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It's Another Gaming Bloggg

Welcome!

My name is Zach. I play too many videogames. I like to collect and review games for fun.

I'm a disabled gamer. It will come up in some of my reviews.

I miss web 1.0 so I started this blog.

Latest Reviews

Switch

SHE'S BACK I LOVE HER SO MUCH

Great game. Fun gameplay. Amazing visuals. Great music. I've been listening to Tomorrow is Mine and Moon River on loop ever since.

Bayonetta haarrrrd

I had to switch it to easy mode. The game was barely a challenge at that point. Unfortunately there's a huge leap in difficulty between easy and normal. I would not have been able to beat the game on normal.

There's also an item you can equip that basically completes combos for you. I had that switched on the whole game. Didn't really make a difference beyond changing which attack was happening. Made for a better visual experience rather than me doing the same two combos over and over.

Story is fun. I really liked Balder this time around. Rosa was also really cool.

But alSO GRACE AND GLORY MADE AN APPEARANCE. I froze up when i saw them the first time. I was shook. I was soo scared. Fuck G&G. They suck.

PlayStation 2

I did not understand Vincent's appeal before now but holy hell they made him so pretty. The high collar, the infinite belt buckles, the broody attitude, THE CAPE FLOURISH- Vincent is the most character of all time. Hes like a deviantart OC i would have made when i was 13.

Shoehorned into this game is a 3d platforming stealth segment with a cartoon cat. Which is immediately followed up by a scene where a crate full of screaming people is dropped into a vat of sentient goo. amazin

Counteroffensive is the best song its so jazzy

The lady villain is fuckin great. Shes got a Russian accent for no other reason than "make hot lady even hotter" is my guess.

Also Yuffie is here. :/

That aside, this game sucks. Dont play it.

Okay, I have to come back and talk more about this game. I'm particularly fascinated by the enemy AI. The behaviour of the enemies have little to no sophistication.

“Zach, what the fuck does that mean?”

Listen, Halo: CE had some incredible AI behaviour, and it came out five years prior to Dirge of Cerberus. Enemies in Halo are able to duck and cover, roll, sidestep, taunt players, charge, run away, and a variety of other actions. These also vary between species, and a major component of changing the difficulty level also changes what behaviours the enemies are allowed or not allowed to do. Even their aim and ammunition management changes with difficulty. I think it’s fair to say Halo: CE was ahead of its time.

DoC enemies... are worse than some early 90s shooters.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret; Most shooters have enemies deliberately miss their first couple shots. This gives players a chance to identify their targets and shoot back before they take damage. In a good game, this behaviour resets if the enemy loses their line of sight on the player or is no longer agro.

All enemies if DoC regardless of class have the exact same behaviour. Enemies will agro, miss their first few shots, then have laser guided aim that does not reset. Most enemy classes will pursue the player until they are back in their line of sight and continue shooting with perfect aim. Enemies on catwalks or towers will be stationary and will alternate between standing and crouching. THATS IT. Thats ALL their behaviour.

Enemies do not de-agro and return to an idle state, they always know where the player is. I’ve been caught in hate loops because a fukin rocket launcher dude hits me with insane precision and knocks me down from rounding a corner.

I’m not really all that mad because I’m genuinely impressed with this level of incompetency. I had a lot of fun marvelling at how shit of a shooter this is.

Nintendo DS

Good game.

Suffers a little from overlong cutscenes and the game seems to know this. Lots if instances where a save prompt happens before and after cutscenes lol.

Alright plot. Great partner. Like other pmd entries, the emotional core of the game centres on the partner, and I liked this one. This partner had a little more depth compared to red/blue, and wasnt annoying or overly childlike like in super mystery dungeon.

I love the pixel work in this game. There are some great backgrounds and extra scenes that look amazing.

That said, its clear that this game was developed for the gba. The touchscreen wasnt utilized at all, and the duel screen was used rarely. The cutscenes that do use duelscreen can easily be adapted to single screen. Its also possible that recycling all the sprite work streamlined development. Switching to 3d assets is already pretty grueling, but remodelling and reanimating nearly 500 pokemon is a tall order. Still, the game using none of the ds features is the glaring indicator that this game was intended for the gba. Or, possibly intended for a duel system release like red/blue rescue team.

My point being, its basically a gba game.

I personally like that better. It appeals to my nostalgia.

The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the game or the publisher of the video game or the developers of the video game, Link

Latest Entry

2022-11-08 - Regarding Animations: Death Stranding vs FFXV

Thinking about how absolutely buck wild Death Stranding was. Its not just a good game and fun to play, its an incredibly sophisticated piece of cinematic story telling.

There used to be a vast disconnect between the visuals of a games cutscenes and the visuals of the gameplay. This visual disconnect is most notorious and well known on the playstation, but this is still a detectable quality to this day. Usually, a prerendered cutscene is marked by some loading time. Theres usually some compression artifacts that are apparent in the actual movie as well. I complained about this in ffxiii. The video compression is a serious disservice especially when the models in the prerendered movies are have so much more detail. Although higher detailed models don't occur as frequently in modern games, its another disconnect from the gameplay visuals.

These arent necessarily bad. Part of why the playstation is so notorious is bc developers wanted to take advantage of the superior quality available to them through the disc drive. Devs can highlight specific story beats in their game by giving players a more interesting visual experience. A prerendered cutscene can show details that would otherwise be impossible to render/animate in game.

Now, the visuals for in engine vs prerenders have more or less converged. its become larely unacceptable for AAA games to have prerendered cutscenes. (Or, games are expected to prerender cutscenes that are generated in the same engine as in-game.) Some games include adapting to variables that are controlled by the player to render in cutscenes. All the problems that used to occur in prerendered cutscenes are largely absent. There is no disconnect because everything is visually consistent.

What I think is more interesting is the new set of problems devs must now contend with.

Theres no guarentee a cutscene will render correctly or the same for every player. Sometimes it seems like games are more prone to bugging out during a cutscene than in ordinary play. So some devs will avoid certain animations as a workaround to better ensure their cutscenes render correctly. See enough cutscenes and eventually you can see when and where devs and animators decided to play it safe.

One major tell is if characters touch each other. Or rather, if characters avoid touching each other. Its really easy for characters to not line up properly or for one model to accidentally clip into another model. Animating the feedback of a character grabbing or pushing or holding any object is already difficult enough when its not a soft body material like fabric or flesh. Its so easy to slip into uncanny valley when its not done right. Its just way safer to not have characters interact with physical touch.

All that said, the animation in Death Stranding is incredible. The combined digital scans and mocap of the actors in that game are so polished theres a lot of instances where you may as well be watching a live-action film. Kojima productions are clearly flexing whenever they have characters grab the protagonist, and then make it a point to talk about physical touch. Most/all of the cutscenes are rendered in-engine and it still manages that level of sophistication and thats

I immediately followed up that experience with ffxv. Which looks pretty in its own right, but frankly the animation looks like dogshit by comparison. And i dont think its unfair to compare these two. Final fantasy is the flagship series of SquareEnix, a juggernaut in the game industry.

Characters in ffxv avoid touching each other to bypass the usual complications. But they also interact with each other physically from time to time, and ffxv fails to render those interactions with some regularity. Its common for character models not to line up properly. I caught characters warping into place only for that to still fail and not line up. It's clear the devs wanted to inlcude this vibe that these characters are comfortable with each other, but it exists in opposition to the limits of the technology.

I don't think its bad that some devs choose to avoid animating more complicated things in their game. I also don't think its bad when these interactions fail to render correctly. I dont expect every game to look like death stranding, nor do i want them to. I just think its fascinating to examine these things and how different games can approach the same problem with different outcomes and varrying levels of success.

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