Saturday, 24 June 2017

Tau and Friends Play Gauntlet Part 11

Friday, 23 June 2017

Why Do I Even Like Musou?

So recently I started playing a game on my Vita called Sengoku Musou Chronicle 3 which I got for free of PSN ages ago.  I'm having and absolute blast with it but as I play the game I can't help but wonder what it is about this series I find enjoyable.

Before I say any more, allow me to explain what Musou is to those who may not be familiar.  "Musou" in Japan has a number of different names in the west depending on the series.  Dynasty Warriors if the setting is China, Samurai Warriors if the setting is in Japan, Pirate Warriors if you're crossing over with One Piece and Hyrule Warriors if you're crossing over with Zelda.  However don't get it mixed up with Devil Kings or Sengoku Basara because despite the fact that they are almost the same thing, they aren't made by the same people and I'm sure there's some hardcore fan somewhere you'll offend by putting them together.

So in these games you pick or make a character and then you get slammed into various historic battlefields where you are a super human war god and everyone else is brain dead and barely knows how to swing a sword.  You run around mowing down hundreds and hundreds of dudes until eventually you come to a special dude with a title above his head and you murder him to lower enemy morale or win if it's the REALLY special dude.  The combat involves mashing one button and watching guys die until a meter fills up and then you press one other button once and you watch a little animation special move where a whole bunch of guys die at the same time.

Yes, there's a little more to it than that, of course, but that's essentially what it feels like to play a musou game.  It sounds and feels like something that SHOULD be boring and repetitive after maybe 1 or 2 stages but for some reason I just can't stop playing.  There's something incredibly satisfying about watching that kill count slowly rise up and just running around a huge battlefield mowing down tons of dudes single handedly.  Maybe I enjoy it so much because when I was younger playing the earlier games I was too stupid to tell how dumb it was and now I play it on the train after work where it works as a sort of stress toy rather than a proper video game.

If you've not played a Musou game you should try it out.  Maybe it won't be for you and you'll see it for the boring piece of crap it probably is.  OR you'll get sucked it by it's highly stylistic approach to historic warfare and the bloodthirsty loon buried deep inside you will have an absolute blast.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

[Donation Incentive] FF9: Kill Ozma [Video]

Only Half Fucks Given for E3

So E3 is going down as I type this very post and unfortunately the fucks I have to give about this evet are pretty minimal.

I'm sure I've talked about this somewhere on the blog before but up to a few years ago I used to get really excited for E3.  Back in my university days I'd pool friends together either in my tiny room or on Ventrilo/Mumble and we'd all watch the conferences and talk about the event as it happened.  Now I'm barely even paying attention, only having certain tidbits of information trickled to me via other peoples excitement on Facebook and I don't feel like I'm missing out on all that much.

I guess its because over the last few years the big conferences have really bored me to tears.  They showcase a few games, usually with pre rendered bullshit or some crappy staged "game play" footage where they have some guy sit in a corner and pretend to play a sequence while a short movie plays on the big screen.  After that there's a lot of waffle about features for a system which are being added, usually stuff that no one gives a toss about like that year it was all about Facebook or fucking sports and then it ends.

So while I'm not watching the event live or really even following it at all I'd be lying to you if I said I gave absolutely 0 fucks about  the event.  Despite the boring nature of the pressers the games that do get announced are usually pretty cool.  Already I've been intrigued by Monster Hunter World and Dragon Ball FightersZ and I'm sure once the event is done and I look up a list of announced games my excited will pique for something.

So while I won't be commenting on the event itself look out for a blog post on shit I'm looking forward to 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tau and Friends Play Advance Wars Part 7

Persona 5

Well it took a fucking age and a half but last weekend I finally beat Persona 5 and HOLY SHIT it's actually one of the best RPGs I've ever played.  I'll try to avoid spoilers as much as a can but there's a CHANCE that some may get dropped at some point, I'll mark them appropriately if I get into that but just be on your guard since people seem to be very uppity about spoilers for this game.

So here's a short version of my thoughts for people who are familiar with Persona and Shin Megami Tensei as a whole.  Persona 5 doesn't actually do anything particularly new with the franchise but it has an absolutely INSANE amount of polish on it.  If you like Persona you'll adore this game and if you are a mainline SMT snob then even you will find it hard not to get a kick out of this one.  It's just generally a damn good game.

For those that aren't familiar, Persona 5 is half monster breeding JRPG and half school life simulator. The story begins with our protagonist being set up for a crime he didn't commit and then getting sent to some shit school in Tokyo where everyone hates his guts.  From there he runs into a couple of other outcasts and they discover that they can enter an alternate universe where they dress like gentlemen thieves and can invade the hearts of certain people to change them from shitty people to not shitty people.  When you aren't doing that however, you have to go around making friends various folks around your school and Tokyo which has a knock on effect of making your Persona's stronger when you fuse them together to make new ones.  When you aren't doing THAT you can go around a number of places raising stats like charm, courage and academics in order to make you better at doing stuff/providing chances to deepen your friendships with the people mentioned in the sentence before.

The monster breeding, JRPG side of this game is where it really comes to life though.  When you are wandering around the hearts and minds of your targets you run into demons.  If you beat them up in just the right way and knock them down you can hold them at gunpoint and "negotiate" with them.  If you're negotiation is successful they will give you money, items or best of all join you so that you can use their skills in battle.  Once they've joined you can go inside a prison in order to put them under a guillotine and fuse them together to make new ones that are even better which in turn makes stealing  the minds of your targets much easier.

This is just a basic overview of the main two parts of the game but there's so much going on in P5 it'll make your fucking head spin.  There's no way I can do it justice in a short blog post like this, just go and play it.  The fact that I've not dedicated a paragraph to things I didn't like should say a lot about how I feel.  The only "complaint" I do have is that this game is fucking LOOONG but that wasn't really a negative for me and won't be for a lot of other people.  Just be warned though you will be probably at this one for at least 90 hours just for the main run through.

If you like RPGs, play P5
If you don't like RPGs, play P5 anyway
Just if you like games in general, play P5.  Just play fucking P5, right now

Monday, 5 June 2017

Pixeljunk Monsters

I've had this game on my PS3 since my second year of University and I've never fucking beaten it.

Pixeljunk Monsters is a tower defense game that came back in 2007.  The game play is simple, you control a little man who goes around building towers on trees.  Monsters come out of one end of the map and walk towards a little house on the other end of the map.  If the towers fail to kill a monster by the time it reaches the house it kills a little thing inside and if this happens 20 times then it's game over.

The game itself isn't too hard but it makes a big deal out of perfectly clearing a stage.  To perfectly clear a stage you have to complete all waves within a level without losing any of the little guys from your house and maybe I'm just shit but this is a really difficult task.  What will usually happen is the game will throw one type of enemy at you for a whole bunch of waves so you end up with a large amount of towers that counter that specific type.  You spend ages thinking everything is just fine and then BAM out of nowhere a different type comes out late in the level with tons of health that you're just not ready for.  Then you restart because you lost a guy and you start trying to prepare for the thing that you know is coming but you find yourself under prepared for the shit the comes before so you end up losing guys and restarting again.  Rinse and repeat this process for fucking HOURS and eventually you strike the right balance and beat the stage with a perfect and all you get for the trouble is a stupid fucking rainbow above the level tile on the map.

Beating the game itself isn't actually that hard but because I'm a perfectionist I feel obliged to try and perfect every level on the map.  If you aren't like that you'll probably have a lot of fun with Pixeljunk Monsters but if you want those fucking rainbows this game will drive you absolutely mental.