dragged into Hearthstone and I'm not getting it

I really don't get Card Games.

So, my sister's husband has dragged me into Hearthstone thanks to a long teaching lesson from his brother. So it's the three of us playing with one another just for fun no real sense of direct competition. He's doing a heavy amount of teaching because even with tutorials are loosing my interest.

A bit of history with me. For the past 20 years, I've had a bad relationship with trading card games. Early on, I would say I was a casual paper and pencil RPG fan but that would be of an exaggeration since all we really did was spend time drawing from of the Monster Manual, eating Cheetos and listening to Manowar. But once the craze kicked in, my best friends would try to teach me how to play, and I would fall asleep on them. This would continue even long into art school where I was asked to draw cards for friends and still fall asleep while playing games with cards I had just made. And even now, I'd discover someone like my cousin who lives in France showing me a Magic card art he adores and frames it above his computer monitor. The still art looks like a squiggly mess.... and this coming from an artist.

I don't hate TCG genre, I know people love it and it's something special for them. But I feel like around 1995 when it hit big there was a point where I realized I loved Street Fighter more. And it had a lot more to do with that direct input and reward mechanic of performing a move. Now, the skill of fighting games aren't easy, they take time, as much time as strategy games themselves. But I do feel that mastery is still immediate. You can spend 80 hours in an RPG finding an epic armor set but I can still perform a dragon punch as the round starts. The waiting and the randomness of card games turn me off when I want bright creative Capcom sprite animation.

Now here's Hearthstone.... you could say this is really catered to me, a person who doesn't consider myself a trading card gamer. The presentation is over the top silliness..... still not keeping me awake. There's still a bit of fun with the audio from WoW..... still I'm looking for a volume option, and keep hitting any button to skip the little dialog. The art is actually better then most TCG I have come across..... but they are so small and blurry when zoomed in even blown up on a larger Computer Monitor. There is no way to zoom in to fill up the whole screen, still my sister's husband's brother has found a way to put it as his cell phone wallpaper. A silly Swamp thing looking card, wonder if Alan Moore should be depressed about this? "Maw-gic Cave"

I've been playing since Saturday and I must confess, it's handled better then I imagined. The gem system and turns makes sense and it's easy to fallow even on modest simple matches. A friendly Peon worker Orc sound effect to tell me I could perform every move is there to assure me I'm read. The game is designed more to have impact on each card drop, and it's a bit silly how it looks but it's effective. The unpacking cards is actually very creative way to keep the free element and enjoy the presentation of unpacking a real set of cards. These are elements I can respect. I can kinda see how some people are hooked, but it's not getting me there yet. Even with my small group of friends to play with I don't think I will continue playing it with them. I feel I might loose one purpose to at least let them feel better about themselves.

Right now, my main problem is that I am slapping cards down. Any cards, it doesn't matter I just don't care for strategy. Because they are just digital cards that really have no value in my own mind. Honestly, I keep turning my head up and looking at these VHS tapes of Lone Wolf and Cub series and wonder if I could beg my neighbor to barrow her VHS player while she's away for Europe this week. The value I placed to them is a big different, since they were given to me by my best friend who bought them in a flea market 10 years ago, and I'll probably use them to be inspired with.

the allure of fixing the tracking of a worn down VHS tape is it's own reward.


Debtating Boktai

well, It's that time of the year where it's sunny and I could get more points on my sun sensor.

I moved across the country so most of my stuff is still in various boxes, so I discovered I had a 4th DS. Apparently I own 4 DSes, 3 DS lites which were owned by family who quickly got tried of them and eventually handed them over to me. But a year ago a big shocker was the DS Fat cracked it's hinge, which was a surprised by everyone I talked to considered it to be indestructible. Well, here's a perfect DS Lite in amazing condition, the right hinge is always quick to crack and sometimes the R button gets stuck in it's place there. The Screen brightness is perfect for outdoors, and the DS Lite still has that AMAZING Battery life which the 3DS has just lowered my expectations.

As you can see I've just moved into a nice home, with a very large back yard that's quite secluded from anything else. So I never have the fear of looking like a grown man trying to play a GBA game. I adore Boktai because it provides something other games don't.... running around a yard while a cloud passes above me.

If you're new to Boktai, some still are, which makes sense considering how unpopular this series is. Basically it's Metal Gear meets Zelda meets Castlevania with Spaghetti Western and Anime flavor. The game cart comes with a sun sensor which acts as a power meter and environmental effects along with a built in clock. The game mostly plays like Metal Gear Ghost Babel for the Gameboy Color, you can knock on walls and trick a ghouls and ghosts into burning themselves in the sun.... literally.

While the Sun Sensor is evenly balanced as a gameplay mechanic, but it makes it quite difficult to play it on the East Coast. I actually caught a cold trying to play this game outside in snow. Now living in California that might change, but still, it's good to play this game between 11 AM and 2 PM, the PEAK sunlight hours. So this game isn't really friendly with the most adult who have a job. For example if you are close to 5pm, your going to get pretty much maybe 4 or 3 bars of sun power even standing directly in the Sun. So boss battles can wait for another day. Also it's a common misconception you always need to be in the sun. I found it better to just sit under a tree, the sun sensor collects just UV radiation, so in the shade you might collect 2 or 3 bars of sun. The whole sun system is built not to hinder you to play there are still little things like the Bank which collect sun light while playing and builds up interest as you keep it in there..... and you could go into debt while asking for too much from the bank and spend time running a hamster wheel to pay them back. There is also if you play at odd hours while the clock registers you shouldn't be on, Carmella will pop up and curse you so your sun sensor so that it will not work at all. The only way to cure this is to play the game at 6 am and get sunlight in the sun sensor.... this is Kojima lunacy at his best.

But yeah, I'm debating playing this. I have a perfect spot, landed a decent job where I can make my own scheduled to make time to play it.... and I'm hesitant to play it. Boktai provides something other games don't, Lunar Knights which dumped all of it's sun sensor gimicks in favor of a more fast paced action never got the whole weapon crafting and exploration Boktai had. And as I load up Boktai 1 and 2, I'm am confused where these save files are in the game. Boktai 2 I haven't played since 2006. Boktai 1 I believe I played a bit of it maybe 2010 so that save file is set to hard difficulty and deep inside one of the end game dungeons. I'm leaning toward's Boktai 2, but only 1 save slot, so that, Level 51 character and 20 hours I put might all be lost.

Like I said, Bokati does provide something different other games don't. It's relaxing to sit under a tree and play a game that's influenced by your surroundings. Actually, the more I think about it. I might just end up buying a GBA SP, the later ones with the brighter screens that rival the DS Lite. I feel like I have a ticking time bomb on this perfect DS Lite until it cracks it's hinge. That's the thing about this move, really appreciate how much of a collect I have been even if it's collecting broken DSes.

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I killed Solaire

and I feel bad about it

He's my friend, he's been there for me. Even when the game is frustrating, he's pop up and go "sit back, let me handle this."

Well, where do I begin?

Do you know how Dark Souls really works? Basically, someone tells you something vague later in the game and it colors your perception on how you should play the game. So you work hard on not doing anything wrong until sooner or later you screwed it all up.

Well, that's how this happened.

Been noticing Solaire is a bit aloof too much sun gazing. And then a friend tells me he later goes insane. So that got me all worked up and wondering how to avoid that. So I join the spider lady club (Chaos Servant Covenant), feed her 30 humanity (surprised any video game in 2011 doesn't let you at least do that faster) in order to open a door. Well After finishing off the Centipede Demon, I was able to track down a red glowing Chaos Bug which held inside it the "sunlight maggot". A glowing hat to help me see in the dark better. Well basically as it goes, he's suppose to be if you kill it that prevents him from going insane, and that's what I was trying to prevent from happening.

Well, and then this happens

well, this isn't suppose to happen, instead it's suppose to help him be there for the final showdown with Gwyn.

as you can see in the video, I don't really fight back for a bit, and take a few hits. Not knowing what's going on, hoping it's all scripted or something. Actually waiting to get feedback from friends who are saying "Wait, that's not what suppose to happen." So it's real hesitations and hoping this isn't an Old Yeller moment. Where my best friend is a rabid dog that needs to be put down from madness of the sun. I'm seeing his face for the first time, really shocked he wasn't like a big fat head that fit the shape of the helmet.

And with each swing it just stung just a bit harder how much he encouraged me along the journey. Dark Souls is a cold and lonely world, having someone there just made things brighter.

Sigh, at least there's New Game Plus.


I spent 25 bucks on this hat

God I feel stupid.

Well I'm exaggerating. Actually I got this action figure and it came with a TF2 hat code which actually incentives me to buy the toy. But feels silly it's a freaking pot.... I got excited for a second there, just curious what I would get. I already have a nicely crafted Samurai Helmet instead.

Just, weird that on the box it's labeled "Bonus Code Inside Unlocks In-Game Content." Anyway, it's a nice action figure I'm glad I own, just feel dumb for getting excited about a TF2 hat..... again.


I blame Brad for dragging me back into Dota2

as silly as Brad's antics were, I'm just right now installing Dota2, it's at 700 mb should take over 20 minutes to install.

Sigh, where do I begin?

Okay, was in the beta like a lot of people and found it a bit interesting. Just start out with being nice, I love the streamline interface, I love viewing matches using in game assets, friends list is just a click away, new character designs and art is better, and it's relatively easy to play.

Now that's done with complements. That's about it, brad's enthusiasm is what's holding me up now. Just like how hot air holds up a balloon.

Lets face facts, it's community that just holds this game together but even if I play with my friends it's just not the same.

You know how you just spend too much time making your little base in starcraft, and you spend more time in your base then actually exploring and fighting the enemies. That's not a design flaw, that's actually your general interest in the game's world that you spend more time and effort in making your troops look pretty then actually taking them out to fight. A good example of this is Xcom, awarding skill points and naming characters only to cry when the die in combat is just half of the drama in that game.

With that being said, yes, you can play alone much like you can play Borderlands alone. Hell you can play anything alone. And then the rest of the world says your playing it wrong. No it's not wrong, sometimes it's fun to build with legos alone play and I prefer reading all of the mission text in World of Warcraft. When I read books I think of Mark Hamill voice in my head.

And well, the community just poisoned the well. Rushing to get immediate gratification just up ended making this into a more speed based game.... but it's not that. In fact your being punished for quitting matches and being polite to other players..... which is something I HAVE NEVER seen before when I was in beta. Considering how successful Valve has done with TF2, L4D series and Portal in rethinking the way gamers play games, they still haven't been able to simplify a really messy game like Dota, there's about 5 different windows you can pop up, item shops, gold production, who's winning or loosing, text window, and something else I'm forgetting because it's another glorious waste of time. TF2 the most simplest thing it took away was grenades, there were jump grenades you could use to just exploit the map, and only a small minority of hardcore fans cried about it. Still there's billions of other exploits to be had in TF2 that the fans keep making just to have more goofy fun. Now there's other servers to log into and discover something more complex, personally for me I prefer the capture the frog servers that resemble something more like Quake 1.

But again back to the community, well I just don't mind the idea of just "first thing I see, I hit it." And really that's when someone on the server just will just rant how I'm playing the game wrong. No not really, these bizarre series of rules set up aren't clearly define, the inclusion of tutorial doesn't nearly help on the ethnic tribal customs to which I must play to make some tubby basement deweller feel happy about the game. "Don't feed the enemy" is such a weird term, how am I not suppose to learn if I don't fall face flat first? Why is it everyone expect you to just play like a paragon of golden light? And this is where I'm most concern with Valve, why can I not just MUTE EVERYTHING.

I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT 99% OF THE FUCKING SCREEN. At least in torchlight I could reduce the opacity down to just the fucking energy bar and mana bar. Why do I have to have center of the screen terrible horrible soulless creatures yelling at me I'm at the wrong lane? No I'm not, It's the fucking center of the map where the fuck am I suppose to be going? Valve makes games for deaf and blind people but somehow I need to listen to just some horrible greasy face troll yelling at me how I can't play the game right. I should have the right to just completely mute him and never see him again.

Because I feel L4D is the best example of a game where you can totally play that on mute, and you can play that game and be helpful without feeling like your a liability. Through arrows, glows on the borders of the screen, and simple inclusion of bots, you can feel comfortable of just coming into a random game and not even knowing the people you are playing with. Coordination maybe key but then you can just as log out and no serious penalty will happen.

Dark Souls has a better sense of teaching you new mechanics through stupidity. Hey feel free to run up to that bull monster, and then learn from seeing their attack patterns, learning their range and timing your own attacks. And even Dark Souls has the most confusing interface and even that is decipherable as you go through more play through.

Now that they added a better closer camera, it's a slight improvement. It'd be WONDERFUL if they designed a control scheme using a Steam Controller. I'm not kidding, console this game up, simplify it, make every spell just a mouse click away. White wash all of that Warcraft 3 out of it. I'm never going to apply for tournament, this isn't Street Fighter 3. I'm playing a free game so I'd love it to be dumb down to a Dive Kick level of simplicity.

well the new camera is a wonderful step up, in enjoying this game, but I feel there's a lack of customization just really bothers me. It's just so devoted to that original Warcraft 3 design that it's a religion at this point. The persistent clicking isn't helpful, in fact it's more of notice of how terrible the path finding is and slow player movement is. Since it's only one simple hero your controlling a controller design would help it a lot like Diablo 3 or Torchlight on console immediate feedback would help a lot.

blah, I just needed to rant. I mean I WANT TO LOVE THIS GAME! I really do, the art style is amazing, the combat is simple and fun, but it's just got some serious fundamental problems. And I speak as someone with 60 hours marked in and already uninstalled this game. The game has finished downloading, so when I eventually uninstall this game again I do not blame Brad for this...

I blame everyone else.

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LTTP Dark Souls

Last night, I spent 6 hours playing Dark Souls Prepare to Die edition. I had played the intro sequence like about 3 months ago when I bought the game on sale through steam sale. And before then I played maybe 4 hours into Demon's Souls which was also a good experience. But I still feel like I'm going in blind, because the introduction just left my mind playing too many other games in between.

So with that, I opened up a livestream through twitch.tv and had anyone come in and help me out. Now to be fair I was dicking around, running up to anything and whacking it. I completely forgot why the crow dropped me off here who were these two guys and why I'm here. The biggest problem I have is this is written like a 11 year old's idea of fantasy. Throw out fancy words and say it with phony English accents to make it feel like it's fantasy, and that's a problem in letting me fallow along with the game. Now this isn't just Dark Souls' fault in fact a lot of JRPG voice work sounds like this, and even some poorman fantasy books are written like this and I should know since I use to write like this when I was a teenager too.

First reaction is how pedestrian the art of this game is. It's hard to imagine this is a JRPG, nothing really spiky hair, androgynous or over the top about it. In fact it's rather classic fantasy, but I'm just amazed at the amount of color in this world. It's dark, creepy and haunting but there's always a sense of light just as it bounces off objects. The colors stand out more as punctuation in a world that's just dark so it's never really boring. The armor designs look really awesome later down the line and the giant monster designs are just glorious. So it's not like it's not a JRPG, it's actually really smart way of handling atmosphere so rich you can make yup your own story.

So within 2 hours I'd receive 4 or 5 viewers, and one of them would bravely comment over my dumb fun. I shut off mic and video, because then they would see me just humming along to Super Mario music. I don't enjoy seeing videos of teenagers screaming while they play a game, even though I myself am a goofball while I play myself. I tend to watch more nerdy videos where someone comments about the back story of how this game was made. So there was a slight disconnect with the viewers. I'd break from time to time just to politely say "hello." It's quite a uncomfortable experience just to have voyeurs coming into my game experience, because I play different then most gamers. People say they beat Portal in less then 2 hours I'm like 10 hours because I'm looking at the walls and admiring the graffiti. But still everyone is rather polite and is probably a teenager, because everyone commented "Are you on 360 or PS3?" all of them confused to be playing on PC. So it's awkward looking from one screen to another, seeking out quite spaces where I can type without getting ambushed. I might want to turn the mic on, but it's difficult doing this alone then without a friend reading off chat.

I couldn't have done this without twitch help

What works best in this game is the combat, it's quick, it's reactionary, it's deep and it's actually rewarding. Within 4 hours I got the countering down perfect rhythm and I felt like dancing a little jig in celebration. Still what makes the game difficult is really fighting more then one enemy so it becomes more about trying to lure out enemies away from one another and making it into a single one on one fight. And because of that, the fights becomes really tense.... actually they feel tense when I know what I'm doing, so I keep trying to be optimistic and say "every single death is a learning experience." I have no one to blame but myself, because a lot of the movements are very slow and telegraphed. The reaction time is the key, instead of number crunching which is what is what RPGs are economy major's spread sheets. Even the MASSIVE bosses have slow tells, they have small spots to run in between their legs and there's always one key move to stun them. So it's a excellent design that never feels like the game is holding your hand and every experience just feels fresh and exciting.

Knowing is half the battle

Well withing my 6 hours of streaming, there later came off a rather hostile viewer who turned into a backseat gamer. "TURN LEFT, HEAL, HEAL HEAL HEAL, YOU SUCK." The rest of the chat was yelling back at him. I didn't care too much, kept picturing him just terribly young and I actually listen to him a bit. The parts that were advice, but those kids really do give streaming a bad name and he was only one kid. The rest of the audience was supportive, and always kept asking "what do you think of this game?" or "are your really new to DS?" So there was a honest sense of enthusiasm to get someone new into this game.

Live streaming added another surreal quality to ghosts and the messages. It help illustrate how I'm not alone on a single player experience. I have no idea why anyone would want to watch me play even when I posted "this is my first time." But at the same time I enjoyed the help more then going through a message board or reading a FAQ afterwards. I may or may or may not try this again.

I really had an excellent time with Dark Souls, I'm eager to play it again. Now GFW has less users then console, on my experiences with Demon Souls I could spot at least 30 or 50 ghosts walking by me. So GFW's last dying breaths could be a wonderful sign when Dark Souls migrates to Steam. Still the combat and the rich atmosphere really make me excited to continue playing this game.

but first, I should do the DSFix to fix the PC textures.


Here is how Batman Arkham Origin's combat is ruined

Everyone is talking about how different the combat is, and yes, the previous Arkham games were about as simple as a rhythm game. That’s because the yielded risk and reward.

It’s simple to perform a counter and take down, in fact you are invulnerable by performing a simple counter. Anything more complex like performing a counter from three enemies could ruin your meter, and with that meter you can perform any variety of special moves. The simplest example would be, use the cape stun and then perform quick series of attack to build that meter quick. Or my own personal favorite after 3 hits you could easily knock down 3 guys and then quickly perform the Special Combo Multi-Ground Take down and then a large group of thugs is out of the way. The art of the combat of the Arkham game’s combat is just leaping over enemies and finding the thug you need to take out in order to make your combo go on longer.

The easiest complaint everyone has said about Origins, is how that simple rhythm is dramatically changed. The window of opportunity to counter. Now this element has been something one has to relearn in Asylum and City, so there might be a whole new learning curve and time might tell if this will change.

There’s no variety in the skill tree, There isn’t a lot of new moves, and every move comes from the previous game. Lets say you had a Devil May Cry 3 style where you designed batman around gadgets, damage or counters. It’s not even there, instead you have you finish all the side quests which aren’t incentivized. You can skip Deadshot all together and he provides “grapple disarm.” And the most important one “Special Combo Disarm and Destroy” is just completely out until the whole game is finished. Instead the skill tree is just arbitrary gated with poorly considered simple upgrade paths of 2 lines. I’m not exactly asking for Diablo style skill system, but even something as simple as Infamous or Ratchet and Clank series gets it right in where you feel like you're designing your characters. Here WB Monteral developers are not, in fact they just blocking them.

Instead we are given the shock gloves, really the big surprise power up. Early on the game storyline I was using explosives and cape stun to spread enemies who swarm in. The Shock Gloves are the solution to get all the enemies out of the way. The effect is just dumb fun, but never really challenges your combo meter. In fact it barely even drains. The new Pre Order DLC challenge room 1 vs 100 is effortless without really thinking too hard as to what to do or how to react. Actually in the main storyline it has to be REMINDED in cinematics you have this power up.

There are lots of games that just reward you but also challenge you. In fact those are more the anarchy based games, where causing as much wide spread chaos as possible with what you have left. Like a lot of Saints Row’s side quests which is the exact opposite direction with a Batman game unless it’s Adam West Batman we are talking about. Especially when you see the Green Hornet episode where you see Bruce Lee beside Adam West…. and the way West throws a punch looks like he’s throwing out his back. But I digress, the Shock gloves really are time based, not like a counter move or a special combo move. You are not locked into an animation where you are invulnerable for that one scene. Your free to run around and all your moves are enhanced with electric powers. Maybe next game we can get ice powers?

It’s a change, maybe the rhythm of the combat might change up, or just the rhythm of something new will change your own reaction. Without the sense of risk its devoid of any real challenge and becomes endurance on how much you can tolerate this. Arkham series had something special within the whole character based/action-adventure/beat em up genre (I hate these labels), that never really considered itself as technical as DMC or Ninja Gaiden but was comfortable enough for any God of War fan to enjoy.

To be honest, there’s a lot of problems and just reacting to the combat can only go so far. The game is plagued with some crippling bugs that make it frustrating to just play. There’s serious path finding errors, that even the whole simple counter system of the combat never really works majority of the time. If this is a Rhythm game, this would be Guitar Hero 3 change, maybe the next game will drop all of those mechanics in favor of something even more dumb fun

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replaying Shadow of the Colossus

the last time I replayed the PS2 Shadow of the Colossus was about 5 months ago. I was moving out of a house, testing out an older bulb TV before I donated it for charity. And just seeing Shadow running on a PS2, I can just count the frames, maybe 5 or 7 fps, if I’m lucky 15 and that’s not when a Colossus’ arm is moving.

What’s fascinating by 2006, HDR isn’t impossible. High Dynamic Range Lighting is a technique that’s part of photography where light is distributed through the lens. The technology was made for Fight Club and Matrix in 1999, it’s relatively top of the line but the PS2 just couldn't pump it out. So Team Ico had a super clever way of faking it in their first game Ico, but in shadow they pushed it through the processing power through the sound chip. But it wasn't just that, there’s more sophisticated motion blur, fur and clothing physics. It’s something where you have to admire their technical chops in such a modest system.

By the time 2006 Valve had made HDR lighting tech open to their Source Engine so just trying to emulate PS2 games wasn't far behind. But that’s emulation of emulation, it’s totally possible to get shadow running a bit better, but it’s not quite what the game really needed. In my attempts at PC emulation of Shadow never quite gets there, sure it’s sharper but always something is off. What’s amazing about the Ico and Shadow HD collection isn’t so much they are massive upgrades it’s that are what they are. It’s not that Ico is vomiting out BLOOM or has SSAO glowing bits where it doesn’t need to. It’s a direct contrast to the recent Wind Waker HD release which is more of an experiment then actual restoration.

emulation attempt, weird light mapping problems

This is really restoration at it’s best, are we not getting “what the artist originally intended” excuse for something radically different. And we are getting a smoother Shadow without it running at 5 FPS.

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LTTP Mega Man Zero

this isn't my first time, actually played this on it's released while borrowing from a friend. I just came up to a BRICK WALL of difficulty and confusing inventory and elf system. 10 years later, I came through Mega Man Zero Collections.

I'm going to start I had an idea at first, well to be honest, Mighty No 9 being such a whooping success and everyone going "but we have no idea what the game is?" And well that lead me to the impression it could be like Zero, Early on the character designs for the Number characters have different shapes and designs not just "MAN" and "Animal" themes. And a lot of the creature designs were so detailed, not even in that charming Megaman NES designs where "it's a giant mecha frog," or "it's a giant mecha dragon" Innocence, had some design to them.

Not only that, but they made 4 of these games in a short amount of time, Was more considering how they look from game to game, with limited resources and short production scheduled. Now that's the story of mostly all of Capcom's classic library before they ran them into the ground. Although the date on Mighty No 9 is April 2015, they have about a year and a half to go to really polish it up considering they now reached their final goal of even Vita and 3DS ports.

Difficult, yeah, oh yeah..... difficult

no not really, I didn't care to count my chest hair and went on easy because I wanted to experience this story and see what it has. And to be honest no it's not that difficult. In fact it's quite considerate since I have a FAQ open on a laptop just to keep it less worry free. I accept this, and because of easy mode I just rush right into what I want to see and experience, and to be honest, it's addictive.

I never went down the rabbit hole with Mega Man games, I felt cheated in Mega Man 4, right about the part where dr Cossack turns into Dr Wily. I always felt this circle will continue, and with Mega Man X, I only played the first game and stopped the series. I continue this policy with almost every capcom series. Always taste the first, see what's so innovative about it then stop. But Zero was different, not much was said except for "IT'S HARD" from the most devoted megaman fan. So it's wonderful there's an easy setting on this collection.

First impression, it's beautiful, just the little animation of seeing the gun animation of Zero's pistol. The slide, the extractor and the shells, this is a GBA game, it's not the most real estate of pixels we are talking about here 240x160 pixels to be exact. It's an amazing techical attention to detail to a small cartoonie world. Unlike Megaman X series which has it's own specific look that's not as hardcore as people made it out to be, especially those PS2 games where they got pretty colorful. This is a slightly more ruined world, you can see the age on the walls, and the colors. The mechs are detailed but have their own sense of evolution, they are round with long limbs big hands. So when they animate they are very energetic flowing movement which makes the combat quite exciting.

I'm not going to lie, I found the controls a bit sticky. The GBA was a bit different in controls, this never felt as smooth as the X games. There was a sense of commitment to an action, which is why it was so difficult to gamers. But after a while, I got into the rhythm of it all and it became just rewarding, slipping past bullets, using the right combinations of elfs, knowing how to use the shield, the spear, it's clever and fun.

Now what was odd is that this is a big single map, it isn't just small levels as to what everyone made it out to be. Gone is the classic "select boss master" screen, instead there's a small hub, where you select between 3 to 2 missions at a time to help grow your resistance. Once you beaten a mission you can leave and explore this large map and see how all of this connects together. The hub I found to be rewarding, Megaman games never gave me a sense of a world, hell I couldn't tell if megaman was a boy or a man. It's not the best depiction of a growing camp but it's satisfying, in it's own charming way to see people you rescues now in sections of the base you thought were empty.

I mentioned before, the missions are small actually they could be played in less then 2 to 4 minutes. And excuse of the portability of the GBA, but actually there's a lot of variety from escort missions, bomb diffuseness. You are going to see the same maps 3 about 3 times, they actually don't feel that repetitive there's always something new to do. It's radically different from the X series which has massive set pieces, but you BLAZED PASSED THEM not even really giving consideration to the design or how they fit. There's always something new in Zero, plus the difficulty even on easy was pretty challenging. There's one that's a stealth mission to rescue other rebels and that was different then I expected it to be.

I'm not done, I feel I could be 3/4 of the way through. It's interesting how each of these Megaman games are radically different from one another. This feels like a world, using a smaller scale, higher difficult they can construct something really different. I'm itching to play this even as I'm typing this. I don't know if Mighty No 9 will be like this? Actually I doubt it, maybe some of the mech/robot designs? Just reminded that dragon from ZX looks similar to something to Mighty No 9's concept art.

I really do recommend playing this on easy, OR SAVE STATES ON AN EMULATOR. God, save stats would help a lot if your really intimidated by this.


no E3 Hype here

underwhelmed, unenthused, lack of emotions, you can fill in you jaded adjective here.


To begin I give you E3 2003, and yes, I was excited for Half Life 2 like any self respective fanboy, my biggest excitement was basically Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for the gameboy advance. It never did have any center presenation, no big unveil like Majority of the E3 presentations, instead it was showcased on a few articles online, and a few images were enough. It was simply put a "known quantity," I felt safe and secure with knowing this game is what I wanted. It got me to adopt a GBA and then later I'd also buy Boktai which also had an amusing presentation by Hideo Kojima himself.

That's how I have felt every single E3, always look to the corner of the articles get more excited by a GBA or DS game, it becomes more about uncovering something then just be overwhelmed by the specifically. I recall reading a lot about Eyetoy sports games and often think "is this something for my family" well before nintendo went crazy with the Wii Fit balance board.

I never really held a desire to go to E3, it sounds a bit too much of a headache from all the journalists covering the event. But from time to time it became something to brag to family and friends on how big video games are. Although through out the years I got embarrassed with it's showcasing the more bland shooters instead of something colorful like Pokemon, Plants VS Zombies or Guitar Hero. When we think of the iconic video game, mario is never on the big posters or billboards across the convention center. The last most colorful visual was Bastion right bellow Battlefield 3.

Bastion is right in the middle left there next to witcher

Now as e3 2013 approaches all of the majorty companies have already revealed their announcements. The biggest surprise was today, Harmonix announced their next big game will be announced. So that means they will not have anything as big as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on the Microsoft event or a nerdy boy dancing to dance central. Even if it's showcasing the new Kinect controller it seriously deflates Microsoft expectations showing what they have to show for.

Ubisoft was last years big winner, but even now with Watch dogs already seen for a bit the biggest question everyone has is "what will it look like on Xbox 360 vs Xbox One?" The thing is Assassin's Creed series has been satisfying even if they did take dramatic turns in style, so there's going to be very much a safe bet with Watch dogs, just would be nice to know something more.... probably show off a co op multiplayer..... but they did that with Far Cry 3 and that did NOTHING compared to Blood Dragon's bizarre take on the genre.

Fighting games never get center stage at E3 since Soul Calibur on Dreamcast, so it'd might be interesting to just see Killer Instinct. But that's a case where Rare has been scalvaged into helping Microsoft make avatar skins helping kinect star wars, and basically be that hired gun for their company. So there's no real sense of assurance that Rare is going to make a solid fighting game. Considering how revolutionary Street Fighter 4, and helped Netherrelms understand how to make their games better, again I'm doubling down, I honestly don't feel Rare is going going to show anything special with Killer Instinct. It'd be more along the lines of Perfect Dark Zero, colorful new showcase of the console.

Smash Bros, to be honest, I don't love the series as much as the hardcore made it out to be. It wasn't something where it was easy for the casual to play, but it did do a lot of fun and clever fan service that made me amused over the references in there. All of Resetti quotes, the Electroplankton stage, an all of snake's codecs. Now again, no fighting game gets center of the attention, Which is why I bring up smash bros because they were seen on developer round tables.

this will probably be the biggest surprise to see even if it's been announced for a while

Square Enix, now right now the rumors are it's FF15, but to be honest, E3 has been nothing more then to showcase how competant Eidos has been for them. Tomb Raider has been showcased 2 times and then at the end proven it's a remarkable take on the franchise. So my money is that they will show Theif 4 running on Next Gen Hardware. Maybe a possible trailer for FF15, if it's NEXT GEN, that that's terrible and that was the reason why FF13 was a complete mess, you can actually see PS2 textures on FF13. We are more then likely see an actual playable FF15 on something like Tokyo Game Show then here in America.

It's a safe bet Metal Gear Solid 5 will have yet another amazing trailer that will get all the fanboys drooling..... I know for certain that's my reaction. Still it's an odd thing, even Hideo Kojima's own audience is going to do the same as they have before what will it take to get more attention from MGS5 then lets say Battlefield 4 which will be HEAVILY Marketed and probaly be attop of the convention center. And also, what are the odds that Bungie isn't going to do another dumb video for their game Destiny? Now that they have an activision rep in all their events, assuring them they are behind their 10 year deal, Bungie has shown nothing to progress outside of their whole pretentious smoke up their own asses. Considering how Destiny is said to be closer to Borderlands, that'd also be a better presentation at PAX or even a year after it's release any any single presentation. I brought up Bungie in the same vain as MGS5 because they are both auture companies that never seem to learn from their mistakes but appeal to their fan base.


The biggest problem I have with E3 is it's appealing to this 15 year old boy mentality. It'd be wonderful if there was massive posters of Angry Birds, Animal Crossing or games that bridge larger audience.... but then at the end of the day the hardcore COMPLAINS over how appealing to that audience is irritating to watch. Diakatana got more attention at E3 1999 then pokemon did. It's going to be embarrassing in the future we keep seeing these bad trend just be displayed like this.

so for now, I'll be mining the news, looking for that gem of a game to be excited about.

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