Saturday, May 25, 2024

Online Saturday - Foamstars - Rubber Duck Party Win And “One Man’s Dream” Story Video


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 PlayStation 4 version of it. 

My goal was simple, win a Rubber Duck Party match. it's the last game mode i've yet to win, but it's difficult to get a match. the two games in this video took a long time. here in Japan, it doesn't seem to be a popular mode. it took two rotations of this mode to get these two videos, and i tried a further two that day and a couple of other rotations trying to get more games for a longer video. Even with the new 4.1 update, i've been unable to get another Rubber Duck Party Game.

I chose to remove nearly all the commentary as it was mostly me complaining about not getting games and complaining about my team mates. in the end, i felt like just listening to the games cool soundtrack was best.

A positive is i somehow unlocked the One Man’s Dream story video. it looks like you need to sit down on a couch for 5 minutes before the game begins the story. i've included that so you can see what i did to trigger the video.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Mobile Friday - Wuthering Waves - Too Broken On iPhone To Recommend


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Wuthering Waves, from developers Kuro Games.

This game only came out this week, but after playing it maybe it came out a bit too soon. i played it on my #iPhone 14 Pro and i had rough time. the most frustrating part for me was the framerate. when it worked, the combat was fast and flowed well. it was great working with my partner and doing combo attacks. but there were far fewer of those fights. often the combat, and most other aspects of the game, were plagued by slowdown and stuttering.

Other annoying issues included the sound. at times, the sound would get ahead of the video. so the sound would then stop, the video would play until it caught up with the sound, and then they'd continue. i also found the controls to be weird in that when i put my finger back on the screen there was a second or two where the character wouldn't move in the direction i wanted before then stopping and going where i wanted them to. it also got in the way of the soundtrack. it's hard to relax and enjoy the soundtrack when it pauses so frequently or, once or twice, seemingly doesn't play at all.

There were minor issues with pop-in with textures and when we got to an area with grass it was noticeable where the boundary was between the grass being drawn and not. those kinda issues i don't mind and understand. what i couldn't understand were some of the game design choices. Wuthering Waves says a lot in this first hour. there's near constant talking. most of it is well timed and well controlled so we get to hear all of it. and then there are sections where the talking is tied to places on the map. so i found myself starting one conversation and then abruptly ending it with another conversation as i moved across the map. 

The subtitles couldn't help as they too had issues. in the beginning there's small section where the subtitles get in the way of the Home Bar. those subtitles are also much bigger than the typical ones, but there were also some smaller than that. some subtitles scroll, whilst others need you to manually scroll them. and once or twice some of the subtitles looked incomplete.

Between looking at the beautiful world Kuro Games have made and the fun to play combat, it often felt like there was too much being said too quickly. i couldn't take it all in, i was being overloaded with information. it felt like this came at the cost of a tutorial as what the game had seemed basic and barebones. for example, i picked up a sword and yet the game never showed me how to equip it. the weapon screen mentioned upgrades, but again there was no tutorial telling me what to do. i can understand if these are done later, but if you're going to have gameplay mechanics that use them from the start then they need to be tutorialized from the start. i also feel that combat needs to be paused when new items are introduced. when a new button appeared in the middle of combat, with so much happening at once, it was difficult to hear what they wanted me to do and too easy to hit the new button before it was explained. if there was a pause when the button was introduced, they could tell me what it does and then un pause and let me do it.

with the game in such a state on iPhone 14 pro, i can't recommend it for anyone with the same phone or later. the iPhone 15 pro might have enough power to force a stable framerate and fix other issues. the new #ipadpro might be able to do the same. but for now, for everyone else, i don't recommend starting the game. Oh, and if you do start the game do it on wifi as the game will not warn you that it'll download over 6GB of data. in this video you'll see that it forced me to restart the game. and when i did it didn't work correctly. i HDMI out the video so i can capture it, and you'll see black from the capture as what i saw on my screen wasn't being outputted. and then i got stuck as the sign up appeared on TV and not my screen. so i had to restart it a second time for everything to work.

Version 1.0.0 Played.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - ANTONBLAST On Switch


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of ANTONBLAST, developed by Summitsphere.

When i saw the trailer for this game, my first thought was that speed was going to be what made this difficult. i've played too many games over the years that have used speed as a difficulty, where levels aren't designed for flow from start to finish but rather they're obstacles you have to dodge whilst going fast. I was glad that ANTONBLAST had a demo as i would be able to try it and see just how tough of a game it might be.

I'm happy to say that ANTONBLAST isn't that kind of game. as i say in the video, the nostalgia is strong with this one but in a good way. it reminded me of the Sega Mega Drive era. But for me, more importantly, the two levels i played taught me to trust the game. it has speed, it has platforming, but neither of those two levels felt designed in such a way that there were things deliberately put in our way.

What was also good were the controls. when our character was moving quick, i felt in control and the character was immediately responsive. again, this took a little time to adjust to as there were moments where i was ready to readjust the controls as i'm not used to games like this feeling this good.

I liked how the demo, and i assume the game, wasn't afraid to lean into silliness. there were signs clearly saying what to do or showing where to go. narratively these don't make sense, but visually they worked as the game doesn't take itself too serious. What i was missing, and perhaps this is explained in the final game, was context for part 2 of playing through a level. in part 1, you're making your way from left to right. but in part 2, there's a countdown and a sense of urgency as you have to make your way back to the start as fast as you can. i enjoyed playing this mode, but i have no context what it's all about. 

This time trialling a level reminded me of when i played Rayman Legends on Wii U, i really enjoyed the two online modes that game had. in one your goal is to beat a set level as fast as you can. in the other, your goal is to get as far as you can. i hope that the team behind ANTONBLAST is able to put in leaderboards for this second part of a level as it would be fun to race against friends. Kind of what happened with Astro's Playroom on PS5.

this demo for ANTONBLAST is good so i would recommend it to anyone looking for some nostalgia or platforming or both. but i had such a great time with the game i would say it's well worth buying. i even enjoyed the music. from what i played it felt like a complete package, it has taken great inspirations from the past but created it's own game. so it feels familiar but also fresh and maybe, like me, you have to learn to trust the game and it's design as it's not out to get you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Tearaway: Unfolded On #PS4 - Part 3 - Learning To Roll


Tearaway: Unfolded put me back a little further away than i expected after part 2, https://youtu.be/SHFIJexGFVA, and i'm not sure if that's because i misjudged where the auto save was or what. it didn't take long to get back and ahead of the last video, but it was weird. 

The video is titled Learning To Roll because, like last video, it changes the gameplay in fun ways. not only is it a way to get from A to B, the game also uses it to introduce small holes we can enter, either as secrets or as ways to continue making progress. but where it seemed to work best was with the enemies. there's a new one that has legs that can kick you away like a football but all we need to do is roll to it's back and then attack. the other enemies are also more easily dealt with as they are now easily stunned when hit so we can pick them up and throw them to defeat them. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Stories on Tuesday - Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz - Part 13


Hello and welcome to Part 13, the final part, of the new series here on QTE Gamers!

The goal with Stories on Tuesday is to play games with a heavy focus on their story. this can be Visual Novel games, like today's game, or it can be something more episodic. For me, it's a style of game i've not really explored. i have several games across a few platforms that i haven't played but i bought them because i wanted to. So now the time has come for me to experience these sorts of games.

Our debut game is Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz. I have the game on PS4 via DISC but i'll be playing the PlayStation Plus version of the game that's been downloaded to my PlayStation 4.

This is the final part, the conclusion to the story we've told whilst we play this game. We managed to complete this part with only one more death. but it was the "True Evil" ending which means we never found out who killed our Grandfather, the reason why we came all the way from Japan to New York. The point of this series isn't to get the perfect ending, it's to tell the story we get from the game. so whilst i'm a little sad that we didn't solve this final mystery, i'm happy to have got a story.

If you're interested in watching the stories unfold without my commentary, head over to Ko-Fi. there, you can subscribe to the "Stories on Ko-Fi" which will let you watch all the stories. This tier will always be one week ahead of the free video on QTE Gamer's YouTube Channel. Or, of course, you can head to https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers and donate via PayPal.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Cloud Monday - Far: Changing Tides - Part 1 - Interesting Positives And Negatives Streaming It


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the PS4 version of Far: Changing Tides via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

One of the reasons i wanted to play Far: Changing Tides was because of the art in the icon. i really like it. i also have a memory of people talking about this game when it came out positively. as a game being streamed from the cloud, one aspect i wanted to look at was if the water, and possible water spray and particles, would degrade the video much like how confetti can hammer the bitrate of a YouTube Video.

This part didn't go as expected. right from the beginning i had some issues with the game being streamed to me. Part 2 will be interesting to see if this is a common issue with this game or just a one off due to my internet itself. we had all the issues; Stream Tearing, when there's grey on screen as the video frame lacks information, Macro Blocking, where instead of fine detail we get larger squares of color, Zebra Striping, where there's black and white lines appearing, Color Banding, where there are noticeable bands of color as it changes shade, and the stability warning on the right side of the screen.

But because of the game's design, many of these weren't anything more than noticeable and didn't get in the way of gameplay. for example, when there was macro blocking or zebra striping i was able to adjust the camera down in the water or zoom it in and out. this changed the background and the issues went away. There's no text so macro blocking didn't get in the way. the backgrounds are large and distinct so they were always clear. so whilst these were distracting, they didn't stop progression in the game.

I was nervous tho as we quickly learned that this game doesn't have a manual save. there didn't seem to be anything in-game i could do to trigger a manual save. we were relying on the auto save. it does tell us when the last auto save was, but it seemed that the auto save only triggers when reaching set pieces and kinda like at checkpoints whilst solving the set piece puzzles. The problem is, there's travelling to these set pieces. so when the 20 second countdown starts to when we're kicked off the service, you're most likely stuck with  what ever the last auto save was.

Or, like me, you're stuck waiting for an autosave so you can quit the game. that's one reason why this video is a long as it is. i was waiting for an autosave but at the end of the video i was seemingly travelling to a set piece. there's also no quit game/exit option.

So that's why the title of this video is that there are positive and negatives. on one hand, the game's design meant that whilst there were streaming issues, they never got in the way of progression. the music sounded great, the controls were fine tho platforming could've been better but i think that's more down to the game rather than streaming issues, and i could use things like the zoom and camera to remove some of the visual issues. and yet on the other hand how this game saves just isn't suitable when there's only a 20 second warning before being disconnected. if there was a quick save option, this would be easy to recommend. but as it is, it's starting to look like Far: Changing Tides would be better downloaded than played from the cloud.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - May's Weekend Splatfest Tricolor - 15 Battles 7 Wins!


Welcome to Switch Funday.
It's day two of May's Splatfest weekend so today's video focuses on the Tricolor game mode in Splatoon 3. 

The goal of Tricolor is for all three teams to play in the same match. Often this isn't that successful. when Splatoon 3 is unable to make such a match, it'll default to 3 teams of the same team. So in this Splatfest, that's Same Ol' and Same Ol' Vs. Same Ol'. What i'm shocked to say is that this only happened once! i can't think of another Splatfest where we played soo many matches with all three teams.

As ever i played 5 games each with 3 different weapons. i bought some new ones after yesterday's video so this Splatfest was the first time using them. First up was the Forge Splattershot Pro. i enjoyed the extra power and inking potential, but it didn't seem to damage the enemy as much as i'd hope and used a lot of ink. and for some reason my aim with it was terrible. Next was the Nautilus 79. I had a great time with this weapon. it inked, it hit, and it didn't use a lot of ink. i had a 5 game winning streak with this weapon! Finally was the Ballpoint Splatling. This was much more difficult as it switched from close up to long range. it was fine, but the results weren't great and i'll need more practice with it in the future.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - May’s Weekend #Splatfest – 15 Battles 7 Wins!


Welcome to Online Saturday.
It's a Splatfest weekend so today's video is on the "What would you do at the world's end?" Splatfest in Splatoon 3. I chose to join Same Ol'.

This weekend's Splatfest started poorly as i tried to use the Luna Blaster for the first 5 games, but it just wasn't working out that great for me. it might've been my first time really using it and it just didn't have the range or inking ability that i needed. i tried to be more attacking, but the opposition were often able to deal with me as their weapons often fired quicker. so the first 5 games weren't great for me, but they were bad for my teammates too as we lost the first 5 games.

i switched to an old favourite of mine for the next 5, the N-Zap '89. this time we got more wins, but the 4th game, 9th overall, saw my teammates and I win by 0.1%! i can't remember the last time i've had a game that close before. it was nice using a weapon i enjoy and we got 3 wins out of the 5.

The final weapon i used was the Foil Flingza Roller. i had noticed that many of my teams weren't doing a great job at inking our areas and after being attacking for 10 games, i decided to be more of an inker for the final 5. These games ended up being the most successful as we got 4 wins out of 5. this means i got 7 wins out of 15 today.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Mobile Friday - Solo Leveling:Arise - One Of The Best Action RPG's Of 2024


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Solo Leveling:Arise, from developer Netmarble. I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro.

This game is based on the South Korean Web novel 나 혼자만 레벨업, Solo Leveling in English. unfortunately, i've not read this web novel nor have i seen any of the anime episodes. so i can't say how closely this sticks to the story or how much of the story is being told. But this does mean i'm relying on the game to tell it's story and it does a fantastic job of introducing us to the world.

the first 50 or so minutes of this game is the tutorial. it may sound like a long time but i was grateful for it. i felt well prepared for the different gameplay styles. it's not just us playing as the main character of the game. there's a gameplay mode where we play as the support characters. this plays differently as we can switch between them and combo attacks together during the switch. there's a gate mode that's separate from the story where we're clearing out specific areas of monsters. then we can send people to farm those cleared out areas for resources. and that's just what i got to experience as there are more things to unlock as we level up.

The story is told in a couple of different ways. there's animation, that i don't think is from the anime, but it suffers from compression and whilst it's effective it's not that impressive. there's a comic book panel style and there's also a version of that that has moving pictures. and then there's the traditional character models talking on screen. 

But for me one of the highlights has to be the soundtrack to the game. i thoroughly enjoyed it and felt that it's more rock style worked well with the story and gameplay.

The biggest downside to Solo Leveling:Arise is that it's another mobile game that requires an additional download before you can play. this time it's 1.6GB, so it's not the biggest. but it's still too large to download via a mobile network so you must start the game on wifi. It's possible it could stop Solo Leveling:Arise reaching the number 1 game of 2024, but it doesn't stop me recommending the game. i had a lot of fun playing it and it's well worth checking out.

Version 1.1.1 Played.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Tearaway: Unfolded On PS4 - Part 2 - Learning To Jump


Right from clicking the game icon on my PlayStation4, Tearaway continued to impress me by putting me at the last checkpoint from Part 1, https://youtu.be/E3WqJ6MF2Rg. This was impressive because the game didn't ask to continue, there was no menu, all there was after clicking the game's icon was a loading screen and there i was in game. i included the end of that load,  as this is a PS4 so the loading took around 45 seconds.

In part 1, we never used jump because it didn't exist. the X button did nothing but raise a question mark above our heads. instead, the game was mostly designed around us not having it. tho there did seem to be a couple of places where it looked like we'd need it if we were out exploring. Thankfully we got it back and the game feels much better and less limited now. 

Jumping wasn't the only new thing we got access to. after creating clouds, we now are able to generate a gust of wind in any direction we want. we use this in a couple of interesting ways like blowing enemies when they jump or using it to generate or manipulate platforming. near the end of this part, we got access to throwing. our character #iota was able to throw, but now they can pass an object to us and with the motion controls and touch panel we're able to throw things much stronger and much farther.

Tearaway: Unfolded continues to be a fun game to play. the story isn't anything outstanding at the moment, but it's enough to get us to places. but the platforming, light puzzling areas, and even hidden collectables make it one of the most accessible platformers i've ever played. i'm looking forward to what comes next in part 3.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Blade Jumper On Switch


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Blade Jumper, developed by bit paradigm and published by CFK.

The #eShop mentions that this game has one button that does the jumping and the attacking. i was very curious as to how this would work and whether or not it would make the game difficult or not. the eShop page also talks about the game's story and i wondered if it is a difficult game would they be able to tell that story. So having a demo is great for this kind of game as it could answer many questions.

It starts with a cool song that really sets the mood, we find out at the end of the video that this song doesn't loop so don't be surprised when it stops. it also mentions that this is a demo and has a link to the eShop page, something that few games actually do so it was welcome to see.

Once you start, you're immediately introduced to the story, your main character, and what you're task is. there is a tutorial and it's mostly blended into the game's introduction. but with everything using just one button it does take a bit of time to get used to. thankfully, there is graffiti across this first stage that'll help with how to line things up and what force to use.

So far so good, but it's not long after this that i personally started to have issues with the game. i don't enjoy the core gameplay mechanic, i found the jump system to be a chore and when it's coupled with respawning monsters it was frustrating. the whole experience took nearly 50 minutes to complete what turned out to be a short demo. i imagine this could easily be done in less than 30, maybe less than 20 minutes. but i found the learning curve so high and the level design unforgiving so it simply took a long frustrating time.

But i wouldn't say the whole game is frustrating. i actually found myself really interested in the story and the music. i talk about how i would like this game to have a story focused mode, instead of the game focusing on it's jumping mechanics. so the demo did it's job. i got to try out the core mechanics and i learned that it's not for me. it's not a style of game i would enjoy, and whilst i did like the story and would like to see what happens i've also learned that i don't want to experience the story how it's currently being told. i recommend people check out the demo before buying the game as it's more hardcore than it lets on to be.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Stories on Tuesday - Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz - Part 12


Hello and welcome to Part 12 of the new series here on QTE Gamers!

The goal with Stories on Tuesday is to play games with a heavy focus on their story. this can be Visual Novel games, like today's game, or it can be something more episodic. For me, it's a style of game i've not really explored. i have several games across a few platforms that i haven't played but i bought them because i wanted to. So now the time has come for me to experience these sorts of games.

Our debut game is Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz. I have the game on PS4 via DISC but i'll be playing the PlayStation Plus version of the game that's been downloaded to my PlayStation4.

In comparison to Part 11, https://youtu.be/653QoTugqm0, Part 12 felt a little less frantic but with an even higher body count! I was wondering if Part 12 might be the final part but it turned out not to be. things slowed down a little and a few days pass across this part. But the threat never goes away and now one of our closest friends is involved the stakes just keep getting higher.

If you're interested in watching the stories unfold without my commentary, head over to Ko-Fi. there, you can subscribe to the "Stories on Ko-Fi" which will let you watch all the stories. This tier will always be one week ahead of the free video on QTE Gamer's YouTube Channel. Or, of course, you can head to https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers and donate via PayPal.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Cloud Monday - Marvel's Midnight Suns - Part 2 - Well Designed To Be Streamed From The Cloud


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing the PS4 version of Marvel's Midnight Suns via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

Right from Part 1, https://youtu.be/IZ948UHlLsM, the slower turn based pace of the combat and frequent auto saves and very accessible manual saves gave me a positive first impression of Marvel's Midnight Suns. In this part that didn't change. i felt at ease playing the game as i was secure knowing that if there were issues, saving wouldn't be an issue. i was able to focus more on the game itself and the story it was trying to tell.

And that brings up a different issue. Marvel's Midnight Suns may work great as a game in the cloud, but does it work great as a game. i chose to play the game with the focus on story so that's what i was expecting. but more and more fluff was being added into the game with little to no explanation how it relates to the game. the thing that triggered me the most was i gifted access to a social network with seemingly no explanation as to how that would benefit me or the story. it was yet another system being added. 

Again, with my focus being on the story and how grim things were turning. i expected the game to have a quicker pace, to want to deal with things. and yet i didn't get that sense of urgency from any of the other characters or in the pace of the game. i don't mind that combat takes time, i feel that the game's combat and mechanics are it's strongest part and i enjoyed the strategy challenge. It's just that in a story with the fate of the world at stake, it didn't feel like the fate of the world was at stake. Like, why do i have options to customise my room, surely this will all be over in a day or two?

The graphics are kinda an example of this ambivalence. Most of the big stuff and the backgrounds look great. even up close some of the stone work looks highly textured and great. and then you get the characters. at times i wonder if they look any better than some characters on #PS3. especially the faces, it's one thing to look emotionless but it's another to also look plastic.

Personally, i feel like Marvel's Midnight Suns needs a remaster or directors cut. something that'll focus it on it's two core things, it's story and it's combat. in a way, Marvel's Midnight Suns would've been perfect on a Pocketable Portable as it's likely a lot of the fluff would've been cut. plus the auto save would've worked great on such a system. the Marvel's Midnight Suns we got is bloated and that bloat feels disconnected from what makes it good. It's possible that it isn't fluff and that it all ties together. but they failed in these 2 hours to tell me that, which in itself could be telling of other issues.

as a game played in the cloud, Marvel's Midnight Suns is a great choice. but is it a game worth playing, that's up to you. i'm not too sure, but the fact it's part of PlayStation Plus and i can stream it and not buy it does help make it more worth playing.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Switch Funday - Tetris 99 - 40th Maximus Cup - Endless Ocean Luminous


There is a Maximus Cup this weekend in Tetris 99 on Nintendo Switch. The 40th Maximus Cup is for the Switch game Endless Ocean Luminous. By getting 100 points, you can unlock a Endless Ocean Luminous theme which includes sounds, a background, and unique looking Tetromino.

The side quest, as ever, is to try and win. unfortunately, i didn't manage to make it to the top 10 at all during this cup. I thought that it was very tough just to get into the top 50. often, it felt like i was defending more than actually trying to attack. It did feel satisfying tho so i'm not too dissatisfied with the result.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - May's Eggstra Work Event


For this week's Online Saturday video i'm back on the Switch with Splatoon 3 as it's an Eggstra Work Event on the Jammin' Salmon Junction Map.

Like my #SalmonRun videos, the goal is to get 1,000 points. but because it's an Eggstra Work Event, the main goal is to get the highest score possible within that time. So far, i don't have a great record getting a prize winning score in these events and i don't think i'll get one today. Out of the 8 matches i played, my none of the teams i worked with could beat all 5 waves. we only managed to get to the 4th wave twice. the 3rd wave was surprisingly difficult. one issue was the first couple of waves were so easy that we were doing too good. this meant the game would raise the difficulty of the next stage. so by the time we got to the third stage, the difficulty had often risen twice to more than double what it started at. 

Even tho we didn't finish, i did have a good time. this was the right balance of difficulty because we put ourselves into this position whereas it often feels tough because it's designed that way. the weapon selection was ok, but i had the same weapon for 7 of the 8 games.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Mobile Friday - The WereCleaner - I Recommend This Clean 'em up, Tho A Bit Rough It's Fun To Play


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out The WereCleaner from developer Charlie Heatherly. I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro.

The premise of this game, a cleaner who's a werewolf doing the night shift, was all i needed to give this a try. It's very new, this might be the launch week, and it's not a game i had heard about, but the screenshots on it's app store page combined with the little bits of information about the game were enough. i was very curious and just had to play it.

You start The WereCleaner during your day shift so you're human. this acts as the games story introduction but i feel it could've or should've given us the option for a tutorial. it might've been difficult, but i feel it's possible the developer could've used our interactions with Daryl as a way for our character to talk about their job, thus being the tutorial, and Daryl replying with something about keeping his current one. The game does provide text on screen between stages but i worry that this might be easily missed as this isn't something i've seen much in other games. Those text boxes are done up very nice and do provide most of the information needed, with our imagination on how we can use it filling the gaps.

As a Clean 'em up, your goal in The WereCleaner is simple, clean up all messes within the 5 minute window. the problem is that as we're a werewolf, we will kill anyone who spots us in the same location as us. killing them, and then eating them, and then cleaning up that mess uses up time which is were the stealth element of the game comes in. the other characters have a timer above their heads and when it reaches 0 they move. we need to avoid them whilst also making our way across the stage or cleaning. it's a difficult balance that i didn't quite master. i felt like this challenge was well managed at the start, but by the 6th level i was on the difficulty had spiked.

We are given tools to help us clean and the info card before the level also talks about how we can use it against the other people. but it's one thing to read it and another to do it and it's this using the tools that didn't quite work how i expected. one tool is throwing a ball of trash. the other humans will pick it up and put it in the bin, clearing a path for you. but what i didn't anticipate was them putting it in a bin near us. Another item is the Knap, a bag we can use to pick up critters or a bag we can put over the heads of humans. But nearly every time i tried to use it it failed because i would instinctively kill the person i was trying to knap.

Another example where things are a little rough is in the controls. more than once i noticed and commented on how the on screen buttons didn't match what cleaning item i was using. i had heard the game make the noise that i had changed my tool, but on screen the buttons for that tool hadn't changed. so for a while it was a little frustrating not knowing what tool was equipped. by the end of the video i was getting used to it, but it's not ideal.

So whilst The WereCleaner does have some small issues and a few bugs, the core idea and presentation is still really good. so much so that it's already in my Free to Play Mobile Game of the Year List and i'd happily recommend it to anyone looking for something interesting to play. It's a shame there aren't pocketable portables from Sony or Nintendo as this is something i would've enjoyed on those platforms. On phone it does work well, but i can't help but feel that the controls would be better with buttons than touch screen.

Version ? Played. (Maybe it's the launch version)

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Korean Rail Driving Tour: LRT Uijeongbu On Switch


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Korean Rail Driving Tour: LRT Uijeongbu, published by 14Dimension.

I have never played a train simulator game before and when i saw this demo come out on Switch i thought i should give it a go. starting the demo gives no hints that you're actually playing a demo. it looks and feels like the full game.

There is no tutorial either. for me it was very frustrating as not only did i not know what buttons to use, i had to use my intuition and the on screen speed prompts as to what i need to do. so needless to say i only manage to get the train from A to B three times and neither time was perfect.

And that's the end of the demo! it only allows us to play one section out of 15. i did like how it uses video from a real train doing the same route, it means i got to see somewhere new. the music was also surprisingly epic, and i left it playing at the end. but overall all, it's a poor demo that doesn't even have an option for us to purchase the game from within the demo like many do. I'm glad i tried it as i got to play a genre i've never played before, but it's a bad demo and difficult to recommend for people to try beyond curiosity like i had.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Tearaway: Unfolded On PS4 - Part 1 - A Good First Impression


This new Backlog Conquering game is being played on PlayStation 4 but it'll cover the PlayStation Vita version as well. on PSV, the game was released as Tearaway back in 2013 and i do have that version. Like this PS4 version, i haven't finished it either so this is my chance to tackle Tearaway twice! ( i know there are differences in the controls and how you interact with the games, but you know what i mean.)

The start caught me by surprise as the game starts it's narrating before it's even revealed all the developer logos. It's a bit long, but it's uniqueness works for me and it gets to the point where the narrators interact with "you" and thus begins the events at the start of the game.

another thing the game does well is it's tutorial. it's impressive how it manages to balance telling us how to something whilst giving us the chance to use it with some imagination. One of the better features is the "Squirrel" as this guide will pop up if it thinks you're struggling to offer advice. so many games don't offer help after the tutorial and just leave it up to the player so it's nice that this game will try and help. It doesn't make Tearaway: Unfolded feel too easy either, but it's nice to have regardless.

It takes time, when playing the game, to get used to not having a jump button. i could see places i wanted to reach and for most of this video my first reaction is to press X for jump. as i played, what i learned is that there are ways to get anywhere if you're meant to get there. this often takes shape as ramps, flowers, and spring jumps. part of the puzzle is seeing somewhere you want to go, maybe there's a collectable present you want to get, and working out how the environment is set up for you to get there.

I really enjoyed what i've played so far so i will do a few more parts at least. i'm curious if the game does anything fun when you come back to the game. i'm also wondering if there'll be any more fun interactions with the controller. i know that we're able to backtrack with our current abilities so i may give that a try in part 2 as in this part i already found a white mystery and later in this part i was given a tool to deal with it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Stories on Tuesday - Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz - Part 11


Hello and welcome to Part 11 of the new series here on QTE Gamers!

The goal with Stories on Tuesday is to play games with a heavy focus on their story. this can be Visual Novel games, like today's game, or it can be something more episodic. For me, it's a style of game i've not really explored. i have several games across a few platforms that i haven't played but i bought them because i wanted to. So now the time has come for me to experience these sorts of games.

Our debut game is Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz. I have the game on PS4 via DISC but i'll be playing the PlayStation Plus version of the game that's been downloaded to my PlayStation 4.

A lot happened in this part. Part 10, https://youtu.be/vfva7DWmvVo, saw us getting a lot of information which we dealt with in this part. much of this part goes how i expected it to. for a few parts now i had been making some assumptions and most are revealed here. But things take a dramatic turn around the half way mark and just keeps on going. Whilst the change of pace is welcomed, it does feel like a lot happened much quicker in this part than any previous part. but it has reenergized the story and i'm maybe even more excited to continue the 5th, and final, Chapter of this game.

If you're interested in watching the stories unfold without my commentary, head over to Ko-Fi. there, you can subscribe to the "Stories on Ko-Fi" which will let you watch all the stories. This tier will always be one week ahead of the free video on QTE Gamer's YouTube Channel. Or, of course, you can head to https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers and donate via PayPal.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Cloud Monday - Marvel's Midnight Suns - Part 1 - A Good First Impression, Auto And Manual Saves Too


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the #PS4 version of Marvel's Midnight Suns via the #PlayStationPlus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

This game, from developers Firaxis Games, is one that was seemingly well received from reviewers but not necessarily the public at large. I've heard quite a lot of non specific praise about playing it but also reports on how poorly it sold, either in general or when compared to expectations. Thankfully, the point of this series is to talk about how suitable the game is as a game being played in the cloud. And i can say that it makes a great first impression.

Much like the previous game i played, The Wild At Heart https://youtu.be/Cg0q3nv-E58, this game starts with a choice on how you want to play it. i went with a focus on story, but there's also normal mode. If you've played one of these before, streaming the other from the cloud is a great option to have as this game is a fairly sizeable download around 32GB. I also chose to do the tutorial mission. 

I couldn't say where the tutorial mission ended and the game started. they did a great job incorporating the tutorial into the story. admittedly, playing a strong super heroes and being limited because of the tutorial could've been delt with better, like with a side comment that these are just henchmen so don't go all out just yet as someone stronger may come later. But after it, i did feel mostly confident that i understood the systems taught to me.

As well as the tutorial and options, the game's story also makes a great first impression. it's always made clear who is talking and when someone new is introduced there's a quick little banner to say who they are. about half way into the video i explore the save system and it's clear that at this early point in the game the auto save system has been working quite frequently and not overwriting one auto save. there are 4 auto saves the game makes and we can do manual saves, too. this sense of security means i can focus on the game instead of worrying about when or if i can save next.

In this part, the connection to the cloud was mostly fine. early on there were a couple of moments of macro blocking, where instead of fine details there are larger squares of color. but this was never an issue with gameplay. a lot of the text, characters, and pictures are quite big so were still legible. Later on there were more incidents of Stream Tearing, where there's grey on screen, and these do get in the way of gameplay. thankfully, there were no audio issues nor controller issues so i was still able to continue and understand what was happening. 

I'm looking forward to part 2. it'll be interesting to see how the game holds up on the PS4, especially when there are more effects and more enemies on screen in the first mission of the game. the card battle system we've played so far is slow enough that i always felt in control, again a good fit for being played in the cloud. But there were some hints that the PS4 was being pushed hard by this game.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

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


This month's Splatoon 3 Salmon Run item is the Knockout Boots. The goal for this video was to get 1,00 points. that way i get the item twice and have a go at defeating a King Salmonoid. 

This Salmon Run might be the worst one i've ever done. it took 11 jobs to reach my goal of 1,000 points and it wasn't until the 12th, and final, job that my team mates and i actually completed all 3 waves! I admit i made a couple of mistakes, but it was tough anyway with such a poor selection of weapons,  in my opinion, in which i only enjoyed using the Aerospray. In the final job we did go up against a Megalodontia and got it to about half health. What's also annoying about all this effort is that both of the items i got were only two pins!

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Online Saturday - Foamstars - Normal And Hard Squad Missions


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 PlayStation 4 version of it. 

For this video i wanted to try out the online Squad Missions. These take place on specific maps and have a team of 4 players work together to defeat 10 waves of enemies. i tried out the Sunny Funny Factory, Rap Wrap Scrapyard, and Bath Vegas Marina Bay maps in Normal difficulty and i also tried out the Lucky Funky Street, twice, in Hard difficulty.

when you finish your attempt, you're awarded points towards the current season, i went up from 3 to 6 during this video, your own personal level, i went from 19 to 21, and Miracle Dust. This dust is important as you use it to level up your stats, that are used by any character you play with. I didn't realise this so my first attempt at Hard Difficulty didn't go well. but that's also down to the stats of my team mates. to upgrade your stats, head to the "Upgrade Energy Core" section, to the right of Squad Mission, and chose which stats you want to upgrade. during this video i put everything up to Lvl 1 and then a few others up to Lvl 2.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Mobile Friday - Cat Garden - Food Party Tycoon - A Fine Idle Game With Nice Art And New Ideas


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Cat Garden - Food Party Tycoon from developers Daerisoft . I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro.

The art for this game caught my attention, like it has with other similar games, but what i was most curious about was whether or not it could stand out from the other idle games with nice art or if it would have the same grind issues that Cats & Soup, https://youtu.be/B5_zo0ov4IM, Cat Snack Bar, https://youtu.be/hhqyaTmhXw4, or if it had some interesting ideas to beat the grind like Animal Restaurant, https://youtu.be/DZhTicMX4Bo, had.

in Cat Garden - Food Party Tycoon,  the grind does come fairly soon. the pacing isn't bad but it's not quite right either. i could feel the grind a little before the next thing would unlock. It does have some interesting ideas to help break up the grind, but they don't feel finished. for example, there's a whole fishing aspect to the game that has no tutorial and seemingly little to no impact on the game. It sticks out the most because the tutorial, whilst a little forceful, is mostly great. i don't appreciate it wanting me to share a photo tho.

Another plus for Cat Garden - Food Party Tycoon is that there are no intrusive adverts. it's our choice if we want to watch an advert and we get in-game rewards for doing so. that's amazing and somewhat rare in idle games. this is a game good for commuters as i played it with one hand throughout and your "turn" can be finished in just a handful of minutes, then you put it down and come back to it later. adverts can be frustrating as they break up that flow but also use up data. for example, i would chose not to watch adverts whilst out and about but at home i wouldn't mind watching an advert via my wi-fi for some in-game benefits.

The nice artwork in Cat Garden - Food Party Tycoon isn't enough to make this a great game. it needs it's other ideas to be fleshed out more and the game to get a little bit more balancing. What is here now is fine and very playable and could be enough for idle restaurant fans. but if the developers can continue to improve and add to it, it could become a much better game.

Version 1.0.5 Played.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Stories from Sol: The Gun-Dog On PS4


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of Stories from Sol: The Gun-Dog from developers Space Colony Studios.

This was an example of me seeing cool icon art and deciding to download because of it rather than me reading what i was about to play. so i was taken aback when this turned out to be a visual novel. But i wasn't deterred from playing it because it's a visual novel.

I'm going to be upfront and say that i stopped playing the demo because it broke. i reached a point where the demo would not progress and nothing i did would fix it. you can hear me talking through the button presses i was trying. Unfortunately, whilst this was a demo breaking issue it wasn't the only one i came across. right near the beginning i found navigating the option menu nearly impossible due to the lag in the controls. you can hear me say when i've pressed a button and a second or more later see it replicated on screen. The menu area and parts of the game also had an issue where pressing a direction on the controller once could mean it's done twice in game or not at all. safe to say this demo is a buggy mess to the point where i can't recommend it on PlayStation 4.

That's not to say there was nothing good about this. far from it. the music is fantastic and the artwork was amazing. when it came to setting the scene and story telling, i was hooked. i would've liked the option for bigger text and for the game to offer to automatically progress the story, but this is a demo and i haven't tried the final version. It's a shame their website doesn't list a way to buy the soundtrack because after playing the demo i'd like to get it.

As a demo it's not good because not only does it have issues but it also broke to the point where i couldn't continue. But this also makes me concerned that the game itself might have issues when it's released. there are hints of a cool story that i was really getting into, but i don't even know if my save from the demo will carry over or not. there was a real lack of communication in the demo. so overall i can't recommend the demo nor the game. but i would say it's one to watch out for. if reviewers say it's fixed then it could be something cool to try out.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Deponia On PS4 - Part 2 - Watching The Story Was More Fun Than The Puzzles


This will be the last part of playing Deponia on PlayStation 4. It's a game that i have had for a long time and i had heard a lot of good things about it. But in part 1, https://youtu.be/BebaNadnGTw, it became clear that the game's logic and mine weren't quite matching up. it meant that how the game wanted me to play it wasn't how i wanted to play it.

I want to be clear that i'm not saying it's bad or broken, just that i personally found it difficult to play. I decided to give it one more try. now i knew what to expect, i went in knowing that i need to see everything, collect everything, and yet that still wasn't enough as by the end i was still stumped. I wasn't a fan of the collecting and seeing everything either as it was clear a couple of times that i had done things out of order and it messed with the story a little.

When the game was telling the larger story, rather than the small stuff during the puzzle sections, i was hooked. i enjoyed the humour and watching what happened. for me, i would've like this to have been a movie or cartoon/anime. for me, Deponia is at it's best when it's telling it's story.

So there will be a new game next week and it won't be any of the other Deponia games. i'm not saying that i won't ever play them. but for now, i want to try something else.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Stories on Tuesday - Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz - Part 10


Hello and welcome to Part 10 of the new series here on QTE Gamers!

The goal with Stories on Tuesday is to play games with a heavy focus on their story. this can be Visual Novel games, like today's game, or it can be something more episodic. For me, it's a style of game i've not really explored. i have several games across a few platforms that i haven't played but i bought them because i wanted to. So now the time has come for me to experience these sorts of games.

Our debut game is Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz. I have the game on PS4 via DISC but i'll be playing the PlayStation Plus version of the game that's been downloaded to my PlayStation 4.

In this part we continue looking at our Grandfathers daily activities and try to put together his final moments on the day he died. We ended Part 9, https://youtu.be/8RUeZNVCapo, realizing one of his coats was missing so that was the main goal at the start of this video. But as we ended up at the site of his murder we ended up finding something far more shocking that had reverberations between several of the people we had met since we came to New York. We headed back to Silver Snow to follow this new lead and what we uncovered points to certain individuals and possible danger ahead.

If you're interested in watching the stories unfold without my commentary, head over to Ko-Fi. there, you can subscribe to the "Stories on Ko-Fi" which will let you watch all the stories. This tier will always be one week ahead of the free video on QTE Gamer's YouTube Channel. Or, of course, you can head to https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers and donate via PayPal.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Cloud Monday - The Wild at Heart - Part 2 - It's Brilliant Save Systems Make This Game Even Better


This week's Cloud Monday video is part2 of playing the PS4 version of The Wild at Heart, from developers Moonlight Kids, via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

Part 1, https://youtu.be/00DYIf7y46g, was one of the smoothest experiences i've had with a game on this service. that's not just in terms of how well it's suited for being streamed from the cloud but also because of how well the streaming went. Part 2 wasn't as smooth, but it didn't really take away from my enjoyment with the game.

throughout the video i had small little nitpicks and suggestions on how things could've gone a little better, but in the grand scheme of things they're not that important. it's just because a lot of the game is so good, it really it just the small things that are noticeable. 

for the majority of this video there were no issues with the streaming. there were only a couple of moments of stream tearing, where grey would appear on the screen, and a connection warning. I live in an apartment building so these issues usually appear when streaming a PS4 game. what's important is that i wasn't concerned nor worried because of how frequent the game auto saves. i knew that if there was a disconnection, i wouldn't have lost much progress if any.

Personally, i do think my choice in part 1 of setting the difficulty to "Wanderer" was the correct choice for me. i'm enjoying playing for the story, one that i don't know where it's going to go. i feel that "Adventurer" might've pulled focus away from the story and exploring and made the game into something else. But it's great that such a choice exists. if you played The Wild at Heart at one of the difficulty levels, trying out the other via streaming the game is a great option to have as you get to try it without having to download it.

So The Wild at Heart is definitely a highly recommended game from the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

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


This month's Splatoon 3 Salmon Run item is the El Rey Calamar. The goal for this video was to get 1,00 points. that way i get the item twice and have a go at defeating a King Salmonoid. 

This #Salmonrun might be the best i've ever been a part of. it took just 5 games to get the 1,000 points and out of those 5 my team mates and I managed to clear 4 of the 5, with that other one being a loss in the third round. We faced a King Salmonoid but could only get it to half health. whilst it's not beating it, it's definitely one of our best attempts.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Online Saturday - Predecessor - Wouldn’t Recommend For First Time MOBA Players Like Myself


For Online Saturday this week i wanted to try Predecessor. Other than Pokemon Unite, i've not really played a MOBA before so i saw this as an opportunity to try one out. i got it on PlayStation 4 but i didn't know that this is an early access game. the PSN Store page and the games own home screen didn't highlight this. it wasn't until i saw in-game it say "Early Access In Development" that i knew this. Communication is one of the issues i had with this game.

Don't get me wrong, there is a tutorial and as this is my first MOBA i very much welcomed it. but it finished way too soon. it mentioned the basics, but then when it came to the real thing i had soo many more questions that the game never even tried to answer. I know it's early access, but surely they would've focused on the How To Play part.

Even tho it's early access, the game is out and there's things to buy for it so as far as i'm concerned it's open to criticism. Graphically, i have no issues with it. the game looks great, the world and character designs are varied and also look great. But the performance on #PS4 was all over the place. there were times when i noticed no issues, there were too many other times where there was a noticeable stutter and on occasion that stutter could be measured in seconds. I'm not sure if the lack of BGM is due to a bug, the game not having any, or just my recording set-up.

The biggest issue i had was a repeat of the bug that cropped up in Hawked, https://youtu.be/T9KZofqgVFo. In that game, the X and O buttons did the same thing or nothing, this meant i couldn't even start a game as the in-game graphics and in-game controls didn't match up and did nothing. In Predecessor, this same issue happened in the store. i could get into the store, but i couldn't get out unless i hit start to get the options up. i could exit the options and be returned to gameplay. this was the only time i spotted this bug, and like Hawked i will message the developers but even the latest Hawked patches didn't fix the issue, hence why i haven't gone back to do another video.

The lack of communication also affected what i could play. seemingly, all i could do was play against the Ai. i tried switching to different regions, but to no avail. If the servers are only up at specific times, then the game itself needs to message that. i shouldn't have to go hunting for that information myself, especially for a situation like this where i played this game on a whim.

Actually playing it wasn't fun. so much of the UI around the screen just wasn't communicated to me so i ignored it. when i tried to use it, it did nothing that i could work out. the first game i tried was essentially a stalemate and not fun. i tried a second game with a different character and had a much better time and my Ai Team mates and i did win that game. but it didn't feel that satisfying.

Strangely, what i was most satisfied with were the controls when using a gun. The weight of the character, the way they moved, the speed of the camera, it all worked well together in such a way i was reminded of #Killzone. If the developers had taken this engine and built a arena shooter and still had many different character classes, i would be far more excited to play that than this MOBA. The speed of the character was great for moving around, but getting around the map was far to slow. Whether that's getting from your core to the enemy, respawning, or teleporting back to your core, it all felt to slow and ruined the momentum of the game and my team's drive to the finish.

There are a number of smaller complaints about Predecessor, but ultimately it boils down to me saying that i wouldn't recommend this game for anyone who hasn't played a MOBA before. maybe gamers who understand the style of game will enjoy it, understand it, and be able to get the most from it. But for me, it's lessened my enthusiasm for trying MOBA's in the future and even tho it's free, i can't really recommend it for those unfamiliar with MOBAs.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Mobile Friday - Oops Dragon - An Idle RPG That Gets The Basics Right


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Oops Dragon. I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro.

There are two reasons why i decided to try this game. the first is the name. it's fun and ridiculous. I was very curious how they were going to refer back to the name in the game. Honestly, in this video i don't think i get an answer about where the name comes into it other than there are dragons to fight. The second reason why i wanted to play this was to see if this really is a game or if it's one of those "scam" games that are mostly adverts with some gaming inbetween. Oops Dragon's iOS page doesn't have any in-game screenshots, it's just artwork, so i didn't even know how it'd look. at least with this, i can say that yes it's a game.

It's not the most complicated game, but what's important is that they got the basics right and have a great platform to build from. there's a decent, if a little slow, tutorial that showed everything we needed to do. The game's idle mechanic didn't get in the way of gameplay and whilst i quickly understood the loop of the game, it took around 40 minutes before the grind, and the need to turn it off and wait, emerged. Another great feature about this game is that there are no intrusive ads. the game has some self promotion, which i wasn't too concerned with, but other than that there were no ads in this video. the game gave us the choice to watch them, and would've rewarded us with in-game benefits if we did.

Oops Dragon is a game that can be played on handed. coupled with no ads and no additional downloads, Oops Dragon comes across as a great choice for commuters or casual players. there are some "auto" features, too. the main aim of the game is to collect vases, break the vases, and equip better equipment. in doing so, we're able to progress further into the game, level up, and get better vases. We're able to automate most of this. the game plays itself in the background, we can automate vases being destroyed, attacks are automated to. what's left for us is choosing whether to equip the better equipment and to level up stuff. 

Oops Dragon does have a couple of minor issues that don't really get in the way, but stick out mostly because of how solid the rest of it is. The one that annoyed me the most was the lack of a countdown timer for when things recharge, or an in-game tutorial explaining how to recharge them if it's not a countdown timer. The other is the music and sound effects. each area as a different song, but it's fairly obvious when it loops. and the sound effect of breaking a vase was grating so when i found out how to turn it off, i did. the tutorial could've pointed us towards the settings as it's not in the most obvious place.

Oops Dragon is certainly one of the better idle games i've played this year and a solid choice for younger gamers, casual gamers, but i would say it's got enough depth for more "seasoned" gamers too. I do recommend downloading it and trying it out.

Version 1.0.5 Played.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Umbraclaw On Switch


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Umbraclaw, developed by Inti Creates Studios.

Whilst i wasn't great at playing at this demo, i actually had a great time with it. Umbraclaw doesn't say how big this demo is and i don't reach the end of it during this video. It feels like it is the actual start of the game.

The most noticeable thing about Umbraclaw is the art style and design of the world. I played the Switch version and it looked great and played great, too. it's out on PS5 and i imagine it will look impressive in 4K. What was key is that the game's style doesn't get in the way. there are a lot of colors on screen, but the details are still there and everything from the platforms to the enemies are clear and easy to spot.

The demo starts with Chapter 0, which acts mostly as a tutorial before the main aim of the game starts with Chapter 1. the tutorial isn't the best, it does offer pictures to try and show what to press and what happens, but it comes across as the game telling you everything at once. With there being a Chapter 0, i feel like the tutorial could've been spaced out better. It wasn't until the end of the demo that i remembered there's an upgrade mechanic as the game also doesn't seem to have reminders.

The upgrade mechanic seemed to be the solution to the small gripes i had with the controls. for example, i felt like the basic attack's reach was a little shorter than i wanted. The first upgrade can help fix that. Umbraclaw has a few other mechanics that really set it apart from other games. the biggest is how death works in the game because you're already dead. So when you "die" in the game, it's not game over. You're a cat, so you have 8 more "lives" left. you respawn stronger than before with new powers. There are many of these different powers, each offering something either to attack, to defend, to evade, or to platform. The game is open in saying that you can die and get a bunch of these powers and that's a strategy. But there's yet another twist. each time before you respawn, you have a choice. use up "hope", the main currency in the game, to stay the cat you are or become more feral and get stronger. Not just in attack power, but also in the amount of hits you can take. But as you're bigger, certain non critical areas of the map are now off limits.

There is another, more feral, stage. but the trade off is that you remember less and less of your previous life and the reason why you're making this journey. For me, i found it useful to go feral because of how much health it grants you. Umbraclaw isn't too hard, but it has a decent challenge as a cat because it's a one hit KO. The game does let you revert back to a cat at certain points, like at the end of a stage. there is a sense of not only strategy about all this, but also replay-ability and challenge.

The other game mechanic of note is one that i'm just as impressed by. All too often i come across games where the game is gated by ability. if you're not good enough, then you can't access the whole game. But with Umbraclaw, not only are there 3 game modes you can choose from before you play, the game will notice that you're struggling in a section and offer to lower the difficulty to the easiest one so that you can make it through and continue the game. I personally would play this game on the easiest setting so i can enjoy the combat, the story, the world, and the music. but for the demo i tried it on the default setting, akin to medium. and in this video i did get stuck and took the game up on it's offer to switch it to easy so i can get to the end and continue the game.

This demo for Umbraclaw isn't the best in some ways because it fails to communicate what it is. i don't even know if my save file will carry over to the main game. But it is super useful because i'm very interested in the game now i've played it and i highly recommend the demo for anyone who is interested just from looking at the screenshots like i was. Umbraclaw is more than a puzzle platformer, there are hints and influences from other genres and games in this. The important thing is that it all feel's cohesive and i'm genuinely interested in it now i've played the demo.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Deponia On PS4 - Part 1


It's time for a new backlog conquering game and this time i've started the PlayStation 4 version of Deponia, a game developed by Daedalic Entertainment that is out on many other platforms.

I have had this game, as well as others in the Deponia series for a while now but i haven't started any of them. I don't know what i expected from the game but i think it's clear from the video that i wasn't expecting a point and click adventure game. it's a style of game i rarely play as i don't often do well with them.

I feel like this first part is just an hour of me struggling over and over again. i did enjoy many aspects of the game and it's humour worked well. I don't think that i quite grasped the game's logic during this part. I know it's an old game that originally came out on PC and there are aspects of it's design that feel old or like it was designed for an audience used to this style of game as there are few concessions to help newcomers like myself.

I think i wil do a part 2, but i'm not quite sure as yet.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Stories on Tuesday - Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz - Part 9


Hello and welcome to Part 9 of the new series here on QTE Gamers!

The goal with Stories on Tuesday is to play games with a heavy focus on their story. this can be Visual Novel games, like today's game, or it can be something more episodic. For me, it's a style of game i've not really explored. i have several games across a few platforms that i haven't played but i bought them because i wanted to. So now the time has come for me to experience these sorts of games.

Our debut game is Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz. I have the game on PS4 via DISC but i'll be playing the PlayStation Plus version of the game that's been downloaded to my PlayStation 4.

In this part we wrap up our time in Silver Snow, tho i do wonder if we'll be back, by correctly working out who is a murderer. The game's story seems to come across like everything is finished now and things can return to normal in Silver Snow, but Deadalus themself moved out a while ago and is still at large. We return back to New York with Chapter 4 and it starts with us retracing the final steps of our Grandfather to try and work out what he was working on, seemingly in secret.

If you're interested in watching the stories unfold without my commentary, head over to Ko-Fi. there, you can subscribe to the "Stories on Ko-Fi" which will let you watch all the stories. This tier will always be one week ahead of the free video on QTE Gamer's YouTube Channel. Or, of course, you can head to https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers and donate via PayPal.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Cloud Monday - The Wild at Heart - Part 1 - Auto and Manual Saves Make This A Good Streaming Game


This week's Cloud Monday video is part1 of playing the PS4 version of The Wild at Heart via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

This game, from developers Moonlight Kids, isn't one i knew about. The Icon on the PSN drew my attention but it was watching the trailer that made me interested in playing the game. i was impressed that the game looked like the icon and whilst the gameplay shown looked like Pikmin, there were extra ideas that seemed cool. So i was keen to play this game to see if it played as well as it looked.

A great idea at the start is we, the player, get to choose our style of playing. i went with a story focused style, but if i wanted a challenge i could've chosen the second style. i prefer this more than just a simple difficulty slider. I do think it made a difference as i never felt like difficulty or challenge was getting in the way of the game telling me it's story. i was happy to make regular progress.

That's not to say there aren't issues with gameplay. it does feel like the game is lazy when it comes to tutorials. an example early on is how it just puts on the screen use the left stick to climb. that could've easily been taught to us through gameplay at the start if we had to climb down from a bunk bed for example. there are a few moments where stuff is put on screen when it could've been an in-game example. other times, i feel like  the game could've offered hints, the one that i didn't work out for a while is that our vacuum can be used to collect the spritelings too.

In the hour i played, most of these felt like missed opportunities rather than deal breakers. what i played was good and it had a fantastic soundtrack accompanying it. The game also has a great save system that helped make it be one of the better games to stream from the cloud. not only does it make frequent auto saves with a clear icon when it does, but you're also able to make manual saves. there is a slight cravat tho in that when you reload that save it'll put you either at camp, if you saved there, or at the entrance to the area  you entered. But this is all explained by the game, something that is rare to see.

I look forward to part 2. in this part, there were only a second or two of issues due to the game being streamed. i felt no delay in the controls, the audio was fine, and the video quality was high with no dips in the bitrate of the video being streamed to me. so far, streaming The Wild at Heart from PlayStation Plus seems like a great way to play the game.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Switch Funday - Splatoon 3 - April's Weekend Splatfest Tricolor - 15 Battles 8 Wins!


Welcome to Switch Funday.
It's day two of April's Splatfest weekend so today's video focuses on the Tricolor game mode in Splatoon 3. 

Just like yesterday, https://youtu.be/QJn1Mw3Md3c, matchmaking didn't take too long and my teams and i managed to get several wins. The only negative was how few Tricolor matches i played in were against the other two teams, Baby Chicks and Bear Cubs. it felt like there was a lot of Bunny on Bunny action today. 

The 3 weapons i used today were the Bamboozler 14 Mk 1, a weapon i didn't enjoy using that much and one that never seemed to either have the power or range i needed at any given time. Also, the charge to attack felt out of place in Tricolor when people are moving around so much. The second weapon i used was the Gold Dynamo Roller. i have used it before and a complaint back then was how long it takes to do the jump attack and that was still true today. but it's inking was very useful. the final weapon was a new one i bought and it's the Custom Splattershot Jr. it looks strange shooting it as it seemingly can't shoot straight. but it did a good job at inking, attacking, and not using up ink quickly so i think it's one i'll use a lot going forward.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - April’s Weekend Splatfest – 15 Battles 9 Wins!


Welcome to Online Saturday.
It's a Splatfest weekend so today's video is on the "Which fuzzy fluffiness do you like most?" Splatfest in Splatoon 3. I chose to join #teambunnies.

This was one of my most successful Splatfests yet! I went in not expecting much as the previous one in March, https://youtu.be/ctf5ACsF6oA, went badly and i only got 3 wins in it. My focus was to try out weapons i own but haven't used much. I started with the Custom Dualie Squelchers and got 4 wins with them! I was so surprised, 4 wins out of 5 games, that's already better than March. next i tried the Tri-Stringer. I wasn't having as much fun with it, i could ink fine but i was having worse luck attacking and my teams and i only got 1 win during those 5 games. for the final 5 games i switched to a new weapon i bought, one from a type of weapon i haven't used before. I used the Explosher and once again my teams and I won 4 times. The only downside is that we failed to win the only 10X battle we had and we didn't play against Baby Chicks as much as we did against Bear Cubs.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Mobile Friday - Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat - Great Fighting Gameplay In A Game That Needs Work


For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out the newly globally released Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat. I Played this on my iPhone 14 Pro.

It was surprising when i saw in the charts Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat. it looks like it had been out either in beta or in out in a couple of countries for some time and now got it's full global release. But i hadn't heard of the game prior to it's release. 

I haven't played a Devil May Cry game since DmC on PS3 so i don't know what the story is at the start of this game and the game itself does a poor job of setting the scene. Once you start the game, download an additional 40MB of data and sign into an account, the game just goes and doesn't really stop until the end of the first chapter.

One of the issues with the game's story telling also applies to the games tutorial. both aspects of the game feel half finished at best because how both are implemented in the game are only half as effective. for example, with the story there are some fun cutscenes, that look low resolution, that are voice acted and match the level of gameplay well. But then the game tries to tell some story with text boxes on the left side of the screen, the same way it tries to add additional tutorial information. these boxes are small and are sometimes blocked by the dynamic island. It feels like a game designed on either other #Apple phones or #Android. The combat is so fast and fluid that my attention is solely in the middle of the screen watching it, not what's happening on the periphery.

There are a few things in this game that also feel not finished or not fully implemented. the next main one would have to be the gamepad controls. ASTRA: Knights of Veda, https://youtu.be/kzt0SEuitI4, has so far had the best implementation of gamepad controls and whilst i wasn't expecting Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat to copy it, i was expecting something more than nothing. When you start to use the controls, nothing changes on screen. the game doesn't tell you on screen what buttons do what. you have to go to settings, select the gamepad you're using, and read an onscreen picture. But even then the controls didn't fully work for me. there were times i had to manually touch the screen to progress so i gave up using the controller and finished the game using the touch screen controls.

It's disappointing that a game that's been worked on for so long comes across as being half finished. they got the core combat design and failed to build a game around it. I would like to say that maybe they can rework a lot of the game and bring it up to a better standard but i'm not so sure they can or will. Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat is fun to play, but not for long. but it might be worth keeping and checking what the updates to the game bring.    

Version 2.3.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - SaGa: Emerald Beyond On #PS4


For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of SaGa: Emerald Beyond, developed by Square Enix.

I've known about the SaGa series of games for a long time. But the only game in the series i know i played was Unlimited Saga on PS2, and even then i don't think i played too much of it. This recently released demo is a great way for me to check what a new game in the series looks like.

SaGa: Emerald Beyond does a poor job of presenting itself as a demo and what is included. near the start, at the character select screen, i didn't know if i was limited in character because it's a demo of it's a game where you need to unlock characters. I don't know how big the demo is in general and it doesn't say. so i don't know if i came close to the end or not.

A big highlight from playing this demo was the fantastic music from Kenji Ito. i really enjoyed listening to it and there are periods in this video where i'm not talking mostly because i'm listening to the soundtrack. The second highlight for me was the battle system. Whilst it wasn't explained the best, i did find the game's timeline based party focused combat system to be fun to engage with and by the end of the demo i was trying to add strategy to the commands being issued to make best use of it's timeline system. But it was the other systems related to combat that the game did a poor job in conveying and the commands available really needed a more in-depth explanation as to what each did. As did the level up system as i never really understood how it all worked and the game never explained it.

There were a few little frustrations with SaGa: Emerald Beyond but for the most part i could live with them. The one that annoyed me the most, and i complained about the most in this video, was the story taking place in the latter third. It was unrealistic, even for a fantasy RPG, and honestly came across as cheap. my character is an alien and yet no one treated him like one. the world was engulfed in ice, but the way my character talked made him seem callous like he only cared about his mission. it was like two stories were taking place at the same time and little to no effort was made to combine them into anything looking realistic. 

For me, the highlights of this demo weren't enough to get other the lows. It's a poor demo and i don't think it shows off the game great. there are too many unknowns as to whether this is just the game we were playing or if certain parts of the game have been removed from this demo. If you're interested in this game, maybe you've played one of the earlier games in the series, or maybe you're interested the battle systems, then this demo is worth playing. But for most others it's not one i recommend trying out.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Backlog Conquering - Papo & Yo On PS3 - From Start To Finish


Welcome to Backlog Conquering.
Today's video is the long awaited playthrough of Papo & Yo on PlayStation 3 from start to finish. I played this game back in 2023 and completed it across 5 parts, which you can watch below. One reason i didn't combine all the parts back then was because this playthrough wasn't seamless. there are many times where i look around, make mistakes, and then understand what i need to do. At the time, i didn't think that would be satisfying to watch. I'm more content with how this playthrough went nowadays than back then but when i combined these parts i did cut 2 or 3 longer diversions where i was making a lot of mistakes and unfortunately those cuts are easy to spot. But please do enjoy watching the game and the story it's trying to tell. The music is fantastic, too, so maybe sit back and enjoy the soundtrack as i play. Or you can check out the credits at the end of the video.

Part 4 - https://youtu.be/2AmtDoudYak (You can skip this, it's just me stuck on one puzzle)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Stories on Tuesday - Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz - Part 8


Hello and welcome to Part 8 of the new series here on QTE Gamers!

The goal with Stories on Tuesday is to play games with a heavy focus on their story. this can be Visual Novel games, like today's game, or it can be something more episodic. For me, it's a style of game i've not really explored. i have several games across a few platforms that i haven't played but i bought them because i wanted to. So now the time has come for me to experience these sorts of games.

Our debut game is Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus - The Awakening of Golden Jazz. I have the game on PS4 via DISC but i'll be playing the PlayStation Plus version of the game that's been downloaded to my PlayStation 4.

We continue in Silver Snow trying to find out what our Grandfather was looking for. In Part 7, https://youtu.be/QHY2p-Tb9jo, it was made clear that someone didn't want us looking around. We didn't have any more threats in this part, but it was clear that people didn't want to talk about it. A big possibility is that we may have a suspect in the old "Daedalus" case but it's unclear if this person is also a suspect in what happened to our Grandfather.

If you're interested in watching the stories unfold without my commentary, head over to Ko-Fi. there, you can subscribe to the "Stories on Ko-Fi" which will let you watch all the stories. This tier will always be one week ahead of the free video on QTE Gamer's YouTube Channel. Or, of course, you can head to https://ko-fi.com/qtegamers and donate via PayPal.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Cloud Monday - Black Knight Sword - Part 2 - Easy Is Better, But Saving Is A Pain


This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing the PS3 version of Black Knight Sword via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4.

From Part 1, https://youtu.be/xdaueEIkV_M, we learned that this is actually the whole game and not just a DEMO like the store page says. we also learned the the Normal difficulty level is surprisingly hard, and the biggest thing we learned is that the game has a weird save system.

The fact that the game only saves at checkpoints continues to be it's biggest issue. I played Part 2 on easy and found it a much more normal pleasant playing experience. The amount of enemies and how much is needed to kill them feels right, like either this was the default normal difficulty and they decided to make the game harder or they did an amazing job rebalancing the game for an easier difficulty. I was able to progress through the levels quicker and it almost made up for the checkpoint only saves. But when i did die, it wasn't as much fun having to redo what i've already done as it was going forward and making progress. so whilst it is better, it's still not ideal.

The biggest surprise i stumbled upon is that there is a story, of sorts. it's just that you have to leave the game on the home screen for a little bit for the game to show it. So that's why i included it at the start of this video as i imagine many people, like me, might've not known about it nor even seen it.

But the story and better gameplay can't make up for how this game saves. It looks good and has some interesting ideas. but Black Knight Sword's save system is a fundamental issue so bad that it mostly negates all it's good points, as a game being streamed from the Cloud. This makes it hard to recommend, especially for those interested in the challenge that hard mode brings. Black Knight Sword isn't easy to play legitimately outside of the Cloud so that is a positive reason to give it a go. it's short length does work in it's favor. But the first time you're disconnected from the service and find you have to play through several minutes of enemies, platforms, and traps is probably when you should put it down and move on.