Archive for the Games Category

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.

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.

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.

SFV: Abigail Vs. Zangief

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Screenshots, Street Fighter on August 7, 2017 by slateman

The 8-foot-tall Abigail joined the SFV roster two weeks ago and his size is almost a joke. While Hugo already dwarfed the rest of the cast, Abigail’s inclusion tops even him. Why not compare him to the quaint size of Zangief. Funny shit.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Wishlist

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Street Fighter on July 31, 2017 by slateman

It feels as if it were only yesterday I imported Hyper Street Fighter II as part of the series’ 15th anniversary. It later came to the US with SFIII: 3S as a pretty sweet package. As 2017 is now more than halfway done, I remain curious as to how Capcom plans on celebrating. News started to surface this week that an anniversary collection might be coming.

As exciting as it might be, a wishlist of what could be should be reality-checked. Does anyone remember the Street Fighter Collection from back in ’97? After months of hoping for a complete compilation of SFII we ended up getting two games rather than one. Surely the arcade ROMS couldn’t fit in one collection?

That may be unfair, as we later got the excellent Fighters’ Generation / Alpha Anthology which showed Capcom could do it right. But while I should really be cautiously optimistic, I’m going to throw that caution to the wind and express my excitement over the possibilities.

With Ultra Street Fighter II newly-on shelves, I’m not sure that’ll be part of this package and they can’t realistically put out the HD Remake if USFII is already out. Hyper Street Fighter II may be more likely, but both games are just broken from a competitive standpoint. However, either game would be great for the collection and USFII may be the easiest to port over. I think a form of SFII is almost required for the 30th anniversary.

As for SFIII, a collection of all three versions would be sexy as hell, but I think a 3S Online Edition translation would suffice for most purposes. It could be done easily enough as they’ve brought Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Ultra Street Fighter IV over to the current-gen systems.

Speaking of…I wouldn’t expect any original SF or SFIV games to be involved.

So what are we left with? Oh…just my favorite Street Fighter series of them all. The Zero/Alpha games launched as I got into college and the animations, style, sound effects, roster and overall feel remain the best of them all. They hearken to a different time of my life, of gaming, that whole thing. I remember going to the mall to play as Adon in SFA. I bought my first Playstation alongside a fight stick and SFA2. I imported SFZ3 and my fascination turned into an obsession. The aforementioned collection of Zero/Alpha games is so utterly spectacular and complete, I would do anything to have those games playable on the PS4.

However, that may be a bit too optimistic. That’s an awful lot of upgrading, but I truly don’t think a 30th-anniversary collection would be complete without the Zero/Alpha games. I’m not sure precisely how they could work them into this collection but I think it has to happen. It’s entirely possible we just get one game and as Zero 3 really encompasses everything the series stood for, with its Isms and vast roster, you then wonder what version of SFZ3 they’d include. The GBA and PSP versions are the most complete, but with a max resolution of 480×272, it’s simply unacceptable on a big screen. That’s a dilemma. I’d prefer not have an incomplete collection all these years later, but a full one might require too much work. Oh, if I could just get Z2A/A2G, I’d be so friggin’ happy.

I think we’re above a anything would be better than nothing. We’re a far cry from the bare-bones ports and translations of the mid-to-late 90s. There’s no reason this shouldn’t be a kick-ass collection. Having bought so many versions of SFII (no fewer than 6), SFIII (maybe 2?), SFIV (vanilla, Super, AE, Ultra, Ultra on the PS4), and now SFV (base game + 2 seasons of DLC). Please don’t fuck this up, Capcom. The 30th anniversary should celebrate US as much as it should celebrate SF.