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And here it is!

Hopefully what will be the first of many books, “The Blue Shadow” is now available at select stores (in the link above).

Details on that last post

Alright, lemme explain.

I had been writing this book for at least…. 5 years.

Truth be told, I hadn’t intended for it to be an ebook, but my expenses wouldn’t cut what I really wanted to do with it. That extended to making it into a comic.

Furthermore, yes, 5 years. I wrote this before the George Floyd Riots kicked off, so this isn’t me capitalizing off of the situation.

The reason I wrote is because of what I had mentioned inΒ this post. Black Entertainment is… lousy. The “fun” stuff is generic comedy, the “serious” stuff is either romance/family dramas or drama pieces about Black people suffering under American racism/White Supremacy. It’s infuriating. You never get stuff where they actually fight back and try to end the problems there. And not fight as in “push for rights” or any of that nonsense that historically hasn’t worked for ages, but actually “fight” back. Actually get up and do something about it, you know?Β 

Maybe my work isn’t going to be that much better, but what I wanted was something more interesting than what’s currently out there. I’m sure I’ll be accused of writing “WOKEAF” material considering it’s ludicrous premise.

Coming Soon: The Blue Shadow

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM OFF-TOPIC COMMENTS.

THE PRICE OF JUSTICE IS BLOOD

People fight police brutality with picket signs, protests, and lawsuits.

But one man fights Police Brutality… with extreme prejudice.

A mysterious new vigilante has appeared on the streets of America, initiating a vicious war against the corruption and tyranny of law enforcement. When he becomes too much to handle, a strange benefactor proposes a deadly new weapon to patrol the streets! When battle lines are drawn, who’s side are you on?

ENTER THE BLUE SHADOW

Hypocrites (Balan Wonderworld)

If this was a Mario game, they’d eat it up.

Then again, it really doesn’t look… fun. I’m not sure what Yuji Naka had in mind when making this game. Is he hungering for the good ol days of bad Mario 64 knock offs?

Guys, at the moment, I am unable to see youtube vids directly on the WordPress app. If you could, please post the links themselves. Thanks

Spin” was the right choice of words.

If Sonic fans are known for anything at this point in time after the disgraceful and traitorous support of the Sonic movie, it’s that the fans have lowered the bar on what they consider to be “quality”. Right on que, much like the bought and paid for “sadness” of Aaron Webber no longer being on the Sonic Team’s PR Wizards, no less is there an article talking about how much they will miss Roger Craig Smith as the voice of Sonic. Cry me a fucking river. Roger Craig Smith is indisputably the worst voice actor for Sonic thus far. No, don’t give me the brit from the Sonic OVA, we didn’t have to stomach him for an entire decade, but considering that VA’s from Europe have a real bad habit of daring to be good in comparison to most American VA’s, I have no doubt that guy would have the audacity to actually IMPROVE on his shit performance in stark contrast to RCS.

Lets get this out of the way. RCS himself… is not a bad VA. Never was. Hell, when he’s casted in good roles such as Chris Redfield, Captain America, and Segfried from Soul Calibur 4 and 5, the guy is fantastic. He fits like a glove. He’s got that heroic and… I guess “noble” voice that fits these specific characters. But when you put him in the role of Sonic, he’s shit! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You need the right kind of people to fill these roles. You don’t just want any damn body! Just because you liked one jackoff as a certain character means absolute dick. Just because I like Dan Green doesn’t mean he works as Knuckles. You want specific shit. Or at least I do seeing as Sonic fans have given up on having expectations of the series anymore, otherwise they wouldn’t be arguing in favor of Amy Rose so much. That’s someone who’s really thirsty and doesn’t give a shit what it is anymore.

Some people will look at this and assume off the bat that “this is just nostalgia for older voice actors“. Nostalgia is a buzzword for kids who never grew up on some shit, and assume that they have more right to speak on anything simply because “they’re not holding on to the past”. But lets speak on that. It wouldn’t get passed around so much if there wasn’t a modicum of truth to it. Yes, a lot of criticisms levied at newer voice actors is often because so many people are used to older ones. But there is a reason for that. Your first taste of anything becomes the standard, I’ve said this before. So how you rate newer shit is going to go into comparative analysis. And this is NOT a bad thing. You SHOULD want what you enjoyed before. Not just because it’s what you liked, but also because it sends a message. This is the standard to which you should live up to in order to meet our expectations. You can’t have it where shit changes on a whim which is what got Sonic in the jam it is today. Sega took the devil’s bargain of forgoing standards in favor of cheap experimentation and the bare minimum effort. It’s no mistake that we didn’t get a proper 2D Sonic Game for 7 years after 94 and instead got cheap experiments (that includes Chaotix even if it is a guilty pleasure for me.) The standard got old and boring FOR THEM. Not us.

But as I’ve said before, you’ve got standards based on your first taste, and you are more likely to favor those who live up to those tastes. The most recognizable example of this is from Jason Griffith. Now we all know how controversial it was for the 4kids VAs to completely take over all VA duties from the Adventure cast on a whim. This was Sega forgoing the standard, changing shit on a whim (fuck their reasoning, it was on a whim, no body wanted it), and telling the fans to carry their asses because they weren’t going to change them back. Regardless, people were actually pretty kind to Jason Griffith’s portrayal of Shadow the Hedgehog. Infact, he was a DAMN GOOD SHADOW! On par with David Humphrey! To the untrained ears, you would never have guessed that David Humphrey was ever replaced! He sucked ass as Sonic, but he was a damn good Shadow! If anything, people were willing to say that if they can’t get Humphrey back, then Griffith was the next best guy. Kirk Thorton, in contrast, is absolute SHIT! Indisputably the worst choice for Shadow ever. Much like RCS, when you sound like you have to FORCE your voice, nearly strain your voice just to sound a certain way, you are simply not built for the damn role! See, the thing about Jason Griffith is that… perhaps along the line, he understood that he wasn’t going to be Ryan Drummond. So after 06, he started to go more natural with his voice. And fuck me, did he kick more ass after the fact. Sure he wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but his performance certainly improved and made him much more tolerable. But Shadow? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, I’ll take Griffith any damn day over Thorton. If not Griffith… hell, maybe Keith Silverstein. ……FUCK… can you imagine Shadow in the voice of Keith Silverstein!? FUCK!

RCS and the rest of them have been voice actors for video games and anime since the 7th generation of console gaming, some of them even longer than that, so because they’re so recognizable to people, they have star power. Thus, they get thrust into roles that they simply do not have any business being in. This is how you get Johnny Bosch as Bumblebee in War for Cybertron, or Troy Baker as some random ninja in Mass Effect 3. It’s not like Steven Blum who works for every damn role he gets, some of these cats simply don’t work at all, but they crop up everywhere just because of star power or because they’re a part of some club (Laura Bailey and her no acting husband definitely fit). So because of that star power, a lot of audiences lower their guards. This is why Jim Carry was easily accepted even though he was the most obvious miscast of the tragedy that is that damn movie. And also because of that Star Power, you’ve got fucks like Mike Bollocks being accepted as Robotnik even though he sounds nothing like an evil genius and more of an angry clown. Guy does nothing to live up to the standard of Deem Bristow, Jim Cunnings, and the rest of them, and gets his dick sucked all the same just because he’s worn out his stay. People have gotten used to his stench so he doesn’t funk up the room like he used to. You’ve become nose blind to his musk.

Rambling aside, speaking on Troy Baker… I wouldn’t mind if he continued portraying the Joker. Sick of him as I am, he’s about the only fucker who lives up to the standard of Mark Hamil. He can’t do Batman for shit (Better than RCS, sure, but still), but Joker… yeah he’s good for him. He utterly sucks as Shinnok though. Makes Shinnok sound like a total bitch.

But this is why the current Sonic cast existed now, because they were all these recognizable unionized voice actors that you know from your favorite videogames and animes, so they figure that would boost the image of Sonic, but we all know how that went. It probably went ignored because the idiots were so enamored with Colors for a short period, and around that time, there was such a hatedom for Jason Griffith that the fandom literally had to force themselves to like RCS. And that struggle ended after Lost Mind, it took 3 games for people to gag at his performance because at the end of the day, real was gonna recognize real. RCS wasn’t cutting it. Lets be real 100, RCS couldn’t do Sonic if his life depended on it. He always sounded like he had nasal problems, sounded like this big ass dork everytime he says “whoa hohoho” like that embarrassing older cousin you don’t wanna talk about. It sounded like he had to constantly suppress the bass in his voice just to do this character. Even weirder, he often sounded like he was embarrassed to do the role, which seems to be the case for all the current male voice actors, idk. The female ones seem to be acting their asses off (which is why no one takes issue with them), but the well known RCS, Travis PUKINGhelm, and Kirk Thorton all seem shitty. They don’t really want to do this shit. Flynn was probably the same way even though he clearly put forth the effort for Silver.

Now here’s the thing. He speaks well enough to try and capture Drummond’s manner of speech, but his fucking vocal cords were the issue! You don’t have the right tone of voice, and the dialog he was given damn sure didn’t help. His performance and the writing made the character seem like this way past uncool uncle that everyone wishes they weren’t related to. Unlike Griffith who basically said “fuck it” and did his own thing, RCS clearly sounds like he’s struggling to get his voice in the correct tone, and he just… couldn’t… manage.

And you mother fuckers want to write pieces talking about how much you’ll miss him!? I feel like Homer Simpson when he was talking to a piece of tofu. “Hello!? Hello, taste, where are you!?

But see, the problem is that Sonic fans have become LECs. The Low Expectation Crowd. They’ve simply given up. They’ve become so used to not getting their way with the object of their fandom that they’ve become thirsty and destitute. They will swallow up any amount of bullshit so long as it exists. The Sonic Fandom is currently what the Gaming Industry desires. For their audience to shut up and accept whatever output they give. This isn’t even lowering the bar, this is rock fucking bottom. No longer are they demanding quality, they’re just demanding anything even it’s nothing but news and lip service. Sonic fans have become so convinced that Sega will do everything in their power to ignore their demands that they’ve given up on demanding anything, even going so far as to discourage and belittle anyone that does! This is embarrassing for a number of reasons, but the main reason is that EA is considered the Devil of the gaming industry… and the Mass Effect and Star Wars fandoms both FLEXED on them! EA got flexed on TWICE and they backed the fuck down! They hurried up and came correct on their fans. See, those fandoms didn’t just stop at bitching about it online, they fucking organized movements to force EA’s hand. What the hell is your excuse, Sonic fandom!?

Well, those are mature franchises with human characters and serious adult stories, but no one is going to take a Sonic protest seriously“.

Because they’re fucking talking animals!?

Yes, and it’s for kids“.

Well gee, how the hell did you get your way with the Sonic movie? Although I’m still certain that was a ruse to get people to watch the movie (which unfortunately worked), but none of you ass sniffers gave 2/5ths of a fuck that it was a kid’s movie. The whole damn WORLD didn’t give those fucks that it was for kids, what people saw was an ugly ass Sonic, and they wanted that shit to change. Full stop. But you’ve got idiots running their mouths off talking “Let the voice actors enjoy their job“. Not if I’m not enjoying it! This is the bullshit Sonic fans talk because they have been trained to expect nothing but abuse and disregard by Sega, but stupidly enough, they cling to the damn franchise as though it’s actually good anymore. No, wait… that’s just those shitty comics which only serves as a proxy for Sonic fans to vent on how much they hate each other, clearly they have more energy to argue and belittle each other over that, but they spread their cheeks wide open when the people working on the franchise enter the room, they’re like Amanda Gorman when that poet or whoever was congratulating her for that pack of lies she wrote for inauguration.

Sonic Fans have moved on to being a mindless herd, and they will fight the rational and reasonable people tooth and nail to maintain their mindless support of people who have showed their asses on more than one occasion. For the people who will undoubtedly say “well if Sega is going to ignore us and tell us to kiss their asses, then what’s the point of demanding anything?” Well stupid, if Sega is going to ignore you, you respond in kind. Set the tone, name your terms and demands, and if the people you are communicating with are ignoring you, then you don’t respond to them when they make any sort of announcements. Make them irrelevant. Infact… *sighs*, it’s something I’ve bemoaned, yes, but hell, you might have to make it a point that “well, if fucking Naughtydog can deliver a proper sequel after several years of no shows, then that’s who I’m going to go to“. If that’s what it takes, then so the fuck be it. 50% chance of sending the wrong message (Make a Sonic game like Crash 4 or Ratchet and Clank 7). If that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. Sonic fans have to start learning to flex on Sega and not let them just walk all over you. And not just Sonic fans, Sega fans in general if they still exist. The Shining Force takedowns produced a lot of outrage, but those youtubers who had their channels raped by Sega faded into obscurity, what happened to those people? Sega took a massive shit on them, and they just disappeared. That is NOT what was supposed to happen, but it happened. I guess their youtube channels weren’t making enough money for them to care about being raped, but what happened was a disgrace. Yet, you’ve heard nothing from these people since. There has been no compensation for what happened aside from an empty apology, and for damn sure, if I got banned off a website thanks to a company who REFUSES, not fails, but…. REFUSES to offer a concrete and thorough explanation as to why they came after me, then dammit, I’m going to have VENGEANCE! Sega has been ALLOWED to get away with a lot of bullshit over the years, and for some reason, people keep letting them slide. Even today when people are pissed off at Nintendo (rightfully so, mind you), they wanna overlook Sega’s fuckery. Hell, they didn’t even PAY one of their own musicians for some of the most popular music in Sonic Adventure 2 (the Rapper, yes). That should;ve been a lawsuit. This is not a company you want to be nice to. They are scum. They have screwed over so many people in the last 3 decades, and no one bothers to take them to task.

Sega is a vicious fucking corporation not unlike Konami, Nintendo, and whoever else you can think of. Japanese corporations are becoming just as tyrannical as their American counterparts. But see, if game companies like Activision (or was it EA) can be taken to court over microtransactions and loot boxes (surprise mechanics!?), then what the fuck makes any of you braindead asswipes think that Sega is this untouchable entity!? The honest truth is that a lot of Sonic/Sega fans… just don’t care. A lot of them are pretty damn lazy and shiftless, and have more energy on researching data files for what could’ve been in certain games, but no energy punishing Sega for their bastardry. No I mean no offense to those who comb data for research and what not, but that effort could be better spent on dealing with Sega’s bullshit in the now. That includes dealing with voice actors. There’s no reason for a guy to win an audition, and then be told to fuck off and leave your union. That was a dick move, and I wouldn’t be mad at Drummond if he took those shiftless bastards to court over it. And yet here we are talking about “missing RCS“. Fuck him. He and lot of the animu voice actors are a bunch of pretentious jackasses who believe that because they’ve gotten one too many roles in games, they think they are entitled to our lips on their asses. The guy has shown he can’t even take criticism his damn self, and literally thought that by appealing to the popular consensus that “Sonic fans are negative fucks”, that people would just take his side on the matter (some shitty web show or something, idk it probably sucked anyway).

Seriously, Keith Silverstein would rip ass as Shadow. I suppose since Espio didn’t have much of a voice before (or even a presence), Matthew Mercer works just fine. And for the love of Amma, keep Tails’s VA and Erica Lindbeck for Blaze. Then get Keith Szarabajka for Robotnik, I swear.

The Excess Downtime.

Well I did mention this before. πŸ˜›

Just putting this here now, but I think… I’m close to getting this done. Been working on an Ebook since last year (wished it could be a Ecomic, but shit be expensive). I can’t say exactly what it is just yet. Just need to find a site that won’t be hostile towards something hardcore (Judge Dredd type shit) before jumping the gun announcing anything. Then you got people constantly going back and forth on how to do shit right, it is confusing (Free ISBN vs $125 ISBN because monopoly or something). So I apologize for not being able to get to everyone’s responses in a timely fashion.

With that out of the way.

I say GOOD RIDDANCE to RCS and Pontaff if that info is true. And Sonic Prime, so it’s a self-contained Netflix series meaning… meh, it can suck on it’s own without it being a marketing gimmick attached to that horrid movie. Not a whole lot to say there without a trailer, and if the last decade is anything to go by, forced comedy is a given.

Amma only knows who will voice Sonic in this one. Probably the movie actor, though it’s rare for movie actors and tv shows actors to be shared (animation wise, at least). Hell, for all I care, bring back Jaleel White. He probably needs work anyway.

Yes, the Resident Evil Vampire Giant has Code Vein boobs, and all of a sudden, RE8 has actual hype. I think what’s sad is that I’m more interested in that RE:VERSE game than RE8, and it’s a cheap online vs mode using actual characters from the series. Did anyone peep the Los Illuminados symbol in the last trailer? That’s indication enough that the game is tailor made for the RE4 fanboys. Well, as long as they don’t try to ruin Rebecca Chambers, all is well… somewhat.

Gamestop. I know dick all about stocks, so I can’t really comment on what was going on there. The most I can gather is that a friggin 10 year old kid made more money than me on a lucky break. If this doesn’t tell you how worthless a job is, I don’t know what does. But it is hilarious how the Gamestop haters and Elite rich bitches are so pissed about this. It’s like the Elite has this mentality that… it’s not enough that they should succeed, but it’s that others MUST fail. So this “system” is basically designed for the pleasure of an elite few, and everyone else is part of an ant farm. I’m certain nothing illegal was committed, but everyone is demanding more regulations for…. w/e happened. Hell, I might need to start learning about stocks if that’s the case. Since everyone keeps buying EA games, might have to start there. πŸ˜›

The whole “cute anime” debate or w/e…. look. In general, I don’t care all that much. All I know is that I don’t enjoy that shit taking over Sonic in specific. Kirby, fine. Pokemon, ok. Klonoa, if that’s cute you. Little animu girls, fuck no. The way Japan handles them comes off as pedophilic. A lot of shit they’re in usually has them half naked and in fetish clothes. I don’t care, that shit is weird and awkward. And after Gun Gale Online, it’s downright goddamn creepy. But overall, cuteness isn’t an issue or a deal breaker. That being said, whatever beefing is going on, please continue that somewhere else. I am not picking sides with people who bother to read my mess. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

Otherwise, have a fantastic new ye-oh wait, we already did that. Is there ANY news on this mythical anniversary game, by any chance?

Castlevania
Metroid
Muramasa: The Demon Sword
Bloodstained
Axiom Verge
Dead Cells
Rayman Origins/Legends

All of these games have one thing in common. THEY’RE BLOODY AWESOME!!!

However, it’s the uncommon elements of each game that seem to be mutually exclusive to each other. You ever think “Man, I REALLY fucking love Bloodstained, but I wish it had better combat on par with Dead Cells, and man I wish Dead Cells had Coop! Same with Muramasa with it’s million of enemies, man it should’ve had coop! But I wish the exploration, NOT METROIDVANIA, (>_>) elements were more refined like Bloodstained and Axiom Verge, but I wish these games all had coop like Rayman Origins!”

Well folks, it finally exists! Though in a manner that perfectly fits the subtitle of it’s special physical edition. This is Sundered: Eldrich Edition. A Metr-… er… “Exploration”/Roguelike/Hack’n’Slash game made by “ThunderLotus”. A name that makes me go “wow, Indies actually CAN come up with awesome company names!”. Reviews constantly talk about one of their games named “Jotun”. I’ve never heard of it, and it really doesn’t matter. Reviews also talk about how hard this game is… which strikes me as confusing because I breezed this shit in 3 days. I was expecting Valfaris levels of rage, and you all know how I feel about that busted ass mess, but… no! This game is pretty fun despite it’s many… many warts.

If you liked old 80s animation in the same vain as “The Black Cauldron”, “Heavy Metal” or even the old Lord of the Rings cartoons, this game will be nostalgic sex. A lot of reviewers talk about how lovingly well the game’s enemies and main character are animated, but honestly, it’s not that good. Only the bosses and a few select enemies can really be praised, but for quite a few enemies, it looks par the course, and some of it looks like it has some motion tween here and there. Plus, the game has a bad habit of zooming out all the time just to show off how “massive” these bosses are, so even if the animation was superb, you wouldn’t be able to really admire it because it’s hard to see anything going on. Most of the time, you’re running around static areas with some cheap effects here and there. And the main character herself looks to have been tweened a bit as well, having fewer frames for some of her attacks and all. Overall though, it’s not bad. Far from it. But I get the sense that some people overrated the animation quality. Then again, I’m not a graphics whore so… maybe I just can’t “appreciate” the fine arts or some shit. You’re too busy trying to play the game rather than focusing on the animation.

Story wise… I’d have to get back to you on that. The game isn’t actually clear on what the fresh hell is going on, but the basic gist is that you’re playing this… I guess an Arabic woman named Eshe who, after travelling through a desert, gets sucked into this dimension where demonic fuckery is trying to kill her at every given turn. She’s only aided by a demonic voice who I assume is speaking some Arabic/Eastern European language, idk. Along the way, you’re supposed to gather tidbits of the game’s lore from these “lore rooms” where smashing crystal orbs gets you some narration from Demon Voice. Something about Valkyries and Humans going to war with the Islamic version of Hell, I’m assuming. It’s quite vague in it’s details, and the only thing I can assume is that this Demon Voice wants to take revenge against Heaven and the Human World, and pulled in Eshe to help him escape from hell to get it. The demons and environments are supposedly inspired by Lovecraftian literature which… idk, w/e? The enemy designs leave a lot to be desired, and aside from just one region, the environments are nowhere near as scary as Axiom Verge (an 8-bit game, mind you, is scarier than hand drawn animation). Not even the horror music that plays throughout the game invokes unease. That might actually be the fault of the gameplay for a change.

I don’t complain about it. I enjoy 2D action games that allow me to get in close and rape multiple enemies at once….. phrasing… right… but if they wanted the game to be unnerving, having Gameflow where enemy hordes randomly spawn in certain areas isn’t the way to do it. Combat plays out like a JRPG of sorts. Not the turn-based kind, it’s basically just random battles. You walk around in quiet, dank areas for a while, and then you might get bombarded with several enemies at once, rinse and repeat. If enemies worked as those just mind their business and hang around untill you get to them (like Bloodstained or Axiom Verge), then the whole horror effect comes into play because then you wouldn’t know what to expect. But as it is now, it feels disjointed and awkward. It’s a cross of Metroidv-…. “exploration” mixed in with random battles like muramasa where you have to deal with a certain number of enemies at a given time, and then you move on till the next horde. Now the difference here is that you’re not actually forced to deal with enemy hordes unlike many other games, so the game doesn’t feel repetitive. You have the option of ignoring them outright when they spawn, which was an excellent move on their part. That way, if you’re feeling strained from combat, you can just try to outrun the enemy spawns. Though that’s easier said than done. These tenacious bastards will find you and do their damnedest to kill you if they so much as smell cowardice! So it’s easier to just kill them there, but a lot less exciting that way. πŸ˜›

Combat itself is very good with a few warts here and there. Think Muramasa with a dash of Deadcells, and you’ve got what Bloodstained’s combat could’ve been. It’s a hack’n’slash at it’s core, though it’s a lot floatier than I would’ve wanted. Often times, attacking in the air would leave me dangling at the mercy of enemies I couldn’t escape until I got more upgrades later down the line. Much like Castlevania and Bloodstained, dealing with the game’s enemies becomes a helluva lot easier over time, but unlike the aforementioned games and Metroid, and especially Axiom Verge, all of the upgrades feel as though they were tailor made for combat. The grappling hook allows you to latch onto to enemies a few yards away who tend to be a little quicker than you are, air dashing negates the earlier problem I talked about in regards to floaty physics, etc. You feel like you really do get stronger as you collect more items as they’re not simply made to just get to newer areas like every other Exploration game, they actually improve your combat effectiveness. So indeed, you do feel like you’re actually getting something out of exploring rather than just having new items for supplementing exploration alone. Even double jumping aids you in combat via allowing you to maintain air combos for a much longer time via infinite jumps, or the ability to break through purple spell walls becoming a new heavy attack to use against enemies, etc. You even get a BFG for… some reason. “Rule of cool”, maybe?

Combat isn’t perfect, however. The devs went to the Soulslike school of artificial difficulty, and decided that basic dodging… needed some form of stamina! Hurray, this… bullshit mechanic makes it’s way into a 2D Exploration game now. Much like the obnoxious Nioh 2 and semi-obnoxious Code Vein, the stamina meter is just a hinderance more so than a tactical gameplay mechanic as the game’s enemies are far too aggressive to limit the amount of times I can avoid taking damage. This becomes a huge problem in higher difficulties where the amount of enemies you deal with are fucking massive at times, and it becomes impossible to focus on anything as the screen is flooded with assholes. This is only marginally mitigated by the skill tree system where, by collecting shards that can be found anywhere, you spend them to upgrade some stats here and here, including increasing the stamina meter (they call it “Energy” like it really matters). I say marginally, however, because much like Borderlands, you have to spend shards on skills you don’t really want in order to get to the shit that you do. There are far more upgrades for health than there are for melee damage, and that becomes an issue because if I can’t kill enemies fast enough, I’m more likely to die in a fight, and that’s where combat comes down to as a result. Being able to kill enemies fast enough makes all the difference in success. The game basically dictates to you that tanking enemies is key, and it’s more important to just power through hordes and bosses rather than skillfully defeating them. It leans more toward an RPG than otherwise. Normally, I’d bemoan this as amateurish design where combat success is determined by stats than skill, but it’s fun enough that it doesn’t become a problem unless you’re on higher difficulties.

But as bad as enemies can be, they are shit compared to the bosses. Fuck me, the bosses are the biggest ASSHOLES you’ll ever know, and the method of beating them is beyond tedious. So, they have 3 weak points. 3 teeny tiny fucking weak points that you have to strike in order to damage them. The bosses are often huge, so the screen zooms out to show the entire bastard, meaning that you’re trying to focus this little… dot of a sprite on this massive field while you try to attack 3 tiny looking diamonds in order to damage and kill the bosses. It’s bad enough that all 5 of them are cheap, having attacks that are nigh impossible to avoid or see coming, and they get worse the lower their health is. Fighting them feels like an exercise in torture, and is why damage output is far more important, The longer this shit drags out, the better chance at Death’s loving embrace.

Further more, when it comes to the abilities and upgrades, you can upgrade the upgrades via Elder Shards, the macguffens in the game. You have 2 different sets of upgrades, the Resist or Embrace shit. Resist means you find the shards, bring them to a blast furnace, and then destroy them to gain additional upgrades. Embrace means you take shards back to the shrines where you first got the upgrades, and then “corrupt” them to make them more powerful. I’ve yet to do any of that, though, and I’ll get into why when I get to the technical issues.

One of the things that really attracted me to this title was the prospect of coop Metr-… Exploration game, and much like Donkey Kong Country Returns, it’s not good. See, the devs included coop a year after release, but the game wasn’t really built for it. Maybe there was a programming issue in doing this (easy to see considering the technical issues), but as a 4 player game, having everyone share one single health bar is the dumbest decision you could ever make. You’re basically demanding that every player be some sort of pro at the game. Otherwise, you alone could be kicking ass, but you’ll be held back by your peers. While you’re busy kicking ass, you might think to yourself that you just died for no reason, but no, your friend just got his/her ass seriously kicked and cost you a decent amount of progress. Imagine having to do this with 4 players, everyone has to be proficient at TANKING enemy attacks, and you can’t really do this to any significant degree. The screen pans out to show all players, the allternate players are hard to see because they’re in black and white, blending into some backgrounds, and the hordes flood the screen to a point where players can’t actually focus on surviving. It’s a mess.

Can you find out where my character is? πŸ˜›

As this is supposed to be some sort of “horror” game, the music is morbid and dreadful. It does clash with some of the early enemies you fight. I mean… hell, you’ve got science fiction robots, and this Victorian horror music plays out regardless. I’m not sure why there are robots in this game, maybe heaven used robots in a war against hell, Idk why they would. That said, the music is adequate despite being limited to a few tracks which seems to be the typical indie standard. The sound effects are really good, though, and I don;t say they often about games. The monster noises are fantastic, and really fits in with the game’s atmosphere with these disturbing noises going on everywhere, monsters squealing and all. Still clashes with the robots, that shit takes me out.

There’s only 3 regions in the game which… sucks. You’ve got a Valkryie base, some hellish looking cavern, and I guess Heaven’s gate? Frankly, this is an area where Ithe devs got lazy as the environments are so limited, it feels like you’ve not traveled far. And… a lot of people like to say “Copy/Pasted” environments. This game takes that quite literally! There are many rooms in each region whose layout is reused for several other rooms, and that makes it very easy to get lost if your not checking the map every 2 seconds to confirm where in the fresh hell you are. It’s bad enough the regions are limited to a few environments, but copy/pasting room layouts? You get the sense that they did this just to make the regions seem larger than they are, and could probably get away with it because the player would be too busy just dealing with enemies and finding their way around to notice that room layouts are reused constantly. And no, this is not something that even Castlevania and Metroid did on a regular basis, though I could see why someone would make that conclusion. What makes this worse is that when you die, objects within each region gets changed around, so you might find powerups or buff tokens or w/e in rooms that they weren’t in before… and that seems to be the extent of the changes. They try to fool you into thinking that you’ve gone into a completely new area… by changing the color of the environment. At the very least, the Valkryie Base and Heaven Gate… place, have 2 distinct environments. The Base has a forest-like cavern as well as some factories interspersed, while the gate or w/e has this majestic looking city on top of a skeleton cave. But Hell is just one big, grotesque cave. Not a lot of thought went into that one, I see.

The regions in the game aren’t well thought out, is what I’m saying. Some of the areas look nice, but they’re big and expansive… seemingly to just be big and expansive. Heaven’s gate is definitely too big as it’s nothing but a big, open sky that’s tedious to traverse without the grappling hook.

If I can give the game props for anything, though, it’s that exploration is not linear. You’re not really expected to go on a predetermined path like Metroid or Castlevania. Infact, the game even tells you not to play the game in a linear fashion, and just get lost. In other words, they understand the original Metroid game better than the developer of Axiom Verge! Ironic, no? You might need a few abilities here and there to get around, but the game doesn’t restrict you to the point that you can’t get to all 3 regions in a short time period. So kudos to them for making the world “open”.

But I’ll have to take the Kudos away for one thing that cannot be forgiven. Technical issues, and these are some that, unlike other games with problems, actually HINDERS the game. Number one, you can configure your controls, which is good, but there is a bug in the game that makes it where everytime you boot it up, the controls get reset back to default settings, so you have to reconfigure the controls every fucking time you play the game. That’s irritating and time consuming, but that isn’t the worst part. See, I mentioned earlier that you have Resist and Embrace sets of abilities when concerning Elder Shards, but what I failed to mention was that how you handle the shards determines the final boss you fight as well as the endings you get. Resist is the “Good” ending, IE destroying all 7 Elder Shards in the furnace, and Embrace is the “Bad ending, IE corrupting all 7 of your abilities. Or you can ignore both, mix and match Resist and Embrace shit, all to get a neutral ending with some hand drawn animation that needs to be longer, fuck!

Sounds like a good excuse to replay the game 3 times, right? WRONG! See, in the PS4 version of the game (apparently seems to be an issue with the “Eldrich Edition”), the door to the furnace is permanently locked. At first, I thought I had to find some switch or something to open the door. However, after hours of searching for an answer, I got confirmation that the furnace door is bugged and simply won’t open. Meaning the game has to be patched in order to get the Resist shit going. So I’m sitting here thinking to myself “Well… shit, I’m locked out of an ending, final boss, and a whole set of exclusive abilities… because of a failure in playtesting!” That is not good. As a guy with no internet, this is a huge blow. I’m literally stuck with 2/3rds of a game here.

Overall, Sundered has some serious problems. Still, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it shit. Infact, I rather enjoyed the game. It is far from perfect, of course. Gameplay is mostly about tanking and fast kills, environments are limited, coop is a mess, and it’s technical issues are inexcusible as it prevents you from exploring a good chunk of it’s content, but everything else is fine. Combat is fun and fast paced, the sound design is pretty damn good… that’s.. not really enough to consider it a really good game considering it has more problems than qualities. I’d say it’s rather shoddy… and yet… it’s quite satisfying.

Weird, no?

I know I haven’t posted anything of interest in ages. You can blame a lack of interesting shit going on in the wonderfully depressing world of entertainment. The only thing that’s gone on was the Capitol Siege by White Extremists whom people have since deflected onto to BLM and whoever the fuck Antifa is, and the inauguration of another sinister bastard and his Asian bitch. There likely won’t be much to talk about should this virus continue to disrupt everything, thus leaving us blokes to scrape the bottom of the barrel for anything relevant to talk about.

So…. that’s what I’ll do.

In terms of Sonic, about the only thing anyone can discuss about the furthering of it’s demise is that damn comic. It’s quite strange. The war between the Archie and IDW fans has been long, fierce, and consistent. Like… literally, these 2 factions have been fighting and arguing it out on a daily basis almost. Pandemic or not, I would assume there were better things to do. Like… focusing on this mythical “anniversary game” that Sega has said nothing about since the pandemic started…. last year. Conspiratorial as I can be, I can’t help but think the comic war was a good distraction from the fact that Sega has left that game in the dark. It couldn’t be that they left this game on the back burner as a result of the pandemic, they don’t put enough money or manpower into Sonic to lack any in the first place, though I can’t help but feel the Coronavirus will be used as a cheap excuse to do the bare minimum, and have no reason to put forth any effort should this mythical game still/actually exist.
That said, I believe this war needs to end now so we can actually focus on the source material of the franchise which will likely be hampered by the movie’s success. I have no doubt that the horridly imbalanced criticism against Sonic Forces will also be used as a cheap excuse to cut franchise’s balls yet again, and the massive success of a massive turd will negatively influence the series direction for the foreseeable future. There was already a rumor that the upcoming Netflix cartoon will focus on Baby Sonic which is already a red flag as it means the series will devolve much further from being “Way Past Cool”. We’d have to rely on Capcom’s Devil May Cry series just to have a semblance of what Sonic should be today, which is unfortunate as that franchise is handled by a guy who literally wants nothing more to do with it as evidenced by his constant desire to have a younger and obnoxious protagonist in each of his games.

Seriously, you should’ve seen all those interviews and presentations for DMC5, the guy looks miserable as hell! πŸ˜›

Furthermore, I find it rather hilarious that Amy only has a fanbase out of pity rather than genuine love for the character. Sonic fans are known for being counter-everything, so anytime they see something or someone get all sorts of heat, there will inevitably be defenders of that someone if only to balance the critique. Not because they like it.

Moving on, I finally found a racing game that I enjoy! Which is unfortunate as it’s one of those shoddy Open World Racing games. NFS Heat is a fun little diversion even if it doesn’t have the specific cars that I want. I would’ve loved if the BMW M1 Procar was in this bitch, but eh, I had to settle for the Lamborghini Countach which is beyond sex on wheels. Also leave it to the bastards of EA to lock the Ferrari FXX-K Evo behind internet, now I can’t have a real Ford v Ferrari bout with that and the Ford GT 17. The thing I don’t like about Open World racers vs Arcade ones is that you never get unique courses. Instead, you have these… somewhat artificially generated routes you take through the world, and these overworld maps are never really designed for actual racing, but to be a typical open world, so a lot of the courses are annoying for no apparent reason, having more curves at the beginning of a course and then nothing but pure straight roads for the rest of it, and you’ll see many of the same roads and what not during many races. Still, for what it is, it is much more enjoyable than was Midnight Club LA on PS3, though I did enjoy having motorcycles as actual choices. Another issue I take with NFS Heat is it’s overreliance on the same brands. You have so many Lambo’s in this game, and they all look the same outside of the awesome Countach and the shitty Diablo. Porsche and BMW aren’t that much better in the selection, but for non car buffs, the majority of these models come off as distinctions without differences. What’s the difference between a Lambo Huracan and a Lambo Aventador whatever? Uhhhhhh the front has a different shape somewhat? Honestly, you go to specific brand cars for specific features, but the individual models make little difference outside of stats and aesthetic preference. Want speed? Lambo. Want handling? Porsche. Want drifting? Nissan. Want Off-Road? McLaren. (I shit you not, those babies can handle some dirt!)

Seriously, no BMW M1 Procar, I was so blown over this! If only Asphalt 9 wasn’t digital only.

Moving on, I’ve seen recent footage of the RE8 demo, and… I don’t see how or why anyone could be excited for it. It’s not even close to Resident Evil. It’s much closer to the likes of Castlevania than Resident Evil. I also love how the bolt cutters are just this constantly recycled item in this series. That queen witch is fucking HUGE, though. Even so, I’m only marginally interested to see what Alex Wesker has to do with this plot.

But in all candor, If my ramblings from last year were any indication, I see that Resident Evil is getting WORSE! RE3 was a miserable little tragedy of a sequel that, had it not been named resident evil, would’ve vanished into the trash heep of absolute obscurity. While I can enjoy the ports of the good RE games (like Revelations 1), I’d rather not go on a spree of rebuying all the RE games I own just to be able to play them on PS4. So I decided to seek out alternatives to Resident Evil that would give me the “City of the Dead” vibe that REmake 3 failed to deliver.

My “journey” has not borne fruit. If only Left 4 Dead was available on this system and not be exclusive to Xbox >_<.

I decided to check out 2 games in particular. One of which was called “Daymare 1998”, an indie horror game so heavily inspired by late 90s survival horror that it even has terrible acting to go along with it. Alongside it, I also checked out “Dead Rising 2” in specific as everyone billed that as the best Dead Rising game (“2 is always best” rule).

Spoiler: Only one of these games isn’t shit.
Lets start with Daymare since that’s actually a new one for the generation.

Daymare couldn’t give 2 fucks that it wants to be Resident Evil. So much so that the game constantly harasses you with the most tedious puzzles known to mankind. I don’t recall the old RE games having puzzles this horrendously tedious. Take one of the early ones you run into where you have to type in a password for a computer. The problem is the keyboard is all Greek to me.

I mean that quite literally. All the characters on the keyboard are in Greek lettering. What you’re supposed to do is look at a nearby RE styled typewriter to memorize where all the keys are, then look back to the laptop to type in the passwords following the hints present. The hints come from museum portraits that are littered throughout the area, and you have to constantly walk back and forth between rooms just to examine the clues therein, and then cross reference that shit with the password hints on the computer… WHILE having to go back and forth looking at a typewriter just to type in the passwords in Greek.

This is just ONE of the first few tedious fucking puzzles in the entire game. When it’s not busy melting your brain with that shit, it’s busy making combat a massive chore, combined with loads of technical issues. I don’t quite understand the mindset that a survival horror game has to have awkward combat mechanics just to be a survival horror game. For one, this game gives you 2 different means of reloading. You have regular reloading and “quick” reloading. Quick reloading makes it where you drop a magazine while quickly reloading another. However, you need actual magazines on hand just to reload your gun, so you can’t just drop that shit all the time, you’ll eventually have to find those things again just so you can shoot more bullets. If this were an action game that didn’t have bad controls, it’d probably be easy to stomach. Probably. On top of retarded reloading mechanics, the game plays like RE Rev 2 if it were made by cracked out developers. Oh who am I kidding, Rev 2 WAS made by cracked out developers! But at least that game’s combat wasn’t hampered by hit detection problems. Sometimes shooting a zombie doesn’t seem to register as soon as you shoot them. It takes about half a second before a zombie reacts to your bullets. However, when a zombie misses a grab on you, somehow you are still grabbed by that very zombie even though their arms clearly miss you. You also have melee attacks that don’t register at all. You could be swinging at zombies all day, and slapping them around might as well be a light breeze to them, and melee attacks have the nerve of being stamina based. Shit like that.

You combine that with some truly questionable design problems, and you’re in for a really bad time. Ammo starvation is, of course, a thing in this game, so obviously you’ll want to conserve as much as possible. Unfortunately, unlike the game it so desperately wants to be, Daymare doesn’t actually let you do this. There are several moments where you have to deal with midbosses that spawn in areas where you can’t exactly get around, so they have to be dealt with. If the melee attacks actually worked properly, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but you end up emptying your supply on regular chumps just to stay alive.

I stopped playing the game altogether at Chapter 3 as it was far too obnoxious. The story wasn’t interesting to bother. Sure there’s a city, but you get stuck in a hospital and sewers, and I already played enough of that with RE3.

Next up was Dead Rising 2. No shit I enjoyed it. πŸ˜› Though I will say that the time limit and small location kinda hinders it. I think if Dead Rising 3 wasn’t stuck on 360 and PC, I’d get that instead, but DR2 is good enough that I don’t feel desperate enough to get it. I kinda laughed at TK’s “superior genes” line. πŸ˜› Still, the story makes no sense. Why after saving his life with Zombrex would TK kidnap Chuck’s daughter and Stacy? What was he trying to accomplish with the city about to be blown to smithereens? What exactly were the point of the bees? How come no one but Sullivan (bastard that he is) look at Stacy as a potential problem, but they give Chuck all the hell they could give? Why doesn’t Stacy give Katie the damn Zombrex when she needs it!?

So… almost. But not quite there. My journey continues. πŸ˜›

Moving on, and this has been on my mind for a while… all the bitching and moaning about censorship (specifically regarding TnA) had me thinking… what if it’s just a bunch of white guys having a false sense of entitlement to a woman’s body? I mean hell, we’ve had at least 2 (yt) mass shooters who literally admitted to going on killing sprees because a girl denied them companionship. All the nonsense regarding MK11, Rainbow Mika, and the more recent Atelier game being cancelled for PS5 also causing some rampage… it makes one think that “freedom of expression” is something of a buzz phrase to say “stop denying me sexual enticement no matter what form it takes!” Then again, “politics” is a buzzword for when they don’t have an argument to explain away why they hate something. It sounds better than “stop criticizing White History!”

Dude, the shit I’ve read in regards to the capitol siege was infuriating, I said fuck it.

And speaking of sex in media, I had gotten into a really stupid and fucked up argument with some Anime fans over why they glorify japan so much, and inquired if they would be so enamored with the country had it not been for those cartoons and games. The way I saw it, Anime has been one of the biggest marketing ploys of a single culture on the face of the planet. Hell, Capcom knew this too well and tried to use Mega Man (FUCKING MEGA MAN) as a means of educating the outside world on Japanese customs.

Thing was… I kept inquiring as to why

You see, there’s a little bit of you in everything you read, watch and play. Doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, a blog, or a videogame, the media you consume already has “you” in mind. Some people like to look at paintings because deep down, they are creative people. Some people people watch action movies because they are thrill seekers. Some women watch the Real Housewives of whatever because deep down, they’re degenerate hoes. Obviously, the idea is that people gravitate towards that they relate to, even if only subconsciously.

Then there’s people who watch anime because deep down, they’re social outcasts.

Anime, for Americans, is at it’s core, “different”. Because it comes from outside of the border, you get content that you will never see replicated anywhere else. Thus, a lot of Anime won’t appeal to the masses. But they will appeal to the outcasts. The outcast is typically a person who doesn’t share the same interests as the rest of society. Interests that are considered the “norm”. For instance, Men are normally supposed to be interested sports, explosions, engineering, business, methods of making money, competition, etc. If you’re a man and you don’t know how to fix a car, you are not a real man. If you know very little or nothing of how a car works internally, you fucked up somewhere in the evolutionary pool. If you can’t help but turn away from football or Basketball, you’re going to bore a lot of your peers. What if you’re the artistic man whose interests go into different forms of expression? Well good luck dropping panties with that line of thought after gradeschool. If you’re the, if I may use the term, “quirky” kind of fellow, or timid and soft spoken, you’re going to turn a lot of people away just by how odd you are. “Where are your goddamned balls!?” is what ye peers would inquire.

You’re not the image of a Man. You don’t take charge, you’re softspoken, your interests don’t point towards elements of testosterone, you likely can’t fight for shit, and bitches ain’t gonna fuck wit you. You are on the road to being maladjusted as you are not mentally equipped to deal with the in-crowd in any sense other than being mocked for your existence. In other words, you’re the perfect target audience for Anime!

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about anime outside of the “Big 3”, and it’s that main characters are always these quiet, softspoken, dull and uninteresting males in highschool who are about as appealing as a slice of a bread. And….*sighs*… it might be because that’s the easiest way to reach the social outcast. Because the main character is them. These random dullards with limited interests and limited skills who just happen to “get lucky” and are able to embark on these big and grand adventures where they get laid by a hundred big tittied women. It is the ultimate wish fulfillment fantasy as there are hundreds of anime shows with premises like this. Where the Males lack anything resembling testosterone.

These characters often represent the people watching them. The characters themselves may not necessarily be outcasts (mostly because Japanese culture), but damn if they don’t feel some sort of connection to them. Especially in regards to female interaction. The kind that these outcasts prefer. See, in the real world, being a good “sex bonding” partner requires you actually put in some work. You need finance, you need skills, you need to keep up your appearance and hygiene. You have to put in work to get a woman, and that’s a 50% chance of success. In the realm of Anime, you just need to exist. You don’t even need a good personality or even been a morally righteous person. Hot women will put out for them no matter who they are. This kind of interaction is ideal for outcasts because it requires no effort on their part, creating a sense of entitlement to a woman’s body.

No I’m not being a dick. Anime is literally catered to these people. Entertainment industries by and large are known for being emotionally exploitative. Japanese Entertainment is no better about this. In fact, it’s much worse. Japanese society is, for lack of a better term, inherently toxic. It has been this way for a long damn time, and it’s about time someone called it out. There’s a reason the depression and suicide rate in the country is massive, and that is the cultural failing of Japanese society. You see, after America bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there’s been this huge shift in Japan to rebuild the economy. Thus, everyone in Japan is geared and bred to be business minded at the expense of everything else. Unfortunately, as evidenced by Japanese entertainment, they delve into extremes, and this has caused fractures in their society. Everyone is stressed out and overworked, and this leads into more problems. Because everyone is stressed out, they tend to lash out against each other. There’s more child abuse at the home, there’s far more bullying in the schools (especially with teachers who literally say that if a child is bullied, it is because they are weak, and are at fault), and this bullying can be over ANYTHING! If you don’t have a school lunch prepared a certain way, you become a target of derision and ridicule. You look at this shit and go “GODDAMN! No wonder anime characters are pretentious assholes, they deal with overly judgemental people on a daily basis!”

Idk, sometimes I wish anime fans would stop being in denial over sexual content in anime. We all know it’s for optics and nothing else. You’ve got fucking youtube channels dedicated to animu fanservice.

My 2 cents.

This is gonna come off like a rant for what is essentially buyer’s remorse, but who knows? You might find a point you agree with… or not.

A game’s price should reflect the amount of content it actually has, as well as it’s level of quality, 2 things that are constantly ignored when it comes to used game prices. I suppose that’s one disadvantage of buying shit used, the sellers are often many, and they set the prices. Knowing how gamers are, having them set the prices for games is often quite shit because they themselves try to buttfuck you. Problem is they have all the excuses in the world. One of the biggest excuses is “Rarity“.

Rarity is the ultimate “fuck you” of price gouging. The more scarce something is, the more “value” it has. At least, that’s the idea. If water was scarce, yeah the prices would “make sense” because water is something you absolutely need to live. Water has plenty of value because you use it for so many things. Drinking, cleaning, bathing, growing plants and/or vegetables, cooking, you name it. Water has too much value, you cannot live without it. In that sense, food should have less value than water because the only thing you can do with food is eat it.
…. Ok that sounds ridiculous. What I’m trying to say is there are things that have an obvious, definitive value to them that makes them worth the money. Water might be scarce in the future if it isn’t already, thus the prices of water is going to skyrocket in a couple of years if not months. Now, last year when the pandemic started, you had a bunch of people stockpiling goods, most obnoxiously toilet paper because… I guess the people were doing nothing but shitting themselves in terror on a daily basis that they would require such an amount to clean the shelves entirely. And you notice that people were already gouging the prices to ludicrous proportions? You could honestly go out and use tissue, the same shit to blow your nose, and wipe your ass with that. But people just want the toilet paper, exclusively. No one thought about soap prices. Unlike Hand Sanitizer and Alcohol (the latter of which is STILL impossible to find, btw), soap seemed pretty stable in the price department despite being the #1 method of protection against Covid 19.

This says all you need to know about America’s perception of value. It is nonexistent. Any price they “think” is fair is fair to them, and seeing how they price gouged on toilet paper shows that they don’t play fair. The biggest excuse they were gonna use was scarcity itself, and these bastards got shut down quickly by authorities. Everyone was thinking about how they could make money off of a disease that was killing en masse, even if it meant scamming people out of their money on things they know wouldn’t save them. What else can you expect from a country that was built on theft? A nation of thieves who’s perception of value is w/e they damn well say it is.

Videogames reflect this reality a little too well, especially with the last generation of used games that often cost more than $30. It was absolutely ridiculous. Wii and PS3 used games made sense and were reasonably priced as many of them were basically shovelware or painfully short as the industry started focusing on online play as the primary form of engagement. However, on the PS4, used games would often never go below $25, and I think I understand why that is the case now. You see, the PS5 has 2 versions, it’s old news, but the physical edition is priced $100 more than the digital edition. I believe it’s because the industry is trying to faze out physical games as the standard form that games take on. The industry craves a digital only landscape, and gamers have stupidly bought into it. Thus, the very idea of a physical game is now considered a luxury. There will be less physical games available because digital games don’t have a limited number of copies that can be downloaded. So long as the data exists, the game will live on in perpetuity. Physical releases will always have a limited number of discs that will be printed out.

Well… at least that’s how it works for indie games. Indie games, when bought on digital storefronts, usually don’t cost more than $30, I’m assuming. Hell, I’ve heard that a game called “Sundered” priced at only… what…$5 at one point? Digital edition is cheap because as a digital item, it will never run out so long as the data exists. So when a company (like Limited Run Games) comes out of the woodwork and proceeds to make physical copies of the game, and arbitrarily decides to make as few copies as they can, they can turn around and charge an arm and a leg for it because “there isn’t enough to go around”. Thus, the actual value of the game is overruled by the amount of available copies.

“Quantity over Quality. ”

I wouldn’t have a clue as to what Sundered actually is or has that would warrant the price, but that wouldn’t matter. A game called “Hyper Light Drifter” costs $128 because it was a “limited print edition” or some BS so that they can jack up the prices. People know that videogames these days are not worth the amount of money that companies charge for it, and the companies themselves know it too. So instead of trying to make a game of high value, they resort to making schemes. All those Collector Edition fighting games that cost $100 because they included some lame ass toys or a laughable fucking art book? Done so they can artificially increase the value. The game itself is still $60, but all the added cheap bullshit that you’ll never touch again was what bumped the price up, and some of you junkies went right ahead and bought it just to say “yes I have it, so that makes me better than you”. The game industry doesn’t create value, they create schemes. If we’re not too careful, the indies will start doing the same thing.

What does any of this have to do with Luminous Avenger iX? Well… the lowest price on Amazon when I bought the game…. was $58. Granted, it was not a used copy (not that it fucking mattered because even the used prices were higher!), but seeing how apocalyptically short it is, I feel ripped off. I wanted to play this game so much… because I enjoyed using Copen so much back in Gunvolt 2. I honestly love this character, his story, and even his comrades more than the character of Gunvolt. Hell, Copen looks cooler and has better gameplay to boot. Unfortunately, none of that matters as his solo game doesn’t last long enough for that love to be reciprocated. I would assume that Inti crates would have more than enough money to create longer games, but LAiX shows that maybe… they’re just lazy as hell. Maybe the Gunvolt series is just a lousy series.

For anyone who don’t remember (nor care to remember, I suppose), Gunvolt is Japan’s version of X-men, the videogame equivalent of Scryed in that mutants called “adepts” are at war with humanity because reasons. At the center of the war, an organization of Adepts known as “Sumaragi” wants to rule the world because of course they do. They are hounded by mercenaries constantly, one of which is the titular Gunvolt. Adepts have powers known as “Septima” which just makes the story hard to follow because Japan is super obsessed with jargon, and assumes the jargon counts as world building originality. So Gunvolt has… I guess an “Azure Striker” septima or something. If my 2DS wasn’t dead, I’d probably go back for a refresher course on those games, but oh well. Anywho, the story of the second game is largely forgettable, much like the first, but there were multiple endings depending on how well you did. If you didn’t do well at all, you get the bad ending where Gunvolt is shot dead by his employer. This ending is what sets the events of LAiX in motion, making the events of Gunvolt 2 irrelevant, and sets the stage for a much darker alternate continuity much like Flashpoint or House of M. IE… if you for some strange reason was attached to Copen’s sister, Mytil, well… this game will haunt your darkest slumber.

The original Gunvolt was an unmitigated piece of shit, one of the most tedious games I’ve ever played. But I, like many, was starved of a new Mega Man game, and Capcom sure as shit wasn’t making any new games anytime soon, so I stomached Gunvolt in all of it’s triteness, it’s heavy animu bullshit, it’s ultra gimmicky lock on gameplay, and worthless excuse of an OST that the developers assume we’re supposed to like because they have some unoriginal vocalists doing the lyrics of music that sounds no different from the last 2 decades of animu bullshit that revolved around big tittied magical lolis from hell. Gunvolt 2 was only marginally better because Copen was actually fun to play, and his story wasn’t nearly as pretentious even if his personality was. So having a game that was Gunvolt free, had a better title, and starred a character I actually enjoyed was supposed to be right up my alley. But alas, my expectations often get the better of me.

The problem with Gunvolt is that it’s a series predicated on a gimmick of locking onto multiple targets for the purpose of gaining huge combo hits. For Gunvolt, you “tag” enemies with the tiniest bullets ever, then hit a button to electrocute enemies to death. Then you tap down twice to refill your meter because spamming electricity hampers you in the long run. You start off with 2 things that already make the game too easy to care. A barrier and “Prevasion”. These elements make it impossible for you to take damage from both physical and ranged attacks… for a price. The same energy you use to shock enemies is also tied to your prevasion and shielding. If that energy goes down, you are vulnerable to attack. But no worries, you can just tap down twice to regain that energy back. This leads to problems later on as the final bosses will be cheap just to get around the obvious advantages that you’ve gotten used to just so the game can pretend to be challenging. Some of you may recall my frustration with the final boss of Gunvolt 1, having to constantly lock on to the bastard’s head while multitasking with some other… shit that I can’t remember.

But at the end of the day, there’s already a fundamental problem with the gameplay. See, the difference between this series and Megaman is that in Megaman, you just run, jump, and shoot shit. There’s literally nothing else to it. But in Gunvolt, this is an issue of over innovation, you have to do a little too much just to kill a few enemies. You gotta tag chumps, shock em to death, then recharge over and over and over again, and that becomes tiresome after just 1 or 2 levels. But see, this is why Copen was a much better character. Sure he operates similarly to Gunvolt, but his main gun can actually kill enemies, and instead of the gun tagging them, he instead dashes right into them to tag them, dashing into enemies or walls recharges his energy meter (or energy bullet stocks), and he can take robot master weapons. As a result, Copen feels much smoother and faster paced than Gunvolt who’s gameplay style is slow and tedious. Copen has too many advantages over Gunvolt plus the Prevasion and barrier shit that Gunvolt already has.

So obviously, since Copen is a better character, his game should’ve been just as good. Well the problem is the game is just short! You have about 12 main stages, all of which are horrendously short, all of which take place in some sort of factory (loving the terrible variety of environments, fellas), and general gameplay that revolves around Score Attacks. The last 3 stages are boss rush stages with nothing in between, and then you have “secret missions” which are just recycled stages that are even shorter with the same bosses having more health and resistance to weapon weaknesses, and then finally… an ACTUAL boss rush stage with all bosses contained in one level. You spend waaay too much time fighting bosses in this game, and the boss fights in this series are underwhelming, dull, and horribly repetitive. Every boss has a pattern that you can ignore because you’re invincible while you have energy bullets that you can infinitely charge, so bosses are just these long stretches of combat that you can’t possibly give a shit about because for the majority of the fight, you are invincible. That’s why when you get their health low enough, they have these little gimmicky super attacks that blow through your shield and prevasion because the attacks themselves are just these cutscenes where it’s nearly impossible to avoid their attacks, making it where you take some damage… and then the fight continues on with no further danger, the idiots just go back to their regularly scheduled attack patterns until you kill them. Other gimmicks include bosses who have electricity which, just as a pitiful excuse to try and make the game artificially difficult, blows through your energy bullets and damages you as though you never had invincibility at all, so now you have to pay attention for a few minutes, and they do this for the final boss as well just to keep the artificial difficulty up. I’m reminded of the final bosses of Sonic 1 and 2 where they change the rules just so you actually have to pay attention and do things skillfully, that’s not how a challenge works. You have an entire game where you play one way, and then the game demands for these one or 2 fights for you to actually study enemy patterns? By the time you get to these fights, you are ill-equipped to deal with them. Your mindset and reflexes and muscle memory are not attuned to deal with the rule changes by that point, the game hasn’t trained you to think and act in a mindset of “I actually need to dodge attacks to do well in this game. When you have such adverse advantages, you by your very nature are compelled to abuse those advantages. Why work harder when you don’t have to? So by the time you get these particular fights, you’re fucked!

All boss fights are done the same way. Tackle the boss with a dash, then shoot, recharge your dashes, rinse and repeat. So all of these boss fights, even the electric assholes, are all played out the same way. Locking on and shooting. There’s no actual skill required as the bosses do nothing to prevent you from locking onto them. You can literally do that shit for the entire match, and it wouldn’t matter how much you dodge and evade attacks. There’s no variation to the strategies involved in taking down bosses. And you spend much of the game… fighting bosses.

Lets be clear on something. We celebrate Indie companies that have previous developers that worked at big companies because it feels nice to have a big “F U” to the people that employed them. We celebrate Platinum Games, I celebrated Treasure Inc, we all celebrated Igarashi for Bloodtained, and some crazies celebrated Kojima’s indie game…. I think it was Death Stranding? Idk. But Inti Crates? Uh…. you see… big bad evil Capcom put out… .Mega Man 11… and I could’ve sworn that was a game made by competent and caring people! It’s pretty fun even with the cheat device attached. You actually have to learn how to fight the bosses. You have long levels. Long levels with variety, long levels with various different challenges. You go through stages in LAiX, they are all literally the same. They’re all factories with little to no variation, no unique challenges outside of… maybe 2 of them, that’s nice, 2 out of 12 fucking stages, even the robot master weapons have nothing of interest. They’re lazy and lifeless, and are so boring that even the shitty Maverick Powers from MMX7… have more utility than the Master weapons in this game. The Master Weapons are stronger than your pistol and lock on, but they only serve the purpose of “sacrificing defense for power” because your shield is actually dependent on weapon energy, another shitty little gimmick that means nothing but you not using the master weapons… hell, they’re not even fun to use so it’s not a total loss, it just means that bosses die faster but not fast enough to bypass the long winded super attacks. You’ve also got your own super move “twin shredder” which makes all enemies pointless for the most part, it takes too long to charge so you forget it even exists, that sort of thing.

I realize I’m talking a lot about gameplay, and there’s a reason for that. Content is nonexistent in this game. The game just has a basic story of Copen trying to take care of some orphans or something, and then fighting Sumeragi after 150 years. Apparently, Copen is now a cyborg, his moe sister was turned into a giant Mother Brian, the merc leader that killed Gunvolt is now sentient energy ALA Electro or the Dredge from Titan A.E. If youve never seen the latter, it’s an ok scifi movie by Don Bluth, definitely check out, but that’s the final boss in a nutshell. There are no multiple endings like the previous 2 games, giving you less incintive to replay the game. You beat the final boss, you get the happy ending, the little half naked 14 year old brings you home to the joy of the children, and that’s the end. It’s very disturbing how the game shows off the 14 year old girl who’s wearing nothing but a bandeu bra with a jacket and a naked skirt, and then at the menu, the little slut is asking if you like her outfit, and I’m sitting here just thinking “Yeah thanks alot, I’m definitely on some FBI watchlist thanks to you assholes“. Seriously, Japan keeps sexualizing children, just breeding a generation of pedophiles. It’s not cute, it’s not sexy, it’s disgusting. The game tries to pretend that the characters mean anything by having those talk sessions that do nothing but increase your chances of resurrecting if you;ve been killed during the game. Otherwise, the characters talk about nonsense that impacts nothing. Aside from that, you don’t unlock anything for worth. After the main game, you have those secret missions AKA retread stages and bosses, and the pathetic option of changing the music that plays when your characters goes into overdrive (basically a mode where your little navi turns into more jailbait shit that sings J pop). I have no idea what Overdrive does, and at this point, I don’t care to know. I’d rather not have to listen to girly songs, but the game’s OST is so shit that you’d have no choice.

The game is just underwhelming. There’s no way around it. And the fact that it didn’t cost less than $10 just because it was a physical edition pisses me off. No game this abysmally short and devoid of content should ever cost over $50 just because it’s a physical edition. I literally got a better game for $8 because of racism (Mafia 3), how the fuck is this even a thing? But I guess this is acceptable pricing now because no one is protesting this. No one is thinking something like Hyper Light Drifter costing well over a hundred fucking dollars is absolutely ridiculous, and just like Nex Machina, it’ll be sitting at that same damn price on Amazon for years. No, scratch that. It used to cost $148. Wow, a $20 price difference! I can save a whole nothing with that! See, people believe it’s necessary because these companies “don’t have the money” to print disks like that. LRG’s scheming asses can print 70+ games, but not enough for each individual game, are you shitting me? I’m glad we didn’t have to rely on them for SOR4, I would’ve been screwed out of the best game of last year!

If this ain’t a scheme to push people toward digital purchases via price manipulation (Like the Digital edition of PS5 costing $100 less than the physical edition), I don’t know what is, but LAiX is the perfect example of a scam if I ever knew one. And I know some dipshits are going to be all “well you should be grateful that a physical edition exists at all” and I ask “What is this? A gratitude tax!?” Majority of these indie digital games are below $10, but if you press them on a disk, you never put out enough copies, so there’s this massive fucking price hike. Indie games don’t have replay value like that to be more expensive. It’s like… you gotta get these games when they first come out or something because they’ll be priced out of affordability in just a few years. Especially LRG games.