Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Pokemon Zeta and Pokemon Omnicron: Don't you just love fan games?

Forward: I’ll be changing the format of this review slightly because I couldn’t phrase is any other way. This review is also very long, one of the longest I've written so far.

Ah fan games, a small portion of the gaming community that is more often than not shunned. Fan games are exactly what the term sounds like, their unofficial games based on franchises made by fans of said franchise. I’ve played a few fan games over the years, mostly Sonic games which have been, more often than not, quite good. However I haven’t had a lot of luck with Pokémon fan games. While I have played a few, the ones I remember are Pokémon Quartz version, which I barely got into, Pokémon Platnium for the Gameboy Advance, where I found a game breaking bug that meant I stopped playing it, a few rom hacks like Blaze Black (which I recommend if you want that harder challenge) and Snakewood (a rom hack of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald where Hoenn is infested with zombies...not as good as it sounds, trust me) and recently, Pokémon Zeta (alternate version being Pokémon Unicron Omnicron), which as you know, is the subject of this review. I will openly say that I haven’t finished the game, and I do acknowledge that some of the points brought up in this review could be a result of the development software used, RPG Maker. The game itself is also in “Open Beta” so there is a strong chance these issues could be resolved in the future.  For the purpose of this review, I played the Open Beta 1.4.9 and I will be bringing up comparisons to the main series due to the nature of this game being a fan game.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Another rant: "Parents" against video game

Ever since I wrote the rant on the R18+ rating in Australia, I've been doing some more research in the matter, and to say that my findings disgust me is a understatement. I know I said that I'd never do this kind of rant again but this is something that truly deserves it. While I'll be focusing on one particular group, do note that this is also targeted towards any other similar group. The target for this is A Twitter group of American and Canadian parents who are obsessed with the, at times, destruction of violent video games. I'm not going to go into all their points because when I read any post on their site, I feel like I'm loosing more and more brain cells that could be used on something that isn't atrocious. As usual, I'm not holding back any punches for this. If anyone wants to argue any of these points, feel free to get in contact with me. Anywhere you see a link to this site with the username of the person posting being some variation of my user name here "Liam Blaster Sanders" is normally me.

I'm pretty much going to be looking at each of the arguments that's being presented at time of writing (25/8/2014). If that's not something you want to read and your not associated with these kinds of groups, leave now.

1. Before I get into the overarching points: YouTube commentators. These people are attacking Youtube content producers such as JonTron and PewDiPie because "there's nothing sadder then watching someone play a video game". Do you people stop and think about what your typing? Seriously? Because I can ask the exact same question about professional sports players. What's the difference in watching people play a video game and people playing any sport? Its the same thing, the only difference is that one of them is becoming a common medium of entertainment and the other is currently a common medium of entertainment. Your attacking people who enjoy making people laugh, who make money off of their own content. These people are entrepreneurs and comedians. Lets plays are also a way of advertising for video games: If people enjoy watching someone play a game, they are more inclined to play that game as its a more reliable form of marketing then a normal review (hypocritical considering the content of this site but the point still stands). Are these people for everyone? No, everyone has different tastes, the same as TV shows.

2. Minecraft is a violent video game. I'm still recovering from the bruising on my forehead because of how hard I slammed my head on the nearest wall. With the amount of people playing Minecraft, you people should feel ashamed of this misconception. For the .01% of people who have never heard of the game, Minecraft is a open world sandbox game, where your free to build whatever you want to build. This is why I slammed my head against a wall several times because Minecraft has been given the nickname "THE VIRTUAL LEGO GAME". If your going after Minecraft, then your also going after other creative medium. Yes there are monsters in the game that you do need to kill (for the most part), but this is because of the game's survival mode, WHERE YOU NEED TO DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE. Are their guns in the game? If you mod the game, but its not in the vanilla game. Are their builds out their that are inappropriate? Yes because someone decided to build it. That's not the game's fault. I also want to bring attention to this post chain ( ) because this pretty much summaries the misconceptions about the game. Fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic will also notice the error in the image. I looked up Tara Strong's career as a voice actor, and the funny thing is about this (almost certainly fake screen capture because it's easy to edit your name on a iPhone) photo, Tara Strong never voiced the character "Rainbow Dash" in the show. She is a voice actor, but of the character "Twilight Sparkle", something that took me all of 20 seconds to find. Want to know what also took me no time to look up? Minecraft being used in education, helping children learn skills that will help them in society, or how about Computercraft and qCraft? Mods that are raising the next generation of computer programers and Quantum physicists. How about all the marvelous, gorgeous builds that people have built in the game, from small shacks, to gigantic cities. From a simple target practice mini game to roller coasters and adventure maps. Or how about all the fan made mini games you can find on Minecraft Relms? Survival games, capture the wool, spleef.

3. The assault on "White male gamers" and gamers in general. While I will openly admit that the behavior of most of the people who reply to post and the account in general is disgusting, the people that their using to highlight their point is a small minority (that are unfortunately the loudest). Yes, the gaming community has people that I'd be ashamed of knowing personally. But that's not the community. Gamers are also (for the most part) nerds in general so these kinds of attacks are going after everyone who classifies themselves as geeks or nerds. I am personally insulted by these people because its people like this Twitter group that makes me not want to be apart of the real world. Its these kinds of people that have bullied me since I've gone to kindergarten. They say that they are "afraid of white male gamers", the last time I checked, the dictionary definition of fear wasn't "to provoke a particular audience to prove a point". I ask you, to the people who are afraid of gamers, to the ones who say that "Parents who spawn white male gamers are little different from producers of biological weapons.", go to a nerdy event. Go to a gaming convention, a tournament, even a small club and see what these "terrifying" white male gamers are really like. Anyone can be someone their not when their hiding behind a keyboard and monitor. Most gamers actually hate the kind of people your promoting, we're ashamed of those people because they give fuel to people like you. You want to know what "Gamers" are actually doing? They are the ones making games memorable, the Smooth McGrooves and the Glitch City's who make our favorite game songs even better, the Extra Credits and Game Theories who analyze games, to find out where they falter and where they thrive. They are the ones who help charities like Child's Play and TLC for kids who help make children's lives better when they are in hospitals thanks to video games. The Sonic-a-thon, a marathon of Sonic games, played by sonic fans, earned over $20,000 dollars for Child's play, none of the commentators got a cent of that money. they are the aspiring developers who, like the developers of today and in the past, will expand the medium. Gamers are not the people your promoting, what your promoting are nothing more the trolls and griefers.

4. Violent video games. From what I've read, you people define EVERY GAME AS VIOLENT (something that I know no one actually thinks because I'm willing to bet that you've played at least a game in your lives). You people think that "People who play Mario games are violent and are encouraged to take drugs", "That Pokemon and Sonic encourage animal cruelty", "That every person who plays racing games are reckless drivers", "That every gamer plays Call of Duty and GTA". Hell, why not go further: Kirby encourages cannibalism, Phoenix Wright is nothing but violence, Mass Effect promotes same sex relationships, Samus is oversexualised. Let me just rip all these arguments apart, shall I?

a. Mario games are violent and are promoting drug use: I DON'T KNOW ANYONE WHO THINKS THAT JUMPING ON PEOPLE, RUNING INTO THEM WITH THE POWER OF A STAR, THROWING BOUNCING FIREBALLS AND SHELLS ARE ACTUAL WAYS OF KILLING PEOPLE. No one can jump high enough to seriously hurt anyone and if they fall, they themselves are going to be just as hurt as the intended victim. The Starman power is impossible including the ability to throw bouncing fire. Shells might, at the most, break a bone but they can't die from one. As for the "drug use", the intended market for the games wouldn't know that a Mushroom could be a drug and the game actually promotes eating healthy mushrooms (trust me, it works).

b. Pokemon and Sonic encourage animal cruelty. I'll answer Sonic first as that's the shorter of the two. If your familiar with the early games in the series, then you'll know that YOU'RE FREEING ANIMALS FROM THE ROBOT, NOT SHOVING THEM IN, in fact, this promotes anything but animal cruelty. As for Pokemon, the intention of the games is to encourage a bond between you and your Pokemon. If people do think that it promotes animal cruelty, then their forgetting the core reason of the game. The game was based on bug catching, a hobby of the game's director Satoshi Tajiri, and with the latter features of the games (including Pokemon Amie which is literally putting Pokemon into Nintendogs, a game that if you say has any negative repercussions then you really need to rethink your life) helps encourage a bond between you and your Pokemon. I still have several Pokemon I caught in my original play through of the first Pokemon game I ever owned, Pokemon Emerald because I'm attached to them.

c. Every person who plays any form of racing/ driving game is a reckless driver. You're pathetic if you actually think this. I shouldn't have to rip this argument apart because if this was true, then the population wouldn't be anywhere near as big as it is. This is just stupidity talking rather then actual fact. People are more willing to take risks in a video game because their isn't any real danger when comparing video games to reality.

d. Every gamer loves GTA and Call of Duty. Two words. I don't. I've barely played GTA because I couldn't get Vice City to work on my previous laptop and I couldn't be bothered trying again. I might play 5 someday but it isn't on my priority list. As for Call of Duty, I hate it, I think its overrated and that there are better First Person Shooters out their because they don't try to hide the fact that they are retextures (this is based on my experiences with COD 4, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops).

e. Kirby promotes Cannibalism. KIRBY HAS INFINITE FLIGHT, YOU CAN FLY OVER ALMOST EVERY "ENEMY" IN THE GAMES. And the same as Mario, unless people have developed the ability to inhale creatures like a vacuum cleaner and replace their stomach's with a Black Hole, no one should think this is a valid way of killing someone or something.

f. Phoenix Wright promotes murder. Yes, because its a murder mystery story. Your trying to figure out why they died and make sure that the person who actually did do it is sent to jail.

g. Mass Effect promotes same sex relationships. What I want to know is why people think this is a problem. Same sex couples shouldn't have to deal with what they have to deal with now. The only problem with this is that people think that same sex couples are the devil incarnate and the entire problem is because of what should realistically be nothing at all.

h. Samus is oversexualised. The actual statement is that Samus, without her power armor is oversexualised. Aside from spin off games, Metroid Zero Mission and Metroid Other M, when you see and play as Samus, she's in her armor, the armor that made every person who played the original Metroid game think she was a guy. The oversexualising of female characters is a actual issue with games, I will admit this, and the only reason why this is the case is because of the old ways of development and design. In my personal opinion, if your complaining about the main character, weather its because they are oversexualised or because they are a specific gender, then your not getting the point of the character. The point of the playable character is to be the link between the player and the game, the playable character should be designed based on what the rest of the game is and if it means that they are a specific gender, WHO CARES. I don't care what gender the character is, all that I care about is "does the design match the world" and if it does, great.

5. Violent video games. VIDEO GAMES ARE NOT TOYS, VIDEO GAME DEVELOPERS ARE NOT TOY MAKERS. Everything I would say in this I've already covered in my last rant so I'm not going to bring it up again. What I am going to do is show you this:

And say this to prove a point: going back to the sports example (using American Football and AFL as a example). Why is it that people think its fine for kids to watch grown men beet up fellow players for what is realistically pieces of rubber stitched together and filled with air and then encourage or make their kids play those games, but its suddenly a crime when they need to stab a rat to make it through a sewer? Why is it ok for people like Michael Bay to destroy Chicargo, complete with racial stereotypes, but wrong for me to build something in Minecraft, fill it with TNT and see it blow up? What is the difference? Why can films and TV shows bloom as a artistic medium but Video games must always be for kids? Is it just something that I'm missing, some core aspect of artistic mediums that Video games don't have. Oh wait, that's it, its RESPECT. Their are people that respect the medium, know its potential and want to see it bloom into something that no other mass medium can do. But its groups like these that hold us back because of that old stigma of "video games only being for kids", that's pathetic. As i said before, you could argue every game is violent or praises something negative to children, that's when you have to be actual parents and teach them.

Finally, Video games addiction. How insensitive can you people be. Aside from the fact that the actual term is Video Games Compulsion, you people are making it out to be the equivalent of drugs and alcohol and while that might be the case for some, for most people its, once again, thanks to people like you, along with gamers in several cases, that are the reason why it exists and for you to be stating that "You know the answer" is atrocious. These videos are probably the best summary of the actual situation.

I'm not going to do a final summary of this, I don't think I have to. All that I will say is this. If you read this, please spread this. I'm not saying that just for more views, in fact that's not even my priority for this. The reason why I say this is so that people who think the thoughts I've attacked can see these, so that people can actually learn. Its thoughts like this that have brought out the absolute worst in humanity before. To the people who think that the destruction of violent video games is the best way of stopping these problems. read these:

  • “The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding--which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together--blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author . . .” ― Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril 
  • “Books can not be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory... In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man's freedom.”
    Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  • “If people wrote their reviews on paper and put them into a real, physical library, I am sure that the Goodreads administrators would be very reluctant to pull them down from shelves and burn them. When you can get rid of a piece of writing just by clicking on a few links, there’s a temptation to believe that it’s less serious. But it isn’t. It’s just less clear what you’ve done.”
    G.R. Reader, Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt  
  • "Once, long ago, A great man said this to his colleagues, to remind them that killing an idea was as much a sin as killing a man. 'for books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon’s teeth: and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye.' If that's true of books, can it not be said ten fold regarding games?"
    -- Daniel Floyd, Extra Credits: Free Speach
  • Man has always been afraid of the unknown, of change. What man might see as negative, they will want to eradicate, to keep things the same, even if what they might think is change isn't change at all. I once saw a swastika in one of their posts, trying to connect it, the once symbol of peace that is now used to remind people of the horrors of war, of the men and woman killed because they were Jewish. How ironic that the symbol that they are trying to shove on a entire interactive medium actually better represents the people themselves and not their target.
    -- Myself, Liam "Blaster" Sanders, in this post
To the people who are, like me, just as angry at these kinds of people. If your going to attack them, don't give them the fuel they need. When you go after them cursing, swearing ect, your helping them prove their point. These people are like fires, give them the fuel they need and they'll keep doing this. Debate them though, fight them with intelligence and they won't have the fuel they need.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Aladdin. "We never did, and we may never again"

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the reason why I'm reviewing Aladdin now is because of the death of Robin Williams, and I know it's cliched but Aladdin is genuinely the film I will probably remember him most for. I don't watch any film for its actors so I haven't watched all of his film, but of the films I have watched of his, Aladdin is the one that stuck with me, aside from it being one of my two favorite 2D Disney films to date (the other being Lion King). I stated in both my top 10 lists of Disney songs that there are Disney films that haven't withstood the test of time, the one I brought attention to was The Little Mermaid, but how has Aladdin feared? Lets "Hop a carpet and fly, To another Arabian night".

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Kickassia. "Is it possible to parody parody and make it good?"

Forward: Reviews will always be coming out on a Wednesday unless stated otherwise

We're back to doing reviews, let the trumpets be herd, and what better way to start reviews again then with a fan film. For those who don't know, a fan film is a movie made by film enthusiasts to tell some sort of story. They tend to have a budget of $0 and low production value and this is no exception. To celebrate the second anniversary of their site's launch (, the reviewers that contribute to the site (along with several others) decided to create Kickassia, and the final result... Well...

In regards to the story, I'm going to be directly quoting the IMDb page dedicated to Kickassia's plot because I can't write anything that would do it justice, while I will elaborate on points (aka, spoilers), this is just the summary of the plot:

"The Nostalgia Critic, internet guru of bad movies, discovers the existence of the Republic of Molossia in the Nevada desert. He rallies his fellow reviewers and media enthusiasts and invades, taking control of the micronation. Declaring himself President-for-Life, he assigns government posts to his friends and renames the realm Kickassia, the most nonsensical country in the world. The Nostalgia Chick, gloriously parodying Sarah Palin, is named Vice-President and spends her days cheerfully attempting to kill off the Critic to take his post. The Minister of Trade wants to bargain with other nations for goods and trading old video games. The chief science officer performs research on a stomp rocket, and the newly designed Kickassian flag is held aloft by a very unhappy human flagpole (because they can't figure out how to use the real one). But it soon becomes apparent that the Critic has turned into a complete despot whose idea of a productive day involves sitting on the couch watching old television shows. When they discover that he's wired the entirety of Kickassia with 20 tons of dynamite, his friends realize that they have to try to find a way to remove him from power before things go horribly wrong."

Did I mention that this plot is dumb, but dumb in a good way. If you read the title of this review, you would see that I asked "Is it possible to parody parody and make it good?", the answer being: yes... kinda. The way the movie is written is that what its parodying is their own content, which is evident by the names of the characters being their internet persona's. The Nostalgia Critic and Nostalgia Chick, Angry Joe, Linkara, Mars Girl, JewWario (to which, while late, I am dedicating this to as he passed away earlier in the year), Cinema Snob, all of whom are the characters and persona's they use online for their content, and as a result, it actually makes the writing and the jokes very clever and hilarious in a dark humor way. Each of the jokes are stabs at their own content along with the content they review (a example being the Nostalgia Critic taking up the persona of M Byson) which something that you can see the moment you look at the poster that was made for the film.

The comedy also extends to the cameos that are laced throughout the story and for the most part, they are well done. Board James (Angry Video Game Nerd (who does have a movie coming out, I should get around to doing that when I can...)) teaching the rebels how to play Risk was hilarious, Little Miss Gamer and the "homage (???)" to Captain N was hilarious, "Goggles" (I'm using quotes because I'm not sure who Goggles is or if its her full name) and the answering machine was, while predictable, still funny. I'd have to say that the worst cameos was (while the joke was still funny) the cameos used in the "revival" of Santa Christ (someone who I'm not going to explain, look that one up yourself) purely because the cameos themselves weren't funny but the joke after.

Cinematography wise, you can tell this was shot on a small budget (assuming there was one to begin with). The camera work isn't the greatest, the camera itself didn't produce that clean of a image, lighting wasn't great, the animations were poor, but I think these work to the films advantage (well, the animation at least). People don't expect blockbuster quality filming in fan films. When we get that, great. If not, then nothing was lost. Most directors of these types of projects try to get as many aspects of the cinematography as close to actual Hollywood films as possible. Whereas here, they make use of what they have and seeing as most of them were probably just starting out at the time, it still looks reasonably well. I think the animation is probably the worse aspect to this but the animation adds to the comedy. You know the effects are cheep, hell some of them were ripped from 8-bit/ 16-bit games (I can't tell what era or what game, if any at all, but still).

There is a sense of self awareness to this film, a subtle destruction of the forth wall if you would. Probably the best example of this is the fact that Doug Walker, the writer, editor and director of the film, also wrote a Nostalgia Critic (his character) review of the film and trashed it in the standard Nostalgia Critic fashion. Kickassia as a whole feels like its a type of film that the people who are performing in it would trash under any other circumstances, which adds to the humor of the whole project. If your going into this thinking that it will be good when comparing it to Hollywood films, then your going to hate this film, but its good because of how bad it is because its awfulness makes it better (if that makes any sense). Next week, in memory of Robin Williams, Aladdin. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

First Impressions: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

My apologies for the delay on this one, I've been preoccupied for the morning.

Ah Lego, the innocent toy loved by children and hatted by wallets everywhere (some countries more so then others). It never ceases to amaze me what people have been able to make with the toy. From basic houses, to cranes, to armies of mass destruction, to a semi livable house (as long as water isn't involved). Everytime I think I've seen it all, something new comes out either from Lego themselves or from a fan that catches my interest. Nine years ago, Lego put out a Star Wars themed Lego game focusing on the plot of the prequel trilogy. The game itself is a lot of fun even if you don't know what star wars is or hate the prequel trilogy. Since then this model has been used in other games including 2 more Star Wars themed games (not including the complete series game that had all 6 films), Indiana Jones, The Lego Movie and of course the super heroes games for Marvel and DC. While I have enjoyed the first Lego Batman game, I never picked up the second one (at time of writing) as what little difficulty it had was, from what I've seen, removed when you could play as Superman early on in the game. So why has Lego Batman 3 taken my interest?

To look at the graphics would be a waste of time. Each of the games uses a fusion of Lego and world themed scenery for its levels, with the Lego generally being used on things you can break for studs (in game currency), collectables or to move on in the level and this is no exception. The art style still works for what it needs to do and I wouldn't change it.

Gameplay wise, if you're a DC fan, then your going to love this. While the core gameplay is exactly the same as every other Lego game using this model, the DC coat of paint has made this new and refreshing. The character selection for this is "If its a DC character, you can play as them" The Justice League, Lex Luthor and the Joker, Adam West (with a level inspired by the old Batman TV show), Super dog and more (the Lego games tend to have a very, very, very large roster of characters), the game will primarily take place on the Lanturn home world (i'm not a big Green Lantern fan... don't judge...), the level shown off at E3 was a assult on the villain occupied Watch Tower.

So why am I excited for this? Because I'm a nerd and while I might not be a GL fan, I am a fan of Batman and the Justice League in general. Will I pick this up? Yes... after I've played Batman 2 because this is a continuation of it. Will I review it? Yes. Speaking of reviews, there will be one next week. I am done with the impressions, the next review will be Kickassia.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

First Impressions: Mario Party 10

Before I get into the impression, call this irony but considering the reason for it... At the time of writing this, Hellfire comms, in association with other Youtubers, is currently hosting a marathon of Sonic games with all the money generated going to Child's Play. If you have a spare couple of hours, watch the streams (or the recordings if you're like me and am sleeping when they're on) and donate. The commentators are a joy to watch and the games are fun to see. Hell, it might even give you enough of a excuse to play Sonic games. The website for the "Sonic-a-thon" is here ( or you can view the stream directly on Twitch. I do believe the streams are being recorded and going onto Youtube so there is that option as well. With that said, onward with Mario Party 10.

Do you hate your friendship with someone? Then Mario Party has you covered because, chances are, your friendship won't be the same after you play it, if it exists afterwards. Don't let your eyes deceive you, this game will test your patience with its randomness. So why is it still being made? The only answer I can give is money. So how does this new installment look in comparison to the last 9 console games and the 3 games on Nintendo's portable consoles?

So what did the Nintendo Treehouse show off... Not much actually. Most of the presentation was focused on the new mode for the game "Bowser Party", another way to punish your friends for being your friends. Its another 4v1 game, 4 players are in a car... train... thing to get through a game board (like in Mario Party 9) with the 5th player (who uses the Game Pad), who controls Bowser, chasing the kart. If Bowser catches up with said kart, the players in the kart have to survive a "Bowser Mini game". In the mini game, Bowser uses the game pad in some form to try and cut the health of the other 4 players. If a player runs out of health in the mini game, then that player is out and it goes back to board. Players can receive more health in the game board and Bowser can get more dice to roll (default of 4) to increase his chances of catching up to the kart. If all the players in the kart run out of health, Bowser wins, if the kart gets to the end of the stage, the other 4 players win. Half of the game board wasn't allowed to be shown so I can't talk about the game board, but it looks like the board that was shown was a "World 1" from the New Super Mario Bros series esque design.

Rides were also shown off, but not how you actually play them in the boards. they're just mini games to get more mini stars from Mario Party 9 so there isn't that much to talk about. There's also supposed to be a traditional Mario Party mode where its 4 players moving around the board individually,with the standards including Bowser spaces, chance time ect. This moment wasn't shown off so I can't talk about it.

For a 20 minute presentation, not much was shown off so I'm going to stop it there, the game is going to have a 2015 release so its expected to have a lack of information. As I said at the start, give the Sonic-a-thon a look and donate if you can, its going to a good cause. The final impression: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

First Impressions: Far Cry 4

Is innovation that scarce in some companies that the only way they can sell a game is if they remake their last game and give it a bigger number? I'm serious about this because the only thing I've seen about Far Cry 4 that's different when comparing it to Far Cry 3 is that it has the number 4 on the box and not what its actually called, Far Cry 3 version 2. I could go on and talk about the trailers that were shown off, even the promotional artwork on steam but... its the same game.

Here's the artwork for Far Cry 3
 And here's the artwork for Far Cry 4

Yes, the background is different, but looking at the trailers, its the exact same map. Hell, even the two villains who you can see on the artwork have the exact same personality. This is just lazy development and the only reason why this didn't get more attention was because of Assassin's Creed Unity and its developers being to lazy to create a female assassin model. I know that there are people who were expecting more of a analysis, but I genuinely found nothing new to talk about. I openly admit that I don't play the Far Cry games, but after looking on other review site to get some more information, I don't have to in order to see how lazy this is. Tomorrow, the tenth squeal to a series of games that will ruin friendships (not including portables): Mario Party 10.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

First Impressions: Code Name S.T.E.A.M

With a concept as crazy as this, combining American History (kinda), Sci-fi, Steampunk, Comic books, Action RPG, Shooters and Turn based statergy... this 3DS title is... questionable. I'm going to be linking the treehouse video that has more information at the end of this post but I will provide a brief explnation as to my thoughs on the matter.

The artstyle: I'm not a fan of Steampunk in general, I personally prefer futuristic tech, but the art style of S.T.E.A.M is still quite nice for the 3DS. I've been replaying Dragon Quest IX recently and the character models remind me of the 3D models in DQ IX, simplistic but detailed.

The intro cutscene (of the presentation): in true comic book style, its cheesy, its over the top, its funny. Thats all that I can really say on the matter.

Gameplay: The gameplay looks like its going to take some time for fans of turn based games to get used to as there are a lot of differences. The camera is always behind the characters (same as third person shooters), the mobility of the characters is dependent on the amount of steam they have in their tanks, the ability to attack is also affect by the amount of steam so the player will have to balance mobility and attacks. The party of 4 characters seam to have multiple weapons and abilities that they can use during the battle and the power of the attacks can also be edited so that weaker shots use less steam. Height seems to be a core part of gameplay, so that you can no whats happening on the battlefield. Control seems to be touch screen heavy and I didn't see any button controls used in the presentation.

Soundtrack: I couldn't tell what was S.T.E.A.M and what was other games at E3, so i'm not going to say anything about the audio for now.

That's pretty much it for Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Feel free to watch the video for more info on the game if your curious. I'll loo into it some more closer to its release and I'll probably give it a review. Tommorow, the reason why I didn't say much on Far Cry 4.

Monday, 4 August 2014

First Impressions: Yoshi's Woolly World

The art's and crafts art style seems to be relatively popular at the moment, at least for platformers. With the "success" of Kirby's Epic Yarn, it's only fitting that Nintendo would try the formula again for another of their mascots. So how does Yoshi's Woolly World (once known as either Yarn Yoshi or Yoshi's Epic Yarn because of how long fans have know about the project) take the fundamentals of Epic Yarn and update them (based on the trailer).

Well, on the subject of the aesthetics, "thanks to the amazing powers of the WiiU's technology, Yarn Yoshi (as he will now be called throughout the duration of this impression) can be rendered in 3D and is actually a solid mass, not a hollow 2D shell like Yarn Kirby and all the characters in Kirby's Epic Yarn". Yes, Yoshi is solid in this and he still has access to his power of converting enemies into egg projectiles, but the way its done now is actually kinda interesting. As with Epic Yarn, the world uses the wool motif to create hidden unlockable locations. Yoshi can throw his "eggs" at the shells of platforms and fill them in to create something to stand on. Yoshi can use the eggs to hinder some enemies ability to attack (like wrapping the mouth shut on a Piranha Plant) and the eggs can be thrown to clear away what looks like cotton. Some portions of the world can also be converted into eggs to unlock hidden paths and collectables. I've included the trailer at the bottom of the post so feel free to see these move in action along with others.

Aesthetics wise, like Kirby's Epic Yarn, the game looks adorable. I love this kind of aesthetic as you can do whatever you want with it, as shown by the Little Big Planet series. The Yoshi games have always had a sense of cute when it comes to visuals and this is no exception. One of my personal favorite enemies in this is the fire dog at then end of the trailer (which I think is a boss) for that reason, it's adorable... even though it wants to kill me...

I'm not sure if Yoshi's Woolly World is going to keep the "you can't die, you only loose beads" idea that Epic Yarn had, but if it does, I wouldn't mind. I don't care about difficulty in some games, hell I've never had a hard time with a Kirby game so it didn't bother me. The Yoshi games also haven't been a challenge to me so I wouldn't care if the system was brought back. The game still looks like a joy to play so I will be giving it a shot when I can. Because I only have 4 more impressions left to do, every day this week will have a new impression so tomorrow will be Code name S.T.E.A.M. Also, because this post will probably push it over, Blaster's Reviews will have reached the 1000 page view milestone, thank you for reading what I've been posting up here. The reviews will be coming soon, I have a few things planned so enjoy.

Friday, 1 August 2014

First Impressions: Sonic Boom

I openly admit that I'm behind the times, this song did come out in 1993 an was the theme for Sonic CD in the US and is one of the most well known Sonic vocal songs of all time...

My apologies for that, I got my documents messed up...

Sonic Boom, the upcoming Sonic game for 2014 along with the new TV show based on the two games. And as usual for Sonic games, they get unneeded hate from the fan base. Why? I'll answer that at the end of this.

I'll start with the games. As with Sonic Lost World, a 3DS version and a WiiU version will be made, but unlike Lost World, the consoles will have a different version of the game with a different plot, playable characters ect. In Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, you can play as Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles, the main 4 characters for the franchise.

 And as you can see from this, all four of them have had a redesign. For a better look...
Before I get to gameplay, I'll go through the "controversial redesigns".
  • Sonic: There is barely anything is different with him. I like the little bit of detail in his spines, yes the exsessive use of sports tape is a bit of a let down but the same thing applies to all the characters except the "new" character so I'm going to ignore it. I love the addition of the scarf as it adds that little bit of detail to the character that updates him properly for the first time since the Dreamcast.
  • Tails: The short and sharp version of my opinions on Tails is that he actually looks like a engineer now, which I like
  • Amy: Ever since the designs were revealed, I haven't had any thing to say about Amy spesifically. I like this design more so then her main design as it seems to be more functional then the main design in the main series (at this point in time, this is a spin off of the series). I like the update to the hammer, even though it will probably be as ridiculous as ever in terms of physics (Amy is the reason why "Hammer space" exists).
  • Knuckles: The controversy magnet for these redesigns... Where do I begin with Knuckles... How about the fact that he's not that bad. Even when I first saw him I didn't think he was that bad. Not great, I will admit that there are flaws but its not the end of teh world that people are making him out to be. I'm not a fan of his height, I do think he could be a bit shorter. I do like the fact that he has a lot more bulk to him now as he is supposed to be the muscle of the group, something that doesn't make sense in the current series. I will admit that the lack of a neck is more of a problem with Knuckles then it is for anyone else but I can learn to live with it.
  • And finally, defiantly not Marine the Racoon, original creation do not steel... aka Sticks the badger: In terms of design, when its not screaming "I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MARINE", she looks ok. I'm skeptical about her character at this point in time i'm going to hold off on my thoughts about her, until I can see her in action.
If you want a look at some more characters, look here for the concept art: don't ask for impressions on these characters.
As for Gameplay of the WiiU version, it looks fun. Simple, but fun. If you've played a Crash Bandicoot game, then you'll recognize the play styles of the characters. But seeing as the founders of Big Redd Button, the developers behind the games, came from Naughty Dog and worked on the first three Crash Bandicoot games (on top of the fact that Crash was based on Sonic) its no surprise. Each of the characters have a different play style and different paths they can travel to get to the end of the level. Sonic's is based on the 3D sonic games like Adventure, Heroes and Generations, Tails is mechanical and ranged based combat, Amy is the most athletic (has the highest jump ect) and uses acrobatic motions to platform with the help of her hammer, and Knuckes plays how you would expect him to.He can climb walls, tunnel underground, mow through enemies using his fists, the usual. As for Sticks... I have no idea. The gameplay is likely to be replicated in the 3DS version except the fact that it will be 2D based so for now, assume that what I said effects both versions.

Story wise: I'm going to directly quote the Sonic Wiki because news on the plot is scarce.

The Rise of Lyric (WiiU): "Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric follows Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose and Sticks as they do battle against the evil Dr. Eggman. The group find themselves arriving on an island where they encounter an ancient tomb sealed deep within the island. There, they come across a powerful snake-like villain from a race called the Ancients, named Lyric, who plans to power his army of war mongering robots with the Chaos Crystals and destroy the world. To stop Lyric's evil plan, the group must put aside their differences and find the Chaos Crystals before Lyric. The stakes have never been higher, and the only chance to overcome Lyric is to band together and work as a team."

Shattered Crystal: "In Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, Amy discovers a secret ancient language and manuscript detailing the history and whereabouts of a Lost Crystal of Power. The evil and vile villain, Lyric, kidnaps Amy in his eagerness to get his claws on this long-forgotten power that has been hidden throughout the jungles and canyons of a mysterious new island. Sonic must team up with Tails, Knuckles and new friend Sticks to trace Amy’s footsteps and save her from the clutches of Lyric and his robot army. By trusting in their own abilities and working as a team, they will prove they are stronger together than they are apart."

Based on that, the plot for the WiiU version sounds interesting and I'm curious as to how it will be implemented. My only issue with the story is the 3DS version. Why is Amy being kidnapped? It doesn't make any sense based on her personality. The last time she was kidnapped was in Sonic Adventure and her kidnapper was the final boss in her part of the story so I hope something like this happens again.

Finally, the TV show. For the first time since Sonic X, we will be having another Sonic cartoon. from the two trailers we've seen, it looks like its going to have a comical side to it but I'm not sure how much humor is in the show. We've only had two trailers and they're being very vague as to what the show is about in my opinion. Only time will tell. The next impression will be Yoshi's Woolly world with Code Name S.T.E.A.M being the one after.