Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aozora's Wars New Flyer; also PSASBR "UPDATED"

I carefully hand-picked these out through many instances of self-error.
(Rant follows; Proceed with caution)

Hey, at least I tried to pick characters that actually can put up fights and (IMO) don't look fuguly as shit, while attempting to make a worthy successor/upgrade to Jump Ultimate Stars and keep it a short title that isn't trying to be obvious on the subject like Playstation All Stars Battle Royale even though it has characters that have gone on to appear on Microsoft's consoles (I'm looking at Big Daddy, Dante, Raiden, and Heihachi, extra deduction for featuring the new Dante), regardless of whenever or not the subjects debuted and/or remained on a Sony console. And unlike Smash Bros, many of these guys in PSASBR are characters you can't really have nostalgia feelings for, except Parappa, since many of them didn't see the light of day until about half a decade ago in the late PS2/early PS3 era, and not only that, many of them are from M-rated games.

Go ahead and defend what you want; but this is a game I don't want to play (after Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance just for featuring The World Ends with You characters). I have nothing against those series represented; but the game as a whole seems like a big 'ol sellout to every company involved, even to big boys like Capcom, Namco, and Konami, and it also just screams "Sony's answer to Super Smash Bros Brawl".

Still don't believe me on the "uninspired random characters for Aozora's Wars"? Well take a look for yourself and see how I plan to upgrade Jump Ultimate Stars into a brand new experience with characters (IMO) everyone loves.
Part 1
Part 2

UPDATE: All right, I think I really need to update on my rant. Since I think I've been going a little too far.

The truth on why I exclaimed "ugly" was in regards to the character Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. Kratos could come close in second, but he makes up for it with his high levels of badass and actually having a good anatomical structure. Now if only someone could buy the rights off of Sony to release a God of War game on the 360.

Everyone may have different nostalgia feelings towards certain series, such as those that were in the late 10's having nostalgia for games like Metal Gear and Twisted Metal. However some of these characters may not have much big of an impact in comparison to others as they didn't exist in the PS1 era, or in some cases, the early PS2 era.

The "Video game characters unable to fight" scenario was taken from Jump Ultimate Stars, wheras in advertisements and commercials, they'd say characters that at most only appear as supporters would be fully controllable by human input ingame. One notable character was Nube from Hell Teacher Nube, another was Sena from Eyeshield 21. The image of Aozora's Wars above displays only playable characters that would be in the game, in an attempt to counterattack JUS' false advertising.

It also didn't help that I was being fueled to write this by two people who were against my opinions of inserting the "new" Dante into PSASBR, even if he would be reverted back to classic Dante for Project X Zone, thus almost shattering the point of doing a re-design in the first place.

On top of that, a scenario that had occurred the prior day during a session of Halo: Reach, where my sister and cousin were singed into my sister's account, playing a round of TU BTB Slayer (where you respawn close to allies) on the map Hemorrhage. When she stopped to do other things, I ended up being forced to take the controller, and in a spurt of extreme luck, something I can't pull off well as I'm more of a "run around and see what happens" or not relying on stealth to be specific, I ended up going in a Wraith, driving on over to a pack of enemy players located at their base, and with careful usage of the Wraith's boosters, I KO'd five of the eight players and earned the "Killtacular" medal, and somehow hit more players after the quick spurt, scoring a Killing Frenzy medal in the process. Now of course I wasn't singed into my account on Xbox Live, so this all ended up being credited under my sister's profile. I tried to re-do the process after properly singing into my account on the same map and same gametype, but whenever I tried to drive the Wraith, other players reached it first (thanks to me not having my headset readily available at the time and also since I didn't want my cousin hearing on about my attempts at communications; Sometimes makes me wish Halo: Reach had a "ping" tool just like Portal 2.) and even when I found an opportunity to sneak in and board an empty Wraith, a player shot me down right as my Spartan climbed in. I never got a second shot that evening, and I stopped not long after, just posting things about the new Dante in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale on Twitter since I figured no one would give a dung (as I rarely get any replies unless I mention them first) but I was wrong. T~T

Big apologies to anyone that was affected by this doing. I'll have to write up another blogpost based on my problems regarding "design by committee" as it left me the culprit of a scenario on the Spriters Resource's forums. I'll be able to solve the problems myself, but for now, I might have to greatly reduce the Otaku-Ball brick sheet to create a smaller, more simpler version that uses fewer brick types and powerups. The large version is not going to be deleted and it will remain on Photobucket; but I may have to hold out on using it in a project until I really build up a fanbase that will support roughly anything I attempt, regardless of how ridiculous the given scenarios would be.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

AlphaBounce vs. Otaku-Ball

Just a minor update, but I wanted to point out that for anyone wondering, I am planning on developing a new breakout clone that you can play entirely for free. It's a tribute to many, if not all existing brick-breaking games. It will be entitled "Otaku-Ball".

Since I keep coming up with different concepts for it though as time passes, I eventually decided on dropping the AlphaBounce story mode since it contains roughly the same plot and characters. Why I had chosen to do such in the first place was that AlphaBounce's staff refused to upgrade the game further (unless it was to fix bugs) and remove some of the "stupid hard" parts of the game that would rape the knowledge one would have with vitally any other brick breaker. A thread I had started on the AlphaBounce forums regarding Otaku-Ball caught the attention of some, with negative reactions from two high-ranking players (one whom replied sarcastically), and a single positive voice from a lower-ranking someone. With the others however, they bashed the game, ignoring that it was a non-profit tribute/upgrade and said Otaku-Ball was a competitor to AlphaBounce. When I still had the chance, I tried telling everyone that despite the problems AlphaBounce may contain (in the eyes of a casual, at least, especially the hard as heck limited editor to unlock) I still enjoy playing it, though it only guarantees happiness on the right days. I also instructed those very few that actually came to enjoy the project's concepts to come on over to this blog just before I ended up getting a mild cease and desist from one of the board's moderators.

Otaku-Ball like I said, will be free to play, in that it contains block graphics and special gimmick blocks based on other breakout clones (drawn in a slightly upgraded Arkanoid style), and ship designs based on those featured in the Ricochet games. Since very few breakout clones to this day contain simple-to-use editors with a lot of features, the editor for this game will be the main selling point (without the actual selling). It will allow users to create single levels or entire level sets with support for up to 300 levels each across four dimensions/paths (thus allowing 1,200 levels per set, and that's not counting the special bonus stages you can scatter on the level set), and with the many features it'll contain, one can roughly make their own Breakout game with Otaku-ball. Users can upload, download, and share user-made levels at will with no limitations (however you cannot submit levels with NSFW content). Levelsets can also have boss fights scattered around (please no boss rushes; I promise such will be a bonus mode).

Why so many brick types will be present? Well let me ask you, do you want to create levels using features from breakout games without level editors and mix and match them to your liking? How about being able to make levels each having their own set playfield width (like one with a width of 18 blocks and another with 13)?

Aside from the main editor, a single player arcade mode (Plus available as co-op up to four players, local or online) with 648 available levels across 4 dimensions (162 levels per dimension, six of the levels in each dimension being boss levels). Over 60 enemy species across many Breakout clones will appear (once again, tribute, non-profit), and one can choose power up load outs (configuring which powerups can appear) that suit them the best incase playing with the possibly of gaining one of the many 130+ powerups proves to be too much. There is also a series of versus head-to head modes based on several Breakout variants released for the arcade, and these follow a quest-based format like the one established by the Puyo Puyo games.

I certainly hope this game being 100% free'll help in my defense. If anyone wants a list of planned power ups, I can post my current listing in the form of a text document.

P.S. Expect the same thing to happen to a Pac-Man fangame I'm going to create in the future. If Soap Creative cannot create "World's Greatest Pac-Man" even with me in the director's seat, I will.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I got my good games and my somewhat cruddy ones.

Don't be scared guys; this is just another random post based on interests and other stuff. Read on if you're curious or want to see what I've been up to. Your choice.

Either way, allow me to begin with Aquanoid. A while back I was considering that since the game is extremely rare to come across (combined with Karsten's lack of activity lately), I was thinking of uploading just the registered version of the title with the editor offered after buying the real game, and the four extra level sets being left out purposely so that one would still have to pay to receive all the remaining content the free version would lack. This version would be called the "SuperJustinBros" release, between the shareware and registered versions. But then I find Stefan, Aquanoid's other developer, and notifies how successful the game was at the time, at least in Germany. He said the game received quite a number of sales and user-created levels (even going as far as to call other games titled Aquanoid attempting to cash in on the name) and when I asked him about the possibility of creating an official sequel called Aquanoid II, he replied happily and would be honored to have me program the new game from scratch. But then comes me having absolutely no programing knowledge; only having a minimal sprite sheet and a list of planned features and upgrades to the original. Still I'm not going to drive myself to a conclusion until I hear back from Stefan, and the "SuperJustinBros" release of Aquanoid will have to be put on hold until I really get willing of asking either developer a free version that only lacks the extra level sets. Of all things considered, I wouldn't hold my hands on it.

Considering the success I had in registering Aquanoid, I attempted to score a few more shareware titles: Raoul Said's Super Ball (the deluxe version), Ivan Mackintosh's Dodger (mentioned in the September post I keep referencing) and Kurt W. Dekker's Rally-K. Of course my only method of receiving these titles was to send out a check to all three locations specified within all the different games and their associated files, hoping they'd figure out I wanted to buy a game of theirs.

Rally-K is a clone of Namco's Rally-X (not New Rally-X) that uses a few crappy stock voices and sound effects (anyone who has seen the Angry Video Game Nerd's Plumbers Don't Wear Ties review may remember the "Player Dead Boom" sound effect.) It has good gameplay and original level design (even though the rocks are placed in fixed locations and aren't really "in the way" spots, but they do change from time to time in those locations) with some homages to the original's stages, such as the infamous "box" located on the top right of the first three boards. The order of Challenge Stages has been changed. Whereas Rally-X had their challenge stages on Round 3 and every fourth round thereafter (a tradition of Namco's set by Galaga), Rally-K has a Challenge Stage every three rounds. The shareware version is configured to end right at the conclusion of Stage 7, or the first stage of the third world if you want to get detailed. The registered version continues on much further and offers an alternative enhanced version with power ups (just like Rally-X Arrangement).

Super Ball, good lord. If you thought all the smack I've said about Aquanoid was going too far; this one deserves the criticism much more. Try playing a Breakout clone not with a mouse, dial, or trackpad, but a keyboard. Yea. Then again Super Ball was released at a time where most people didn't have mouses in their computers, but it has only one speed setting, no way where (to my knowledge) holding down a particular key will slow down or speed up the paddle, and the power ups. The fricking power ups. You will not believe how many times you will see a bomb; a power down that kills you instantly, will rain down from a destroyed block. Worse is that if multiple drop simultaneously at the right time, it can block you off from the ball and force you to let the ball drop under your paddle and lose a life. Thankfully the ball does aim in more than a 45-degree angle and can be steered by the paddle, but it seems as if for everything Aquanoid does wrong, Super Ball does right, and vice-versa. Super Ball's shareware version only has a mere five levels which you will finish quickly, if the crappy control scheme and overabundance of instant-death bombs don't get to you. The game does have a leader board for each level, which are much easier to top than the overall top 5 highscores, which the default is set ridiculously high and you are not guaranteed to pass 200,000 points within five levels. It's possible in the registered version thanks to more levels being present (obviously), but just like 90% of other breakout games, there's no editor in the registered version.

So there, three games on the residue to play in full glory.

And now let me bring into question something that has been haunting me recently. Of course it has to do with Playstation Home, and it's the recently-launched Street Fighter X Tekken Playstation Home Fighter… Where do I even begin? Well, It's broken beyond repair. Taking one of the most anticipated fighting games and transforming it from intense and heart-beating melee action to a turn-based luck-ran RPG fighter. I could understand if this was something made from Square Enix for Final Fantasy, but this turn could be jumping the shark for some with the genre shift. It also looks like garbage in some cases. Alike many other PSHome games, player characters freeze on certain occasions, facial expressions are absent (looks like they play dead when KO'd). and it seems rushed overall.

You have two fighters standing in the space itself, one is yourself, the other is some random stranger or one of the five male-only poorly-designed CPU fighters that only differ in what headgear they wear and the color of their PShome T-shirt. The music that is played I swear is a heavier-metal version of a particular memorable song from Mario Party 8. You pick from six commands (three if you're on the defense side) and see if all three of your attack attempts connect or theirs are blocked, with 33% chance either character's attack will be blocked by the defender. and whoever lost the previous round is given a stats boost (well, it appears to). Charge up your Cross Gauge to launch Ryu or Kazuya onto the ring to pull one of their Supers on the unsuspecting victim (which can be blocked if the proper block height is issued) and magically freeze if two Supers are done back-to-back while the opponents receives from bing knocked to the floor. As with the obviously superior console game this "fighter RPG" is based on, it plays more like Street Fighter than Tekken. After you win a few rounds by pure chance, you could probably end up with a few bonus items to dress your avatar with; all based on (get ready for this) Chun-Li and Nina Williams for the ladies, one article of clothing for every of the game's 10 achievements you complete, one of these (finish a round with full health thanks to blocking all attacks from the opposing player) is like waiting for a lunar eclipse to occur on Christmas, one (win 20 rounds against another player online) will only work if your luck gets the best of you and your opponent doesn't do a cheep strategy to further the odds on their side, or leave right before you can take any form of credit. However it can be done, just don't expect to do it all on a single sitting. Even harder is trying to win five rounds in succession with Kazuya as your tag partner, as you'd probably make good progress, then lose on the last round, forcing you to restart, or like before the opponent will rage quit (a fad I believe was started by Achievement Hunter) right before you can take the credit for a win (I doubt this will reset the counter, but incase it does, it's better to be safe than sorry). Once this happened right when they lost the first of three rounds; as if they didn't know this was based on a "best of three" rule. Defeat your opponent twice, and victory is yours. Thankfully there are certain users that are willing to help you accomplish the feats much quicker by both players doing the same moves each turn they get at attacking, but most people you'd find there are busy in games or helping others. The other seven objectives are straightforward and you can probably succeed at them more easily than the more difficult and time-consuming trio.

The main premise and ultimate goal of accomplishing all 10 challenges are playable models of both Ryu and Kazuya for use anywhere on PSHome. Of course you could also just buy their outfits from the store (and unlock Kazuya's gloves via the PS3 version of Tekken 6), but that's not really as exciting as playing as the real deal. And by real I mean the very muscular ones that go into fighting stances when you don't move, and can perform their special moves outside the arena. I'd presumably stop playing this once I do unlock the playable Ryu and Kazuya models; and incase godforbid you feel guilty of yourself for playing this RPG fighter filled with rage quitters and no methods of penalizing the people that leave a match in progress and award a win to the one that stays, you could go play the real deal: Street Fighter X Tekken; or the 360 version or Super Street Fighter IV if you're uncomfortable with their choices for guest characters. Overall mediocre and very little replay value.

Anyone sick of me mentioning DOS games, brick breakers, and PC puzzle games? :/

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hissatsu Shigoto Nin Original Sound Track

Here's my third contribution to soundtracks only I had the wits to rip in mp3 format.

This is the game's boxart; the album itself uses an original image
Here we have Hissatsu Shigoto Nin, an adventure game (no, not an RPG) I'm sure none of you have heard about. It's from Banpresto; the same team behind many licensed games in Japan, kinda like LJN except Banpresto produces good quality titles and don't take their sources from just major blockbuster films but also games without a home console port or other well-known series in Japan.

Hissatsu Shigoto Nin is a Famicom game adapted from the drama of the same name, and in comparison to most Famicom titles at the time, this one ended up being pretty dark for Nintendo's console. Of course no direct violence is seen, but you see a good number of deaths often on, drugs are involved, and late, late in the game, you see two of the antagonists hang each other. Pretty extreme for something called the "Family" Computer.

But aside from the adult imagery, I did get a kick out of it. Even though I felt it was too short, as it ran only four chapters (maybe because I beat it too quickly with this FAQ from odino).

Of all else, just snag the download before my vocabulary kills off all your nerve cells.