Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Return of the Stream!

You may have noticed over the last few days that I have not been streaming, well there are a number of reasons for that.

First, and most importantly, the guys over at Speed Demos Archive were doing a charity marathon for Doctors Without Borders that I've been pretty much glued to.  They raised over $250,000 and put on a wonderful display of Speed Running goodness with some particularly memorable moments that I'm sure will go up on YouTube in the near future, so go check out those highlights if you missed the marathon.

The other reason for me not streaming or recording anything is that I've been sick with a pretty bad cold, but I'm recovered now so I'll be back in business this evening!

I'll be streaming from 8pm GMT so tune in for more Final Fantasy 3!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Deadly Premonition: Directors Cut

You don't know what this is? I'll tell you what this is! This game, this fucking game, is one of the best things I have ever played in my entire life despite being fucking awful.

Deadly Premonition: Directors Cut is a updated version of 2010 pseudo survival horror game that came out for the Xbox 360.  I call the game a pseudo survival horror because really it's only a survival horror about 20% of the time, and the rest of it is spent playing out an episode from a cop show.

They story of Deadly Premonition follows the adventures of FBI agent Francis York Morgan as he takes a trip to the American town of Greenvale to solve an extremely brutal murder involving a woman who had her guts cut out and a load of red seeds.  As you play you discover that York is one of the nuttiest FBI guys you'll ever see in any kind of fiction ever and that the town likes to go around mimicking Silent Hill every so often.

The game play is sort of standard for a third person shooter with Resident Evil 4 style controls for combat and then when you're not fighting things you have a big (and I do mean BIG) area to explore and do all sorts of side quests and collection objectives and whatnot.  That said, the aiming is a little iffy at times and York does feel very stiff which can make having to deal with multiple enemies a bit taxing at times, but overall the game isn't very hard so you won't find yourself smashing controllers and yelling "bullshit!" at the TV.

The graphics are a bit more than just iffy though since Deadly Premonition essentially looks like a PS2 game with low resolution textures and 3D models that sometimes look worse than the most fucked up Barbie doll.  It's not just the visuals that are off too, the music is badly mixed in places and choices of songs sometimes don't fit the situation they are being played in.  The thing I remember most about sound is when you are driving around and York starts to whistle, it kind of crackles and kind of sounds like it was recorded with some dudes laptop mic that was running Windows 95.

So with everything I just said, you may think that Deadly Premonition is awful and just not worth your time right? FUCKING WRONG! Deadly Premonition, despite being godawful, is one of the most compelling games I've ever played.

The story is REALLY strong in this one, despite being a little nuts and corny in places, I was pushed forward through the game by a genuine interest to find out who the killer was.  Also, despite what I said about bad mixing of sound in certain places, the voice acting is especially strong with York's actor really standing out with his ability to absolutely NAIL all of the flat out strange dialogue.

Deadly Premonition really is a labour of love from the developers at Access Games and the effort they put into it on what I assume was a limited budget really shows.  You get a lot of content in here too with the main game taking me about 20 hours on a first time run with very few side quests which is a breath of fresh air after spending so much time playing 6-8 hour corridor shooters.

Finally, I've heard that this game shares a lot of similarities with the show Twin Peaks, but I can't comment on that since I've never seen it, although I know what I'm going to hunt down now.  So go and buy Deadly Premonition because if you can get over your initial shock at the presentation, you'll have one of the best gaming experiences this generation.

As a little final note, if you don't own a console, don't worry, it got Greenlit on Steam.

Friday, 26 July 2013

The most bullshit top 100 list of all time

The above picture was sent to me this morning by a friend of mine via Facebook and good lord, I have never had a worse start to a day than this.

While browsing a certain anonymous forum last night, this picture popped up in a thread, but given the nature of said forum I dismissed it as photoshopped bait in order to rile people up.  That said, after having it linked on facebook, I had to go make sure so I did a google search.

The picture wasn't bait at all and it turns out it came from a top 100 list written on the Xbox Official Magazine website, you can check out the whole of their stupid bullshit list here.

   Now everyones problem is the placement of John Carmack when compared to Anita Sarkeesian.

For those that don't know, John Carmack is one of those legendary game developers, basically credited for putting the FPS genre on the map.  The lead programmer of classics like Doom, Quake and Commander Keen and well known for working on the more recent Rage.  John Carmack, along with everyone else who worked on those games are awesome people who made awesome games and have done a lot for the industry.

But what about Anita?  Well if you don't know who she is, Anita is a feminist who started a kickstarter so she could make videos on YouTube titled "Tropes Vs Women".  In this video she puts forward badly researched points about how the damsel in distress trope in gaming is "harmful towards women".  Anita Sarkeesian is a moron of the highest calibre who took a large amount of money from a large amount of people to make two shitty YouTube videos that show nothing but her bleak outlook that the idea of a male wanting to protect someone that he loves is harmful to women and we as males should be ashamed about wanting to protect our families and friends.

Yet somehow, this idiot is higher on a list of most important people in the industry?! Are you fucking HIGH OXM?! A man who put a genre on the fucking map, the genre that just so happens to be the most played this generation, is somehow less important to the industry than some moron who makes videos on YouTube.  I'M a fucking moron who makes videos on YouTube, but I didn't need a fucking kickstarter to do it, so why aren't I on that list?!  Yeah, it sounds stupid but that's how stupid the idea of Anita being on that fucking list is.

Also since that picture was taken, the title of the article has been changed to "The 100 most important people in the world of Xbox" which is STILL bullshit because if that's the case, why is Anita on there at all?!  A feminist who talks about video game cliches has NOTHING to do with the world of Xbox.  Double bullshit is that rank 39 is fucking Satoru Iwata, the president of fucking NINTENDO.

What the fuck does Nintendo have to do with the world of fucking Xbox?! HUH?! Are you crediting him for motion controls or some shit?  That can't be the case though because if the kinect borrows its concept from anything, it's the fucking Playstation Eye Toy, fucking idiots.  It's not like anyone who works at Microsoft shares the worth ethic and outlook of someone like Iwata so why is he even on the list?

So you know what OXM? Get fucked, you're nothing but a bunch of morons who have no idea what you're on about and I hope whoever wrote this article encounters a gorgon and has his hands turned to stone so he can never write another fucking shitty list again in his goddamn life.

Yes, I'm mad

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Summer Games Done Quick starts TODAY!

If you've been keeping up with the stream then you may have heard me say that I'm not going to be doing anything for the next few days and that's because of another marathon that starts tonight done by a group that could raise far more money than I ever could.

Speed Demos Archive is doing their yearly summer marathon called Summer Games Done Quick, where they plan to play through about 75 games over the course of 5 days in the hopes of  raising a large amount of money for the Doctors Without Borders charity.

You can watch the stream here

and I think that you should go watch these guys even if you've never watched Speed Running before.  After all, it was the success of Awesome Games Done Quick that inspired me to start my own charity gaming effort and they put on way more displays of skill than I do so fire it up and show some love.  If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't be doing this right now so it's time to show some appreciation

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Some 24 Hour Stream Highlights

Due to the nature of old school JRPGs, it's hard to get highlights, but over the course of a 24 hour stream there were a couple! So by popular demand, here they are on YouTube, preserved for eternity so you may always remember that one time I spent 24 hours playing crap Final Fantasy games

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Final Fantasy 2

A few days ago I managed to beat Final Fantasy 2 on stream, so with that now off the list I think it's time I talked about it.

Final Fantasy 2 is a piece of shit, I really don't like it, but I can sort of forgive it for being so crap because you really have to take into consideration when it was made and you kind of have to give Square credit for at least trying to do something different.

The problem with Final Fantasy 2 is that it's broken and unless you exploit the ever living hell out of that broken system then the game is unreasonably hard.  The system with FF2 is that your stats go up based on your actions in battle rather than having an overall level.  So attacking will raise strength, getting hit will raise HP and using spells will increase spell mastery and MP etc.

On paper it sounds like a really cool system and I've played games with similar sorts of systems that have been a ton of fun, but here it falls a bit short.  The problem is that playing the game normally is absolutely not enough to prepare you for the fights that you have to overcome.  2 members of my 4 character party had less than 1000 HP by the time I got to the final dungeon and I had been playing normally without running from many battles.

To be effective in Final Fantasy 2 you either have to grind for hours or exploit the ever loving shit out of the broken progression system, but the problem with doing that is that it makes the game WAY to easy and ultimately unfun.

Still, if you're willing to put up with all that shit, then everything else about FF2 isn't so bad.  It has an interesting world to explore and the plot is OK considering that it's an NES game from 1988.  Also the PS1 origins version has a couple of cool looking cut scenes at major turning points in the game that make things a bit more interesting if your the kind of person who played it a bunch when it was 8-Bit.

I'd suggest that everyone play Final Fantasy 2 just to see how Square were at one point willing to do new and interesting things with the series rather than just fall back on stupid anime cliches and awfully written plot lines.  No matter how much I complain about Final Fantasy 2, it's STILL better than 13 by a long shot.

Also as a little update, a couple more donations came in after the stream had finished and over £200 was raised for the Alzheimers Society! Thanks again to everyone who donated during the marathon, the highlights from the stream will be uploaded soon!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Another KindaAwesome article

Do you remember that website I wrote an article for a while back?  Well I've gone and done another so I think it's about time that you all went over there and checked them out again!

This time my post was on Digital Vs Physical game collections, so go give it a read here

Also don't forget to check out the rest of their website at

Sunday, 21 July 2013

24 Hour Stream Marathon Results!

Well goddamn I actually pulled it off thanks to the support of all my friends and family that watched the stream and kept me from getting bored with Final Fantasy 2/3 got to its most grindy.  After that I thought I'd share some results.

In terms of game progress, Final Fantasy 2 was completed and I made quite a bit of headway into a fan translated version of the Famicom version of Final Fantasy 3.  Also, the donation incentive for me to sing 1000 words was met by a single person and the Cait Sith being killed may as well have been met by many others.

Speaking of donations, last time I checked my donation page, people from that marathon had donated about £183 to the Alzheimers Soceity.  This is absolutely amazing for a first time marathon and I can't thank all the donators and supports enough and I can only hope that you'll keep supporting Identity Gaming and my silly marathon ideas.

Despite that thing making me pretty tired by the end, I do intend to do another one, but next time it'll be for Final Fantasy 7.  When I start playing that game, there will be a 24 hour Stream and we'll see if we can get through the main plot in a single session, so keep an eye out for that.

Finally, there are a couple of highlight videos that me and a buddy are working on getting on the YouTube channel, so if you missed the extremely stupid accidental warp or the dungeon clutch of HOBoi, then you'll have a chance to see them soon I hope.

Once again thanks, and keep watching!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Today is the Day! 24 Hour Stream in About an Hour

Today is the day! Starting from about 9:45 Sweden time I'll be streaming Final Fantasy games (mainly FF2) for 24 hours for charity!  So fire up my Twitch channel, come and have a chat or laugh at me when things get difficult or whatever, any support you could show would be much appreciated.

I need to go set up so that will be all, but here is the twitch link in case you didn't notice it on the right there

also don't forget that this is all for charity! so send your donations here

none of it goes to me, so donate as much as you can to a good cause.  There are also donation incentives on the stream and I'll add more as the day goes on hopefully.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Rogue Legacy First Impressions

One of the first things I ever posted about when I started this blog effort was this sort of Roguelike game called The Binding of Isaac, and I gushed a hell of a lot over that one.  But after having burnt myself out hard on that, finally something has come along to fulfil my randomly generate dungeon needs.

Rogue Legacy is a 2D Metroidvania-esque Roguelike game that recently got released on Steam.  I've only really started playing, but from what I can tell the aim of the game is to explore the randomly generated castle and kill a bunch of bosses so you can go fight the big bad behind a huge gold door and then win the game.

You play as a knight who at the start is killed quite easily by pretty much everything inside the castle and when you die you have to start over completely from scratch, so if your hoping to get to that final boss then you really have to pull your socks up and show some Metroidvania skills.

As you play you find gold that you can use to by equipment and upgrades with at a hub screen before you start a run with each new knight.   You may be thinking this is an easy game since you could just spam a bunch of shit runs to get gold, beef yourself up and do the game in one shot but that is not the case.

Upon leaving the hub area you have to give a dude at the gate all of the money you are holding, so if you want an expensive upgrade you have to get the money for it all in one go.  It may sound like an annoying system but it's actually a really cool way to keep the game challenging, but gold drops so easily that it never feels like bullshit to build up the hundreds of gold you might need for those upgrades. 

The final cool feature I want to touch on is the character select screen after being killed in the castle.

You get a choice of 3 knights that have a different class and spell, but the most interesting thing is the trait of your knight.  Traits are special buffs or debuffs that each knight gets given at random and they can have drastic effects on your run.  For example, I was given a knight with the colourblind trait so the entire game was in black and white while I was playing with that character.  I have one friend who had a knight with far sightedness which made his screen blurry and another who had an exaggeration trait where the damage numbers would read huge values instead of the actual ones.  The traits are not only pretty funny but they have a cool effect on the game play that make sure every knight feels a little different each time.

So that's it for now, I'm going to go and play a ton more of this, and with the steam sale still in full swing I'd suggest picking it up while you can get a bit of a discount on it.  It's also extremely accessible so if you've never played a Roguelike and the genre looks a bit intimidating to you, then give this a go, you'll have a ton of fun even if you suck at it.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

They Bleed Pixels Part 2!

Well, I uploaded part 2 of the They Bleed Pixels playthrough to YouTube.  Not really a lot more to say than that, but this will be the last long parts as I intend to do the last 4 levels as their own separate parts.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Back From Italy!

OK! I am back from my little trip to Italy! The hotel didn't have free interent so I've had to go these last 4 days living like it's the stone ages, but now I'm back and all is well.

I'm tired as fuck right now so I'm not going to make any big posts today, but I'll give a quick overview of whats coming.

First, I plan to get all the episodes of the They Bleed Pixels playthrough I've got waiting on my desktop to YouTube over the coming days, so keep an eye out for that.  Also, there will be a stream session tomorrow from 9pm Sweden time as usual, but on the 20th, the 24 hour stream will be happening so keep an hour or two free for that.

Aside from that it's business as usual, so I'm now going to chill with some games as I've been starved for the last 4 days.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Not So Different After All

So I know I said I'd be uploading They Bleed Pixels but I find myself with more time today than I thought I did, so I'll be doing a normal post instead.

With the rise of the "dudebro" this stereotype has fallen off a little bit, but it's quite common for people who enjoy sports to dislike video games (with the exception of sports games of course).  But what's funny about the rabid Football or Baseball fan is that when you really think about it, a game nerd and a sports fan aren't really all that different.

Let's just take a couple of things about nerd crap and a couple of things about sport crap and compare the two.

Any search on the internet for any kind of popular nerdy thing may lead you to images of people performing cosplay.  Just in case there are people who don't know what this is, cosplay is where you dress up as your favourite character and then take pictures or go to a convention or something, I dunno exactly I don't do it.  Now I bet if you asked your typical sports fan they'd laugh in your face and call you something unpleasant, but what's funny is that they do exactly the same thing.  Where I'm from in the UK around Manchester, people are very much into their Football.  Quite often I would see people walking around wearing football T shirts which were replicas of a players shirt down to the name and number on the back.

A replica...of what your favourite player wears....sure sounds a lot like cosplay to me.  OK granted it's not as ridiculous as wearing some of the strange shit that anime or game characters wear but the basic concept is still the same, if you are the kind of sports fan who has worn a players shirt, then you are essentially guilty of cosplaying, so laughing at those Trekkies for those Klingon outfits seems a bit hypocritical.

The other thing I want to touch on is Dungeons and Dragons.  Now this IS looked down on even by people who don't like sports and I have friends who have laughed at me in various ways for enjoying it.  But those same friends who laugh at me for playing a bit of DnD also like to spend their time playing Fantasy Football.

From what I can understand, Fantasy Football is all about putting a dream team together and then based on their performance in real Football matches various stats regarding your team will change.  Sounds a lot like DnD to me, just replace adventurers with football players and worlds of magic and mystery with a football pitch and you're essentially doing the same thing.  While DnD nerds like to pretend to be elves, football fans like to pretend to be hotshot football managers and both things are fun in their own way to the right people

Either way, I don't have a problem with sports fans, even I have a couple of sporting events that I enjoy watching.  This was just a silly post to point out to some people that being a sports fanatic and a nerd of some description really aren't all that different, although being 23 I don't really know if kids who enjoy games still get bullied by kids who enjoy sports like I did.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

I'm Going to Italy!

Right! For reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with video games, on Saturday I shall be leaving my home in Sweden to go and spend a few days in Italy.  The only reason I thought I'd make this post is so that people don't FREAK OUT if I can't get the time or connecting to update the blog with while I'm there.

So tomorrow I'll be uploading another episode of They Bleed Pixels and we are still on for our 24 hour stream of Final Fantasy games on the 20th, so get your donation wallets ready and prepare for that one.

Also my speed run times are getting smaller by the day, so once I start getting times under an hour, I'll start streaming that too.

If we're lucky the Steam Sale might have started by the time I get back....

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Steam Sale! DRM discussion inbound!

Well shit, I'm surprised it's not started already, I was really hoping it would have happened by now.

Anyway, if you are not a user of Steam, at certain times during the year Steam do this massive sale thing where they will slash the prices of pretty much all their games by huge amounts.  I'm talking about being able to get games for insane things like 75% off the original price, it's a great time to get some cheap games if you're on a bit of a budget.

So I want to take this moment to talk about Steam itself, since there are a number of communities that like to yell "fuck Steam! fuck DRM!" and this tends to people on the other side of the camp getting all overly defensive and everything turns into a massive rage war between the two sides.

Well lets face some facts, Steam is essentially a form of DRM.  You buy a game and you can only use it on your Steam account, you can't lend the games to anyone or even sell them back (although I've heard about people in the EU getting refunds).  If something happened to Steam, you are more than likely going to lose your entire library and all the raging in the world wont return your collection or your money.

So from that brief paragraph describing Steam as a form of DRM you might think that anyone who uses Steam a lot must be fucking stupid right?  Well no, not really.  You see, while there is all these drawbacks with Steam, the software does offer you quite a lot.  It gives you everything in one place and provides a shit ton of feature for connecting with people and playing with friends.  But none of that really matters when you look at the prices of shit on Steam.

If you're willing to have some patience with it, Steam will give you a massive amount of games for basically no money.  Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single game in my entire library that I have paid over £20 for and with the introduction of the Steam Marketplace, I've been able to sell my virtual items and use that money to get free games.

So Steam is essentially DRM done right in a way.  It's annoying that I'm limited with what I can do when it comes to my collection but I paid so little for the 200 games I've bought over 7 years that I really don't care.  As long as you follow their rules then Steam is a great, cheap gaming platform that you can have a lot of fun with for very little money.

Ideally, no DRM would be best but in this day and age we know that's never going to fucking happen, so long live steam and their insane sales!

Unless you're GoG, those guys are great

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

NEW PLAYTHROUGH! They Bleed Pixels Part 1!

Well I was going to do Bioshock but my recording software crashed and I lost all my footage, so have a casual playthrough of my current speed run project instead!


Monday, 8 July 2013

Final Fantasy 1 (Origins Version)

I've not played a Final Fantasy game until very recently, the last one I played before my replay of FF1 was XIII when it launched on the PS3.  Hopefully you are aware that I'm doing a stream of every Final Fantasy I own, so it seemed like a good idea to do little mini reviews as I beat them.

Final Fantasy Origins was a 2 disc box that contained both Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2 that came out in 2003 for the PS1.  They were basically graphic face lifts for the original NES titles of the same name but they contained a couple of extras like bestiary's and maps and whatnot.

So recently I beat the Origins version of Final Fantasy and I had forgotten just how tough this game really was.  It's so much different from any other Final Fantasy that if you are a modern series veteran you might find that you get your ass kicked by this one a bit.

The plot is really simple, it's about 4 dudes with gems trying to save the world.  There is some shit about time travel but in a game this old it sort of just feels like fluff, especially when its so thin on the ground.  Still, the primitive story telling doesn't prevent the game itself from being fun, and if you're the kind of person like me who complains about modern Final Fantasy being way way too easy, then FF1 is where you want to be.

This game is fucking TOUGH, especially in the early stages.  Your party at the start of the game are extremely weak and quite frankly, ill prepared for what faces them in the early dungeons.  You'll often find yourself in situations where you have to explore a dungeon a bit, work out what to do, flee, recover and come back.  Luckily the dungeons aren't very long so it doesn't feel like too much of a chore but if you're expecting to go in there and just win first time then you have another thing coming.

Once you level up a bit and get yourself some gear and magic though, things become quite easy.  You eventually hit the point where you can just one shot everything and most fights can be solved by just mashing attack after a while.  That is until the final dungeon appears!  The final area consists of a massive dungeon with a boss gauntlet in it that doesn't allow for any between fight recovery.  This is made extra hard by the game using a magic system that involves charges rather than MP, and charges can't be recovered in a dungeon so resource management is vital.  Once you do beat it though, it does feel like you actually accomplished something which is more than most modern Final Fantasy games.

I'm sure with all the remakes and whatnot, most people have played Final Fantasy by now, but if you haven't do go back and give it a go.  If my description makes it sound a bit difficult for you, then there is an easy mode in the Origins version and the Game Boy Advance version has more classic things like mana for spells and I think it has phoenix downs too, which is something the original didn't have.

Soon I'll be streaming Final Fantasy 2 and I'm not really looking foward to it because if my memory is right, it's a steaming pile of shit.  Tune in for that on

Sunday, 7 July 2013

It's about time I posted a video from Sweden!

Right, well I've lived in Sweden for more than a month now and haven't talked about it at all.  I still don't really have anything to say but you can have a video I took from a palace I went to today.  Some guards changing over or something, I dunno

Character Booster?!

Final Fantasy 7 just hit steam recently and I don't really understand why since there was already a PC release and you've been able to download it for ages on PSN and whatnot, but it seems to be selling pretty well so what do I know?

Anyway, since I'm doing a stream of every Final Fantasy game I own, I thought I'd check out the Steam version because if I bought it on PC it might save me a trip to my basement to dig out my old PS1 discs.

While reading the description of the features in the game I discovered something that made me rather upset.  It wasn't achievements, since it has given a few people who haven't played the game in years an excuse to give it another go.  It wasn't the cloud saves since that's a fine idea, and it wasn't the optimisation for PC because making things work better is always a good thing.

It was the fucking character booster, a feature built into the game to give the player free health, mana and money.  Now you may be wondering why this irritates me so much, surely I don't have a problem with people wanting to experience the story of Final Fantasy 7, right?

Well you are right, I don't have a problem with people wanting to experience the story, but how much of a lazy fuck do you have to be to break your characters to the point where the act of playing the VIDEO GAME is pointless.  It's really sad that we have gotten to the point where people who play games feel that they don't have to put in some degree of effort to get to the end.  Final Fantasy 7 isn't a book or a movie where you can just kick back and let things happen, it's a video game, where some degree of effort is required for you to reach the ending.

What's worse is that Final Fantasy 7 isn't even a hard game.  It's designed so that as long as you don't run from every fight you get in, generally speaking there isn't an encounter that you would have a lot of trouble with.  Making smart choices in combat is part of the game and just because certain people are idiots who can't make common sense choices regarding battle decisions and materia setups doesn't mean that we have to stoop to their level just so they can see the fucking plot.  It's not like Final Fantasy 7 is some kind of great epic story that everyone must see before they die, so I don't see why they should just have it given to them on a silver platter.

If you're going to play a video game, put some fucking time and effort into it.  Almost every game released since the last generation has been super easy and they are only getting easier thanks to whiny idiots who can't be bothered to work out basic game mechanics and feel entitled to an ending.  Back in my day if you couldn't beat a game it was a case of "tough shit, get good" but now it's all "aww, well you could always pay for it" or "here, have a feature that will do everything for you".  It's pathetic and it's the reason why fun, challenging games are dying.

So in short, take your character booster and fuck right off.

Friday, 5 July 2013

NOBODY PANIC! Atlus seems to be fine!

Atlus, if you are not familiar with who they are, have given us some really great games.  Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, Trauma Centre and many many more, but recently there has been some news that has made people a little worried.

Do a quick google search for "Index company bankruptcy" and you'll find that parent company to Atlus have basically fucked up big time and now they are doing the Japanese equivalent of filing for bankruptcy.

This may have you freaking your shit thinking that the future of franchises like Shin Megami Tensei or the releases of games like Dragons Crown are in danger, but strangely enough they are not.  I have no idea how the fuck big business works, but if you follow up your google searches you'll find that for our friends at Atlus it's all business as usual.

Dragons Crown is going to be getting released just fine, SMT4 is getting a western release and really they don't seem to be having any trouble making games.  So let's all not panic just yet, everything seems OK and we don't have to give up on that SMTxFire Emblem game just yet, but if you are a fan make sure you buy SMT4 and Dragons Crown, make sure they get the funds to make more great games.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Magic 2014

Trading card games are something that I have not touched since I was in my early years of high school.  Back in those days I had a friend who I would play Magic: The Gathering with and a few other friends who I would play Yu-Gi-Oh with.  These games were fun and all but they drain money so fast that eventually we all ended up turning to video games.

That said, I haven't played a trading card video game since I first bought my PSP so Magic 2014 was my first experience with a Trading Card video game in years.  I'm really glad I did decide to give Magic: The Gathering another shot though, because Magic 2014 is quite easily one of my favourite games of the year so far.

The plot is pretty irrelevant to me but I'm sure it means something to someone who is into their Magic lore.  The game consists of a campaign mode where you play through battles against various dudes with various decks, some of which have some kind of annoying gimmick that will make your life hard.  Upon winning games and clearing scenarios you can unlock more decks and more cards to fine tune the decks you already have.

Aside from the campaign, there is a challenge mode which I have not tried yet and another thing called Sealed Play.  Sealed play is a mode where it gives you a few booster packs and you have to build a deck using whatever you ended up with.  It's an interesting mode but I don't really like it as there is no way I could ever build a deck as effective as the preset ones, but I'm sure people who know their Magic really well could have some fun with this mode.

The game also sports a really good multiplayer feature which supports up to 4 players for free for all or 2on2 modes.  Playing with a group of friends is actually really fun as it can end up being a massive series of backstabs and general hilarity when someone just flat out fucks over someone else.  That said, if you don't have any friends I've found the match making rooms to be a little thin on the ground so you might want to go seek someone out if you're looking to play multiplayer.

So even if you don't think you like Magic: The Gathering, give this game a go anyway since it's quite a lot of fun and doesn't require you to break the bank in order to build a deck.  The game is also really cheap at a mere £7 due to the fact that you can buy the locked decks if you don't want to spend the time playing to unlock them.  That said, I wouldn't bother paying for them because it doesn't take long at all to get them for free, and not having them will not make life any harder since as far as I can tell they all seem to be pretty well balanced.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

I don't know why I suddenly got this urge to play Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, but over the last few days I've managed to bash it out on hard mode, so now it's time to look back and reflect on the 2007 cover based shooter.

For anyone who's not played Uncharted, the game is basically about this snarky prick looking for a long lost treasure and on the way he has to gun down hoards of dudes.  Occasionally you'll have to perform some platforming but mainly this game is about gunning down dudes from behind cover.  The story is actually a lot more boring and uninteresting than I remembered it and just pulls this weird turn where at one point it becomes fucking zombie shooting game for like 4 chapters.

Anyway it may sound at this point like I don't like Uncharted, but you'd be wrong.  Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is actually a pretty fun game but it's not aged well.  Obviously, with Uncharted 2 and 3 making huge improvements on the gameplay it feels like a bit of a step back to play the first one now, but looking at it in 2013 really makes me wonder what all the fuss was about back then.

When I played it, I had just got a PS3 so it got a bit of a free ride since back in '07 this would have been the shit, but the controls can be a little wonky and the game I found was a little bit buggy.  I remember the first time I played it I jumped at a rock and the character entered a falling animation for about 5 minutes before just dying out of nowhere.  This time I had a couple of moments where I would just fall off things while platforming for no reason, which was a little annoying but due to generous check points it wasn't too annoying.

However this game committed a sin that I absolutely cannot forgive.  I've mentioned a few times that I like to play my games on the hardest possible setting and the hardest possible setting in Uncharted is called Crushing.  But I wasn't allowed to play it on Crushing because I didn't have a clear save due to my old fat PS3 that I originally beat the game on being fucking stolen last year.  I hate it when games just lock me out of modes like that for no reason, and I absolutely don't feel like playing it all the way through again now.

Anyway, Uncharted is still pretty fun to play now but if you really get an urge to play one of Nathan Drake's adventures, just play 2 or 3, you might ruin those early PS3 memories if you play the first one again now.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Swedish Lan Tax

I like living in Sweden, it's great here!  The people are friendly, the area I live is green and very scenic and the finals for Starcraft 2 at Dreamhack were broadcast on live TV so I was able to watch it in HD on a massive TV.

But then I discover something about Sweden that pisses me right the fuck off.

This article (written in English, don't worry) is about a tax that gamers will have to pay if they want to have LAN events in Sweden.  You can go read the article, it doesn't give an exact value for how much one would have to pay, but it doesn't sound fucking cheap.

Anyway, the tax itself doesn't really effect me, I'm not the kind of person who participates or manages LAN events.  It really sucks for you guys who do but my wallet isn't going to be affected so me being angry about the cost wouldn't mean much.

That said, what does upset me quite greatly is how video gaming is viewed by the Swedish government or whoever the hell is in charge of this shit.  Basically, the people who made this decision was the Swedish Gambling Board.  They said, and it's a quote in the article, that there is no difference between video games and slot machines.

Now this really pisses me the fuck off, not because of what was said, but because what it implies about people in positions of power.  It's quite clear from that quote, that people in government positions, and not just in Sweden, don't have the first fucking clue when it comes to video games.

Every controversy over violence, sexism or anything like that, every shitty badly researched news story and shit thing to come out of a politicians mouth when it comes to gaming is because they don't have a fucking clue what's going on in this industry.  What's worse is that it's these clueless fucksticks that are allowed to pass rules on whats OK and what's not and all if you have to do is look at places like Australia and Germany to see how well that's going.

If news outlets and government bodies are going to start making reports and passing rules on stuff related to gaming, they need to hire some people who are actually clued in.  Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if that whole image of gamers being an angry, whiny bunch would fall away once stupid bullshit like this stops happening.

Monday, 1 July 2013

24 Hour Stream Incoming!

Well the stream has been going pretty good so far.  Progress through FF1 is being made and charity money has been raised.

Well it's going to take a long time to get through the whole series, so drastic ambitious stream ideas call for drastic actions to be taken.

I don't know when exactly I'm going to do it right now, but the plan so far is to do a 24 hour stream on the 20th July.  Basically it'll be exactly the same as every other stream but I'm doing it for an entire day.

If anything changes I'll be sure to post details but for now go with that plan.  Hopefully you'll tune in on the 20th and enjoy me doing a bit of a marathon playthrough of Final Fantasy games.  Hopefully by that point I'll be up to at least FF2, but who knows what could go wrong between now and the 20th.

If you are enjoying the stream, or any of the content on the blog, YouTube channel etc, don't forget to donate to the Alzheimer's Society!