So, let’s look at Xena Warrior Princess for the PS2 (part1/2)

This time it is time to take look what non-European Xena the Warrior Princess fans missed out in the PS2 era. This game is one of the worst games of the PS2 selection. I think it could be the holotype of shitty license games from bygone era of PS2 gaming.

The game is riddled with various kinds of bugs, but thankfully game does not seem to suffer from crashes or save problems.

At the point of writing I have already recorded full playtrough of the game and have found out that with some stumbling you can finish this game in around 1 hour and 15 minutes – that is a short game.

So hang tight and try to enjoy the bad graphics, lousy gameplay and some seriously repetitive game elements!

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Bootleg Encyclopedia Bombastica: Vagrant Story (ps1)

It was time to brush up on my spoken English skills and I had also been looking an excuse to play some more Vagrant Story. I planned to play it a little in order to find a good place to show everything the game has offer, however I got hooked and had to play it trough again. After multiple recordings of me just stumbling fatally on my words, having too long silences, mic cables breaking and weird audio sync issues creeping up from nowhere – I finally managed to produce something:

Hopefully the video manages to convince you to try this game (it is awesome) and make it even more of a cult hit (so we might have a chance of getting Vagrant Story 2). Those who find my voice to be terrible and worst thing ever, after 24:11 I will shut up and let the fantastic intro play out without me uttering a word.

In one of the scrapped recordings I did mention how environments are nice and varied, but forgot that in the "good" take.

If you have opinions how I could improve the video, I would like to hear your thoughts.

Ps. If you are still on the fence about playing this game, my tagline for it would be: "Demon's Souls for the PS1 meets MGS."

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So I might be making an RPG featuring GB characters pt.2

Progress report pt.2: Speed bumps

Two things have made progress slower: the way that the RPG Maker VX Ace uses tiles and how RGSS Ruby code thingamajig is documented and handled.

First, RPGMVXA uses things called autotiles that are supposed to speed up the tile mapping (=making level out of tiles) progress – and they do, provided that you don’t have to make them yourself. However if you want have to use custom graphics, things come very time-consuming - especially if you have to animate the tiles. The RPGMVXA does not come with tool that could assist with creation of these tiles, which is a bummer.

Custom game over-screen.

Second problem with tile mapping is that there is no foreground layer (layer that is over the character, fences and such, important for feeling of depth). This somewhat crazy considering that DOS-based rpg-editors from over a decade ago had this function. You can overcome this handicap with coding, but it is another time-sink that should not exist.

Speaking of coding, everything that is just Ruby seems to go without a problem, however when it comes to integrating that with games own libraries, methods and classes – things get somewhat frustrating. Documentation of these seem to me be rather poor. This combined with lack of fast debugger that could check the code before you run the whole game, form a nice test of patience.

Some ideas for inner demons doodled while watching FIFA 2014 football championship match. There should be like a 100 of these. I don't know if I go just bootleg as fuck or do I draw all by myself. Notice the RFID pedestals.

What I have got done:

  • Xbox 360 controller support
  • Check point system that is separate from the save-function
  • Designed basic structure of the inner demon –system (fusing them is possible)
  • Template tileset that I can easily build most things that I want
  • Draw some fake Japanese ads
  • Game Over –system that can have situation based events
  • Draw some concept “art”
  • Draw really neat icon graphics for various things (like used panties that are purchased from vending machines and can revive your fallen allies)

Some character stuff:

Jeff is the only one who can change and use multiple inner demons (these are represented by RFID-implanted toy figures). He is the leader and has abilities relating to that, like enemy analysis-skill in the battle.

Brad is Otaku-class (normal rpg: monk) character. He is week against sleep and death. He has learned hand to hand combat techniques from anime movies and has very useful skill that can heal any ailments from the entire party. Brad is also only one who can understand Japanese, making him very useful outside of the battle - too bad he is leaving soon.

Patrick is a White Knight-class (normal rpg: paladin) character. Enemies are more likely to attack him. He is unlikely to be affected by silence-status.

Alex is Lone Wolf-class character (normal rpg: thief). He can dual wield pistols. He can go all Nicolas Cage and start ape-shit crazy stuff in the battle (during this: multiple attacks in a turn – no player control).

TLDNR; still working on it - nowhere near complete.

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So I might be making an RPG featuring GB characters

I been playing around with RPG Maker VX Ace that I got from the humble bundle and this game idea has formed in my head:

The Raid Quest

Story: Crew of the Giant Bomb goes to Japan to get some video games. Due to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings at the Tokyo airport, crew has to scatter and avoid the police. Also somehow Yakuza has taken over the whole second hand video game market and leaking nuclear reactor is mutating plants, animals and people into monsters. Jeff has to gather his crew together, defeat Yakuza, fix the reactor and solve the cop problem.

What it is like: It is more about the adventure. Light puzzles, lots of inter actions and small amount of battles. There is also relationship system- think simplified version of Persona 4's link system. Speaking of P4, I think it will use P4-style GB-portraits made by @supernormalstep (if he is OK with it).

Characters:

Jeff is Rapper-class character. Entity known as Darkness lives inside him. Only Jeff can hear or see it.
Most people in Japan speak language that is hard to understand.
However every character has unique abilities. For example...
...Brad can translate Japanese...
...However, it is unclear if his translations are accurate.

Of-course there is plenty of familiar characters, so playable, some not.

Status: Just testing systems - trying to find easiest way of doing things. It is unclear if I have time or patience to see this thing trough.

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XCOM: Enemy unknown - It is a Bug Hunt!

So, I finally got the chance to play and finish this game. I had been reluctant to try it because the demo was really bad, the original is probably my all time favorite video game and I did not want be disappointed. I have sank countless of hours into the DOS version of the U.F.O: Enemy Unknown, played it to death on the PS1 (which, due to the problematic save system, was on constant iron man mode) and I even made a livestream of it:

When the XCOM:EU was free with PS+, I had no excuses to play it. At the start I really liked it a lot. Cover based system with different class types fitted extremely well to the core of the classic UFO. Some things were as bad as they were before, like sometimes confusing rules of the line of sight (Rebelstar for the GBA had this sorted out). Environments were changed for worse: they are smaller, flatter and too much alike. There is very little variation between same surroundings using the same tileset and too few tilesets.

Biggest problem is how buggy the game was. Corrupted saves, whole PS3 freezes, teleporting aliens, aliens dropping into the void, graphical artifacts and whole lot of other glitches. The further the game progressed, the more it bugged out. Every mission where Ghost Armor was used, something went wrong. If this is how it is for everyone, my hat is off for those who have finished this with iron man mode - you must have patience of a saint or mythic level of luck.

All said and done, it is a good first effort. Not as good as the original but close enough to warrant the buzz. I am hoping that the sequel expands the core gameplay and mechanics with more variation and more customization options. Also, how about more than 1 alien base per game. In the original it was terrifying to find out that some area was infested with several alien bases.

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Bootleg Encyclopedia Bombastica: V.I.P (starring Pamela Anderson)

Yes, the knock of version of the popular feature strikes back:

This time Jeff Bestman from the gigantbomb .ru(?) talks about V.I.P, a game based on the TV-show starring 90's super babe Pamela Anderson. Bryan Davis makes a return on the later part of the video and he has some (drunken?) insights on the new Xbox One.

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If Jeff and the crew play Demolition Girl and Fighting Angles...

If Jeff and the crew play Demolition Girl and Fighting Angles - the Russian bootleggers have something to counter that. If you are not familiar with gigantbomb.ru, they have previously made counterfeit versions of Encyclopedia Bombastica, featuring games like Miami Vice (ps2) and the ones that the crew just got from the mail, Demolition Girl and Fighting Angels. It seems that Jeff throwing down the gauntlet and promising to play those games on the air, has pushed Russians to dig (deeper) into the bottom of the barrel:

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So, Demon's Souls broke my spirit.

I wanted to like it, and I did - for a while. Opening intro set great mood and first few levels very interesting enough. I could make processes, learned and experienced new things. Than came the Firelurker. It took few fights to get familiar with it's patterns, but at some point in every fight the camera would make a unsuspected twist or got stuck into something and death followed fast. After this happening over 10 times, I had to say I had enough. There were other things too, like the fact that my Wanderer armor sucked and the guy who sold better armor vanished from the game, black phantoms that should drop important item ran into a bottomless pit and levels started to seem really dull after playing trough them the 10th time over. Was the game too hard? Maybe. For me it seemed too much as test of players patience - which I don't seem to have.

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Now I am livestreaming old DOS-games ?!

I don't know how it happened, but there I was sitting in front of a monitor, speaking to no one while playing the Darklands and broadcasting it to somewhere.

Whole thing was surprisingly easy to set up using the OBS program that Jeff mentioned in the one of the I Love Mondays episodes. There are some strange glitches but program is free and the bugs give some ideas for commentary.

I know, I am doing bit of self promotion here, but if you are interested how well large diaphragm condenser mic that I mentioned in one of the threads works for this kind of thing OR you really love Darklands, check my stream at http://www.twitch.tv/gaming_uncle. I am doing another Darklands broadcast at 3:45 p.m. (GMT +0) if you are into that sort of stuff.

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