Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year! An Update

Well at time of writing it's New Years Eve but I'm going to be out partying when it actually ticks over so I'm making the post now.

First I want to extend all the usual thanks for the continued support and even bigger thanks to everyone who donated over the course of 2017.  Of course, going into 2018 I hope we can raise even more money for the charity and improve the site considerably.

As for blog news going into the year we have the 2players 1controller mini marathon coming up on the 7th of January and hopefully I'll be able to find time in February for the Crash series marathon.  I'm actually hoping to do a marathon at least once a month from January, if not 24 hour some kind of 12 hour general gaming stream where maybe people can donate for what's played.

Also the Advance Wars playthrough will be continued at some point but the guy I'm recording it with got married and moved house so he's been busy as fuck.  Anyway we're hoping to jump back into the battlefield sometime early January.  I of course have a number of playthroughs planned for my solo efforts AND there will be a streamed playthrough of Haunting Grounds (Demento) which was donated for by a friend of mine during my birthday.

So watch this space and keep supporting the site and the Alzheimer's Society!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

2018 Speed Schedule

So 2018 is nearly with us so it's about time I informed everyone what games I'm planning to speedrun this coming year.

While it was fun last year to try and run 12 games, there were a number of problems doing it that way.  First is that I had to spend a few days de-rusting, so I wasn't actually doing any proper runs for the first few streams.  Then after that, a single month of running the game wasn't really enough time to build up enough skill to get any kind of decent time in anything.  On top of all that I was losing days to social gatherings, parental visits and other events and the like which cut the time for actually speedrunning things down even further.  So this year I'll be running 4 games for 3 months each and then if you wanna see the other speed games you can donate for the mini speed marathon incentive

So with that said, here's the list

January-March- Silent Hill
April-June- Megaman 4
July-September- Super Mario World 11 Exits + Casually learning a new game maybe
October-December- Super Castlevania 4

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dragons Crown: Money Grub Edition

So I was talking with my friend the other day and he said that all I do is complain on here, like I'm full of nothing but rage and negativity.  This may be partly true so I planned a bunch of blog topics so that the next handful of posts would be nothing but sunshine and rainbows but then I saw this and now I can't help complaining again.

Dragons Crown is a game that was released in 2013 for the PS3 and Vita and was a bit of a side scrolly hack and slashy affair and if there's one thing I can't be mad about it's the game itself.  If you haven't played Dragons Crown I would totally suggest picking up a copy and giving it a spin, it's really fucking fun. 

So ATLUS did this a while ago with a similar game called Odin Sphere which was awesome.  The original Odin Sphere came out on PS2 and playing a PS2 game on a modern TV can look a bit crappy, which was a shame for a game with such a beautiful art style.  Not only did it get a bit of a facelift though, it came with some extra content and tweaks to game play which made it worth buying.  I have no problem re releasing an older game if it has some, even just a little, extra or different shit in it to warrant the purchase.

Dragons Crown on the other hand is a different tale.  This is a game from just the last generation that looks just fine on the PS3.   It's not like the PS4 can do all that much to improve the look of that game really, the generational face lift is not needed here.  It feels like that sort of pointless remake that's put out just  to milk a bit of extra money from the fans, kind of like the "HD" version of The Last of Us.  Not only that though but from what I can tell after reading some of the news stories about this game, there is NOTHING new in terms of content.  The only thing I can find is that it contains all the original games original features.  It's a fucking sad day when the fact that we're not having anything removed from a remake is noteworthy.

Unless for some weird reason you don't own a PS3 (or a Vita), don't buy the £50 pro edition of the game.  Just go find a PS3 or Vita version in a store or on Amazon or something.  At time of writing the original PS3 version is available on Amazon for like £30 so save yourself the money and get the exact same game at a much lower price.

Finally the thing that irks me is the name.  It's not Dragons Crown: Remaster, it's Dragons Crown Pro Edition.  With a name like that you'd expect it to be tweaked to be harder or something.  Like, the PS2 SMT RPG Lucifer's Call (Or Nocturne depending on where you're from) in Japan has something called a "maniacs edition".  This is the version that featured slightly tougher combat, an extra hard as fuck side quest and Dante from Devil May Cry.  There's nothing "pro" about this version over the other one, it's just the same fucking game with some slightly better graphics.

Anyway, go try Dragons Crown because it's fucking sick, just don't pay out the nose for this version and grab it on PS3.  ATLUS have been good in the past with shit like P4G so don't let them get away with this crap.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Cool Things In Japanese Arcades

I always have to come back to talking about the arcades since it's probably one of my favorite things about living in Japan.  Now the thing that tends to blow most peoples minds, which is the whole idea of a sort of members card that tracks stats and progress I've talked about to death.  Here is a video of me talking about it so that I don't have to type it all out again if you don't know what I'm on about.

But that's not the only cool thing about these places so here's 3 more really cool things about Japanese Arcades you may not know about

1) Recording and Sharing

Usually if you walk into a big arcade these a big signboard at the front that has all the rules and usually one of those rules is you're not allowed to bring in a camera and take pictures and stuff.  However the people who run these places know that gamers like to come in, record their game play if they are particularly good and share it with Nico Nico Douga or YouTube.  I noticed about a year ago that a lot of the machines in my nearest arcade started hooking up capture cards to the machine nearest to the aisle which you could plug a USB device in and record to it.  Not only this but recently I found that the rhythm game Chunithm has set up these sort of holders for your phone that give you a perfect angle on the screen and controller so that you can record shit and basically upload it there and then.  Before all this started people were bringing in cameras and tripods and shit which would clog up the space for people so all of this is a welcome addition

2) Manage your shit from your house

There are certain games such as Gunslinger Stratos or Code of Joker along with others that allow you to manage gun loud outs, decks or profile details from the comfort of your own home so that when you actually get to the arcade you aren't wasting your time in menus and shit and you can just sit down and play the damn game.  The one I'm most familiar with is Code of Jokers Agent Lab.

If you try to modify your deck in the arcade you are given a 120 second time limit and after that you start spending your paid credit and if you've ever tried to make a deck for a card game in 2 minutes it's a little tight.  However if you login to the above link you can sit, read through all your cards and make decks to your hearts content so that when you go to the arcade and scan your Aime you can just start playing right away. 

3) Actual Collectable Shit

I love collecting shit, it's just fun to do and one of the great things about the arcade is that they give you a chance to get your hands on quite a bit of swag.  Of course there's the UFO machines which give you prizes but they are actually worth trying for over here unlike the shitty plushies that you get in the UK.  However there are games like Sengoku Taisen (or whatever that new one is called) and Kantai Collection which give you actual physical cards to collect and trade which also level up in game as you use them, it's really cool.

My meager but much loved Kantai cards
 The best part is that you don't have to go to another shop to buy cards and then bring them to the arcade like it's Yu-Gi-Oh or some shit.  After you finish playing a round the machine itself will print a card for you to add to your collection so there's not really any extra effort required for amassing a decent collection of stuff.  There do exist specialist shops that allow you to buy the rare cards individually but these are mainly for the most hardcore of collectors rather than just regular players of the game.


It's a real shame that we don't have these kind of games in the UK because I might not hate the idea of returning home so much if we did.  That said if we did put these games into English arcades they'd probably just get abused and become unusable within a week anyway, so maybe it's for the best.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Regret Not Trying a WoW RP Server

Every so often I'll be talking with a friend and the topic of WoW will come up.  It usually goes the same way every time too with us talking fondly of memories playing with friends and shit back in Vanilla or Burning Crusade days and then getting pissed off with it some time shortly after that and begrudgingly giving up on it.

While thinking about WoW I realized that while I don't have much urge to ever return to it, I do sort of regret never playing on the games RP servers.  I always played on a PVP server and admittedly at the time I didn't "get" RP servers like that.  I just wanted to play the game, kill shit and get sick epic gear and that kind of thing was reserved for the kind of fat acne ridden, basement dwelling nerd with no real friends.  (I was a horribly judgemental teen, sorry)

Once I got to university though I started playing Dungeons and Dragons and I came to the realization that role playing was actually really fun ESPECIALLY if you've got a good group of friends and a few drinks to help things get a little silly.  It made me think though that I sort of regret not giving the RP servers a chance back when I was at the height of my WoW playing time.

In case you're not familiar with what this entails, an RP server is a place where you don't just play the game but you actually have to play your character as if it was a real person in the world of Azeroth and not just a loot collecting machine.  This of course includes stuff about the way you talk to other players but also how you move around the world and things like that.  I have friends who have tried RP servers before and they said the one of the best things about it was that the main town chats actually had conversations going on in them rather than just people spamming for groups or to sell items.

I would never go back to WoW now, my backlog is so huge that playing an MMO is probably a bad idea but I'll always kind of regret not giving that side of the game a go.  Then again, if I had done it I probably would have been all grimdark and shit so for my own sake maybe it was a good thing I didn't.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

IIDX Is Just Too Hard For Me

No one likes to admit they suck shit at a thing.  It's hard for one to throw their hands up and say "Yep, that thing, I'm fucking awful at it" but I think it's about time I throw my hands up and say yes, Beatmania IIDX (or 2 DX) is just flat out too hard for me.

I've been trying to git gud at this game for multiple years now and every time I just get frustrated and quit.  Back in high school, IIDX was the reason I got into importing Japanese games.  I got a Swap Magic, a IIDX controller and IIDX RED off Play Asia and tried to get good at it in my house since England didn't actually have any machines to play on.  Although I do think there was an original Beatmania cabinet in London, but who cares about Beatmania 1?

Rhythm games are usually something I'm pretty good at.  I play DDR fairly well and I can rock most of the top level shit in the arcades for certain titles.  Here's a video of me playing Night of Nights on Chunithm in the arcade just to prove I'm not a total inept moron when it comes to this genre.

However, that's Chunithm, now check out this video of some dude playing an IIDX song.

It's just another fucking level that I can't wrap my head around.  What's depressing about this whole this is that I actually LIKE IIDX so being shit at it genuinely saddens me. 

Still though, I'm not one to give up.  Maybe from today I'll give it another shot and hopefully in a month or 2 (or 6) I'll be able to come and make another post about how I conquered it and got good.  The chances of that ACTUALLY happening are quite low though since 1) I'll probably get frustrated and 2) The machines are usually busy and I don't wanna wait.

Still, I can dream 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Friday the 13th

God I remember all the buildup for this game.  Every other day on Facebook one of those videos from some weird baity gaming page would post a trailer or some game play footage like "erh muh gerd looks so good" and then the game actually came out and it sort of just vanished from existence.  Anyway thanks to a friend I've finally had a chance to give it a go.

The short version of this post is that if you followed the hype train then you'll probably be disappointing by how the game turned out but for me, I thought it looked a bit shit to begin with so I was actually pleasantly surprised.  Nothing special but a fun little game that you could happily kill a few hours with.

The game itself is pretty simple.  You join an online lobby with a bunch of people and everyone chooses a camp counselor and a Jason.  Which characters are available is dependent on your level which seems a little bullshitty to me since each character does seem to be a little bit different but whatever, you get EXP pretty quickly.  Once the game starts, one player is assigned to be the Jason and everyone else has to run away.  The goal is to escape or survive until the end of the timer for the counselors and to murder everyone for Jason.

On each map there are a number of objectives which involve things like repairing a car or calling the police and doing this will help speed up your escape but the items required for this are placed randomly throughout the map so if you want to get it done, working with other players might be a good idea although I'm playing the game in a busy bar with no voice control so for me that's pretty much impossible.  For Jason it's just a case of kill as many people as you can but you're a slow bulky piece of shit so you have a few powers to help you out like the ability to sense players or teleport around the map.  Once everyone is dead or has escaped the game ends and you're given experience with which you unlock characters and perks and whatnot.  Then you do it all again till the end of time.

I have two major problems with what limited time I've had with the game.  The first being that Jason just isn't fun to play AT ALL.  Maybe it's because I'm bad but he's super unwieldy and just sort of needlessly hard to use.  It's hard to articulate but maybe if you try the game you'll know what I mean but generally the counselors are just a lot more fun to play.  My other problem is that the game is buggy to fuck.  The worst bug I saw was when another friend of mine was playing Jason and I don't quite know what happened but the HUD vanished and he was completely locked out of using his powers and couldn't smash doors and stuff properly.  Eventually he got lucky an someone clocked him in the face with a frying pan and when he came out of the stun all his shit came back.  One other minor annoyance is that if the player controlling Jason drops from the game then the game just instantly fucking ends.  I get why but couldn't thay have maybe just let a bot Jason take over or something?

Either way, while Friday the 13th is nothing special it's at least a bit of mindless fun for a few hours.  I imagine if you get a team of good counselors and a Jason that actually knows what he's doing it could be pretty intense but unfortunately every game I've played/witnessed up to now seems to be populated with dribbling children but that isn't exactly the games fault.  Not something I'd pay full price for but put that shit on a Steam sale and I'll pick up my own copy eventually.

Friday, 17 November 2017

I Hate Blitzball

If you've been watching the stream you'll know what I'm about to say already.  I'm in the final part of my FFX playthrough but this involves some HEAVY grinding to get the stats and gear needed to kill the Dark Aeons and ultimately the games hardest boss, Penance.

In order to make life a lot easier for yourself you get acquire the best weapons in the game known as Celestial Weapons.  The only drawback to these weapons is that when you first get them they are useless with the only skill on them being "No AP" which basically means no experience.  Once you do power them up though using a crest and a sigil they do crazy stuff like break the damage limit or charge your overdrive meter at triple speed and shit like that.

Now for the Dark Aeon stuff Wakka is a very important character because his limit Attack Reels is basically one of the best moves in the game.  With Wakka fully powered up and geared out he's doing 12x99,999 damage which is a hell of a lot of hurt.  Getting him to this point is the annoying part though.

Getting his crest is easy, you just go to a locker in Lucca and press X and you have it.  The sigil on the other hand requires you to play an absolute shit ton of blitzball, which might be the single most boring mini game in Final Fantasy history.  You need to play it 10 times in a league to get Attack Reels, then play games until a tournament with Status Reels pops up THEN finish the league you were in to start a new one with Auroch reels AND THEN play 10 more league games for the sigil.  This doesn't sound so bad but Blitzball is just eye gougingly dull and shouldn't be forced upon anybody like it is here.

I think for me, the main reason it's so disappointing is that in that opening cut scene Blitz looks like this sick, crazy underwater rugby with people being flung out of the arena and people smashing each other in the face every which way.  When you actually get into proper blitz though it's a boring turn based affair where you just pass to Tidus and Jecht Shot every few moments to win matches against incompetent AI.

What's weird is that I know people who actually LIKE Blitzball.  I don't get how one possibly could because it's already an easy mode snoozefest if you put no effort into it but if you actually research how to get and use the best players then the whole thing becomes a joke.  I guess it must just be relaxing or something but as far as I'm concerned Blitz can just fuck off forever.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Dragon Quest Rivals First Impressions

Japan loves its card games.  Very close to my house there are about 4 stores dedicated to the buying, selling and playing of trading cards of which there seem to be hundreds of different games but you can also just hit up a used book store to buy individual cards for games like Yu-gi-oh and whatnot.  As well as that there are a bunch of digital trading card games some of which are exclusive to the arcade.  But the arcades not only have digital based card games but also games that actually spit out physical cards for use in the game, it's crazy.  Japan LOVES card games.

Japan also loves a bit of Dragon Quest which is basically one of the big boss boys of the RPG genre.  So of course Dragon Quest, like Warcraft, The Witcher and DotA have come out with their own card based video game for mobile platforms.  I usually avoid all the other card games on the IOS since I'm balls deep into Shadowverse and the idea of playing two different card games at the same time seems a bit pointless but the gameplay in DQ Rivals seemed different enough from something like Hearth or 'Verse to at least give it a go.

It's not completely unique, there are a number of similarities to Hearth.  The way the cards looks is pretty much identical and the idea that the character that you pick have their own special ability and cards sets seems ripped straight from that model.  Also the ranking system is basically the same as Hearthstone and of course it has that thing where you can earn "dust" in order to create individual cards if you're trying to make a specific kind of deck.  Basically out of the actual card combat they are fucking identical.

But the card combat itself is where things get interesting.  Each player has 6 blocks on their side of the field where they can play monsters and the positioning of your monsters is pretty important when it comes to battle strategy.  So for example, in Hearthverse you can attack the enemy directly pretty much anytime unless they play a monster with a defender ability.  In DQ rivals, you have monsters with that kind of skill but you can also put all your monsters in a row which will create a wall in order to defend your character.  Then on top of that, if you have a monster with a cool ability you don't want getting murdered you can play another creature in front of them in order to defend.  It's a cool mechanic that means that you not only have to worry about what monsters you have but also where you put them on the board in any given situation.  Your hero also has an ability that they have to charge but I wont go into detail about that because it's pretty much the same as Hearthstone.

Right now I'm pretty sure its exclusive to Japan but it seems like there has been a decent amount of effort made to make a game that's familiar enough to fans of this mobile card  game genre so they don't have  to relearn a fuckton of new systems but different enough to make it worth playing past the tutorial.  If you can get hold of it, give it a go.  Shit is free so you have nothing to lose

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Setting Up Let it Die

I've been very busy recently with a family visit to Japan so content has been a little thin on the ground but for Halloween I tried to do a little stream of Let it Die for the PS4.  If you've not heard of this game it's a sort of free to play hack and slash game made by Grasshopper Manufacture which plays a little like a Souls game and I think it has perma-death.  I've not really had much of a chance to play it however just setting it up was complete bullshit so I want to share my experience.

First of all just getting the game was bullshit.  I hopped onto the Playstation store and found it in the free to play section.  However, there was no download available that was free and I discovered that on the Japanese store the only option for you is one that comes with 2 units of the premium currency which I think is called Death Metals.  This means that the game was 108 yen which granted is only £0.70 but after being told that it was a free to play game I was a little pissed off about being forced to spend money on some in game shit I don't even know the purpose for.  While it was downloading I went and looked up Let it Die on the US and UK Playstation stores to find that on there the game IS actually free.  So really it's only the Japanese getting fucked over but it's still really annoying.

Anyway, the game loads up and the tutorial starts and I'm having a grand old time.  The game looks really nice, plays solidly and Death is a pretty interesting and funny character.  I'll talk more about the game itself once I manage to play it a bit more.  Once I finished the tutorial I was presented with another title screen and once I tried to hit go on that I got a big download message stuffed in my face.  Turns out the game only downloads the tutorial when you buy it and then downloads the rest later which resulted in me falling asleep while I was waiting and now I've not been able to play because I've been busy with family and work.

It looks like a really good game but the whole experience is a true testament to the really shitty side of modern gaming.

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Parasite Eve Book

While I've not QUITE finished the book at time of writing I'm close enough to the end of it to say a few words.  I'm not gonna put much in terms of spoilers so if you've not read it and you're curious then you can read on safe in the knowledge I'm not going to ruin any huge plot points for you.

So if you're familiar with the series of games of the same name then let me start by telling you that the book and the games have very little to do with each other.  They both talk a hell of a lot about Mitochondria but that's about as far as the similarities go.  There is no Aya Brea, there are new huge beasts for you to gun down or anything like that.  The game was VERY loosely based on the book and the author, Hideaki Sena, as far as I know, had very little to do with it.

The book itself is actually a pretty good horror novel.  I'm finding the final few chapters of the story to be particularly and the descriptions of certain things that are happening to be rather grotesque.  If there's one thing the games and the book do share it's that weird brand of body horror that's brought about by your own mitochondria trying to fuck you up.

However I do have one problem with the book and that's the pacing.  There's the opening scene which is pretty messed up and then pages and pages of descriptions of medical procedure and romantic flashbacks which can be a bit of a chore to read.  Once you get through all that though and the book gets going again with the actual plot, good lord is it good.

If you don't have any interest in games then I could recommend this novel as a good horror story in its own right.  If you do have an interest in the games however, it's a fascinating look at how the series really got started.  I'm reading it in Japanese but I'm sure it's been translated for western markets so go hit up amazon and get yourself a copy. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dead Rising

Last weekend I streamed Dead Rising from start to finish and oh boy was it fun.  It took just a little over 9 hours and the last hour of that was pretty grueling but generally speaking this game is pretty fantastic.

If somehow you have never heard of this game I'll take a quick moment to explain.  Originally released back in 2006 for Xbox 360, Dead Rising follows the adventures of Frank West, a photojournalist who gets trapped in a mall full of zombies.  The game was interesting because you only had 72 in game hours to play with and the story segments happened at specific times which, if you missed, would lock you out of the plot for the rest of the game.  What really made this game popular though was that the mall setting allowed for the player to use a whole crazy array of weaponry against the undead.  You could opt for more traditional stuff from a hardware store like a sledgehammer or go nab a gun from a zombie police office OR you could get silly and use gumball machines, shopping carts or children's toys to try and beat the undead back to death.  There are also human boss characters the game calls psychopaths which you must kill to rescue people or to progress the game.  There was a colorful cast of lunatics which made each encounter interesting and you would really have the think on your feet the first time playing if you wanted to win.

I love this game personally, it's one of those titles that is not only fun but sort of doubles up as a stress relieving tool.  If you want to uncover the zombie mystery of the mall, then play the story but if you just want to beat the fuck out of some zombies then ignore that timer and just go crazy.  Once you beat the game there is an Overtime mode which gives a bit of extra story and and endless mode if you want all the zombie killing with none of the pressure.

I only really have two problems with this game.  The first being is that it's too fucking easy.  I said above  that the first time you play you really have to think on your feet with the bosses but once you learn that an early boss unlocks a sort of pocket chainsaw in infinite supply the game becomes super easy.  The pocket chainsaw is SO strong that I think that there's only two bosses in the game that aren't insta killed by it in like 3 very quick hits.  Once you fill up your inventory with chainsaws the game becomes LAUGHABLY easy and the need to have any other weapon sort of goes away.

My other problem comes in the third day of the game.  You end up finishing all the games "case file" missions and then you are left to just sort of wait for your ride to arrive.  The lack of things to do of substance sort of makes the last hour of the game quite dull.  Even the zombie killing comes to a screeching halt as the mall fills up with dudes with machine guns which is a damn shame really.

However don't let my two complaints about the game deter you, if you haven't already played it then you absolutely should go and try.  Oh yeah, finally, don't try to rescue survivors because the AI for this game sucks dick.

The series seems to have taken a bit of a downturn with 3 and 4 since it's trying to be all gritty now from what I can tell but the first game is a ton of fun and fantastically dumb story and dialogue will leave you with a huge grin on your face.  Play it.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Upcoming Horrible Games

Jesus Christ I feel like we blew our load far too early with Resident Evil 7 and now that it's October and I'm actively looking for shit to spook me I don't have anything.  I've been having to go back and replay old horror games.  But not only do I not really have anything to play right now, but it doesn't look like there's much good on the horizon either.

I decided to do something very uncharacteristic of me which is to go and look up the upcoming horror titles to get myself excited for something in the future.  What I got was a great amount of disappointment.  Most of the games I found were you usual "horror" fair.  Walking simulators in first person that thinks horror is dark empty buildings full of jump scares but some titles were so offensively bad I'm going to put them in this blog post

First is The Evil Within 2 (pictured above), a game I think will be so shitty that I can't help but feel that if you saw the trailer and got excited you may want to see a doctor about your mental state.  Did you play the first game?  Did you see that shit?!  The first game was a horribly paced, horribly designed, unscary and clunky piece of shit and from what little I've heard about the new game it's just more of that.  This is the game that thought that they could make their own Pyramid Head by putting a large man in a butcher apron and then placing a SAFE of all fucking things on his head.  Clearly the team behind The Evil Within don't have a fucking clue what they are doing so don't get too excited for this one.

Days Gone is coming second on the list and it's one of those games I just can't figured out why people are getting excited for it.  First of all, it's a fucking zombie survival game so already in belongs on the trash pile along with all the other zombie survival games I found.  The thing that really grinds me about this game is that the only gimmick the game seems to have aside from vaguely ripping off The Last of Us is that they put enough zombies on screen that would make a Warriors game blush.  It doesn't look bad per se but it looks just so fucking by the books boring as fuck "survival" "horror" in an open world that I just don't care.

This one I find particularly offensive to my eyes because it reminds me out Outlast and anything that reminds me of THAT steaming pile of shit needs to be put down immediately.  Judging from the trailer I found on IGN it seems to be the aforementioned walking simulator type game in a dirty building probably filled with jump scares.  What makes this really bad though is the story intro I got was "An abandoned prison, a character with amnesia" which is that kind of line that makes me roll my eyes and scroll down the page.  Why use such a cliche setting and such a cliche plot in an age where you can load up Steam and literally find HUNDREDS of games like that for probably a lot less money and probably about the same quality that this game is offering.  Outlast burnt me once and I'm not falling for your shit Inmates.

I could do this all day but I'm gonna talk about this game last because when I first saw it I thought it may have seemed like a neat idea.  The idea is that you have to escape a house and the guy in the house will try to stop you and then catch you.  The gimmick is that every play you do, the AI learns how you play and will adapt to your style.  Now I saw this game for the first time almost straight after seeing Don't Breathe and I thought this basically sounds like that movie only the villain isn't blind.  Maybe more like The Collector now I think about it.  Anyway when I actually sat down and thought about the concept behind the game I realized that it's probably going to be bullshit.  It may be effective for the first couple of times but once you realize what makes the AI tick you'll just game it so hard that you'll be guaranteed to win every time.  It reminds me of a game called Warning Forever, a free to play shmup boss rush game where the enemy ship changes based on your play style, basically the shmup version of this.  However once you figured out what the game was looking for to make the boss grow a certain way you just did that every time for crazy high scores and after that it just became boring.  Unless this game is like, £5 or you have the brain function of a goldfish then I'd probably wait for a big sale on this one.

Anyway, I know I'm being super negative and the upcoming list of games did have SOME interesting ideas on it so I'll cover those tomorrow.  I'm also secretly hoping that all these games will prove me wrong and just being fucking fantastic once they're released. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

I don't understand the NES/SNES Mini

Unless you've been living under a rock or something you've probably heard of the NES/SNES Mini.  If you are unsure of what they are then they are little versions of the classic systems that come pre loaded with a bunch of games and you just plug that shit directly into your TV and have a grand old time.  The SNES Mini even comes with the unreleased Starfox 2 so if you're a fan of those games I'm sure that enough is reason alone to jump up and down in excitement.

Now what I'm not going to do in this post is fly off the handle in my usual offensive "fuck you" nature because I don't think that if you buy one or are excited to buy one you're an idiot.  It's a convenient piece of kit, a cool collectors item if you're into that or if you're an oblivious parent looking for a gift then this seems like a sure thing.

Personally though, I don't understand it. 

If we look at the SNES Mini in particular, from what I've heard it's about $80 but that's only if you can actually find one to buy.  Apparently it's selling so fast that actually getting a hold of one is pretty difficult.  For that $80 you get about 21 games and everything you need to play them such as cables and controllers.  Now 21 games for $80 may SEEM like a good deal until you take a look at something called the Super Everdrive

For a mere $6 dollars more you can get a cartridge that plugs into the original hardware and then you play games via an SD card that you load down with ROMS.  I'm not going to discuss the legality of all that in this specific post (not that I'm unwilling in a comment section though) but that means for $6 more than the SNES Mini, providing you have an SNES already, you could play all 783 officially released games rather than just 21.  But maybe you don't have your SNES anymore, fair enough, but you probably have a PC.

Emulation is what seems to make buyers and fans of the SNES Mini roll their eyes in disgust and granted I can see why.  Every Tom Dick and Harry is making that argument against the system that emulation is basically free and you can play any game you want.  You don't even need to look very hard on google to find hundreds of websites just offering ROM dumps of these games providing you can tolerate their 80,000,000 pop ups.  But maybe you have a problem with the legality, maybe it doesn't sit well with you.

Well doesn't almost every modern Nintendo system come with a virtual console that allows you to buy these games for like, $5/6 each?  Granted that would be more expensive than just buying a SNES Mini and of course you can't play Starfox 2 but unless you really like ALL 21 of those games then you aren't really getting the full value.  For example I have absolutely NO interest in playing Street Fighter 2 when I can just pop Alpha 3 in my PS2.  I personally have no real interest in replaying FF6 or Super Mario RPG any time soon.  I don't really take much pleasure in the original F-Zero (not that it's bad mind, it's just hard to play after X) and why the fuck would I play Super Mario Kart when I can just play Mario Kart 8, online, with more than 1 friend.  So already that's cut the value down for me but I understand that not everyone will feel that way.

There's alternatives too but it would take me literally all night to type them out

Like I said, I don't think you're an idiot and I can KIND of see the appeal in certain ways but ultimately I just can't see why you'd drop $80 on a system when there's cheaper (and arguably better) alternatives that you can access without having to desperately search stores for.  Still, power to ya, you do you, enjoy a box full of great games.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

FMV Trailers Are Bullshit

I don't watch a lot of trailers anymore.  I can't think of a game with the exception of Persona 5 that I bothered to check out any of the pre release material for.  Even a game that I was excited for as Nier Automata I didn't bother to look at trailers for.

So while I was browsing Facebook a trailer for an upcoming game called Extinction appeared on my feed.  It was a FMV trailer of a man with a strange choice of wardrobe parkouring through a city killing monsters in a rather bloody and ruthless fashion.  Think God of War meets Prince of Persia but the main character looks like Connor McGreggor watched a few too many fantasy movies.  What really wound me up that the post and the comments were like "OH MY GOD THIS GAME LOOKS SO COOL!" 

It's fine to get excited, it was pretty bombastic but what people seem to forget about watching trailers like this is that they don't actually tell you anything about the game.  The trailer looks cool but information about the game is minimal.  Nothing about the game play, the most important part of any video GAME, is present.  Just a little bit of story and a cool action sequence with a big ogre thing being chopped into little bits.

If you took the time to go and look further into it you'd find that there is in fact some game play footage.  Now I'll give you that it's pre alpha so the developers have a lot of time to make it not awful but right now the game looks fucking awful.  The kind of thing you'd expect to find at the bottom of a cardboard barrel in a place like CEX along side stuff like Bullet Witch and Asura's Wrath.  To me the game play trailer looked a bit like that Attack on Titan game on PS4 just a lot less interesting and combat that's trying really hard to be intricate but really isn't.

I'm not gonna say the game is going to be shit or that trailers aren't worth watching.  Just keep in mind that when you do find a trailer and it's entirely an FMV with no information on the actual game, maybe you should take a minute to think about what you just watched before getting all excited.  Get excited for the game, not a glorified cutscene.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Eggggg and Illi

Every week a paid app on the app store goes free for a while and I always take the chance to grab that shit because fuck paying money for app games.  However sometimes I download a title that makes me feel a little guilty for not directly supporting the creator and while I'm not about to go and pay for a game I already own, I want to highlight a couple of titles I got for free so many you can go and support the better side of the mobile game spectrum.

The first game is Egggg, I'm not sure exactly how many Gs are in there but it's more than usual.  Egggg is a two button platform game and the aim is just to get from one end of the stage to the other without dying.  The thing is though that once you press a direction button, you can't stop.  If you push the way you're running you jump and the other button will make you turn around.  While you're running from one end of the stage to the other there are things to collect and little hidden areas of each stage for you to explore which net you stars at the end.  Simply finishing a level isn't too much of a challenge but getting 3 stars on a stage will require some strategising.  The game also mixes things up every so often by giving you a stage specific mechanic or having you fight a boss but generally just reaching the end of the stage is your only worry.  Still, it's a nice, pure little platforming experience and it's the kind of thing you'd easily find on something like Steam for a few pounds but instead its phone exclusive.

EDIT: As soon as I posted this thing I googled Egg and found a Steam page for it and it's "coming soon", so worth buying there if you don't like playing games on a shitty phone screen.  Seriously, it's a goodun

The second game I want to talk about briefly is Illi.  It's a very simple, cute little platform puzzle game that will eat through your commutes like nothing else.  The game play is super simple with each stage being made up of a number of squares or rectangles and you must jump your way to the exit by tapping the screen.  Illy moves around each square by himself and which way he falls depends on which side of the cube you're on when you press jump.  So press jump on the top and you'll fall down but press it on the right hand side and you'll fall to the left.  Illi does not respect the laws of physics.  Each stage comes with a number of "quests" which involve collecting a thing, getting to the exit in a certain number of jumps or beating a stage in a certain time and finishing these quests unlocks more levels.

The good thing about Illi compared to other puzzle games I've played is that it's not bullshit difficult like other shitty iPhone games like Cut the Rope.  The solutions to certain levels in things like Cut the Rope where there's no way you'd figure that shit out without spending money on a solution fairy or whatever piss me off but Illi has that nice level of challenge sort of similar to Portal.  Things that look hard but if you take a moment to think about them carefully are actually quite simple.

I got these games for free but if it wasn't such a stingy piece of shit and someone had told me about them beforehand, I would have easily dropped a few pounds on these titles.  So go check them out because instead of complaining about the sorry state of mobile gaming we should be supporting the people who are actually at least TRYING to do a good job.

Friday, 8 September 2017

The Journalist Skill Debate Again

Cuphead is an upcoming run and gun game coming out soon that I'm fucking excited for.  It looks like a cartoon from yesteryear and mixes that with challenging game play similar to things like Contra.  It looks awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

However controversy has once again reared its ugly head however this time it has nothing to do with the game itself and more to do with the people playing it.  If you remember when DOOM was coming out and a dude called Arthur Gies played it and sucked massive cocks at it?  Well it's that AGAIN.  People are pissed off (rightly so) that so called industry professionals can't handle a fucking tutorial level and of course gaming press is shooting back by claiming people are over reacting.

I would recommend at this point to go look up the video, it's easy to find but I'm not linking it here because I don't want to give any of the idiots at Venture Beat views on their shit, embarrassing video.

Let me start by saying that I have ZERO respect for games journalism.  It seems to be entirely populated by fucking morons who don't know anything about games and are more interested in writing clickbait or sucking corporate cock rather than ACTUALLY helping consumers in any meaningful way.  I'm not the only one who holds this view either, go find any thread about the state of video game journalism on social media and you'll see a lot of people repeating that sentiment.

So big question of the day, do video game journalists have to be good at video games?

The quick answer is yes, of course they fucking do.  The job of a reviewer or someone reporting on industry goings on is to assist the consumer.  Therefore, you MUST know what the fuck your on about or your failing at the most basic facet of your job.  No one is asking journalists to be pro gamers winning The International every year or speedrunners with 5 or 6 world records under their belt but we ask that you at least know how to finish the tutorial of any game that you might come across. 

Imagine if you were trying to buy a car so you look up reviews of various vehicles.  Imagine then you find out that the person reviewing the cars CAN'T FUCKING DRIVE.  This is what the Cuphead/DOOM debate is basically all about. 

If you are an individual and you make a YouTube video or write a thing for a personal site, it's OK to suck at games or suck at just that one game.  For example I don't know shit about sports games  so if I gave a scathing awful review or did a terrible gameplay video of the new Fifa and then called it shit, it's clear that it's just one tossers opinion on the sea of piss that is the internet.  HOWEVER, if I was writing for a PROFESSIONAL news website in a PROFESSIONAL capacity and then couldn't even finish the most basic stage of a game with like, 2 button controls, of course people are going to question my ability to do the job.  In the case of Cuphead it brings into question everything that Dean Takahashi has EVER said because clearly the man lacks the basic motor function to hold a controller properly.

Which leads me to my other point about this.  Arthur Gies and Dean Takahashi didn't just show "bad" performances.  People can have an off day or just be not particularly geared towards a certain genre, that's fine.  These performances were INCOMPETENT.  The kind of game play I'd expect from a child who has never touched a game before.  No word of a lie, I could give my mother a copy of Cuphead and within 26 minutes she would finish the tutorial level.  Even my wife, who doesn't game and who has put in some FANTASTICALLY embarrassing attempts at certain titles would probably finish the fucking TUTORIAL of Cuphead in 26 minutes. 

You couple this with all the problems that games journalism has had over the years and now we're at a point where people have a problem trusting these websites.  One stupid prick writing for some stupid website Game Revolution said "If one plumber fucks up your taps, do you never hire another plumber?"  Which is a fair point in a way but he's missing the bigger picture and generally being an apologetic little bitch.  If a plumber fucked up my taps, I'd hire a different plumber FROM A DIFFERENT COMPANY.  So we now know that Venture Beat can't be trusted to pick up a control pad without probably choking on it, where am I going to go?  Gamespot? IGN? Kotaku?  Well these websites are also full of complete bullshit.  People are mad because, if we're using the plumber analogy, that ALL the plumbing companies in the towns are staffed ENTIRELY by inept wankers.

You want game news?  You want game reviews?  There are plenty of enthusiastic individuals on sites like YouTube/Twitch or various blogs and personal websites that you can get your info from?  This is ESPECIALLY important if you are into a niche series or niche genre.  If you're into dungeon crawling who are you going to trust?  Some cunt on IGN who played Grimrock once for 20 minutes and gave it an 8/10 or someone who has been playing games in that genre for fucking YEARS. 

Sort your shit games journalism.  Maybe if you hired some actual passionate people who aren't borderline brain dead, people wouldn't hate you.  Stick to writing about "social issues" for easy clicks and leave the games, to the gamers.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Video Games, the Olympics and stupidity

I think anyone who has even a passing interest in video games is aware of how much of a thing e-sports have become.  Most people are familiar with the big competitive games like League of Legends or Starcraft 2.  You probably have heard of certain big events such as Dreamhack in Sweden or the EVO fighting game tournament just to name a couple.

E-Sports have become so much of a thing that they are now being broadcast on TV the same way you'd broadcast any other sports.  When I was living in Sweden a few years ago I watched the Dreamhack Starcraft 2 tournament on the TV as it was happening live and on the plane to Rome two videos under the "TV Shows" section of the entertainment were finals from a DotA2 and Hearthstone tournament.

I think even ESPN are showing LoL, DotA and Hearthstone on TV and we also have Twitch which is basically the place to go for live feeds of tournaments so it's safe to say that the e-sports scene has come a fair way.

Then I hear that there's been talk of putting e-sports in the Olympics which is an interesting topic for discussion.  I can totally see why some would see e-sports having a rightful place in the Olympics but I can also understand why some people wouldn't want them there either.  But that's not what I'm here to talk about with this post.

This is Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee.  If you take a quick look at his Wikipedia page you can clearly see he's a well educated man and some kind of ex-fencing beast that took home a gold medal in 1976.  But just because he's got some decent academics and can wield a foil like a pro doesn't make him immune from saying some of the stupidest shit I've ever heard in my life.  Here's a quote

“We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people, This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line.”
[Source: ]

What in the name of fuck is wrong with this guy.  Video games are about violence, explosions and killing?  This is the kind of stupid statement I expect to hear from my elderly relatives that barely know what a computer even is, not the head of the IOC.  There are good arguments for and against putting e-sports in the Olympics like I said before but games being "violent" isn't one of them.

The olympic is host to a number of combat sports which could be seen as violent.  I mean this guy making this statement used to be a fucking Fencer.  I could easily make some kind of ignorant bullshit comment like him and say something like "We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people, this doesn't match with fencing which is just stabbing and slashing at folks with bits of metal"

It sounds to me like Mr Bach is just an old, ignorant man who has a tired old view of gaming and doesn't want to do ANY research on the topic and expand his knowledge on the topic.  Go and watch any kind of analytical video on a game like Starcraft, Street Fighter or Counter Strike and you can easily see that there's so much more going on that just "violence, killing and explosions". 

There's no place in 2017 for stupid, ignorant and misguided comments like that.  Should video games be in the event? I don't know, but should they be disregarded entirely because of "violence"?  Hell no and that idea is so fantastically fucking stupid that my head might just explode violently and kill me in reaction to reading something that dumb. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Some Persona Fans Piss Me Off

I can feel the hate mail coming just from the title so hold your fucking horses and let me start with a clarifying statement.  I fucking love Persona 5, it was an amazing experience with both style and substance and is probably my personal favorite game on the PS4 right now with very little chance of being overthrown any time soon.  I'm also a big fan of Persona 3 and Persona 4, also great games that I sunk many many hours into and loved dearly.  Persona 4 Golden (and Dancing all Night) was pretty much the entire reason I bought a Vita.

But with that said, god DAMN some of you Persona "fans" on the internet piss me the fuck off.  Now I'm not talking about the legions of Weaboos that seem to make up the games fanbase, that's just sort of par for the course when it comes to titles like this and while they are cringy as fuck their slightly overzealous enjoyment of games in this style aren't really the problem.  My problem comes when I see posts from supposed "fans" shitting on mainline SMT or Persona 1 and 2.

First I think it's important to understand where I am with this series.  Way back when I lived in the UK, I remember my mum telling me about this game called Lucifer's Call on the PS2.  God knows how she came across it but it piqued my interest and I grabbed a copy and went from there.  This game blew my goddamn mind.  It was a bit like Pokemon but instead of shitty little woodland animals coming out of my balls and winning the day with friendship the whole game was basically a struggle to survive in a harsh world of demons that you had been thrown into (there's more to it than that, but for another day).  So I played the fuck out of that and then I don't remember playing much of the series until Persona 3.  It wasn't until that game that I realized that I wasn't just playing "Persona 3" but I was playing "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3".  So I did some research on the series at large and the obsession grew from there.

Now the reason I can't stand the people who shit on Persona's 1 and 2 is just because I'm a ponce.  Those games are harder and a bit dated but it just seems silly to shit over the first two games and then go around the internet touting yourself as "a fan of the series".  Let's face it folks, Personas 3 and up and designed for ages 3 and up.  Easy mode SMT for people new to the series, a nice little way to break you in.  It's a great place to start if you've never played a MegaTen game before (although I'd argue that Digital Devil Saga is better) but by ignoring the rest of the series because it's "too hard" for you is just a crying shame.  As Souls fans say, "Git gud" because you're really missing out on so much and if you just spent even a LITTLE bit of time learning the basics of these games even notoriously hard entries like Strange Journey won't seem so impossible.

The people who get my back up though are the ones who shit on SMT as a whole.  The ones who are elated to point out the fact that ATLUS dropped the "Shin Megami Tensei" off the front of Persona 5.  The ones who will type out pages and pages of stupid, backward reasons about why the series sucks and Persona is the only thing keeping it alive (untrue).  These people are a bunch of stupid fucks that need to shove a Mara up their gaping assholes.

I can get why one might say "I don't like these games, they are hard and dated" because they are.  I'm currently replaying Megami Tensei on the NES (not even Shin) and coming off the back of P5 GODDAMN it's taken some readjusting.  But to turn around and say that SMT sucks is just fucking stupid.  Without SMT there wouldn't even be a Persona and as much as you probably don't want to admit it you are just playing easy mode MegaTen.  Hell, you could rename Persona "Shin Megami Tensei USA" because that's almost what they are at this point.

For those of you who didn't get the joke
Persona as we know it today wouldn't even be a thing if it wasn't for a very specific Shin Megami Tensei game called Shin Megami Tensei If...

It wasn't a hugely successful or popular title but two things in this game were direct inspirations for Persona.  First was the high school setting and the second was the guardian spirit system but if you think Persona 1 and 2 are dated you don't stand a chance with SMT: If...  The point is, everything that you love about the later Persona games has been tried, tested and perfected throughout the rest of the series at various points.  Disliking it is fine but shitting on it just makes you look like a fucking moron.

If you've tried the games and felt that they are dated or too hard, I implore you to go give them another try.  Use a guide if you have to or play the next best entry game after Persona in terms of difficulty, Digital Devil Saga.  If you think that SMT in general just sucks and you aren't willing to try again or even accept the massive impact its had on your so called "favorite" game, then have Morgana put you to bed and then do the world a favor by never waking up.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Roman Holiday and In Flight Video Games

I know it was YouTube month so I shouldn't really be doing written posts but things got thrown a little out of whack with my trip to Rome.  My original plan was to post a few Vlogs from my phone when I was connected to the hotel WiFi but when I arrived the WiFi sucked massive cocks and I could barely load single images let alone upload whole videos.

Anyway, because I basically walked the entirety of Rome exploring I'm shit I'm far too tired to make/be bothered to upload a video so I thought I'd make a quick, barely game related post about my trip in Rome just to get things rolling again.

First of all let me start by saying fuck Air China.  Air China can eat my dick.  Bad service, bad food, delayed flights, shit movies on the longer flights and Beijing Airport (which I have to go through from Japan) sucks massive cocks.  If you're gonna take a long flight somewhere, don't EVER fly with Air China, the cheap tickets aren't worth the trouble.  Pay a little extra and get an airline with some good service because Air China is easily the worst airline I've ever flown with. 

Anyway Rome was a really nice city, lots of beautiful buildings and churches and whatnot.  The food was fantastic and the people were generally really friendly.  If you ever get a chance to go, you should.  This is a gaming blog so I'll leave the description of Rome there but if for some reason you want to know more just throw me some questions in the stream, I'll be happy to talk about it.

Really what I want to comment on is aeroplane video games.  I never really tried them before in favor of shit I brought with me or the in flight movies but because the security staff at Beijing airport think that all charging devices are highly dangerous I opted to put my chargers in my suitcases and so I was trying to not use all my PSP battery all at once.  The games on the flight were you standard sort of puzzle game/parlor game stuff with a couple of tower defense titles for good measure. 

Now maybe this is just another shitty aspect of flying with China Airlines but the games were fucking unplayable.  I don't mean because they were bad, because it's hard to make things like chess suck, but because they didn't fucking work.  I tried to play Reversi (or Othello or whatever you call it) where the screen just wouldn't respond to inputs, I played a mahjong game where the AI just decided it didn't want to make moves and with no time limit the game effectively soft locked itself and I tried to play a tower defense game but it kept crashing on startup.  To sum it up, in flight games are a bit like playing Action52 but everything is made in flash or unity or some shit.  I'm glad I had a portable with me because if all I had was that to entertain me I think I would have died to boredom or frustration.

The YouTube uploads will resume tomorrow so check back for new videos soon!  Watch this space

Also fuck Air China

Friday, 28 July 2017

YouTube Month Is Coming

Well this is going to be a very short post just to let you all know that next month (August) will be YouTube month! 

Basically this means that every day in August I'll be posting some kind of video every day so if you haven't already subscribed then make sure you do to catch it all!

Just a fair warning though, I am going to Rome for a few days and I'm hoping to line up content and post it from the Hotel Wifi when I'm there but I don't know how reliable that will end up being so if there is a few days with no content I'll try to make up for it!

If there's any playthroughs you'd like to see done then also don't forget that you can donate for them, just leave the game title in your comment and I'll do my best to get a series done for it!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Crash Isn't That Hard

This is going to be a short post but ever since the Crash HD collection came out there's been a number of posts about how hard the game is.  There's been videos of "oh my god look at this stage" or stupid meme pictures comparing it to things like Dark Souls

Let's be honest though, Crash isn't hard, you're just shit

Crash is one of those games made back when games were a bit more challenging, I'll give you that but it isn't THAT hard.  This becomes less true as the series goes on too with Crash 1's later stages posing some legitimate challenge and Crash 3 having very little challenge at all.  The games were pretty well designed and controlled pretty tightly so it was a pretty fair challenge.  One friend suggested to me that the controls might be a bit wonky in the remake so that could be a reason why all this idiocy has started popping up but until I get my hands on a copy I can't confirm that.

I wouldn't usually be mad about people being shit but the impression I get from the social media posts is that people don't ACTUALLY think Crash HD is that hard but they are jumping on a bandwagon and just saying it's hard because that's the thing to do right now.  Kind of like what happened with Dark Souls.

Either way, Crash is a great series and it's nice to see it get remade.  I just wish could celebrate some ACTUAL challenging titles rather than this little trip down memory lane.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Super Castlevania 4 Isn't That Easy

Castlevania has changed a lot since its days on NES and SNES but whenever you talk about classic Castlevania with people the common opinion is that Super Castlevania 4 is the easiest in the series.

There are a lot of features in Super Castlevania 4 that basically all the other ones didn't have, including other SNES Castlevania games like Dracula X.  These included an 8 way whip, the ability to crouch walk and a sub weapon mapped to it's own key rather than being up+whip.  This made managing the games many challenges a lot easier to deal with compared to earlier games however what gets my back up is that people talk about Super Castlevania 4 as if its an easy game.

Despite all the advantages you get in this game compared to others there's still plenty of bullshit that will make you want to tear your hair out.  For example any stage that scrolls up will have the bottom of the screen instantly kill you if you fall down rather than just scrolling back down to where you came from.  This is especially annoying in some stages with tight platforming or a cheeky enemy that will smack you into a bit because you let your guard down for a second.  However that's not the worst of it because once you get to stage 8 in this game things start to get really bullshit.  One hit kill spikes fucking EVERYWHERE are the big offender and I do mean absolutely everywhere.  Then there's the clock tower which has the aforementioned death drops but only this time with TONS of enemies that could potentially knock you into them.  Then you get to stage A and there's fucking stairs that fall from underneath you that will sometimes not allow you get a proper footing on them and if you make it through that there's random floating platforms that will carry you up into more spikes if you are unlucky and aren't given another one to jump to.

This becomes all twice as hard if you're trying to speed run because not only do you have to worry about these traps but also things like health management so you can damage boost off basically everything to save time and making sure that you always have a triple shot cross.

If you really think Super Castlevania 4 is an easy game go and replay it right now, I think you'll be in for a little bit of a shock.  Still though its a great game so it doesn't matter if you breeze through it or die an absolute shit ton, you'll have fun with it.  If you've not played it before then what the fuck are you doing?  Go play it right now

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Back From Korea

At time of writing I have basically just come from my trip in South Korea and I just thought I'd say a couple of things about my trip before going to bed since I'm absolutely shattered from walking around in 35+ degree temperature for such a long time.

Usually I hate capital cities no matter what country they are in.  Tokyo, London, Paris, doesn't really matter I fucking hate them however I don't quite have the same levels of hatred for Seoul.  It's not exactly what I'd call the nicest place in the world to be but it's definitely the least "offensive" capital city I've ever been in for lack of a better word.

Anyway I did the usual touristy bullshit like visit temples and little historical villages and stuff.  The temples/palaces in South Korea are really weird because they all seem to be copy pasted.  All sort of arranged like dungeons from the original NES Zelda game with large expanses of nothing much going on.  Granted the palace I visited this time had a "secret garden" that I didn't get to see but that was extra money AND only available as a guided tour so fuck that.

The food in South Korea is really good though, especially if you're into spicy stuff.  We were taken by my friend to some kind of beef restaurant and they give you about 7000 different side dishes for you to construct your own meat-lettuce wraps with.  The following lunch time me and my wife went to a place where they served something called Galbi.  It was chicken and rice in a spicy sauce that was served on a sort of huge hotplate and they cook it for you at the table.  Fucking delicious.

As far as the gaming scene in concerned out there I didn't really see much of what was going on.  According to the friend that we stayed with the famous net cafes are of course super popular but I think everyone in the world knows about that shit since Korea is famous for Starcraft 2 and shit pop music above all else really.  Outside of that the big thing seems to be mobile gaming.  We spent an afternoon in a big shopping area and I didn't see a single game store but the subway had adverts for mobile game apps fucking EVERYWHERE.  Sort of similar to what I saw in Singapore with PC and Mobile markets being huge while console users are pretty few and far between.  I could be wrong about this of course since my total time spent in Korea is probably equal to about 3 days.

Don't know if I could recommend it for a long trip but if you're passing through or you already live in Asia and need a weekend destination then Korea is a good bet.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

MSN Gaming Zone and Others

A few days ago I had a sudden flash of memory back to my early days of online gaming.  A time when connections weren't as stable and the idea of playing and talking with other people who weren't in the same room as me blew my goddamn mind.

Nowadays online gaming is very easy, you just hop on PSN, Xbox Live or Steam and you hit "Multiplayer" in whatever title and it will find people for you and then drop you in a match.  Back then though things were very different and a lot more annoying.  There were these 3rd party services like MSN game zone where you'd have to chat to people and set up little rooms and wait for folks to join you.  That was the easy part though because I seem to remember once you were actually in a game connections being really unstable and games being dropped left right and center. 

This was OK if you were playing a Tom Clancy game or something where matches were short but me and my friend would often try and play things like Heroes of Might and Magic 3 through this thing and those games are fucking LONG.  If you dropped connection during a match of that there was no chance to reconnect, you were just done and that made things very frustrating.  It could have been a problem with my internet rather than the MSN Gaming Zone service but the point is that stable connections during games are something I think we very much take for granted now.

There was this other service called Gamespy which was kind of similar but I remember that had chat rooms where you could use a microphone to talk to people which was another thing that absolutely blew my mind.  It was also something that sort of freaked me out because I came from a time when I was constantly told that everyone on the internet was a predator so the idea of voice chatting with people was not something I enjoyed at the time.  Probably for the best because I was a bit of a twat as a child so I saved myself some embarrassment.

I sort of miss the these times but at the same time I'm so happy that online gaming is mostly hassle free nowadays.  I'm more than happy to sit here and reminisce but I don't think I'd ever really want to go back to using these kind of services ever again.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Pianista is a game that just randomly came up in an advert while I was scrolling through Facebook one day.  Usually I steer clear of mobile rhythm games because despite their fairly decent quality they are almost always full of bullshit that makes me quit.  However the idea of a rhythm game based on classical music piqued my interest so I gave it a try 

So the bullshit that I'm talking about with other rhythm games usually involves the collection and leveling of characters.  You can play a song perfectly in games like Love Live but still end up with a shitty rank because your characters don't have enough levels to earn you the required points.  Luckily Pianista doesn't do that.  You just pick and song, play it and you're graded based on your actual skill rather than any money-grubbing character breeding system.

The game has I think about 50 songs at time of writing with new stuff getting added every so often and songs are played on something called Tour Mode and clearing them in this mode unlocks them for your collection where you can play them freely.  There are 3 difficulty levels of play which are normal, technical and master.  I've not tried master yet so I can't say just how challenging it gets but if you aren't really all that familiar with the genre there are certain songs on normal that may give you a hard time.

As you play songs you earn gold and you can use this gold to upgrade your piano which will get you different bonuses and such but apart from that you don't use the gold for anything else.  There's also a premium currency which I think lets you cut down the wait time on your plays recharging but considering this is something I'll do a song or two with on the train that's not really an issue.  The game also has leader boards so if you're the competetive type you can see how you stand up to the rest of the user base.

My only real complaint is that you get 5 song points to play songs with and then after that you have to wait before you can play any more.  1 song point regenerates every 30 minutes so if you're just fiddling with it it's not much of an issue but if you have a long journey and you were hoping to jam out to some Chopin you may have to start spending premium currency or just listening to him on a music player and live without the game part.

Either way, it's free to download on the app store, the game looks slick, plays really well and has a decent number of songs for you to enjoy.  So unless you hate classical music you should probably go and give it a try.