Cuphead: A Work Of Art

Posted in Artwork, Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Screenshots on October 14, 2017 by slateman

This game is insane. It’s weird though. In no way is it new. The visuals hearken back to nearly a century ago and the tough-as-nails platforming isn’t far removed from my own youth. However, it is gorgeous and one of the more refreshing titles I’ve played in years. In an age when everything feels like it’s been done before, Cuphead comes along and tells you that old can be new again. I’ve opted to share some screenshots, but they simply cannot do this game any justice. The silky-smooth animations and impressive boss battles can only be appreciated by watching it in action…something I highly recommend anyone doing.

This last image is one you’ll see a lot of. It taunts you with showing your level progress, thus inciting another retry. And another. And another.

Clicker Heroes: The Stupidest Game…

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games with tags on October 2, 2017 by slateman

…that I can’t stop playing. After picking this free title up months ago, I was enthralled by its mathematical crack, constantly beckoning me to return. Long sessions weren’t required but a consistent minute here or nine there fed the need. Then I hit a wall.

For some reason, I returned recently and figured out a way past the barrier. It could’ve been a few months of idle coin harvesting. And then I ascended again. Now, with dozens more hero souls, things were going by so quickly. I managed to reach level 100, a feat that took days, easily, in about six minutes. Madness!

And as I reached the lofty level 360-whatever, I ascended yet another time, relishing in the hundreds of hero souls. And on the next playthrough, making it to level 150 or so in mere minutes, I accidentally scrolled to the right, revealing Transcendence as an option. Hmmm…should I? Shouldn’t I? Typically I’d read up a bit: what to do before, should you transcend, etc. This time, however, I just said, “Screw it,” and clicked it. “You will lose this and that,” “yeah, yeah, yeah.” Clicked. Done.

Then, back at level 1, now with absolutely nothing, I instantly regretted my decision. I have to actually click again? No idle bonuses? Umm, what is the benefit to this again? Well, things aren’t quite back to square one, but they’re close. I understand that there will be incredible perk to my idle build…once I have unlocked my Ancients. But, with too few rubies, waiting for level 100 is the only option.

So, after this useless game took away everything, why do I still play? No clue. It’s a strange active-passive experience based on saving money, spending it, calculating and…waiting. Very strange indeed.

Postseason 2017: 2am start.

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Reflection, Yankees on October 1, 2017 by slateman

The first season I’ve been detached from in decades winds down today and the postseason for my beloved Yankees is a bit shaky. While it’s been a fun and rather surprising year, I don’t know if we have what it takes. The one-game playoff versus Minnesota is one of those ‘anything can happen’ situations and I’ll admit the best of two concept I heard about recently sounds like a better solution. But even if we beat the Twinkies, we go up against the team coming off the hottest streak in over 100 years. That shortened five-game series is no less stressful! And the winner faces either the Astros (*ahem*, 2015) or the Sox (hatred). OMG, the latter would be insanity.

But that’s getting way ahead of ourselves. Gotta fend off Minnesota, whom we recently swept, first. And that game starts at 2am here. How can I not watch? Alternately, how can I? Well, I did get up at like 3am to watch when the Yanks and Matsui opened their season in Japan a lifetime ago. Oh how I love the postseason. Oh how I hate thee.

Ys II: Completed! Thoughts

Posted in Artwork, Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Screenshots, Ys on September 20, 2017 by slateman

Ys Books I & II remains among my favorite games ever. That’s partly tied to the time of my life, about 13. However it is also tied to its innovation, its technological prowess (CD quality!) and its music, which is still remarkable. But now having finished the remake of Ys III and my save game but a few hours into Ys II, it was time to complete this retelling. And now that I’m done, I realize…It’s dated.

The game was still great, with the familiar faces of Feena and Reah bringing a smile to mine. However, its source material is almost 30 years old and it shows. The labyrinthine level layout was needed with limitations of the ’80s. Now it just feels empty and repetitive. A guide helped me through this journey and I’ve no shame in that. In addition, Felghana’s remade soundtrack may very well be superior to the PSP iteration of Ys I & II. In fact, the former may be the best the series has ever seen.

As Ys VIII hits shelves this week, my return to Eresia will have to wait. Until then, here are some snapshots from the last hour or so of Ys II – spoilers, quite obviously!!!

Ys II: Hello Zalem!

Posted in Artwork, Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Ys on September 17, 2017 by slateman

This is a totally unnecessary post – but I found it humorous. Having gone back to beat The Oath In Felghana, I figured why not polish off Ys II as well. I abandoned that title at around the same time as Felghana. Well, once you land in Ramia village, you can go upgrade your equipment by meeting Zalem. Well, turns out if you talk to her before trying to do any business, then give her three herbs, then visit her bed, you’ll be given an option to join her there. It’s entirely juvenile and silly, and I certainly don’t recall this option back in the TurboCD days!!! In any event, here’s some visual evidence. Warm and sinful indeed.

Ys: The Oath In Felghana – Revisited!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Screenshots, Ys on September 15, 2017 by slateman

After putting in 15+ hours in early 2014, I abandoned Ys: The Oath In Felghana, the remarkable remake of the legendary Ys III: Wanderers From Ys. The latter, a game I played waaaay back in the late ’80s/early ’90s, was an amazing game with an even better soundtrack. Just why I quit is unclear and returning to games, especially any type of large-world titles, is never easy. However, after doing book research and poring through the excellent Castlevania book I have, I was inspired to return to the other excellent game, Symphony Of The Night. I tinkered for a bit before pondering that very question of why I bailed, more than three and a half years ago.

And so here I sit, at the very end of the game, in the very week that Ys VIII ships. Reviews are positive and of course I’d like to pick it up. But now isn’t the time. Hell, if I could wait almost four years to finish this, I’m sure Lacrimosa Of Dana, which itself is over a year old, can wait a bit longer. Come to think of it, I never finished Ys I & II Chronicles on the PSP either. Backlogs aren’t so bad, maybe! For now, a pretty decent screenshot of Adol before the setting sun in anticipation of that annoying-as-hell Chester fight.

Gear Ball Algorithms

Posted in Blog, Cubing with tags on September 3, 2017 by slateman

This ought to be unnecessary. The Gear Cube can be solved with just one algorithm and this has two. However, they’re so simple that I forget them all the time. It’s dumb. And it’s easy to fix! Just make a quick blog entry for it to go along all those other algorithm entries. OK, let’s get to it: First get the corners, which is really quite simple. Then worry about those edges. This algorithm swaps the top-front center and the top-back center. I don’t usually forget that, but the R2, U, R2, U sometimes eludes me. That is enough to solve the Gear Cube, but not the Gear Ball which needs something to move around those pesky inner edges. Here you can move around eight at a time. If all are awry, just do this algorithm twice. If not, you should have one stripe of correctly-placed inner edges. Put that in your M layer, going from left to right and do a R, U, R, U, R, U algorithm. Then of course, just rotating those final edge pieces is a cinch. So, there you go! Easy to remember!

Games I’ve Beaten – 2017 Edition

Posted in Blog, Games, Lists on August 31, 2017 by slateman

It’s been five years since I’ve done a list like this, I think. Now with access to taking out games from the library, I’ve been able to play some titles I would have missed otherwise. Including everyone’s 2016 GotY which, unsurprisingly, wasn’t my cup of tea. And with four months remaining in 2017, I figured I’d look back at which games I’ve completed this year. Only three actually came out in 2017 now that I look at this. With (+) signifying PS+ games and all being PS4 unless indicated, let’s look!

  • Abzû (+)
  • Beyond: Two Souls (PS3)
  • Datura (PS3)(+)
  • Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls
  • Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture (+)
  • God Of War: Chains Of Olympus (PSV)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Lego Movie: The Videogame
  • Level 22 (PSV)(+)
  • Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime (+)
  • My Name Is Mayo (PS4 & PSV)
  • Nex Machina
  • Overcooked
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Rise Of The Tomb Raider
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (PS3 & PS4)
  • Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
  • The Witness
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Ys: The Oath In Felghana (PSV (PSP game))
  • Ys: Book II (PSV (PSP game))

I’m still working through FFXII and I look forward to playing Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is coming and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana are also on the horizon.

Edit: Included the Ys games I just beat!

Horizon: Zero Dawn – Just Stunning

Posted in Artwork, Game Art, Games, Screenshots with tags on August 14, 2017 by slateman

I quite liked posting those Final Fantasy XII snapshots and I recalled that this year’s GotY contender, Horizon: Zero Dawn was absolutely gorgeous to look at as well. Therefore, I dug through my snapshots from this spring and decided to post some of my favorites. Potential spoilers here! Man, the game’s photo mode is spectacular. Enjoy!

Final Fantasy XII: Enjoying The Beauty

Posted in Artwork, Game Art, Games, Screenshots with tags on August 13, 2017 by slateman

It’s been a few weeks and my journey through Ivalice is hardly complete. At more than 40 hours, I’d wager I’m maybe halfway through. But while my recent ventures have been way off the story’s path, the tale itself is an epic and grand one, much as one might expect from any good FF. The trusty screenshot button is one of my favorite additions to this generation of gaming and so I thought I’d share some of the stunning vistas, group shots (I love these) and unique art style that is FFXII. I’m absolutely loving it. Here you go.