Hi there! How are you? Good? Alright, well pull up a chair and take a seat and...oh, you're already sitting? Well just I dunno read then man. You don't gotta be a dick about it. Anyways, point is I've been playing some god damn vidya games over the past few months and I've had the "Oh, I feel like saying something about this!" but more than a few times however when I write a blog post I like to write a motherfucking blog post something meaty something that people can dig in and read. And TBH last blog I wrote was my ode to Sir Ryan Davis haven't had the gusto to conjure up anything meaningful.
I only really like to write when I have something meaningful to say when I write a blog otherwise I'll just stick to forum posts. So, I figured hey, I've got all these games I've played now over the summer lets write a short paragraph about all of them then by that time I'll have a decent blog. So, thats the plan! So without further adieu......
Ah, Dragon's crown. Target of so much controversy over something that personally I feel was way way blown out of proportion. I first heard about this game like many others back when it was first really announced as a thing I think that that point in time it was only a Vita release and Shane Bettenhausen was still with Vanillaware instead of Sony. I've kind of had this in my radar over the years and decided that it looked cool enough to dig into. So first thing people will notice is that this game looks like a beat em' up. I can assure you it has way more depth than just a standard beat em' up.
You may be running the same 9 maps over and over again over the course of your play time but between the maps having multiple routes and secret rooms things stay fresh enough especially when jumping from difficulty to difficulty that I never really grew tired of any of the maps. Playing co-op at some point is an absolute MUST at some point. I had the good luck of having a friend who was pretty excited about it herself so I always had someone to play with. This game is for sure going to be on my end of year list of favorite things. Fun game, great art , fantastic music just an absolute delight to play. The only knock is there is no voice chat so hopefully you have handy access to skype or something while you're playing if you're doing co-op with a friend.
Oh Divekick. What a fucking insanely dumb dumb videogame. Divekick is an amazing game because I feel its really a great showpiece on how good game design can trump all sorts of technical bells and whistles. The game is simple enough simple enough that you can explain it to a friend in two minutes and they will get it. Yet, for all of its simplicity it still retains a genuine competitiveness and depth to it that some games that strive to be just that don't.
I've seen people's complaints about the game I've seen the detractors say how the game only would work if you knew the in-jokes or how it would be fun for an hour then the joke would be over. Well, despite still fervently waiting for a patch to help iron out matchmaking woes I've managed to play nearly 100 matches online. And its still a really fun game and I still want to keep going back to it from time to time. I've played it now with multiple friends who while they are gamers don't follow any video game news really much less anything related to the FGC. Thing is though that seemingly doesn't matter after quickly explaining it they've all had fun and picked up the game really quickly. Its a fantastic party game and fun to play online and bop people. Really, for $10 how have you not bought this especially on PSN where you get both the PS3 and Vita versions for just one low low price? Go, buy Divekick and have fun.
So here is a game I never thought I would have liked. I had a periphery working knowledge of what the Project Diva series and the Vocaloid software was but I had never really actually bothered to understand what the games truly were or anything beyond the few YouTube videos I had seen. Then I saw a random Facebook post months ago where Sega of America told Hatsune Miku fans if they could get 100k likes on that post that they would consider bringing Hatsune Miku and her friends to North America for the very first time. I then was re-interested when I saw Kotaku post that the game was indeed going to get a state-side release.
After I played the demo that released earlier in the summer I was hooked. If you remove all of the anime and vocaloid nonsense you're still left with what is an excellent rhythm game. You use the face buttons to hit one of the button shaped notes on the screen. Unlike a game like Rockband that has a defined "note highway" the notes in Project Diva can come anywhere on the screen and they will often use visual trickery to try to throw you off your game. Its a highly mentally engaging game forcing you to keep track of multiple things at one time while maintaining your rhythm and not being distracted by the fancy music video playing in the back ground. Oh, and did I mention this game has a full music video editor that you can import your MP3's into and make your own songs? The value in this game is astronomical and the presentation with the anime characters like Miku and friends only top off what underneath is a fundamentally sound game. Its a highly engaging video game and I really urge everyone to give it a try. You can download it on PSN right now or if you can manage to find one buy a physical copy. If you would like a more detailed and by all means slightly more informed post specifically about this game our good friend @hailinel has an excellent write up on the game and his experience with it here.
Tokyo Jungle was a game I had been meaning to get around to playing for a long while. I saw it come out last year and regrettably did not buy it. Then it went on sale for the insane price of $3.75 on PSN and I figured that at this point there was no use to not buy it because I spend like twice that buying lunch every single day. I don't know what I can say that really hasn't already been covered by Patrick or others last year on the game but I really enjoyed my time with it. I've kind of set it to the side although I've categorized it as a "podcast game" so if I get a backlog of podcasts I'll probably jump right back in while I get through them. I don't know if anyone else did but I got a real "Dark Souls" sort of vibe from the game with the fact that the trials were usually pretty harsh at times and failure evoked often much frustration but success lead to great reward and feeling of accomplishment. Keeping this one short cause I really don't have much to add to the conversation but wanted to just hit on it.
So, if I told you Killer is Dead is one of my favorite games of the year so far would you think I'm crazy? Well, regardless it is. I think it is by far Suda51's best work to date. And that is saying something considering I'm a huge fan of his. I've played every single release of his and enjoyed them all albeit usually with a few caveats. I think Killer is Dead is a genuinely fun,engaging and interesting game. First things first the combat. The combat is fantastic. It plays off of the basic concepts and combat model of No More Heroes. You have a Katana and you have melee strikes which stun opponents. Sound familiar? It should if you played NMH. Where KiD gets interesting is all of the unlockable moves that help flesh out the combat. For instance a well timed dodge of a ranged enemies bullet on the last frame will allow Mondo to instantly kill that enemy with a counter-head shot from his gun-arm.
Well timed "Just-Guard's" allow Mondo to open up bosses and wreak havoc on them while they are stunned. The actual combat is simple but the mechanics around if of perfect timed blocks/parries and dodges leave you feeling like a absolute bad-ass as you shred rooms full of flunkys. Enemies get progressively harder and start to have weird quirks to them. Some enemies you can only kill by cutting their heads off with an "Adrenaline Burst" however, you can only do this after destroying all of the armor on them. Making them for all intense invincible until you manage to bash the armor off. Its a challenging game as well boss fights will throw even some of the most skilled action gamer on the ropes on the harder difficulties the first time you play through the game. Following up on the combat is the insanely slick presentation.
I'm not lying when I say flat out some of my favorite presentation in a video game ever. The way the music in conjunction with the really slick visual style really makes it a distinct game. I know people have thrown the game under the bus for the Gigolo missions but honestly I think you're taking the game way to seriously if your offended by that shit. Sorry. The story will come off to most people as indecipherable garbage at first. If you're willing to dig what lies underneath the surface is actually something that seems way more interesting than anything Suda has written before. Thing is the story isn't handed to you on a sliver platter. Most people don't like that so.... I guess they just shrugged it off. Another game you can expect to see on my end of year list. 40 hours and still going cleaning up the last few trophies and challenges.
Oh hey... Dead or Alive 5. Wait... didn't I do this last year? Oh yeah, right this is a Team Ninja game of course it got a re-release. *glares at his 20 different versions of Ninja Gaiden* So, this thing came out and its pretty cool I guess. I've already played like 40 hours since last Tuesday. Including a bunch of online. Its pretty much the same damn game except for they added 5 characters which weren't in the previous game ,some stages, music and a few new mechanics like the Power Blow and a few overhauled mechanics in Tag Mode (yay neutral grabs are back in tag mode?)
Anyways, I kind of feel along with Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge that this was the game they should have released in the first place. I should know better at this point than to jump in on the vanilla version but I'm a goddamn sucker for Team Ninja shit. I even bought the stupid $40 costume pack. Yeah, I'm part of the problem and I wanted some goddamn bikini's. (for the record though some of the Santa costumes in that pack are reaaaaal fucking good as well) Anyways, I'm still playing this actively and as soon as I'm done with this going to go play some more. I'm really loving the new characters. Rachel and Momiji I pretty much instantly gravitated to. Which is pretty funny because I haaaated Rachel in Ninja Gaiden. Like, her levels in Sigma were awful and she's just and all around bad character. Okay well, before I go off into a full on anti-Rachel diatribe let me just end this with buy this fucking game (or don't a limited version is free on PSN!) its only $40 and its a great goddamn fighting game. And like before I'll have to recommend that you want another more informed opinion on this game go read my Jay Leno loving , Canadian friend @ajayraz blog over here. Also, while I'm mentioning Ajay I'm not going to be remiss to take a chance to post this video of me ending his 60+ online winning streak the other night. Thats all folks! Thanks for reading if you did and as promised here is me beating Ajay: