30 October, 2013

Remember Me

I think it's a testament to the game that I beat it three times in a week and did a youtube recording within three days. I can't get enough of this game. Remember Me was under a lot of fire during its development because it's protagonist was female and a lot of companies decided it wouldn't sell well. Eventually Dontnod Entertainment got Capcom and I'm glad they did. Capcom is a favourite company of mine and Remember Me is one of my top ten favourite games now. It impressed me in a way that utterly shocked me. I've not been this taken up by a game in a long time. It came out in June and it had always been on my list, but money isn't in abundance, and other games took priority. It went on PS+ for free last week and I grabbed it up so fast, and I am thrilled. Had I know it would be this good I would have paid full price in a heartbeat. Well let's get on with it.

The graphics are quite beautiful in their surreal, cyberpunk, futuristic dystopia way. The models for characters and enemies are done very well, especially the enemies you fight. The twisted creatures that populate Neo Paris are done in a creepy and baneful manner, and the quality of the model really shines through. The world is grimy and dark in most places, but on occasion the blessed sun shines through and illuminates the smooth skyscrapers and bright white, and silver, bridges. The world is so beautiful and tragic, and the combination of splendid lighting and model quality is obvious from the beginning. It's not just the outside that is beautiful, however. Traversing the buildings, prisons, and hospitals, as well as tunnels, sewers, and construction sites, makes for a sometimes creepy and disconcerting journey. There are two things I always look for in a game, as well, and that is hair and drinking. The hair was amazing, but there were still little obviousness that we haven't managed to get right yet. As for drinking... yea we're still a long ways off.

Next I want to.. gush, I suppose, about the music and audio of the game. Holy hot damn guys, this soundtrack is probably one of the best I have heard in a decade at least. It's definitely the best game OST on this gen of consoles. As soon as it started playing I was hooked. It's so... I don't even know how to explain it. It gets in to me and just eats away at my mind so that it can have a place to live. During the course of the game, it's inserted very well into situations. Combat uses it for not only combat music, but also when you're chaining combos or when you get hit, the music reacts to it. I got the soundtrack before I was even done with the first play-through, and it's pretty securely stored on my ipod for all listening pleasure now. As with the audio comes the voice acting. It's really great. I played it through in English, French, and Italian, and all three voice actor sets were quite amazing, to be honest. I enjoyed their performances quite a lot, but my favourite had to be the English version of Edge. Wow... he really nailed it and god-damn if he didn't make me totally feel for his character in a pretty deep, and tragic, way.

The interface is great and there's not too much to say because it's so minimalistic. You have the objective that pops up towards the middle, but only briefly, and when you're not in combat, most of the HUD isn't seen. When you are in combat, it gives you the basics at the bottom left (health, focus, and cool-downs) and keeps track of which combo you're doing in the bottom middle. It's integrated brilliantly and doesn't detract from the game play. Since I mentioned combat and the HUD section is so small, I'll start on combat here too. I wasn't thrilled with it when I first started to use it. I didn't like the combat movement, and I didn't understand what they were trying to explain in regards to dodging and pressens. Pressens are your combo moves, basically. You have power pressens (they add damage), regen pressens (health obviously), and cool-down pressens (to speed up cool-downs). The explanation of these wasn't as clear as I'd've liked them to be, but just through experimentation, I was able to figure out what was working and what was not working. As this happened, I grew used to the combat, but I can't say I like it. It's not that I hate it any more, I just... am not really too enthused with it. It's just a thing that's there. The cool-downs, however, were pretty intuitive and nicely done, as well as dodging. Thankfully they indicate when the best time for a dodge would be with a red ! in the direction it's coming from.

All right so we have audio and graphics, but what about general game play? It is a wonderfully free moving, parkour type game with brilliant exploration and platforming. There is also another awesome thing you can do called Memory Remixing. These puzzles let you go into the memories of certain people and change their memories to your advantage. Memory stealing, syncing, and remixing are all part of what makes this game pretty unique and fun to play. Well I say fun, but it's pretty clear that I'm obsessed with this game and everything in it. The only real complaint I had was the combat and now that's just meh, and not really a complain. The story is very tricky and was a delight to go through. I got very involved in it and shed a tear or two during it's course, I don't mind saying, not to mention the veritable scream I let out at the end of the game when someone dies who I'd grown quite attached to. This isn't a spoiler as many people die in games, especially towards the end, and if you think this game is safe from it, you're mistaken.

Spoilers for a paragraph, it's in italics so just skip it if you don't want the story broken open.
There are a few ways you could take the story of this game in regards to the title of the game. The game deals a lot with memory, obviously, and loosing it, finding it, getting it messed around with, but Remember Me... in my opinion it's to remember Edge. For me, the game was about him as much, if not more, as it was for Nilin. He was created from all the abuse, fear, malign, and tragedy that no one wanted in their life. All he wanted was to end, to be gone, to not have to live in the cesspool of despair that humanity ran away from. This was him using the only thing he could, Nilin, to gain freedom... and for his sacrifice, and suffering, we must remember him. Man... I can't even think about the end without getting all teary. Goddammit.

The trophies aren't that difficult although at the beginning they looked as though they could be quite squirely to get done. Getting this platinum was amazing, and made Remember Me my sixth platinumed game. It's more that they take a little bit of time to get, not that they are too hard. The difficulty in getting them is moderate, depending on your skill in the game. All the combo mashing did ware on my hands a little bit, but it's nothing like a DMC or something, so it was all good. I really can't express how much I loved this game. It came out of nowhere and blind-sided me, and I recommend it to everyone. Even if you don't like these kinds of games, at least rent it and try it out. Please don't dismiss it. If there ever comes a time when I don't have PS+, for some reason, this will be the first game I buy.

20 October, 2013


If you don't like Pokémon then this will probably be a post of little to no interest to you. You have been warned.

As I've stated before, in previous posts, to me Pokémon is, mainly, about catching, and raising, the pokemans. Of course there will always be the Pokémon that I favour and try to raise first. Chief among them is Umbreon, my favourite Pokémon and, indeed, favourite eeveeloution. I love to have all the eeveeloutions and so like to gather them together and level them up. I finally was able to get all the eeveeloutions in Pokémon X and now I am tasked to level them up to max, stat train, and amie train them until they are perfect, in my eyes.

The process of catching the Eevee's, and evolving them, was a little more tricky this time around because happiness works weirdly. Or maybe it doesn't, but I found it harder to gain normal happiness, with some of them, even with the soothe bell on, and resorted to extra Amie training to get them happy. Well this applies with only three of the eeveeloutions. First of all I had to catch nine Eevee and that took a little while, let me tell you. Although there are only eight eeveeloutions at the moment, I wanted to have a normal Eevee as well, so that's nine. Of all nine Eevee, only one of them was female and only one of them came with a Fairy-type move, which is required for one of the eeveeloutions. Obviously this one had to be my Sylveon.

Well then, the eeveeloutions are as follows: Eevee... not really an eeveeloution, but the base Pokémon Vaporeon, a Water-type Pokémon, is next and is evolved by using a Water stone. You can find one of these in Luminose City at the Stone Emporium for 2,100 yen. Next up is Jolteon, an Electric-type Pokémon, is evolved with a Thunder stone. I found one in the field of standing stones north of Cyllage City, on Route 10. Flareon comes next and is a Fire-type Pokémon that is evolved using a Fire stone. I got one of these in Luminose City, from the Stone Emporium, for 2,100 yen as well, so that's another easy one.

After your three basic eeveeloutions we move on to the next set. That would be Umbreon and Espeon. For both of these eeveeloutions you will need your Eevee to be happy with you. If you want an Umbreon you will need it to be happy (something like 220 happiness stat, but you can't track it in game, numerically) and then have it level up at night time. For Espeon you will need to level it up during the day time. Use the Soothe bell (from Shalour city) and try to use it often without letting it die. You can also feed it puffs in the Amie and play with it to raise the stats. I'm not entirely sure if that has an effect on the happiness stat for evolution, but it can't hurt right?

With those two done you can now focus on Leafeon and Glaceon. Glaceon will be the one you'll be able to evolve first because you'll encounter the Icy Rock before the Moss Rock. To get a Glaceon just have your Eevee level up around the Icy Rock at the bottom on the Frost Cavern, north of Dendemille Town. For Leafeon you'll need to wait a while and circle the Moss Rock on Route 20, south of Snowbelle City.

Sylveon is the last in the eeveeloutionary chain and was a little annoying to get to evolve. First of all, your Eevee is required to know a Fairy-type move if it wants to be a Sylveon. Secondly, you need to have max hearts in the Pokémon Amie for it to trigger. Feed it Puffs, pet it, play the games with it, and don't let it die, and you'll be fine. It took me a stupid amount of time to get because I didn't know how to use the Amie very well at the time, but eventually I got it down and my Eevee became a Sylveon.

So now that this is all done, my next goal is to get them all to 50. This isn't trouble for my Umbreon, who's already well above that, but some of my others are tiny in level so it will take a bit of time. After that I want them all to have max hearts in the Amie. I will be stat training them as well as I level them up. Fun times!

11 January, 2013

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6 is a game which has collected a lot of shit leading up to and after its release. I can see why people don't like it and I can see why people are disappointed in it, but on the other hand it baffles me how a fan of Resident Evil can not like this game. I hear their reasoning, but it just sounds like excuses. Well, baffled Terr aside, I loved the hell out of this game. I have four platinums on the PS3 and Resident Evil 6 is one of them so bear in mind that this review is from a PS3 point of view.. Let's get stuck in then, shall we. 

The graphics are wonderful and crisp as hell. Character models are done very well and their movements are believable and accurate. Scenery is beautiful as well, especially the background and distances, and heat shimmers were quite awesome to look at. Another thing I really enjoyed was the use of specular lighting on almost everything. It wasn't done over the top either... you could see how and where it came from. Additional specular lighting when it was raining was a really nice effect as well. Clothes were rendered really well, even wet clothes, but one thing that was a little weird was hair. I don't think they'll get hair right for a long time, but it was much better in RE6 that I've seen it in many other modern releases. Splashes, rain, thunder, sunlight, and explosions. Fantastic and as realistic as I've seen in many cases. The only real fault was with the hair and at very rare occasions the lip sync was a little weird, but it's something that I have never seen done 100% accurately. The weapons looks nice too. Now it's one thing for a weapon to look nice when it's not live, but it's another thing for a weapons graphics to keep their believability when they are firing or being used as a melee weapon. It's not something I pay much mind to, really, but I noticed it a lot in RE6, and it held up well.
Now, the interface is something that I struggled with constantly. Not to an atrocious degree, but I never felt quite right with it. The only one I did actually enjoy was Jake's pre-cube interface. It was concise and compact, and I felt that it was perfect. Everyone else’s was too big and bulky and looked weird or out of place. Still, they weren't a downfall, just a struggle. Almost everyone has a different variation on the interface and so switching from person to person sort of upsets your flow a bit... or it did for me. You can also switch it left or right preference and neither really felt good for me. I ended up keeping it to the left primarily, but still it didn't keep too right with me. The voice acting was fan-fucking-tastic. Although I didn't like all the characters, I think the voice acting for all of them was pretty amazing. Everyone delivered beautifully and did their character's a massive boon. My favourite characters ended up being Leon (of course), Jake, and Piers. No surprise that I hated Sherry and Helena, and Chris was never a star (see what I did there) in my books. Ada was all right... I don't trust myself to give an unbiased view on her character since she's Leon's girlfriend and I want Leon all to myself. She delivered her lines well though. Along with the voice acting, the other audio was great too. I don't really hold the soundtracks of Resident Evil games at a very higher tier and that's no real fault of theirs. The music isn't bad, but it's not really something I've focused on too much. With the exception of Resident Evil 4, I haven't felt compelled to listen to the soundtracks more than a few times and they haven't really gripped me. It's OK music, but I always turn it off in favour of my own music... excepting Resident Evil 4 as I said, which had a phenomenal soundtrack. The other audio was good though... interface sounds, ambient sound, weather sounds... kicking someone in the chest sounds. All good and not a bit of distortion anywhere.

On to where most people seemed to have all the shit to throw... game-play. I loved the game-play. Everyone says there were too many quick time events and too much button mashing in the game and that Resident Evil had flown from it's roots into some freaky FPS (if I can see my character, guys, it's not FPS) gore feast. I'm going to start by saying that I've had a serious loathing for quick time events since Fahrenheit decided it would be awesome to have me making out with my girlfriend as a quick time event. They are just shit now, so any game with even one quick time event makes me annoyed. That being said, I didn't think Resident Evil 6 had more quick time events than an average game which would have them. Sure looking for my keys as a quick time event was a bit wtf, but that was the only really stupid one I saw. It was a fine amount and I thought they were pretty well placed for the most part. As for the rest, action wise, it was brilliant. I loved combat and I loved being able to move around while aiming (thank you!) and firing. Melee combat was greatly improved and weapons were easy to use. I even liked the crossbow a lot and the quick combat fire for it is fucking awesome... but not as powerful as I would have hoped. Points for skills, combos, and weapons were all tallied pretty accurately, I thought, which made the grind to unlock different abilities to slot and skill sets to set up, not that terrible. A little tedious at times, but not the worst ever. Mercenaries mode was finally something I enjoyed as well. I played a little of it in Resident Evil 4 (just enough to unlock everything, nothing more) and in Resident Evil 5 (didn't even unlock everything, ugh), but resident Evil 6 is where it shone like a glittering butterfly brooch in the sparkling sun of a mid summers day. I think that people are just disappointed at the direction Resident Evil has come and everyone wants it to be like Resident Evil 1, 2, or 3 without even really remembering that control and combat in those games were balls. They were good games, great games even, but it was hard to do fuck all in them. This is the progression of the series and how games are made/played now and it has to be realised that things can't stay the same forever. This is much better than how games used to be and I enjoyed the game-play of Resident Evil 6.

Now, after the debacle that the story of Resident Evil 5 was, and some people liked it, that's fine, but I was sorely saddened when Wesker died at the end. I won't get in to the tragic writing that Resident Evil 5 did, because this is for Resident Evil 6. Needless to say, though, I was hesitant about what they were going to do. Surprise, surprise.... it was fabulous. I was genuinely amazed about the story and the writing. The dialogue was so well done and the time-lines were integrated at such a fantastic pace. I didn't fully get the entire story until I played through each campaign as each character... you really need to in order to find all the pieces of the puzzle and appreciate the entirety of the story for what it is. There were even a few surprising moments and oddly touching parts as well... and anyone who knows me knows I don't let the feels get to me very often at all. Piers was the most surprising of them all. I hated him almost right away, but as I played as him through his story I started to really identify with him. Piers is a true bro. He is a seriously well written character and his fate got me well verklempt there at the end. Aw man, here it comes again. 

Well now that I'm back, there were a few more things I'll mention. Coming back to Mercenaries. I got seriously addicted to this for quite a while there and it's great fun to play, but I found that I enjoyed it a lot more with someone else. This is something that doesn't happen to me often, as I like to play solo, so when it does I take special note of when and where. I think it's the combo thing... it works a lot better, in Resident Evil 6, than it has in it's other iterations. I guess there are bigger maps now with more than two people allowed on it, but I don't know. I have a lot of other games to play and don't have the time to get addicted to the awesome that is Resident Evil 6 again. Bouncing combo points off each other is great and certain perks you can slot really shine when you have someone else there to benefit from them. I have got such high scores with a partner in Resident Evil 6's mercs mode than I have in any other and it was great every time... never a chore. I would really recommend this game to people who like action games and also role-play games. The story is amazing and the combat is well integrated. The characters are believable and the game, itself, is beautiful to behold. Movements are fluid and pacing is spot on. If you're a Resident Evil fan, this game is still great, as well. It stays with the Biohazard themes and brings in mentions from a few of the other games. There are some unsettling moments, some shock moments, some ew moments, and a smattering of humour and smart arse quips that I actually laughed at. I bought it fairly soon after it's release so I paid almost full price for it, which doesn't happen often, and I don't regret it at all. Well worth the cost! Grab it up guys. It's a keeper.