Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Retro FFXIII

This is singlehandedly the best thing I have seen in at lease the past 4-5 hours!

It's so beautiful, I cant help myself!

Best use of Square artist's time

Love and is singlehandedly a word?

Richie X

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pokemon Bank

Every day I wake up and I check for Pokemon
Every day I die a little inside.

Love and Cofagrigus,

Richie X

Thursday, January 16, 2014

One Piece: Romance Dream

Yeah Sorry we are talking about yet another 3DS game, we promise we will talk about some real games soon... Probably.

After Xmas I was bored, I was bored of waiting for Pokemon Bank. And I just kept going in and out of the shop over and over. I had some funds left over and decided to give One Piece: Romance Dream a punt. One Piece is one of those very accessible anime Series, though with over 600 episodes is daunting to anyone outside the circle. I like it. But there has never really been a good or accessible tie-in game, similar Anime's such as Dragon ball, Naruto and Bleach get churned out titles all the while.

But yeah anyway, One piece game on the 3DS, it follows the plot, uses all the revamped TV episodes. And in between the footage, you have most likely seen, you have the crew running in tunnels, looking for boxes and trying to avoid long winded turn-based battles. If it did not have the One Piece licence... This game would not deserve a second glance. That being said it does have the licence and they do the characters justice with a lot of attention to the character animations. I find myself coming back to this game purely to see how the characters were animated. I'm playing the game to see the next special move... Is that a viable dragon to chase? Is there any other games out there in teh past where you thought, I'll get through this mediocrity to see Character X's throwing move, or just to get to the next level to unlock, Limit break 3? Is this a viable reason to play any game!?

I guess - 5/10

Love an Viability,

Richie X

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Crimson Shroud

We were so so lucky over Christmas we're in the ridiculous happy situation of having a stack of games to play through. We picked up Starship DamreyCrimson Shroud, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Star Fox 64 3D, Fire Emblem Awakening, the Pokemon typing game and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. It's a great place to be, we're not taking this wonderful wonderful situation for granted. The only downside is what do we play first? Unfortunately, it looks like Nintendo eShop title, Crimson Shroud won't get a look in for a long time. We've played 6 hours of it so far. It got great reviews, technically it's an astonishing feat but with so much other gameplay to get through it's too.... well here's out quick thoughts (tm).


What we liked

  • The aesthetic. It looks like a lovingly detailed tabletop game complete with branded characters bases.
  • The ridiculous depth of the statistics.
  • You get to roll virtual die. Second only to rolling real die. 
  • The story unfolds like a Dungeon Master reading narrative.
  • It reminds us of the awesome Heroquest game on the Amiga.
  • It reminds us of epic Heroquest sessions back in the day.
  • There's a lot of game for a fiver (we picked it up during the Guild sale on eShop).


What we didn't like so much

  • Grindy old school RPG mechanics.
  • Really old fashioned RPG battle dynamics: balance healing, buffs, debuffs and damage. Rinse. repeat.
  • Limited enemy character types in the first six hours at least.
  • Long drawn out battles that don't suit the handheld format.
  • Long battles that you sometimes end up losing and having to redo.
  • Die rolls are only used for combat, could have been used for searching, perception tests etc.


Ultimately, it's just too long for me. A lot of people didn't like Starship Damrey for how short it was and reviewers praised Crimson Shroud for how long it was. Crimson Shroud could have benefited with tiresome padding being cut out but, well we're not the 13 year old gamers with too much time on our hands we used to be and I much prefer a tight 'short story' experience than one that is unnecessarily made longer by having to repeat battles to 'level' up to get past the next sticking point. If you do have oodles of time on your hands and like old school RPGs then go for it but with Fire Emblem and Bravely Default providing huge time sinks on the 3DS, gamers are somewhat spoiled for choice and short on time. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Fire Emblem: Dying

We're finally on the Fire Emblem:Awakening train! Choo choo. To be honest, we've never really played a Fire Emblem game and until the last few installments they've been somewhat stealth releases in Europe (hence why a mint copy of 2008 Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for the Wii will set you back £70-£100).

It wasn't until Super Smash Brothers that I even knew this series existed. The latest game, Fire Emblem: Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS widely received rave reviews and we can see why. It's a great little turn based tactical role playing game (for non-gamers you move little people around on a map) but an important element of the game is building up relationships between units that fight with each other so that your characters can fall in love. Aaaaaaah. Also, the game features 'perma-death', actually characters are 'retired', so if a character falls on the field of battle you're left with the decision to either go back to your last save sometimes undoing hours worth of progress or soldier on with the death of a character on your conscience. Already there are some characters I've totally fallen for (Miriel you have my heart, sorry I-can't-even-remember-your-name we're done), protect dearly and go back to my last save point if they befall a tragic death. Others. Meh. They probably deserved it. Here's the three that have died so far. 

Donnel. Early on in the game there's a side quest that if you play the right way will allow you to recruit farmhand Donnel to the team. Enough reviewers have spoiled the fact that this is something you very much want to do. In our game Donnel lays face down in the dirt in the ruins of a bandit camp we saved his mother from. What do you expect with a saucepan for a helmet?
Gaius Another failed recruitment drive. In another mission you have to protect the ruler of a kingdom from an attack on her castle. The game makes it clear that one of the enemies in this mission, thief with a heart of gold Gaius, is a character you might be able to recruit (the teddy bear badge gives it away). The problem is his face is just too weak to counter attacks. What can I say? It was self defense. R.I.P Gaius.
Sumia Sumia is very much a lovable clutz who is very green on the battlefield. She finds her stride when she befriends a stray ornery pegasus (breaking it in doesn't sound quite as nice). She also finds that she becomes extremely vulnerable to arrows in the face. What can I say? War is a cruel mistress and what goes up....

We're only six hours into the game. I expect there will be more, ahem 'casualties'. Especially characters I find quite tiresome. They might find themselves on the somewhat over exposed flanks of my columns if they aren't careful hey Maribelle? Hey? Why don't you go and check out that blind valley Maribelle? We'll wait here for you. Sure. Don't wander out of eye shot. That's it Maribelle. A little bit further...


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Are mobile games any good yet? 2014 edition

Yeah they are not too bad. Still a bit arse-rapey with monetization.

Love versus Zombies 2,

Richie X

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Le Geek C'est Chic

We are constantly getting asked for fashion advice here at TGAM. To save us from constantly handing out geek fashion tips on a person by person basis like a budget Gok Wan we've decided to give you a run down of the hottest threads right here on the blog. Generous to a fault. Of course, aside from those whacky cosplayers, your standard geekware is T-shirt and jeans. Badges (that's pins to our Yankee cousins) are sometimes acceptable too. Here's our 2014 collection for your eyes only. 

Fossil Warhol. A montage of the original 9 evolved fossil Pokemon. The eagle eyed amongst you will spot that these are the shiny forms. Of course Nintendo have now made this print vintage by adding two new fossil Pokemon in X and Y so expect the price of these to sky rocket. This one's a Richie original design. You can buy it on REDBUBBLE right here

Understated, simple, toxic. Get it here

Another Richie original. Of course, if your handle isn't Cunzy1 1 and you aren't obsessed with Omastar then it may not be the right look for you. Check with your personal stylist before buying.

This Tee we got from Camden Market. According to the stall owners they're all original designs. We're not too sure about that but one thing we will say is that this T-shirt will definitely get you some knowing nods, some winks and maybe more...

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet now two sets of interests, overlapped will ever be niche enough again. This one's an essential for the Jurassic Park/Pokemon fan. Sadly out of print now. There's a bunch of alt JP/Pokemon designs out there but this one's our favourite. 

Another Camden 'Town original'. For that retro look because it doesn't have a Wii-U or a 3DS on it see?

So we think you've got enough ammunition to give your wardrobe that well needed refresh. Remember darlings your body is art. No need to thank us for the loving you'll get just make sure you whisper "That guy's a maniac" into the ear of your loved one at the critical moment. That's all we want. That's all we've ever wanted. 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Yet another Lego Game...


Back once again for the renegade master, D4 damager, power to the people.
Back once again for the renegade master, D4 damager, with the ill behavior.

More Lego games... YAWN... Break blocks,build blocks, play through it all again to get all the secrets. Its the same thing over and over, boring innit!

WRONG...

Its fucking great You get to break blocks, build blocks, and it's so good, you get to play it twice. AND ton top of all that its fucking Marvel, and so much fucking Marvel anyone and everyone from the Marvel universe is involved, you cant really hope for more...

...Well, maybe Pizza and a Blowjob.

Because we are lazy, we dropped a note out to our ravenous stalker-fans asking for what they think of the game. Here is a few of the things they said:

"Marvel Lego: Yay"
"Lego Marvel is quite the something though"
"I like it alot the grafics are rele good and the lego men are kool"

Love and Fatboy Slim btw,

Richie X

Monday, January 06, 2014

Omastar Comics #37

It's been a while since a canon entry in the ongoing saga of Omastar.

Well. That's a Cyrus-like turnabout. Whatever happened to the sweet young Omastar from back in the day? Gross.




Adapted from the 19th century original The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife by Hokusai.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Goodship Damrey

Recently all of the Guild series titles were on sale on the Nintendo eShop for 3DS. Before we go on it seems like Nintendo have been watching the rest of the gaming field and taking bits and pieces to significantly up their own online shop to maximise success. In the last couple of months there have been a number of good titles on sale. A worrying amount. A potentially bankrupting amount. We snapped up Resident Evil Revelations with 50% off. But with titles like the Guild series, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and 3D classics like Super Mario Brothers 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog being discounted to mere pounds, to less than the price of a standard measure of whatever beverage you prefer to drink, then what the heck. Why not? Weirdest of all is that retailers are matching the eShop prices or perhaps the eShop is matching retail prices. Either way we're a million miles away from when your average decent game cost upwards of £50 and you had to go to a fucking brick and mortar shop on the off chance they'd stock it. GAME. rant. coming. on. Must. Must. Resist.

Okay, we're better now. Sorry about that. 

Someone's been watching Aliens.
Back to the Guild series sale. We'd seen a few reviews of various titles but it wasn't until they were on sale for less than a fiver when we decided to risk disappointment and spend a tenner's worth on two of them. The two that piqued our interest by virtue of being a bit different were The Starship Damrey and Crimson Shroud. Of the two we've enjoyed The Starship Damrey the most by far. If we were to lower ourselves to the common parlance of the forums we'd even go so far to describe it as a gem.
Shades of 'This game plays you as much as you play it' and the shades of 'yeah riiiiiight' that go with it.
It's been marketed in a very odd way. The above screenie pushes a gimmick that really doesn't fit with this game, nor is it apparent after the relatively straight forward controls are worked out. Images of the tired tired out-of-place scary little girl trope were also part of the marketing but again scary little girls aren't really the focus or the strength of the game. 

Unfortunately, we can't go into too much detail about the game without spoiling it. It's short, we'd seen all there was to see in under 3 hours and this seems to be a common complaint. However, this is a video game with all the classic video game bullshit normally wedged in to lengthen the playtime completely stripped out. There's no lengthy collectible side quest, no ridiculous grinding and no Devil May Cry 4, you've-played-through-it-now-you-have-to-play-back-through-it-all-as-another-character nonsense either. Some sources seem to resent that it's not video gamey enough or that it can't easily be put in one genre or another (again reviewers complaining that it isn't the first person horror game it shouldn't have been billed as being). Other reviews that we've seen seem to resent that the robot main character controls like a robot. Perhaps all first person characters should be 30 something white men with CoD controls then yeah? It's tough to call but it seems that some game journos and some gamers are developing a habit worse than the film critics who don't do foreign films because of the sub-titles. It's a bit different because the mechanics of the game are normally demoted to the functional, how you play the game. When the controls are used to encourage the role-playing, in this title replicating the difficulty of remote controlling an outdated robot, lesser reviewers take issues with the controls.

Some, won't even try The Starship Damrey due to the brevity and at the normal price point of around £7 we'd say that's fair. However for a fiver it's a tight experience that makes us long for more titles like this. In fact more spaceship based titles in general please. The Starship Damrey brought back memories of Sentient, Beneath a Steel Sky, Metroid and the isolation of the early Dead Space titles. It really hits home how with the infinite possibility space that games could occupy the dozen or so well worn settings, stories and pathways really are just that. 

It's linear too, there's a few moments of head scratching but after you figure out that your access around the ship is essentially gear gating, the solutions to problems with the resources available become obvious without becoming frustration. What this game lacks in length and complexity it more than makes up for with atmosphere, narrative and there is one perfect moment of humour (also our favourite cutscene in any video game of this century so far). The devil is in the details and there's a few lovely touches here that put bigger titles like Beyond Two Souls abysmal effort with it's split ending to shame. There's a smattering of post-credit stuff to do and it doesn't take long but is worth it for what amounts to an extra screen in the ending sequence and two extra files on the menu screen.
The key to moving on was so obscure and so unfairly hidden that I felt more frustration when finding it than relief. Quote from this IGN blog. Some less intelligent players may struggle without glowing waypoints and hand holding. 
We also got incredibly protective of the main character, essentially a robot, the wonderfully generic AR-7 even going so far as to hide the robot from potential harm in the closing moments of the game which the entirety of the journey had been building up to. Sadly there isn't any fanart yet (or will there ever be probably) but we formed more of an attachment to AR-7 than we have many a game hero of late (tellingly, we don't even remember the name of most protagonists despite spending hours and hours with them).

If you like video games and want something a bit different then we'd recommend you spend less than a fiver and half an afternoon with The Starship Damrey. We'd also like to applaud Nintendo's efforts at highlighting the games on the eShop significantly better than they handled the DSiWare and WiiWare shops in the past. The Guild series all had mini interviews with the creators which also serve as their trailers on the eShop. It's still relatively early days for the eShop so we're eager to see if  they can keep up the pace, highlighting some of the more obscure titles and unlike the magpie-like store fronts of other consoles, not focusing on what's new and shiny when the number of titles starts to hit the thousands. 

Lastly, despite The Starship Damrey being out for over six months when we downloaded it there was a real dearth of reviews out there from the larger and slightly more credible sources out there. Newer games have it even worse, we couldn't find a single review for a couple of the titles on sale and it seems that few, ahem, 'game journos' have decided to review re-releases and 3D updates. Is there really more mileage in every source reviewing the same six games as everyone else every week? Doesn't make sense to us. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Killer is Dead

So we bought Killer is Dead. We could say that we bought it because it is a 3rd person Hack 'em up, with a cool edgy art style. We could also say we bought it as we were fans of No More Heroes and other Suda51 titles. In actuality be bought it for the Over-The-Top Misogyny and the CG Boobies!.





They all want to do it with you!

We love misogynistic games, anything hyper-sexualised is always a winner. Never mind this issue about women in games or how they are ruining the industry.

But in all seriousness... The game is mediocre, generic hack/slash game with poorly implemented Dodge and counter mechanics. The art style is, um.. Stylistic, however It doesnt work, it makes these Hi-Res "rounded" models look very PS2-ish. It's all too extreme, and actually poorly implemented with jagged Anti-aliasing, which I consider an insult to me, I bought a fucking console which can make this pretty, but they fucked it.

The story and atmosphere is its only redeeming factor pretty and different. Contract killer/agency, weird killer robots from the moon, idyllic locations, all very sleek.

But in anycase, oh i don't know... Six out of Ten.

Love and Round boobies,

RIchie X