12:30 PM on 02.22.2015
I've tuned in to my fair share of video game playing personalities in the past. Most of which I still follow to this day. First, I discovered The Angry Video Game Nerd after seeing countless of "This guy ripped off AVGN!" comments on Irate Gamer videos. I don't remember how I found out about Irate Gamer though. Then I caught wind of Two Best Friends Play in 2013, which quickly became one of my favourites. I also found out about JonTron a few months ago and worked my way through his channel and some episodes and best-of compilations from his time in Game Grumps. Now, I'm once again (very) late to the party and have just found out about this great show.
Started in 2003, predating the era of Let's Players, Angry Nerd personas and even YouTube itself, Game Center CX is a TV show starring Shinya Arino, who's employed in a fictional company which the show is named after. "Arino's Challenge" is the main feature of the program, where he sits in an office and marathons a game to reach its ending or complete a certain challenge within the game. With him not being very good at games, the "You have to reach the ending" rule is often taken to its most literal interpretation, employing any means necessary to reach that goal, seeking help from strategy guides and his many assistant directors, who would sometimes even play through hard segments for him, whenever he gets stuck. So long as the last segment which leads to the ending screen is done by him.
They also have lots of fun with the title cards.
The show has gotten quite popular, his green uniform, orange tie and penchant for cooling pads iconic among fans. It's still going strong after 18 seasons and several specials and live events. A movie is supposedly on its way. And it has games too! You may know it more for its Western title, Retro Game Challenge.
The challenge portions were not actually the main draw from the start and it's focus was initially on featuring various Japanese game companies, detailing its history, conducting interviews and whatnot. Challenging a game from that company was just one small part of it. From season 2 onwards, Arino's Challenge is now the highlight, accompanied by several side segments that serve as nice breaks between the playthrough and makes it more akin to a variety show than just a Let's Play. Still focused on retro games, some segments retain the spirit of the first season with more developer interviews. Some are as simple as a brief showcase of a handful of games from a certain system, company or time period. One popular segment is "You Should Visit This Game Center Sometime", a travelogue where they visit arcades, stores or other places around Japan that feature retro games and other things of note, as recommended by a viewer. I found these segments quite interesting because you can see that there are tons of games that never made it outside Japan. Later seasons introduced sillier segments like "Shocking Videos MAX" where they show gruesome, SHOCKING scenes in video games such as crashing your bike in Excitebike, or "Family Computer Sniper" where he plays sniper using an SNES Super Scope and tries to identify game cartridges from afar.
The corporate/office theme adds a lot to the show's charm. Their silly antics and the fun and colourful atmosphere of most games are made even more off-beat by the serious, formal and "professional" tone they try to practice being in a workplace environment (which they almost always never manage to keep a straight face whenever they do so). That mixture of seriousness and silliness is something I observe quite often in Japanese humor and I'm a really big fan of it. Arino himself is a very charming guy. His laid-back, clumsy and often childish personality is what makes the show, watching him react to things with such bluntness, wonder and enthusiasm. After all these years, his skills never seem to improve and yet somehow, out of sheer tenacity, he usually manages to succeed, after several continuous hours of playing. They make sure that fact is known, telling how much time has elapsed, how many attempts he's made at one segment or showing it slowly getting dark outside the building. Plus, the way the show is presented along with the epic and dramatic delivery of the narrator throughout the whole ordeal, even when cracking a joke, is icing on the cake. It gets you more invested in his struggle and really makes you feel like you're watching so much more than just some guy playing games that are almost as old as he is.
I finished watching all of season 1's challenges, the entirety of season 2, as well as a couple of odd episodes here and there, and I think the show shines most when covering games of special interest, like an episode where he plays a jogging marathon with the Japanese Power Pad, or the ones where he plays adventure games or dating sims.
Needless to say, I highly encourage you to watch it. Definitely one of the best video game shows I've seen yet. I guess I also have to give a shout-out to Nanashi for passively introducing me to this show. Sometimes, an offhand comment or picture is all you really need to get acquainted to and eventually engrossed in a certain thing.read
6:00 AM on 02.09.2015
Wait, there are three of these already?
Last October, I started this series called “Google Play-giarism”, born out of those dead hours of the afternoon spent looking at bad knock-off games at the Google Play store. As someone with an interest in art, drawing, etc., They’ve always fascinated me. Playing this little game of “where did they copy this from?” gives me a sort of inside look at the creative process behind that ultimately bad or lacking piece of art. It’s even quite educational. It shows us how not to use another work as reference for yours.
Anyway, I dropped the “Google” part of the title, as I plan to expand this series outside the mobile games market, for this particular entry at the very least. Not that I fear copyright infringement or anything like that. Dropped the dash as well, because the logo looks better without it. Yeah, we have a logo now, I hope you like it.
Sometime last month. I was walking around the food court of some mall and stopped dead on my tracks upon seeing this one game through the glass panels of some old, backwards arcade.
Finding any information on it was quite difficult, at least on the English speaking side of the internet. With only that English text on the logo to work with, all I saw was a very short thread on Shoryuken, an official English site with barely any info, and official videos whose quality are so bad, they might as well have not uploaded them.
After Google’s image-based translation failed to recognize the text on the logo, I managed to find the Chinese title by browsing the Japanese version of the official site, of all places. Googled that text. Clicked on the first YouTube link and, oh my God.
Without further ado, I present to you, 三国演武 (Chaos Generation; alternate title, not a translation).
Where do we even start?
From the opening, though a bit faint, we can see the it's trying to evoke the same grainy, "painted" style as SFIV's opening, especially with the flames and other effects.
Win poses. Though anyone can raise their left arm in triumph, this particular one looks very close to Ryu's. Not to mention his colour scheme is rather similar.
Seth's win pose. Raise from the ground, raise arms to sides.
Basically the Brazil stage. Notice the bridge where the characters fight.
Vietnam. Same general concept. Riding a boat on a river on sunset, surrounded by grassy mountains and rock formations. The boat is less detailed but the flooring is similar.
China stage. But in this game, of course all the stages are in China. Both have a restaurant in it.
The moves are a bit more interesting. While some are direct copies from SFIV and other games, other copy only (parts of) the animation and do something slightly different with them. This one has the same ending as El Fuerte's Flying Giga Buster, but the toss at the beginning is different.
Gen's Crane Style ultras where combined into one. Turn into a tornado, then slice them up.
Shin Shoryuken. It copies the startup on point.
But leaves the opponent in the air and catches them in a similar manner to the ending of Dudley's Corkscrew Cross. In here, he throws a fireball with his punch though.
I only ran through a handful of them for this blog. I'm sure plenty of you SFIV players and other fighting game fans have already recognized many other things from the video. But guess what? That same channel has move videos for every character in the game. All 10 of them. So stay tuned. We'll go through every one them some other time.read
7:45 PM on 12.03.2014
Ok, I'm back. Let's do this!
First of, due to Steam's new policy on trading games, we'll no longer push through with the "secret" part of this little gift giving activity. While rules on gifting remain remain unchanged, we'll still encounter problems if our deliverer happens to already own the game you intend to gift, in which case he won't be able to receive it (something you should keep in mind as well when choosing your gifts).
So yeah, send your gift(s) directly to the person.
But before that, pick a gift box!
Each box contains the name of one person from our list of participants. That person will then send you their gift if you happen to chose their number. Our third party, OpiumHerz, has the numbered list of names (arranged at random). I'll get whichever box is left.
Remember, the idea is to gift a game that you want others to suffer through experience. But you can give them something they actually want, if that's what you prefer. You're all big boys and girls now. You can do what you want.
List of participants:
1 → GoofierBrute
2 → Zer0t0nin
3 → Cannibal Steven
4 → Occams Electric Toothbrush
5 → Retrofraction
6 → ooktar
7 → GajKnight
8 → El Dango
9 → Robo Panda Z
10 → Luckrequired
11 → Script
12 → ShadeOfLight
13 → TheAngriestCarp
14 → Agent9
15 → Sir Davies
16 → Tonich
17 → FlanxLycanth
18 → Luna Sy
19 → Solar Pony Django
20 → Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon
*To Opium: for easier PM-ing, use this url:
...or you can PM them on Steam. Whatever.
You have the entire month of December to send your gift(s) and write about the ones you received.
Have fun ♥
10:00 AM on 11.25.2014
Read the original post for more details.
Making this last call a bit earlier because I'll be out starting tomorrow, December 27. Because, you know, it's already the 26th. Right now. So yeah, if you want to join, just say so in the comments section below. I'll stop by every once in a while whenever I have internet, so rest assured I'll still see your comment. But I'll be back home (where I have a PC to work with) on December 1. Because of that, we might start a day after instead (December 2). So you have until then to sign up.
In the meantime, I got Dtoid forum admin and fellow C-Blog posting person OpiumHerz to be the deliverer of everyone's gifts, so you won't know (right away) who sent you that copy of Bad Rats.
Basically, what will happen is once you have your gift, send it to him on Steam and he'll then send it to your recipient ASAP. No, this is not a scam ;) Rest assured, if he screws up, we agreed that he'll surrender all his forum admin powers to me.
So add him on Steam beforehand: http://steamcommunity.com/id/OpiumHerz/
Current list of participants:
Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon
Occams Electric Toothbrush
Robo Panda Z
Solar Pony Django
Once we start, I'll post another blog and PM everyone on what to do next. We'll have a small activity to know who you'll give your present to ♪
6:00 AM on 11.21.2014
Serendipity is a word that I never get to use ever in a sentence. It is a term that means a "pleasant surprise" or as I like to call it, a "happy accident". When it comes to games, I too had my fair share of happy accidents, enjoying games I got in some giveaway or coerced by a friend to try it, games I would never have decided to check out for myself.
This happy accident, the joy of trying new things, this is something I want to share this Christmas season. And I wish for you all to experience and share this feeling too.
This is inspired from a dumb thing we used to do in school as to assure that everyone in class gets a Christmas present. Yes, even that weird kid that no one likes who eats lunch alone.
What if I was that weird kid???
So our "Secret Santa" was a little bit different. What we would do is buy our gifts prior to knowing who we'll give it to. That's because you'll pass your gift to a random person. It lead to scenarios where a guy gets an NBA jigsaw puzzle when they don't even like Basketball, or getting girls cologne but you're a guy. While it sounds awful on paper, I think if we do this for videogames it can be quite interesting, discovering games you've never heard of or ever thought of playing. And through blogs, you can share your experience with this newfound game.
We will follow a similar format:
1. Buy a game you want other people to suffer through experience. You're free to pick any game, but I would suggest something relatively obscure and not a lot of people have tried yet. Since this is just for a fun little blog thing, I would advise not to spend too much on it. I myself am planning to spend no more than $10-20 for my gift.
Digital games, by the way. Like Steam or whatever.
2. Everyone will be assigned a random person to give their gift to. You'll find out later how we'll go about this random draw.
3. I (or to not spoil the surprise for myself, some third party, who will also handle the random draw) will PM each participant with:
a. Who to give their gift to; and
b. Who to expect a gift from (just to make sure you don't end up adding some random stranger on Steam)*
You're then free to send your gift anytime once you receive the PM.
*We can also do what we decided in the forums (which follows the more traditional format) where there would be a "deliverer" of the gifts as to keep things more "secret". Everyone sends their gifts to that person and they'll then send it to your target recipient.
4. Once you receive your gift, you'll have to play it no matter what it is. And because we're a blogging community, you then have to write about your experience with said game.
We'll start on December 1. Next week, I'll make a last call for anyone else who wants to sign up.
- Intermission -
As an update to my previous post, two days ago,
WE PASSED OUR FINAL THESIS DEFENSE!!!
Well conditional pass. Still a ton of revisions to the document (as expected, really), but the hard part is over. It's as good as done. This means I'll finally graduate from college early next year! Just 3 more leftover classes to finish.
While I'm not quite fond of using internet memes and image macros, this one in particular I believe is a close approximation of how I feel right now. That burden you had to carry these past four (almost five) years, (almost) off your shoulders. Those groupmates of mine and our adviser are trully unbelievable in every sense of the word and I literally wouldn't have made it without them.
Current list of participants:
Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon
Occams Electric Toothbrush
Robo Panda Z
Solar Pony Django
4:00 AM on 11.17.2014
I haven't been very active in the C-Blogs lately, aside of upvoting a couple of blogs, at least not as active as I want to be. In fact, I don't think I've posted often on the FP as well and I apologize for that. See that V sign? Yeah, that's not a V sign, that's a two. That's approximately the number of weeks I've been out. Been on the forums as usual though and maybe you should too maybe. You can talk about whatever, videogames, annie may and maybe not the current controversies going on in gaming media. Please.
So... life. It like, happened, you know?
I find it hard to believe that I've been going in and out of this university for almost five years now. If we're only concerned about my academics and the time I spent as a student, I can't exactly say that these past five years have been much of a highlight for me. The past three in paricular I'd say has been the most soulless and unfulfilling part of my life so far, as my interest in this college course gradually tapered off to the absolute zero that it is now, and at the same time, I struggle to find what I really want to do in my life instead. The closest friends I had in that establishment were literally the only reason why I still kept going to school and now that they've graduated on time earlier this year, I hardly have any motivation to continue nowadays, let alone perform well in my remaining classes.
With that said, I find even harder to believe that all of that is now one step closer to coming to an end. Because somehow, last Wednesday, me and my three groupmates managed to submit our completed thesis document, one of the last few things I needed to accomplish before I graduate. Three copies in a brown envelope, received and stamped by some lady in the office and submitted 20 minutes before the deadline. It's rushed as hell and will probably require a ton of revisions, but I still find it unbelievable that we actually made the deadline. Such amazing crammers these groupmates of mine are. We probably made way more progress in these last two weeks than we did in the past three months. Say what you will about our horrible work ethic, but I am very much happy and grateful to have these people as my thesis group. Without going into too much detail, I can honestly say that if it wasn't for them, my college life would've been over three years ago.
The trip back home after submitting the document was a strange one indeed. I know for a fact that I was ecstatic at that moment. I was in a dream-like state of disbelief after what just transpired. But I couldn't express any of those emotions because I was way too tired and exhausted. Then I got home and slept for 18 hours.
Thesis defense is on Wednesday and I don't have high hopes for it, to be honest. I don't think we'll be off the hook just yet but regardless...
Some of the blog stuff I plan to accomplish:
Yeah. This was supposed to go up during the Halloween season.
I have another one of those Play-giarisims coming up, probably the last one for a while. I've already run through a good portion of the newest and top games lists and I don't have enough material for yet another one after this. Need to wait until I have a newer set of games to look at, especially ones that are actually worth commenting on. I mean, there are like a million Minecraft clones out there but really, there's not much to say about any of them aside from looking and playing like the real thing and having some variation of "craft" in their title. I gotta say though, as someone who's not much of a fan of mobile games, browsing the Play Store and making fun of the dubious games you find on it has been one of the more entertaining uses I found for this tablet of mine.
In the meantime, why not go check out the first two parts of this series, now would ya?
Part 1 | Part 2
I couple of months back, I posted the first part of what was supposed to be a full playthrough of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the GBA. Unfortunately, you won't be seeing anymore of those because I'm not longer pushing through with it. *click* There goes the screenshots.
I think I overestimated the game's ability to be hilariously bad enough to be worth writing a series of blogs on. I started working on the second part not long after I posted the first one and desparately scoured for things to say about it. Suffice to say, there hardly were any. This might as well be one of, if not, the worst game I've ever played. It's the worst kind of bad game, the one that's not even bad in an entertaining way and is just plain boring and unremarkable.
For 4-5 hours, you go through 20 something chapters which more often than not comprise of you being told to go to some place, while being sidetracked to do a bunch of minigames. Some of them include: match the pictures, press the button on screen, connect the dots, click on the thing when it lights up, and something-like-what-you-do-in-DDR-where-you-press-the-button-when-it-reaches-that-part-of-the-screen, whose proper name for that kind of gameplay completely escapes me right now. You also have an RPGs fight every once in a while where Draco and friends are literally the only three enemies you fight for the entire game until the finale.
At around the end, the game even becomes self-aware and expresses pitty for the person who decided to play this game to completion. So yeah, I've had enough of that. Plus, at this point I don't recall some parts of it anymore which means if I do want to finish this blog series, I'll have to play through it all again.
With Christmas season right around the corner, I am planning to do another playthrough of a some RPG I haven't played/finished yet, something that became sort of a tradition I do every year. With the game I have in mind, that means I have to make another dumb character again, which I'm pretty terrible at. So this time, I'm thinking of inserting someone I know into the game. I'll turn them into a girl.
Speaking of Christmas, we're organizing a Secret Santa for Steam/Digital games in the forums. Just a fun little thing to do for the holiday season. Maybe you can join in if you want to. I dunno. Its your life. You make the decisions. You're a big boy now. While ironing out some of the details, I thought of doing a similar activity for this C-Blog community to mess around with for a bit. Something about exchanging obscure/shitty games and writing about your experience with it. Stay tuned. I'll post it within the next few weeks maybe? Though I can really put it out now and start building up a list of participants.
I have many other stuff in mind, monthly musings, personal stuff, whatever, that I can't share yet since I haven't done much work on them aside from "Yep. That's the title." Hopefully, I can get them all out before... wow, six more weeks before this year ends.
Till then, see you around ♥
7:31 PM on 10.22.2014
Part two of what I expect to be a very short-lived series.
Read part one here: Google Play-giarism: Knockoff King of Fighters
I've been very on and off when it comes to drawing as a hobby. During the earlier half of this year, I tried to make an effort in practicing how to draw on the computer using this cheap graphics tablet that I've had lying around the house for quite a while now. I haven't really done much past June. The last thing I did was this drawing of Valerie from Pokémon X/Y.
As you can see, I've got a long way to go before this is done. The outlines are rough and not yet finalised, it's still lacking in detail and I still don't know how to colour properly and efficiently. I gotta get around to finishing it someday and overall get better at this. She's supposed to be holding a Poké Ball. For some strange reason, I keep gravitating towards Pokémon gym leaders whenever I'm looking for a character to draw.
While practising and searching for better drawing techniques, I suddenly took an interest on reading about art plagiarism. As someone who's just starting out of course I often looked at or even tried to copy already existing works. I realized that that might not be the best way to go about things if you really want to get good. Using an image as reference is one thing, but tracing over or completely copying an image or even just a part of it is another.
Poses are another thing I greatly pondered on because you really can't claim ownership of certain poses, especially common poses that almost everyone does and aren't that distinct. I haven't really found a definitive answer to it, but I figured that it's alright to recreate a pose from a piece of work so long as it's, of course, not a direct copy or trace and that it's not a pose that people immediately attribute to said work, like a character's trademark pose for example. Stuff from JoJo or Power Rangers come to mind.
Wait. What was this blog post about again? Right, Google Play Store knockoffs. Well in relation to that, here are some examples of how not to use an image as reference.
Horde of Heroes
Clearly inspired from Castle Crashers, looking at the body proportions in addition to the helmet shape and design (which itself was based on the classic Knights Templar design).
While I could say that the pose came from this knight's pose in the lobby screen, it could've been from any raised shield, charging medieval knight man picture out there, to be honest. The game itself doesn't look too shabby though.
Doesn't really require much explanation. It really does look like they drew (or traced) the 2D art themselves, though it still doesn't make it any less of a ripoff. I wonder if the non-TF2 characters are also borrowed from somewhere else? Like with the previous game, the game itself doesn't look half bad. It's some sort of turn based strategy game.
Battle Of The Saints II
Just one look and I can already tell it's from Warcraft. That's basically the Dranei logo with the bottom portion cut out. Crossed axes and "shield" from the Orcs logo. Frost marks and horizontal rod from the Scourge logo.
Looking at the screenshots, the requisite sexy female RPG character also looks familiar. Her outfit is incredibly similar to the one worn by the requisite sexy female RPG character from Shaiya, some free-to-play MMO. I only know about that game because every other internet cafe here had that poster. Gameplay-wise, it looks like your typical Diablo clone.
How to Train a Draco: The Game
It's not just fellow games that get copied, of course. The title of this one sounds like an M-rated Harry Potter fanfiction. Welp, there it is. Why am I not surprised?
Not exactly the same pose but clearly inspired from it. Note the visible tail, symmetrical wing position and the asymmetrical arm position. Toothless is in a more descending angle in the original.
Oh, what's that in the background? It's twin-headed dragon, skinny dragon and chubby dragon.
Aside from swapping and editing their colour scheme, they also decided to steal another image for Jerry, which is kind of weird since he's already doing a similar pose in the one where they took the Tom image from. Also notice how Tom's left arm, right index fingertip and the end of his right foot are hidden from view because the original image didn't draw those parts as well.
Super mary Go
Raccoon mario from the box art of Super Mario Bros. 3, but the shape of the legs suggests that it was traced from the New Super Mario Bros. 2 version instead. This thing's a Flappy Bird, by the way. I can probably make a whole article on Mario clones, but there's really not much to be said about them really. But you gotta give credit to the one guy who had the balls to just straight up name their game "Super Mario". Now that I think about it, you could actually do that because the original was called "Super Mario Bros". Sleazy but smart.
Super Sonic Runner
I'm really starting to run out of things to say about these. I will give them extra points for ripping art from a not so famous Sonic game, Sonic Rivals. It took me a bit longer to find the exact images that they used. Unlike...
Vampires: Todd and Jessica
This is literally the first thing that comes up when you type "Twilight" on Google image search.
You know, considering that one of the key selling points of the game is to play as your favourite anime characters, there really was no point in mixing and matching them like this. I gotta say though, something about the combination of short pink haired anime girl and Attack on Titan uniform is really doing it for me.
The game itself uses what is either fan-made or stolen anime game sprites. The Naruto one on the sample screenshot is clearly a rip from Naruto Shippuden on the GBA.
Tune in next time where we'll talk about game titles, sound-alikes and word salad!
Just a random thing I'd like to point out:
There's quite a bunch of these RPGs that put a frame around their icon just so that the girl's boobs will pop out of it, giving it a sort of 3D effect. Xich Bich. Heh.
3:45 PM on 10.17.2014
I love free.
There's been quite a lot of giveaways this year, some are quite good, some of them you claim just to run them in the background to get free Steam trading cards. Wasteland 1 - The Original Classic looks to be part of the former.
This particular one takes a bit more effort though as the website that's offering the game for free to new members is in 한국어.
As the resident foreign language expert person who's super bored enough to figure this out, I was going to guide you in how to get a 26 year old game for free, until I found out that the promo just expired right when I was about to publish this blog! Not even sure if it was an actual promo that I got into right before it ended or a bug in their system that was immediately fixed when the word got out.
Now I'm sad. I even took screenshots and everything! Just look at it:
First, go to this website: https://www.directg.net/main/main.html
See that thing on the upper-rightmost corner of the screen that says 회원가입? Click on it.
You're now in the sign up page. Those things with the check boxes? Those are the terms of service. You don't even attempt to read them and just check on the boxes like you normally would.
Click on those two white buttons after filling up the forms. You're not allowed to use special characters (like !) for your password. A popup box will apear for each of them. Just click "OK". Click on the orange button when you're done with everything else.
This should appear afterwards. If not, try changing your username or password.
Go to this page: https://www.directg.net/mypage/order_list2.html
Click on that box and recieve your free Steam key!
I don't want to leave you guys empty-handed, so instead, here are some sites you can regularly check on to (potentially) get you some (potentially) awesome and completely free games in the near future!
Indie Game Bundles
Recently renamed to BundleHQ, it's a very reliable place to go for news about free PC games and game bundles from multiple other sites. That's all there is to say about it, really. Gives clear instructions on how to get said free games.
Amazon Free App of the Day
For mobile, obviously. Very hit-and-miss, but what did you expect from a service that gives away one paid app every single day. I got some cool (but really old) stuff out of it like Sonic CD and Another World. Not exactly the best platform to play those on but I digress. I'd say it's worth a look every now and then. It gives away more than just games.
Raffles you can enter for free! Well, kind of. This is open for anyone who has at least $100 worth of games on their Steam account, which means most of us, really. Whenever anyone creates a giveaway, every user is awarded with one point which they can use to enter giveaways (which vary in price of admission). So basically, you can win free games by doing absolutely nothing but wait for points and click on giveaways to enter. Sounds too good to be true but I can attest to it's legitimacy. I won a copy of Psychonauts from it. But because of my terrible luck, that's the only thing I've won so far. It's still on the user on how they go about in awarding you the prize so it pays to be extra careful. I personally made a dummy email account just to be safe.
This site is also apretty good indicator of what bundles are currently available as most people just give away leftovers from Humble Bundles. Also, when there's a sudden flood of one particular game, you can bet that it's being given away for free somewhere else and people are just capitalizing on it to increase their CV (Contributor Value. Total undiscounted value of all the games you've given away. Giveaways can have a CV requirement so fewer people can get in which means higher odds of winning.)
Guilt-free gambling. What else could you want?
So yeah. That's that. Now to write an actual blog post...
3:00 PM on 10.09.2014
Mobile gaming is no stranger to knockoffs. For every Angry Birds, Flappy Bird or 2048 released in the market, there are several dozens or even hundreds of games piggybacking off someone else's success story by being almost exactly like them. One doesn't even need to be a popular figure on the same market to spawn imitators. Brand recognition goes a long way in making people notice your thing and no name devs trying to make a quick buck would latch on to anything that has that.
Here's a fun little game you can play on Google Play or any app store: Type names of popular franchises and see what comes out. Let's start with...
Oddly enough, you get lots of King of Fighters knockoffs instead.
Now this one seems to be quite popular. Our man in the icon seems to be a mix of Ryu, Kim Kaphwan and his son Kim Jae Hoon.
Same pose from Street Fighter II's intro, similar uniform, similar hair.
Kim & Joe. Definitely not a direct sprite rip or edit, but the resemblance is there. Notice Taekwondo man's right arm and feet, and Muay Thai guy's hair and shorts.
Minus the fact that you have to play a 2D fighting game with an on-screen joystick, this one doesn't look half-bad. Though unoriginal and even traced at some points, the game assets do look like they were made and not stolen.
This one looks pretty good, actually. Looks like a beat 'em up with some RPG elements to it. The art style looks rather nice as well, especially since it doesn't look like a rip off of something (as far as I know).
Can't say the same about the title screen though.
Not all knockoffs can be as crafty or half-decent as the first two examples. Get used to games like Mortal Street Fighter Club. Title tries to remind you of better franchises. Icon contains stolen characters/images, including but not limited to Bane from The Dark Knight Rises and "Guy from Ong Bak" from Ong Bak.
As for the game itself, well...
Behold as our brave champion prepares to enter the womb of her horribly mishapen and unevenly skin toned adversary. "Perform impossible maneuvers" indeed.
"Cheating properly" was one of the more important things I learned in high school. That is, if you're going to copy information from the internet for an assignment, you better copy from multiple sources. That way, with a little bit of editing, the teacher won't even notice that it's plagiarised.
Looks like the makers of Kung Fu Street Fighter have yet to master this skill.
The head, hair, upper torso, lower torso and projectile of each character come from different things. It seems rather fitting to combine Ryu's upper torso with DBZ pants. No idea who armor guy is supposed to be, and why there's three of him on the screen.
Can't find a gif of the exact Ryu sprite they used. I'm guessing it's from SVC Chaos. Also, I think the less said about character portraits, the better.
Also appearing on the search results are these Ninja Fighter games. I've seen three of them, one also has screenshots from Ninja Gaiden while the other took screenshots from the Naruto: Utimate Ninja series. Since the preview images are obviously stolen from other games, it does make me wonder what this game actually looks like...
- Realistic visual effects and the world’s best battle music.
- Slide the screen can be rotated gamers perspective.
- Very easy and responsive game controls.
- +Puzzle +Block game+ Memory game etc.
- Competitive multiplayer to show the world your greatness.
- Adrenaline rush guaranteed."
Last on our list is King Of Fighters Death. Once again, screenshots not representative of the actual game. App description, enlighten me please!
"This is a high-definition picture with fighting hero themed wallpaper program, if you have a childhood dream of doing tough guy hero, then download the program, and the inside of the picture as your phone wallpaper,, let myself not to forget childhood dream!eighteighteen eighttwenteen"
It's a wallpaper collection...
Animated sprites from The Fighters Generation.
3:30 AM on 09.29.2014
It was almost the dawn of the new millennium. Such an exciting time it was to be a gamer, but it was also a time of great uncertainty. With Sega and the Dreamcast kicking off the new console generation, some would come to wonder if the company can still maintain its relevance in this rapidly expanding console market. Apart from their long-time rival Nintendo and the newcomer Sony, who has proven to be quite a contender, they are set to find themselves yet another competitor, with Microsoft expressing their desire to make a console of their own.
But none of those mattered to me, my sister and two of my cousins. We didn’t even know about all those stuff going on as we sat on their living room floor and clumsily scuffled around with the first five levels of Crash Bandicoot 3.
This right here remains to be one of the most iconic and memorable imagery in all of gaming to me. This is where it all began. Five numbered buttons on the floor. Stand on one of them to open a portal. Run (or jump) into said portal and get whisked away to another world. Sometimes, I would jump over the buttons or carefully walk in between them to reach the center without opening a portal. It made me feel like I’ve outsmarted the game or something.
That entire setup was very much symbolic of what videogames essentially are: a portal to other worlds, with its own distinct sights, sounds, characters and experiences to offer to its visitors. This game alone has several of them.
To this day, one thing that still amazes me about Crash 3 is the amount of variety it has. Just looking at the first five levels, our giant orange bandicoot (and his little sister) have gone to medieval times, underwater, ancient China, prehistoric times and somewhere in the middle of the ocean I dunno but there are pirates in it. The variety extends to the gameplay as well, with none of the first five playing exactly the same. 3D platforming, side-scrolling, on-rails vehicle (baby tiger) segments, chase sequences and jet skiing. Even more worlds and genres are introduced later on, including boss battles, aerial combat (where I was first introduced to the standard health bar) and racing (which required near perfect execution just to win a race).
I probably just learned how to read at the time, so I would often mispronounce "Toad Village", the name of the first level, as "Toadillage" or "Tutelage". Looking up what that word means, I'm surprised at how fitting it was given the situation, tutelage. In a way, I really as under the teaching or guidance of that game. It's almost as if it was trying to tell me exactly what videogames are and what they could be. Here are some of the worlds you can explore, some of the types of games possible in this medium. Needless to say, it captivated me right away. I wanted to see more of this. It was unlike anything I've ever seen in this world (which, to a five year old, isn't really saying much).
To the five (or was it six?) year old mind, it really did feel like an otherworldly experience. Eyes glued on the screen, it’s almost as if I was there. Look at this place! Look at the colors! I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It felt so alive. Butterflies flying around. Boxes you can smash. Apples you can collect. A chicken you can chase around. Walk to the flock of birds and they fly away. Oh look, a goat! I wonder if I can touch it…
…I died. And died some more. On the first level alone, I was rammed by a goat, sliced in half, kissed by a frog(?) and fell on holes that weren't even blocking the way.
It was quite fun witnessing the various, comical ways that Crash would meet his untimely demise. The death animations helped a lot in establishing a funny and lighthearted tone for the game. But you know what wasn't funny? The first time I saw that game over screen.
Soon enough, I learned how to play better, perhaps motivated by the fear of seeing that game over screen again. My friends? They got better too, way better than me even. It became a real team effort among us, taking turns trying to beat each level. Some would have their own specialties, one would be really good at certain types of levels and whenver that kind pops up, we hand the controller to him/her. As much as I sucked, I was particularly good at one of the boss stages where you fight a giant robot.
"We really should have one of these”, were some the words uttered by my younger self (or a loose translation of it, at least) the deeper we got into the game, the more I played; almost demanding in tone, as if we’re dealing with some sort of necessity, an integral part of living.
Eventually, we did get one. The PS2 was brand new at the time. And we went in the store and bought a PSone. With a console of my own, I was now ready to venture off into other games at my own pace, whilst breaking the console several times because I would store it in a lunchbox when I brought it to my grandparents place to play. I would soon discover a brand new kind of genre and have yet another long set of adventures with the same group of friends, and even get another one of my cousins into gaming. But Crash 3 is still the one I remember the most.
I remember all the levels by name. I know of all of the game's secrets and how to get them. I would recognize the similarities between most of the game's music and how it takes several cues from the main theme. I remember how you can "start a new game" by going to the load game screen and exiting without loading a save, bypassing the opening cutscenes (which you could skip anyway). I remember how the game's framerate would drop in the load game screen when you press triangle to look at your stats. I remember that the level buttons pop out once you get halfway through the bridge leading to each warp zone/"time travel area". And I remember that the wizard enemy leaves behind his underwear when you kill him and you could crouch down to make it look like you're picking it up.
For the sake of this blog, I tried going back to it again, mostly to take some screenshots. Then I suddenly realized that I've never actually finished this on my own! Breezed through it in a couple of hours. It's hard to imagine now that it used to take me several hours across several days just to finish one set of levels, and some I could never even finish myself. It was quite an experience, playing through it again after all these years. It was like catching up with an old friend. It's nice to see how well it has aged, and as I sit down and the hours go by, all of those fond memories start flowing back, not only the ones between me and the game, but with the people I've played it with.
A lot has changed since I first picked up that controller 15 years ago. My cousins & sister who I played games with for most of my childhood have long moved past the hobby in pursuit of other things. My cousin's house where it all started? It's ours now. Without going too much into the details, we swapped houses several years ago. The spot where the TV and PS1 used to be? It's now a couch that I often fall asleep on. Too often...
I keep a list of all the games I’ve finished through the years and looking at it now, it’s slowly closing in on 200 games. While not exactly the most impressive number to some of you, within those games, I got to experience some of the very best the medium has to offer. So many memorable moments, accomplishments, characters and stories; gaming not only served as my link to other worlds and experiences. It also became my link to other people. Some of my closest friends I initially got to know by playing games with them. I wouldn’t even be here, in communities like this, making dumb comments and sharing a part of myself through blogs like these, if it weren’t for games…
…if it weren't for this game…
11:00 AM on 09.08.2014
To enhance your reading experience, may I suggest listening to this lovely rendition of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", paired with the vocals of "Escape from the City" from Sonic Adventure 2. (courtesy of that deviantart-appreciation-station blog I just mentioned)
[Potentially disturbing mental image inducing text and images ahead!]
As with other fictional worlds like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Marvel Universe, pornography can also run on its own set of rules. The people in this world can turn into powerful sorcerers at times, able to completely destroy the mind of their victim partner with their mystical staff. They can take reduce even the strongest of adversaries into a shadow of their former selves, just a shallow husk of a man, no longer capable of functioning like a proper human being and only fixated on serving their new master.
Like with Sauron and the ring, it seems like many are very much attracted to this power, considering how often this occurs in certain types of works. Everyone wants to stick their finger up that ring. So they can stick their finger up that ring...
Let it be known that somewhere out there, in this world, there exists at least one person who sat down on his desk one day and said to himself: "I'm going to draw a picture of Tarzan shitting himself while wearing a diaper. Also, his right arm has been chopped off."
As the previous paragraph suggests, oftentimes, this crosses over with people's fetish for diapers, either seeing someone in it or wearing it themselves. I think that in this context, it makes this fantasy a little bit easier to understand.
Basically, being a baby, which also implies being cared for, pampered and generally seen as cute by another person, is part and parcel of the whole "wearing a diaper" shtick. The self-defecation part adds a whole new layer to it. Someone's gotta change that diaper. Someone has to look at that "baby's"... uhm... parts. They have to touch it, rub it, and more importantly, clean it. So it involves intimate contact in some way. Nevermind the fact that lots of feces in also involved during most of it.
Living room setting. Optimus Prime. Sat on a sofa. Next to a fire place. Knitting a sweater. There's a very large, visible and uncharacteristically round bulge around his stomach area, sticking out from his otherwise squareish and polygonal body. Looks like Megatron forgot to turn the safety on.
Back in high school, one of my friends told me that he would often feel very uncomfortable when seeing a pregnant teacher whose spouse also works in the same school. Because he can imagine them having sex. He was one of my best friends.
Perhaps this can be one explanation to the appeal of this fantasy? Maybe it's not so much about the pregnancy but rather, the implied sex that occured between the two men which lead to it? I can understand if that's the case. Sometimes, your mind can come up with much better imagery than others who are capable of expressing theirs through actual photos or videos. I guess when certain people look at these, it makes them imagine other more erotic events?
Not me though. When I see these, all I can think of is HOW WILL THE BABY COME OUT?
I really have to start hanging out with less perverted friends...
I know that there are some people who are attracted to objects. I've read a good number of those "Man has sex with bench" stories on the internet. But something strikes me as very odd about seeing pictures or drawings depicting this fantasy. Because if one does have a fixation towards a certain object... well... I have a table right here. I'm already sitting on a chair. Oh look, a piano. You can easily have access to the object of your desire in real life and put it to good use.
Is there a much deeper meaning and purpose for the creation of such images? Are the people responsible for them trying to make some sort of damning statement about pornography? That in many ways, it is also a form of having sex with objects? These images, these videos, these games, may depict a person and produce human sounds but when it comes right down to it, you're still just sitting in front of a computer. Are these pictures of furniture people (and the people who made them) trying to tell us that deep down, this is what we really want: just an object for our pleasure and use? Something that would never refuse, resist and whose only purpose is to satisfy your needs?
Or maybe they just want to make bad sex puns.
(Oh yeah. By the way, This can, and has at least once, crossed over with the diaper fetish as well. Think about that for a second and imagine how that works...)
Cooking People Alive!
I vividly remember this one gallery I saw in DeviantART that has long been deleted. The gallery was filled with pictures of women, often nude, photoshopped into photos of kitchen equipment. And it's not just transparent stock pictures of pots and frying pans. The whole scene was in a proper kitchen setting. The woman was layed out on the frying pan, or standing inside a pot, on an open stove or fire. And she had grill marks! Which didn't make sense because the surface of the frying pan was flat.
A little too hard to imagine? Here, take a look at this sample I made. I left out some details to keep things tasteful (heh), but I think it captures the essence of this fantasy pretty well.
And that gallery was one of the tamer ones. If you haven't guessed already, works under this fantasy would often depict scenes of explicit violence and gore. I mean, it's cooking! Lots of chopping, slicing, boiling, frying...
Now that you know about this, try to Google Image Search the following phrases:
- Steamed Fish
- Roasted Pig
- Baby Soup
And there's your new weight loss program.
P.S. Proofreading this was fucking gross. This is the last time I'll be doing one of these. I'll post something for this month's community assignment next time.read
1:30 AM on 07.09.2014
Five hours. I wasted almost five hours of my life on this. I should know that it didn't take any longer than that because the tablet where I played it on has only five hours of battery life and I played through the whole thing without having to recharge.
Licensed games, especially movie tie-in games, are notorious for their tendency to be either incredibly mediocre or outright horrible. But I guess that's to be expected when you are tasked to develop a game under a very strict budget and deadline because it has to be out when the movie's out, and things only get worse when the movie you're adapting doesn't really translate that well into a game.
As a fan of Harry Potter, it pains me to see all the terrible games associated to the franchise. The damn thing had eight movies. The fact that EA had eight tries but ultimately failed to get it right or at least find and stick with a gameplay style that works for the licence is nothing short of magical.
I could go on and talk about how I wish licensed games would just stop trying to follow the story of their source material, but that's not the subject matter of this series of blogs. Today, we're here to play shit Harry Potter games. And I might have just found the worst one.
Looks like we're off to a good start. What's weird is the EA and WB logo appear after you start a new game or load your save instead of when you turn on the game.
~ Little Whinging ~
The game starts with this still image of Harry reading a newspaper on a swing. There's a pulsating green button with an "A" on it on the lower right corner of the screen so I guess I have to press A to continue. I'm so smart.
So this is the first screen of the game. Ah, pre-rendered backgrounds. Brings me back to my PS1 days. It appears like that black blob in the distance is supposed to be Harry. You wanna come a little closer so we can take a good look at you? C'mon now, Harry. Don't be shy.
If I were to make a quick guess, what we're looking at right here is a horribly down scaled character model from the console version. And yeah. Sometimes, you would default to this awkward mid-running pose you see in the picture whenever you enter a different area.
Going back to the park, I talk to Harry's cousin, Dudley. Again, the character portraits are stills from the "better" versions. Dudley's making fun of the things Harry says in his sleep which he seems to recall quite vividly. Harry calls him "Big D" for some reason. Come up with your own interpretations of this scene.
I leave Dudley alone and go inside a tunnel. Inside, we once again see Dudley who somehow arrived there before I did even though I left him at the park.
I talk to him again, he gets attacked by dementors, Harry uses magic to save him, all while the game shows us bad screenshots. How exciting.
~ Grimmauld Place ~
I talk to Sirius Black for a bit and he tells me about the Order of the Phoenix. I also have to go back to Hogwarts now because that's a thing you do on every book/movie. But before that, I have to upstairs and see my friends who just so happen to be on the same building.
These character models are really throwing me off.
On the second floor, I meet Hermione who tells me I have to repair these vases. I press the B button and a wand cursor appears on the screen. Click on the object of interest and I finally get some gameplay!
After pressing A to start the minigame, the wand cursor (in the second image) started moving to the left and the green L button was pulsating ever so slowly. The A button that shows up when the game shows those still images did the same thing, so by instinct, I pressed the button once, just like before. Nothing happened, the wand reached the end of the screen and I lost the game. Apparently, you had to MASH the L or R button to move the cursor in the opposite direction and keep it inside the swirly thing until the meter fills up.
I now regret playing this on a tablet.
Moving on to the next floor, I meet Ron who asks me to collect animated gifs. All two of them. Yes, this game has collectibles. No, I will not collect them in this playthrough.
Ginny's on the top floor. And like with every other Hogwarts student you've encountered so far, your interaction with her involves her asking you do do something for her, in this case, light a lamp.
This will be a recurring theme in the game.
Press the up or down button to move the cursor. Catch the sparkles.
After helping your friends and talking to Sirius once more, we are immediately teleported to Hogwarts, meaning they skipped the entire part where Harry and friends meet Luna Lovegood on the carriage on the way to the school.
I want to turn this game off already.
I go talk to Hermione.
Ten minutes into the game and it has already given up on trying to give the player any sense of immersion. Here we see Hermione telling us the name of the next segment of the game and asks if you want to continue on with your suffering.
Because I love you all, I clicked "Yes".
~ Hogwarts pre-DA ~
It's time for the start-of-term feast! Go down this long ass staircase and head to the Great Hall.
I now have Ron and Hermione following me around. While going down the staircase, the two would sometimes give up on trying to follow you. Even they don't want any part of this shitty game.
On my way down, I encounter this entrance to some hallway. Let's see what's inside.
You can't tell me a thing is locked when it doesn't even have a door. Especially when I'm already inside.
This will be a recurring theme in the game.
I finally made it downstairs and the feast begins. Yes, the feast didn't start until I got there because fuck, I'm Harry Potter.
Wanna see what the feast looks like in game?
Of course you don't.
I'm teleported back to the Gryffindor common room and Hermione tells me and Ron to finish unpacking our things. Also, did you see that arrow? The game gives you directions on where to go next whenever it feels like it.
As I enter the boy's dormitory to unpack my things, I am forced into a conversation with Neville Longbottom.
I hate you, Neville.
CONTINUED IN PART 2