Play Want Bin Expense: 2016-07-25

Microwavin’ with Mamorin

Still working through a JRPG and not a lot else, it would appear.

Play

Eye_of_Thundera_give_me_sight_beyond_sight_Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Wii U)
I’m still hooked on this. Hit 50 hours at the weekend, and I’ve still one and a bit chapters left (each chapter has been around 10 hours so far) as well as some still unfinished side stories. I simply can’t enthuse too much about the game because it’s awesome.

Lego Marvel Avengers (PS4)
Some more of the story in co-op with m daughter. It’s pretty much what I expected, and we’re currently working through the plot of the first Avengers film. There’s a mission where Hawkeye attacks the bridge of the helicarrier which is terrible, as the camera is waaaay too far out to see what you’re supposed to do (and it swings around constantly too, which doesn’t help), and the open world city appears to be exactly the same as in Lego Marvel Superheroes, but really, these are niggles.

ZaciSa: Defence of the Crayon Dimension! (Wii U)
Why is this so much harder than the demo!? It’s still fun, but I’m sure I got much further. Even on easy, some of the levels seem impossible to get past the first three or four waves.

I_HAVE_DONE_A_GOAL___kickmenMario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Demo) (Wii U)
As opposed to Mario and Sonic at the other Rio Olympic Games. Included in the demo are Football (actually pretty good), Rugby 7s (I didn’t play it because it’s rugby), Swimming (just as impossible as the original swimming event was in the 2008 Wii game) and a “dream” beach volleyball event (which is OK).

Pokémon Go (iOS)
Tried and failed to take down some gyms. By bag is full and I can’t carry anything else. I used a lure in a park. EVERYONE IS PLAYING THIS.

Want

I think you know by now: No Man’s Sky (PS4) and Zelda (NX). But also, added to this, tentatively for obvious reasons, Sonic Mania (not sure which platform yet, PS4 if there’s no NX version). PLEASE be good.

Bin

That Sonic 2017 thing that looks like it might be Sonic Generations 2. I just know Sonic from Sonic Boom will end up in it. And it looks grim like Shadow the Hedgehog.

Expense

Nothing this week!

Where’s Sonic? Vol. 4

Extraordinary things can happen if you believe in yourself
You’ve got to have some faith in yourself
If you want respect from your friends

Today I bring you that most well known of all Sonic locales, the Azure Lake Zone! Absolutely not Hill Top Zone, Marble Garden Zone, Hydrocity Zone 1 or Aquatic Ruin Zone, any of of which, or a combination of some or all of which, it actually looks like.

Yes, I know it’s one of the two player levels in Sonic 3, but that isn’t crawling with badniks! Tch.

As before, you need to find all these things, in this picture below. And no, Wally isn’t there. I looked.

where's sonic

Notes:

  1. Is that “hydro-city”, or “hi-drossity”? I’ve never known.

Most Delicious Controller

Mmmm, hypothetical

(This stupid question from @sockatume)

Which controller is most delicious.

It may surprise you, but I’ve eaten very few controllers in my time as Professional Person Who Plays Games. I would go as far as to say I’ve barely even licked that many 1, and those I have, have not tasted anything approaching “delicious controller”, or even just “edible controller”.

When it came to thinking about how I was going to approach this question, two suggestions came to mind. One was how the buttons on some controllers look like sweets, and the other was that I’d be amazed if there were not cakes in the shape of game controllers. Of course there would be.

delicious controller cake
Image from here

Unfortunately, the latter has two glaring issues: 1) I’ve never eaten one, and 2) I don’t like cake 2. What to do? Same thing I always do – write nonsense for a bit and hope it works out.

Sweets. The thing about many controllers, is that the fire buttons look like sweets. In particular, those that are coloured discs of plastic, such as the BAYX (or ABXY, if you’re racist) buttons on SNES, Dreamcast and Xbox 360 pads. They look like sweets, sort of, don’t they? The US SNES buttons aren’t lovely different colours, but they do look exactly like Parma Violets and so by extension, presumably taste like Parma Violets too! There’s your winner then, or at least would be, if it wasn’t for the fact Parma Violets taste like chalky perfume 3.

delicious controller
US SNES controller

Sticking with the sweets reference, take a look at the Gamecube controller:

Gamecube controller
Mmmm, yummy

Those A and B buttons look like delicious boiled sweets (other-side-of-the-pond readers might refer to those hard Jolly Rancher things), and there’s a touch of the sherbet fountains about the C-stick, but it’s the X and Y buttons that I’m going to point out: they’re jelly beans!

So in the hypothetical world where video game controllers are edible, the Gamecube controller – by virtue of the fact that it’s the one that looks most edible already – is the most delicious controller.

WARNING: Do not eat video game controllers. They are not sweets. Or cakes. You may die.

I did approach internet nutter Shoenice (a modern day Michel Lotito/Monsieur Mangetout) to ask him his thoughts on delicious controllers, what with his credentials as an eater of anything, but so far no reply, sadly. Maybe he ate my message.

Notes:

  1. I did lick a Game Boy Micro once, though. It was metallic.
  2. No, really. I like a few specific types of cake, but most cake? Nah, mate.
  3. You know, they make Parma Violet cheese now? The world has gone mad.

Let’s Play! Flicky

Ah, Flicky. One of Sega’s simplest and cutest arcade platformers, and one of the first games I ever played on a Master System. That version is hardly different from the arcade original, at least in gameplay, and the Mega Drive port is virtually identical even graphically.

The idea is simple, but after the first few levels becomes fiendishly difficult. You control Flicky, the blue bird (who is possibly a bluebird rather than just a bird who is blue?), who much guide all the chicks to the exit. You “collect” them in a line behind you as you run near them, and get maximum points for taking them all to the exit in one single line.

flicky

However, if you’re not careful where or how you jump, some chicks may get left behind… and then there’s the cats that are out for birdsnacks. Best to avoid them, although you can kick some of the objects strewn around the platforms at them to knock them out for a while.

Here’s a fun fact too: Flicky reappeared as the flickies that pop out of Eggman’s badniks when you destroy them in the Sonic the Hedgehog games. They’re also in Sonic 3D, where you have to collect a number of them to progress. Sonic 3D is, actually, more like Flicky 3D with Sonic than Sonic in 3D.

Why not give it a go?

Continue reading “Let’s Play! Flicky”

Adventures in Bootstrap

Pulling the code up by them.

For a long time now, I’ve not been entirely happy with how the pages for my game museum list looked. When I moved my site over to WordPress, I tried to do a hacky theme modification to make it look more integrated, and appear as part of the main site. It sort of worked, but when I came to update, modify or wholesale change the WordPress theme, it invariably broke the game museum pages. Even just adding another link to the menu bar was enough to cause problems.

I decided to go back to how things were before – a separate, unrelated to WordPress section of the site, written in plain HTML/PHP/JS. Like tea used to be.

Of course, I could knock something up entirely from scratch like I did before WordPress got involved, but things have moved on these days and jQuery and Bootstrap exist now, so I thought I’d look into using the latter as a base. And oh my, how easy it is to create something smart, functional and responsive with absolutely no effort whatsoever.

Although I still have a little way to go prettying it up and fixing a few bugs (mainly related to searches and coping with links to previous incarnations of pages), it’s all there, and all set up in just a couple of hours work. I’ve used a bit of jQuery to allow the page content to change on the fly when searches are performed, rather than fully reload the page, and I’ve added floating boxart thumbnails too, which I think looks quite good. I’m very impressed.

bootstrap

The main things I’ve liked are the built in styles meaning you don’t need to use your own CSS. Having great looking pre-styled tables, headings, menus, badges, buttons, form elements and so on is awesome. The column based layout makes everything so easy to arrange too – just imagine the page (or any div on the page) is 12 columns wide, and then simply specify how many of these each element needs. Bootstrap is so powerful, flexible, quick and easy.

As I said, there’s tweaks and things left to do, perhaps fiddle with the colour scheme, but for the moment I’m generally pleased with it. So much so it prompted me to actually update the list of games itself, something I’ve not done in over a year it seems. 243 new games added! Blimey.

Alphabest: Mega Drive – P

P is for Pudding

Ruh roh! P is another one of those letter with a big pile of sports sports sports games. Perhaps I can deftly hit the fairway without ending up in a P bunker?

P

PGA Tour Golf. I don’t like golf, I don’t watch golf, I don’t really understand why people like golf. At least, not in real life. But I am partial to the odd game of golf when it’s a veedayoh game. There are five or so PGA Tour games on the Mega Drive, and really, there’s very little difference between them. Some have more courses and modes, and the later ones look a bit better, but the core ball-smacking mechanic remains much the same throughout. My favourite was PGA European Tour, mainly because it was the first one I played (albeit originally on the Amiga). If you like a bit of golf in your games, you can’t go wrong with a PGA title. That said, they’re still golf, so they ain’t winning anything here.

More sports sports sports games include Pete Sampras Tennis and Pelé! (with a !). The former is not bad for a tennis game but suffers from the fact that, yes, it’s a tennis game. Pelé! (with a !) and it’s sequel Pelé II (without a !) don’t hold up to pretty any other Mega Drive football.

A trio of unrelated “Pro” games next: Pro Moves Soccer, Pro Striker Final Stage, and Pro Quarterback. All three are poor replicas of the sports they represent and there are far better examples for the console.

Moving away from sports sports sports, The Punisher is a decent Streets of Rage style side scrolling beat-em-up. Faster paced than that game, but not as impressive overall. I think the original arcade version may have been put together by the same team as Final Fight, so although you know it isn’t going to be a duffer, it’s not the best game beginning with P.

Pit-Fighter was a forerunner to Mortal Kombat, with big digitised sprites that looked fantastic until they moved and you realised there were virtually no frames of animation. On a similar topic, Primal Rage is a one-on-one fighting game with dinosaurs and monsters instead of shotokan experts and ninjas. It’s crap. Almost Rise of the Robots level crap too.

That leaves us with Pocahontas (16bit Disney platformer, so no), Powermonger (doesn’t work well on a console, so no), Pirates! Gold (not great on console either, so no), Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (overhyped platformer, no), Prince of Persia (looks lovely, fantastic animation, frustratingly hard, stupid game time limit) and a couple of Premier Manager titles (Football Spreadsheet Simulators – I’ve dabbled, they’re not bad, but not really my thing).

The contenders, then:

Psycho PinballPsycho Pinball is a bright, colourful pinball game with arcade minigames. Very much like Crüe Ball, only with a different skin. That sort of thing, anyway. There’s a plot about you being an armadillo or something, but that’s irrelevant: it’s the fun ball pinging around the four different tables that’s important. Pinball games are generally great anyway, but this is one of the better Mega Drive pinball titles.

PuggsyPuggsy is a very underrated and mostly ignored puzzle platformer from Psygnosis. You use items to trigger switches, shoot targets, find secrets and so on. There’s clever use of throwing and stacking items, loads of bonus levels and alternative routes, and it’s all quite original and unusual. And HUGE – there are so many levels! It’s slightly overshadowed by the MegaCD version though, which is even bigger and has CD music and FMV.

Phantasy Star IIIPhantasy Star III is the very first JRPG I ever played. Probably one of the first RPGs of any sort, actually. It was a surprise present one Christmas, and although I was totally confused for ages with how it worked, when it clicked I was hooked. The three generations of characters and four possible endings gave it a huge amount of replayability too. I’ve since played the other Phantasy Star games (lets ignore the PS Online titles – they’re not canon) and they’re all excellent, with PSIV possibly even the better game, but PSIII beats them on length, variety and fond memories.

And the Alphabest?

As soon as I realised P was up, I knew the winner without even needing to remind myself of the other games starting with the same letter. It’s a game that brought me into a brand new, to me, genre and opened the door to so many other games I’d probably never have touched otherwise. That’s right – the winner is Phantasy Star III.

As I write this, I’m working through a current JRPG – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, and I know full well that it would totally have passed me by if I’d not been introduced to JRPGs all those years ago.

Join me again same (different) Bat time, same Bat channel, for Q. Oh my is that going to be a difficult one.

My Nintendo

Looking a gift horse in the mouth (and finding it empty)

When it launched a few months ago, virtually alongside Miitomo, My Nintendo seemed like a decent improvement on the old Club Nintendo rewards programme. Although buying physical games no longer awarded you loyalty points, digital titles still did, and now you could gain points just from performing tasks like linking social accounts to your Nintendo ID, using Miitomo, and regularly signing into Miiverse and the eShop.

Quickly, I racked up enough of these new coins to buy the Zelda Picross game from the My Nintendo Rewards page, which was pretty good, and I looked forward to obtaining more free games like this.

But where are they?

Yes, there was the option of buying the Nintendo DS Wario Ware game for the 3DS with Nintendo Coins, but I already own a copy of that which works on my 3DS. A couple of Virtual Console games appeared too, but I already have them, and that’s it – nothing else.

OK, that isn’t completely true. As I write, there are some free games I don’t own available from the rewards programme, but they all require gold coins (which you obtain from buying eShop titles) rather than platinum ones (that you get from all the other things I’ve listed above). The previously available games I could have “bought” for coins all needed platinum coins.

As it stands, I now have over 4500 platinum coins. Zelda cost just 1000, so you’d except I’d have been able to “buy” a handful more games had they existed to buy. Instead, I have the option of buying useless items for Miitomo (clothing, which is unnecessary, and game tokens which you obtain in plentiful supply anyway) and money off vouchers for eShop games I either already own, or are available cheaper elsewhere even without the discount.

I know it’s a poor show complaining about something which is free, but for something that started so well it’s disappointing that it has in itself become, well, a poor show. It’s also a shame that Pokémon Go doesn’t link into it in any way either – you can’t even use your Nintendo account or NNID to log into it!

Play Want Bin Expense: 2016-07-18

Monster in my pocket

There was a new Pokémon game released this week. Where you use your mobile communication device to seek out and capture Pokémon in the real world. It’s the end of days.

Play

Pokémon GoPokémon Go (iOS)
Everywhere you go now, people are catching pokeymens. We went to two different parks at the weekend just to catch pokeymens, and judging from the number of other people doing the walk with phone, stop dead and poke phone dance, so did everyone else. I’ve about 100 of them now (all called Dave), and excitingly, for a very short time, I was a gym leader. If they can fix the server issues this might just be the greatest thing ever, for a while at least.

Tokyo Mirage SessionsTokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Wii U)
This is SO GOOD. It’s the main thing I’ve played all week, and I’ve played it a lot. I’m at the Chapter 4 boss, have everyone on Level 42 or higher, and have played it for about 35 hours. I wrote something about it earlier in the week, but it’s got even better since then – I’m now able to change classes, and upgrade weapons and skills.

Goat SimulatorGoat Simulator (PS4)
There were some great sales on both PSN and the Nintendo eShop this week, and I picked up quite a few absurdly cheap titles. The only one I’ve had a chance to play is Goat Simulator – a janky, broken pile of crap which is somehow the most hilarious thing ever. It’s full of bugs. I keep getting stuck in scenery. The animation is almost non-existent. BUT: You can stick your tongue to a rollercoaster then watch as you’re flung around in a ridiculous fashion as it flies round the track.

Want

I think I only really want No Man’s Sky (PS4) – not long now – and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo NX) at the moment.

Bin

I tried my Steam Link again. It just doesn’t work very well at all, does it? That then. And being ill.

Expense

In the PSN sale:
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4) – £5.15
Goat Simulator (PS4) – £2.30
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – Trilogy (PS4) – £7.99
Catherine (PS3) – £1.35

And in the eShop sale:
ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimensions! (Wii U) – 54p
Lone Survivor: the Director’s Cut (Wii U) – 66p
Ultratron (Wii U) – 64p

Nightcore x Video Games

Waiting for the item drop

I’m sure you all remember that wonderful Nightcore post I did way back in February. Ah, it was a different time. The UK was still in the EU, Wales were still crap at football, and children the world over went about their daily lives blissfully ignorant of the Pokémon that lurked literally everywhere.

At the end of that post, I introduced you to the wonder that was a Nightcore version of the Pumpkin Hill Knuckles Rap, and teased that there were Nightcore versions of other video games. Well, the time has come to inflic–uh, entertain you with those! Oh yes.

Just in case you’d forgotten what Nightcore is, here’s our Graham with a quick reminder: Nightcore tracks have anime girl pictures, sound like chipmunks, and have increased BPM rates – sometimes to dangerous levels.

Let us begin, with perhaps the most iconic of all video game tunes (it was a top ten hit in the UK!) – Tetris:

Epic. Not least the drop 26 seconds in. I could probably listen to that on repeat all the live long day… if it wasn’t for all the other amazing Nightcore choons!

When you think of repetitive, impossible to unthink, video game tune earworms, one of the first to spring to mind (and remain there, glued to your thalamus) is Bubble Bobble. See, it’s in your head right now, and you’ve not even clicked play yet.

You can click play now.

So good, right? But of course, you may be wanting a palete-cleanser after that, and what better than something recognisable from virtually every Zelda game ever?

Another pretty well known Nintendo theme is the battle music from various Kirby games. Just listen to this, and the wonderful new places it takes “music” from around 46 seconds in. Lovely.

Can you name the very best non-Knuckles related Sonic music track? Green Hill Zone? Hahaha, no. Starlight Zone? Carnival Night Zone? No way. Toot Toot Sonic Warrior? Yes! But not that.

No, the correct answer is Sonic Adventure 2’s incredible Escape from the City of course! (Of course). ROLLING AROUND AT THE SPEED OF SOUND HELL YEAH.

Hard to top that, right? Aside from Nightcore Knuckles, of course. And this masterpiece – Castlevania’s Bloody Tears. In Nightcore form. BOOM.

And there we have it. Conclusive proof that Nightcore and Video Games combined create the greatest of all things.

Finally, and although not technically a game, it is related to a game and relevant given yesterday’s post, I give you one more bonus track:

 

Pokémon Go

My pokemans. Let me show you them.

Hello have you heard about this new telephone game called Pokémon Go? It’s got Pokémon in it. Everyone is playing it. Everyone.

I wasn’t going to download it, but then I did and now I’m one of the everyone. I’m sorry. Thing is, I’d normally feel like a freak walking down the road with my phone out pointing it at invisible monsters and air-punching every so often, but everyone else is doing the same thing. I walked past a man with (presumably) his three-or-so year old daughter, with the daughter yelling “DADDY!!! GET THE RATTY ONE!!!!!! CATCH IT DAAAAAAADDDDDDDDY”.

Anyway. Yesterday this happened:

pokemon go

Fair play to EE for playing along.

Am I going to catch ’em all? Probably not. There’s a lot of fuss about it at the moment and of course, it’s huge, but I’m not convinced it has legs. It’s likely they’ll add Pokémon from the later games (it’s only the original 151 for the moment, I think) which will extend things, but surely it’ll be a fad, if perhaps a longer one than most.

Oh yes, and you want to see my pokemans? Here are a few:

pokemon go

Yes, they are all called Dave.