The best PC games of 2016

posted in: Games, Highlights, top 10 | 1

Notable PC games this year: Overwatch, Dark Souls 3, Owlboy, Stardew Valley, Battlefield 1, The Witness, Inside, Dishonored 2, Gears of War 4, Titanfall 2, DOOM, Abzu, Planet Coaster, Hitman, SUPERHOT, Overcooked, The Division, Zero Escape 3: ZTD, Mirrors Edge Catalyst, COD Infinite, Steep, Quantum Break, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Firewatch, Civilization 6, Darkest Dungeon, Thumper, Dead rising 4, Oxenfree, Watch Dogs 2, Street fighter 5

 

Top 5 Games of the Year

5. Battlerite

How the hell did this sneak on here?
I may have mentioned before that when I bought Battlerite a few months ago, I literally set a timer so I could decide whether or not to refund it just before the 2 hour mark. I’m now at 61 hours or so, which is more than everything else on this list. It’s a MOBA arena game which just manages to do everything pretty well – Any complaints of ‘not enough characters’ and ‘shit cosmetics’ will almost certainly be resolved later on down the line, as will the ‘high’ price tag of £15.

 

4. Planet Coaster

It has been X years since Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, and naturally we were itching for a modern release (as, let’s be honest, RCT3 was pretty barebones in terms of 3d graphics). Then just at the right time, along comes Planet Coaster, with all of it’s gorgeous visuals, it’s curved paths, it’s ‘how fucking many?’ Rollercoaster types and practically infinite ways to decorate your park and shops (provided you have the time). Aside from optimization and maybe some more variation in shops/rides, it’s hard to really think what else could be improved on in Planet Coaster as far as single player experiences go.

 

3. Zero Escape 3: Zero Time Dilemma

Kotaro Uchikoshi does it again. Whilst not quite on the same level as it’s predecessors, ZE3 has some great puzzling, and interesting branching story. Best of all, even though you know there is some weird shit going on, the revelation moment will still manage to catch you off guard and give you that holy shit moment. I have to say though that eric in team Q is literally the most irritating character i’ve come across.

 

2. DOOM

Doom did not mess around, it threw you into this linear world filled with hellspawn, gave you a shotgun and then proceeded to just wail guitar and dubstep noises at you relentlessly until you finished the game. It was in your face, dumb and myself and just about everyone else who played doom fucking loved it’s straightforward nature. Shoot things in the face, move on, repeat – No cover, No long story sequences, No vehicle traversal between areas. Anyone looking for a fantastic singleplayer FPS campaign should give this a play.

 

1. The Witness

The witness undoubtedly gave me the most ‘holy shit’ moments in gaming this year, whilst I wasn’t particularly fond of the ending, the puzzles and the unique ways in which you need to approach them are absolutely amazing, similarly the world and it’s mystery and secrets provided plenty of additional things to do between getting stuck. I also really loved that the game basically doesn’t tell you anything, even the tutorials I don’t remember the game explicitly giving me any directions but rather ‘here is something simple, figure out the rules for yourself’ – and I love that, especially in an age of videogaming where developers feel the need to really hand hold the whole way through out of fear of losing the player, Blow’s masterpiece does the polar opposite and sets off with or without you. I’d imagine anyone who has played through the game will agree that it’s puzzles are genius in both creativity and design, and those who have played through and doesn’t probably didn’t ‘get it’, which is of course is a big problem in a game where all of the enjoyment is derived from eventually ‘getting it’.

 

Bonus!

Just missed the list:

Inside – Short and sweet, I completed it in a sitting or two and it was a fantastic experience throughout. Didn’t really do anything groundbreaking but it was incredibly polished and had just the right quantity of mystery to push you forward.

Hitman – A fantastic return to form for the series, it’s a shame there are so few levels, but the levels that are there are some of the best in the series. The new detection system works well too, making more sense than the old blood money system while not being as daft as the absolution ‘ima just hide my face’ system.

Dark Souls 3 – More of the same, and that’s hardly a bad thing, though I have to admit it’s not gripped me quite as well as it’s predecessors.

 

Biggest Disappointment:

Titanfall 2 – I absolutely adored the first Titanfall, hitting the level cap multiple times over, so when Titanfall 2 was announced I was super hype, the potential for basically the same game with new maps, more weapons, more abilities, customization and so on sounded awesome. And then the beta dropped, and somehow they had just gotten everything wrong, the movement was slower, they changed certain mechanics, and whilst the retail version of the game has fixed some of these changes, the result is still more ‘Call of Titanfall’ than the Titanfall I fell in love with. I’m yet to really clock much time with it because I just have no urge to play, the gunplay is as solid as ever but it feels like TTK is down, the titans are crazy fragile and rarer, the new abilities are rubbish, no custom titan loadout choices, can’t change the AI voice and the maps are all really forgettable and boring. A cry everytime.

 

Best Singleplayer Experience:

Titanfall 2 – Okay so yeah I just finished talking about everything I’m not keen on with Titanfall 2, but you’ll notice there was no mention of the campaign that they added. The campaign was awesome, i’d actually argue better than DOOM’s. It was literally the opposite of everything I just said in the paragraph above. Awesome level design, titans feel satisfying to play with the added shield, clever use of game mechanics and a super interesting part which you won’t see coming. The short but sweet campaign was memorable and great fun.

 

Most Overhyped:

Overwatch – I’m still struggling to see the appeal of Overwatch, the time i’ve spent with it was ‘okay’ at best, lacking much satisfaction when you do well and being a real slog if you are on the back foot.

 

 

Game whose servers are going to be empty by this time next year

Steep – Calling it now. that game is boring, people just haven’t realised it yet (or maybe they have?).

Analysing Battlerite

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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.

 

 

 

Week 40 2016 – New best endeavours

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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.

7 Knights

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You know how some games are garbage but you stick with them anyway for whatever reason?

7 knights has been that for me.

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Unlike something like Puzzle&Dragons which I spent ages playing and loved, 7 Knights has been a boring grind for as long as I can remember, yet for whatever stupid reason, I stuck it out and have been playing it almost daily for the last 1 or 2 years. Part of it was for the rush of slowly climbing my way up the PVP ladder I guess, but the other part was I suppose some obligation to the guild I was leading.

I slowly raised this guild from level 1 to 10, and upgraded a bunch of the other extras like guild castle and so on, and we were pretty regularly fighting amongst the top 1% of guilds, I think we ended this season a little outside the top 100 – which, not bad considering there is only 1 server outside of korea.
I used to hate going through and pruning inactives, but eventually we started getting more dedicated players, people who would play as much as me, which was fantastic as I could basically just delegate that shit and chill.

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But alas, eventually we attracted people that were too dedicated, who would literally no life that shit, go wild on IAP, and play all day. One particular member took it upon himself to advertise the guild on reddit, create a facebook group, and try to force everyone into the fb group to chat about the game daily.
He actually PM’d me on facebook one time when I didn’t log in for 2 days.

About a month ago now, I got this new job, and subsequently had less time to spend on trash, I started playing less and basically ignored the facebook chat because I couldn’t care less. Then, rather entertainingly, I log in today to find there has been a mutiny! Ironically the most entertaining thing to happen in the game since I installed it. A bunch of the more hardcore players had left overnight, and to my surprise, I felt a wave of relief rather than sadness.
I realised that the last few weeks I was practically logging in to start up the autoplay just so that people over the internet wouldn’t harass me – You know something else you often force yourself to do daily? fuckin’ work! This shit was a chore!

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And so, what better time to ‘retire’ and remove the game from my phone. I set someone else as delegate leader on the guild and don’t intend on re-opening the app any time soon. I won’t disband or pass over leadership of the guild of course, that shit is my legacy now.
it was entertaining while it lasted, but god that’s the last time I start a guild on a phone game.

 

Pokemon Go

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So i’m incredibly torn on Pokemon GO right now,

On one hand, it’s great to see impromptu gaming communities appearing out on the streets all of a sudden, you can walk around town and practically point out people who are walking around looking at their phone a little bit tooooo closely. and the game is kind of fun too, finding a new pokemon or leveling up feels genuinely pretty good, moreso if you have some friends you can show off to.

But for every good point, it feels like there are two bad points.
The game eats data for breakfast, the GPS is janky as fuck, half the time you’ll see nothing but pidgeys and rattatas, you’ll find rare pokemon and then not be able to catch them because the game bugs out on you or you lose signal, the pokestops don’t work properly half the time, and practically none of the game is explained to the player at all! (seriously, PokeGO is where mechanic explanations go to die).

But for now… it’s fun I guess, the gimmick is just enough, and when it works, it’s good – though hayfever has been a very aggressive reminder from mother nature that my place is indoors.

I’d put up a picture of my team but the game can’t log in right now, which… says a lot I guess.

Top 10 PC Games of 2015

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Perhaps getting more and more jaded each year, but haven’t had a chance to play many of this years big releases :(
That and a bunch of this years big games were only on console- bloodborne, until dawn, splatoon, xenoblade chronicles X, GH Live….
Still haven’t really had much incentive to buy a new console, especially considering how underpowered they seem to be, 20something FPS on games only a few years after release doesn’t really bode well for the future of the console. Majority of the games thankfully have had PC releases as well.

So without further ado, here are the best games i’ve played this year – emphasis on ‘I’ve played’, i’ll list a list a bunch of the big releases that I haven’t played at the bottom for reference.

 

#10 – The Beginners Guide

Walking Game // Everything unlimited ltd // £7

Something of an alternate game, The Beginners guide sends you on a rollercoaster of emotions and twists in the 90 minute or so runtime, while it’s undoubtably the least ‘fun’ game on this list, it’s (hopefully) fictional story elicits emotions rarely found on this medium, and that’s impressive in it’s own right.

#9 Fallout 4

Action RPG // Bethesda // £40

Yeah, sure, it’s more Fallout, it’s a good game, the base building stuff was a nice addition, as well as generally streamlining a bunch of stuff, the gunplay is more satisfying this time round as well which is always a good thing. Yet in true fallout fashion, at some point I left the game for a week or so and just found myself fed up and tired of it all, the 40something hours I spent with it were great though.

#8 Her Story

Puzzle? // Sam Barlow // £5

Surprise indie hit this year, Her Story did a lot of neato things we haven’t really seen before in video games, including lack of a proper video game ending, letting you simply finish when you think you are done. Her Story doesn’t hold your hand at all, doesn’t remind you what has happened or well… do anything aside from present a chopped up bit of video and let the player have at it. That said, the story and the unique way it unfolds is incredibly memorable, as instead of having key points of plot revealed to you, you have to piece it all together yourself, making you really feel like a detective.

#7 Keep talking and nobody explodes

Party/Puzzle // Steel Crate Games // £11

Oh man, best local co-op experience of 2015? I think so! KTANE is a truly genius game, and one that isn’t out of place at a party or small social gathering filled with ‘normies’. This bomb defusing puzzle game is equal parts accessible, challenging and hilarious, regardless of which side of the asymetrical gameplay you are a part of. For those unfamiliar, one player sits at the computer and defuses a complicated bomb with the help of experts – and by experts I mean your idiot friends sitting on the couch in your room with you, staring at an equally complicated defusal manual where they must use logic to decipher the correct steps to relay to the defuser.

#6 Invisible Inc

Stealth Strategy // Klei Entertainment // £15

I did a full review of it way earlier in the year, but Invisible inc was a surprise gem this year, with it’s turn based stealth action and roguelike features, Invisible Inc was metal gear solid meets FTL in the best of ways, providing a challenging but fair game with some great rewards and replayability for those that get invested.

#5 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Shooter // Treyarch // £40

Surprisingly, this year’s Call of Duty instalment is genuinely fun and the first title where i’ve truly enjoyed the multiplayer since MW2. There is some fair value for money here, with a full 4 player co-op campaign, zombies co-op campaign, dead ops 2, zombies, and of course the multiplayer (though good luck finding much other than TDM/Domination on PC). Guns in online seem fairly balanced and specialist weapons are less annoying than expected (though that flamethrower quite desperately needs a nerf), it’s still not as good as TItanfall in my opinion, but it’s probably still the best online shooter i’ve played this year.

#4 – Cities Skylines

City Builder // Colossal Order // £23

A fantastic city builder, after the fiasco that was the latest Sim City I think everyone was really gagging for this sort of game, and developer Colossal order’s stance on modding really helped push Cities Skylines to it’s maximum potential, with the community fixing all of the minor gripes people had issues with.

#3 Life is Strange

Story Adventure // DONTNOD entertainment // £18

I’m a sucker for a good time travel story, and Life is strange hooked me in from the first episode with it’s interesting approach to being able to see all of the decisions you can make. My biggest mistake was not waiting for all of the episodes to be out before playing it, but thankfully that’s now a non-issue. The plot is a real rollercoaster of emotions, in a good way, and though there were a few tedious segments which slowed down the pace of the game (i’m looking at you, bottles and stealth sections) LIS was a very enjoyable 10 hours or so.

#2 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Stealth Action // Konami // £46

It was a painful shame that the latter part of the game wasn’t as good as the first, but thankfully the first 20 hours of the game are so good that you’ll probably be able to forgive it’s lackluster ending and unfinished story.

#1 – Undertale

RPG // Toby Fox // £7

Don’t let the very vocal diehard community put you off, Undertale is an incredible game – fantastic gameplay coupled with brilliant writing, lovable characters and a great soundtrack, the game is short but oh so memorable, and undoubtedly this year’s must play game, and game of the year. I was still getting chills down my spine listening to bits of the soundtrack weeks later.

 

Special mention: Grand Theft Auto V (PC)
Only just got released for PC this year, but obviously the game has been out for much longer than that, Seeing release in 2013 originally, 2014 for next gen, and 2015 for PC. I held out and didn’t play it until this year and holy shit the amount of content and sheer enjoyment packed into this game is fantastic, so glad I waited for this version. If I was treating this game as being released in 2015, it would probably be number 1.

 

Unplayed: Bloodborne, Witcher 3, Arkham Knight, SW Battlefront, Rise of the tomb raider, Rainbow Six Siege, AC Syndicate, Halo 5, Until Dawn, Rocket League, Pillars of Eternity, Mad Max, Xenoblade Chronicles X, GH Live, Amplitude, Helldivers,

Undertale (PC) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Just a quickie, because it deserves it.

I played through undertale a few days ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s metacritic score of 94 was completely warranted, this plain and dull looking game that I kept seeing screenshots of.

A short 5 hour playthrough later, and I was sold, it’s incredible. Probably the best game this year, probably one of the best games of all time…
Lovingly crafted and likable characters, hilarious dialogue, unexpected comical twists and turns,  a battle system which is 50% puzzle and 50% shmup, and topped off by a soundtrack which is easily on par with your favourite chiptunes.

3 days on, i’m sitting in my van listening to the soundtrack and getting goosebumps, and thinking of the characters and smiling to myself.

I dont know who the hell Toby Fox is, but the man is a true wizard. I expect people in 20 years will still pick this game up and enjoy it just as much as we are today, because unlike some other games which rely on jokes, undertales humour doesn’t need to rely on pop culture references or similar external factors.

 

Go play it. It’s £7, that’s a ridiculous price for this gem. You’ll thank me later.

5/5

 

ps. papyrus and sans are the fucking best.

A rant about Metal Gear Solid V

posted in: Games, Games Review, rant | 0

So thanks to the wonders of internet companionship I’ve spent essentially the last week or so playing through the wondrous metal Gear solid 5, and thought I’d do a little rant about it.

The gameplay itself is so very solid (ahem),  going into outposts and abducting entire squads of guards and any vehicles they have is a incredibly addictive, and the core sneaking stuff is really good as well, however the game starts to rapidly fall apart once you have completed the main story and become left with just the side missions.

Speaking of the story,  the game barely even feels like a metal Gear solid game,  the core story is light at best and a complete joke once you hit the end of chapter one.  It is probably the only game to pleasantly delight and then brutally disappoint me with its game length, in the space of only a few hours.

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For those who haven’t played it, after maybe 30 hours/missions of gameplay and a major boss fight, the game rolls its credits, practically nothing in the story has been explained and you are left feeling confused and upset…  But then you get a ‘trailer’  for chapter 2! And the game swiftly transitions into chapter 2! Fantastic! And then in an almost taunting fashion the game takes that joy away over the next few hours. Where the previous 30 missions were interesting and somewhat advance the plot, the next 20 missions consist of 14 hard mode missions you have already played,  and 6 proper story missions, of which manage to introduce more questions rather than answers – and then the game ends.

Apparently people have dug into game files and found art for chapter 3, suggesting that the game was due a significant amount more content, and behind the scenes footage which show an episode 51 would have at least provided some closure to one of the games many plotlines.

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Playing the postgame content becomes almost upsetting afterwards, a selection of maybe 6 different objectives which all play out more or less the same way, sneak in, neutralise everyone and then escape with prisoner /Intel.

The open world offers nothing but a collection of barren land and a collection of outposts and structures you have been to during the story.

I also have grown to despise the mother base expansion system, with the game requiring you to have X amount of materials before you can upgrade to increase your population cap, these materials are only generated while you play, and you will only recieve a relative trickle compared to how much is required for the later upgrades.

There is almost no doubt that the latter is formulated in such a way to make way for their shitty microtransaction crap, the same stuff they claim is not required –  a new base requires 1000+ mb coins, yet you will recieve maybe 20 or so per day for a login (this tiny amount of coin isn’t even guaranteed, as the login bonus is often a bunch of plants or irrelevant material).

The game has a dispaych system which lets you send out your recruited soldiers to do stuff for reward, but the majority of them run on ingame time, there is another selection of missions which run on real time but these take 1-2 whole days to complete, and will contribute towards your teams limit (which is, again, linked to bases you can only really build with real money). The ridiculous amount of time it takes for these real time missions to complete is so ridiculous that is you are playing the game even vaguely regularly its more efficient just to pick the ingame time missions, so why even put the real time ones in the game?  =/

The FOB / PVP stuff seems pretty silly as well, you can invade each others bases and steal their resources and men, fair enough, a tried and tested formula which worked well in Dark Souls… except the part where you get invaded while you’re offline and there isn’t much you can do to stop it because the AI guards are useless as fuck. Seriously mindblowing, I log in every day to see that my resources and men have been stolen and theres fuck all I can do about it. 10/10 PVP.

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Spoilers below this point :

Did i mention how unfinished the story is yet? What happens to psycho mantis and the man on fire, what happens to huey? What about quiet who carrying the English strain of the virus (you know, the virus that the whole game is basically based on).

I also really REALLY hate that quiet leaves and essentially locks you out of using her for the postgame, you can supposedly hack her back in on PC but god it’s so ridiculous that you even have to consider it.

Spoilers end here

MGS5 is one of the best games this year, even in it’s half finished state with it’s bad design choices – however the fact that this is the last game in the series by Kojima makes me sad that it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. Small tweaks here and there could have easily taken this game to legendary status, but instead we are left with a collection of ‘extract X’ missions tied together by the weakest metal gear storyline in the series.

This has been an awful rant typed up on my phone while waiting for a package to be delivered at work, it’s probably painful to read, you have my sympathies.

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An Untapped game genre: The factory builder

posted in: Games | 0

So in very late 2013 we used to play a lot of Minecraft, the tekkit modpack in particular – this modpack included a ton of smaller mods within it, but the jist of it is that you gained access to factory machinery, electricity, pipes, pumps, conveyor belts, build things from blueprints, and a ton of other things which are less relevant to this blog post. Going on a personal mission to build a self sustaining mining/farming operation in tekkit was genuinely one of the greatest video game experiences i’ve had – planning out individual areas, before linking them into a carefully designed production line, to be broken down or sorted for later use (or stockpiling because you can).
For those unfamiliar, a vague example of something you could do would be like… an automatic mining operation produces gold and silver -> send it to the pulverizer to turn it into powder -> powders go into a machine to mix them into a powder blend -> blend goes into a smelter to make electrum ingots -> ingots go to another machine to turn them into ???
However of course in the above example, how do you seperate the gold and silver from everything else being mined, how do you select for those two powders to go into the mixing machine together, what happens if the smelter is full, etc etc.

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This stuff has been around for years now, why then are there still hardly any games in this subgenre? One could argue that the subgenre has always been a part of games like city builders or other games with digitial economies but they don’t quite function in the same way, (eg. Commercial business in cities skylines require Industrial goods, which require staff from residential) and they certainly don’t have the magic I experienced back in 2013.

Zachtronics have gone a kind of offshoot with most of their recent games; spacechem and infinifactory – these games provide a single element of what I believe to be the factory genre, that being the complex engineering part, zachtronics takes it to the extreme making it a goddamn nightmare to even produce a single product in most cases, and while it’s very satisfying to admire your assembly once it’s finally done, most of the levels in these games are just that – levels, single compartmented achievements.

infinifactory
infinifactory
spacechem
spacechem

I haven’t really found much else that is similar and fully released, perhaps this genre is too niche? A few searches on google have suggested OTTD, but that’s about it.

But wait.

There are two on the way.

Big Pharma is one of the games i’ve had my eye on for maybe a year or so now? It looks to be similar to what i’m looking for, though i’m yet to go out and buy it because I want to wait for the full release. The jist of it however is to design and make a drugs factory – a mix of business sim and logistics puzzle, probably with some quirky machinery involved.

Factorio is the other one, which I only very recently found out about (It’s still in Alpha). Unlike Big Pharma, it sticks with the mining theme i’m more used to, and drops the business simulation stuff for what appears to be some form of base defence mechanic. I haven’t actually played this one yet either, but i’ll be keeping an eye on it to see how it turns out, because it definitely seems to have the massive factory thing that i’m looking for.

It’ll be interesting to see if these two games do well upon release, Many people never played tekkit as it was kind of an oxymoron – a very grown up and complicated mod in a game primarily played by children and those that watch pewdiepie videos. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to me if it suddenly kicks off it’s own genre and set of clones in a way that minecraft introduced the open world crafting/survival bullshit phase that indie games are finally starting to phase out of.

Long story short: It’s strangely satisfying spending 2 hours designing something that will do a 3 minute task over and over again. I want to play more games like these.

Why you should consider Heroes of the Storm

posted in: Games | 0

Take everything you hate about traditional MOBA, then leave the shit teammates in, and then… actually wait, put the stealth characters back too. Long story short, Heroes of the Storm might be the MOBA that gets you on the train, or gets you to change trains if you already play one of the other big MOBAs.

A quick summary of the game in comparison with other moba’s, is that blizzard seem to have tried hard to streamline the entire experience into ‘just the fun’, which results in almost a combination between traditional 3 lane MOBA, and arena style TDM.

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Heres a list of things which are different, and that I liked:

– Recharging fountains just behind first tower to help with laning phase

– Getting outplayed rather than Outgeared

– Skirmishes / Baron dance all day

– No need to fuck around with items, lets be real, you’d buy the same shit every game anyway

– No need to last hit creeps, now you can focus on last hitting your enemy in the face

– No Wards, so ganks are more effective

– Gates along with towers which introduce blind spots

– Towers have ammo systems, meaning pushing the lane to the tower is always the optimal strategy

– Talents which augment your abilities, think Diablo 3 style
– – Forgo talents for additional spells if you need them, these include poly’s, attack buffs, cooldown refreshes, and blinks. Everyone knows a spell like Blink is strong, so do you want safety or do you want carry power or an even crazier ult.

– Choice of two ults to fit your playstyle, as an example, Raynors Ult1 is great for sieging and teamfights, while Ult2 is great for single target DPS.

– Free palette swaps on skins

– Side objectives are meaningful and always give the teams something to fight over, focusing the action. 1 Man split push is rarely the correct strategy.

– Pick your hero and the game matchmakes you into a party, means you play what you want, rather than what others force you to pick

– Less reliance on an established meta

– ‘Jungle camps’ grant your team additional push/siege capabilities

– 3 Skills and 1 talent point at level 1
– – Full scale 5v5 battle over recon point at level 1

– Mana costs feel about right.

– Not played all of them yet, but i’m yet to find a hero I dislike playing as.

– No postgame chat or All Chat means you can’t flame your enemies, avoiding unnecessary salt and drama

– Granted im still relatively low level, but toxicity seems lower than other MOBA, this might change when i hit ranked/max level though. At the very least, there aren’t legions of smurf accounts waiting to fuck me up.

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Here’s some things that are bad about it

– Some Lag compensation / choppiness issues (Though these seem to be better on the 32bit client)

– Pricing model, Not enough ingame gold generation for the price of heroes.

– Less heroes than other games in genre (35)

– Still closed beta

– Can’t hard carry due to shared XP and no items.

13 Reasons why Resi Revelations 2 is awful

posted in: Games | 0

So against my better judgement I decided to continue on with the game, playing through the other episodes.. eventually finding myself towards the end of Episode 4, when something tipped me over the edge and I just said ‘fuck it. I can’t deal with this game anymore’ and I exited out and probably won’t ever launch it again. It gets that bad.

As odd as it is to say, Revelations 2 somehow manages to feel like a poor resident evil clone of the recent ‘Evil Within’ game.

 

Anyway, Have some bullet points.

 

– The story is fucking retarded, even by resident evil standards

 

– Moiras dialogue is fucking retarded, even teenagers don’t say the dumb shit she says, you can’t just write normal angsty dialogue and then throw ‘fuck’ in there every now and then “I’m going to survive the fuck out of this”. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

 

– The level design is terribly linear and this only gets worse after the first episode

 

– The level design is also retarded, with enemies and traps in places seemingly only put there to annoy.

 

– There are enemies which are completely invisible and kill you instantly if you get to close to them, and then the level designers thought it would be a good idea to throw these into timed escape sequences, where the average player is going to be holding the run button. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU WHO THOUGHT THIS IS A GOOD IDEA. I HATE YOU.

 

– Natalia (the little girl) apparently has enough physical strength to pick up and carry a generator unit which has dimensions probably 1m3,  this annoyed me more than it probably should have.

 

– The game has serious pacing issues

 

– Episode 4 featured possibly the most boring 10 minute area/segment i’ve ever played in a video game ever – and i’ve played a lot of video games.

 

– There are lengthy segments clearly designed for co-op play… the co-op play is of course missing from the PC version

 

– There was a part where the AI decided to fall off a cliff, causing me to get a game over.

 

– Overabundance of items which are completely useless without ‘bottles’, and then an item system which refused to let me discard said useless items. I wasn’t aware this shitty rag of cloth was important to the overarching story of the game.

 

– Unexplained inconsistencies toward the end of the story, bitches be teleporting around location wise or coming back to life etc.

 

– Bosses are lazily made, having only 2 or 3 attacks.
– – The boss in the claire campaign would regularly manage to attack me through terrain
– – One of the bosses in the barry campaign features an instant kill grab attack and is fought in a small enclosed area, and you bet your AI partner is just going to be standing around.

 

– Fucking hell did I mention how bad the story was?

 

To Summarize:

reve2summary

Astro’s Rhythm Game Q1 Meet, and the end of Programmed World

posted in: blog, Games | 1

Just remembered I haven’t done a post about Q1 yet, Astro City were conducting their quarterly community meetup, I turned up on the saturday and stayed overnight.

RIP corin
RIP corin

Lots of antics as usual, we also had a larger selection of home setups available than last time, with people bringing along Sound Voltex, Reflec Beat, and Jubeat – making the arcade very busy indeed, and making sure there was more or less something for everyone to play at all times.

I previously remember Reflec beat not being a whole lot of fun when I played it in Japan, but I actually rather enjoyed it this time round, though the green notes at the top still threw me off. I still don’t think i’d properly spend too much money on it, but it was definitely pretty fun. (oh, and it has ‘Watching you’ by LIL and a bunch of other neato songs, KPP anyone?)
Jubeat actually ended up being the opposite, I remembered it being fun in the arcade but playing it again properly and having a longer go with it, I don’t really like that game much at all as it feels too hard to properly read. Maybe i’m just getting old.

Q1 also coincided with my birthday, so there was lots of birthday love given out, which was honestly a really nice change compared ot the usual treatment I get when I basically just go to work, or sit at home and do nothing at all (I’ve never been big on birthday celebrations if i’m honest.)

Alex previously bet me a free curry if I was able to pass IIDX’s 7th Dan before/on Q1, and I actually somehow managed to pull it off! I guess a good sign that i’m slowly improving, my gauge dropped down to 12% or so at one point. Lua was manning the stream computer so I even got a video copy of it as a souvineer!

Woo! So basically, I passed a major milestone AND got a free dinner on my birthday.

 

It was a really fun night, and fantastic to see everyone again…. It’s sad then, that as of last night, the community start to fizzle again.

Without going into too much detail, basically we in the UK don’t have proper access to the latest versions of the arcade games, and we don’t have proper access to the online features as they all go through Konami – who don’t operate outside of Japan (and recently, some patches of NA).
We were kind of able to circumvent this through what was basically server emulation, however over the last weekend Konami have decided to take the banhammer to the service (Programmed World), which basically means we are going to lose access to the latest versions of the games we’ve been playing, along with all of the online features – Paseli (digital currency), Score saving, Rivals (data comparison), Clear Lamps… Basically everything which gives the games proper longevity and replayability. Imagine having a version of guitar hero with 4000 songs that you can go through and clear, and it’ll save your hi-score etc… then suddenly that is replaced with a version that only has 3000 songs and wont save your scores or info in any way.

The main worry right now, is that the arcades that supported the games, and in turn relied on the game’s income and playerbase, are now in a position where they will lose much of their custom. Considering there are other ways of playing the games that do have the aforementioned features, it puts people in a position where there isn’t a massive advantage of going to the arcade rather than just playing at home or similar.

It’s really kind of sad because for us, there isn’t even the option of joining konami’s E-amuse service, so we’re just shit out of luck. I’d hate to see the community kind of stop going to the arcade because of this, but honestly, even for me i’m probably less likely to go as a result.

 

Dragonball Xenoverse (PC) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

It’s been a hell of a long time since i’ve played a Dragonball game, probably the last one I remember was one of the Budokai’s or Tenkaichi on the PS2, with some 15 games and 10 years since my last foray into the series, I was intrigued and excited.

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Dragonball Xenoverse is for new gen consoles and PC, and starts the game with a hype as fuck metal version of the anime’s original japanese song, Cha-La Head cha-la, which really gets you into the mood for punching dudes. From there on, it’s a collection of new story, ingame and anime cutscenes and a slew of campaign and free missions to play.
Xenoverse is a 3rd person fighter, and plays similarly to the zone of the enders series (lock on, and mash buttons dynasty warriors style, or use some of the many Ki attacks).

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So what do you need to know about Xenoverse…
The story is an interesting ‘history is being rewritten’ one, and has you travelling back in time to all of the famous battles you watched as a child, only something plays out differently – the end result is almost always the same of course, kill the enemy, but the way in which these scenarios are presented (well animated cutscenes) is a nice touch and helps explain why you are fighting with X, and why you are fighting against Y.
The core of the game is set out almost like an MMO – after creating your character, you progress through the story which unlocks the free missions, you get exp for playing anything, and can use this to buff your core stats in whatever way you choose (I like.). Your cosmetic choices are generally governed by your money (also gained from missions) or can be random drops in free missions, similarly all of the skills in the game can be equipped, but are dropped randomly by their respective user in free missions, or they can be provided by ‘trainers’ which are basically the named characters which appear in the hub world.

It’s a pretty cool choice, and a nice change from ‘oh ok, i’m Krillin, i guess i have destructo disk, solar flare, etc’, as now you can dress vaguely how you want (tied down to lore based dresswear of course) and pick whatever skills you desire – You’re free to go for a heavy melee fighter with physical combo skills and breakout moves, or you can put 4 variations of the kamehameha as your spells (why.).

There is online multiplayer as well, with co-op free missions, as well as online 3v3 battles and a tournament mode, which I assume is either 8 player rumble or perhaps a structured 1v1 tourney, i’m honestly not sure. I get the feeling this game will be great fun to play with friends, and either really fun or really frustrating to play against people online depending on the level of your character and how good you are at comboing/evading.

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The main part of the game then, if not already implied, is combat – everything else is kind of this facade for the actual game which is just a 3d fighting game. Is it any fun? Ehhh… It’s OK. And that’s where Dragonball Xenoverse sort of starts to come apart. I love almost everything else about the game, the characters, the skill selection, the grindy nature of it… but the main dish, the actual thing you’ll be doing 90% of the time, feels lacking. There are only so many combos available to your character, and then you can select 4 special moves, and 3 ultimate moves, everything after that just turns into rushing down your opponent, mashing 2 buttons and finishing with a skill – occasionally holding block or tapping A to evade out of an enemies combo. It’s pretty binary and doesn’t really lack the strategy that traditional fighting games has, and where everyone has such large health pools, you’ll find yourself having to do the same thing over and over before they go down. As a side criticism, there is this gigantic hub world, but it’s filled with pretty much nothing, theres no way to teleport or dash around, and so you end up wasting a lot of time running between counters for shops/missions.

As a final note, the artstyle is awesome – a nice cel shaded look which is clear to read and fitting for the series. The game also runs really well, at a straight 60 for me even with AA – it also supports 4k resolutions and 120/144 fps, so theres that too. Oh yeah, theres a shit load of characters (I was shocked when I found out the character select menu could scroll horizontally), there are around 40+ I believe – Personally, i’ve never wanted to play as any of the smaller members of the Ginyu Force, but y’know, that’s an option here.

Verdict:

If you can get over the somewhat mediocre combat, Dragonball Xenoverse has a ton of stuff to do, as well as online battles for you to show off your character and skills once you’ve geared up. The art style is spot on and the game is fun in short bursts – though you’ll often find those short bursts turning into hours of play due to the length of battles and grindy nature of the game.
If Xenoverse were a cheaper price (like £20, £25 max), i’d totally buy it, and I’m only the bare minimum of a Dragonball fan.

Approximate Game Length :  Long
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £20 / £40 = 0.5
Should you play it : For series fans only

Rating: 4 / 5

The Talos Principle (PC) Review

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I feel like Talos Principle went kind of under the radar late last year, and I suppose why wouldn’t it, the game had practically zero marketing and is a puzzle made by Croteam – yeah, THAT Croteam, the one with the long history of making deep puzzle games, OH WAIT. all they have made are serious sam games which involve headless men trying to jihad you.

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It was a surprise then, when Talos Principle actually turned out to be an incredibly competent 3d puzzle game; even more surprising is the massive amount of lore and storytelling they have managed to throw into the game. The core of the game involves small individual puzzles inside hubs which are inside other hubs, you’ll use lasers, jammers, fans, timed clones and more to make your way around doors, enemies, turrets and so on. There are a ton of puzzles, probably somewhere in the region of 100+ normal puzzles, then there are super hard puzzles which are unlocked by collecting star pieces, and these star pieces basically augment the normal puzzles and make them harder or require thinking outside of the box.

TalosPrinciple2
Wall in the way? Put a laser transmitter on top of a box, and then float the box using a fan. Duh.

 

The hub worlds and the route of progression is pretty unique – each puzzle awards a tetromino which is used in the main hub to unlock new items or doors (to other hubs), it’s a strange world within world within worlds concept that ultimately really works in both a difficulty limiting fashion as well as a gated progression fashion, ensuring just enough of the world is left tucked away to keep you wanting to push forward. As expected, the further you get into the game, the harder and longer the puzzles become, however I felt the game did a fairly good job of introducing concepts gradually and letting the player figure out the rest – that is of course assuming you play the levels in order, which you don’t really have to. There are definitely some challenging levels in Talos Principle though, I personally found myself looking up hints/solutions about 5 times through my 9 hour playthrough, which isn’t too bad really, and shows that most of the puzzles can be fairly logically solved.

The story/narrative are also very impressively well done, and are not forced upon the player in any way – which is my favorite type of story. All of the lore and story are tucked away in obvious audio logs, or stored on computer terminals which are not required for progression – however the more you put in, the more you will get out, as the lore and world in Talos Principle is actually really interesting and mysterious (though I won’t say much more than that for spoiler reasons). I really did love the start of the game where nothing is explained, and everything is a mystery.

While there isn’t a massive amount of replay value, the game does it’s best at extending the game through natural means instead, as already mentioned there are a ton of crazy hard puzzles available, hidden behind extra hard puzzles. There is also just in general a lot of ground to cover and an expansive world to explore. Then finally there is a massive amount of easter eggs hidden away in the game, along with 3 endings.

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While Talos Principle might not have the strong storytelling of the portal series, or the more interesting mechanics of Quantum Conundrum, i’d argue that it has one of the more interesting worlds to wander through and has this mysterious tone throughout – and on the more obvious side, it’s really fucking long compared to everything else in it’s genre that i’ve seen, while being good enough that you’ll want to see it through. The game ran me approximately 9 hours for a normal clear, and probably much longer if you want to go for the stars and star levels.

Oh, as an ‘and finally’ note for the PC version, there are options in the graphical settings to change contrast, brightness etc, but also saturation, which I thought was really neat. More games should let me make them more colourful.

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Verdict:

Talos Principle is a shockingly good 3d Puzzler from Croteam, and easily puts up a good fight against it’s genre rivals like Portal. It’s filled with some great level design and game mechanics, beautiful environments, relaxing music and intriguing story.

Approximate Game Length :  9 Hours for basic clear with minimal extras
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £16 / £30 = 0.533
Should you play it : Yes, especially if you enjoy the genre.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

ps. At £30 normal price, the game is maybe a little on the steep side, but is probably a good buy at £20 or below.

Resi Revelations 2 Ep1 (PC) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Mmmm.. So Resident Evil Revelations 2, admittedly I feel like i’m a tad out of the loop nowadays when it comes to Resi games, I didn’t get very far in Revelations 1, and I barely touched Resi 6 (for reasons we won’t get into right now). I did recently finish REmake HD again, but that’s a resi game from another time so i’m not entirely sure if it counts.

And so, here we have Revelations 2, a new episodic title in the franchise – As I understand it, there are 4 episodes to this game, each available for £5, or the whole lot for £20. These episodes, rather surprisingly, are also coming out on a weekly basis rather than the telltale style of waiting until everyone has forgotten what happened on the last episode before releasing the new one.

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I guess I’d better start talking about the game itself. It’s very similar to all of the recent Resi games, you run in a mostly linear fashion, you shoot zombies in the head, there is a second character with you (though done in a less clever way than Resi 0), you mostly don’t have ammo problems, there are grenades, you find items to progress and then there’s probably a climax event where you have to survive because everyone talks about that opening sequence of resi4 and so they just can’t let that shit go.

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The differences in Revelations 2 (at least in the PC version) is that there is a mysterious lack of co-op – despite there being 2 characters throughout the game, the second character also does not have a firearm but will instead possess a unique ability. There’s also a weapon parts/upgrade system, which is actually kind of cool and works by letting you add parts to your weapon to upgrade it. For some reason also, they have decided to put in a skill tree, I vaguely remember something like this being in one of the other recent games, so maybe this isn’t new at all, but you can spend your bp (exp) to unlock some small buffs – it’s worth mentioning that these aren’t your conventional skills, in that none of them actually straight up increase your health or damage, but rather work by changing the way your abilities work, or add bonus damage in special circumstances. Other new features include the ability to combine items to make new ones, alcohol can be combined with a bottle for the obvious firebomb, or combined with some cloth for a dressing – which is practically a necessity due to the new bleed system. The new bleed system occurs at a fairly low frequency, but will fill your screen with annoying blood splats and make your character drain health (seemingly rapidly) over time, I only got inflicted with bleed once by a large enemy, but it was highly annoying.

An unfortunate consequence of being part of the revelations series, seems to be that the game has kept in the item scouter from Revelations 1 – a laborious way of introducing extra items into the area, provided you scout them out, Revelations 2 does this by forcing you to use your second, defenceless character to point at items so that blind claire/barry can pick them up. Failure to play this shitty minigame of theirs will result in you having less ammo to fire, less herbs to use, etc.

Episode 1 takes place in a prison kind of area, and then a forest, with gameplay divided fairly equally between the Claire / Moira team, and Barry / Little Girl team (yeah, I forgot her name. always a good sign that you’ve made a memorable character and tried your hardest to integrate her into the story OH WAIT.). There is some overlap between the two, which I actually thought was kind of cool – seeing the consequences of one journey affect the next. Unfortunately the game kind of ends just as you start to get into it – the problem with episodic games I suppose. The title runs at exactly 90 minutes for me, though I imagine if you wanted to zerg it you could manage it in 30-45min on your first attempt.

Raid mode is unlocked on completion, which appears to be this title’s taken on the Mercenaries concept – However I remember mercenaries being more… intense, the raid mode in this feels more akin to running a low level dungeon in a PVE mmo on your own. The missions provide you with a linear path and then puts randomly spawning enemies in your area for you to kill, and these zombies (at the start of the mode at least) are the lowest of the low – providing absolutely no challenge whatsoever. So you run around, kill zombies, and then there are chests around the place which provide you with unidentified weapons/parts which you can use on your character, I imagine you can see where this is going. So what we have then, is a character who needs to level up to equip skills/items, we have a gold system, and then we have random item drops, and zombies with levels and life bars above their heads. Welcome what can only be described as a free to play Resident Evil game! …. Except its single player only… and you have to pay for it…

As a final note, many people on steam are complaining about bad frame rate issues and crashes, I didn’t experience any of these, but then again I was using a.. uhh.. ‘offline review copy’ we’ll say. If you do want to purchase this, it might be worth looking into patchnotes and stuff to make sure your experience isn’t marred. Personally, I had no issues running this on high settings @ 1080/60 stable.

Verdict:

Ehhh. The campaign mode of this episode can only be described as ‘adequate’, it’s not particularly scary, the new character doesn’t add a whole lot to the gameplay, and it’s terribly short. Raid mode has some interesting ideas, and would genuinely be a game I would play if it were online and free, but sadly it is neither of these.
It’s a solid modern Resi game, but that sadly doesn’t count for a whole lot nowadays.

Approximate Game Length : 1.5 Hours for this episodes campaign. Putting the estimate for the full game at 6-8 Hours
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £2 / £5 = 0.4
Should you play it : Nothing special. Fans of the series should wait for the inevitable steam sale when all the episodes are out.

Rating: 3/5

ps. Moira’s dialogue isn’t as bad as I anticipated from the early footage, majority of her lines are badly written to the point where it’s comical though, perhaps they are trying to establish shit dialogue as a Resident Evil feature?

3DS Games rundown (1)

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Now, I actually had a reasonable amount of 3DS games from before, but nonetheless, after 2 years of owning the console I had only purchased what I deemed to be the true essentials, as at £20-£35 a game, it’s just not really something I felt I wanted to spend money on that often.

Buying a Gateway has let me play games I wouldn’t otherwise even consider spending money on, and even removes region locking so I can dick around with some japanese games too, and as an added bonus – even opens up the door to free DLC and modified games such as UnDubs (At this point, i’ve become SO used to Persona 4’s japanese voices, that the English ones just don’t sound right).

 

Here’s what I’ve been playing lately:

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire – Which has been mostly disappointing, especially after playing Pokemon Y and all the new features that had, many of these have been stripped back for some odd reason. The ability to be able to catch most of the Legendaries is a nice touch though I guess.

Persona Q – Which, again, has been disappointing, it seems like an incredibly stripped down version of a Persona game, leaving only the dungeon crawling intact, which IMO is actually the weakest part of the game. Maybe deep down inside, i’m just waiting for a Persona dating sim.

Fantasy Life – Not the most fun game in the world, but certainly has enough pull and appeal to keep me engaged for 30 hours or so, it very much reminds me of leveling trade skills in WoW, running around trying to gather materials as multiple professions before coming back to blacksmith your way to OP status and get rich.

Tetris Ultimate – Which is shit. How did they mess up a Tetris game? Fuck sake ubisoft. Whats wrong with it? It’s plain, its a downgrade from Nintendo’s Tetris DS, and it has a shit colour scheme which makes it hard to make out the outlines of blocks. Can Akira just port TGM3 to everything?

Puyo Puyo Tetris – Which has made me realise just how bad I am at Puyo Puyo. Sadly seems to be missing marathon modes unless I’m just being blind.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 – Theres a good game in here somewhere, but Nintendo’s pandering to children and casuals have marred the experience somewhat with an overbearing amount of unskippable tutorial dialogue. I’m also not a massive fan of the episodic nature of each Mansion, which often results in you exploring the same area multiple times, instead of being like the original Luigi’s Mansion which felt more akin to a more lighthearted Resident Evil and letting the mansion itself become a massive play area itself.

Hatsune Miku Project Mirai 2 – Decent Rhythm game, filled with an adorable chibi miku. Having to unlock all the difficulties and songs is a bit of a chore.

New Super Mario Bros 2 – Meh. Fairly uninspired level design, it’s nothing you haven’t already played multiple times.

Weapon Shoppe de Omasse – I like the principle of the game, and enjoy the forging aspect, but the game rarely lets you do it, instead having you stand around waiting for text to scroll, or polishing weapons.

Zelda Majoras Mask 3D – Fantastic game, and I can definitely see why it’s a cult favorite. From what I hear, the remake has added in a lot of useful features and cleaned up the UI which i’m thankful for.

Project X Zone – It’s alright, though not as good as the average Disgaea game, and certainly not as good as Fire Emblem Awakening. The combat gets stale pretty quick, though the battle animations and large character roster are entertaining.

 

So of these, which would I actually deem as worth my money after playing? Honestly probably only Fantasy Life and Majoras Mask, everything else is pretty average or disappointing, which is quite a shame.

Game Idea: Don’t text and drive

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Just putting this down before I forget about it.

 

General concept:
Timed drive from point A to B, during which you must reach the destination in time, respond to all messages and phone calls, and not die.

Game Hook / unique feature:
Will be played using 2 controllers, ideal case scenario is a wheel/pedals and some sort of smartphone app pair, but the more likely scenario is a modern gamepad and a keyboard, or just a gamepad. The car will be controlled using the gamepad (i’m thinking both analogue sticks can be used for steering wheel, and then triggers for go/brake, and then Dpad for indicators and face buttons for maybe shifting gears or something?) and then the replying to text messages will be either using the keyboard (smartphone mode), numpad (retro mode) or controller face buttons.

Other Notes:
– A story mode, which will be a series of levels chronicling one guys life jugging his office job on the other side of the city, and his girlfriend who is constantly bitching at him. Text messages and/or calls will be morning soap opera kind of shit.
– Difficulties change the frequency/complexity of text messages, how badly everyone else drives (people undertaking you, merging without signalling first, braking without warning, schoolkids randomly running across the road, cyclists, etc) and the route (roundabouts, empty country roads but with a tight time limit, motorways)
– Extra hard difficulty might involve having a phone for work, and a phone for social – with your work phone being a nokia 3310 controlled via numpad, and your keyboard for the other phone
– Answering phonecalls possibly tilts the player POV to the left or introduces sluggishness to the controls?

A short lived Pokemon Y life

posted in: Games | 0

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.

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