Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SC Says Things to Intentionally Piss Off Gamers

This is the closest thing you'll see to me raging about games.  That or this could just be trolling.  Whatever.  Without further adoo...

1. Regenerating health in a first-person shooter is fucking stupid.

That's not to say regenerating health can't work in a game.  I hate Halo, but its regenerating health makes sense because it's a regenerating SHIELD, not health.  Games where you're playing someone not human, superhuman, or even a regular human wearing some sort of gear or a suit that protects and heals the body all make sense to have regenerating health.  Even then, some games have regenerating health, but it regenerates slowly so the player still has to think out their next move or (I've seen people do this) wait up to five minutes for their health to completely regenerate.

Games like Modern Warfare 2?  No.

Games like the first Red Steel?  No.

Yes, I did just compare Modern Warfare 2 to Red Steel.  Deal with it.

The worst part of this is that I know people who can't play an FPS that DOESN'T have regenerating health.  These are the same people who bitch and moan about finding and/or using health packs.  Newsflash: if you can wait behind a wall for ten seconds to get health back, you can take ten seconds to walk back or open a menu and grab/use a health pack.  If you were getting shot so much that you used all of them, that's not the game's problem.  When did gamers become such giant, idiotic pussies?

Can Duke Nukem just cock punch these morons already?

It's bad enough that the FPS genre is watered down as hell; the game industry has released on average more than one new FPS game per month for the past six years.  Having to deal with these people is just the icing on the painfully-annoying cake.

 2. Xenosaga is a sleeping pill shaped like a game.

I actually like a fair amount of RPGs, but this has to be said.  RPGs are boring.  If you're not the one playing the RPG, it becomes ten times as boring.  Every time I go on YouTube and see "Let's Play Final Fantasy <insert number here> Part <insert number above 200 here>" listed I bookmark it in my Having Trouble Sleeping folder.  This tends to backfire as most of the people doing these videos are mind-numbingly annoying jackholes doing the LP for their own satisfaction while raping their mics with their pseudo-human voices.

Xenosaga takes that self-masturbatory attitude and converts it into ass-backwards objectives that serve no real purpose and cutscenes that manage to both suck in quality and make every character look and sound like mindless, soulless, emotionless husks saying words simply for the sake of saying words.  I've had many a sleepless night since first playing the game, but never to the point where I would play it again or look up footage of it.  After all, when I go to sleep I want to wake up less than 24 hours later.

KOS-MOS, the half-naked robot girl, is what most people remember from Xenosaga.  
Gee, I wonder why?

 3. Gamers hate originality.

I think my thoughts on this can be summed up by Tommy Lee Jones in this scene from Men In Black.  See if you can figure out which part I'm talking about:

For those playing the home game, the quote is "A person is smart.  People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."  By the same token, a gamer likes creative new titles.  Gamers, however, are weak-willed sheep afraid to operate outside their comfort zone and dismiss anything new a game does because it isn't like what they've already seen.  For example, think of how many of the biggest and most popular releases in the past year have been for games that are sequels or spin-offs to an already-popularized series.

It's not to say original titles DON'T get recognized or promoted, but they certainly tend to fall by the wayside for a more noticed "brand" of game.  It's partially because gamers don't take the initiative and partially because of the companies making the games.  A sequel is, for the most part, a safe title to produce.  The question then becomes, who is more to blame: the companies for not promoting or making original material, or the gaming masses for consuming the same old shit?

Think about it, because the companies sure as hell don't want you to.

See what I did there?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

SC on Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)

I will make this perfectly clear right now.  Before this game, I had never played any of the Monster Hunter games.  I didn't even know the series existed until I saw this:

A game with some armored guy wielding a giant sword taking down huge monsters left and right? How could I NOT like a game like this? (Don't get ahead of me)

Since I don't own a PSP, or any handhelds beyond the GameBoy Advance, and the PS2 games are simply impossible to find around here, I took a huge chance and got Monster Hunter Tri shortly after it came out.  No, the pseudo-Scottish guy from the commercials didn't tell me to do it.


Let's get one thing clear about Tri (I'm too lazy to type the whole title) right now.  If you don't like to be challenged by a game or otherwise forced to pick apart your enemies with your mind just as much as your weapon, Tri is not for you.  In fact, Monster Hunter in general is not for you.  I cannot stress enough how difficult this game can get.

However, the learning curve for the game isn't too bad.  In single player the game takes you through how to make weapons and armor, fight, combine items, get and handle quests, fight monsters, gather and farm items, etc. before facing any of the "boss" monsters.  In multiplayer... well, play single player first.  No, really.  Do it.  Besides, single player's armor and weapon progression (not to mention the upgrades to the farm and fishing fleet) pretty much supports and leads into the multiplayer, where the monsters are stronger.

"I have to CARVE the monster?!"

 The plot of Tri isn't really important, especially in multiplayer, but there is one in single player so I might as well mention it.  You play an upstart hunter who's been called to a small village off the coast of an otherwise deserted island.  A series of recent earthquakes has the villagers frightened and their homes falling apart.  They blame the earthquakes on a large sea monster called the Lagiacrus, and you've been brought in to (eventually) take it down, as well as other monsters in about six different areas.  It gets more complex than that once you face the Lagiacrus, but I'd rather not spoil anything.

Needless to say, the object of the game is to get the best weapons and armor possible to hunt increasingly more difficult monsters.  The former is particularly important because there isn't any sort of leveling system in Tri.  All your stats come from the armor you wear and the weapon you carry.  As such, level grinding doesn't exist... but has been replaced with armor grinding.

You're doing it wrong.

Armor grinding only gets particularly bad later on in the game's multiplayer when the second tier of armors become available.  These tend to require at least one very rare (as in 5% chance of getting them or less) item to drop from the monster either by being carved from it or received in the rewards after completing a quest, and can only be found against the advanced forms of the monster.  Considering as how some of these quests can end up cutting it close to the 50-minute limit, this can take awhile.

Essentially, a little under half of multiplayer's quests are fighting the same monsters as before, but stronger and able to take more hits.  It comes off as a bit of a cop out, but at the same time there are two monsters in these later quests not seen anywhere else.  Said monsters will be referred to as Nightmare A and Nightmare B from now on.

Fighting monsters handles pretty smoothly regardless of controller choice.  While my friends tend to use classic controllers for Tri, I've always used the Wii Remote and had few issues with it.  The only problem with the remote is whether or not you're disciplined enough to know how you're holding it as certain attacks are triggered by tilting it up or twisting it in either direction and pressing the attack button.  It sounds awkward, but by the time the bigger monsters come around it's practically second nature.  Or at least it should be, if you don't want to get your ass chewed off.

Fun fact: Your hunter is almost as tall as Nightmare A's ankle.

Still, some aspects of the game can be difficult to grasp even with experience, such as fighting monsters underwater.  Dodging in particular can be difficult to do properly (as in not directly into the monster) and the ability for swimming monsters to be in front of, behind, above, AND below you means moving the camera constantly to keep track of what's going on.  Speaking of which, never back yourself into a corner or against the wall.  The camera tends to spaz out and either tilt down over the hunter's head or clip through the scenery, essentially blinding the player.  Then again, if you've backed yourself into a corner you're playing this game entirely wrong.

And now I present to you a brief list of things I didn't know about Tri until a Monster Hunter veteran told me so:

-Tri has fewer weapons than other Monster Hunters.  Weapons like the dual swords, gunlance, and bow aren't present, but it hardly seems to matter.  What weapons are in Tri (sword & shield, great sword, long sword, hammer, lance, switch axe, and bowgun) provide a solid variety of attack styles based on what they can or can't do.  For example, Great Swords do more damage than Long Swords, but Long Swords can perform faster attacks and are more combo-centric.  The trade-off (well, one of them) is that Long Sword users can't block while Great Sword users can.
-While several of the monsters are original like Uragaan and Nightmare A, Rathalos and Rathian have been in the series for awhile and some monsters are based on others in the series, like Gigginox and Barioth.  Some have similar attacks while others are just similar in appearance.
- Past Monster Hunters had the ability to farm minerals and ore in addition to plants, seeds, and bugs.  Tri doesn't have mineral/ore farming.
-Tri is the first Monster Hunter with underwater combat.  The next Monster Hunter, Portable 3rd, won't have it, possibly the result of endless bitching from a bunch of wussies who flip the fuck out when they can't figure out how a goddamn D-pad/control stick works.
This isn't rocket science.

 Single player, while not necessary to play, does offer a few weapons, one big-ass elder dragon, and an armor class that can't be found in multiplayer.  It has two different types of gameplay: quests and free hunt.  Free hunt is simply walking out of the village and hunting whatever monsters show up.  One of the villagers offers both a forecast of what smaller and bigger monsters will show up at what time in addition to taking reports of what you've hunted and converting the kills into resource points, which allow use of the farm and fishing fleet, and various commodities used for trading, selling,and combining with other items to make more rare (and useful) items.  The farm in particular becomes very useful as, when its upgraded fully, it can pump out ingredients for Mega Potions (read: your new God) faster than even the dumbest hunter can use them.

No, I'm not bitter about encountering random idiots online.  What makes you think that?

The thing about Tri is this: what sets apart good hunters from bad hunters isn't how strong their weapons and armor are (though that certainly helps), but how well they can read what a monster will do.  Multiplayer makes it easy to see which hunters have been held by the hand by other hunters so they could get better armor, since items of a certain rarity (particular in armor and weaponcraft) can't be traded.

Monsters in Tri move in a very specific way that tips off what attack they'll perform, and the pattern tends to go like this: the less time a hunter has to react to the attack, the less damage it does overall.  Things like tail sweeps and standard charges don't do nearly as much damage as, say, getting dive-bombed by a flying snow tiger, caught in a massive electrical surge, rolled over by a monster made of stone and exploding ore, or taking a fireball to the face.  Reading these moves is arguably more important than having good armor.  I only mention this because in a video I posted a while ago I fought the first three large monsters of the game using a strong sword, but wearing leather armor, which is weak even by beginner's standards.  Getting hit twice by the latter two monsters would have killed me or come close to it, but because I could read their attacks and didn't pin myself against the wall I successfully took down all three of them.

Better the helpless herbivore than me!

If the single player and multiplayer get tiring there's also an offline Arena, which also shows up in multiplayer.  Two hunters (or one, if you're the daring type) pick a monster in a closed-off area, either in a land arena or a water arena.  Each hunter picks from one of a few presets of weapons and armor and has 50 minutes to kill whatever's waiting for them.  Personally, I find this to be much more difficult than the other modes of play for one particular reason.  In single and multiplayer you can pick and choose armors and weapons that work specifically against whatever monster you're facing.  In Arena mode the hunter's armor and weapon tends to be on equal ground with the monster.  And considering as how the monster is almost always much bigger, stronger, and faster than the hunter, this can very easily turn ugly.

I did an image search for "ugly" and this guy showed up.

I believe that Tri is one of those games that, even if you think you'll hate it, everyone should at least give a shot.  Rent it.  Play it at a friend's house.  Just give it a chance.  I know people who have ranted and cursed and screamed bloody murder about how the game cheats to kill them (it doesn't) and yet two months later not only are they still playing it, but they've almost completed the entire game. 

In summation, Tri is the badass equivalent of Mario Golf; tends to be frustrating, but is utterly satisfying when you succeed.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I don't know.

All I know is that I've wanted to do some form of reviewing beyond what I do on YouTube and Blip.  Writing was what got me into that in the first place, so I set up this blog as a sort of general update place because:

1. I do want to do some written reviews to compliment what I already do, as they're easier to produce and can help out for time gaps between videos, and
2. It's way more simple than doing update videos all the time.

So there you go.  I'm actually working on a written review now, so it shouldn't be too long before that or my next video shows up here.