Thursday, September 10, 2015

Danganronpa: Ultra Despair Girls

That was an utter waste of $40 and about 12 hours.

I loved Danganronpa 1 and 2. Aside from a bit of frustration with some of the mechanics in the second game they were solid games. Interesting if a bit annoying with the constant hammering of the words "despair" and "hope". Seriously, it got to the point that the words got thrown about so much I started to forget wtf they even mean...or honestly, to care.
But, if you asked me right now if I liked Danganronpa 1 and 2 and if I would recommend them, my answer would be a resounding YES!
I can't say the same for this new spinoff.

Let's try to see if I can make this spoiler free, shall we?

The game takes place between the events of games 1 and 2 and begins with Komaru Naegi, sister of annoyingly hopeful Makoto Naegi from Danganronpa 1, explaining how she's been a prisoner in an apartment for a year and a half without knowing why or by who. This is interrupted by a killer Monokuma bear ripping through the door and being rescued by some men in black. One of those men in black is self absorbed rich bitch Byakuya Togami, also from the first game. He gives Komaru a megaphone which is actually a hacking gun that shoots code and blows up Monokuma that is just fucking stupid...anyways he gives her the gun and sends her on her way. Shit happens, crap blows up, people get killed by bear robots and you meet the most annoying little fuckers in creation.

You get captured and brought before the 5 most obnoxious brats in creation and I just couldn't help but wonder..Why the fuck can't I just punt these 5 runts into some walls and call it a day? Game over!
But oh no, that would mean an end to my suffering...can't have that!
So yada yada...bratty kids..evil plot...kill adults make  children's paradise. Why? because adults are evil poopy demons! that's why! My fucking god this is a stupid game. After 20 minutes of boring tirades in high pitched voices...oh and that one kid who is so fucking slow I wanted to throw the vita. I have no idea wtf his deal was cause I skipped all his shit dialogue...after all that, my crying whiny pale faced protagonist got chucked through a trap door and lands  on top of some building where Toko the crazy bitch is waiting.
Toko..I really hated Toko in the first game, I was so not looking forward to any more of this game at that moment.

Toko and crybaby team up to try and get out of the kiddie murder city and a lot of fuckery ensues...anything more would be spoilers so lets move on to the craptastic gameplay.

As I said, Komaru Nag-y has that stupid hacking gun, it looks ridiculous and it IS ridiculous. the game is a straight up third person shooter made by someone who doesn't know shit about third person shooters. The standard monokumas take about 4-5 shots to take down unless you have good aim and shoot them in their stupid glowy red eye. (and with the shit controls...good luck with that).But throughout the game you'll be introduced to a bunch of different monokuma types, like grenade throwing bears and bears with riot shields, you are also introduced to different kinds of bullets with which to tackle the new challenges. Let me be honest, the different kinds of bullets are more a pain in the ass than anything else.
There's a "dance" bullet which you shoot at an enemy and make him..well yeah, dance, then you can shoot him with a regular bullet...5 order to kill him. oh and once you hit him with a regular bullet once the dance effect wears kinda useless really.There's a "knockback" bullet that doesn't do any damage but makes the bears with shields fall over which makes their shields disappear.
All in all there are I think..8 different type of bullets if memory serves.

On top of that you can purchase upgrades called "Bling Bullets" and as far as I can tell they do jack shit. I made sure to buy the ones that were recommended and put them in "excellent" combinations and...I noticed not one whit of difference in gameplay or attack power.
That's one thing...throughout the game you never feel like you progress. you never feel stronger. Enemies are always the same and even if you get a handle on it, they're constantly introducing new enemies and new bullets that just make shit a pain in the ass.

As you level up you get skill points and as you go around you find new skills to use those points on and they are all useless...aside from the nightmare that is auto lock on. seriously, I had to unequip it. It gave me motion sickness. Every time I readied the gun it would whip me around to face every enemy BUT the one I wanted to shoot.

BUT its not ALL bad... as you go through the game you can switch from Bratzilla to Toko and Toko is fun as hell. Toko is strictly melee and wields a bunch of scissors, she's fast, strong and does a lot of damage. She was the best part of the damn game. Unfortunately, this game doesn't believe in fun and so you can only use her in small bursts. She uses a stun gun to become her "other persona" Genocide Jack in order to fight and you can only fight for as long as the batteries last. When the batteries deplete you're stuck with the whiner again. The good news is you can buy upgrades to make Toko time last longer, the bad news still doesn't last long enough to save this game. Boss fights are ridiculously easy and fairly short and you'll have more trouble dealing with the standard enemies than the bosses.

The game does offer some...puzzles but they're more annoyances than anything else.
The puzzles all pretty much have the same set up. You walk into a room with an arcade machine, the arcade machine shows you the next room and you formulate your plan based on the victory conditions. For example, you'll see a room full of regular enemies and a grenade throwing enemy and you'll need to figure out what to do in order to destroy them all in 1 explosion. No worries though, because if you don't complete the objective, just kill them all yourself and you can still get through it, you're rank at the end of the chapter will be lower but that's about the only penalty.

Once you get to the end of the game and everything is explained, you kinda wish it wasn't. The whole thing is just...weak. Actions, reactions, motivations, histories, its all very half assed, I'd love to give you concrete examples but I don't wanna spoil this monstrosity for you. IF you WANT spoilers, well, drop me a line and I'll go into it.

Bottom line is that as a stand alone game this fails, because they drag so much shit from the previous 2 games that it won't make sense without them. However as a part of the Danganronpa universe it fails as well since honestly it brings NOTHING to the table. Nothing from this game will shed any light on the first or second games. Because this game is shoehorned between the other 2 after the fact, nothing from this game affects the other games either.
Even for someone who loved the first 2 games, I can't recommend this and if you just MUST have it...wait for a sale..preferably 50% off or more because this is NOT worth $40 by any stretch of the imagination.

This game truly did make me despair, I lost all hope and joy and happiness while playing this....maybe that was the point? How Meta,

Monday, August 31, 2015

Amnesia: Memories

This game has taken over my life this past weekend!

Full disclosure, I am not done with the game yet. I've managed to get all the good endings and a few bad ones and am still working on it.

This is (hopefully) gonna be pretty brief since I don't want to say too much and write spoilers, and man is it hard not to blurt it all out!

Alright, so, Amnesia is an otome visual novel...about a girl with amnesia! Surprised right?
So, ok, the premise goes like this: One day a spirit named Orion was doing whatever spirits do when he crashed into and got stuck in a girl named Hitomi (Ok, she has no name so I named her Hitomi in my game, no real reason, it just popped into my head).
When Orion gets lodged in Hitomi's mind he kicks out all her memories and now in order for him to get unstuck, she needs to remember.
Orion sends her back to one of 5 worlds, 4 are available at the start with the 4th one unlocking after you complete the others. The worlds are all named after playing card suits, Heart, Spade, Clubs, Diamond and Joker. Unlike most games of this sort where you play through a central story and branch off depending on the guy of your choice, in this game the world you choose determines the guy you are with. Because of Hitomi's amnesia she's basically thrown right back into the middle of her life and has to muddle through and that includes having a boyfriend,a job, friends, school ,whatever.
Before choosing a world Orion warns you that you shouldn't let anyone know you have amnesia for fear they will either take advantage of you or lock you up in a hospital. He tells you the best thing is to be around the people and things you used to know and see if they trigger your memories. And off you go. This is where it gets...interesting.

In every world there are some constants:
Hitomi always lives in the same place.
She will always have the same job and the same boss.
She is always a college student.
It is always the same group of people, only their relationships change.

Gameplay consists of you making dialogue choices at certain points as it usually does in these type of games. As the game progresses your choices affect 3 status bars:

Affection: How much your character likes the guy of your choice
Trust: How strong your relationship is
Suspicion: How suspicious people are about your memory loss.

This only differs in one story where a fourth bar was added named "Doubt". Which was how much your character doubted her boyfriend's words and actions.

I'm not really sure the "Suspicion" bar matters though as in some worlds no matter what you do its full from start to finish.
Isn't he charming? 

Because I like pretty silver haired boys I started with the second world, and I'm gonna be honest, it was a good decision because if I had started with the first I never would have continued playing.
Isn't this the kind of guy EVERY little girl dreams about?
Every guy in this game...IS AN ASSHOLE... EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.In their own very special ways. While the stories are all pretty damn good and interesting some of them were a chore to get through because I really wanted the option to reply to them with a "fuck you" and a kick in the nads. Even the ones that started off nice quickly turned ugly. It can be a little off putting...ok A LOT off putting.
Even when he's nice, he's kind of  dick. 
Its a pretty dark game and if you are looking for a shiny happy romantic story with cute anime boys...this ain't it. In this game, can expect mental and physical assaults and even in some cases, some very awful deaths.

You can also expect to be annoyed the entire time by your spirit "friend" Orion.
Imagine if Navi in Ocarina of Time spoke through the entire game in that high pitched "Hey! Listen" voice of hers. Giving unsolicited advice and opinions constantly, complaining and whining 24/7. THAT is Orion. he NEVER shuts up. Not only that but  he tends to get overly worked up and paranoid about EVERYTHING. I will admit that after a while you sorta start to tune him out.

I've only played a couple of Visual Novels before this one and I'm not sure which is the norm but one thing I find very difficult in this game is figuring out which answer is the right one to move things along in a good way. For example, in Sweet Fuse a little heart bomb would show up whenever you chose something that raised the relationship with a guy. In Hakuoki it was a spray of sakura petals. In this game there is ZERO indication and given how lengthy the stories can be it can be a bit of a pain. Sure you can go to the menu and open the parameters option and look at the status bars but...sometimes the addition is so miniscule its hard to tell and its also a pain to keep opening the menu just to check.
My face through most of this game

If you get tired of Orion or all the deep dark drama, you can go over to the mini games and play air hockey and rock paper scissors with the guy of your choice. No, I'm not joking and to be honest, it was a nice little break from the heavy atmosphere of the game.

Overall, its a solid game with some nitpicks and plenty of feels. Seriously, I bawled during one of the stories. I wish the main character had been given a bit more freedom in her dialogue choices and maybe a LOT less Orion but, aside from that I can't really complain. I'm notorious for not finishing games and I am DETERMINED to see every ending, collect every CG and get every trophy for this game, so you know its something special.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Magus...I HAD to have the platinum

Its hard to know where to begin...

Ok, here we go, I sometimes like to go on Amazon and type in a game I like and see what Amazon suggests for me. This has led me to some really great games. Like the time I was pre-ordering Persona 2 Innocent Sin and it suggested Hakuoki and I bought it and I fell in love with all things Shinsengumi related.
So one day, I was perusing Amazon, as one does and I see a plain black placeholder image with the word Magus across it up for pre-order. I click cause dammit hello MAGE is right in the name. The description was pretty non existant and while I thought about pre-ordering I just wasn't feeling it, but I added it to the wishlist. Eventually the game was released to horrid reviews and I went "well glad I didn't buy that" see, I'm a girl who loves Sharknado and Dino Croc. I loved the Game Realms of Ancient War and I LIVE for Dynasty Warriors. I like bad things is what I'm saying, or at least things that are perceived as bad by a large majority of people. Being I like bad, I knew I wanted to play this game but, not for that damn price. I like bad things but I ain't stupid.

Flash forward to the latest PSN sale...Lo and behold! MAGUS!! for TWO DOLLARS!!! TWO F-IN DOLLARS! and me with 50 cents in the bank! FML
But, my very kind friend Chris (Hi Chris!) who spoils me WAY too much was sweet enough to get me a PSN card so that I could buy this masterpiece of crap!
I rushed to the PS Store to buy it and...the PSN store randomly booted me out. Maybe it was trying to save me. I log back in and I buy it and set it to download. While it downloaded I decided to browse the store some more...still on the fence about a couple games (is $4 really worth it? hmm) and suddenly...the psn store kicked me out again and my download errored out. WTF? its like the cosmos is intervening. Well, screw you cosmos, I WILL download Magus.
Second try worked and I downloaded the anemic 870mb game. When I try to play it it tells me it needs an update. I click on it ps3 shut down and restarted... I try again, same thing. Now its fucking war! Third times a charm and finally I can begin this glorious masterpiece of bad decisions.

Why this long ass story before getting into the game? Because I want you to feel where I'm coming from, ya feel?

This game is....ugly...
I'm not one for graphics, really I'm not, but at the same time...when you play a PS3 game you have, you don't expect a game to look like early to mid PS2. I don't even wanna talk about the hilarious horror that was the title character's teeth and eyes in the cutscene? thing I couldn't control right before I could control it...I don't know what to call that.

You play as Magus, generic, hideous, white bald guy, who is a god, but doesn't know it or something and is in prison. Some chick breaks you out and off we go to do...stuff.
Look at this glorious bastard! Yes, this is a PS3 game...shocking, I know. 

The game says its an action RPG but really its a really lame 3rd person shooter. You get no weapons. But you do have 3 colors of magic. Red, Blue and Green. Red is useless..seriously...I never used red. I went most of the game with the Green started magic and occasionally the blue just for a little color variety. You power up your magic by absorbing it from glowy colored rocks lying around and just...hold down R1 and don't stop til the credits roll. No joke, thats it. You press R1 and Magus throws glowy orbs non-stop. I mean, sure there are skill trees don't really need any of the skills. Ok, I lie, there's one skill that I did use. You throw out a bunch of green flame. Its a decent AOE for the completely SHIT, HORRID, OMFG I HATE THIS level where you're on a beach and a bunch of lizard men keep dropping out of the sky non-stop. Fuck that level.

The game is SUPER short. Its got the generic tutorial "get out of jail" that seems to be pretty fucking standard in RPGS. Then you get a Tower and there you find a world map with 4...yes..FOUR locations to choose from, you can do them in any order and they are pretty damn generic and straightforward as well. There's SHIT BEACH as I mentioned. DARK DANK CORRIDOR MINE, HEY LOOK BROWN aka DESOLATE DESERT FULL OF PRO WRESTLERS? and OH WOW AN ICE LEVEL WHAT A SURPRISE. Once you shoot your way through all of those a whole new world opens up...No, I'm lying, one more location opens up... FINAL TWIST CASTLE!  The castle has probably the hardest boss in the game and I use the term "hard" very very loosely. Like all other battles, I got through it by....running around in circles holding down the R1 button. case the game wasn't quite dumbed down enough yet...that chick that got you out of jail, she tags along for the entire game, and she doesn't die...ever...also, she seems to have some sort of enemy attracting perfume on. I spent most of the game standing around holding down R1 and killing everything while they all just clustered around her and ignored me.

The face of a GOD!
herp derp
Story... oh..story...As ugly bald dude is a god...with amnesia or something...and I'm in jail for...reasons...and this chick gets me out...because she felt she had to, though she doesn't know me..she just...kinda had a feeling. Like when I'm kinda hungry, vaguely, but don't know what to eat and I go to the fridge and stare for a while and eventually eat like a piece of cheese. Seriously, she tells you that she goes around prisons looking for "someone" cause she has a "feeling" and she hasn't found them yet but she doesn't know who it is but she's pretty sure its you. I swear...this is the actual story. Then we set off don't really know. To find out who sent her to look for someone? to stop the king of the land from being a dick? to proclaim my godhood to all I see? Yes? Its all pretty vague and pointless.
The main character is silent with dialogue choices you choose from but everyone else is voiced...and its surprisingly good voice acting. Like, the dialogue itself is utter cheeseball crap but the actual voice acting is solid. Honestly, its kinda wasted on such terrible writing. I was torn between wanting to skip the cheese and wanting to listen to the voice actors. Now,
While Magus might not speak, that doesn't mean he doesn't have a personality...He's got 2 distinct personality choices...Asshole and bigger asshole. Not gonna lie...I did kinda enjoy that.I told some guy I was gonna beat him with his own spine, that was amusing. Honestly it doesn't matter what choices you make in conversation, the story doesn't change one whit...well except for one part. IF you neglect to talk to one dude after kicking his ass then you will miss a branch of a skill tree. While this is not important AT ALL to gameplay, it is important if you want to get the platinum. So, you know, be as big an asshole as you wanna be, it doesn't matter.

So...aside from being a dick to everyone for the lulz, why did I play this? I don't know! that's just it. It's dumb and ugly and easy and brainless and I fucking played this motherfucker til 4am because I suddenly felt compelled to get the platinum for it. (btw..HOORAY FOR PLATINUM NUMBER TWO! Yes, 2, don't judge!) Most of the trophies can be acquired just by going through the game. There's honestly only 3 you'll need to work for.

Maxing out all 3 skill trees, because you can only max out 2 in a playthrough. So I just saved and reloaded and maxed out the third. And as mentioned above, there's that one missable section.

Collection 100 health potions. (here's a tip...start the game over and break every breakable item in the tutorial dungeon.

Collect 500 items...omg...what a damn slog that was... seriously. All you can do is kill lots and lots of things and pick up the crap they drop until the trophy pops up.

Speaking of items...a collection of the most hideous armor EVER! I can't..I can't even describe it...So...I'll just show you:
spent most of the game in this stylish number
My end game threads
sexy, no?
Whatever you don't use you can give to a unicorn that turns it into scrolls that you can use to pad your stats...don't ask...just go with it...You can also add stat boosting jewels to your outfits and equip up to 4 stat boosting runes...honestly this shit is just there to be there because you truly don't need to boost anything to play through this.

This game is like...a horrible wreck...You just cannot look away. Its bad, its really bad, you know you shouldn't. You know you're a bad person if you do...but you just cannot help yourself. Afterwards you feel dirty and ashamed but at the same time secretly pleased with yourself.The only positives are..the voice work isn't terrible and hey, its a really easy platinum.

I will admit that in a way...I guess the game accomplished what it set out to do...well, if it set out to make you an invincible, all powerful asshole. So..Congrats game maker?

Flash sale ends in a few hours so... for 2 bucks....yeah..get it...just so you can own one of the sh ittiest games ever...after big rigs.