Category: YouTube

Let’s Talk About “This Digital Life” with Fwends [Episode 001]

Age-old friend Rob and I haven’t recorded much together since the days of NfamousGamers back in 2009. The site is long gone now but our five episodes remain online, as does Rob’s guest spot on an early GameLuv PodShot episode.

That’s not to say we haven’t kept in touch. Across town and across the country we IM and chat pretty regularly but just finally decided to sync up in real-time to record a new (hopefully weekly) show. Based on Rob’s “Let’s Talk About it” videos, the new show will focus on a single topic each episode, frequently about gaming but anything is up for discussion.

Right now you can find it on either of our YouTube channels (mine | his) but I’m going to get it up on the podcast circuit so you can subscribe wherever you listen to shows. But for now, here’s Episode 001: This Digital Life where we try to wrangle the entirety of digital media – games, movies, and music (oh yeah, and print too!) – and how the move away from physical goods sits with each of us.

Leave a comment wherever you hear the show and let us know what you think or what you’d like to hear us talk about next.

I did not expect to play through Apocalypse in 2017

070617-apocalypse

I’ve got a lot of games I’ve never played (just like everybody else) and the backlog shelf has been swelling over the last two years. So I finally set out to record some new Just Checkin’ videos where I at least boot them up to make sure the discs work. I managed to get one game out of the way before stumbling into a morning session with Apocalypse, otherwise known as The Bruce Willis Game.

I had written it off after playing the demos they put out before the game’s release but here in 2017 I found it quite playable and even clever in spots, if mindless and repetitive. The game is short and fairly easy up until the final boss fight and gave me plenty of time to soak in the weird 90’s aesthetics.

Willis’ character, Trey Kincaid, was originally intended to be the player’s sidekick but his involvement dwindled during production and he eventually took the starring role. So not only are his lines the most typical gung-ho battle cries, it’s a little fourth-wall breaking due to the change in roles. And the immortal line, “strap one on, it’s time to jam!!” still confuses me to this day.

 

Things really get interesting in the final level where Trey assaults the White House which is surrounded by a moat of lava and is filled with fire-spewing politicians in suits. The final battle with The Reverend starts in the oval office and expands to an arena of stone and flesh stitched together around the Seal of the President. It feels more fitting today than it ever did in the 90’s.

The episodes are rolling out every three days through July 12th and end with some bonus content and stuff I dug up on the disc. You can follow along with the playlist above or subscribe and catch all of my random videos.

I finally got to play NieR: Automata

I’ve played through the NieR: Automata demo 3 or 4 times now (once on Hard with no weapons, even) and I’m still not sure I love it. I don’t usually enjoy Platinum Games’ releases but I love the ultra-weird anime universe of NieR and especially its soundtrack. The music is very much in place for Automata but that was a given since the first teaser where original composer Keiichi Okabe was confirmed for the sequel.

The combat gameplay seems dense and involved — expanding on NieR’s penchant for turning into a shmup — but it’s hard to tell with only 3 weapon choices in the demo. All of the weapons have upgrade levels that will expand in the full game but even on the Hard difficulty it was pretty easy to button mash through fights. Simply holding the Square button initiates an automatic (and elaborate) 4-hit combo animation but it doesn’t feel especially rewarding without working for it. Dodging attacks is super simple as every enemy telegraphs their intent with flashing red eyes and the window for the counter is super wide. Hopefully the final game is a little more nuanced as the team has shown in a few different livestreams.

One intriguing element that I only found by digging into the menus is the Plug-in Chip system. It’s basically a system of passive skills but all of the UI interface options are in the list. I can imagine trying to squeeze in a powerful buff and disabling, say, health bars or the mini-map to make it fit. Your OS Chip is also in the list and I can confirm the game definitely ends if you remove that critical system. You also pick up a ton of crafting materials in the demo that you can’t do anything with and unlock shortcuts to previous areas implying that we’ll be running through these maps multiple times.

I came out of the demo more looking forward to the features I couldn’t actually put my hands on than the gameplay that was there. I’m still undecided but I recorded a brief playthrough without commentary for anyone else interested in the game. Of course, you can try it yourself for free by grabbing the demo from the PlayStation Store. Let me know what you think if you do check it out.

Hands-on with PaRappa the Rapper Remastered

I had to Believe, and now PaRappa the Rapper is going to be playable on a modern TV! Announced at PlayStation Experience, PaRappa the Rapper Remastered is coming in 2017 alongside updates of LocoRoco and Patapon but right now the game’s release date is December 31st, 2017! That has to be a placeholder date since Sony also released a free playable demo on the day of the announcement.

And here it is, all 10 minutes of it. Check out Chop Chop Master Onion in HD fidelity so fine you can practically get a paper cut from his edges! How’s that for PR hyperbole?

Yes, I’m posting about Dead Star again (the music this time)

Alright, alright, I think this is my final post about Dead Star. After recording some final rounds and the tutorial with the default volume mix I went back to capture what I could of the game’s great, but short, soundtrack. Unfortunately, there was no way to access the Escape Run mode after the servers went offline so there are a couple of tracks we may never hear again without YouTube commentary and sound effects blaring.

What I was able to grab were seven tracks including the theme song that’s most familiar to players as it swelled and simmered in the background of all the menus. There are four in-game themes that were tied to several of the different maps. For those I simply named them after the first map I encountered them in. A little more on the subtle side are the Training theme and the Credits music that dial down the pomp of the main theme.

As a videOST I edited each track to some footage from the game, mostly me performing poorly against max leveled veteran players in the final days of the game. Take a listen above or load up the playlist or rip the music from the videos… whatever it is you kids do to listen to music these days.