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.

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-Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne- Review

September 25, 2016 one comment Posted in Playstation & Sony, Video Games

-Demi Fiend’s Bizarre Shine Megan Tense Game FEATURING DANTE FROM THE DEVIL MAY CRY SERIES –

So lately I’ve been playing JRPGs made by Atlus, probably more than a Leaving Cert student should. I originally wanted to talk about Persona 4, then I played Persona 3, then Persona Q and it got to the point where I couldn’t let myself put together a good enough review on Persona 4 or 3 because they were no longer the thing I had the most recent memories with. Hence this review is on the last Atlus RPG I have currently played; Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. (more…)

The wonders of Counter-Strike:Global Offensive

September 12, 2016 2 comments Posted in PC, Video Games

We found this new podcast called Organised Nonsense— so I’ll link it down in the footer if you guys want to check it out. We were on the youtube channel today and my comment got like 69 upvotes or something like that, so it was a pretty small reception, but it was like the coolest feeling ever. I ended up following them on Twitter and stuff, and they all hit me up and they’re talking to me about potentially being friends.

 

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CS:GO is a tactical multiplayer shooter created by Valve with the Source engine. It is the successor to Counter-Strike: Source. It is team work oriented, like TF2 or overwatch, but the similarities to those games end there.

CS:GO is a lot more precise, with higher stakes compared to other team based shooters. When you die, you’re dead for the entire round. 5-6 shots with any weapon will kill anyone. Headshots are a death sentence unless you’ve paid extra for a helmet, and then it’s not exactly a slap on the wrist either, it will permit you an extra shot before dying. Kinda like a first offender’s program or something. Running and Gunning is less viable because when you get hit, it slows down your movement speed very significantly.

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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?

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Graphical settings

August 10, 2016 no comments Posted in PC, Video Games

Graphical settings in games often come with an inadequate explanation, and it can be hard to know what’s best for your setup. Here I’ll attempt to explain various graphical settings, I’ll describe their effect, how they work and what sort of impact they’ll have on performance.

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An Analysis Of Ten The Best Pokémon Types

July 27, 2016 one comment Posted in Nintendo, Video Games

With Pokémon Go after just coming out and taking the world by storm and with the 2016 Pokémon World Championships right around the corner, now more than ever it’s important to put thought into the types of Pokemon you chose along with their Strengths, Weaknesses, and useful applications. This list is not an objective list of “The Top 10 Best Pokemon Types” these are just Types that I personally consider to be strong. You’re free to disagree in the comments below

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“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.

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Arma 3, tight.

July 6, 2016 no comments Posted in PC, Video Games

Lately — ‘lately’ being extra relevant having played till 4 AM last night — I’ve been enjoying Arma 3.
It’s a realistic, near-future millitary strategic FPS. And when I say FPS I mean “first person shooter”, if you actually expect to get several frames per second you should re-adjust your standards.

arma3_screenshot_04Being the first game I’ve had to turn my settings down from max on(I tend to live 3 years behind in the gaming world, for those discounts), it feels weird to think this is a 2013 title. Performance isn’t that bad considering the beautiful graphics and massive scale it achieves, but they can’t be reduced very much — and they shouldn’t be anyway. Having an AyyyMD card coupled with Nvhitleria GameWorks likely doesn’t help.

 

Arma 3 consists of several default maps, and hundreds of community made ones, which along with missions, vehicles and game modes can be browsed in the steam workshop.

Altis(Previously Lemnos), one of the default maps modeled after some meditarian island no one’s heard of(which in reality is 470 km²), is massive at 270 km². For perspective, Skyrim’s map is 39 km², Far Cry 4 46km², GTA V 81km², and The Witcher 3 136km². Thankfully there is a speed up time feature for when you’re walking large distances, but unfortunately and understandably it doesn’t work in multiplayer.

That’s just the largest default though, If you want crashing your pickup truck into a camoflarged wall half way to your objective to be any more annoying, there is an fan-made map modeled after a a slightly bigger meditarian island no one’s heard of


Gameplay

Combat in Arma 3 is highly strategic. Depending on your rank, troops in your squad can be individually commanded or in group to do almost anything you could do yourself(Patch up x, shoot y, pilot z), and to work as a group member by flanking etc.

The AI have their occasional rough moments, but are still very impressive compared to everything else out there, it’s pretty hard to tell AI and player apart, save for the AI’s overly cautious driving and players walking around like idiots.

There is also a High Command, which allows you to order larger squads with less precision through the map. You get cool markers a variety of strategic waypoints, here is a nice imgur story to show what I mean by /u/chowdig

I’ve learned the aim sway and bullet droop intricacies well enough to be much more efficient shooter compared to when I started playing, but what makes a far bigger difference, and determines whether you do a mission with 0 casualities or complete failure is a good strategy — both in planning and in compromise. Arma 3’s realism throws in hundreds of strategic nuances, which sound trivial on paper but are incredibly helpful in good practice, here is a gyfcat of a good strategy making a big difference. eand can be game-changing  with some ambitious creativity and unconventional tactics. Of course there is your standard counter, counter-counter, and counter-counter-counter… flank, enemy funneling etc., but I’m talking about that Ghost Army shit.
For example you could booby trap a friendly parked vechle, detonate when an enemy squad checks it out, have a squad shoot up the reamining survivors and place friendlies in the right place to tear up the inevitable enemy backup.

Convoy coming through the area and you want to hit them with artillery, but it’s too dangerous for a spotter? Set up a claymore or two and fire everything from a safe distance when you hear the explosions.

And you could probably distract a whole army and sneak into the enemy HQ while they try to shoot one of them damn RC quadrocopters too.

When you pull an ambitious plan off it’s very rewarding(Humming along to the A Team’s theme tune after saying “I love it when a plan comes together” is obligatory, else you face harsh reprimandations)

 

The gameplay is very fun for me, but it won’t be for everyone.  The exciting buildup and prepration between battles could be interpreted as long waits. 1 bullet in the wrong place could end you 30 minutes into a mission, which some people may find very frustrating, and you need a pretty good PC to enjoy it to its full potential. I give this a 9/10 because what it tries to do, it does very well, even if what it tries to do is not everyone’s cup of tea. If this seems interesting, I encourage you to check out their pretty site, and if you’re not sure, to use the Universial Try Before You Buy Machine(TM) 😉

 

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.

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-Dissidia Final Fantasy- Review

June 29, 2016 no comments Posted in Playstation & Sony, Video Games

Super Final Smashtasy Brothers was a tad on the nose.

Ever wanted to play a Final Fantasy fighting game? Well here you go. Dissidia Final Fantasy was released for the PSP in 2008. Tetsuya Nomura started the idea off as a spin-off of Kingdom Hearts but decided to use Final Fantasy characters instead since apparently the idea of Disney characters fighting each other wasn’t too comfortable for them. Although the game wasn’t directed by him, Nomura did the designs for all the characters and worked along with the staff to make it appealing to a international audience. Did it work? Well, let’s see.

Warriors of…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Ladies and Gentlemen, even in the realm of Final Fantasy, a fighting game like this is not going to have a plot worth diving into. Not like this game actually knows that, the amount of cutscenes in this game are fucking staggering. From Final Fantasies I to X, protagonists have been summoned by Cosmos (goddess of harmony) to defeat Chaos (the god of discord) and his team of Final Fantasy antagonists. However this war has been continuously repeated. Everytime a side wins the losing side loses the memories they had of the previous battle, take a long nap, and wake up when they are called back to the war. However Cosmos now wants her warriors to find their “crystals” which will give them the power to end things for good. Thus the warriors fuck off to wander around, have a tiny arc that doesn’t mean anything but drags out, get their crystal under convenient circumstances and watch their goddess die at the hands of Chaos. The warriors almost die, live thanks to their crystals, beat the shit out of Chaos and end to war. They return home and the game ends.

That’s skipping over a good deal I know but hear me out, I have quite a good number of reasons for telling the story like this besides it not needing to be in a fighting game. Firstly the story is split into ten main chapters, covering how each warrior gets their crystal. You only need to beat one of these stories to unlock the final chapter. Of course I did EVERY chapter and let me tell you how each arc can usually go.

  1. It’s a poor recreation of the arc that character had in the game they came from.
  2. It’s a arc detailing a underwhelming problem that character has and why we need them to fight their respective antagonist to get resolution. Problems include: Cloud not having a reason to fight, Squall learning how fight on his own….but with his friends (makes the same amount of sense in context), Terra for some reason losing control of her powers at times, Cecil fighting Golbez to prove how his friends make him stronger (ugh this shit sucks).
  3. A story that just has the characters go about, talk shit to the villain, have the villain talk shit to them which somehow gives them doubts, and then they fight after a resolution scene with the character by himself or with his friends.
  4. A poor excuse to overuse bad purple prose every ten seconds and/or repeat what the person just said using different words in a attempt to sound deep.
  5. A combination of the story sets I just mentioned.

Combine all that with the amount of cutscenes there are and you WILL get sick of the fucking story soon after the first chapter you play, especially since there are only 11 locations in the game for cutscenes to happen in. Now I know a lot of people enjoy this story, specifically for the backstory about the gods and how it serves as retelling of the Final Fantasy I story but JESUS it’s a fucking roundabout way of making that story have some kind of connection to this one. The story as expected, leaves nothing to cherish besides a few good cutscenes here and there but the amount of repetition and nonsense and prose and overall NOTHING to the narrative as a whole makes me VERY surprised that Nomura didn’t direct this game. Some of you out there may get some enjoyment out of it, personally I think skipping the story wouldn’t exactly leave anyone missing out on much. Hell, I would only consider the voice acting meh or passable besides a few exceptions; mainly the returning voice actors from other games and Golbez’s fucking awesome voice. Exdeath and Garland are pretty good too with their ham factor but besides them the rest most likely just didn’t get any good voice direction with their characters.

Now the actual fucking game

Dissidia is a 3D fighter with RPG elements. Each character has something that makes them unique and better than others in specific areas. Zidane is great at air combat, Onion Knight can perform light and quick attacks that can chain into more attacks, Cecil has the ability to swap between his paladin and dark knight persona’s for different atatcks, Bartz mimics attacks from everyone with different touches added, and Terra is a powerful spellcaster. That’s only some of the 20 different ways the game lets you fight so there’s bound to be a few out there that you enjoy.

However I said this game has RPG elements for a reason. Half of the trick to winning is having good gear, which follows the rules you’d expect. All your gear can be bought from the shop which is accessible via the customization menu. You can also use materials you get to trade for new items. The shop gets new stock via getting new materials and levelling characters up. The shop also lets characters power up with new materials; this lets them equip weapons from what you own that they normally wouldn’t be able to or increase their equipment slots. We also have accessories which, along with raising stats, also can have their effects multiplied. When you equip a accessory with a yellow-ish ring icon, if you equip items that say things like “When HP is maxed” or “When Level is 1-9” it means that any yellow ring accessories you have equipped will have their effects multiplied when their requirements are met. A good set up of these can really make things go well.

Levelling up does a number of things besides raise stats: You can learn new moves, skills and abilities as well as increasing your SP so you can have more of those abilities and moves on you at once.

In battle characters can lock on with the “L” button and jump/double-jump with “X”. Triangle is used for interacting with the environment, indicated by orange arrows appearing around the character. Using this you can do things like wall-run, grind on rails and dash across large distance. Pressing “R” and Triangle at once will have the character fly quickly towards what they’re locked on to. Circle is used for BRV (Bravery) attacks and Square is for HP attacks. BRV attacks drain the opponents BRV and adds it to your own. HP attacks uses the number of BRV you have to damage the enemy, reverting your BRV back to zero if it connects. When your BRV hits 0 it’ll regenerate to what it was when you started, the speed of which can be altered via different methods. BRV Break is when a BRV attack drains all of a character’s BRV, giving the person that attacked them a Stage BRV bonus. Obviously you don’t want your opponent to have this but when they do its countering time. “R” lets you block a BRV attack leaving your opponent open if you block successfully. Dodging is done by pressing “R” and “X” as well as moving in the direction you need to dodge.

Now if the opponent is close to winning there are ways of tipping the scales (lol).     EX Mode can be activated by pressing “R” and Square when your EX Meter is full. EX Mode gives the character regeneration as well as abilities unique to them but the best part is the EX Burst. Connect a HP attack in EX Mode and press Square again to do a EX Burst. During this you’ll do great BRV damage though this can be increased if you do what the game tells you to during it, which is different for specific characters. FINALLY there are also Summons which can be activated at will or during certain situations depending on whether they’re AUTO Summons or not. They fuck shit up in various ways, like tripling your BRV or swapping it with a opponents. You obtain Summons mainly through story mode so you’ll have to play a great deal of it to get a lot of them.

NOW if that sounds complicated, don’t worry you have the game to give you loads of good tutorials/tips and many battles to try different things out.

Time to move onto the different modes.

Story mode has you pick a chapter and then you go through 5 boards with that character. Each board has you move with DP (Destiny Points not Double Penetration) towards enemies, chests and items. DP is used to get PP and items at the end of each board, you’ll still be able to move without DP but you’ll be missing out on some stuff if you waste it by running from battles and getting DP penalties. Bonus DP can be gained by performing specific actions in battles like winning within a certain amount of time. The main idea of the board is to use your DP wisely so you get some good items by the end of the board. Board Skills are there to help you out too when you get them, which lets you do things like being able to lower the enemies’ health or heal before the fight begins. Its not the most interesting set-up, and its best you play Story Mode in moderation to avoid losing your sanity but the thing is not a lot is unlocked before you beat story mode. Beating this mode in itself can be a chore since the final chapter takes a LOT of levelling and good gear to clear but at least I can pick whatever character I want to play as during that.

Arcade Mode is you taking a pre-set character through a bunch of fights for PP and a couple of items, there’s not much too it even on the unlockable difficulties. Quick Match is self explanatory but since XP is determined by the enemies HP you can do some neat grinding tricks by beating a enemy that is high in LV but has a dumb AI thanks to you tinkering with the Quick Match settings. You have to unlock the ability to raise the enemies LV far above the one you’re currently at though.

Sadly the only thing you can do before beating the game is unlocking the playable antagonists via the PP Catalog as well as a whole bunch of other things there like new battle music during the post-game. PP is gained by winning battles, enough said. Villain characters I don’t generally use because they don’t have a board in story mode you can go through to get them stuff and XP, its Arcade Mode and Quick Battle only for them till you beat the game. Duel Coliseum is unlocked in the post-game, letting you fight enemies of different levels, earning you medals. Medals can get all sorts of different things when they appear in the Coliseum Deck but you can also just trade them in for PP when you leave the mode. After beating the game some Story Mode chapters open up. 2 of those chapters lets you get Shantotto and Gabranth as playable characters (Vaan isn’t here for some fucking reason, Gabranth is the only FFXII representative). The final extra chapter consist of gruelling fights against Lv. 110 characters (you cap at 100) then ends with a rematch against a overpowered Chaos. I’ve gotten to that rematch and cant fucking get past it, the fucker is next to impossible even with my Lv. 100 team of Zidane, Onion Knight and Cloud.

The Chocobo and Moogle Messages stuff are simply there to encourage you to play the game. The former lets you pick a chocobo that gives you bonus’ for battling while the latter gives you PP and items for interacting with it if you play the game once per day. Calendar bonus’ give increased payouts for battling depending on the day and what calendar you use which depends on what gamer you tell the game you are (which can be changed at any point). Completing Accomplishments and performing specific actions for Battlegen get you new stuff too. In Battlegen’s case it’s for getting a good chunk of all of the materials and you only have a chance of getting the material when the action is performed. Even then specific materials can only be created by certain characters with Battlegen.

Sweet mother of god, just fucking say if that game is good or not.

Look I’m going to cut myself short here because you probably get the picture by now. While there is LOADS of repetition in this game full of countless amounts of battles that one go through, there is loads of fun in picking my favourite character, in using tons of different means to make mine the strongest one, in turning the tides at the last second, in using strategy to get around a really tough opponent, and in unlocking all sorts of shit. I think you get the picture. If not let me put it this way; unless the in-game clock is somehow wrong (which I really, really doubt) I’ve spent over 90 hours on the game. And this does not surprise me considering how much I’ve played it since I got it nearly a year ago. It’s a fun handheld fighting game with a bunch of bells and whistles. I have my problems with how a lot of things are set up and the story is utter garbage but I had a lot of entertainment with this game specifically its post-game stuff. The remixed music is pretty nice too. Too bad its multiplayer is really fucking limited since there’s no online multiplayer, its only wireless local multiplayer. Who the fuck wants to play this with me? I found my copy for 10 euro in Gamestop, the digital version is a bit more expensive. If you have a PSP/Vita and are interested then go ahead and get it, I don’t think this one is just for Final Fantasy fans though the references to the series help a good deal when going into the game no doubt. Also might make the time I put into this game have some kind of slight real-world application if I get people to buy it.

Dissidia_cast.jpg

-TheAceAlucard