Sunday, 27 April 2014

Still Alive

First off, let me apologize for the lack of updates and so forth here. I've been so busy with work and I'm still adjusting to the (ever changing) schedule they have me on that I'm generally exhausted by the time I get home at night and just want to go to bed.

That said, some issues with Youtube suddenly not allowing me to monetize any of my videos as well as SEGA flagging the most random shit in my Shining Ark playthrough has got me on the precipice of deciding to just put an end to my uploads entirely. I'd likely go for a one video per day sort of thing, at least until I finish my incomplete playthroughs, but unless I get some good news back from Youtube I just don't see why I should keep bothering to fight with them over such stupidity.

The plus side to this is that if I do stop doing constant uploads to youtube I'll have more time to play other things and thus more stuff to post here, but we'll see.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

GUNDAM BUILD FIGHTERS - Subbed And Complete On Youtube

I was in the mood for something different when I got home this weekend, so I figured I'd dig out some anime for a change. Happened to find out (among a bunch of other Gundam related news) that the whole of Build Fighters has been uploaded to youtube in HD. Hope it's as good as I've heard.




Friday, 4 April 2014

GameMiner - Yet Another Giveaway Site, Courtesy Of Our Russian Friends


I'm sure you guys must be getting tired of all these giveaway site updates, but given how busy I've been I figured any update was better than none, right? Anyway, yes, it's another one of these with a Russian twist. The premise is the same where you accumulate points over time which you can then spend to enter giveaways, but I've noticed people put up a lot of giveaways for 0 points, which is pretty cool.

Now, I'm not sure sure but you may need an invitation to join this one. If that's the case you can just float me a message on youtube, google+ or backloggery and I can send you an invite no problem. You can find the GameMiner website over here: GameMiner - Win Steam Games or Contribute to the Community

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

I've been wanting to play the new XCOM games since they were released, but until very recently I haven't had a good enough PC to run them at anything even close to playable. I now have a decent GPU, however, and The Bureau happened to be the game I chose when I got to the X section of my A-Z backlog challenge. I knew full well what to expect from the game, and given it was a 3rd-person shooter with RPG-lite elements ala Mass Effect I figured it suited me perfect, though now having finished it I'm left with mixed feelings.


Story:

The Bureau follows William Carter and an organization known as 'The Bureau' as they attempt to repel an alien invasion of Earth sometime in the 1962, at the height of the Cold War. The plot moves about how you'd expect just by reading that one line, with no real surprises until literally the very last mission of the game.

I thought the setting was fairly unique and neat, and I did enjoy wandering around the base/quest hub listening to all of the filler dialogue and looking for notes and such with bits of lore in them. Sadly, most of the characters were generally unrelatable or just plain unlikeable, with the one big exception essentially getting killed off early on in the game. The main character himself starts out reasonable, but due to a plot bit that I won't spoil turns out to be the worst character in the game.

 

Gameplay:

Gameplay in The Bureau handles quite similarly to Mass Effect, with the player splitting their time between cover based action sequences and exploring a central hub with NPCs who all have dialogue wheels to go through between missions. As I said, the combat and mission structure is downright identical to Mass Effect: Pick your team, get dropped off, move from setpiece to setpiece while engaging groups of enemies at points between that are conveniently peppered with chest-high walls for cover. This isn't bad, mind you, I had a good deal of fun with the missions until they startted throwing shielded-armored-super enemies at me in groups at the end.

However! There were waaay too few optional missions considering how short they are. I think there were maybe 5 or 6 in total, when there should have been at -least- twice as many. The game felt short, really short. Add on to this that the dialogue segments did little more than flesh out the lore (whereas in Mass Effect or Dragon Age they may have opened up new side missions, etc.) and I had reached the final mission and the aliens were leaving Earth before I knew it.



Summary:

Given how much this game apes one of my favourite franchises in gaming history (Mass Effect), I should have adored it. It ended up being only average due to the strange pacing of the game and the fact that I didn't really like any of the characters at all. If you, like me, enjoy a good 3rd Person Action RPG, there's no reason not to at least give it a try, just don't expect it to be up to snuff when compared to some of the better ones.
 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Gaming Progress Report - March 28, 2014

First, let me apologize for the lack of updates recently. I'd been having issues with my extracted teeth and then I landed a new job that's kept me busy and also exhausted. That said, I'm going to at least make an effort to keep this thing alive, just don't be surprised if updates stay slower during the week.
 


World of Warcraft:

Yes, I know. I only decided to reinstall this because an acquaintance gave me 30 days free he had laying around, but even so. I'm looking forward to the new expansion and even though it's not coming out for quite some time, it's not as if there are any other MMOs out right now that I'd rather be playing at this point. I'm really just messing around with leveling, anyway, no major commitments like raiding.

If anyone is interested in chatting me up, the characters I spend most of my time on right now are Magicpierre on Wyrmrest Accord Horde, and Milhaust and Aihm on Wyrmrest Accord Alliance.


Yakuza: Black Panther:

Honestly, I've never given the Yakuza series a second glance over the years. Not necessarily because the games don't suit me, they've just never done anything to catch my eye. I picked this oneup because I was looking for an import title that was different that my youtube viewers might enjoy, and I'll be darned if the game isn't growing on me.

I only had a basic idea of what the series was like, and was surprised when this particular entry turned out to be something like God Hand crossed with a JRPG in a modern day setting. The cutscene art style is also excellent, and I'm finding myself excited to see more of them. I expect to post a full review of this when I finish it up.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Gala Giveaways - From The People Behind Indie Gala


Here's another website that's all about entering free giveaways for games, though this one is hosted by the folks behind the Indie Gala bundles, so those of you that were hesitant to trust my Steamgifts article (though I dunno why you wouldn't) need not fear their keys being logged.

The premise behind the site is pretty much identical to Steamgifts, you generate points over time as people submit their games and you then use those points to enter these giveaways for a chance to win a game. The difference here is that Gala Giveaways carries games for Desura as well as Steam, and as far as I know they don't have a minimum Steam account value necessary to sign up, though don't quote me on that.

Admittedly, I don't use Gala Giveaways as much as the other sites of it's kind, but that's mainly because the website always seems to load extremely slowly for me. This could be entirely because of my Canadian interwebs though, so judge for yourself. I've only won a few games from them, but when I have it's always been straightforward and I've never been jerked around (as I have been with another site I'll cover in a later update).

What I won:
Red Faction: Guerilla
Gemini Rue
Indie Game: The Movie

You can find the site over here: http://www.galagiveaways.com/home

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Valkyria Chronicles 3

When I'd heard that Valkyria Chronicles 3 was almost finished being fan translated I was stoked as all get out. I've never had a chance to play the first one, and the second felt like more of an anime high school drama than a war epic, so this promised to be something truly excellent. Thankfully it lived up to almost all of my expectations, and more than made up for the lukewarm entry into the series that was VC2.


Story:

Valkyria Chronicles 3 takes place during the same war as the first game in the series, though this time you're not following a celebrated group of soldiers, instead taking the role of the captain of a penal unit that takes on impossible missions in exchange for pardons. The tone is a bit darker than the previous games, with the story emphasizing the corruption on either side of the war and the lengths to which some people will go to do what in their minds is the right thing. This brings us to one of my two complaints on the game.

 As much as I liked the story and the setting I felt as if the game started to drag on after a while, with some of the plot points being needlessly stretched out, at least in my opinion. If the game had been maybe five chapters shorter it would have been damn near perfect. Up until the halfway point I had been doing all the missions, optional or otherwise, but at that point it all felt so filler-y I stopped and just rushed through the rest of the game. There's even a whole bunch of post-game stuff with even more story that I've yet to touch.




Gameplay:

Having played Valkyria Chronicles 2, I had a good idea of what to expect from this before even picking it up. The player gets a certain number of moves per turn to maneuver squad members across the battlefield, putting them into cover and firing on enemies or capturing points. While you're moving you're constantly being shot at by the enemy, so you need to minimize time spent out in the open and be as quick as you can.

Now, here's where my second complaint about the (and really the series as a whole) comes in, because despite really enjoying the gameplay style, I always felt as if I was playing the game "wrong". I'll be the first guy to admit that I'm not the pro gamer I was when I was younger, I prefer to take my time in games, play defensively and deliberately. Unfortunately, you get punished for doing just that in the VC series.

See, the ranking you get at the end of each mission (and by extension how much money you get because it's directly tied to your rank) is based on how many turns it took you to complete it in. What this means is that if you don't rush rush rush through every mission, you get ranked very low, and thus end up starved for war funds. It's frustrating, and it honestly doesn't make sense for soldiers to be dashing right past lines of enemy soldiers, tanks and turrets as fast as they can instead of slowly advancing and taking advantage of cover. Maybe it's just me, but I just found it hard to feel immersed because of this.


Summary:

Those two issues aside, I had fun with Valkyria Chronicles 3 and am thankful for the team who fan translated it for going to the trouble. If you liked either of the other games and are hungry for more, there's honestly no reason not to try this out now, and even if you're new to the series the game is isolated enough from the overarching plot of the first game even though they take place parallel to each other that you can easily understand what's going on.

You can pick up the translation patch here:
http://vc3translationproject.wordpress.com/