Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Tau Plays Discworld Part 1

A new Playthrough donated for by you guys!  Big shout outs to Monty for the £50 donation to make this happen!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Silent Hills Apparently Cancelled and I'm Kind of Happy

Apparently it's all over and Silent Hills is a dead project.  A quick google search tells stories about Del Toro saying "It ain't gonna happen" and Norman Reedus confirming the canning of the project over at Konami.  This all comes along side news of Hideo Kojima, the big name behind the project, leaving Konami after the completion of Metal Gear Solid 5.  A lot of people are upset by this news but me, I'm kind of happy.

Now don't get me wrong and start raging, Silent Hills looked OK and had a lot of talent behind it and I'd be overjoyed to get a modern Silent Hill game that doesn't suck complete ass.  Hell, the first 3 Silent Hill games are some of my all time favourites but as a fan of the series I can't help but feel that the axing of this project is probably for the best.

There was a lot wrong with Silent Hills up to this point.  P.T, while very effective as it's own horror thing wasn't very "Silent Hill".  The second trailer that got released for Silent Hills which involved a person running away from monsters in what looked like a school made my heart sink pretty hard.  The whole thing looked something out of a haunted house and it looked like all the subtlety of the previous games had been removed for big set piece monsters chasing you through corridors.  If it was it's own IP then it's the kind of thing I would have been keeping an eye on but as soon as you attach "Silent Hill" to something like that I start to lose interest. 

The problem is though, Konami have come out and said that they will still be developing the Silent Hill series and this upsets me greatly.  Silent Hill is OVER and it's been over since 2003 (or 2004 depending on how you see it).  There is absolutely no need to develop any more fucking Silent Hill games, just let it die.  We are now at a sad point where there are more terrible Silent Hill games than good ones developed by people who don't have a fucking clue about anything.

Silent Hills was a little different because even if Kojima and Del Toro didn't have a fucking clue about the storyline at least it probably would have been a good game.  The problem is that the story is one of the most important aspects of Silent Hill and even if you make a decent game under the name, getting the story wrong just ruins everything.  If news comes out in the next few months that Kojima is carrying on the project with Del Toro under a different name my interest may spark.  "Inspired" by Silent Hill is great but being a part of that series sets you up for so much failure.

People should just let Silent Hill die and focus on bringing forward the next big horror IP.  We have all this awesome technology and graphical power now, I'm sure someone somewhere can make something that's just as chilling as SH1 was when that first came out.  A new IP would mean I'm not looking at it through the SH lens and nitpicking every single aspect of the story, presentation, game play, characters etc.

Lord knows gaming needs a good new horror game but Silent Hills was not it and I can't help but feel the series is better off without it.  Good luck to Kojima after he leaves Konami and I am kind of hoping the project gets restored under a new, original IP and it's just as scary an engaging as Silent Hill used to be. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

£2000! A little update too

So after I finished last nights stream a bunch of donations came in and Identity Gaming has now raised over £2000 for the Alzheimer's Society!  HOORAY!

I just wanted to make a little post thanking everyone for their continued support and donations to this site.  As much as I enjoy talking about games on the internet and speed running things on twitch doing it for a good cause makes it all the better.  Also it's way more fun interacting with people than just sitting in my room and doing it alone so I just want to give a big thank you to everyone who supports this site and to the people who have donated to the charity.

However, there is still another £1000 to go on the current donation page and the goals will be getting bigger once that gets met so I'm counting on all of you to keep supporting me and helping the site and the cause grow even larger.


Also a little update regarding the speed runs.  I decided a couple of months ago that I would do my speed runs on a weekly rotation.  I made this decision in order to avoid burnout on any one title because it is very easy to become sick to death of a certain game after playing it so much.  The problem is, even if I change the game every week I still manage to get a little burnt out by the weeks end and this is something I'd like to avoid.

For now I'm going to experiment with a new system where I put each game on a 5 run limit.  Usually in one stream I'll do 1 or 2 runs so it means a couple of days of each game which in turn means a little more variety in the stream.  Also, as another chance for you guys to donate for something you can pick the next game by donating with the title in the comment.

So once again, thanks for the donations and the support and let's keep raising money for Alzheimer's! 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Into The Gloom

Into the Gloom is a strange little horror game I picked up on Steam for about £2.  It's indie developed and it has pixel graphics but don't let that put you off because we have something that's actually half decent on our hands.

Story wise you play as a first unnamed protagonist who wakes up in a hospital completely alone.  As you walk around you find blood smears and eventually a dead body that has been hung to the ceiling.  It's up to you to escape from the hospital and get away from whatever it may be that stalks you in the darkness.

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)

After your first play through you find out that you are a young man who is stuck in a coma and you are wandering around the inside of his conscience.  Being found and killed by the strange figure at the end of the game gets you the bad ending which involves a highly depressing sequence about how you bankrupt your family and everyone forgets you.

(End Spoilers)

Game play in Into The Gloom is fairly simple.  You have to wander around, find items and solve puzzles.  There isn't much in terms of combat but that's because there aren't really any enemies.  Over time you find notes that help with puzzles and give you more insight into the story.  The puzzles in Into The Gloom are actually pretty good since they seem really obtuse and stupid at first but once you realise what's going on then they are deceptively simple.

I've only played up to the first ending at time of writing but as you make runs of the game it "unlocks" more notes for you to find which in turn unlocks more puzzles for you to piece the mystery together.  The game is quite short but there are 5 or 6 different endings for you to find so it may take you a little longer to get everything than first thought.

Horror-wise, the game isn't all that scary (at least to me) but you can tell that some genuine effort has been made to lay on atmosphere rather than relying on cheapo jump scares for lets play bait.  There are a few jump scares but the ones I encountered in my first run weren't all that common and one of them did get me pretty good without being too over the top.  Maybe for someone a bit more sensitive the atmosphere of Into the Gloom may take hold but if you're a big fan of horror games then it may fall a bit flat.

All that said, for the price tag I'd say it's absolutely worth a shot.  It's a very simple game that you can enjoy in a short, lazy evening and once beaten there is a good bit of replay value to be had in order to get the extra endings.  Put it this way, if you had a  choice between Into the Gloom and The Evil Within, I'd say go for this one.  You'll save a shit ton of money and be a hell of a lot less disappointed. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Regarding The Disc Praise Incentive

So a few days ago the donation incentive for "FF8 Disc Praise" was met so I thought I'd take a moment to clarify what this meant and inform you all about a new donation incentive.

As you may know, for a long time now I've been slowly playing through all the main series Final Fantasy games.  At the time of writing I have reached Final Fantasy 6 and I'm making some steady progress through that. 

Now, I absolutely detest FF8.  I think the story is stupid, the characters are annoying, the game systems are crap and a bunch of other stuff so the entire play through was just going to be 4 discs of me bitching about how shitty the game is.  That is until this incentive appeared to have me play through a whole disc only being able to say nice things about.  I can't moan or say anything negative, I just have to grit my teeth and find the positives about my most loathed Final Fantasy (Not including 13 of course, because fuck that game)

So here's the deal, I'm going to let you, the readers, decide which disc I have to be nice to via a charity donation war.  Just send in a charity donation with the disc number as the comment, the disc number with the most money wins.  If I don't get any money I'm just going to assume Disc 1 is OK and roll with that.  The donation links can be found at the side of this page, none of the money goes anywhere near me, it all goes to the charity.

Happy donating!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Is Mortal Kombat X too Violent?

Hooray!  A new Mortal Kombat has been released and with it a whole new bunch of people complaining about how violent it is! 

I can kind of see what they mean even if it is still complete stupidity.  Back in the day when Mortal Kombat was just digitised sprites it was kind of hilarious but those games are long gone.  Graphics are now super realistic and stuff so seeing a dude getting cut or ripped in half seems a bit more real than it did back in the games first iteration.

That said, that doesn't make the violence in MKX "problematic" or "too much" or whatever.  We are talking about a series built on its gruesome fatalities performed at the end of the fights so who are these people who play it KNOWING that's what its all about and then taking to the internet to complain?  The series has been around since 1995 or so and this is the tenth game in the series so there's no way most people aren't aware of what they are getting when they pick it up.

I don't want to hear any of that "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" argument either because that's total bullshit.  If you are a parent buying your child a copy of MKX then maybe you should hand that baby over to a different family because you sure as fuck aren't qualified for the job.  If teens get a hold of this game and they are the kind of people who can't differentiate this kind of violence with real world violence then again, that's not MKX's fault, that's more shitty parenting.

Don't these people who write these posts/articles get bored of being such joyless wankers?  If beating a dude to a bloody pulp before ripping out his heart with your bare hands isn't your thing then go play something else.  There are plenty of other, non violent games for you to be having fun with so why don't you go and play those instead of complaining about it on the internet. 

This controversy is as old as games itself and like most controversies with this medium it's a bunch of shit.  Games=Violence or Games=anything else are myths put forward by fucking idiots who don't play games and have no idea what they are on about.  Quit hatin' and just enjoy your own shit.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Usually I only talk about games after I've beaten them and despite the fact I've not beaten Oblitus it might be a while before I do so here we go.

Oblitus is a game 2D adventure game available on Steam developed by Connor Ullmann.  You play as a short masked dude with a spear tasked to save the world from some kind of great evil.  They story is a little thin on the ground but that's OK as "save the world" is quite frankly good enough for a game like this.

You, as the little guy, have to run, jump, roll and stab your way through a number of different settings in order to reach a boss.  Your ultimate goal (I think) is to kill "The Harbinger" and save the world or something, I dunno.  As you play you gain upgrades and abilities that make your life a little easier but none of these upgrades are over powered enough to ever ruin the challenge of the game.  The big thing is that every time you play the game is a little different.  The level layout and the locations of certain items and enemies will always be constant but what those items or enemies are may change.  For example, an ability scroll will always spawn in the same spot but on one run it will be a high jump and on the next run you might get a health boost or a double stab or something.

One thing that becomes very clear almost straight away is that the game takes a lot of inspiration from Dark Souls.  It plays almost as if someone took Dark Souls and made it considerably shorter in 2D yet ramped up the difficulty to 11.  Oblitus itself is actually that hard but the game features permanent death so every time you mess up a run you have to start from scratch.  Also, the healing that you get from defeated enemies is VERY small so one fight that went slightly wrong can throw up huge blockades for you later on.  The game is quite short but extremely tough and will require a good few runs before you can learn the lay of the land and make some decent progress.  Even with knowledge of the game though, your execution has to be pretty spot on to do well and since I'm a bit of a clumsy bugger the games ending eludes me so far.

The game features some nice graphics and some great music that really set a nice mood.  In general the atmosphere of  the game does a very good job at making you feel small and insignificant in it's world.  The world might not be very big but you are still nothing more than a shitty under equipped gnat trying to kill a deity. 

As for complaints I don't have many but the perma-death thing does kind of piss me off.  Also the fact that there is no save feature for mid-way runs means that I'm not able to play all that much because I fear of not being able to finish due to time.   Finally, it might be because I'm shit but sometimes the hit detection feels a bit iffy.  Like an attack that I'm sure I rolled past connects and takes off a good chunk of my health is frustrating enough to make me want to put my fist through the screen but luckily I enjoy the game enough to not do it and try again.

So yeah, you should try Oblitus, especially so if you are looking for a decent challenge because this game will keep you occupied for a good while.

Monday, 13 April 2015

2 New Non-Regular Stream Segements and an event in the works!

So my stream right now mainly consists of speed runs and Final Fantasy so I thought I'd introduce two non-regular stream segments that I'll do whenever I'm not busy.

The first segment is called Friday Night Backlog Busting.  Basically, I'll be playing whatever my current games are live for you all to come and enjoy with me.   The idea behind this one being is that you can decide what my next game will be with a donation if you like or you can just leave it to me and let me smash my 500+ title long backlog.  Donations don't have to be for games I've never played before, if you just want to see something then donate for it, it's all good.

The second segment is called Speedrun Sunday and it's a day when I do assorted speed runs.  As it currently stands, I pick one speed game per week and play it every time I stream.  The Sunday Speed Run stream will just be me practicing/doing runs for whatever games I run.  I will allow people to donate to either choose the next run or they can donate slightly more to request a run that I will do on the spot.  This gives me a chance to practice all my runs and learn new ones so expect to see a lot of shitty times go down on the Sunday stream for a while.

Finally the next event is in the works which involves Rougelikes and Alcoholism so please look forward to that.  More details will be posted when things have been arranged.

Thanks for supporting the stream and I hope you all keep coming back to watch!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

New Silent Hill Speed Run! SUB 60 HYPE!

So I have a new speed run up for Silent Hill Good+ on Normal!  Check it out!

As far as I know, this is world record for Good+ on normal.  The only faster runs than this I'm aware of are on Easy mode but if a faster normal time exists please let me know.

The audio for this video is also muted and there isn't much I can do about it.  Twitch has some kind of bollocks anti piracy shit where if they detect....something...the mute the audio.  Despite the video having only in-game audio, it got muted until about the 20 minute mark on Twitch but the YT upload is completely silent.

I'm appealing the mute and if it gets un muted then I'll re-upload.  Until then, enjoy the (probably) world record.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Whats Wrong With Game Music?

While this isn't a thing that happens all that much to me anymore, it used to and it always confused me.

So up until about my early 20s, if people found out that I listened to tracks from video games they would raise an eyebrow and be like "really?  that's super nerdy and not cool at all, you should listen to something else"  This eventually faded out as the number of twats surrounding me started to dwindle but it does still happen although rather rarely.

I just never really understood that logic or way of thinking, as if music somehow loses its validity just by being featured in a video game.  Of course, in 2015 there are big name groups doing sounds or soundtracks for games so do those songs suddenly become "too nerdy" to listen to.  I'm the musician behind the game track put in just as much effort or maybe even more than the professional artist recording an album,

I like me a bit of everything when it comes to music, there isn't one genre I really point to and say "this is my main shit" because my playlists change so damn often and usually contain a little something from every genre.  Judging someone based on their musical tastes is a fucking retarded thing to do and it's the kind of thing I thought would stop by the time I hit 25 but I still see it today albeit very rarely.

If you want to stand there and argue with me that a bunch of stupid twatsockets such as One Direction make better music than let's say....this

Then you are quite obviously a huge foghorning idiot.  Don't get me wrong though, I'm not anti-mainstream stuff and I do find myself looking up tracks from my wife's iPod but claiming that one piece of music becomes less valid because it was used in a game rather than for a top of the pops chart is retarded.

Luckily we live in an age now where it's not THAT weird and video game music is quite often celebrated.  Hell I've played games where footage from live concerts for that game are included as bonus material.  You just do your thing and I'll do mine.  If you want to listen to pop chart twat du jour then that's cool but don't get all judgemental when the Megaman X soundtrack starts coming out of my speakers 

Monday, 6 April 2015

I miss simplicitcy

The last few days I've been busting out the retro games.  Thanks to a little bar near my house I've been able to get my game on with some actual hardware rather than emulators or shitty Chinese made multi systems.  I then come home and try to set up the WiiU that my wife bought me months ago and it was so much harder and I ended up not playing anything.

Back in the day it used to be very simple.  I would just buy a game, slam it into the system of choice and start playing.  Even up to the PS2 shit was as easy as buying the game, popping it in the tray and hitting go.  Of course, PC and home computers were a little bit more complex but the levels of bullshit were generally a bit lower.  The worst you'd come across with old PC games are titles that had 8 or 9 discs which is more of a pain in the ass than bullshit.

Nowadays though its a whole different ball game and even consoles don't provide any respite.  You buy any game for any system and you can't just put the fucking thing in and go.  First you have to download system updates and then when that's done you need to download game updates.  While that's bullshit I can still kind of handle that but there are games now that require you to sign into shit like Origin or UPlay or Xbox Live or some such crap and I just can't be fucked with that.  PC is actually a little better since all my shits in Steam but even Steam does this stupid "first time setup" thing that seems to take a million years every time I install a new game.

The other day my friend brought round a copy of Smash Brothers on WiiU and due to the fact he was only around my place for a short time he spent about 70% of his time with my WiiU looking at update bars and loading icons.  Fuck, if I fire up my Wii and put in Brawl or Melee at least I'm playing within less than a minute providing I don't fuck around with the menus.

I just don't care about all these fucking updates, I don't want them, I just want to play the goddamn game that I bought.  The only reason that these updates are required is that sometime after the PS2s generation game developers forgot how to make games that work upon release so patching is required.

There's a lot of games worth playing in the modern day but I find it so much harder to just relax with games now because I know every time I want to play something new I'm going to have to wait for it to update or some such crap.  Still, at least old games fire up instantly so I have something to do while the fucking  thing takes 20 minutes to get itself up to speed.

P.S. Single player games that have required internet connections are the devil, fuck those games.

Friday, 3 April 2015

What the fuck are you doing Atlus?

One game that has piqued my interest since I first heard about the idea a while ago was Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. 

I'm a HUGE Shin Megami Tensei fan, it's probably one of my favorite series of games.  For anyone who may not know, SMT is a huge series of monster breeding type games.  The idea is that you have to collect demons and shit and go through dungeons just to give it a very simple explanation.  The main series started as dungeon crawls and it was changed up a little for SMT3 but there's also been a shit ton of spin offs, the most famous of which being Persona.

I'm also a big fan of the Fire Emblem games, a series of strategy RPGs that is famous for it's perma-death of characters, challenging maps, RNG that will fuck you in the ass, memorable characters and great stories.  So of course these two series coming together seems like a fucking great idea.  Then I saw the trailer....

What the fuck is this shit?  It looks nothing like a Fire Emblem and there are only a few little nods to a way an SMT game should be.  It's all anime and moe now with fucking crappy J Pop playing and anime girls being all kawaii n' shit.  Don't get me wrong though, I'm fine with moe, crappy J Pop, fan service anime girls, that shits a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine but this is not the time and the place for it.  These two series of games are just not all moe and overly anime like this fucking trailer.  Even the Persona series, which comes pretty fucking close, still retains the general feel of an SMT game.

I'm not saying however that this game is going to suck, I just wish it was being marketed as a fucking SMT/Fire Emblem crossover.  It's one of those cases where under a different name I'd be kind of excited but you put this kind of branding on it and it just disappoints me.  That said, information is still a little scarce so maybe as more is revealed by sadness at this trailer will subside but any hype that I had for it is now pretty much dead.

Finally, while I was writing this post I just remembered one game in the SMT series that kind of looks and plays like Fire Emblem anyway.  It's called Majin Tensei.

It's not quite the same but if there is too much moe bullshit for your tastes then this is a good alternative

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Playing Games in Japanese

So recently I've been trying to wipe Hyper Dimension Neptunia off my backlog list and I thought I'd share what playing games in Japanese is like.

First of all some background to my ability.  I've been studying Japanese for a good while and I have a degree in the language.  After I graduated a 4 year course in the UK (which included 1 year in Japan) I came to Japan and started working and living with my wife where we speak Japanese pretty much constantly at home.  While I'm not studying the language formally anymore I'm surrounded by it on all sides so I get lots of chances to build my skills.  While my speaking and listening are pretty good, my ability to read Kanji could use some work and since I've not hand written anything in a long time my writing has probably gone to shit. 

The first game I ever attempted to play in Japanese was Catherine.

Catherine is a puzzle game and since the story is told mostly by dudes sat around a table in a bar then the vocabulary in the game isn't particularly difficult.  What made Catherine even easier is that it's almost all voice acted so any difficult words in the subtitles I could make up for my just listening closely to the actors.

Hyper Dimension Neptunia is a different beast though.  While the game is mostly voice acted, all the characters speak in that high pitched moe voice which makes it very easy to miss shit.  The game also uses a lot of vocabulary and ways of speaking that I'm just flat out not used to which makes the thing quite hard to understand at times.

Old games are even worse with insane kanji or fonts that are so hard to read it would make your head spin.  Visual novels are a real pain in the ass since I can't get through one of those without being firmly attached to my electronic dictionary.

That said, getting through a game entirely in Japanese is a rather satisfying experience and over time my reading of kanji and the like will get better and I imagine it'll be second nature at some point.  If you are studying Japanese and you want to play some Japanese games then make sure you pick your game carefully because its very easy to get lost in all the weird words and phrases that make up the dialogue.