Sunday, 16 February 2014

No Game New Year- Week 6

Hello everyone!
I apologize for the lack of a post last week, but I got busy and I figured this way my numbering is back on track (week 6 just finished).  It was a particularly exciting week for me, as I just achieved my first platinum trophy! (more on that in a moment).  First, on to this week's temptations.  Lightning Returns would have to be one game that I took a serious look at.  I'm currently knee deep in the Final Fantasy 13 universe, and as this is the sequel to 13-2 (which I just finished), it definitely peaked my interest.  I watched a couple minutes of tehmorag's stream of it, and it looked okay.  There are some pretty major changes to the 13 universe; they completely change the battle system, and I didn't even recognize the names of the places.  Also, the whole "Lightning is Jesus" thing turned me off quite a bit.  In the end I don't mind waiting for this game, especially since by the time I can buy it, there will most likely be a price drop.  Another temptation that is going to spring up is Mario Kart 8 for the WiiU.  I love the Mario Kart games and it's going to hurt to wait for this one, but I just keep telling myself there is a price drop coming if I wait.

I have to say that doing this challenge has made it easier for me to sit down and really complete games.  As I mentioned earlier, I just got my first platinum.  The fact that I can't have any new games really takes the pressure off to hurry up and finish the games so I can move on to the next one.  I also find it interesting which games I'm choosing to play; I tend to play games that I've played before, games I truly like I guess.  I've decided to really buckle down and start 100% the games I choose to play, so I'm being pickier about which ones I choose to sink my time into.  For instance, now that Final Fantasy 13-2 is platinumed, I'm going to start working on getting the platinum in Ni No Kuni (one of my favourite games).  I know this platinum is going to take well over 100 hours (I'm going to start a new game even though I've beaten it once), but I do love this game and I'm looking forward to giving it the time it deserves.

Final Fantasy 13-2
I finally got the platinum this week!  It wasn't that bad time wise, and there were only a couple of trophies/fragments that really made me want to pull my hair out.  (Warning, I'm going to talk about some of the trophies and fragments here, so if you don't want spoilers stop reading).  Personally the most time consuming things to do was completing the bestiary, the casino fragments/trophies and getting the trophy for 100 pre-emptive attacks in a row.  Having said that, even these trophies didn't take more than 4-5 hours.  The hardest fight in the game for me was the paradox scope fight where you only have Serah and a monster against Caius in the void beyond.  The internet really talked up the fight with Cauis where you only have Noel as being the hardest, however my Noel absolutely destroyed him (I didn't even switch paradigms once, just put him on commando and he ripped into him).  Having said that, because I prepared, my Noel had well over 1k strength by then (max crystarium+Odin weapon).  (I am actually still disappointed with how easy this fight was after all the warning about how hard it was going to be).
If you're looking for a game to start platinuming this is a good one, I'm well under 60 hours with it, and once you max out your crystarium, most of the fights become trivial.  I 5 starred most boss fights the first time I did them (paradox scope versions of course).  Another reason this is a good game to platinum is because you can't miss anything, you can always go back and find anything you missed.  I appreciate this as it lets you platinum the game on one playthrough, without worrying about using a guide your first time through the story.  I really prefer to just play the game through once, on my own, no help, then worry about going to guides for the 100%.  I do recommend using internet resources for some of the trophies such as the casino fragments and the bestiary, as they would be very difficult to do without some help from guides.  Also, save your sanity and use this for the clock puzzles, if you don't you'll be there for hours.  I hate the clock puzzles.

Thanks for reading everyone, talk to you next week!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

No Game New Year- Week 5

Hello again everyone!
Welcome to week 5 of no game new year!  This week I had a temptation that I really had to resist.  I was watching Cobaltstreak play it, and man it looks good.  The game is called "Our Darker Purpose" and it's available on steam for $10.04.  I highly recommend it if you're not doing this challenge.  Our Darker Purpose plays a bit like Binding of Isaac but you're a girl in a school where all the teachers have disappeared.  The look of the game is quite dark and it really appealed to me.  Having said that, I added another ten bucks to the "games I didn't buy" pot, and I'm up to $40, not bad for one month.  I haven't been feeling very hot this week, so I didn't get any casting done, therefore no progress was made on UnEpic, however the big news is I finally finished Final Fantasy 13-2!  In the section below I'll talk more on my thoughts on the game.  Overall the challenge continues to go well, I'm really happy I decided to do it, so big thanks to SubstanceTV for thinking of it!

Final Fantasy 13-2
Well I finally finished this game!  Overall it was an okay game, but not a very good final fantasy.  There were a lot of points in the game where I was more annoyed than anything (if you've done the clock puzzles you know what I'm talking about).  I generally avoid walkthroughs like the plague on first playthroughs but there were some fragments I absolutely had to look online for (the game isn't 100% yet).  One thing I found odd was that for a lot of the fragments they don't give you any clue whatsoever as to where they are.  This means you just have to wander around the entire map staring at your screen hoping to see the distortion they make. This annoyed me.  I would rather they gave hints so I at least had an area where I was looking for them.  I said I would try to avoid spoilers on this blog so I won't go into details, but I really didn't like the ending, especially those three little words that appeared.  Shame on you Square.  On the positive side, Noel was a really great character, and I hope to see him again.  I have to admit however, I enjoyed the first 13 a lot more than this one.  The story just seemed unnecessarily convoluted, and although the game was very non linear, I could have used more main story.  Overall I'm really glad I grabbed this game while it was on sale (I think I only paid $15 for it), rather than paying the full $60, I would have been disappointed.

That's all for this week, thanks all for your support!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

No Game New Year- Week 4

Hello again everyone!
Week number four is in the bag and it's been productive!  I'm only going to post about two games as those are the ones I've really made progress on.  I did have some temptation in the form of Valdis Story.  Valdis Story is an action Metroidvania that seems like it would be really great (was recommended to me by Nyskrte), I watched the promo video and it looks good!  I think this is one I'll pick up next year once I can buy games again.  Other than that I've been doing all right, I find myself switching games a lot, and having trouble sticking them out to finish them though, which is something I've always fought with.  The advantage I have this year though is normally when I got sick of a game I would head to steam and buy a new one, not now!  I think this has already saved me about $25, and we're only on week 4!  I also should mention I was gifted Starbound on Steam by ReginaldXIV, thanks a ton! I think I'll get into that once UnEpic is done, hopefully the character wipe is finished by then.  On to the updates!

Pokemon X
It was a really exciting week for me in Pokemon X, mostly because I now have TWO battle ready pokemon.  One which was given to me already bred to 5 IVs, a jellicent, and one which I bred myself, a marowak.  Both are already EV trained and have the items they need, they're ready to roll!  I'm especially proud of myself for the Marowak (whose name is Yumyum), because I was really struggling with breeding, I didn't quite get it, then I heard about the destiny knot, started using it and BAM, breeding gets easier.  I think I'll have a much easier time of breeding now, especially once I can get the natures and abilities I want on the pokemon (which seems to be more random at first).  Really looking forward to getting a whole team built and battle testing them.

I was also casting UnEpic this week.  Boy do I love this game!  It has all the aspects of a game that I'm looking for, humour, platforming, RPG elements, and a great soundtrack (and sounds!).  I also love playing as Kroom!!  It looks like I'm going to get a decent amount of playtime out of this game as well.  I'm only about 5 hours in, but I think the single player campaign is about 20 hours, and after that there is multiplayer (though it's still in beta).  If I have one complaint about the game, it's the targeting system. It often doesn't pick up on things I want to target (like dragon heads >.>), but this is a minor complaint as the system is only used for non straight magic and bow shots.  I highly recommend this game if you're not doing the challenge like I am.

Once again a huge thank you to SubstanceTV for thinking of this challenge and getting the facebook group going!  See you next week everyone!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

No Game New Year- Week 3

Hello again everyone!
Well it's week 3 of the challenge and what a week it has been!  I have dived right back into the world of casting on twitch and had a blast!  The first game I beat on cast this year was Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.  I thought this was a really good choice since I just finished beating its sequel, A Link Between Worlds (LBW).  It was really interesting to observe the differences between the two games, but more on that later.  Since I spent most of my free time casting I didn't make a lot of progress on the other games I was working my way through, so this will be a short update.  Jacklifear was kind enough to donate UnEpic to me, so I was able to start that as well!

Pokemon X
I continued to work on my breeding this week.  Kisuke was kind enough to donate a bunch of 2IV dittos to me, so now breeding is a bit easier.  I can't wait until pokebank comes out though, I have some pokemon from Black and White 2 I really want to bring over. (Truth be told I'm tempted to start working my way through the rest of BW2 so I can bring even more over).  I also did some supertraining with my cubone.  I have to say that overall I think I prefer just battling to EV train my pokemon since I have pokerus available whenever I want (makes it so your pokemon train faster).  Overall a fairly productive week for pokemon!

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
As I said before, I dived back into casting this week, with this game being the one I chose to play first.  It was really interesting playing this having just finished LBW.  I could see how they reused a lot of the mechanics in LBW yet tweaked them to work better.  It's been a really long time since I played through this game and I have to say, its age does show at times.  A lot of the items you needed to progress in the game were never hinted at at all, and if chat hadn't been there I don't know how I would have found them.  (Playing through on my own I may have been willing to wander aimlessly for a while, but I don't like doing that when I'm casting).  I have no idea how I figured out how to beat this game as a kid haha.  Anyway, despite it's flaws, particularly Ganon's Tower, I still really enjoyed playing through this game again, and overall it does age well.

I wanted this game from the moment I saw Zeke play it.  Then Julia and Jacklifear made it ever more awesome by making it so I can play as KROOM!! (A character Zeke made up during his Legend of Grimrock cast).  However, due to the no new game challenge, I couldn't buy it.  Thankfully, Jack took pity on my soul and donated it, so I have now began playing it on cast.  Thus far it has not disappointed!  I am playing as Kroom, key and all!  Huge props to Julia, Jack and Fran (the developer) for making such a great game.  If you aren't doing the no new game challenge I highly recommend buying it, it's only $8.  You will not be disappointed.

Well that's all for this week, here's the link to my games completed spreadsheet if you're interested, and I'll talk to you guys next week!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

No Game New Year- Week 2

Hello again everyone!
Well it's week number 2 of my no game new year, and let me say, this one has been a challenge!  I've been watching Zeke play UnEpic and I want it so bad!  Not only is it a great puzzle/platformer/RPG but you can play as Zeke and KROOM! (for the uninitiated Kroom is a character Zeke made up during his playthrough of Legend of Grimrock).  This has been my first real test, and so far so good, but the temptation has been huge.  I've started giving myself a monetary incentive to help with this challenge as well.  Every time I would have bought a game if I wasn't doing this challenge, I'm putting the money into a separate bank account and seeing how much I have at the end of the year.  I've heard of smokers doing this to help with quitting smoking, and although I'm sure I won't come up with that much cash, I bet I'll come up with a hefty sum.  So far there's $16 in the pot (UnEpic plus Link to the Past on the Virtual Console).  I've also added a category to my spreadsheet for where in each game I am, so you guys have a better idea of my progress.  That being said, here's this weeks game progress!

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
This is the game where I made the most progress this week, mainly because I completed the main story!  This makes LBW my first game completed in 2014, and wow, what a great game to kick it off.  This game had pretty much everything a LoZ fan could want.  If you even kind of liked the original SNES version I highly recommend picking this game up.  I have now started a hero mode playthrough where I hope to pick up a lot of the the things I missed (I can tell from watching other streams/open spaces in inventory).  From the little bit I've played I can already tell this hero mode runthrough is going to be no joke, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Pokemon X
Even though I finished this game last year, I'm still playing it a ton.  I finished flushing out most of my friend safaris and now just have to go and check out the safaris when I get a new friend.  So far still no dittos :(.  I  now spend most of my time breeding.  So far the best Snorlax I've come up with is a 3IV snorlax, with my biggest barrier being a lack of females.  I'm not sure if this is bad luck or if there is just a low ratio of females with Snorlaxes.  In order to keep myself motivated I began breeding Cubone's (or Marowaks) and so far I have a 4IV cubone with the nature and ability I want, so I should have my 5 or 6 IV one done soon and can start EV training. (I also need to get him a thick club but I have the steal ability so I'm hoping it won't be too bad)  I'm so excited to have my first battle ready pokemon!

Final Fantasy 13-2
I didn't get as much done on Final Fantasy as I would have liked, but I'm hoping to spend the majority of this weekend playing it and hope to make significant progress.  Right now I just finished Academia 200 AF, which is the zone you go to after Academia 300 AF (the most annoying zone thus far).  I'm finding the story a little easier to follow this time (I got almost to the end in my first playthrough), which is nice because I remember in my first playthrough I was completely confused about what was going on.  The story is still quite convoluted but I think I at least understand what's going on this time.  I'm also paying more attention to how I evolve my monsters, and they feel much more powerful this time around.  Overall I'm really enjoying my time with this game.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
I started playing this game this week.  Before this, I had only played about 30 minutes. I'm not sure why I kept dropping it but I'm having a really good time.  I haven't had much time to play it this week, and my computer struggles with it a little, but it's still a good time.  My character is a mage/archer hybrid (I believe I picked "monk" as a class).  Whenever possible I pick archer/ranger as a class in video games, but it's nice to have magic as a backup.  I haven't gotten very far at all, I'm just on my way to Weynon Priory (and knowing me I'll get distracted plenty along the way), however I'm not looking to beat this game quickly; I want to explore and just enjoy the world as it is.

Thanks again everyone for your support in this endeavour, talk to you next week!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

No Game New Year- Week 1

Hey Everyone and Happy New Year!

With the new year upon us, resolutions abound!  Many people make resolutions such as losing weight, eating better, or to stop reading the comments, but none of these really appealed to me.  So what did I decide was my resolution this year?  No buying any new games for one year, and I even have a support group for it.  No Game New Year is a group on Facebook started by Substance TV, (it's all his idea, I am but a mere participant) and it is very simple; go the entire year without buying a single new game!  I can still accept gifts and gift cards, but I cannot buy a game for myself.  For more details here's a video from the great SubstanceTV himself.  Since I cannot buy any new games, I must amuse myself with games I already own (which I assure you, are plenty, my steam library alone boasts around 200 games, some of which have never even been installed).  The plan is that every week I will post an update here about what games I'm playing and the progress I've made in each.  I've also created a google doc spreadsheet so I can keep track of what games I actually get done (or maybe even 100%) this year.  This will help keep me motivated as I do so love filling in forms such as this.  Feel free to keep track of my progress using the link above as well!  If you like to join in on the fun by all means join the facebook group.  So without further ado, here are the games I am currently playing and what I am up to in them.  I will try to keep the updates as spoiler free as possible, but I will by neccesity have to mention story locations at the minimum.

Final Fantasy 13-2
I picked up this game last year sometime when it was on sale for PSN+ members.  I got fairly far into it, but then something happened and I dropped it and never got back to it.  As someone who really didn't mind the first Final Fantasy 13, I find this game not quite as appealing story wise thus far, however I find the combat to be improved (I really like the "pokemon" mechanic).  I am not very far in, with Sunleth Waterscape 300AF being the most recent main story area I've finished.  I have however been working on a couple of side areas.  One of the things that is much improved in this game over the first is the fact that it is very non linear, which I enjoy.     

Pokemon X
As you can see by my completion spreadsheet, I technically finished this game a few weeks ago, however Pokemon is one of those games where finishing the main story is just the beginning!  Right now I've been working on breeding a competitive team and flushing out what my friends have in their friend safaris. (Check out my contact info for my 3DS friend code (be sure to send me a message somehow with your code so I can add you), I still have plenty of room for others that play Pokemon, especially if you have a ditto safari).  The main roadblock for me right now is the fact I don't have a friend with a ditto in their safari, which makes breeding difficult.  If I could get my hands on some 2IV dittos I'd be in great shape, otherwise it's going to be a long road.  I have also started working on getting my pokedex completed.  I'm basically going through each region by number and catching the pokemon I missed.  This is the first pokemon game I've played and I am having an absolute blast with it, there's just so much to do!  I have one person to thank for getting me into pokemon and that is RiptidePow.  He casts pokemon everyday, and does a lot of team building and viewer battles, so if you like pokemon you should definitely check him out.

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
I can sum up this game with one word.  Nostalgia.  This LoZ entry takes place in the same world as the SNES game, and so it is very familiar to many of us.  I quite literally got nerd shivers when I heard the overworld theme play, it is so good.  I am really far into this game; I believe I only have one dungeon left, and I have admittedly been stalling on finishing it as I just didn't want the game to end.  I have now found out there is a "hero" mode which lets you replay the game in a harder mode, this will probably allow me to finish the game.  Link Between Worlds (LBW) is a bit different as far as how you obtain Link's tools.  In previous LoZ games you would go through each dungeon in order, obtaining the item needed to finish the puzzles within.  In LBW you buy all necessary items from a shopkeep "Ravio" before heading to your dungeon of choice.  This makes LBW very non linear, as you can do the dungeons in any order you please.  The one catch to Ravio's shop is that for most of the game you are only renting the items, so should you die, you will have to pony up the dough again.  This means that money plays a much larger role in this game than the others, and I even found myself having to farm for rupees a few times.  Overall however, this is a fantastic game, and I will most likely finish it this week.  

That's it for this week, thanks for your support in this endeavour, it's gonna be a toughie!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Why I'm no longer an admin

Hey guys,

Sunday was a very sad day for me, and one that I've honestly seen coming for quite some time.  Today I handed in my admin badge.  First let me start by saying, I became an admin for one reason, and one reason only, to help the community.  I honestly couldn't care less what happens to twitch as a company, I love twitch because of the people that use the service and make up the community.  This was my SOLE reason for accepting the position.  I was hoping that I was going to be able to make a difference, help communicate your wants and needs, and use the position to make positive changes, changes which YOU would want.  I can see this is not going to happen.  

Admins volunteer their time, they are not paid, and frankly, they get nothing for the hours and hours they put in (for some of the more active admins, they put in just as much time if not more as a full time job).  I would have been perfectly fine with this, had I felt that I was able to actually make a difference for you, the community, and sadly, I am not.    

I of course can't go into any details about what finally made me decide to turn in my badge, but suffice it to say that there have been numerous decisions made by twitch, including policies, and changes made in general which I have disagreed with.  I also have disagreed with the direction I feel the company is headed as a whole.  I feel like everyday twitch is more and more a "corporation" in every sense of the word.  I feel they no longer put the customer first, and is quickly falling to all the pitfalls becoming a corporation has.  

As an admin I felt I was also unable to fully voice when I disagreed with the company in that I wasn't able to engage in discussions with you about what and how I disagreed with the decisions.  Although I had access to staff, I almost always felt my comments fell on deaf ears, which was the most frustrating part for me.

I don't want you to think this means I hate twitch, or twitch doesn't deserve your support.  I do still love twitch and am thankful for all the friends I have met through it.  I am also thankful for having the opportunity to be admin while I did.  This is less an emotional parting for me and more a difference of opinion on the priorities of twitch.  Having said that, I have the luxury of not worrying about the bottom line, while twitch doesn't, it has a building full of great employees to feed.

To my fellow admins, I wish you the best of luck, you guys have a shit job and you handle it with a level of professionalism that is unrivaled.  It just got to the point where it just wasn't worth it anymore.  In the end that is the real reason I quit.  It just. wasn't. worth it anymore.  I wasn't able to do what I set out to do, I wasn't able to improve the experience for the community, and like I said, that's why I became an admin. 

To Horror, you and I may have our disagreements, but twitch would be lost without you.  You work 7 days a week, from dawn till dusk (and sometimes beyond).  I have no idea what they're paying you, but it's not enough.

So for now it's back to being regular ol' viewer Chatia, but don't worry, there's still plenty of rooms where I can wield my banhammer ;).
Love you guys,