Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mario Run

I've been playing Mario Run for my phone lately. It's great. Only 10 bucks and it unlocks all the content. I don't have much in the way of criticisms, I just want more game, truly. And there's a new update with new levels coming out soon.

I will say I wish this had a level maker on it. Made me want to play Mario Maker again. Also, I'm sick of the New Super Mario Brothers assets. They've been reused too many times for too many games. It's time for a new style and flair.

Also, I wish there were levels with fireballs. Yeah.

Kingdom builder is cool but too simple. Also, I don't know how to visit my friend's kingdom. What's the point of customization without being able to show off?

Anyway, I love the coin challenges. I wish there was endless mode, too. 




Monday, August 28, 2017

Eclipse 2017

I saw the eclipse at the high school I work at.

these photos were taken through eclipse glasses so I didn't damage my phone

the students were all yelling... it was fun!

this was my first eclipse

I really enjoyed it, way cooler than I thought it would be

magical, almost

this is totality with no glasses

there's something primal about seeing an eclipse

next is 2024!



This last one is just a cool photo I saw on facebook that I just had to share. Enjoy!








Saturday, July 15, 2017

Replaying Skyrim

Last month I wrote about building a new gaming PC. Well, of course I had to buy a game to play on it. Skyrim happens to be one of my favorite games ever made, so, with a Steam sale going on, this was a no brainer.



I originally played Skyrim on PS3, so I didn't have mods. Along with the special addition and mods (plus my PC which is OP), I've got an insane graphical upgrades.


Mods are wonderful. Yes, I'm hanging out with skeletons that I own, a new companion, a pet frog, Hedwig, and I'm riding a giant beaver.


Upgraded texture packs, upgraded weathers, and new ways to play


I've been taking screencaps, mostly because I like to have a lot of changing background pictures.


I got a mod that adds like 50 new monsters to fight, too. Met these two earlier. It's such a surprise to see a new monster. 


New dragons mod, like this bird dragon


and this robotic dragon, and new perks, spells, and abilities to fight them with


a mod that makes giants... even taller


A mod that adds more grass and foliage. SO PRETTY


Anyway, this is what I've been playing lately. Still, Skyrim is a 10/10 masterpiece. One of the best games ever made.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

I built a new gaming PC

I used to own a desktop Mac, but it died. It was depressing, but I knew it was coming. Ever since I updated to El Capitan, my Mac had become a disaster. Slow, broken, just a mess. I swore off Apple products after that update broke it, and so I began dreaming of my next personal computer.

Through the advice from friends I put out on facebook, and also the help of a crew of awesome dudes at Microcenter, I built a new Windows PC that I am calling... BEASTMODE!

The machine is a monster. It can handle any game currently on the market. It’s got a clear glass casing and the internals change colors.

So, the rest of this post is just showing it off for funsies.

PLEASE comment with what games I should get. I’ve been playing a bunch of old games, like Skyrim with a million mods.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Yooka-Laylee Review & What Should Come Next


Banjo-Kazooie (hereafter written as BK) is one of my favorite games of all time, in my opinion, it exceeds Mario 64. I think Yooka-Laylee (YL) is as good as the original BK game.

Yes, I recommend it to people like me who loved BK. No, it is not a game for everyone.

One thing that makes BK & YL so special is characters and story, strangely enough. Recent Mario games have bored me for this reason. Mario does the same thing over and over, beat level, kill Bowser. Yooka talks to shopping carts with eyeballs, and I think that’s hilarious. YL and BK have more personality than Mario, in that way. Also, the story is different, changing. Each World in Mario is the same, get to the castle, defeat the boss, save princess/toad. Each World in BK & YL has a different story, and the characters all have different issues. Drop pigs off in helicopters, save a skeleton from being stewed, console a cloud with marital issues, make bubbles in a sentient hot tub, etc.

Mario used to have different villains… Tatanga, Cackletta, Mouser, Wario, Smithy, Wart… but Nintendo recently has been sticking with Bowser for every single game, and it’s growing very dull for me. I guess this is a side note, but I would love a 3D Mario where he returns to Subcon or a brand new enemy entirely.

Anyway, I enjoyed my time with YL, and I believe anyone wishing for the next BK (no more, no less) will be happy with it.

Although, I must say that I encountered a game-breaking bug that is preventing me from getting the platinum trophy on PS4. Somehow, even after collecting all of the chips on Capital Cashino, I still am missing ten. My game shows 0/10 chips, even though I’ve turned all 190 in. I still have a Pagie missing. I’ve read online that this is a common glitch, when you turn in many chips at once and the game forgets to give you a Pagie. I’ve also read on Twitter that Playtonic is going to fix this issue.

So, yeah, I’m mad about that. I still like the game, but I wanted the platinum trophy, and now I’m locked out of it unless they patch the game.

OXYBORB.COM Official Review Score for Yooka-Laylee: 7/10   Now, I scored this as is with a caviot: If Playtonic releases a patch so that I can get the Platinum Trophy without replaying the entire game, then I will bump the score up by 1 whole point.


by the way, all screen shots were taken by ME during my playthrough



Now, on to the constructive criticism:

I’m an idea guy. I don’t just like to critique, I like to creatively think through suggestions to make games better. This is what I plan on doing with YL. 

 

First, let’s talk about Kartos.

The minecart-themed challenges in YL are meant to throw you back to the old rides in the classic Donkey Kong Country games. I’ve beaten all of these challenges, and the cart-boss, too. None of them are impossible. However, they each have issues that strike against the fun factor.

I would love to see Kartos return in Yooka-Laylee 2 under the condition that his challenges are vastly improved. Here’s how:

1. Straight lines only; no turns, no 3D – the challenges in each stage are set over the stages themselves. The tracks appear floating above the sets, weirdly. They curve around towers/mountains/etc. to fit within the bounds. This, however, is not a good thing for several reasons:
  • A. Curving around makes it harder to see what’s coming next, so instead of skill at carting, victory is based on luck and rote memorization.
  • B. If you jump/boost when a turn happens, your minecart can fly off the stage. This happened to me. This is really frustrating, given that there are many, many obstacles, to avoid, some during turns, that are hard to see.
  • C. The cannon fires straight, regardless of curve. So, basically, you can’t shoot barrels or other stuff when there’s a curve. The curve renders the cannon useless.

2. Set each challenge in a cave, not over the surrounding stage – This piggybacks off of #1. If there was one generic cave background for all the cart challenges, then you wouldn’t need to set the tracks floating in the stages themselves. This, for one thing, would make the carting feel more realistic and moody (track hovering over ice castles and casinos is out of place), and also ensure that the carting can happen on a 2D, straight track. The other BIG reason for this is because it’s hard to see the gems, hazards, and jumps with such crazy backgrounds going on behind you. I’d much rather have a mostly-black, cave theme.

3. No more shooting – the cannon is not fun. I don’t enjoy having to shoot barrels to avoid crashing. Also, the cannon hardly ever hits the target, even when I do shoot. This is either because the curvature of the track in 3D space, because when you jump the cannon fires at an angle rather than straight, or because when you land from jumping there’s a few seconds of weirdness that make the cannon shoot in weird directions. Even if the cannon was fixed to shoot straight, I would not want it to return. Like Donkey Kong Country, I want to only be thinking about jumping while carting.

4. Speaking of jumping, let’s talk about that. One of the few movements Donkey Kong does while carting was jumping out of the cart, often to jump on top of enemies. Banjo, and now Yooka, are not Mario, they do not jump on top of enemies to kill them. So, YL solves this by having the entire minecart jump when Yooka jumps, and so the minecart can “hop” on the heads of enemies. The issue with this is that the giant apparatus of 3-characters-in-1 is bulky and the unforgiving game is more likely to give you damage rather than consider the enemy “jumped.” OK, now the fix idea I have for this is to just allow Yooka to purchase “Head Jump” from Trowser in the next game. This would allow him to jump out of the cart and on top of enemies. Done. Fixed. Yooka should jump higher, like DK, out of the cart, and then land back in it as needed. Just make sure the jump goes the same speed as the cart, please.

5. No bees, pick a different enemy, please. One that doesn’t explode when you kill it.

6. Less hazards in general. It seems like the devs got so good at playing the minecarts that they just kept upping the difficulty to unbearable levels. Think about this, sometimes I go play the minecart levels from Donkey Kong Country just for funsies. They have the right difficulty, a perfect balance of hazards and calm. I do not have any urge to replay the Yooka-Laylee cart levels because they are so ridiculously overly hazard-filled that they are not fun.

7. The camera needs to move OUT. I want to see more of the track. I want to be able to see what is coming ahead of me rather than just memorizing it.
8. The breaking/boosting thing needs to go. No more of that. Keep it simple. Think DK Country. I want to focus entirely on jumping, not whether or not I can make a jump by boosting.

9. The boss, I.N.E.P.T., was ALMOST great, but the pattern for jumping over the big spikey balls was impossible to do without taking damage. I honestly do not believe it is possible to avoid them all. Either that, or the pattern is so complex gamers cannot possibly learn it. Playtonic, as a player, I only want to take damage because of MY fault, not because the game’s fault. 

10. There needs to be a “RETRY” button, selectable at any time after starting and even after you die, so that way you do not have to go through the dialog with Kartos each time you die.

11. BONUS ROUND: You should add a minecart maker that allows you to send new tracks to your friends’ games to attempt to beat. That way if we want ridiculously hard levels, we can make them.


Use my suggestions, and I promise minecarting will be a POSITIVE part of your next game, and not a NEGATIVE in a review.


 

Next, let’s talk about Rextro Sixtyfourus and the minigames.

For one thing, it seems like they had to reuse assets because of development time, when they originally meant to make retro-looking minigames. I get that they didn’t have time, but it would have been cool to see some pixel art to match the retro-dino. Now, I have not played any of these minigames with other people, so I can’t speak about how fun they are with friends.

But I will rank them as far as how much I enjoyed them:

1. Gun-let Run
2. Jobstable Course
3. Blag the Flag

4. Bee Bop
5. Glaciators
6. Kartos Karting
7. Up ‘N’ Nova
-
8. Hurdle Hijinx

Now, what strikes me as crazy is that my top 3 favorite minigames are the ones not featured in the single-player game. WTF?? They are the best ones, and yet you don’t earn pagies from them. Weird. Most of the minigames are easy enough, but I will say in general, remove the BEES from ALL of them. For example, in the Kartos one, if you shoot a bee it explodes, but the bees are all around corners and cannot be shot until you’re close. How annoying is that?

Side note, there needs to be a “RETRY” button, selectable at any time after starting and even after you die, so that way you do not have to go through the dialog with Rextro each time you die/fail.

Also, if I beat the high score on the first try, then I deserve to earn the high score and get the second Pagie WITH the first. Perhaps, I suggest, one Pagie could be collected within the game, somehow, like by driving into it or finding a secret within the minigame, and the second can be for the high score.

The only minigame that sucks is Hurdle Hijinx, which is sad because it could have been fun. Much like the Kartos minecart challenges, there are just too many hazards and therefore becomes infuriating rather than fun. You don’t lose Hurdle Hijinx because you mess up, you lose because the game isn’t good. Hurdle Hijinxs has serious framerate hiccups that keeps you from jumping. The jump often won’t allow you to switch lanes for no reason at all, and I don’t understand that. The roll move is useless, in fact trying to roll through more than one bad guy at a time will cost you a life. And if you get damaged, you die. It takes a huge chunk of your score and then sends you back so far that you’re not even on your television set anymore. This could have been more fun if your character ran in the middle of the screen rather than right at the very bottom. If this game had less hazards, it would have actually been a pretty fun game all by itself. The concept is really cool.





 

One of the coolest parts of YL: the minigolf courses.

The Capital Cashino’s golf course is nearly perfect. It’s one of the best challenges in the game, and I loved it.

The Black-Hole In One has one design flaw that was very frustrating: the gates. I didn’t think it was fun to have to run to a sonar-statue every few seconds to unlock a gate to pass my ball through. I loved the windmill (and I didn’t even know that there was a button) and all the rest, but the gate was annoying.

Don’t impede players like that. It was just really unneeded. Think about actual minigolf, there’s never a time when you have to go push a button to unlock a gate for your ball. If the gates automatically went up and down, that’d be a different story, but the fact that I had to stop playing golf to unlock the gate was annoying.


But I want MORE GOLF in YL2!

In fact, this could be a really cool multiplayer challenge. I would rather have a golf challenge in each level than a retro game or minecart challenge, in fact. Might even be cool if balls of all sorts were littered throughout the game and Trowser sold a “Golf Swing” move to really give you a good hit.



About the Boss Battles:

First, I’ll rank them in terms of which I enjoyed the most:

1. Trev the Tenteyecle
2. Capital B
3. The Great Rampo

-
4. Brrreeze Blok
5. I.N.E.P.T.

6. Planette


The first three were good, the last three were bad.

Trev the Tenteyecle was the best, most fair boss in the game. Also, his section sported the best graphics in the game. Just a wonderful battle and very fun. Maybe even the best part of the entire game. Capital B was hard but fair. I died a lot but it never felt frustrating, only made me want to try better! Rampo became frustrating because of the amount of health you lose when you slide down (and then going off to collect butterflies repeatedly), hitting each level of logs along the way, but it was unique and fun too.

Brrreeze Blok was uninteresting and easy. Kind of seemed thrown in rather than thought out. I.N.E.P.T. was cheap, forcing players to take damage because the attack patterns were impossible. Planette was all just random chance. The ship transformation was hard to control in the controlled space of the boss fight, and so Planette’s projectiles were unavoidable. I mean, to turn, you had to switch the way you hold the joystick when you reach the walls or you just stop turning. Totally weird controls. Planette and I.N.E.P.T. were the worst because losing wasn’t the player’s fault, but the game’s. Winning equated to random chance rather than skill.

So, the best thing to remember when designing bosses for YL2 is this: When the player can only blame himself for losing, players enjoy the challenge and try harder. When the player has to blame the game’s cheapness or random chance for losing, then the player gets frustrated because there’s not much he can do.

Also, like the retro games and minecart, bosses need a quick retry button.


 

Powerups and downs

I LOVE that Yooka can eat stuff and become stuff and shoot stuff. The character design of the buddy duo is fantastic in that way. The range of moves is awesome. I also really like how Yooka can both become sticky honey man AND shoot snowballs at the same time. Very cool way to create combos.
What I don’t like is that the powerups disappear quickly. I know there’s a tonic for that, but you can only have one (and Fallproof is essential! Duh!) we’ll talk about tonics later. Somehow, I suppose powerups replace the eggs in BK, just as the stamina bar replaces the need to collect feathers and other stuff. I LIKE the stamina bar, and I also like that you no longer need specific platforms for flight and spring jumps. I love being able to fly wherever I am.

But when it comes to fire/water/ice flowers, then it gets a little annoying. I wish they were just ammo that I could collect and store.

My suggestion is this: You can shoot your ammo from anywhere. D-down is shoot. To switch between ammo options, just click left and right on the D-pad. Hold Triangle to access the emotions that currently reside on the D-pad.
The problem with the powerups disappearing on their own is that it turns every challenge that uses them into a timed challenge. You have to complete something in a certain amount of time. I hate being rushed in an open world game like this.


Speaking of timed challenges

It felt like too many challenges were on a timer, and that detracts from the fun. I hate being rushed. There was one in the Hivory Towers that is like a giant slide, and I kept missing the goal by 1 second. It took hours to beat, and it was painful (I beat it to get the platinum [which I can’t get because of the Cashino glitch, grrr!]). Had that challenge not had a timer, it would have been perfectly fun, though. Open world games should be more open ended.



Transformations compared to Banjo-Kazooie

The transformations are OK in YL. They aren’t as special as in BK, and I think I know why: In BK, each transformation made you more capable of movement around the level. In YL, each transformation makes you less capable of movement.
BK’s bee allowed you to fly, the termite could climb better, the croc could swim through piranha water, the walrus let you swim in cold water, the pumpkin could squeeze through holes, whereas YL’s flower prevents you from jumping, the snow plow is hard to control and slides off platforms into water constantly, the piranhas prevent you from leaving the water, and the helicopter makes you fly slower than you fly as normal YL. The pirate ship might be the exception.

In YL2, I want weirder transformations. The everyday automotives are now played out. How about an armadillo? A monster? A UFO? A broomstick? What if you could become a shovel and then play as Shovel Knight? A raccoon or squid would be cool.


Worlds, ranked

The best worlds in order:

1. Tribalstack Tropics
2. Moodymaze Marsh

3. Galleon Galaxy
4. Hivory Towers (the hub world)

5. Glitterglaze Glacier
6. Capital Cashino


I liked the worlds just fine. The hub world is fantastic! Cashino was good, even though I rank it last. It just felt emptier than the rest, and too many of the challenges were slot machines.


My ideas for new worlds:

World: Deep Dark Wood

Theme: pumpkins and creepy beasts haunt the dreary woods, almost an ode to the original Banjo-Kazooie’s Click Clock Wood but with more of a Halloween feel to make it different. A spooky mansion can be somewhere inside, as well as a family of witches wishing to fly to the moon and raccoons who are starving for trash.
           
Transformation: Either a raccoon or broomstick. A raccoon could climb the sides of trees and speak to raccoons or trashcans. A broomstick could fly and help witches complete tasks.
           
Moves to learn: Sonar-Sight, which allows you to see certain enemies and objects through walls.
Swing Launch – Yooka can grab vines and bars and swing from them


World: Coral Reef Corral

Theme: Deep within the ocean, Yooka and Laylee will find themselves in an underwater western, where a rancher of underwater squiddies needs your help.

Transformation: Squid – shoot through the water with a jet (like when Mario grabs a koopa shell in Mario Galaxy), sputter out ink, and also speak with Cthulu

Moves to learn: Batwing Swim – makes the swimming much better to control, like when Mario gets the frog suit
Bubble-lash – Yooka can now tongue-up bubbles to restore his air meter


World: Beanstalk Battlements

Theme: Set around a castle on a cloud, a family of giants stalk the area.

Transformation: UFO – controls like the past game’s helicopter, only MUCH faster. You can zoom around the level. You also have a tractor beam on your underside that allows you to pick up stuff and lasers for weapons.

Moves to learn: Jetboost – During flight, Yooka’s tongue lashes out on pillar points, launching YL into a jet boost [while still flying]
Dive Bomb – YL can now dive bomb during flight, soaring down and then swooping back up into the sky, sort of like Batman in the Arkham games




Tonics
 I love tonics. You should be able to pick more than just one at a time. I LOVE the one that prevents fall damage, but I can’t also use helium-voices? Why not? Why not just let the player decide how many to use? Or, at least, let me pick 3.


What I want from YL2 or DLC:

New Worlds, obviously.

Camera mode – I love taking screen shots… would be great to take better ones with a real camera mode like Horizon: Zero Dawn has.

A new set of expansions to purchase [with pagies] for existing worlds.

A Trophy Room: would be cool to go back to your ship and see some of the stuff you’ve collected or some random objects from your adventures. That party you see at the end of the game makes me think… maybe some of the characters you help can show up at the Bat Ship Crazy just to admire your “trophies” you collect during the game.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Horizon: Zero Dawn Review and Photo Safari

OXYBORB.COM Official Review Score for Horizon: Zero Dawn: 11/10 

Great, now that that's out of the way, let me show you the pictures I took during my playthrough:

SPOILERS ahead! The game is best played not knowing anything, and I'm not holding back!
 
Horizon: Zero Dawn is beautiful. It has a camera mode that I frequently used to capture these shots.

I score this game 11/10 because it is wonderful in all ways. All I really want out of this game is for it not to end.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Best-of Me Around the Internet (Part 1)


I do a lot of stuff online that isn’t on this blog, so I thought I’d do a best-of sort of post that highlights some of my favorite art/writings/blogs/videos/etc. that I have up around the net. 


First up is from my tumblr, which is dedicated to all the sketches and drawings I do. I felt inspired to draw a preying mantis one day, and I love the way I positioned its limbs. What do you think?  
http://oxyborb.tumblr.com/post/88209224729





oxyborb.com

Oxyborb is my gamertag, but I also named my nerd-culture blog it. One of the most popular posts I’ve written was about Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. This mega-sized blog has tons of illustrations done by me!

 

From the Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U Mega Blog

 

So, I think Animal Crossing deserves 3 character slots. I think each could be a unique, non-clone character. I think Tom Nook should have a Red skin. Shovel Knight would be an amazing 3rd party addition. Dillon needs to be upgraded from Assist Trophy. Ridley is not too big, so shut up. Skull Kid would be wicked. Impa could be a heavier Sheik. I want the giant blue pig version of Ganon to be a character, separate from Ganondorf. Petey Piranha is still one of my favorite ideas, using tornadoes and slime as attacks. Nintendo needs to purchase every aspect of Super Mario RPG, and then Geno needs to have a new game made starring him (see pun for details) and a spot on the roster. King K. Rool is more interesting than Dixie.


My music at Soundcloud!

I’m also a songwriter. I wrote an album and two of my buddies helped me perform and record it. One of my favorite songs is here for your listening pleasure.

 

My song, Explicit:

 




 

poetsrevolver.blogspot.com

 A Poet’s Revolver is a blog all about my life and thoughts and other stuff. I post photos and tell stories about events. One of those posts was about the time I and a friend went to Chicago and basically partied and went nuts every night.

 

From the My Wild Random Road Trip to Chicago:

 

We stayed the night at a friend from high school’s place and jammed out with his roommates. We went to a Spy Store, and checked out a bunch of weird spy gear you can buy. The next day we did coffee and then visited an old friend who used to run ITP (my old theatre company). We caught up, did a random hike, and talked with his fantastic girlfriend about dinosaur sign language and compared swords… After that, I met my traveling bud’s college friends at a pub, and we ate lunch (I had brussel sprouts). We then went to a hilarious musical comedy called “Cupid Has A Heart On” and then went out clubbing. We danced until 3am and were brought up to V.I.P.P. status, which was crazy. I don’t even want to write all the crazy things that brought us up there. It was a fantastic night, though. 


unravelatlas.blogspot.com

The Unraveler’s Atlas is a monthly creative experiment I do. Each month, I create a new fantastical beast that I might use (or already have used) in my fiction writing. 

 

From Arbuscula:

 

The Arbuscula is a sentient tree creature. It has four spiderlike legs and a great maw of a mouth. Some of the leaves are light-sensitive, which give the arbuscula a sense of sight. Arbuscula come in a variety of appearances and several different tree-breeds have been discovered. Although they are very hostile, they will often sit quietly and wait until their enemies leave. Any small-sized prey, however, will be killed if the risk is low enough. 


harrisonaye.com

My first name is David, but my pen name is Harrison Aye (my middle name). My ultimate goal in life is to become a novelist and create worlds for readers to explore. The Unraveler is the novel I’m focusing on, so this blog is themed after it. But I post other writings on it as well. What I’m sharing here is a short story fan fic set in the Harry Potter universe. While that sounds lame, this is a story I was forced to write because the idea I had was so good that it screamed at me to come out. It’s not like other fan fic, but set in the past with characters well before any of the main book series.

 

From The King of Azkaban:

            0

     “So, why don’t you leave, then?” the ruined man asked. He looked a dementor himself, wearing a ratty black cloak over his striped garb and having a face so sunken it barely existed at all.

     “Erik, as I have told you many times before, I have as much left to go to as you do,” Sirius Black responded. “I’m old, hurting.”

     Erik coughed and laughed at the same time. “As much as I had, you have now. Azkaban is my home, my doom.”

     “Is that why the dementors leave you alone?” Sirius asked.

     “No, my friend. They leave me alone for the opposite reason that they ignore you.”      “Because I can transform into a dog?”   “Dogs, like yourself, are innocent, subjects to their upbringing.”

     “If you’re the opposite of innocent, then you’re guilty. You’re not the only one here who is.” Sirius laughed into his hands.

     “No, I’m not, but I hold regret and desire punishment for my crimes, which is the opposite of knowing that you’ve been wrongly accused. I am a ruined man, and I made myself this way. I have no emotions to feed them.”

     “What did you do that was so bad?” Sirius asked.

     Erik raised a bony white arm and pointed out the narrow slit in the stone.      Sirius did not bother to squint and peer through. Erik meant the dementors. What else could be out there? “What about them?”      “It’s quite the tale.”      “I have time, obviously,” Sirius said, stretching his arms and folding them behind his head. “I’m stuck here, the same as you, Erik.”

     “Only I am stuck, and Erik isn’t my name. It’s Ekrizdis, and I’m nearly eight hundred years old.”

     And so Ekrizdis told his story, and Sirius listened.

Christmas in the STL

A post shared by David Oxyborb Aye (@oxyborb) on

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture



I got this with PS+ a few months back, but I just got to it. I’ve read a lot online about the speed of the game. You literally walk really slowly throughout the whole thing. 

You can “run” by holding a button to build speed, but you never end up going very fast (or fast enough to call it running). Also, even if you’re holding down the button, the game will slow you down when entering certain buildings anyway. I hated the slowness. I get that it is there for artistic whatever, but… no. The slowness pulled me out of the immersion consistently. I would groan as I bumbled up stairs to get to the next point. I was exhausted by getting my built up speed automatically taken from me because I entered a warehouse.

Honestly, holding down a button for an entire game is also boring. Imagine crossing the entire Wasteland in Fallout while forced to hold down a button (and also going slow anyway). Also, I swear that the walking is slower than how the average person walks. It takes like a minute to descend stairs. I kept thinking, “I can jump down steps in 5 seconds in real life! WHY SO SLOW?”

The story was good, but the speed killed it for me. I just couldn’t get immersed while rolling my eyes wishing to get from point A to B faster than a slug.

I don’t think the forced pacing added anything to the art but anxiety. I have built huge sprawling levels in Minecraft, Mario Maker, LittleBIGPlanet, and more, and my experience there leads me to think that the speed was the developer wanting to exert control the player, to force the player to see the detailed work they put in. However, forcing dominance over the player is just not very fun for the player. Players want more options and the freedom to notice the details they want. It’s like if a sculptor grabbed a person by the skull and moved their heads to the various points on the sculpture.


OXYBORB.COM Official Review Score for Everybody's Gone To The Rapture: 6.2/10  


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and all that jazz

the screen and box

I’m sorry Nintendo, but nothing would please me more than playing your games on the Playstation 4. I get why that would hurt your pride, but seriously, the Switch is not at all what I want as a consumer. You make amazing, polished games, why not put them on amazing, polished hardware? Imagine how much money Nintendo would make putting games on XboxOne, PS4, and Steam.

I will not pay more for the Switch than I did for my 3DS, just so you know. It looks like a smaller Wii U with detachable buttons. I mean, it is, right? Instead of playing off TV, you can just play anywhere. I doubt anyone will even bother to hook it up to a TV, too. Also, the controllers and extra stuff is priced ridiculously. I’ll wait until Gamestop has them used, thank you very much.

Much like the PS4 Pro is to PS4, the Switch looks like the Wii U Pro to the Wii U, and that’s not a good thing. At least the PS4 Pro is compatible with PS4 games! Sheesh!



the games

I’m a Wii U owner. I highly enjoyed Splatoon, Mario Maker, Smash Bros., and 3D World. I will likely buy a Switch someday, but I will definitely skip the launch, and likely the launch year and maybe even 2-3 years after.

You see, I already own Wii U. I bought Mario Kart 8 and all the DLC packs and played the crap out of them (btw, there’s NO reason the new characters/modes couldn’t be DLC for Wii U except that Nintendo wants us to pay full price to rebuy it on a new system and also buy their online fee) I beat Skyrim already. Minecraft is great but I’ve put hundreds of hours into it on my computer. Splatoon 2 looks like a meagerly upgraded port, too, sorry to say. Maybe it’s not, but yeah… The new boxing game looks good, Arms, right? Also reminds me of Wii Sports. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t buy it, but I can see the appeal.

I’ll be honest, I fear that Nintendo will soon announce Deluxe versions of Smash Bros. and Mario Maker. That’s not okay. I don’t buy new systems to play old games.




online

Nintendo has decided to make players shell out the bucks to play their games online. Fine. I pay for Playstation Plus. What do I get from Sony? I get seamless connections, little to no lag, voice chat support in-game and in-party, the ability to interact with players met online, trophies shared with all my friends to document my accomplishments, games designed for fantastic multiplayer by developers who care about what players want, streaming video whenever I want, and to top it all off free games every single month that I get to keep as long as I have PS+.

Historically, Nintendo games require long “sign in” screens for online, don’t support voice, don’t allow interactions with people who are not my friends, don’t have trophies, don’t have multiplayer focused games, and no streaming.

Nintendo has said we’ll get free games each month, but they’ll all be old games and you can’t keep them after the month is up, even if you still pay for online. I love that Playstation gives me new, fresh games, like Journey. I don’t want old games, Nintendo. I want new.

I should also mention what I mean by, “games designed for fantastic multiplayer by developers who care about what players want.” Let’s look at Smash Bros. for Wii U. First off, you must “log in” to online, which is the stone age of gaming as far as I’m concerned. Games like Watch_Dogs 2, seamlessly integrate online into the games. Players just pop on and off, no big deal. No long loading screens. Once you log in, there are no lobbies, no ranks or leveling, no online unlocks, and no customized fights with random rivals. If I want to stop fighting one stranger and go to the next, the game boots me out to the menus, which I have to aggravatingly navigate all over. I want to do 1 on 1 fights with no items with strangers, but I don’t want to ONLY play on Final Destination. I can’t customize something as basic as that? That’s ridic. Why did they mess that up so bad? Imagine if Rocket League only let you play on 1 pitch online. Then I can’t tell the other player “gg” or anything, certainly not with voice. I’m not allowed to interact with strangers in Nintendo games because they haven’t figured out how to do parental controls, apparently. In Smash, the most communication I get with strangers with taunted or ducking down repeatedly to acknowledge them. Pathetic. Also, 50-60% of the matches I played online in Smash were laggy to the point at which I could not play. Online on Nintendo is regularly (and literally) unplayable. Finally, Nintendo has a very slim playerbase that plays online. I have a hard time finding anyone to play with. Games are empty, devoid of life as it is.

Now let’s look at Rocket League. I’m online as soon as my game starts. I can play any mode with any player online, trade items with them or do custom matches. I can chat with them through voice, text, or pre-set messages. I can invite strangers to continue playing with me through the Playstation’s “recently met players” section. Lobbies easily get me to the games I want to be in, with very little screens or loading between matches. There is no lag.

Nintendo has historically ignored features that make online great, the number 1 feature being interaction. If you think about it, interacting with people is the entire point of online. And Nintendo has this problem with ALL of their games, even Mario Kart 8, which only supported voice chat with friends (not anyone) and in between matches. Ridic! You might as well play against bots.

And now Nintendo wants me to pay a fee to play online? Hah! Not gonna happen. Unless it’s a dollar a month, nobody but the biggest Nintendo fan will do that. They just don’t offer enough to justify pricing it. Especially since they’re really just putting old games out, anyway. I can’t imagine Nintendo’s already slim online playerbase will be very large once the price barrier is in place. Who will even be around to participate in matches? Not me!


sum up

I’m mad. The Switch is likely going to fail, because it appears to be doubling down on what the Wii U was, and also they’re charging fees to play online when they are crappy online. I want Nintendo to quit making hardware and focus on software for Playstation systems. Also, the new Zelda doesn’t look good, sorry. Looks like a big empty world with nothing to do but cook mushrooms.