My Gaming Landscape [January 8th, 2015]

This was originally a post on my blog: colorwynd.wordpress.com

What’s up, gamers and players!? Colorwind here and it is a new year! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Gaming Landscape and now feels like the right time to bring it back. I mentioned this before but these won’t be on a regular schedule, like monthly or weekly, but will show up when I have enough to say about a decent amount of games. For those who don’t know, this blog is me talking about the games I’ve been playing recently and giving my quick thoughts on them. So this is like a collection of mini impressions. So without further hesitation, here’s my Gaming Landscape as of January 8th, 2015!

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

I’ve owned the first BlazBlue game for some time now but I never committed to the game. So I changed that this past month and beat Arcade mode with each character and completed 100% each of the character’s stories in Story mode, as well as the final ending section. I didn’t unlock all the stuff in the gallery mode though, nor did I get all the achievements. Also, I didn’t play online because no one plays this game online anymore. I couldn’t get even one match over the course of a month. Regardless, I really enjoyed this game. The action is fast paced and combo heavy and I like the characters and their backstories. I will say that the story itself is pretty ridiculous but it does end in a satisfying way. I really didn’t like what they did with the structure of the story mode though. Essentially, you have to lose every match you have as well as win. You pretty much have to do every match twice to see what would happen if you both won and lost. That’s just busy work. Also, I’d like to say something about Rachel. I am terrible with her and especially when it comes to her fighting Nu, I have no idea what to do. It’s like there’s nothing that can be done to fight her. She doesn’t have the move set to deal with someone like Nu. I might be just terrible with Rachel and I’m sure that’s what is really the case but I was stuck in Arcade mode with Rachel for 45 minutes. It was bullshit. My main in Calamity Trigger is probably Jin but I want my main to be Noel. I just like her fighting style more. I enjoy her speed, her Drive attacks and how they link up, her ability to continue a combo after knocking down an opponent. The only thing that sucks about her are her supers. Anyways, I enjoyed this game but I’ve already moved on from to the next game.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend

This is actually the game that got me into the BlazBlue series. When it originally came out on the Xbox 360, I reviewed it for the site I used to work for, PixlBit. However, when I was done with the game, I had to return it. Well, as a Christmas gift, I bought the limited edition of BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend for the Xbox 360. It was actually cheaper than the standard edition on Amazon. I don’t have as much to say about this game since I just got it about a week and a half ago and I haven’t been playing it non-stop (due to the other games I’m going to be talking about) but once again, I’m enjoying myself. I remember than in this game, I used to main with Tsubaki but it has been a long time since I’ve played this game (2012) that I think I forgot everything. Nevertheless, I will get good with her again, I’m sure. Right now, I’ve played through arcade mode with Ragna and Jin and have been going through the tutorial mode. Can I say that the announcer for this game sucks? I never noticed before but she’s really terrible. Luckily there are other announcers you can buy and unlock in the gallery so I did that and got what I think is the voice of Jin as the announcer. I’m not sure though.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 at this point is just my default game I go to when I want to play video games but don’t know what to play. I just hop online and play several races. With some money I got for Christmas, I bought the first DLC pack and gave the new courses a try. I like them. The recreation of Super Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road, and Hyrule Circuit are probably my favorites, where Ice Ice Outpost doesn’t really stand out to me. Also, the F-Zero track seems like a missed opportunity. I don’t really like the characters though. I mean Link is fine but Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach? These aren’t new characters, they’re skins. They should be different colors for the racers like the different colored Yoshi’s and Shy Guy’s. Same goes for Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach. Couldn’t we have gotten Diddy Kong or Bowser Jr. or King Boo? Since there’s a Excitebike and F-Zero track, maybe the Excitebike guy or Captain Falcon? Just saying. Still, I don’t feel ripped off because the courses alone are worth the money.

Mega Man 6

I’ve had Mega Man 6 since I got my NES back in 2011. However, I’ve never been able to beat it because I’m terrible at old school Mega Man games. Now the X series, I’ve got that handled, but the original series has always been harder in my opinion. However, over the course of two days, I managed to finally beat that game. I think it was starting with Blizzard Man that helped because normally I read that you’re supposed to start with Flame Man. However, Flame Man’s stage is so hard when you’re just starting out, it can be overwhelming. Blizzard Man’s stage is a better introduction to the game and mechanics than Flame Man’s and that started me off better. Following the boss order from that starting point ended up giving me a better learning curve and I was able to finish the game as a result. I also had some help from a guide on GameFAQs by one Colin Moriarty! I do want to say one thing though. The boss fight in Mr. X’s first stage is easily the hard boss fight in the game. Colin says it’s the easiest of the Mr. X and Dr. Wily bosses but it’s a lie. A VICIOUS LIE I SAY! That said, I enjoyed the game. I thought it was fun, even if the levels and especially the bosses are less creative than previous games.

The Legend of Dragoon

A good chuck of December for me was playing Earthbound all the way through for the first time. Now I’m not going to talk about that game here because I’ve decided to write a review for it so that’ll be coming soon. However, after finishing that game, I wanted to play another RPG. So I was looking around my PS3 library on my hard drive and I decided on The Legend of Dragoon. I had tried it way back when I was trying out a bunch of RPGs in the early 2000s when my friend Don was introducing me to the genre. I played, I think, the first couple of fights and then just gave up on the game. I don’t remember why. Coming back to it now, I think it might be because I didn’t like it. Legend of Dragoon is a very slow moving game. It takes a long time to get random battles, it takes a long time for the battles to load, there’s a wait period before you attack, the text scrolls at a leisurely pace, you get the point. There is just, so much, goddamn waiting, in Legend of Dragoon! I really didn’t like the game at first because of this. I was bored. Extremely, in fact. However, I kept with it and now that the Dragoons are a thing and I’m getting a better sense of progression in the game, I’m enjoying it more. I still don’t think it’s a great game but it’s alright. I want to talk about the writing in this game now. What’s the deal with how Dart and Shana’s relationship is written? There’s always these abrupt statements about them getting married right away or having a baby or something really personal. Meanwhile, Dart doesn’t know how he feels and Shana is determined to always be by his side and bends over backwards in order to do so. Also, she’s immediately suspicious of Rose when she first meets her like a jealous girlfriend. It’s just really uncomfortable for me. Every time it happens, I get exaperated and just think, “Okay, why are we doing this right now? Can we get back to the matter at hand? Evil empire? Dragons flying around? Remember, people!?” I’m going to stay with it as I’m already about 10 hours in but I still think there’s plenty of time for this game to drop the ball.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

I’ve never beaten Vice City. I’ve had the original PS2 version, the Xbox version, and I own the PC version now but I’ve never finished Vice City. I used to always just get sidetracked causing general mayhem and looking for all the hidden packages and unique jumps. So I decided to finally finish the game. Not complete 100%, just see the ending. After a very difficult time getting the game to work (read my blog about that process here), I got started. Maybe it’s because the game is now over ten years old and I’ve played Grand Theft Auto V and San Andreas since this came out but man, this game lacks polish. The missions often ask you to do stuff that the controls just do not allow you to do easily and the penalties for failing missions and dying are harsh. It’s still a lot of fun driving around and causing general mayhem but a lot of the missions are not very fun. Or rather the missions would be fun if the mechanics of the game didn’t make them so frustrating. I’m currently stuck on a mission from the Bikers where I’m supposed to fill up a chaos meter but causing general mayhem but I can never do it in time. I mean, once I killed a bunch of policemen, blew up five cop cars, two SWAT trucks and even a police helicopter, as well as murdered a bunch of pedestrians but that still wasn’t enough. The meter only filled up a little more than half way! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME GAME!? Quite frankly, I’m frustrated with the game and I’m taking a little break from it for now.

There was my first Gaming Landscape of the year! It was a long one but it was for the whole month of December, essentially. I just started an Alice: Madness Returns playthrough on my YouTube channel and I’ll be streaming gameplay now every Friday at 8pm Pacific on Twitch so be sure to check that out to see some of the games in my future Gaming Landscapes. And speaking of Gaming Landscapes, tell me what your Gaming Landscapes have been in the comments below! Peace and love, gamers and players! Colorwind out!

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Discussing: The Steam Version of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

This is originally from my blog: colorwynd.wordpress.com

This is mostly me complaining so you’ve been warned.

I had so much trouble trying to play my copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on Steam. I used to play it just fine before but around two years ago, it just stopped working. Recently, I decided I wanted to finally beat Vice City for the first time. I usually just did some of the early missions and got lost causing general chaos. I heard that there was a recent update by Rockstar that fixed some issues so I thought that the problem would have been fixed. Turns out that wasn’t the case as it still wouldn’t load to the main menu. I kept getting an “insert disc” error message. So I checked out the PC gaming wiki and found out that it was because the game was installed on a different hard drive. I have a 3 TB hard drive I install all my games on but one game won’t hurt.

So I install the game on my primary hard drive and the game loads up on the main menu. However, while I’m scrolling through the menus, adjusting video settings, I noticed that my mouse clicks weren’t registering. Pressing Enter was working fine but not my mouse clicks. I ignored it at first but when I got into the game, the camera wasn’t moving when I moved the mouse and I couldn’t punch. It was as if my mouse wasn’t even plugged in. Also, my car wouldn’t go in reverse and I was getting some weird glitches in the graphics and frame rate. Going back to the PC gaming wiki, apparently I have to put on the Frame Limiter option because when the game runs at a frame rate higher than 30, it freaks out.

So I turn on Frame Limiter, and that fixed the glitches, the frame rate and going in reverse. However, the mouse still wasn’t registering. Back to the PC gaming wiki. I found several options: refreshing the desktop, disabling the steam overlay, download a dinput.dll file, etc. None of them worked. At this point, I gave up and uninstalled it until about a week and a half ago. I did some searching online and found some mods that allowed me to use a Xbox 360 controller (fully) and updated the graphics. This finally gave me a game that I can play, which I’ve been doing.

However, what pisses me off is I should not of had to do any of that. I bought Vice City a long time ago and it shouldn’t matter that it’s a 12 year old game when I want to fire it up. I now have a game that I paid money for that doesn’t work unless I use unofficial means. I was contemplating buying the PS2 version on the PlayStation Network via the PS3 but I felt indignant about it. Why should I buy this game that I already own but doesn’t work because some didn’t keep their shit working? I know that older games on the PC don’t work anymore but Rockstar is still selling Vice City and there’s no mention of any problems on the store page on Steam. Not to mention that we’re in an era of video games where games are supported long after their initial release. Case in point: Rockstar just updated San Andreas to REMOVE songs from the game. So it’s not like they can’t update it. I should mention that I have to use a controller to play the game. Mouse still doesn’t work.

Anyways, I wanted to rant about the crap I was dealing with trying to get this game running. I want to hear from you though. Have you had any trouble with playing Vice City on Steam? Did you get it working? Any tips on how to get Vice City working better? Say it all in the comments section. Peace and love, gamers and players. Colorwind out!

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Countdown: My New Years 2015 Resolutions

Originally from my blog: colorwynd.wordpress.com

2015 is now upon us and the mandatory New Years resolutions must be made. I actually didn’t have any resolutions right before writing this. I wanted to make New Years resolutions, I planned to make New Years resolutions, but I just never did. However, I did have like some ideas of what I want to accomplish in the new year and to do those ideas, I would have to change a few things about what I usually do. Those are my New Years resolutions so lets get to them.

1. Read More Books

I used to read books all the time as a kid but I have rarely read books in the last 15 years. As a writer, it’s a cardinal sin and something I need to rectify. I think what I need to do is branch out what I read. I typically only read fiction so may I should read non-fiction, poetry, self-help books and other things. I do have a Kindle Fire that I rarely use to read so I could start there.

2. Watch More Movies

I don’t watch enough movies. I think I saw maybe one new movie last year. Maybe. Probably not. However, I want to watch new movies because from a creative standpoint, I tend to learn a lot from them. I tend to pay attention to the characters and how they are performed to figure out what the writer’s intentions were when creating their personalities, motivations, backstory, etc. Movies stimulate my mind in ways other forms of media don’t and I want that more. I’ve already seen The Angry Video Game Nerd movie so that’s good.

3. Play Less Video Games

I know this is a weird one but I’ve been playing video games so much for the last four years or so, I’ve neglected my other interest. In addition to movies and books, I don’t play my guitar anymore, I don’t write creatively anymore and I don’t listen to music as much anymore (although that’s partially due to music in general kind of sucking the last two years). I love video games and I always will but that’s not all I’m passionate about; video games are not my entire identity. So I want to just chill out on video games for a bit.

4. Indulge More, Be Less Practical

I have a habit of not buying things if it’s not video games or something that is not practical to get. Wanna get a Bluray of a movie I like? No, I’ll wait for it to show up on Netflix. Want to get a comic book? Nah, I should wait for the hardcover. Want some beef jerky from the convenience store a couple of blocks away? Nah, save the money for some takeout or the grocery store. It’s true that I have a limited budget but I need to use what little extra cash I have to just get things that I enjoy, sensibility be damned.

5. RELAX

A lot of my resolutions can be summed up with this resolution. I have a problem with living my life with some kind of end goal in mind. Even though I love video games, I monopolized it for writing. I pushed movies, music, books, and other stuff out so I can focus on games and writing about them for a living. All my extra money went towards video games for that purpose. I enjoy being productive but it’s now to a point that I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t need to do anything. When I have free time, I don’t know what to do. So I guess this resolution is really relax and learn how to do things not to be productive. Learn how to decompress and enjoy it.

So there are my resolutions. I know this is not really a video game blog but that’s on purpose. I want to write about more than just video games and I plan to do that. If you think this is a good idea, let me know in the comments. Also, let me know what your New Years resolutions are. Peace and love, gamers and players! Colorwind out!

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Countdown: My Favorite Games of 2014

This is originally from my blog: colorwynd.wordpress.com

2014 was a rough year for video games and I ended up not playing a lot of new games as a result. Therefore, coming up with this list was actually pretty hard. The reason wasn’t necessarily because there weren’t enough good games released in 2014 but there weren’t enough great games. Games like Octodad: Dadliest Catch were fun but not particularly exceptional. Still, 2014 had some titles that surprised me and if I can say anything positive about 2014, it’s that it was a year that surprised me. So without further delay, I give you my personal favorite games of 2014!

5. Bayonetta 2

I did not like the first Bayonetta game. I had trouble with not being able to see the enemies around me and too much showing up on screen for me to handle. However, all the positive buzz around Bayonetta 2 convinced me to take a risk and buy this game new. Easily the best risk I took this year, Bayonetta 2 is a lot like the first game but fixed and better in every way. The combat is fluid and action packed, always demanding your full attention. The camera is improved from the first game and allows you to see all the action clearly with helps both with your technique and the vast spectacle that is this game. Giant enemies with crazy inventive designs, huge set pieces in alternate realms, crazy attack animations, Bayonetta 2 is an adrenaline rush unlike any other this year and it’s definitely one of the main reasons to own a Wii U.

4. Loadout

I’ve never been a fan of multiplayer shooters. I’m always the guy getting maybe one kill and dying 20 times in Counter-Strike and Gears of War. I’m just not that good at this style of genre. However, Loadout is different. Loadout doesn’t have one, two hit kills and there’s an emphasis on mobility. It’s just frantic action where the lifebars of the characters is large enough that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re given enough time to figure it out. There’s several different play modes, such as deathmatch and CTF, and the maps are well designed so that none of the modes feel like a slog. The most addicting aspect of the game, however, has to be the gun customization. As you play matches, you’ll earn points that you’ll use to customize your arsenal and essentially create your own custom class. Best of all, it’s a free to play game with unobtrusive micro-transactions. It has a more accessible play style to other shooters and is my favorite shooter of the year.

3. Mario Kart 8

The Wii U had a great year and in my opinion, the best exclusive the console has is Mario Kart 8. I’m a big Mario Kart fan but the last console release (Mario Kart Wii) was a big letdown for me and the 3DS game Mario Kart 7 was fine but not up to the standards of the best of the series (Double Dash, 64, DS). Mario Kart 8 is the real deal. The course selection is diverse and inventive and most of the changes made to the older courses make them feel like new. The item randomization has been fixed and it makes the game feel less luck based, letting skill shine through. Other little changes, like quicker recovery after falling off the track, help to keep the pace of the races fast and fun. Finally, the online play works sublimely and playing with others around the world keeps the game fun even when you don’t have friends on your couch. It’s admittedly not that much of a change from the Mario Kart formula but it’s a refinement that polishes the tried and true formula to near perfection.

2. Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight was a game I had heard about before its release but not a title I paid much attention to. However, like Bayonetta 2, the buzz over the game after its release compelled me to give it a shot. It’s strange that a game that looks like it was made in 1989 is more polished and entertaining than almost any other game in 2014. I want to emphasis just how good it feels to just play this game. The mechanics are fun just to execute. Bouncing on enemies with your shovel, firing fireballs, traversing over bottomless pits, all of the abilities you gain feel great to do. The controls are more responsive than most modern video games and it makes you truly feel in control of Shovel Knight. Every level you go through has obstacles that are not only challenging but enjoyable to overcome, thanks to the aforementioned as well as the diverse design and creativity in the levels. Add in various upgrades, new abilities, optional levels, awesome boss fights, numerous secrets, and a surprisingly touching story and you have a modern classic and a perfect love letter to its influences.

1. South Park: The Stick of Truth

There are a lot of games released these days that want to be compelling and they do that by testing your reflexes, your morality, your intelligence, your emotions and more. However, there are some games that just want to be fun. My list this year reflects that they best games this year were the ones that aimed to be fun, above anything else. And no other game this year, to me, that was more fun than South Park: The Stick of Truth. Even if you aren’t a fan of the show or just have a casual interest in it like me, this RPG has a great world to explore and fun combat system, as well as a bizarre story that has the show’s trademark humor and commentary well in place. The town of South Park has been lovingly recreated and simply the act of exploring the streets, homes, and outskirts of this mountain town is fun. Searching drawers and talking to the townsfolk is fun. How many RPGs have managed that!? The combat system is essentially the system from Paper Mario and the attack commands are essential to do well in the game. Finally, the story will have you escaping from aliens, working for Al Gore, performing abortions, and a bunch of other ridiculous objectives. You will laugh from just the sheer idiocy of the situations. South Park: The Stick of Truth is so aggressive in it’s fierce determination to make you enjoy yourself and it succeeds in so many ways, including being my game of the year.

There were my favorite games of the year. Remember that this isn’t a list of games that were the most popular or best selling but my personal list. However, now I want to know what your favorite games of the year were. Let me know in the comment section what games were your favorite this year. Peace and love, gamers and players! Colorwind out!

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Game Pitch: Twisted Metal–High Octane

I’ve been writing a lot recently about Twisted Metal and I’d thought I’d end my series of Twisted Metal themed posts with a game pitch for a new Twisted Metal. This will be a bit shorter than most as there’s not a lot that needs to be changed from previous iterations. However, I’m a big fan of the more traditional style of Twisted Metal, such as 2 and Head On, and I would like to see a new game in that style. So without further ado, here’s my idea for Twisted Metal: High Octane.

Leading off from Twisted Metal: Head-On, Crimson Fury’s ending is what ends up being cannon as Calypso is arrested by federal agents. He is convicted and sentenced to life in a high security prison. He stays imprisoned for 15 years and has become a weak, old man. One day, Sweet Tooth breaks into the prison and helps him escape. Since his imprisonment, Sweet Tooth’s two personas – Needles and Marcus Kane – have become one and have been terrorizing the world as Sweet Tooth, the worst serial killer ever. However, Sweet Tooth’s lust for blood cannot be satiated anymore and decides he needs the Twisted Metal competition to return. Using a loophole in the tournament rules by killing Agent Shepard and using his wish, which he never actually claimed, Sweet Tooth wishes for Calypso to regain his youth and strength in order to hold another Twisted Metal tournament but one bigger than any previously.

The title of this game comes from High Octane being the original name of the tournament when the first Twisted Metal was being created. This would be a downloadable title but would have more courses and cars than ever before. 30 cars would be in the game as well as 20 stages. There would be a story mode for each character with prologue and ending cutscenes for each and comprising of eight stages, with the final boss being different for each car, an exhibition mode for one off matches, a ladder mode that has you going through all 20 stages, and both online and offline multiplayer, with deathmatch, team deathmatch and tag modes. The 30 cars in the game would be the following:

  • Sweet Tooth – Ice Cream Truck
  • Roadkill – Junk car built from scrap metal
  • Axel – Two giant wheels with driver strapped in the center
  • Thumper – Low Rider
  • Spectre – Classic 60’s Roadster
  • Twister – Indy Car
  • Junkyard Dog – Tow Truck
  • Outlaw – Police Car
  • Hammerhead – Monster Truck
  • Shadow – Hearse
  • Mr.Grimm – Harley Davidson Motorcycle
  • Darkside – Semi Truck
  • Mr. Slam – Front Loader Construction Vehicle
  • Auger – Contruction Vehicle with Drill
  • Minion - Tank
  • Warthog – US Army Humvee
  • Grasshopper – Dune Buggy
  • Crimson Fury – Lamborghini
  • Yellow Jacket – Taxi Cab
  • Drifter (formerly Brimstone) – El Camino
  • Kamikaze – Sports Car
  • Double Agent (formerly Club Kid) – Austin Mini
  • Pyro (formerly Firestarter) – Hot Rod
  • Maverick – Dirt Bike
  • Manslaughter – Dump Truck
  • Hit n’ Run – Station Wagon
  • Cross Country - RV
  • Desert Storm – 3-Wheel ATV
  • Journey – 60s-Style Van
  • Phantom – Rolls Royce Phantom

Meanwhile, the stages would be:

  • Downtown Los Angeles, United States
  • Berlin, Germany
  • San Francisco, United States
  • Grand Canyon, United States
  • Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Siberia, Russia
  • Mubai, India
  • Akihabara, Japan
  • Chihuahuan Desert, United States
  • New Orleans, United States
  • Stanton Island, United States
  • Cruise Ship, Atlantic Ocean
  • Royal Albert Hall, England
  • Amazon Rainforest, South America
  • Sicily, Italy
  • Port Arthur, Australia
  • Mongolia-Manchurian Grassland
  • Toronto Rooftops, Canada
  • Magical Kingdom, United States (interpretation of amusement parks in Florida)

The gameplay would essentially be like Twisted Metal Head-On but in 60 frames per second. Weapons include missiles, homing missiles, gas cans, ricochet bombs, mines, flamethrowers, remote bombs, rocket launchers, mortars, and swarmer missiles. Jumping, EMP blasts, tire spikes, and shields can be activated using the d-pad and consuming an energy meter. Aesthetically, the game will be cell shaded but still have a darker edge to the graphics, perhaps something along the lines of No More Heroes or Killer 7. The soundtrack will have heavy metal music featuring underground bands of today. Finally, all of the cars and stages will be unlocked from the start but completing the story mode with each car unlocks their story cutscenes and completing the ladder mode with each car unlocks the ability to customize each car. Playing the multiplayer mode and using each car a set amount of times also unlocks this feature.

So that’s my idea for a brand new Twisted Metal game. What do you think? Do you have an idea yourself? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading! Peace and Love, gamers and players. Colorwind out!

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Colorwind Reacts: Nintendo Direct 11-6-14

I watched Nintendo Direct yesterday, my first one in awhile. I like the Nintendo Direct format but I prefer the normal format as oppose to the more special ones they’ve been doing recently on Hyrule Warriors and Smash Bros and such. Overall, I think the presentation was okay, with little to get me excited about but there are a couple of things I would like to talk about, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Splatoon.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

I’ve recently blogged about my opinions about the Legend of Zelda series and how they’ve changed once I started playing them in a different way. Here’s the before link and the after link. One of the most recommended titles I’ve gotten as a result of these two articles was Majora’s Mask. My problem with that game is the constant time restriction, as arbitrary time limits are a pet peeve of mine in video games. However, I’ve been willing to give it another shot and with the announcement of a port for the Nintendo 3DS, I think this is the perfect way to do that. I knew that Zelda fans have been asking for a Majora’s Mask remake for awhile now (three years I think?) so I’m glad that this game is coming. Also, that moon looks even more creepy than before.

Splatoon

Ever since Splatoon was announced at E3, it has been the most exciting game for me from Nintendo. It’s the kind of game that out of Nintendo’s comfort zone and it’s just refreshing to see a new IP from Nintendo. The video showed some more gameplay as well as announcing a single player mode and it all looked really fun. The paint roller weapon is a cool idea and the octopus enemies is an interesting idea. I wonder if there’s going to come up with a recognizable character for this game. I hope they have some kind of bot match as I don’t really play online that much. Surfing as squids and jumping huge parts of the map looks really fun and I’m eager to try this game out.

That’s pretty much all of my thoughts on this Nintendo Direct. Nothing else really grabbed my attention. Let me know what you thought of the latest Nintendo Direct in the comments section. Peace and Love, Gamers and Players! Colorwind Out!

Oh and those Mario and Luigi cat monsters in Monster Hunter 4? No. That’s just creepy. I know Nintendo’s been giving out their characters for other games but that was the line. Nope. Nope. NOPE!

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5ive: Best Twisted Metal Games

Remember Twisted Metal? It was the premiere franchise in the vehicular combat genre. The exploits of Sweet Tooth and the other drivers at the behest of contest holder Calypso built an interesting lore as well as a fun game. And what a fun game it was! Blasting cars with missiles, jumping ramps, blowing up buildings, pushing cars off of skyscrapers! It’s was pure carnal entertainment and I love every entry in the series. There have been a total of eight games (and three ports) in the franchise and as a big fan of the series, I thought a list of the best games in the franchise would be in order. So jump in your car and hook up missile launchers to it because here are the 5ive Best Twisted Metal Games!

5. Twisted Metal 4

One of the most divisive games in the franchise is actually one of the most overlooked. A different take on the Twisted Metal lore, this game has Calypso cast out by Sweet Tooth as head of the Twisted Metal contest and his power now coming from a ring with millions of souls. As a result, a lot of characters and cars from the previous games are not here, which put off a lot of fans. However, the new cast is wacky and fun and there’s some interesting new vehicle ideas. There are more cars in this game than in any of the other Twisted Metal games (22) and if that’s not enough, there’s a create a car feature! Gameplay wise, it uses the same engine and physics as Twisted Metal III but is improved. It doesn’t take forever to flip over a car anymore and the game feels faster. Overall, it may be a bit different from the other games and is definitely not a good introduction to the franchise but it’s a fun interpretation and if you’ve never played this game but have played other Twisted Metal games, you should give this one a shot.

4. Twisted Metal: Small Brawl

I don’t think a lot of people played this game. I, on the other hand, pre-ordered it. Twisted Metal: Small Brawl was the last game in the series on the original PlayStation and offers another different twist on the franchise. In this game, all the cars are remote controlled and the drivers, as well as Calypso, are kids. The gameplay is exactly the same as before and uses the same engine as the first two Twisted Metal games but it has a few ideas taken from Twisted Metal: Black, such as slightly faster gameplay, and a few control changes. The level design is great and has you battling in sandboxes, mini golf courses, tree houses, and football fields. Small Brawl feels like a return to the Twisted Metal 2 style of the game, which at this point was not present in Twisted Metal III and 4. The main problem with this game is it feels like just another Twisted Metal game, with the kiddy gimmick not being memorable enough to differentiate it in a substantial way. However, if you’re a fan of the first two Twisted Metal games, you should pick this up.

3. Twisted Metal: Head On

Head On is the official sequel to Twisted Metal 2 and it’s awesome! Taking lessons learned from Twisted Metal: Black, Head On returns to the more cartoony style of Twisted Metal 2 but speeds things up a lot! You’ll be speeding around, shooting missiles and careening around corners and the controls have never felt better. The level design is also extremely well done, as there are many peaks and hills and hidden power ups in creative areas. Unfortunately, none of the maps are memorable except for maybe the first stage in the baseball field and some of them feel like rehashes of previous Twisted Metal games. The power ups in this game have been made more powerful as homing missiles have better lock on, freezing lasts longer, and the energy meter lasts longer than before., which some people may or may not like. Regardless, this is an amazing entry in the series that everyone should play. I will recommend that you play the PS2 version as it has more content (including finished content for a canceled sequel to Twisted Metal: Black) and the PSP version has you change weapons with the Triangle button, which is a little awkward.

2. Twisted Metal 2: World Tour

The second game in the series is still arguably the best game in the series and the main reason I think that is the case is the level design and the cars. Twisted Metal 2 has the most memorable levels in the franchise. Those who enjoy Twisted Metal will remember taking down an opponent by trapping them on a piece of ice in Antarctica and seeing them fall to their doom or taking down the Eifel Tower in Paris. Even Los Angeles is a memorable first stage as it allows you to get used to a lot of enemies on a flat plain or a hilly plane like the streets. The cars themselves are some of the most diverse in the franchise’s history and the pluses and minuses to each are quite different. The gameplay feels a bit slow nowadays but the weapons were cool, the cars control well and the action was still hectic. Twisted Metal 2 also introduced Calypso as we remember him as today. It’s the game everyone remembers from the franchise and with good reason. However, there is one more, from the mind of series mascot Sweet Tooth…

1. Twisted Metal: Black

Dark, dreary, demented, and disturbing. Twisted Metal: Black is this and much more. This Twisted Metal contest features insane asylum patients and each of the combatants are damaged people with horrible backstories. Twisted Metal has always had a crazy cast of characters but never has that mattered more than in Twisted Metal: Black. Playing as Crazy 8, who’s missing his eyes and tongue or Mr. Grimm, who was driven to Cannibalism in the Vietnam War; it gives you urgency to play them. It’s a dark connection to make but it’s appropriate in this dark game. The gameplay marks the first time Twisted Metal has been in 60 frames per second and it shows. Combat is frantic, fast, and extremely exhilarating. Levels are comprised of dreary junkyards, cities, arenas, and rooftops. Although they’re not as memorable as before, the levels are huge and there’s still a lot of secret things to do (such as shooting down a plane that’s circling the battlefield). Twisted Metal: Black is the most realized idea for a Twisted Metal game ever. Even today, each of the character’s stories are chilling and the gameplay is the best the franchise has ever had.

And there we go! 5ive of the best Twisted Metal games Sony has to offer! Go buy a PS2, pick up all these games, and have a Twisted Metal marathon! So what are your favorite Twisted Metal games? Have any ideas for future topics for 5ive? Let me know in the comment section. This is still a new feature idea for myself so any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading! Peace and Love, gamers and players! Colorwind out!

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Discussing: Calypso in Twisted Metal 2012

I’m a big fan of the Twisted Metal series and one of my favorite aspects was the backstory behind the competition. Specifically I loved Calypso, the holder of the competition and possessor of great power which allowed him to grant the victor of the Twisted Metal competition one wish, no matter how outlandish. A new Twisted Metal title was released a couple of years ago and I recently played it and wrote a review on it. However, after completing that review, there was a chunk of that review I removed because it discussed one issue I had with the game that contained spoilers. Also, it didn’t really affect the quality of the game other than me personally disliking a change in the lore as a Twisted Metal fan. Therefore, I would like to discuss it here briefly and get some feedback from fellow Twisted Metal fans and newbies alike. So here’s your warning right now: there will be SPOILERS on the story mode of Twisted Metal 2012 in this post!

In the latest Twisted Metal game, Calypso is holding another Twisted Metal competition, same as always. However, there seems to be debate amongst the populous as to whether the competition even exists. This marks a major change to the lore of the series. The world in previous games was aware of the Twisted Metal competition and were victims of the ensuing chaos it created. What’s more is they were aware of Calypso, who was an ordinary man with extraordinary powers and as such, was still vulnerable to death and arrest despite being hard to reach, kind of like a mob boss. In this game, Calypso is a demon - or possibly just the devil himself - who feeds on the souls of those who die in the Twisted Metal competition, including the combatants, and will silence anyone who tries to expose the Twisted Metal competition.

This is definitely a different take on the series as it creates this more sinister aspect to Calypso that is different to the previous representations of him. Calypso used to be a almost cartoon style purveyor of carnage, who saw his Twisted Metal competition as a work of art and all the destruction it caused as a necessary evil that ultimately helped society. Also, while he often liked to turn the victor’s wish against them unless it shared his dark sense of humor, he was not infallible and there were instances where the tables had been turned against him. Now Calypso is now a full blown villain who personally benefits from the destruction the Twisted Metal competition creates as well as from turning the victor’s wish against them because he now does it all for the souls he collects. He’s more powerful than ever and it makes him nearly invincible.

I don’t really like this change. The world not being aware of the Twisted Metal competition feels too unbelievable, especially considering that Calypso creates battlegrounds in LA and New York, among other well populated locations. Calypso himself is now the head of Calypso Industries, which makes him a businessman and an obvious villain as everything from romance novels to children’s movies have a CEO or owner of a conglomerate as a main antagonist. It just feels lazy and Calypso before, while weaker, was a more interesting character. I will admit that the actual premise is not bad and the cutscenes in the game help show the vision they had for the story and character. However, if the original Calypso had a company and had started collecting souls (kind of like he did in Twisted Metal 4, though that was weird too), it would have been more interesting. I don’t think the new Calypso is bad. I just think he could have been better.

So what do you think of the new Calypso? What about the new premise of Twisted Metal? I know that Twisted Metal 2012 was not a success or a failure and a sequel is probably unlikely but would you like to see the story in 2012 continued, the original story returned or something completely new? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Until next time, Peace and Love, Gamers and Players. Colorwind out!

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Colorwind Reviews Twisted Metal (2012) - Your Wish is Granted.

  • Vehicular Combat
  • Developed by Eat Sleep Play, SCE Santa Monica Studios
  • Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Available on PlayStation 3 [played]
  • Released on 2012-02-14 (PS3)

The original Twisted Metal gave birth to the vehicular combat genre. A wacky yet dark cast of characters would do battle on the streets of Los Angeles with cars equipped with missiles, machine guns and more for a chance to meet the enigmatic Calypso, who would grant them one wish, no matter how extravagant or impossible. It was a wonderfully fast paced and destructive experience that I loved and with six sequels already under its belt, the series has now gotten a reboot with a new story and a new faction concept. While the concept and mechanics that made the series successful are still engaging and exhilarating to play, some of the new ideas unfortunately fall flat.

Title Analysis

Calypso, the head of Calypso Industries, is holding a Twisted Metal contest. Same as every year. The winner will meet Calypso and have one wish granted to them, whatever it is their heart desire. Story mode tells the tale of Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, and Dollface, as well as Calypso and the Twisted Metal competition itself. Their stories are demented and gruesomely entertaining, as the people in this contest are unhinged to say the least. However, unlike other Twisted Metal games, there are only three characters in this game, making the story woefully short, and the reveal about Calypso and the contest is quite different from previous games in the series, which will put off some longtime fans of the series. You don’t even get to choose which character you play as first, which is unfortunate as the first story is ultimately the strongest.

Regardless of the complaints with the actual content of the story, the presentation of the story and the game in general are top notch. The stories are all told through stylized live action cutscenes that clearly drew influence from movies like 300 and Sin City but from a more horror-themed perspective. The cutscenes all look really nice and are well acted, especially the voice acting. Graphically, the game runs at a solid 60 fps and the environments are huge with bright warm colors sprinkled across the mostly dark, cold colored landscapes. Unfortunately, while the cars and environments have a lot of detail to them, a lot of the textures are muddy and low res. Twisted Metal 2012 displays in 720p and it seems that the game is actually a bit more graphically ambitious than the PS3 can handle.

Twisted Metal’s soundtrack is full of licensed hard rock and classic rock tracks as well as original compositions. Driving around blasting other drivers while Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” plays feels a bit surreal but cool nonetheless. However, if you want your own music, there is an option to change to a custom soundtrack via files on your PS3 hard drive. The sound effects are effective in expressing the insanity onscreen but still miss the visceral feel that this game could have had, as car crashes and such don’t feel as impactful as they could. From a technical standpoint, it should be noted that load times in this game can be kind of long, especially when you first load up the game. In fact, this game does have a tendency of getting stuck while connecting to the online servers.

Twisted Metal plays a lot like the previous games in the series. You drive a car equip with various weapons and use them to destroy the other cars in the battleground. However, different in this version is the idea of factions. As I mentioned before, there are only three characters in this game. As such, when you play Challenge mode or Multiplayer, you will pick either Sweet Tooth’s Clowns faction, Mr. Grimm’s Skulls faction, Dollface’s Dolls faction, or the Preacher’s Holy Men faction, who is a character from the story mode. You then pick a car each with their own stats and special weapons that can also be customize with decals, paint jobs and sidearm weapons. Characters are no longer bound to their cars so Dollface can drive Sweet Tooth’s ice cream truck if she wants. I’m not a big fan of this change from a story perspective, but from a gameplay perspective, this doesn’t change the gameplay too much except for some weapons being fired by either the driver or a henchmen riding shotgun.

Once you’ve picked your faction and car, you are thrown into a warzone, shooting missiles at other combatants, crashing through buildings, and speeding across roads at break neck speeds with little to no regard for self preservation. The action is frantic, and at first, you may think that you don’t have the reflexes and skill to survive even a minute. This overwhelming chaos can be intimidating and the overly complicated controls don’t help. Widely used maneuver commands and special attacks are done in unintuitive ways. Even after playing through the story mode, I still was forgetting how to do things. Clearly the developers ran out of buttons to do commands with so thankfully, there is a tutorial mode that show how to do commands, as well as how to play the various multiplayer modes.

As convoluted as the controls are, once you do get the hang of them, you’ll find that Twisted Metal 2012 makes you feel like a badass. This is thanks to the concept of the gameplay being easy to grasp: shoot the other cars until they explode. You soon will be sliding around corners, jumping over barriers and blasting unsuspecting drivers. The maps add to the enjoyment as they are expansive and have various pickups that give the game a level playing field similar to Unreal Tournament. And of course there are the destructible environments. It’s awesome to careen through a supermarket, or completely destroy a house or even a entire building, even if some buildings aren’t destructible and it can be difficult to distinguish which ones can and can’t. Ultimately, this is arguably the most visceral Twisted Metal has ever been.

When playing by yourself, you’ll be in either the Story Mode or Challenge mode. Story Mode is the story-driven mode that uses a six match format for each character, each of which have special stipulations such as staying within a safe zone, the use of garages to switch out cars, or racing the other cars to a certain finishing area or objective. Challenge Mode allows you to play against AI bots on any map for a one off match. There are three different battle types, and eight maps to choose from, as well as an option to play in smaller sections of the maps. The different objectives in Story mode do help diversify the combat and it’s enjoyable to replay the missions for high ranked medals and unique experiences. However, Challenge mode is ultimately the most enjoyable when you want to play by yourself with no frills or special conditions.

Unfortunately, one of the most troubling issues with the single player aspect of Twisted Metal 2012 is the AI. The AI tends to attack you exclusively if you are in a certain radius, going so far as to make their way to you without attacking anyone else. I did several tests to make sure of this and its disappointing that the AI was designed in this way. It really puts a damper on the experience when playing Twisted Metal by yourself. Another problem are the boss fights in Story mode. They’re way too long and are way too convoluted. The Iron Maiden fight is particularly bad and I found myself raging, just begging for it to be over. I mean, nine different sections? Really? Who’s the masochist who designed this? I WANT NAMES!

Unfortunately, I was unable to test out the local multiplayer or the LAN play and was only able to play three matches of Deathmatch online as there are not that many people playing this game online anymore. However, there are seven modes to choose from online, experience points can be earned to unlock cars for use online, and there are various options to filter and change your matches. From my time online, the matches I did have were responsive with no lag and no connection errors. Although I was no where as good as those I played online with, I really enjoyed the experience as a lot of the AI issues and story mode concerns were wiped away. No glitchy AI preying on only me, no disappointing story arcs, no convoluted bosses. Just pure Twisted Metal mayhem at its finest!

It’s then I realized that the main issue with Twisted Metal 2012 is that while the main concept is still a lot of fun, the game itself doesn’t seem to know that. At every turn, the offline game seems determined to distract you from that core experience as if it wasn’t enough. All the extra stuff makes the game feel like it wasn’t confident enough in its roots and it’s a shame. It makes for a game that’s weighed down by unnecessary baggage. The strength of this game is really its multiplayer as all the baggage is stripped away for a more pure experience. Too bad there’s almost no one online…

Completion Evaluation

For nearly every match you finish in the story mode, you are rewarded with either a new sidearm, a new special attack, or a new car. Finishing the story mode in normal and hard difficulties will earn you new decals, while Twisted difficulty earns you a laser pistol sidearm. However, if you are good enough to finish Story Mode in the Twisted Difficulty with all Gold medals, you’ll earn the Warthog car, which looks like it did in Twisted Metal Black. Other than that, that’s it for in-game content. However, due to the nature of story mode, you need to really enjoy what the Story mode has to offer. The struggle that would be involved in dealing with the prejudice AI just gives me shivers and threatens to put an ugly scar on my love for this franchise.

Add on the trophies in this game, which has you playing a lot of multiplayer – something that’s becoming more and more difficult to do – and completing the story mode without dying (!) and this is definitely one of the more difficult games to Platinum. To be fair, there isn’t a lot of actual objectives to complete, just ones that take a lot of time but Twisted Metal 2012 is still a hard game to complete and should only be done by the most hardcore completionists or those who really enjoy this game.

Consumer Report

Finishing the story mode will take you around five hours, which isn’t that much. Therefore, the value of Twisted Metal 2012 depends on how much you value multiplayer. However, as of October 2014, not that many people are playing this game online and most of the match types are Deathmatch. Therefore, your purchase will REALLY depend on whether you have a friend to play with you. Also, Twisted Metal 2012 requires an online pass, that must be bought separately for $10 if you buy it used or rent it. That’s a lot of caveats for a game at full price. Luckily, Twisted Metal can be bought for $20 on the PSN store and I got my physical copy for $20 at Walmart. I would recommend renting this game to see if you like it, but if you do decide to buy it, spend no more than $20.

The Verdict

Twisted Metal 2012 has a lot of great aspects to it but fails to fully embrace the simplistic fun the series is known for. What’s here is still a good representation of what makes the game fun but is hampered with convoluted controls, frustrating challenge, and little content that only serves to dissuade newcomers from getting on board. This is not a bad game; this isn’t even a bad Twisted Metal game. I’m still playing it as I’ve been able to find the fun this title has to offer. However, this is one of the lesser titles in the franchise and it does miss that special something that made this series great.

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Borderlands 3rd Impressions

This is going to be a short post because I only have something to say on one aspect of the game this time. I finally got a chance to play Borderlands co-op with two other people online. However, it was with two random people online. It was cool working with other people (one was a hunter, the other was a siren, like me) and the connection was perfect, with no lag whatsoever. However, the entire time I played, no one was sure what we were doing, no one was using a mic so communication was limited, and enemies because bullet sponges.

I think the online play is only fun if you have friends to play with. I did once play Borderlands on the 360 with my friend Rick and I vaguely remember it being a good time. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of friends with the PC version of Borderlands with all the DLC and microphones. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go into a lot of depth with the online functionality. Other than that, that’s everything to update with my Borderlands playthrough / review. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen everything this game has to offer me from a gameplay standpoint and I’m basically getting bored. The next update will probably not be until I beat the main game but before I move on to the DLC.

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