Nier Automata: It Was Meant 2B

March 1, 2017 2 comments Posted in PC, Playstation & Sony, Video Games

DISCLAIMER: I have finished all endings, and anything you say I’ve missed from later branches is probably just me covering up spoilers for people yet to play the game.

 

The original Nier (which I have written about here in the past) is a game I hold as one of the best examples of the medium in spite of itself. It is a game with a poorly balanced, shallow combat system, graphics many would describe as pig-ugly and a poorly placed quest marker in an early-game mission that caused a number of prominent game reviewers to stop playing right then and there. You may be wondering why I place this game alongside greats like Metal Gear Solid 3 and Super Mario Galaxy. It managed to claw out from its own mediocrity with a storyline and soundtrack somewhat unparalleled in its art form. Despite being cut to pieces (and those cuts really showing) it manages to tell a story that does things only a game could get away with (and even then it didn’t get away with it in the eyes of many), while also managing to have one of the most endearing casts of characters this side of Persona 4. So then, why have I been talking about a different game for nearly 200 words at the start of this review? I simply can’t separate Automata from its predecessor.

(more…)

Gravity Rush 2: Great Daze

January 30, 2017 no comments Posted in Playstation & Sony, Video Games

The original Gravity Rush (or Gravity Daze in Japan), a 2012 PS Vita game later released for PS4, was a pretty divisive game, even within the staff of this very site. Some chose to focus on the somewhat sub-par combat and plethora of loose ends left for a sequel that was not looking likely at the time. Others, like myself, chose to focus on the phenomenal environmental design, wonderfully endearing characters and spellbinding musical score that backed up the joy of falling with the game’s one-of-a-kind gravity mechanic to make it feel like a truly unique experience in a sea of games wider than ever.

(more…)

How Hitman Teaches You

December 9, 2016 no comments Posted in PC, Playstation & Sony, Video Games, Xbox & Microsoft

The first level of Hitman is a truly extraordinary example of teaching the player through just that, play. It frames itself as a training mission for the titular hitman, Agent 47, taking place inside some sort of secret base in a mountain, which presumably houses the rest of the shadowy organisation you’re working for. What they choose to do in the level is to essentially make a very small version of the sort of levels you’ll be experiencing later, condensing everything you can do mechanically in the game into one yacht-sized playground.

(more…)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle: Style Over Substance

October 24, 2016 no comments Posted in Animation & Anime, Books & Comics, Playstation & Sony, Video Games

NOTE: This article contains no future anime spoilers

 

In a vacuum, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a game with almost no merit whatsoever. The 2014 fighting game by CyberConnect2 (developer of the great Asura’s Wrath and not much else good) was released in Japan to fervent hype, receiving a 40/40 from Famitsu (Putting it alongside such greats as Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Nintendogs) and going on to become the best selling game of the year. However I feel this was a mistake on their part, as the game is a steaming pile of horseshit, no matter how much a fan of Hirohiko Araki’s 30 year spanning saga you are.

(more…)

SiIvaGunner: A Gay Old Time

October 1, 2016 no comments Posted in Music, Video Games

If you like video game music there’s a good chance you’re familiar with GilvaSunner, a man from The Netherlands whose YouTube channel nearly six and a half thousand high quality uploads of various pieces of video game music (mostly Nintendo). Some time between the release of Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Wii U, he received two copyright strikes and was forced to stop ripping music until they expired, or lose all of his videos. Following this, he did not upload a video for a year and a half. In his absence, on January 9th, 2016, a channel under the name GiIvaSunner (with a capital I in place of the L) was created by a group of Soundcloud shitposters to post fake video game rips under the guise of the aforementioned Mr. Sunner. The first of these parody rips was one of Battle!(Wild Pokemon) from Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire with the main melody of The Flintstones’ theme, a fun little joke that sounds pretty good. Things soon got out of hand.

(more…)

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 Review: New Bat, Old Tricks

August 15, 2016 no comments Posted in Video Games

Batman is a character who means means a great deal of things to a great deal of people. To me, he represents a beautiful versatility. I love Batman stories on every level of the tonal spectrum, from the campy lunacy of the 1966 film, to the grim and gritty crime story of Year One, to Grant Morrison’s surrealist epic, to the bombastic parody of The Lego Movie, I will probably like most versions of Batman. And so now, where does Telltale’s version fit in?

(more…)

“Should I play FES or Portable?” – Why I think FeMC takes Persona 3 from Good to Great

July 12, 2016 no comments Posted in Playstation & Sony, Video Games

 

I have a great amount of love for Persona and of course the Megami Tensei franchise as a whole, I would say it is without a doubt my favourite RPG series and I can’t see anything overtaking it now or in the future. One of the more popular games in the series is Persona 3, in which you play as a transfer student living in the Iwatatodai Dorms who is dragged into a fight for the fate of the world when you realise you possess the power of the Persona, specifically that of the Wildcard, which allows you to switch Personas at will. You must balance school life and world-saving between the game’s Social Link system, in which you spend time with various main and side characters and the dungeoning side, being a slightly less punishing version of the common SMT press turn system, in which you are rewarded extra turns for exploiting the weaknesses of enemies, but they also get extra turns for exploiting yours. I know it sounds like generic anime nonsense, but it’s good, I swear. One thing people ask about the game is, “Which version should I play? FES or Portable?”. People argue that they both have their pros, from FES’ “The Answer” epilogue to Portable’s, well… portability and their cons, such as FES’ inability to directly control your party members or Portable’s lack of 3D graphics in the overworld, and anime cutscenes being replaced by visual novels. Through dozens upon dozens of threads on the /r/MegaTen board of reddit, no consensus has ever been decided on. To me, at least, the most important element that makes Portable the better game is the option to have your main character be female. You may be thinking, why does that make such a difference? Surely not having a penis doesn’t just take it “from good to great”? Changing all the UI from blue to pink doesn’t make a masterpiece.

(more…)

You Should Play 999

July 1, 2016 no comments Posted in Nintendo, PC, Video Games

999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors is a 2010 visual novel and puzzle game for the Nintendo DS, developed by Spike Chunsoft and it might nearly be perfect. I feel this post will be a bit vague due to spoiler etiquette but I simply had to get the word out.

 

The game’s central premise is that there are 9 people trapped in a sinking ship who are forced to play the Nonary Game, in which the only way to win is to leave through the 9th and final numbered door within the ship. The game has an introductory puzzle as somewhat of a tutorial before you are introduced to the game’s colourful cast of characters, who may at first come off as one-note clichés but a great deal is revealed about them over time making them perhaps one of my favourite casts in gaming bar Persona and the Metal Gear prequels.

(more…)

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard & The Dangling Carrot

June 17, 2016 no comments Posted in Playstation & Sony, Video Games

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE RESIDENT EVIL 7 BEGINNING HOUR DEMO. IF YOU HAVE PLAYSTATION PLUS, I SUGGEST YOU GO PLAY IT INSTEAD OF READING THIS, I THINK IT’S QUITE GOOD.

resident-evil-7-biohazard

This week at E3, Capcom revealed Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (seemingly sometimes stylised as RESIDENT EVII_ or whatever nonsense they think looks cool) along with releasing a demo titled “The Beginning Hour” to PS+ subscribers. The demo starts with you waking up in a deserted house’s living room, the walls are peeling away, the lights don’t work, and a TV is flickering with static and deafening you with white noise. Typical modern horror fare. It gives you a simple objective, or so it seems, “Get out of the house”. But here comes the twist. No-one’s done it. At the time of writing it has been three days since the release of this demo and from what I can see not one single person online has managed to do it. As of now, we have found two possible “endings”. The first involves you finding the key to the front door of the house and attempting to walk out of it, only to be met by a tap on the shoulder and a knockout blow from a seemingly zombified character fans have dubbed “The Family Man” (he is unfortunately not Guile from Street Fighter, as far as we know. Crossover potential, Capcom?) as he utters the sentence now eternally burned into my brain “Welcome to the family, son”. The other “ending” involves you opening the stairs to the attic and answering a phone (curiously situated beside a photograph of a helicopter with the Umbrella logo on it) after which you receive the familiar greeting from the high-functioning zombie dad. This all seems pretty standard until you realise that neither of these ending take nearly an hour to get to. Two other confusing factors are the axe and dummy finger items, both of which seem to do absolutely nothing, which has of course driven certain corners of the internet completely insane, myself included. Add to this mixed messages from Capcom on whether or not they actually do anything and it makes you wonder if this risk was really worth it for Capcom, leading their most die-hard fans to be bored half to death by attempting to use various items on everything in the house they can find. If this ending is patched in then they will have left these scavengers very disillusioned with the game. No-one knows whether or not they’re working towards something, yet they keep going.

 

The situation of course calls to mind Kojima’s 2014 experiment PT, but the key difference is that PT was solved within the day by accident on a livestream. PT was meant to be this grand collaborative scheme, which this might finally be. But right now, we’re waiting to see the rest of this beginning hour.