Posts Tagged ‘video games

17
Oct
19

Trophy Hunt – 10/17

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Rise of Insanity has finally been completed. It’s not 100% yet – have to go back through and find all the collectibles – but at least the main game is out of the way.

I don’t know how to feel about it. I know what they were trying to do, but I feel like they missed a lot of the boats that would have given it more punch. There’s a lot of imagery that seems there because “ooooooh, spoopy!” but doesn’t actually relate to the murder and madness that form the bulk of the plot. Perhaps I missed a collectible that explained it, but all the crow imagery – while very pretty and suitably atmospheric – seems tacked on with no reason. On top of that, the “twist” of who you’re playing and what’s going on was telegraphed five minutes in… but half the game’s notes and the way things are presented don’t seem compatible with it.

I’m not going to spoil it – if you want spoilers, you can see me playing it over on Twitch – because it’s still worth a playthrough if you enjoy games like Slender or Layers of Fear, and it’s pretty inexpensive… but if you like horror walking sims and haven’t yet played Layers of Fear or Layers of Fear 2, I recommend those first.

Beyond that, primarily been working on Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. It’s Sega doing what Koei has been doing with Dynasty Warriors: Take your well-known franchise, slap a popular skin on it, call it new. This time, instead of covering generic hack and slash with a coat of Zelda paint, it’s Yakuza with FotNS on top. It’s very well done, and for the most part feels like a decent Yakuza game, but it’s not taking any spots in the series’ hall of fame.

The main story’s fine, the combat works – even if it does become trivially easy once you get good at doing Perfect Channel attacks and unlock the Ki Field ability – and there’s certainly a boatload of content to explore. The problem is in the minigames. Most Yakuza games have a metric shitton of random minigames to play, and Lost Paradise is no different but unlike most Yakuza games, the amount of time you’ll have to spend playing them if you want to finish everything is ridiculously high… and there’s less variation.

For example, the club management minigame, which was most prominent in Yakuza 0 but also had variations in 3, 4 and 6 (probably 5 too, but I didn’t get to play much of that one since my PS3 cooked itself right after it came out here.) In those other games, if you want the trophies related to it (or the tickmarks for your Completion list, or the related substories) you’ll get through it in about 3-4 hours once you get the hang of it. There’s also some variety in the missions, the characters are actually developed, and you feel like you’re getting something out of it (be it money or items) that are actually worth your time investment.

In Lost Paradise, you’re pretty much forced into the game after you break a priceless vase and have to work off a 100,000,000 debt. The missions are 2-3 minutes long, usually stressful to start with, and until you unlock the last couple of them (and have a stable of S-Rank, max level hostesses), you’re going to get between 20k and 200k towards that debt. And no money or items to use in the meantime. When you finally get to the last mission, you’ll get around 1 million per go, but you’re going to need to repeat it around 85-90 times to pay off that debt (which is the roadblock to 3 substories, two hidden bosses, and the last match in the Colesseum minigame, all of which have associated trophies.)

The racing minigame is also a giant pain in the ass, tedious as hell, only has five tracks, and if you want to Platinum it, you’re going to be repeating one of them at least 20 times to rack up the BP (the racing currency) required to buy one piece of the top tier armor.

Right now I’m at 80% on the trophy list, with the primary hangup being the hostess minigame. Still owe 69 million. When that’s done, I can blitz the last few substories (and pop three trophies, one for each hidden boss and one for all substories done), finish the last two Colesseum fights (rematches against the hidden bosses, which pops two more), grind the Colesseum for crafting mats to finish upgrading junk, and then blitz Legend difficulty in about 3 hours, which means I’ll be done.

It will be the first Yakuza game I’ve actually platinumed. The mahjong stuff screws me over in most of the others, Dead Souls suffered from exploding PS3 syndrome, and Judgment is on hold because it’s been packed in prep for the move. Part of me is sad about that.

Beyond that, I’ve been picking at Caravan Story, which is a free-to-play “action” RPG that mostly plays itself. Going to be a nasty grind (you need to kill 10,000 monsters and enslave 1,000 more) but nothing exciting. Mainly something to stare at while holding X when I can’t take looking at the hostesses anymore.

Moving this week, so hopefully, things will be set back up and I can do a proper stream at some point next week; thinking either Alien: Isolation or maybe Yakuza: Dead Souls, if my PS3 wants to cooperate with me (I got a new one more than a year ago, but ran out of ports on the TV and couldn’t get behind it to rewire things. That will be fixed in the move.) If any of you out there have suggestions, I’m open to other ideas, too.

As always, shameless shill time: If you like my stuff and want to help me keep doing it, you can drop a dime in the bucket over on Patreon; everything helps and is always appreciated, but never required. If you want to help me get breathing again, I’ve got a GoFundMe for my surgery set up, too.

Until next time, folks!

KA Spiral no signature

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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

11
Sep
19

Trophy Hunt, September 11

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It’s been slow going on the trophy front for the last week; between spending a lot of time dealing with medical problems and working on Black Yard and the games I had on hand either being time sinks or being annoying and unfun to start with, progress was stalled.

I did, however, kick out three Platinums since we last spoke; Yomawari: Night Alone finally gave up the ghost, so to speak, after wrapping a rubber band around the thumbstick and glaring at the Vita for a couple of days. “Long Night” is potentially the trophy I am most angry at for existing. I don’t mind “play for this long” trophies in some games, so long as they make for at least a semi-logical timeframe. But if your game takes around 5 hours to 100%, including multiple RNG factors and a metric crapton of pattern memorization and dying until you get it just right, you don’t need a damned trophy to play it for 50 hours. No one is wandering around that map for ten times longer than they need to just for funsies. But at least it finally popped.

Steins;Gate 0 was also encountered and defeated. This was also a bit of a sour one. I’ve heard, repeatedly, that the Steins;Gate games are amazing visual novels. I haven’t tried the first one as of yet (though it is installed on my PS3), but 0 was possibly the most boring one I’ve played other than Nekopara. I worked my way through the first four chapters, discovering that the only real choices you were making were whether to answer your phone or not – you get text messages sometimes, and can respond to them in a variety of ways, but they don’t actually change anything – and even then that happens maybe once a chapter… well. I was less than impressed. The fact I didn’t care about any of the characters, actively hated at least two of them and was bored to tears with what story I’d been presented with didn’t help. I’m not ashamed to admit I put the little bugger in fast forward and blitzed out the trophies before dropping it back in the mailbox.

On the other hand, for an actually entertaining visual novel-style game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is finally complete. It took longer than expected – as with a lot of VNs or adventure games, sometimes you will bash your head against the wall repeatedly even when you know the answer, because the game wants you to present it their way, which is sometimes a little obtuse – but it was still fun, funny, and appropriately emotional at times. There weren’t enough “do random stuff” trophies for my taste, and the “collectible” trophies varied between “why is this even an achievement?” to “how much of this do I have to endure?”, so could have used a little evening out, but I don’t regret my time with Nick and his friends. Well worth it.

So far as what’s next, I still have to deal with HTOL#NIQ, which shares a cartridge with Yomawari. I don’t know if it’s a game I can actually platinum or not, but I’ll try. Also, inspired by YouTuber NitroRad’s Halloween Specials, I came back to Siren and NightCry, making a little progress in each. Siren is occasionally frustrating, but still a decent enough game (and hey, Sony, if you’re reading this? Can we get Forbidden Siren 2 or Siren: Blood Curse ported over to PS4? Thanks). NightCry is active torture. Whoever let that thing get released with those frame rate issues should be shot. (Ever play a Clock TowerHaunting Ground, or Outlast? Picture trying to run from the enemies in those games with a stamina bar that makes Sebastian in The Evil Within look like a Kenyan long-distance runner, incredibly twisty paths, and running at 5 FPS or less. Yeah. It’s that bad.) Which, since I’m begging Sony for stuff anyway, hey, can we get Clock Tower 3 and Haunting Ground as PS4 ports? Or even PS2 classics on PS3? Pretty please?

Anyway. That’s it for now. I have to go make another room in Black Yard.

KA Spiral no signature

07
Sep
19

Cute and scary

When I first played Corpse Party: Blood Drive, I got irritated. They gave it cutesy chibi graphics for the exploration phases, which clashes madly with the cutscenes, character images and overall themes and plot. Making things “cute” interferes with my ability to be grossed out, scared, or anxious.

Or so I thought.

Then I played Yomawari: Night Alone.

Sure, it’s cute. Little girls and puppies in an animated style. But the first time your flashlight catches a glimmer of something moving in the dark, or you hear the buzzing neon of a vending machine interrupted by the whispers of the damned, you realize the cute exterior is a lie… and a finely crafted one, because they make it work.

Clashing is not necessarily bad. I learned that. I’m sorry for what I said, other horror games that might exist that hide behind cute art styles. I blame Corpse Party. Which I still need to finish. Oh well.




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