Saturday, December 13, 2014

Party Game Sundays: Oops! Prank Party

It may have seemed like I forgot about Party Game Sundays, but I never forget about Party Game Sundays. For some reason the past few Sundays we haven't really been playing any games, and this most recent Sunday we were at a fighting game tournament. Obviously we did not play any party games while we were there. However, I have neglected to write about the last two games we did play.

Before I do that though I wanted to say that I will not be able to write about Party Game Sundays for at least another month. Noukeo will be working every Sunday for the rest of the month, so we won't get to do anything again for a few weeks. With that being said let me tell you about Oops! Prank Party. I absolutely hated it!

Get ready to look at this stupid board a lot!

I'm all for playing a party game with friends. Under the right circumstances I think that even Mario Party is fun. I've been known to enjoy it on certain occasions, but Oops! Prank Party really hit me the wrong way. Any time I see a game board in a video game I instinctively cringe. It generally means that I need to mentally prep myself for bad mini-games and slow moving animations. Sure enough Oops! Prank Party gave me both.

To start off the game had an awesome character creation screen. We took the time to make our characters, but in the end it didn't matter at all. Each time you play a mini-game the losers are "pranked" and are forced to wear some kind of dumb costume, or get a bunch of goo dumped on them. By the second mini-game you can't tell what the hell your character was originally supposed to look like.

Don't bother making a character.

When I say mini-game I use that term very lightly. Sure there were your basic mini-games like racing and bouncing each other around on balls. However, most of the games involved random chance. So many times we had to choose the right chair, or rope and just hope that we picked the right one. That kind of stuff is stupid. I want to play a game, not pray to some RNG god.

So the mini-games weren't amazing, but some of them were okay. They definitely don't explain why I felt so much disdain towards this game. I think my main issue was the fact that everything took so god damn long to happen. The camera has to follow each player individually as they move, it has to show a dumb animation for every space that's landed on, and it takes a stupid amount of time to load. All around there was just so much waiting it made me angry.

Pick the right diving board and win...

The most upsetting part is that there was no pulling pranks on other players like the name of the game promises. If you land on certain spaces you get "pranked" which basically makes you go back a few spaces. You also get "pranked" when you lose mini-games and have to wear silly costumes. What I thought was going to happen was we'd be able to screw each other over in the games and on the board. Instead we got lame mini-games, silly costumes, and a slow moving game with tons of animation.

It's been a few weeks so my anger has subsided, but when we initially played this I was legitimately angered by the game. There were so many opportunities for the game to speed up, but it instead took as long as possible. It didn't help that the mini-games took like 10 seconds each and were mostly random chance. The majority of the game is watching your characters move around the board slowly.

I definitely think that this game will appeal to some people, but for me it was like nails on a chalkboard.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Podcast Episode 4

For the fourth episode I thought it would be best to bring everyone down a bit. Recently I've been noticing how becoming what is theoretically an adult has changed my video gaming habits. If you want to hear about that for about a half hour then I suggest you listen to this. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Welcome to Arcade Assault

Since I finished the Bayonetta Let's Play I've been trying to come up with a new video series. I finally came up with Arcade Assault. For some reason I always force myself to play through arcade mode in fighting games with every single character.

I used to do it in order to unlock characters, and see all of the endings. Sadly arcade endings suck in most games now, and characters rarely need to be unlocked. For some reason I still force myself to do it! For the first game and episode I chose to do classic mode in Super Smash Bros. for Wii-U. There are so many characters to do it with and I need to unlock those sweet sweet trophies!

I recorded the first episode last night, and streamed it as well. I decided that I'll stream smash and put the archives on YouTube, because there are so many characters. When Guilty Gear comes out on  the 16th I'll just be recording myself playing through arcade mode in that. It seems like shorter episodes will be better for most things, but at least for Smash I have so much to get through.

Okay, enough of the introduction. I leave you with the first episode of Arcade Assault!

Game Time - November 2014

I feel like it's been a lifetime since I did the October edition of Game Time. Since that time I have "completed" a let's play and done a whole bunch of streaming. In case you missed me flooding this page with Bayonetta 2 episodes, you can now watch the entire playthrough with the exception of a chapter that got destoryed... Since I posted so much about it on here I won't be taking about it here.

Instead, I will be talking about Assassin's Creed Unity and how it straddles the fine line between being average and terrible. I did however, end up playing two excellent games this month, which were oddly enough both Nintendo games. As you might imagine I played a whole lot of the Wii-U version of smash brothers, but I also miraculously made time to complete Alpha Sapphire!

This month actually made me realize that I'm pretty much an adult now, which is both cool and depressing. I've been thinking a lot about how my gaming habits and time have changed over the last few months, which is why I'm going to be recording a podcast about it tomorrow. So you can look forward to that, but until then it's game time!

Assassin's Creed Unity

The first Assassin's Creed I played was Brotherhood. I watched my brother play through all of the first game, and a college roommate play through most of the second. I ended up really liking it and got hooked on the series. Assassin's Creed 3 let me down a great deal, but I was willing to give the series another go. When Black Flag came out I absolutely loved it, because who doesn't love pirates?

That brings us to Assassin's Creed Unity. Let's just say that just like Assassin's Creed 3 this entry in the series has shaken my faith. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Unity to a certain extent, but it could have been a whole lot better. In fact, it should have been a lot better. A disconcerting trend in modern gaming is that games come out busted and that's not something that should be happening. A lot of games this fall have been totally bunk. Unity wasn't totally busted, but it's certainly not the best.

ohh noo my spine!

The game takes place in revolutionary Paris, so there are tons of people rioting in the streets. With the current generation of consoles Ubisoft wanted to show off how awesome their crowd tech is, so they have the street lines with tons of people. The problem is that every time you run through a crowd the frame rate tanks. For some reason it's not just when there are crowds either it happens frequently. If you can't get the frame rate up with tons of useless npcs on the screen maybe you shouldn't have so god damn many? To make it even worse they claim that the game runs at 900p instead of 1080p to keep the frame rate up. What the hell was it like at 1080p!?

That's only the tip of the iceberg. I had some npcs half into the world, and a corpse fly away and freak out on me. That's the normal kind of jank I expect from an open world game though. My friend Noukeo actually fell through the game world multiple times, and that's a bug that's being reported very frequently. For some reason the faces of characters seem to be melting off for a lot of people too. Ubisoft has issued numerous patches to address these issues, but I've already completed the game, so it's too late for me.

THIS IS IN A SHIPPING VIDEO GAME. OH MY GOD.

It's a real bummer that even if this game ran perfectly it would still be kind of lame. You play as Arno Dorian, who is obviously an Assassin. The overall plot and big bad guy are both pretty lame. There is a lot of good character interaction from Arno and his childhood love, but that's really the best part of the game. You're generally running around assassinating people who are loosely explained by the plot. Since Brotherhood I feel like the plots in these games have been super disjointed with a lot of time skips for no reason. Now that they seem to care so little about the real world plot it's becoming much more apparent.

For some reason I felt like the general gameplay mechanics were worse as well. Personally I didn't like the combat at all. Unity moves away from the free-flow combat and unlimited counter kills of its predecessors in favor of a more challenging system. You can still parry your opponents, but you need to continue hitting them repeatedly. This isn't too bad once you get used to it, it just makes every encounter a chore. It doesn't help that if you have more than two guards on you you're basically toasted. For some reason when you're being ganged up on other guards will run up and just shoot you in the face real quick, which is infuriating. The climbing didn't seem to be as fluid either. I got stuck on geometry way more in this game and had a much harder time jumping where I needed to.

At least the glitches are funny?

To be fair to Unity it tried really hard to be good. The assassination missions in the past few games basically involved running up to a guy, fighting 500 guards, and then just walking away. In Unity they're at least a bit more elaborate. You need to get into locations, which have set entrances and exits. There are events to help you out if you complete them. Sadly the assassination missions alone weren't good enough to make me like Unity.

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Since Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby came out the same night as Super Smash I wasn't planning on playing right away. However, I couldn't resist the allure of reliving my Sapphire nostalgia. I still have very vivid memories of playing the original on Gameboy Advance. I was so into the game that I hid my progress report from my parents, because I knew they wouldn't let me play for a while. I had a 40 in math at the time, so I got the brilliant idea of hiding it behind the couch. It worked out for around a month, but I forgot I had hidden it and my mom found it while cleaning. So I was able to beat Sapphire, but I ended up not being able to play any video games for over a month. It was totally worth it.

I've always liked the Pokemon series, but I think Ruby and Sapphire were where my love of the series solidified. Before they were fun distractions, but my obsession truly started with Ruby and Sapphire. One night a few weeks ago before I went to bed I decided to start Alpha Sapphire, and I couldn't stop. I have now completed the main story and am on the cool new post game story.

Mega Blaziken is pretty awesome.

In case you were wondering it's basically the same old Ruby and Sapphire from back in the day, but now it has hot 3d graphics like Pokemon X and Y. That doesn't mean it's exactly the same though, there are quite a few new interesting features. The first being that Pokemon actually appear in the grass. So if you're in the grass a shadow of a Pokemon will appear. If you sneak up on it by walking slowly you'll fight it. These hidden Pokemon are generally stronger than the ones you'll randomly find in the grass. You can actually search for pokemon you've run into in the grass as well, and the more you come into contact with them the better they will be.

I try to force myself to go through every game with Pokemon caught entirely during my playthrough. This time I was lucky enough to get two shinies. The first is the shiny Beldum, which everyone can get through wifi from Nintendo. The second is a shiny Magikarp, which came up on my first attempt to fish in the game. I really wanted a Gyrados to go through the game with, so now I have two shiny Gyrados'.

Secret bases are probably my favorite part of the new games.

I wish I had more to say about the game. It's an excellent recreation of the original games. Secret bases are awesome and make their triumphant return. I don't know it's Pokemon. I thought this would be the one that finally made me get sick of Pokemon, but it wasn't. As long as Nintendo keeps putting them out I'll keep buying them.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii-U

My level of hype for this game was unbelievable. The night it came out I was planning on staying up all night and streaming it, but that didn't end up working out. For some reason my local Gamestop didn't receive the Gamecube controller adapters, so I couldn't play locally with Noukeo. So instead we were sitting in my house playing online, so that we could both use our Wii-U game pads. Using a wii-mote is awful for smash. I don't recommend it to anyone. Around 4:30 AM I started to feel like my stomach was going to explode, so I ended up going to bed. The following days I played a ton of Smash, but didn't stream very much of it.

So as it turns out I really like Smash on Wii-U. It looks incredible. It still blows my mind that Nintendo puts out games that run in 1080p at 60fps and games on PS4 can't even handle running most games at 30fps! It helps that Nintendo has killer art direction in all of their games.

Princess Peach is my boo! Seriously she's the greatest.

I stopped playing the 3DS version weeks ago, which I now think was a good decision. While the 3DS game is good the Wii-U version is so much better. As I mentioned previously the graphics are amazing. On top of that there's a ton more content. Instead of every stage having two songs they all have a minimum of five, and there are at least extra unlockable songs! Almost any Nintendo song you can think of is in the Wii-U version to enjoy.

The main thing I like about this version is that I can use a Gamecube controller. I know I sound like some kind of weird hardcore Smash player when I say that, but it's really not the case. I find the Gamecube controller to be very comfortable and it's what I'm used to playing Smash with. Unlike the 3DS I'm not worried that I'm going to rip the analog stick off and I feel much more comfortable hitting the buttons with force. I tend to dodge a lot more and shield better when I'm using a Gamecube controller. It shows that Nintendo is trying to understand their fan base, because most companies wouldn't put out a USB adapter for a two generation old controller.

I kill myself with this move all the time.

The new characters in this generation of Smash are all pretty cool. While I think it's lame that the Ice Climbers are gone, new additions like Little Mac, Rosalina, and Mega Man are awesome. I think Little Mac is my favorite newcomer. I've always thought he would be a cool character and I was right! He's super fast, does a ton of damage, and wears a hoodie. He's like the perfect character for me, except that he has the worst recovery ever. Seriously, if he's like three feet away from the stage he can't get back. It's no good for me, especially since I main Peach who has the best recovery ever. Rosalina is cool as well with her little star friend luma. She's super strong as well, but I just don't want to learn how to use both of them in unison in order to maximize damage.

I really like this version of Smash, and I hope to stream more of it soon. One of the reasons I've hesitated streaming Smash is because I don't think I'm very good at it. Sure I can be competitive with my friends, but I don't think I'm amazing or anything. So when I think about the amount of pro players who stream Smash I get a little apprehensive about putting my play out there. Over the past few days I decided that I don't really care about the skill level of the play I put out there. I just want to stream and have fun, which is what Smash is all about. Hopefully you can look forward to more Smash streams in the future.

Ohhh the fighting games!

I was going to apologize for being light on content this past month, but then I realized that I finished an entire Let's Play of Bayonetta 2, streamed a bunch of Spelunky, and made a whole bunch more videos. I think the fact that I work a shitty retail job has made the past three weeks seem much longer than they actually were.

However, now that it's December I'll have quite a bit of content. I'm going to be streaming as much Smash as I can in my free time. Then once Guilty Gear Xrd Sign comes out on the 16th I will be playing that as much as humanly possible. If you have ever wanted to see terrible Guilty Gear play, then this will be your premiere source for just that!

I've definitely been slacking in the podcast department, but this month I'll have at least two. I will definitely be recording one tomorrow and then later in the month Noukeo and I will be doing a game of the year podcast. I'm trying my best to get content out there and I'm having a lot of fun doing it.

It's been fun, see you guys next time!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let's Play: Bayonetta 2 is Over

So, it turns out that Let's Plays aren't the best format for the way I play video games. I like to binge play games. With a Let's Play I had to stop and render videos after every chapter, which vastly slowed down the way I played Bayonetta 2. If I ever do anything like this again I'll probably just stream large chunks of me playing a game and then export it to YouTube.

I made a huge dump of episodes today, so that I could finish the series up. Sadly there were some technical difficulties though. The 14th episode mysteriously has no commentary, so that's just game audio. I am kind of against re-recording and making the same reactions again, so I left it as it was.

As if that wasn't annoying enough the 15th episode was not watchable. The video file freaked out halfway through and the frame rate halved. So you'd get to the end of the video in terms of audio, but it was only half of the actual video... Needless to say that wasn't something I wanted to upload. So I just left it out completely. It's the 14th chapter of the game, so if you want to see a mech punch stuff you can find that.

I liked Bayonetta 2 a lot, and I'm happy to post the entire playlist here so I can stop flooding this page with individual updates. Thanks!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1 Tracks

Yesterday the first pack of Mario Kart DLC came out. It came with four new karts, three new characters, and 8 new tracks spread across two cups.

I created two videos, one for each cup in order to showcase the new stages and their amazing music. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let's Play: Bayonetta 2 - Episode 10

In this episode the story really starts to draw me in as we fight a floating blue guy. In all seriousness though there are important plot points in this one that relate to both Loki and Bayonetta's past. It was awesome.