I still think the title sounds like a Quake Mod

8 05 2016

Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing a ton of new games, or games that are new to me. The most recent acquisition for me has been Rocket League (hence the title of this blog post), which is now also probably one of the biggest threats to any of my further productivity.

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So cool

There isn’t much else I can say about Rocket League that hasn’t already been said. It’s an excellent “sports” game without really being sports. Since instead of human athletes you have cars driving around trying to knock a ball into a goal in a massive game of soccer. There also exists a hockey game type as well, and they just recently added 2-on-2 basketball. I’d say the basketball mode is probably the most difficult since with the other two modes you’re mostly dealing in horizontal shooting, Basketball (or Hoops, as they call it in-game) requires you to master being able to get the ball into the air so that it goes in the hoop.

 

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Everybody get up it’s time to slam now

The nice thing about Rocket League aside from its relatively quick matchmaking and match runtime (5 minutes per match not counting OT), it’s that the game is simple to learn but difficult to master. I’ve only played it about 3 hours but I’ve already definetely got a good grasp on the basics and even some more advanced stuff. It’s easy to see why this became a breakout hit especially in the context of eSports. I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s usually $20 which is already a good deal but it also goes on sale fairly frequently so if you want to save a bit wait until Steam’s Summer Sale hits.

I’ve also been playing another competitive multi-player game, The Culling. The Culling is basically your standard Hunger Games/Battle Royale scenario, a bunch of people trapped in a given space (in this  case a portion of jungle) forced to scrounge for supplies and fight against one another until one person lives. You can craft weapons, gear, and armor but for the best chances of winning you’re better off finding weapons either in crates or just looting them off people unfortunate enough to get killed by you or by others.

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How irresponsible to just leave a Calvary saber lying around like this.

The game is still in early access so there’s a lot of jank, combat still isn’t quite locked down but it’s still a lot of fun and definitely worth the $15 it retails for. There’s both free for all and team battles, and so far I’ve only won one of each in about 14 hours of play. But you’re still guarenteed to unlock a cosmetic item no matter what so even when you lose you still win.

Next up is Dodge Roll Games Rougelike Bullet Hell Twin Stick Shooter “Enter the Gungeon”. Tough as hell (which is why it’s only 5 levels long I suppose) and I still haven’t had a clear run. Then again in terms of Roguelike-ish games I think the only one I’ve really beaten was FTL. The game is a lot of fun though. It controls really well, the graphics are nice, and the nice referential touches for the massive number of guns and enemies in the game is really on-point.

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Lastly I’ve been playing Star Fox Zero, the much-awaited (at least for me) next entry in Nintendo’s Star Fox franchise. This game is understandably polarizing due to things like the controls being too complicated and the controls not being complex enough. As well as things like it being too much like Star Fox 64 and not enough like Star Fox 64. In case you haven’t figured it out yes I am making fun of people for fans of this series being really fickle and having no idea what they want (and people who play games in general, really).

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As someone who tried and failed to grasp the gyro aiming controls of Splatoon, I had no such problem with Star Fox Zero’s controls. Yeah it kinda sucks that gyro aiming is mandatory but I dealt with it because damnit I care about this series and as long as the controls aren’t the actually unnecessary garbage that was Star Fox Command’s forced touch controls I will deal with it. The game plays great, looks great, and the people who dump on it  unnecessarily are the same kind of people who already hate  Platinum’s games so why do you even listen to them?

That said it’s not perfect and I definitely think that while it’s probably an 8/10 for me it’s most likely a 7/10 for most people. I do hope it does well enough to get a true sequel and hopefully move the story in a direction that isn’t “directly off a cliff” like Star Fox Adventures did.

 

 





Nuclear Throne has suddenly gotten addictive

19 03 2016

For the last few days I’ve been getting more and more engrossed in Vlambeer’s roguelike twin-stick shooter Nuclear Throne. This is odd to me because when I first acquired the game almost a year ago I played it for maybe an hour and it didn’t really hook me. Now though I seem to spend on average an hour a day playing it, trying to get better each time. I think I know why this has happened.

In the earlier builds of Nuclear Throne you had access to just about every character right from the get-go. While this was good for figuring out playstyles and ideal strategies, it also paralyzed me with choices and options. However when i restarted the game recently, I only had access to two characters at the start, and had to unlock more as I went. Sometimes this happens through normal progression, and sometimes this happens because you found a hidden area. With this added incentive to play (since obviously reaching the end every time is not going to happen) I find it a lot easier to get into the game and keep playing it. It’s only $12 on Steam and it’s definitely worth it if you like fast-paced shooters and also like roguelike elements in games. It’s also another example of a great game made with Game Maker Studio, joining other examples like Risk of Rain, Undertale, and Hotline Miami.





Arcade Sports Games need to Make a Comeback

4 08 2015

I haven’t really talked much about game dev stuff recently. Mostly because it’s all been in the background, unless I manage to do a Pixel Daily. This past month was kinda hectic.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Splatoon but my the room where the WiiU is keeps getting taken up by other stuff so not as much time for that, it’s a shame, but hey at least I got 4 gear re-rolls for nothing (and squids for free?…I guess?). So I’ve also been playing some older games too, including ones I never got to have a proper go at before.

I picked up a copy of Mario Superstars Baseball for the Nintendo Gamecube a few weeks ago and have been slowly playing through that. It’s an interesting game, probably one of the last somewhat well-known baseball games that doesn’t utilize an MLB license (even Konami’s MLB Power Pros, natch, gave service to that).

This game is another one of the Mario games that advances the “Mario and co. are just actors on a stage” because for some bizarre reason in the Mushroom Kingdom everyone has decided “baseball is awesome” and they used their massive Mario Bros. royalty checks to build themed baseball parks. Then Bowser, because Bowser is always that one guy you know who has to prove himself better in all things, be it sports, racing, board games, or ruling small fictional countries consisting of fungus people, decides he’s going to challenge everyone else to see who’s the best.

Also, I don’t think a spiked metal club is a regulation bat.

This forms the “Challenge” mode of the game, where you walk around the world map going to everyone’s ballpark and playing them in an attempt to level up your players and also win over their players. You do this by fulfilling special conditions during the game (like striking certain players out or getting hits off of certain players). This allows you to supplement your team with not only named characters, but random goons like Toads, Shyguys, Goombas, and Koopas. Also strange is the fact that Mario’s team has himself and Luigi on it, and Yoshi’s Team has Baby Mario and Baby Luigi on it. So again, I think everyone is just actors at this point, either that or there’s some time shenanigans going on.

Luigi Za Warudo

But I digress. So far in Challenge mode the games go very fast. They’re only 3 innings long (unless you go into extra innings which stop at 6 if there’s a tie). There’s also not a whole lot of downtime either since we don’t have long intros for players and whatnot, or time for commentary except for the weirdly nasally voice of (I’m guessing) a Lakitu. I’m only guessing that because Lakitu is your tutorial of sorts, doing things like passive-agressively snarking about your initial lineup (though let’s be fair, the fact that just about everyone’s team is basically 6 random mooks plus 3 named characters is sorta chuckle-worthy), and telling you how the map screen works which is kind of helpful.

Speaking of other chuckle-worthy things, some of the team names are…special. Well one in particular. The D.K. Kongs. The Donkey Kong Kongs. DK named a team with his last name twice and the roster is only 33% actual Kongs (himself, Diddy, and Dixie. Everyone else is Koopa Troopas and Goombas). Then again what else would one expect from someone who brought a Boxing Glove to a baseball game?

No, Seriously

No, Seriously

On the other hand, maybe he knew one day Nintendo would call upon him to be a secret boss in Punch-Out for the Wii, who can say. Anyway, also in Challenge mode you can play minigames to get coins, which will let you do things like get steroids buy items and powerups that do things like unlock special pitches for some players or improve overall team speed.

The various ballparks are all pretty interesting. Marios is normal, of course, but everyone else apparently decided OSHA is only for people from Brooklyn and thus just did whatever. Princess Peach has built her ballpark in the courtyard of the castle, not even bothering to trim the hedges, and putting random blocks up above to mess up trajectories. And balls that carom off of those are still live and can be caught for an out.

I think this is from an earlier build but w/e

DK has built his ballpark on a river full of Klaptraps and apparently also a barrel factory running through it so getting decked by fallilng barrels hurts a lot. Yoshi has built a ballpark that has Pirahna plants guarding the foul lines and can spit the ball wherever they feel like. Wario built a park in the desert with Chain Chomps. If Bowser’s ballpark isn’t built over an active volcano I’ll actually be surprised.

The game is surprisingly in-depth for what it is, giving the player the ability to steal bases and have players grow as they accomplish goals which you can see detailed, and it’s a lot of fun and very fast-paced.

There are some drawbacks, for one thing the only way to throw faster pitches is that you have to hold down the A button, which starts a charge up animation for your pitcher and depending on who you have pitching it could mean you’ll get ridiculous nonsense like Mario jumping up into the air every time he throws the ball (nowhere near as bad as ShyGuy’s though). This is why I use Luigi as my pitcher because his charge up is fast and no-nonsense. Just spins around like a maniac and whips the ball. Also there are Star Pitches you can do but the timing on those is still a mystery to me. Though it’s hilarious to see a CPU opponent do a star pitch only for me to bunt the ball.

Anyway the whole point of this was that we really need Arcade-style sports games to come back. Back in the 90s you had NBA Jam, Base Wars, Super Baseball 2020, Double Dribble, Mutant League Football, Mutant League Hockey, NFL Blitz, etc. etc. Those games were a lot of fun and didn’t get too caught up in minutae of stats (by the way, sports nerds are the biggest nerds and it’s hilarious to see people who know what WAR or WHIP is, or have their own fantasy sports team, look down on video game players, but that’s for another time). We need these to come back somehow. In a world where only Sony is making MLB games, we need “Oh! That’s a Baseball!”

Yes I made another Jojo reference, deal with it.

 

 





Smash Bros. 3DS and Circle Pad Woes

12 11 2014

So I got Super Smash Bros. for 3DS at launch, and now that I’ve played with it over the past few weeks I think it’s finally brought to light my one major problem with the Nintendo 3DS. The Circle Pad is a poor substitute for an actual Analog Stick. This became most noticeable whenever I tried to sprint, often walking when I didn’t want to, or vice-versa. Another big problem was throwing items, in that it feels like only 25% of the time trying to do a Smash-L throw of an item it either doesn’t work or my character just dismissively tosses the item over their shoulder instead of into their foe’s face like this Gordo here:

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Habitat for Humanity’s Future – Habitat Quick Look

28 07 2014

About a week ago a friend gifted me a copy of Habitat, a game on Steam Early Access. It’s a Unity-powered physics-based strategy game where you have to constuct habitats out of the tons of space junk in Earth’s orbit, as well as fend off hostiles while securing humanity’s future. It’s a lot of fun even if there’s really only a sandbox mode right now, and I made a video about it which you can see below.





Advancing to Faster than Light

13 05 2014

So I know I’ve been super quiet again, things have gotten busy with real life which has given me some trouble with working on Shuffle Breaker recently, apart from the video blog i put up a few days ago. But rest assured I am still working on it.

Also taking up my time recently… FTL: Faster Than Light had its Advanced Edition DLC come out earlier this month (for free, even!). FTL was one of my favorite games to play in 2012 and while initially I was a bit burnt out on it, a couple of my friends talking up the new features of Advanced Edition convinced me to dive back in and now I wonder why I ever left. All of the new features are pretty awesome.

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Steel Diver: Sub Wars – A 3DS F2P FPS You’ll Probably Never Hear Of

9 03 2014

So my hiatus became a bit longer than I thought. There’s a few reasons for it and it’s not like i didn’t do any work, but I am planning to have something up and possibly downloadable regarding Shuffle Breaker this week. That said, let’s talk about the Nintendo 3DS. Despite Nintendo’s financial woes regarding the WiiU, the 3DS is still going pretty strong which is good for me since over the last year I got into it big time, playing a lot of the big Nintendo releases as well as some sports stuff like Pro Evolution Soccer 2012. But I’m not talking about those today.

A couple weeks back (or so) Nintendo did a Nintendo Direct where they announced (to the confusion of many I’m sure), a free-to-play Multiplayer submarine combat game called Steel Diver: Sub Wars. Not only was this not related by gameplay to the Steel Diver that had been a 3DS launch title, but the idea of Nintendo releasing an online multiplayer anything surely seemed odd.

I think what’s more odd is just how good it is, and how few people are going to know about it. More after the jump

Click to dive in