Monthly Archives: September 2013

NekoJonez: Are digital downloads really a benefit for the market?

steamos_2_web-100055303-large_thumbAre platforms like Steam and Origin really a benefit for the games market? Must everything now go digital or is that something that might doom the market? Let’s think about it. I think that this movement is a double-edged sword. It’s good but there is a big “But”. Cap was intended. I can’t deny that platforms like Steam and other have many advantages. But clearly, I have also a blaming finger to raise. I talked and discussed with many of my friends about this. From people in ButtonSmashers, Arpegi and outside of both of them. And after many rewrites, I think it’s time to voice my view on this. Feel free to debate with me on this in the comments. Flame comments will be removed of course. 

My biggest problem

Many people see this as the way of the future. Everything needs to go digital. It makes things so much easier. Yet, there is a big issue that comes with this. Security. Think about this, that your account is hacked and you lost all your progress and games. Or worse, they got your bank information. I have no doubt in my mind that this is something hackers in the future will be able to achieve.

Another issue is the fact that privacy is gone. Some people want to hide that they game since for some companies that are a big no if you want to be hired. Gamers have a big reputation thanks to some events that the media blew out of proportion. So, you have to hide. In addition to that, you can’t really hide your “guilty pleasure” games anymore. You know, those games that make your reputation of “hardcore gamer” go poof as snow for the sun.

And don’t get me started about abusing the system. There are some many ways to cheat the system and make fake money that can be used to buy games then. I wouldn’t be surprised if a good percentage of the sales on those digital platforms are actually illegal purchases gone undetected.

Android market feel

 

Best-Free-Android-Games-Of-2013I’m not going to lie, I bought a ton of games on Steam the past month. But I really man, a lot of them. And my fear got actually confirmed. I felt like being in some online app store. Where you can easily download games and install them. And I kept playing a part of the game and when I got a bit bored of the game, I downloaded the next one.

Isn’t that a bit harsh? There can be boring moments in a game but when you wouldn’t have this Steam or Origin, it was your newest game and then your motivation was higher. At least in my case.

Also, as a retro gamer, I saw that nearly all the games I played in the past are on Steam as well. I’m afraid I won’t survive any sale if one happens of a game on my wishlist.

My point here is that it became too easy to find new games and you start to think less about your budget. It’s not new that I hear people say that they got a ton of games from a sale but if you really look to it, how many games are actually played and or finished from the ones they bought? Probably not all of them.

Big dogs smelled money.

Before I explain my next point, I want to talk about another thing. I’m a big-time collector. If I’m at a garage sale, my mood is like: “Buy all the games!”. If I had the money for it, I would. Yet, going to a garage sale and trying to hassle or look for a game. That feeling of going home with a new stack of games felt so rewarding. And that’s a feeling I have lost with Steam and Origin. You just push in some numbers and do one or two clicks. You can’t hassle or try to lower the price. And looking for a game is just a search away.

But this is actually a nightmare for collectors. Physical copies are a thing of the past. I love being able to hold a game in my hands and showing it off to my friends and being like: “Hey, look I got this new game.” That might be a bit bragging but hey, who doesn’t do that from time to time?

But what in the name of the good games are big companies like Atari and Square doing on Steam? Selling their big titles like Call of Duty, Final Fantasy and various other franchises. Honestly, I don’t think it’s good for that. If I would be Steam, I would have only allowed indie or start-up developers to make their big entree in the market.

Scary

I’m also afraid that the ease of DLC for developers on Steam might slowly be the new norm. The satire game DLC Quest might become the future reality one day. In this game, you can’t even go left at the start of the game. You have to buy the DLC for it when you have enough in-game coins. And I have this one game called Tomb Raider that has a big load of DLC and yeah, I bought it all. Just because I hate when I don’t have the complete package.

One of the final issues I can come up with is maybe one of the scariest things. The fact you and those developers become independent (Edit: Thanks for noticing my mistake here BloodCat.) from one company. Image how big of a catastrophe it would be if Steam went bankrupt. Or when they couldn’t handle the server load and much data is lost. Scary thought no? Or that they become so big that local game stores go out of business. Many jobs lost.

In conclusion

I can’t deny that platforms like Steam or Origin are great things. Many indie developers can show off their games. You can also buy games that your local game store might not offer. And if those stores are too far away, you can easily buy them on those platforms.

But if you look at it, there are big flaws in this system you can’t deny. I won’t go explaining them again since I talked about it in this article. I’m sure that I forgot some things in my article but I’m sure that I got the most crucial written down.

Maybe a good message is that you shouldn’t forget that there are retailers and various other things to get your games outside of Steam and Origin. It’s such a nice thing in our gaming culture so let’s not go to a culture where we sit in front of a computer and don’t much a muscle to get our games since you can easily get them on Steam.

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Rant #007: First Impression: The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (PC/Steam) ~ Major Letdown.

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Steam Store link

As a big fan of online video of gaming like AVGN, I was really looking forward to a game of him. When I pre-ordered it on Steam, I tried to not hype myself up. This way I could go in with an open mind as possible. And when I saw that one of the YouTubers I follow posted a screenshot on his Facebook fan page, I knew the game released earlier then it was planned. And man, that’s maybe what the letdown of this game is. Maybe I don’t get the humor that hold up this game but this game has various flaws that really break the game for me and make it a whole let less fun. I’m even doubting if this is a game, rather then an ode to James Rolfe. With the game next to me, I’m going to do the article in a sort of “First Impression” style. But list it under rants. Let me as a Neko Nerd rant about this will ya?

Overload of AVGN.

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I wouldn’t be surprised that many people will disagree with me and like this game. But hey, let me remind you that opinions differ. I might hate a game you like. But let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on this article and the game. The first issue that I have with the game is the terrible scripting.

If this is a game to honor the work of James Rolfe, I think they made a serious design flaw. But it was a difficult thing to do. Do you make a terrible game like the one James always reviews? Or do you make a great game with terrible games in it? They went for the last option but clearly, the execution is more leaning to the first.

I get that James is sucked into a shitty game but that doesn’t excuse the  overuse of bad words that public television has to censor. Each one-liner is in this game. And without the voice of James Rolfe to give it character, the annoyance factor kicks in fast.

The first issue is already present at the option screen. This option screen is terrible to work with. Also, this game doesn’t offer any setting to customize your keyboard settings. And the lay-out is laughable. It’s a shame to admit that I have an AZERTY keyboard and I promise you, the lay-out of the keys makes the game even harder then it’s already now.  In addition to that, I have something nitpicky. “Clear Save DataX”. What in the name of game design is that “X” doing there? And why are the stats on that same page? -Sigh- This is going to be harsh.

Unpleasant feelings

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It didn’t take long or I finished the tutorial level. One thing I have to give this game credit for is the fact that this game is really good with it’s source material. But like I mentioned before, they gone way to much overboard.

Graphically, the immersion in the game isn’t really working. While this game gives off a 8/16 bit vibe, the exploding enemies and various other animations are more modern. Also, many things are changed as a reference towards a review of James.

This game is extremely difficult. I love myself some challenge, and I often play a platformer but this game just isn’t my slice of cake. You barely have any room to move around or carefully plan your strategy. Everything goes way to fast. And the instant death blocks are just a pain in the ——! There are way to many of them.

There is something I like though is the music. The is extremely well done. I love the soundtrack to this game and in some levels I even want to rip it from the game and put it in my music library. And the sound effects and all that are pretty great too.

But then I go back to the other stuff. While the controls are pretty responsive, the pause menu is a bit frustrating. When you open the menu, you can continue with the same button you opened it. But when you want to exit the level, you need to go to the option for it and press the action button instead of that menu opening key.

Dirty game

steamworkshop_webupload_previewfile_136246834_preview (1)Be warned! There is a nudity level in this game. And it’s shamelessly using the games James reviewed in that one Atari episode. Playing it just made me feel unpleasant. Like the level design. It’s great yet way to full of enemies. Not clear which one you can kill and which ones you can’t.

And I sometimes was even able to kill an enemy and later in the same level, it couldn’t be killed. Like the bubbles. Well, that brings me to a major level design flaw in this game. This might maybe be just me but remember what I said about overdoing it? Well, the levels are named after some popular reviews of AVGN. That’s great. Just, you see more Mario type things suddenly appearing in a CastleVania level? What happened here? A game cross over?

Another plus is that the game doesn’t go back to the desktop when I clicked here on my browser to continue writing the review. I’m so glad they added that feature.

Also, I’m disappointed in the fact that everything is a platform level. At least, every 10 levels I played. There are also other characters but I have yet to unlock them. And I haven’t used the power-ups since I barely find them. Maybe that’s because I’m playing on a certain difficulty. At least there is level selection and check points so that makes my pain a bit less hard to bear.

In conclusion I can say this. This game is a mediocre game. It’s not worth the current price. Nearly 15 bucks is a bit too high. The game isn’t that good quality for that. A price like 7,5 would be way better. This game needs some polishing. Like adjustable controls and a revision of the level design. Is a worth a play? Yes, it’s not terrible, I’m enjoying it but even with the low expectations, I’m disappointing. I feel that they could have done a lot more then what is in the game. It feels lacking in terms of content. Since it’s only platforming. Also, the high difficulty might be a turn off to some. But I’m sure that the nudity level is one of the biggest turn offs! There is nothing wrong with nudity but a whole level and presented like that is just overboard.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this little rant of mine. I’ll do my best to finish and beat this game so I can fully review it. But this game’ll not be beaten soon since I have a minor disliking for it like shown. But I’m starting to add to something I finished. Jonez out.

NekoJonez: Hiroshi Yamauchi, why?

Hiroshi_Yamauchi,_former_Nintendo_president.jpgEvery self respected Nintendo fan… No, not good. On the 19th of September a big drama happened at Nintendo HQ. Wait, no! That’s not good either. -Sighs- Sorry, I am just not feeling all happy and good right now. I wasn’t planning on doing any content right now. Today is a day we remember somebody who left us yesterday. Hiroshi Yamuchi lost his final continue. He left us at the age of 85. For the people who think: “Why is there so much fuzz about this guy?” Let me enlighten you with some knowledge. This man is a revolution. He helped Nintendo save the gaming market with the big game crash in 1975. He helped Mario and Zelda get popular and house hold names. This great God in the game industry died of pneumonia. Which is an infection of the lungs for those who don’t know. He was in charge of the company from 1949 until 2002. Yesterday, he served his last day here on earth.

Goodbye

I changed my mind today. I decided to write an article to support the family and friends of Hiroshi. Also, to inform all Nintendo fans of this sad event. I admit that I didn’t sleep well past night. This man is a God in my eyes. He helped making various amazing games and he made the company I love big.

Image this. He made of a card trading company, a world leading video game developer. He made many revolutions, or at least took part in many of them. If we would talk about this man in depth, then we would be here for years. His Wikipedia entry is long enough to prove that.

I call upon all Nintendo fans to join in the mourning of Nintendo this weekend. His funeral is this Sunday according to an article I read on BBC.

I can assure you that writing this article is a difficult one. My mind is everywhere. I want to write something amazing to honor this guy but I can’t create good idea’s. I even got teary eyes while writing this.

Thank you.

I’ll just go with this then. This might be a short article, I just want to say to him, thanks. For all the work you have done. For everything. You showed the way how a small company can become big!

You deserve a spot among the biggest of biggest. You will be missed, that’s for sure. Your children and your wife, your family and friends. Your company and fans. We all will light a candle to remember you.

Thank you Hiroshi Yamauchi.

First Impression: Alan Wake (PC) ~ Questioning Reality.

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Official website

While doing research for this game I found something extremely odd. The official release of this game is 18+ yet the limited edition is 16+. Oh well, that’s the least of my concern. I don’t remember writing this first impression, yet it suddenly appeared on my blog. Alright, strange. Now something similar happened to me like to Alan. But thankfully I published some content on a blog that wouldn’t harm me as much as it did to Alan. He ran through the dark woods. Seeing a shack with a computer. On there, he bought a game for a friend of his on Steam. In return, he was allowed to choose out of a few games out of the inventory of that friend. He choose the Alan Wake Franchise since that was the game that interests him. (Personal note: that’s how I got this gem :3 ). Yet the nightmare started there. Scary things beyond his imagination started happening. He wasn’t able to finish a book in a long time. That poor writer. He felt he deserved a break and he set out to have a vacation. When his wife betrays that vacation and actually had a plan to get him back to writing, a kidnap happened. And it actually gets worse from there on out. (Feel free to leave a comment about your views of this game and/or your opinion of this “review”)

Legit scared

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Out of the introduction you get the idea to where I wanted to go with this first impression. I actually wrote this first impression again since I actually found that it was too forced. This game is all about Alan’s latest horror book coming to live. Yet, he doesn’t remember writing it. He often sees visions of him writing it and talking insane. This all happens while he is looking for his wife.

If that doesn’t sound creepy already, well then just start playing the game. Only one or two games made me actually nearly “piss my pants.” One great example is Corpse Party. But this game just did it before I wrote this article again.

I normally talk about the story first in my reviews and first impressions. And I have to applaud the presentation of the story here. During the play, you find pages of the manuscript of the story Alan was working on. This hides information like character backstory or things that happen or even happened. This sounds already like a nice set-up for a creepypasta. But the thought of you writing the future yet not being able to control it is scary.

The story is amazing. It might get a bit confusing since it uses a certain way of making it thrilling that not many people like. It doesn’t explain a lot. But seeing that this game is heavily story based, does that destroy the replay value? Lucky us, no. You can replay the game on the highest difficulty to gain access to some parts of the manuscript which rewards players that go for the hardest of the hardest.

Creative burst

507604-alan-wake-xbox-360-screenshot-after-taking-the-last-enemyWhile playing this game, I got a vibe from a game. The gameplay felt a little bit like the latest Tomb Raider. Yet, this game is extremely far from it. But both games give off a similar survival and creepiness factor.

So, the story is extremely well done with rich and deep characters, what else does make this game worth it? I must have my reasons to back this claim up. I don’t post just for the fun on my Facebook wall that this is one of my favorite games on PC.

The graphical presentation of this game is just pitch perfect. Details everywhere. Crows that fly around, shaking screens, barely visible traps… The game is creepy when it’s supposed to be and the transition is seamless.

I heard a lot of complaints about the animation on several forums. Yet, I actually disagree. I think the mood of this game and it’s animation is well done. There were only two things that bothered me. One thing is the, according to the developer unfixable, bug at the start on the boat where the scene starts shaking if you have auto aiming on. (Which is an extremely big help by the way). And the second thing is how the animals in this game doesn’t look as smoothly created as the humans.

Finish me

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I have actually one complaint with this game. I don’t really get into it’s soundtrack. The sound design is extremely well done. And it aids a lot when you play this game with a headset that supports good stereo sound. The further you go, the more faint voices become. But the music in some places is so cheesy I just wanted to finish and leave the area.

Okay, I might have yet one other complaint. And that’s how this game uses one or two jump scares. It made me jump. And in my opinion that’s cheap. Good horror shouldn’t relay on jump scares. I don’t see a monster waiting in the bushes thinking to him or herself: “Let’s wait for a second and jump in front of him and roar a bit and then attack.” Nah, it’s too cheap. And that is actually addressed in this game. The camera often zooms out when enemies are behind your back and you are at low health.

Adventure fans like myself will have to get used to some things like automatic opening doors and the jump being actually human. Yes, don’t expect being able to jump to ledges higher then you can in real life. This adds to the game an awful lot. This makes me think big time.

So, I haven’t finished talking about this game but I’m running out of time in this first impression. I try to keep these article around 1000 words to have a quick read if you are interested in the game. So, this means that for my opinion on the gameplay, length, difficulty, controls and voice work you’ll have to wait for my full review. So, thanks for reading and I hope to catch you with my next article. I’m going back to Alan, helping him finish his journey. I have spare pants ready neko’s. Don’t you worry!

Views on the future: an update blog.

Hello there Neko’s. Today, I’ll do something different. Normally I make Neko Vlogs for this, but hey, I like to change things around once in a while. So, that’s why I’ll write the updates here in this post. What am I going to do in the future? You will read it all here. Keep in mind that I’m going to be extremely busy. This weekend I have to go acting for a theater tour here in my home town. And next week my college for elementary teacher restarts. But hey, I’ll try to do some stuff in my free time for everything. 

Personal life.

Before I actually talk about my idea’s for the future, what I’m busy with and what will be going on that might keep me from creating content. Like I said in the introduction, I’m going to have a busy weekend. Next week, I’ll be out on Monday for college, on Tuesday I have some preparation work to do and from Wednesday my college restarts.

Since I have to focus on this new challenge, my releasing of content will slow down. I’m extremely excited to meet new people and face all the new challenges that this will bring me. I’m also planning to play a part in next year’s play of my theater group.  If any of you guys read this article, know that I love you guys extremely much.

Also, I have a lot of things to do in my personal life. Like cleaning things up, organizing things and such. Some parts of my library’s and stock effects (for example) are all a big mess. So, I have to clean that up. In addition to that, I have to make sure that everything runs as smooth as it can get.

But some sad news needs to be told as well. Because I do a lot of repetitive movements due to play a lot of games and writing a lot, my right shoulder hurts from time to time. With resting and such it goes away but it sometimes stops me from working on content. So, that’s a reason why sometimes content doesn’t come daily.

I’m glad that I linked Twitter with everything. For my latest updates go to my Twitter. I announce on there when I’m sick, too tired to work on things, too busy or any other things like that.

The final thing before we move on is that I want to mention that I won’t try to put out things every day anymore. I don’t think it will be possible for me anymore. Also, I think I won’t enjoy my “work” (/hobby) as much then anymore. I’ll try to put something on my blog or YouTube channel at least once a week but daily is no goal anymore of mine.

Personal thanks

Before I continue, I want to thank you all for the support I’m getting lately. 12,500+ views and nearly 110 subscribers is really amazing for me. And that’s for my YouTube.

On my blog, I also get likes and comments on nearly every article. And it puts a smile to me face. I’m so glad that people enjoy my content and start following me. While this is actually a hobby and stress reliever of mine, I actually feel rewarded in the process. And that feeling is something unique.

For people who play sports as a hobby it feels like winning a match while the audience is cheering you on. It feels so good. I have to thank everybody from Arpegi and ButtonSmashers for the amazing feedback I get. BloodCat for example is such an amazing guy and really points out the things that didn’t go well.

Thanks to this small success, I actually got in touch with some better YouTubers and such then me. And I have ways to grow even more. Yet, this is extremely overwhelming to me. Seeing that I got some trophies from WordPress for my work and that another blog selected ButtonSmashers (and that means Arpegi also, a bit at least) for a family award… Well, I’m going to be extremely honest here. My goal is to entertain the family and make it grow. And getting a WordPress Family Award for it, it gave me teary eyes.

Like this article guys: http://afterdarkgaming.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/wordpress-family-award/ It’s really something I’m going to print out and stick on my magnet board near my desk.

I can’t wait what the future is going to bring for me. Maybe new people want me to write for them. New collaborations or solo projects. Who knows?

Future content.

Blog

I’ll be working on a lot for my blog. First of all, I’m thinking of starting a new page for Steam accounts and such. Or I might add it on the Arpegi network page.

Also, I’ll link to the ButtonSmashers networks by a new partner page I’m creating. I’m talking to the guys of ButtonSmashers to ask who wants to be on that page.

Plus, I now finishing up a lot of games at the same time. That’s why there hasn’t been so many articles lately. I’m working on finishing games to get review ready and in stock to avoid “death moments” on my blog.

And a new creepypasta is being read. This one will be exclusive for an Arpegian’s CreepyPasta Tumblr. Maybe after some time I might link it on my DevaintArt or my own blog/Tumblr.

I have some rants in preparation too. Since it has been such a long time that I wrote one. Game Diary’s will also continue. So, keep an eye on my blog for updates.

Before I forget, soon I’ll be on the “About Us” page on ButtonSmashers. I’m truly excited for that. I don’t want to push the guys there but they said it will happen soon.

Something I should have done a long time ago is the favicon of my blog. If you bookmark my blog, it will show the default WordPress logo. I have to change that! I might put my normal avatar as a temp replacement until somebody of ButtonSmashers or Arpegi makes me something. But yeah, until then I might change it to something temp.

There might change something on my blog. I might not review all games I did a first impression on. Simply because of time limits. Yeah, I don’t have loads and loads of time. And I start new games all the time. Either I have to change that habit or just make the full review a later day.

YouTube

After some stalling, today I finally started working on the final episode of Project Central. I’m 25% done with it. After that, I’ll start playing Dream Chronicles again to record a new episode of that.

As you neko’s probably have seen already, I uploaded the other episodes of Herobrine’s Return. Simply to get that series over with. I was so unhappy that my microphone bugged out and you could barely hear me. Thankfully I have a better headset now so that’s fixed.

The Corpse Party series is in a delay. Because of Hetty not having a proper mic. Yet, we are going to try to record a new episode with the internal mic of her laptop but I can’t give any promises. I might ask other Arpegians to work on new episodes with me.

I have been playing a lot of Minecraft with the Arpegians. New people joined in the crew too. Maybe they might appear in video’s. So, I played a lot on a 1.7 snapshot server and I’m talking to MiseryLC for maybe a new survival series. But we aren’t going to reset our map so, the boring grindy stuff is already done. Sadly enough, we have so ugly chuncks. Some might like it, but I’m still not sure what to do with them. I might just delete the bad things with MCEdit or something or just deal with it.

I also need to upgrade my editing software soon. Version 12 of PowerDirector was released. And I’m still rocking with version 11. The new features really caught my eye. Like an improved rendering and zoom really put a smile on my face.

The other updates are slowly getting done. Like the updating of all playlists is done. Now the description of everything and I finally did all the behind the scenes work on my channel.

Other projects

I’m saving up for a lot of new things. Like a better mouse, better speakers. And maybe even a great microphone.

But I’m mainly working on the Arpegi forums as well. I have a lot of things to fix and improve on the forums. I made an update to the YouTube support of the forum the other day actually. But it needs some tweaking.

I also need to update my other social networks to link to all the places I publish my content on. Sadly enough, I can’t link my Tumblr to my YouTube… But one day I’ll make it happen.

I’m also thinking about expanding my social networks to Facebook. But I’m not so sure about that. It might be just too much for me to keep up to date.

Final words

Anyways, thanks for reading. Now I told you all my latest updates which would be normally in a vlog. Thanks again for all the support and I’ll do my best to continue publishing my content. Thanks to all the feedback I feel that I’m improving and creating even better content for you neko’s.

Sadly enough, real life is going to eat a lot of my time soon. I’ll focus primarily on that so that I don’t get myself into trouble with that. That makes a less stressy Jonez and that results in a more creative me. And a more creative me… Yeah, I think you get the idea.

Feel free to drop me a comment. But for now, NekoJonez out!

NekoJonez: Interviewed?

Sometimes as a writer on a gaming blog, you want to insert sneaky things about yourself. You know, information about yourself. The man or woman behind the words or voice you hear. Sadly enough, I’m not interviewed by some other blog or known person. I wish I was. But anyways, I’ll answer the mostly asked questions most people get and the few questions I got on my mail. If you want to send me a mail, my address is jonez@arpegi.be. Anyways, let’s dive right into this!

Q: Set-up? Tech things?

A: Well, for writing and such I use a laptop. I hooked my laptop up to an old computer screen so I have split screen. As keyboard I use the Logitech G105.

My laptop which I use the most is the HP Pavilion DV6 1350eb. I have this badboy for over 4 years now. And I don’t plan on changing it soon. The hardware still keeps up with some of the recent games. But I mostly play retro games so new things don’t matter to me that much.

When I’m hosting a Minecraft server in order to record, I use for hosting my Dell Vostro 3350. Since my HP laptop has more memory to use to play Minecraft then.

As for my mic, I use the mic that comes with my headset. I use the Turtle Beach P11. Honestly, I dislike the design of the headset but the sound and mic are awesome.

To record, I use either Fraps or BB FlashBack. Both amazing software. If I want to make a screenshot, I often use puush. It’s extremely handy when I’m editing something. I love usingCyberlink PowerDirector 11. Yet, I plan to upgrade to PowerDirector 12 soon. If I need to edit the sound, I use Audacity.

My speakers and mouse aren’t anything special. My speakers are from my local hardware store and my mouse is a spare mouse of Logitech. My cooling pad is even from no known brand. I sometimes use a joystick. This is a the Logitech Attack 3.

If you want to know more tech details, feel free to ask me.

Q: How do you pick your games to play/review?

A: For recording, I pick games that are easy to record. I also select games that are great for commentary and don’t require hours of editing.

To review, I look at the games I have played or the games I’m playing and look if I can get enough to review a game. Many many Android games have enough content to fill 1/4 of any usual review I write, which is around 1000 – 1200 words long.

How do I pick the games I play? Well, that’s my gaming instinct. I often play games that catch my attention because of a LP, interesting cover… And over the years, I developed an instinct of games that I know that are for me to play. Also, since I collect games, I often go to garage sales so luck and fate decides there which games fall into my lap and which games I play then.

But racing, shooters and fighting games are often no-go for me. Since I don’t like the style of those games. Exceptions are always possible but I rather avoid them then playing them.

Q: What do you do besides writing and recording?

A: Well, I watch video’s and work on Arpegi. But I often play a lot of games. Minecraft being a prime example. I play that game a lot and I’m in groupchats while I host the server.

I’m also a part of an acting group who yearly brings a piece to the theater.  We have our own stage and place which makes things a lot easier on us.

Since this year, I started studying to become an elementary teacher.

Besides that, I’m often with friends and family going to movies and things like that. Going to festivals and such is nothing for me. I don’t like big crowds since I feel so lost in them and things like that.

So, in short, often creative things.

Q: Favorite X?

A: Darn you! Why do people always ask this question? Well, here we go:

  • Game: The Legend Of Zelda – Oracle of Seasons
  • Game series: The Legend of Zelda
  • Anime: Inuyasha
  • Manga: Corpse Party – Blood Covered
  • TV series: Who’s line is it anyways?
  • Movie: Indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost ark.
  • Console: Nintendo DS.

So, yeah. Anything else?

Q: Why NekoJonez? 

To make a long story short. I’m now 20 years old. The neko part is actually attached 2 years ago. A guy NekoSmash on my forum inspired me. Since I’m a big cat person, I added it to my nickname Jonez.

Jonez comes from Indiana Jones. When I was still a young Jonez, I watched a lot of Indiana Jones. From a nephew of mine gave me his first 3D adventure. Well, Indy’s first 3D adventure.

I enjoyed it an awful lot that I started to play it until my disk was broken. Then I played the levels in my backyard with my buddies.

I couldn’t hold my mount shut about it. I got the game since I rented a movie about it and my nephew had the game.

I still remember that I had to finish the game without the cheat codes. Whenever I was stuck, I went over to his house and he held his hand over my eyes so that I couldn’t see while he was typing in the code to show me how to progress.

To this day, I have finish the game 20 times. It even became a sort of Christmas tradition where I play the game each year instead of watching the same movie every year.

So, I changed the last letter to avoid law things. Yeah, I was afraid of that with my young mind.

Anyways, I think I’ll leave it here. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. If you have questions you want me to answer, be sure to leave then. Thanks already and catch you next time.

First Impressions: Pokémon Ranger (DS) ~ All These Circles Make Me Dizzy.

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Wikipedia entry. (Since the official site is updated to the latest entry in the series.)

Sometimes games have a lot of potential. And this game surely has potential. This Pokémon spin-off is based on one of the opponent types in the main series. Yet, some games then fail horribly to deliver. I was planning to make write this article in a story-ish thing-y but I wanted to be direct for this game. It made me think about something. If you ever ask yourself why I don’t review that many bad games on my blog is because the games I play are the games that catch my eye and I think are interesting to play. I also look beyond the graphics and other things while I’m playing. And I trust my instinct in order to avoid bad games. Yet, it happens that a bad game slips in here and there, but when I’m having fun and when I’m enjoying myself, that makes the game a lot better. Remember that I judge my games extremely personally. That might be a flaw of my reviewing skills, since I should actually review my games more so that I look if it would be for everybody. Anyways, I thought this was important to say since there are a lot of fans for this game. So, to avoid flaming in the comments I better explain myself. But feel free to leave me a comment to tell me how I did or what you think of this game. Anyways, here we go!

The first isn’t always the best.

ds_pokemonranger_ss01 copy

This game made me doubt my instinct of choosing great games. I’m going to be extremely honest here, this game is flawed. Yet, it’s a game I’ll finish since I want to beat the first one in the series before I continue to play the other games in the series. I did play the sequel and the 3rd game in the series and I really enjoyed my time there. I never beaten them though. Okay, Guardian Signs I had beaten but not 100%, since I had a part of the epilogue left to beat.

I’m going to dive into the parts I didn’t like of this game first. Honestly, I don’t like the overworld animation. Some Pokémon seem a bit jittery when they move and the running animation of your character is way to fast for your friend Pokémon to keep up. And this causes a lot of issues. Pokémon will no clip through walls and various other locations to reach you. When they can’t cross a certain river or other place, they will spawn next to you after a short while of being off screen.

The graphics in this game look really neat though. It’s another take on how things can look in the main series. I’m so glad they took it in an other direction yet, similar. But the level design don’t look very pleasant. Not that it looks ugly or anything but I really don’t feel the polish of the other Pokémon games that go into cities.

Bad?

ds_pokemonranger_ss03 copyBut there are other things really makes me want to rip this game apart. First of all, the map screen is a total joke. It’s actually useless. Your map is more like a radar with an arrow representing you and squares if there is a door you can enter. Also, it displays Pokémon nearby. I actually found a glitch in the map. Before the sewer part in Fall City, you need to try to get on top the entrance of the sewers, that road, and look at the map then. It’ll appear that a lot of Pokémon are there.

Secondly, I really dislike in this game is the music. It’s bland and forgettable. I actually had to play the OST to remember the music. I really hope that the music in the rest of the game makes up for the music in the first section of the game.

Thirdly, while the capturing of Pokémon is an awesome idea and it works in the game as well, it’s the only really enjoyable part of the gameplay. The locations to explore are bland and generic. Also the capturing can be really frustrating since sometimes the Pokémon will run on the side of the screen which makes drawing your circles around them a real pain to execute. Not to mention the possible damage to your touch screen if you get a bit to … circle-happy? Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the possible interruption you can have in mid-capture when your styler levels up. Yeah, it can happen.

But the biggest let down has to be the extremely weak story. Even the first Pokémon game had a better story. It suffers from cheesy-ness, generic characters and basic plots. The plot can be summed up easily by: “Superstyler is stolen by bad guys to cause evil.” No character gets depth and stay dolls on strings to play a certain role. Such a lost opportunity. This makes predicting the story extremely easy and ruins the thrill of the story.

Why do I still play this?

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By now you might think that I have given up fate for this game. But surprisingly, there is a charm in this game that keeps pulling me in over and over again. Even with the obvious flaws of this game, it remains fun. Exploring the, linear, places to progress is fun.

Finding the right Pokémon to assist you in destroying a big rock is sweet. Also, you really need to think about which Pokémon you have to take along since you can’t have them all at the same time.

The controls of this game is a major plus. You can use the D-Pad and/or the stylus to move. And it actually works extremely well. Yet, I managed to find a bug in the controls. When you have a ladder that goes down, try walking at the side. When you are in middle at the side, the screen will shake while your character continues to walk in front of him.

But in conclusion, this game is good but not great. This game plays it extremely safe to introduce us to a new spin-off that is a lot of fun. But it needs a lot of polish to make the game more fun. This game might have some serious flaws but it doesn’t destroy the game and it’s still playable. But I’m going to leave it here. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review. Until the next one. 🙂

First Impression: Nicktoons – Spongebob and Friends – Battle For Volcano Island (PS2) ~ Thou Are Summoned

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(Little blog news: Sorry for not writing a lot. I’m extremely busy. Follow me on my Twitter for updates.)

Wikipedia entry

Back when the gameboy advance SP was the latest of the latest gameboy’s from Nintendo, I could rent out games from a local game store. The same one I buy most of my games at today. I love those guys. They are extremely friendly, talk with you about games, have an amazing helpdesk… Lot of advantages. For those who are interested in some Belgium culture while learning about my opinion of the games I play, here is the site of my game store. But be warned, it’s in Dutch. Game Mania is just awesome. I rented the latest Zelda game, which was the Minish Cap, and a few other games. The GBA version of this game was among them. Bummed out that I had to return the GBA version because it was so awesome I looked all over for this game. Sadly enough, I wasn’t able to find a copy for myself. Until one day I passed by and saw this in the 2nd hand PS2 games shelf. I was thrilled. Finally a copy of this game for myself. Not the one I wanted but hey, it’s a start. My expectations where high. I tried to set them really low to avoid a major disappointment but I was happily surprised. This game is pretty great. Why, I’ll explain in this article. But don’t let you get fooled by the fact it’s a kid’s game. Don’t judge a book on it’s cover, or a game on it’s box-art. Who knows, there might be a great gem inside. Anyways, let me know in the comments how I did in this article and your views on this game. Even when you didn’t play it. So, here we go. 

Open yet closed?

blaup2006Expect it, I’ll make a lot of references and comparisions to the GBA version of this game. Something I really liked in the GBA version is the fact you could walk around and pick the order of the levels yourself. Of course, parts where locked away until you reached a certain point of the game, but you didn’t had to finish all the levels in one section before you could advance to the next section.

If this game works with the same idea, I can’t tell just yet. From what I see now, it’s a tad bit more linear. But there is a central hub. And here is the neat thing, you are free to explore the whole thing. The restrictions from the GBA version aren’t there.

But what I really like in this version of the game is how the story is presented to you. It’s a big improvement above the GBA version where the story was somewhat absent. Your goal in this game was a bit unclear, since it was only explained at the start and the end of the game. The cut-scenes in this game really aids to bring character to the story and really makes the game more fun.

Damage?

hqdefaultThis game got a lot of marks from me. But one thing makes me doubt if this game is actually worth all my praise. The absence of a proper health display is worrying. You have to guess how many hits you can still take before you die. And the only thing that happens after a lot of hits is that your green behind the still image of the character changes into orange and then into red. In the GBA version you had a limit amount of hearts. And that provided a bit more challenge. With the actual amount of health you have in this game, it gets a whole lot easier.

Another thing where this game loses points is that the music is forgettable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s does it’s job but it’s actually not good enough to want to download the OST or get it stuck in your head. On the other hand, the voice work get a big thumbs up. I really like the sound effects and I think they add more then the music to the game. The voices really makes the funny story come to live. I also like the nods to previous games and to the series of the characters who are in the game.

Graphically this game is colorful and pretty. This helps a lot when you want to explore the world since it’s a blast to do. And here is where it gets even more interesting. Thanks to a whole ton of collect-ables and unlock-ables, this game’s replay value skyrockets. And then the possibility to take multiple paths helps a lot too. Exploring this colorful world is really fun to do. And this is backed up by a lovely short loading screen where great animations are displayed.

Speaking of which, the animation in this game is good. I really like the attention to detail in some parts. Patrick’s health display also changes the more hits you receive. I didn’t see it happening with the other characters though. I really like how this game all comes together.

Finish?

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I think I might finish this game in order to review this one. I actually think they deserve it for this game.

The level design is extremely well done. They added in spawners that pop out more enemies for you to fight until you destroy the source. The combat works great for a kids game but isn’t more then mashing the attack button.

The control scheme is alright. To my knowledge, there are two different settings. But I didn’t had any complaints about it while playing this game.

I also found out that this game might be short. After finishing two levels, the save file said I completed 20% of the game. Hopefully this is a mistake since if the game is extremely short, the marks will fall in the review.

Thankfully, the game is multiplayer too. You can play this game with two players. Or that’s what I can gather with the empty not used space and the mention of “player 1”. So, I have to check on that.

Anyways, that’s all for this game. Thanks for reading and I hope to catch you at a next read. But I’m now going to continue playing games to make new articles for you guys. Cheers!

NekoJonez: CreepyPasta: Do you believe it. (Written by: NekoJonez)

Since I’m a very lazy person, I often pirate games. Sadly enough, that brings sometimes pesky malware with it. You probably have experienced it. Computer going really slow or doing the weirdest things. But after removing various pieces of malware, I actually got interested. How where they made and such things?

From that day, I watched people on the internet letting malware loose on their virtual machines. Some I found really funny. Like one where the worm starts creating millions upon millions of files to get the hard drive full. So, that you barely have space to work with.

But I wanted to write one myself for my favorite YouTuber to try out. I wanted to make it special. So, I studied coding languages day and night. To make sure it was one to never forget. After I got used to coding programs, the idea for the malware was the hardest part. I couldn’t come up with any great ideas. Until it came to me while watching a let’s play of some random crappy flash games.

I regret writing it. It caused a lot of destruction. Even I am afraid of my creation myself. And don’t worry, this isn’t a hoax or anything. I am not connected to a company like Avast or ESET to say you need an anti-virus to protect you from this piece of malware that will melt your computer because you opened a mail with the subject “I Love You.” Oh no, I just wish it was that simple actually.

I’m here to give you a fair warning. This malware can be traumatizing. I even heard stories in the news of some suicides. My deepest regrets and sympathies to the families and friends affected by my malware. But it’s up to you to not believe me. Do you believe it? Great, another human saved. Do you think I’m just writing this to scare you? Well, too bad for you, since it’s actually very real.

The malware is actually meant to give pirates a good scare. But I went too far. I even fear that somebody might have messed with my code. Like someone on of the countless forums I asked for help to get rid of bugs in my code.

The malware can take any shape. Of a rom, iso, dll file even as an emulator. One thing you can recognize it is as the file has a broken icon for some seconds. It’s not your computer lagging out, it’s actually the malware masking itself. One of the features I am proud of.

Once you are infected, the malware goes inside your games and actually messes with the coding. There will be a character in the game that makes predications. Spoilers as it were. Pulled from walkthroughs hosted on GameFaqs and similar sites. That might be mildly annoying but it doesn’t end there.

Some enemies will be more difficult and graphics might glitch out. Once these symptoms start showing I advise you to delete all your games and just factory reset your computer. To kill the malware. But if you don’t, it will only grow from here on out.

The malware will actually look for a microphone. And when you shout to a game or say that you want something cool to happen, it might actually make it happen. But it’ll cost you. Most likely the prices of the in-game items will go up to give an example. This was one of the hardest parts to code.

I also programmed something in that made games run slow if something about the devil or evil things are mentioned. It’ll slow down voice acting and give it a lower pitch so that it will sound demonic. While testing, I swear that I felt that there might be real demons inside my games. Maybe there actually were.

I remember myself saying then that I imaged that how scary it would be if the malware actually looked for real demons. And that’s the moment I regret. I’m now afraid that my coding actually pulled in real demons. But while coding it, I actually shook it off. Thinking that it might help the scare I wanted to create. Yeah, those sick jokes you make when being bored at a late night.

Back then I didn’t believe demons could be real. It was just a way to scare people or to explain in these creepy stories how the unexplainable things happened. But when I read the stories, I actually read some things that made me believe that demons might be real. Spirits with high anger that passed away and want to do us harm.

One girl said that she wanted like in Pokémon HeartGold, that her Pickachu followed her everywhere. And the malware heard her plea. And the Pickachu started following the player everywhere. Not disappearing in when surfing or being healed. And the Pokémon started to pop up in all her other games. Making shooters and such more difficult since she could never hid herself. And scary and odd textures would go on the Pickachu since other game codes don’t have that programmed.

Other boy talked about the possible fears he had if some bad guy from Devil May Cry entered the real world. And the malware listened. In random games, people where sliced in half by those enemies with big knives as arms. My apologies to the fans of Devil May Cry, I only looked at screenshots so I don’t know the name of those enemies.

A girl that lived in Germany had another scary thing happening to her. There the malware listened when she was playing Slender. To this day, she is haunted by random encounters with the Slender man. And sometimes she could only unlock her computer after finding 8 pages in maze of folders on her desktop. And the folders didn’t had the normal icons. They had all the icons of those bushes in the Pokémon games. Making it look like a forest. And if she failed, her mouse would be cut in half by some monster with a knife as an arm.

Wait, hold on. Can it be? The first incident was with Pokémon and the following incidents where with the previous games included. Oh dear, the malware is growing. Combing. Learning.

I did program one way to end it for good. On hard to reach places, there is a guy that will make predictions of the malware’s next move. And then he’ll say: “Do you believe it?” And if you say yes, the event is always delayed by some time. If you choose no, you actually speed up the event. There is actually a sequence where you select yes/no that makes the malware code break since I made a mistake in the coding I couldn’t fix. Hopefully I can find it back. And hopefully, the demon in the code doesn’t get that fixed.

So, be warned. Be on your toes when strange things happen. I don’t want to spread it any further. Aid me to destroy the malware. Don’t feed it but believe it…..

What was this? 

Some of you might be thinking now, what they just read? And saying that they are used of other things from me. Like an introduction. But this was a creepypasta. A horror-ish story about something creepy. Some creepypasta’s can go about games while others go about real life events.

Since I wrote one on my blog for the 50th post I made there, I restarted making up stories. Since I started as a fantasy story writer and evolved into a reviewer. But I got much feedback and got requests to make more creepypasta’s. So, that’s why I’m here today. Giving you a new creepypasta from the depths of my creativity.

If you are interested, feel free to read my other creepypasta: “You should have been playing.” And if you want more, just let me know. I might write more then just this one. Anyways, thanks for reading this. I hope you enjoyed and till the next article. Take care!