Tips & Hints Introduction

Welcome to the Tips & Hints page.

Some games can sure put you into really tough spots, huh? What pattern should I against this enemy in Fate/ Extra? How do I make progress in Fury Mode on Muramasa Rebirth? How do I defeat that damn Vale in Deception IV? How do I do ANYTHING in Dark Souls?

Now challenges are part of the game. Playing a game that’s too easy is just boring, right? So these games are expected to give you a certain level of challenge. Keep you from mindlessly mashing that attack button and use your brain to try and get things done. Some games, however, can get overall infuriating when you get stuck and can’t progress.

Well, that’s what this page is for.

I used to be a notorious cheater. Every game I got, I’d cheat the hell out of it. In fact, cheats would be the first thing I’d look up because some games almost seemed to be nigh impossible without them. Nowadays, I’ve calmed down with that. While I do do things like find cheats and look up walkthroughs, I now have a strict set of rules for it. I may not cheat unless:

  1. I’ve accomplished the feat myself and earned the right to cheat the hell out of it. For example: Using invincibility mode or something like that. Or,
  2. I’m really, REALLY stuck and can’t figure it out, thus need a hint or something to carry on.

In doing so, either by watching Let’s Plays, or playing the game myself, I have devised strategies and even some guides to help myself through some tough spots, so I figured, why not share it. Though, this isn’t going to be all me. Just like with my Mythology Facts page, I will get some of this stuff from outside sources. In this case, I will note where I got it from and thus, who deserves credit for the helpful insight.

Not only that, once again, like my Mythology Facts page, I intend for this page to be communal. If you’ve got your own tips for a particular subject on this page, feel free to let us know and I’ll even add it to the page crediting you. If I got something wrong, or something could be done to do better, you make note of that too. Just remember to keep it constructing and non-abusive. You just sound like a jerk and a smartass otherwise.

As always, keep the comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the right to delete abusive comments and should they be severe enough, ban the user. Enjoy the page!

Share This:

Posted in Tips & Hints

Mythology Facts Introduction

Welcome to the Mythology Facts page.

The point of this page is to provide insight to mythological tales and expand your mind regarding the various monsters and heroes within the world’s mythologies.

If you don’t know by now that I’m a HUGE mythology geek, welcome, you must be new.

We people of the modern age have our minds clouded by popular culture regarding what we learn about mythology. We’re taught things that monsters are evil and heroes are good. We learn demons are horrid creatures wishing to corrupt our souls, while angels try to save and protect us. You’d be surprised how little of that is true.

With this page, I intend to dispell all of those Sunday School versions of myths, most of which will be taken from various sources which I’ll make a note of. Also note, that in some cases, what I may express is more opinion based from what I’ve learned.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Aegis, what does mythology have to do with gaming?” Surprisingly, a lot. In fact, some of the best games, fantasy especially, take influence from mythology. Not all of them, mind you. But tell me if these sound familiar.

Orcs

Elves

Dwarves

Valkyries

Cerberus

Hydra

Dragons

Unicorns

Oni

Fairies

Believe it or not, all these elements which occur SO much actually have a mythological basis. As I just mentioned, fantasy especially borrows from mythology when bringing in various races and monsters.

Before anyone says it though, no, I’m not using this as a loophole. This is mainly for aspiring game developers who wish to make a game, but have trouble with certain elements or evenn may not have elements right.

Believe it or not, I was once like everyone else here. I grew up on the Sunday School variations of these mythological tales. I grew up believing Medusa was an evil bitch, that Banshee were shrieking old hags, that Vampires were the undead. But then I was exposed to something that made me question that perception. You’ve all have to have heard the name once before, especially if you read my review of the spin-off game. I’m talking about Fate/ Stay Night.

A friend of mind once brought the anime adaption of the visual novel over. This was before I even knew what a visual novel was. Needless to say, we were enticed by it. I’d known about the series beforehand, but never really new the premise of it. In the end, we were a single episode short and I had to download and watch the final episode myself. After which, I took to Wikipedia like a bullet to learn about more of the Servants.

Now, for those not familiar with it, the Fate series uses D&D based alignments regarding Servants and their behaviour. Lawful Good, True Neutral, Chaotic Evil, that sort of stuff. I was surprised to learn that Rider, who turned out to be Medusa, turned out to be Chaotic Good, an alignment that’ll do whatever it takes to do what they believe is right. Thinking on it, I realized it actually made sense. Medusa never went out of her way to turn people to stone. Everyone she ever killed came to kill her.

My perceptions were thrown out of whack and I ended up wanting to actually properly learn this stuff whenever it came to be, and before long, my interest in mythology started to turn more towards the monsters. If it wasn’t for that anime, and afterwards the visual novel it came from, I wouldn’t have come up with ideas like Metanauts Arcana.

So that’s what this page is for. To enlighten you all on better informed details, uncorrupted by popular culture, Christian demonisations and the (Alternate) History Channel. Who knows, maybe this page will inspire you just as Fate/ Stay Night inspired me.

Now, I’ve been dumping all this on you all for a while now, so I’ll leave you all with more more thing. While I’m a mythology geek, I don’t consider myself an expert. Far from it. There’s still a LOT I have to learn. That said, I intend for this page to be more communal than the others. If I get something wrong, feel free to correct me. If you have an opinion, feel free to express it. Just don’t be rude or antagonistic about it. Things like ‘Are you stupid or something?’ never encourages people to listen to your opinion.

As always, keep the comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the rights to delete any abusive comments and should it be severe enough, ban the user. Enjoy the page!

Share This:

Posted in Mythology Facts

News Introduction

Welcome to the News page.

Despite what the name says, the chances of anything referring to release dates or or updates regarding games isn’t that big. That said, it’s not an impossibility either.

The mains purpose of the News page is to inform you guys if something happens if I haven’t, or can’t post for a while. You’re not gonna find much in the way of articles on this page. More often that not, it’ll be just me making excuses for bouts of inactivity.

That said, though, this page isn’t just gonna be me making excuse after excuse. It’ll also be for providing my thoughts on certain subjects. This may be game related or not, but there’ll almost always be something here.

If I ever become bigger, I may start posting things like upcoming cons or give you all the latest and greatest gaming news, but for now, this is mostly just so I don’t mess up articles with explanations and thoughts. It may also be where I bought thoughts on game I reviewed that I forgot to put in the review itself.

As always, please keep comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the right to delete any abusive comments and should it be severe enough, ban the user.

Share This:

Posted in News

My Projects Introduction

 

Welcome to the My Projects page.

The purpose of this page is to pitch and report progress on game I, myself, want to make or am currently developing.

I remember the day I first got into doing this. When I was young, I was a huge fan of Power Rangers (Keep in mind, this was LONG before I was even aware of the Sentai genre or even the show that spawned it). One day, I got an annual with a competition in it. Create your own Power Ranger. It was exclusively for occupants of the USA, but I did it anyway. I discovered a passion for creating characters.

Originally, the intent was to make characters for whatever I liked and sell them off later while I do other work. However, in my last year of high school, I met my best friend, and we started each other on the path of making our own works. While we don’t always work on things together anymore, he was a major influence in my decision to ultimately become a game designer and has even got me some of the programs I can use to start making my own games. So here we are.

With this, I will give information on various projects I create, which will ultimately be given a page for themselves for greater detail.

Please enjoy this page and keep projects fair and abuse free. I reserve the right to delete comments I deem absusive or even ban the user.

Share This:

Posted in My Projects

Campaigns Introduction

 

Welcome to the Campaigns Page

The intent of this page is to bring attention to campaigns for games being funded on sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. As well as post updates on said projects. This was sort of a ‘service’ which I provided on Facebook, a sort of attempt to support the project despite being unable donate funds myself.

This page may see more use than either the Reviews or My Project’s pages as I will probably keep my eye on multiple projects throughout my career as a blogger.

As to why I would make such a page? Well, it would be nice to learn about a project your interested in before it’s time is up, yes? And it may be tedious to go back to the page constantly to see how it’s doing. Allow me to take up that tedium for you.

Projects I’ve tried to back this way include:

Mighty No. 9 (Sorta out but delayed)

Night Cry (Out now)

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Fully Funded)

CrossCode (Out on Early Access)

Indivisible (On Demand)

I wish to continue this tradition while providing news to my readers about said projects. I hope you will all consider donating to these games and please let me know if there’s a campaign that you wish me to give a shout out too.

Please enjoy this page and please keep comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the rights to delete any abusive comments or ban the user.

Share This:

Posted in Campaigns

Reviews Introduction

 

Welcome to the Reviews page

Here you will find the reviews and impressions of all the games and demos I’ve played.

Keep in mind however, that any critic or reviewer worth their salt will acknowledge that these are only opinions. This is merely to give you an idea of the games and if they may grab your attention. My taste in games may not be your taste in games.

For example, while I hold the Shin Megami Tensei series in high regards, you may not feel the same. That being said, I do intend to keep my judgements as fair as possible. I will try to be objective. Tell you what I enjoyed about the game, what I didn’t enjoy. What I thought was perfect, what I thought they could improve upon.

On that note, ultimately the intent is to give you an idea as to whether or not a game is worth your time buying or renting, or if you’ll just give it a pass.

Please enjoy this page, and please keep the comments fair and abuse free. I reserve the rights to delete any abusive comments and should it be severe enough, ban the user.

Share This:

Posted in Reviews

Where I’ve been and how it’s effected the blog

I apologise for not posting for such a long time, but I’ve been doing a lot of research. See, one of my next ventures for review is a Yu-Gi-Oh game that I haven’t played since I got it. This is mostly because I didn’t really know how to play and the finer points of the game were lost on me. Another thing was I wasn’t familiar with any of the characters. I’d mostly forgotten about the game till this point.

However, while watching videos from ProJared playing the latest Yu-Gi-Oh game, Legacy of the Duelists, I decided I wanted to pick the game up again. However, I felt before I get to it, I wanted to binge watch Yu-Gi-Oh at least to the series that this game was from….. And that’s why it took so long. Even on a scale of 10-12 episodes a day on Crunchyroll, it took a LONG time to get caught up. I haven’t seen the series since I was a kid and I felt I should refresh myself on everything from watching right from the beginning. There tended to be unexpected delays, normally the result in the episodes not playing properly and such. I have seen enough of the series to play the game, though it’s kinda a slow process right now as I still haven’t really caught up on everything. In the process, I also got Yu-Gi-Oh game on PS3, which I’ve also been playing.

However, I encountered a problem with that game. The game I’m talking about is Millenium Duels, in which you can challenge characters from Yu-Gi-Oh classic all the way to Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal… And in the process of grinding… the game broke… It suddenly decided it doesn’t want to give me cards and I have no way to fix it. Add in the fact that Zexal has been annoying me to the point where I can only watch 5-6 episodes a day, excluding weekends, and I’m not in a very good place right now.

As a result, I don’t really know WHAT I want to do for my next article until I can finish the game. I’ve recently picked up a game I haven’t touched in three years, but this current issue with Millenium Duels breaking has sorta put me off wanting to play at the moment. I just don’t know what I can do to fix the my problem and I’m reluctant to try the final resort of deleting the save file because if it doesn’t work, a lot of time I spent grinding in that game will amount to nothing. Is anyone might have an idea on how I can fix my problem, please let me know.

As for current plans I’ve working on for the blog: I’ve been working on getting a PS4, though that’s slow moving due to my rather inconsistant income. See, so far, my only source of income is money I get from my family with regards to things like my birthday, name day, and even Christmas. To give an idea on how much I get, I normally get around R1000 during my name day (For those not informed, name days are a greek tradition which is celebrated instead of a birthday. Since I’m part greek and part scandinavian, I get both). The average cost of a PS4 right now is over R6000 and it’s not much cheaper second hand. However, a friend of mine is planning on getting a PS4 Pro later and has offered to give me his PS4 when he gets it. As such, the money I’ve collected so far will go to other ventures to improve my condition. These are:

  1. A membership to Playstation Plus – Once I have a PS4, I intend to get a Playstation Plus membership so I can take advantage of the online features and other benefits that come with being a member. I plan to hopefully keep the subscription going with subsiquent money. As a result, I should be able to possibly stream games and record videos with my limited abilities and get some use out of my YouTube account so I can provide more content for the sight.
  2. Start with improving my PC – This is a bit more of an ambitious project and may rely on support from friends and family for a while. While browsing around a store yesterday while picking up my mom’s computer, I thought it might be a good idea to start building a proper gaming PC. For those who don’t know, I’ve spent every day since I started this blog working with my laptop and it’s application with games right now is rather limited. I’ve actually got a heavy backlog of games on my Steam account because I can’t play any of them. They either lag horribly or outright refuse to start. About all I can play on this laptop consists mostly of lower end visual novels. I hope to at least start building to rectify this problem so that I can eventually bring a solid selection of PC games to the blog.
  3. A couple of games I may want and review – My only exception to my saving up for a PS4 is getting a particular game I want. The sequel to one of my favourite RPGs which I created my first indepth guide for, Fate/ Extra. This was mostly the case until I wanted to get Millenium Duels so I didn’t have to regrind for cards it wouldn’t save. I’ve been waiting for this game to go on sale since, and.. it just hasn’t been happening. This has resulted in increased frustration for me since I’m such a fan of the Fate series. However, a friend of mine has decided to help me get a physical copy of the game. As such, I decided that at my earliest convenience, I should get the PS4 version of that game and make it one of the games I’ll likely to a Let’s Play with on YouTube. It depends. I’ll also get some other games I want and I might do things with those too later.

These are some of my main goals to try and accomplish, but keep in mind that a lot of them will take time. Until then, I do still have games to review, mostly a backlog of games I haven’t gotten to or haven’t finished, as well as some Opinion Pieces and maybe guides.

Also, once I’ve finished watching Yu-Gi-Oh up to Arc-V, I intend to do a list of a sort of ranking of the protagonists up to that series. I’m not including the new VRAINS because I assume that the one on Crunchyroll is in Japanese and I should watch the Japanese episodes of the series I can first. I’ll probably also give my opinions on each of the series as a whole.

Until then, I’d like to mention that I do appear on Dementia Radio as part of the show almost every week with my good friend Break Man Z. Please be sure to catch me on that show every week if you’re able. However, keep in mind that if I don’t appear on the show, it’s because I had a late night. See, the show airs at 10PM in America, however, here it’s around 4AM and I have to get up at 3:30 to make sure I’m ready on time to appear. As such, I try to go to bed early the night before so as to make it less tiring on me the next day. This is another reason I’ve been taking weekend breaks, by the way. If something happens that I’m not in bed by the time I set for myself, I don’t feel that I can warrant waking up so early to be on the show. I can’t just decide not to sleep as my health doesn’t really allow for that. However, I do make an effort to be on the show as much as possible.

That’s it for the news after so long. I apologise for the lateness, but please know that it’s by no means out of lazy idleness. Please continue to support me and try to spread these around. It helps me as a small blogger.

Share This:

Posted in News

Opinion Piece: Accessability in Fighting Games – Are Auto-Comboes Lazy?

So, I started putting together plans for my own monster mash fighting game again and my thoughts turned to Maximillian Dood’s coverage of Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite. Putting aside all the issues I’ve been getting with the game since he talked about the leaked roster, I remembered how he expressed is displeasure at how the games would use an auto-combo system with no penalty in order to make the game more accessable. He states that it encourages people getting into fighting games to be lazy and not improve, just continuing to do auto-combos because it improves their changes of fighting the more experienced gamers. So, for this Opinion Piece, I figure I’d give my thoughts on it right here, as someone who plays fighting games, but royally sucks at them.

I’m gonna start off with a simple confession, first. I’m INFAMOUSLY bad at fighters. I’m one of those wierd people who plays them more for their story than the regular competative scene. I wanted to play games like BlazBlue and such because I wanted to know the characters. That said, I’m no good at them. Give me normal fighting controls, and there’s no way I can even beat your average casual player. I’m too awkward and sluggish. So, I’m giving this point of view as someone who benefits from the auto-combo system.

Now, I can definitely see where he’s coming from with his point of view. Some people take advantage of this system to cheese their competition. On a Forum for BlazBlue Chronophantasma Extend, a player was asking for help regarding his cousin playing a top tier character on the non-fighting gamer controls setting in the special super-powered mode because he didn’t want to learn that character. This is the kind of behaviour that causes a problem. It goes against the intended purpose of this control system and it makes it an unenjoyable experience for everyone involved.

However, the other side of this coin is that there are those who NEED this type of system in order to play the game. You wanna know how bad I am at fighting games? The basic terminologies I’ve heard from my time of watching Max play was literally the first time I heard about them, and I still barely know what half of them mean. I can’t even do a simple cross-up and basic comboes are practically lost on me as I’m lucky if I can get anywhere past 2 hits. I was sorta competant with Sophitia in Soul Calibur, but I don’t own any of the PS3 titles and I’ve pretty much lost my edge. The only fighting game I can still play with competance is the Persona 4 Arena games, which, surprise, uses an auto-combo system at it’s base. The difference with me is I do, in fact, want to improve. Since I started watching Max, I’ve been inspired to try and get better at fighters. To at least become a good enough player that I’m tolerable. I try, but the games have a way of reminding me just how incompetant at them I am.

Darkstalkers Resurrection keeps hading my ass to me on a silver platter every time I play the arcade mode. I BARELY could get through the demo of Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike when I played through it and Arcana Heart is so friggin hard that I’m still unable to beat the last unbeaten boss even with the Easy control scheme. And this is NOT putting any online play into the mix. It can actually get rather depressing to see that I’m completely unable to handle the computer enemies of these games when it’s common knowledge that fighting other players is so much harder. My inputs are sluggish, which makes it hard to connect combos correctly, and whenever I do a challenge, I always fumble over and over. I either lose my place or I my input slips. There’s even times where I end up stopping to try and process what I should do next. Trying to string together the comboes the game wants me to do becomes an exercise in aggrevation and aggitation.

That said, though, I still wish to actually improve and get better at these games. I want to be able to play them well.

As I said before, though, I do understand where Max is coming from. He’s spent his whole life playing fighting games. He learned the hard way how to do comboes and cross-ups. He practically played until he couldn’t close his eyes without seeing a Hadoken or a Soryuken. He’s not the only one who did this either. There are loads of amazing fighting game players out there, all of which worked hard to get so good. It would have to make them angry to see an easy way out for newcomers to the genre to do things. To see your hardwork means practically nothing now. I know because I felt that way.

While I was playing through Deception 4: Nightmare Princess, I decided I wanted to watch some Let’s Plays of the game version of the game that came before it, Blood Ties. I happened to have picked a series by the two people who never played a Deception game before. It quickly became frustrating. Soon all their tactics devolved into running around and spamming the same trap comboes to etch out a win. They even somehow managed to beat a boss that took me 8 tries to defeat and I almost quit watching the series at that point it made me so mad. And it only got worse from there. The episodes eventually became over an hour long, consisting of uncut footage of them using the same tactics of running to a room, setting up cheap comboes at doors and then just going as long as they could with it before running to another room to do it again. It became boring and infuriating, especially when I put so much effort into trying to make the most out of what I had and make comboes as work as best as I can. It was insulting to see such a half-assed strategy work because the game would somehow forget its own rules. It was so insulting I watched someone else play the same game and he was actually playing it right. So, I can understand how Max would feel regarding these methods that are there to try and make the game accessable to more audiences.

The problem is, though, that it’s not as simple as ‘you can just spam that and you can feel good’. There’s no shortage of people who will try and pull cheap tricks in order to make themselves look good or to even just etch out a win. Almost every fighting game ever will have one of those assholes who’ll spam a fireball or some other ranged technique, and rage quitting is still so bad that some companies are putting out methods to punish rage quitters, which inadvertantly punishes the players that are actually playing the game. And this is the main problem that I’ll bring up.

It’s not these people that the accessability mechanics such as auto-comboes are made for. It’s made for people like me and my friend Break Man Z, who want to play the game, but can’t play it well otherwise. It’s for the beginners who are starting out and are just learning. It’s for players who don’t spend their whole lives playing fighting games. It’s for players who aren’t good enough to go to the esports tournaments.

As much as I try, I don’t know if I ever can be good at fighters. There might be people out there who aren’t able to play like the pros no matter how much they try. It may be becomes of some injury or physical or mental disability that might make playing fighters hard for them to learn these tricks. I had a childhood friend who played games and he had a deformed left hand. He used that entire hand to work the d-pad. It’s very possible for someone who likes to play fighters be very incapable of pulling off the stuff of pros for something as simple as that.

With this in mind, I do think accessability in fighting games is a good thing, but I won’t ignore the problems that arise from it. But fighting game pros have to realize that those people do not represent the whole. There are people who want to get good. There are people who want to get better. There’s some people who will even use them just because they want to enjoy the game. It’s just that there’s always those people who ruin the experience for everyone else because they see it as an easy way to get a win.

I mentioned before that the Persona 4 Arena games use auto-comboes as part of a standard mechanic. The reason for this is because the developers took into account that the main players of these games won’t be hardcore fighter players. Most of them will, like myself, mostly play games like RPGs, which is the actual genre of the Persona series as a while. They would almost always be casual players or may have never even touched a fighting game. Most players, like myself, will have bought them because they’re canonical sequels to the RPGs. It was integral to the game to make it accessable to the less experienced fighting game players because they would want to know how the story continues. This system is also what I’m using as a sort of base to improve. To this date, these are the only fighters I can even begin to play. I’m still experimenting with ways to get better at it… with mixed results.

At the end of the day, I think it’s a good thing, but it’s up to the players to make these systems work. It’s up to the player to strive to improve and try and play the game well without resorting to cheap tactics. The companies who make these games might be able to punish those who cheat and use this system to get wins, but at the end of the day, they can only do so much. They can’t tell the difference between a rage quit and a simple connection drop. For every method taken to discourage this behaviour, there’s always a handful of people who’ll get punished without actually deserving it. We have to pitch in to try and make it better too.

The best possible option to the problems which breed these complaints is to have feedback between the players and the developers. It’s not the system that’s at fault with this, but who abuse it. There needs to be a way to report such people and even that’s not really a fool proof plan. We have to kinda face that these people have always been here and they’re here to stay.

I’ll end this article by saying that while I agree with Max’s concerns regarding accessability options like auto-comboes, I hope he understands that it’s not so easy for everyone who likes to play fighters.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll try to get out a new article soon. Feel free to share your own feelings on the subject, just don’t be abusive.

Share This:

Posted in News, Tips & Hints Tagged with: , ,

Opinion Piece: Difficulty and Difficulty Settings – Are games today too easy?

Last time, I talked about Tutorials and the trope coming with them that ‘games today hold your hand too much’, and expressed my opinion on how tutorials are becoming more and more important in the modern gaming community. Today, however, I’m gonna talk about another trope. That games today are ‘too easy’.

No particular reason why. I just saw the headline on Twitter someone did on how he thought difficulty settings in games were bad game design. It kinda stuck, and I figured that, since I’m preparing other stuff right now, I might as well put in my own thoughts.

Once again, keep in mind that this is just my opinion. You’re free to share your own, just, once again, it’d be appreciated if you weren’t an asshat.

To start off, I will indeed say that old games are HARD. Practically every game I ever owned, mostly on the Sega Mega Drive (Or Genesis, if you will), I never beat. However, no one considers WHY old games are hard, or even seem to remember the exceptions of these games. Nor do they tend to think about games today that are hard. I’m about to lay about a rather sad truth.

Old games such as Super Mario Brothers or Mega Man, or even Sonic The Hedgehog, HAD to be hard. I mentioned before, that old games didn’t have tutorials because of their lack of space on the cartridges that would hold them. So, if the difficulty of these games were equal what’d be expected of today’s games, you’d actually finish them in maybe a half an hour for most. This is with the exception of RPGs, however. The advent of making games hard wasn’t so much to challenge the player sneaky tactic of game developers. Increased difficulty was normally a result of the following reasons:

  • Money: Titles that originated in arcades, such as Golden Axe or Street Fighter, where made hard for one sole purpose. To take your money. This is such a thing that these games were given the name of quarter-muncher. It’s hard so you would spend more money or tokens to keep playing and eventually beat it. The home console versions of these games became hard merely as a result of this tactic. However, these games are made even harder for the next reason.
  • Time: As I mentioned before, games in the older era, if they were given the types of difficulty levels expected of today, would only be roughly 30 minutes to an hour. Games on the SNES and the Mega Drive could be longer because those systems are more powerful, but would still be rather short compared to games today. So, to extend the time the player would spend playing the game, they were made harder. This often results in players finding cheap ways to improve their ability complete the game. This isn’t always a bad thing though, at least for the most part. It, at least, pales in comparison to the next reason on the list.
  • Technical Issues: No game is perfect, yes, but issues that wouldn’t fly in today’s world were grossly uncommon in the older set of games. This can be due to bad design choices, controls that fight against you, or, the worst reason of all, GLITCHES. Glitches could be as harmless as being a faulty screen or something that just lead to being a fun little aid for the player, to things that would turn the game against you and make it a living nightmare. Half of Final Fantasy 1, the game that was so good it saved a dying company, didn’t work because of glitches, which in effect, made the game even harder.

Nowadays, however, games can last anywhere from 6-10 hours, even longer. That said, the game doesn’t NEED to be hard in order to get the most out of it. That’s not to say though, that some of the same tactics aren’t being used. Most RPGs will still use difficulty spikes in order to force you to grind, a subject matter I will tackle sometime in the future.

On the other hand though, we tend to forget that there are still hard games today. Hell, the Souls/ Borne games are practically famous for it. Capcom’s Godhand for the PS2 was so hard that it advertised itself at e3 as being ‘ballbustingly hard’ and even had footage of the main character getting his ass kicked. I mentioned before in a review that AeternoBlade was hard. Fate/ Extra, your first time through, is so brutal that even the first enemy of the game can kill you in a single turn if you screw up too much.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, however, there are older games that are easy, either because they’re aimed at younger audiences or their challenge lies elsewhere. Super Bonk and Kirby, but Super Bonk’s strength lies in its creativity while Kirby’s lies in the challenge of completing it.

Though, once more, we have to ask ourselves WHY the game is hard or easy. Is it hard for the right reasons? This is something I’ll cover a bit later, but now I’ll talk about the second part of this article, Difficulty Settings.

The reason I bring this up, was the aforementioned post on Twitter to an article on how the author believed difficulty settings was bad game design. An article that he apparently got flack for considering there was a follow-up article called ‘The Fallout’. I didn’t read the article myself, but one bit that previewed in the link post was ‘not everyone has the same skill level’. As I didn’t read the article, I won’t go into detail on it as I don’t particularly know where this statement was going.

That said, I will say this. I don’t believe difficulty settings are bad game design. Difficulty settings, to me, are a way for the player to challenge themselves or set up the game to how they would like to play. For myself, I like to ease myself into the game by playing on the easiest or somewhat easiest, difficulty first. Take time to learn the game and get used to it. Once that’s done, since I’ll normally be on a binge of playing the game for a long time, I’ll work my way up the difficulty ranks. That said, though, I don’t normally tend to tackle games on the hardest difficulties, mostly because I believe that’s going beyond my actually skills. As an example, I’m probably the only person to beat every known God of War game around 5 times, yet never actually manage to beat them on their hardest difficulties. I just barely beat Devil May Cry 3 on Dante Must Die mode, and only because of a cheap tactic, and I’m STILL trying to beat Momohime’s story on Muramasa Rebirth on Fury Mode.

With this in mind, I have no problems with difficulty levels as a form of game design, even if it’s a source of fury for me at times. What DOES bother me, when beating the game on said difficulty is manditory. Usually this is for achievements, but sometimes you have to face the hardest challenges for unlockables. Remember how I said each I never beat any of the God of War games on their hardest difficulty? That’s not for lack of trying. God of War 2 has an unlockable costume allowing you to play as Athena. As someone who likes playing as female characters in games, I naturally wanted it. To get this costume, you need to beat the game on Titan Mode, the hardest difficulty in the game. Guess how far I got. I’m unable to beat Theseus, so I’m not only unable to unlock the costume I wanted so badly, but I’m unable to complete the game due to my own lack of abilities.

Don’t get me wrong. It would also suck to have played through an a gauntlet of fury and aggrevation and not even get anything for it. For people like me, though, an alternate method of unlocking everything, without using cheats, would be greatly appreciated. Though that would come with it’s own problems, as not everyone will be like me and opt for the path that’s just within my abilities rather than just going through the easier route.

So, with all this, I will take us back to my earlier question: When is a game hard for the right reasons? In today’s climate, a game is hard for the right reasons by providing a significant challenge to the player without resorting to cheap tactics to accomplish this goal. It has to be hard, but fair, and most of all, the challenge has to be their without the presence of technical faults such as bad controls, glitches, or lack of polish. It has to be hard, but fair. The Souls/ Borne games have notorious difficulty, but they’re far from impossible. They’re games that require you to be patient and persist. To use tactics rather than just outright hack and slashing your way through. On it’s hardest difficulty, Muramasa Rebirth makes it that you only have 1HP the entire game, but suppliments this by making it so bosses have significantly less health to keep it from being an unfair mess. Pocky and Rocky is one of the hardest games on the SNES, but requires you to be fully aware of your surroundings and react quickly. Godhand demands that you pick your fights carefully and use power ups wisely. Fate/ Extra even requires you to learn the behaviour patterns of your enemies rather than just flat out attacking all the time and to carefully plan your actions in kind.

A game is hard for the wrong reasons, when it uses cheap tricks or bad game design to make itself an unplayable mess. Stuff that is used in Rage Games. Kid Klown in Crazy Chase is one of the WORST offenders for having horrible controls, and having cheap tricks where you never know what’s good or bad for you and requiring you to perfect it all in one go for the good ending. King’s Knight, the game Square had made before the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy, has stages that work completely against the player and power ups that make no sense, and above all that, a final level that’s set up in a way that you need to perfect the game in order to complete it. Modern games don’t get a pass on this either. No game is safe from these sorts of issues. It’s incredibly easy for a game to be hard for all the wrong reasons.

I was rather late in getting into the gaming community. I had a couple of games on the NES then moved to the Mega Drive, where my library was significantly bigger. My experience with PC games was mostly point and clicks. A had a couple of games for Game Boy and Game Boy Colour and a few for the Game Gear. I have a Game Boy Advance, but literally NO GBA titles outside of those emulated. I only became more of a hardcore gamer during once the PS1 came about. This is where I started to grow a truly significant amount of of a game library. So, with that in mind, I probably have a very different perception of the difficulty of games than most of the gaming community. I’m more a gamer who enjoys games for their story, even fighting games. Yes, I’m serious.

So, games nowadays don’t have to be hard because there’s no need to drag the game out. There’s not many games anymore that you can finish in just a couple of hours. Now, the only reason a game made to be hard is to provide a challenge for the player, and that’s something I can respect… within reason. The same rules still apply. If a game’s to provide a challenge, it needs to be because of clever design and layouts that give the player a fair chance regardless of the difficulty they face. On the same note, a game that’s easy, for whatever reason, shouldn’t treat you like you’re a toddler who still wets their pants.

In closing, whether or not games today are too easy has little to do with the era of the game. Developers have gotten better. Games have gotten more advanced. There’s no need to make it difficult just to pad out game time. So, if the game’s too easy for you, it’s either due to a flaw of the game, or because you’re too skilled to play it that way. Once again, perspective plays a major role, just like it does with the presence of tutorials in games.

There’s much more I’d like to share with these Opinion Pieces, so I will make this a reoccuring thing. However, this doesn’t mean I’ll be doing none of the other stuff even while I’m saving up for a PS4. I still have an expansive library of games I haven’t finished that are still available to me. I’ll be getting to those in time. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I’ll get back to another one soon.

Share This:

Posted in News, Tips & Hints Tagged with: , ,

Opinion Piece: Tutorials – Necessary Evils, or Spoilers of a Generation?

Just on a whim, mostly from watching ProJared continually, I found myself thinking about game tutorials and how they’re implimented. So, I had to think upon a simple question? Are tutorials spoiling today’s gamers by holding your hand the entire game?

As a somewhat late casual to hardcore gamer, I thought I’d throw my two cents on the table. Please keep in mind that this is merely an opinion and you’re free to disagree with me. Just don’t be a jerk about it.

As we all know, old school games just tended to throw you into the game and you had to learn how to play it by reading the game manual. However, as games began to advance, they instead started throwing in levels focused on teaching you how to play the game, and yet you can still read up these same instructions within the manual itselt. This has lead to a popular opinion regarding today’s games. That they’re ‘too easy’ and ‘hold your hand too much’. With regards to difficulty in today’s games, I’ll get to that in another article, but right now, let’s talk about the ‘holding your hand’ aspect.

Old games had limitations regarding what could be put in them. Early games averaged only a few kilobytes and games for the NES barely even reach over 10 MB. This is because the cartridges and discs they were put on couldn’t hold enough information to. So, with most games, the first level is usually the easiest, so you can get used to the game’s controls and what you’re working with. This has lead to another rather famous trope used as a comedy piece in Fairly Odd Parents: The ‘only babies lose on the first level’ trope.

Nowadays, however, these stages are used to outright teach you the game mechanics. From basic movement to even performing the main mechanics of the game, which depend on the genre of game you play. Sometimes, this is even done in messages that can appear throughout the game, or when a change to the status quo suddenly shows up. Most gamers take offense at this, and, I can see why. It gives the impression that the game thinks you’re stupid and can’t do any of the obvious things, like simply moving around. So why this straight up change in the status quo? Why do games n0wadays have to teach you to play them instead letting you learn from the manual?

Well, here’s what I think. To be blunt, games in the past, as I stated, weren’t very big compared to now, so putting in tutorials would probably take away from the substance of the game itself. So, that being said, game developers have built a tradition of making games that ASSUME you’ve read the manual. The game assumes you know what does what and how to play the game by now. As there’s usually a pattern, and the controls tended to be rather limited in number of buttons, it’s not that hard to know what you’re doing. Even playing games on the PC follows certain rules, right, even today.

However, the advent of tutorials stems from one problem that has also been joked about in cartoons. That being, no one tends to read the manual. At least, not many do. The the punchline to said joke tends to be ‘reading the manual is for chumps’, I had a different reason as to why this is. Imagine this, you go to the store and get a fresh new game. You get excited, right? Most likely, you’ve been waiting for this game for a while now, maybe even months or years with how fast news spreads today. You just can’t wait to get home and start playing it. So, once you get home, the first thing you do is put the game into your console or PC so you can play it as soon as possible. In that case, it’s rather convenient for the game to actually teach you how to play it. At least, that’s how it was for me. When I got Devil May Cry 3, I remember the only reason I even read the manual in the first place was because my PS2 was in for a service. Even then, I read it to hype myself up for when I could play it. That said, tutorials exist because games nowadays assume you don’t read the manual.

That’s not the only thing though. They also have to assume you’ve never played a game before. That you’re completely new to gaming entirely. They also have to assume the control scheme is not what you’re used to. A good example would be the D-Pad to Analog conversion in movement, or for PC gamers, the Arrow Keys to WASD control scheme. Genre also plays a big part in the scheme of things. What if you’ve played plartformers all your life and only just started spreading out to, say, RPGs? Or if a game’s controls are extremely different to what the genre usually does?

There’s also the advent of digital downloads of games. More and more, games are being distributed in digital format through services such as PSN, X-Box Live, Steam and even GOG. While these games do tend to come with a digital copy of the manual, some don’t. This is especially true for the older games. Games on the PSP, such as Fate/ Extra, didn’t come with a manual to read, while the more current Vita games come with a digital version.

As for having them reoccure throughout the game, while those can be annoying, I’m sure it’s really a case of if you haven’t played the game in a while and have either forgotten the controls, or got used to the controls of a different game.

That said, though, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. The purpose of a tutorial is to teach, but it can be annoying when it feels like the game treats you like you’re a drooling 2 year old. One of the biggest offenders of tutorials done wrong is Mega Man X7, where tutorials appear for every little thing at all times. There’s a difference between guiding you competantly to being a seasoned player, and holding your hand every step of the way.

The easiest fix is to make tutorials optional. If a tutorial is fixed into the core of the game, the game can ask you if you wish to go through it or skip the tutorial altogether. The latter would result in the stages usually dedicated to it to be played as normal. In the case of tutorials being done in messages as you play, you can simply have the option to turn them off or on as you please.

Another option is to make tutorials completely seperate from the main game, having their own section rather than being integrated into the game itself. This is a method deployed mostly by fighting games. Darkstalkers was even updated in Resurrection to include seperate tutorials on how each character works….. I’ve never managed to finish those.. But the mere fact that the tutorials are in a section all their own allows you to replay the game at your leasure and revisit them if you need to.

One method, often deployed by RPGs, are tutorials that occur with the introduction of each new mechanic, but can be reviewed at a later stage if you ever happen to forget it. This is convenient for times where the gameplay takes a drastic change for any given reason, or if you’re playing a simple minigame. It barely bothers you and if you ever forget something, like say, how to do a character’s ultimate attack, you can review it.

One final way is to make the tutorial an such an enjoyable experience that you don’t mind doing it again. This would be the hardest one to do as you have to somehow impliment it into the game in such a way that it works, and even then there’s the risk of it being a neusance to players replaying the game later.

However, there is only so much tutorial you can do before it starts feeling like a neusance. In this way, Mega Man X7 failed miserably. On the other hand, games like Deus Ex make it a fun part of the game that leave leway for creativity in exploring multiple ways to accomplish one goal. Like with TV shows, it’s important for the game to treat the player like they’re older than they think their target demographic is. Mostly because, it’s very possible that they are. The best option is to teach the player enough of the game, with the option to review, while leaving enough of it to discover for themselves.

An interesting example would come from Fate/ Extra. It’s a little annoying to having to play the tutorial each time through to compose my guide, but it leaves you to learn how each character should be used. It gives you enough of an explanation on what to do while leaving the rest of the learning up to you. It took me playing through my final time with Caster to learn the use behind her final skill, which overall made me better at using her and giving me a better advantage against enemies with large amounts of HP.

Whether we like it or not, tutorials are a key part of gaming today. The games need to have them in order to teach us how to play for various reasons, and they’re not likely to go for a long time. However, the line between being a helpful guide and an annoying nag is very thin. I, myself, have never really felt like any of the games I’ve played have been trying to hold my hand the whole way through, even Ni No Kuni, for which this is one of the game’s main criticisms. Though, that doesn’t mean I can’t see how it can annoy other gamers.

What we have to realize though, is that games are becoming ever more complex. Things that blew our minds in the era of the SNES and the Mega Drive are now practically commonplace. New subversions of genres are appearing all the time, and sometimes even hybrid or entirely new genres are formed. With more games turning towards digital distribution over physical copies to top this off. With that in mind, it’s important now, more than ever, games have to teach us how to play them, though it’s important to do so within reason.

I’ll conclude this article with this final thought: Our attitude also plays a part in how we view these sections in games. Is a tutorial truly bad how it is, or do you just think it is? There may be a finer line than you realise.

I hope you all have found this article at least a bit helpful. Next time, I plan to talk about my thoughts about difficulty and difficulty settings in games. Please look forward to it.

Share This:

Posted in News, Tips & Hints Tagged with: ,

Metis: Deus Machina (Concept Update)

With the advent of playing the Swordcraft Story games, it was inevitable that It’d give me inspiration this project. Since one of the game’s core mechanics is making weapons, it seemed like Metis was a fitting connection to make, as she was a skilled blacksmith, probably even moreso than Hephaestus.

After mulling through some ideas, I even finally came up with a plot. The basic focus of this project will be on customization, where the player heavily determines the equipment Metis makes, what her different bodies can do, how they start, and even how they progress through the story.

Story:

It Begins:

The story begins with Metis making her way into the dreams of robotics engineer, Maximillian Frost, and presents to him plans for a fully functional android body. Upon development, she takes the android as a new body and gets to work forging more. From there, she decides to build a small empire, a place to call home. However, her return sends a ripple which is felt by the gods on Olympus, specifically Hera and Themis. Suspecting she may be desiring revenge for what Zeus did to her. In the resulting clash, the player may choose how they wish to approach the situation and which will affect the bosses you fight throughout the game.

The Defender – “I will not strike the first blow.”:

The path of The Defender will have Metis taking a less aggressive path, only attacking as she’s attacked, and gaining allies amoung the Olympians through diplomacy.

The Conquerer – “I shall force them to kneel.”:

The path of The Conquerer will have Metis taking the initiative and arrange assaults against the gods with the intention of crushing their resistance and making them submit.

Neither path will be considered ‘the path of evil’, merely the course of action Metis chooses to react to an incoming threat. To show this, Metis will even talk to Frost about the situation at hand and offer him a chance to leave.

Gameplay:

As I stated before, I want the gameplay to focus heavily on customization, where everything is decided by the player. This will even include how they start off.

Getting Started – You Choose Your Style:

This is essentially the idea of a character creation with a bit of a tutorial. The player can choose their initial body, their Core, and what weapon they will start off with. Using an ability to effectively image each weapon type and how they will work on foes, players will be allowed to experiment and decide which weapon type they start playing with, be it sword, axe or spear.

Your Body and Core – Decide Plans A through D and Far Beyond:

While the body you choose will be purely for aethetics, there will an abundance of Cores the player can use and equip to them to decide stats for which build you want. Gear up to be a magic swordsman or a tanky axe warrior. The decision is yours. This will also allow the player to switch bodies and builds as much as they like to experiment.

Resonance Weapons – Forge Your Destiny:

The player will get a number of options for weapons, wielding a maximum of three types in battle. Each weapon will have a mana charge which they can expend to use spells, or be depleted when blocking special attacks. When the mana charge reaches zero, the weapon will become ‘dry’ and will not deal any significant damage. To recharge the weapon, you can choose to either risk to continuing your assault, resulting in a faster charge as long as you don’t get hit, or to switch to a second weapon and wait for it to charge for a slower rate with no risk of depletion. Each weapon will be forged by the player, stats determined by materials and experience. At this time, the player can decide what the weapon will look like and even what it’s called. They can also decide on any special effects they want for the weapon.

Spells – One Strike Wonders:

In addition to various comboes, each weapon may be assigned a learned spell to one or more weapons. These spells will cost mana charge and will lessing the bar, running the risk of the weapon becoming dry more quickly.

Support – You’re Not Alone:

In addition to Maximilian Frost, Metis will also have the support of her daughter, Athena, as well as a draconic automaton named Drakien. I’m currently considering how they may contribute.

Deus Metis – Goddess Unleashed:

In dire situations, Metis may allow her mana to overwhelm her current body, unleashing her power within and taking her true form. In this form, for a brief period, her stats are increased, her weapons will not run out of Mana and will take less damage from Magic attacks. Her spells will also be upgraded and behave differently.

This is all I really have for now. I’ll be sure to post more later as they come to me.

Share This:

Posted in Metis: Deus Machina Tagged with: , ,

Metanauts Arcana (Concept Update)

Lately, I’ve gotten into the Summon Night: Swordcraft Story games. They caught my attention thanks to a video of the Green Scorpion on games that are seen as good in the eyes of reviewers and the general public, yet barely anyone has ever played. I mostly did this for research purposes, he mentioned that it does a good job incorperating fighting game mechanics in an RPG, a concept if you’ll recall in my first concept article for Metanauts Arcana, was what I wanted to do with the game. However, even before I was playing the games, I had ideas brewing concerning the characters and how they work.

Gameplay:

The gameplay is slightly revised to give characters differet mechanics based onn their varied strengths. This comes from a desire to gear Casta more towards being a mage-type character, rather than the jack-of-all-trades weapon master I had her stuck on for the past several ears. This comes down to initiating a three-form mechanic to allow every character to have various ways of fighting that better suits their classes. Included in this, is a revision of the Trance system, an Assist system and the addition of a Three-form system for each character based on skills and attack type.

Three-Form – Three Choices, One Goal:

The Three-Form system is devised to give each character multiple ways of approaching combat. As I still wish for the game to have a ‘switch character’ mechanic to switch out party members, the main goal of the Three-Form system is that players have a choice on how they want to play each character. Will you favour a particular form for each character? Or do you want to mix it up so you can try out different combinations of styles and skills? The choice is ultimately yours to choose and you will not be at a disadvantage for favouring one over the other. As an example: For Casta, the forms available are:

  1. Chaos Mage: Attacks with a flurry of free-hand attack combos charged with magic finishing off in magic finishers. Spell finishers depend on equipped pact monsters.
  2. Chaos Forger: Attacks with a variety of ethereal weapons born from forged souls of pact monsters. Combos vary depending on the pact monsters equipped.
  3. Chaos Summoner: Uses equipped pact monsters to suppliment attacks and combos ending in a focused combination strike.

You’ll notice that these descriptions suggest customizable combos for each form, each depending on pacts Casta makes with other monsters. Each character will have similar, yet different ways of applying each form, allowing for a variety of ways that character can be used.

Assist Skills – Give Your Friends An Edge:

Each character has an assist skill with varied affects to allow the next character in line to have an edge in a fight. When an Assist gauge is filled, the active character will use their Assist skill to have one of three effects. These skills do no damage, but will be a great asset in battle. For example, Casta’s Assist Skill, Gorgoneion, will have three affects meant to buff the switching party member:

  1. Aegis: For a brief period, the next part member will take less damage.
  2. Herpe: For a brief period, the next party member will deal more damage.
  3. Phalanx: For a brief period, the next party member will regenerate health.

While Casta will have a playstyle that compliments support of the party, this will not be true of all characters. Lorne’s Assist skill will focus on stammering the enemy, while Suika’s will focus on inflicting negative status effects which allow for easier damage dealing. However, should the Assist gauge not be ready, these skills will not occur, in a sense, similar to how the full screen attacks in Muramasa work.

Trance – The Trump Card Supreme:

Each character’s Trance will also act differently according to how will geared they are towards it. They will behave differently and grant different effects in combat other than just increased combat ability. As I’ve always seen Casta as being a Trance specialist, I thought it fitting that she gets the most out of her Trance.

  1. Her Trance lasts the longest.
  2. Her forms change so as to use her Elite monsters as opposed to her regular pact monsters.
  3. Chaos Mage form uses Chaos aligned spell finishers, which cost more, but ignores elemental strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Chaos Forger form gains devistating effects to weapons.
  5. Chaos Summoner form will suppliment attacks with Elite monsters rather than pact monsters.
  6. Field changes to a created pocket dimension mirroring a prison in Hades.
  7. Chaos Art: Titanomachia available: Skill summons the equipped Elite monster to attack.

Along with pact monsters, Casta will get Elite monsters which give her more options when in Trance. The same kind of mechanic will apply to all party members, but behave significantly differently. Lorne, for instance, will have the shortest Trance time, leading to a need to effectively lead into his Chaos Art sooner.

This concludes the update on the chances to Metanauts Arcana’s gameplay system. The story will remain largely the same. I’ll do some updates on the characters and how they work another time.

Share This:

Posted in Metanauts Arcana Tagged with: , ,

Alpha’s Adventure (Demo)

This is demo impression will be slightly different than the rest. This was a Kickstarter submitted to me by my friend Break Man Z, who has submitted content for all of my campaign posts to date so I can keep having content to post. However, by the time I got to it, not only did it already reach it’s goal, but it already met all its stretch goals and there were mere hours left in the campaign anyway. That said, this is an article providing Kickstarter information as well as my impressions on the demo itself.

So to start, I will say this was a Kickstarter for an adult game. Some would consider adult games to be ‘not real games’, but if someone asked me if they were, I would provide this answer: It depends. Being all over the net, I have played some adult games in my time and even read some adult content. It really tends to depend on how much the game emphasises the adult content. How well it balances it’s own story and gameplay with said content. To reiterate, Type-Moon’s visual novels had adult content in them, but the focus was so little on the actual adult material, focusing more on telling a powerful story. There’s also more adult orientated games that tend to plant a focus on character progression or attempt to tell a good story besides the saturation of adult content.

In this case, Alpha’s Adventure is decidedly playing this at an interesting angle, where adult content is there, but focuses more on telling various stories and focusing on the main character, Alpha. That said, this is a yuri game. For those not familiar with Japanese, it focuses exclusively on lesbian romance. I, for one, however, have no issue with such a genre and think more media should make this type of thing more common place, rather than treating it as if it doesn’t exist for fear of ‘corrupting our youth’.

As I mentioned before, you play Alpha, an egotistical, muscular and rather lewd women who tends to have the mentality of taking what she wants, this includes relationships with other women. Here’s where the game gets interesting, however.

When it comes to most dating sim visual novels, you’re introduced into a variety of heroes or heroines (Depending on genre) and you make choices based on who you want to form a relationship with. Alpha’s Adventure takes a different approach that I haven’t seen since Amnesia: Lost Memories.

In Amnesia: Lost Memories, you play a female protagonist who you name, who’s lost her memories, and you choose your hero straight off, making choices through the game to learn about them and the world is slightly different depending on who you chose.

Alpha’s Adventure takes a slightly different approach to this with each heroine having their own genre. This mix alone makes it kinda niche and as a result, I DID have to read the story section of the Kickstarter page to get these pieces. However, I am rather flexible when it comes to my genres, which does make me enjoy a wide variety of games, so the concept of a completely different story per heroine isn’t unappealing to me. Especially since I love story-based games as a whole.

There’s a demo for three of the heroines, applying a short scenario where Alpha interacts with them enough to give you a sense of what each of them are like, as well as what’s going on in their stories.

  • Iori’s story has you in a sci-fi with all the trimings. Space travel, a self-sentient AI and you having smuggled your way on board by pulling a few strings. Word of warning, the CGs in this story contain nudity.
  • Ara’s story is a fantasy of an interesting ‘protect the princess’ nature. In this story, you play at being a bodyguard hired to escort the a village princess back home.
  • Jaylah’s story is a slice of life type of scenario where you have to deal with a rather domineering younger sister. Yes, the content which does feel strange to me.
  • After completing each story, you unlock a short introduction story for the mysterious elven heroine. As her identity is a mystery, even on the Kickstarter page, it’s safe to assume that she’ll be the one to tie the whole concept together into a single plot.

According to the Kickstarter, in the full game, the mystery heroine’s route will have the other heroines return to compete for your affections, and is the only way to get the best ending in the game. This further supports my theory.

It goes without saying that this already sounds like a rather ambitious project. A different genre and story per heroine, with different characters, plus a final one with ties it altogether. It almost sounds like a time bomb that could blow up in their face. If anything, however, I think the team at Onee-sama Productions might know where they’re going rather thoroughly. Probably as much as the U7 Commitee with Minotaur.

Each story is well-written, with gorgeous backgrounds and CG artwork. The only reason I found myself impatient towards playing the demo was time, as I wanted to make sure I got to bed early enough to get on Break Man Z’s internet radio show.

Going through each story was a pleasure. Every section was given a lot of care, and there was a fair amount of comedy and desperation for what they gave. I enjoyed seeing Alpha clash with Iori, connect with Ara and even have a somewhat more intense than normal sibling fight with Jaylah. And goddammit did it make me crazy not to know who the final heroine is, let alone her connection with the heroine.

It’s not something you can really replay over and over again, as the point of the demo was merely to promote the Kickstarter, but it did convey enough to make me interested. It’s just sad that the multiple genre structure would make it more niche in a market that is already pretty niche. However, if the Kickstarter was any indication, there’s enough interest in the game that it can tickle the fancy of enough fans. I certainly would like to get the game myself when it comes out.

If you’re into visual novels with sci-fi, fantasy or slice of life settings, this game will probably stand as one of the stronger contenders. As such, I’d urge anyone who dies to check out the demo for themselves. Just don’t go judging it on the yuri content if you do.

Share This:

Posted in Demo Impression Tagged with: , ,

Re-evaluations of Rules for Emulated Games

A couple of days ago, I asked my friends on my private Facebook page if I should revoke my previous rule of emulated games not being viable for review. This had to do with me talking with a friend about two said games for the Game Boy Advance, Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 1 and 2.

The original idea was that I make a whole new section to talk about emulated versions of games I played that I really enjoyed and draw attention to them. My friend suggested that I should rather just review them and not limit myself. However, emulated games are a very iffy subject. A legal grey area. The law, to my knowledge, dictates that you can only keep emulated games for 10 days, after which they must be deleted unless you own the game. This feels to me like a law that was compensated. Almost as if it was settled upon they two people who barely even play video games at all.

I personally have my own set of rules regarding emulated games. That is:

  1. I treat these games as I would a demo. I keep them until I’m able to obtain a legitimate version of the game in some form. Once I have said legitimate copy, I delete the emulation as it’s no longer needed.
  2. However, this is provided that the game is actually available in my country. I can’t exactly by games that are out of print or were never actually released. These are an exception.
  3. Another exception would be if I owned the game at some point, but am no longer able to play it for some reason, such as a scratched disc or lost cartridge. This however, does come with the stipulation that if I can buy it, it will automatically be treated as if it were a demo as stated in my first rule.

As such, with feedback from the friends who did answer to it,  I WILL open emulated games as viable for review and even guides. These games will follow the following set of rules.

  1. The game must be, in some way, unavailable to me. Games that I’m capable of purchasing will be considered demo that are not viable for review.
  2. If they are available in my country, but I have to buy a whole new system just to get the game, the emulation will be considered viable, as I do not have the money to buy multiple systems at the moment. This includes any games that are available via Nintendo’s virtual console.
  3. I must actually be capable of emulating it. My PC doesn’t seem to like running emulators, so it falls onto the work of my consoles to actually provide emulation. This, in question, being my PSP. Obviously, I would need to use programs capable of properly emulating these games on my PSP.

These are my established rules for emulated games that I will, from now on, follow. I hope this does not give the few readers I have a bad impression, but understand that this will opens up another range of possibilities to explore.

Share This:

Posted in News Tagged with: ,

Minotaur

Today’s Kickstarter is one I expect might raise some eyebrows, but considering my backing of Blue Bird, I made it clear that no matter the argument, Visual Novels ARE games. That said, this one is an interesting breed. A Visual Novel/ Click and Point Hybrid named:

Minotaur

Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to games, I like to focus on the story. A game with a good story can easily keep me coming back. This makes Minotaur by the U7 Commitee, a rather nice pick for review.

Minotaur is advertised as a dark Sci-Fi/ Fantasy with a rich world done in a hybrid style of a Visual Novel as old school adventure game. Think games like Danganronpa or Zero Escape. Or perhaps in comparison for me, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows and Persona 3 Portable (sorta).

In Minotaur, 9 characters, 5 of which will be playable, find themselves trapped in their apartment building. This turns out to be an elaborate trap and it’s up to each of the characters to explore and solve this mystery before it’s too late. Playable characters will include Nod, a cyborg outfitter, Mentor, an android teacher, and Unter, an unemployed penguin (You heard me).

The game promises four different endings, boss fights, special events, puzzles and an engaging story full of tension and mystery.

On the development side, the game will feature more than 150 animated backgrounds, an a simple point and click interface, high end music and a cast of voice actors from well known games and anime. The developers themselves state that everything from the world to the most minute details of animation, is considered important in making the game good.

There’s also a playable demo, noted as version 0.2, available of services, as well as their own site. They timed it to be roughly an hour long. I’ll try to get a demo impression of that out, but just looking at what they have for the game so far fills me with dread. And by that, I mean how GOOD it looks. It might not actually work on my laptop, but I’ll try.

That said, this looks like an engaging project which a lot of care has definitely been taken. They’re over half way to their initial goal with 19 days left in their Kickstarter, and they wish to move past that goal as much as possible to make the game even better than it already looks.

With that, I ask my readers to please take a look and support them.

Share This:

Posted in Kickstarter Tagged with: ,

Jelly Realms (Rebirth of a Kickstarter)

I’ve done Jelly Realms before on the blog, but unfortunately, I had misread the time they had left and there wasn’t as much time left to support them. However, they thanked me despite my late support and I made the promise to support them again should they give it another go. Well, last night, Loading Crew Crafts had reopened the Jelly Realms Kickstarter, and I, myself, am once again answering this with my support.

Jelly Realms – Attempt 2

Not much can be said about Jelly Realms other than what has already been said in my previous article. Loading Crew Crafts had humble beginings as a mother and father simply making plush toys for their child, which had grown into a small business of making plush characters. This has since grown into an idea for a moble game with the purpose of bringing those characters to life with Jelly Realms, an RPG puzzler game.

This game is intended to be free-to-play, and this may cause some controversy on upon hearing as such. This is because with mobile games free-to-play is very often confused with pay-to-win. Normally players will be lead in by an allure of hours of gameplay, only to be stopped by limitations clearly there to make you pay to continue enjoying the game to it’s fullest. It’s arguably worse than the old strategy of games in arcades only costing you a small a small amount of money, but turn out to be hard as hell in order to make you keep playing in order to finish it. However, with Jelly Realms, while there are things you can pay for, it’s noted to not be a requirement for finishing the game.

How it works, is like with any RPG, each character levels up and naturally there’s a descently high level to that. However, you can push past said level by buying one of the plushies available made by the developers, each of the game’s character. This is a once-off payment and each plushie comes with a code to unlock an extra level of growth. While not necessary, it’s just a nice thing to have, and you actually get something for it to boot.

While you can argue that the developers might be selling a spiel in order to sell the idea on the campaign, I’d like to note that the gang at Loading Crew Crafts probably understand the average gamer better than some corperate game makers that would be just as happy to slap a ton of paywalls on a game that would easily ruin the fun. This is because, while they’re developing this game, they’re also running their own YouTube channel which does gaming videos and has an ongoing tabletop series. They’ve even done a Nuzlocke challenge of a Pokemon game, showing they even understand the lengths gamers will go to challenge themselves and make the game an entirely different experience. While I haven’t seen any of these videos myself, as I usually like to start from the beginning, I have subscribed to their channel and am waiting for a good opportunity to take the time to watch the videos they’ve put so much effort into making. Why not drop by their channel and give your support there as well?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYqfvPvtLXyyt46UuAwRW2g

I have complete confidence that Loading Crew Crafts intend to develop an enjoyable game starting characters they have created that’s not mired down by the insignificance of paywalls and I would love to see this project succeed. There’s 19 days left in the Kickstarter, so if you already haven’t, please go give them your support

Share This:

Posted in Kickstarter Tagged with: ,