Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts published in January, 2016

Currently in early access expect there to be improvements and refinement so take any issues raised with a grain of salt as pointing out area’s for refinement means they’re more likely to be resolved before full release and not be an issue at all!

The game itself is already in a very playable and fun format, being a first person shooter based around the lore and characters of the ghost in the shell stand alone complex series. The menu currently hints to there being plot points besides the simple multiplayer online combat, however without any plot the game is very fun and utilizes the universe well with think tanks in terminal conquest, and the enemy soldiers having essentially been downloaded into by the operatives and taken control of for the use of the combat.

This is one of the good unique features of the game, where the enemy operatives are all identical and you cannot identify until they use their skills which operative you’re dealing with and as a result they could pull out any skill, such as thermoptic camouflage, drones and turrets, arm based rocket launchers, thermoptic shields and more at present. Some of these are transferable to your teammates through skill linking which makes tactical simultaneous useage a tactical method which could take your enemy down with ease and precision.

At present there are three game modes, being team deathmatch where it is the first to score 10,000 points which wins, and essentially you only get 100 points per kill regardless of the “additional points” for shutting down and performing killstreaks, or other special modifiers which grant extra points for regenerating your skill but seem like they should count on a deathmatch scoreboard.

The second game mode is terminal conquest where the aim is to be the first to 5 terminal captures or push to the end of the map (3 points) often this game mode is currently imbalanced and once you’ve captured a point with the aid of a thinktank it can be very hard to stop the momentum gained, also maps are asymmetrical meaning often one side is favored for reasons of their advantage on the map positioning.

The third game mode at present is demolition where much like cs:go you have one life per round and the target is either to plant or defend against a terrorist bomb attack, and is often won simply through elimination. With two targets choosing where to defend or attack is often the tactical problem of this mode and offers the greatest challenge at present as people aren’t as likely to simply rush in like fools getting themselves killed as the consequences are that they have to sit out the round as punishment. Faster paced than cs:go the rounds score a first to 6 out of 10 swapping at 5 points from defense and offence to the other.

Additional modes and unlockable characters may be available, and it has been stated that all weapons would be only unlocked through in game earnt credits rather than money credits which would only go to cosmetic items like skins other than in perhaps special rare dlc.

More game modes, maps, characters and unlockables as well as bug fixes will occur over the game’s early access period and I will cover these and do a full review on release, note that in game frame rate is also smoother than my recording shows and is completely seamless without jumps, stay tuned for updates as they come. The balance issue has also been addressed so teams outnumbering you in matchups will not occur as they previously did.

Get ghost in the shell stand alone complex first assault online on steam now

A while ago I took part in the random act of kindness challenge to buy a random gift for the first 5 people to respond wanting a gift, obviously as I didn’t really advertise it well enough and make sure people saw it at a time when facebook was really playing up at posting things and visibility I instead chose to purchase 5 gifts for the person who responded.

I started off with a drawing of that person as I knew she was a crafty person and enjoyed hand crafted things so I figured a drawing would be a good gift, of course I’m not the worlds greatest drawer and I felt like this was a little bit of a cop out so continued my search for further gifts, from there I found the doctor who badges and stickers, again a pretty cheap thing so it needed more to go with it.

Another outing I found a crafting book, containing a style she wouldn’t normally work in I figured it would be a good gift as it would be something a little different to try and perhaps a fun gift, finally I found a little dress and bangle to go with it to round out the gifts to 5 and make a package worth sending through the post, all of which I am sure did the job of bringing a smile to her face!

I would encourage you to take part in the challenge and post for the first 5 respondents to get a random act of kindness gift from you at some point in the coming year to bring a smile to their face, especially with the way the world is at present and show that kindness still exists in the world, of course the requirement is they post a similar challenge for their first 5 respondents in order to participate (and send a gift back to you if they wish) spread some kindness and love and show people still care.

And of course for everyone else there’s always internet hugs *hugs*

Blackhole is a 2d physics based puzzle platformer where you have to use gravity pads and momentum to traverse the environment and complete the puzzles set before you, but while that would be a fun enough game this goes a step beyond with a humorous and well written science fiction plot to describe everything that happened through an accident revolving around the closure of a black hole.

Characters are voiced by a recognizable cast of voice over artists to bring the story to life, without too many spoilers you play as the coffee guy who has been thrust into the position of putting the ship back together and finding your crewmates as you are the first one to come across the ship’s previous AI now freed in the form of a PDA and expressing emotions and thoughts previously prevented in her previous format.

The puzzles begin both challenging and simplistic where your aim is to collect the nano parts to fix your ship, with only one required to solve the level but further available for those who have the skill to navigate the rotating environment avoiding the dangers and traverse the changing hazards which prevent your success such as slippery surfaces, lava and even lakes of water, where of course you would be the only person unable to simply swim down to collect the nano part and as a result you must think logically to solve the problem.

Gravity and momentum are essential to solve many of the harder problems, through slingshot maneuvers and diving into water from a greater height you can begin to solve the harder and more logical problems and depending on how well or poorly you perform your witty AI companion will make sure you feel it.

If you enjoy puzzle platformers then this is definitely a game for you, and with the plot and cast this goes far beyond being simply a game and on par with the portal experience with the zany and witty comedic elements added to the plot, there is plenty more to discover inside of the black hole.

Get blackhole on steam now

Sunday licensing laws were being debated in parliament to be relaxed and as a result the news took to the streets to get peoples reactions to the possibility, I thought that a number of peoples reactions were narrow minded especially in a time of austerity and a lack of jobs available on the market.

Firstly people seemed to think that simply because shops would have the possibility to remain open longer than 6 hours on a sunday it would automatically require every employee to work a full sunday on top of whatever hours they already work, which is rather stupid considering shops already open on a sunday and have to fix their hours to fit within a 6 hour schedule so deliberately open later in order to maximise the 6 hour limit.

The majority of workers fit within what is known as the 9-5 schedule, working 5 days a week and having the weekend off, as a result they would never be effected by the sunday relaxation of the licencing laws as they already do not work any day of the weekend, the simple matter is that extra hours provide extra opportunity for shopping giving a choice for either saturday or sunday as a day of relaxation spreading the weekend rush on a saturday in the shops over both days or even boosting the spending in the economy further, on top of this the additional hours would provide the further possibility of a sustainable part time job with those extra hours which reduces the spending on benefits to support those without a job as they would now be employed and also boost further spending as someone with a job would have disposable income to spend on the economy and further boost the economic foundation of the country.

Of course this is only a minor step in the right direction as you can see that the mindset of the individuals is that they have to work all hours an employer are open, perhaps this is how a lot of employers work feeding overwhelming hours to individuals rather than spreading it over a happy workforce, I have known this to be the case as in some instances depending on the area of the employment it is standard practice to have employees sign out of the working time directive, as a result have zero hour contracts and no guaranteed work but often be forced to take 50-80 hours a week per individual, with a current standard maximum working week of 48 hours this becomes excessive especially when you consider that essentially a 70 hour working week would suffice 2 individuals, and with a spread workload which provides greater time off, lower taxing of wages and a less stressed individual it is smarter to not overwork your employees.

France has a standard working week of 35 hours which is sufficient to pay all bills, and even reducing to this from a 48 hour working week provides an additional 13 hours per week if you apply this with relaxed licensing laws which would provide 2-4 hours of additional work which could provide a perfect part time university job, and if you add part time work hours of 16 on top of this it would provide a 32 hour working week which almost fulfills an extra full time position, if you further account for the additional demand for employment provided by a more stable economy where spending occurs once more due to people having more free time to spend shopping and on leisure activities and with the extra income through reduced taxes (and the heavily reduced requirement of the state to fund benefits through smarter measures than austerity and illegally witholding due benefits) this provides the most sensible path to providing further working positions for those who are seeking work and unable to find it through an economy where employers do not do enough to employ those who require it yet punish those seeking work desperately and are unable to find it.

Paperbound is a very fun local co-op multiplayer combat game using primarily paper craft based literary figures and maps, along with a plethora of cameo’s from well known gaming franchises, combat occurs using melee combat, throwing (knives) scissors, and paint bombs to blot out the enemy and remove them from the pages of history. Combat occurs in a variety of game modes including capture the flag variations and king of the hill along with regular elimination being the first to a score, however there is a variation to this where upon reaching the target score you must also escape through a tear in the page to win and combat becomes a defense of that spot.

The game is very fun and very recommended. Get paperbound on steam now

I received a voucher to try products from the tesco finest party food selection for review, and along with a 3 for 2 discount I got a major price reduction on the food selected to try.

The tesco finest party food range was all designed to cook at the same temperature and be easy to heat up with minimal effort for party food over the seasonal christmas holidays and parties in general. Located on the shelves next to tesco’s regular range of party food in very similar packages it perhaps wasn’t ideal for choosing items in the same discounted range but for a shopper wishing to choose their party food for the holidays the entire selection was available in one convenient location.

Although there was a selection noted on the website to try I found the range in store had other products not mentioned whilst also finding it impossible to seek out some of those nicer products which were stated to be in the range.

•Tesco finest* Posh Pigs in Blankets
A pork sausage with cinnamon and ginger coated in a port and cranberry glaze, wrapped crispy bacon.*
•Tesco finest* Bourbon Beef Waffles
8 mini Belgium waffles topped with shredded Aberdeen Angus beef, Bourbon BBQ sauce and medium Cheddar cheese*
•Tesco finest* Mini Steak Pies*
Mini pies with beef and a cornish ale gravy in crispy pastry.*
•Tesco finest* Butterfly Prawn Selection with a Mango Dipping Sauce
King prawns coated in coconut and black & white sesame seed crumbs.*
•Tesco finest* Thai Chicken Curry Pastries
Pastry pockets filled with green Thai chicken curry, or Panang chicken curry with lemongrass.*
•Tesco finest* Oriental Selection
A selection of ready to eat oriental snacks, prawn and coconut spring rolls, chicken satay cones and Mussaman crouton bites.*
•Tesco finest* Mini Strawberry Trifles
Strawberry sauce, diced strawberry, sponge cubes with vanilla mousse topped with freeze dried strawberry*
•Tesco finest* Lemon Sherbet bites
Mini cheesecake with biscuit base, lemon cheesecake topped with sherbert dust.*
•Tesco finest* Swiss Chocolate Truffle profiteroles
Swiss chocolate truffle mousse in choux pastry, topped with a swiss chocolate sauce with “gold sparkled” butterscotch pieces.*

The majority of this list was impossible to find in store, especially the frozen and sweet treats, only finding the pigs in blankets, a selection of differing prawn based products, the oriental selection, an indian selection pack and some crispy chicken skewers.

Obviously there were some products I would have tried had I been able to find then however the variation in the finest range in the store I visited was lacking choosing to only have traditional party fare along with the oriental and indian selections lacking the choices in varied party foods, this could be a sign of the area however being stagnant full of old people set in their ways unwilling to try new and different food styles and only including the oriental and indian selections for natives in the area.

The products I took were very tasty although the indian party food seemed to be rather toned down unless you dipped the products in the included sauce which doesn’t seem very indian as usually all of their food is filled to the brim with flavours and sensations, and for the most part the combination required the sauces in order to get the full indian flavour. The chicken skewers I took also had a very good crispy coating far beyond what you would find in most fried chicken and with the ease of cooking is a definite recommendation and would be perfect to dip into any of your usual dipping sauces you could include with a party selection or to eat separately on their own.

Now ideally as this was purchased to be used as party food where it would provide something of extra sustenance rather than the usual selection of cheese and crackers, sweets, crisps and nuts and even provide something warm and satisfying as a variation. I would even state that these would be fine to eat cooled down after cooking however my mother set in her ways didn’t wish to have these on the christmas table after everything instead choosing to just lay out a selection of the usual cold snacks, so I had these on a separate occasion, but it’s the thought that counts right? I personally thought these were an ideal small nibble selection to put out on the table for those who want a little warm treat and something more wholesome than simple snacks and something very tasty that would fit perfectly on a party selection table, this is also the reason I didn’t take the oriental selection even though it looked tasty I wanted to go for something which would be warmed and offer variation, not that if I’dve taken those they would’ve been included as they were too different for my mother to include on the table.

All in all the party food range is very tasty and ideal for party situations and with 3 for 2 often better in price than the regular party food, or competitors counterparts which will be lower in quality and flavour.

Parts of this video are pre christmas where the deadline stated 5 days (with the same number of days til christmas) however visiting the next day while still preparing this it stated 34 days so priorities got reshuffled, apologies to the lateness of the review being that christmas is over, however these are ideal for any party, including the chinese new year, birthdays or even easter, any excuse for a party.

* All product names and descriptions adapted from tesco orchard as they are relevant to the review, to show the range stated and products which could not be found, their direct descriptions are not used as they desire to hold the “marketed” terms under federal trade commission regulations and as a result the products are described but without using their buzz terms. As this is used in a review this fulfills fair use statutes.

Teslagrad is a 2D puzzle platformer where the story unfolds through slideshows you find throughout the game as you solve the puzzles and traverse the pitfalls of the game.

You begin by simply outrunning enemies over some platforms before you soon gain the ability to influence magnetizable surfaces to solve puzzles with red and blue arua’s which like magnets are repelled by themselves and attracted to their opposite and essentially all of the puzzles of the game revolve around this, with some enemies which have the ability to influence surfaces, some which are designed to chase you down and injure you, as well as the plethora of pits, electric traps and spikes for you to navigate and avoid.

In traditional puzzle style there will be progress gates which require you to have additional powers which you gain later, such as a rush shift ability you can use to pass through small walls and over pits, as well as a cloak ability which allows you to become red or blue charged as you require in order to navigate further through the game.

The design is clever laid out in a tower which as you climb and gain more abilities opens up previous area’s you may have already solved for further exploration to find hidden secrets and area’s you may have previously been unable to reach.

There are bosses in the game each with their own unique mechanics which once solved become a simple matter of keeping to the routine, but until then can be quite difficult to figure out.

The artwork is very cute and colourful in it’s 2D style and the puzzles do vary up reasonably fast so it doesn’t feel like you’re doing the same puzzles over and over and is a fun experience for any puzzle gamer.

Get teslagrad on steam now

Firstly I appreciate I have been told about how tesco were being charged for multiple unused floors on the site and a dispute over this lead to the closure of the site, but this was after I posted the video and with the popularity I decided to post an accompanying article too.

I still think it’s a shame the major supermarket of birmingham has closed as none in the city center are remotely as well stocked as fireways was, I have been informed that there should be a very large morrisons just by the prior location to tesco but I have yet to see this at present.

Sure you can get bits and bobs from the plethora of “local’s” and the “metro” which have appeared in the town and the sainsburies but these are always small and lacking in the majority of things you would require that you cannot find in the market’s so it is a pity that this store closed, especially as it was always busy and always well stocked on everything you could require that you couldn’t find anywhere else in the city and always became an essential part of the supermarket shop, hopefully tesco will open another large supermarket in the city once they find a suitable location as currently there is no suitably large equivalent tesco in the city center of birmingham.

Enyo arcade is a very retro inspired action platformer, don’t take the fact that it is made using pixel art out of context as one look at the graphics and you will see that this isn’t the usual excuse for terrible quickly shipped out block art, instead the small graphics are painstakingly drawn using limited pixels to create very visually appealing artwork maximizing what you can get out of the least amount of pixels.

The effort put into the game doesn’t stop there as the controls of the game feel just right which through playing a lot of less than great platformers I have established that getting it to feel right and responsive without being floaty or feeling like you’re on ice must be pretty tough, instead this feels tight and responsive, all of your actions feel correct and like you’re always in control, even wall jumping feels good.

You might feel like you can put the mouse down to play however if you wish to use any of the guns this isn’t the best idea. I’m not saying it’s impossible to complete it without guns but it will be very challenging and perhaps not the greatest idea, and you will miss out on the fact that the guns are well coded too, with a variety of weapons from circular saws which bounce off the walls satisfyingly and curve down over a distance fired to rail guns and rocket launchers which yes can be used to rocket jump high previously unobtainable area’s of the map.

The level design is also well thought out with a few secrets scattered along with different objectives and even a boss battle. You might think that only having three area’s and a tutorial aren’t much but when you consider how many hours have gone into not only coding this game to work authentically and well but also all of the hand drawn pixel art and level designs all from one individual you can see that a lot of love and care have gone into this game.

I would recommend that you go purchase and play especially if you wish to see more from the developer as a good income from a game like this encourages further games or dlc from what has clearly been well designed and thought out and really deserves the sales.

Get enyo arcade on steam now

Recently I had an issue with someone attempting to do something very dodgy compromising my steam group which is publicly open for anyone to join and previously had an unlocked chat room and bulletin board, however this was abused by the steam member brattysnax who joined my group and proceeded to make out that they were a long term “fan” and began to post unauthorized “giveaways” and “competitions” after I had questioned why any developer would give them steam keys for them to sell for their own profit through a chat room on a well known gaming bundle website where I had personally stated I don’t think game developers would be happy to give them keys for free to be sold on lower than the developers sell them for.

Within an hour of questioning that person I discovered that they had been posting illegal and unauthorized giveaways over the internet as though they were a part of my site, so immediately I banned the user once I discovered this action had been taking place, shortly after which they began making posts all over the internet about being “wronged” for being banned, so this video and this post were required to explain the situation.

Not only were giveaways and competitions never authorized, research into the user brattysnax lead to some shocking discoveries. The user had been associated with groups which in the past had extorted keys from developers under the threat of negative steam reviews something I would never be involved in, and as a result I would not wish members remotely associated with such abhorrent behavior anywhere near anything with my sites name which is why the user was immediately banned, and if anyone ever hears of a user or email address doing such things and attempting to associate with my site and reviews incorrectly I would request you immediately inform me which contains the only official contact you should deal with.

I have always been on the side of developers and even valve (steam) and do not stand for people attempting to take advantage of sites like these for their own profits, as not only does it mean the developer essentially loses a sale to the scum, but also deprives indie developers of funds they need to live or even develop sequels and further games, and don’t question supporting valve need I mention the whole desura thing, they’re not too big to fail if they lose their income sources!

That is the main problem with charity bundle websites, sure they were established with the best of intentions and yes a lot of them are getting better and raising the minimum price to reduce those who buy 50 bundles to resell keys and deprive the developers of a fair income they have worked hard for through making their game, especially when it comes to early access or greenlight games, this is one of the reasons a developer will give up on a title before release if people like this have taken advantage to get the game for pennies and sell it on for pounds undercutting the developer and devaluing their game.

It is nice of developers to give their games in the name of charities and does help those who cannot afford full retail to get hold of some good games and it does help with exposure but if you’ve already given away your title for next to nothing to the majority of your audience actual sales become difficult, which is why I would state if you’re ever going to give away a game in a bundle think about your reasons for doing it, as well as considering the downsides along the benefits. The best practice would be to only do it once your game has been through at least a year on steam, taking advantage of the summer and winter sale boosts along with your launch income, then providing it for charity once you’re satisfied with it’s sales, and if you’re looking for promotion of your game there are better options to get your game noticed without giving it away to millions of people.

Of course ultimately the choice is down to the developers, but it is worth noting that this element exists out there on the internet extorting keys to sell for their own income, a practice which I am not involved in and would never be involved in as I find it disgusting. I would prefer to simply avoid posting a review or help the developer to fix a game than post a negative review and I have never requested extra keys for giveaways or extorted developers in any way shape or form, and it was obvious that brattysnax had joined my group to attempt to use my sites name to do this

How was this obvious you might ask? Well the instant they saw my site’s name and that I didn’t perform this they attempted to hijack my group using it to run giveaways and competitions (where they are involved in rigged giveaways through that reddit forum post) and then it would become obvious that they would email developers claiming to work on behalf of my site “showing the giveaways” they ran to attempt to gain more keys for “giveaways” which they had established they actually sold through what they had stated on the game bundle website, and perhaps even extort keys through the threat of negative reviews which they had also seemed to be involved with. So blocking this user and removing all their posts along with any ability to post on the group was required in order to shut down this behavior and protect my site. I run honest reviews based upon my gameplay and will do whatever it takes to protect my site and reputation from dodgy users such as brattysnax.

Furthermore I always provide a steam link to games that I review and play because this provides profits to game developers for their game at a fair price, and also a fair share to steam who host the game and have earnt a fair share for providing a service which keeps all of your games together in one convenient location as well as providing the server space/bandwidth, automatic updates etc and providing what is easily established as the best gaming experience.