Sunday, December 31, 2023

Switch Funday - TemTem - A Pokémon Fan’s First Hour

For Switch Funday i'm trying out TemTem for the first time. it's a game i've been aware of, but not one i've tried. i bought it in an Amazon sale here in Japan and was eager to give it a try. I am a big Pokémon fan and have been playing those games since Pokémon Blue. I Knew this isn't going to be exactly like Pokémon, but i was wondering if my past experiences would help of hinder my enjoyment of TemTem.

I'm going to say it helped. TemTem doesn't have an introduction to the game, it just starts at the character creator. i think this is a missed opportunity. i went in knowing nothing and started knowing nothing of the world nor of it's online stuff. lacking soo much information really doesn't make this game that approachable, especially for a younger audience. I don't know who the character in my house was as there was a name but no label, or anything in our conversation, about if or how we're related. the game rushed to the character creator and then to start, it forgot the why. but as i knew Pokémon, a beginning like this is something i've experienced before so i wasn't too lost.

Not having any TemTem in the intro meant when it came to choosing mine, i could only really go on looks. the game doesn't say if they evolve, just their name and their strengths and weaknesses, something which isn't explained until much later in this video.

So whilst the opening isn't great, there is much to like about the game. graphically it's good and it isn't plagued by technical issues the recent Pokémon games have had. there are more loads and they do tend to last just a little longer than i would want. but i think i would take that over a buggy mess. the battle mechanics are different to Pokémon as TemTem introduces a stamina mechanic. it didn't introduce it that well as an opponent showed the negatives of it before the tutorial did. but it is a mechanic that works well so far and helps push the player to rotate the TemTem's used in a battle. a secondary benefit of all this rotation is that TemTem's, so far, only gain experience by actually being in the battle and not just being in your party. This is something older Pokémon games did before Experience Share is obtained. so i don't mind this mechanic as it balances with stamina. but i could see how modern Pokémon players might find it a bit old fashioned or that the battles might be a bit slower.

Stamina is one way TemTem differentiates itself from Pokémon, but another is of course the TemTem themselves. so far the designs have been fun and very different. the type chart is much more difficult. it would've been nice to have it on L3 or R3. but the game could also do a better job of showing us not only the type of each TemTem but also how effective the moves are. i got confused because i thought i read a tutorial that said once a TemTem is caught i'd know what moves are effective against it. and then when i faced it in battle i couldn't see that information.

The final confusing thing about this game is the online part. so far, the game has done nothing to justify why there is one. it's been on since i got my first TemTem and there's been no tutorials as to why there's online, what i can do with online, or if i can turn it off and play solo. but it's possible it'll be explained a little further into the story. a game like TemTem could have a very long story and i could still be in the basic tutorial.

So there's a lot about TemTem that feels like the first game in a series. some simple mistakes, basic things i'd expect to be fixed and/or improved upon in a sequel. but critically there is enough here for me, an older Pokémon Fan with decades of experience, to enjoy. in a way, i came away from this first hour thinking this is a game designed for someone like me rather than someone coming across this style of game for the first time. i'm currently thinking of playing more with this game, maybe even with videos on here!

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - 7 Panic Parade Matches, Beating It In My 5th Match

Today's Online Saturday video is on Pokémon Unite. My goal in Panic Parade is to beat it. I have done 14 matches so far and not come close. But in today's 7 matches my team mates and I did it. in the 5th match, with Alolan Ninetails, we beat all 15 waves of Pokémon!

I did record a commentary track but it got corrupted. So enjoy 7 matches without commentary.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Mobile Friday - Fake Future - Great Pixel Art But Story And Gameplay Feel Separate And Disconnected

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Fake Future on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game from Sentai Inc is also out on Android.

From the Store page, i couldn't work out what this game was. But i could see that it had some great pixel art and that was enough for me to give it a go. But it will download extra data when it starts with no warning. be careful, do not play this game for the first time on mobile networks. start it on wifi! thankfully it's not the GB's the last few games have needed. but 67.86 MB is still a chunk of data.

The next weird thing is the song that plays. it seems to have no connection to the game. the lyrics don't seem to match the gameplay and it's weirdly upbeat and long for a screen that's not around for long. The music in the game is generally all over the place. none of it is bad, but it feels out of place more often than not.

Next is a section where the translation wasn't finished. something that also happens a few times in the video. i think the lack of a translation here, especially, was one reason why i never quite grasped the story. here and there issues weren't really a problem, but right here in the beginning when the game is trying to establish the story was. the game moves onto it's goals and this was another example where the game never explained the "why." I'll do what it asks, but the "why" typically is the story element. Why was i creating a character, why do i have to do these things. After an hour i'm not sure i have a decent answer for that.

Then we're on the main game screen. we have a character called Victor and not the character we created. it's confusing as we don't end up using our character for a little while, instead we have Victor. Again, there's no why, no story element. we just go and do stuff.

This lack of why, the disconnection between the music, story, gacha, game mechanics, and game story really detract from what good there is with the game. I did like the pixel art, i liked the story from the past, i liked the intrigued set up by what happens to Victor, i liked the world i saw. but it didn't seem to have any relevance to anything i did in the game.

I only played an hour and it could be this is actually part of the game. right at the beginning, "Discover the truth of this world" is teased. it's possible the whole disjointedness of this game is part of it and something we uncover as we play. but after the first hour i spent with it, i'm not willing to put in the extra time needed to find out. Fake Future isn't a mobile game i would recommend. 

(Version 1.9 Played)

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Another Code: Recollection On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch game Another Code: Recollection. This game, from developers Cing is set to come out in January.

I was interested in this demo because i didn't play the original game on Nintendo DS and i was curious which of the two games included in this collection we would get to try. on the eShop page, it doesn't provide information about the demo, it seems to be for the main game itself. so going in there were a few questions.

right from the beginning one big question was answered immediately as the game informed us that our save will be carried over from the demo to the full version of the game. Tho, what it didn't say was that we have to do a manual save ourself as the game only has an autosave. On the demo home screen we're also welcomed with a link to buy the game from it's eShop page which is a great thing that not enough games do. it makes me feel like some effort and attention was put into this demo, even if it's just the start of the first game.

the final big question left is, after playing it for over an hour, do i want to buy it and continue the story. Honestly, no. what i played in this first hour probably did more to turn me away from the game rather than hook me. I wasn't that keen on how the story was told, especially with a flash back we had to play through, and a conversation on the boat that felt weird to have when surely we would've had it before in the past. The gameplay was also a little frustrating. i mention a few times in the video that i didn't like how slow the camera was, but i could just about deal with it. despite how good the game looks, the thing that took me out of the experience the most was how emotionless the character's faces and body language was. the main character looks great, but her face shows little emotion. the same with the character we meet near the end of the video. the emotions i imagined they'd be feeling were replaced with that person starring blankly straight faced. 

It's possible i might've enjoyed the Nintendo DS original more than this Switch version because the DS is a portable handheld that was, at times, used as a book. it's limited graphical abilities, when compared to the Switch, might've helped hide the emotionless characters. This demo did a good job at showing me that this game, or this version at least, isn't for me.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Backlog Conquering - CounterSpy On PS3 - Part 5 – Trying To Beat It, But The Game Breaks

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 video has no commentary.

I needed a bit of time off after the disaster that was Part 4, loosing all my progress was heart breaking. the upside about having to start over is that whilst i lost progress in the game's story, all the weapons and formulas i had unlocked in my first attempt were still unlocked.

So i sat down with one goal, beat CounterSpy in one sitting. i was making good progress. As i didn't need to commentate as i went, i was able to focus more on what was happening and i felt like i was making good progress. As the levels are randomly generated, there's an element of luck and having some stuff unlocked already certainly helped too. i genuinely thought i could do it, or at the very least make it to the final section of the game like in Part 4.

But the game broke. i don't mean in terms of poor level design. i fell through the floor into a void of white. i cut the video there, but i tried every button and even waited to see if i would die and be put back. but nothing happened. i had to manually quit the game. so that final stage in this video, all the progress i made, it's gone and i'll have to continue in the next, and hopefully final, part of playing through the PlayStation 3 version of CounterSpy.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Christmas Cup 2 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 Christmas Cup 2 Revival! (2023/12/25 9:00~2024/1/1 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the Christmas Cup 2 Revival. i have played this cup before, It took me much longer back then to win as the other players were highly skilled and i found it tough to do the gimmicks.

But this time i found it much easier. thankfully i was up against a couple of players and still got a few wins. i also managed to beat the boss a few times. the gimmick of making a cross with hearts wasn't too bad. but it was a little more difficult to get a high enough combo to do big damage. sometimes i felt that i wasn't getting the luck i've had in other Cups.

This will be the final Achievement Run on the public YouTube channel. after this, the series will go to my Ko-Fi page,, and i'll be starting a new series on Tuesdays from next week.

This week i played against:
はるま - Rank 50
#ロ_すぷろ/それな - Rank 53
T.S - Rank 63

Monday, December 25, 2023

Cloud Monday - Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin - Part 1 - Useful Frequent Auto-Saves

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing Square Enix's Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PS4.

Even tho this is a somewhat recent release, it has been in development for a long time, probably so long that it originally wasn't set for PS5. So i was wondering how this game's design would work if it was streamed from the cloud to me. For example, would it have a traditional save system like Scarlet Nexus did and thus be a poor choice because of how the save system works or would it have a more "casual" approach letting you save everywhere, like Disgaea D3 did. turns out it's both.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin has fixed save points in the environment and this isn't great for a game being streamed via PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service as there's only a 20 second warning before you're kicked off it. However, the game does appear to have an Auto-Save system that is frequently saving in the background. The Auto-Saves appear to be the same as a manual save, but the whole system is shrouded in mystery as we, the player, get no choice as to what save slot is used. both the manual and auto saves just save. Ultimately, the positive is that we will probably loose some progress but in the end not too much.

The quest you have to ask yourself is are you willing to replay bits of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin again. Even after this first part, i'm not excited to go back because of how clunky the whole thing is. the tutorial is bad, the controls have issues, the story is nonsense so far, and graphically playing it in performance mode makes everything look so soft it might as well be PS3 graphics. 

One interesting issue the game has that is streaming related is that the in-game cutscenes are visually stunning and full of intricate small details that the bandwidth being used to stream this to me from PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service is having a hard time to keep up. A little early on there's a moment when the camera is spinning around the main character in a field of wheat and things stop being highly detailed and crisp and instead go a little blurry. i say in the video it's like the bandwidth needed is just a little short for sequences such as that, whereas for the rest of the game it's fine.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Switch Funday - F-Zero 99 - Frozen Knight League, Classic, And Team Battle Modes

For Switch Funday i'm back with F-Zero 99 as over this Christmas period a new special league is available. Not only that, as i haven't played it in a while i was also keen to check out the recently added classic league.

The tricky thing is that the Frozen Knight League and the Classic Mode are both in rotation so it could be difficult to play both in the same video. thankfully i was lucky and i got to try out both, as well as some Team Battles and F-Zero 99 modes.

The Frozen Knight League seems to be nothing more than an aesthetic change to the circuits with some bonuses for the player after playing a certain number of races. I found the Classic Mode to be more interesting as it reduced the number of players to 20, dropped the spin attacks and skyway, and was presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio. all these made the game feel a little more retro. but it still had the element of racers being removed from the race if they didn't reach a certain position threshold. 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - 7 More Panic Parade Matches

Today's Online Saturday video is on Pokémon Unite. My goal in Panic Parade is to beat it. last video,, i got to the final difficulty level and in this video my aim was for my teams and I to beat it. unfortunately, neither of us were able to get to wave 15 nor finish it. it seemed like wave 13 was the best we could get to. nevertheless, it was a fun time. there's commentary during this videos because i wanted to relax today, so sit back and enjoy the matches.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Mobile Friday - Dynasty Warriors M - Well Designed For Mobile, But 4.5GB Download First!

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Dynasty Warriors M on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game from Nexon is also out on Android.

Going in i was a little unsure about this game. it has a small file size, which made me worry there would be an additional download, and there were a lot of things you could buy for it, so i was concerned it would push me towards the shop and/or be full of ads. In the end, it was only the file size i had to worry about as in my time with the game, it never pushed any shop stuff or adverts on to me.

But the additional download at the beginning is a let down in more ways than one. it's not great that a mobile game needs an additional 4.5GB of data. at the very least the game warns you about it and your data limits. it took over 7 minutes to download that data and all i had was the same looping video and music. some other games have longer similar sequences, whilst others use this time to introduce backstory, characters, or even a glossary. it's a wasted opportunity and a waste of my time to sit through it.

That additional install might be the only big complaint i have with the game. there are a couple of small ones like poorly implemented controller support, and on occasion it felt like i had to press things a couple of times before they would register. but on the whole, for a game that recently came out, Dynasty Warriors M felt quite polished. 

Once it became clear what type of game it was, i was eager to see if the game would have framerate issues when there were a large amount of enemies on screen but i never noticed any. the switching between characters also felt very smooth and seamless. i particularly enjoyed the auto battle option. as someone who uses trains and busses to commute, there are times on my journey when i need to put my phone away or use it. so having an auto battle is great.

There are a few little touches like that that make the game feel like it was designed for mobile first. another i liked was how the game tried to tie in it's gacha mechanic into the game's story. it's a bit tenuous, but i appreciated the effort. 

The only confusing thing for me was that we weren't playing as the characters on screen. it took a little while to understand that the story on screen wasn't exactly being represented by the characters we were battling as. to me, it made following the story more difficult than it needed to be. There is a chance that things will be made clear further into the game. but that coupled with the additional download probably means it's not making the top of my game of the year list, but it might've done enough to get on there!

(Version 1.2.3 Played)

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Cherry Tower On PS4

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Cherry Tower. This game, from developers webnetic is already out on PS4 and PS5.

This is not a good demo, i would go so far as to say that in places the demo is broken. this is on top of some questionable level design which is designed for us to loose health or that something isn't working right. the jump seems broken as the first tutorial doesn't work, and the final one doesn't seem to work either. it's one reason i don't like text boxes on screen as i don't know if it's working right or not. games that have a video showing how it should be have better tutorials and whilst that may not work with the game's aims and atheistic, it would be better than the nothing we got.

The demo doesn't say if our save carries over to the main game. i assume that this demo is from the first stage of the game. there's no story and there's no indication whether it was removed from the demo or if there's none in the main game. I was surprised how long and difficult it is. the stage doesn't slowly ramp up in difficulty, it's pretty full on through out. new things are introduced but not explained via a tutorial.

There are a few positives to take away from this demo, perhaps the pixel art used in the level is the main one. But, the negatives outweigh them. the music, the controls, the settings, the tutorial, the story, and the bugs are mostly negative in my opinion and throughout the video i try to talk about them and explain why.

So i came away from this demo not wanting to try the main game. with how broken elements are of this are, i don't know if the main game would have the same ones, or if it's been patched, or even if it's quite different from what i played.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Christmas Cup 1 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 Christmas Cup 1 Revival! (2023/12/18 9:00~2023/12/25 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the Christmas Cup 1 Revival. i have played this cup before, I managed to get a few wins in that video before someone tough came in and beat me.

It finally happened, i finally got 5 wins back to back! I have played over 70 of these cups and never managed it before, but today i finally did. but that's because it finally happened, i faced no human players! this is the first time that i never faced someone else. The Ai got a few bonuses here and there, but they were never a match for me this week. so whilst i won and even beat the boss a couple of times, it's a shallow victory because it wasn't against any human players. 

The time has come to start retiring this series!

This week i played against no one!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Cloud Monday - Genji: Days of the Blade - Part 2 - Difficult to Recommend But I’m Glad I Played It

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing #GameRepublic's #Genji Days of the Blade, tho i think i got the name wrong a few times in the video. this was a #PS3 launch title when it came out in 2006.

Coming back to this game for part 2 helped to solidify my thoughts that whilst it's great we're able to play a game from the launch of the #PlayStation3, there's not much more here than that. the game isn't designed for being played in the cloud and i would argue that it has some fundamental issues regarding what feels like no checkpointing. it seems that it relies purely on manual saves, which in this game can only be done at specific points.

I didn't notice any issues with the game because of it being streamed to me in the cloud. i might've had some complaints about the graphics, controls, and framerate but that was because of the game and not because of it being streamed to me.

But, ultimately, i didn't have a great time and fell victim to the lack of a checkpoint a couple of times. i was playing on normal and still felt that it was a bit tough. i don't think i will be coming back to the game, but i am glad that i got to play it, as i said in Part 1 i bought Resistance: Fall of Man and F1 at launch, as i hadn't played it before.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Switch Funday - Tetris 99 - 38th Maximus Cup - Super Mario Bros. Wonder

This weekend there is the 38th Maximus cup in Tetris 99. the prize this cup is a Super Mario Bros. Wonder theme. It was nice playing Tetris again so soon after the 37th Maximus Cup a few weeks ago. unlike that time, i felt that i was much more ready for today and had some great games. the 3rd, 4th, and 5th games saw me around the top 15, but it was actually the first game which was most challenging as even tho i only finished 26th, it was going very fast as that game was over 6 minutes long!

How did it go for you? let me know in the comments. and of course, if you got the win, let us know as this week 10th was the best for me.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - 7 Panic Parade Matches

Today's Online Saturday video is on Pokémon Unite. Panic Parade is back for this year's winter season and i was keen to play it. the last time Panic Parade was available as a game mode was back in August. in this mode, instead of it being Player vs Player (PvP) it's Players vs Enemies (PvE). So it's 5 of us up against the computer. The enemies come at us in waves. in these 7 videos, we work our way up the difficulty levels. the higher the difficulty level, the more waves we face.

The goal is to play, get as far as you can, and earn event points. when you have enough points, you can spend them on levelling up your stats and these will be applied to any Pokémon you use. With better stats, you can go further and earn more coins, which can be spent on leveling up your stats. there are also other things to buy in the store if you complete Panic Parade.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Silent Hope On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Silent Hope. This game, from developers Marvelous is already out on Switch and PC.

The demo for Silent Hopes seems to be taken from the start of the game, with no changes made for it being a demo, and lets us play through to finishing the first stage and letting characters get to level 10. What's great is that the save from this demo will work in the final game so you can carry over your progress.

And you may want to do that as i enjoyed the demo. This isn't the best start of a game that i've ever played, i do feel like the tutorial is missing key messages and is mostly just text on screen. But for the most part, the game will have some control over your first time diving into the abyss. it just feels that the game chose to go with immersion at the expense of its tutorial.

The demo lets us understand the basic gameplay loop. there's an abyss and the goal seems to be getting to the bottom. the demo has the first level and in it are 10 floors to go down, with things getting more difficult as we do. on top, there are other characters doing tasks we set but what's interesting is that we can swap places with them at certain points. in the demo, health recovery seemed limited so what i did was to swap out someone on low health for a new character fully healed. this made going deeper even easier.

Each character controls differently and they all have different stats. this made going deeper more enjoyable as i got to try out different styles. But there's more to this as at the end of the video i found out each of the 7 characters can unlock even more fighting styles so i imagine that'll make them feel fresh.

This demo shows that the start of the game may not be the best for new players and there are a few small things i felt could be better. but as a demo i do think that it worked well as after playing it i'm now interested in getting it. i would also like to get the soundtrack, too. the game looks great on Switch, mostly plays well, and could be a good choice if you're looking for something to play in 30 minute chunks, maybe on a commute or on breaks. the story may not be the driving force some would hope, but in combination with the gameplay and overall loop i came away from this demo thinking that it does enough.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Backlog Conquering - CounterSpy On PS3 - Part 4 – Failing

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.

It finally happened, the DEFCON countdown began and more than once i was unable to stop it. today's video was the most difficult i've had to record so far, the increase in difficulty continued to be greater than the money we earn which meant it wasn't possible to keep up with it in a satisfying manor. This isn't something new as this had already started to become apparent in the previous part, but it's still frustrating.

And then, at the end of the video, i made the biggest mistake. instead of hitting continue, i hit Game Over, and all the progress that had been made was erased. So i managed to fail at the game in more than one way!

I don't know what i'll do for the next part, whether that's retying and uploading each try or just finishing it and releasing them in one big video.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Pixel Sitri 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 Sitri Cup Revival! (2023/12/11 9:00~2023/12/18 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the Pixel Sitri Cup Revival. i have played this cup before, That video is short like that one, but in that video i was unable to defeat the boss whereas this time i did it!

The gimmick this week was one that i't a fan off. but i was lucky in that it didn't get in the way too much. The gimmick is a square that changes the orb, inside said square, color. But this gimmick didn't change color to all the available colors, instead it was limited to a small set of colors. There were also fewer stages this week in comparison to last week so it was easy to get to the boss but it was very tough. i only managed to beat the boss once. This was also the second week running where i only played against 2 other human players.

This week i played against:
naaちゃん - Rank 68
おれ- Rank 54

Monday, December 11, 2023

Cloud Monday - Genji: Days of the Blade - Part 1 - Large Gaps Between Manual Saves

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing Game Republic's Genji Tales of the Blade, tho i think i got the name wrong a few times in the video. this was a PS3 launch title when it came out in 2006.

I got a PlayStation 3 at launch, but i went with Resistance: Fall of Man and F1 so i have never played this game before. But as i was playing games at launch, i went in with realistic ideas about what this is. To be honest, after just playing this part, it mostly met my expectations of a HD PS2 game with some fancy effects.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. i actually enjoyed most of what i played. The combat is a little basic and feels a little disjointed, but there was no lag from playing it online from PlayStation Plus Premium Cloud Servers. there were no visual issues either outside a frame or two of stream tearing. as a game being streamed to me, it was a near perfect experience. 

But as a game being played in the cloud, it has the same critical issue that Scarlet Nexus had in that you can't do manual saves and there's a big gap between saves. When the service is going to kick you off, due to poor internet bandwidth or connection, it only gives you a 20 second warning. unfortunately, in Genji: Days of the Blade in this part i played it was almost 20 minutes between saves.

So as a part of PlayStation history, i of course recommend people at least give it an hour or so. But this does come with a warning that if you're kicked off, it'll probably be frustrating to play the sections again.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Switch Funday - Castlevania Legends - My First Time - It's Touger Than It Looks!

Welcome to Switch Funday!

For today's game i wanted to try out the Game Boy game Castlevania Legends from Konami. it's a relatively late release on Game Boy coming out from 1997 but it's not one i remember. I didn't get into Game Boy until the Game Boy Color and Pokémon. but i am familiar with the Castlevania series and i was curious as to how such a game would work on Game Boy.

I was pleasantly surprised how faithful to the early Castlevania games it felt like. the team at Konami did a great job bringing the series over the Game Boy. Every enemy looks distinct and clear, the backgrounds are slight but work. even the music is great. But that difficulty is too much.

all the monsters move faster than your character and the controls seem sluggish, too. often i felt like i was inputting commands but it wasn't happening on screen. This game also suffers from respawning monsters, something i'm not a fan of. I tried out the game on the regular difficulty, so perhaps on "Light" mode things will be toned down. I speculated in the video that maybe it's hard because the game is short. looking at the map, it did seem like there weren't many areas in the game.

Another issue, like with many of these old games on Switch, is the lack of a manual. this game comes from a time where the manuals explained so much of the game, maybe even provided backstory and more. here we just have the game and itself has no in-game tutorial. so more than once i felt like i wasn't fully understanding what i can do, what i needed to do, for example i never worked out how to use the Soul Weapons!

I was surprised that the game uses a password feature. i initially expected all Game Boy games by this point to come with internal batteries for save files, but thinking about it it's possible that this late into the Game Boy and a game that wasn't expected to sell a lot meant they decided against it for cost reasons. Maybe it was more of a Budget Release when it came out.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - Turf War - Trying Out 3 Weapons

Welcome to Online Saturday!

I'm not feeling well today. So here's a video with no commentary.

There's nothing special happening this weekend in Splatoon 3 and as i'm not feeling great i just wanted to play some games. it's actually been a while since i just sat back and played some Turf War in Splatoon 3. i had bought some weapons and not used them so that was today's "goal", give them a go. I used the new Undercover Sorella Brella and Foil Squeezer, and the Tenta Sorella Brella that was released in the previous game update.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Mobile Friday - METRIA The Starlight - Frequent Loading Interrupts An Interesting Story

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out METRIA The Starlight on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game from Asobimo is also out on Android.

My fears with it's small file size were true as there was a further 738MB once the game is opened. Whilst that isn't a surprise, with many other RPG's seemingly doing the same, what was a surprise were the frequent loading screens. i can't remember a game i've played that has needed to do as much loading as this game does.

An hour isn't really enough to judge the story of this game as i feel like it hadn't got going. Some interesting things had happened and others had been teased, but an hour isn't long enough for this game to judge whether the pace of the story is slow in general or just slow at the start because they have to do tutorials and character introductions. Both are handled well in the hour i played.

I was genuinely surprised when the game introduced two gatcha mechanics completely out of the blue and then never went on to give an in-game universe explanation for them. this game also seems to clutter the screen more than other games i've played. the right side of the screen had a lot of buttons i could press. most of it is accessible, but they started to get in the way of camera controls as a few times i pressed a button instead of moving the camera. I don't remember if it's possible to move the buttons to the left side for left handed players.

(Version 1.1.0 Played)

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Gunbrella On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Gunbrella . This game, from developers Doinksoft and publishers Devolver Digital,  is already out not only on Switch and PC.

The demo for Gunbrella, and the game itself, has been out for a few months now so the complaints i might have with the game could all be resolved by now if the game has been patched. i don't have the game so i can't do the comparison, but if you have it and played it it would be great to read your comments about how things have changed or how they are now in general.

There's a lot to like about this game after playing the demo. graphically, it looks great. more detailed than 8 or 16bit games but also not too blocky. there's a decent amount of movement in the foreground that helps give life/energy to the world, with decent backdrops helping to set the scene, and a sky with rolling clouds. The music is also good to listen to and works well, especially with the boss at the end of the video. i would be interested in hearing more of the music for sure.

For the most part, the controls are really good too. general movement is responsive and whilst the initial jump may not be that high it does feel satisfying in how it works. When we get to use the Brella for an additional jump, the sense of movement and speed is greater but i mostly felt able to control things just as easily. But, movement is also tied to shooting. If you jump up, the gun points up. if you move right, the gun points right. The right stick is also tied to shooting and something about having both control the gun just didn't work well with me.

I admit that it's only a demo and i could just need more practice. i often had issues when dealing with enemies. i would jump at an angle, try to shoot, my gun would be pointing up at an angle, i would miss the enemy and typically end up getting hit by them. It could be that after practice and more time i would be able to adjust and come up with a different strategy. But in the hour i played with the game, i never really got the hand of it.

The game didn't offer any tips or suggestions beyond the basic tutorial either. and that's something that i wasn't impressed with during the demo. It felt like the game did the minimum when it came to tutorials for the player. last weeks game, Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur showed how to not only do text on screen but how to use the space effectively with added video tutorials. the text on screen approach here felt dated like the atheistic the game is based on. It wasn't just the tutorials. the items in the store and inventory had the bare minimum information. i had items that sounded like permanent upgrades and some that seemed to be time based. but the game never told me any of that. It's the same when looking up your tasks. there's a lot of space used by such few words. 

One of the more annoying parts of the demo is when i follow the instructions of a text box and it doesn't work. the game explained about food. i did what it said, and nothing happened. There were a couple of instances in a library section where text seemed to be out of order. i would encounter a scenario, get past it, and then read a text warning me of it.

One weird thing about this demo is that in the more than a hour i played, it never once said it was a demo! It's possible it might've after the boss i couldn't beat. i suspect that's where the demo might've ended, or after the quests related to it had finished. after trying that first boss i feel like i should've tried this demo on Easy, not the Normal i picked or the Hard it defaulted to.

I'm glad i tried out the demo. i was a little curious about this game. i now know that it's maybe not for me, but i can come away from it appreciating what it got right and maybe if a "Directors Cut" or "DX" edition were to come to other platforms then maybe i'd give it another shot.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Backlog Conquering - CounterSpy On PS3 - Part 3 – Another 3 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.

I'm definitely feeling the increase of difficulty. In one level i died so much that i triggered the DEFCOM countdown and had to race past the bad guys to stop it with mere seconds in hand! The difficulty is done with a mix of increasing the number of enemy soldiers in a location and giving them helmets so it takes more bullets to headshot them. But this highlights how, in my opinion, the game isn't balanced enough for it. the price of ammo is so high and it's rare to find any in a level. we don't get much money for completing a level and after paying for ammo, it rarely feels like we have enough for the formulas we use to help balance the difficulty better.

The story is still enough to keep me going, but i'm getting to the point where not much else is. gameplay wise i feel like i've seen it all and it's just getting more and more unfair as i play.

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

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Amon 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 Amon Cup Revival! (2023/12/4 9:00~2023/12/11 8:59 JST) in Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition whilst using a GamePad and a docked Nintendo Switch.

This week is the Amon Cup Revival. i have played this cup before, That video is shorter than this one and i did much better in that than this one, too!

I thought i understood the gimmick this week but i guess i didn't fully. it was difficult to understand how effective each thing i tried was. sometimes i seemed to do a lot of damage whilst others i didn't. i couldn't really tell why. i only faced a couple of people this week and they also seemed to struggle against the final boss. But even the computer managed to beat me this week!

This week i played against:
Zargus - Rank 76
JOKER - Rank 30

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Switch Funday - BONUS - Tetris 99 - 37th Maximus Cup - Warioware: Move It!

This weekend there is the 37th Maximus Cup in Tetris 99. the prize this cup is a Warioware: Move It! theme. I haven't played this game since the last Maximus Cup and it showed. i was very rusty and made many mistakes. it was surprising that i finished as high as i did in the first video considering all the mistakes i made. Overall i'm happy to have finished high 3 times even tho i wasn't playing good, but i'm not satisfied with my performance as i'm still on the hunt for my first win at Tetris.

Switch Funday - Pokémon Unite - December's Unite Weekend

Today's Switch Funday video is on Pokémon Unite. as this is the first full weekend of December, it's a Unite Weekend. this means i'm able to use any #Pokemon 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. 

I got a bit confused at first and did a quick match before realizing that i wanted to do standard match. so the first part of the video is different from the next 5.

As for this Pokemon Unite weekend, i went in wanting to give a few Pokémon a go. one of them was Clefable. it's a Pokémon i used to use a lot in Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, so it was a nostalgia pick. Scizor was a Pokémon i was curious about. i wondered if it would be a strong physical attacker and it was. i enjoyed my time with it and may get it in the future. up next was, what i thought, a sillier choice but also one that uses ranged attacks. Cramorant is a Pokémon i've never used before in any game and i didn't expect much from it here. but i was pleasantly surprised how useful it became. It's #Unite move is a little risky as we essentially become a turret stuck in place, but i had a much better time with it than expected. it's another Pokémon i wouldn't mind having. Delphox was a Pokémon i was curious about as to whether the game would lean into the physic or fire moves. ultimately, i didn't have a great time using it. But whilst using it i was reminded about Mr. Mime and that's what i used in the 5th video. i have played against many Mr. Mimes and they all seem to use barriers. i wanted to see what other moves it got and i had fun using Physic and Power Zap, it was great being able to attack and move a lot. i didn't take full advantage of it's Unite move, but it's now a Pokémon i wouldn't mind having. I finished with Sylveon as i'm making my way through the Eeveelutions. I didn't have as much fun with it as i have had with Leafeon and Glaceon so i probably won't be getting it any time soon.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - December's Big Run Event

Welcome to Online Saturday!

This weekend is December's Big Run Event in Splatoon 3. The event takes place on the Barnacle & Dime map. Throughout the video i'll make the mistake and think that this is the eggstra event and talk about this video i hope this wont be too confusing for you.

This went really well. I aimed to get the item twice and as that seemed easy and the recording was under an hour i went for 1,000 points! it only took 7 games and my teams and i came up against the new Salmonoid boss Megalodontia. we faced off against it twice but it's a very tough boss. the first time was at high tide and with the boss being so big, it was tough to avoid whilst also dealing with the other enemies. the second time started better but as a team we got wiped out fairly quick. having it appear from below is tricky to deal with as the ink put down is rarely ours. by this point, there's so much enemy ink that getting around is slow. it's tough to ink, attack enemies, dodge the boss, and attack the boss. in that second game i also had a weapon i didn't like to use.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Mobile Friday - Honkai: Star Rail - A Good Console Game On Mobile, But Not A Good Mobile Game

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Honkai: Star Rail on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game from miHoYo and Cognosphere  is also out on Android, PS5, and  PC.

Honkai: Star Rail is Apple 's iPhone game of the year for 2023 so as i'm thinking about my own top 5 games of the year, i was keen to play this game that i somehow missed when it first came out.

But, you must play the first hour of this game on Wifi as there are TWO content downloads you must do to play the game. there's a small, in comparison to the second one, download before the game starts and there's a second that's 12GB in size before we've even finished the first tutorial part of the game! I'll be clear, this means the game won't be my Number 1 game of 2023 as these additional downloads mean the game isn't designed for mobile players. Such things are from MMO's on PC and Consoles and are tolerated there because they have an online connection. but on Mobile where people have data caps, it's not acceptable. 

Something else about how the game plays makes me think that the game was developed first on consoles and/or PC first is how the camera works, especially in comparison to how the character moves. the camera is much slower to move, often requiring greater thumb movement, whilst the player character moves much faster. In this video you'll see and sometimes here how i have to move my thumb on and off the my phone to try and keep up. This makes playing the game handheld a little less stable. there's no Bluetooth controller support either.

Something we see more and more on current gen consoles and that has existed on PC for a long time are graphical options. they're here, too. But implemented in a much poorer way. there's no information provided as to what changes each option does to the game, how much performance is lost or gained, or even what's recommended for the phone you're playing it on. So far, all these things make the game feel like a so-so port of Honkai: Star Rail from console and PC to iPhone.

I'll be the first to admit than an hours look at this game isn't enough. i don't know if there are other additional downloads, for example, nor do i know if the game's story improves over the issues i had with it in the beginning. One of the things that stood out the most was how the games describes what's happening to the station we're on whilst what i saw didn't match that. the station is under attack, there are enemies and fights, and i just saw a couple of enemies hanging out. there seemed to be no damage to the station, no alerts or alarms, and no real haste from the characters. This issue came up near the end when one character says they're going to check up on another. we later meet up and they tell us the situation with that character. then we meet that character and how it looks in-game doesn't match the description and then it goes on to act like this is it's first time meeting any of us. It's like the story telling and the designers aren't talking to each other, or it could be a translation issue. what ever it is, it took me out of the game.

The game does look amazing. the heat on my phone gives the impression that it is being pushed somewhat hard by this game. the music is good, too. the design is bright and clear, and the UI is generally smart if a little small at times. the game does make great use of the screen and the dynamic island never got in the way of things. So there are many positives about this game, but if i was given the choice of playing this on phone or console, i'd go with console. 

(Version 1.5.0 Played)