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MegaTrousers

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    Games, game development, 3d modelling and animation. Martial arts. Bit of reading - mainly educational, but the odd sci-fi/fantasy novel if its highly recommended. Play guitar in a couple of semi active bar bands.

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  1. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    10/12/18 Mega Man 2: My only real contact with Mega Man at the time was seeing it on Games Master and thinking how much cooler it looked than anything I had on the c64. By the time I could play it on emulators as a teenager it was old hat and I didn't give it more than 5 minutes. Got this in a bundle, and having enjoyed Pixel Ripped, figured I'd check out the inspiration. At its best it's very satisfying. The movement and shooting are mostly super precise, so sequences of tightly timed platforming or boss duels where you're weaving through attacks give that sense of being an awesome robot even with nothing but a jump and a blaster. In the second half though, the difficulty ramps up considerably, and the punishment for failures was more often than not, too frustrating for me. In the end I resorted to extensive use of the save-state. There were 5 more iterations in the bundle. Don't see myself bothering with any more, but feel like I filled in a sort of cultural blind-spot. Previous:
  2. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    22/11/18 Pixel Ripped 1989 (VR): Play a Mega-man style game on a fancy gameboy while you're at school. The 'gameboy' is an object in your virtual hands. Sometimes you have to do stuff in the real world as you're playing so the teacher doesn't catch you, and sometimes the game leaks out into the real world, but even the real world is more like how a 9 year old from the 1980's imagines it. The game is straightforward, but engaging enough. The VR activities are fun, but get repetitive if you die a lot in the game. What sets it apart are the presentation, tone and blending of realities - it just feels amazing and doesn't overstay its welcome at about 3 hours. My one real complaint is that the final form of the final boss is an excruciatingly frustrating difficulty spike. Luckily there's some nice post boss content to sooth the anger. If you ever had to sit through an unbearably dull educational video on a fuzzy CRT with crap sound, while the teacher went for a smoke, this is a wonderful nostalgia trip. 23/11/18 Quadrilateral Cowboy: Heist game with bits of simple programming, various gadgets, and some special abilities, The systems are all very well done, but it doesn't really build to anything substantial. Often, as soon as you get the hang of a new feature it's not needed again. Only the final two missions start to take the stabilisers off and let you apply the tools as you see fit, but by that time it's basically over. I don't care for Blendo's visual style, but it started to grow on me. I don't think the music suits the game at all, and found the audio a major weak link. The mechanics are so good though, and the few moments where you're executing your elegant clockwork plan like a big square Ethan Hunt - are thrilling. Overall I'd describe it as super interesting, but disappointing with how little of its fully fleshed out form is ever delivered. Previous:
  3. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    30/10/18 Minit: Action RPG in the style of an old gameboy Zelda game, but with the time gimmick from Majora's Mask pushed to the extreme. Very good - forces you to that point of knowing a game inside out so you can move through it without wasting a second - though as New Game+ shows, there's always room for improvement. The super retro graphics work well, but I'd have liked a couple of colours for the sake of clarity, and found myself just blundering into a few too many puzzle solutions. It's a bit slight, but good. Oddly, the 3rd game I've played this year featuring that same time-loop mechanic. 5/11/18 The Stanley Parable: Tried this years ago and bounced off, but saw a gdc video about it yesterday and gave it another shot. Thought it was clever and often pretty funny. It's more like a narrative toy than a traditionally structured game and does some really interesting things, but after a while it becomes a bit of a chore to mine the good stuff. Didn't find every ending and am content with where I left it, but its definitely enjoyable and almost depressingly unique. I'd love to see some of its ideas explored in other games and genres, whether comedy or anything else.
  4. MegaTrousers

    Daredevil - TV Series

    I wont argue that Matt shouldn't be super upset, but his specific reasoning didn't work for me: In any case, I loved the season and that was at most a small niggle.
  5. MegaTrousers

    Daredevil - TV Series

    Just finished. First couple of episodes left me cold - Matt's moping was in full effect, and not really explained or justified by recent events, but once it gets to that prison visit it was like someone flipped a switch. Spent significant portions of the rest of the season literally (really) shaking in my chair. Yeah there's some weak logic, but in the spirit of the show, I totally forgive it. I almost hope it doesn't get another run. This is a good end point, I don't see them topping it, and I'd rather they let the characters ride off into the sunset with a great legacy, rather than torturing them for a few more seasons as they run it into the ground.
  6. MegaTrousers

    Steam

    I'm also half-blind - neither eye is great and one is significantly weaker than the other - and the rift is my favourite purchase in years. My condition is an unusual one, but I actually see slightly better in the rift due to everything being focused at infinity. Also, I can't get inserts in my prescription so am wearing my regular full aperture lens glasses in it. It matters less how thick your lenses are, more how wide the frame is. Just make sure to use lens protectors, or you will destroy your headset and your glasses. I got these and had my brother cut and fit them for me: Healingshield Watch Face Protector Guard [Front 3pcs] (50mm(1.97in)) https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00SJ22D1K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  7. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    28/10/18 Arkham Knight: Might be the series best, but suffers from law of diminishing returns - and even compounds it by having loads of unnecessary bloat and repetition. Mission types that could be satisfying and re-playable if there were 5 iterations, are rendered repetitive chores by needing 15. Not just the (fundamentally awesome, if out of character) Batmobile, all of it. Even the visuals suffer this. They are technically incredible, but there's so much detail everywhere, I could barely tell what was going on half the time without resorting to detective vision, which doesn't feel very Batman. The one thing there should have been more of was the investigative stuff, which is great, even if mostly reliant on magical technology. The story, and especially the characters that drive it are super-tired. Kevin Conroy always does a great job, but sometimes you can even hear how bored he is retreading the same ground for the 25th year. Pretty much everything about the titular Arkham Knight is lame. The joker aspect is really good though, and seems like a genuinely new angle. I even enjoyed its: The go anywhere, do anything open world formula doesn't fully work either - undermining any drama the story manages to conjure up, and necessitating the abandoned city yet again. I think it could have been amazing if structured more tightly: Starting the game with the current character side-missions in a populated city, focused on small, tightly designed areas like asylum, and requiring caution in the populated open city. Doing each in turn like episodes or issues, distributing a few of only the best Riddler challenges throughout. Gradually introducing the Arkham Knight and Scarecrow stuff until you reach a final section that is the current game's constant war-zone. Ah well, that's not what they did. As negative as that all sounds, and as bored as I was of everything by the end (Did everything but Riddler and youtubed the the final ending - thanks to @Vorgot for the tip), I still felt sad as the end approached, and consider it a brilliant, at times astonishing game. Previous:
  8. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    11/10/18 Wuppo: Very pleasant action adventure platform thingy. Bit like some of the paper Mario games without any turn based combat and a lot more concise. Graphics look like they were drawn with a mouse in MS Paint, and are excellent throughout. Just the jump animation is enough to make me smile. Has a nice theme of being a better person to improve the world around you as well as your own circumstances. Main criticism would be that a bit too much content is off the critical path. I enjoyed exploring the places I found but, perhaps due to the the very chilled vibe, don't feel any pull to go and visit others I know I missed, even though I'm sure they're as amusing as the rest of it. 22/10/18 Subsurface Circular: A mystery visual novel with a couple of puzzles. While it restricts itself to a single location, the themes explored become quite grand. As I was playing, I think I liked the idea of chasing the mystery more than the moment to moment execution of it, which is pretty boring. The dialogue is occasionally fun, and the final choice is thought provoking -if otherwise pointless. Only a couple of hours long. I didn't play Detroit, but suspect if the developer of this had been in charge of that, there'd be a really good game to recommend. Previous:
  9. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    5/10/18 Tony Hawk's Po Skater HD: A greatest hits of your favourite band, but all cover versions performed by hacks who neither love nor understand the originals. The only reason I even got to the end was that the main level I wanted to play (Marseilles) is the final one you unlock. It reminded me of how much fun I had with the old games and the music is still good. Other than that, I think I'm slightly offended by it. There is one other plus point, it's been withdrawn from sale. 06/10/18 GORN (PC VR): Comedy gladiator sim where all the combatants and their weapons are made of rubber - but remain lethally sharp, heavy and concussive. As hinted by the title, the level of violence is insane, with the cartoony vibe being just enough to make the slide into feral lunacy seem fine and fun. The rubberised objects do a great job compensating for the common problem of weightless ghost weapons, and I routinely found myself hefting and swinging as if I could feel their weight rather than lamely waggling at a thousand strokes per minute. there are a few movement options. The intended one involves gripping the air and dragging yourself around with your hands. It's very difficult to move quickly and tiring over a long session, but is the best option by far because it makes you feel like one of the top heavy lumbering goons you're fighting, and adds significant challenge to the game. Free movement with a stick leaves things trivially easy. There's not much structure and its more of a dip-in game with a focus on score attacks or just having as much fun as possible. There is a campaign of sorts though, and while the developer says there's more to come, I've completed what's there now. The final boss manages to be terrifying, disgusting, challenging, exhausting and very satisfying to beat. Plus if I play much more, there'll be no more plaster or the walls and I'll need new controllers. 07/10/18 Enter The Gungeon: Rogue-like bullet-hell twin-stick shooter and absolutely brilliant. Successfully mixes a requirement for earned skill and knowledge with a large dose of randomness, risk vs reward and gambling. Overflowing with content, ideas, character and humour. There are hundreds of guns and items, many of which interact in useful or funny ways. Even after more than 120 hours, I'm steadily unlocking and seeing new stuff. It's maybe a bit too tough and miserly with the good stuff - especially at the beginning, but that at least forces you to develop some basic competence, and the loose tying of increasing ability and tougher areas to a bigger proportion of high-powered ordinance makes it very compelling. The random element means there's always a slight chance of a hilariously overpowered load-out or a heroic struggle where you're shafted at every turn. There's still loads to do, but the stated goal is to kill your past, and I managed it with the pilot. I'll probably do more, but the others don;t seem as much fun, and I doubt I'd ever attain the skills to do everything anyway. Previous:
  10. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    22/09/18 Sonic Generations: Been chipping away at this for years. Love the look of it and the music - both the old midi style tunes and the more recent cheese rock. First few minutes always has me smiling, but it's never long before the parade of negatives saps away the joy. I always get the sense that it would be great fun if you master it and can move smoothly through it, but can't imagine it would be worth the slog of trial and error and rote memorisation. There are flashes of fun and excitement, even in the 3d stages, but most of the time it just drifts between OK and a bit rubbish. 23/09/18 Superhot VR: Shakey start due to technical problems - actually requested a refund. Luckily it was denied, which at the time, is not something I thought I'd be typing. Figuring I should try and get my money's worth, fired it up again to find the issues had somehow sorted themselves out. Then I was a sort of morally bankrupt Neo for a couple of hours and life was good. The way each stage is broken up spoils the flow and sense of place, and I find the framing a bit grating, but generally its as awesome as everyone says. Some of the best moments are when you've failed so many times, you end up doing the prior sections effectively in real time, which feels even better than slow-mo limbo dancing under bullets. On a semi related note, I was at a music festival years ago, and on the night before it started they showed The Matrix on big screens in the campsite. When Neo starts to believe at the end, everyone in the site - thousands of people, all started chanting "Nee-oh, Nee-oh, Nee-oh...". 23/09/18 Quanero (Steam VR): Short (and free) little experience. You play a detective investigating an explosion in a futuristic bar. You basically just warp around trying to find out everything the happened - what caused the explosion and everything that followed. It's a like the combat analysis in Arkham VR, or the memory hacking in remember me, but you can't change anything, just scrub the time-line and try to observe all the details. More fun than it sounds. The bar and people are nicely detailed, and there are enough little micro stories interacting such that whatever you're focused on, something else will be overlapping it that you'll want to go back to next. There's only a couple of minutes of material, but there are a specific number of incidents to find, and I think I spent nearly an hour in it. Previous:
  11. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    It's a walking / running simulator: https://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html
  12. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    16/09/18 Another Perspective: A good little puzzle platformer. Only lasts an hour or so, but explores its themes and mechanics to a satisfying depth. It answers its existential questions with uncommon assuredness, which is pleasant, but the problems posed are really more ambiguous and troubling if you stop to think too long. Good if you like tight puzzles and being reminded of the infinite horror of conscious existence. 18/09/18 Firewatch: What a jip. I was led to believe this is a walking simulator, but QWOP it is not. It's clearly an arcade style ambulatory game. That disappointment aside, this was excellent. It looks and sounds great. Visuals are stylised in a way that feels intentional rather than just an indie production compromise, there's some spot on mood music and the voice acting is some of the best I've heard in a game. The real star of the show is the writing. I was an Idle Thumbs listener for years, and what really struck me was how strongly the voices of the principal writers - both Idle hosts, rang out through the game, without overriding their characters or story. The dialogue is frequently funny, but almost always very natural sounding. The characters talk like actual adults rather than a child's idea of what an adult sounds like. As a thumbs fan it was especially fun noticing elements in the game that originated from or were discussed in some fashion on a podcast - a particular standout being based on a reader mail about a kid's understanding of science and the world. It took me a long time to get round to this one due to reviews complaining of a bait and switch, or damp squib story. I think those reviews are bad. Slightly spoilery rant follows: The story is well put together and ends just as it should. It might seem a bit mundane - but only in contrast to the mad paranoid fantasy you expect or want. The actual events are still far from an everyday experience and if it had turned into some run of the mill, save the world, standard video game bullshit, I'd have been very disappointed. Similarly, complaints about characters not growing or changing, and decisions not mattering miss the mark. People don't generally change much, or quickly (or else quickly change back Mr Burns style). You define how they develop through your dialogue choices, and while that doesn't change the wider plot, it changes what they know, how they see it, how you as the player experience it - and in the end grants perspective on the real problems they were trying to escape with a silly wilderness adventure.
  13. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    14/09/18 - Chronos (Oculus): Excellent third person action adventure RPG. Takes most of its cues from Dark Souls, with uncomplicated, challenging, rewarding combat set in seemingly sprawling locations that reveal themselves to be tightly folded as you open shortcuts. Garnished with simple lock and key puzzles (plus a couple of quality head scratchers). Nice gimmick where each death advances your character's age by one year. As you get older the cost and effectiveness of upgrades changes, pushing you to adapt your playstyle if you're dying a lot. Combined with very limited health replenishment, it creates a real sense of consequence to every hit you take, and a rush of relief with every defeated boss or unlocked checkpoint. My path through the game was not ideal, but worked out well. After chipping away at it for weeks, making very slow progress and watching my character age alarmingly quickly, I just started to get the hang of the combat and accrued enough stats to feel like I might beat it, only to encounter what I was sure was a game blocking bug. I restarted, and much to my surprise and delight, in spite of having no stats, was now a complete wrecking machine just from fundamental skill in combat, and regained my previous position in 2 sittings. Combined with relatively cheap upgrades from not dying much, I was soon a complete tank. This robbed the rest of the game of most of that sense of desperation, but was worth it for the awesome feeling of having mastered a difficult system. After bouncing off it half a dozen times, I might actually be up to Dark Souls. Also now pretty sure, the 'bug' was just me not noticing a room with some needed items in it. Interesting setting too - mixing a sort of retro futuristic post-apocolypse with beautiful, but threatening fantasy, and a very meta strory - which generates plenty of intrigue along the way, but doesn't quite hold together in the end. I found the atmosphere strangely reminiscent of the old Ecstatica DOS games if anyone remembers those. There are a few fantastic set pieces too - my favourate was this: The VR aspect is unusual. It uses fixed camera positions that cut as you move between them, like Resident Evil, but you can move your head. This causes some of the same problems that it always did - I lost nearly as many years to running over unseen cliffs as to enemy swords, but it also creates a sense of solidity and presence that, as much as I like free locomotion - isn't quite as strong when your perspective can move without the matching physical motion. Much like pre-rendered backdrops, it allows detail to be concentrated where it is needed. The game looks great in the rift, but on a flat screen, I suspect it would appear very low fidelity. Previous:
  14. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    08/09/18 - Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered: Loads of fun. Blow up all the things. Destruction modelling is pretty amazing even today - not aware of anything that's topped it. Low gravity, bouncy driving on bumpy terrain might annoy some, but I found it refreshingly unusual, and you feel like a stunt driver once you get good at it. Outside of stuff exploding, I'd describe the presentation as functional. Story's paper thin and should be irrelevant, though managed to seriously annoy me at one point. There's a couple of missions near the end where you attack 'soft' targets - cafes basically. You can do it without civilian casualties, but it seriously tarnished the happy-go-lucky freedom fighting sheen. Also, some pacing problems. Far too stingy with upgrade currency so you'll be lucky to have even a couple of the really cool toys by the end, and it overstays its welcome a bit generally. Amazingly / amazingly awful name too. Whoever came up with that must have had the ultimate shit-eating grin for days.
  15. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Sorry, forgot it was Oculus exclusive, should've mentioned that. Exclusives are a real thorn in VR's uptake. Without them, we simply wouldn't have many of the best titles, but there's loads of PSVR only stuff I'd buy in a heart-beat - if I didn't have to spend £400+ on more hardware first, and I'm very much an enthusiast. It really seems like the big companies are jeopardising massive future gains for relatively paltry short-term wins.
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