Thursday, November 30, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur. This game, from developers Gambir Studio is already out not only on Switch but also on PS5, Xbox, and PC.

The demo for Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur is good and bad which makes talking about it difficult. the game i played was good. it looked great, controlled well, and wasn't too difficult. the tutorial used cards but levelled them up with videos and sometimes it would introduce a second card and video showing another use for the move! I've not seen it before and in that respect it's impressive but those videos looked low resolution and a bit dark. the small details were hard to see.

The demo is from the start of the game so we also get to watch an interesting intro movie that not only explains everything but also hints as towards something being up with one of the main characters. But the intro video is compressed and looked maybe 480p. it was noticeable how bad it was when the gameplay started as the game looks great and crisp, with lots of color and high amount of detail in the art.

So the demo is good at establishing the world, the characters, and what the controls do. But what it fails to do is to convey clearly what the loop is. Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur is a run based game, something that to me makes me think or Rouge Legacy. In those games the character typically starts of weak so the initial runs are very short, but usually we're able to make small progress and learn enough to understand the loop. Here, the game seemed to have got close to revealing the loop, but stumbled. 

I got a demo over screen when the demo wasn't over. if i stopped when the screen came up, i would've understood less than i do now as i continued playing the game. By continuing i found new characters, did more in the home area, and tried out new powers. But i still don't clearly know what the loop is as i never completed one. i died at the beginning, which i'm mostly sure i'm supposed to do, and right at the end of the game. all the time in-between felt like one loop. i don't know if it is or if it isn't. i don't know if i'm meant to go out and explore repeatedly, or just do it once and move one. 

It's hard to say whether it's just the demo that failed to get across this critical aspect of the game or if it's just the game itself. on one hand, i'm much more interested in the game than i was and wouldn't mind playing it. but on the other hand, i don't fully know what the game wants me to do. So yeah, the demo is both a success and a failure.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Backlog Conquering - CounterSpy On PS3 - Part 2 – 3 More Missions

CounterSpy is the current Backlog Conquering Wednesday game. i'm playing this version of the game on PlayStation 3. It came out across the PS4, PSV and even mobile in 2014 from developers Dynamighty.

This part felt more difficult than the first part. CounterSpy is randomly generated and today's video felt like it was suffering with the increase of difficulty. the game is adding more enemies as well as different types of enemies so by the time i got to the end of the level it felt like i had no choice but to shoot them. With ammo being so expensive, up to this point, it felt like the goal was stealth takedowns, but now the game seems to want me to do more shooting. So when it comes to money, a lot is being spent on ammo and not leaving much to unlock new guns or equip new potions.

There will be a third part to this game. whilst the gameplay is getting difficult, the story is getting interesting. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Mille Cup Revival - Achievement Run

Welcome to Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday! Sit back and either watch me play through, with no commentary, the cup or leave it running in the background as BGM!

I play and earn all the achievements from The Mille Cup Revival! ( 2023/11/27 9:00~2023/12/4 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the Mille Cup Revival. i have played this cup before, That video is shorter than this one and is the first time where i did worse in a Revival Cup than the Original Cup!

This wasn't a good week for me. the gimmick this week wasn't too difficult either. i just couldn't seem to keep the big scores coming right until the boss. so whilst i got to the boss a couple of times, i was never able to defeat it whereas it felt like the other human characters were able to beat the boss. I also had bad luck when it came to the bonus points so i wasn't able to climb the scores that way.

This week i played against:
みーど - Rank 55
ゆきぎけ - Rank 66
⊂===( • ω • ) ⊃ - Rank 53
Marty - Rank 67
アオトロ-ル - Rank 67

Monday, November 27, 2023

Cloud Monday - Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - Part 2 - Side Quests Are Weird In A Known Story

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. I streamed this game, developed by, CyberConnect2, via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service on my launch model Japanese PS4.

I was concerned last time that getting the game to work might be a one off, but i was wrong. once again, the game started for the first time when i wanted to play it. it's a welcomed surprise and i may check out some of the other games that refused to work.

A lot of what i said in part 1,, are true in this part. but the thing that stuck out the most was actually doing side quests. If, like me, you're familiar with the story of Dragon Ball Z then the idea of doing side quests is strange as it's hard to imagine how they'd fit them into the game. the stuff in part 1 worked well as a tutorial and was before Dragon Ball Z started. In this part, the side quest on the island also work because the story hadn't kicked off.

But having to save Gohan or do a side quest just felt wrong. at this point in the game i was Goku and my son had been stolen by Raditz, so naturally my response is to go and save Gohan. it's what happens in Dragon Ball Z and it's the natural thing to do. but to have the map open up a bit and for there to be side quests just didn't feel right. i tried to do one but abandoned it to continue the story.

This game is a little difficult to review. on one hand it's got pretty good game design to be streamed from the cloud to my PS4. there are some story moments hard to skip, but for the most part it works as a cloud streaming game and in that respect it's better than quite a lot in this series. But on the other hand, it's a weird game in that i don't know who's it's audience. People who like and know Dragon Ball Z already know this story. if this game was just this story then i'd understand why they'd want to play it. but the addition of social connections, RPG elements, and side quests feel more like bloat than a useful addition. so perhaps this is aimed at those who want a different type of RPG or who recognise Goku but don't know the story.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Online Weekend - Sunday - Gundam Evolution - It's Final Weekend!

This weekend is the final weekend for Gundam Evolution. I'm playing this game on PS4. Gundam Evolution ends at the end of November so be sure to join in and play before then!
Here are 6 casual games i played on Sunday.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Online Weekend - Saturday - Gundam Evolution - It's Final Weekend!

This weekend is the final weekend for Gundam Evolution. I'm playing this game on PS4.  Gundam Evolution ends at the end of November so be sure to join in and play before then!
Here are 3 casual an 1 ranked games i played on Saturday.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Mobile Friday - Vampire Survivors - Fun Gameplay Hobbled By Everything Else


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Vampire Survivors on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game from  Poncle Games is also out on #Android and consoles

Vampire Survivors was released last year to much fanfare and praise but i held of from playing it because it looked like a console game ported to iPhone rather than being designed for it. A long time has passed and this hasn't changed so i decided to just try it.

Unfortunately for the game, it still looks and plays like a console game ported to phones. it got off to a bad start when it glitched the first time i loaded it up vertically as the final few pixels at the top failed to load and left me with a black banner. most of the game feels too small, and due to the games artstyle, not very distinct. the enemies are perhaps the only highlight because they're bigger than my player character or visually distinct from each other. tho there were some that i couldn't make out what they were.

One option would be to zoom in. but the area i saw on my phone already felt smaller than normal, more so when the game put up borders, for no apparent reason, that gave it a 4:3 feel rather than making full use of my screen. it's a baffling choice that irked me throughout my hour with the game.

This game is also not very accessible. it tells you nothing about how to play it or how to make progress in it. The garliclike genre is fairly new and the team are making some big assumptions about mobile players and the time they're willing to put into something in comparison to console gamers. it's so bad that i wouldn't recommend this game to any casual gamer unless they're playing one of the many knock off games.

the real frustratingly thing is that the gameplay is great. i've got enough experience to know what the gameplay loop is, that and i heard about this game across many podcasts. it's a bit uneven at this early point in the game and i wonder if it'll ever balance itself once you buy upgrades, but once you get going with more upgrades and abilities it gets really fun.

It's just nearly everything else around it holds it back from being truly great. it's not a complete package. But it's fun enough that i won't be deleting it either.

(Version 1.7.103 Played)

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Snakebird Complete on Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Snakebird Complete. This game, from developers Noumenon Games is out from today.

Snakebird Complete is the combination of Snakebird and Snakebird: Primer that has been updated for the Nintendo Switch. i was unfamiliar with them and wanted to try this demo to see how they use the game Snake as a puzzle game.

This demo appears to be the beginning of the main game. we have access to both islands, tho it was never explicitly said to us how to get to the second island. unfortunately, even tho it's the start of the game, the tutorial of this game is minimal at best. the first level does put up a controller to help show what buttons do what, but i was using a pro controller and not a Joy-Con that was on screen. we are taught how to move and control, but surprisingly we're not taught that we can't move back or what the goal of the levels with fruit is. 

I'm familiar with Snake so i knew what to do, but i was surprised that the game never told us what it wanted us to do, what the goal of the game was. Thankfully, the game doesn't penalize mistakes. there are no limits on how many moves you can make either. But again, the game also fails to mention that we should use the pause menu as not only can we add a grid to the screen to help us understand where the birds can go, but there's also a hint system too.

It is possible that the demo is buggy or incomplete. for example, on the first island we were able to play level 49 for some reason. But with the game out now, i don't think so. I also don't know if our progress from the demo is carried over to the final game. 

The demo is effective in that we understand how the mechanics and puzzles work, and that there's no penalty for failing. But after playing it, i'm not that interested in playing a game that tells us so little. when we went to the second island, i had to infer that the spikes were dangerous as the game didn't tell us but it was only through playing that it became clear that it was only falling on them that was the issue. I worry that there'll be other obstacles and mechanics later that be poorly communicated about and be an added frustration to the puzzle itself. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Backlog Conquering - CounterSpy On PS3 - My First Four Missions

CounterSpy is the new Backlog Conquering Wednesday game. i'm playing this version of the game on PlayStation3. It came out across the PS4, PSV and even mobile in 2014 from developers Dynamighty.

When this came out in 2014, i remember a lot of talk about how it looks and sounds. And it does, it's a beautiful game on PS3 and it's soundtrack is great. Another unique, more so at the time, feature of this game was how the levels in each mission are randomly built. So this means the levels you see me take on in this video maybe different to others in other videos.

This is a double edged sword however as i felt that the second mission, the first one after the tutorial, was much harder than i anticipated. I died and quickly learnt that i'd have to be more careful. it highlighted that whist the game is good in highlighting where the enemy soldiers are, the camera in the game actually obstructs our view in comparison to what our character sees. An example of this is how at the start of the missions there's a solider warning, but we can't see said soldier until we're very close so dealing with them can be down to reactions rather than planned or stealthy. 

So far, i enjoyed playing the game so will continue into part 2. it's a shame i'm playing this now and not when it came out as the online features have been turned off.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Valeria Cup Revival - Achievement Run

Welcome to Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday! Sit back and either watch me play through, with no commentary, the cup or leave it running in the background as BGM!

I play and earn all the achievements from The Valeria Cup Revival! ( 2023/11/20 9:00~2023/11/27 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the Valeria Cup Revival. i have played this cup before, That video took over an hour and a half for me to get the achievements for that week!

It went well for me this week. i won a few matches and i got the achievements quite quickly. but it wasn't amazing. for example, i wasn't able to beat the boss, nor could i get to it regularly. I also didn't seem to have much luck with getting the big combos needed for the big points. But it was fun going up against some human players and having some close matches against them. it looks like they were having just as much trouble beating the final boss as i was.

This week i played against:
かなた - Rank 58
ヘロ - Rank 79
こんたあき - Rank 50
$$ - Rank 73

Monday, November 20, 2023

Cloud Monday - Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - Part 1 - Good Game Design For Streaming, Unsure For Playing

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. I streamed this game, developed by, CyberConnect2, via the #PlayStationPlus Cloud Streaming Service on my launch model Japanese PS4.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a game i've been trying to stream for a while now. I try it each week, and since it came to PlayStation Plus it's never worked. Until now! I was really surprised and very unprepared for it, i've been saying for a long time that i couldn't get it to work and, at least this one time, it did.

My thinking behind trying this game is that it's slower pace might make it more suitable for it being streamed. i had hoped that, as a RPG, we'd be able to save more frequently. And it looks like we can. the game also has a decent auto save feature that seemed to be fairly active. so in comparison to Scarlet Nexus, i was more confident that i could either manually save, hit an auto save, or get to a save point in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot than Scarlet Nexus.

A welcome bonus is how big and simple the characters are on screen. they look very much like their anime counterparts, so when there was some macroblocking i was still able to work out what was happening and wasn't really hampered. this is a great looking game and it feels like you're playing in the anime. so when there is macroblocking or stream tearing, it takes you out of the experience, more than anything else, because it looks so much like what it's based on.

But, whilst there are many positives about the game design and how suitable it is for being streamed from the cloud i can't ignore how other parts of it weren't great for actually playing. In, nearly, every section of this first part there was something that i found annoying or something that made the game less accessible. 

The way it introduces anything new with tutorial cards of screen is simply lazy and something i'll always complain about. it's something that's not that accessible to new players. i'd expect the cards if i was looking for a reminder on how to do something. They have Goku and Gohan at the start, Goku could simply be telling Gohan the basics of fighting and that could've been out introduction. The way they introduce the social aspect of this game is also baffling and a part of the game i didn't know about.

The controls were often slightly worse than i expected, for example the dash is super fast and difficult to use or when you're on Nimbus and there are collectable orbs but you have to seemingly touch them to collect them but that's difficult because Nimbus is slightly more difficult to control than expected. Also, why  can i collect items from afar but not these orbs?

Maybe in part 2 there'll be more context for everything and with more practice things will improve. but as it's been near impossible to play this game just once i'm not sure if/when Part 2 may be.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - November's Splatfest Tricolor - 15 Battles 11 Wins!

Welcome to Switch Funday.
It's day two of the Splatfest weekend so today's video focuses on the Tricolor game mode in Splatoon3. the connection issues and long waiting times for matches continued from yesterday, but on the plus side teamhandshake did much better today in Tricolor than in yesterday's Splatfest Battle.

Even tho my teams and i won 11 battles today, they weren't all big wins. some of them were very close, many came because the opposing teams forgot the golden rule with Splatoon 3, and that is inking. most of the teams i was on focused on inking as well as attacking or defending. this meant i was mostly confident that we had always achieved one goal. this is clear when watching the percentage at the top of the screen.

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - November's Splatfest - 15 Battles 5 Wins!

Welcome to Online Saturday.
It's a Splatfest weekend so today's video is on the "What's your go-to greeting?" Splatfest in Splatoon 3. Our choices are between Handshake, fist bump, or hug. I chose to join team handshake.

This wasn't as fun as i had hoped. it was yet another Splatfest blighted by connection issues. it took minutes for nearly all games to be found, and twice games were abandoned due to disconnections. there were also a couple of times when games would continue even tho we'd be down a teammate due to a disconnection. it wasn't great after the last Splatfest, but the game has been patched since then and for things to be still bad is disappointing. As for how this Splatfest went, simply it didn't go great. i would often top the score sheets for my team, but as a team we simply weren't doing enough to ink or work together. so that also adds to the feeling that this wasn't a great Splatfest.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Mobile Friday - Fortress Saga: AFK RPG - One of This Year’s Best Idle Games

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Fortress Saga: AFK RPG on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game from CookAppsGames  is also out on #Android. 

Fortress Saga: AFK RPG has risen to the top of the gaming charts on #iOS so i was keen to see what it was about the game that was so popular. i cam away from this hour with the game very impressed with it. the team at  CookAppsGames  have created a highly accessible game, one with a great soundtrack, and even managed to combine the tutorial into building how the world works. Fortress Saga: AFK RPG also makes smart use of the phone's screen, making sure to not only avoid the dynamic island but also the curves at each of the four edges.

(Version 1.3.02 Played)

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Howl on Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Howl. This game, from developers Mi'pu'mi Games, is out now.

I was curious about this game. it's visuals are unique and interesting but the trailer made the game look like it was really difficult, not just in terms of difficulty but also in gameplay. So i went into this demo hoping that it would give some answers. 

This demo doesn't appear to be bespoke, it appears to be from the start of the game. on one hand it's good because we get the back story and tutorials, but on the other hand the tutorials aren't great and there's not much added to the story during this demo.

Frequent viewers will know i don't like the use of tutorial cards. this game does add a picture to the cards and tries to show the cards one at a time rather than all at once. but i don't think it works as the cards, when they come, feel out of place and not as useful as they would've been if they were shown earlier. i can't help but feel the game missed out on using the story to do the tutorial, or at least a large part of it. for example, instead of saying in the story that we were trained, why not let us play that. more backstory could be added, more character stuff and world building would help us care more. and once the tutorial finished, the game would start where it does in the demo.

In the video i complain that the tutorial cards are also underutilized. the biggest one was when a card told us how to turn on assist mode. it never said what that mode does, on the card, and just gave instructions on where to find it instead of giving us the option to turn it on from that tutorial card.

All this helped answer the question i had about this game in that it doesn't tell you enough and expects you to work it out for yourself. so it's not very accessible to new or less experienced gamers. So, as a demo, it does work as i now know this isn't the game for me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Backlog Conquering - Abzû On PS4 - From Start to Finish

This is a video of my playthrough of Abzû on my #PlayStation4. I have edited together all 3 parts into one long video. the cut between each video is a little rough but i don't think it gets in the way of enjoying this playthrough. there is no commentary either.

You can watch each part at:

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Pixel Zuoh Cup Revival - Achievement Run

Welcome to Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday! Sit back and either watch me play through, with no commentary, the cup or leave it running in the background as BGM!

I play and earn all the achievements from The Pixel Zuoh Cup Revival! ( 2023/11/13 9:00~2023/11/20 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the  Pixel Zuoh Cup Revival. i have played this cup before, I think i did better in that cup than in this one!

It wasn't a great cup this week. i only played against two other players in two games. the rest of the games were up against the computer. i found it fairly difficult to make the needed matches for this cup quickly. it meant that whilst i got to the final boss a few times, i just didn't have enough time to defeat them. Without making the needed combos to get the big points, i wouldn't attack the enemies hard enough. so throughout this cup there are times when it looks like i'm about to make a big attack but i don't because i haven't triggered the attack bonus.

This week i played against:
ルーチヤ - Rank 67
お※ - Rank 65

Monday, November 13, 2023

Cloud Monday - Elite Dangerous - Part 2 - A Game Well Designed For Being Played Via The Cloud

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing Elite: Dangerous. I streamed this game, developed by Frontier Developments, via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my launch model PS4. 

Part 1,, went really well and surprised me with how accurate and responsive the motion controls were. This video carries on where part 1 finished. the goal, in game, was to do as the game suggested, take on some trials. This section continued on with the game not really giving enough information on how best to do things. there were a lot of labels so it wasn't too bad, but these small accessibility issues do add up.

Something worthy of praise is how the game has automated certain things. As this is somewhat accurate, the distances between planets and solar systems is vast. so to help with navigation, the game has a system where it locks-on to the planet, takes control of our ship, and gets us there. this has been used to help us dock at stations, too. Having such an accessible feature also becomes useful if the internet connection isn't good. if we lose it, we know what we were doing. if the connection stabilises, then we've probably arrived at our destination.

Whilst the game itself may not be fore everyone, it is well designed to be streamed from PlayStation Plus to us. So much so that i would recommend it. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - Getting November's Salmon Run Item

This month's Splatoon 3 Salmon Run item is the Brinestone Boots and like the other Salmon Run items, my goal is to get the item twice and pick the best of the two to keep. This went better than last weeks Eggstra Work Event,, not just in that my teams and i were able to complete all waves but also in that it was much quicker getting into a game and there was better rotation of the weapons, too. What was also nice was how the weapon selection today went from good to great. often in Salmon Run there's a weapon i really don't want to use. but today, there were a couple of "OK" and some i had a lot of fun with. 

It only took 6 games to get the item twice, but as the video was short in comparison to my other Splatoon 3 videos, i did an extra video to get to 1,000 points. we also had a game where we went up against the King Salmonid but we were only able to do about half damage. There were many games today where there was great team work and i try to call it out when i see it. these games weren't just fun to play because we did all waves, they were fun because of the teamwork. 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Switch Funday - Tetris 99 - 36th Maximus Cup - Super Mario RPG

This weekend there is the 36th Maximus cup in Tetris 99. the prize this cup is a Super Mario RPG theme. I haven't played the game since the last cup,, and i definitely felt rusty this time. it felt a lot more difficult and it felt like there were more mistakes. some of those are mine as i have a cold and was coughing. some were down the the poor d-pad on my #Switch Pro Controller. but it also felt like some of it is down to the game and it not registering my button presses. it's an odd sensation.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - South of the Circle On iOS

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played South of the Circle on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game came out on the iOS App Store in October and it downloads as this trial of the game. once the trial is finished, there's an option to purchase the rest of the game. 

It's an interesting trial as on one hand it feels maybe too short but on the other hand it ends at just the right place in the story that i want to know what happens next. so i'm a little conflicted about that. I feel that the game could do a better job at promoting the full version of the game. the trial finished and i don't have any sense how big the story is or how much is left. the trailer that plays in the App Store would've been a nice addition at the end of the trial to give a sense of scale of what's ahead.

Another weird choice is that the game starts without subtitles, almost requiring the game be played with sound or headphones. at the very least i would've appreciated having a choice. The game also doesn't highlight the options either. when you make your first choice in the game, i didn't expect there to be a circle that fills up. it caught me off guard a bit and i forgot the start of the story. i feel the game needs to do a better job at introducing these things so when the story starts, that's the sole focus. for example, just before the story starts, a white screen and in the top corner the option button appears. there's text saying what it is and something like an OK button. so when you hit the OK button, you see how the game uses circles as conformations. 

The game appears to make smart use of the iPhone's screen. not once did i feel like the Dynamic Island got in the way of gameplay. the game also looks really good. the art style they've gone with works very well. it's distinctively different but, in this trial, everything was clear. in a way, this game could be one to show off the graphical capabilities of your phone. 

So it's not the best demo i've played, but in the end it did succeed because once it was finished i was still interested in playing more of it.

Version 1.0.1 Played.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Backlog Conquering - Abzû On PS4 - Part 3 - The Final Part

This is the final part of my play through of Abzu on PlayStation 4. Whilst i may not fully understand the story the developers were trying to tell, i did enjoy being in the world. the swimming, the interactions, and the world they had created was really nice to explore. And of course the fantastic Soundtrack by @awintory  not only adds to the gameplay and what you do in the game, but it also helps give more life to the world and just being in it.

Other than the story and how it is told, i don't really have much to complain about. i really enjoyed my time in the game and i'm glad i finally played it. It's definitely up there as one of the better games on the PS4.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Sanada Yukimura Cup Revival - Achievement Run

Welcome to Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday! Sit back and either watch me play through, with no commentary, the cup or leave it running in the background as BGM!

I play and earn all the achievements from The Sanada Yukimura Cup Revival! ( 2023/11/6 9:00~2023/11/13 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the  Sanada Yukimura Cup Revival. i have played this cup before, Back then, it took a long time to get all the achievements. i got unlucky with where the color swapper was located and i found it difficult to make the correct matches to get full powered attacks.

Even tho i only played against a few other human players, it was very competitive. so, in a way, it was exciting and challenging. i was keeping an eye on what stage the other players had reached. As i played more games. i got better and better so in the final game i was able to beat the boss for the first time. But i admit that for the most part i was lucky in that the orb changing location wasn't really in the way. in comparison to the first time i played this cup, i understood what was needed for dealing the most damage fairly quickly and focused on trying to do it.

This week i played against:
ジャンプ - Rank 44
☆REI☆ - Rank 72
ゆうま - Rank 56
どっへ - Rank 49

Monday, November 6, 2023

Cloud Monday - Elite Dangerous - No Lag With Motion Controls And The Save Peace Of Mind A MMO Brings

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing Elite: Dangerous. I streamed this game, developed by Frontier Developments, via the #PlayStationPlus Cloud Streaming Service on my launch model Japanese #PS4.

When i was streaming Cloudpunk, the big issue in that game was that it wasn't clear if or when the game was saving. When i saw that a MMO was on PlayStation Plus i knew i wanted to play it because like Cloudpunk it won't always be clear that it's saving, but because it's a MMO it's easier to accept that the game is keeping track of what i'm doing and where i am.

But for someone unfamiliar with MMOs, this isn't ideal and it's why i mention it in the video title, so it could help someone. I think that the game's PlayStation Store page could have a sentence or two added to help explain how the game handles saves.

I was a little surprised by how rough the streaming experience was at times, we had the connection warning a few times. But i was even more surprised how well the game held up. Stream Tearing was somewhat frequent and obvious against the black of space. But other than that, nothing really stood out as being off due to streaming. I wonder if the game, being a MMO that is streamed, has some tech built in that helped keep image quality as high as it was.

The only issues i had with the game were the game's own faults. the two that stick out the most was the training ship that kept running away out of bounds, so that part took a long time, and having to que to enter a station. Other than that, i felt it was a decent first hour and a good tutorial that was open about not telling the player everything but there is a book that i could read to learn more. the game does kind of let us go a bit abruptly. i think i would've liked a little more hand holding for the next mission, but that'll be in part 2 when i select a mission to try.

A big positive from streaming the game was how good the motion controls where for looking around the cockpit. i felt no lag from using them. the controls in general felt responsive and suffering from no lag. they do take a bit to get used to tho, i was getting shoot and thrust mixed up a few times.

I do have a couple of concerns with Elite: Dangerous as a game that's being streamed to us. none of them were tested in this video, but there's always part 2. probably the biggest concern is how small the text is. i found it legible all throughout this video. But i worry what would happen if the resolution or bit-rate dropped. But for now, it's a good game to stream.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - November's Eggstra Work Event

Welcome to Switch Funday!

This weekend is November's Eggstra Work Event. I mistakenly thought, especially early on into the recording, that as well as doing the event i would be able to get this months Salmon Run item but i was wrong. so that'll be another video later. as for this Eggstra work event, my goal changed from getting the Salmon Run item, to getting to 800 points, to what i ended up chasing which was trying to get 1,000 points.

But it was not easy. this might be the most difficult Eggstra Work Event i've done in Splatoon 3. My teams and I only managed to get to the final wave once out of the 15 tries, and only to the third wave i think 3 times. It was the second wave that caused the most issues as it was a glowflies challenge. The other annoying thing was that i kept being stuck with the same two weapons. it wasn't until right at the end that i got to use the other two and i enjoyed using the Splatshot the most. Facing the same challenges with the same weapons got boring quickly. especially when the difficulty from wave 1 to wave 2 was already a big leap, but it was even worse if you did good or great as wave 2 got even harder. Nintendo need to do better at balancing Eggstra Work or patch the game so it can be more dynamic with the difficulty.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - November's Unite Weekend

Today's Online Saturday video is on Pokémon Unite. as this is the first full weekend of November, it's a Unite Weekend. this means i'm able to use any Pokémon i want in the unranked online modes. my goal with these weekends is to try out several new Pokémon i don't have and hopefully find some new favorites. 

As well as the Unite Weekend, there is a Halloween event in Pokémon Unite in the Quick Matches. I tried a quick match but didn't think much of it so i won't do a video on the Halloween Event. it's simply adding Pokémon themed pumpkins around the map and turning your Pokémon into a giant round pumpkin.

As for this Pokémon Unite Weekend, i went in wanting to give Charizard a go, but other than that i didn't have a plan. i wanted to try Charizard for it's long range attacking and i felt it went really well, i had fun. After that, i tried Machamp as i enjoyed being more attacking. i'm not typically a big fan of close range melee, but i actually enjoyed using Machamp. both Charizard and Machamp were so much fun that they could be the next Pokémon i get a license for. As for the other Pokemon, i didn't have much fun with Wigglytuff, Goodra was OK but perhaps i should've tried different moves. Glaceon was fun, but like Goodra i think i didn't pick the best moves for how i play. And i don't think i quite grasped how to use Aegislash. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Mobile Friday - Mortal Kombat: Onslaught - An Accessible Strategy RPG That’s Good But Has Some Bugs

For Mobile Friday this week i tried out Mortal Kombat: Onslaught on iPhone 14 Pro. this game is from NetherRealm Studios and is out on Android, too.

With the focus being on the recent Mortal Kombat 1 release, I hadn't heard of this game until i found it on the app store. I was curious about so many different aspects of this game that it had to be the next game i played. I could see from the game's app store page that it wasn't a 1 vs. 1 fighting game and that it's star rating wasn't too high.

starting the game we're greeted by the game telling us to download a further 1.745GB of data. Because of this, do not play this game for the first time on your mobile network. that's far too much data to download and will eat into your quota. the first time you play this game should be with Wi-fi. but even then, it took about 11 minutes to download and then install that data, enough time that i had to watch the same video loop 9 times during the intro. during the video i said that that time and video could be better served as a tutorial, but seeing as the game does a great job of that already i'd actually suggest the game use that time and video to tell the story of the characters throughout the series, or what had happened up to the beginning of the recently released fighting game. I've not played Mortal Kombat seriously since the Mega Drive, and whilst i am curious about the new game, i have no idea who most the characters are and what the story is.

With our first interactions with the game being that rough, i wasn't too optimistic about the rest of the game. But i'm glad to say i was wrong. from this point on, the game does soo much right. we get a lengthy opening cinematic that tells some of the back story and setting the scene for this game. we're set on our journey with a mix of writing and in-game cinematics. and then the game uses the first chapter of the story to teach us many aspects of the game via a well thought out tutorial. as i only played the first hour, it's difficult to know if the tutorial continues to be great as you level up and unlock more. i will say that the one thing it missed was the character types. the tutorial does a great job taking us through different aspects of the character but fails to bring up their type, for example if they're support, and how best each type could be used in battle.

the fights in Mortal Kombat: Onslaught are also quite accessible. the characters will do basic attacks automatically and when it comes to their special attacks, we're given the choice to simply press their icon to activate and let the computer use it or we can take control and be, maybe, more precise with it. the difficult of the battles was very appropriate in the first chapter and in the second it said we should start levelling up our characters. i didn't for the first battle and found it more difficult. so i took the game's advice, leveled up the characters, and things went much smoother.

One of the bigger criticisms i have with mobile games is how they push the store onto players. thankfully, Mortal Kombat Onslaught doesn't do this. what's even better is that you can press on any item in the game and it tells you what it is, what it does, and when to use it. the game does have a store and now we can use it with better knowledge of what's on sale and it's value.

Whilst there is a lot of good things to say about this game, the bugs can't be ignored. I don't know if there is meant to be voice acting in this game. i only got it in the second chapter. it could be that it's a bug. but in the opening cinematic to the second chapter there was a bug where the video froze and the audio continued. When i was downloading the game, i noticed on more than one occasion that the download seem to pause before continuing. i wasn't sure if the audio was correct, sometimes i felt like in fights that the audio was lagging behind the action on screen so punches looked like they hit and then i head it, if i heard it all as sometimes no sound seemed to come from punches.

Other than the big download when you start the game, Mortal Kombat: Onslaught is a good RPG. i've called it a Strategy RPG, it could also be called a Tactical RPG, and NetherRealm Studios call it a Collection RPG. What ever you call it, the core gameplay and the accessibility is good enough that it doesn't need Mortal Kombat. without the characters and such, it would still be a good mobile game. But with it, i do feel like it's enhanced the core and made it into something better. As a mobile game, Mortal Kombat: Onslaught is well worth playing and one that i won't be deleting anytime soon.

(Version 1.0.1 Played)

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Star Ocean: The Second Story R On PS4

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Star Ocean: The Second Story R.  This DEMO, from developers Gemdrops, is also out on PS5, Switch, and PC.

Star Ocean is a series of games that i've never really played. i think i have a couple of the games, but even then i've maybe only played an hour of each. There's something about them that doesn't seem to grab me, but it's been so long since i last played one it's difficult to remember exactly why. But seeing this remake of the second Star Ocean game, especially with it's unique art style, had a DEMO got me interested as it offered a way to try the game without buying it.

As a DEMO, it's great. before the game starts, it clearly says what this DEMO is, what it's limitations are, and where/when it ends. It's most of the start of the game, which means that it also includes the tutorials for the game. So in this DEMO we get the backstory to what i presume is the first game, Star Ocean: First Departure R, first before it moves onto telling this game's story. in the hour i played we also got a lot of world building and some useful, tho not great, tutorials. the last tutorial i got was how to parry but i couldn't get it to work. the game tells us how to do something without showing us. it feels like a waste of screen space that could've been used to show us rather than just telling us.

The standout feature of this DEMO, and the game itself, are the graphics. it's a mix of pixel art, similar to the style introduced by Octopath Traveller, and 3D environments. it mostly works fine, but on PS4 there are moments where it looks like the characters are floating on the world as there's a lack of shadows by their feet. also, near the end of the video i did find navigating the overworld a little tricky as it was a bit difficult to know what our character could and couldn't walk over. One nice addition, that i didn't go into in this DEMO, is the ability to switch the game soundtracks from the original PS1 version to this new one's soundtrack.

As a DEMO, i felt that it works well. it could've been a bit better here and there as a DEMO, but as a representation of the start of Star Ocean: The Second Story R i feel that i does a good job in highlighting how accessible the game is to new players whilst also slowly introducing us the world without it feeling overwhelming. it's a very accessible DEMO which leads me to suspect that at the very least the start of Star Ocean: The Second Story R is also very accessible and maybe even a decent choice for people new to Star Ocean or new to RPG's in general.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Backlog Conquering - #Abzû On #PS4 - Part 2 - The Next Two Shrines

Part 2 of playing the PlayStation 4 version of Abzu, a game developed by Giant Squid and published by  505 Games, started amazingly. It's not something i remember seeing before. When you get to the home screen, it's background has changed to the location we finished part 1, This isn't a surprise as the Rime videos had the same thing. But what i hadn't expected was that when you hit continue, you go to the background and play the game. I never suspected that the background was the actual game paused, i thought it was art. it's a really cool effect.

As for the rest of the video, i continued to find myself awestruck throughout. i'm going through it at my own speed, taking time to enjoy the scenery and exploring a little. If i have to criticize something, i'd say that the story is still difficult to parse from the art on the wall. the ruins in the world also don't point towards what happened in the past as we have the technological doors contrasted with the stone ruins throughout. so my drive to continue playing isn't the story but more the experience and seeing what the game has to show.