I made a Youtube channel, but I need advice.

Hey guys, I just made a Youtube channel because, well, I was bored and I've been thinking about making one for a long time. One problem though, I need some help! I need some advice on whether the video is good or not and I don't really know how to get my channel out there.

I know some of you here have Youtube channels so I'm asking your advice on it. I just made a short video introducing myself and introducing Spelunky which will be my first let's play series.

I'm having some trouble embedding the video, but here is the link if you want to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVdnc8yUw00

Thanks for reading and thanks for any advice you may give. :)

18 Comments

My backlog - The Witcher.

Hey everyone! This year I've been trying to focus more on my backlog rather than buying new games, and it's been pretty successful so far. One of the game I've been meaning to play is the original Witcher game, and I did just that!

Some brief history on my experience with the game. When the enchanted edition first came out, I was building my very first gaming PC. I was quite young at the time, about 13 years old, and along with my PC I also picked up The Witcher. You could say in a way that it was my first traditional PC RPG, and from what I played at the time, I really enjoyed it. At some point I stopped playing it though, because I got stuck and my monster slaying ended there.

Time went on and I was always thinking about how much I enjoyed it and this was the year I finally went back to it, and boy am I glad I did! From the moment I started to the moment I finished, I couldn't stop playing it. The whole game just sucked me in; the world, the story, the combat, the characters, everything. Of course the game wasn't flawless and there were a few things I wanted to be improved including some technical issues, how easy the game was, and a lack of things to spend money on. These weren't game breaking at all however so I overlooked them for the most part.

I found a lot of the characters interesting and I enjoyed having conversations with them. During the course of the game some decisions I made regarding politics heavily impacted my interactions with some of the characters I encountered. At one point it got so bad that I had to kill someone who I considered one of my favourite characters through out the course of the game, because I decided that I did not agree with some of the decisions he was making, and therefore didn't help him. Personally I decided to stay away from a lot of the political issues in the game and I was neutral in the war between The Order of the Flaming Rose and the Scoia'tael and of course that resulted in both of them hating me. It seemed like it could be quite different if I decided to chose one faction over the other, so it may be interesting to go back and see all the changes that will be made.

I was quite fond of the Epilogue as well, it wrapped the whole game up nicely, and it was quite touching seeing a lot of the characters I met through out the game reunite, even characters who I only met briefly, such as a talking ghoul named Vetala who I decided to spare in exchange for some information. It will be interesting to see if any of the choices affect my experience in The Witcher 2, as I know the saves can be brought over.

Something I particularly liked was that Geralt was a known figure in the universe. It was pretty interesting meeting characters which I apparently already knew and having a pre-conceived identity that you could change throughout the course of the game, even if it didn't match up with what the old Geralt would have done and if it didn't, people would let you know.

The soundtrack that went along with me conversing with people, slaying horrid beasts and meddling in politics was great. It fitted the world perfectly and hit a lot of the right notes in certain situations and just added to the impact the game had.

I'm a sucker for a good story in games and I really feel like The Witcher delivered. I don't know what made it so interesting to me, but it felt really unique and I feel like a whole new universe has been opened up.

At this point in time I haven't read the books or played any other games in the series, only the first, and I can't wait to explore more of what the world of The Witcher has to offer. After looking up some stuff about the books it seems that the translations may not be too good which is a bit of a shame, and not all of them have been translated. Still, I look forward to reading what I can, playing The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3 when it comes out.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it.

9 Comments

What Ryan did for me.

Today started off as most days, I woke up and typed ''www.giantbomb.com'' in my address bar as I do nearly every morning, but today something was... different.

As I saw the retro videos featured on the main page, I thought I encountered some kind of glitch.... then I scrolled down. I had no idea what to think.. well I sort of did but I just didn't want to think it. I was hoping that the article was going to be about some kind of joke or that he was leaving rather than what I then found out.

I sat in silence, just thinking... Someone I've never met has touched my life in a way that I could of never imagined. I thought about it, his laugh, his introduction to every bombcast and just his happiness in general. Then I broke down. I don't often talk about personal issues on the site because this place is where I can always be happy, listen to the crew talk about some video games and just have a good time. But the last couple of years haven't been that great, they could've been worse, sure, but they still had some pretty sucky parts and Ryan was here to help.

Anytime I was feeling depressed, he was there. He made me happy. I never got to meet him, in fact I was going to do so at PAX Australia and let him know that he was a huge inspiration to me and how he really has brought me a lot of joy over the years. It would've been an honour to meet him, but the fact that I knew him was an honour anyway.

He was young, he was just about to start a new chapter in his life and now he's gone. Not only was I sad but I was angry, why Ryan? After his wedding, at such a young age, someone who puts time into making people happier and better humans? I was angry but then I cried, because I'll never hear him say ''It's Tuesday'' ever again.

My condolences go out to all his friends and family, especially Anna and Jeff. I really hope that he knew how much he meant to all of us, because even though he didn't know me, I knew him...

And he meant, and still means a lot to me...

Rest in peace.

4 Comments

Cook, Serve, Dishonored!

Sometimes too many video games can be a bad thing, and I've recently run into this problem. I have a vast backlog to go through but I'm not sure when I'll get around to it, so I tried doing something this year - stop buying so many damn video games! It's given me time to catch up on some games I've really been wanting to play but was simply too busy with other games to try out. However, there are two games recently that have made me take a break for my backlog and there is a reason for that, because they're pretty damn good.

Cook, Serve, Delicious!

This isn't a game I would usually be attracted to, a cooking game? As soon as I saw the title I knew it would've made an awesome quick look but little did I know I would end up buying the game.

In case you weren't aware, Cook, Serve, Delicious is supposed to be the first ever ''Hardcore'' cooking game and you're probably asking, ''does it accomplish that?'' Well, yes, I think it does. Let's get one thing here clear though, it isn't a cooking simulator, it's very much a game.

You first start your journey in a 0 star restaurant that you have opened in a hotel and with a limited amount of food you can make, all with their different perks and negatives. For instance, certain foods will be more well received at night, but will also be more messy causing more chores.

All these perks contribute to or damage your ''buzz'' meter. From what I can tell, I think it affects how many customers you get in one day, but I could be wrong seeing as how it's not totally clear on how what it does. One thing is for sure though - a high percentage is good to have. Various challenges and things will do will also change the buzz meter either positively or negatively.

Of course as you give the game more time you will soon discover more foods and drinks to help your restaurant rise to stardom. All the foods are fairly different in the way they are made, using a keyboard based system in which you must press the corresponding keys (usually that of the first letter of the item you wish to use) to do the action. It allows the game to be a lot faster, since you don't have to do a lot of dragging with the mouse and you have quick access to everything you wish to use.

There are also various chores to have to do throughout the day which take up time, but are easy to do. The challenge of Cook, Serve, Delicious doesn't come from the cooking you need to do (although, the different variants in food can really mess you up), it's the amount of time you have to do it.

One brewsky, please!

You have a short amount of time to do everything, and it makes the more complicated foods just that much more difficult to master. Customers will lose patience and leave, deducting how much you earn in the day and will also break your combo. There are also various items you can get, which help with chores, let you pick a ''special of the day'' and make it so customers will have more patience.

The game is addictive, fun and fast paced, but there is something about the pacing that bothers me a little bit. Even if you finish all the tasks at hand to upgrade to an extra star, you will need a certain amounts of days under your sleeve to progress, so it sort of makes the game drag on a little bit while you itch to see what is next. I also didn't feel the need to try out all the foods, seeing as how healthier foods have a lot more benefits I tend to stuck with those, discouraging use of the other items I had at my disposal. Money also took a little bit long to make, making getting a certain item or food you want feel a bit dragged out. The main issue with the game was that when I felt I was done with it, I hadn't experienced most of what the game had to offer.

None the less, it was still cheap, awesome and I am glad I purchased it. I really suggest picking it up and up voting it on Steam greenlight.

Dishonored

Now this, this is a game I would usually be attracted to. Large maps, different ways to kill people, different choices, interesting characters and settings etc. As soon as I saw the game I knew it was something I was interested in.

And does it live up to my expectations? Yes, it most certainly does. There aren't many games that made we want to play them again right after I finished them, but this is one of those cases in which I do. The fact that according to your playstyle there are subtle differences, dialogue and endings really give it playability, not to mention that playing through the game two different times causes you to play it very, very differently.

In my playthrough, I opted to go for the stealthy non lethal route, trying to spare as many people as I can, which would reward me with the good ending. Although, when I was playing this way, there were many different systems that I didn't experiment with. I never used the bow, hardly used the pistol and never put any runes into purchasing Devouring Swarm or Windblast. It's also a given that I wouldn't have used any bone charms that boosted my combat abilities.

Speaking of non lethal playthroughs, you don't have to kill anyone in the game. That's right, not a damn single soul. But you're an assassin, how do you get rid of your targets? Well, doing different side missions will allow you to ''neutralize'' your enemies in creative ways. Instead of killing someone, you might get someone to cut their tongues off and put them into their own mines to work, or perhaps you will brand them with a special mark that casts them as a criminal, preventing people from communicating with them. It's pretty satisfying to know that you did the right thing, but you did your job none the less.

You can totally just straight up stab dudes as well.

Satisfying is a fantastic way to describe the game actually, everything you do is just so much damn fun and really makes you feel like a bad ass (when you get the hang of your skills, that is). The powers in the game are pretty awesome, but the most substantial one is definitely blink. Blink allows you to get around the environment in a quick and easy way. It's essentially a teleport, but the design of the game really takes advantage of it. A lot of games today are fairly flat, literally. Blink allows you to bypass whole areas of the game, access places that you would never be able to in other games and escape battles with ease instead of having to reload.

The reason why blink and other powers (such as possession) work so well is because the levels are so big, after my playthrough I still felt as though I had skipped a lot of what had to be seen. For instance, in the mission in which you have to visit a brothel-type location, instead of going through the front door and going into different rooms waiting for the AI to move to a certain position, I just went around the back, possessed a fish and swam to where I wanted to be. That's why when playing it again, I have a big reason to do it so differently. Not only do I want to experience the other weapons and abilities, but I want to see the other beautiful structures and environments I missed out on.

To even further the reason of exploration, are runes and bone charms that will help you upgrade abilities and give you small perks to help you out. You will have to use the heart given to you at the start of the game to locate these, and it will lead you to places you would never think of going. The heart also has the ability to tell you about certain people and areas, giving you more context of the world. I think that the hearts dialogue was over-looked, seeing as how it was a really brilliant and subtle touch. And to further expand the world, there are stacks of books, audio-logs and notes to immerse yourself in.

I could go on for a while about how great the game is, further talking about how nice the art, soundtrack, voice acting and characters are, but they are really things you need to experience yourself to get the feel of them. It's so refreshing for a game like this to come out, one that gives you optional missions, big levels to explore and just overall a fantastic experience. In case you couldn't tell, I strongly recommend trying Dishonored out, you won't be disappointed.

So, that's it! Those are the most recent games I've been playing and I hope you enjoyed hearing my opinions on them. Thanks for reading, and have a good one.

3 Comments

I just bought some video games!

EB games Australia is having a sale online and I picked up some video games! Here they are -

Mario Kart 7 Power-Up Edition - Nintendo 3DS

Rayman Origins Limited Edition - PlayStation 3

Super Mario 3D Land + Stylus Spartan Bundle - Nintendo 3DS

Gears of War 3 Limited Collector's Edition - Xbox 360

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars - Nintendo 3DS

So yeah, those are some games alright.

What do you think, are those some good games I picked up or what?

23 Comments

Games on the cheap - The Binding Of Isaac.

Games are fairly expensive, aren't they? Not all of us can afford $60 every time a new game comes out, so this is what this is for - I'm going to help you, yes, you, find games that are relatively cheap ($10 or less) that will keep you busy for a good amount of time.

The first is something I have recently been playing, The Binding of Isaac. It's a mix of rogue likes, zelda and even a bit of bullet hell thrown in there. The game is created by Edmund Mcmillen of Super Meat Boy fame, he made Binding of Isaac in 120 days! That's pretty awesome if you ask me. The game starts off when Isaac's mother tries to sacrifice him and he jumps down to the basement where, for some reason, there is a shit load of scary stuff down there so you have to fight your way out and defeat your own mother.

Err.. What's that on your head?

The game is fully randomized meaning the room, items and bosses are different each time. Your basic attack includes your own tears (aww *sad face*) and bombs, as you go through the level with the objective of exploring for items and then defeating the boss, you will found a bunch of new things. While exploring, there are many different enemy types that either use melee or range attacks, pretty standard stuff but as you go along the enemies get more and more crazy. Once you have fought your way out of the room you may stumble across an item, these can do things from turning your tears into blood (increasing damage done) or have an ally come fight along with you. There are many different items that are all very different and they are all (hopefully) helpful to you in your journey. One of the best things about Binding of Isaac is that every item changes your appearance, it's pretty awesome how you can look like a complete fool or a badass.

There are also other types of items such as Tarot cards which can do things like give you items (keys, hearts, bombs) or teleport you to various different rooms. Pills have random effects that can be negative or positive and you have to try them out to see what they do. You will also be able to purchase items with coins you find, or you can use these coins in an arcade room which is you gambling coins to see what items you get.

Another of the many appearances Isaac can have.

Bosses in the game are varied and differentiate in difficulty, bosses like Monstro or Gemini are fairly easy whilst Fistula, Gurdy and Monstro 2 are more difficult. After beating a boss you will get a permanent upgrade that can either give you and extra heart container, increase speed, damage, range etc. Sometimes a room in which you can trade your heart containers for items will appear, these items are very powerful but will require you to become a lot more squishy.

There are also various characters to unlock that have different starting items and attributes, Maddy has more hearts but moves slow and Cain does more damage, moves fast, has more luck but is very weak. These characters are unlocked by doing special objectives in the game (collect seven heart containers, earn 55 coins etc)

The games length will vary depending on how skilled you are (the game is HARD) and what items you get. Personally, I'm around 10 hours in and I just got up to Mom, but other people have finished the game around 3 times by that long. The game has high replayability since everytime you beat the game you unlock new items to find, not only that but after beating the game 6 times it gets harder.

So what are you waiting for? Buy the game now! It's only available on PC and Mac but I don't think you would need a very powerful machine to run it.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed the blog follow me on Giant bomb or my newly set up Twitter. I'm open to any advice on my blogs so I can keep improving.

Thanks again!

Also, side note: The game has a pretty cool soundtrack too.

12 Comments

Prices on DLC. (The Blog Initiative #3)

Hey guys, NekuSakuraba here and today I'm going to be blogging inspired the new DLC from Gears on War 3. This isn't a blog on how they shouldn't be charging for it or how it's is on disc, no, it's how much they are charging for it which I found outrageous. Here we go.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Actually, fuck this blog. This gun is worth $60 alone.

So in case you haven't realised, Gears of War 3 will have cosmetic DLC in the form of weapons skins. I think cosmetic stuff is fine to have and while I prefer having to work for it to give a sense of achievement as long as it doesn't effect gameplay it's fine, right? Wrong. Let me briefly touch on the subject of on disc DLC, I don't mind it that much. It doesn't make that much of a difference and I understand people see it as a way for developers to cheat you out of your money by including content on the disc and making you pay for it and that DLC is usually stuff added on after release that the developers couldn't finish before shipping but it sometimes could cause problems (didn't it cause problems with Mortal Kombat or some other game?). I understand both sides of the issue and they both are pretty reasonable but I just wanted to make it clear that I am not being biased because the DLC is on disc or anything like that.

Now, let's get onto why this sucks: the pricing. All of the skins will cost you around the same price of the game itself... I'm not kidding you. This is so utterly stupid and it makes no sense whatsoever! I understand the publisher/developers wants more money but pricing skins at the same price of a game is ridiculous. Think of it this way: They spend years making a game, put in all this hard work, code, story, voice acting, art, graphics and they only charge you $60 for it but then they go around and whip up some textures, whack em on guns and charge you the same price for the whole set? please, compare the time and money it takes making a game to slapping on some textures for guns. Are you going to tell me that it is the same amount of work? of course it isn't! As I said, I don't mind cosmetic stuff if it's reasonably priced but don't make it seem like skins are worth as much as the game itself.

It isn't only Epic mind you, there are heaps of companies doing it. Maybe I'm missing something, is there some crazy thing that justifies the price on skins? Let me know if there is and tell me what you think about all this, am I just overreacting or am I right?

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed the blog follow me on Giant bomb or my newly set up Twitter. I'm open to any advice on my blogs so I can keep improving.

Thanks again!

17 Comments

To change or not to change? (The Blog Initiative #2)

Hey guys, NekuSakuraba here and today I'm going to be blogging about something I have recently noticed, when does a sequel change too much or not enough? That, my friends, is the question.

It hasn't changed enough! *Shakes fist*

We changed things, we promise!

This usually is relevant to games that have yearly releases, such as Call of Duty and Fifa. Obviously due to the 1 year cycle the developers simply don't have enough time to vastly change or improve the game. Yes. they might add a few things here are there and tweak the graphics but the game remains largely the same. People love to complain about this and while it is certainly valid to complain what can we do? Sure, they may be milking the franchise for money and all but it's working because people keep buying them and the developers and publishers get what they like the most: a big fat wad of cash. Don't be fooled however, just because you and me stop buying these yearly games doesn't mean the gaming industry will suddenly stop making them, people like us (...core gamers?.. *cringe*) don't make up enough of the market to change it, sadly. Some people might claim - Fifa needs it to update the roster or Call of Duty needs more weapons and maps but isn't that what DLC is for? (besides charging $40 for skins, tsk tsk Epic games!) adding minor changes for a small price? there is no arguing that they make more money by charging $60 a year for the game but we can only hope they will wait a little longer next time!

You are changing the game too much! *Shakes fist, again*

Most recently, this argument applies to Max Payne 3, however not having played the first two games all that much I can't really comment on the game in particular. Let's look at something like the new Hitman game for example, none of us have played it but from what I read it does not seem impressive. Totally changing what the series is based on is not cool! Hitman games are about stealth and awesome ways of completing levels but it seems like the new one is going to be a lot more action based sadly. I'm trying not to speak too soon since I haven't played the game (maybe that's what people upset about Max Payne should do? :P) but it seems like the game could be a new IP and have nothing to do with the series. Now, when a new developer steps in like with Fallout 3 it seems more reasonable that the game has changed but even with Fallout 3 the games premise was very true to the series and the only thing people seemed to hate about it was that it wasn't in the same viewing angle as the first two games. Making a game seem new and fresh but still true to the franchise seems like a pretty hard thing to do and I'd like to know what games you guys think did well.

Conclusion

What determines whether the game has changed too much or not enough? I'd like to hear your thoughts and what games you think keep the balance between new but familiar particularly well. Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed the blog follow me on Giant bomb or my newly set up Twitter. I'm open to any advice on my blogs so I can keep improving.

Thanks again!

13 Comments
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