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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “Humour

On Kickstarter: Offensive Adult Party Game

In many ways more than one, the name of the game sort of tells you everything you think you need to know about it. This game is Offensive Adult Party Game, which is a mock of all of those offensive adult party games you’ve seen. You know the ones – They even took the image of one. Now, there’s not a massive amount to say about this campaign, but all you need to know is that it’s already earned enough to be funded, so there’s something. If you’re a fan of parody-esque Kickstarter products, then read on.

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Video Game Review – Zenith

From Infinigon, an action RPG that follows the story of a reluctant wizard dragged out of the bottle he’s crawled into, and thrust into an adventure he’s not all that interested in. I had no idea this game existed, and was pleasantly surprised when it dropped into my lap. It’s been a while since I played a game knowing nothing about it, so it was refreshing to go blindly into something new.

Now, I will say that since getting Zenith I haven’t played much more than a couple of hours for reasons I’ll get to shortly; suffice to say that this is very much a “first impressions” review, but I made sure to get a big impression in the mean time.

NSFW Warning because of the rude words Zenith uses. That language is acceptable behind the wheel of a car, but not in the workplace, or around young people and the permanently offended.

Story

We begin with our reluctant hero, Argus Windell, already in deep trouble at the hands of his captors, a band of elves that we can easily label “The bad guys” because… well they’re threatening the hero, nice and easy right? Actually this looks to be a straight forward wartime situation where honestly neither side is right, they just have different opinions on what belongs to whom and how it should be dealt with, all swiftly and effortlessly delivered with a minimum of dialogue and no painfully expositional lines. This opening scene also delivers a lot of information about the nature of our main character Argus, who has a very classic “begrudging but snarky hero” thing going very well for him, comes across as well informed and fairly important.

Then in come the giant, arctic, tenor singing spiders to comically spare his life, followed by a chase to grab his stuff from the fleeing elves who have mercifully scattered into easily defeated groups in their flight. You follow a path laid out for rich people to fill their adventure fantasies complete with conveniently dispersed chests and potions for which Argus has a snide remark, and the first joke that made me laugh in the game (a sorcerer who never hired guards for his tower, he just left bottles of red-coloured poison lying around) after only a few minutes gameplay. Score one for Infinigon.

Shortly after this point I’m thrown a bit of a curveball. After Argus is helped out by his friends there’s the sudden appearance of a spaceship, a jarring blast of sci-fi injected into what I’d taken as plain fantasy, but after a fairly short space of time the sides start to drift together, and just like that I’m impressed. I don’t often see games where civilisations have the presence of mind to use magic to do sensible things. Fireballs, strange and terrible artifacts, sure, but let’s talk transport here!

In short a lot of story is injected into not a lot of time, and done so very well. This section could get longer, but there’s more to discuss…

Style

Visually the game suffers a little from an obviously low budget, but delivers at the very least a comfortable viewing experience with a few interesting little quirks that stand out, and played with all graphics set to full it’s more than enjoyable, with crisper and cleaner without overwhelming the senses in bright lights and pointless details. Once the magical technology fusion becomes more organic to the situation the characters start to look more fitting, shifting from overly colourful and out of place to a kind of understated magic-punk, stylish but not overbaked.

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Textboxes can only be advanced by means of the spacebar, fairly high on the list of things you’d think to try, but there is no other option. Still, only a minor nuisance, but there are a few instances of text floating above character heads during cutscenes in which the text is hard to read because it lacks a harder outline, and the colours aren’t distinct enough to clearly make out the words. At least these aren’t the moments when important details are revealed, more often than not it’s during these moments when you aren’t entirely focused on the dialogue.

Gameplay

Here’s where I have a few gripes.

I’m in no doubt that this game would have played much better with a controller, I was running on mouse and keyboard. The controls were well mapped and thought out, (unlike a few blockbusters I could mention) and despite the fact that they couldn’t be adjusted, I found there wasn’t really a need. Where the issues came for me were with facing my character in the right direction. Two noticeable instances in which this was an issue:

Enemy corpses fade fast in Zenith. More often than not I’d find myself finishing a fight having lost half of my spoils already, which became less of an issue if I could easily spam to collect mid-combat, but that’s not so easy to do. Now this wouldn’t be so irritating, but post-fight I’d often find myself amidst the bodies unable to pick them clean fast enough because I have to spin myself around to face the bodies that still have something to grab, and when they’re merged together, and every time I turn I also run a few feet, suddenly the corpse I wanted is behind me, and again, and aga- oh now it’s gone.

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Second was a puzzle. Now I loved the puzzle, definitely stealing that for my regular Dungeons & Dragons game (strictly not for profit of course) but the objects that I needed to interact with in a specific order were fairly densely packed together given that I was having trouble getting Argus to point in the right direction.

That said, once you’ve acclimatised a little to the pace and motion of the game combat itself flows fairly nicely, and you’re quickly given a few nice little tactical options; interesting melee weapons, a ranged spell, a conjured shield, and a massive shockwave spell to cover your back when you’re surrounded. Potions have a recharge time to prevent spamming (and overdose of course) which is a little long. You may find yourself needing more than one in a fight and unable to drink fast enough, made worse by the fact that health doesn’t replenish naturally. All of which brings me to my final point.

Why I Stopped Playing…

Your first boss is fairly early in the game, before you’ve even gained your first level and started to really see what Argus is capable of achieving. The demon Deuueagh has moderate health which should make for a quick fight, jumps backwards and forwards from the combat area, leaving you with a smattering of easily defeated skeletons to keep you occupied. Sounds good on paper, but there are some pretty tremendous problems I found with it.

prologue_01-1

If you like your RPGs hardcore with a punishing difficulty curve I commend you, sadly that’s not me, and Zenith could do with a variable difficulty for the likes of people who enjoy games despite being really bad at them (me). It wouldn’t even require any alterations in the level designs, shortened waits for potions would be a good start because this boss hits hard, and is fast enough to hit you constantly no matter how much you run or block.

Worst of all, with only one save point prior to the fight, there’s a nice little cutscene for you to watch over and over and over again following disappointment after disappointment. Come on Infinigon, that’s game design basics, at least make it easier to skip past.

… For A Short While

I have a new computer!

Aside from being overjoyed and looking forward to doing a lot more game reviews in the near future, it made the game run a lot smoother, look quite a bit nicer, and more importantly I surpassed Deuueagh to find the first major plot point and break into what one might call “the game proper”.

And that’s the thing, for all the issues I faced early in the game I found I really wanted to surpass them and break into the real meat of what Zenith had to offer me. Now that first awkward hurdle is behind me I’m enjoying it more and more, and while it’s still a game hampered by design flaws, it’s still fun, compelling, and ultimately achieves what it sets out to achieve; a humorous ARPG filled with parody, sarcasm, action, and elves in barrels being thrown over mountains. Well one, but that’s more than I expected.

Get Zenith. It’s worth it at £10.99, and I think Infinigon as a studio has a lot more to offer in the future.


UnEpic – Review

Unepic Title

Available on Linux, Windows and OSX via Steam and HumbleBundle £9.99 and GOG $9.99 (USD)

Overview

You play Daniel, general geek and nerd who while playing a DnD game with his friends goes to the loo and somehow finds himself in an alternate universe actually taking part in a real RPG. His body is possessed by a shadow demon who is unable to take control of Daniel and becomes trapped inside his body.

Intro cartoon

Intro cartoon

The Game

I picked up UnEpic during a sale for $1.99 USD (who buys things full price anyway) as I was curious as to what it was like. When you start the game you get to choose what sort of experience you would like, either with or without swear words. Now I’m not against swearing in games, but I appreciate the option to not have them. I decided to opt for it for my play through, but actually I quickly regretted it. Not because the swear words offended me, but they feel forced and felt as if they merely were implemented to add to the “humour”. I use the word humour in quotations for a very specific reason; I am sure that the dialogue between Daniel and his new shadow co-traveller is funny, if your 14 years old, but for me they really added nothing to the game at all. I’m not against toilet humour (and there seems to be a lot of it here), but toilet humour only works given the right circumstance. Conkers Bad Fur Day is a game that was full of toilet humour but also quite enjoyable at the same time.

The save point

The save point

The game itself is a cross between an RPG and a jump and run, where Daniel runs through the castle that he has found himself in. Your main goal is to survive each room killing any enemies, surviving traps and lighting torches in order to fulfil the various quests that you find along the way. Whilst doing so you gain experience points for killing enemies and lighting all the torches in the room. In some rooms, you will find chests with loot in and even some side quests that can distract you along the way. With every major level, you gain six points that can help you customise what specialities Daniel has. Putting some points into a ranged attack is generally a good idea, as I found that later on there are some enemies you can only reach with spells or arrows. There is no point here in being a full on tank and the rogue backstabbing ability is a welcome addition but did not really change your play style that much. To enable you to move around the castle a bit faster you can open up shortcut gateways that take you to a central room. These are really useful for getting to and from a save point which to begin with there is only one until you solve some of the quests to open up more. The game does autosave, but there is no indication of when you pass one of these checkpoints which I found quite irritating.

Castle lighting

Lighting the torches

Once you open up a bit more of the map you get a boss battle, which was fun, but is too few and far between from my experience. You spend a lot more time running around the castle trying to find the relevant items needed to complete the next mini-quest so that you can get on with the main quest. If you’re going to play UnEpic I have one major piece of advice for you, make good use of the note making function on the map, there were a few times where I had finished one of the quests but I could not remember for the life of me where I got it from, so spent the next hour or so re-visiting most of the rooms I had gone to in order to find where I cash it in. The game does allow you to keep track of what is left to find in the quest and whilst I don’t expect it to tell me where to get the pieces to the puzzle, I did expect it to guide me back to the quest source. UnEpic does have multiplayer capabilities all hooked up through Steam, which I have not been able to test out.I had a conversation with Timlah to see if he thought it might be a fun to do a video series of it. He had tried it before and thought it to be “dull” which I was disappointed to hear but something in me still wants to test it out a little.

Inventory

Inventory

Roundup

Visually the game looks okay being sprite based is good for this sort of game but it does nothing really special or endearing to make it stand out. The audio is quite nice, footsteps have a hearty echo at first but could do with changing based upon the environment. This is going to be one of those games I have got so far and I find myself having no real desire to go any further. I’m sure there is more hilarity to be had between Daniel and his companion but it would help if I found any of it actually funny. If I had finished it then I would certainly not bother with a second play through. So I’m afraid it will most likely sit on my Steam shelf gathering dust. It was certainly worth what I paid for it in the sale and I would happily pay a bit more but not much more.

Let us know if you have played UnEpic and what you thought of it. Did you manage to play the multiplayer? Do you think Timlah is right? Tell us what you think in the comments section or via Reddit, FaceBook or Twitter


What’s Funny?

Comedy is amongst those commonly agreed “markers of high intelligence” as the ability to not only understand but also create humorous content is a highly complex thing that requires a deeper insight into the world around us and to demonstrate it from a new and often exaggerated perspective. It’s also one of the hardest things to do well. Comedy is a heartbreaking thing to try and make a living at, even if you’re considered funny, a lifetime of trawling through pubs and clubs getting booed off stage, or more likely these days getting booed of YouTube, or worse, ignored.

For those few who succeed it’s a life of bringing happiness to others, often at your own expense. The best comedians are often highly educated, cunning observers of life, the world and humanity, and masters of the written and spoken word, but comedy has many shapes. It’s something worthy of far greater study, but for now let’s get just a little geeky on the subject. (more…)


Anime Review – Danchigai

Somewhat perverted visuals with an incestuous theme and an all together very wacky cast; that is one way to describe Danchigai. But yet, nothing really bad happens on screen, much like many of these anime series that we review. It’s all innocent, all playful and all in the name of fun. Read on to find out my thoughts on these (albeit short) episodes of Danchigai.

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The Railway

So, today, I was stuck on a train for work. That’s not a problem – The problem is it appears that Great Britain hasn’t caught up with modern times and modern methods of transportation. This post is a naive rant, discussing aspects of the railway including breakdowns being handled in a more modern way. But first, some background:

The railway system in Britain is the oldest in the world. When it was built, it was done so as a collaboration between many different privately owned railways.

The first public train ride was done in 1812, Sure, we’ve come some way since then, but today to me was a catastrophic failure on the part of the railway.

Now, I do apologise to anyone who reads this blog and finds it, perhaps upsetting, that I’m giving a rant post and not my usual, so I thought, instead of just simply ranting, I’d show different railway systems around the world. I’d also make suggestions, of which I know A) Can’t be taken seriously and B) Can’t be taken seriously. But, hey, if I could have it my way, here’s how I’d have my railway:

1) Multiple tracks.

This seems like an odd one, as it kind of exists, but it also doesn’t. I understand due to the layout and due to cost, this would be pretty unviable, however could there not be a way to move a train, perhaps not quickly, but safely over to a “second track”? The likelihood of 2 trains being stuck side by side this way would be ridiculously low.

“But wait!” I hear you say, “How can they?” Honestly: They can’t. Please, observe the below:

I hope the problem makes sense.

With the way the systems are set up currently, you have one train going each way. It’s logical, but if something happens on your side of the rails, uh oh! You’d better hope they clear it up!

2) Railway maintenance crew

Yes, it exists, but hear me out here. We have police patrolling the roads, why can’t we have a team of people ready to move things on and off the tracks and assist people? They can’t be everywhere, sure, that’d be ridiculous. Yes, there’ll still be delays, but why can’t there be patrols? Heck, why can’t we have cameras – Which feeds back to the nearest city where patrols can quickly come along to assist?

In the case of my problem today, the problem was at a station. A broken down freight train. Yes, that was the problem – A broken down freight train at a station. How can we be so ill-equipped to deal with something like that? Could a freight train not be taken off by a crew of men? Instead of assessing a situation, clear the situation and work to fix it before letting it continue.

3) Give us a more modern railway system.

DISCLAIMER: This section is not befitting the writers usual standards.

In one internet acronym: ROTFLMFAO. Next.

So, with this being said, what else is out there?

I mean, we can’t be that far behind in the world of travel, can we? I mean with our bus system, we don’t have much. We have a typical bus, which sticks to set routes, which you need physical cash for. One time, when I visited Amsterdam, they had the ability to pay for your bus with your credit/debit card. On the bus. This prevents the need for you to get change before getting to the bus and trust me when I say this: The amount of times I’ve been delayed by people having to plead people with (I.E) “I don’t have the change required, can I bother you for 30p”.

But surely, our rail system can’t be that far behind, can it?

I’m going to leave you with some food for thought, rather than bore you about all of the different railway systems in the world.

In Britain, we have had major incidents, most of which were because trains ran through red lights, or cracks on the railway. This, in itself, explains the dire need for keeping our railways safe. This is far fetched (or is it) but can’t we have some sort of sensors/scanners to allow us to identify when these rails are cracking? Can’t we have it so trains are stopped within reasonable time? With the electric rails, can’t we get something like that in place?

When countries like Japan have the Shinkansen, why can’t we have something more modern? If we can, how much longer will it be? Because, I think in Britain, we need to wake up and follow the rest of the world.

So long as Doomtrain doesn’t get involved.

What happened to me?

So in the end, I had to accept my fate. I had to wait on that train, then get sent back to where I had just come from… And then get on a different train, wait some more then finally get home. At 9pm. Wow!

Let’s say this, I had set home and my first part of my journey was done by 4:30pm. My train was due at 5:12pm. I didn’t get home until 9pm which was 2 hours later than intended. Wow!

Is it just me that thinks, in this day and age, with all the research in the world and all the technology available… Things should be better? The world is always going to be imperfect, but an active approach is better than inactively sitting and moaning. My above “proposed solutions” might be unviable or downright impossible, but it’s sometimes nicer to read it back.

I’m not angry at the railway service. Perhaps the customer service received wasn’t the best in the world, however considering the circumstances, they got on with what they had to get on with. Unfortunately, most of that was “Sit back and wait.” I was glad I had my 3DS with me, as I was able to get 3 Pokemon that I was going to get, in time for a mini-series I am going to work on. Which will be videos! What am I doing that for?!

This is why – but what does that even mean?

Do you know of any really cool methods of transportation that might beat the British railway? Any Brits who may read this will possibly chuckle at some of my naive ramblings and my really silly “ideas” (More like dreams in some cases)… But do you also feel some frustration? We humans are so far advanced… And yet, when it comes to something as basic as transportation, clearly, our culture has had the last laugh.

As always, share some experiences with me! I’d love to hear from you all! Some of you might be able to tell… I was tired (Very tired) when I wrote this. Why did I write it? Because I love to share my experiences in the hopes you’ll do so back. Even if I am tired.

Did I ever mention I’m tired?

Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo

Bobo what?

This series is a mouthful to say, along with an eyeful to watch. Not that this is a bad thing.

Having the plug pulled in Japan for being too weird (Please, someone confirm this for me!) after 70+ episodes, you have to ask, how weird is too weird and how viewable is it? Allow me to introduce Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo and how I, actually enjoyed it.

Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo is just all out weird. I usually explain this series by saying “Within the first ten episodes, you see a guy who has the best blonde afro ever fight with nose hair attacks, he asks one of his faithful sidekicks in a slightly later episode to carry him on a big ol’ platter as he wants to know what it feels like to be a burger… You see the intro is full of things such as a man made of jelly and a man with a whipped strawberry ice-cream head (Or “pink poo” as some people tell me his head looks like)… You know you’re in for a long night when describing this anime. This is exactly why I want to describe this to you all. I love a challenge and to open minds to something new.

Story!?

Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo is primarily an anime with a very simple back story: Tsar Baldy Bald the Fourth wants to take everyone’s hair. Rebels, including Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo, is fighting for hair everywhere. That’s the most basic premise of this story available. There’s a lot more to it, but basically the story is easily forgotten from time to time.

There’s a narrator (who is definitely my number 3 in the series for his rather silly comments) who can remind you exactly what’s supposed to be going on. With “fusion” characters, vehicles, ridiculous journeys across even more ridiculous lands, this is a show and story not for a serious view. I blasted my way through this series, just so I could see how it ends. With this being said: There are moments where I lost interest momentarily.

The story follows and continues nicely each and every episode, but sometimes the episodes feel like they side-track so heavily, that when it remembers “Oh, right, the  main story”, it is hard to remember how the story got side-tracked to begin with! Thankfully, a memorable cast of characters makes up for this.

Art

This is a hard one to deal with in Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo, as the art isn’t extraordinary.

Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo

The cast of Bobobo in a typical day.

With this being said, there’s nothing wrong with the art either. It’s nice, but nothing that will make you go “Wow”. Well animated, well drawn but the best feature of the art of this show to me is the exceptional character designs which shines through. Every characters personality shines through with their design and facial expressions. That’s what makes the art of this series so good.

General Jelly Jiggler

Oh Jelly Jiggler, don’t be so surprised!

Music

As with nearly all anime, great opening theme, but other than that, most music was forgettable I’m afraid to say.

But that opening sums up the anime very nicely. This is a fast paced, wacky, zany show. I’m all for it.

Overall then?

This is a fun show, albeit very childish in humour. I love the idea, be it true or myth, that the next season (Which would have been inevitable with the way the last episode finishes) was scrapped as it was “too weird”. If this is not true, please correct me in the comments below, but darn, what a story that’d be!

This series gets 4/5 from me.

This isn’t comedy gold. This is pure silly slapstick and if you don’t like it, you’ll know very quickly. This series is great fun, but only if you allow it to be a fun series. Be forewarned readers, if you venture into this, this is anime Marmite. I know people love it because of how stupid and over the top it is. I also know people who hate it for that exact same reason. The characters are endearing, however. The only character I wasn’t a big fan of, was OVER… But his alter ego, Torpedo-Girl, is sure to… Hit the mark. Oh gosh, she’s going to get me for that one.

 

Torpedo-Girl, she's a torpedo.

You’re cool though, Torpedo-Girl. Please don’t hit me, I’ll try not to make any more jokes around you.