Sunday, 30 April 2017

Cthulhu Fluxx

I know it's not strictly a video game but I played this a few weeks ago and fucking loved it so I'm taking a moment to talk about it.  Plus Cthulhu is one of those things that people love to go on and on about when talking about shit like Eternal Darkness and games like that so it's sort of related.

Fluxx itself is a sort of series of card games where the rules and the conditions for winning (or losing) change pretty rapidly during play.  I'm only just discovering that Fluxx is actually a huge thing I've been unaware of as I googled the above image.  Turns out there are tons of versions of this thing including Batman, Zombies, Cartoon Network and Monty Python just to name a couple outside of the original "Fluxx"

Anyway the game is simple, you draw a couple of cards at the start and then you have to draw 1 and play 1 each turn.  The deck consists of a number of types of cards including goals (how you win) keepers (stuff you want) and rules (self explanatory).  In Cthulhu Fluxx there are also Ungoals which make everyone lose and Creepers which prevent you from winning unless you end up with a fucked up goal on the table.  The game gets really interesting once players start throwing down rule cards such as Play All which means that whatever you have in your hand you have to throw it down right away.  When this shit starts happening players can go from really strong positions to really weak ones in an instant and seeing someone get fucked over is pretty satisfying

Another thing that makes this game so appealing is that you can play it very quickly.  Each game can take only a few minutes and won't really extend over about 20 at a stretch.  It's easy to understand so you can easily bring all your friends into the game quickly and it's surprisingly compelling to play.  We started the evening with my friend saying "I'll just show you this game real quick" and ended about 2 hours later like "Think we have time for one more?". 

You can pick it up at any sort of hobby shop I imagine or you can get it on Amazon for about £12.  Get some people together and give it a spin, it's fun as fuck.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Attack on Moe

It's times like this I start to question my own tastes in games. 

So a few days ago I was drunk in a bar and at one point in the evening I took to looking at one of my social media applications.  An advert popped up for a game called "Attack on Moe" which depicted a dude fighting giant anime girls that lost their clothes when you beat them in combat.

So OF COURSE I fucking downloaded it

What I found was a fan service clicking game similar to that of cookie clicker but instead of cookies its monsters and anime girls.  The game is very simple, you tap the thing until it dies and you do this until you get a boss.  Then you have to tap the boss until it dies but you're on a time limit for that and if you kill it then you progress to the next stage.  Every 5 stages you get to fight a "Moetan" which is a big anime girl which when defeated, goes into a "Moepedia" (seeing a theme here?) and then you can sort of rub them down for bonuses and images of them slowly losing more and more items of clothing.

As you do all this you earn money which you can use to buy upgrades for you guy as well as hero characters that will support you and farm you more money while you're offline.  There's also a "PVP" feature where you and a friend see who can mash this fastest and you earn points which earn you various rewards as you do this every handful of hours.  There's also premium currency which you can buy/earn by playing which allows you to buy items that increase stats or unlock more anime girls for you to fight in later stages.

There's not much to say about it other than it's just a fucking clicking game.  It's the kind of thing you fiddle with for about 30 seconds to a minute at a time when you're taking a shit or REALLY bored on a train or something.  I'd say it's worth checking out because if I'm going to waste my time monotonously tapping things the experience is so much better with some anime titties to go with it.

What Happened To Silent Hill?

If you were following the stream schedule you may have noticed that April was supposed to be the month where I was doing Silent Hill 2 "speed" runs.  If you were following the stream then you may have been disappointed because not a lot of Silent Hill 2 actually happened in the end.

Well there was a number of reasons for this.  First, I'm playing on original hardware and my knowledge of doing this is basically zero so setting it up again after months of not doing it turned out to be a lot harder than I expected.  Plus April was a pretty crazy month with Hanami (drinking in a park while looking at Sakura trees), work stress just generally tiring me out and an old friend coming to visit which has been the focus of my last few weekends. 

However these are just excuses and I feel bad about not delivering on a decent amount of SH2 attempts so instead of boring you with details, I'll just make up for it.  May was supposed to be a month of Ys1 however I know not many people know what the game is and a lot of people kind of don't like watching it.  I'm not going to cancel Ys month on the stream but I will be trying to alternate between a Ys run and an SH2 run each evening to make up for the lack of SH2 in April.

The remainder of April will be spent hammering out Final Fantasy 9 because I've been playing that shit for ages and I'm only on Disc 3.  So the next few days will be focused on that and then it'll be back to nightly runs!

Of course, I won't be able to stream every day of the month but I'll try my very best to cram in as much as I possibly can.  If I'm not streaming and you want to know why, Twitter is a good place to find out how I'm wasting my time doing things that are not streaming, so follow there for updates (@Taurinensis)

Thanks for the understanding and continued support!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

F.E.A.R 2

I've been on a little bit of a F.E.A.R kick again and about a week ago I played through F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin.  It actually took me a long time to finish because I'd play for an hour or two and then not touch the damn thing for about a week.  So a game that could have been finished in a single lazy weekend ended up being stretched to maybe a month or so.

The game starts out just before the ending of the first game where you play as a team going to get some scientist woman.  You have a couple of gunfights, the town explodes and you end up in a hospital where you've been experimented on and then there's a dude on a radio telling you how fucked you all but he also has a solution.  So you go to him, he gets murdered and from there you have a bunch more gunfights and then you get a girl pregnant and the game ends.  It took me so long to finish the game that I don't really remember the plot very well but I feel like I have the core parts of it right there.  The story is sort of dull and uninteresting and none of the characters are memorable aside from Alma so I just sort of tuned the whole thing out while playing

In terms of game play it's more of the same as F.E.A.R 1.  Rooms of dudes that you kill with slow mo vision followed by corridors of "scary" set pieces.  Instead of doing anything new with the core game play F.E.A.R 2 now lets you pilot giant robot suits in certain areas which, while fun, goes against the games tone a little bit.  Also everything looks and feels all streamlined and modern which I feel works against it.  There's a sort of charm about going back and playing the first one, that same feeling you get when you sit down to play something like Deus Ex or Half Life and the modern presentation, while probably a good idea at the time, sort of hurts the overall feel of the game when you replay it in 2017.

Once again, the game fails to be scary in any regard relying heavily on jump scares and lots of blood to try and get the fear pumping but falls flat on almost every occasion.  You can tell it's trying really hard but because it looks and plays like a modern shooter now all of the scariness feels even less effective.  The robot suits that I mentioned before pretty much put the nail in the coffin on any chance of it having any scary sections because nothing says horror quite like a giant invincible robot suit with machine guns and missiles mowing down hundreds of dudes who are walking out of doors in single file.

Still, it's not a bad game and if you need something easy and mindless to play then F.E.A.R 2 is a fairly decent option I guess.  The game is just so sort of "meh" that I promise you won't be remembering that lazy weekend play through about a year from now 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Spoilers: Really a Big Deal?

I recently did a blog post about how I felt regarding ATLUS blocking streams and video content of Persona 5 and how the main reason for this choice seems to be an overly zealous effort to help people to avoid any kind of spoiler for that title.

Whenever there's a new game, especially a story driven one, the one thing people panic about above all else is hearing spoilers for that game before they've played it.  I find that spoilers are a lot easier to avoid than most people make it out to be.  The way people go on you might feel that the internet is some kind of massive spoiler danger zone where you can't go on any website at all without having something spoiled for you.  Aside from this being far from the case with most websites that I see writing about new games take quite careful measures to avoid spoiling anything usually I find that even if you do catch a spoiler it's not really a big deal.

Back when Resident Evil 7 came out I started streaming it right away and I had a grand old time.  Lot's of discussion about the game itself and the direction that the series had taken as well as just general banter and fucking around in the chat, streaming that game was a ton of fun. 

There will be spoilers for Resi 7 from here so if you've not played and you're THAT worried about it, skip the next paragraph

So one night I'm streaming a section nearer to the end of the game where you're dealing with the Baker's son, Lucas.  Everything is going well when some guy turns up in my Twitch chat.  He drops a greeting and then a few minutes later posts something along the lines of "Ethan dies and you end up playing as his wife at the end of the game".  So some people might think "WHOA NOW! Don't tell me that! what the hell?!" but for me, while the fact was shocking it just made me curious to play longer for that evening than I originally intended.  Yeah sure, a key event in the story was "spoiled" for me but it was spoiled with no context and that's why I felt that it wasn't a big deal.  Plus his spoiler was shit and without dropping any end game spoilers in this paragraph, he was clearly a player who hadn't finished the game

Here's maybe a better way of explaining what I mean.  Imagine that you're playing Final Fantasy 7 way back when for the first time.  Let's say your friend approaches you gets overly excited and drops the "Aeris dies" spoiler at you.  Is that really such a big deal?  Wouldn't it make you want to hurry up and get to that point to see what the fuck he's on about?  How does she die? Where? Why? What was Cloud doing?  Is it mandatory? A spoiler like that, at least for me, just raises more questions than anything else.  If someone told me that she dies before I got to that point I'd just want to hurry up to that point to find out what the fuck he's on about.

I've actually already had some Persona 5 spoilers thrown at me on one of those silly nights I decided to browse the video game board on 4chan despite the efforts of ATLUS but all the spoiler did was sort of confuse me.  Now I HAVE to get to that point of the game and find out what the fuck is going on because I single sentence about one character just, once again, raised more questions that I need to play through and answer for.  Plus there's even a chance the person posting could have been flat out wrong or misunderstanding things so I've got no reason to lose any enjoyment from just a few contextless words like that.

People need to chill and if you care that much just avoid any places that may post that stuff for a while.  Surely if you're THAT passionate about a title where spoilers would ruin everything for you, you'll probably be playing it through pretty quickly anyway.  I get why it sucks but at least to me, spoilers are not such a big deal.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

ATLUS Blocking P5 Streams

I think I may have talked about this when Persona 5 first got released in Japan where I discovered that you cannot stream Persona 5 AT ALL past the opening scene.  The entire game is blocked for streaming directly from PS4 and there were rumblings about people using capture cards and the like having their shit taken down and whatnot.

Well I was hoping that this was because ATLUS wanted to keep a sort of air of mystery around the title until it got the worldwide release and that the block on streaming would be lifted after the western release.  Well that was nothing but wishful thinking because the English language version of the game was released recently but the game is still blocked.

Not only is it still blocked but ATLUS have released a bunch of fucking guidelines on what you can and cannot do.  Here it is

Now I love ATLUS, and I've loved ATLUS for as long as I can remember but this is complete and utter bullshit on a level that I can't quite comprehend.  The logic is that Persona 5 is a "Japanese game with a single playthrough story" so they don't want you streaming it/making videos of it so that people don't get spoiled.  You ARE allowed to stream/share up to the first major boss fight but after that you risk getting content ID strikes on your account.

Now I'm aware it's their game and they are well within their rights to do whatever the fuck they want with it but issuing such heavy punishments for anyone trying to share their experience with the game is just stupid.  If it was just a case of taking a video down, having that content they don't want removed then fine but trying to ruin someones ENTIRE channel or stream just because they showed a bit of the game past the first major story arc is just mean spirited.

Also the argument that it's to avoid people getting spoiled is the flat out stupidest thing I've ever heard.  I'm going to do an entire post on what I think about spoilers at a later date but if you're stupid enough to catch spoilers for a fucking niche JRPG then maybe you shouldn't be using a computer.  If someone is dumb enough to go into a Twitch stream for P5 or watch a YouTube video of a playthrough and then gets mad when they walk face first into a spoiler then that's their own fucking fault.  Also, being 70 hours in, I don't really see how you could deliver a spoiler in a quick simple sentence that would catch someone out like that, there's A LOT of explaining to be done behind each plot point.

Because of all these bullshit guidelines my head is filled with horrible ideas such as going on the ATLUS USA Facebook page and sending PMs to anyone who comments on P5 shit with major story spoilers or recording key cutscenes on my phone in short clips and spamming them on twitter.  The reality is I would never do anything like that really because I still quite like ATLUS and P5 is one of the best RPGs EVER FUCKING MADE that I feel that everyone should at experience and I wouldn't ever want to remove the impact of some of those key scenes.

Avoiding spoilers for anything is the easiest thing in the goddamn world and I can't help but feel this overly controlling attitude of ATLUS may sour the opinion of some people.  Personally though, despite this bullshit I find it hard to stay mad at the company that gave us SMT, Trauma Centre, Etrian Odyssey and many other heavy hits.  I guess I'm a little bit of a fanboy in that regard.