Monthly Archives: October 2013

NekoJonez: Review #016: Alan Wake (PC) ~ Departure

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Official website

You would have thought that I would write my 15th game review on my blog. Yet, I decided to write it here on ButtonSmashers. Why? Well, to thank the guys for the great times they gave me and because Q gives me sometimes some free games and I think that means I need to pay him back somehow. So, I write an article on one of the best horror/adventure PC games ever made, well in the recent years. Besides, for me it’s all about reaching the milestone instead of the location. Another reason why I write it on my friends blog here is that I actually got this game for free from somebody of Arpegi. And my first impression is already on my blog. So yeah. If you want to read my first impression of this game, you can do that here. Anyways, unlike Alan here, I’m not in the dark. My dark, well black, cat is sleeping in my arms, making the time I spent on this review a lot longer then I originally planned. Oh well, the two additional collector edition episodes will have to wait. I have a game to review. In my introduction I always make it clear how I got to this game. Well, I got this game as a present. I was allowed to choose between three titles for buying someone a game. I knew the title Alan Wake from seeing it on a YouTube channel called Lazy Game Reviews. I wanted to link his video but the highly trained monkey’s of Google failed to work. (Yeah, YouTube has been bugging out for me. So, after some 500 error’s I gave up.) Anyways, enough stalling of this! Let’s get on with the review. Nothing special for the 15th, just a plain old review. And my plain old invite for you to write a comment what you think about this game and/or review. 

Manuscript pages

Wake_Barry.jpgThis game blew me out of the water. One of it’s many stronger points is the writing. It’s just an amazing story. Don’t go spoiling yourself because the ending is somewhat open ended and ready for a sequel. Yet, I haven’t finished the additional DLC’s yet. So, maybe I get my answers there.

I actually bought myself the novel version of this game. And I’m pumped to read it. I can feel Wake’s pain. He’s a writer who lost inspiration. Sometimes I have that myself. But apart from a story with deep and rich characters, it’s extremely memorable. It makes a lot of twists and turns. Even Alan starts to doubt himself from time to time. It feels more human.

The presentation of the story is what made this game for me. What’s going to happen in the (near) future of a chapter is written out on manuscript pages, some are extremely well hidden. Some provide backstory to the characters. While the pages play a very important role in the game, it’s implementation is just brilliant and how it should be.

I’m so sad that I finished this awesome story and this is one that I wished I could play over and over again without knowing the story. Where is that reset button in your brain when you need it?

Well, let’s talk about this game’s gameplay. And is it something where many game developers can learn from. You play the role of Alan Wake, like I told earlier, a writer who is in trouble. This game is a mostly linear adventure game, at some moments there are two or more paths, and it’s a shooter as well. But with a big twist. Before you can hurt your enemies, you must shine your flashlight on them. I only wish that not all enemies where male. But this is such an extremely big nitpick.

Ammo?!

cabinIn the game you use several weapons. A pistol, shotgun and a flare gun. You sometimes have flares and flash bangs at your disposal. And when you explore you can have more ammo as your reward. The additional batteries I found for my flashlight came in extremely helpful.

Yet with this comes on of my few complaints with the game. The weapon selection is not that great. When you play it, you will understand me better. But it’s as simple as putting everything under the scroll wheel. So when you wish to switch your flash bangs to flares without switching your weapon, well though luck.

And your objective is nearly always the same. Go from point A to B. Yet, the journey is always extremely different. From fighting through ambushes to driving a car to an other location, the game never feels really repetitive. This game also haves some major horror mixed in. From being in the woods with a lot of bear traps and the Taken following you to being in a hospital that is consumed by darkness.

I also love how the creators of this game hid several QR codes to scan in the game. I uncovered some GIFs with it. I’m so curious with I’ll find on my second playthrough. Yes, you read it correctly, I’ll probably play through this game more then once. Not only since the highest difficulty provides all pages to find but also because of several paths I didn’t explore and I wish I did.

One other complaint I have is that the driving is a bit broken. It’s too loose. You sometimes feel like you’re riding on ice. And with sudden tight corners in the road, this game makes the driving not so easy. Plus, your car can break down. Excellent, yet a damage meter is nowhere to be seen.

While the ammo for your weapons is extremely scare, you’ll never be without bullets. If you don’t waste them that is. With a human jump and a limited sprint, this gameplay can’t be any more talked about I guess. On to the next segment! Like in the game. It’s also in parts. And when you reach the next part, a quick recap plays. This makes being up to speed with the story such an easy task.

Well lit room

poltergeistLet’s first talk about this game’s soundtrack. I like almost every track. Some songs at the end aren’t really my style but I won’t talk bad on the game because of this. The set the mood like it should. The music gets tense when it needs to. And the music gets lighthearted when there is drama.

And the sound design is how I think it should be in all games of this genre. All weapons are such a blast to use because of this. Except, I miss a bit of a ticking sound for the flash bang. But that’s the only change I would do in the sound department.

And does this game gets tense. A full 100% yes please! The further you go, the more I got on the edge of my seat. This game provides a lot of challenge. One or two parts where a bit unfair but hey, that I can let slip.

The level design is excellent. I never really felt stuck and it was always clear in which direction I should head. Thanks to the ability to press “F” to focus on the part Alan was talking about makes that you have more control in your hands and that’s something I can only applaud. The only thin I should have dropped was the clicking to start an engine for light. One time it got a bit too difficult to remain fun.

Oh, now I suddenly remember that I should have mentioned in the gameplay section that there are various additional collectibles to find. Well, now that I mention it here, I can say that this games it’s length is great. I have beaten it on normal difficulty in 18 hours. Yet, I know that I skipped some parts and I haven’t finished the DLC. And I truly look forward to beat this game again with the developer commentary playing in my headset. Yeah, I advice you that you play this game with a headset, it makes the experience a lot better.

There are also parts in the game that you play with a side kick. And it’s AI is great. I had moments where I really was saved by the AI. And there where moments where the enemies really took me off guard. And I like how the animation helps you see enemies swarm you from different directions. This makes the possibility of cheap deaths go down so much. But before we talk about that, I want to say that I had to try some parts several times. Not because of cheap things but because I was truly taken off guard or I took the situation on with a wrong weapon. The bosses really require that you use the tactics of the weapons and ammo that you have.

So to finish this review, I’ll talk about the visuals and animation. And wow, the visuals are just mind blowing. The excellent voice work really shines through here. With nice and extremely well done locations, it’s a joy to walk around in this game’s setting. Nothing feels out of place and the developer really made it in such a way that this game might be real as well. The character’s detail is also well done.

I also like how you get a nice death animation when you kill the last enemy of the attacking group or when you die. The animation might have a hiccup here and there, it’s not really noticeable when you don’t pay attention to it or when you don’t look at it with a reviewer’s eye.

So, let’s wrap up this special longer review here and let’s get right to my conclusion, shall we?

Conclusion

The good:

+ Amazing story.

+ Great setting.

+ Nice gameplay.

+ Decent length.

+ Pretty epic soundtrack.

+ And much more.

The bad:

– The driving is a tad bit broken. A damage indicator and improved driving would be welcome.

– The switching of weapons isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Conclusion:

When even MiseryLC talks about this game, you may be sure it’s quality content. He didn’t play this game, he only saw a let’s play of the sequel. And I agree with my statement there. This game is a mindblowing experience. One that every one should play that likes adventure and horror games.

The presentation is unique. In terms of visuals and the story. It’s different yet familiar. It’s really worth to check this game out on Steam and play it right now.

I truly had trouble looking for negative parts of this game. This is one gem that should be high on everybody’s list. And it’s even a port from a XBOX360 game. Take that, a well made port.

Play this game, you won’t regret it.

Score: 95 / 100

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First Impression: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 – Dual Destiny’s (3DS – eShop) ~ Silence!

The Japanese box-art because we only got an eShop release.

The Japanese box-art because we only got an eShop release.

Wikipedia entry

After my anger towards Capcom for not releasing Ace Attorney: Miles Edgeworth Investegations 2 on the DS, I finally got my hands on a new official Ace Attorney game. And this in brand new 3D! Pokémon Y has to wait, I have a client to defend. Yes, you read it correctly, I choose a 3rd party game over an official Nintendo game. But don’t worry, I’ll write my review of Pokemon X & Y soon. Anyways, this game is excellent. And this article is meant to convince you even more to download and play it. It’s cheap, extremely cheap in fact. You pay half of the price you would pay for a normal Ace Attorney game. So before I start this first impression, I’m at the start of the 3rd case. That’s the mid-way point. If you take that all cases are of the same length. Yet, comparing it to previous installments, the later the case, the longer it is. Anyways, in the Ace Attorney series you play as an attorney or a prosecutor in the spin-off Miles Edgeworth: Investigations. Your goal is to search crime scenes, question suspects to get enough evidence to be able to defend your client against everything the prosecution throws at you in court. It’s a visual novel adventure game, and it’s a hidden gem series to be honest. So, before I continue, let me know in the comments what you think of this game and/or this review. Anyways, let’s start!

Wright is back!

Phoenix_wright_ace_attorney_dual_destinies_screenshotFor real, Phoenix Wright is back in full force. In one of the previous installments we learned that Phoenix Wright actually stopped being a lawyer. If you play Apollo Justice, you’ll learn why. I won’t spoil anything here. But one thing is clear, this game is filled with references to anime’s and older Ace Attorney games. Yet, you don’t need to have played the previous installments to enjoy the extremely well done writing.

The writing is funny at time and makes for a great laugh. The characters are memorable and well done. They are believable and are a great addition to the great cast of characters. I’m a bit bummed out that some characters won’t appear in this new installment, yet I might speak before my turn. (And an objection will be raised in my face).

And not only the extremely well done writing is back, it’s now presented in an extremely better way. Gone are the days you skipped over text, you can now scroll back in the dialogues. A long awaited addition. Thanks for finally adding this. I’ll directly mention the extremely handy fact that the save feature is better implemented. Now you have a button to save on the touch screen and wait… what’s this? Two save slots?! Yes, you have two locations to save your progress. And it saves extremely fast! That’s neat.

Anyways, back to the story part. This time around, some parts of the story are presented with anime cut-scenes and they look brilliant. I love when one comes on and the voice acting is how it should be! Well done and on the spot good. I love how you now hear more of the voices of the characters outside the “objection” and “hold it” phrases. All in all, the story and it’s presentation is top notch.

Pretty neat!

Ace_Attorney_5_screenshot_18Besides the story, the game got a graphical update that blew me off my socks. It’s a game where I don’t mind having the 3D slider on. It’s visuals look sharper and pop out even more with the 3D. The art style is what the series needed all along.

This game is a visual eye candy for anime games. The animation is superb. I like how some locations look alive when you come to them, like flags blowing in the wind and various other details. It makes the game have more immersion.

The UI (= User Interface) got an upgrade as well. It controls a lot smoother and it’s how it should be all along.

The character animation itself is just a tip of the mountain of amazing design that this game has. The fact that this game looks more realistic like seeing the crowd behind the defendant makes the scene much more alive. The camera often zooms out to show a view of the whole court room and when you have the 3D slider on, this game blows you away.

The gameplay just got some neat tweaks as well. Your partner will tell when you have everything at a certain location and that makes getting stuck a lot less frequent. Also, the notes that Apollo uses makes for a great check list if you may get stuck. You also can call in help of your partner who’ll say which statement is the one you’ll need to present evidence on when you failed several times in the cross examination.

Is there something bad?

Phoenix-Wright-Ace-Attorney-Dual-Destinies-3DS-Announcement-Screenshot-5Of course, I’ll continue to praise this game. But there is one thing that I dislike. The fact that there might be future DLC. Why Capcom, why? -Sigh- If this is the only bad thing about this game, I can let it slip.

The music is like expected top notch. And before you all get mad, if a DS game series gets it’s music in a concert, that’s something. If a DS game series get it’s own movie… Yeah, then you have a great game on your hands.

I already explained how everything got better compared to the previous entries and it really is that way. The better UI, nicer visuals, improved animation, anime cut-scenes… I can’t get enough of this game. My college work might suffer if this game continues to be this good. So yeah, I might need to give my 3DS to someone so I can still concentrate on my college work.

This game’s price is a steal. It’s only 25€. Just wanted to mention that.

Also, some old elements with Apollo return from his installment. Yet, the new mood matrix gameplay, which I didn’t have the luck to play around with it often, is extremely interesting. It provides a new and refreshing element for the new and veteran players.

In terms of length, this game is pretty lengthy, yet I’m hoping that the 3rd, 4th and 5th case keep me playing for a long time. Since this game has been released 3-4 days ago and I would love it if this game lasted me more then a week or two. Oh well, if you play on a game as often as I do on this game, I can’t be helped I guess.

So, that’s going to be it for this first impression. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Give this game a chance and you’ll understand why this game is worth it’s purchase. Now, I’m going to sit down and continue to play this wonderful gem of a game.

NekoJonez got an award!

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So, a few days ago, I downloaded Ace Attorney 5 from the eShop… Nah, let’s wait with that article. Okay, new start. Hello Neko’s, today is a big day, here is my review of Pokemon X & Y. No, wait. I still need to call my classmate since he hasn’t replied yet. Darn it. And I want to write an article so rendering a new video of Evoland is for later in the upcoming week. Let’s see, about what can I write? Another game diary? Well, maybe. I could take my preparation of that and write it on ButtonSmashers. But not now, I want to write an article on this blog. And it should be a review or something since it has been some time since I wrote a review. Okay, which games have I recently finished? Or shall I look online for idea’s? Nah, that’s too cheap. I’m not like that! I use my creativity. Sometimes to google, but that are details… Wait, hold your tails. What is this? My blog got an award?! FOR REAL? Somebody pinch me! Is this really happening? Okay, time for an article that is blog exclusive for this blog! No reblogging this time! 

versatile-blogger-award-imageName award: The Versatile Blogger 2013

Won on: 22nd October 2013

Won for: Arpegi

Type of award: Community

Given by: Allahweh

Official website: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/

Post about the award: http://gaminggoddess.net/2013/10/22/the-versatile-blogger-award-2013/

This is such a honor! This means a lot to me. I barely restarted blogging and creating my articles and I get awards like this. This is my first award for this very blog. Apart from the “awards” I get from WordPress like having 50+ likes and such on my blog.

Allahweh, thank you so much for this award. Go click on that post Neko’s and check her blog out. I met her actually not that long ago and she already gave me an award. And being the 2nd in her list, is mind blowing. I now look even more forward to creating content with her!

I think the worth of this award is bigger then some might think. This might be a sort of “pass around” mail clone for blogs, yet this feels extremely different. Bloggers could choose to ignore it, but I see this is a “thank you” for all the hours and creativity I have put in this blog. I even printed out the article and it’s now happily on my notice board. Hanging with one of my favorite magnets. (Because it has a beautiful Dutch saying about a cat.)

There are rules to follow about this award. And so I’ll. Let’s copy-pasta this.

  1. Display the award on your blog

  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger that nominated you

  3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with this award

  4. Link your nominees in your post and let them know they were nominated

  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself

Rule 1, taken care of. Rule 2, done as well. Rule 3 & 4, soon. But first of all, rule 5. Alright, 7 special things about myself.

  1. Before this blog, I actually had a Dutch blog. That blog became popular after some exposure on TV. It’s rather long story where I wrote an article about an E3 presentation that went all wrong. I got invited to explain my story on TV, yet it was in the middle of my exams and I didn’t had time to do it.
  2. My choose of music is actually extremely wide. My favorite style is Hardstyle and nearly any electronic style. With that I mean, things like Techno, Dance, Electro and others. I dislike any variant of Dubstep, with one exception. Some Glitch Hop tracks I can listen too and enjoy. I also listen to rock, pop, jazz, movie OST, game OST and others. Metal is something I rarely listen too. I’m more of a melodic music fan.
  3. My favorite soda is Ice Tea. I remember one day that when I was at the final day of a education to be allowed to work as a animator for the children, like those people that guide youth movements like the Scouts, there was a big party. Since I didn’t like to become drunk, I drunk my favorite soda. As it turned out, I drunk 10+ bottles of it. Of each +/- 30cl. So, over 5 liters. Man, I was shacking of the sugar when I was waiting in front of my room for the door to be opened.
  4. I didn’t prepare a lot for this blog. So, that’s why I took up more time then I was hoping. This is a perfect example to show that I’m a big mess when it comes to planning. Sometimes I rush too much and when I look on a later date to the final product, I always want to improve it.
  5. My love for writing has been with me for years. After nearly winning a short story contest, it became my main hobby. Nearly all my hobbies have something to do with being creative.
  6. One of the creative things I wish I could do is drawing. I’m extremely bad in drawing. Even when I try with an open mind. I made some music tracks in the past but those got lost due to hard drive crash.
  7. I love to learn actually. To a certain degree. I’m not a guy that goes reading book after book about history or other subjects. I like to watch shows that cover the history of the gaming industry or a game studio. Also, when I can choose what to watch on TV, I watch to shows on Discovery Channel and National Geographic. But I also watch to my fair share of (mindless) entertainment, those that aren’t meant to educate you.
  8. BONUS ONE: As it’s rather obvious, I like and love to tell stories.  I’m rather addicted to that. As clear to the length of the “Seven facts about yourself.”

So, now that I have taken care of that, let’s list 15 bloggers that earn this award as well! So, these are the bloggers I think are worthy of this award. And these are also the bloggers I personally enjoy.

  1. Allahweh – I know this is cheating in a way. But hey, who can blame me? I like her content. And there is a saying in Dutch. When I literally translate it, it’s: “You deserved it double and fat.” Yeah, sounds weird. But the mean is that you deserve to have praise or an award for the full 200%. So yeah, now it’s literally!
  2. ButtonSmashers – For all the chances and free games, in order to review (and/or enjoy) I receive. Q, thanks a lot and I’m really looking forward to be in another podcast with you.
  3. Beer And Joysticks – There is no doubt in my mind that these guys earn this award. For liking nearly every piece of content I publish and talking to me as if I’m a partner of them for years, I think they earned this award. Also, they are my 100th Twitter follower.
  4. After Dark Gaming – This guy already gave ButtonSmashers an award. It would feel wrong if I talked about this “Family Award” on my blog since it has been given to the ButtonSmashers. And I might be a part of it… Maybe it’s just a bit of a modest feeling. Yeah, that explains it. Yet, check out this great blogger!
  5. What’s Your Tag? – The fact that they present some of their articles in nicely drawing comics is enough for my to give them this award. It’s one of the first people I clicked the “Follow” button for.
  6. John Heatz – Clicking the like button on various articles of mine and enjoying my content, I really think he is worthy of getting this award. Also, his blog is really great to keep yourself up-to-date with various gaming news thing-a-bobs.
  7. Ryu’s Dreams – I would feel ashamed if I forgot him. The discussion I started with him about RPG’s got so interesting, that he suggested to continue to talk about it in a podcast. And we shall! (And thanks for making my to watch list grow.)
  8. Bucket List – One of the first people that liked my content. And this is a rather interesting blog. When I want to go on a holiday, I’ll be sure to check this one out!
  9. Icesabel – Just a blog I love to check out when I have time to spare and when I want to read about something different then games. Just the way she writes is excellent!
  10. TapThisApp! – I always thought of creating a blog about mobile games, yet this blog covers it perfectly. And from here I should get a lot of idea’s to maybe write a new article of Android game suggestions.

And I’m terribly sorry to break a rule but I am going to leave it with these 10. Simply because I can’t come up with more blogs that really deserve this award. Because when I found my blogs to follow, I rarely look for other ones to read. And since I started blogging again at the end of May, I don’t know a lot of good blogs. So, forgive me for that!

Anyways, I think it’s time for me to watch some video’s and finish some games. So, I can work hard for college tomorrow and write some new articles for you Neko’s. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support. Go check out the guys I gave the award too myself. They earn it!

Signed

NekoJonez

Let’s look at: The Stanley’s Parable

TSP-beginagain

Official website

This is a story about a Neko. This Neko’s name is Jonez. He works at a website and all he did was writing articles, by pushing buttons. He was employee number 427. In his office he had a screen where a game was displayed so he could push buttons to write an article. The screen also gave hints in how long he had to press the buttons and how many times. But one day, no order came on the screen for more then a hour. He was confused, asking for comments to what people thought of this game or this article, but because he found nobody, he had to wait for comments…

Un-reviewable

stanley parable 1Did the introduction interest you? Confuse you? Good. Since this game isn’t one I can review. Since this game is an experiment. And a great one. It’s one of those experiences you have to have. And if you play the different versions, you’ll get a different experience every time. The original source mod and the HD remake differ a lot.

This game started as a “simple” mod. Yet, since PewDiePie played this game, it’s popularity sky-rocketed of course. And it’s worth it. This game has a great story. A special one, one I really like. One where your chooses make you have a different ending. Virtue’s Last Reward and various other games come to mind then.

Yet, the demo of this game doesn’t even give the correct impression. While it indeed gives the right impression for the newly updated graphics and the style of the game, it’s nothing really like the full game.

Difficult to review

imagesWhen I release this article, a friend of mine over at ButtonSmashersBlog has his birthday. And his nickname surely explains what this game is. TheThinker (linking to his Twitter), I wish thou a happy birthday man. And if you really want a game that challenges your thinking abilities, play this one.

So, why is this difficult to review? Truth being told, this game can be beaten in under 5 minutes. Yet, there are different endings. To achieve all endings, you have to think outside of the box.

But the game is an experience. It’s different for everybody. And with the lack of many music tracks and only good graphics, great controls and an amazing story, you can’t really write a review without spoiling it too much. The only controls are moving and clicking on buttons. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

I do wish that this game got a more lengthy sequel. The game is short. The achievements on Steam do help it having some replay value but you’ll be done with it after a week or so. Yet, don’t worry, it’s a game you will never forget.

Mod to HD.

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This game actually started out as a mod for Source. Then this game got a HD remix. With there first of all a demo and secondly the full game. I have beaten all three multiple times. And I enjoyed them a lot.

While the mod and the HD remake are very similar, there are things you can only find in the Source mod and things you can only find in the HD remake. If you ask me which one is the best, I prefer the HD remake better. Since it’s a bit more funny and it has more references to itself. In addition, the menu is amazingly designed.

Yet, the HD remake has a major issue. When you alt+tab out of the game, going back into the game is a major issue. It crashed on me then several times. Also, I’m disappointed that the game doesn’t have an overview of all endings you already got. Like the ending room at one ending, I would have loved to have seen it in all the endings.

The demo is a different beast all together. It’s a special thing. It’s self-aware and it makes fun of itself. The game is extremely funny and worth playing through. If you want to have the real experience, I truly advice that you watch the trailers as well. Those make fun of Let’s Players and the usual angry “YOUR GAME SUCKS” letters.

Yet, the mod version of this game has it’s charm playing for it. It’s free and you really get the great taste of the Stanley Parable. The artwork isn’t made for the game though, so it’s more with the assests of the engine. But hey, it’s used extremely well. No complaints there. And even a reference to the engine itself was extremely clever.

Final thoughts

StanleyParableTestChamber610

I have done my utter best in this article to not spoil things to much. Yet, I have told hopefully enough to raise your awareness to give this game a shot. Really, try spending your pocket money on this game instead of the latest Pokémon or Call of Duty we are all waiting for so much.

You won’t regret it, go in it with a fresh mind. And let the game guide you pushing buttons. Don’t go all “WTF AM I PLAYING?!”, yet let it sink in. Relax and enjoy the ride. And honestly, the first time I played the full game, I played on for more then a hour. But keep in mind that the game was able to be beaten in 5 minutes. Yup, that happened.

To conclude this article, I can’t write a full review of this game. While the inner workings like the alt+tabbing needs some improvement in the game, it gets from me the full 100/100. Agreed, it’s not a perfect game at all, considering it’s length. Yet, this is a game you must play. One you must experience to truly understand that this game is a gem. One of a kind, something you won’t see in a while. Play all three of the games. The demo, full game and the mod. Two of them are even free so you don’t have an excuse there! And the full game is 10 euro’s here in Europe, so if you come to truly dislike it, you haven’t lost so much money. But thanks for reading, a happy birthday to theThinker, and I hope to see you another time here!

Re: What makes a good RPG?

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Link to the original article

When I was surfing at “my” other blog, I found that somebody made a comment to an article that David wrote about, “what makes a good RPG?” And I thought to myself, why don’t I do that exercise for myself? So, I started thinking and thinking. What makes a good RPG? I tried to think back at all RPG’s I played and now I think I finally have an answer. I’ll be commenting on the original article David wrote on ButtonSmashers. My goal is to check how much opinions actually differ. Just a fun little experiment. But feel free to comment here about my view on things. And don’t forget to leave a like on that article. 

J-RPG vs RPG

So David claims that J-RPG wins over the Western RPG’s. Let’s do the test. Is this true? Or is it just his personal preference? If I need to answer the question myself, I would agree. Japanese RPG’s are better. I find myself liking it’s content more then western RPG’s.  But which RPG’s have you played? Final Fantasy? Dragon Quest? Golden Sun? Skyrim? I hate to break it too you but 3 out of these four are J-RPG’s.

But if you look at it, David has a good point. If you try to list the amount of known Western RPG’s against the known J-RPG’s, it’s clear who wants that round. It’s Diablo, Elder Scrolls, Fall-Out, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic VS Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, Dragon Quest, Lufia….

Does that mean that J-RPG’s are better the Western RPG’s? Well, no. Actually not. Does one suck? No, not at all. Or are the Western RPG’s better then the J-RPG’s? No, that’s not the case. In fact, they are actually equals. Let me explain. J-RPG’s and Western RPG’s have a very different style of gameplay. The core idea of leveling up a character is still there. But the execution is too different to say which one is better then the other. In my opinion is as stupid as trying to decide which kind of soccer is better. In a hall, on the street or professional level. Since it are two separate worlds, So, why comparing and trying to decide which one is better. Silly stuff in my book.

Importance of the elements.

lufia2battle

Ah, Lufia II on the SNES.

So, here is where I actually disagree with David.

So what about art, music, mechanics and voice acting? Surely a good RPG needs those elements?

With the exception of music, the answer is no, none of the stuff listed are needed. They add icing to the cake definitely, and increase the enjoyment of some games. But the only thing that’s really needed is a great story backed by a killer sound track.

I simply don’t think so. Honestly, the mechanics are truly important as well. Yes, the music is important as well. And it’s true that the voice acting isn’t that crucial. Like one of my favorite RPG’s on the DS, Suikoden Tierkreis has terrible voice acting yet it’s an amazing RPG.

A killer soundtrack, well David, let’s be real here. How boring would a game be with repetitive music or no music at all? Music spices everything up.

But mechanics are important. And why? Well, let’s take a J-RPG to explain my point. Final Fantasy 13 for the XBOX360. From what I read, the mechanics are so watered down that you can’t explore and like in a spoof that JonTron made, “the game plays by itself.” So, hold the phone here. This game has barely no mechanics yet a killer soundtrack… Oh dear.

Mechanics are important to help the player go to guide through the game. If the only thing you need to do is use some different attacks without it really having depth, a game becomes boring. And it may even have the best story ever written, only the patient and dedicated players will play it. But it wouldn’t make for a good RPG.

Lux Pain is another example for on the Nintendo DS that came dangerously close for me. In this game, you do the same thing over and over again. There was little to no variation in that game. Lucky enough, near the middle it truly picked up and it became interesting.

To close this segment off, the fact that you need a good backstory goes without saying. It keeps the player engaged into your game.

My opinion.

1207284085_1201013112_orcselvesii200709051101ea6When I continue to read the article David wrote, it becomes more and more clear to me that the article is pretty much his opinion. And while I respect his opinion, I clearly showed I disagree when even reading the first few paragraphs.

And that’s the beauty of blogging. You can look at other people’s article(s) to get idea’s and maybe you can react. But if I would talk about my opinion about the whole article, we would be here another day as well.

So, that beauty boils down to personal preference. A good RPG would be one where all the elements that make a good game, mix together quite nicely. A good soundtrack, with a great story, enriching gameplay and great mechanics. Add some great mood setting graphics and some nice sound design with it and you have a great RPG. But if you give us voice acting, then the RPG isn’t anything short for amazing. While, truth to be told, maybe RPG’s are really great without it. Early RPG’s serve as a great example.

But if I really need to try to answer objectively on the question “what makes a good RPG?” well, then I would need to say that a game is a good RPG when it’s successful in tricking you or making you believe or making you feel like the main character. If you feel as a lonely survivor in Fall-Out or as a world saving hero in Final Fantasy, then the game is a good RPG.

Personally, a good RPG is a game that challenges me, gives me a story I’ll remember and is one where you grow along with your character. How more grinding there is, the less happy I’m. I like to continue on. I dislike being stuck.

Anyways, I think I’ll close off my article here. Thanks David from the ButtonSmashers for writing this interesting article. It was surely a nice read. You made some great points. I silently hope you give this article a read and made a comment? Thanks for reading and hopefully until my next article!

Quick Announcement: I’m sick.

imagesThis might be one of the shortest blogs I’ll ever publish. But I want to let you Neko’s know that I’m sick, and things make me extremely busy. But since I’m here, I’ll quickly talk about what that means for the future. 

Personal work

I’m missing two days of college because of this stupid cold I currently have. So my weekend will be filled with writing reports, making summaries and finishing up assignments. Studying basically.

I also need to clean up my room. Since it’s getting a bit messy. Bottles of water everywhere, pillows and other things are those I have to clean up.

And I also have to send mails and such to my professors to inform them I’m sick.

Content

The video’s I have planned, like Dream Chronicles 2 – Episode 1 & Corpse Party – Episode 4, will be delayed. My voice sounds terrible and the coughing wouldn’t do the quality any good.  Any sadly enough I don’t have any pre-recorded footage to use now.

But I might do some minor updating of my channel here and there like that description update I have been planning for so long now.

For blogs, I can’t write any good content now. My focus is off and this blog asked a lot of me. So, expect new articles when I’m healed.

Closing off

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a healthy day. I’ll focus on healing and catching up. I hope you all can understand. I hope that I can welcome you soon again with new content, since this sickness is no fun.

NekoJonez: First Impression: Suikoden Tierkreis (DS) ~ Great Childhood, Bad Adults.

suikoden_tierkreisWikipedia entry

Sometimes good stories are written in a book. By simply touching it, you can get involved with the magic that flows through the ink and the pages as simple as the characters get their power in this story. When I was younger and played this game for the first time, I felt the magic of RPG flowing through me. This gem made my love for RPG’s grow. Several years later, I started to replay this game, and man, do I regret giving it a high score on my blog. Now I really start to see the flaws of the game. The parts where this game is pretty much broken in some places. While this game still stays as one of my favorite titles on the DS, this game surely needs some improvement. It’s already determined. It can see all of the future, did you know that? Wow, that didn’t make a lot of sense. Anyhow, I’m nearing the ending of some other games to review and this game will be one where we take a look at it’s ink, and how the world came to live inside the realm of video games. Let’s go and take a look at how a game like this made a tumble in my opinion but still stands strong. But be warned, this is my “first” impression of this game. Feel free to leave me a comment of what you think of this game and/or of this first look.

Wait, this blog wasn’t here before.

220px-SuikodenteirkreisLet’s start with one of the most important things in a game. And if you have read other articles of mine, you know that the story is something I usually start with. And this story is amazing. The characters are deep, the plotlines are amazingly executed and the pacing is amazing. While this game is extremely long, you’ll explore each side character in depth and you’ll get to know all of them better by the end of the story.

Something that really helps to set the mood is the voice acting. While it’s cheesy and not that well done in some parts, it really helped me to feel a part of the story. While having to deal with my critic opinion. Some lines are underacted or are said in the totally wrong emotion. But you have to give it to them, they had to find a way around the names you can give to the main character and your base. They can’t have a robot voice said that. In addition to that, this lengthy and originally Japanese game is totally translated. Which went prefect expect…

… A few weird grammar and spelling mistakes. When you are running away from a battle, you get the message: “It feld successfully.” Wait, did the monster just ran? Or did they party ran? And some parts of the writing don’t feel like proper English at all. Which is a big shame since the writing of the characters is amazing. Some plot twists you can see coming but the fact that you can predict it while you get other things thrown at you is such a blast. Weird, no?

The story is about you getting magical powers and places appearing out of nowhere. Nobody believes your claim that these places came out of nowhere. And to make matters worse, a communism country is trying to take over the world. So you have to deal with them while you try to crack the mystery of the magical powers.

Such a shame

st2-thumbIt’s such a shame that this game actually made this many mistakes. It’s such a great game. An other flaw of this game is the fact that it’s missing a map. While being in dungeons, you don’t have a map. When you get lost, though luck. You’ll have to find your way out by yourself.

To make matters worse, sometimes you can easily skip information of NPC’s. And they won’t repeat it a second time. Thankfully, your current quest can be read again at your base.

The gameplay is repetitive. But not in a way that’s bothering actually. Surprisingly there is a lot to do. You can upgrade your gear and buy and sell items. And here is where something painfully comes above water. This RPG’s has barely no sidequests. And the sidequests that are present, you actually don’t do you yourself. You choose the characters who are going to have the fun.

In addition to that, I truly hate the glitch that skips cutscenes when you close your DS. Why? Just why? Couldn’t they program in a pause feature or activate the sleep mode after the cutscene was finished? Also, the amount of cutscenes are too few. I wish there more of them.

A minor nitpick I have is in the battle system. The automatic attacking system chooses only your basic attack and this is also a drawback.

WII36.rev_suikoden.Figth_2--article_image

Awesome!

There are a few other bad things about this game I have written down for the day I’ll review this game. So, I don’t have a complete article ripping this game a new a-hole. So, let’s get to the positive.

The music of this game is a real great gem. I still enjoy listing to it. When I use to write stories I even used a few tracks as themes for my characters. It inspired me an awful lot. In addition the sound design is extremely well done.

Graphically, this game is how a RPG should be. Colorful, detailed and pretty. I have a complaint here but I’ll come back on that in my review. The characters look lively and the humans look realistic. While this is a fantasy story, this game feels like it can happen in real life.

This game also controls extremely well. You can choose between the touch screen and the standard d-pad. It’s such a blast. The “Y” button for the menu asks a bit getting used to but it’s not that hard. The icons in the menu’s explain themselves and using it is a breeze. While it could have been made a bit more user-friendly for healing, I don’t think that’s a big complaint.

But to end this first impression, I suggest you play this game for yourself and judge it yourself. This game has a lot to offer. When you can ignore it’s shortcomings you will be in for quite a ride which won’t be over in a few weeks. I admit that I needed a few months to beat this RPG in my first run. I think this game might get also a long review at the day I finally finish it. But for now, thanks for reading and I hope to see you in a later review.