06/06/2014 – You Should Listen To The Pillows

It really has been a while since my last post. Fuck it, I’ll stop taking notice.

So yeah, I’m done with my exams and coursework for this year. It’s been tough. Last couple of weeks before the exams were a nightmare. Partly my fault though, I spent far too long trying to get my 3D coursework working that I neglected my other work. Unfortunately, I’m probably going to have to do a resit for at least one thing. That being Advanced Programming, which mostly consists of C++ work, which I had barely used until I decided to start my coursework. So yeah, that was great. If all goes well though, I should get my shit together properly for next year. I’m taking all my stuff back this Summer, so I’ll have less distractions.

I FINALLY MADE SOMETHING OF SOME POSSIBLE USE. I made a Magic Eight Ball program, which depending on what kind of life you live; may become useful. Personally, I’ve been using it to decide on what food to order.

I might have mentioned this before, but you should listen to The Pillows. They’re a really awesome Japanese rock band. I spent quite a bit of money getting a few of their albums. I’d embed an example, but my WordPress stuff is kinda fucked up right now. I’m probably going to rebuild it in the next few weeks after I get back home.

So about the Summer. Basically my plan, like last year, it is try and periodically make blog updates about things I’m working on. This year should actually work out seeing as I have coursework to do, but also have a good idea of software I want to make. So hopefully you’ll get something on that. Hopefully.

That’ll probably do it for now. I’ll make a games and anime focused post later next week or something. Also, E3 is happening, so look forward to that I guess.

Later.

-Adam

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21/02/2014 – “So, What’s The Craic?”

University life continues.  Exams have been out of the way for a while now, although I’ve never cared much about the results of those, seeing as I care more about what I’m learning versus some arbitrary number grade. But anyway, the second semester started and I’m looking more into networking, 3D graphics, and a continuation of AI. Prolog isn’t proving to be that bad yet, understanding recursion is probably the most difficult part, but once you’re past that, it’s relatively understandable. At least so far.

As for networking, understanding the theory of how that works is really interesting, learning a lot of the protocols, systems, and whatnot that we all take for granted. However the implementation networking through C# code has not been easy. I’ve had to ask for help from a friend of mine on multiple occasions. This is partly due to the pretty hideous layout of the coursework specification and non-explanation of what the fuck I am doing. Finally 3D graphics is OK. That one is sort of on the back-burner because of the networking coursework.

So how have I been? OK I guess. I really need to exercise more, and I was pretty sick a week or so ago. Actually oddly enough, I had a pretty awful nosebleed Thursday last week. Blew my nose after waking up and my hands were covered in blood. Not great.

As for things I’m working on… Well I guess I should write up my impressions of the WiiU at some point. I’m also working on a novel with a friend, it’s still early on that. And these days I’m playing “Bravely Default”, “Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc”, and a copy of “YS: Memories of Celceta” turned up this morning. I also had a good crack at the “Titanfall Beta”. It was fun.

Sorry about the 2-3 month gap, I honestly forgot about it and had quite a lot of stuff to do. Till next time I guess.

-Adam

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Global Game Jam – Photo Dump

I’m not really going to talk about the event, it happened nearly a month ago, but I’m posting what I took now. Sorry about being late.

2014-01-24 17.17.54

 

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2014-01-24 23.47.55

2014-01-24 23.48.09

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11/12/2013 – Humbug, and DualShock 4 Impressions.

The first semester is coming to a close. That JavaScript work I was talking about really was a pain in my arse, I very much doubt I passed that coursework. Luckily I can probably make up a good chunk of the marks on the exam.

But soon I will be going back home and enjoying the ownership of a WiiU, which I promise I will do some livestreaming with.

But anyway, the DualShock 4. Let me tell you something. Do you have a 360 controller for your PC?

You do? Well that thing is hot fucking trash compared to this thing.

The greatest improvement is the latency. Both the 360 controller and DS3 suffer from generally latent inputs, leading to sub-par responsiveness. This is amplified when you start using those things on the PC where the frame-rate and other performance improvements really point that shit out to you. This is not the case with the DS4, it is a very noticeable improvement from other devices, reacting very quickly to inputs.

Well I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed IV with the DualShock 4 and I don’t think I can go back. The feel of it, the latency (As mentioned), the buttons, and the material used are just fantastic. And before you ask, yes, the analogue sticks are great too. I’m not one of those people that hated the sticks on the DS3, I actually preferred the looseness. But the slight tightened feel is good. The dead-zone for that stuff is not as atrocious as the 360 pad is, so that’s good. The only thing that kinda bugs me is the light-bar, but when using it on PC, it is never turned on (Except with the use of custom drivers).

If you want a replacement for the fucking crap that is the 360 pad, the DS4 is pretty great so far.

Yeah, pretty short this time. I’ll try and make a more significant post before I head back home for Xmas, or maybe I will do a quick write up on the WiiU. Whatever works.

Later.

-Adam

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20/11/2013 – I don’t like JavaScript very much, amongst other things.

So I’m two months into Uni at this point and coursework deadlines are approaching. I feel like I got back into the swing of things rather easily, probably due to a improved lecture timetable that doesn’t have huge gaps for no reason.

So since coming back I’ve been learning some new programming languages, notably C++, JavaScript, and Prolog. The last of which has been described to me numerous times as being “Bullshit fucking hard”. Oddly enough, it’s JavaScript I’m not particularly fond of at the moment. Following the class tutorials, this is what I have currently made:

JSwoek

Some of the image got cropped, but you get the point. To be fair, I am better at it now. Once I noticed that all the things in the scene can be dealt with as if they are objects makes it much easier to deal with.

C++ is pretty standard, the syntax is different and there’s a whole bunch of stuff to do with assembly; but the basic stuff is very similar. Of course, I’m getting beyond basic level stuff now.

Currently I’m getting coursework done and trying to set up a placement for next year.

As for everything else in my life that is going on, it’s getting cold and my general eating habits are not doing me any good. I’m trying to work on it.

Small gaming mention, I ordered a WiiU and that’s currently back home in Northern Ireland. So look forward to some streams of that. Speaking of streams, by upload-speed is actually worth a fuck now at the place I’m staying at, so I should start doing more streams soon.

And a small anime mention, I watched FLCL and it was awesome. Made me question why the Universe exists in the way it does at times with how fucking dumb it gets, but it is very entertaining. Sucks they only made 6 episodes.

That’s all you get for now. I’ll continue to try to post more, but no promises.

-Adam

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ADMAN’s Den – 28/10/2013: “Hey, Video Games! And Anime! And Manga! And Stuff!”

In case you couldn’t tell by now, I am brilliant at keeping personal deadlines. Oddly enough, it has been exactly over 2 months since I last did this, and I have since decided to expand the subject matter.

Video Games:

Two months is a relatively long time, although it can pass quite quickly depending on what you’re doing. Especially when you got a ever-growing back-catalogue of games like I do.

Hey, ever wanted to play the video game equivalent of a pantomime? Well Puppeteer is probably for you. OK, marketing-esque speak aside; I am genuinely surprised by this game. It’s a solidly written (For the most part) platformer with a unique look and play-style. The gameplay is pretty standard, but the way it flows it quite different to how you would expect, partly due to the heavy use of the scissors as a mechanic. It leads to a far more organic way of moving through the environments and interesting transitions into different levels.

To explain, large chunks of levels are made out of paper, which is the most common material that scissors cut. Using that, you mash your way through the material which keeps you suspended in the air, or following a string path, and so on. It’s pretty cool early on. My only gripes with the game are that the writing dips to being annoying at times, it heavy use of QTEs (Especially on bosses), and that it becomes quite repetitive near the end of the game. Although a lot of the environments and boss fights are really different and interesting. If you have PlayStation Plus maybe wait for it to hit IGC, or get it cheap.

Virtue’s Last Reward does right was Bioshock Infinite did very wrong. If you haven’t played either or 999, skip this segment and start reading SMT: Devil Survivor.

<SPOILERS>

So anyway, VLR is one of the best games I have played on my Vita. Had I not played P4G, it probably would have taken first place. It’s a puzzle-adventure game at it’s core, with the story being delivered in a visual novel style. You play as a dude named Sigma who has been kidnapped and put into a sick game known as the Nonary Game. And you wake up in an elevator with a young girl named Phi. Upon escaping the first room, you meet the other contestants in this so called game. I won’t say who they are because that kinda spoils a few things, also you technically should play 999 first.

Apparently a figure known as Zero created this game as an experiment, and set down rules. It should be mentioned that each player has a bracelet (Just like in 999) that has a number on it. However, unlike 999, this number changes each round of the game. The player who reaches the number 9 on theirs can open the door and escape. Should their bracelet reach zero or they break a rule in the game, the player dies via an injection of a strong muscle relaxant from their bracelet.

Now let me get to why this game is significantly better than Infinite in terms of it’s idea. So the ending of Infinite tries to point out the idea of string theory, and references the divisions in the game as a point to this, however the choices never actually matter because it is a linear game. Well VLR isn’t like that at all. You make choices, very subtle ones at that, that can have dire consequences later on. The game presents a flow-chart with all of the possible outcomes and endings so that you can see how you affect things.

VLR goes really out of it’s way to point out to you why the choices here matter, certain people distrust others, different places can only be explored by going through a certain combination of rooms, and certain people will die or be saved based on that. Then to top it off, you travel into different versions of the same reality to gather information relating to particular puzzles or questions. The game even goes as far as to lock you out of story threads completely if you haven’t seen a particular set of endings yet.

Speaking of which, there’s over 20 endings to this game. There are a few repeats, but for the most part, they are all as crazy and weird as the next one. There’s one specific example where after talking to a character for a while, you end up following them out of a room, only to find them and every other player of the Nonary Game all dead in a room having each of them committing suicide using a scalpel, at which point you follow suit (There’s an explanation for this action).

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is the earlier game in the series, with a lot of the same ideas, names of mechanics, and so on. Difference being the environment, which is an old cruise ship supposedly the sister ship of the Titanic. Unlike VLR which stuck to an underground base. Also, the way players are killed for breaking rules is far more violent. They outright explode from a bomb placed in their bodies. You get taste of that right early on. There’s not much else to say that can’t be said of VLR, other than the puzzles are more challenging and the main character is hallucinating half the time.

One thing both games do is explain a lot of philosophical, physiological, and scientific ideas that give a general basis upon which the fiction is set. Even though it is a very super-natural game, the theories and research it presents are very much real, and intrigues further research into ideas like Quantum Physics, psychotropics, mental disorders, and so on. Again, something Bioshock just made up for it’s own fiction and a lot of players moronically accepting it as something that actually existed in real-life, especially a lot of the political stuff, which it often got VERY, VERY WRONG.

Basically, if like adventure games, go fucking buy both of these games right fucking now. And leave a few screenshots I took:

Phi being Phi.

HELLA WACK, YO!

</SPOILERS>

In regards to SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked, I’m still really early in it. About 5-6 hours into the story and still on the “First Day” of events. But my first impressions of the game are that is shows some interesting ideas. The auction house for demons on top of being able to fuse them being kinda cool. They last for about 5 seconds and you have to try and out-bid AI opponents to acquire new demons to mess around with. Other than that, the grid-based, turn-based gameplay is more or less what you would expect from an SMT game, but that’s perfectly fine as it still works perfectly.

The story is kind of interesting, although the characters you run into are not the best. It doesn’t help that the game only features English voice acting, with no option for the Japanese original. Luckily you can turn off voices completely, which has lead to me playing my 3DS completely muted. So yeah, it seems cool, but I find it hard to talk about off the top of my head. I should really start taking notes while playing games if I’m gonna talk about them in this fashion.

Rayman Legends is both very, very fucking awesome; and quite annoying at the same time. First off, I played the game on the Vita, which (At the time of writing) is missing a large chunk of levels from the game, and Ubisoft has yet to deliver on the patch. However, the levels that are there are really creative and fun. It is far more forgiving than Origins was and the controls have been significantly tightened, leading to a much more playable game than before. The problem is the touchscreen stuff they have added.

Put it this way, you’re in the beginning portion of a level, getting into your grove. Then the game puts a wall in your face and says “STOP PLAYING. IT’S MURFY TIME!”, then you start controlling a fairy as you interact with pieces of the level and watch an AI character navigate through these environments instead of you. On top of that, the AI for said character is very stiff, going along a very deliberate path. There is some good news, you can turn on multiplayer and have someone else do the Murfy stuff while you navigate the levels. But honestly, I would prefer it if none of that shit was present, it just seems annoying to me, I want go through these levels! I want to enjoy them and have the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge, not some narrow-thinking AI incapable of emotions.

Other than that, the end-world levels are absolutely amazing. The first one is exactly what they showed at E3 a few years ago, but later on they start playing versions of songs like “Black Betty” and “Eye Of The Tiger”, either as covers with the original instruments, or just go nuts and play the entirety of the song in a Mariachi band style. It is the most awesome shit. Of top of that, the levels practically turn into rhythm game, with enemies and obstacles popping up to the beat of the song. Definitely one of my favourite games of the year, albeit with some issues.

I already a fair amount about Muramasa: Rebirth already, but I figured I would give a small update. I start playing with the male character, and the game is still very much the same. Different bosses and story line, but it plays exactly the same. The swords are very similar also. And I am aware of there being lot more to this game now outside of the main story line.

Another Vanillaware game; Dragon’s Crown seems pretty interesting. I’m usually not a fan of brawlers, but this showing some promise for me. The use of RPG mechanics seems like a nice fit for once and actually adds new moves and options for combat. Another nice feature is the ability to have AI party members, so I don’t have to be alone when going through the game, a major help when not many people I know have the game.

Also, it’s a gorgeous looking game. You might have opinions on the character art, and that’s fine, I’ve seen way more fucked up shit in art galleries when it comes to representing humans; so the designs in that regard don’t faze me at all. But everything about the world from the background art, animations, lighting; it’s fantastic.

As for another game that is astoundingly pretty, but unfortunately lacks the same depth or fun; Remember Me has a really unique concept, the idea of going into people’s memories and changing them to alter their opinions of the world around them and even to manipulate their motivations. Neo-Paris is a stunningly beautiful environment, both the slums and the upper-class areas are well-detailed. The concept art in the game also opens up the ideas that the developer has, showing even larger parts of the city with huge landscapes and environments to climb around in.

The problem with the game is, it falls flat in terms of mechanics. It relies very heavily on combat, without giving a ton of variety in terms of enemy encounters, and when there are new enemies to fight, they are not very well designed, and combat scenes end up lasts way longer than they should because of certain enemies like the guys that hurt you whenever you strike a hit at them, or the invisible mutants. Not very fun in that regard.

The Memory Remix is a really cool idea though, and I personally wish they made more of them throughout the story of the game.

Shadow Warrior is both cheesy as Hell, and kinda dumb fun. I don’t even know why they give you guns, the sword is so awesome to use to cut dudes up into especially tiny pieces. Yeah, the level design could be better and there should be more enemy variety early on; but I still find it quite enjoyable. The amount of 90′s movie/song references is pretty great too.

Right, now let me tell you about ARMA III. It is both the most realistic military shooter a civilian can get their hands on, and the dumbest fucking fun you could ever have. Allow me to explain. You could have a well thought out plan to attack an enemy base, and capture it without alerting the enemy players… Or, you could get a tank, turn on direct comms, and then blare out NWA songs while steamrolling towards their front gate with the full intention of fucking their shit up. And that’s why I love this fucking game. Wasteland is a really fun game mode to play by the way, although it needs fixing at the moment.

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon seem pretty great. I only played an hour though. Same with Tomb Raider. I’ll try and play more of both, I promise.

StreetPass. Now that is a thing. I honestly wasn’t too hot on the idea before I ended up back in England for Uni. But know that I have people to actually StreetPass with, I’ve come around to it. Don’t get me wrong, it is a dumb through-and-through, but it is very much engaging nonetheless. So much so that I spent money on those extra games that they made.

So what are my thoughts on the games? Puzzle-Swap is a no-brainer. Pass people, get pieces of an image. As for the StreetPass Quest, it’s more of a game, a very basic strategy game, but still more of a game than the Puzzle-Swap thing. You basically go room to room, clearing out enemies and getting hats.

Now the paid games is where it gets interesting. First off, I paid fucking money for a fucking gardening game… And I’m enjoying it! Growing plants, organizing my garden, selling the seeds I get; enthralling as Hell. Next up in the StreetPass Battle thing, where you build an army of Mii characters you collect. It sounds cool in concept, but in actual fact you spend more time building you damn army through just StreetPassing then logging in and ending your turn than you do actually fighting. Kind of a bummer in that regard.

Next couple of games are the StreetPass Mansion, which is a dungeon-crawler/puzzle-piece/timing-based combat game. It’s interesting and kinda deep in places, although if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing you can get killed very quick, which happened to me because I was too busy talking to people or watching something. It has a bunch of levelling up and weapon upgrading you can do if you’re into that. And the last one is a space-shooter where the Mii characters you have turn into a variety of weapons. It’s fun but kinda time consuming. To be fair, with all these games now, I barely have time to play other games on my 3DS because I’m too busy StreetPassing- OH GOD HELP ME!

I’m still playing Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 3 Portable. They’re not really worth talking about here because I’ve already talk about them to death. As with Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel, it’s a novelised version of the original story. It’s not bad, but you already know what it’s about.

As for Battlefield 3, well fuck the console version of that game, it’s unplayable. The PC version might be superior in every way, shape, and form; but aspects of that game are still not great. I still think persistence in a multiplayer environment in relation to levels and content locks is a terrible idea that very much turns off late-joining players.

The Battlefield 4 Beta was unplayable for me due to the fact I didn’t really have a PC while it was out for the most part, and even when I did get my computer back, it still had horrible frame-rate issues.

I went into Syndicate with an the expectation that it was a game with a specific style and idea that failed to deliver appropriately. And it met that expectation perfectly. The world is extremely stylized, much like Remember Me, and the music is a highlight; with a powerful dubstep driven soundtrack. What is poor about the game is the fact that is fails to execute any of it’s coolest ideas in a fun way, often using a mechanic once and then never giving you a reason to use it ever again. Although my more pressuring issue with the game is just how much of a console port it is on the PC.

Getting to the point, the FOV is complete crap and will ruin the game unless one is to mod the files to increase the field. It truly is sickening while playing the game, especially with all that stylized camera use that Starbreeze is known for. That being said, this isn’t a disappointing game, as long as you go into it with the right expectations of knowing that it’s a very stylized, but still kind of generic shooter; there is some fun to be had with it.

I started playing and enjoying Saint’s Row 4, then I got to a point where it kept crashing on me and I got reverted to an old save and haven’t played it since. As for GTA V, well you’ve probably played it and enjoyed it. I liked it too. And it is not worth repeating why because you already know the answer.

3D Dot Game Heroes is fantastic game idea that I really wish got released on the Vita. It basically a love letter to Zelda. As a matter of fact, it pretty much is Zelda. Even down to some of the sound effects being the same. Anyway, I finished the first dungeon and worked my way through the rest of the world, it’s really fun and filled with references. You should play this.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Pokemon.. Actually I’m not a fan at all, but I still bought Pokemon Y after some very light persuasion from a couple of friends. Well, it’s exactly what I thought it was going to be, another Pokemon game. You collect, train, and fight with monsters. Yep. And you know what? It’s good, and I’m enjoying it. What more do you want from me? I’ve certainly taken my time with it, I’m 16 hours in and I’ve only just finished the second Gym Leader, now I’m just grinding up my main Pokemon into the level 40s.

Also, when I found an Evee, I lost my proverbial shit from just how adorable it was.

And finally on the games front, The Stanley Parable. Do not not not not not not (DO) play it.

3DS Impressions

So I’ve had a 3DS for four months now. My general impressions of the system are mixed. Put it this way;

  • Yeah, the 3D works, but it’s a pointless feature.
  • The sound and visuals are terrible for most games.
  • The console is quite uncomfortable to hold in my hands for long periods of time.
  • The system is more cute than it is functional.
  • The eShop is joke.
  • The friend system is the worst.
  • The touchscreen is poor.

But then there’s this:

  • StreetPass is a cool feature. Dumb, but cool.
  • It might be more cute than functional, but it’s kinda joyful in that regard.
  • Digital Releases of all 3DS games.
  • SD Card slot.
  • Dual-Screens are alright depending on how they’re used.
  • There may not be a ton of great games, but the ones there are, are of a fairly high quality.

Take from that what you will, I know I’m not going super in-detail like I did with the Vita, but that’s because I really don’t have a ton of time to write a lengthy comparison right now. I like the system, but the Vita still stole my heart in this regard. But I have plenty of room in my bag for both.

I promise to do a more in-detailed comparison of the two in the future.

Gaming On A Laptop

It sucks. Don’t do it. Ever.

OK, in all seriousness, if you have a good surface to place it on you’ll be set. And provided it’s powerful enough, it can probably get by. I just wasn’t having a good time with my laptop because I wanted to play stuff like BF4 and a few other high-end games, and couldn’t.

Anime:

Seeing as I’ve watched so much of this stuff this year, I’ll just give you the lists I’ve created.

Stuff I watched:

  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
  • Persona 4 The Animation
  • Persona: Trinity Soul
  • Devil Survivor 2 The Animation
  • Samurai Champloo
  • Kids Of The Slope
  • Attack On Titan
  • Watashi Ga Motenai No Wa Dou Kangaete Mo Omaera Ga Warui! (WataMote)
  • Black Lagoon
  • Eden Of The East
  • Ghost In The Shell
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • My Neighbour Totoro
  • The Girl Who Lept Through Time
  • Paprika
  • Perfect Blue
  • Summer Wars
  • Grave Of The Fireflies
  • Lupin III – Castle Of Cagliostro
  • Akria
  • Death Note
  • Valkyira Chronicles
  • Spirited Away
  • Voices A Of Distant Star
  • Nausicaa Valley Of The Wind
  • Ghost In The Shell: Arise (Pt 1)
  • Millennium Actress
  • 5cm Per Second

Planning To Watch:

Ghost In The Shell: Innocence

  • Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Serial Experiment Lain
  • Sword Of The Strangers
  • Shigurui
  • Hellsing Ultimate
  • Metropolis
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
  • Nodame Cantabile
  • Darker than Black
  • Macross Plus
  • Laputa – Castle In The Sky
  • Porco Rosso
  • Whisper Of The Heart
  • Shinsekai Yori
  • Freedom
  • Persona 3: The Movie
  • Girl und Panzer
  • Mardock Scramble
  • Ghost In The Shell: Arise (Pt 2/3/4)
  • Kill La Kill
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
  • A Letter to Momo
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days
  • From Up On Poppy Hill
  • Colorful
  • Gurren Lagann
  • JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures

Manga

Similar situation with the anime stuff. I could describe my feelings in more detail, but honestly, you could just check them out yourself.

  • Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack On Titan)
  • WataMote
  • Black Lagoon
  • Kids On The Slope
  • Cowboy Bebop

Attack On Titan and WataMote are the series that I am following at the moment. I purchased all the Black Lagoon volumes they’ve put out, and I’ll read them whenever I get back home.

Other Stuff:

Windows 8 Sucks

Yes, it’s the worst. It is an OS for people who clearly have no idea how computers work, but also fails to cater to the people who do know. It makes even the most basic customisations that you would usually be familiar with a complete hassle, and the “Metro” interface to totally pointless. I haven’t had a chance to update to 8.1 yet, but I doubt it fixes my issues.

There is one thing I like though, when you have dual-monitors (Much like I do), you can have a collection of single-monitor wallpapers, and you have both monitors shuffle through different pictures at the same time, instead of specifically creating dual-screen wallpapers like before because it used to just repeat the same image on both screens unless you went through the hassle of making them yourself.

PC Status

MY PC IS WORKING AGAIN. ALL IS GOOD.

Yeah, it was just transit damage, but I still didn’t have the tools to properly fix it, so I ended up paying someone to do it for me. They also gave it a damn good cleaning which was nice.

Anyway, this blog is finally written. Make sure to check out the latest MGCast, where we shoot the usual shit. I’m out! Later!

-ADMAN

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04/10/2013 – Couple Things To Rabble On About…

So quick update on my PC; I decided that after realizing that I lacked the time or resources to properly evaluate what the Hell is wrong with my PC, I caved a got a computer-repair service to come take it. That’s about as far as that update goes, I haven’t heard anything since I handed it over yesterday.

Second thing I feel like discussing is that I’m finally considering rebuilding this site, although whether I do it myself or pay someone to do it for me has yet to be seen. I definitely looked at few HTML5 templates I could use, but I feel like PHP might be the better option. We’ll see how things go.

In other, completely unrelated news; I’m still watching way too much anime and Breaking Bad ended. Now I can focus on work till Game Of Thrones starts up early next year. In terms of games, well I’ll probably make a post on that soon. Maybe tomorrow.

So as far as my first week back in Hull goes; it’s been kind of literally shitty, but I got to see my classmates again and that was fun.

-Adam

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27/09/2013 – So here’s my “FUCK EVERYTHING” post for the year.

OK, so let me explain to you what the fuck has happened to me in the last 38 hours.

So basically I’m travelling to England for Uni via coach, usual shit. Two things happened there; I saw a dude get kicked off the coach for straight up being wasted as fuck coming of the boat, and I finally got my first StreetPass.

Then I got to the city where my Uni is and I do the usual of getting my key and such, drop some stuff off and then go and get the rest of my stuff from the storage locker. Now here’s the bullshit. I get back and start setting up my PC. Once that’s all good to go, I press the button.

Nothing.
Press again. Nothing.

Power is connected, everything is fine. It just won’t start.

So I open up the case and notice two things; one, it has a bunch of cobwebs in it (No spiders, just webs), and two; the motherboard is not lighting up the way it should when the power cable is put in. So I’m guessing a few things at this point. The motherboard is broke, the PSU is broke, or static got in a fucked everything. Either way, I’m too fucking tired to do a full series of check ups right now, so I’ll get to my next point.

I live in a Uni owned house, which means they’d provided the Internet. NOW, they are charging extra just to get the speeds I had earlier in the year, or pay nothing and get the same shitty connection I had when living in London. They gave into the fucking Internet monopoly that everyone who lives in this dump has complained about. Scumbags!

So my badass PC is busted, I’m getting over-charged for something that used to be standard, and I’ve been awake for over 38 hours and I can barely think or see straight. So I have to use my fucking laptop to tell you all that I ate a Steak while arguing with my sister in English and Japanese.

So how are you assholes doing?

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05/09/2013 – Back To School 2013 Edition

The joke about the title here is that the blogs I used to write at the beginning of September were always called “Back To School Edition” when I used to post on GameTrailers back in the day.

So Uni is coming back up and I suddenly realise how much I haven’t done, at the same time impressed that I did anything at all. At the very least, MGC got a new coat of paint so I don’t have to worry about that for a while. And I recently jumped back into programming by starting to get into C++. With practice I should be able to get up to a competent level with it before I start classes again.

In regards to the Summer Report… Well lets not discuss that. It’s fairly obvious. Maybe next year things may work out better.

This does bring me to my next point of interest, I might rename the “Gaming Den” to the “Media Extravaganza” so I can cover more than just games. I’ve been watching almost too much anime, movies, and TV shows recently I it might be worth jotting down my thoughts on some things. Then again, I do talk a fair amount about that stuff in the MGCast. So you can hear me blabber on about it there should I decide against my idea.

Now with the laundry list taken care of, I feel like I should write something meaningful.

..Ha! Meaningful.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, the last academic year reminded me just how much I hate the education system in England. This ridiculous structure of “Rush through your coursework and then ‘cram, cram, cram!’ for the exams”, ultimately tiring-out anybody who goes through that Hell and making them turn away from their subject entirely.

I’m a huge fan of the BTEC system, which is to take a subject, break the modules down, then break the key learning objectives into specific assignments. No exams. And strictly speaking, no milestone deadlines. Just make sure everything is complete by the end of the year/course. It lessens the stress significantly, and also opens up self-learning opportunities. BTEC assignments are usually handed out at the beginning of the year, so you can work through them as you learn. OK, it is probably a tab more spoon-fed in terms of getting the work, but you still have to practice and teach yourselves core skills, and it is keeping you occupied throughout the year. Currently, it’s taken several weeks before receiving the coursework, often from many subjects at once. At least getting them at the start could give me more time to plan ahead several months and take care of the less pressuring tasks first.

Maybe I’m just complaining here. Although exam are a whole barrel of issues themselves. But I won’t bother over-explaining that. Simply put; how could anyone possibly think that being sat in an uncomfortable chair for two hours, trying to remember a whole years worth of information to fill out a sheet of paper in complete silence; is even remotely accurate to how an actual work environment is? School/University are the only places where you would be put into a situation like that, and it’s fucking torture. It is unnecessary stress being brought onto a person for almost no good reason. Why do we still use this archaic fucking standard of judging a person’s skill when it’s plainly obvious that it is inaccurate?

Sorry, but I felt I had to say it at least once. Maybe we should take a page out of Finland’s book. Their system is excellent and well-proven.

Anyway, that’ll do for now. Maybe next week I’ll do a gaming write-up and such. I just got Rayman and I have a bunch of other games to talk about. Also, MGCast will be this weekend. Later.

-Adam

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ADMAN’s Gaming Den – 16/08/2013

As I’ve been saying for a while now, games have been taking up a very large chunk of my time; probably to the point where I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I was possibly lazy. Regardless, I enjoy what I do, and recently I have been finding a new love with the medium exploring genres that I never thought I would ever enjoy.

And with that, Muramasa: Rebirth. It’s an awesome version of that game. It translates to the Vita’s control scheme beautifully and has a very robust and competent combat system. So if you never played the Wii version (Which I haven’t), here’s a quick summary; it’s a 2D MetroidVania Action game. You can play as two characters; Momohime, a princess who’s body is possessed by a demon’s soul (This is the only character I have finished so far). Or Kisuke, a fugitive from a Ninja Clan. The game has use and collect a large number of swords (108 to be exact), all with distinct abilities known a Secret Art. The game forces you to constantly forge new, more powerful weaponry to progress as new swords will take more damage than the previous one. The reason this is important is due to the fact that swords can break and be unusable. Luckily, you always carry three weapons at a time, and collecting souls off defeated foes refills the sword’s spiritual energy, repairing it.

The game is gorgeous by the way. The art is absolutely stunning.

As I mentioned, the combat is fluid and very simple to understand. It doesn’t take much to pull off attacks, most of the game’s challenge comes from mastering the timings and knowing when to use Secret Arts or when to change swords (Which causes an area-of-effect attack, damaging all enemies on screen). It wipes most of the frustration that you could have with a system like this away. Speaking of which, I often have an issue with many Vita games due to what I believe is input lag, but it this game it does not seem to be present at all. This pleases me.

Although most common enemies are not a problem, the boss battles can stand out at times. With the more varied attacks forcing you to master many of the game’s mechanics, as well as making you utilize other tactics. One example is a boss where you begin the battle being digested in his stomach, and slashing at him from the inside so he eventually pukes you out. Following this, he tries to flatten you with his foot, forcing you to have to dodge. Eventually projectiles are added and so forth. And that’s just one boss. There are quite a few in the game that are crazier than that.

Something that is also pleasing is the game’s aesthetics. The animations, backgrounds, character design, UI, and so on; all look stunning. Probably to the point where I would be willing to say that this is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played on the Vita. On top of that, the writing is pretty humorous, especially when Momohime refers to womanizers as degenerates along with many other insults. I highly recommend checking this game out, but keep in mind that you may have to import it, I don’t think it’s coming to the EU any time soon.

Moving on, another game I put a considerable amount of time into was PAYDAY 2, and with good reason. I didn’t play much of the first PAYDAY, it seemed quite difficult and kinda broken at times. However, with PAYDAY 2, the difficulty is more fair (For the most part) from the get go. Missions are far easier to understand and way more readable in terms of where the main points of interest are, such as guards, cops, safes, etc.

The leveling system also makes more sense, yes you still have to level to get more guns, but jobs give you the custom parts for said weapons, making the starting arsenal for more usable than before. Well, that and they give you more than one gun from the get go. Money plays a large part into the customization options, having to spend money to get guns, change parts, decorate masks, and even on in-mission assets to make the job a tad easier.

With a good set of co-op parters, you can have blast going through the missions to together. Planning out specific roles as each player uses a different tier, managing the crowd, and/or shooting your way out of their when the plan fails and you have to leg it.

There are a few things I take issue with. The “high-powered” guns don’t do as much damage as advertised, and weapons in general don’t feel very accurate. I’m often missing shots for no reason, and the game is not very forgiving with its hitboxes. Not to mention the unending swarm of police that somehow refuse to care that they are even being hit with high-speed, molten lead projectiles; and only exist to ruin your day.

The AI can be very problematic, especially playing in a stealthy way. Just last night, I was playing the mission “Framing Frame”, where the first day of the heist takes place in an art gallery, and I alerted a guard after he saw me for a split second from a small window on top of the roof.

Other than those issues, it’s a barrel of fun to play with friends, and I’m sure a lot of the issues will be fixed in time.

Probably the only shitty game I will be talking about today is Unit 13, which is trying too hard to be console game on a handheld. It is an awful mess of a game. It plays atrociously, the character takes up 80% of the damn screen and the FOV makes it impossible to know what’s around you. Not to mention things like the map, reloading, vaulting and taking cover, and so on; are all located on screen making the UI cluttered as Hell. On top of that, the AI is piss poor. They either ignore you, or instantly kill you in a few hits because they somehow saw you through some tiny hole between cover. The missions themselves are not very interesting, mostly consisting of “Go here, interact with this, then leave” type of gameplay.

Honestly, don’t play it. I only tried it because it was on PS Plus, and I wish I hadn’t. If you want a game that does this type of small mission structure but better and with more depth, play Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker, which is cheaper than usual on the PSN Store at the moment.

Gravity Rush is a pretty cool game if you ever want to check it out. I think it’s gonna be on PS Plus forever at this point, so you should probably check it out. Anyway, I had some money to burn, so I decided to buy the DLC costume packs. A few extra hours to play in that world doesn’t sound too bad.

Anyway, it’s just more of the same. A lot of “Pick this stuff up” or “Defeat all these guys” types of missions. Except now you get three dumb new costumes. Either way, it has reminded that the game gives me one Hell of a case of motion sickness. I feel pretty crummy just thinking about. Regardless, if you really wanted more Gravity Rush, I guess will add an hour or two of content for you.

As for my update on the progress of Persona 3 Portable, well a particular character died, and now I’m seeing the characters react to said event. So I’m at the last third of the game at this point. Time to keep grinding and fusing till the end.

I haven’t really progressed much with Persona 2: Innocent Sin. But I have been reading up on some of the plot details, and I have to say that if this story is related to the P3/P4 universe, then a whole lot of things make sense now. Although it’s still pretty crazy. I’ll give more of an update as I go through it.

I recently bought I played a few games that I think are worth mentioning here. Starting with The World Ends With You, which is a JRPG on the DS that uses the cool looking art style that you might associate with something like Jet Set Radio. You know, the hopped up street graffiti look. It’s still early into the game, but the whole dual-screen combat system is very confusing. Basically you control your character on the bottom screen with the touchscreen, and the other character is on the top screen who you can interact with using the face buttons. Although if you control one, the other is taken over by the AI anyway. The game seems like a neat idea, and it definitely has an intriguing art style, I just hope the combat doesn’t drive me up the wall.

Virtue’s Last Reward is the sequel to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The game is a basically a puzzle game where you have to solve a series of mini-games to escape a particular set of scenarios. And when it’s not trying to kill you, it plays out the story in a graphic novel type way. I haven’t put a ton of time into either (I literally just got “999″ a few hours ago in the post) so I cannot attest to the quality of the characters or story. However, it’s been years since I last played a game even close to this. It reminds me of adventure games of old, and the premise has my attention.

Finally, 3D Dot Game Heroes. I’m not gonna beat around the bush here; it’s fucking Zelda. It’s a 3D, voxel-based re-creation of Zelda. And that seems really cool. Mostly because you can create a whole bunch of weird shit with the in-game tools. I’ve put a good hour into it, and I’ll look forward to playing it again as soon as I’m done playing ICO and Valkyria Chronicles.

Next week: Progress Report (Possibly?)

Later.

-ADMAN

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