Friday, December 8, 2017

The Update for December 2017 - Too Much Happened, Too Little To Show

Oh boy where do I begin. It seems I've been a general worrier for the past couple of months. Generally to the point that I'm driven to tears. Strange enough it's not exactly from the holiday season I hate so much. A lot has a happened and slowed me down to a crawl. I've been forcing myself to get up and record videos. Well enough of the intro let's break it down.

California Fires

Seeing this stuff has me in tears.
Image From: http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/67/75/42/14669969/3/1024x1024.jpg

Now I don't live in California. I live on the other side of the US. But I've been deeply concerned about everyone over there. I've seen generally tweets from people I follow with some rather disturbing pictures or news about how bad the fires are over there. There was one post that said it looks like a volcano erupted. And looking at the photo you'd think that too. So many people evacuated and there doesn't seem to be and end to these fires in sight.

It's also weird that I felt like it's been going on for far longer and it was under reported until now. Even some sites I check haven't really updated on it. It hurts cause I see this and know there's nothing I can do to help. All I can do is pray. What else I find strange is people I follow on whatever site post about it and I can't help but feel concerned for there safety. They don't even know I exist. I believe Maximillian posted that he was without power for a day. I honestly have to wonder do a lot of these people have a plan to be ready to evacuate?

My concerns go out to everyone living over there in California. I can only hope for the best.

Depression

I would say it's mounting and I have been able to manage it a bit better than previous years. Especially without medication. Just that I haven't had the motivation to get out of bed or get to recording games. I've been feeling like I'm stuck. Only a few times during a week have I actually got off my ass and actually recorded something. Even fewer times have I made the effort to upload it all. There's still games I haven't finished.

I have to say it doesn't help that there's all these so called Depression help groups that immediately throw out there hand saying that they'll help. My experiences through those are not good ones and I rather stay far far away from those groups. For me it's like they want to control my life rather than help me through it. Speaking of. There was a twitter account I was following that was meant to help raise awareness for those with Depression. But lately the messages posted were not helpful or raising awareness. More like cutting to the bone and making others feel bad. I had to unfollow it. I'm not going to list the Twitter Account name cause I'm not here to tell people what to follow and what not to follow. Internet Drama is what we don't need.

I guess it's a victory that I haven't killed myself yet. I'm more concerned of the friends around me though. I'm not going into detail about it. Just that it concerns me.  I've tried to setup a Youtube playlist of videos I find encouraging.



I haven't found much to add to it yet. I'm still looking from time to time.


Patreon - Doesn't Concern Me Much

So Patreon released a change that's supposed to help the creators out in getting more money. Problem is it makes problems for the Patrons. Basically all Patreon did was have Patrons pay the fees so that the creators don't suffer a cut of the profit.

Before the change creators took about 40% of the profit. While Paypal and Patreon each take there cuts. Well now it says that Creations will take 95% of the profit. That's cause Patrons will be basically paying added fees. So now everyone is in an uproar cause that means more money that people have to pay. It's like a Cable bill where the upfront price is listed and you think that's what you're paying. But your actual bill says you're paying for everything else. Oh the rental of our boxes, the channels you watch, the setup fees, security, etc.

You can see the problem there. I no longer have a Patreon. I closed mine years ago. When I found that Patreon takes a cut and Paypal takes a cut and the guy who sent me $1 I can't collect cause of Patreon's guidelines. That guy's $1 after fees amounted to 0.37 cents. Yeah that pissed me off. So screw that.

There's other ways of giving to your favorite creators. Paypal and kofi are 2 big ones that I know of. I rather people donate through there than Patreon.

The Accidental Stream

So about 2 weeks ago from the day I'm typing this.  I accidentally streamed. Someone asked:
"How do you accidentally stream something?"

Well that's very easy. I have a bunch of programs for the sake of recording and/or doing live streams. The program at the time I was using was PlayClaw 5. Which has a built in streaming function. However it's stupid and it's meant for people who have that multi-monitor setup. I setup a hotkey a long time ago to stream. Just to try it out. Sadly it's the only program that will let me stream PC games properly without screwing up.  OBS still gives me issues and XSplit wants money. It's like I wasn't meant to stream unless I become some rich guy who's abandoned all his morals.

Anyway instead of hitting the record hotkey. I hit the live stream hotkey. PlayClaw 5 Doesn't tell you that you're streaming. At least it doesn't really let you know. The only way I found out I was streaming was that someone on Twitter buzzed me about it. I had no idea.

The problem with this is that you guys could've seen something that I didn't want to be seen or worse. I'm trying to find ways around it so I don't repeat that mistake. Cause I still want to stream. But on my time. If I was smart I'd just stream everyday but I just don't feel up for it.

Soulcalibur 6?

Image From: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4593/38870508402_2b2b471d74_b.jpg

So Soulcalibur 6 was announced. Yay. I honestly hope it can fill my expectations cause 4 and 5 wasn't all cracked up to be and the atrocity that was Soulcalibur: Lost Swords still weighs heavily on my mind.

All I've been hearing was the talk of guest characters. I honestly don't care for the guest characters. For me they fall into 1 of 2 categories. They either suck or they're one hit wonders. They're pretty much there to sell the game. I would rather the game sells on it's own merits and not require some famous guy to push sales. However in 2017 I'm proven wrong at every turn. Fighting games like Under Night In-Birth are pretty much unknown while Tekken 7 is gaining tons of hype Simply by having Akuma, Geese Howard, and now coming soon Noctis from FF15.

But I should be happy right? Another Soulcalibur game is coming. Yeah.....yeah....ye....The other problem I have with Guest Characters is that they are one hit wonders. You'll never see them again after they make an appearance in the game. I see this happen and go why bother having them in the first place? And many people's answer will be, "Money, hype, you just hate good things, blah blah blah." Well now that character isn't back in the next game and you got good with them. What now huh? WHAT NOW?!

What should happen is they either make a new character with the guest characters moves. Or have CaC's (Create-A-Character) the ability to use that character's style. But that's only in an ideal-world.

Now I don't mind the meter thing in SC5. But it was bothersome. First they took away Weapon Grabs. Which when I explained everyone thought it was parries. I guess it's a parry but the game's proper term called it weapon grabs. This was removed in SC5. And Weapon Repel was tied to meter use and specific moves. This was good cause you wouldn't have matches of constant Weapon Repels which was a thing in early Soulcalibur games. But at the same time I think Meter is pretty stupid. In the early SC games your moves effects changed based on how they hit and how precise you were. Now it's tied to EX meter use. There were some moves that changed based on hits but not as much. I guess you could say I'm arguing easy casual play vs skilled play.

If you want to look back at SC4. Meh...it was just a failed experiment. I never had a match where I could actually pull off one of those critical finishers and I the armor breaking along with skills thing wasn't that fun.

Now Lost Swords.  Ugh...DON'T EVER LET NAMCO-BANDAI DO THAT AGAIN! This had the same problem as mobile games in general but in one of the worst ways possible. If you didn't know. The last 3 characters they released was Maxi, Seong Mina, and Cassandra were released but to acquire them you couldn't get them through normal means. You had to buy them. And the starting asking price was $30 a character (So $90).  This was so you bought one of the special armor/weapons pack (The GACHA part of the game) for that price and they'll give the character along with it.   The price on these characters did go down but only after they announced that they're shutting down the game. DO NOT LET NAMCO-BANDAI PULL THIS STUNT AGAIN!

Persona 4 Golden



Okay seriously I still get comments on this. No on reads the description or other comments on this. NANAKO DOESN'T KILL YOU! IT'S NOT A GAME OVER! I poked fun at the game for this event making it look like it's a game over. And that clip where it says "Mash the Buttons"? That's from a game called Dust: An Elysian Tale.


What's planned for the rest of the year

I'm so tired these days and occupied with things I just wanna focus on getting Sly 2 finished. Hopefully I can finish Sly 3 before the year is finished as well.

As for commentary I think I may be done with that for good. I've got complaints about my commentary and my later stuff just doesn't get much views. I don't know what I'll do about it but I will change things for next year.

I think that's it in terms of what to talk about. I'll see you guys next year if I survive the rest of this year.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dragonball Fusions - More Create a Character Stuff

So it seems like we're in the age of Create-A-Character. Which I don't mind at all, in fact I love games like this. Where you create a character in an already existing universe and you have to save that universe cause everyone else for one reason or another sucks. It's a tried and true method that works and I love it.

Story

Dragonball Fusions is pretty much what I said. You create a character and have a Vegeta-like Rival named Pinich. You and Pinich gathed the Dragonballs to wish to have a tournament of the strongest. Well because of that the entire universe has been thrown outta-wack and time and space have created the world you wake up in. As you explore this new world you find out that there is a "TimeSpace Tournament" going down but there's a couple of requirements you need to do to enter. Well Pinich is entering but alone. You need a team of 5 and you have to make it to the finals.

Along the way you encounter the common Dragonball Story elements of the past with a few new twist. Honestly these twist are far better than what Dragonball Xenoverse could come up with. Such as fighting a nearly endless number of Perfect Cells, Broly wanting to beat the crap out of Kid Goku, and even the Ginyu Force having a different look in personality about them.

Funny Bits of the Story

Various sub-events and cutscenes are rather hilarious. Beerus showing his Tsundere side to help you out in saving your friend. Yamcha trying to make a come back after his traumatic experience with a Saibamen. A female version of the Ginyu Force. Even Towa and Mira show up to cause some trouble.

I especially enjoy the post game mission where Beerus forces my group to try and kill Champa only to end with the 2 brothers fighting amongst themselves as usual.

Gameplay

So the battle system is pretty simple. You select your target and attack. There's not too much complexity to it. While there's things to factor in like special moves. There is a bit of Rock, Paper, Scissors in the formula. However you start to notice that it doesn't affect much once you hit late game/post game. At the end of the day it boils down to whether or not you can land a hit and how strong your characters are.

The fun part is fusion. After all it's in the game's title. I find myself investing many hours doing this bit alone. While a lot of characters you can fuse with right away. Some of the more famous or better looking ones have a couple of requirements to fulfill. Thus you'll be spending a lot of time trying to get those done. The only downside is that some of these fusions look stupid or scary beyond all reason. Certain fusions had me gagging while others I was fanboying it up.

There's a whole lot to do and the hours you spend on this game alone is like that of a Good Pokemon Game. While the story is short there's tons of sidequest you can do and even more characters to recruit into your ever growing party.

There's No Game Over

Yeah there isn't really a game over to the game. If you lose a battle or fail a quest. You just get the option to retry and the game pretends like nothing happened.

Way Too Easy

Similar to that of Pokemon. You might find yourself WAY OVERPOWERED cause you got sidetracked doing other things. I found myself at LVL 90 by the time I reached the final boss. I would say levels don't matter but this did make it a bit harder to recruit certain characters as I ended up killing them in one shot. Difficulty isn't really an issue for this game unless you just want a hard game.

Music

Well the music is certainly Dragonball. Giving you the feeling that you're watching an episode of the series. I actually like the battle soundtracks especially the final boss theme when it starts to pick up in tempo and add more instruments as you get closer to victory. I haven't found any annoying sounds in the game.

The game uses Japanese voices. I don't really mind at this point I'm more used to the Japanese voices than the dub now. It's all a bunch of voice clips anyway many of which I don't totally understand but I don't really care. If you gave me a choice I would live to have English voices. Just a preference though.

Graphics

Well it's a 3DS game so if you're expecting Amazing graphics. Uh....go elsewhere. Considering there's a lot of character unique sprites in this game I'm surprised there's no lag. The models and backgrounds aren't exactly amazing just appreciate that there's so many different ones.

While the options to dress your character are limited in comparison to Xenoverse. You still can make your character look great. And your look isn't bound to fusing either. I try to stick to the lore of combining clothes but there's so many outfits that just look much better than whatever you fuse with.

Problems?

Hard to find actual problems with this game. I already mentioned it's too easy to level up. Whether or not that's an issue is up to the person.

Multiplayer if you actually play it is an issue. Online isn't all that. Any ki-blast struggles, zenkai attacks, or Ultra Fusions tend to lag the game and force the connections to disconnect.

Many of the problems I found stem from wanting more. I personally wished I had more Dragonball Characters instead of just Z and Super. But that's just me being a fan of Dragonball more than Z or Super.

I don't mean to ignore this problem as I'm not bothered with it. Versions outside Japan have had there sword attacks edited. There swords instead of being real swords are now wooden swords instead. It's a complaint by many either cause real guns are kept in the game or that Japan keeps there's. Another typical censorship issue.

Overall

This is once again a game I wish was on home console instead of a portable one. Not cause of graphics or stuff. Just cause I want to see it on a bigger screen. I still overall enjoy this game. It's a definite keeper even at full price.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What I hate about Alliance/Clans in Games - Marvel Future Fight

So I wake up today ready to do my usual in Marvel Future Fight. Only to find that I can't. Turns out I was kicked from the Alliance. What for? I don't know. Couldn't tell you. I can come up with various reasons but I'll never know for sure.

Possible Reasons

  • I don't speak Indonesian (A lot members speak that and English)
  • I don't have a 6-Star Wolverine (As I'm still behind in Epic Quest)
  • I don't have a Jean Grey (like above I'm behind in Epic Quest)
  • They secretly don't like me
  • I don't meet the new rule I didn't know about scoring 1.5mil in Alliance Battle weekly (Very Likely This Reason as I average about 1.2mil on good weeks). 
  • The leader wants to make room for friends (Also likely a reason)
  • They don't like Rocket Raccoon
I don't know the exact reason. It just happened. I woke up and saw that notification. I'm angry is putting things lightly. This was pretty much the thing that for me was more or less a dealbreaker for me in this game. I hate dealing with Alliances, Clans, Guilds, whatever you wanna call them. This is pretty much what I hate about a lot of online games. It's different from being put on a team that has cooperate like 95% of FPS games out there. This is like having a job or living in an apartment. 

So what happened with the Alliance is that the leader of the group switched. I would say it switched at least 5 or 6 times since I was in it. Either due to inactivity or just the guy in charge didn't want the responsibility. Regardless I didn't really care since during that time nothing really changed. I played every day doing my usual slowly improving in the game. Which is better than most people that play this game in general. 

Well what I did notice is that there was a lot of fighting in my alliance. It didn't involve me so why should I care? It was about handling modes or who's team is better. Even discussing the supposed tier list. It's stuff I don't care about and it doesn't involve me so why bother? We weren't even in the official alliance battle which doesn't happen until you reach a certain rank anyway. Either way they were fighting while I did my norm.

I guess it wasn't enough cause the leader changed one last time and I didn't notice. Like a boss that just got promoted or a new owner that wants to "Change things for the better" he changed the rules. With no notification. I can only guess that everyone else got the memo cause they use that app called WhatsApp. I don't use it especially with a bunch of people I don't know personally. I can only notice this cause I look at the Alliance and there's a small note saying minimum score in AB = 1.5mil.  Well since I average 1.2 million points on good weeks (About 850k on bad ones). I guess I'm getting the boot.

What pisses me off was no one told me of this. Not only that but no one was helping me out. When I stare at the chat at times it's either people complaining about who's better the other or they're helping each other with builds. Where was my help? Not to be found. Instead the new blood came in to boot out the old. Or they just got rid of people they don't like. Which turns out to be me in this round.  I mean I did my part to the best of my ability. But I didn't think a real life situation could happen in a game that doesn't even have official worldwide tournaments. 

Needless to say I'm pissed. I was planning on doing certain things in Marvel Future Fight but those plans got put on hold. I honestly don't feel like playing anymore. I'll have to find an alliance that isn't all gungho on crap modes. While it may already look like it. I'm just going to take a long needed hiatus from this game. It's actually passed my bullshit threshold. 


Friday, October 13, 2017

Shadowverse Update - The Cheating BS Update

Where I once praised this free to play game for having great visuals, a decent story, balanced gameplay, and a growing community. Now it has taken the typical free to play route. And by that I mean the game has resorted to making things impossible to play without throwing some cash around.

So this game has updated not only it's card base but also the single player story. However this is where the BS kicks in. Story wasn't exactly easy. As the first 8 chapters of the game you learned the ropes of each character's style of play. You could generally overpower them with newer cards that the AI didn't have Access to but even then the AI can pull out some crazy moves. So they weren't total pushovers.

But now instead of making more challenging themed decks you learn why certain decks are so heavily limited and can never mix with different classes to make them broken. Yeah that's right. While the last chapter in certain stories tried to mix decks it clearly had no idea what it was doing. Now it does.

Basically every class's ability is in play. Then to add insult to injury the cards have such synergy you'll get frustrated trying to defeat the AI. The AI's deck is pretty much stacked as well. You'll see them play pretty much the same cards every game in the same order. There isn't any, "Maybe I'll get lucky and they won't draw that card." THEY WILL DRAW THE CARD THEY NEED!

It's stacked against you in such a bad way. You just have to pray things workout right. It's like Early Yugioh Games where the AI could see your cards before you even draw them. In this case it's like a bad game of Hearthstone or any other card game you can think of. Where your opponent has a solution for everything you throw out. Even cards to essentially nuke the field.

To add insult to injury pretty much every time you lose the game insists that you buy a theme deck from them at the cost of some real money. I could deal with this cause it's just simple ploy to try and weasel money out of me. But Strike 3 came about when certain cards didn't work as intended.

Yeah various cards didn't work as intended. I thought I misread something. But no they decided not to work at all.

Examples





At the end of your turn, summon a Forest Bat if an allied Forest Bat is in play. If there were four cards in your area when the turn ended, destroy this amulet and deal X damage to the enemy leader. X equals the number of allied Forest Bats in play. 






This card was supposed to activate it's 2nd effect when I had 4 cards in my area. But it never did. I didn't destroy itself it did no damage. Nothing. WTH?!






At the end of your turn, deal 7 damage to a random enemy follower. 








This didn't do the damage it was supposed to. Instead of 7 it did 4. The opponent didn't have any effects to block/reduce the damage. WTF. Why? It's unexplained. 

That's just 2 of the cards that didn't work out right. The rest was even worse when the AI who had cards to boost the attack of specific types of cards but instead of just specific cards every card on it's side got boosted.  

Yeah I got pissed off. Instead of the game building clever themed decks to give you ideas on how to improve your game. You instead get matched against impossible decks literally designed for cheating. I doubt people care about the single player since these days it's all about doing anything and everything multiplayer.

Why design the game this way? I pretty much never want to touch this game again. The last time BS of this level happened was Soulcalibur: Lost Swords. Lost Swords was okay at first. With somewhat difficult events that was doable. But then never updating the story and throwing in events where bosses 1-hit KO.s you unless you actually put in money for the premium weapons and armor. The game didn't want any free to play players for there game. They wanted all the money they could get before they shut down.

I'm really angry right now. A game I liked changed like this. -_-

Monday, October 2, 2017

Oddworld Stranger's Wrath HD (PS3) - Probably the Hardest Game I've Played In Awhile (Pics and Videos Later)

Out the entire Oddworld Series, Stranger's Wrath was the only one that caught my attention. I remember seeing it on whatever X-Play was called before G4TechTV (which was originally just TechTV and G4 was it's own seperate thing) turned that show into utter crap.  I thought the game looked interesting but could never find or afford a copy. After decades of not owning I saw it on PSN and bought it there. I had no idea what I was jumping into for this one. Not too much.

Story

So you start out being introduced to The Stranger. A very skilled bounty hunter that's great at his job...until you take control of him. You watch an FMV of The Stranger capturing a guy by the name of Blisterz Booty. He captures the guy in a way that reminds me of Batman and Kraven the Hunter. After a bit of tutorial you throw him in jail and you start to learn the ropes.

Now for a good bit of the game the story only establishes that The Stranger is just a bounty hunter. No backstory. When you start getting concerned you learn why he's a bounty hunter. He needs an operation from The Doc. But Doc charges him as much as any typical hospital would for an operation, $20,000. Yeah that sounds about right. Maybe on the low end. Especially without insurance which I don't think exists in this game's world. I should mention that "Stranger's Wrath" takes place in a rather post apocalyptic setting. There's very little technology, very few towns. and civilization seems heavily dependent on the few people that actually know either how to use technology or have some sort of trade skill.

So now you know why you're doing this bounty hunting gig. It's the only thing that pays. I guess it's not a bad job even in real life Bounty Hunters get paid big time. Assuming they do the job. According to "howstuffworks.com" bounty hunting can net you as much as $50,000 - $80,000 a year. That really isn't too bad although considering they put there life on the line to catch a criminal the pay may be too little. Thankfully Stranger's Wrath is video game and pretty much makes you a combination of Batman and Kraven the Hunter.

Now I was actually starting to like The Stranger. Well until I learned his attitude and demeanor isn't all heroic. If I was to classify The Stranger I would place him in Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Neutral. During one of your Bounty's the guy comes to you, terrorizing the town and leads into a long shoot out basically destroying the town. There's another moment where you meet the owner of an apple farm. He thinks your new security guard to take the money to the bank but Stranger needs the cash and takes it for himself. He's not doing these bounty's for the good of the town, that's just a small added bonus to him.

The favorite moments of mine is when you come across most the bounties. Stranger pretty much walks in and like a cowboy tells the guy it's time to go to jail, now come quietly or we can do things the hard way. Some of the reactions are actually rather funny. But then I started thinking about the names of some of these outlaws.

  • Boilz Booty
  • Blisterz Booty 
  • Filthy Hands Floyd
  • Looten Duke
  • Fatty McBoomBoom
These names...are obviously an innuendo. Not only that. I found Looten Duke panicking about going back to jail simply cause Filthy Hands Floyd and Blisterz Booty was there. And they took the innuendo path. If you jump in thinking this is going to be a clean game. Yeah you thought wrong. Normal enemies dialogue is either cussing up a storm or making dirty jokes at one another. But it's rather the old fashion kind of dirty jokes. Unlike today where dirty jokes are generally badly formed sex jokes. Still this game is dirty. 

Spoiler Territory
After awhile of bagging criminals. Stranger realizes he's not getting much at all.  But there's one bounty you can get an instant 20 grand for.  The Legendary Steef Head.  Final Boss??? Well you make the call to a strange man over the phone and Stranger says he can get him. Our mysterious man afterwards makes another phone call. To his favorite underlings. Saying to get the Steef Head first and kill the hunter. Uh oh.

Later on. You start feeling good about yourself. At this point you should have the 20,000. I didn't have the money. But I found out that it didn't even matter. You're led into a trap and someone's killed the Doc. The bounty hunters came for you. Knocking you out, then stripping you of all your gear. He tries to "reason with you" while you're strung up. Getting information about the Steef Head. Well, convenient papers fall out of your pocket and the secrets out. The Stranger is The Legendary Steef Head. Welp now what. Well lucky for the Stranger someone mysterious ninjas or tribal village help you out. Freeing you from confines. But you discover that all the normal townsfolk want you dead too. They heard of the 20,000 bounty on your head and they want it too. So you make your escape. 

Now at this point the story kinda rushes forth. You meet some weird looking grubb fish looking guys telling you that they're the ones that rescued you and they need your help. Some guy named Sekto built a damn to cut off most of the water supply and kick these guys out of there home. Thinking deeply about it Sekto must've changed civilization heavily by doing this. They want you to kill Sekto. Well thankfully the Stranger has a reason to kill him too. He put a bounty on his head, now it's time to pay. 

And payback is rough. You go through what I think are some of the hardest levels in the game. But also you get upgrades that reveal that playtime is over. This time everyone dies. While you used to bag outlaws for some easy cash. That's gone. Now they turn into ammo. They get eaten by your ammo and turn into more ammo you can use. 

Once you reach the end you find Sekto's hogging all the technology. If you didn't notice from all the attacks he's led attacking these grubbs. He's got tanks, drop ships, and everyone's fighting more like a military force now. Oh boy.

What I did find a bit unsettling is the enemy chatter. They mention about wanting to live forever. What? How? As I make it to the boss it's a rather difficult fight. But after winning Stranger shows his dead body to all the villagers. And everyone parties as the dam is destroyed. But after that. You get something of a "huh?" ending. Turns out that Sekto was also a Steef Head. Just like the Stranger. And he's really old too. His last words ask about the water being free. Well of course it is. But while seeing the water you see what look's like Sekto's head turn out to be a squid and swim off to parts unknown. ???? Then you're left with a quote that get's you thinking about things. 

All I could surmise from this was, a long time ago the world was full of water. And apparently that water was special. But thanks to Sekto. He apparently got jealous that everyone had access to this water and decided to take revenge. Changing all of society. Giving the promise of allowing certain ppl access to this water let him build an empire. And Sekto apparently intended on selling the water to certain people who have money.  I dunno. I'm a bit confused.

Gameplay

The gameplay ranges from moderate to painfully hard depending on levels. But the controls are simple. The mechanics are also easy to understand. 

So this game plays a bit different from your typical 1st/3rd person shooter. You only shoot while in 1st Person mode. You move faster and have some combat moves when 3rd person. The square button reminds you of what you're supposed to do. Although sometimes I have trouble understanding The Stranger. 

What makes The Stranger a true badass is that he doesn't need any health pickups. When he takes damage. To recover your health you simply hold down triangle. Then you'll watch the bounty hunter shake off bullets and other things like it's nothing. Only costing you stamina. He doesn't need some random first aid kit to recover life. He just shakes it off. Like a real man does! Yeah. (Yeah I know that doesn't work in real life.)

You collect ammo by hunting for it in the wild. While there's ammo crates from time to time and you can buy them from the shop. It's not your main sources of collecting ammo. Your ammo also acts more or less differently from your typical FPS. You have 
  • Zapflies: More like a stun gun. This thing rarely kills but you use it a lot like shooting machines with these to activate them.
  • Bolamites: Which are spiders that essentially ties up your enemies so they can't yell for help and become easy to bag. The upgraded version is awesome to use.
  • Boombats: Your grenade launcher. They explode
  • Chippunks: You might find this useless but these are used to distract your enemies. Kinda like how Batman does in Arkham games to lure enemies and stealth kill em.(yeah I know Batman doesn't kill.)
  • Fuzzles: Fuzzles are like Bear traps. You can shoot them directly at the enemy or shoot the ground and lay traps. Once they hit most enemies. The enemy will focused on getting the little guys off them. 
  • Stingbees: Pretty much a machine gun. A really weak machine gun. I didn't find this useful till after the upgrade where they gained a homing ability and damage increase. 
  • Stunkz: I found this hard to use. But it is useful. These stun most enemies making them having to cough and even barf. While they're stunned they can be bagged. I don't really like the upgrade but it is useful since the enemies started using shields. But it changes the weapon entirely by sucking up nearly every enemy to knock them over. But they're not really stunned.
  • Thudslugs: Your shotgun. And like a shotgun, only does real damage up close.
  • Sniper Darts: I didn't figure out how to use this until later. It's not very useful. Just click the left stick more than once to go into a zoom in mode. This doesn't really do much damage though. 
You can equip 2 different types of ammo at the same time. (Sniper darts have there own active slot).  So you can use them in various combos. Making use of all of these to take down enemies and capture bounty's.

The goal of this game is obviously to collect bounties. But you're given the option to capture the enemy dead or alive. They're worth more alive however. But obviously harder to bag. So you need to beat the crap out of your enemies enough to bag them. Kinda like Batman who will beat a guy to the point of having brain damage but not kill them. This can get difficult when it comes to your bounty itself. They will not go quietly. 

The Bounties Themselves

Each bounty you face off against has a different way of fighting you. While on almost every fight you have to deal with the guy's cronies first. The boss itself handles differently. One guy you can only shoot his back to take him down. But you can only get an opening to shot his back if he's busy trying to break the platforms your standing on above him. 

Another boss has tons of minions while he shoots you from a mine cart. You can only bring him down by shooting the track switches at the right time.

Even a boss who's security produces near infinite bad guys. But breaking through her defenses isn't easy. 

No 2 bosses are the exact same and taking them down can be a bit different. One boss I killed by dropping into a set of turbine fans. But your main goal is to bag these guys alive. They're worth more alive then dead. It's pretty much good luck catching them alive. 

That is until the last stretch of the game where pretty much everybody dies. Even if you bag them. You have no more need for cash at this point. So you're told that your new ammo bag you can capture enemies and they'll get eaten by your live ammo and in-turn produce more ammo for you. ....Dark.

Difficulty

I find the difficulty can range from moderate to unforgiving hard. Even frustratingly hard. My problem with it lies when there's a lack certain things you need to combat enemies. Or there just being way too many clustered in one area. 

You also find that bosses will find you regardless of your efforts to hide in bushes. Where normal enemies will typically lose sight of you by hiding in these spots and the game will say you're hidden. The bosses apparently have a bloodhound's nose and eyes of hawk cause they easily track you down and beat you to pulp for foolishly trying to hide. 

It's worse when I have very little cover or no hiding spots to rest. The enemies are even smart to notice that they're putting a ton of pressure on you and actually come out of there hiding spots to lay even more gunfire on you. You just want a break but they're not gonna give it. You have to be ready. Often times you'll find yourself retrying over and over again to beat a boss and your only knowledge to defeat the boss is where the enemies will appear and what you should try to clear them out quickly. Or whittle them down one by one.

The worst was the last stretch of levels. Although I got tons of ammo and upgrades. The enemies I ended up fighting weren't playing around either. Between being annoyed by the screaming townsfolk. I had to avoid sticky grenades and tons of suppressive gunfire. They even went as far as to bring out a tank that shoots electricity. Thankfully the game did leave some things for me to try to cut down on enemy numbers such as breaking the computers to electrify them. 

The worst of the difficulty showed it's ugly head at the last part. The villagers have laid siege to Sekto's stronghold and then said they're going to blow everything up. I got 3 and half minutes to get out of there. While the stranger can run like a gazelle. This quickly turned into a Halo moment. You know where you have to escape in a time limit or die. Only difference is these guys can aim and I can't really afford to stop and catch my breath. Stopping meant death. What made it worse is that each time I died and retry'd I ended up taking damage and dying in a different way than before. Sometimes this one shotgun would not shoot me or miss. Other times 3 of them shot me and had deadly accuracy. WHAT THE HELL?! I had to just grind and bear it hoping that I can find a way to save time and pray I don't get shot. I even came up with tactics on running such as jumping constantly so I don't lose speed going uphill. I was pissed. 

Then comes the final boss. And like most. He has 2 phases. The first phase puts me against 2 bosses I fought before but this time they're relentless and I can't afford to just focus only one on at time. They can tie me up in this weird webbing and spin around like beyblades. They even managed to combo me to death. O_O
Then the final boss...he has a 1-2 hit kill laser. I didn't know what I was supposed to shoot. I tried shooting at him and it looked as if his shield went down. That wasn't it. I tried the generators. Nope???? I tried the guns. Nope. After reading a guide I am supposed to shoot the generators...but A LOT! I was relieved after I finished this. 

Nice Glitch

So I found a glitch on the last set of levels. Should game try to auto-save your progress via checkpoints and you just so happened to die. The game will say that there's nothing to load and kick you back to the title screen. Forcing you to manually load your save file. 

Music and Sounds

Well the music fits the setting. And kicks up when you're in combat. Problem arises when there's way too much gunfire. I wish I knew that in the options I could mess with the sound volumes a bit and turn on subtitles. I honestly shouldn't have to mess with volume levels I usually turn them up to full blast unless some stupid 3rd party company wants to claim the music like they always do for Youtube. 

The voices I do have a slight problem with. While it does have the stereotype country accent going for it. Certain voices are either annoying or I have trouble making out what they're saying. Especially Stranger's voice. 

Overall

This was a pretty fun experience. Glad this game was remade for PSN. Apparently it's been remade again for mobile phones. Go figure. While the story is somewhat dark and leaves me wondering. Along with frustrating gameplay in spots. This game is good. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 2017 Update

It's so late in the month I might as well say it's October LOL.

Anyway not too much to talk about.

Hurricanes!!!

Yeah Hurricane Irma passed by. I'm still alive. It was honestly the weirdest one for me ever. Considering how Katrina and whatever that one in 2004 was. This was the weirdest. Those 2 scared me half to death with how crazy the storms were.  One of those storms knocked over a tree in my yard and smashed my shed.  This one...it was scary but literally where I live nothing much happened. A big branch fell but it turned out to be one of the ones that already fell and was hanging on other branches.  The tree that I expected to fall didn't fall at all.  And there was no thunder. A somewhat light to moderate rain. And a lot of wind. I guess what did make me feel bad. My cat ran outside to kill a bird and try to bring back in the house. I essentially watched that bird die and didn't want to as I did everything to get it away from my cat.  So that was a sad moment.

I'm worried about the other ppl and hurricanes along with earthquakes. Considering the horrible state of affairs in places like Puerto Rico, and Mexico. I hope they're safe or at least made it out alive.

YT Channel

Gamefly

I've been debating on cancelling my Gamefly account. The reason being is mainly due to money crunch. I feel like I could just cancel my health insurance since I feel like it's completely useless to me. But I know that if I cancel it. Watch something happen. As for Gamefly. It's nice to get certain games just to play them and then send it back. But at the same time I feel like I should be finishing those games or playing them a lot more.  And I don't.  I feel like I would do better just buying the game and playing it then that's of course after I save up for a very long time.

I mean considering all the consoles I have there's also no point anyway. Cause I don't have current gen consoles and people often complain about my 3DS game videos not being good quality cause it's not 720p and not from the stupidly expensive 3DS Capture Card.

I like getting games and movies of my choice when they're available but it seems like a waste and I should just stick to hunting on Google, amazon, etc. I really don't know but considering everything it seems like my only option to keep some cash.

Fighting Games

I really don't know how to say this. But I think I've grown a distaste for fighting games.  The more I think about it the more I just dislike fighting games. I like just simply playing fighting games. I don't care about being good at it. But these days it just seems that you can't just play for fun. You have to be skilled. At least from all the videos I see these days. Even the amount of content in games feels like it's leaning towards skilled players. The utter lack of gameplay modes. The type of players and comments I see online. It's like Casuals pretty much don't have a place anymore.

Before I could just sit down and enjoy a game not worrying or caring about anything else but the game. Now I can hardly sit down for an hour and enjoy fighting games. I can't tell you the frustrations I feel when I try playing training mode or what I call "Do this combo mode"  I don't feel like I'm learning anything and everything being taught doesn't seem like it's meant for a player like me. Heck online games in general feel this way. I can't just enjoy the game and have a good time. I have to reach this unknown level of skill first before I'm allowed to enjoy the game.

Anyway I think my love for fighting games is dwindling if not completely gone.  Everything I loved about fighters has been replaced with some of the stupidest things I can imagine.  Maybe if my audience and groups of people I could hang out with were more with the for fun attitude I wouldn't feel this way about fighting games. But right now, me playing 90% of fighting games feels like a bad SOAP Opera or an incredibly long never ending anime.

Playthroughs

Well Let's see as for playthroughs:



Livestreaming

I talk about it again and again. Problem I have I would say lies 80% with myself and the other 20% with my imaginary audience. Myself is once again my age old problem. Not only finding the time to stream but also willpower and self-esteem.  It would be easier to just stream absolutely everything I play on a daily basis. But I don't want to do that. I feel like I get distracted cause I'm streaming. Not only that but considering my audience it's a very fickle bunch and that's assuming anyone shows up at all.  Since I don't stream the #1, AAA, guaranteed games and I don't really play them either. What's the point of even watching?
Then comes streaming for a very long period of time. I don't feel like streaming for only an hour. What gets done in an hour? That only works well with very few people.

The imaginary audience I already mentioned it lies in what game I decide to play and the quality of my equipment which isn't good. It's on the cheap end. I honestly say what's the point of it all. Heck I wonder what's the point of me even trying to record and edit videos from time to time.
This is just me and live streaming though.

Family

I honestly grow tired of having family issues. While I'll try to avoid going into detail. It's just drama in the house. I wish I could just cut myself away from it all and stop caring completely. It hurts knowing that I have little to no power to get rid of my problems. I feel embarased having these issues and only thing I can do is complain about my problems.

I've been planning to move out. But at the same time I figure I'll just have to stop doing things like Youtube and other stuff. I'm not really up for that. But it feels like I have to.

Discord

For my youtube channel I opened up a discord specifically for it. If more members show up I'll try and post more stuff there. I have a hard time being active in different places. Especially when it's rather boring. So maybe things can get livened up.

Here's a link to the discord: https://discord.gg/3qJjvsk

Marvel Future Fight - Age of Apocalypse Update

Another month another update drops for the game. This time focusing on the OP X-Men again. Age of Apocalypse. Meaning it's Apocalypse that's dropped. Guess what this update brought a ton of changes to the table as well but also helped me realize that the crappy meta is still in effect.

Changes

RIP Hot Time "Press F to Pay Respects"

RIP Hot Time

A major change to the game. "Hot Time" has been removed. Hot Time was an event for about 3 hours twice per day. All story events, dimension rifts, etc had an energy cost cut of about 50%. Along with giving bonus EXP and Gold. Well that's gone now.

Boost Points

In Hot Time's place is now Boost Points. From now on when you begin a quest you will use boost points to increase your EXP, Gold, and cut energy cost from quest. By default you have 100 Boost points that recharge over time. You can recharge it yourself using Crystals to cap it at 2000 which also increases the bonuses Boost Points give. It's a double edged sword in terms of updates. While Boost Points apply to every quest that takes energy (Except Co-Op Missions). It breaks from my schedule of when to play the game. I would normally play the game twice a day using Hot Time to my advantage.  With Boost Points my times at playing the game are random now. Either waiting for my points to recharge or just not being in the mood.

Ultimate World Boss Has Prerequisites Now

A very small reason to care about completing story mode.

If you thought of never completing the last 2 Asgardian Chapters well now you have to do so. This is no longer accessible unless you completed Chapter 12-8 of the main story. And have at least 3 characters at Tier-2. I don't much care for this as Super World Boss essentially made the bosses more tanky if anything else and able to floor most of characters in 1 or 2 hits. Regardless of builds.

Can Access Any Normal World Boss

You now have access to any World Boss in the game. Instead of waiting till a certain day to take on a World Boss 5 times you can fight any of your choosing. There's also beginner mode and a randomly selected World Boss Available to fight for supposedly better prizes.


New World Bosses

4 (Technically 3) New World Bosses have been added to the mix. Quicksilver, Cable, Scarlet Witch, and Apocalypse (Not released yet). However to fight these World Bosses you must complete a set number of objectives first. Most are pretty much just playing the game like do dimension rifts X number of times. Others are completely ridiculous like Defeat Quicksilver in 15 seconds. -_- They yield small rewards for completing tedious objectives. Unless it's actually on your way to do so this will be a long boring grind. If you wish and have the money for a meager amount of crystals (Sarcasm) you can elect to unlock the ability to fight these bosses immediately.


2 New Uniforms

Beast = Age of Apocalypse

No more blue underpants. He's graduated to a sexy beast. XD

Beast has gone evil thanks to Apocalypse. Thus he now has a new look. I actually prefer this look a lot more than his normal one. Even if this does turn him evil.

Cyclops = Age of Apocalypse

Skipping on the blue tights we now sport blue and black leather with arm gauntlet

Cyclops gains his new look as well being changed by this new age.


4....3 New Characters

New Characters which as you can already tell, World Bosses have been added to the mix.

Quicksilver (Speed Type)

The main thing I hate about characters who's only thing is being fast. Quicksilver is pretty much that reason. 

Well obviously the king of speed here. He's honestly not much to look at. He has a few attacks and animations that make me lol. But his whole shtick is "lol look how fast I am. Bet ya can't catch me."  His normal attack is fast but doesn't seem to make the enemy flinch. His other attacks go well with his passive of being able to pierce invincibility and making himself have that frustrating effect of not being able to be targeted.

Cable (Blast Type)

Ready for the war against Apocalypse. We Have Cable in his usual attire.

Looking as awesome as ever. The son of Jean Grey and Scott Summers comes to town and shoots everything. He doesn't really need to combo just play keep away. However I don't like how there's a missed opportunity to call his Skill 5 "Hyper Viper Beam".  Most of all he sports the ability to pierce all barriers, invincibility, healing, etc.


Scarlet Witch (Blast Type)

Scarlet Witch looking sexy as usual and ready screw with your mind.

Out of the 3 shown. She's clearly the one to look out for. First off she's sporting the rarely seen Mind Damage. And has the ability to reduce an opponent's mind resistance PER HIT!  And it stacks. Like Cable she also sports the ability to nullify healing, barriers, invincibility etc. She's a great character to go for...if you have the money or skill. She is a world boss after all.

Apocalypse

????....yeah not here yet. Still Prepping for him.


Just by playing the first world boss it's clear that there's more to come besides Apocalypse.


Just from playing the first new world boss shows Weapon X and Rogue. Weapon X clearly being a future Wolverine or a different one. These 2 are likely to be uniforms in the future.  Not to mention that this game loves to take liberties from Marvel Movies cause that's how these games and Marvel make money now. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have costumes from the Avengers Age of Ultron movie.


When will these appear as well.

The Downside of it All

The downside to this update. While I was more or less happy with the previous update that essentially changed how the Character Gear System works. What I'm seeing again now is that the meta remains unchanged and as boring as ever.

Build damage. That's all that matters. In lame fighting game tier list format. Everything still seems to revolve heavily around how much damage a character can do. Glass Cannons, No-defense nelly, all-out attack still seems to be the way to go.  Instead of coming up with ingenious ways to make best use of a characters strengths it's all based on how much damage can you do. DPS in other words.

This really bothers me as I call into question what's the point of building anything else when this one boring method works overall? The fun of the game is slowly removed as strategy is kicked to the curb for what feels to be mindless competitions of how much damage can I do sessions. Even with these new World Bosses having the ability to counter most of what the supposed top tier characters can do doesn't seem to matter as the only solution is to hit back even harder.  I guess it's just me asking too much of a mobile game to make a fair and not mindlessly simple event/boss fight.

Anyway that's it for this update. Stay tune for more in the future as usual.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blazblue Central Fiction - Jubei Only Lives On Hype



Couple of weeks ago almost a month. Jubei dropped as a DLC character for Blazblue. After so many years of fans begging to have him we finally have him. But man, he's probably the most lackluster in terms of DLC characters that have dropped for this series. Almost if not every character that's been DLC for this game that's dropped has been pretty much the destroyer of tiers, the most ass whooping character to exist and definitely need a nerf. Jubei doesn't get that. Visually he's great but playability is where he lacks.

Looks

Jubei is pretty much exactly how I remember the guy. There are complaints rolling around that he's been made too tall than his actual size. Yeah he's supposed to be a little shorter than Platinum but that made complaints saying that fighting games should never have short characters. All I can say to that in response is, fighting games shouldn't have giant characters. The argument goes that because a character is too short then moves and combos will whiff making things a lot harder to fight and somehow make the game unplayable.  Honestly if you actually dig into the game you find that this argument is rather null and void cause such situations already happened when it comes to characters like Platinum and Carl. It's a really dumb argument that for me holds no water since it's just a thing you see in fighting games. However I'm too old and anything I say in regards to things such as these are moot, since I come from the age of fighting games where you just deal with it or play another game (the 90s).

So Jubei was made slightly taller and can get away with it as he is a cat so he's just standing on his hind legs and when he's running can low profile some moves. Not all. He's not pulling a Taokaka who can actually low profile tons of things with the simple press of a button.

I love the fact that you actually get to see his claws unlike Taokaka and actually see what's under his hoodie during certain moves. The calligraphy paint effect on certain moves is a bit much IMO but it works.

Gameplay

Jubei's HP is obviously on the low end. Being short and all that. His damage is iffy. But not bad. I mean compared to that of Tsubaki or certain other characters who have to bend over backwards to get damage. His damage output isn't bad. What I like best is that he's one the better characters to easily take advantage of an opponent who recovers wrong. Especially with his supers.

Jubei's normals leave a lot be desired. Having 2B (Crouching B) be his longest reaching and safest normal. But it's still very short. In fact all of his normals are short. I get a bit of Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax Sho from him when it comes to his C buttons since they hit twice. He actually has certain combos that want you to hit with his C normals only once before cancelling into something else.

WTF Counter

What makes you go "Why is this a thing?" and what I may consider this some sort of anti-mash thing brought into the game. Jubei doesn't have a 6A or 6B (Forward+A, Forward+B). Well he does but unlike everyone else in the cast they don't function like the other guys. Instead they're command counters. 6A for middle and high(?) attacks. 6B for Low attacks. The problem is that these counters have a very short window (hahah I made a funny) of active frames. Meaning throwing these out can spell pain for heck probably death for you. Where Hakumen can easily get away with it a few times. Jubei can't due to his low HP. You pretty much have to know your opponent is going to throw out something you can counter with these and commit to it without hesitation. Even then it may not work.

Don't expect to land the first attack at round start. Jubei's attacks are too short to just throw out and expect a hit.

Unorthodox Moveset

Where things range from awkward to WHY?! From a straight casual standpoint you wouldn't much care for this especially if you never bother to check the command list. Jubei has some awkward specials and supers. One being 632146C (Half Circle, Forward + C) being a special move which for the longest time in Blazblue and Guilty Gear series was generally reserved for Supers.

His D Button doesn't do much but strike and mark the opponent. An opponent who's marked can be attacked from behind only by Jubei's 2 of 3 supers. Feels like minimal thought was put into this when you have characters like Azrael who can mark you and turn certain moves into unblockables and even gain tons of damage off of. Or previous DLC character Mai who's only function was throwing her spear and making it change direction charging it made it unblockable if you didn't redirect it.  It would be nice if Jubei had some special moves with this but he only has 3 different D button normals. 2 of which seem to be the exact same.

He has another super which changes how his D Button works. Where before it was a single strike that marked the opponent. Now turns into 4 hits. This would be great except getting it to work properly is a chore. You can simply press the button and Jubei will look stupid for a few seconds or you can press a combination of buttons to get different results as to where the cat will strike. What sucks is the game doesn't let you know what each button will do. Just tells you to experiment. Which there are apparently a ton of combinations.  This mode change super also last throughout the entire round duration. So unlike Bang, Tsubaki, Izayoi, etc. You're stuck with this awkward mode. This led me to not using the mode much if at all.

His other special moves can be considered as enders if anything else. Or just ways to open someone up. Assuming that your opponent's response isn't an instant DP. 214B can open up someone who's crouching on your blockstring while 236B can work in cases of someone mashing out moves that aren't DP. 632146C has guard break properties if charged. and 236C is a fireball designed for oki pressure (when the opponent wakes up leaving him/her little option but to block).  He also has a command air dash which can force the opponent to guess what you're doing sometimes. However I find this gets in the way of his 2nd Super that has to be done in the air.

The Big Problem For the Short Guy

The major problem with Jubei is that most if not all of the cast has something they can use to stop Jubei from pulling off anything. Worst case scenario would be matching him up against Nine who has tools for virtually every situation. But what's hurts in that fight is that she easily out ranges her husband without breaking a sweat.  Bullet can stop him or trade depending on the situation. While Jubei is built to be a great rushdown character getting in the opponent's face is his main problem. I find that Jubei will pretty much lose match after match unless the opponent instantly panics when something doesn't work. Even then he just has a hard time winning.

**It doesn't help that Jubei is considered to be always crouching when hit. While this doesn't mean much for those that play on a casual level. What it does mean is that combos that don't normal work on most opponents will work on Jubei.

Overall

I like Jubei and glad he finally got added to the game. But I feel he's an afterthought...no not an afterthought like Team Blue was sick of fans asking for Jubei and decided to throw a character together without much effort. He looks great yes. But honestly Jubei feels like an all style, very little if any substance character. If I actually see a Jubei player that stays a Jubei player that'll surprise me.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Sly Collection - Sly Cooper & The Thievius Raccoonus



So I have generally the same thoughts I had when I first originally played this game. Which is good and bad. Thankfully some of the rumors were dispelled when I played the collection for myself. I played Sly 1 over 15 years ago. It's hard to recall much significant from the game that stood out to me. I can generally remember the negative points a lot more. Not to say it's a bad game. But it definitely has it's low points.

I think everyone knows the story of Sly Cooper at least the first one. Sly, a raccoon was child who comes from a long line of Master Thieves. Suddenly a bunch of evil thieves bust in and kill his parents and rip apart the book that's been kept in the family for generations, "The Thievius Raccoonus". Sly made orphan then grows up making friends with a Hippo named Murray and a turtle named Bently. The 3 together makes there own thieving crew. Murray the getaway driver, Bently being the brains, and Sly being the guy who does the real work. After working there way up to be great thieves Sly decides it's time to take on the crime ring that took away his family and get The Thievius Raccoonus back.

Gameplay

The game does a nice job of giving a tutorial and doesn't care about breaking the 4th wall. It treats things like the circle button as a natural thing in it's own world. But it doesn't bring to attention that it's breaking the 4th wall. It's also kind enough to let you listen to the tutorial prompts again. This does sometimes get in the way if you're close to that spot and you're trying to do something else.

I do find some of the power-ups useless in the game like using a decoy or a mine to distract or defeat enemies. Actually you can beat the entire game without getting any of the optional power-ups. I can't even say for sure if these make the game any easier. They often feel like after thoughts. Some of the power-ups are generally useless as well.

The game doesn't really have a standard as to what levels you come across. Just have to make note that once you encounter such a level for the first time you're likely to see it again in some form. Such as Murray racing, Collecting or destroying a set number of objects in a select time frame, Protecting Murray from enemies by playing sniper, etc.

The worst kind of level gameplay change happens at the last hub-world. You're not given any real time to practice or get used to the fairly new style of gameplay. The first being a rail shooter section similar to that of what you did with Murray but now instead of protecting the Hippo you're protecting yourself. Having to shoot almost everything in your path or die. Next having to break computers faster than your enemy pushing them out the way demolition derby style. After a short familiar style stage with just Sly. You run in with Bently playing a game of asteroids. After doing another sniper portion, Your given a bit of a familiar test run of your thieving skills which is more race to the finish. Then for something you've never done before at all in this game. Fly a Jetpack. You have to defeat the first 2 phases of the final boss while flying this thing. Then you're given one last hurrah of everything you've been used to. If you die during this you back to the start of the boss fight. -_-  I hated this level as a child too.

These require just good old trial and error. The game is generous enough to give you horse shoes which counts as extra hits you can take before you die. But being thrust into levels pretty much different from the normal format is pretty much the same as Crash Bandicoot. This was how a lot of older games did things from time to time. Usually throwing instructions for the "different" kind of levels in the game manual. This is problematic now as games in this era rely far more on tutorials and various websites to give out instructions and very vague ones at that. The Sly Collection has no such manual. At least when you download the game. This could also be seen as a cheap way to increase replay value to many.

One of the rumors I heard about this game was that the frame rate doesn't match up with voice lines. Which it's supposed to rear it's ugly head during the Ms. Ruby boss fight where you have play a game of Simon Says making it harder than it needs to be. However I find that to be false. The frame rate and sound match up quite fine and I had no trouble in that level.


Sound and Music

Well the voice work is nice. But the music...what can I say about the music that's so bad? Well I can barely hear it. I had similar issue with this in the Megaman X Collection on certain games where the music volume was much lower than the sound effects and voices. I can hardly hear the music at all in this game unless I turn my TV's volume up and there is no Music Volume adjustment option. Just turn it on or off. While it fits the aesthetic of being a thief. It really turns me off to just barely hear the music in the game. I may as well just put a different song over the whole thing.

Graphics

Well for a game that's to be upscaled to 720p it worked out nicely. Usually you see a lot of strange things when upscaling games which is why I avoid doing that with my videos. It just doesn't look right when you do a quick or forced upscaling on a game that wasn't meant to play at that high a quality.

Bad Examples of Upscaled Graphics On Older Games

  • Persona 3 FES
  • Marvel vs Capcom 2 - Xbox 360/PS3
  • Game Gear Sonic Games

Good Examples

  • Crash N-Sane Trilogy
  • Odin Sphere
  • Tales of Destiny
Overall I didn't notice any problems or hiccups with the graphics. 


Overall

Obviously the 2 major problems that stand out for me is the music being at such a low volume. And pretty much the last world hinders the game as a whole. The difficulty spike is expected but having to deal many gameplay changes has me view the game not as highly as others. 

At least the game doesn't get to the point that it's a classic SEGA or Nintendo game and make everything unforgiving. 

Other than that the game is alright. If possible I would like a soundtrack to the game so I can listen to the music I missed. Well time to move on to the 2nd game which I'm hearing is the hardest of the series.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pharaoh Rebirth+ - What A Great Curse



First off I have trouble spelling the word "Pharaoh" lol.  I spell it Pharoh or some other spelling. That doesn't help Youtube search algorithms. Yet at the same time. This game obviously came out some time ago and people don't care about it. Especially now. I mean Sonic Mania is out and such.  Oh well. I had this game on my Steam Library for a long time. Need to knock it out.

Pharaoh Rebirth+ gives me heavy reminders of Cave Story. Likely due to the art style.  But they're by 2 totally different companies. This game is described to be a Metroid-vania style game (Castlevania with Metroid style exploration).  I guess that's one way to look at it. But to me it's a stretch. This is more like Castlevania 3 or any of the level based Castlevania games. Not like that of our current Castlevania where you explore one huge castle, temple, or whatever.  You find treasures that power you up. And you fight a boss at the end. This game does have it's issues. I think the main one seems to be on my end. More on that later.

Story


You start out as Jonathan. An archaeologist/adventurer exploring some random ruins in Egypt related to some guy called Sehur I. Oh yeah I should mention, Johnathan's a rabbit????? As you're exploring you're introduced to Jack. Your partner who gives me heavy reminders of Otacon from MGS. He's your support but he's very clumsy. So clumsy that he spilled coffee on the computer. Not too long after you meet your rival. A turtle-man????? Eh it's a videogame. At least that's the general reasoning you give seeing these 2 characters. Anyway this guy's name is Andre. He comes flying in on his obviously expensive military armed chopper to shoot you down and take whatever treasure there is before you get to it.

After your skirmish. Andre's knocked out on the ground. I decided to hit him for fun thinking it wouldn't do anything. The minute I do. Jack calls me to scold me for beating up on a man while he's down. So I stop and move on (Big mistake Much later on).  So entering the ruins. Jonathan finds a coffin and at a very convenient time Jack's computer goes on the fritz due this coffee spill earlier. The most you can make out over the communications is that you shouldn't open it. But Andre rushes and does that very thing. Cursing the both of you with a 7 day curse.

Now the real story begins. After fussing with Jack about his clumsy coffee drinking he explains that Jonathan and Andre both have 7 days to live. Once those 7 days pass Sehur I will awaken to kill them both as a sacrifice. The only way to break such a curse is to find the 7 Holy Chalices. These Chalices once gathered, have the ability to grant eternal life. This is said to be the only way to counter Sehur I as a resurrected Pharaoh can't kill an immortal. Now can he?

Well the story from here get's interesting. As it turns out that it's not only a race against time and your rival Andre to gather these 7 Chalices. But you also end up involved in an ancient war, and tied up in someone else's greedy scheme. Even the US Government gets involved.

The rest of the story plays out like a typical Castlevania game. You randomly meet people in hallways who give out some exposition. Or contribute to the plot. But to keep you from being bored during your travels. The game loves to mix in comedy as well. Such as when Jonathan finds a Lint Roller and Jack insists he takes it with him. Cause Jonathan leaves rabbit fur all over the van. I welcome the comedy especially in certain stages that overstay there welcome.

Gameplay


Well if you wanted Castlevania. You got it here. Jonathan plays an awful lot like a typical Belmont from Castlevania. He uses his ears as a whip and pretty much copies the classic moves of the Belmont clan. Even his subweapons function the same as a classic Castlevania game. Whip swing across platforms via an obvious looking post. Checking for foot holds and secret areas using holy ash.

While the weapon names are different you can easily relate these subweapons to anything in Castlevania. I almost want to say that this game is one huge reference to Castlevania tropes. There's even a secret move that you can input (which strangely represent Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu/Raging Demon) to annihilate everyone on screen.

The gameplay is pretty simple. Explore ruins looking for a new power-up to progress and eventually if you feel like it go back to previous stages and explore with your new power-ups. Bosses are not that difficult once you learn there patterns (except the secret boss).  In fact the game can be pretty much on the easy side of things especially after you collected every item in the game to boost your stats.

The game does love it's instant death spikes. A lot of people in today's time would probably complain about this saying the game's too hard. It's not. Pretty much once you figure out what to do the game is pretty easy to finish.

My only problem was the driving stage. I feel this stage overstayed it's welcome. While you have a jeep that has hydraulics and shocks any person with a lowrider would pay there life to own. You have to react with some rather precise timing jumps or instantly die. Not to mention shooting down enemies. This stage is way too long IMO. I'm reminded heavily of Megaman 8's auto-slider segments but take that and make it 10 times as long. It's worse cause there's collectables on the way that make you go, "Welp guess I better die to get this."  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if people quit the game because of this stage. While it's not too hard it's too long with it being unforgiving for making a mistake.

The One MISSABLE ITEM

If you're one of those completionist. I'll tell you right now. There is ONE miss-able item in the game. And I actually fault the game for this one cause it's stupid. After you defeat Andre in the prologue stage you're supposed to continuously hit him to make him drop an item. What? This is stupid cause the game actually tries to stop you by having Jack call you telling you to stop hitting him. If you don't make him drop the item your inventory will never be complete cause you won't get another chance to pick up this item.


Graphics


Well the game's looks give me a heavy remind of Cave Story. Now I never played Cave Story but what I saw was generally interesting. Pharaoh Rebirth+ uses the same graphic styles as that game.  As for enemies some are rather unique. I honestly would never think I'd see an Anteater wearing a leotard. Boss fights and there animations are pretty good as well.

My Own Framerate Issues

My one problem which I believe this to be a fault on my end is that when I was recording the frame rate dropped considerably. I didn't notice this at first cause I thought this was the game's original frame rate. Then I played without recording and found it to run much faster at 60FPS. I tried multiple settings to fix this problem but found no working solution. Maybe I should have V-Sync off?  I don't know. But it's a nice reminder that the graphics card in my PC sucks compared to today's standards.

I do find it strange however. Some games run perfectly fine I mean Freedom Planet never chugs for me. Yet Sonic 4 does???? And I can't run Rocket Knight on fullscreen 1440 x 1080p without it slowing down and have to reduce the resolution to get it to play?  Ugh I don't know Graphics Cards. I hate this....


Music and Sound Effects

The music is very welcoming and always ready to fit the mood. The sound effects work for the kind of game it is. It's not hyper-realistic sound effects but more exaggerated.  The end credits theme will probably go unappreciated as it's 2 actual songs playing.

Replay Value

While the game is pretty easy. There is apparently a hard mode. What I hate that you can only have one save data at a time. While I can workaround this by just copying the files to a different folder. I rather not do so. The game should have multiple save files and different play modes. While you unlock the ability to play as Andre. The game can definitely use some more modes.


My Only Wondering Thought (Spoiler)

I couldn't check to see what would happen but at the end once you defeat the final boss you're asked to make the final blow. But it looks as if you could hit Dr. Mahone instead of Sehur I. So I wonder what would've happen if I did? Would I get a bad ending? Or would the game scold me?


Overall

Definitely worth the money I spent and then some. As I got it when it was on sale.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We're Sorry You're Not Advertiser Friendly - Youtube Screws Up Again

So Youtube decided to implement an update without letting anyone know it's coming. Actually this is a common trend.

While marking videos not advertiser friendly was already in effect. This was done by Youtube users. But rather than let well-minded people search through Youtube and mark such things. The company decides to make another robot do the work for them.

This is what looks to be the works of another search algorithm gone horribly wrong and never fixed. As this bot will mark anything and everything that seems to fall in line with what they feel is not advertiser friendly. If your video is titled a certain way. Your video preview image is subject to this as well. Or heck your video in general.

How can I confirm this isn't the work of some random troll? Simple. I have videos I haven't even released to public yet marked "Not Advertiser Friendly" Yes I HAVE PRIVATE VIDEOS THAT ARE NOT ADVERTISER FRIENDLY!

Check it out:


MONSTER HUNTER STORIES! 3 of those videos aren't even public yet.  


Under Night In-Birth EXE Late.  I guess cause the word Birth is in the title. Or maybe cause of the girls. Wait Final Fantasy 2?!!!! 

And what makes Tales of Xillia not advertiser friendly? Oh Milla's outfit? (BTW Only the Milla side videos got marked. Jude's is perfectly intact)  SOULCALIBUR?! Oh I guess the girls again. 

 A number of things. First I guess "Kicks my butt" isn't acceptable. 2nd I guess cause Tidus isn't wearing a shirt. Uhhhh What's wrong with Hiimdaisy comics? I guess they don't like the word Kill.  Or the word Homo or Gay.


"So why don't you just dispute them Brad_Ry?" That answer is quite simple.

See Youtube doesn't want to be bothered with anyone that's small time. So they set up a countermeasure to the obvious disputes that were gonna happen when someone finds this. See your video has to have at least 1000 views in a 7 day period in order for them actually review it.  Well I guess none of my videos will ever be reviewed cause I can barely get 30!


See I'm not even worth noticing unless I can make Youtube money.

Ryuji is obviously Not Advertiser Friendly Better Correct him
This is Advertiser friendly right?

If you're a Youtube content creator and want to check if any of your videos have met a similar fate do this.

  1. Go to "Creator Studio"
  2. "Video Manager"
  3. Click where it says "Newest"
  4. Click "Limited or No Ads"