave or AFK, the games have mostly descended into ‘1v1 me’.

Whilst it may be on the expensive side for what will eventually be a free to play game, it’s so much fun.

 

 

 

Belfast – Day 3+4 – Prison and city

posted in: Belfast 2016, holiday | 0

Nice relaxed start today with a lay-in. After some breakfast we’d head to Crumlin Road Gaol, a ‘recently’ (20 years) shut down prison, a large 4 wing prison which used to house some 1500 prisoners – men, women and children.

The interior of the prison is tour only, and included a talk and tour around a cell block, holding cells, admin offices, the yards and even the execution chamber.
The prison was well maintained (moreso than the courthouse opposite), it was pretty fascinating to see the internal workings and hear some of the stories from the prison. The execution chamber in particular was very ominous and apparently had a genuine noose.

After returning from the prison, we went for lunch at the large pub we passed by the other day. A decent if only slightly above average roast chicken and chips meal.

We’d spend most the rest of the day just kind of wandering around Belfast city and trying to find some souviners to take home etc. I don’t think we really found too much else, we stopped in a pub for a drink whilst wandering around, and eventually headed back to the hotel to relax for a bit before going to find food.

Dinner was at a nice little restaurant not too far from our hotel called Havana Bank Square, I had a lovely Hake, bacon and mash meal.

 

~~~~~

 

Day 4

We really didn’t have much to do by the time day 4 rolled around, we just kind of relaxed until about midday and then went out to one of the higher rated pubs in Belfast central. We had a beer and their Irish Stew for lunch which was super thick and hearty – filled with potatoes and meat. The pub itself was really cute and welcoming, with the bar lady treating us like regulars even though we most definitely aren’t (and I was probably the only Chinese person to step foot in the bar all year).

Afterwards, we walked around castle court shopping centre for a little bit afterwards, before heading to City hall for the free tour (Free tours run at 11, 2pm and 3pm). The tour guide and explanations were a little boring, but there was definitely some interesting rooms and history behind the building, especially the stained glass in the atrium.

Not a whole lot else happened after that, we’d eventually head back to the hotel to grab our bags, and then catch the bus to the airport. Belfast departures was hilariously overstaffed compared to the amount of passengers, I think there were more staff than travellers around the bag check, which would explain why everybody got thoroughly searched. I lost a jar of Bushmills whiskey marmalade because apparently it’s considered a liquid :(
The plane was delayed, and by the time we got home it was around 11pm, which is absolutely shocking considering we arrived at the airport around 5pm.

 

Belfast – Day 2 – Game of Thrones and Giants Causeway

posted in: Belfast 2016, holiday | 0

Bit of a rough night’s sleep, with the drunks of Ireland seemingly having a street party directly outside or window. Premier Inn do a ‘get a good night’s sleep or your money back’ thing so have written in to their customer service team to see if we can get that £120 waived, which would help me be less bitter about it.

But on to the day ahead.

The Game of Thrones Tour, hosted by Irish Tour Tickets, our expected highlight featuring a bunch of stops at some Got filming locations as well as stunning natural wonder ‘Giants Causeway’, also known as ‘that place with lots of hexagonal rock columns’.

Our tour started a bit rough, with the tour bus being a little bit late and then the weather being absolutely shocking. They dropped us off Carrickfergus Castle and we were literally just blasted by wind and rain as we tried to take photos, I imagine all of my photos here are just going to be filled with rain on lens, but I haven’t reviewed the photos yet so who knows.

We would journey onward to see some Got scene related stuff, the outside of the filming studios, the production office, one of the spots where Arya climbs out of the water after being stabbed in one of the recent seasons, we saw some of Castle Black in the distance, along with The wall, Theeon Greyjoy’s castle, and some of the iron Isles, and one of the caves where the red lady gives birth.

Cushendun Caves which had some really impressive rock formations and cliffs, and next stop Carrick-A-Rede featured a beautiful walk near the Iron Isles and a rope bridge across a 100ft gorge. The weather was kind of on and off, the majority of the day was rain and storm weather, however on occasion the sun would peak out and bless us with some blue skies – you can see them in a lot of the carrick-a-rede pictures.

A silver lining to the erratic weather is the amount of rainbows we saw today, literally more today than I’ve see in the last 5 years or so in London, double rainbows a-plenty too.

Giant’s Causeway was our penultimate stop, with a 15 minute walk down to the coast and then an incredible view of the scenic wonder that it is. The actual causeway goes on for quite a stretch and you are able to freely walk upon it. Our tour guide told us the legend of how it was formed and it was fairly amusing,  give it a read yourself if you are interested. The location was unfortunately a little bit busy, making it hard to get good photos, the sky didn’t really help us much here either.

Last stop on the tour was the Dark Hedges, apparently featured in one of the game of Thrones episodes, this was a long road (closed off to vehicles today due to the recent filming of the latest transformers film apparently) surrounded by some incredible twisting trees. The rain was very heavy at this stop, and sods law, the rain died down and the sun appeared just as we were finishing and got back on the bus.

Quickie nap on the bus, and before I knew it, we were back in Belfast. We stopped off at City Hall to take some night shots (beautiful building, and fantastically lit at night).

Dinner was at the previously reservations only ‘Blu’ near our hotel. We actually stopped by here yesterday night but was turned away as they were fully booked, so we booked a table for today –  though we didn’t need to at all because it was absolutely dead. 1 other table during our meal, the restaurant was chilled and w had almost dedicated service from the waiter. The food was amazing and at a good price too, with 3 delicious courses for £20.

Belfast – Day 1 – Arrival and walkabout

posted in: Belfast 2016, holiday | 0

After an annoyingly lengthy journey, we arrived in Belfast at around 3pm and checked into our hotel. We would be staying at the premier Inn cathedral quarter during our stay, mostly selected for it’s location and the fact that it was the cheapest hotel on offer at the time. Offloaded all of our baggage and promptly left to go and have a wander around the city.

Our first impressions of the city were admittedly not fantastic, I think we may have walked in the wrong direction because we were heading into the north area which seemed to be just filled with rundown buildings and graffiti, however there turned out to be a large amount of actual ‘Street art’ (note: Totally different to standard graffiti), there were some really impressive 2+ story murals. Of particular interest was a shop called ‘Fresh Garbage’ which was selling all sorts of bizarre shit, including the sort of masks you’d see in Hotline Miami and some bra’s outfitted with metal spikes.

 

We came across the Belfast cathedral, which was rather big and had some nice mosaics inside, unfortunately they were being a bit greedy and trying to charge £5 per person for entry, and having been to significantly larger and nicer churches for the price of ‘free’ in the past, this £5 charge just felt a little bit insulting.

We started walking south a little, and came across what I can only assume is the bar quarter,  there were small archways leading to alleys filled with bars and pubs, and some very large elaborate pubs as well. Being that we arrived on Saturday night, they were all pretty busy, too busy for us to want to walk into –  but I imagine we’ll be back at some point in our stay.

More towards the west, to the docks and river, we saw belfast’s famous (?) big fish thing, and beacon of hope, we walked the riverfront before doubling back towards the city.

A little more south was a really nice outdoor shopping centre – above the centre is a big dome which actually doubles as a viewing platform of the city, sadly closed at night time.
We ended up having dinner in the shopping centre –  a fancy restaurant called ‘The Ivory’.
Now, tripadvisor said this was in the ££ to £££ range so I wasn’t really expecting anything ridiculous, but as it turns out, the Ivory is actually a fine dining establishment. The food was way Overpriced and honestly not even that great, though I imagine the price would have had a big factor in my perceived enjoyment of the food. I had seared duck on a bed of spring onion,  spinach and sweet potato mash.

Finished our dinner, had a bit more of a wander and then ended up heading back to the hotel to chill, as we had quite an exhausting day of travel, even if the flight was only an hour and a half.

What you should be watching this season – Autumn 2016 Anime Roundup

posted in: Anime, Highlights, WYSBW | 0

Here’s this season’s stuff, from best to worst. Personally I’m probably not going to follow anything under a 7 unless it gets rave reviews once the season progresses.

 

Yuuri On Ice – 8
Ice skater Yuuri tries to go from last in season to champion

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To be hero – 8
Short (12 min eps) comedy about a sleazy toilet seat salesman who gets sucked into a toilet and given superpowers, but physically changes appearance into a perverted fat old man, not really your conventional superhero…

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Keijo – 7
Pure fanservice, and absolutely fucking retarded, but maybe worth watching because of just how shit it is? It’s based on a sport where you have to push people into water using only your ass or tits, and naturally there are girls who can swing their ass into other people’s jaws so fast that they become unconscious (and that other girls can’t even see what she did). Fucking ridiculous garbage but I might have to watch another episode… Bonus pic

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Kiss Him, not me (Watashi Ga motete dousunda) – 7
Otaku Fujoshi suddenly becomes a hottie

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Scorching Ping Pong Girls – 7
“a scorching hot tale of girls who love ping pong.” , hmm……. The first episode was interesting though. Might be like Saki

Drifters – 7
Very stylish action show, a bunch of heroes from different era’s have been dragged from the brink of death to another world and time.

zplayer-2016-10-09-20-53-00-77

 

Udon no kuni no kin’iro Kemari – 7
Udon master’s son returns home and meets a tanuki disguised as a human… Looks like a slow burner but is looking like a warming story so far.

 

All Out!! – 7
Rugby sports anime, probably another zero to hero one, featuring some small dude who probably shouldn’t be playing rugby. Hopefully it’ll be like Slam Dunk but with rugby.

 

Izetta: The Last Witch – 6
40’s era post war story, and then suddenly a powerful witch appears. High production quality, but not particularly enjoying it yet.

zplayer-2016-10-09-20-56-38-90

 

Flip Flappers – 5
Journey to another world with some weird robot thing. Not bad, but nothing too special yet.

 

Magical girl raising project – 5
Looks like it might turn into battle royale with magical girls? There are 16 magical girls in the district but only enough magical energy for 8 of them… Will probably be dark and twisty but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be any good.

 

Tiger Mask W – 5
Wrestling anime, enough said.

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3-Gatsu no Lion (Lion of March) – 5
The first episode was really boring, but I feel like it might be a good show underneath. It’s a coming of age tale about a professional shogi player, who comes out of depression with the help of family and friends?

 

Occultic;Nine – 5
Train wreck for the first episode, with it introducing a ton of characters and then some weird shit happening. The character design makes it incredibly hard to take seriously. It’s by the same author as steins;gate

 

Nanbaka – 5
Group of talented prison escapers go ahead and escape from some prisons… Everything is sparkly and very colourful.

 

Classicaloid – 4
Hot garbage featuring Mozart and Beethoven fighting aliens with superpowers and gigantic robots powered by their symphonies.

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Long Riders! – 4
It’s Bakuon but with Bicycles – A generic slice of life ‘oh I got introduced to a sports club and look how fun it is’ show about riding bicycles.

 

Cheating Craft – 3
I was really optimistic when I saw the name, hoping for something vaguely kaiji-esque, but it’s some sort of weird school battle shit about students that can fight each other in an exam hall, so they can copy from other people.

 

Brave Witches – 1
I think this is related to Strike Witches but I honestly have no idea. I think it was the only show this season that I dropped before getting to the end of the opening sequence.

 

 

 

Not Viewed:
Bloodivores

Week 40 2016 – New best endeavours

posted in: blog, Games | 0

Poor blog has been neglected a lot this year, I guess maintaining it was never going to be easy once I got out of education and into the ‘real world’ but this year in particular it’s taken a real back seat since I moved out of home and started my new IT career.

And so, Starting from this week, i’m going to try and make, at minimum, one blog post a week which will focus on life stuff. Weekly posts will likely come out every Sunday, unless i’m away doing other things or have another post scheduled.

Games

The past month has been fairly uneventful but i’ve managed to get plenty of hours in with my bro GrantDN in various games, we played a ton of The Crew (maybe 30 hours) or so and completed the campaign, bought the DLC, completed some of the new mission stuff, did some extra shit, bought drag cars, drifted round mountains at night, and all that good stuff. Genuinely had a blast with that game, it reminded me of the best parts of Fuel and little bit of the joy from Midnight Club.

We also picked up the very entertaining and intense Battlerite, a 2v2 or 3v3 arena brawler, best described as a game build completely around MOBA teamfights. Have had a lot of fun with it, but god is that game hard. The small teams make it really hard to pin blame as well, as losses will almost certainly have something to do with your own competence – be it just a missed skillshot or not positioning properly. It’s currently a little bit steep at £15 but I believe it’s going free to play eventually, best enjoyed with a friend though, im not sure i’d want to play this solo.

On the games backlog we also have Indigo Prophecy, which I started with bae but then we haven’t picked it up in a little while, I also started playing Quantum Break – which is fantastic, and then there is Mirrors Edge Catalyst as well, which I started yesterday but it didn’t really strike me as anything too special.

TV

Oh man, TV, Did you guys see Stranger Things yet? holy shit that show is good. go watch it.

Mr robot is fantastic as well, though I’ve still not had a chance to finish season 2.

New anime season started last week, blog post to be written very shortly, I skipped last season, but this season everyhthing is garbage so it’ll take me like 15 minutes to gather photos because nothing is worth watching.

On the korean front, GF and family coerced me into watching ‘W’ Which is actually kind of a neat concept, it’s about a comicbook artist who is trying to kill off his character so he can end the story, but he manages to keep resisting death, eventually people from the real world get sucked into the comic world and shit happens. It’s a really cool concept, but because it’s K drama I can almost guarantee that it’s just going to turn into a generic romance story eventually.

Life

Did I mention i’ve got a trip booked for the first week of December? We are going to Vienna (Austria) and then getting the train over to Prague (CzechRep), should hopefully be really good.
However I’ve been kind of worked hard lately, so a few weeks ago I thought i’d try and get a quick holiday in before my real holiday (as you do), some quick deciding later and we’ve decided to go to Belfast for a few days this coming weekend. We’ve booked an excursion out to do a game of thrones sightseeing thing (apparently a bunch of castles and stuff were filmed in northern ireland) and the tour also includes the incredible looking Giants Causeway.