Sunday, February 25, 2024

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


This month's Splatoon 3 Salmon Run item is the Trevally Derby Rollers. Today, and going forward, my new goal will be to get 1,000 points. I had already been doing this for the past few videos but i'll make it official.

This Salmon run was one of the best ones i've ever done. My teams and I frequently managed to beat all 3 waves so i was able to get the 1,000 and do a bonus run. we weren't able to defeat the Horrorboros.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Online Saturday - Foamstars - Smash The Star, Happy Bath Survival, Rubber Duck Party, And Extreme Party PVP Modes


For Online Saturday i'm back with Foamstars, from Square Enix and Toylogic. Foamstars is out across PS5 and PS4. I'll be playing the PlayStation4 version of it. 

Foamstars got a 1.05 update today and has had a couple since i last played it so i was curious if i would be able to notice any differences. One thing i noticed quickly were the free gifts i received. i don't think these are for those who played in the launch week, i think these are available for anyone who plays in this launch window.

I focused on some PVP modes today and was created with the message about a new mode. thankfully, i was able to try out Extreme Party in this video. Unfortunately, the only thing that made it extreme was that everyone was invisible. it wasn't that much harder than the real modes as everyone went to the middle and shot out a lot of foam or used their super modes. only a couple of times did someone sneak behind or i noticed a team mate doing that same strategy. The more interesting difference was that the winner was the team to chill the opposing team 10 times.

Smash the Star is the default mode for Foamstars and it's fine. today was the first time i became #MVP and it was exciting. we didn't win that match but i do get a win in Smash the Star. i didn't win in either Happy Bath Survival or Rubber Duck Party. i don't mind about Happy Bath Survival as i already have a win, and the trophy for doing so, from the Online Weekend. But i've now played Rubber Duck Party and lost each one. One of the losses today was 100% to 0%!

As for the Patch, there was nothing major i could point to and say that had changed. waiting times were often long, but that's typical for online games. only Splatoon 3 seems able to have consistent short wait times, tho even that has it's off days like last week's #Splatfest. i was playing as The Baristador and if i had to guess, it felt like his attack had more range and would last longer between reloads. thinking about it, maybe the enemy foam slowed me down more too.

Foamstars continues to be a fun free to play game and it's still one i would recommend anyone with a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 try.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Mobile Friday - Boori's Spooky Tales: Idle RPG - A Good Idle Game That Didn't Live Up To Its Name


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Boori's Spooky Tales: Idle RPG from SuperPlanet Studios.  I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro, but it's also out on Android.

I was really interested in trying out this game after seeing it in the app store. it's name got me curious is if was an idle game broken up into stories or if story telling was a big part. Idle games do have story, but often it's just a basic premise to justify the idle game play. Looking at the screenshots, it was clear that it looked like a good game, too, with some ideas and themes from Japan or the Asia region. I was really interested in how it would bring it all together.

The main menu screen was the first hint that perhaps it wasn't as polished as i had hoped as the background animation didn't loop. it gets to a point, stops, and restarts from the beginning. This is something that happened with  the music in the sections where you learn magic as it's really noticeable. 

After, there's a nice introduction that got my hopes up as it seemed to align with how i thought the game was going to tell a story. we're an exorcist who's trying to defeat ghosts and find their body. Whilst there are some specific boss level ghosts we encounter, what it actually meant was the enemies we're fighting are all ghosts.

One little quirk about the idle fighting is that if you get to a level you can't beat, instead of repeating that level over and over again as i expected would happen, you actually end up being sent back a few levels and have to work you're way back. It's not a big deal, just something that caught me off guard.

In general, the idle part of the gameplay is solid. you earn money from defeating ghosts. the money can be spent on getting stronger and gaining more health, which in turn means you can defeat more ghosts. defeating them also completes missions which earn you gold, as do other specific things. you spend the gold on "loot boxes" to try and find better gear. by equipping said gear, you get stronger and can go further. There's another currency that can be spent on upgrading the gear.

There's also another currency that unlocks magic. these seem to fire out at when their cooldown has finished but they seem to fire randomly and during the boss encounters they didn't seem too useful compared to our main staff attack that seemed to have better lock on and Ai behind what it targeted. Another aspect of the game that seemed to suffer from bad Ai was the ninja style teleport move. Like a lot of things in this game, it wasn't really explained or given an in-world explanation. so pressing the button seems to move our character to a random near by location. i tried to use it when my character was getting swarmed, but it rarely sent me anywhere i thought was useful. 

Whilst the gameplay was fine and mostly easy to understand, the lack of "why" and in-game reasons did start to get annoying. Our teacher is also the tutorial character and whilst they are useful in pointing us the to the right things to press, they're painfully silent and it just feels like a wasted story telling opportunity. The further into the video i got, the less useful that character became until he stopped showing up leaving me to try things out for myself. For example, the equip menu has something called "Synthesis" and i have no idea what it does. maybe it gets rid of duplicate equipment, but if it does i don't seem to get anything for doing so. there was simply too much left unexplained. other games put it in a tutorial, others put an "i" on it so the player can press and read what it does. this game, at a certain point, just seems to stop helping the player. it really sticks out because the game tries to help out early on.

And there's the story. we get a bit at the intro, and that's about it. when we're given tasks to defeat bosses, it never felt like we're being given story. it just felt like we're given a quest. The is titled "Spooky Tales" but other than maybe our goal to find out body, i don't remember any other tale being told. i can't workout how the game's title applies to the game. Maybe it's a translation error? 

Boori's Spooky Tales: Idle RPG has got the basic gameplay correct. it's just the game built around it doesn't quite match it in quality. there only seems to be one song but thankfully it's decent. the art is mostly fine. i do like our character, but there are a few enemies who don't seem to look quite right in this style, namely the fox ghosts. If you're into gameplay, something quick to play for a few minutes then Boori's Spooky Tales: Idle RPG is a good choice. but if, like me, you came to it expecting something unique and deeper, you'll probably be disappointed.

(Version 1.10.26 Played)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Promenade On PS4


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Promenade, developed by  Holy Cap Studios, published by Red Art Games, and also released on PS5 and Switch.

The reaction online to this game has seemed really positive and i was eager to try it out and then this demo was released and i jumped at the opportunity to give it ago. In recent videos i've had some not so great times with platformers due to their difficulty so i went into this demo a little apprehensive and not letting the "cute" visuals make me think it would be an easy game.

It starts by acknowledging it's a demo, but it doesn't lean into to it like some of the great demos we've tried. those games tend to be a bit more personal and sometimes offer some explanation as to what's in the demo. here, there was just a list of 4 stages. i tackled them in the order they're presented and i think that's best. the first stage is a simple tutorial, tho perhaps a little too simple as it tells you what you should do but not how to do it. Like, if our pink friend could say/think the "X" button to jump or "ロ" to throw/pick up that would've saved me some time. 

The second stage seems to be mostly a full level and it was much bigger than i anticipated. here again, i found out from pressing buttons that "△" brings up a book of sorts showing how many collectables we've found. the platforming felt really good and the puzzles were interesting and fun. i enjoyed the "escort mission" that the game never told us to do but because of the environmental story telling i knew i should do it. There were some technical issues with reflections popping in and out and it was a little distracting mostly due to how great the game looks. there's plenty of small animations and little touches that make this level, and all the others i played, feel high quality.

The third stage also fell victim to the lack of a tutorial. it's probable that in Promenade it's explained, but here it wasn't. This level is a race that i never felt like i could even come close to winning. i never quite got the grappling into jumping mechanic. But it also didn't feel impossible. Even tho i didn't come close to the time, the game let me continue the level so it was nice that i could get some practice in.

The final stage was bigger but i also didn't finish it. it introduced new hazards and mechanics that seemed fine. again, there's no tutorial but it's quick to learn what to do. It was the Monkey boss fight where i decided to call it a day. My first attempt was more data gathering than actually trying to beat it. The second attempt was where the biggest bug happened. i could no longer see the bombs the monkey was throwing. i realised i could see their shadow, but it meant that it was impossible so i naturally died. Thankfully, there's a checkpoint right before the boss and it's quick to load. I got further on the third attempt but i couldn't see a way to beat the Monkey Boss. with the demo not offering tutorials, it's difficult to know if i was meant to be doing something or not. an example was that the bombs the monkey threw seemed to explode up more so i could no longer be safe above them. they're thrown so fast, i couldn't see a way to escape the blast zones. So i ended it there.

A great highlight of this demo is the addition of a well made trailer. we get to see many locations, objectives, and that there's more play styles than just the platforming. It's a fine way to show off the game. It's a bit of a shame that the trailer isn't viewable from the main home screen and only found when beating some of the levels.

But as a demo, this works great. i've played it and know that i would be happy to own Promenade. But this isn't the best demo. the bugs are frustrating with the lack of tutorials/instructions an even bigger oversight. But there's enough here for me to say you should try this out and maybe even to say that this demo has showed me that this is probably a decent buy without even needing to play the demo. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Teslagrad On PS4 - A Beautiful World That Fails To Tell It’s Story


This is part 1 of playing the PlayStation 4 version of Teslagrad, from developers Rain AS, as part of Backlog Conquering. From looking at my Trophies, after i finished this video, it looks like i played the game a little back in 2015 probably on PS Vita. But as you'll see in this video, i clearly had no memories of it. But it could explain why i maybe didn't get some trophies.

The game starts by showing us the story rather than telling us. For the most part it works, but it cuts straight to gameplay without even explaining what the jump button is. I've played enough games to know what to do, but it's surprisingly unwelcoming to new players. Visually, i really like the art style and the presentation and i was able to look at the world and understand what i needed to do.

This first section makes it clear where you need to go. The woman points you to the right, you're chased to the right, and it all feels natural. i'm going where the game wants me to go but it feels like a natural way to do it. After that tho, it really did feel like i was on my own. And it's the biggest complaint i had throughout playing this part. Once the game let me go, it all felt aimless. not once did the game tell me where the map screen was, and when i found it, it was next to useless. 

Some games are built around you exploring and discovering the world. But they also excel at the story being told this way. Teslagrad may be set in a nice looking world with strange creatures and technology, but it's failing to tell that story with gameplay alone. I don't know what's happening but worse than that is i don't know where to go. once again, the game fails in driving the player to the next goal. 

But it is early on in the game. it's possible that the pacing, story telling, and player direction will improve once i get to a next section or new area. So there will be a part 2. But if it continues to frustrate, i don't know if i'll do more than 2 parts.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition Quest Mode: All 15 Dungeons From Start to Finish


Welcome to the final Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday videos! 
This is, from start to finish, all 15 dungeons in the Quest Mode.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Cloud Monday - Brink - Part 2 - It's Not Designed For The Cloud, But It's An Experience Worth Having


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing the PS3 version of Brink via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4. I have previously uploaded the PlayStation 3 XMB game Previews for the Beta to Brink, version 1.00 https://youtube.com/shorts/uWjRVuGWWZ0 and version 1.01 https://youtu.be/AQGrYqGH7Bg, but it was so long ago i don't really remember much about the game. 

In Part 1, https://youtu.be/M9xZ-ufWVl0, it became clear that the game isn't designed around being played in the cloud. whilst it has some ideas that feel modern, there are a few aspects of the game stuck in PlayStation 3 past. But actually playing in in the cloud was fine. i didn't notice any lag, nor were there any video issues. across both days, it was a great experience playing Brink in the Cloud.

Whilst it's not designed for it and it will be frustrating if you're kicked off the service whilst playing it, i would still say it's worth trying out. There's an aspect of preservation about being able to play Brink on PS3, an experience worth having whilst the game is still on the service. It has it's quirks, but i'd also argue there's some good worth playing too.

If you enjoy it, then you can get it for free on Steam and join in the the community on there. But outside of that, it's difficult to recommend. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - February's Weekend Splatfest Tricolor - 15 Battles 5 Wins!


Welcome to Switch Funday.
It's day two of February's Splatfest weekend so today's video focuses on the Tricolor game mode in Splatoon 3. Things were only a little better than yesterday. Matches generally took a minute to be found, there was one game disconnected and a couple of games where teams played with one fewer player. Check out yesterday's video at https://youtu.be/qAMJOuPzT_8, it took an hour 45 to play 15 games then and today it took an hour 30!

The goal of Tricolor is for all three teams to play together. two, with only two players on each team, would team up against the third team, who has four players. Unfortunately, this doesn't often work brilliantly and i've never played a Tricolor Sunday with all games working out like that. often it ends up with three of the same team going up against each other. This week, i only did 3 "proper" Tricolor battles and it felt bad. i really did start to lose enthusiasm by the end. I also only ever played as the defending team 4 times so again it was boring doing the same thing soo many times.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - February’s Weekend Splatfest – 15 Battles 6 Wins!


Welcome to Online Saturday.
It's a Splatfest weekend so today's video is on the "What's the best day of the weekend? Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?" Splatfest in Splatoon 3. I chose to join Team Saturday.

The biggest takeaway for me from today, Saturday, of the Splatfest is how bad the online was. I had 4 games disconnect during gameplay and more in lobbies waiting for games. on top of that were times when i waited minutes for a game, with one wait 3 minutes or more. Splatoon 3 has incredible matchmaking in that the wait is typically 20 seconds or less. so for it to be soo long today sticks out even more. i recorded nearly 1 hour 45 minutes of video and cut out the waits and disconnections and the video is about 1 hour 2 minutes. that's 40 minutes of waiting. By the end i was really fed up and my enthusiasm had dried up. i just wanted the 15 games to be over. I can only hope it went better for you.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Mobile Friday - Disaster Town Tycoon - One Of The Best Idle Games From 2023


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Disaster Town Tycoon from Rogue Harbour Game Studio. I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro, but it's also out on Android.

The screenshots and video on it's app store page make it look fun and inviting. It certainly got my attention. But it also left a lot unanswered and i was very curious about how a lot of the game would actually work. So i went into this looking for answers and i would say i came away with plenty.

As ever, one of the first things i look for is how the screen is used. all to often, games are ported to Apple from Android and things like the UI haven't been changed to fit iPhone screens. That's not the case here. the Dynamic Island has plenty of space at the top and never gets in the way and at the bottom, the Dock has some room too and i never caught it instead of hitting a button. Another important answer i want to know is how the game integrates adverts. Once again, it's a positive answer in that they're optional. we're given bonuses for watching them and none are forced upon us.

Something many games get wrong or fail to see through to a logical conclusion is the tutorial. If a game has one, they're typically too short and/or lack all the information you need. In Disaster Town Tycoon the tutorial takes you through a lot of the early game. it often simply explains things as well as showing how the game is played. Every new menu is explained, too. if i can complain, i would say that the tutorial could tell you to click on things to get an explanation and that it could be expanded at the start to help explain how to complete certain tasks.

Disaster Town Tycoon is one of the most polished games i've come across. it did come out in 2023 and it has been updated a lot, but i think it does the basic well enough that it would've been in my 2023 Free To Play Mobile Game Of The Year Awards, https://youtube.com/shorts/bF8H8VqQVVQ. The game is colorful and it works great with the art style and building designs. the characters have a fun look to them that doesn't look out of place. I even enjoyed the humour and greatly appreciated how it told us near the beginning why there are people living in a disaster prone city. that was such a small detail that really helped create a world and a reason why.

I hit the grind by about 20 minutes but was able to continue for a little while longer before needing to stop and wait. In some games that's come across as a lack of things to do and that the game doesn't have much depth. I didn't get that from Disaster Town Tycoon. more than once it tells us that we could come back later for free stuff and the pacing of the game goes very naturally from somewhat speedy to somewhat slow so that when the grind starts it feels like a natural time to put it down and let it idle.

I highly recommend Disaster Town Tycoon. I also think it would appeal to more than just the idle crowd. the graphics, the art style, the humour, and more importantly the initial tutorial make this one of the most approachable games i've played on iPhone.

(Version 0.10.1 Played)

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Quadroids On PS4


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Quadroids, developed by Blue Loop Studio and published by Fabloo Games and Just for Games.

The screenshots for this game on the PSN got me really interested in this game. But i was very aware that this was a puzzle game with a lot of death and i'm typically not good at them. so i was keen to try out the demo.

It starts out with a very informative video that shows off the basic loop of the game, you play, you die, and it helps you get to the end. We do get a bit of story before a all too brief tutorial that really didn't help that much.  We don't get all the levels from the first section of the game so it's possible that there are other tutorial sections, but i don't think that's the case. I don't typically mind a poor tutorial, but the game is monitoring how many moves you make and it is scored. i would've liked a practice room, or a practice dream, just to try and get the basics done. it's very much level after level.

By the final level, i was already out of my depth and struggling to play it. i am concerned that it'll just keep on getting more difficult. that's why i'm glad that there is a demo. it's clear that the game has some great ideas, but i'm happy to have tried out the demo and learnt that it's not for me instead of paying for it, struggling to progress, and ending up regretting a purchase and possibly souring my thoughts on the game.

Trying to manage four screens, each uses a different button, with a surprising amount of timing required to manage and progress, was a bit too much. at the end, the game has a demo end screen and in the bottom left it lets you try out a later level and i couldn't do it. This ending screen is nice but it's the most that the game acknowledges that it's a demo. the developers were perhaps a little too focused on trying to the theme of the game going over treating it like an actual demo.

But i do recommend you try out the demo. Playing the game does a better job of explaining it than just screenshots and a trailer. actually having to kill your character in the right spot, having to manage the timing of two characters so they meet at the right time, it's something that's better experienced through playing. the levels we get to try seem to be a good collection of new ideas. my guess is that in the game you'd get a level with a new idea, and the following level is that idea used in a different way, whereas in the demo we got to try out all the new ideas and mechanics.

Give it a go and don't worry if it's difficult.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Titan Attacks! - Part 2 – I Couldn’t Save The Moon


This is part 2 of playing the PlayStation 4 version of Titan Attacks!, from developers Puppygames, as part of Backlog Conquering. But it will also be the final video on this game.

The goal of Backlog Conquering isn't to finish a game, it's to play a game. Unfortunately, i've now played Titan Attacks! and i didn't end up enjoying it. There are some neat ideas, the music is great, and for the most part i do like the presentation of the game. it's just playing it that's the issue.

I found Part 1, https://youtu.be/i50TzJrbBcI, to be much more difficult than i expected for the first level of a game. and in that video i tried out the Moon stage and the jump in difficulty was surprising to say the least. What this part showed me is how the levels are more difficult. it's not just more enemies that need stronger weapons or more hits to destroy. there are asteroids, enemies dropping bombs, enemy vessels crashing, enemy drones crashing, enemies shooting down, aliens to capture or shoot down, and one of the more annoying additions were the bombs that let out a blast wave. Combined, these all felt like they were all randomly set rather than being crafted to work together or in tandem. this meant there were no patterns to learn and where you were or next to you were the targets for the enemies. Several times i found myself trapped, forced to take a hit, and when there were many enemies on screen i simply had to take many hits.

That randomness just didn't feel like fun, it felt like i needed luck more than skill. The game tries to even things out with an upgrade system, but it felt broken. i could never seem to earn enough money to get the required upgrades. it was luck whether or not the UFO that flies across the screen dropped money or something else.

I couldn't defeat the Moon boss and by the end of the video i had no interest in continuing. Titan Attacks! is an old game and this PlayStation 4 port feels old with old ways of doing difficulty. by the time of the console ports, it really should've been a "DX" style upgrade that would modernise the game's mechanics whilst keeping the art style, direction, and music that i enjoyed from my time with the game.

Next week's Backlog Conquering video will feature a "new" game.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode: Dungeon 15 - Celestial Black Dragon


Welcome to one of the final Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday videos! 
With the series being retired on YouTube and finishing over on Ko-Fi, https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers, i'm celebrating by showing off the Quest Mode.

This video shows the 15th, and final, Dungeon, Celestial Black Dragon.

Come back next week for what will be the final video, all 15 dungeons from start to finish and credits.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Cloud Monday - Brink - Part 1 - An Interesting Approach To Single Player Missions


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the PS3 version of Brink via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4. I have previously uploaded the PlayStation 3 XMB game Previews for the Beta to Brink, version 1.00 https://youtube.com/shorts/uWjRVuGWWZ0 and version 1.01 https://youtu.be/AQGrYqGH7Bg, but it was so long ago i don't really remember much about the game. i know that it didn't do as great as they expected and i remember there being some complaints at the time, but i don't remember what specifically the main issues with the game were.

It starts well with an interesting intro video detailing the story of the game. it tries to provide both the point of view of both sides as when it finishes it asks you to pick a side to play as. Whilst the following character customisation section was easy to navigate, i wasn't a fan of the character design. i didn't like how at this point, it asks you to customise and at first glance it looks like there are lot's of options, but in reality a lot are locked behind progress. i would've preferred the lock stuff to be separated.

Brink has an interesting approach to the tutorial in that it's a video, longer than i expected. it's very detailed and seems to go over everything. There's bonus XP for watching it. i was just surprised that there was no where to go and practice it. the video is a lot to take in and i honestly forgot a few things as i played.

The online servers for Brink are offline, but it does have a single player mode. i was really interested to see how this would work not just in this game but also as something that's being played in the cloud. some of the best designed games are those with lots of auto saves and manual saves. It soon became apparent that the single player part of the game is built inside the multiplayer. It was never made clear if your progress was being tracked with an auto save, so if Sony does disconnect you from the service you could hop back into where you were, or not. personally, i think that there is no auto save/check pointing and if you're disconnected you'll have to start again from the beginning. 

As the single player mission are timed, the compromise is that you won't loose too much progress other than the mission you're currently playing. But the fact it's being played inside a multiplayer shell also means how it works is kinda interesting. What took me a little time to realise is that i can respawn. i kept on expecting my team mates to heal me but when i understood the respawn mechanic other aspects started to make sense. i had noticed that the enemy was relentless but so where my team mates. but i also noticed that players on both sides were getting killed. now i understood that both sides have a respawn mechanic. A bonus to dying is that you're able to respawn and change your job to suit what's happening. I only tried out the medic, but by the end of the video it was clear that the medics job in this mode isn't that beneficial as the Ai players die so quickly. 

I wouldn't say the Ai players are that smart either. it wasn't too frustrating playing with them, but it certainly was unpredictable. Ultimately, it's great that we're able to still play this game. it looks good, the cinematics were great, but i still don't like the character art styles. aspects of the game feel very modern, so it's possible the game was ahead of it's time, but there are certainly aspects of it's design that feel very much of the PS3 generation. Having the ability to play it on PlayStation Plus in the cloud is a bonus, but it's clear that the game isn't designed well enough for it. Part 2 of playing Brink is will probably be more about experiencing this past game.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Online Weekend - Foamstars - Launch Weekend – Smash The Star, Happy Bath Survival, Rubber Duck Party


We have an Online Weekend for Foamstars! It's the debut weekend for the new free to play "Shooter" from Square Enix and Toylogic. Foamstars is out across PS5 and PS4. I'll be playing the PlayStation 4 version of it.

In yesterday's video, https://youtu.be/ycbDurdOG_w, i did the tutorial and tried out the PVE, Player vs. Enemy(ies) Solo missions and online missions. Today's focus was in the PVP, Player vs. Player(s), modes. i didn't have expectations going in as even tho it's easy to compare Foamstars with Splatoon 3, they are quite different so i was really curious to see how the PVP mode was going to be done. Turns out it's not Mode but rather Modes!

The basic PVP mode is Smash The Star. Each team gets 7 Chill-Outs, that's when you're knocked out of the game and are waiting to respawn. once all 7 are used, the best player on that team becomes the star player and gets some bonuses. the other team's goal is now to Chill-Out the star player. helping the star player, on top of the bonuses that character gets, is the fact that their team mates get unlimited respawns. I played this mode 5 times and it's not bad. probably the best of the three i played. But it drags on a little if the two teams are evenly matched. There is an overall match timer that's maybe a minute too long. But overall it's good mode. i was a little surprised that there aren't many stats presented to you after the game. i tried a few characters but i don't have the stats to say which performed better than the other.

The other mode that was available when i started was Happy Bath Survival. This is a best of two mode where there are two players from each team in the arena and two others above. those in the arena are still trying to chill-out the opposing team. those above are trying to help. Like Splatoon, your team mates move quicker on their color so those above are trying to lay down as much. those above are also trying to aim at the enemy players. But of course, so is the enemy two players above. Even tho we won, i didn't enjoy it that much. i found the lack of information of when your team mate is coming back and what's happening above to reduce my enjoyment and it just felt chaotic rather than teamwork.

I couldn't play the third mode until Happy Bath Survival timed out and was replaced. That's one reason why this video is long. But once it did time out i was able to try out the third PVP mode called Rubber Duck Party. Unfortunately, the other reason why this video is soo long is because i couldn't get into a Rubber Duck Party match as it kept having connection issues. the first time it happened it dumped me back into the start menu at the beginning of the game. thankfully the other times it happened i was put back into my social space. It's the most broken the online had been this weekend. 

In Rubber Duck Party, there are two goals. firstly, it's still PVP so you have to deal with the enemy. The second goal is escorting a DJ Rubber Duck to the enemy's section. Some of this is familiar, you have to capture the duck for it to go in the opposite direction. What's unique is that because it's a DJ Duck, there's a stage for your character to dance on. completing a dance will speed up the duck, but it leaves you open to attack so the risk reward is high. This was frantic and it looked like we were going to loose really quickly. but we were able to fight back so it's great to see that it's possible and that things can change. But everyone felt soo overpowered compared to the task at hand. I feel like Foamstars is missing out on a mechanic. For Example, the Duck is a DJ. so if it changes the song, maybe new rules can be added like no abilities, no supers, or something weird like no jumping.

Rubber Duck Party wasn't that fun because it felt unbalanced. it's something different and maybe each time i play Foamstars i may play it once or twice whilst i focus on Smash The Star. That feels like the most solid PVP mode but it's not perfect either. But i prefer both of those over the  Happy Bath Survival mode. with Foamstars being a game where modes can be put in and taken out, i'm encouraged that PVP is something that'll be kept fresh and experimented on.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Online Saturday - Foamstars - Launch Weekend – Tutorial, Solo, And PVE Missions


We have an Online Weekend for Foamstars! It's the debut weekend for the new free to play "Shooter" from Square Enix and Toylogic. Foamstars is out across PS5 and PS4. I'll be playing the PlayStation 4 version of it.

I didn't play the beta version of Foamstars as it only came out on the PlayStation 5 so today's video is my first time starting the game. thankfully, after a cool cinematic the game starts with a simple tutorial. As the game doesn't have too many or complex mechanics, the tutorial is fairly short but also robust. after it ended i felt like i knew how to play it, what i didn't know were the game stages.

It's easy to compare this game to Splatoon 3 and the level designs in that game are very varied with a mix of hights, moving things, and more. So i was wondering if the levels would be the same. unfortunately, i didn't find out as i only tried out the PVE missions in this video. Like Splatoon 3, Foamstars does have a method of travelling fast in the foam you spray on the stage. there are other similarities like your character having a normal shooting mode and a super. one difference is that Foamstars have 2 extra moves as well as those two. These are called skills and each character have different ones. visually, they are impressive and are good at dealing with enemies.

Even tho this is the PS4 version of Foamstars, the game looks very impressive. You probably could hear my PS4 in the background as the game does push it really hard. It'll be interesting to see if tomorrow's PVP video will be even noisier as during the missions, most of the foam is cleared between waves of enemies. there is a weird dithering on the foam on it's edges when looking far away and all over when up close, but it's not really an issue. the only thing thing about the PS4 version that i imagine is lower quality than the PS5 version would be the loading times, oh and maybe the city background. Everything else feels high quality and not a compromise. 

Another plus is how quick matchmaking was. Splatoon 3 is well known for how quick matchmaking is. Pokémon Unite is also up there as one of the quickest games for matchmaking. But many other online games i've played have suffered from waits a minute or more. the wait for Foamstars was 30 seconds or less, so it's very good. it'll be interesting to see if it does get longer as the game gets older.

It's not all great with Foamstars. In trying to be different from Splatoon, the free to play nature of the game uses the character, weapon, and social areas aspects and puts them mostly behind a paywall. one of the more fun features of Splatoon 3 is how you can customise your character using money you've earned, how your levelling up dictates the weapons you can choose to buy from or the items in the store. In Foamstars, nearly everything is behind a paywall, with just a few things available via the free version of the season pass. It'll be easy to see who has paid for things and those who haven't.

So for my first time with the game, i had a great time. i'm excited to try out the PVP in tomorrow's video and maybe more into the future.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Mobile Friday - BirdHeroes - It Looks Good, But It’s Too Rough To Recommend For Now


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out BirdHeroes from RYUJI KUWAKI. I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro, but it's also out on Android.

I had previously played SubaraCity and was eager to try out this new game. Unfortunately, it doesn't start off great as it immediately puts you into the game without any instructions on how to play it. i only had a vague sense of what happens because i had seen the screenshots and video in the app store. This is something that continues throughout my experience with BirdHeroes and it became a big frustration.

There are some tutorial sections, but they often came after the section where the mechanic was introduced. There are other tutorial levels, but it's not immediately obvious they're levels you can select and not just trees that are part of the background. When you start them, the English is sometimes vague and even unhelpful at times. It's a sign that this newly released game needs more work and maybe got released too early. 

I had issues with the tutorials, issues with the translation, and issues with the game mechanics. i had guessed a lot and was mostly correct with what happens. but actually doing it proved to be the issue more often than not. With nearly every bird i tried to ride, when it came to sections off the bird i was mostly unable to get back on it. All the birds move, some more unpredictable than others. But the game says there's a 5 second window on these sections when the game is essentially paused. so there's a rush to collect as much fruit and get back on your bird. But your bird may have other ideas and is moving around, flying behind the stage, or just darting unpredictably. i honestly have no idea how it works. sometimes i feel like the bird moved to grab me, other times i fell right beside it. sometimes the bird was quick to get me back, other times it felt too long for it to grab me. i didn't like these sections when ever they came up. even after this video, i still don't think they've been fully explained either.

So with these puzzle platforming sections slowing me down, i came to a point where i couldn't beat any of the levels. these are start of the game levels and i could not get better than 2 out of 3 stars. Unfortunately, the game does nothing to offer hints or tutorials on what to do or how to get better. there is a Upgrade Building i got to, but i have no idea how it works. i couldn't access it. i don't know if that's because i've not done something, if i've not got something, or if it simply wasn't accessible.

With such a large part of the gameplay becoming very quickly frustrating, it was almost inevitable that the game would have intrusive adverts. Thankfully, these adverts are short. but they appear seemingly randomly after some levels with no warning.

Perhaps i came into this game with expectations too high. It does look good. the music is good, too. the screenshots and trailer looked like fun. but actually playing it simply became frustrating. I do think there is potential with this idea, but with the game in such a bad state right now i simply can't recommend it. It needs far too much work for me to even suggest downloading and waiting because it's just not worth playing right now.

(Version 1.0.05 Played)

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Mario vs. Donkey Kong On Switch


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Mario vs. Donkey Kong. This game previously came out on Game Boy Advance and i feel like there's a chance i tried it out on it, but it was so long ago i don't remember one way or another.

So going into this game, i didn't really know how it was going to play. Other than possibly the first game, i've not played any of the subsequent releases. i've seen trailers and heard people talking about them, but that's it. So coming into this i was really expecting the game to tutorialize what to do and how to play it, not just because it's a #demo but also because it's different from other Mario games.

I was surprised by how unhelpful the tutorial was, what little there was. It's always possible the main game might be a little different as this is a demo that knows it's a demo. the main landing page says demo and it has a link to the eShop. But i suspect that's not the case. The biggest issue with this was the final level with the Mario Toys. i genuinely had no idea what to do and all the game said was guide the toys to the letter blocks. so i walked them to a letter block and they did nothing. it wasn't until i jumped and moved that i realised the toys were following me and have no Ai intelligence themselves.

The demo is only 4 levels and two difficulty levels. the first 3 levels were nice and short with some different platforming and puzzle stuff. the fourth level was the one with the toy Mario's. But it was the difficulty levels that i found most interesting. i started with casual, as it's my first time, but i didn't really know what it was as the game doesn't say what the differences are between them. but after playing i can say that casual adds checkpoints to the levels and a bubble save to the already lives you have. in the normal mode, you only have lives.

I didn't have fun playing this so i'm glad that it's short. it was nice that the demo had a trailer and screenshots for the game. overall, the demo knowing it's a demo was great and a brilliant example of how to do demos. but all that extra detail helped to confirm that this isn't a game i want to play. as well as the poor tutorial, i also found basic stuff like jumping not what i expected and disappointing. i would recommend people try the demo before buying the game as it does feel outdated. it may look nice, but it's accessibility is lacking nowadays. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Backlog Conquering -Titan Attacks! - Part 1 - More Than Just Space Invaders


I've started a new game from my backlog, now i'm playing the PlayStation 4 version of Titan Attacks!, from developers Puppygames, as part of Backlog Conquering.

Looking at my trophies, i have already got one for getting the max multiplier. but it looks like i never cleared Earth. And i did it many years ago. So i went and deleted that save file so i could go in to it fresh. I was surprised that when i started the game, i was straight into it. thankfully, i guessed what to do as there is no tutorial. the music is great, the graphics are cool, and it starts like Space Invaders. but it quickly changes that old formula and adds it's own twists and ideas.

because there's no head's up about what's coming, no tutorials explaining any of the systems, the first part of this video is more frustrating than fun. i can imagine that this game wasn't very approachable to a lot of people. if i didn't make progress, i would've ended this game with just one video. but thankfully, i managed to get past the first stage Earth.

Then it gets crazier on the Moon. immediately, as well as the aliens i also had to face off against Asteroid looking asteroids impacting the moon. But not long after the aliens also leveled up and starting dropping bombs. this was more difficult because of how busy the screen is. it's hard to pay attention to what's coming down whilst you're looking up to try and hit the aliens. during this stage, that's the thing i complain the most about and whilst i started to adapt in this video, i've got a way to go. 

Thankfully, i'm able to upgrade my own craft. but it's soo slow. plus, i'm spending most of my money trying to restock my shields. like i said above, i'm being hit and not knowing why and it's eating into my shields. it feels more unfair than just being hard with the game struggling to telegraph enemy attacks and what's happening in general.

I will do a second part. the goal will be to try and beat the Moon stage. But if it continues to feel unfair rather than hard, then maybe i'll leave it at two videos. i do enjoy the music and the look and feel. but it's the gameplay that's lacking and perhaps not living up to potential.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode - Dungeon 14 - Starlight Sanctuary


Welcome to one of the final Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday videos! 
With the series being retired on YouTube and finishing over on Ko-Fi, https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers, i'm celebrating by showing off the Quest Mode.

This video shows the 14th Dungeon, Starlight Sanctuary. the closer i get to the final dungeon, the harder these are becoming and the more time they're taking. So the remaining few dungeons will come one at a time.

Come back next week for what will be the 15th,and final, Dungeon!

Monday, February 5, 2024

Cloud Monday - LEGO City: Undercover - Part 2 - Not Recommend To Stream From The Cloud


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing the PS4 version of Tt Fusion's LEGO City: Undercover via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

It wasn't a great day trying to stream this game from the cloud. The video is from the third attempt to play the game. the previous two attempts failed in less than a minute getting to the game's start screen with PlayStation kicking me off due to my internet connection. i tried restarting my PS4 but it didn't solve the problem as it would repeatedly fail to launch. Thankfully, the game finally did launch and that's when this video was started.

Unfortunately, that's not the end of the trouble i had with this game today. one reason this video is shorter than before is because it crashed #Sony's end, instead of my internet connection being the reason it ended. But i wasn't having a great time anyway so i wasn't keen on trying again.

I still find the game funny. but playing it wasn't as great as i'd expect from a LEGO game. The slower pace was very noticeable. I still found driving to be a chore rather than fun, and the other drivers and pedestrians in the game were brainless. having a game world with a mix of LEGO stuff and real world stuff wasn't great for driving as i was constantly hitting the small rocks trying to avoid the surprisingly large numbers of slow traffic. Once we got the grappling hook, new issues emerged. i got it but couldn't seem to use it even tho there seemed to be places to use it where i got it. it got in the way of combat, and then i was able to use once the story required it.

The final part of the video is the second story mission. this was probably the most familiar LEGO style gameplay level i've played so far. but it felt slow. using the grappling gun was slow, swinging felt slow, and the levels themselves were surprisingly small as we could access portions of it. you can hear in the video how disappointed i was when i realised i needed an extra three costumes/characters to access the other areas of the level. i wasn't excited to have to go back to previous levels. i was expecting to explore around the map rather than repeat levels. i could imagine that the gameplay reason for returning might be police forensic stuff, but that's more in hope than what i think is actually going to happen.

Ultimately, once we found out in Part 1 that there are no manual saves and erratic auto saves, the game became one i couldn't recommend to play in the ground. the fact that it crashed Sony's end and how long it took to reconnect when i was kicked off, just adds to my conclusion that LEGO City: Undercover is a game you should download from PlayStation Plus rather than stream it.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Switch Funday - Pokémon Unite - February’s Unite Weekend


Today's Switch Funday video is on Pokémon Unite. as this is the first full weekend of February, 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.

Today, i played at the Shivre City map, it's a 4 vs 4 map so it's a little different from the other Unite Weekend videos i've done. So i came away from this weekend not really feeling great about any of the Pokémon i used. Crustle was a surprise and i scored a lot with it. I don't think i understood Hoopa, and Garchomp didn't seem to have a great selection of moves. Mewtwo was fine, Blissey wasn't, and ending with Lucario was alright but it never felt as strong as i thought it should be.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

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


Welcome to Switch Funday!

This weekend is February's Eggstra Work Event in Splatoon 3 on Switch. I haven't had much luck with the previous events so i came into this just wanting to get a decent score, one i felt satisfied with, a 1,000 points for the Gatchapon, and if possible finishing Wave 5.

In the end, none of the teams i was on were able to beat Wave 5, but the rest of the goals were met. I say at the beginning that the start of the video is going to be full of failure and things would get better on near the end and that was true. I don't watch videos of the event before i play, i go in knowing nothing. i just hope for a good weapon selection and good team mates to learn with. Match 4 was the start of things getting good and it mostly continued like that from that point on. 

Friday, February 2, 2024

Mobile Friday - Dream Detective: Merge Game - The Choice To Wait Or Pay To Play Came Far Too Soon


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Dream Detective: Merge Game, from Century Games on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game is also out on Android and PC. 

The app store page for Dream Detective: Merge Game immediately grabbed my attention with it's beautiful colorful art. i was instantly curious whether this is purely for the app store or if the game looked this good. from the screenshots i instantly knew what kind of game parts of it would be, but i was keen to find out how it could combine detective gameplay with merge game play. But the developers #CenturyGames also make another game i'm familiar with called Whiteout Survival. I've been bombarded with ads for that game for a long time now and it had garnered a reputation that the ads don't match the gameplay.

Thankfully in starting the game it was clear that the artstyle is used in game and it looks fantastic.  unfortunately, that's about all the praise i can give Dream Detective: Merge Game. the tutorial is bad and seems to give up almost immediately. in about 15 minutes i had finished what i could do in the game. it left me with the choice of waiting 2 hours or paying with gems to continue. This sucked for me, someone who was starting the game for the first time, as the game had done nearly nothing to prove to me that i should continue and not delete it. 

And that's one of the games biggest problems. i only knew about the size of the game world because i had a look, the game did nothing to convey it to me. the game has done nothing to show off the detective gameplay teased in the app store pictures. the game has done nothing to explain the 3 currencies in the game. i've worked out 2, but i have no idea about the third. Because the time was soo short, the game hadn't really begun and it was already asking us to wait or pay to continue without ever justifying why.

Dream Detective: Merge Game is a game i can't recommend unless you're OK playing the game for 10 minutes every few hours. It's introduction to first time players is almost rude in how poorly designed it is. in this series, games typically allow players to do a lot in the beginning before slowing down and a grind beginning or the player running out of energy. often that's about 30 minutes, plenty of time for players to learn the mechanics, get the back story, and have an idea where things are going to go forward. But Dream Detective: Merge Game gave me none of that, and even less when you compare with what's seen in the app store. 

(Version 10.0 Played)

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Jett Rider On #Switch


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Jett Rider. This game, from developers Last Chicken Games is out now across various platforms.

The screenshots for this demo showed the game to be a platformer, but after some rough platforming with Aaru's Awakening, https://www.youtube.com/post/UgkxajhuretHJQkryomqkf8HEBq4OSzdaymh, i hadn't been keen to jump into another platformer. But i was also curious as i could be missing out on a decent platformer. But once i knew this was a platformer, i figured it would be a great game to try for Demo Play Thursday.

The main menu is bare bones, it does say it's a demo but that's all the information we get. there are no links to the eShop page, no mention as to what's in the demo, nor is there a trailer for the game. so i did go in not knowing how long things were going to be.

When it starts, one of the first things i noticed was how much was on screen. many pixel art games tend to zoom in on the main character, meaning there's not much extra above, below, or to the sides. but here, i was impressed by the scale of it. It's another game that starts and then jumps back in time, but Jett Rider doesn't take itself too serious so i wasn't too bothered by it.

One thing i mention throughout the video is how lacking the tutorial was. it's decent at the start but then it kinda stops before it's finished explaining how things work or where everything is. This game does feel like one where exploring and dying are gameplay mechanics and a half finished tutorial like this one is actually better than you'd get in other games with similar mechanics. There is a theme of the game perhaps not doing enough to give the player information. an example that comes up in the video is that we level up, the game says our stats are better, but we never get to see those stats. as the player, when anything is improved we have no way of quantifying the improvements, for the most part we only have the word of the game. I did notice with the weapons that when we upgraded them, visually we were able to see a difference in the firing and the larger numbers coming of enemies.

Having accepted that exploring and dying are part of the game, one key factor for me is how long does it take to restart and where it happens. Jett Rider does not have an auto save, it's only manual and only at specific places in the map. so if you explore in the wrong direction from one of these, you could restart and loose progress. i died a few times in this video. a couple of times i died close to the save point. but the other times when i died further away were not fun.

As well as the great visuals and art, i also enjoyed the weapons. each one is visually different, and each has some information saying what they're suited for. using each one was fun. this meant that when i had 4 weapons unlocked and could only use 2, it felt like the un fun choice. Ratchet and Clank is famous for it's cool weapons and lets the user choose which one to use with a radial menu. i wanted this game to have a radial menu so i could have all the weapons. But you can only swap weapons at specific points.

As a demo, it's good. we get some back story, enough of a tutorial, and a decent sample of platforming, enemies, and boss fights. i feel like i could get the game and enjoy it. but the demo also makes me feel like i wouldn't finish it. at each point we reached, new enemies or stronger versions of enemies we had met were introduced. This kept happening so by the time i ended the demo, i was concerned that the game would move away from puzzle/exploration platformer to more of a survival/shooter platformer and getting more difficult. 

I would recommend the game after trying the demo. but i would make it clear that i think it's going to get tough. and it's because of this i probably won't be getting the game but, again, it's not because it's bad it's just because i feel like it's going to be hard in a way i won't enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode - Dungeon 13 - Epody Grove


Welcome to one of the final Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday videos! 
With the series being retired on YouTube and finishing over on Ko-Fi, https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers, i'm celebrating by showing off the Quest Mode.

This video is part 5 and it shows the 13th Dungeon, the Epody Grove. the closer i get to the final dungeon, the harder these are becoming and the more time they're taking. So, unless i'm able to defeat a dungeon quickly, the remaining few dungeons will come one at a time.

Come back next week for what will be the 14th Dungeon.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Cloud Monday - LEGO City: Undercover - Part 1 - No Manual Saves And Infrequent Auto Saves


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the PS4 version of Tt Fusion's LEGO City: Undercover via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

I've wanted to play this game since it came out on the Wii U. So when it came out on PlayStation Plus, i was eager to finally give it a go. Sometimes i choose games for specific reasons, to test the limits of the service. but this time it's purely just for me. But i do try to focus on the important details.

Today's stream quality wasn't great, but the Internet Speed Test i did at the end was fine. it's one reason why i play the game twice, on different days, so i can see whether it's indicative of the game's stream or down to issues my end. Nothing truly got in the way of gameplay, but the stream tearing came closet. Some moments of macro blocking I had occurred whilst subtitles were on screen and that made them unreadable. I was unclear if the intro cinematic looked soft because of the stream, like maybe a reduction in bit rate or resolution, or if it's just how it is as it's a port of a Wii U game.

I didn't feel any lag in the controls, but driving does take time to get used to in LEGO City: Undercover. The biggest disappointment has to be that there are no manual saves. the game does have auto saves, but i personally felt that they were not frequent enough. at the end, i'm trying to get an auto save so i know it's safe to end the game. I showed that if you quit, the game quits. there is no save. there isn't a message saying when the last save is either.

So whilst i found the game funny, and i enjoyed playing it for the most part. i can't say that LEGO City: Undercover is a good game to stream from the cloud because of the save issues. when you're playing on a service that gives a 20 second warning before kicking you off, i doubt you'll be able to trigger an auto save and you will loose progress.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Switch Funday - Palia - The First Hour


For Switch Funday i'm trying out the free to play Switch, and PC, game Palia , from developers Singularity 6, for the first time. Going into this game i didn't really know much more about it other than there would be some gathering mechanics and farming as i had seen them on the eShop.

I appreciated that it was quick to get from the start screen into gameplay. the game gives us a choice if we want to create a Singularity 6 account so we can link Palia on Nintendo Switch with the PC version. i chose not to and it was straight to a character create screen. I thought the amount of customisation here was the right amount. i felt like i could create something visually nice, possibly distinct, whilst also not feeling overwhelmed by too much choice. i also appreciated how quick the different looks and styles loaded in. it helped make the whole thing feel quick. some of the buttons are small and it may not be immediately obvious how to change some colors.

There was little fanfare when we join the game world. we slightly startled a character, but she was quick to mention we weren't the first human to arrive and essentially told us to go elsewhere. this was not what i expected. I, the player, had soo many questions whereas both my ingame character and the other character seemed not to care. this bugged me throughout the hour as i was continuously looking for story, for the why, for the how, and the game just never gave it to me. 

I found this attitude really puzzling. if there are many humans just appearing, why wasn't there one to welcome me. it would've made the journey from the cave to the town more meaningful and maybe even offer some basic answers, or at the very least set up the next phase of the game. the town's people seem pleased a new human has appeared but not exactly enthusiastic about it. they're more than happy to set me busy work whilst also offering no story and no reason to drive forward.

The first hour ends with the next day arriving and more things to keep us busy. But there's no hint as to what the story is. it feels like we have to do what the town's people quest us to do "because". that's where i feel having a human, or someone sympathetic, meet with us in the beginning would help. they could explain things, encourage us to get settled, say there'll be time to uncover everything. But as it is. this first hour felt like we were just doing quests to get things done, for busy work. it almost feels like the developers had a core gameplay loop, had an idea for the start, but no link between the two.

What's noticeable about playing Palia on Switch is how much the game is pushing up against the limits of the console. at times, the pop-in was very close to my character. and this isn't just stuff in the background but it's also textures. The water especially looks weird, almost like it's thick. But that could be a stylistic choice. In general, the game looks decent on Switch. the pop-in is noticeable but it doesn't affect gameplay. But the stuttering framerate/frame pacing was noticeable and got in the way of my enjoyment of playing the game. it didn't always happen, but it felt like it did.

There are small complaints throughout playing this video but nothing that sticks out as a game breaker. with this being a free to play game that gets updates, there's hope that things could improve. but as they are now, Palia isn't a game i'd recommend to everyone. But if you're looking for a slower pace of game, a world where you can fish, farm, gather, and build, then Palia is worth checking out. it may not be for me, but i can think of a few people i know who would enjoy playing it.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - 7 More Failed Attempts To Win Panic Parade


Today's Online Saturday video is on #PokémonUnite. My goal in Panic Parade is to beat consistently. So far, my team mates and I have only managed to beat it once. All my stats for my Pokémon are level 4 at the start of today's video.

Today, things felt more consistent. my team mates and I were able to get to Wave 13 more often than not. But match 6 was the worst as my team mates seemed incapable of reading map and were more interested in chasing the enemy rather than being ready for them. Tyranitar is a Pokémon i have recently bought and i thought was doing great, but we didn't get to see all it can do. so i will use it again next time. 

I will own up that it was my mistake which meant that the chance we had in Match 7 to win was lost.  But other than that, i felt like i had a great day of play. I had, at times, some great team mates as well. it's just a little weird that after 6 videos, 7 matches each, my team mates and I have only managed to beat Panic Parade once. I got 3 stats up to max level 5 so maybe next time we'll have more luck.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Mobile Friday - Space Intern - The Graphics And Gameplay Are Good, But Wait For iOS Bugs To Be Fixed


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Space Intern, from Oaky Games on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game is also out on Android. 

There's a lot i liked about this game, but lets start with the bugs. i've never seen a game with the flickering bug that this has. around the edges of the screen whilst in a level, it continuously flickers. it's hard to describe how annoying it was. as i've never seen this bug before in any other game on my phone, it is possible this is a bug specific to the iPhone 14 Pro and the HDMI Adapter. In my conclusion at the end of the video, being aware that this big bug maybe really specific to my situation, i compromised by saying that it's worth downloading and trying. if the bug persists, i would still keep the game and await and update.

I did have fun with the game. the levels are a good length for a mobile game whilst also providing a good puzzle platforming challenge. there are things i would change to make the game more approachable as it's currently a game where you will die, learn, and make progress. i'm an experienced gamer so i was able to work things out, but having a little more tutorial in the early part of the game would be nice. the characters do talk so they could offer some hints early on as to what's ahead. But in these types of games, they're not typically designed to be accessible. the point is to die and learn and make progress.

Space Intern does have adverts. i'm not impressed how they're seemingly randomly inserted between levels without warning. I'm not saying it's wrong to have adverts, i just feel it could've been handled much better. if the adverts aren't random, then all it needs is for the character you meet at the end of the stage to say "...and now a word from our sponsor" and in the way this game is written it wouldn't be too out of place and easy to explain. thankfully, all the adverts i came across were short so those with data plans may not have to worry immediately.

Something i'm not sure if it's a bug or a design choice is the jump. in the video i show how it has a weird lag between when i press it and it happens. so i would touch the screen, the jump button on screen would then animate, and then my character would jump. whilst i was able to mostly adjust to it, it's not expected in a puzzle platformer like this so it sticks out. But when i played with a bluetooth controller, the timing of the jump felt much better and when i pressed the jump button.

There's a lot of this game left to unlock. but for me, personally, i'm not going to go back and play it until it's patched. what Oaky Games have here is something with a lot of promise. but you shouldn't get something because of the promise, you should get it because of what it has. But i would recommend you download the game and check it out as the bugs might be specific to my phone or my recording situation. the graphics are great, the music is limited but each track is good and appropriate. the levels are mostly smartly done and there's reason to go back and try them again. But if it doesn't work, don't force yourself to play through.

(Version 1.7 Played)

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Fate/Samurai Remnant On PS4


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Fate/Samurai Remnant, tho the game itself did think it was the PS5 version at the end. This game, from Koei Tecmo, Omega Force, Kou Shibusawa, Aniplex, and Type-Moon came out last year but the demo only came out this week.

I didn't know about this game and the PlayStation Store webpage for it didn't give much information. there are no screenshots, no videos, and you have to scroll down to the bottom to find out that it's an action RPG. In the demo the action aspect of the game is very clear and mostly explained. The game uses blocks of text and a screenshot for the tutorial so it's not great, but most is done in easy fights where you can see it in action so i mostly understood what it wanted me to do.

What isn't explained at all in this demo is the RPG aspect. my character did gain levels, but it was never explained. It's most likely because this demo is less than an hour long and focuses on the beginning of the game. i would imagine that the RPG aspect is explored in the next section, that's not included in the demo.

What we do get in this demo are several videos, animated and in-game, exploring history, backstory, and what's happening. after the demo is finished there's a cool trailer for the game that makes a lot of sense as we know the rough outline of the game by this point. 

This isn't a perfect demo. as well as the game not knowing what version it was, at the beginning the game got stuck for a couple of minutes in the settings menu. i cut out of this video when nothing was happening and skipped to when it had fixed itself. there were a couple of instances where the game had framerate issues or stuttering. thankfully whilst those were noticeable, they never got in the way of gameplay. One aspect of the gameplay i wasn't keen on was how the story jumped from the present to the past and back to the present and it just felt unnecessary and that it didn't add anything to the story compared to if the story had been told linearly. 

I did come away from this demo enjoying my time with the game, so ultimately the demo did work as i know enough of the story to be interested, i understand the basic gameplay and know it's something i can do and enjoy, and that this PS4 version of the game looks great and it doesn't feel like a downgrade from what would be a better PS5 version. so i do recommend you try out the demo if you're interested.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Aaru's Awakening On PS3 - Part 2 – Learning by Dying


I'm currently playing the PlayStation 3 version of Aaru's Awakening, from developers Lumenox, as part of Backlog Conquering. the first part, https://youtu.be/MbJ6A1BeL7U, revealed the game as being a platformer that has puzzle elements and enemies to deal with. But we didn't get much of a story and i felt a disconnect from the beautiful world we're playing in and the creature we're playing as. I hoped that in Part 2 something would be introduced that helped deal with that disconnect.

The story is mostly introduced at the end of each section. so for most of this video i'm trying to solve the platforming puzzles or working out how to deal with enemies. At times it does become a little frustrating as i feel like i'm doing the same thing but i'm not getting the same response in game. it could have something to do with the stick drift i'm having with my DualSense 3 controller or it could be that the game lacks a little bit of polish.

But what truly became clear as i tried to make my way through this section is that there are times when you have to die in order to learn how to progress. I say in the video that i'm not a big fan of this method of story telling and by the end of this video i've certainly become resigned to such gameplay mechanics. Like in part 1, this is also true with the final boss fight at the end of the section. at every phase of the fight, you die when something new happens or the action takes place in a different location. thankfully, the game does seem to be designed around such a mechanic as it very quickly takes you back to the last check point. even more gratefully, each phase of the boss fight is a checkpoint, so even tho i died a lot it did feel like i was chipping away at it.

What made this part feel good was the story. it doesn't fully address the issues i have, but it did make me realise that having those feelings was the point as it's revealed my character is starting to have them. it reveals that it's a not so subtle way of saying you shouldn't blindly follow orders. This was enough to feel satisfied at the end of this part and for me to want to play more so there will be a part 3.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode - Dungeon 12 - Clayus Prison


Welcome to one of the final Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday videos! 
With the series being retired on YouTube and finishing over on Ko-Fi, https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers, i'm celebrating by showing off the Quest Mode.

This video is part 4 and it shows the 12th Dungeon, the Clayus Prison. the closer i get to the final dungeon, the harder these are becoming and the more time they're taking. So, unless i'm able to defeat a dungeon quickly, the remaining few dungeons will come one at a time.

Come back next week for what will be the 13th Dungeon.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Cloud Monday - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Part 2 - Maybe Not The Best Version Of The Game


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the PS3 version of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

In part 1, https://youtu.be/ckR9cha291o, it was clear that playing Oblivion via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service is a good way to play the PlayStation 3 version of the game. the ability to manually save quickly and that the game clearly shows when it does auto saves are big positives as the service only gives you a 20 second warning when it's going to disconnect you.

For today, whilst i was playing the question that was one my mind moved from whether this is a good game to play in the cloud to is this a good version of Oblivion to play.  Something i repeat throughout this video is how there's a disconnection between what i feel as the player and what happens in the game due to the game not supporting rumble (DualShock3). Oblivion came out when Sony was focusing on Sixaxis, that and they didn't want to pay for DualShock tech licensing, and unfortunately the game, or this version of the game that's available in the cloud, was never patched by Bethesda to support it, or trophies.

By the end of the video i was getting the feeling that if this was the only version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion you had access to, then you'll have a good time. But if you can get it, or have it, on another platform like Xbox then it's highly likely that'll be the better version of this game to play. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

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


This month's Splatoon3 Salmon Run item is the Hacker Jacket and like the other Salmon Run items, my goal is to get the item twice and pick the best of the two to keep. There are some great matches today and a couple of really bad ones. two of the teams i played along side faced off against Horrorboros but we weren't able to defeat it. Ultimately, i went for 1,000 points so there's an extra match after getting the Hacker Jacket twice.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - 7 More Panic Parade Matches With No Win


Today's Online Saturday video is on Pokémon Unite. My goal in Panic Parade is to beat consistently. So far, my team mates and I have only managed to beat it once and unfortunately that continues today. This means that out of the 35 matches i've done, my team mates and I have only managed to beat it once. By the final match with Pikachu, all my stats are level 4, so not quite max level. I feel like i played good today, but some of my team mates play like they've never seen an in-game map before. Match 5 was especially annoying!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. This game, from developers Ubisoft, is out now across various platforms.

This demo came out on the eShop page a little too late to be last week's video. but it was a demo i was keen to play. I've been a fan of the Prince of Persia series since the PS2 and i'm always happy to try out a new one. In terms of style, i've always enjoyed the PS3/Xbox 360 2008 game Prince of Persia.

This isn't the most intuitive demo. there's the first home screen. then there's a couple of settings, and then there's a page for Ubisoft Connect. but the confusing thing is, this page makes no mention of the demo and refers to the game. So it's really now clear if there's any benefit connecting the demo to Ubisoft. Finally, there's a second home screen. but this one is much more customed for a demo, offering links to the eShop. But it does feel more complicated than it needed to be jus to get to this point. There are more settings and it's good to see we can visually see how the game changes with most of them. 

When you finally get to starting the demo, there's a splash screen revealing that this is a custom area. we have been given some things so we can enjoy playing and we're not going to get any story spoilers. some area's are sealed off. This is great, but it never says when the demo ends. this'll be a problem later as the demo doesn't seem to stop, nor does it say that we've explored the demo or finished everything. i feel like there needed to be a better way to tell the player that there's nothing left to see in the demo.

Playing it was a lot of fun. the tutorial is basic but mostly gets things across. But what was immediately noticeable on Switch was how good the game looked. At no point in playing the game did i feel like i was having a lesser experience than someone playing it on a PS5. But the one part of the game i never got the hang off was the parry system. i don't know if the tutorial was missing information or what, but i never really got it. you'll see me die a few times because i try to parry and fail. combat is satisfying, but you do need to do more than just spam the attack button as the enemies felt like they had decent Ai and different types posed different challenges. In the main game this is something that can be patched, but here in the demo i don't expect things to change.

Thankfully, even tho i died a few times the loading to a previous check point was very fast. Loading in general was very fast or there wasn't any. it often felt like a seamless experience. exploring was fun and this game introduces a new mechanic where if you find something you can't currently access, you're able to take a screenshot in game and attach it to your map. so in the future you can backtrack, explore, and solve things you previously saw.

The gameplay in this demo was great. the hassle getting into playing it didn't play a part in my feelings of the game. but my inability to grasp the parry system really does weigh on me as it feels like combat is just as important as exploration. one felt great and the other didn't. after playing the demo i am interested in the game, but i think i would play it on the easiest setting so that combat doesn't become a chore and i can focus on the better story telling and exploration.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Aaru's Awakening On PS3 - Part 1


The new game for Backlog Conquering is the PlayStation 3 version of Aaru's Awakening from Lumenox. This game grabbed my attention because of it's PS3 XMB Game Preview, https://youtu.be/zarm7HwyTrQ. It's a long beautiful preview that's visually stunning. and yet i had no memory of this game. i don't remember getting news about it, when QTE Gamers was a news focused site, nor do i remember people talking about it when it came out. So i've been curious about this game for a long time and decided to play it for Backlog Conquering.

In-game, the beautiful backgrounds, the intricate world design, the clear monsters and hazards are all visually great but they also reminded me quickly of a previous Backlog Conquering game i tried called Outland, here's part 1 https://youtu.be/eCNE0cQbRZk. the more i played Aaru's Awakening, the more i started to compare the two negatively. 

in this part, i did the first tutorial section and the second section. in doing so i got glimpses of the story, but the world and the story didn't seem to tie together. my concern going forward is that the game will be a game and tell a story that is set in the game world without tying the two together and will focus on the platforming and enemies rather than the story. Already it feels like the gameplay mechanics game first and the story came second and the game wants you to focus on the mechanics. There'll be a part 2 so things could change. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode - Dungeon 11 - Rhea-Themis Temple


Welcome to one of the final Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday videos! 
With the series being retired on YouTube and finishing over on Ko-Fi, https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers, i'm celebrating by showing off the Quest Mode.

This video is part 3 and it shows the 11th Dungeon, the Rhea-Themis Temple. the closer i get to the final dungeon, the harder these are becoming and the more time they're taking. dungeons 6-10 was too long a video so for these final ones i may do them one or two at a time. i wanted to do the 11th and 12th together, but my recording ran out of space.

Come back next week for what will be part 12, and possibly part 13.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Cloud Monday - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Part 1 - The Cloud Is A Decent Place To Play This


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the PS3 version of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

I have tried to start The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion a few times across Xbox 360 and PS3, but i have never finished the game. during this video i find out that i had tried it when the service was PlayStation Now and still had no memory of it. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a game i do want to play and explore and i picked it as part of Cloud Monday as i was curious if it's game design would allow for it. 

It came out in a time where RPG's had a mix of fixed location saves and in-world saves. i couldn't remember which one this game had. I did remember the game had auto saves, but only in a negative way because on PlayStation 3 Bethesda games had an issue where if you played the game for hours and hours, the auto save file gets huge and then breaks. but i don't remember the details on that, just that i remember being told back around this time to manually save and to close the game after a few hours.

Even tho i had this negative memory of Bethesda on PS3, i still went in hopeful and even tho is this part 1 i still had a good time. The game makes it clear when it auto saves, and whilst i'd prefer it to be more frequent, loading the save was quick. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion also makes use of manual saves, so when you're free you can pause the game and save. this is an amazing feature for a game being played in the Cloud as Sony's Cloud Streaming Service only gives a 20 second warning. this means we can hit pause and save, quickly get through a conversation to either get an auto save or manual save, or hope that we did it fairly recently. 

With any Bethesda game on PS3, i'd recommend saving regularly because of how buggy they were known to be. but this behaviour works well for games being played in the cloud and should be encouraged. Part 1 was mostly in confined spaces so saving and loading were quick so in part 2 it'll be interesting to see is saving times increase to the point where a save might be incomplete before we're kicked off the service if there is a streaming issue. But for now, even tho there are parts of the game dated, playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on PS3 in the cloud is a solid option to play the game.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - January's Frosty Splatfest Tricolor - 15 Battles 13 Wins!


Welcome to Switch Funday.
It's day two of the Frosty Splatfest weekend so today's video focuses on the Tricolor game mode in Splatoon 3. I felt like it took less time than yesterday to get into matches and there were far fewer connection issues, too. An issue that can plague the Tricolor Mode is where it's 3 teams of the same type fighting each other. thankfully that only happened twice this week.

Personally, i'm amazed how often my team mates and I were able to win and how easy it often was. you'll hear me make the same comments throughout this video in that the opposing teams often did a bad job of inking their home areas. i'm sure it gave us the win a couple of times. Some games were tough and competitive, but overall it was just a pleasant time all round. I can't say i found one team more useful than the other, but perhaps Team Family were the ones inking their starting area the least.