Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Today is Thanksgiving for all of us American folk. Contrary to popular belief it's a day about giving thanks. As far as I'm concerned I definitely have a lot to be thankful for. First, and foremost I want to thank all of you, my readers for your return visits, and continued support throughout these past years. You have been a true blessing to me. Without you my blog would not be a thing. I would not have been able to share my thoughts, and opinions on the many games I have been privileged to review. I'm also very thankful that I've been able to continue supporting my gaming hobby as times are tough money-wise for me, and many people around the world. It's one luxury I don't want to lose as it draws me closer to the lot of you. I've never really had friends in my grown-up life, and to be able to share friendly conversations with the people I like, even if it is about gaming is a gift in itself. For that I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zen Pinball 2 - "Core Set" (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

For those of you who are unaware of it this particular Zen Pinball 2 set was originally available for Zen Pinball, and the Xbox 360 counterpart Pinball FX. It cost the gamer $9.99 to purchase, and included a total of four tables. These tables were 'Secrets of the Deep', 'BioLab', 'Pasha', and 'Rome'. Unlike most recently released Zen Pinball 2 tables these tables included were all about the challenge, and were designed with mostly low point values in place as well as table structures that were geared towards the more professional players. Some of the tables like 'Secrets of the Deep', and 'Pasha' had multiple playing fields for a wide variety of different scoring opportunities. Tables such as 'Rome', however were geared solely around speed play, and would test the players mettle through their ability to keep the ball going at a steady, but fast pace. Out of all the tables of the set though I do have to admit that the quirky, and fun loving 'BioLab' was the easiest to score on, and had the greatest available point values of all four tables. Like the other tables though keeping the pinball going, and from reaching an out of bounds state was trying enough in it's own right.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Game Developers, Half-Assed Releases & What To Do About the Issue

Okay. So, this is going to be a slight rant. It's directed solely at game developers, and content creators ...

We all know as gamers that everything from video games to patches/updates have been being botched, and released regardless of their unsatisfactory condition. This has got to stop. What it all boils down to is pure laziness, a lack of commitment to the product, and a lack of willingness to supply the funds needed to make things right. If you are going to make a game set in an online environment, or even an offline game it is imperative that you get things right from the start, and that you work out all the kinks before it hits shelves. There's no if's, and's, or butt's (I typed it that way on purpose) about it. If you are not willing to fund a team who can get such a job done then you do not need to be releasing the game, or patch in the first place. While I could point fingers, and call names all day I'm going to go a different route, and offer up a viable suggestion that will help get the development process back on the right track, and no it does not require more money to do ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Never Alone (PS4)

Video games in general are usually crafted wholly from the developer's imagination with sometimes subtle hints of various mythologies, or man-made fictions included. Most games, again in general, are derived from fictitious stories about unreal places, and persons or beings who have no standing in our reality whatsoever. The hero's, heroine's, and even anti-hero's feats are merely put into place for entertainment purposes. Nothing is really relative in that sense, and only serves to impress it's audience on an escapist's level. As I've said many times before gaming is often times an escape from reality for most of us gamers. It helps us escape the bad, or trying times in our lives, and in doing so gives us a much needed break in a fantasy world that is unlike our own. While this sort of entertainment based fiction is, in it's own right a story that mimics life such tales of heroism, and feats of prowess never really serve a point beyond their entertainment values. While this would seem like the norm to a lot of us gamers, and readers it still pales in comparison to the tales of old that are passed down through generation after generation in order to keep a culture's beliefs, and traditions alive.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog Update Nov. 15, 2014

It's been a few days since my last post as you can probably tell. The games for review are becoming scarcer as the year comes to a close. Most of the retail games are already spoken for, and only a handful of indie arcade style games remain for bloggers such as myself. Not that that's a problem though. I do love a good indie, and have found out through my four years of work that some indies are far greater than any "Triple A" title will ever be. As we've all likely learned this year retail developers really seem to be caught up in a pattern of dropping the ball when it comes to a proper release. The latest 'Call of Duty' was a mess as was the equally anticipated release of Ubisoft's 'Assassin's Creed Unity'. I think a lot of us, including myself figured that out a wee bit too late. The sad, and unfortunate thing about this is that it hurts the consumers' confidence in the industry's offerings, and in turn hurts the industry as a whole. It makes loyal gamers begin to second guess everything from journalistic opinions to the biased advertisements that are released by developers, and PR. You've all likely seen cases of each if you frequent Twitter as I often do.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nano Assault NEO-X (PS4)

Shmups. Gotta love 'em! Having never played a shmup (shoot 'em up) of this sort I didn't really know what to expect, honestly. I knew that Shin'en (the developer) had created a new generation 3D experience, but other than that I had no clue as to what the game would play like. After doing an initial impressions video on my Youtube channel (otakudante), and actually getting into the game though things began to make sense. In essence "Nano Assault NEO-X" is your typical twin stick shooter with enhanced graphics, and a theme that suits the nano technology which the game is built upon. While there is no story to speak of you will find that your laser blasting spaceship is more, or less a micro-bot sent in to destroy bacterium that are harming, and changing the nature of cell clusters. There are a wide variety of these viruses, and bacteria on each cell which you must clear out in order to move on to the next cell.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - "Impressions"

If you have been following my rants about the latest CoD release you'll know that I've had some mixed opinions this week. These opinions which favor, and insult the game for it's features continue to evolve as I type. Unlike most of the CoD games I've played in the past this was by far the most frustrating of them all due to it's complexity, and failed functionality. Taking a different playthrough path than what I usually do in a CoD game I opted to go with the game's Campaign from the start. I found for the most part that the Campaign was brilliant in delivery, but that it contained a few design flaws that sometimes would hinder my progress. Things like the lack of distinct objective direction, and the poorly crafted enemy/ally ID system really made the playthrough aggravating at times. Other than those issues the campaign was certainly the best the CoD series has ever seen, in my personal opinion. On the flip side, when it came down to multiplayer delivery though things got a bit messy, and half-assed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


While shmups have been around in various forms over the years it wasn't until recently that indie developers began mixing different ideas into the genre. One of those ideas, which I love, took the zombie apocalypse, and mashed it up into a top-down military style shooter filled with bloody tidbits. While some of the provided indie zombie shmups were good others fell behind with their over simplistic designs. Some cost only a dollar to own, and were better than anyone could have hoped for while others cost a good bit more, and were piles of shite not worth the time of day. Recently while scouting the PSN store updates for review games I happened upon one of the soon to be released higher end zombie shmups which was created by a developer called Beatshapers. After having played a similar themed shmup earlier this year on the PS4 that had failed miserably I was a little skeptical. Thankfully that worry subsided once I began to play the game though. I think, in all honesty, that Beatshaper's zombie shooter is the penultimate zombie shmup. While it holds tight to traditional formulas it still does it's own thing, and does it exceptionally well.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror (PS VITA)

I've always been an advocate for creativity, and originality in the gaming industry. I believe developers who are willing to try new things are the future, and that those who copy others' works are just drawings us back into the past. Without innovation the gaming industry, or any other entertainment industry for that matter is doomed for failure. That's why it's always a pleasant surprise to stumble upon a game that incorporates such innovative features. Recently I had the privilege to play such a unique indie, the likes of which falls under the label of creativity which I just spoke about. I ended up enjoying my playthrough thoroughly, and intend on finishing the game to it's end soon. The game in question, for those of you who are wondering is GlitchyPixel's "Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror". They take the simple concept of a haunting, throw in a unique plot about the ghost of a former mansion owner, and add in gameplay that is definitely genius in it's own right.