This game is like Dark Souls, except it isn’t

May 16, 2017 no comments Posted in PC, Video Games

 

 

You would think that Dark Souls would be just like Dark Souls, however contrary to popular belief and common sense, it is not.

“It’s like Dark Souls” is commonly said of many games with even a minor resemblance to dark souls. This twitter profile has a good account of the wild comparisons. A game qualifies to be “Like Dark Souls” mainly when it shares the property Dark Souls is most infamous for; its unconventional, unforgiving difficulty.
According to darksoulsdeaths.com, on my first playthrough I died over 700 times. It’s hard to say what is normal for a game but I would expect that in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 I died  ~120 times during the campaign on Veteran in comparison.

When you die in Dark Souls, it normally takes a few minutes to get back to where you were before dying and not far from where you will die again. So time spent progressing through the levels in Dark Souls is a significantly lower percentage than in other games, which is alright because you are still progressing in knowledge and skill.

Dying is an important part of Dark Souls, it’s a game of learning from previous lives and using that knowledge to go a bit further from your bonfire or checkpoint than the last time. Dying is not a setback in your progression because most of the game’s progression takes place in your head as you learn to take on enemies effectively. This is proven by how speed runners can complete the game in over 50 minutes,

The game’s lore almost revolves around death and deaths aren’t “cut out” of the game’s timeline as you revert back to an earlier save like in many other games, it is nice to be spared from the common disbelief of your character encountering something “for the first time” while you’re sitting behind the screen expressionless, following the drill you formed a while ago.

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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.

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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.

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Sonic CD: Review

November 12, 2016 no comments Posted in PC, Playstation & Sony, Video Games, Xbox & Microsoft

Sonic’s Bizarre CD Quality Adven- oh crap I used that joke already

Sonic CD is a rather strange game, and a even stranger pick for my first review of a Sonic game. It was released in 1993 for the Sega CD add on for the Sega Genesis. For the 3 of you who320px-sonic_cd_2011_android don’t know, the Sega CD add on allowed games to have the benefits of being released on a CD format. Unfortunately back then this just meant pumping the games full of shit FMVs, making a bunch of ports and maybe making a better soundtrack thanks to the CD quality audio. Simply put the system flopped, though not nearly as badly as the Sega 32X. Sonic CD, Night Trap and Snatcher are the only games considered “worth having” out of the system’s library. Of course that is if you have the money to pay for a expensive add on for a Sega Genesis which you need to already have to begin with.

For the longest time I was curious of Sonic CD (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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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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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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