I’m Not A Pervert! It’s The Developer’s Fault!

Even though, I have no intention of becoming a game designer or create my own games, I find it quite fascinating to learn about the thought process behind it.  The whole creativity process  is not so different from the way I approach to songwriting, which is something I do as a creative outlet.

Yesterday, my friend visited me and wanted to watch me play games so I picked Virtue’s Last Reward (PS4 version) of all the games because I find this game quite relaxing to play on a lazy evening.  As my friend and I were solving puzzles together, one particular part stood out to me: the pinned photo.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games_20180408085936

In this section,  I understand the importance of creativity in games.  In the Crew Quarters, there are four rooms, which contain four lockers. I have to find all the passwords in order to unlock the lockers.  In one of the rooms, I was given a coin, after entering the right set of numbers to a locker.  The coin is used to scratch off the woman’s clothes which reveal a different set of numbers to a password for a different locker in a different room. At that moment, I was thinking, indeed,  I’m playing a scratch lottery ticket.  As I was so focused on scratching off her clothes, my friend, (who is a prim and proper type of gal) looked at me and accused me of being a pervert.  In my mind, I was just trying to find all clues so we can progress in the game.  Even though, I am not a guy and can never understand what’s so appealing about half naked women, the experience was exciting as I was one step closer to solving the mystery underneath her clothes. To my surprise, the numbers were never underneath her clothes, they were located on her arms and legs!   It was then, I realized a great game is highly creative and has the ability to engage the player against his or her own will on a subconscious level.  I say this because I am not a gambler or a pervert, but I was lured and trapped into the developer’s craft.  And strangely, it put a smile on my face and made me laugh.

After completing this section in Virtue’s Last Reward,  I realized that authenticity is important to creativity, which is the intent to create and capture the audience. In some ways, I think developers should have more control over the medium and listen less to the consumers, but please be mindful.  Honestly, I  don’t think consumers know what they really want. They just want to play a good game.  Lastly, I want to make an argument that a game is a game, a medium to itself.  All the fancy stuff such as the art and music only enhance the overall experience and bring it to life.

P.S

[To my friend if you are reading this] Sorry this was supposed to be a secret between you and me that we found ourselves playing a pervy game, but it was a lot of fun solving the puzzle together.

I Play Dark Souls II: Scholar of The First Sin to Unwind

DARK SOULS™ II: Scholar of the First Sin_20180402221221

I realized not playing Dark Souls games for awhile, I miss it a lot.  I am playing it again and realized that sometimes, music is unnecessary as much I love listening to music.  I can hear my character’s footsteps echoing in the hallway. I like the sound of clashing and clinking of my weapons. I can hear the wind so I think I feel the wind touching my skin. I hear the waves splashing onto shore and that makes me feel so calm. I like to explore the game’s universe. 

Currently, I am at Huntsman’s Copse,  but got sidetracked because I am looking for materials to enhance my dagger. There are two bosses I’m about to face.  I know what to expect because I played the game on PS3. Since I am too cheap for Playstation Plus ( I don’t play online), I have to make sure I am strong enough to handle the boss alone. Maybe summon NPC to distract the boss so I can blast my spell from afar. Get too close, I will use dager and quickly cut it up.  But I don’t know if my plan would work. 

One thing I love about the souls series is its educational gameplay style. If something doesn’t work out, then try something else. My only gripe about this edition is that there are too many enemies, and they make game more difficult on purpose. Strangely though, it feels like a new game because of the placement of items, characters and number of enemies.  I cannot rely on my old guide for reference apparently. 

 

P.S  here is a fat cat for you, just chilling like me. Hehe

DARK SOULS™ II: Scholar of the First Sin_20180331153845

 

 

I Just Can’t Complete These Games

I know I have the symptom of a gaming addict.  I sit at work writing in my notepad, making a list of games to complete. Like a kid in a candy store, I want to eat everything, but realized that not all games are made with the same quality and ingredients. There are some things I like in a game, and some I don’t.

To shorten my post, I will list three games I can’t complete.

 

Game # 1: Yume Nikki

yume nikkiThere is a more recent version that came out on Steam. I tried playing the original but don’t get why people give it a good review.  I  became extremely critical about the art in the game.  It doesn’t appeal to me.  Perhaps, that’s why I don’t enjoy it as much.  

 

Game # 2: Pandora’s Tower

ElenaYes, I like the gameplay, but Elena, I hate to admit her personality is very similar to mine (when I am feeling sane).  The game is so painful to play because unlike her, I have no support. Dad taught me to be independent, and Mom taught me to be a lady.   To see Elena so weak, I want to jump off the cliff for being a burden to Aeron (her lover) on her behalf. The thought of slowly turning into a monster, waiting for my lover to come back and feed me beast flesh so I can return to human form is depressing.  No one likes being caged up ill. Trust me. One day, I may finish it after I get new batteries for the Wii controller.  Now I am curious about the ending.

 

Game # 3: Nioh

niohI feel cheated. Why oh why did I pre-ordered this game? I was so excited on launch day that I rushed to my local game store during lunch break.  The demo fooled me into thinking the game has potential, perhaps it does. The intro to the game sort of turned me off.  I have beaten some bosses, but the game is too commercialized for me to continue.  

So what have I been playing even though I have been complaining the lack of time for games?  I am playing Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin, Virtue’s Last Reward and Drakengard.  Once I upgrade my laptop to gaming, I will indeed, play more pc games, particularly Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition. I don’t care much about the Dark Souls Remastered. Why can’t they release a Demon’s Souls Remastered instead?!

I feel so overwhelmed for having so many choices. That’s what it really is.  Someone please help me decide!

Rambling About Games Aimlessly

I have not mentioned one horror video game on this blog last month. Well, why should I? I play horror video games all year round. Now let me tell you one fact about me: I think horror movies are scarier than horror games. Why?  When I am playing video games generally, I am fixated on winning.  You give me a shotgun–I blast those monsters away. You make me run and hide like in Clower Tower series–I giggle. But horror movies take that control away from me, so I have no choice but to cover my eyes.  Now I am thinking, it might be an interesting concept to develop a game about shutting your eyes as your weapon of defense and relying on sound to survive in the game. I think Siren is sort of like that.  Anyway, so that is why I don’t watch horror movies.  I can’t remember the last time I watched one. It might be about 7 years ago.  I haven’t had any nightmares ever since, and I like it to remain that way.

But this post is not about horror video games. Today, I’m just rambling about games aimlessly because that is what’s on my mind at the moment.  I know that I don’t write anything negatively or say anything negatively on this blog. So you might think that I just play anything and be satisfied. That’s not true. Behind the screen, I want to poke my eyeballs out when I play a crappy game, but I refrain.  Okay, I am just exaggerating!  But seriously,  I try to remain open minded. Some games may not appeal to me aesthetically but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. After all, what you like is a reflection of your heart.

Lately, I  have been playing 999 (PS4 version). This game too, was actually recommended by my brother.  So far, I enjoy the soundtrack very much and the story is quite interesting.  I have two more endings to go.  Brother told me that this game was on par with Nier Gestalt during the year 2009-2010.  I can see why.  It is well executed.

999_cover.png
DS Coverart version from Wiki

Once I am done with the game entirely, my next game is Drakengard.  Hopefully by the time I finish the game, I won’t go crazy. I was warned that the gameplay is terrible. But that is okay, I am more interested in the thought process behind the game design rather than playing for achievements as of late. It’s more enjoyable.

P.S

I stumbled on Miyazaki picture browsing Twitter. As you know I am a fan of Dark Souls. I find this picture side by side summarizing my whole experience with Dark Souls–it’s inviting but brutal.

cute

 

My Notes on Nier Automata

I highly recommend playing the game before reading this post.  I will not elaborate the storyline into details.  My intention is to share my summary of the game which may differ from yours.

For those who followed this blog from the beginning probably knew that I was anticipating for Nier Automata (2017) ever since its announcement.  In fact, I was very hungry to play another game like Nier (2010)  and was hoping Drakengard III (2013) would be just as good. To my disappointment, I  didn’t enjoy it as much mainly because of the frustrating gaming mechanics ( I didn’t enjoy flying the dragon).  And yet I stuck with it because of the storyline and it’s humorous dialogue.  I have not reached the ultimate, final boss yet which I heard was difficult.

Zero_(Drakengard)I had to stop the game because I couldn’t understand  Zero’s (the protagonist) cruel intention to kill all her sisters. The character was hard for me to relate.  I was definitely playing a killer.  But after I watched Yoko Taro’s interview Philosophy of Violence, I learned to appreciate his approach in storytelling and the concept behind it.  I realized Zero’s behavior is natural, but primitive.  Instinctively we want to remove whatever is in our path.  Defeating our obstacles give us a sense of control and remove all of our competitions.  However, if we killed everyone in our way, we would end up dying alone and the aftermath would be Nier Automata.

I came to conclusion because I had to grasp my head around this killing frenzy around Yoko Taro’s games,  so I categorize his three games that I played into the following:

  • Drakengard III- killing to be the only one
  • Nier Gestalt- killing is justified as long as you think it is right
  • Nier Automata- killing loneliness

*One important thing to note, this is just my notes for the time being.  I really would like to complete the Drakengard series *

Onward to the main topic,  so when I started Nier Automata, I already knew it was about killing.  The game started off strong, which reminded me of Xenoblade Chronicles’ introduction where the characters are thrown into battle against the machines.   Once I arrived to a safe place (a city reclaimed by Mother Nature), I sensed that I was entering a world where a great civilization (mankind in general) once stood, but mysteriously drove itself to extinction.

NieR:Automata_20170310182757

All we have left are machines and androids fighting one another.  In some ways, the game has a particular viewpoint about existence, which is hard not to notice if you do the side quests. It clearly points out that all lifeforms don’t want to fight all the time– they just want to co-exist. What meaning is there to killing? Why?

covera

The real motive behind all the killing is more than just impaired thinking– it’s loneliness.   In the end, no one stands. But the tragedy is not the cycle of destruction, it’s actually the inability to view the world harmoniously, which is probably why 2B and 9S wear blindfold. They exist to take orders without comprehending their actions.

I won’t go any further into details about the game’s concept because I am beginning to develop my own theory, which is probably not what the game intended.  I do just want to mention  my overall experience with the game is good, but it is not one of my favorites. I like the first installment more partly because of nostalgia. The game did however, made me want to play Ikaruga, which has been sitting in my backlog of games to play.

Lastly, my final thought in regards to Nier Automata,  I’m starting to understand that it’s difficult to introduce big ideas and incorporate gameplay due to unforeseen limitation (e.g, technical, budget, translation etc.).  So I really do appreciate when game developers attempt to give meaning to their creation.

Well that is it for now. Thanks for reading guys. Until next time, take care!

P.S

Think I will play Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon next to clear my backlog before I jump into a new game.  My backlog began to grow back in 2010-2011 when I started playing co-op/multiplayer games. It is time to seriously tackle the single-player games list!

 

Midnight Thoughts on Random Games

Awhile ago, I got my copy of Nioh,  but I had to drop it for Nier Automata. I will play the game toward the end of this year because it’s going to take me awhile to complete Nier Automata. I’m only on my second playthrough, and I’m attempting to complete all quests and collect all weapons.  But I really don’t know if I am going to 100 percent complete the game like I did with the first installment.  I do have some things to say about the game once I complete the game entirely ( I’m assuming there are multiple endings), I will surely share my thoughts here.

Recently,  I purchased Root Letter and Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters because they were on sale and have mediocre reviews.  Some of the games I enjoyed in the past don’t always get good reviews, so I have always been skeptical with professional video game reviewers whether a game is good or not.

These two games are melancholic.  Both are visual novel games, which is something I prefer lately.  Actually, I just like melancholic games if you haven’t noticed.   Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters was actually recommended to me because I am interested in the supernatural world.  Root Letter is a suspenseful adventure game. You play from a guy’s perspective, investigating the mysterious disappearance of a high school pen pal.   Actually,  the story is very interesting so far.

I’Il post a link to the  game trailers in case you guys are interested:

Root Letter

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters

So currently, I am switching between games–Nier Automata and Root Letter, depending on my mood.   I will write an analysis of these games in the near future.  Since these are the two games that I am enjoying very much and have a lot to say. I don’t do formal reviews because the truth is,  I keep this blog for fun as a way not to talk to myself.  So I really do appreciate those who stop by to read this post. Take care now.

Trying Not to be a Game-a-holic

I did some spring cleaning inside my head after the doctor advised me to sleep my full eight hours, so my immune system can work properly.  Currently, my health is not in the best condition because of stressful changes in my life that I had to get accustom to in the last few years.  Health comes first. If I’m ill and fatigue, I can’t enjoy games properly.  Last year, I think I only finished three games and that was considered a lot to me, since I was struggling to juggle with personal and work life.

Life surely does come first and games have always meant to be enjoyed.  I’m not going to lie and pretend my life is perfect, my gaming addiction became intense for awhile because I was once in a bad situation.  But now that things are becoming relatively normal, I had to take a step back and re-evaluate this hobby.  Do I feel happy? Am I realistic with how I spend my free time? If I’m not happy, then what is the point in torturing myself with games simply because it feels like a chore?  Most of the games I enjoyed in the past, had a high learning curve.  And that was consuming a lot of my time and energy.  I considered myself a decent player but not great.

So lately, the game have been playing currently, Nier Automata, brought this to my attention:

Whether or not you enjoy something simply depends on your own heart.

NieR:Automata_20170318093845

The statement is very true. Lately, I prefer casual games with light puzzles for health reason.  I remember when I was younger, I played games twice: 1)for the story and 2) for the gameplay.  With anything, I realized I can’t just jump into something  and expect to be good at it.  Gradually I will become good.   I don’t know why I was so hard on myself in the past. I can’t enjoy games if I have this mindset: ” I must become good!” It’s a villain-like attitude similar to one of the bosses in Nier Automata, when it said, “Must become more beautiful. ” There is no difference really.  I think I exhausted myself mentally.  I had to remind myself, the most important thing is not to forget that games are meant to be enjoyed.  Gaming, after all, is just practicing our muscle memory and strategic ability for the most part.  Sometimes we just need to set a time to cool off so that we don’t get burnt out from gaming.

I am beginning to enjoy games a bit more now because I had to be realistic with myself.    It might take me a couple of months to complete this game since I have no intention to play it every day.  If I truly like this game, I probably will 100 percent it naturally without feeling forced. In the meantime, I am taking pictures and just trying to take it easy.

Thank you for reading, and take care folks!