Category: Now Playing

Posts about a game we’ve just started playing. Think of these like journal entries as we work through a game or demo.

Now Playing: Don’t Bite Me Bro! (PlayStation 4)

Now Playing: Don't Bite Me Bro! (PlayStation 4)

How ridiculous is it that the first game I encounter after spending 150 hours with Metal Gear Survive is basically “Mini” Gear Survive? Don’t Bite Me Bro! boils down the crafting, scavenging, farming, base-building, and tower defense of Survive’s single player campaign into such a surprisingly tiny and satisfying package. It even trumps it with 4-player local co-op although it’s just as easy to play solo without much worry. 

I will stop right here and say that if you have a low tolerance for jank, stay away. The game grew out of a design school game jam and was developed by a super small team, and it shows its rough edges quite frequently. However, it’s free, and that went a long ways towards pacifying my frustrations which sometimes required closing and relaunching the game completely. Fortunately, while I was in the middle of writing this very post the game got an update that fixed the most major issues and even added some new content.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, why would you play a game called Don’t Bite Me Bro!? At a glance, it’s just another voxel-based, Minecraft-lookin’, twin-stick shooter but as I already said, there’s a lot more going on. The tutorial quickly introduces you to the loop: scavenge for resources, build up your base, and get ready for the next wave of enemies that come marching along every 10-ish minutes. In between, you have time to grow crops to keep your Hunger meter in check and explore the map (frequently on foot, but you can also scavenge gas and speed around in your truck).

Now Playing: Don't Bite Me Bro! (PlayStation 4)

Home sweet home. Crafting, defending, and farming all happen within one screen’s breadth.

For being so tiny there’s still quite a lot to do. NPCs give you mini quests like clearing the area of zombies, finding certain food items, or crafting a specific item for them. Once completed they’ll usually give you access to a new weapon — you’ve got a basic pistol and a wooden stick but there are a handful of swords and firearms to find — and after you escort them to base camp, you can stick them in a tower to help fend off the encroaching hordes. After adding two or three survivors you’ll feel a little better about spending more time away from home and eventually find one of the game’s three dungeons.

Time pauses when you enter one of these areas so you don’t have to worry about the waves of zombies back at base. There’s a cave, a crypt, and a hospital, and each offers three floors of randomly placed rooms that you’ll have to clear on your path down to the bottom. Along the way you’ll find food, bullets, and a few unique items that offer various perks like increased defense, strength, or an extra life. There’s also a shopkeeper you’ll run into who’ll sell you weapons, bundles of resources, or perk-granting items. Ultimately, you’ll fight a simple but clever boss battle on the bottom floor and after you’ve cleared all three dungeons, you’re done.

It doesn’t sound like much, and once you know the lay of the land you can finish the game in about an hour, but the bite-sized loop never stopped satisfying. Even before the update, Don’t Bite Me Bro! kept me entertained for a week and there’s now even more to discover. Grab it for free on PlayStation 4 or on PC from itch.io and give it a shot.

Impressions: Style Savvy Styling Star

It’s not that I don’t believe Katy when she says something is good. I do, I swear!

It’s just that a game called Style Savvy: Trendsetters doesn’t exactly… inspire confidence if you know what I mean. Let’s be honest, these games came out during the time when shovelware on the Wii was the norm. The case cover is…less than desirable, to say the least.

I…I don’t want to play this.

This doesn’t look great. But Katy kept going on and on about it, and we have similar taste in games so I figured why not? I looked for it, to no avail. Getting it on sale would have been great, but Katy did me one even better two Christmases ago and sent me a copy to play instead. I tried it out, and amazingly I found that it wasn’t bad.

And then I realized it wasn’t just not bad, but pretty dang good.

When the newest iteration in the series was announced to launch on Christmas Day of last year, I downloaded it immediately. Lately, I’ve been kind of down in the dumps, so I’ve been logging a little more time than I usually spend on games because it’s actually pretty good for my mood. Tiny Cartridge wasn’t wrong when they said it was a “lovely, chill, funny game.” At first, the game was easy. Way too easy, if you ask me. You want a black shirt? A watch? No problem. I’ve got those in SPADES in my closet!

But then the requests started getting a bit more flavorful. They want an entire ‘lively’ outfit. No, no. Not from THAT brand. The other brand. You know, the lively one. And they can’t go outside like that! Didn’t you notice it was JANUARY? Geez. They’re going to freeze to death! (To be honest, I actually love that it takes weather into consideration when you have a customer; it adds a sense of realism!)

Everything is innocuous enough that I haven’t really raised my eyebrows at too much. The characters seem to all be living their best lives, or at least trying to. I’m honestly jealous. For some reason, my clothing choices are helping them attain their lifelong goals of stardom…which is…neat. Neat and great for my self-confidence even when I send them out onto the streets looking like a bedazzled train wreck in twelve different colors. What? I had to make them a ‘rock’ outfit and all I had on hand were primary colors! I didn’t have a chance to go to the exhibition hall yet, so that’s what they get for being impatient! Obviously, a life of fashion is not for me. Not every hobby needs to be a side hustle, after all!

What do you mean I’m not good at this?

I sometimes wonder if this is what it feels like to be a Stitch Fix stylist. Are there any stylists out there reading this that could weigh in? I’d love to know what your day to day lives are like. Like, do you guys have to deal with clients telling you they want shorts but then yell at you for giving them shorts? Sometimes I get frustrated with my clients. Like when they bother me right before I’m ready to go to bed because they want a pair of $3 socks, or when they give me a specified budget of $1,000 (I wish I had that much money to blow on clothing!) and then complain when I put together an $800 outfit. It’s suddenly out of their budget. But again, this game is heavy on the retail realism. I will never work a retail job again as long as I can help it. 

Overall, if you’re on the fence about this game, just pick it up. It’s definitely worth your time and money, especially if you can snag a copy on sale. 

Style Savvy 4: Styling Star is currently ONLY available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $39.99. There’s also a demo available.

Aaaaand if you haven’t seen Katy stream the game yet, now’s your chance if you’re curious about the gameplay.

My favorite time in MMOs: Halloween

Jack O Lantern ArcheAge

I’m not a big MMO gamer. I played a bunch of ArcheAge and loved it, and I have played a few free ones on console like Neverwinter. I played Final Fantasy XIV on my PC for a while, but when I tried to activate the same account to play on PlayStation 4 instead, it said my birth date was wrong. I recently started over at what I consider the best time of the year in MMO games, Halloween!  I love Halloween more every year in general, partly because more stores such as Target are supplying the gothic style decor I want. I also love the Disney Haunted mansion ride if that frames this better.

Back to ArcheAge, the first MMO I really dug into.  I have a fond memory of decorating the house Shawn and I had with our friend MinKyung.  I thought I had photos of that, but I only found one.  I did get very nostalgic looking through all the posts on my tumblr though.  Good times.

Decorating with Minkyung

I got on this kick recently when I got an email about all the Final Fantasy XIV Halloween stuff on sale.  This may all be last year’s stuff but it’s new to me.  Strongly considering that broomstick mount and maybe the outfit with the bent tip witch’s hat.

My favorite time in MMOs: Halloween

[Editor’s Note: Oh wow those outfits are adorable! The chocobo especially!]

FFXIV Stormblood: Please Get Off the Server. Now.

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Stormblood launched officially on the 20th, though people who pre-ordered could get in as early as the 16th. I’m really happy I chose to jump ship from a highly populated server to a saner one last month because old gaming buddies weren’t shy about showing off their screenshots of 2k+ queues. Those screenshots brought back really bad memories of WoW’s launch where you’d wait pretty much all week just to log in and play before you were randomly disconnected. Yay, MMORPG launches.

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Crossout: Surprisingly Fun Car Building & Car Destruction

Crossout: Surprisingly Fun Car Building & Car Destruction

Super quick pitch here since I’m only an hour or two into Crossout. What is it?

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts car building
with
Mad Max, post-apocalyptic styling
set in
Online arena battles between two teams

The description bills it as an MMO but Crossout is much simpler than the long-lost “CARPG” Auto Assault. The real draw is the Build mode where you pluck from an expanding array of car components, mods, and weapons to build your ultimate fighting machine… or the dumbest thing on 4 (or more) wheels.

While I’m simply trying to balance a Howitzer on top of a 4×4 others are offering up insane creations in the Exhibition area. There are plenty of cool looking tanks but I laughed out loud when I scrolled to a vehicle named “Bruce Willis”. Using the various car parts and paints, someone managed to create a Minecraft-like character model holding two cannons that’s too big to get out of the garage. Elsewhere was a 28-wheeler with no weapons and a ton of booster engines. Are they useless in combat? Maybe? I’m still very early on with the game but the idea of loading in and seeing Bruce Willis stampeding around the battlefield is enough to keep me coming back for a while.

Crossout comes from Gaijin Entertainment, the folks behind War Thunder, so there’s more going on than simple run ‘n gun. Waiting in ambush or building an artillery vehicle to fight at a distance are already viable strategies. Each of your vehicle’s parts can also be individually destroyed so it’s possible to pick off someone’s guns or leave them spinning in circles with 2 tires. It puts even more emphasis on your build: do you weigh yourself down with layers of protection? Do you keep your weapons close, sacrificing their attack radius to protect them from damage?

These are the things I started to realize just as I was about to write the game off. I’m glad I stuck with it just a little longer because now I’m hooked on what I can create, how I can get the most out of my lowly level-6 parts, and what new toys I’ll unlock next.

Crossout is out now and free-to-play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One but coming to Steam as well, presumably by the end of June.