Newgrounds Judging

One thing that happened in the spectrum of games. Newgrounds actually had me be part of a private panel judging on what games would be deemed the best of the month. I had been playing a lot of games from the website for my own little Youtube channel that deals with free indie games or demos.

(Which you can check out below just by hitting the link here (Youtube)

Playing games to find the good from the bad is difficult but also rewarding because I already have a list of games that should be on places like Xbox or Playstation markets for a couple bucks. I am finding the best values as a pc gamer because despite the venom the term free games can bring there is some mighty good stuff on the market that had gone that path for a little more polish. Some of these games already played and currently being put together in videos. This is about the games for the most part, and while I can be a bit of a goof sometime it is more about the game.

I am finding games that people would not believe you can play for free. Soon I will be incorporating more of the games from different website because a good game is just that, and with so many people mad at so many things in the triple A sector a little look in a different field would be good for some. Many people do not think about such things, but this where a lot of people will get their start and while eventually I would like to do some triple A games that is more of a long term side thing while this is the bread and butter.

I will most likely also try to keep opinion pieces on political or social issues on the channel in its own little series called teatime. Just a basic discussion that I think people will enjoy my points on so I can declare this place to be free of politics once again, and I think that will be a little bit better, because often time there is something so stifling about an article on a subject and, a recording of sound will allow a more free form thought process of understanding in the point and time.

Below is a screen capture of my voting screen and it is was based on originality, execution and fun I had playing them. I tried to make enough time for all of them to get a good fair shake, but the puzzle games caught my fancy more this time. It was well deserved because a good puzzle game can be hard to do sometimes, anyway under this is a picture from my voting. The left is the ballot while the right is the games released this month.

newground

There are so many chance there is some treasure just on this screen, and I can tell you that some of them will be part of videos in the future

Magic The Gathering – Top 5 Blocks

Magic the Gathering is a game that has been around for more then twenty years. If you believe Wikipedia at this point it has just about twenty-three years being a hobby for people. Each set of cards can be broken down between core and expansion sets. Core sets are just that adding to a core of items that can still change depending to the kind of event. Expansion sets are additional sets made that would often communicate a piece of a story including the creation of characters, places, and the events that would give a little more life then what would be in the core set. A few expansions over the span of a year would make a block and that would be the end of the story there for now. The next set of the next block would start another story and we would go on. Each set would have different mechanics introduced and different characters or stories making a different experience from set to set. This can be harder for some players to jump in all of a sudden depending on the sets mechanics, and how they would interact in the overall game.

Here are my five top expansion blocks. These are my opinion because there is not a set of good against evil and I will try to at least explain them in some form or fashion.

Alara – Introducing groups that are three colors the color combinations are set for the most part but still allow a fair amount of choices for players to work on. The story on this one was that the plane of Alara was broken in to five shards with each shard only having access to three forms of mana which would then dictate the evolution of that area. Mana is something that is particular to each kind of basic lands with five kinds of lands representing a color as well as a specific form of it. Three colors are harder things for beginners, but I found the cards entertaining on the prospect that you could go with a two color or three color deck with plenty of possibilities. Single cards could add a lot more choices in to a deck’s play style. This was released from mid 2008 to mid 2009.

Return to Ravnica – This is the second set dealing with Ravnica and it dealt with the evolution in the guilds that started in the previous sets and with that there were a lot of cards that work with the dual color combinations. Each combination of colors is still represented with a group and a play style that was was evolved from the previous Ravnica set adding several mechanics to the cards in addition to the ten from the previous set. Seeing how the groups had evolved over the years from the previous set added another shot to the arm with dual color deck possibilities. Mid 2012 to mid 2013 is when this set was released making it fairly recent addition. The story between the Ravnica revolves around a maze that must make it’s way through the sections of each of the groups, and how each group will try to help their own runner or spoil the efforts of others.

Ravnica – This was the set that gave dual color combinations for each of the ten possible combinations of colors including different play styles, mechanics, and history for each one. While the mythology is not pulled from a different mythology it has a lot of things that make this a fun set to play. Adding to it where creatures with four kinds of mana needed. The nephilim are hard to summon, but with a little skill they can turn a game just with one showing up on your side of the field. This would have to be the best set for just having fun with a group of people simply because with the variety of styles in these sets one can truly make a deck for each guild and each person can play it differently. This came from 2005 to 2006 right after my favorite block.

Theros Block – Built with an eye on the pantheon of gods found in Greek myth it created a structure of gods and mortals dueling to see who will be able to go on with the various champions. Being a fan of mythology made this one get off on the right foot already. The art is some of the best and introducing mechanics like the enchantment creatures as well as the bestow mechanic turning a creature in to a power up first. It was some of the most entertaining drafts while playing in this block. Draft events were ones where you had to make the deck with random packs of cards along with basic lands. This was released mid 2013 to mid 2014.

Kamigawa Block – Comprising of three different sets with a story line of the spirits, and minor gods against the humans that lived on the two portions of the same plane. Many of the cards pull some visual and ideas from the mythology of Japan. Spirits are one of the main creature types on this block, and for many years this was the block that people knew me for. Going so far for some stores to not allow Kamigawa themed decks in events because people are not happy they were losing. All five colors seemed to be balanced enough where you can build a deck that can be competitive no matter how you cut it. Many times if you ran spirits you had all the tools to run an engine of your choice helped by the Bakus, Myojins, Kirins and more. Coming out from late 2004 to mid 2005 some of my best memories were made with cards built from this era. Multiple choices, the ins and outs of a plane at war, and the entire feel of the set makes it my favorite. It is also a set where I think people can learn quicker then the some of the other sets which is also how I came in to magic as more of a full time hobby.

There are close to two dozen different blocks at this time of writing not including the expansion sets released before the block format was introduced. My bottom five would be pretty easy and maybe another day I will write about it, but reallly the sets define the players and my bottom five show that more then the top.

Kaladesh – Problems Incoming?

If you play Magic The Gathering you may be interested in some of the spoiler cards for the newest set coming out. Seeing how some of the cards are written are interesting because it gets you to think how you possibly combo with cards that you have. Considering the past sets dealt with the Eldrazi as well as the sixth land type some believe that it is coming in to a new age. For those people who believe that then this next set can be another level more exciting then normal.

If you are a touch more jaded or realistic then you may feel like it is starting to grasp at straws. Trying to pull award money from the tournament programs shows that there is not a whole lot of love from the backers. Multiple issues with judges have been coming up over the past year from the basic low level judge doing shady stuff to the lawsuit of some of the judges wanting to be classified as employees to the multiple Grand Prix’s that were not equipped for what was to be done.

Looking at the cards coming out form the spoilers makes me grit my teeth because it reminds of me of Mirrodin block. Seeing how it is packed with everything dealing with artifacts makes me just brace for the headache. Artifact cards are not a problem in itself as they are just cards, but in the Mirrodin block you had to run them to some degree. Trying to get the ones you want to use for your deck will seem to be a higher place, but maybe that is just me.

Their are least some things that are interesting. Energy counters are going to have to be explained a little bit better, and hopefully errata shouldn’t be painful. Vehicles are going to be something that multiple creatures can be in so that will have some new rules apply. Here are just some things that made me wonder though.

Kaladesh Inventions versus the regular set is this going to be two different sets. Is this going to be like an ultra portion of a set, or is it going to be another set of cards released side by side.

Energy counters are supposedly another form of energy that is not mana that some cards will use for specific abilities. Energy counters are placed on the player and I’m already going back to how well the snow lands specific mana cards were used. For those who do not know about it my point exactly. Creating something extra that will be harder for some people to understand makes it great for those who are comfortable in the game and will needlessly cause another wall.

One of the other things that is purely opinion is how artifact players tend to be usually some of the snobbier players. In playing off and on for a decade I have had only one experience of an artifact deck player that actually was fun to play against. Everyone else just made as it was pulling teeth trying to play a game with them. I know this is not every player but it has happened enough time I feel it needs to be said.

It’s time for our second of our four Kaladesh pre-releases and have ...

Metal Gear Survive -Dead On Arrival?

So anyone even listening to game news over the past week has heard of what has happened to the Metal Gear series has heard what has happened with the new game announced with trailer Metal Gear Survive. For those who do not know let me give you the short version.

Game company did well for a while. Wanted to make money easier. Decided to put all their Ip’s (intellectual properties) in pachinko machines while showing a lot of venom to the average gamer. Pachinko laws get passed where it may be more scrutinaized and taxed and Konami wants to come back to games like nothing has happened for the sake of a better business model. Now, one way to do that is to really come back after all this and make something people want to see.

From the view of the trailer it is a game with zombies and four player co-op possibility with little flavor from the series beforehand. Which is sad considering the series itself despite its flaws had a fan base that was willing to back a release. It is most likely going to disappoint unless Konami has a major set of aces up their sleeve which it could very well be the point. Take the series somewhere it would not normally go so you can really push it in a new direction, but given the company’s actions it will be something where they will need to prove it before anyone takes their word at face value.

This game could very well be the game that gets them a second chance as a good gaming company, and if it does it would still have work to do. Konami has made enough enemies with their actions against the previous designers and employees, disrespected the fans, and overall turned in to a company where the stereotype of the money grubbing company is closer to people’s views then one with a vision and purpose. Either way I do hope they take the time to make this a good one otherwise the market just begin to turn more toxic to their products. Keeping in mind where they started coming back to gamers, that is not a good thing.

 

Pokemon Fusion :)

I am a video game fan. Big surprise, right but the reason for today is not to talk on something like a project or a moment that angered me. No, this time I found something cool and this is just to kinda show it here. Pokemon was a game that sat as the gatekeeper in my electric purple game boy color. Whenever there was good or bad to be had my game boy was there to burn away the time.

http://pokemon.alexonsager.net/

If you like pokemon then this a nice little thing to play with.

Back when I played though I picked my Bulbasaur and soon after caught myself a Pidgey.

Bulbasaur was my guy and he grew and evolved. My team would continue to grow and change eventually until I got my third mainstay Snorlax and my Haunter. My friend then traded may so it could evolve in to a Gengar.

Rare or legendary Pokemon didn’t really do much for me except for the single one you could catch only after the elite four provided you did not glitch out the game.

 

Some times I would get pokemon because I just liked them. Cubone and Farfetch’d would be ones I would have just so I could have them and back when I was younger I would pretend to be a pokemon trainer.

 

I’m having too much fun with this. Here is the link. May happy trails await you and your pokemon. Work post on the end of the week, toodles.

 

 

Final Fantasy 7: Memories

Final Fantasy 7 may actually be remade. The last time people get this hyped for it was when it was being ported to the ps4 play store only for it to be a near copy of the pc port. If you love this game then you have got to be just as happy, but if you also look around is tempered with the same fear this will be just a quick grab. For many people though there is the chance to bring back some of the passion that made gaming of the past so much fun.

From the playstation era of RPG games this sat on the throne over them all with its popularity, cast of colorful characters, and despite the graphics not aging so well it is a wonderful experience. This was one of those things that you did multiple times in different ways just to see if you could. Sitting down with all the windows open, cold winter breeze blowing in to keep me awake. Hours of calculation to figure out exactly how I could best destroy whatever boss or side quest was giving me a problem. Until a character came in to my party named Cid Highwind.

Why he was so awesome was simply because, a character like him seemed never to show up in that kind of a game. While your white bread emo hero, his two female love triangle partners, a straight man, a buzz kill, a nerd, and a girl who couldn’t be happier with a lifetime supply of Lexapro were normal fare for such games, Cid was not. He had no special powers, and he wasn’t specially trained in all the flavors of murder with a weapon. Highwind was the every man that had a dream and worked over his entire life to make it happen. It also happens that he had a penchant for tea, and swore like the things in game was actually registering. Limit breaks, were attacks that often the character did as their last resort when the meter filled. For some it was a super secret sword technique, ninja magic, or even transformation. In the case of the pilot his ranged from a stick of dynamite, variations of a high jump with a spear, and just railing the enemies for a fair amount of damage. One of his techniques is called big brawl, and that should tell you the kind of guy this is.. Someone who takes anything they can do to help, and really becomes someone that can be a powerhouse. The final limit break often times is the most outlandish of the lot, and that’s the case with all the characters in game. The final limit break of Cid Highwind is just called Highwind.

Highwind – the flying battleship he had created fires missiles at your enemies until all that remains is the smell of gunpowder and whatever unfortunate splatter happened. It was a simple technique from his work that was adapted for a more up front attack. Harking back to his personality and character overall.

The best part for me was that he also had some problems. Not like cookie cutter RPG’s where everyone had a part to act, he also had some personality flaws. Drinking, chain smoking, and hard on his assistant Shera despite caring so much for her. Overall, he was a great character, and if it wasn’t for him I doubt that I would harp on this game even a quarter as much as I do now.

It is the kind of game that turned me from a weekend gamer to a full fledged game lover.

Ultimate Warriors Orochi 3: Destroying Armies With My Uncle

So one thing that I used to love about video games that has seemed to be falling out of favor is that of local co op on a system. Having a friend over on a system and playing together while chatting over whatever is on the minds of the people there. Before some can find out about some of the sports games still supporting local co op let me make a note where I can safely say that I have not touched a sports game in about a decade and a half. If I want to play the sport then I will go out and play the sport.

When me and my uncle play video games normally we want to unwind from all the stupid things going on in the world that we don’t understand completely. My friends and I play not to play sports because all of us have played foot ball and basketball with each other and to quote one of my old friends.

“Why play pretend when you can play for real.”

That is a game that has rinsed the bad memories of RE:6 out of my mouth because it is this thing that actually bringing mirth with a simple beat em up style. In this game you control three of a growing variety of warriors to win the battles of various arenas and battlegrounds by completing objectives and executing tactics.

warriororochi 3

This game may seem simple and if you played some of the earlier ones you will find that outside of the basic game play it could be pretty lean in a couple cases. However with all the offshoots of this family you still run the odds that if you pick up one of the samurai/dynasty warrior games that you will pick up a fun one. Warriors Orochi is the crossover line where you can experience a lot of both sides together with a couple surprises tossed in.

Ultimate Warriors Orochi 3 though has worked up on a lot of things including a few more different game styles. Good graphics for so many different character with a greater interest in more of the relationships, weapons, greater range in weapons. As you go through the game you will unlock more characters that although will not be historically accurate may get people actually thinking who the real world counterparts for most of these are. It’s how I got interested in to such things so someone else would have to work the same way, one would think. Plenty of women, plenty of men and all these people are from a lot of different backgrounds so you can always find a couple character to fill out your team.

When you get to the main game play you pick three characters that you can switch with each with their own musou (special power) You can switch between them easily on the battlefield so if you take some damage with one you can pull them until you find healing items with the other two.

I have two teams I normally work around.

Yoshihiro Shimazu, Hanbei Takenaka, and Guo Huai – Normal Crew

Ieyasu Tokugawa, Shingen Takeda, and Lu Bu Have not been found yet but when they do they will be part of my rotation. Because They are great!!

Anyway if you can find someone to play with; this a great game. Going alone it is still a fun game to pick up and a very deep time sink. One to get for your systems whether it is ps3, ps4( like my uncle’s copy) or the Xbox one.

Resident Evil 6 : Alcohol may be required.

So me and my uncle play video games once every two weeks and he is one who tries to get all the achievements and looks at things often times with the glass half full with a play style that often takes a moment of thought before embarking on a difficult level. Like Abbott and Costello the best pairs are made with differing styles that can be used to make a variety of situations much easier to diffuse or complete with style and bubbly enjoyment.

Having the game come out to someone who enjoyed the series from start turned bad. We started with Leon’s campaign. After a prelude that made little sense we had to jump in as one Leon and Helena. I don’t mind new characters in the series, and despite my experience to playing all of the games I still knew a fair amount about the universe. Helena was not on the list for being different or “new”. Posed as god knows what it seemed to try to have a little bit of everything with little thought to how it all worked together. Someone adding all the spice in the kitchen only to taste a glorified mess. After going through one of the four campaigns and halfway through another here is a view from the foxhole that the game made us lie in.

Positives

Despite it being a game of the triple A market on an Xbox 360 when the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One are the newest iterations it did show a polish to their visual stylings and it looked like it could be a decent survival horror.

It didn’t blow up my uncle’s console.

Negatives

Coming from a list of positives like that you know this section is going to be full but I will just take what I thought were the biggest offenders.

The controls were clunky not int the classic horror sense that would create tension but in the awe inspiring flavor of bad that makes one wonder how after the movement it wasn’t just written by random chance.

Laziness in writing as evidenced by the body of work overall, in the visuals for reusing multiple maps with no change to game content. When trying to make different stories you do not make the same experiences in different storylines for sections of the game. The prologue had been part of Leon’s story and the environments Chris’s story will give you a serious case of de ja vu. It made me feel that this went out the door in a massive rush job. The characters did not make enough sense to by a soda with and overall I wouldn’t be playing it if it wasn’t for the stubborn pride for the two of us. We will beat it.

If you can choose I would suggest not playing it. There are better games on the individual consoles. Better horror does exist almost everywhere then what has been found so far.

Final score: An empty whiskey bottle out of five. You will need it.

Card Game Thoughts 2 – Project Hero

So to start for titles the thoughts are either Dreamers or Dream chasers in either case a card back has been designed I like it it is simple it has some color and your eyes catch it if you see it on a table. This is a basic design though and I will ad more details, unless I feel like it needs an overhaul this will be where the back of card looks like. Many card games have a brown background which I like because other colors showed well the red, yellow, and purple design. I remember red and purple from the face paint of kabuki actors and I thought it really worked well as a combination against each other as long as it wasn’t all red and purple.

DreamChasers back card

Coming to win conditions as it stands now there will be a couple ways to win : decreasing the enemy leader’s hp to 0 or fulfilling a win condition on one of a dozen cards, but they will not be the easiest more working for theme decks and will most likely will be used by more competitive minded people. There are ways around it and even ways to disarm the win condition cards. I tried to make it so that if you like the sneakier method or the straight up battle method there is a couple ways you can do it. In the case that time is up because players lives too then it will be the leader who has lost more hp and not the total which sounds hard to grasp I admit, but it can also be explained like this.

Leader A starts with 5000 hp and Leader B starts with 3500 hp. When time is called A has 3500 left while B has 3000 left since A has lost a total of 1500 versus the opposing Leader only losing 500 then Leader B would be the victor.

Oh Yes and there will be abilities that you can use each leader has one and they cost hp to use. Each one will do something different and will have different amounts of hp to begin with the average is about 5000 while the highest is ten and the lowest is 3500 so it depends on the length of the rounds and your play style to dictate how to proceed. The leaders I tried to really make even so their would be no one above all others and if you use the abilities and never take a hit you are still losing hp so you can defeat yourself that way if you rely on them too much. The field is not yet set as there are couple variations I am still tweaking with I don’t want things to need massive warzones like mtg can sometimes morph to.

All of these things may change depending on ideas or brain waves if I catch any.

Experiences on Youtube 1

Let it be said that if something was easy then everyone would do it. After doing some videos I have had a little bit of views in the small amount of time that I had done. 125 views in the two or three months. Not bad, but after some conversations and a hard look at it I realized some things.

After some communications throughout different branches I need to focus it in a little bit more. I want my channel more about the positive but instead of investing my time showing the good of a game I just did what I thought would be good and hoped it worked. So I did some thinking and figured out how I am going to do this. So I have my journal for youtube stuff and reading over it it seems that my videos do need to be more focused. I can still be about the good in the games industry I just should pick my spots a little bit better and work on building a base first then overall just doing what may be good.

It may be embarrassing for someone to tell you that you are doing something wrong, but when someone does it you can tell if they are just trying to rankle you or just trying to make it so you get depressed. It is hard to do when you love something and you want it to succeed from the very bottom of you but it doesn’t.

Learn from it and keep your focus which sounds so easy on your screen, but is so difficult to pull off in truth. Good luck, in your goals and now I am going to try this again after more research to make my stuff even better.

Oh and here is my youtube channel for games and currently on break to try some different things.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MrBigTAnderson/