Saturday, July 5, 2014

Always Burning Brightly


Finally, I could set my sword down, could rest my weary bones and know relaxation in this damnable world.  Scant as it was, it was my only reprieve these days and I dare not go a moment without cherishing it, holding it dearly as it deserves.  This bonfire - these bonfires, I should say, as they're scattered about the lands - was simple in appearance, but were vital little structures and I cannot recall just how many times I had silently hoped and prayed to witness one while exiting the throes of one battle and staggering blindly to the next.  Though, to call some of the encounters I had been in a 'battle' would be rather charitable to me, and I'm not sure I deserve such a kindness.

Looking across the flickering flames surrounding the buried sword, I was nearly startled to see the form of another man, but quickly contained myself.  It happened sometimes, seeing these figures that I had been told were 'shadows' of other worlds similar to this one, but it never ceased to raise the hairs on the back of my neck at the very least.  I knew I had fled from the first one, thinking it was yet another opponent set to kill me in this land that was filled with creatures of a similar interest, but returned when I saw him settle before the fire and fade.  Who knew where he was now - his armor was fairly impressive and heavy and I guessed that his survival was not in question, but it was a more existential query than that.  I wondered where he was now, for I had no idea just where I was going myself.

Details had been offered to me piecemeal, little bits here and there from the few 'friendly' faces that I could hope to see, yet it pained me to even call them that.  Too many times had I looked into the eyes of a human while they desperately sought to hold onto their sanity, only to look into those same eyes as they died by my blade because they'd lost it.  Logan, his shy eyes beneath his titular big hat, Rhea, her pure gaze amidst the white garbs that framed her face, and the sad, sad man whose name I never was entrusted with, only knowing him as the debased warrior who mocked me in my initial pursuit in this world.  Their killings, on the back of so many that I had performed, were the ones that stuck with me, that still found a way to disturb me in these quiet moments that were supposed to be peaceful.

'Disturbing' was a good word for yet another of the few that I knew, however.  Not a man or a woman, but rather a.....beast who called himself a Primordial Serpent.  "Kingseeker Frampt", or simply Frampt as I had come to know him.  He stretched on for what I believed to be miles, as I never had the chance to see his tail, only knowing that he poked his disgusting head out of a pit that looked bottomless.

"Chosen Undead," he had said as I wandered into his realm for the first time, "Chosen Undead, who has rung the Bell of Awakening; I wish to elucidate your fate.  Do you seek such enlightenment?"  'Yes,' I had cried, 'Yes, tell me, tell me everything, make me understand just what has transpired, who I am, what I am!'  I was desperate, eager to finally know that which kept me bound to this world that I had no knowledge of, to finally know just what this world actually was.  I would have settled for simply walking away from the encounter knowing anything more than I had that would assist in making things clearer.

Frampt only left me with more questions.

"Very well.  Then I am pleased to share."  Frampt's maw had contorted into something that I instinctively knew was meant to be a smile, but it was very far from.  "Chosen Undead, your fate succeed the Great Lord Gwyn, so that you may link the Fire, cast away the Dark and undo the curse of the Undead."  Who was the Great Lord Gwyn that Frampt was so pleased to mention, yet never describe?  What was the Dark?  And what of the Undead?  He spoke as if I were one of these, though right now in my human form, I felt air in my lungs, I felt blood pump through my veins and, at times, out of them when I suffered a wound and I knew the warmth of fire in all its forms as well as the biting cold which was rare and not something that permeated my form often.  I knew life, yet I was dead in his eyes.  He did not know of my confusion, or did not mind it, as he simply moved on with his speech.

"To this end, you must visit Anor Londo and acquire the Lordvessel."

"Of course," I had said bitterly.  My grip on the sword in my hand tightened and I looked down to its long, darkened blade.  I had retrieved this from a fearsome enemy, a Knight wearing charred-black armor, a being that should have been dead, immolated, yet walked and fought on.  The sword of this Black Knight had been particularly effective and proved to be my saving grace on more than one occasion.  And though I gathered more and more weapons, not a one hoped to match the power that this blade offered.  With it, I could fell enemies in a slice or two and my strikes that rang true more often than not spelled an instantaneous death for those who found themselves gutted by it.  That should have gone without saying, but I had seen creatures lose limbs and not know the difference even a second later, so I had little doubt that 'death' was malleable to them in how it was delivered.

I could kill him with it, surely.  I could end his life with a single swipe, removing his head from his serpentine body.  I could cut a bloody swath through any that stood in my path here in the place known as Firelink Shrine.  I had considered it, even, but never acted on it.  There was no need to, though.  While I did not consider those that remained close or dear to me, I also harbored no ill will towards them....or at least most of them.  I had never liked the look the supposed Cleric, Petrus, had given Rhea while she nor her bodyguards watched and when I told her that she was dead after she'd gone hollow and attacked me, the first look he gave me seemed to be that of unguarded resentment, as if I had yanked away a trophy that was only moments from his own grip.  He feigned it as a sour look of loss that a grieving man would have for the person who brought news of a fallen companion but I knew better in my heart.  It was the only genuine moment that I had seen from the man and it still chilled me to think of it.

A sigh emerged from my cracked lips and I shook my head in slight revulsion.  I hated this part of relaxation, finding that my mind always wandered to the mystery that I lived in.  I was currently living another one of those things that I could not understand, for beneath the grey armor that wrapped about me, I was little more than literal skin and bones.  I was Hollow thanks to a careless mistake that resulted in a painful death and took me to another bonfire in the world.  I always found myself awaking at a bonfire, glancing into the merrily dancing flames with a new coldness radiating from my core.  Even in this form, I was alive, but I was closer to 'Undead' than I cared to be.  Still, I found that sometimes I preferred this form, because dying when you're almost dead anyway hurt a lot less than when you were a human.  And I had died a lot.  I knew the true pain as everyone else did.  I understood their struggles with madness, for sometimes I didn't know if I had lost my own.  For death to be a repeatable act....well, it was not originally meant for beings so fragile of mind as we.

Perhaps that is why I chuckled at the strange idea that I had.  My memories always arose in these situations, so perhaps it was time to make use of it.  In my head, I saw the man who had been a mere shadow across from me, sitting just as I was.  And I saw more, others, sharing this bonfire with me.  We all sat, we all stared into the fire as it burned and offered comfort and we all knew of the others presence.  I could see them, and perhaps they could see me.  Perhaps if I wished it, they could hear me as well.

"Friends," I croaked and coughed, shaking my head.  This form would not do for what I had planned.  So leaning forward, I offered a little of myself to the flames and felt the muscles and definition return to my frame, felt the mass of blonde hair that hung to the sides of my head untangle and regain its volume from the stringy wisps it had been reduced to.  I could moisten my lips again and so I did, looking from the fire to the eyes of the many gathered here in my head.

"Friends, I don't know you and you don't know me, but we share this hell in a sense.  That makes us comrades in arms.  So let me ease your minds a little with a tale.

Let me tell you my story."

Monday, May 26, 2014

So I'm a Little Obsessed

The 109 items pictured include the NieR remix album and the REVENGEANCE OST so it's not all K-Pop

47 Songs.

I have 47 K-Pop songs.

Am I overreacting to this fact?  Maybe a little.  In truth, it doesn't even really matter, it's just another style of music and we all dig what we dig, and pigeon-holing people for liking a certain style of music is pretty dumb.  On the other hand, I'm not even done collecting the K-Pop songs I want, and truthfully need to purchase at least 21 more, plus iTunes doesn't even have all of the songs that I want that are not included in that count.  Have you ever outwitted iTunes?  It's not as satisfying as you might think.

I spent the entirety of a night going through iTunes and listening to samples of songs to ensure they were the right versions of them (since a lot of Korean groups do Japanese versions of their songs and yes, I know that and yes there was a Japanese version of a song that I didn't want because it was the Japanese version and yes, I knew immediately that it was in Japanese) so that I could purchase them and download them and then upload them to the Amazon Cloud where I could then download them again on my Kindle because all of this makes sense and is in no way overly complicated and dumb.  It was not a night I particularly enjoyed, but it was a necessary one for the music that I will now be able to consume on a regular basis as I go out and about or even just play games and don't want to run an Internet Radio thing because, I mean, I pretty much only use those -for- this anyway.

I suppose this -shouldn't- be a surprise given that I use K-Pop as a sort of bridge whenever I had nights where there just was nothing to talk about but I wanted to give it the old try anyway, and I'm pretty sure I never really re-used a song, while I am also pretty sure I had more than a few of those nights and posts.  And especially given that my catalog of songs that I listened to just kept growing and growing as I kept it up.  It's just really weird to actually put a number to it, especially when you can look at all the other things that run similar.  Like, I have more K-Pop songs than were on the NieR soundtrack, for instance.  With the NieR Remix Album and the REVENGEANCE OST I bought, it only -slightly- outnumbers the K-Pop songs I have bought and will be eclipsed when I finish buying them.

By the way, I keep saying when I finish buying them.  That's because I ran out of money.  I bought a $50 iTunes card going "oh that'll be plenty" and I ran out.  (Well, I can get one or two more songs, but my point stands)  If a lot of the songs weren't $1.29 instead of $0.99 though, for some reason, it would have been less of an issue, but such is life.

Anyway, yes, I spent an entire night doing that, and I just wanted to share that fact with you.  Because I dunno, I just sort of find the situation funny in a sense.  And I like talking about funny things!  They're usually....actually funny, though.  Oh well.

I saved Girls' Generation for last and this proved to be a very big mistake since I want the most songs from them out of anyone, and that in itself is kind of worrying

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Mojang has finally confirmed the Release Date Month for Minecraft on the Vita, which will be August, the same month that the XBone and PS4 editions will be released on their respective platforms.  It's actually kind of a big deal because of the way that it all works out.  The details of it are as such:

  • Minecraft: Playstation 3 + Vita Edition will be available on the PSN in August.
  • It will include all the features from the most recent Playstation 3 version, including online play on Vita.
  • This means everyone who has bought Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition from PSN will get it on Vita for free. Those fluent in Sony-speak might refer to the deal as “Cross-buy.”
  • We are working closely with Sony Computer Entertainment to look into ways to enable upgrade from the Blu-ray disc version of Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition to Minecraft: Playstation 3 and Vita. We’ll have more info on this closer to release.
  • Minecraft: Playstation 3 + Vita Edition will cost $19.99.
  • It doesn’t matter if you buy for PS3 or Vita first, you own the game for both platforms.
  • Saves are transferrable between the Playstation 3 and Vita versions of Minecraft. You will be able to craft at home on your Playstation 3, then continue on the bus/toilet with your Playstation Vita.
  • All of the DLC you’ve purchased for Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition will work on Playstation 3 + Vita Edition.
So, basically, the Vita version of Minecraft is the PS3 version, except on the Vita.  I personally think they could have based the game on the PS4 version as, yes, I know it's a very technical game technically, but I don't think it's so much that the Vita could not handle the PS4 version.  However, I suppose the PS3+Vita deal is the sweeter end of it, because of the way the PS4 version is set up.
  • Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition will be released on the PSN in August. It brings significantly bigger worlds and a greater draw distance than Playstation 3 + Vita Edition.
  • It will include all the features from the most recent Playstation 3 version.
  • Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition will cost $19.99.
  • If you’ve bought Playstation 3 Edition from the Playstation Network you will be able to upgrade for $4.99.
  • You will be able to upgrade for a minimum of a year after the release date.
  • We are working closely with Sony Computer Entertainment to look into ways to enable upgrade from the Blu-ray disc version of Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition to Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition. We’ll have more info on this closer to release.
  • Players with Playstation 3 Edition or Playstation 3 + Vita Edition saves will be able to import their worlds to Playstation 4. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to transfer your saves from Playstation 4 to Playstation 3/Vita. There are technical reasons for this; we can make worlds bigger without too much stress, but shrinking them causes all kinds of problems.
  • Cross-platform play will not be possible between Playstation 3 + Vita Edition and Playstation 4 Edition.
  • Many, but not all, of the DLC skins and texture packs you’ve purchased for Playstation 3 Edition will be available for use in Playstation 4 Edition. We’d like to say all your DLC would transfer but some of the items are trapped in licensing deals that are too boring to get into here. We’ll have more on this soon.
So if you buy the PS4 version as an upgrade, you can pull your files over to it, but then they are locked to your PS4 copy of the game since you can't send them back.  Again, I think the Vita version could have been the PS4 version, but then you miss out on the cross-play/Cross-buy with the millions of people (yeah, millions) who have already bought it on PS3.  I'm personally trying to remember if Minecraft has ever been on sale, because if it has and I didn't buy it because I was waiting for the Vita version, I will be momentarily upset with myself, but then recall that "who the hell thought it would be Cross-Buy" was my thinking, and justifiably so.  It's a pretty great move regardless.

In any case, it's goddamn Minecraft on my Vita.  I have literally been waiting for this for years, and it's finally becoming a reality in a scant few months.  I'll finally be able to build shit whenever I want to and enjoy the Lego Box that is the game, when I have completely and totally lacked the ability to do so until now.

Now, here's just hoping that the PS3 version of the game isn't stuck on, like....the Adventure Update.

good lord, that update was a while ago and there's so much more stuff in it and hnnng this is why I'll never be satisfied

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So, Whoops

That I didn't manage to pull myself away from Drakengard 3 last night to post is pretty much a solid indicator of just how happy I am with the game.  That I can barely even do anything -tonight- is just all the more of that, and I think what we should take away from all of this is that when I can finally talk about Drakengard 3, I will be very, very enthusiastic about it.  Until then, you will have to settle with this one quote from me:
It's fucking awesome.
-Me, in Regards to Drakengard 3
Someone can print that.

Anyway, if you'll allow me one more sojourn into the vast pleasures of the game, to fully savor what it has to offer me, I swear to you that I will eventually condense my enjoyment into text on this screen for you to imbibe, that you might live even a little bit vicariously through it.  In the meantime, I will share with you possibly my favorite song from the game thus far, which I have linked above.  It's called "Prevolt/Amaros" just in case the video gets taken down (or rather, -when- it does) so you'll be able to search it for yourself.  It's a really fast-paced, action-oriented song, which is fair because it's a boss theme, and I just really, really love it.  It gets me pumped and not since, well, probably REVENGEANCE's soundtrack has that happened, and NieR's before it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, once more I go into the beyond!

can you tell I'm excited?  Because I am, because the game is just so good you guys

Monday, May 19, 2014

You guys, You guys!

So, this showed up today.  I'll do impressions and such tomorrow night, but tonight has been and will continue to be celebrating the release of Drakengard 3.  I chalk it up to fate and the universe owing me more than a little bit for me receiving my Collector's Edition a day early.

Take care of yourselves and goodnight!

okay seriously?  Zero's VA is so good

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Back Home

We all have those games that we just find ourselves coming back to one way or another, whether it be playing it long after you're -done- with it, or whether you just find yourself mentally comparing it to other games when you start playing it, or however it's done.  For Chance, it's Dragon's Crown.  For plenty of others out there, I'm sure it's Persona 4: The Golden.  Or perhaps it's Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God, Ys: Memories of Celceta, Ragnarok Odyssey (perhaps the Ace version), Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars, Demon Gaze, Atelier Meruru or Totori Plus, Toukiden: The Age of Demons or any other number of games that offer long, engrossing experiences on the Vita.

For me, it's always been Soul Sacrifice.

With the introduction of Soul Sacrifice Delta to the Playstation Store (it's digital-only, it seems) and the stars aligning to deliver unto me my 64 gig memory card for my Vita far before the May 30th - June 20th window I was offered (likely because who knows with Customs), it was time.  Time to go back to the game I've said a hundred times that I'd rather be playing, or that I just -want- to be playing it.  So as I've been filling up my 64 Gig stick with games, I've turned to it and have been playing it again.

I'm not sure just what it is about the game that I love, but I'm inexorably drawn to it.  I want to conquer all that it has to offer (except the Forgotten Pacts, fuuuuuck thaaaaaaat) and then do it all over again in Delta, which, from what I've heard, greatly expands the universe and the setting of the game, which is exactly what I wanted.  It's not quite a world I can explore just yet, but it's bigger thematically and that counts for something.  I'm not going to know just by how much until I start it, and I've still got a grip of content to wrangle with on the vanilla game, but it's definitely something to look forward to.

In all honesty, though, I wish I could have people enjoy the game as I do.  I wish I could quantify just what about it makes me grin, what gets me pumped up and excited, what makes me feel like I'm bending the game over my knee without cheesing or breaking it.  I say it's dodge-rolling out of the way of a charge attack, turning around and unloading three volleys of arrows into my foe before he gets up.  I say it's sitting back and launching an egg bomb right in the cursed part of an archfiend and breaking it to expose it to some massive damage for the next five or so seconds.  I say it's throwing on armor and not even getting hit while I mercilessly slaughter a tier of monster that, at one point, was nigh-impossible for me to kill.  I say all of these things and I just get blank stares or "Well, it's good that you liked it" or something of that sort.

I wish everyone else played the same game that I did, I guess, because the lack of love for the series really, really bums me out.  Not that it's reviled, but rather that I think it's -big-, that it's a big deal game, a fantastic experience and it's something that I would suggest to anyone with a Vita.  This is not universally agreed upon like Gravity Rush or Uncharted: Golden Abyss (for the most part) or Persona 4 Golden are.  To me, it should be, because I've gotten so much fun out of this goddamn game, it's incredible.

But, well, that's just how it goes, I suppose.

also bastardizing Metal Gear Solid "You live on....THROUGH THIS ARM!" makes me giggle and okay, I'm sorry

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sharing is Caring - inFamous: Second Son

Clicky for Full Size

One of the core tenants of the PS4 when it was shown off in-depth was the Share button, to be utilized by we the players to, well, share screenshots and videos from our game playing.  Not only was this a godsend to people like me who -want- to use our own screenshots for things like a blog or what have you (at least in theory), but it's just plain -cool- for the opportunities that it opens up.  I can't tell you how many times I've been playing a PS3 game and went "Goddamnit, I wish I could screenshot that" because there's just so much cool shit that happens to everyone while they play a game, and it's usually only when you're playing with buddies present that you can point and go "Holy shit, look at that" when something awesome is happening.  Now, with the Share button, you're closer to being able to replicate that to your friends who might not actually be sitting right there on your couch or whatever with you.

inFamous: Second Son takes this a step further, in that they added a Photo Mode to the game in the latest patch that released sometime last month.  This allows you to pause the game, adjust the screen for your perfect screenshot by controlling the camera (to a degree), adding color filters and adjusting the focus of it before hitting that Share button to actually do the deed.

It works.  It works pretty nicely.  Being that I didn't really have a lot to talk about today, I figured I could show off some of the screenshots I took of the game.  Of course, then I realized that I hadn't taken too many because I'm just not used to it yet, so then I went and -made- some, and I gotta say, I think they turned out well.

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It's not perfect - I would prefer a Flickr app like what's on Vita, even over USB transfer (because I can't find my goddamn flash drive and I spent about an hour looking for the damn thing) but you take what you can get, I suppose.  For now, it's plenty serviceable and the pictures still look damn nice even though the quality isn't -exactly- on par with how they are on the PS4 itself.

It's still much, -much- better than not having the option at all.

Evil Delsin just seems so much more photogenic than Good Delsin, because the red is much more striking, also red is awesome

Friday, May 16, 2014

Two Days in a Row!

Were the picture better, you could see that this actually houses my old 16 gig stick.  You have served me well, friend.

So, yesterday Drakengard 3 CE ships.  Today, I receive my 64 GB Vita Memory Stick.  I am convinced that tomorrow will bring something equally amazing, or I will have something absolutely terrible befall me, because this shit just isn't average.  Good fortune avoids me like the plague, so two days of it in a row is especially suspicious and makes me worry about just what the universe has in store for me.

But for now, I'll suspend my concerns because I have a fucking lot of space to work with.

I have noticed that, despite the constant concerns I've had with my old 16 gig stick and the space therein, on upgrading I discover that I don't have a veritable bevy of goodies with which to fill my new expanse.  This is likely due to my insistence on buying physical and having space to work with is -always- a good thing, but it's sort of made me want to just buy up a bunch of stuff -just- to fill it out, which is admittedly kind of a bad idea.  But my list of things to add to my Vita looks something like this so far:

  • Soul Sacrifice (Free Digital version)
  • Soul Sacrifice Delta
  • Velocity Ultra
  • PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD (I might not even bother)
  • Stealth Inc. A Clone in the Dark
  • Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland
  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
  • Vagrant Story
  • Unit 13
  • Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut
  • Street Fighter X Tekken (Might not bother)
  • Modnation Racers: Road Trip (Won't bother)
  • Smart As... (Don't know about this one)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
  • Limbo
  • Urban Trial Freestyle (Probably won't)
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Had it once, probably won't get it back)
  • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD
  • Sine Mora (Might Not)
  • Gods Eater Burst
  • BlazBlue Continuum Shift EXTEND
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention (Deleted it for space a while ago)
  • Wipeout 2048
  • New Little King's Story (Deleted for space)
  • Atelier Totori Plus: The Adventurer of Arland
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Corpse Party
  • Corpse Party: Book of Shadows
  • A few more PSP games including the earlier Personas
  • Final Fantasies VII-IX and X-2
....okay, so it looks like a lot and actually if I try to fit all of that on my stick, it probably won't fit. Aaaaand I skimmed over a few things like all of the Atlus RPGs I've bought on sale.

But if you compare that to the list of physical games I have (which I won't bore you with), then it -really- doesn't compare.  And those are the games I kind of want to have digital versions of now...just to have them.  Persona 4 Golden, for example or Dynasty Warriors 8 Complete, just so I can play them whenever.  It's....a slippery slope now, because yes, I already have these games and I already own them, but owning a digital version -too- would be nice.  I feel like I finally understand why Chance buys up multiple versions of games he likes, because that compulsion is welling up inside of me now.  I must resist.

I'm going to be a little more expectant of Playstation Plus, however, as I'll actually be able to download the games I get like...right away.  I won't know what to do with myself!  Aside from have games.

Like, fucking all of them.

but the Vita has no games, right

Thursday, May 15, 2014


So, I got an email from Squeenix earlier.
Dear [Mogs],

Thank you for ordering from Square-Enix, Inc. on February 9, 2014. 
The following product(s) have shipped. If you paid by credit card, 

your credit card has now been charged.

Product SKU: 91224 
Product Name: HITMAN TRILOGY HD (PS3) 
Qty Shipped: 1 
Tracking Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Product SKU: 91448 
Product Name: Drakengard 3 Collector's Edition (PS3) 
Qty Shipped: 1 
Tracking Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 


If you have questions about your order, 
please visit:

Please note: This email message was sent from a 
notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email. 

Please do not reply to this message.

Square-Enix, Inc. Customer Service
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  It's happening!

okay, Hitman Trilogy was there to bump the order over $100 for free shipping and also because Blood Money

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Microsoft with Another Power Play

In probably one of the more pandering ways they could have announced it, Microsoft has finally pulled the Kinect as a pack-in starting in June, meaning the XBone will start being sold as a stand-alone console in June for $399.  It's surprising in all the same ways that it's not - I really thought Microsoft was going to be stubborn on this one, but I guess the allure of phantom sales was too strong for them.  The XBox One is now, officially and literally, nothing unique at its base, and that is honestly more than a little disappointing, even for someone who just straight-up has never been interested in an XBone.

The whole of this little experiment as I'm charitably calling it has been rather interesting to witness.  From its inception, the XBone has been this malleable box of variable evil in the eyes of many and that's solely because of the poor messaging and the poor attitude from Microsoft with regards to everything about the system.  Once they fell flat on their face, the following could best be described as "Flailing wildly, grasping at any and all articles of your clothing to drag themselves back to you, prostrate and begging for your time and affection" which is...well, not everybody cares for it, we'll say.

Objectively, nothing is wrong with any of this.  The XBone has now (or will, in June) become a system that is truly about what a console should be: something you can pull out of a box, attach cables to, do the set-up on and then just get to playing your damn games.  There's no Kinect to calibrate (or even think about unpacking) and no -direct- need to plug an ethernet cable into it (or set up Wi-Fi) because of some nebulous DRM scheme.  (Okay, you still need to do that to make the console more or less -functional- but, you know, baby steps)  It is just a system reminiscent of the one we've had for the last decade but shinier and with some extra bells and whistles of some immeasurable value because of their inherently subjective nature.

Is that a bad thing?  No.  Not in so many words.

I have never been a fan of the XBox in any of its incarnations, and I had no love for the XBone when it was announced because, as it was announced, it was a product incapable of being loved.  It was a standing monolith of spite personified, primed and ready to exclaim "Fuck you!" and punch you in your reproductive parts upon being unboxed.  I can't even say, as most are willing to do, that they were trying something new on the Digital side of things because they weren't - they were attempting to push some sort of Frankenstein's Monster version of Games for Windows Live on the system and telling you to sit down and enjoy it for all the 'benefits' that being tied unceremoniously to a server structure an inordinate amount of miles away will provide to you, because shit is futuristic, yo.  It was never going to work out.  It was never going to be a thing heralded from on high by all or even some.  It was destined to be as it was - loathed and mocked for treading on the grass with the "No Trespassing" sign on it.

The Kinect, though?  It had potential.  Perhaps insomuch as MSPaint has potential in being a program in which you can create photorealistic images of shit, where it is only barely on this side of impossible to actually make that happen, but potential nonetheless.  I have a hard time believing anyone who says they -don't- want what Kinect is technically promising, but can't dream of delivering, on top of what it can actually do with some reliability.

Much like Tablet computers, there's something innately futuristic about motion controls and voice commands that is ingrained as awesome future shit to me.  Maybe it's just the Star Trek stuff I watched growing up, but it does tickle parts of my brain that come right to attention when that premise shifts up.  The jumping around, waving your arms about to protect an imaginary goal from soccer balls with dodgy (at best) detection when not instantly calibrated before hand?  Yeah.  I can see people not caring about that.  But walking into a room and saying "XBox, on" and having that shit turn on, waiting for your next command?  Yeah.  That's the shit I can get behind.  Were it only as natural as it could be (rather than having to put on your super authoritative voice most of the time) it would be -really- cool, if just for the novelty.

But I am convinced that with some combination of -something- like the Kinect (maybe even the Playstation Eye 3.0 or whatever) and a controller of some sort (Maybe a Move Wand(s) ) that there could be something immensely cool or enjoyable about motion technology where it concerns gaming.  It might be a couple generations off, but there has to be something out there for it.  I was personally banking on Microsoft stubbornly keeping the Kinect around (even as a toss-away thing because they weren't requiring it) to have it as an option for developers to use.  For someone to finally get -that- idea and implement it and it gets big because, fuck, everyone has one.  That's unfortunately just probably not going to happen anymore.  With the Kinect stuck as it was last generation, it's going to get much the same support as that did (read: almost none) and we'll all just sort of point and laugh derisively at it and what is attempted.

Now, is this move going to make a difference?  Not...much of one, I don't think.

The damage has been done.  In some ways, the Kinect was holding the device back.  In some ways, the extra $100 was holding it back as well.  Some pretend that these were the only two albatrosses about the neck of the XBone and now it's free to soar the sales charts and reign King Supreme and that's just not going to happen.  The time for the XBone to soar was back when it released, and if there's another time, it's a solid year, perhaps two away. The initial rush of consoles purchased has happened and the PS4 reigns on top of that pile.  The stragglers are the ones reluctant to pay $400 for a Next Gen system for whatever reason, so bringing the XBone down to that price parity....doesn't really do a whole lot.  Were there people that were just -really- waiting for Microsoft to do just this?  Sure.  Not the 'masses', however, since it honestly wasn't something you -should- have expected.

Even still, a stigma is just a -hard- thing to shake.  The PS3 had the "no games" thing for a while as well as the "stupid price" thing, and it all just cast the machine in a negative light long after those issues had been rectified.  It's going to be the same way with the XBone, especially because all they've done is put themselves directly next to the PS4 for comparison....where it will only be seen as lacking.  The XBone without the Kinect is just a less good PS4 without the benefit of PS+ and all the fun stuff that Sony has been working on.  Microsoft's exclusive lineup isn't going to draw in any -new- customers, either.  Halo 5 isn't going to make a Playstation diehard eschew grabbing a PS4 in favor of an XBone.  Gears of War anything isn't.  Forza didn't. 

No matter how you see it, this move with the Kinect just seems born of desperation and short-sightedness.  I will be heartily surprised if it makes the thing sell like a PS4 for any amount of time, and who knows if it's going to help in the long run if Sony continues to do their best with services and Exclusives that you -can't- just expect?  The Order is new and exciting because it's -new-, and if Microsoft wants to grab a few new people, they're going to have to put new things on the plate.  That's what'll sell an XBone over a PS4 way down the line when both have seen a price cut and parents are finally starting to relent, deciding to grab one of these things for the system.  But who knows if -that- is the next move Microsoft is going to rattle over towards?

seriously, I just don't see the point and I really wanted to see them take a stance on the goddamn Kinect

Monday, May 12, 2014

I Still Don't Know What The Hell - Watch_Dogs

I was really, really excited about Watch_Dogs (underscore for life) when it was announced and shown off at E3.  It seemed like this really great, really new and fresh-feeling thing that was going to ratchet up new IPs again and kick some ass.  It also seemed like it was going to look damn pretty while it did it, too.

It's,'s not looking like it's any of these things anymore.  In truth, I just don't know what the hell Watch_Dogs is going to be like anymore.  I'm not exactly convinced the developers do either.

Watch_Dogs doesn't know if it wants to be a badass hacker simulator, a Grand Theft Auto-wannabe with electronic shenannigans, a rudimentary third-person shooter with driving elements, or even if it wants to be a super serious spy romp, or a wacky "Jerks with powerful tools" simulator.  The game gives off the impression that it wants to be all of these things specifically to try and cater and sell to everyone, and that little experiment has been tried and tried again, always with less-than-impressive results.  And yet everyone still tries it anyway.

The above video is where the cracks in my belief -really- started to show.  To that point, Watch_Dogs had seemed to want to go down the humorless (aside from the badass Asian dude rockin' the Kazuma Kiryu look) "I WILL HAVE REVENGE" route, which can be fine if done right.  The tension, the bitterness, the internal anguish and hatred festering in the main character, they're all very gripping and driving with the right writing applied to them.  However, that's a folly to start, since an open-world game is prone to mischief the likes of which that makes grown men giggle - something that inherently destroys that mood, and one of the big problems people had with GTA IV.  (Rather, thematic disconnect all around, not just the revenge plot)

However, adding a side mission where you almost comically pass out only to awaken piloting a giant fuck-off spider-tank (with only six legs) bent on destroying everything in sight?

Nah.  Not feeling it.

At least, not from the mood that Watch_Dogs had fostered before that point.  The Not-So-Spider-Tank is silly and dumb as hell and I love it because of that, but it just doesn't make sense and I'm almost disappointed in it.  I don't want to be disappointed in a giant fuck-off tanks in a somewhat destructible environment with plenty of people and cars to stomp.  That is the direct opposite of what I want!  Yet, this is what Ubisoft has reduced me to and I'm not too happy about it.

The other main bone of contention (Literally the only other thing, really, since the "lack of coherent direction" is fairly all-encompassing) revolves around the fact that the graphics and presentation has slid around quite a lot in the time from the initial reveal (Which everyone knew was bullshit anyway) to now which has seen some -dastardly- looking screenshots and gifs (that is a comparison, btw) in the meanwhile, all of which indicating that the game is going to look...well, not -bad- (except that screenshot), but not Next Gen, which at least Assassin's Creed 4 managed to do, and quite capably.  Part of that has to do with splitting to last-gen as well, which is ultimately the wrong way about it, but part of the blame has to fall on the clear mismanagement that the game has seen in the time it's been developed.

So what do I even want from Watch_Dogs anymore?  I don't....don't really know.  I'll have to do what I do best in these situations: assemble a list.
  • Game has to look at least -pretty- good.  (It's looking like it will, even though it was thought to be 1080p/60 FPS on PS4 and apparently is not)
  • If this is another Third-Person Cover Shooter, I'm going to be pissed.  Thus, I don't want gunplay to be a -major- portion of the game.  It's going to be moreso than, say, Sleeping Dogs' gunplay, but I don't want GTA-levels.
  • The Spider-Tank?  I don't even know....I guess I hope the other "Cyber Trips" aren't as silly and inconsistent?  Or maybe I want them to be moreso.
  • I want Jordi Chin to be a major part of the story.  I do not want to go five missions without seeing that dude because he is awesome.
  • A little depth to Aiden would be nice.  "REVENGE" is good and all, but....yeah.
  • Cars don't control like ass.
  • -Locked- Framerate.  It'll probably be 30 FPS, and if it dips below 30, that is downright embarrassing.
  • I want the Electronics/Hacking stuff to be -useful- and -integral-, not a neat thing you can use -or- completely ignore in favor of BOOLETTS
Are we going to get any of those?  I don't know.  I have absolutely no clue.  I just know that I want them and if they're not present, I'm just....really going to be disappointed with the game.  Don't do this to me, Ubisoft.

I feel like asking this game to not just be a cover-based shooter at this point is moot, but goddamnit, I can hope

Sunday, May 11, 2014

This is Hilarious and Adorable

I would do a big post tonight but searching for news has proved poor, my gaming habits have not changed and it is storming, so I do not have a whole lot of time on the computer since the power could go out at any point.  (In fact it did, I'm posting this from a draft.)  So I was recently shown this and I really enjoyed it and felt like sharing.

Something bigger tomorrow for sure!

okay, I don't even play Smash Bros. anymore, but I still got the joke and it made me fucking laugh

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wow, That Got Big

Tomodachi Life is a game that Nintendo announced not too long ago that is...well, more than a little hard to explain.  It gets even harder if you actually watch the video included above, but it also elucidates that difficulty that I bear.

Put simply, Tomodachi Life is a Life Sim that uses your Miis (well, you have to make them in the game, it doesn't just pull them, I don't think) to create the living, breathing element that "Life Sim" implies.  It's like The Sims with full Automation, because your Miis will live out their own life without needing you to tell them to brush their teeth or go to sleep.  Instead, important things (or, you know, less so) will be asked to you for your input every now and again.  Along the way, a ton of zany shit happens.  If that wasn't obvious already.  Basically, it is in every way a light-hearted, whimsical game that means only to entertain.

Which is why it's a little odd that it was found dead-center of a rather extreme and heated debate about really important issues.

A rather large part of Tomodachi Life, being a Life Sim, is the ability for your Miis to marry one another.  Like The Sims, this will usually lead to having a child, and in Tomodachi Life, this child can hop around from your version of the game to others over Street or Spotpass, I believe.  However, it quickly surfaced that this was only possible with heterosexual couples and, indeed, such a coupling was the only one possible in the game itself.  Fans took to Twitter to ask Nintendo of America to add Homosexual coupling to the game for the Western Release and the whole thing could have just ended there.  It really did not have to snowball to just where it ended up, but, well...
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life," a Nintendo of America representative said in a statement to the Associated Press. "The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary."
I want to know just what part of that they thought was a good idea.  Like, on a basic, simple level, how does "Can you add homosexual orientations to the game?" elicit a response that is basically, "Woah, hey wait, we're just trying to localize a fun game here, we don't need to muddy it up with shit" and someone went "Yeah, that works."?  That's just poor decision making, pure and simple.  It is clearly not the right way to handle the situation, and it's a little disappointing that it went down that way.

I would like to sidebar here for a moment and say that, on the whole, I'm not really a fan of Internet Activism.  The goals are generally, inherently noble, yes, but the methods and the execution of being heard is usually not.  Nor is it usually pleasant.  More often than not, the common person walks away from the entire experience with a -negative- opinion on the whole of it because it all devolves into a shouting match between people on their respective high horses.  Harken back to the Dragon's Crown debacle, where a simple argument over some admittedly eyebrow-raising sections turned into "THE GAME PROMOTES RAPE CULTURE" versus "IT'S FUCKING ART" and neither side was willing to budge because the sides were simply too extreme from one another, destroying any and all middle ground that could've been discovered.  It became a cesspool, to be frank.

The sad thing is that the argument resumed by Tomodachi Life is far bigger than the game and honestly didn't need to be as laser-focused on it as it was.  I blame the majority of that on NoA's original, stupid response.  A lot of the things that the Internet Activists get bent out of shape about are fairly malleable, adhering to a certain set of standards that, while not 'mandatory' to have, many people do have anyway.  Things are in a grey area, I should say, whether it be a real one or an argumentative one.  The issue of homosexual relationships in games where -you- as a person are supposed to be represented by your avatar?  That's easy.  That's binary.  If you are gay, your character should be able to be gay.  Full stop.  Just like if you're a particular race, your character should be able to be that particular race.  It is meant to be -you-, so allow the tools and the options for that to be possible.  It's not a matter of "every game has to have 'the gay character'" or silly bullshit like that (which is actually counterproductive), but just a matter of ensuring you can play you when the developer wants you to play you.

That said, it was never Nintendo of America's battle to be fought, and had their second statement been their first, it would've been that much more obvious and simple.
"Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game's design, and such a significant development change can't be accomplished with a post-ship patch," the statement continues. "We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players."
NoA is simply localizing the game.  They're the ones translating the text and making sure the game plays nice with the different versions of the hardware that are in our region.  They don't have authority or the ability to change entire swaths of the actual game itself and that was obvious from the start.  Tomodachi Life was going to release as-is, and that's not some sort of crime against humanity.  It was never really about Tomodachi Life itself, but rather the larger issue present.  If they would have just said it was out of their hands from the start, people (the sane ones, anyway) would have shrugged and either said "That's reasonable, we'll just see next time, I guess" or went "That's reasonable, let's ask Nintendo of Japan about it instead, since they made the game." and it would have just went from there.  Cooler heads would have (likely) prevailed and we would all be the better for it.  Instead, we have the things being said in the comments section of those posts linked in this one and -yes- you should always ignore the comments section as a rule, but good god there is some extraordinary bullshit in there.

Some seem to think that the last part of that second statement, the "if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series" line is a thinly-veiled threat to the tune of no more Tomodachi games being localized.  That is then being levied at anyone who dare say anything about the gay issue as ammunition for a take on the "This is why we can't have nice things" guilt trip.  If that's the case, then, well, so be it.  We have evolved beyond the point where a glaring oversight over something as binary as orientation is 'alright', and it's hard to say whether or not the next game will see a change in that, given that Nintendo is not exactly widely celebrated for flexibility.  Not to mention Japan's views and policies regarding same-sex marriage, which aren't nearly as open as America's are becoming.

None of this is an actual condemnation of the game or Nintendo, really.  A lot of it is just issues regarding circumstance and of an issue that isn't actually directly related to Tomodachi Life beyond the solitary obvious reason that was likely not done out of malice or pettiness.  As such, with it more or less 'resolved', you should certainly pick up the game if it looks to be something that you would enjoy.  I myself am on the fence about it because, while I love quirky, weird shit (as we have established) I'm not too sure on Tomodachi's staying power beyond the initial "oh wow this is sooooo crazy" parts.  When everything is random and silly, it just becomes routine and when that charm is gone, it has to stand on its own mechanics and I'm just not sure -what- mechanics are really present.  Perhaps I'll grab it at some point, however, to find out!

okay, this post was entirely too serious for a game where you can RPG battle a fucking hamburger

Friday, May 9, 2014

Aaand Driveclub Looks Palatable Again

The information contained in the above video is no longer completely true, and that is a very good thing.

In the original Playstation Blog post which shared details of the game, the plan for the Playstation Plus version of the game was finally fleshed out 'fully', which was something that had been...well, not nebulous, but unconfirmed, I should say.  And what we saw was not exactly what we had been lead to believe and, worse, was just not good.
One of the recurring questions we keep seeing is about the scale of the PlayStation Plus Edition. The simple answer is that with an active PlayStation Plus subscription, you can download DRIVECLUB PlayStation Plus Edition, which comes with one location (India), 11 tracks, 10 cars and access to all game modes.


We think you’ll have a lot of fun playing DRIVECLUB once it launches on October 7th, digitally via the PlayStation store and on Blu-ray at your local retailer. If you’re an active PlayStation Plus subscriber and have been playing the PlayStation Plus Edition, but decide you want the full DRIVECLUB experience, you can purchase a one-time upgrade for $49.99. This will give you access to all five locations, 55 tracks, 50 cars and all 50 tour events, as long as your PlayStation Plus subscription remains active.
Emphasis mine.  What it basically boils down to is that you're offered a slice of the game for free if you have Playstation Plus, which has always been the case.  As with other free things attached to Playstation Plus, it is only free if you keep your Playstation Plus subscription active and that is understandable.  All of that is very basic and there is no problem.  However, the rub lies within the portion that says you can upgrade your Playstation Plus version into the full game for a purchase that is only $10 less than the game retails for, but it retains that pesky "Only available while you have Plus" qualifier which is where we all (understandably) freaked out.

I imagine it was there to prevent a de facto $10 discount for Playstation Plus Members (since if it wasn't there, there's literally no reason to buy the base Digital version of it) but that shit just will not fly.  Short term < Long Term, sers, and that is something that everybody has been making clear in the past year or so.  As with those scenarios, the internet went vocal and, again as with the scenarios of late, the internet (and common sense) have won out.  An Update (within the post I already linked) spells it out clearly:
UPDATE: Our priority for DRIVECLUB is to enable you to play and enjoy everything it has to offer and PlayStation recognises that the prior plan for DRIVECLUB entitlement for the upgrade to the PS Plus edition was not appropriate. As a result, we have adjusted the PlayStation Plus terms for DRIVECLUB.
Now, If you intend on downloading DRIVECLUB PlayStation Plus Edition, and upgrading to the full game experience, you will have access to the full game even if your PlayStation Plus subscription runs out.
Emphasis mine again.  This places the Plus version firmly within "Get" territory once again.  It's not hard to convince me to get a Free Game through Plus (the "Free" part generally does it), but I was more or less considering skipping it completely.  Not because I was totally outraged (though I was very annoyed with the decision) but because I just don't like Racing Games, so it does not take much to dissuade me away from one.  Telling me that I can get a game and then -buy- it, but not have access to it for a set of reasons that is very easily undergone is a very nice way to do that, however.  Thankfully, that is not the case.  That means I'll give it a shot provided it's not like a ridiculous size that will require me to spend like four days downloading it.  Who knows, maybe I'll even like Driveclub!

probably not, it's a racing game after all

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Can Dig It

I had always worried that my purchase of Terraria on Vita would never see the update to the 1.2 content that was released for PC around the same time which basically turned the game into something far larger than the already expansive confines the game offered.  There was multitudes of new -everything-, and indeed, it was one of those things that threatened to turn the game into an entirely different one.  A game that I would never get to play (until I got myself a proper PC, which is still on the agenda because shit is expensive) and one that I really -did- want to play.

Thankfully, the 1.2 content was always promised to us on non-PC platforms, it was all just a matter of time.  And not too long ago, we did see that patch finally.

As expected, Terraria feels almost entirely different.  The trappings are the same thus far - you still want to establish shelter and dig down, you still want to summon the Eye of Cthulhu as soon as possible, and you still want to work towards finding the Corruption (or the Crimson) and destroying Shadow Orbs to spawn the Eater of Worlds. (or their equivalents)  You'll go through new biomes (The Ice biome is especially nice) and improved ones (the Jungle biomes are -incredibly- different) as you do it, but that's still priority one, since that is how you get the Nightmare/Deathbringer (again, dependent on Corruption or Crimson) Pickaxe, which you need to mine Ebonstone, Hellstone and Obsidian, which will naturally impede your progress.

Unfortunately, this is sort of where I'm stuck.  My world has the Corruption, which means the Eater of Worlds, and it has only two spawn conditions.  The first is by breaking three Shadow Orbs (which is repeatable) which will force it unto the world for you to fight and conquer.  I attempted this, and came to discover that the Eater of World has been buffed (I swear it has been) and thus my first attempt met with nothing even approaching success.  Humbled, I sought out better armor, more health and a lot of healing potions, thinking I could certainly best it a second time. 

I could not, and this presented something of a problem.

You see, there are only so many Shadow Orbs in a given world.  They do not respawn.  Thus, once you have broken them all....well, that's it.  Fini.  I am not sure if I have reached this point, as I have to mine with bombs to continue further (or buy purification powder, but bombs are so much more bomby) and actively search for other ones.  Though, there is meant to be that second method of summoning, and it is one that I looked into quite heavily.

All it requires is an item called Worm Food.  Worm Food is made of Vile Powder and Rotten Chunks, the latter of which are dropped quite easily from the Eater of Souls monsters that fly about the Corruption constantly.  Vile Powder, on the other hand, requires Vile Mushrooms that you refine into the powder at an Alchemy Station.  Nothing could be more innocent, as the Vile Mushrooms grow naturally in the Corruption and plentiful, though you can even make a quick and easy farm for them.  I did this, as I wanted Vile Mushrooms, and I wanted them yesterday.  It was with this that I discovered there was something very, very wrong.

All patches have a tendency to wreck things moreso than fix them, we know this, and it's especially prevalent in games that are so open like Terraria or Minecraft or the like.  This is the case with Terraria, as the 1.2 Content update for Consoles included a multitude of bugs which are currently being sussed out.  One of these bugs?  "Vile Mushrooms cannot be harvested."

This is the impasse that I'm more or less at if I cannot find more Shadow Orbs.  In truth, it makes me worry about the validity of my world post-patch, even, as I wonder just how much of it -can- be fixed (since there are tons of other issues that I hadn't even gotten to yet due to my single focus of getting past the EoW) and the fix for these types of scenarios tend to be "Make a new world". loathe to do this, as my current world houses a "Heaven/Hell Tower" (unfortunately, it is not made of Rock) that extends from the top of the world (as seen at the top of this image) and goes as far down as I can get so far, as Obsidian stands in my way.  It took a lot of effort that I am not particularly invested in reinvesting should that become necessary.  Though I suppose I -will- always have it.  In a...half-functioning world, should it come to the worst scenario.

There are worse things, I guess.

but no, if I didn't make it clear, Terraria with the 1.2 content is so fun you guys

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire Remakes Announced, Water is Wet

Well, nobody saw this coming.

It was inevitable; Pokémon remakes are the kind of things you can just expect now, except that they've kind of ran on it a little fast because unless they release a 3DS successor in the next couple years (they better not) we'll see a Diamond/Pearl remake on 3DS or they'll just wait until the next handheld iteration.  Which will probably be a while away still.  Hopefully.  And then they'll have to wait a couple years later for an Black/White redo, which is really weird to think about right now, with Black/White (and their sequels) so fresh in the mind.

My point on this is more or less exactly where it was: This is not a bad thing, but Ruby/Sapphire was a bad Gen.

Instead of retreating that, I suppose I should talk about -other stuff- involved in it.  Everything is speculation, since Nintendo only saw fit to announce it with nothing accompanying it because that's great.  The idea is obvious that it'll be done in X/Y's visual style which will be nice, especially if they really trick out the perspectives again.  It'd definitely help give Hoenn a bit of a new feel and edge which it could do well with.  Not that the Hoenn region was bad, but a visual overhaul could -only- end well for it, is what I'm saying.  Which I guess is a backhanded compliment in a sense but oh well.

What's unfortunate about the speculation is that Nintendo unintentionally (I would imagine) added a lot of fuel to the fire with the scant couple sentences they decided to add to the reveal.  If there's anything I think of when a remake is announced, the phrases "An Epic New Adventure is Coming!" and "Explore a Dramatic New World!" are, you know, not....among them.  It seems unnecessary, but there are three potential reasons for it.

  1. Mistranslation.  This one seems the least likely.  Nintendo is pretty good about localizing things, so imagining that the phrases should've been something that excludes "New" and instead goes for "Reimagined" and "Dramatically Altered World" or something of that nature seems like something that wouldn't have happened.
  2. Misdirection.  "Well, it's a new adventure to someone!  And with the new camera angles, it's like a whole new world!"  Yeah, no.
  3. New Content.  This one is probably it, honestly.  Fire Red and Leaf Green offered quite a lot of new content for the post-game, and they might be going that route with Ruby/Sapphire.  If they offer a new arc post-game of that sort (which would then alter the Elite Four as it did in FR/LG) then that would definitely be an Epic 'New' Adventure in a "Dramatic New" World.
Seeing some new post-game content to Ruby/Sapphire's remakes would be very nice, as Pokémon games in general have been lacking in Post-game for some time now.  Why that is, it's hard to tell, since that seems like the easiest thing to think about, but offering three or four towns of absolutely no consequence with nothing to do in them but serve as stopping points between catching new pokémon that are only held back for 'reasons' (as was the case with Black/White) does not a post-game make.  Of course, that's all poison in the well thanks to Gold/Silver which had the most robust area of post-game content by far, which has been the exception and not the standard.  That said, the wording means that it still won't be as rich as a full return to a former region, as the former regions are not 'New' for the same reasons that an improved Hoenn is not 'New'.  Hoping for something of bulk and substance, however, is about all I have.

I don't like myself for it, but I will be getting one of these games.  I -generally- get the first one of the pair, thus Omega Ruby, but....well, I just really like blue, so I might be grabbing Alpha Sapphire.  Either way, I'll be getting my Pokémon on again this November provided I don't have any other gaming to do.  Because I just might.  Okay, I definitely will and it'll be on my Vita.  But I can make Pokémon time.

hopefully the extra content entails tracking down Team Magma and Team Aqua and murdering a Pokémon battle

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Too Did Not Suspect a Thing

I don't make a lot of Blind Faith purchases.  That's usually reserved for XSEED titles and the odd Vita game that I -don't- look extensively into by virtue of being a Vita game.  I had no interest in Octodad: Dadliest Catch in the weeks prior to its release, even despite hearing all sorts of praise and excitement for it in that time.  I admit to a little curiosity, but I never really looked into it at all - it was just a thing that existed right beyond my periphery, and I made no real effort to change that.  Then the day came and it released.  There was a Week-One Digital Discount on it for Plus Members, and that, of all things was what made me stop and think about it for a moment.

"Mogs, you -love- weird and quirky shit.  Octodad is literally the weirdest, quirkiest thing you've seen in a while.  And it's on saaaaaaaaaaale."  It didn't take much convincing.

I'll say it now - Octodad: Dadliest Catch is one of my favorite Blind Faith purchases I've made in recent memory.

It doesn't just look like the weirdest, quirkiest thing I've seen in a while, it -is- and it's -glorious- for that fact.  The premise is that you're an Octopus who, one day, just decided that it wanted to be a human being, so it took measures towards that and eventually found a nice woman, settled down, married her and had two kids.  So now he has normal, everyday things to do, except he is an octopus, so doing them is, er, rather difficult.  Therein lies the gameplay element of it.

Now, you would think that basing the gameplay around something awkward is an aggressively bad idea and with a lot of developers, you would be correct.  However, Young Horses (the developer) struck a perfect balance between difficult and hilarious for this.  During my introduction to the game, I meandered through the 'arm' tutorial with a grin on my face - it's awkward, at least a little bit, but it works and the silliness of the intro was still working on me.  However, the walking tutorial is where I lost it.  Few games have ever made me go, "Oh you are fucking kidding me!" in a voice that was full of glee and incredulity and mirth.  Usually it's done so with pure, unadulterated rage.  Not Octodad, however.

Two steps.  It took two steps before I began laughing and felt something akin to love for the game.  It was swift but not fleeting and it was decisive.  It was something that manifested over the course of the (disappointingly short) length of the game, and it's specifically why I would recommend it.

Describing the game is difficult, because it's a difficult game to wrap your mind around.  It's different.  Actually getting where you want to go is about 80% of the gameplay because of the way you maneuver, but saying that calls to mind a vision of frustration that I do not intend to draw, because it's deceptively amusing.  It is, quite simply, fun.

Were I hard-pressed to find fault with it, it would simply be that there's not enough Octodad to satisfy.  I needed another section or two to play to enjoy, as I found myself wanting when it was over.  Were there any game that would benefit from a Level Editor, it would be this game.  Yes, the community would by and large go to the inevitable place it always goes by making 'Super serious' skill challenge levels, but there would be the gems aside from those that introduce new and fun ways of thinking about the already enjoyable game, and it would have just added more.  Would have given you reason to play it longer than the 3-5 hours you'll invest in the game, likely including the time spent collecting all the ties should you desire that.  As it is, you'll want to beat the story, perhaps redo it for trophies if you are so inclined (As I am) and only come back to it everytime you want a little giggle.

It's not a bad thing, and indeed, wishing there were more of a game is more or less an indicator of its quality.  Perhaps some day we'll see more Octodad and on that day I will be there waiting with money in my outstretched hand tentacle hand.

oh, I mean Octodad is a totally normal human being, disregard most of this post

Monday, May 5, 2014

Once More, With Feeling

So, my last attempt to kick the blog back into shape was an impressive failure for some very obvious reasons.  The first was that I was still pretty much depressed (though to be fair, I still am, but I've found a new way to manage it) and the second, biggest and glaring reason was that I thought a setup wherein I try to cover, what, two months-worth of posts in about two weeks? was a good idea.

It was not a good idea.  It was a very bad idea.  I do not recommend it.

I very quickly became paralyzed with the enormity of the task, as I literally invited onto myself the sensation of drowning in work, responsibility and obligation and it just killed all my ability to actually just sit down and write anything as a post.  My lack of attention span and focus didn't help either, but that's more of a secondary thing than anything.  As a result, as you can tell, my ability to write anything shot right to hell, scuttled my confidence and set me back another month, which, when you already have those feelings described before, it just starts to feel cumulative.

There has to be a point where it ends, though, and that's tonight.  And if you would believe it, Octodad: Dadliest Catch had a hand tentacle hand in helping me with that.

So we're going to go with a far more sensible plan.  I'm going to get back into things, trying to post every night, and dealing with the big gap in content when I can.  Some posts are going to be written as if on that date, since I have a lot of posts -started-, but other posts are going to be written explicitly 'from the fuuuuutuuuuuureeeee' and just post-dated to an appropriate date.  It feels like 'cheating' and I suppose that's because it is, but oh well.  I just want to write, and that's what I'm going to do.  These posts will all be funneled through the Comeback Tour Hub as before, which I'm going to make a widget for in the upper right corner of the blog.  Probably just titled what it is and then listing the latest update date so you know when there's new stuff to pick up and look at.  It's going to be purely when I can manage it, though.

Things will start up tomorrow with a piece on Octodad of some sort.  Not quite sure -what-, but it's going to happen.  Nobody will suspect it.

okay seriously this time, it's all good dudes

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Kupowered Come-Back Tour!

So, I've been gone and that sucks and I've been working on coming back.  Easiest way to prove that, however, coming back.  So that's what I'm doing!  I'm going to use this post as a sort of Mega-Post (since all my posts that are going to fill in the gap will come before this one, meaning it'll be at the top of the list) to keep an update log of what posts go up and when until I'm fully caught up.  As such, just check back every other day or so to see if there's been another Wave posted and read at your leisure!  I think it's a good idea, at least, and it'll help you, the faithful reader, keep up as I work through this silly process.

Remember that I'm going to be posting these updates in waves so I can -actually- catch up, but I will be spacing them out a day or so in an attempt to keep from triggering spam flags or anything of the sort.  Because that wouldn't do, to come back and have to deal with that sort of nonsense.

Anyway, thank you for your patience and for sticking around - hopefully when I get back on track for real, you'll still be around as well.

Game of the Year Stuff - Wave 1 - March 4th

January 27th - My Games of 2013, Not the Top 10
January 28th - My Games of 2013, Not the Top 5
January 29th - My Games of 2013, Not the Top 2
January 30th - My Games of 2013, The Runner-Up and the Winner
January 31st - My Games of 2013, The Games That Weren't My Games

never thought this would be how I did a hub post, but oh well, whatever works

Friday, January 31, 2014

My Games of 2013, The Games that Weren't My Games

2013 was packed with quality games and while I only made a list of twenty (only, ha) I played a few more games than that and had my interest on others still, all of which got left off my GotY consideration for one reason or another.  As I've done in the past, this last post is to show off the games that didn't make it on my list proper and offer reasons (or, in some cases excuses) as to why they just didn't grab me since I -want- to talk about them in some fashion, but without playing them or without really enjoying them, it makes it a little hard.  A few of the games will make more sense as to that disconnect, so hopefully that'll help clear things up.  Regardless, this one's going to be a little meaty because there were a lot of pass-overs this last year.

Assassin's Creed IV:  Black Flag

I didn't play Assassin's Creed 4 last year for the same reason that I never played any of the previous Assassin's Creed games on the year they were released (save for maybe the original) - I just wait until they're on sale for $20/30 or in "Cheap Christmas Gift idea" range.  It's not that I don't like the Assassin's Creed games, as honestly I have a fondness for them, but rather I walk away from each and every one of them wanting.  Wanting what, I'm not sure of as it's certainly not more, but the games just seem to lack a certain something that I can't quite pin down and that's what keeps me from enjoying them anywhere near as much as the vast majority of others seem to.
With AC4 being hailed as "the most fun one yet" and whatnot, it was certainly alluring, however, especially with the knowledge that it was pretty good on PS4.  I still don't have one, of course, but it would undoubtedly be a good get and perhaps when I -do- pick up 4 it will indeed be on PS4.  Still, the knowledge that I would have to power though 3 first (and yes, I -would- have to, I'm one of those people) is daunting and certainly keeps me at bay, especially since Ubisoft has never released a 'Complete' version of 3 as I assumed they would.  Which is...very annoying, as the Tyranny of King Washington was something I was -really- interested in, but I'm certainly not going to throw down for it separately.  Still, there's no real rush and AC4 will always be there when I'm ready, which I daresay I can look forward to.

Saint's Row 4

This one....this one is almost painful, really.  Saint's Row is a series I have always respected, but have never gotten into because of the lack of ability to play the first one and yes I understand that's silly, shut up, not to mention the...lack of attention the port of Saint's Row 2 saw.  So I always sort of figured that when/if I ever got a 360 I'd dig into the series there since I could do a straight-shot, but that has become less and less appealing as time wears on.  And it became -especially- unappetizing as I realized more and more that I really, really want to play Saint's Row IV.  So really, I think a trip through Stilwater and Steelport are in my near future (as I own 2 and have 3 as a downloadable title...which means I'll just buy the disk anyway because I can't download it) in preparation for IV, because I really want to play another superhero game and I've heard nothing but good things for IV.

Tales of Xillia

This was another case of "I want to play the game before it (in this case, Tales of Graces F) before I dig into it" and that has gone about as well as every other instance of this particular problem.  I.E. Not very.  I've heard the mechanics in Xillia are much better than Graces, which would be my excuse for that particular line of thinking, but I've also been urged to eschew Graces for Xillia for the short-term pleasure of it.  I might just do it, too, because it's not like there's even a hint of over-arching story between the two games, and thus, I'm clear to jump into Xillia if and when I want to.  But throwing a long, sprawling RPG into my PS3 at this point is a dangerous prospect with Lightning Returns on the horizon, which I imagine will handle that duty quite well.  Or at least I'm hoping as much because I want to like Lightning Returns.  Still, Xillia is something that will get played sooner or later, especially since I -believe- the male protagonist punches things and, well, you all know my stance on -that-.

Bioshock Infinite

While just about every other game has a fairly complex reason behind why I didn't play it this year, Bioshock Infinite is fairly simple.  In all honesty, I don't know that I -will- play Bioshock Infinite, despite it being Game of the Year in the eyes of many and an awesome game in its own right (even if not GotY) in many more.  The issue here is that that's the same thing everyone said about the original Bioshock, and I couldn't stand that game.  There was simply some things in the mechanical and technical design of the game that I thought were seriously under-thought and poorly executed and if the story hadn't been what it was or the core of the gameplay hadn't been as interesting, it probably would've been pointed out and panned.  More to the point, I don't think Irrational Games has evolved -beyond- that design from what I've heard, and I'm really not interested in a game where "Hard" means "The sliders went left and right" in terms of health, damage and resource consumption.  Maybe I'm wrong on that and maybe I'll find out some day.  But last year offered none of those days.

Ni no Kuni:  Wrath of the White Witch

Ni no Kuni, like Tales of Xillia, had the problem of being a big, sprawling RPG at a time when I didn't have the time to go through a big, sprawling RPG.  (Also known as 'all the time')  I picked it up the first time I managed to see it because I (incorrectly) assumed it would become a rare item in short order, but I do believe I've seen it in stores almost every single time I've been to one since, so that wasn't a worry that I had to make.  Regardless, who would've expected that one?  I think my line of reasoning was perfectly thought out.
I've heard good things about the game, of course, and it's definitely something that I want to get into, it's just the matter of being able to do so.  I also believe that I want to get a bigger TV than the one I currently have to be able to fully appreciate the beauty that the game is prepared to offer me.  Because if nothing else, it -does- have that, and my dinky little TV that I've had for years probably isn't going to cut it.

DmC:  Devil May Cry

I sort of fell out of Devil May Cry with 4, having never actually tried it, so when the new one was announced in the way that it was, I felt fairly safe in continuing to stay away from the series.  I then continued to safely ignore it all the way until it was released and found out that it was actually really good and it was like a punch to the gut.  'Son of a bitch!' I said.  'Now I'm going to have to consider DMC 4 again!'  Or I can do the smart thing, ignore 4 and go right to DmC because 1) It's a reboot anyway and 2) It's a game that I really want to play.  It's the game I want to play because it seems like it's very, very fluid and fast and I want to get into that sort of game more and more ever since my dip into REVENGEANCE which is really my -best- exposure, I think.  I play a lot of action games, of course, but I've skipped a lot of the 'important' ones (like Bayonetta, something that will be remedied -eventually-) and the ones I do play, I don't feel like I ever take the time to try and master them, but merely do well enough to get by.  That's something of a skill that I want to get into, and DmC seems a good place to start.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

This one.....this is the one that hurts.  I -own- Far Cry 3:  Blood Dragon.  I downloaded it and everything.  I can play it whenever I want and I don't remember, but I might have had downloaded even before voting.  But I just didn't play it.  I still -haven't- played it.  And I don't really know why.  Blood Dragon seems like it's a game that was explicitly made -for- me, because I loved Far Cry 3's mechanics and I love crazy, batshit absurd things and that is precisely what Blood Dragon is.  Like, to a T.  Blood Dragon is is Far Cry 3 grew a gigantic mouth and ate the entire 80s and a neon factory and goddamnit, I would be all about that.  I think the only reasonable explanation is that I'm waiting for a good break between two games that I have to play to play this since I'll need to take my time with it.  Hopefully if I finish with Lightning Returns before the Stick of Truth comes out...but I doubt that very much.

The Legend of Zelda:  A Link Between Worlds

As a forewarning, the rest of this post is all 3DS games and I guess that's kind of a good thing and a bad thing for the system in a sense.  Good that I considered so many games and bad that I never got around to them or, in the case of three of them, I just didn't really care for them.  However, The Legend of Zelda:  A Link Between Worlds was the former case, so there is that.  When the game was announced as a direct sequel to A Link to the Past, I was skeptical as hell because LttP is my favorite Zelda game of all of them and I wasn't about to accept anything less than its grandeur.  If you listen to the reviews, they'll tell you that it managed to match those peaks, but I'm still unconvinced because I just don't like the looks of it.  Or something.  I haven't pinned it down, but I look at the game and just feel something off with it, feel like there's something contained within it that I simply will not enjoy.  I'll find out someday, of course, because it's a Zelda game and if I don't buy a goddamn Zelda game when I have a 3DS, what else am I going to get?  Regardless, I'm still wary and I don't think that will be abated until I've managed to put time into it for myself.

Hometown Story

I'm sure the faithful readers of the blog noticed the hype-filled lead-up to Hometown Story's release in which I assumed I was pretty much the -only- person excited for its release and simply couldn't wait to get my hands on it because I expected a wonderful experience akin to Harvest Moon.  I'm sure they also noticed that Hometown Story released and I said not a word about it following that event.  That is because Hometown Story is probably my Disappointment of 2013, right up there with the whole of God of War: Ascension and the actual gameplay design of The Last of Us.  I was just expecting...something from Hometown Story and I did not get it.  It's flat, it's lifeless and it's utterly without charm because of those previous two descriptors.  I wanted a game that didn't handhold you at all (like Harvest Moon) but was incredibly deep and rewarding in spite of that, and found something that was just incredibly shallow and under-thought.  Is it possible that I simply didn't delve into it enough?  Possible - I played it for a little while and just -nothing- was happening, so I stopped - but I highly doubt it.  It just....feels like a proof-of-concept or a beta or something, and I really, really wanted more than that, which is highly unfortunate.

Shin Megami Tensei IV

Shin Megami Tensei IV is the other game that I simply didn't get around to in one fashion or another last year.  I bought it Day One - got the limited edition with the art/strategy book and everything - but it's sat lingering in my game drawer with the rest of my meager 3DS collection since the day I bought it and I've only briefly considered pulling it out and having a whack at it.  The SMT games are...a bit intimidating to attempt because of the reputation the series has in being rather unforgiving and difficult and though IV appears to be the least challenging thus far, it's still noted as being punishing at the start which is precisely what makes it a difficult thing to get into.  Not to mention, my 3DS was more or less monopolized with Animal Crossing, Rune Factory 4 and Senran Kagura Burst, pushing out even Harvest Moon:  A New Beginning and the last 'proper' 3DS game that I've yet to get to included in this list.  SMT IV will get some play time of course, but like every other game in this list (well, most of them) it's all just a matter of -when- because I am unfortunately not made of time.

Fire Emblem:  Awakening

Ask just about anyone with at 3DS and they will likely tell you that Fire Emblem:  Awakening is a must-have title for the platform.  By all accounts, the game is apparently one of the best ones that the 3DS library has to offer.  I didn't see it.  I wanted very desperately to like Fire Emblem:  Awakening, to enjoy it whole-heartedly because it's a Strategy game and I just don't have enough good ones of those in my life.  Final Fantasy Tactics cannot tide me over forever.  I just...didn't, though.  I played battle after battle and found it more demoralizing than anything else - even playing on the easy mode where there's no perma-death, I'm simply confounded as to how you're expected to -survive- maps with all your characters intact, and I certainly understand that you're not given new units easily, so it merely appears as a game of diminishing returns to me.  I get that it's -not-, but I simply cannot corroborate that with what I actually played.

SteamWorld Dig

At first, I was simply convinced that SteamWorld Dig was a game that I just didn't get, much like I didn't get Machinarium.  However, as it went on and on, I feel like I understand the game, I understand what it's about....I just didn't care for it.  SteamWorld Dig, in my viewing, is basically just Terraria with a bigger focus on exploration and no building aspect to it at all.  A big part of the game is dig, dig, digging your way down to get valuable materials and the like, but all you get for your efforts are coins that you use to purchase you can more easily gather materials.  There's also dungeons to be conquered that give you more abilities to facilitate your collection of materials and it all just sort of builds towards you discovering some sort of secret at the lowest, deepest depths of the area.  It's almost paint-by-numbers but with an interesting concept of being able to mine just about anything, and while it plays smoothly and doesn't necessarily frustrate, it just is sort of...there.  I don't understand the amount of people enamored with it, nor do I think it's something I -can- comprehend.  The best I can say is that I didn't hate it, really.

And with that comes the end of 2013's installment of the Game of the Year posts.  Thanks for sticking around through all of them!  2013 was an absolute embarrassment of riches when it came to games if the fact that I still had 12 games to talk about -after- my top twenty, and that was after cutting a few from this post that didn't really have a lot of content to their breakdowns.  It's insane when you stop and think about it, and it's only going to be worse for 2014 thanks to the PS4 coming out.  But it's definitely not a bad problem to have in so many ways.

just so many games, what the hell