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.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Online Saturday - Splatoon 3 - January’s Frosty Splatfest – 15 Battles 8 Wins!

Welcome to Online Saturday.
It's a Splatfest weekend so today's video is on the "Who do you spend the holiday's with?" Splatfest in Splatoon 3. Our choices are between Family, Solo, or Friends. I chose to join teamsolo.

This was the first time i've played Splatoon 3 this year, as my previous videos had focused on Pokémon Unite. i was expecting to feel rusty and the first game certainly felt like it. but i felt ready after that and my team mates and i managed to win 8 of the 15 games we played. it was disappointing that out of the 15 games, only 4 were against Family teams. Family also felt the easier of the two to beat, so from my point of view Team Friends are the biggest rivals to Team Solo.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Mobile Friday - Flat Machine - Try Things Differently Each Run. I've Beaten It, But Not Finished It.

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Flat Machine, from Zxima, on my iPhone 14 Pro. This game is also out on Android.

On the Store Page, Flat Machine is described as a Gatekeeper Adventure and that got me excited. i haven't played a "Gate Keeper" style game since Papers Please on the PlayStation Vita but i do enjoy that style so i was excited to try this game. 

The biggest disappointment whilst playing the game is the tutorial, but having played and beaten the game i will accept that having such a poor tutorial could be a deliberate choice. But i found it frustrating as it took at least two deaths to learn the basics before i felt i was actually playing the game. the game could use it's world and characters to create a good tutorial.  The village chief is a character, he found us, he put us there, so it feels like not having him with us before, during, and after the first battle as a tutorial, is a wasted opportunity.

There seem to be two goals, levelling up and beating the Flat Machine. Levelling up wasn't detailed until it happened, but it did happen it seemed like doing so is one way to make beating the Flat Machine easier. In this video, i beat the Flat Machine and it turns out it was 1 of 7 possible endings. what's great is that the game gave hints as how to get the other endings so there is replayability in not just levelling up but also in trying to find all the ways to beat the game. 

I would've liked a little more BGM, but the battle music and Flat Machine music was cool. i did enjoy the character art, it looked big, colorful, and detailed. but maybe a little more variety in enemies would be nice. What i did appreciate was how the game delt with in--game ads. the game made it our choice. if we wanted to, we could watch an ad and be revived. or we could watch an ad and have a bonus. it's respectful to us the player, our data plans, and gaming on mobile.

Flat Machine may not be the best game, but it is a satisfying one to play and one to keep on your phone as it's getting updates. so i do recommend Flat Machine, but the beginning is a little rough with it's poor tutorial.

(Version 1.07 Played)

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 On PS4

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the #PlayStation4 Demo of Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2. This game, from developers CyberConnect2, is already out across all platforms but this demo came out this week on the PSN Store.

The icon for this game is striking and really grabbed my attention. for the most part, this style continues into the game. The main screen was nearly perfect. it said this was a DEMO, it gave us links to buy the game, but it never mentioned how long the demo would be or whether our saves would be carried over into the final game. Thankfully, the PSN store page does have this information. in this video i did the first chapter and this demo has 2 more. so, in all, the first 3 chapters of the game are included in this demo and my save would be carried over to the final game if i were to play it. One further good point about the main page is the option to watch what happened in the first game. unfortunately, there's no speaking, no subtitles, so it is left to our imagination as to what happened. But at the very least i do appreciate the effort put in to including such a recap.

For the most part, i had a good time playing the game. Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 doesn't have the best tutorial as some parts are taught a little out of sequence or don't quite carry you through all of it, but it is good enough that i didn't feel overwhelmed by what was happening. What i found distracting from the experience was how the story was told. it felt like the story was jumping around time for no particular reason. it detracted from the story telling and was never really explained why it was done this way. If anything, it detracted from an actual time based mechanic introduced later in the demo.

Graphically, it only looked like the PS4 would loose out to the PS5 when it came to the 3D art used with the characters in-game. all the other art, backgrounds, 2D characters, and such, looked crisped and detailed. but in the 3D sections things looked a little soft. it was still clear who everyone was, but it was only distracting because of how much crisper and detailed the rest of the art had been up to that point.

I do think this demo has some bugs. at 3 points in the demo, it freezes on me for tens of seconds up to over a minute. i do have an old PS4 so that could be part of the issue, but when you take into account all the tiny second or less pauses that occur in this demo i can't help but think it's buggy. another possible bug is the lack of Japanese voices even tho i had toggled that option on in the options. it could be it's a style choice and the Japanese voices are only used for battle sounds, but that in itself is weird because in those moments there were no subtitles.

So, with weird story telling and bugs, this demo gives us a mixed view of Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 as there is a lot to like but clearly there are things to be concerned with.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Backlog Conquering - #CounterSpy On #PS3 - From Start to Finish

This is a run, from start to finish, of my second attempt to finish CounterSpy. A couple of cuts were made to remove an extra run i did and at the end going to the credits.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode - Dungeons 6-10

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 2 and it shows the second set of 5 dungeons in Quest Mode. i had already finished up to the 10th dungeon, but it was nice to come back and try out some of the new teams i have unlocked since i've been playing Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition.

Come back next week for what could be the final part.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Switch Funday - Pokémon Unite - January’s Unite Weekend

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

I think i have influenza so i chose not to commentate after the intro. it also meant i wasn't playing my best and with some Pokémon i wasn't have a great time. The Pokémon i enjoyed the most using was Tyranitar. it's not a Pokémon i see often being used and i don't know why as it is strong and i thought it delt a lot of damage. I didn't find the new Meowscarada fun to use, i felt the same with the recently released Mimikyu. Lapras was far to slow and didn't seem to have enough bulk or deal enough damage. Espeon and Dragapult were fine. i did enjoy Dragapult's Unite Move, but i don't think i enjoyed either enough to buy them.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Online Saturday - Pokémon Unite - Another 7 Panic Parade Matches, But 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. even with the better stats my Pokémon had, in these 7 matches we didn't really come close to beating Panic Parade.

I discover a great set for Venusaur that worked well and that i enjoyed using. so try out Sludge Bomb and Petal Dance!

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - Gates of The Mind On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Gates of The Mind. This game, from developers Gaga Game studio is set to come out later this week.

On the eShop page the game describes itself as a "...2D Hardcore Platformer" so i was curious to try it out to see what the level of difficulty actually is. Unfortunately, i don't think calling it difficult is the right word. i think unfair is more accurate. this is a short demo that i assume is from the start of the game, and whilst there is an attempt at a basic tutorial of how the controls work, the game fails at tutorialising how the game works. only through trial and error can that be solved.

One issue with this is that i broke the demo and had to die at one point. there was another where a dangerous enemy was able to damage me whilst i was in the air, even tho their attack hit the ground, and once it hit me even tho it was off screen! if this is the start of the game, it's going to throw a lot at the player and most of it will be unfair and in a way specifically to damage the player.

the music and sounds in the demo are also suspect. the sounds especially seem to be mistimed for the most part. ultimately, even tho this a really short demo, it was enough for me to learn that i don't want to play it. even if they're able to patch the bad English, tutorials, and level design, it won't fix the basic issue of the games design. i can't recommend Gates of The Mind.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Backlog Conquering - CounterSpy On PS3 - Part 6 – Finishing The Game

CounterSpy is the current Backlog Conquering Wednesday game. i'm playing this version of the game on PlayStation 3. It came out across the PS4, PSV, and even mobile in 2014 from developers Dynamighty. This video has no commentary.

I finally did it, barely, but i did it. in my initial run i made the mistake of not continuing and getting game over. and in part 5, the game itself broke. but here, in part 6, i did it. i finished the game. i was surprised that after the ending sequence there were no credits. when i put together the From Start to Finish video, i'll add the credits to the game on.

There's a cut in this video and you'll see that the USA style team on the right suddenly has DEFCON 1. that's because stick drift caught me out and it went right as i was selecting it. but it wasn't a great run and i died once or twice. so i took that out as it's extra to the point of finishing this game.

Oh, and again there's no commentary like part 5. after commentating on the first 4 parts, i had nothing extra i wanted to say. i, stubbornly, just wanted to beat the game.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Puzzle & Dragons Tuesday - Nintendo Switch Edition - Quest Mode - Dungeons 1-5

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 1 and it shows the first 5 dungeons in Quest Mode. these are dungeons i have finished a long time ago, but it was nice to come back and try out some of the new teams i have unlocked since i've been playing Puzzle & Dragons: Nintendo Switch Edition.

Come back next week for what should be the final part.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Cloud Monday - Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin - Part 2 - Decent Cloud Gaming Experience

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 2 of playing Square Enix's Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PS4.

With Part 1, https://youtu.be/2O-V6qgzcrw, i began to understand the game's quirks so in this part, i was able to focus more on the experience of playing this game in the cloud. We had already seen in Part 1 that the game does a lot of auto saving in the background which is great. it means if we're going to be disconnected from the PlayStation Plus Cloud Game Streaming Service then we won't have lost too much progress in the game. With Part 2 it also became clear that the manual save points at this point in the game are also strategically placed before big, story moments or significant points in your progress through a section. this once more highlights that if you are kicked off the service, the amount of progress loss shouldn't be too significant.

Playing this on PlayStation 4 is both good and bad. the obvious bad part is the graphical quality. there were more than a few points where i could see how low resolution or how little detail elements of the levels were. from that point of view, it would be easy to recommend that Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin should be played on a PS5. but this helps with the game being streamed via the cloud because it means the impact to the game from things such as macro blocking isn't too significant. it'll be somewhat easy to see, but it shouldn't detract too much from the overall gameplay experience as there isn't always too much finer detail on PS4 anyway.

Ultimately, a game being decently well designed to be played via the cloud won't be enough for some players. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin has it's fair share of quirks and frustrations as a game itself. thankfully, with streaming being an option, it can act as a decent demo of the game and what to expect. but i would recommend giving it a couple of hours like i did to play through what felt like a tutorial heavy introduction to the game.