Monday, July 29, 2013

Crash Mind Over Mutant Kinda Fell on a Low Point

Considering this is generally the last Crash Bandicoot Game we'll see. You'd expect it to go out with a bang. This kinda fell into dud territory. The comedy is there the Crash style is there. Just something missing.

The Game takes place exactly 1 year after Crash of the Titans ended sorta funny considering the release timeline as well.  We're all taking a break and Dr. Cortex comes out with a new evil invention to take over the world. And with the power of the Home Shopping Network he might succeed. So now Crash must journey across Wumpa island and put a stop to this plan before Cortex succeeds.

Instead of Crash progressing through 20 - 40 minute stages like in Titans. He's now journeying across a world map sorta Jak and Daxter style completing various task.  I actually favor this a bit considering the stage gameplay for me took way too long to sit through in Titans and I never had any idea on when a stage was going to end.

Also a good note instead of Crash being forced to switch titans/Mutants he can actually store one in hammer space use it when he feels like.  However the choice of Titans/Mutants can be rather limited at times since a lot of them are prone to only 1 area and there's the fact that some are just going to be absolutely useless when compared to others.  Heck there's times where I had to forcibly abandon one of my jacked creatures to progress the story.  This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to run back to a particular spot on the map and hope that there still around.  Its still a nice mechanic. The downside to the whole Titan/Mutant mechanic is the fact that there's some that just far outclass the others in everything. Its a bad case of anything you can do I can do better.  There's quite a few that I just never ever saw again as well or got to use after I passed the halfway point of the game.

The controls can be pretty slippery at times.  There's a few trouble spots you'll get into that just make the game annoying when it comes to jumping. Combat has been made a lot easier since the last game. You don't have to worry about going up the food chain to get stronger mutants to beat the boss like before. Really you can just whoop everything with Crash alone unless otherwise pointed out to you.  Leveling up rather lost its meaning as well. While you do get upgrades to health, strength and other stats its rather meh with the items laid about through the game to pretty much allow you to breeze through the game.

The maps are well thought out. They aren't too big or too long. I only had a few areas where I was absolutely annoyed in cause of the method of how to do it.  Like I mentioned before there's some areas where you're pretty much going to have to abbandon your Creature and pick the new one conviently laid out before you.

The cutscenes were rather silly. The classic 4th wall breaking, movie referencing jokes I'm used to hearing.  Its definitely entertaining to hear while playing the game.  My main downside to this game was the ending however.  While Crash usually does a congratulations you beat the game here's your ending bit. This one felt like it was missing something.  There's also no 100% complete ending or hard mode ending available either. So there's honestly no reason to continue the game unless you just wanna see all the concept art and skins available.

I really wish Crash didn't end the way it did. And I wish there were more Crash games after this but sadly this is probably the very last we'll see of the Bandicoot.  I can see why this game didn't do well. It is fun to say the least but its short lived. Definitely try to get an older Crash game if you can. This one is more of a rental.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Decent Game, HORRIBLE NETCODE

Its been a long while since I touched a Naruto game. The last Naruto Game I played was Rise of Ninja 1 on the 360 and Ultimate Ninja 4 on the PS2.  While I think Narutimate Hero 3 for the PS2 has to be the best in the series of Naruto games (despite how unbelievably broken that game is) the future games have a lot to work on.

Storyline

Like with most Naruto games you play through famous events in the anime/manga series.  This game goes from right after the famous battle with Pain to the Great Ninja War. While it may not seem like much it actually a bit long. Took me about 12 hours to finish it. I've heard complaints that the story isn't accurate such as certain characters dying and how the battles played out didn't exactly end that way.  But honestly who cares. To me its FAR better than reading the Manga or waiting on episodes to come out to drag the story out far more than it needs to be.

Graphics and Voices.

The graphics are pretty nice.  And the fact that the game has like 60+ characters to choose from is a nice touch. I am annoyed that the world map post game is pretty much the size of Kansas. The voice overs are actually pretty good. The game should have its name changed to "Naruto Ultimate Voice Actor Storm 3". Seriously just about every character in this game is voiced by someone rather well known. There's also a japanese option for those that hate the English language.


Gameplay

This is where I feel the game falls short.  While this being my first Ninja Storm game, the gameplay change from the days of old are long gone.  My first gripe came with the 3D Battlefield.  The camera doesn't focus behind the character you're using. Instead whoever is closest to the TV screen is who the camera will focus on. And I'll tell you I had tons of problems figuring out where I was at times. Especially when certain characters move so quick its was easy for me to lose track of where they were.  I also had the issue of not being able to see small projectiles fly towards me till they were too late. I pretty much had to hold the guard button or take the hit. During Story Mode this was far worse in certain battles especially the final battle. The characters were so big they took up the whole screen and I had no idea what I was getting hit by.  I really wished the camera focused behind me all the time and just give an arrow to show if my opponent ran off screen.

Story mode felt like an RPG mode.  While the dialogue is nice. Sometimes the conversations dragged on for 30 minutes. In the middle of a boss fight. If it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to know how the story plays out without reading the Manga or watching the Anime I would hit that skip scene option ages ago. Seriously the characters would talk forever.

There's also the fact that EVERY BUTTON ON THIS CONTROLLER DOES SOMETHING.  While I tried adjusting the controls to a setting more comfortable it still didn't work for me.  I just had to adapt to the default settings and roll with it.  It didn't help that my big hands would accidentally flick the Right Stick which for some characters triggered an awakening state.

But probably my biggest gripe when it comes to controls is the lack of a Tutorial mode.  While the game randomly throws out hints inbetween loading screens. Unless you play the story mode and actually pause to the tutorial option you won't know how to play the game. Needless to say the Instruction Manual is pretty much garbage in this regard as well (its 5 pages long and only 2 of them list the controls one in english and one in spanish). I guess the makers of this game expected you to already know how to play the game from the start. So its literally an uphill battle learning to play this game.

The Online play was generally where I just barfed.  While I can deal with the controls and camera angles. Online play is another story.  The netcode is pretty bad. While I found 4/5 bar connections. Usually under these 3 guys who have tons of matches under there belt to start. The rest were 2 and below. The moment I jumped into battle it starts out nice but then the game starts throwing button lag simmaller to when I played KoF12.  What I mean the game would think I had pressed LT and pretty much just waste all my substitutions. I got the same thing with the Y button. Where I know I hit the Y button once then hit B. But I actually got Y,Y,B which turned my attack into a super attack at the worse possible moment.  The lag would kick in about 25 seconds in the fight where I'll start seeing "Transmitting..." on my screen and I would think oh great Rage Quitter or lag switch.  This was just absolutely horrible for me I thought Marvel 3 was bad with this. But this is definitely a game I would rather play offline.

I'm not sure about balance issues. I honestly don't care about character balancing. I mean its an Anime Based Fighting game. To me its going to be automatically unbalanced.


Music

Honestly CC2 needs to work on making sure there songs sound different from each other. While in some cases they do sound different from other games they have worked on.  You can seriously listen to the OST and think that you were playing a Dot.Hack game.  I turned off the music for that reason and played songs that were far more fitting.


End Point 6.5/10

Overall at the end of the day. The game is decent. But if I had the option I would go back to the PS2 and play those Naruto games. And with the knowledge that there's going to be an expansion of this game coming in November. I'm somewhat disappointed in this game. Its at least playable but the online play and camera ruin the experience for me.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Blazblue CS Extend I would hope everyone knows this game by now.



I shouldn't have to explain this game. I mean its been out for years and Chrono Phantasma is right around the corner. Anyway as far as changes go I can't really say much I'm not that technical I just wanna fight.  Most I can say is that Lamda's 5C can held down to get all 8 Hits instead of tapped.

I honestly wanna learn Relius but the few times I've played with him I can see where he'll have problems.   He needs his doll maybe even more than Carl does.  I don't feel confident to try him out online yet.  

First few days of online I found nothing but players that will spam online tactics or abuse beginner mode. Had to find a way to crawl away from there. I eventually just started doing custom search and found much better players. Although I ended up losing a lot I felt better fighting those guys than people that aren't at the same level as me.

In terms of favorite matches I found that an Arakune player was giving me the business. I'm pretty sure someone will go that he sucks. But I liked fighting him. He was rather consistent with combos and built the curse gauge pretty quick. I honestly never fought an Arakune player well a real one anyway and that was pretty fun. It took awhile but I finally managed to win one (out of like 20 matches) against him.  Regardless it was fun. Which I wouldn't say about most fighting games as I generally find the complete opposite when I play online.

Probably my favorite win is with Hakumen who I never really play with often. His combos are honestly way too hard for me to master. Especially since I'm reliant on the D button as the starter.  I'm pretty sure there's combos without it I'm just not used to it yet however. Also surprised me that I have Jin down slightly better than I did before. Makes me glad I left a couple of bad friends behind since they were holding me back. (Being honest I mean those guys always kept telling me BS in and never once encouraging).  Anyway maybe next times set of matches will be better. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Podcast YT Channel Update End of June 2013 (or Beginning July 2013)

Well not much going on.  Actually a lot going on.  But anyway Getting started.

PSP's a Dud :( 

I found the PSP I bought (for like 60 bucks) on Ebay was a dud.  While the description says its fully working. I found that it can't read UMD discs.  Meaning the games I wanted to play through can't be done until I get a new one.  I can play downloaded titles and ISO's but still.  I wanted to return it but since the shipping is coming out of my pocket It wouldn't be worth the refund to return the PSP (especially since its international shipping). I work that out later.


Suggested Games

About 2 weeks ago I posted a video asking what game you guys wanted to see.  I got a few interesting suggestions.  Although some of the titles I found were rare titles...When I saw them going for over $100 bucks I kinda died in my seat.  But I worked with it and I have a few games I'm getting soon.  You'll see what they are soon enough.


Month of 100% 

I'm still working out the details but I plan to do what I would call A Month of 100%. Where I go back to some games and try and finish them 100%.  I generally left them because I have many other games to play through or I just lost interest. So I figure why not try now to 100% them.  I have quite a few to 100% Picking out which one to do first might be a problem but right now I have more of a problem with setting up to stream again.

EVO 2013

I'm honestly not too interested in EVO especially for this year.  A lot of the games selected for EVO I'm not interested in for the most part.  Other games well I already know what to expect (I.E. Marvel 3). I rather see more SCV, TTT2, or games I generally only play other than japanese players.  But if anything I wanna see the grand finals. Since I only care for who wins.  But that's how I feel about it. I know there are others that watch and will say, "This player sucks" "I'm better than he/she is"  All I can say to that is, you're not at EVO are you?

Well that about covers this month.  If I think of anything else then I'll put it in the midmonth podcast or a different video.