Thursday, 29 January 2015

Gaming on a Laptop

Whenever I go on a forum or talk to certain snobby gaming types they always stick their nose up at the idea of gaming on a laptop.  I don't get it.

First of all let me explain a little about my situation.  Since 2010 I've been in a bit of a weird state where I've been constantly moving around between not only homes but countries.  Even when I finally reached Japan, a place I knew I'd be staying for a long time, I was never really sure of how long I'd be living in one apartment for.  As a result of all of this, for the last 5 years I've been gaming on a Laptop almost exclusively.

This is why I don't understand why there are so many people who are uptight about the idea of gaming on a laptop.  Someone in a forum says something like "I need a gaming laptop" and the responses are all "lol gaming laptop, fuck off" and the poor dudes questions never get answered.  While it's not exactly an ideal platform to be doing any hardcore PC gaming on, it gets the job done.

If you're travelling a lot and you don't want to lunk around a big fat desktop all the time then a laptop is a pretty good idea.  I've never bought a dedicated "gaming laptop" like Alienware or any of that ripoff bullshit but if you can find a system with a decent graphics thingy in it then your pretty much set from there.  I've had no problem playing any current releases on my laptop and I do all my streaming stuff with pretty much no problem. 

Hell, even my new laptop, which kind of sucks plays most new releases with not much problem.  Unless you're the kind of person who wants to play Battlefield on it's highest settings then a laptop isn't actually all that bad.

Of course, a desktop is a much better way to go but if your unsure of how often you're going to move or you lack space or some shit then a laptop is just fine.  I'm now at the point where I'm looking for a desktop but I'll always have a need for a laptop for both gaming and work reasons.

So there's no need to be so fucking snobby about people gaming on a laptop.   It gets the job done and we all know that if they could they would buy a desktop instead, no need to be such a massive dick.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The New Resident Evil Is a Little Pointless

One game that was released recently was something that I have dubbed ReREMake and while I'm not entirely complaining about it's release I can't help but feel that this is another pointless re-do of a game that didn't really need remaking/porting anymore.

For those that don't know, back in 2002 Capcom released a remake of Resident Evil 1 for the Nintendo Gamecube and it wasn't just a straight up port of the original game, oh god no.  Resident Evil on the Gamecube, which people used to called REMake was Resident Evil 1 on fucking steroids.  The graphics were overhauled like crazy and looked fucking beautiful and they tweaked the game play a little bit for the new version.  On top of that they added a bunch of extra shit to the game so even veterans of the PS1 classic had something new to experience, it was awesome.

So then ReREMake comes along and while I'm not particularly angry about it like I was with The Last of Us Remastered, it still seems completely fucking pointless.  It's not too expensive but on Steam ReREMake will set you back £15 which is a fair price I guess for a game like this.  That said, Amazon UK have the Gamecube version going for prices as low as £6.50 and nearly every motherfucker I ever met had a Gamecube so why not just go dust that off and save yourself £10.  For me in Japan, I can walk round the corner and get the PS1 version in any used game shop ever for 100 fucking yen so trying to justify a £15 purchase for a game I've already played a million times is kind of hard.

Still though, while it seems a little pointless I'm not mad about it for a few reasons.  First, even if every motherfucker did have a Gamecube that doesn't mean they kept it so those who are lamenting their stupid decision finally have a chance to give REMake another go, the game IS 13 years old to be fair.   The second reason I'm not angry is that if ReREMake does well, I hope it sends a message to Capcom about the kind of Resident Evil people want. 

Capcom have had a bad habit for a good while of just taking Resident Evil and making it progressively worse by releasing shitty versions of Resident Evil 4.  I'm hoping that this will send a message not only to Capcom but to other developers is that the kind of survival horror games that real fans of the genre want is shit like this.  None of this Amnesia-esque no combat bullshit, real survival horror games like we had back in the day.

Admittedly I'm going to buy it because my Gamecube and copy are stuck at my family home and I'm halfway across the world so thanks, I guess.  Still though, it does feel a little like a shitty cashgrab by playing on nostalgia but I guess I'll forgive you this time.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Western Portable Gaming Stigma?

I'm going to start off by saying that I've not stepped foot in the UK for a good few years now so if things have changed then disregard this post.  However, going by what I've read on the internet it's the same as it was back when I was there.

Portable systems are great, you can get your gaming fix on the bus/train/plane/toilet whatever.  They have also gotten to a point where the visuals and game play of some portable titles rival that of console stuff.  Hell, you don't even need to buy physical games for them if you don't want to anymore.  Just find some Wi-Fi for that bastard and download something off an online store which kills the need to carry around boxes of carts like back in the day.

However, from my time in the UK and from what I've read on the internet there's this weird stigma attached to actually playing a portable system outside.  I've read people on forums and have even had friends say to me that they wouldn't dare play their DS/Vita or whatever in public because it would make them look "weird" or "too nerdy" whatever that means.  These aren't teens needlessly worried about public appearance either, these are grown adults.

First of all, if you're that ashamed by them why would you even buy a portable in the first place.  The whole point of the damn thing is to be taken around for when shit gets boring but instead you just decide to be bored and sit there doing nothing.  It's not like these things are cheap either, so you may as well get the most out of them.  Using them as a house console that you carry around seems like a bit of a waste.

But why do you even care what other people think about you?  Are you that insecure?  You aren't important or noticeable enough for anyone to give a shit that you're playing a video game on the bus.  Even IF someone did judge you for playing a game in public, who the fuck cares?  If they are going to judge you based on that alone they are probably a prick anyway.

The worst thing though is that these people are fucking hypocrites.  They are too embarrassed to play a Vita or 3DS game on public transport but they sure as hell don't mind wasting fucking hours on garbage portable games.  Games that mostly have no substance and are designed to drain money from the stupidest of smartphone users.

This is what I like about living in Japan, I see people playing portable games all the fucking time.  Whenever a new Pokemon or Monster Hunter gets released the trains are full of people with portable systems passing their boring commutes a way.  Not even just typical nerd types either, dudes in suits, mothers, pretty women, families, young and old alike.  I've seen people reading PORN on trains and no one really giving a shit, people just don't care about the method by which you kill your commute time out here and it's great.

Stop being so uptight, just enjoy your damn games.  

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Guacamelee: Gold Edition

If there's one thing I love it's a good Metroid type game and Guacamelee just happens to be one of those.

The story follows the adventures of Juan who is on his way to some kind of festival in his nearby town.  When he arrives the presidents daughter gets kidnapped and Juan is killed by an evil skeleton dude called Calaca.  Juan wakes up in the world of the dead and is gifted a legendary luchador mask and is revived in order to save the presidents daughter and bring an end to Calaca's evil plans.

The story isn't exactly all that but the game play is really fun.  Like every Metroid-esque game you start with not much and as you explore the map and defeat bosses you gain access to new powers which allow you to reach new areas.  Combat involves punching skeletons in the face until the explode and you can do all sorts of fancy shit like juggle them or give them a suplex to make them explode faster.

The game play for Guacamelee really shines in it's platforming though.  The game is fast paced and controls really tightly so the platforming sections are really fun to play.  There's no unfair jumps or anything I found that one could consider bullshit so if you mess up it's YOUR fault.  The game does a good job of making you feel like a massive badass as you navigate your way through it's areas with some segments that look difficult but are actually rather simple.

I do have a few problems with this game though but none of these are enough to ruin the experience.  First, the game seems a LITTLE buggy.  When I first fired up the game after installing none of the characters or backgrounds loaded in properly but this was fixed after a restart.  There was also a problem with the frame rate where if I had the V-Sync turned on the game would run at a million frames per second and be uncontrollable. 

The combat is also a bit boring.  They make an effort by giving you all these powers that assist with creating combos and the game teaches you how to juggle enemies for days but none of the enemies are actually a threat at all and being fancy doesn't really net you any reward.  However usually after a dull combat segment you are rewarded with a fun platforming section and those alone are worth slogging through the games combat.

Also the game is really fucking easy.  There are checkpoints all over the place so if you die you don't get sent all that far back.  Falling off a ledge into an abyss just sends you back to the last piece of solid ground you were on but with no penalty.  You don't lose any health and just zip back to where you were to try again which kind of kills any tension in the platforming sometimes.   There is a challenge area that's genuinely difficult and requires you to do things under certain conditions but that's just one special area. The game also has a hard mode but this is only available after you beat the game one time so you have to play through the easefest before you can get any kind of challenge.

That said, Guacamelee: Gold Edition was a really fun game and I'd suggest anyone who is into Metroid style exploration games give it a go.  It's got a great style and plays really well and the difficulty, while I personally dislike it, is great for people new to the genre.  There is another version available on Steam that has 4 player co-op or something but I don't have any friends that want to play this stuff with me.  If you did though you'd probably have a grand old time

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Why no Battle Royale Game?

There's a lot of movies that game video game adaptations and unfortunately most of them are complete shit and aren't worth bothering with.  A lot of these games are usually rushed so they can ride the hype of the movie release and as a result play like trash and just aren't worth playing.  However, if there's one movie that never got a game that absolutely should have had one it's Battle Royale.

Battle Royale is old as fuck but just in case I'll give a quick synopsis.  The movie follows a group of high schoolers as they are roped into the Battle Royale, a death game that takes place on a deserted island.  The idea is that each student has an explosive collar on their neck and they must kill their fellow students until only one remains.  If they fail to achieve this goal by the end of a number of days then every ones neck bombs detonate and they all die.  At the start of the film they are all given a bag with a number of tools and a random weapon and then they are let loose on each other.  It's a really good movie and I'd suggest that you go watch it if you haven't already.

Why has no one considered making a game based around this concept?!  In an age where multiplayer shooting games and roguelikes are stupid popular you think a game like this would be in a good position for a video game adaptation.  The best part is that it wouldn't even have to follow the movie that closely strictly speaking.

You could just have the player on an island with a randomly generated set of equipment running around trying to kill other players.  The layout of the island could be random as well as the equipment and survival elements such as finding food/water and other resources could be a core part of the game play.  If you did want to follow the movie you could give players the option to band together and try and beat the game itself but then there would have to be some kind of meta game going on to stop people just doing this every fucking time.

My rough idea probably isn't all that good but I imagine if a group of talented developers sat down and thought about it a Battle Royale game (or game with a similar theme) would be really fun.  Playing a game like this online would also be really fun I imagine so I'm hoping someone stumbles on this post and steals the idea.

Probably not though, I'll keep dreaming.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Games Media Is and Always Has Been Trash

Every medium needs its critics.  If it wasn't for people criticizing the works of others then things would never get better.  Content creators wouldn't have much of an idea of what people like and what people don't and we'd be a lot worse off for it.  That said, mainstream games media is complete trash and has been complete trash for a fairly significant amount of time.

I've ranted about how shitty certain sites are in the past such as PC Gamer and Kotaku but just generally speaking, mainstream games media is fucking dreadful and it always has been.  Even before I was using the internet as my main source of information, back in the day when I had a subscription to Edge Magazine, I thought games media was a fucking waste of goddamn time.

It's not ENTIRELY useless as we need someone to come along and report the facts so there is some merit.  When a company announces a game or when something happens in the industry it's good to have a publication on hand to report that shit so we know what's going on with this hobby that we all hold so dear.  However, reviews of individual games and opinion pieces are a complete waste of fucking space and I don't know why anyone bothers reading them.

There is some evidence to point out that a fair number of reviews, especially for big name titles with a lot of money pumped into their development are paid for by publishers but putting that aside reviews are still a waste of time.  A review is essentially the opinion of the person writing it and quite frankly the people who currently write for games media just aren't worth listening to.  All too often I've read stuff written by some prick who claims to have expertise in the field of games but in reality knows very little.  Too many fucking morons claiming to be "life long gamers" who are actually just part time bloggers writing about a game they played for half an hour one time.

Not only that but games review sites INSIST on using fucking numbers at the end of their reviews which pisses me off to no end.  How can you boil down a complex opinion on something like a game to something as simple as a fucking number out of 10.  The numbers have lost all meaning nowadays anyway with 10/10 meaning "really fucking good" rather than what it's SUPPOSED to mean; "perfect".  It annoys me with films as well how everything is X/5.  Fuck off with that, just write about the movie/game and leave the fucking numbers out of it.  If you base your decision to purchase a game based on it's score out of 10 on IGN then you are a fucking idiot that needs a slap in the face.

Also in recent months (maybe years) there's too many fucking opinion pieces written by people who know nothing of games and have skins thinner than a wet paper bag.  All too often I hear about "this game is sexist" or "this game causes violence" written by fucking idiots who know nothing about games in general OR THE GAME THEY ARE FUCKING CRITIQUING

What I want from the games media is cold, hard facts.  X developer is working on Y game.  A event has happened to company Z.  I don't give a fuck that you think the latest AAA game is "8.8/10" or whatever, or you think that a certain title is sexist or overly violent because your opinion is absolutely trash and you should keep it to yourself.  They all parrot the same shit anyway.

You could argue that I should keep my opinion about the gaming press to myself but I'm a nobody blogger who isn't be paid to do this shit.  The fact that you are receiving a salary to write shit opinions about video games is disgusting and in an age where YouTube/Twitch and enthusiast blogs exist, you money grubbing idiots aren't needed.  Fuck off.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

All These VNs on Steam

What the fuck is going on here?!  Since when did Steam get so many goddamn weird visual novels.

Recently I've been noticing this trend of Visual Novels appearing on Steam.  This isn't a bad thing because I've talked about Visual Novels before and good ones can be really fun to play.  However, all the visual novels that seem to get put on Steam are all the fucking same super kawaii dating sim type games that look awful.  It has even reached the point where there is an actual porn game on Steam now but with all the sex scenes taken out.  This doesn't stop people from inserting the original files into the game directory to play the steam version with all the steamy stuff left in.

Granted, I'm judging these without having played any of them but I doubt very fucking much that any of them are any good.  I'm more than willing to give them a go at the very least at some point and if I ever find one with any kind of real quality to it I'll be fucking stunned.  Where are all the GOOD visual novels, huh?!

Where's my PC steam port of Kamaitachi No Yoru?!  This is a REAL visual novel!  None of this fucking stupid kawaii anime girl with huge tits trying to slobber over your dick, this is the real deal.  A really well written murder mystery game that tasks the player at trying to figure out who the killer is for themselves rather than just being strung along by the nose with text boxes.  This game is not only a great read but there is some actual challenge and puzzle solving to be done if you want to get the best ending.  This is double true if you play the original version that doesn't have all that flowchart crap.

I'm all for this increase in VNs on Steam but can we get some actual good ones rather than all this wank material?

Monday, 19 January 2015


Generally speaking, I've been trying to avoid games released this year for the duration of January.  This is because I want the stores to fill up with a few releases before I dig in AND it gives me a month to smash a game or two from my bottomless backlog.

But then one day over the weekend I stumbled across Echoes+, a freeware game on Steam.  I hear a lot of people comparing Echoes+ to Asteroids with a lot of comments being "Asteroids on steroids" but I disagree ever so slightly with this statement.  The game is essentially Asteroids and there is so much shit flying around the screen that "on steroids" is an accurate comment too.  However if there was one game I would compare it to it's Geometry Wars.

Geometry Wars was an arena shooter where you shoot neon shapes and shit gets so crazy it's sometimes hard to see whats going on.  Echoes+ is an arena shooter where you shoot at neon orbs and shit gets so crazy sometimes it's hard to see what's going on.  While Asteroids on steroids isn't wrong I think the term "Freeware Geometry Wars" much better describes what you are getting with this game.

Comparisons aside,  Echoes+ is a really fun little game.  You just shoot like crazy and get as many points as you can before you die.  There are various power ups to keep you going and games are fast and don't last too long so it's great to kill a little time with.

The game also comes with an absolute fuckton of modes.  There is a standard "blast through 10 levels" mode as well as a time attack, survival, special enemy modes and a classic Asteroids type game.  The game also comes with leader boards so you can compare your scores with other people online.

Just go play Echoes+, just give it a go.  It costs 0 money and a single play won't even take up that much of your time.  If you do enjoy these kind of games I'm warning you it's rather addictive and contains a lot of content considering its price point.

Friday, 16 January 2015

No One Wants You To Stop Gaming, Idiot

Jesus fuck, here I am about to talk about #GamerGate on my blog.  It's an issue I've been, generally speaking, trying not to talk about too directly because it's an extremely polarizing controversy and I want this blog to be mostly fun and stuff.  However, today I saw a video titled "What it feels like to be a Gamergate target" from ABC news that has pissed me off so much I can't help but write something.

First of all, the video itself.  I'm not going to link it because it's complete bollocks that attempts to paint people who enjoy games as horrible human beings and the amount of cherry picking to push certain incorrect points is disgusting.  Apart from the video being full to bursting with complete lies about video games and the people who enjoy them it's also biased, one sided bullshit.  They interviewed 3 people; Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu and some dude in a shop, all who were anti-GamerGate and all who had nothing to do with the core issue behind it. 

This isn't something new, main stream news and media have been trying to paint gaming enthusiasts as horrible, antisocial, fat, dangerous nerds for YEARS so really this whole thing about "misogyny" is just the violence controversy from the 90s with a new lick of paint.  That doesn't stop it being any less annoying or wrong.  So screw that video, it's full of bullshit and all it does is make gaming an unpleasant thing to be a part of because now there are throngs of morons who will eat that shit up and will judge you on site just for owning a game system.

Now let me say a little something about #GamerGate.  For those that don't know, #GamerGate is this big online movement that's been going on for MONTHS now regarding the unethical practice of journalists for big name websites.  The only reason women in the industry came up as a topic AT ALL is because that's what people in the media like to hide behind when they face criticism.  If you call out and unethical practice, disagree with their agenda pushing in articles that don't call for it OR just disagree with them in general, you are a misogynist, according to them.

Due to this, #GamerGate gets a lot of flak for being this massive hate campaign to try and get women out of the games industry but that couldn't be further from the truth.  I'll admit something here; when I'm on the train going to/from my job, I jump on twitter and see what's happening in the tag and to be quite honest with you, I don't see ANY of the so called harassment or anti-women mentality that apparently every single supporter carries.  I see plenty of nastiness from the other side but very little from #GamerGate itself.

Also, if #GamerGate is a hatemob designed to stop women from gaming or being part of the industry they are doing a fucking crap job at it.  The only people that they have apparently "harassed" are a critic who has nothing to do with it but likes to antagonize trolls for attention and a shitty developer who has made one crappy phone game and likes to antagonize trolls for attention.  If anything, I see them doing the OPPOSITE of what they are supposed to be doing, celebrating games made by talented female developers and helping with trying to get their work noticed.

What I'm trying to say with all this is that despite what certain idiots on the internet will tell you and despite the kind of stupid stories that major news outlets push, gamers don't want certain groups of people to stop gaming/being part of the industry.  We've been collectively moaning for YEARS about how stale AAA development has gotten and people from diverse backgrounds may help counteract that, we welcome them with open arms.

It doesn't matter about your race, creed, colour, sexuality or what-the-fuck-ever, if you are here to play then you're welcome and that's what it's been about since gaming fucking started.  No one who games gives a shit who you are as long as your here to game.  If your new to games or a hardened veteran since the days of 8 bit or younger, it's a hobby filled with great people always up for a bit of fun no matter who you are or where you come from.

However keep one thing in mind, gaming is a multi billion dollar industry and when this many people are playing there are BOUND to be a few fucking idiots that could do with a slap.  That's the same for any hobby with mass appeal, there's always going to be a small group of fucking morons trying to ruin your day but in the grand scheme of things they don't matter, just take whatever it is in your stride and move on.

Remember, games are about FUN!  There are a lot of people who would do well to remember that

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Regarding My Speedruns

So if you watch my stream you'll know that a lot of my time spent live on Twitch is with speed runs of various games. The game I've been focusing on the most is Silent Hill but I have other games that I run and other games that I want to start running.

So from this day forward, I will be picking a speed game for the week and streaming that whenever I'm live.  So this week I'm focusing on Silent Hill and next week I'll be focusing on something else for a while.  This is being done for 2 reasons.  The first being that there are lots of games that I want to try running and there are other games that I don't want to lose touch with.  The second is that I'm very worried about burning out on one particular game.  Just before AGDQ started, the idea of even looking at Silent Hill made me groan but after a 2 week break thanks to new year and the marathon I'm more than happy to invest myself in some runs.  I don't ever want to find myself in that position again so I'm going to change my speed game every week.

So, I'll announce the new speed game every Sunday evening (Japan time) on twitter so follow me there @Taurinensis if you want to know whats coming up for that week.  I'll probably rotate Silent Hill with something else for now since I want to work on improving my Good+ and setting a decent Bad+

Also I'm open to people suggesting games for me to run.  If you really want to see me try and run a particular title then make your suggestion with a charity donation and I'll probably start doing it.

Thanks to everyone supporting the stream and Identity Gaming!  Hopefully I'll see you in twitch chat soon!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Games for Children Don't Have to be Childish

So yesterday I bought Donkey Kong Country 2 and as I took it home and started to co-op it with my buddy I had a thought.  When one thinks of games for children in the modern day, the only thing that springs to mind is cheap, shallow shovelware crap, usually a movie or cartoon tie-in, for the kids to waste a few hours with.  When and why did this happen because I can assure you that even kids don't like this shit.

DKC2 is a great example of a game that's for kids yet manages to be entertaining for all ages.  It's a very simple setup, rescue Donkey Kong and the game play is, on the surface, very basic with most of the game just being a case of running and jumping on things.  However the reason it appeals to such as wide audience is because it's challenging.  It's easy enough at the start to draw in the less experienced players and have them work towards the end goals and get better but for the more experienced players there's tons of secrets in the early stages to find and some brutally hard stages in the games latter areas.

It's the same with a lot of games that are considered all time greats.  Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and all these kind of games have mass appeal because they are easy enough for anyone to understand but have enough going on for advanced players to sink their teeth into.

It's basically how Nintendo have acquired most of their success from day 1.  Make games that are simple yet fun for the kids yet have challenging aspects to them to draw in the older crowd.  Mario64, for example, is an easy game to beat but getting all 120 stars is a pretty hefty challenge.  Luigi's Mansion is again, easy to beat, but finding all the secrets and getting all the treasures and stuff like that is something that only people willing to get good at the game are going to achieve.

There seems to be this worry in the modern day that challenging games will make people lose interest and that's why everything is so fucking easy.  Hell, why do you think games like Dark Souls are so popular?  It's because they provide a decent challenge that's satisfying when overcome. 

DKC is hard as balls and I loved it when I was a kid and I STILL love it now.  I feel sorry for this generation of young gamers that have had all the challenge stripped out of every game considered appropriate for their age group.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Last of Us: Remastered Vs Persona 4 Golden

Somewhere buried in this blog, there's a post where I had a moan about The Last of Us Remastered.  I moaned because the idea of "remaking" or "remastering" games from the last gen is nothing more than a shitty cash grab to try and make people buy the same game twice. 

So I'm playing Persona 4 Golden on my Vita when I start thinking, what is it about The Last of Us on PS4 that makes me angry while P4G doesn't?  Both are games that aren't all that old except while TLoU feels like a shitty cash grab P4G doesn't.

Before I start, I just want to say I'm not commenting on the quality of The Last of Us as a game, the game is a'ite.  I don't think it's the second coming of Jesus or the best story ever written for a game but it plays well and it's fun.  I've also not played Remastered but I've spent a damn long time googling the version differences before I made this post and with what I found I can safely say, if you bought Remastered (after owning the original), you are a moron.  If you bought it on PS4 because you didn't own it on PS3, fair enough.

Anyway, let's start with what I found regarding TLoU: Remastered.  What I found is that Remastered comes with all the DLC, features a photo mode, some commentary and runs at a higher frame rate.  BIG FUCKIN' WHOOP.  I googled the price on Amazon too and they want fucking £35 goddamn pounds for this shit.  Are the added "features" in this version worth another full price sale?  I don't fucking think so.  The big fucking hubub seems to be that it runs at 60fps on PS4 but is there any reason I couldn't have done that on PS3?  I'm pretty sure Metal Gear Rising runs at 60fps and that shits a lot more hectic than TLoU so what the fuck is going on there? 

I suppose you could argue that with all the DLC thrown in, it's kind of worth it but fuck the DLC.  The single player add on is like 2 hours long and who gives a fuck about the multiplayer?  There are much better games if you want multiplayer shooting. 

So what about Persona 4 Golden?  Why is that so much better?

Well fuck, if I tried to list of the reasons it would take all day because there's A LOT of shit going on with P4G.  While graphically there isn't much going on, there are so many things added to the game itself it'll make your fucking head spin.

There's extra dungeons, extra social links, extra arcanas for your monsters, extra cutscenes, new dialogue, re-worked combat, extra anime scenes for those who like that and this is just a small selection of things.  When I first fired up P4G I was expecting the same thing as the PS2 version but I ended up getting all this extra shit for no extra cost.

Now let's talk cost.  If you happen to live in the UK and you want to play P4G, it only costs about £13 off Amazon.  £13! Hell, you could buy the PS3 version of The Last of Us and get P4G with the money you saved.  Persona 4 isn't fucking around either, this is a meaty game with tons of shit to do that will last you way WAY longer.  Then, if you're a perfectionist, you even get some replay value for your £13 and there's even an insane difficulty mode for the true SMT masters.


I'm expecting someone to pop up at some point and call me a prick for ragging on TLoU: Remastered but it pisses me off because it's a cashgrab of the most transparent kind.  Go look at the wikipedia page and it says that development on Remastered began straight after they finish the original game so obviously Naughty Dog think their customers are fucking idiots and judging from sales figures, a lot are.  Like I said, if you bought it because you didn't own the original and thought you'd get the "better" version, then fair enough I guess but remaking a game from one generation ago is fucking disgusting and it shows me how little respect some of this AAA game devs and publishers have for their customers.

Finally, before anyone calls me a hypocrite for buying P4G, all my PS2 games were stolen and I lost my original PS2 copy.  But even if that wasn't the case, P4G is still worth buying because it has tons of extra shit for a super low price. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Why AGDQ is so Awesome

At time of writing, Awesome Games Done Quick is on RIGHT NOW! So go watch it!

But I want to take a quick moment as to why this event is so damn good. 

For those who may not know, Awesome Games Done Quick is an event that happens twice a year.  Speed Runners from all over gather together and Stream a large number of runs in an attempt to raise money for charity.  Awesome Games which happens in January raises money for Prevent Cancer Foundation and Summer Games raises money for Doctors Without Borders.

The event is awesome for a number of reasons so I thought I'd just share why I think it's such a great event.  First, raising money for these charities is an awesome thing to do.  The amount of planning and money spent on renting out/going to the venue must be pretty big.  Not to mention all the practice that these guys do for this event is staggering so it's really nice to see so much effort being put into such a great cause.  The donators even get to play their part in adding to the entertainment with various incentives, prizes and their comments being read live during the runs, it's awesome.

Another reason I think AGDQ is awesome is because it directly inspired this page.  I saw how much money these guys raised for charity and I thought that charity gaming might be worth doing.  Thanks to that, the Alzheimer's Society now has about £1800 more than it would than if this page didn't exist, which is awesome.  I owe a lot to the people who support me, but without the speed running community introducing me to the concept of gaming for charity, this small time effort of mine wouldn't exist.

There's one more reason that AGDQ is awesome and this is a more recent one.  Right now, gaming is going through a sort of tough time.  There are arguments all the fucking time about gaming being inclusive or gaming being misogynistic or whatever, you've heard me rant about that shit before.  What AGDQ proves, at least for me, is that all these people who complain about things like "gaming isn't inclusive" or "gamers are violent" are chatting complete bullshit.  Fire up the stream and you'll see all sorts of people at the event and everyone, providing they are bringing a run with them, are allowed to attend.  Doesn't matter if you're black, white, gay, straight, whatever, if you have a speed run that you are good at and it fits into their schedule, then you can go.

The same is true for the speed running community as a whole and gaming in general.  Doesn't matter who you are, where you're from or even how good you are, as long as you're here to play, you're welcome.  AGDQ is awesome because it illustrates this point so beautifully all while raising money for a worth while cause.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Less Zombies Please

I'm so sick of fucking Zombies, why are there so many god damn Zombie games?!

Zombies have been a pretty important part of gaming, a lot of great games have zombies in them.  From Resident Evil on PS1 to Dead Rising 3 for our next gen systems, Zombies have been a big part of our gaming lives for a long long time.  However, it's starting to get to the point where I'm sick of seeing the fucking things.  I DARE you to go on Steam and count the number of cheap indie games that are about zombies, the number is fucking staggering.

I refuse to believe that there is a single developer around right now who could do something new or interesting with zombies.  I'm not saying that developers aren't talented enough or anything like that, but there's only so much you can do with a zombie.  Make em slow, make em fast, make 'em transform in the night time etc etc.  it's all been done multiple times.

There's so many fucking zombie games that if I wanted to do a special blog segment on games with zombies in it, I could take about a different title every day for over a year EASILY.  There are A LOT of fucking goddamn zombie games and it's now gotten to the point where whenever I see one I just roll my eyes.

I think the games industry needs some kind of new fixation to make games about.  There are plenty of other things that one could make a game about that are way more interesting than zombies.  There are so many countries that have really cool and interesting folk tales about various monsters and things that go bump in the night that would make for a really cool game idea. 

Like check this bastard out, it's called a Baku and it's some kind of Japanese spirit thingy that eats dreams.  I mean you could make a game along the lines of some guy who's stuck inside his own dream world as it gets devoured by a Baku and he has to find a way to beat it or die.  I'd play the shit out of a game like that and I'm sure someone who's better at making games than I am could come up with a better idea.

So drop the zombies and use your imagination a bit will ya?

Monday, 5 January 2015

The Japanese Lucky Bag (Game Edition)

Well, my New Year Holiday is officially over and I topped it off by purchasing myself a "lucky bag" from one of my local retro shops!

First of all I better tell you what these things are.  In Japan a lot of stores do huge new year sales and as part of that sale they may provide a lucky bag.  A lucky bag is a sealed off bag of goodies and you're not allowed to see whats in them.  I think the idea is that in every few bags the stores will put in something REALLY good, so if you're lucky then you'll get something pretty pricy for a bit less, don't quote me on that though.

Most of the stores that provide lucky bags are clothes or cosmetics shops, but I'm not interested in that shit so I wandered into my local retro stores and found one that contained games.  The bag I bought cost 2000 yen and contained 20 SNES games!  Sounds like a good deal right?


While I did get some good games like Final Fantasy 5 and Populous, the majority of games I received were complete trash.  Without naming the good ones I got 3 football games, 2 baseball games, 1 tennis, 1 basketball, 1 wrestling, 1 shogi, 1 panchinko, 1 slot game and a horse racing game.

So my lucky bag wasn't so lucky, but 2000 yen isn't a lot of money and there was a nice feeling of excitement as I took it home.  There was one other bag in another store that cost 15 yen more but it only had 10 games.  However the store told you what games you could get and they were all pretty good.  I didn't pick that one because I owned most of the games in the pool and I thought it would be more fun if it was a complete mystery.

Maybe next year I'll get something better

Friday, 2 January 2015

Online Harrassment Is Largely Bollocks

Thanks to the ongoing Gamergate controversy that I've been quietly watching from a distance it seems like harassment and cyber bullying have become hot topics for the games industry.  Not a day goes by on my twitter when someone isn't talking about "harassment" but quite frankly, harassment and cyber bullying is LARGELY complete bullshit and I speak from experience.

First I'm going to say a little bit about what I would define as harassment or bullying.  Harassment or cyber bullying, to me, would be a situation where the online nastiness that one is experiencing overflows into your real life.  For example, doxxing is a great example of what I would define as ACTUAL harassment.  Putting someones info such as their address and phone numbers on the internet and then having large numbers of people make calls and mail all manners of horrible bullshit is disgusting behavior that could only really be defined as harassment or bullying.

Also things such as DDoSing websites and such I'd define as actual harassment because if you're a content creator that relies on your site to make money (and maybe even a living) then you're directly harming them in some kind of actual way that they can't prevent.

However, saying nasty things to people on social media or in video games is NOT harassment and it's not bullying.  Even if there are large numbers of people doing it, I disagree with the idea that you are being harassed by randoms on the internet.  Almost every website, every social media outlet, every messenger service and every app has a block feature and an account removal feature.  If people are saying stuff you don't like then block them and if it becomes too much, shut down your shit, it's that simple.  Surprisingly, even in 2015, I'm pretty sure you'll be OK if you don't have to log into Facebook every day.

I'm sure there are people who are affected quite badly by people saying horrible things to you on the internet but I'm quite cynical of these people because, as I said before, I speak from a great deal of experience of being "harassed" and "bullied" across my life.  Allow me to tell you some stories.

In my high school days I was rather unpopular (nothing's changed lul) and I'd get bullied a bit at school.  As a young child I discovered MSN Messenger and on there I would talk to the few friends I did have and have a grand old time.  Occasionally, the bullies from my school life would appear to say nasty shit to me but I didn't mind it so much online because that was the one place where I didn't have to take their shit.  Without responding or even really reading what they said to me, I'd block them in a heartbeat and get back to living my happy life.  At home, on the internet, I didn't have to take that shit and so I chose not to.  Now we have a lot more avenues for communication like twitter, LINE, Facebook, Snapchat and all that shit, but I guarantee that they all have block features so you can avoid having to hear shit that upsets you from randoms on the internet looking for a reaction.

I'm aware that some people who are "cyber bullied" may then come off Facebook and face that shit in real life but when it gets that far, to me, it stops being cyber bullying and falls into the realm of just straight up normal bullying, right?

Now what about online harassment?  Things like emails and stuff that I hear people talking about so often?  Well that's bollocks too.  A long while ago my wife bought my Hatsune Miku Project Diva F2nd.  Since I'm a website that talks about games, I announced how pleased I was with the gift I had received with a little picture of the box on Twitter.  Not long after I made that tweet, I received an email telling me, in short, that I'm a horrible person and my wife is a traitor to women who should kill herself.

Pretty horrible thing to have to read right?  Well yeah, but it was sent by someone I didn't know and quite frankly, I don't give a shit about what anons on the internet think about me or my wife.  The criticism leveled against the two us wasn't constructive and the tone of his or her email was nasty so I just deleted it.  I received one more after that with similar words about me and no mention of my wife and did the same thing.

If it was continued assaults, there are features in my email thing to block addresses and filter shit as spam or whatever, so I could have just used those but I've not received one since and I refuse to let stupid shit like that get to me.

As for gaming there's been a sad change in what qualifies as harassment.  Back when I was younger, playing games online was an almost guaranteed way to hear something nasty.  Comments like "you're shit" and "fat nerd tryhard" as well as much wittier stuff was commonplace, it was just the rough and tumble nature of playing competitive online games and still is.  They don't know anything about me and they say stuff just to get a rise and 90% of the time it doesn't come from a place of malice so there's no need to get upset.

The problem is that nowadays, the definition of harassment has become silly and maybe that's another reason as to why I'm so cynical about it all.  Harassment on twitter can now be defined as disagreeing with someone or re-tweeting something that they don't like.  People like to use the word harassment to deflect legitimate criticism.  For example, if someone says something and you respond with like "well, you didn't really do enough fact checking, here are some sources of stuff that says you might be barking up the wrong tree.."  the person will just use the H word and large numbers of people will come to defend despite the idiocy behind the first statement.  I've also seen people use the word harassment to talk about calling someone shit at a game in an in game chat, which is just ridiculous. 

All this said, there are large numbers of people and large groups dedicated to stomping out or supporting victims of harassment and cyber bullying, so I'm more than willing to admit that maybe I just don't understand the whole issue.  If there's anyone with experiences they'd like to share or ideas they would like to put forward to try and tell me that maybe it's not all complete bollocks, I'm open to the idea that maybe I'm wrong on this.