Thursday, 19 January 2012

Totally awesome, seriously retro game

Right, ranting about FF XIII-2 aside, here I have a post that is exactly what the title says. It's about a wicked awesome game.

So basically, the other day I was minding my own business thinking about stuff (games) when it occured to me that I couldn't remember the name of possibly one of the first ever video games I ever played.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when I got my first computer (an old Macintosh Performa) there were several pre installed programs and games on. It wasn't like now when you literally get a shell of a computer and have to pay super inflated prices for anything, no then we had it all installed for us. Anywho, getting off track, I always remember this one game.

Basically you played as a tank and had to move around the level taking out other tanks. Try typing that into google and you do not get this game lol. But that's all I could remember of it (that and I wasn't very good at it lol) But when I was like six or seven, I wasn't into video games like I am now. So I went on an epic search to find what it was, only doing so when I finally managed to remember what my computer was called lol.

So what am I keeping you in suspense for? It was this game:

Spectre Supreme!!!!!

Seriously, watching that video brought back so many memories. I'm fairly confident that I could get to like level 8 or something whereas my dad and cousins used to be able to get into their 20's (that game was hard lol)

Doesn't it look wonderfully dated now lol. But the concept of it is just quite addictive. Presently I'm trying to find it online because I would love to play it again just for nostalgia's sake (and the fact I could probably do quite well now lol)

Seriously, it drove me nuts for hours trying to find the name, and once I'd started looking, I couldn't stop till I found it :) So happy I did though. Retro game are the best :)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Story in a video game isn't needed.....Wait.....WHAT?!?

This post is brought to you by the phrase 'F*** Off' and also the phrase 'You are so wrong I want to reach into my computer and punch you'.

Firstly, I would like to say that in such games as Tetris, Bejeweled, story isn't needed. Games that you play to fill an empty half an hour don't need story. They are there for entertainment purposes only. I get that. Old school arcade games like Pac-Man and one of my personal favourites, Bubble Bobble, do not require a good story either. They were designed to be played in quick bursts in a public arcade. The comment I have referenced in my title though was a comment at an RPG.

Now anyone reading anything on my blog, will by now have realised that RPG's are my favourite type of game. I have always wanted to be an author since I was about six years old. It's a dream that still burns very brightly with me. I also love video games. I like the escapism they, like a good book, can offer. RPG's provide this.

Now back to that wonderfully ignorant comment lets look at this for a second, I will be playing this game from anywhere between 40 hours to over a hundred. I do not want to be sat there following a band of characters I care nothing for that are following a paper thin plot. Where is the fun in that? If I wanted to play a game for purely gameplay, I would. But RPG's need to offer both. I cannot stress how annoyed I am with recent RPG's and how they have let story fall by the wayside to accomodate for overly convuluted game mechanics and pretty graphics.

I realise I am yet to do a post for Final Fantasy XIII, despite my many posts on it's in production sequel, but this was a game that came dangerously close to being another throw away game where the characters and story count for nothing. If you have read my post on Eternal Sonata you will realise that my opinion on that game was ruined because the story counted for nothing. The whole game looked like it came straight from an artbook, the gameplay was fun and entertaining, but it was hollow, there was no substance holding it all together.

Story, for me, is everything. I once had a seminar at university where I argued this very point with another student. He said that a story should be a second thought on a video game citing Tetris as his example. In retaliation I cited Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XII. VII, while the graphics were acceptable at the time of release, look horribly dated now yet XII looks stunning. Now I didn't play VII at the time of release, I didn't play it until 2005 when video game graphics were a LOT better. I didn't care that the grpahics looked rubbish because the storyline and characters were so interesting. They held everything together to the point that it quickly became one of my favourite games. However the gameplay, like the graphics, had dated compared to other games I was playing at that time.

Now XII on the other hand looks stunning. It really does look beautiful. The gameplay was so much fun. I loved the Gambit system and the fact that battles took place in the world rather than a seperate screen. It was for those reasons alone that I decided to try and do all the side quests as it was fun to play, but the story was poorly executed. The potential was there. There was the possibility that it could have been a really great game, but it was let down by characters who never seemed to interact with each other and a plot that thought it's own grandoise would carry it through. It was poorly recieved among players with many gamers I know citing it as a very weak link in the series. And from my own personal view, it was mainly to get the sense of achievement at doing the side quests that I chose to do them. By that point I felt so let down by the game that I felt I needed to get something out of it to get my money's worth.

So if gameplay is the most important aspect in an RPG, why did I and why do I still prefer VII over XII? BECAUSE YOU SHOUld NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GAME TO TELL A STORY!!!!!!! It gets me so angry. It's like watching a film where you only want to see moving pictures rather than anything resembling a story. After all, a film's main purpose is to show things moving. Yet time and again movies with a poor plt and characters score lower than movies that have a brilliant plot and cast.

Basically, games, like movies, need a story. You need to engage the player so that they enjoy playing it because they want to, not because they feel they've just spent £50 on a game only for it to suck.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

So is Final Fantasy XIII-2 unfinished or what?

Ok, I'm annoyed, like majorly so. Warning that this post may contain spoilers for the game. I will point out when they are coming though.

Ok, so I really did try to avoid spoilers about this game. I really did. I know it was released in Japan on the 15th so I tried to be good. But when someone posted the ending on youtube, it was really too hard to resist.


Firstly, I'm really annoyed that, as I thought, Noel and Serah are the only playable characters with Lightning appearing for about 10 minutes at the start of the game...What?!?! She's featured in every trailer and clip for this game, but you don't even get to play as her??? Not to mention that this is supposed to be a continuation of Lightning's the heck does that work if she barely features in it?

Also, the ending??? Seriously Squeenix, seriously??? I have the collectors edition of this game on preorder, it's cost me about £50 and it looks like the game isn't even finished. I can accept Serah dying as part of the ending. She's always been a naff character. I wasn't looking for a sugar sweet happy ending, there could have been some drama in there too, but it looks like the game wasn't even finished. So Serah kicks the bucket, then all this chaos explodes around pulse and Valahalla starts to appear while Noel and Hope look on and then............cue the credits. Annoyed does not begin to describe how I feel. I'm so tempted to cancel my preorder.

Now I don't mind a sad ending, I don't mind it at all. But this looks like it's not even finished. It just stops. So then i find out that maybe you need to have all the 160 fragments to get the good ending. Like X-2 had multiple endings, people guessed that this was the same. I watched a live stream of someone with all 160, i watched as he defeated the final boss (which does look insanely awesome, i can't lie there) and i watched the naff ending roll. Then the credits.....and then 30 seconds of Caius sitting in a throne bringing sexy back. So wait, I have to grind like a crazy person for hours to get all those frag's only to then be rewarded with 30 seconds of Caius? No thank you. At least on X-2 for all the rubbish that game was, i was rewarded with Tidus being reunited with Yuna. Give me something here Squeenix, anything...I'm begging you.

!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILERS END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So then i remember that the game is going to have substantial Downloadable content. But wait, won't I have to pay extra for that? I don't mind throwing out a few extra pounds to get a cool boss fight or maybe a snazzy new costume if I'm in the mood, but to pay extra to get the rest of the game is a ripoff when I'm already paying about £50. And this game, with the ending does have the feel of an unfinished game. I know the buzz of gaming forums ATM is that maybe there's going to be a Final Fantasy XIII-3. Maybe there will be, but I'm still paying here for an unfinished game. I would then need to buy said extra game just to complete the one I've got. Sure from a company point of view it's an awesome idea as people will pay for it, but it also serves to piss your fans off. I mean yeah, if i buy XIII-2 (and that is an IF now) I would buy the extra content, but then I'm not likely to buy any more of your games full stop. I'll wait til they start hitting the second hand market and I can get them for £10 rather than £50. That is if i even want to play them. This whole move is just like the company is knocking the loyalty of it's fans down. All companies need to remember that without your fans you are nothing. Don't treat them like dirt.

So annoyed over this. God, words can't even describe my rage right now. You used to make good games Square Enix, very good games. You really do need to recapture that glory. Like I have mentioned though, the DLC here will mean everything, so a review of the game will come once that has been released.

Seriously, hire me and I'll show you how to write a good story for your games that doesn't annoy the fans like this.

Here's some Hope x Light to make me happier.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Skyrim and.....anone remember versus XIII?

So yeah, I'm now super excited for christmas as I have asked for Skyrim and I really do hope i get it lol. Literally all my friends rave about it so i can't wait to start playing it. Also as I am once again busy in the run up for christmas (work is mental) Here's a little post just to ask....

Anyone remember Versus XIII???? Seriously Squeenix, the game looks awesome but has been in production forever now. I got my PS3 because i heard it was going to be a PS3 exclsuive so where is it??? I really hope it's good though because my expectations of XIII-2 are slowly slipping every day.

Friday, 4 November 2011

I'm back!!!

Yeah so my depression didn't last too long. Still annoyed as hell at uni, but what can you do? So I'm currently full time at my part time job and had been busy arranging Ponycon and attending the London Expo. So October was a pretty busy month for me :)

Anywho, at the Expo I managed to play on Final Fantasy XIII-2 (yes that game that has almost taken over my blog) And here is my review on it thus far.

Firstly it is no secret that I am excited for this game. Gameplay seems pretty close to the original game with the paradigm shifts and job roles. The crystarium is still around too. However a new feature is the introduction of on screen battle prompts to alter the way a battle can be played out. Pretty much a cinematic sequence might occur (mine was in battle with Atlas) and depending on whether or not you hit the right button, the event will alter slightly. At one point i missed it and Noel and Serah got smacked by him, the second time though I nailed it and both managed to avoid the attack. Not going to lie, I'm somewhat looking forward to it :)

However my main gripe comes from the fact that there are only two playable characters??? What??? In a Final Fantasy game I have two playable characters??? I'm not going to lie, I'm slightly confused by that. Rather than having other characters, you use monsters to fight for you. Square Enix, that is possibly the lamest idea ever. This is Final Fantasy, not Pokemon. I don't want to catch them all.

Also, where the heck is Lightning? This whole game has been hyped up about her but she doesn't seem to be playable? Hopefully this isn't right and things will change before the game is released, but it really seems stupid. Why make a sequel if none of the characters from the original are available to play?

Will reserve judgement for now.

Friday, 16 September 2011


So this blog will probably be on Hiatus for a bit. I'm in a pretty bad mood at the moment. Pretty much I was trying to do a masters degree at university this year. Yeah the uni sucked, but the masters degree was to be taught by the only tutor worth listening to and I really wanted to use it as a way of padding out my portfolio. Currently the only thing I can put in it is my Jinxie work. But they've cancelled it. So I had funding and living arrangements all sorted, and they've cancelled it and won't put me on any other course. Seriously, anyone thinking of attending Sheffield Hallam University.....THINK AGAIN!!!!! I don't care how bad your grades are, some where else will take you.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bubble Bobble

Another review :) Yay, I know how much people like these. This time it's on the classic arcade game, Bubble Bobble.

I really don't know where to start with this game as without a shadow of a doubt, it is one of my favourite games just for how addictive it can be. Many a time I've spent an afternoon pushing myself to get to level 100, which is certainly no mean feat.

The game itself is relatively simple, you play as one of two dinosaurs called Bubble and Bobble (who were actually men who were changed into dinosaurs...originally called Bub and Bob) and you have to get to the last level to rescue your girlfriend who has been kidnapped. It's a simple premise and one that you don't overly care about as you make your way through the endless amount of levels.

The game mechanics are simple yet fun, proving that you don't need to have a whole host of crazy combo's to make a game enjoyable. You capture enemies in bubbles and then pop them to kill them. This then turns the enemies into fruit or other food items which can be collected for points. It's out right addictive lol.

The level designs range from the stupidly simple, to down right impossible, with every level different which is easier said than done when the creators only had a set space and blocks to work with. I will say that some are easier to do when playing the 2 player mode and you can rely on someone else to draw enemy fire while you capture them (seriously, some of those guys throw beer bottles at you lol) There are also pickups that appear at random places wthin levels that can help you out. Some sweets cause your character to blow faster bubbles, get more distance on your bubbles or give you flame breath. Soem of the 'helpful' pickups though are more of a hinderence, for example the speed shoes you can pick up, which do exactly what they say on the tin, actually hinder your ability to jump on bubbles. This ability is a vital skill in some levels, but you're moving so fast that you pop bubbles before you can jump on them.

Then there's the music. I have a love hate relationship with this music. I think it's catchy and when I hear it, I instantly think of awesome times playig this game with my sister for hours on end. But thats the thing.....hours on end....six hours of that tune is enough to drive you crackers lol. You know how some people on youtube make ten hour long videos of a short song repeated over and over again? Well this is like that. The tune lasts for about a minute at best so hours later you're about ready to give up the darn game....either that or put your controller or fist through the screen.

Seriosuly though, this is a fun and addictive game, the likes of which are something of a rarity now, which is a shame. People prefer shiny war games rather than fun addictive simple games.