Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tesla vs Lovecraft (PS4)

Like the epic battles between King Kong, and Godzilla 10tons studios takes two iconic characters from the world of man, and pits them against one another in a decisive battle made somewhat plausible yet not. In this battle of science versus fiction we find famed scientist Nikola Tesla battling horror author H.P.Lovecraft. A man whom had warned Tesla in a live demonstration that he did not know the powers he was meddling with. Those powers being free electricity for all. A tale we all know too well. After being imprisoned for the theatrical disturbance Lovecraft unleashes hell on Earth Eldritch horror style causing Tesla to counteract the threat with weaponized inventions of his own. Through mechs, augmented artillery, and perks of the shmup kind Tesla faces off against fiendish foe after fiendish foe in portal spawned waves powered by Cthulhu statues. Ultimately going between planes of existence including that of Arkham, the Aether, and Eldritch Tesla dares the adverse difficulty as he faces the monstrosities of old.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Damascus Gear: Operation Osaka HD (PS4)

Arc System Works, and A+ Games' 'Damascus Gear' series offerings continue with an updated HD port of 'Damascus Gear: Operation Osaka' for the PS4. This twenty dollar visual, and all inclusive upgrade brings to fans of the series a revamped and remastered story driven mech based RPG experience with the basic features of the first installment still intact along with some changes in focus. New to the series are missions that take the gamer through multiple floors of the Cosmopolis in order to loot new gear for their GEARS, and farm rare materials to pay of a ridiculous debt taken on, and passed down to the new pilot by his/her parents. Most of the game revolves around this debt story arch in that your progress, and ranking will afford you the gear, and monetary compensation needed to pay off the various loans. Beneath the debt driven gameplay you, your operator, and your mech will be engaging in gladiatorial Japanese mech battles via the "Arena". A 1v1 sports spectacle in which the winner leaves with a huge lump sum of money, supposing they win. You will ultimately be switching focus between doing missions to engaging in arena combat while occasionally being haunted by an enigmatic person or entity who seems to know something more about your destiny than you do.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hobby Destroyers: The Gaming Industry Dilemma

While the title of this post is broad I'd like to focus mostly on gaming, and the game industry. I'd like to talk about the key points that would turn me away from gaming should they come to fruition. I'd also like to talk a little about the direction gaming is taking, and what this possibly means for the future of gaming itself ...

In the past several years we've seen mainstay creators in the gaming industry twist, and taint the entertainment offerings thereof in a variety of concerning ways. Both for gamers, and for the developers who create the content said gamers consume. We've witnessed Microsoft, and Sony start a console war in which they each released a few different versions of their new-gen console hardware while completely ignoring how it impacted early adopters, and the fact that it made useless consoles that in previous generations would have had a much longer lifespan where games were the focus instead of the consoles themselves. This race to win over the gaming crowd has cost these companies trust among the gaming community, and lost some dedicated service subscribers that would have possibly stuck around if it weren't for the poor decisions made.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Brad's Guidelines For Milking the Free-to-Play Bollocks Beast

We've all been there. We've played a free-to-play game to a point that we feel forced to pay up to make anymore progress. We hit a paywall, and simply can't get any further without paying real money for fake money, or in-game items that will aid us in our online journey of enjoying a game we would like to enjoy, but cannot enjoy otherwise. That seems to be the go to formula for a lot of studios. Indie or Triple A. Thankfully all is not lost, and we too can manipulate the marketplace to our advantage. We can turn the tables, and make studios give us freely that which we would usually have to pay for. You simply have to show disgust in the games bad business practices, raise a social stink on social media about it, and stop playing for a while. Once your disdain gets the studio's attention their embedded reward algorithm will reward you handsomely for your return to the game. Sure, this reward is short lived, but rinse & repeat the previously mentioned disgust to not playing cycle and you'll continue reaping the rewards while making progress that costs you nothing. A lot of developers create their games to reward strategically in a desperate attempt to maximize player payouts. By understanding that this is how things work you can take advantage of the advantageous practices of those who would take advantage of you. It's that simple. So, the next time you feel the urge to pad the pockets of free-to-play exploiters stop playing awhile, make a fuss (albeit intelligently), and wait patiently as you are rewarded for your patience. Patience is a virtue. Even as a gamer.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Longest 5 Minutes (PS VITA)

The moment of epiphany, and the moment of reflection in passing is a lot like @NISAmerica's "The Longest 5 Minutes". We often get to a point in life where we stop, and think how did I get here? That's what makes this game both different, and brilliant in regards to the JRPG genre's usually set formula. It is, in a way, a mirroring of self-reflection. In the game you get to take on the role of a heroic leader of a band of party members who has arrived at the final battle against the evil of all evils. For whatever reason you lose your purpose, and memory to a point that only with each attack against you are you able to relive your adventure in an episodic manner and recall all that you learned along the way. In doing so you slowly regain the will, and ability to fight the formidable foe that stands before you. The premise is simple, and the gameplay oldschool or retro in the turn based/pixel constructed sense, but in it's presentation it becomes a metaphor for life's key moments where we must reflect on how it is we got to this point in time, and how we are to move forward. As such the tale being told is a story that most can relate to even if it is directly unrelated. Like a lot of NISA games, especially the more indie titles, it makes you think on a deeper level if you even care enough to take it's underlying theme that far. The game has the usual NISA charm, and continues with the quality content NISA always puts forth. It is why, in this micro-review, I give it a good to buy rating. If you own a PS Vita definitely pick it up! I think it's also available on the Switch for those of you who own that console. I enjoyed it, and I believe you will too.