Archive for the 'Gaming Goodies' Category



11
Oct
19

Trophy Hunt – 10/11

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Well, two Platinums were added to the cabinet this week, though I’m not particularly happy about either of ’em…

First was Ghostbusters: Remastered (or, as the trophy card says, “Ghostbusters: Remasterd…”) Now, I’m not unhappy about having the Platinum because there’s something wrong with the game. On the contrary, it’s splendid. I love Ghostbusters. I always have. The original movie was the first non-Disney thing I was allowed to watch, and I watched it literally hundreds of times when I was young. When the game originally came out in the dim dark days of 2009, I was over the moon. I adored it, played the hell out of it, laughed my ass off at it.

The main flaw in the original was the janky online setup and the glitched trophies associated with it… but we can’t all be perfect.

The new version is exactly the same, just shinier and prettier, and with a little nod to the deceased Mr. Ramis at the beginning. They jettisoned the online play. It’s a trifle clunky – of course, it always was – but it still deserves my love in every way and was well worth every penny, both when it came out for $60 back in the day and when it landed last week for $30.

What’s the problem?

It’s over. That’s all. I ripped the game apart and claimed the Platinum in a single day, and while I adored every minute I spent with the game and am very happy to have played it again, it just makes me sad. It’s the sense of “I loved it, and I ate it too fast, and now that it’s gone, it’ll never come back.” There’s not going to be a game like it ever again, I fear, and I rushed it.

Aside from the length, though, if you have ever even slightly enjoyed anything Ghostbusters related, go play the game, already. It’s great stuff.

The other was disappointing for a more mundane reason. Virginia, a walking simulator. I have no beef with walking simulators. Some of them I quite enjoy (Slender and Edith Finch come to mind, though some argue Slender straddles a weird line between survival horror and walking sim.) Some of them I can’t stand, considering them pretentious. Gone Home and Here They Lie fit into that camp.

Virginia manages to be the queen of the garbage heap. It’s more pretentious than Life is Strange or Gone Home, piles on garbage graphics (of course, calling it “artistic choice,” thus ensuring that anyone who points out that the characters are just friggin’ Nintendo Miis or XB360 Avatars are some kind of bigot), takes any semblance of story and flushes it straight down the toilet alongside any concept of coherence (while claiming it is “inspired” by things like Twin Peaks; sorry, chief, go play Deadly Premonition. David Lynch-ean nonsense has its own sense, and flitting randomly around without any explanation isn’t how to do it) and then decides to have a literal goddamn acid drop, as if in some last-ditch effort to explain or excuse the whole mess.

Yeah. Plus, I dunno about you, but given that my not-quite-launch-but-close PS4 Pro can handle marathons of Yakuza or Devil May Cry 5 before it goes into “jet engine” mode or skipping frames, I am concerned that this bland piece of shit frequently chugs along at a framerate that makes me more motion sick than the first time I tried Resident Evil 7 in VR mode and makes the fans sound like they’re trying to start a launch sequence the whole time.

The trophy list is just as idiotic and senseless as the game itself; no real descriptions, just vague, pretentious bullshit. My favorite is “Benway: The true ship is the ship-builder,” though “Flea: Victories in time and space” pulls a second. The first one you get for mucking with a guy building a model of a ship. The other you get for annoying your investigation partner by fiddling with her radio.

The most annoying of all is “Doam: Bis!” You get this by beating the game a second time. I don’t know why; according to Google Translate, “Bis” means “encore” in Albanian, but I have no idea if that’s related. The reason this is stupid is because there is no bloody reason to do it more than once. There are collectibles, but there are no actual choices, no branching paths, nothing that changes what happens. So it’s just a pretentious “hey, play our game again! You can waste a second two hours, right?”

Of course, I did. Because leaving the game at 92% would have been more infuriating than playing it already was. But that’s some bullshit.

So Virginia will now sit at the top of the pile of “worst game I’ve ever played,” and hopefully it may save some of you from being subjected to it.

Beyond that, finished the Consequences DLC for The Evil Within… will probably go do Kurayama mode for that and The Assignment soon; finished Yakuza 3, so just need to do all the grindy crap and finish it on Legend; and started playing Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, which might as well be advertised as “Yakuza, with an anime paintjob.” Then of course Yakuza 4 hits late this month, so… yeah.

What’ve you been playing? What did you think of Ghostbusters or Virginia? Is there something you think I should give a try? Let us know down below!

KA Spiral no signature

03
Oct
19

Trophy Hunt, 10/3

Things are slowing down a bit, as many of my physical games have been boxed up for the move, many of my digitally owned games have either already been stripmined of their trophies or are just completely unappealing at the moment, and GameFly is temporarily on hold so I don’t end up with a Vita cartridge or PS4 disc lost in the mail somewhere, but progress has still been made.

The Sinking City and Yomawari: Night Alone have both given up their Platinums. So far as TSC goes, I think it gets kind of a bum rap; sure, it’s got some issues, but overall I thought it was one of the best Mythos-related games I’ve played. It’s the game that last year’s Call of Cthulhu wanted to be, and despite the Mass Effect 3 “dial-an-ending,” I still found it enjoyable, engrossing, visually stimulating and suitably creepy. The trophy list was kind of small for a game of its length, and there weren’t a lot of clever or “outside the box” trophies, but it wasn’t full of “why the hell would I want to even try to do that?” trophies, either.

Yomawari was enjoyable as well, and in many ways better than it’s predecessor, Night Alone, though there was some very tedious pattern learning with the boss monsters, overall I didn’t regret my time with the game. The trophy list itself was fairly even with a mixture of game progress, collectibles, and “do X this many times.” No funky ones, and thank God it doesn’t have another one like “Long Night” from the original (play a 3 hour game for 50 hours. Who thought of that one?), though the “Die 80 times,” depending on how well you do during the main game, may be a bit of a grind… and the game tends to crash, so be wary. If you’re curious, I do recommend checking out NitroRad’s review of the games, which is pretty close to my own opinion; you can find the YouTube video right here.

Also almost completed Rise of Insanity, though I will have to go through it a second time to pick up a couple of collectibles and a pair of “do this at X time” trophies I missed. Fairly enjoyable game, and worth grabbing on a sale, with a list that isn’t too traumatic to complete. No Platinum, though.

Progress being made on Devil May Cry, though new trophies earned; picking at earning S-Ranks and beating Very Hard and Dante Must Die mode on DMC3, though stuck doing it as Vergil since I inadvertently saved over my Dante file, and don’t feel like going back and grabbing all the blue orbs, abilities, upgrades and piles of Vital Stars/Devil Stars before I can try to tackle the higher difficulties. At least Vergil was mostly upgraded after his initial run. Devil May Cry 1 is about halfway through Hard and doing the Secret Missions. 2 continues to rot, even though it really isn’t much more work for Platinum. Just need like 3 Blue Shards for Lucia and it’ll be done. It’s just painful to contemplate playing through it to get them.

Started Yakuza 3 in earnest (I had completed the first chapter, then put it aside because I still have to finish 6Kiwami 2 and Judgement, picked it back up because I have it digitally but the other three are physical and boxed up.) Busy knocking out the miscellaneous trophies (break 30 weapons, find junk on the beach, catch a tuna, train a hostess, etc) while grinding XP before moving on to the game proper, but have reached Chapter 4. It may actually be the first Yakuza I can actually platinum, since they don’t have the damn “Complete the List 100%” thing, so the fact I can’t get my head around Shogi and Mahjong and only vaguely understand Oichi-Kaibu won’t punish me.

Lastly, I went back to The Evil Within, which I swear I really will 100% one day. Finished The Assignment, with the exception of Kurayami mode (which I’ll go back for and do in tandem with The Consequence‘s Kurayami mode). Will probably be tackling The Consequence this evening or tomorrow morning, if the Gods don’t bless me and magically make Ghostbusters Remastered appear on my hard drive.

Maybe there was more progress made than I thought; this is a pretty long post. Oh well. We’ll see where it goes from here. What about the rest of you? What games are you working on, and is there something you think I should tackle? Let me know down below!

26
Sep
19

Trophy Hunt – 9/26

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Okami has fallen. The platinum now resides in my trophy shelf, immortalized as my 125th Platinum. Hooray?

By the time I finished the game, I was honestly starting to hate it; it was severely overstaying its welcome, and the boss rush and 6-stage final boss, especially after the pain that was the Wakwu Temple, was just dragging its feet in an apparent attempt to pad the runtime. When I started, I was skeptical… not really understanding why everyone seems to think it’s one of the best games ever. By the midpoint, I was warming to it, somewhat; still not one of the best games, but definitely a decent game. By the end, I hated it again.

Oh well.

I also finally kicked Puzzle QuestChallenge of the Warlords to the curb. It’s been literal years since I grabbed the PS2 Classics version, and began inching my way through it. Honestly, having finished it again (because I had it for PSP and PS2 back in the day, and bought it again for XB360), I don’t know why I was so bloody enamored of it. It’s slow, clunky, ugly, and frequently blatantly unfair. (To this day, I swear the CPU opponents “know” what’s going to fall when they make a move. The number of times some random green in the corner starts an 8+ move cascade with multiple +5 Skulls involved seems a little too frequent for mere chance.) But at least it’s done.

Stared The Sinking City, which is much more entertaining… to me, at least. The combat is a little janky and unnecessary, and sometimes navigation is cumbersome (walk down this street, hop on a boat, take the boat to that street, get off the boat, sneak through a combat zone, get on a boat, get off the boat, and now you might be where you were headed), but overall I think it’s a solid game. The fact it doesn’t hold your hand, making you actually do some detective work to sort out where you’re headed and why, is certainly different and (in my opinion) enjoyable. In a lot of ways, it feels like the game Call of Cthulhu wanted – and failed – to be. CoC still has a couple of things going for it over TSC – the graphical style (though not the fidelity, I fear), better load times, and more detailed environments – but if I have to pick one for my Mythos gaming, Sinking City wins. (But can we maybe get the two developers to work together, plastering over each other’s weaknesses, and make a Mythos game that shakes the walls of R’lehya? It’d be AWESOME.)

About halfway through the game, about 35% through the trophy list. It’s pretty enjoyable so far, though I would likely be somewhat irate if I was playing without a “warning list” of “no return” trophy points and choice-based ones. Almost every case has two (or more) resolutions, and there’s generally a trophy attached to each. Given that, while I enjoy the game, it’s not really one I see myself wanting to complete in full more than once, save-scumming is a must.

Still picking at the Devil May Cry trilogy, Labyrinth Life and the Vita God of War collection, as well as Siren. Will probably be taking on YomawariMidnight Shadows this week as well, if GameFly and the postal service cooperate with me. Just hoping that one doesn’t have another “play for 50 hours” trophy like the first one.

That wraps up the trophy round up on this end; what about you folks out there? What are you playing? What should I be playing? What trophies have you earned that you’re stupidly proud of… or do you wish you could hide on your profile? Let us know down below! Until next time.

KA Spiral no signature

19
Sep
19

Trophy Hunt – 9/19

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Another slow week, and one of surrender.

HTOL#NIQ got shipped back to GameFly, unbeaten. I am broken. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t care about the game, I didn’t care for the game, I felt the mechanics were awful, and what the trophies wanted from me was liable to cause a stroke. Overall, just not worth it.

I always feel bad when I give up on a game – unless the trophies I’ve given up on are specifically glitched/unachievable, or tied to multiplayer that is underplayed or unavailable, or they are just far beyond my skillset (the gambling-related stats in most Yakuza games, f’rex) – but even though I frequently play terrible games, and will do so to completion, even I have limits. Gaming is supposed to be fun, not abject misery, and HTOL#NIQ was quickly heading in that direction.

I did some digging in the backlog, and knocked out a couple of troublesome flies left over from my last visit to Devil May Cry 2. The only thing left to do in that one is fully upgrade the life bar. Amusingly, it’s also one of the few I need for Devil May Cry 5. I just seem to have problems hunting down the one blue orb I missed somewhere in this series. (I think it’s also one of the last trophies I got in Devil May Cry 4 and DmC, and it’s liable to be one of the last in Devil May Cry as well.) Also ripped through the rest of normal difficulty in the original Devil May Cry, and am picking my way through Hard (with a guide, hopefully finding all the little blue rocks this time.) Once I kick those two out, it’s probably time to try to finish VMD difficulty in Devil May Cry 3 and go find that last orb in 5, before I beat the hell out of myself trying to platinum 4. Then I can have the whole series all on one platform and all with Platinums. It’ll be shiny and happy.

Speaking of Capcom games (and their subsidiaries and former employees,) I also made a little more headway in The Evil Within. Doing a slow run to find all the collectibles, before I learn to hate myself in Akumu. And finally, have gotten around to really playing Okami. I’ve tried before – I owned it for PS2 and never left the village, owned it for Wii and don’t think I even ever booted it up – but this time I’m actually playing the damned thing.

Okami is odd to me. Part of me hates it just because I heard too many people fapping to it and telling me how it’s the best game ever. Frequently those people didn’t bother buying it, judging from the sales stats (around 270,000 copies sold in NA for PS2, about 130,000 for Wii.) There are more games I hate for the fanbase than I hate for the game itself, and Okami is very close to the top of that list. Part of me thinks it shows its age poorly, and has a certain clunkiness that makes it hard to like. But it’s still somewhat enjoyable, and it is without a doubt pretty. It’s a basic Zelda knockoff, but it does what it does well and doesn’t resort to Monkey Island logic to solve some of the puzzles and collectibles, so that’s not bad. Still not something I would pay $40 a third time, but amusing enough. I’m about to go kick Orochi’s face in (which I believe puts me around the halfway mark) so it won’t be abandonded this time… but I still don’t think I’d be putting it on any of my “top games of all time” lists. Of course, most people will tell me that if I make such a list that it’s wrong. The first four entries of Metal Gear Solid 3Silent Hill 2The Binding of Isaac and Yakuza marks me as a nerd, a weeb, and not “artsy” enough, and my dislike of Braid or Fez leaves me outcast amongst my people.

Anyway. There may be a week taken off from Trophy hunting, as Gears 5 may soon be accessible to me, and there will have to be some time Achievement hunting in that, instead, and then there may be some time spent with the PS3 and PS2 classics section (I have to finish Siren, and I have the first three Fatal Frame games installed that still need love) for Halloween. But we’ll see.

What about you out there? What games are you working on? What games should I torture myself with? You can sometimes catch me playing them live over on Twitch, and if you want to stalk me, it’s Ashande on PSN and Typo Monster on XBL.

As always, if you like my stuff and want to help me keep doing it, you can drop a dime over at Patreon, or help support my surgery GoFundMe. Contributions are always appreciated, but never required. Until next time, folks!

KA Spiral no signature

18
Sep
19

Developer Diary 9/18

Black Yard continues to move forward. Still slightly concerned about oversaturating one environment with things of importance and leaving another barren, though with more of the interconnecting tissue finished, I’m less concerned about it; every room serves a purpose, even if it’s not immediately apparent or directly relevant.

It’s based around a school, so there’s a certain sameness to some of the environments (there are 8 classrooms, which all follow a similar pattern), though I think I’ve done reasonably well at making them relatively identifiable and unique so far… though, to be fair, I’ve only gotten half of them “done.” We’ll see if K-3 can remain unique compared to 4-8 or not.

Still trying to sort out a few of the quirks of RPG Maker VX Ace, especially in how it compares to the old RPG Maker and RPG Maker 3 on the PlayStation consoles, which were my previous experiences with the tool. One thing that’s still messing me up is the inability to make an event on an actual item in the environment and have the player hit “action” on it to trigger. I have to pepper the spaces around the item with those triggers instead, which gets kind of messy (and means I can’t have interactable things that are less than 3 spaces apart.) If someone more familiar with it knows how to do this, it’d be great. (Mind you, I don’t have this problem with people or “treasure” type items… just doors, desks, things like that. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong.)

Anyway. Have some screenshots. Let me know what you think!

And, as always, if you like what I do and want to help keep me doing it, you can always stop by my Patreon or my surgery GoFundMe. Everything helps and is always appreciated, but certainly not required.

Until next time, folks.

KA Spiral no signature

 

15
Sep
19

Development Diary – 9/15

Screenshot (1)

Black Yard lumbers along, though to what purpose I know not. Unlikely to be slouching to Bethlehem or anything else so portentous.

I think I’ve determined what the overall gameplay loop is supposed to be; that’s good, since when I started, I had no idea. I just wanted to tell the story of the unpleasant things that might be sleeping under a parochial school. I ended up tying it back to the fact that it’s a recurring nightmare of mine. The main character is hunting through the school, looking for memory fragments. With enough of them, he can confront the nightmare.

Then comes the part where I have to decide which fragments are in the game; I have plenty of source material, since to a degree the game is autobiographical. Which ones are important enough to be here? How far back should I go? How far forward?

Once I have that narrowed down, I have to start peppering the environment with them. This is where I am currently; I’ve done one of the two school buildings (specifically covering the 4th through 8th grade classrooms) and have dropped a handful of the artifacts into the environment. I don’t know if I’m doing it “right” or not, though.

In the fourth grade room, there are four memories to be found, one trigger that will lead to another memory elsewhere, and two general items that will lead to other memories. Seven important items in one room.

The fifth grade classroom, in contrast, has the entrance to a hidden area where a memory can be found (if you’ve done a few other things first), a potential game over (if you didn’t do some of those other things) and a clue to another memory. Three important things.

The sixth grade classroom has one memory, one item that is used to obtain a memory elsewhere, and foreshadowing of another memory that will be found later. Again, only three items.

The walkway between the classrooms has three NPCs in it; one who is mainly there for flavor text and can’t really be interacted with, one who sends you on a fetch quest that will ultimately lead to a memory, and one who, if you help him out, will provide you with something you need to get another memory elsewhere.

I suppose what I’m wondering is if there’s too much junk in one room and they need to be spread out more, or if I need to cram more crap into the other rooms that are “done,” or if I can leave it as is. I just don’t know.

But that’s where I stand. I would say this is roughly 12% complete. Yes, I’m mostly pulling that number out of my ass. That number also only indicates what I’m doing with the resources supplied with RPG Maker VX Ace, so if somehow I get the time and money to obtain non-generic tiles and the like, the number changes. But we’ll see.

What are your folks’ opinions? Too much, too little, who the hell cares? Let me know down below.

As always, if you like the stuff I do and want to help me keep doing it, you can always stop by my Patreon or drop a dime in the bucket for my surgery GoFundMe. Contributions are always appreciated but never required.

KA Spiral no signature

14
Sep
19

Serial Sacrilege

Any time something becomes part of a series, a fandom will emerge. I think that’s in the 10 commandments or something. But that fandom will, as the first order of business, generally sort out the “official” ranking of all items in that series. Arguing with that ranking is an excellent way to have yourself ousted from that fandom’s places and considered a pariah. One will hear “you’re not a real fan” for defending a poorly ranked entry, or for finding a different item in the list the “best” than the popular consensus.

This happens with books, movies, and video games. Since I most recently encountered it with video games, though, that’s what I’m going to talk about.

Silent Hill, despite being “dead” after Konami shoved a stake in P.T. still has a fairly rabid fanbase. General consensus says Silent Hill 2 is the best of the bunch. I actually agree with that; it is certainly my favorite, and tread the line between mystery and horror quite well. Where I begin to dip into heresy is that I don’t despise the HD version that was released for 360 and PS3. I’m not a huge fan of the new voices (though, if playing on PS3, you can opt for the old ones if you prefer), and I don’t think the tweaks to the graphics “ruin” the game. Strike 1 for me.

Strike 2 comes when I say I like Downpour. In fact, it ranks 2nd in my own listing of the series. Yes, it had some technical problems at launch, problems which to this day haven’t been fully resolved. But it is definitely playable in the current state, the characters are great, and the story is incredibly well done.

Strike 3 (and then I’m out, and informed I’m not a “real Silent Hill fan,” whatever that means) comes when I admit to being entertained by Book of Memories. Is it a good Silent Hill game? No, not really. Is it a pretty entertaining dungeon crawler with some cool creepy elements and an amusing Silent Hill skin laid on top? Why yes, yes it is.

I am similarly barred from the Devil May Cry community (primarily for thinking that DmC is actually a really good game; Emo Dante may be insufferable, but the mechanics are almost perfect and I actually like this version of Vergil. My thinking Devil May Cry 4 isn’t absolute trash – and in some ways may be better than the first game – doesn’t help, either.) The Metal Gear community seems to dislike me because I didn’t despise Raiden out of the gate; it’s apparently only okay to like him once he became a cyborg ninja. Thinking Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising is the second-best boss in the series – only being topped by Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 4 – is apparently a venial sin.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other examples. My dislike of Ocarina of Time and my only lukewarm enjoyment of Breath of the Wild mark me as a Legend of Zelda heretic, thinking Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is precisely what a 3D Castlevania should be and deserves a sequel (and hell with Lords of Shadow,) etc, etc.

This could apply to books and movies as well, but as noted, I was thinking of games (due to having finally knocked out Bloody Palace mode in Devil May Cry 2, which significantly changed my opinion of that game… ironically bringing my views more in line with the holy writ of canon in that fandom.)

What about you out there? What series fandoms are you “banished” from, and why? What do you think about the groups that establish such mindsets? Let me know down below!

KA Spiral no signature




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