Slayer1189's Blog - Jan to Mar 18 (4 followers)
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Mar
06
PermalinkThe Highlights - Episode 2
Welcome everyone to episode 2 of the highlights! headspin

In Episode 1, we covered every game that was rated 5 stars on TT. This time I will covering all 5 star games on TA.

In total, 9 games have received this ranking on TA, however, as four of those are duplicates to TT (The Bioshock series and Castlevania HoD) that leaves us with 5 games to address, 3 of which are available of PS.

On to the games toast

Nier

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Okay, so we have kinda been over this ground before. Nier is obviously the prequel to Nier:Automata which was featured in episode 1. Yoko Taro has a very specific style to his games that I absolutely love. clap

I am aware however that many people are put off this game because of the gameplay. There was no Platinum Games involvement in this game, so the combat is not as fluid as it is in Nier: Automata. Regardless, I still think this game has a lot to offer and a fantastic story that whilst not necessary to enjoy Automata, it is really interesting to see how all of Yoko Taro's stories tie-in together. smile

The great thing in my opinion about Yoko Taro is how he approaches topics and always presents multiple levels of analysis. Whilst I enjoy the gameplay, music, story etc, in these games, it is the thought provoking nature and impact that they have had on me that keeps them in my thoughts as some of my favourite games ever toast

Anyone aware of a game designer more eccentric than Yoko Taro? If there are any contenders please let me know laugh


Double Dragon Neon

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The pinnacle of the beat 'em up genre! Basically for my entire life there were two undisputed champions of the beat 'em up genre for me, those games were Golden Axe 2 and Guardian Heroes.

After years of playing beat 'em ups and the heyday being over for the genre, it was looking like these two games from my childhood would remain unchallenged forever.

Then... Something totally RADICAL happened, my dudes! wink

In comes Double Dragon Neon. Wayforward decided to take the classic Double Dragon formula, add some meat to the bones with some great combos and added mechanics, all wrapped in an over the top 80's theme (both visuals and audio)

The core gameplay is there, the levels look stunning and the OST is one of my personal favourites in gaming. It is great fun with a friend, particularly on Double Dragon difficulty with friendly fire enabled brings back that feeling from the golden age of the genre. I never hit my teammate... honest redface

Lastly, this game has one of the greatest uses of an achievement/trophy I have ever seen and one that I gave props to in a very old blog. In all honesty, I think the achievement works better on XBLA than it does on PS or PC, but I would love to see more game devs be inventive with their trophies/achievement toast


Black Knight Sword

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Why doesn't this game get more love?? Whilst not quite in Yoko Taro's league, I find Suda51 to be a very interesting game designer and love the style he brings to his games. This is certainly my favourite Suda51 game by a long way.

Black Knight Sword absolutely reeks of Suda51 and I think it suits this game very well. The game plays like an old style Castlevania in many respects, which is one of my favourite genre.

The theme of the game fits very nicely with this game as you and the aesthetic is perfect. You are a black knight, on a quest to defeat the white princess. The game is set up like a stage with the scenery and background like a pop-up book.

It really is a very unique game, with a lot more depth to it than it first seems. The gameplay pulled me in and the depth kept me hooked.

This game also has a super hard arcade mode which I have yet to finish, but is on my list of 4 final XBLA challenges to beat. I know I can do it as I've been close before but a lack of patience and shiny new games took me away from it.

I am really looking forward to going back to this later this year and conquering the arcade mode once and for all! When I complete this game it will likely forever stand as one of the hardest challenges I ever do in gaming


Mutant Storm Reloaded

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We are now onto the final two entries and the ones that sadly aren't available on PS cry

A common theme I am seeing with this blog is entries that are one of my favourites in the entire genre. This one is no exception. One of my favourite genres is dual stick shooter (or twin-stick if you prefer, pls no hate laugh) and this is my favourite of all of them.

While many people were raving about Geometry Wars (Which I also love <3), I was trying to convince people that this game was better. It embodies everything that makes a dual stick great. There is no luck involved in this game. Every level is self contained with clear goals. The levels and enemies are varied, with any death being your fault and purely your fault.

Some fans of the genre won't like that it is level based as they prefer endless wave games. I actually feel that the levels enhance this game, and love the way that you can tackle any level or set of levels on any difficulty to get better at the game and increase your score.

Much like Black Knight Sword, this is one of the four XBLA games I want to finish in the next 2 years and another one I know I am capable of. Again, much like Black Knight Sword, the Black Belt Grandmaster achievement will probably forever sit as one of my greatest gaming achievements and once again in a game that I love

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On a side-note, I'm kinda bummed I never played this game for more than 3 or 4 days in February 2006. I got the game on the 20th, played it a lot over the next 3 or 4 days and got to the point that I could consistently get to the late 70's early 80's in my black belt grandmaster (BBGM) run.

Back in 2006, I never had internet at home, TGN didn't exist and achievements were brand new. I kinda decided to go for BBGM but after 3 or 4 days of getting close I got bored and moved on, never to look back. Little did I know that it would eventually be regarded as one of the hardest achievements to accomplish and one that I would be returning to over a decade later.

Given that my gaming prime was probably 2004-2010, eventually falling off sharply in 2015, if I knew now what I knew then I would definitely tell my younger self to give it another day's worth of playing wink

I guess that is one of my regrets in life, though I guess in terms of the regrets one can have it ain't that bad laugh

/rant.

Deathsmiles

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And now the final game... What do we have here?? another favourite entry in a genre

Yep that is right, Deathsmiles is my favourite Bullet Hell game ever. I am actually so confident in the caliber of this game, that I feel it can be used a test for people who want to try Bullet Hell. To me, if you try this game and you don't like it, then bullet hell just isn't for you

This game has a great art style, fantastic OST, great level design and a level of challenge that can be tailored to any skill level.

I'm really not very good at the bullet hell genre, which is why I don't tend to play them all that often, but this game just hooked me from the start. Deathsmiles 2 is also high on my wishlist but unfortunately it has remained awkward to obtain in the UK cry.

This game does sometimes make me wish I was better at the genre, as I would love to know the rush of being able to get to and defeat Bloody Jitterbug. Whilst I reckon I could do the 1CC runs, Bloody Jitterbug is a challenge that has forever been so far out of reach that a man can only dream.

For anyone who is interested, youtube "True Tyrant achievement" to see what this game can offer if you put the time and effort into it . I love the game just to casually run through, but I am sure Deathsmiles is a game that ages like a fine wine as you attain more mastery and more efficient runs wink
Posted by Slayer1189 on 06 March 18 at 07:09 | Last edited on 06 March 18 at 12:56 | There are 6 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Feb
27
PermalinkTop 5 Favourite Video Game Series of all time
Just a quick blog post and another list.

For criteria's sake and to reduce the amount of series being considered, I applied the following restrictions;

1) The series has more than 3 entries and I need to have played at least 3 of them (preferably more)
2) Out of what I have played, I feel the series consistently hits a high standard

My top 5 video game series are as below;

1) Castlevania
2) Yoko Taro directed (They all link)
3) Suikoden
4) Bioshock
5) Unreal Tournament

There are of course many other series I love and could give honourable mentions to and so many that just miss out or that I need to play a lot more of to make a decision, but hey... gotta draw a line somewhere laugh
Posted by Slayer1189 on 27 February 18 at 19:42 | There are 4 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Feb
11
PermalinkThe Curious case of Dissidia NT
So everyone. I decided a quick blog was in order for Dissidia NT. To anyone on my friend feed, you will be very aware of my negative first impressions towards this game.

The game grew on me, through chance and another thing small thing you wouldn't expect, but that I think could help out a lot of games.

My Initial Gripe with Dissidia NT

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So I started Dissidia NT last week, having never played a Dissidia game previously. I am aware that NT is quite different to the previous entries in the series (more fighting, less RPG, 3v3 etc). I immediately ran into bad design choices.

The story mode is gated through an offline gauntlet mode, which means that you cannot progress the story without jumping out into a complete different mode to grind for a bit. You need to have 2 AI with you for the 3v3 battles and the AI are terrible due to being low rank (you need to grind offline to raise the quality of your AI partners).

Now... grinding up your AI wouldn't be such a bad idea, if it weren't for the fact that it is painfully slow as only the character you control gains experience and there are lots of characters. Not only that, but while playing with or against low rank AI the game is unenjoyable and very frustrating that you are being forced to grind just to continue the story.

On top of that, the story is 5 different routs of what seems to be the odd fight split up by boring and uneventful cutscenes.

In an effort just to finish the game and trade it in, I decided to blast through one story route to reach the end. This only led to more annoyances as you discover you need to do at least 2 routes and the last part breaks the rules of the story progression up to that point.

Needless to say, I was pretty unsatisfied with the game and this led to the comment on my friend feed, berating Dissidia for everything it could have been.

What Changed?

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As most of you know, it is very rare that I have access to decent internet. There was no exception while I was playing Dissidia NT and when I put it in there was the standard day 1 patch for modern games. This patch was 2GB and my internet reckoned a time of 16 hours to download. Of course, I opted for playing the game without installing said patch. After all, it isn't like the majority of patches make a huge difference... right?

As it turns out, this patch was a day one patch based on the feedback from the beta, in which everyone was complaining about how ridiculous the grind was in order to get anywhere. The patch made it so that AI got experience from fighting as well and that no character could be more than 1 major rank below the best character (e.g. I you have a platinum character, every other character has to be at least gold)

The result of this is that an unnecessary and unenjoyable grind that could have easily been upwards of 50 hours, was reduced to a manageable amount. Allowing the story to be accessed a bit faster and the AI to make for more enjoyable combat in a lot less hours put in.

Once I learned this I decided I would actually just clear the story routes and get a bit more out of the game since I no longer had a ridiculous grind in front of me.

Summon battles

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As I progressed through the game, I got to do some summon battles, which IMO are much more fun and engaging than the AI fighting 3v3. The summon battles do not play like a fighting game. Rather they play like MMO bosses with Dissidia combat mechanics. Your two AI play the role of your raid team and they get better the higher their rank is.

These fights were actually pretty enjoyable and I ended up clearing all single player content as the second half of the SP is essentially summons. I do wish they would have indicated that summon battles were a thing earlier, which could easily have been fixed by not gating the story content.

I would actually love to see the summon battles from this game on a grand scale with a much higher difficulty, but also with the ability for human players to control every team member to take the challenge on!

Afterthoughts
My thoughts now are that due to the patch and taking the summon battles into account the game is much better than I first thought.

On very rare occasions I have been known to go from disliking a game to loving it. That hasn't been the case with Dissidia as whilst I think it is a much better game, it still has it's fair share of issues and the gating story mode with an entirely different mode is still annoying.

In the end, summon battles were actually good fun and it is just a shame a lot of people won't pay much attention to that content. I ended up doing all of the single player and trying a few matches online where the connection permitted.

Online play is definitely a focus for this game where you can enter alone or as a team of 3. The online is better than playing against the AI as with a decent team you know your two team mates are actually assessing the situation and playing accordingly, whereas the AI do their own thing regardless (of course, you get some players who might as well be AI laugh).

The majority of the trophies are online and for the most part these are fair for the typical person who will play this game a bunch online. The major exception is A++ with the characters as this relies on your team being bad, rather than you being particularly good. Still, I never consider trophies in my vies on a game, this is just an aside.

The Patch
In some ways, I really appreciate the fact that the devs actually took the feedback from the Beta and fixed it in a day one patch. It shows some self awareness and made the game better for everyone who bought the game and had a decent enough connection to never play without the patch. I actually think a lot of games could be improved quite a bit with a patch to tweak some things and it doesn't happen often enough.

On the otherhand, it bothers me that we have entered a world where games are so haphazardly put out, because at the end of the day the mentality is that a patch can fix it if needed. Bit of a catch 22, but I think in this case the patch definitely saved the game.

Final Summary
Post patch, this game really picked up some steam. I had a decent time with it. The online is good, but due to my connection I will be stopping at the point I have reached. If the patch did not exist, I am certain myself and many others waouldn't have played long enough to appreciate what the game has to offer!

I still don't think this is a great game. It has a lot of small issues and design choices that hold it back from being everything it could be and much of these are so fundamental that no patch will fix it.

I'm not sure what rating I am going to give it, but rest assured it will be a fair bit higher than the 1.5 stars it was going to get from my pre-patch, pre-summon experience. What I would definitely say is that this is the first time something as simple as a patch could end up increasing the rating by up to 2 stars! headspin

Adios people toast
Posted by Slayer1189 on 11 February 18 at 19:01 | Last edited on 11 February 18 at 19:02 | There is 1 comment on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Jan
25
PermalinkThe Highlights - Episode 1
Welcome everyone, to the first episode of "The Highlights". In these short blogs I will give a quick summary of those rare games that get 4 stars (8/10) or higher as a rating from me. (this is rare, and 5 stars is even rarer wink)

For this entry, we will be dealing with EVERY 5 star game on TT.

The aim of these short summaries is to give people an idea of whether a game would suit the reader or if it isn't to their taste. smile

Obviously, some of these highly rated games are already well known, but others not so much.

As I obviously think highly of these games, there may be larger blogs and reviews about individual entries, particularly ones that generate interest toast

Without further ado, onto the games!!!


3D Dot Game Heroes

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You can't talk about this game without mentioning 2D Zelda games, so we will start there wink. Whilst I am not a huge fan of Zelda overall, I always enjoy the 2D adventures, yet I have never liked a 3D entry.

This game is a well crafted love letter to those old 2D adventures, particularly A Link to the Past. If you enjoyed the old 2D Zelda's, I would say you would be hard pressed not to like this homage to the games of the past.

When I first started this game, I played it with just about every second of free time for 3 or 4 days straight. I loved checking every nook and cranny and finding all the secrets.

I stopped a bout a 3 hour grind from the plat, when my PS3 yellow lighted and I lost the file. Given it was back in 2010 I played this, I am tempted to pick up the (NA) version and plat it in the next couple of years, given how much I love it and how long it has been since I played through.


Bioshock (The entire series)

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Hmm... What to say about Bioshock that hasn't already been said. First off, it should be noted that On PS I have only played the first game, and both on PS3 & PS4 I have barely made any progress.

I still say that the entire series deserves 5 stars though and have played them all more extensively on Xbox, I just haven't mustered the patience to play them through again in full on PS redface. This isn't because they are bad games, but part of their glory comes from the atmosphere and story, which I now already know.

I was actually really skeptical of this series at first, a popular AAA FPS in a sea of FPS games. I was very pleasantly surprised when I actually sat down to play them. I love the philosophy of the entire series and the varied ways you can approach the gameplay.

I prefer Rapture to Columbia, but I think this is mainly due to my love of Andrew Ryan as a character. This is purely personal preference as there are few characters in fiction I identify quite strongly with and Andrew Ryan is among those few. smile toast smile.

Anyone who wants to design games should play Bioshock!


Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

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Okay so I am going to start this off with a strange paragraph... I think this game is absolutely phenomenal and one of the greatest games ever made!!!, however, I don't actually recommend anyone play it... now shock

"This makes no sense" I hear you all cry! Indeed, but allow me to explain. This game plays like an old school Castlevania, but is a co-op multiplayer lootfest. The game gets significantly better after the credits roll and with all DLC included.

I have played this game for several 100 hours across XBLA and PS3 and all of my friends agree if they rerelease this game we would happily put those hours in again... but there lies the reason I wouldn't recommend this game. This is a game that is made so much more fun with friends. 6 player co-op through the game and it's DLC, improving your characters and getting faster at clearing stages.

Me and my friends had 6 Xbox's set up and played 16 hours per day, before a short sleep and then another 16 hours, when this came out. The problem is that this is now a previous gen game and without people to play with the experience just wouldn't be the same.

Number 1 in my circle of friends wishlist is a sequel to this game. If it ever happens, I shall once again lock myself indoors like Dracula himself laugh and if they do it any justice I will be recommending to anyone I speak to, pulse or not wink


Nier: Automata

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So, anyone who follows my feed knows that I am considering doing a blog series on this game alone. There is so much to say about this game that if I were still in my uni days I could do a dissertation on Nier in a number of different fields (Music, Philosophy, Writing, Game Design, Sociology, Psychology, Literature, Art etc) this game has almost every field covered.

Obviously, this will be the short version... I hope. laugh

This may very well be my favourite game of all time, but I am aware I may be biased as a previous long term Yoko Taro fan. Despite my love of this eccentric director, I would generally be very cautious about recommending his titles to anyone willy nilly. He has a very specific style that I am aware puts many gamers off.

However, Due to this collaboration with Platinum games, this actually got top 5 in the TT GoTY awards for 2017. Due to this, it is clear that this game has wider appeal than Yoko Taro's previous, niche titles. Due to this, I would recommend that just about anyone could play this game and find enjoyment in it. toast

I just have one thing to stress. DO NOT STOP PLAYING AFTER ENDING A, THE GAME HASN'T EVEN STARTED!!!

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That concludes every game that has received 5 stars on TT. Future episodes will contain 5 stars from other platforms, as well as games that score slightly lower, but are still great games in their own right.
Posted by Slayer1189 on 25 January 18 at 22:31 | There are 5 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.