Monday, 29 June 2015


This is a game I would have initially never have heard anything about if it wasn't for a friend of mine asking me to play it and say a few things about it for the blog.  Of course, I agreed and what I got was a pleasant little surprise for my phone.

Sword&Dragon is a free to download and play puzzle game for iOS.  The game contains 100 levels with each stage presenting you with a 4x4 grid and some pieces for you to work with.  The pieces involve things like swords used for killing dragons, dragons for killing you, a heart which represents your life and finally treasures to collect which act as level goals and points.  There are other things too but I've not beat the game so I'm just listing the things that appear in every stage.

The idea is that you sweep the pieces across the board in order to kill dragons and collect loot.  Each level has a number of goals which may be "kill x dragons" or "kill x dragons and collect y gold bars".  While the game starts out fairly simple the game throws obstacles at you as the levels go on throwing things like fortresses to break your swords on and move limits to make your life hard.  On each board there is a heart piece that will die if it collides with a dragon which also results in a game over.  You can prevent this by collecting potions but it's surprisingly easy to get overly focused on the objectives and get yourself killed despite the small size of the stages.

My playtime over the weekend was fairly limited due to being busy testing new capture equipment but the 35 levels that I did play were very fun and it's a title I'll keep coming back to when I have some time to kill with my phone.  I do have one little complaint which is that the new pieces that spawn in each turn seem to be random, so sometimes I feel like I'm getting lucky rather then figuring out a puzzle but this doesn't detract from the overall fun of the game.  Levels will fly by so having a bad run or two doesn't waste too much time and it doesn't happen enough to be overly frustrating.

If you are looking for a new game to play with on your phone then I'd absolutely tell you to give Sword&Dragon a go.  It's not going to revolutionise anything but it's some good, simple fun for your mobile device and you could do a hell of a lot worse.  Check out the website for more information here

and go get the game off the app store if you're interested.  Happy dragon slaying!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

"PC Master Race"

I'm a big fan of PC gaming, especially now that digital distribution is now a big thing.  Back in the day you could make an argument for console gaming being the better route to take because getting something to run wasn't so involved and hair pullingly annoying but today that argument doesn't hold any water and it's just as easy. 

So there's a little joke on the internet which you could call "PC Master Race".  It's basically PC gamers taking a stab at people who play exclusively on consoles, claiming that console gaming is much simpler and PC is where all the real players go to show their skills.  Most people, I think, are aware that's its just another net joke but I have seen people take that shit a little too seriously but I don't really get why they feel so high and mighty when PC can cause a lot of uneeded headaches.

A recent example of these headaches came with Batman: Arkham Knight.  Apparently it's a really good game, I wouldn't know because I've not played it yet but the PC gaming audience is not quite having as much fun as the console crowd here.  Reports are saying that the PC version is just atrociously bad, to the point where it's unplayable.  I'm not sure of the specifics but I'm sure a quick google search would give you the lo-down.  It's so bad that if you look at the Steam page for the game you find this.

 Guess the console crowd are laughing here because while you're stuck with an unplayable game they are having a great time.  I'm sure the issue will be resolved but it's sad that shit like this even happens at all.

Another example that's a little more personal is my experience with Silent Hill: Homecoming.  Now I hate this fucking game but someone gifted it to me on Steam (shout outs to PTDave!) so that I could speed run it.  Now I'm a man of my word so despite my hatred for the game, I'm going to try and learn to run it to at least a semi-decent level.  Or at least that's what I'd be doing if the thing fucking worked AT ALL.

The PC version of Silent Hill: Homecoming is one of the most horrendously unstable things I've ever seen in my life.  It crashes when you start it, crashes when you save, crashes when you change areas, pick up items and basically do fucking anything at all.  Then, I don't know if this is just me or the shitty game, whenever a cut scene plays the frame rate just drops to something embarrassingly low which is weird considering I've stream newer games than this without any problems.

So yeah, "PC Master Race" my ass.  These are just two examples but I have plenty of stories ranging from when I was a child to the present day of PC gaming just giving me a massive headache.  Luckily, I'm persistent and know how to use Google so I usually figure most issues out but the fact I have to do any of that shit at all is frustrating.  At least with my consoles I can just put the game in and fucking play it.  Still, like I said at the start, I love PC gaming and really I wouldn't have it any other way but that joke is fucking dumb.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tau Plays Discworld Part 5

In this part we have to find out who has the golden trinkets!  Enjoy as we take a trip through time and space!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Portable Embarassment

So recently I've been playing Bravely Default on my 3DS and I think it's an awesome game but the opening scene pissed me off pretty hard.

So the opening scene in an AR scene which I wasn't able to do properly because I didn't have the card to hand.  Just in case there's anyone who doesn't know what I mean by that, an AR movie is something that uses the DS camera to play the cut scene in the "real world" so to speak.  An AR card is something that the camera detects and produces the characters on screen but I didn't have it so one of the things in the scene didn't play.

What did play was a scene where one of the characters gets swallowed up by some hole and makes a plea for help to the player.  The only problem is, she doesn't stay still and because it's AR you need to move the system around in order to keep track of where she is.  Now, while this is actually pretty cool, keep in mind that the DS is a portable system and I was watching this scene on a train.  So of course I'm stood up in a train car looking like a complete dumbass moving my DS around trying to keep track of the girl on screen.

What made it worse is that when she eventually stopped moving around, my system ended up directly in some guys face so it almost looked like she was being swallowed by the void inside a Japanese salaryman. 

I don't understand why they have to put this shit into portable games.  It's embarrassing having to do this shit and the companies who make these systems KNOW they are designed to be played outside.  Especially in Japan where there's almost always at least one person with their DS on a train so why include shit like this?

Of course, I just look silly waving my 3DS around but there are certain features which could even be considered dangerous.  My friend tells me, that on the DS version of Rayman when you make a checkpoint, the system plays the camera shutter noise.  This is fine but it plays out of the speakers even if you are wearing headphones, which is a real embarrassing kick in the dick.  But let's say I'm playing this shit in a subway and someone gets the wrong idea.  There's a lot of shit that could potentially go down if some person across from me thinks I'm taking sneaky photos.

What I'm NOT saying is that having these features in a in a portable game should be completely erased, but make them fucking optional.  Give an option to turn off the camera sound, let me use the thumb stick to move the in game camera for the AR scene in bravely default or something, don't FORCE me to look like a dick. 

Phoenix Wright had the right idea with the whole screaming "OBJECTION" into the microphone.  Sure, the idea of doing that would be embarrassing in a public place but if that was the case you could just push a button instead.  Then, if you were in the comfort of your own home you could take full advantage of that games silly but highly enjoyable feature.

Also I don't want anyone telling me "uhh, but you can skip that cut scene in Bravely Default", because you can go fuck yourself.  I shouldn't have to deny myself content out of fear of looking stupid on a system DESIGNED TO BE PLAYED OUTSIDE.  Also since this is the internet I know there are people who think like "well only children play portable systems in public" to which you can go double fuck yourself because 1) that much insecurity in a hobby that is now this widely enjoyed is quite frankly pathetic and 2) I live in Japan where, as previously mentioned, no one gives a fuck and pretty much everyone does it anyway.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Pokken Demo Impressions

About 5 minutes from my house there's a department store that is home to the Nagoya Pokemon Centre.  In case anyone is unfamiliar, the Pokemon Centre is a shop where people can go and buy all sorts of Pokemon related merchandise.  There's other stuff you can do there with these weird arcade machines and people always have their 3DSs out too so I guess people can congregate around there for trading and whatnot. 

A while ago I commented on my outrage at the announcement of "Pokken".  A fighting game carrying half the Tekken name where two Pokemon get in an arena and beat the shit out of each other until one falls down.  Since me and my buddy tried it, we'll both be sharing our thoughts on the game.


I initially thought the game was going to be a complete waste of time.  Maybe this is because I hold a great dislike for the Pokemon franchise but upon getting a go with the thing I found myself pleasantly surprised. 

For almost everyone in the store it was their first time with the game and you weren't really given enough time with it to figure anything more advanced than just standard attacking and blocking but even on a surface level there is quite a lot going on.  Each Pokemon can attack, jump, grab and all that standard stuff as well as a special attack specific to each character.  Along side that you get a support pokemon who you can call in for an extra attack or some kind of support ability.  When you take too much damage you can "burst" which makes you stronger, faster, stops you from getting hit stunned and allows you to perform your "ultra".

The game itself is actually pretty fun and I can totally see myself popping into the arcades for a couple of rounds every now and again but I do have one major problem with it.  WHY THE FUCK IS IT AT ALL RELATED TO TEKKEN?!  There are NO elements from any of the Tekken games implemented into it AT ALL.  Everything down to the fucking perspective of play is completely different to a Tekken game so why make that reference at all? It's not even like the demographics of Tekken and Pokemon cross over all that much so I have no idea what the fuck is going on.

Anyway, not counting my rage towards bringing Pokemon into the Tekken series it's a pretty good game.  Let's say I'm pleasantly surprised.


To those of you coming from the Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire page, it's Polibro here! I'll keep it short and sweet considering Tau has covered most of the technical details above.

Not being a particular fan of Tekken, I luckily don't hold the same problems with this mash-up as Tau. That being said, I do agree it is an odd combination of what would initially be thought of two completely disparate games. As many of the fans know, however, Pokemon is fundamentally a fighting game in as much as they do battle, albeit in a turn-based RPG style in the main series.

Fans of Pokemon have wanted a game where you could actually control your Pokemon utterly and slog it out against your opponent and this meets that need to a certain extent. Going back to Tau's point, it is an odd match but I think it is an interesting in its concept. If this game were released as a console release, I think it would be interesting to add the team element from the main Pokemon series, where you could build a team and battle it out akin to Marvel Vs Capcom. As an arcade game, however, the simple one-on-one style of fighting is perfect.

I'm not a big fan of traditional arcade fighting games, but I'd certainly give this a go now and again. But then again, I am slightly biased.


So there you have it, and just to top the whole thing off, here is some game play footage from the demo we played!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Shouldn't Digital Cost Less?

Before I make this post I'd just like to clarify that I am not a businessman and I know very little about business.  However this is something that has been bothering me for a long long while and I can't help but feel that there's a little bit of bullshit involved.

So, when I used to only buy hard copies of games a brand new game would set me back about £40.  For this £40 I would get the game, a box to keep it in and an instruction manual to tell me how to play.  Now, a brand new big title game on Steam will STILL cost £40 but all I get is a digital version of the game and nothing else.  Now I'm sorry but since I'm getting less stuff for my money shouldn't digital distribution cost less?!

When you're making a hard copy of a game you have to make the disc, make the box, print a manual, ship it to a retailer and a bunch of other shit that would be a cost to the people publishing game.  But with digital you aren't doing any of that so shouldn't the costs to the producer be less?  If that is the case shouldn't the cost of the game be less?  Why am I still being charged £40 just for the games data, it seems like a bit of a con.

I've even come across examples where the digital version of a game was MORE EXPENSIVE than the fucking hard copy.  Xenoblade X came out recently in Japan and if I go down to my local game store to pick up a copy it would set me back around 6000 yen.  However if I go on the Nintendo E-Shop it costs fucking 8000 yen!  What the fuck is that?!  where is that extra 2000 yen coming from?  I'm getting significantly less for significantly more money

Maybe there's something I'm missing and digital copies of games are actually more of a cost to a company than producing a hard copy.  I'm hoping that if this is the case then someone can explain it to me because right now I feel like I'm being fucking ripped off!

Won't stop me from buying digital though, it's just so damn convenient.....

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Well, I was wrong about E3

A few days ago I made a post about how I didn't really give two shits about E3 2015 and that the magic of the show had kind of been lost.  If there is a God he read that post and then decided to smack me down with some of the best announcements I've heard in gaming for a long long time.

At first I thought I was on the right track when the only thing I had caught wind of was Fallout 4.  I understand there are a lot of people who enjoy those games but I'm not a huge fan of modern Fallout but that's another post for another time.  After that though, it was just heavy hit after heavy hit after HEAVY HIT!

Doom, South Park: Fractured But Whole, Shenmue 3 kickstarter (that has already met the goal), Final Fantasy 7 Remake, The Last Guardian are just a few to name off the top of my head and I'm sure the show will deliver more and more awesomeness soon.  Hell, Shenmue 3 alone was enough excitement to have me bouncing up and down like a 10 year old at Christmas but along side all this other stuff it's almost too much to contain.

This is all news I've had given to me by friends watching the streams and keeping up with the news as it hits while I'm at work so I've not had a chance to start digging through all the stuff yet.  I'm sure that once I start looking through there will be some new IP for me to get excited over too so this weekend is going to be very exciting.

The only way E3 could get more exciting at this point would be if someone announced Half Life 3 or some shit.  Fingers crossed for more gaming greatness.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Steam Summer Sale

Just as I'm promising myself to try and not buy any more new games so that I can whittle through my backlog, the steam Summer sale starts up and my wallet is about to take another beatdown.

The weird thing is, for someone who has owned Steam for a long time the sale season isn't really such a big deal anymore.  Sure, there will always be some games that I'd like to pick up on the cheap but I already own a lot of what's worth playing and at time of writing I've been feeling a little underwhelmed by the current sales.  Obviously something off my wishlist will crop up for an insanely low price but the phase of me buying everything ever because it costs about 80p is long gone, which is a little sad for me really.

Anyway, this year Steam have decided to roll out a little mini game that goes with the sale.  The Monster Summer Game is a clicker game where players work together to kill as many square looking monster things as they can within a day.  As people kill the monsters it unlocks sales on certain games so there is actually a pretty decent benefit to playing this thing.  Also as you play you can be granted up to 3 steam summer sale trading cards a day which is great if you're like me and just sell them off instantly.  Get some discounts on those already cheap games.

Granted a clicker game isn't going to blow anyone's minds but it's nice to see Steam trying to inject just a little bit more fun into their sale events.  It gives steam users something to look forward too ever sale other than just reduced prices on games.  If you have a few minutes to kill then it's worth just checking out but if you have a decent amount of free time you SHOULD be cracking through all those delicious cheap games you just bought.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Alien Shooter

Alien Shooter is a game that's been sat in my Steam library for fucking ages and I have no idea when I bought it or why.  It was a game released back in 2003 according to Steam and it was actually quite a pleasant surprise to fire this one up.

There really isn't much of a story to this game.  It's essentially aliens have attacked and are you a bad enough dude to shoot them all in the face with big guns?  There is text at the start of each level that tells you stuff about what's going on but I didn't give enough of a shit to read it, with a game like this I just want to shoot aliens.

That said, the game absolutely lives up to it's title as it will let you shoot a lot, and I mean A LOT of fucking aliens.  At the start of each level you are given a screen where you can purchase weapons, equipment and upgrades with the money you find in each stage and then after that you are just let loose.  The first few levels are a little on the slow and easy side but once things get going, they get going hard.  Your screen will be FILLED with enemies and keeping them at bay can be quite of a challenge.  Once all the aliens are dead you can proceed to the next stage to do it all again. 

While it sounds like something like that would get kind of boring kind of fast, the game is a little on the short side but for something like that I'm not going to dock it points for that since it ends before it starts to overstay its welcome.  My biggest problem with this game was the camera since none of the walls have any kind of transparency.  During one of the final levels of the game I had killed all but a few aliens, just a couple of stragglers left over.  For these aliens the AI had bugged out and they were walking into the walls but I couldn't see them because they were hidden in a corner.  Usually the game gives you a little arrow to combat this but there were enough stragglers left for the arrow not to appear so until I got lucky I was just aimlessly wandering around for a bit.

That said, Alien Shooter is actually pretty good and it was enjoyable enough to get me to start playing the sequel pretty much straight away.  It's a little expensive at £10.99 on Steam but it's the kind of game that gets 80% off in Steam sales so just wait for one of those and get ready for top down alien shooting fun.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Not Hyped For E3

E3 used to be such a wonderful time for me.  I'd get all excited for the upcoming press conferences and game play trailers.  Me and my buddies would try to make guesses at what all the big companies would be announcing and we'd talk about the titles that we would hope to see during the show.  However, that's all changed and now whenever anyone asks me about if I'm hyped for E3 or not, the only answer I can seem to muster is "meh"

The last couple of years have been a bit disappointing.  Last year I missed most of the pressers live due to work and then found myself not giving much of a shit when I fired up the recordings.  This year especially, I already know a lot of the upcoming stuff I'm interested in so the best I can hope for is an extra trailer or two.  I'm sure there will be some good games announced but I can't help but feel that some of the magic is gone from E3.

I'm hoping this year will go and prove me wrong and some of that E3 magic that I enjoyed so much a few years ago will return full force.  I'm hoping that almost every press conference will have something mind blowingly cool and I'll be able to come away from the stream with a big grin on my face like a child at Christmas.

It's not likely, but I'm sure as fuck going to get myself ready for the streams, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Steam Refunds!

One of the big complaints about Steam from a long time back was that you can't get a refund for games that you have purchased.  This meant that if you were getting all experimental then you might end up stuck out of pocket with a shit game clogging up your library.  WELL NOT ANYMORE!

The policy on refunds seems rather simple, the request has to been made within two weeks of you purchasing the game and you have to have less than 2 hours play time clocked for the title on your steam account.  This seems fair to me and refunding titles has been a thing that console folks have been able to do since forever so it's nice to see PC finally getting the same treatment.

Of course, this has led to a number of people in the indie scene taking to twitter and moaning about how it's unfair.  Their main complaint is with the two hour time thing saying that now they are unable to profit from making shorter, artier type games.

Well guess what?  Fucking good, I'm glad you hacks can't peddle your arty farty non-game bullshit around Steam anymore.  There is nothing inherently wrong with an arty type game but I have never EVER seen one that is remotely any good.  If a developer does manage to make an arty type game that is good I promise you that people won't want to refund it, they'll keep it so they can support the creator in the hopes that maybe they'll make another one.

To be quite honest, if you're game is less than two hours long it probably shouldn't cost anything anyway.  When I play a game I expect there to be some substance to it, I don't want to be able to beat something in the time it takes me to commute to work.  If you are going to make something arty, now you have to be sure it either has some actual game play value to it or it's absolutely top fucking quality.

Well done Steam, you've done a good job here.  To all those indie developers whining about the two hour playtime thing, go fuck yourself and make something actually worth playing/keeping and then you won't be so bothered by a basic fucking consumer right, assholes.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Drunlike Results!

I'm recovering, more from the lack of sleep than the intake of booze, from the Drunklike marathon that went down last night.

I'd just like to take a moment to thank everyone who tuned in and all the people who donated during the marathon.  It was a fun event but I think it would be better if we set drinking rules for each individual game.  I didn't think that the time between runs would take so long so thanks to the slow pace of the drinking none of us really got all that drunk.  That said, a nice burst at the end thanks to some donators made Necrodancer particularly difficult.

Over the course of the event a total of £45 was raised towards the charity which isn't bad for a non-incentive surprise event.  Since it ended up being so much fun I'm hoping to do this again in the future but I'm going to tweak the format a bit to make our drunk antics a bit more interesting!

Stay tuned and please keep supporting the site, you guys are great!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tau Plays Discworld Part 4

The uploads have been slow because I've been extremely busy!  Part 4 is kind of short but I hope you enjoy!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Did I become stupid?

So recently I've been working my way through my small collection of 3DS games.  The first one I pulled off my shelf was Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and I'm having a grand old time but holy shit does it make me feel stupid.

A lot of the stuff I'm doing in the game I'm doing from memory but I decided to stop and take my time and talk to some of the NPCs.  A lot of the time I can get what certain characters are hinting at but I can't help but feel like I have become considerably stupider when it comes to this kind of thing.  I have NO fucking idea how my child self, without the internet, figured some of the shit out in this game.  Granted I've not resorted to using GameFAQs yet for my current play through but I'm putting that more down to my memory than my smarts.

It's the same kind of thing with old action games on things like SNES and Mega Drive.  I die a lot more now than I remember doing back then and I can't seem to get as far as I used to.  Granted, I think it's because I'm out of practice but I just don't have the patience for multiple attempts at old games anymore.  As a kid my collection was a lot smaller and my backlog nonexistent so I guess I didn't mind sitting there and grinding runs in order to get good.  Now, when I start dying I just shut the thing off and play something else, my skill is being ruined by my vast choice of games.

I think there is an argument to be made that the internet does spoil a lot of gamers nowadays.  Way back then, when Internet access was extremely limited we couldn't just resort to a quick Google search for an answer and we had to play a bit smarter and be a bit more persistent in order to see those endings.  I also can't help but feel that modern gaming is a lot easier than it used to be.  We are constantly having our hand held by overly long tutorials and way point markers telling us where to go at all times and unfortunately a lot of people, including myself, become overly reliant on shit like that.

Doing a bit of retro gaming is good for you I think, gets those old gaming senses that you may have lost to brain dead current gen shit going and the end result of beating a game that doesn't hold your hand is super satisfying.  I think I'm going to force myself to be a bit more persistent with these older games and not just give up to go play something else.  Can't moan about current gen being too easy if I give up on the retro stuff too quickly for being too hard.