Sunday, 28 May 2017

Professor Layton and the Unavoidable Spoilers

It's a mystery worthy of the professor himself, is it possible to avoid spoilers for Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy? If you play the previous two games in the series and watch the trailer then the lion's share of the twists and turns are spelled out for you.
Here be spoilers.
Early in The Azran Legacy, we're introduced to the character of Desmond Sycamore, a friendly professor and expert on the ancient Azran civilisation in need of Layton's assistance. Astute players might notice that he has a similar build and tone of voice as Layton's nemesis in the prequel trilogy, Jean Descole. Both characters are also opposed to Targent, the paramilitary archaeology organisation mentioned in previous titles. These are points that could be dismissed as meaningless, were it not for the fact that both characters also share the same butler. Though he is first introduced to the characters in this game, the audience will remember Raymond from his brief but memorable appearance at the end of The Miracle Mask and from his cameo in the very first scene of The Spectre's Call.

Allowing the audience to know more than the characters can be interesting, in this case, it could have allowed us to appreciate Descole's manipulation of Layton without having to replay the game once the secret is revealed. But Layton's a rather trusting sort in this installment, requiring very little diabolical string pulling. Descole as Sycamore does one manipulative thing when he asks the inexplicably Irish Aurora for the key and then drops the charade immediately after.
What a swell guy!

Then there's everything given away in the trailer. A hitherto unmentioned "truth" is introduced and then spelled out almost immediately. A young Layton is greeted by characters we know as his parents and then parts company with another child. This taller child then says "Be happy brother. This is the start of your new life, your life as Herschel Layton". So: Layton's adopted, Herschel Layton isn't his birthname, and based on his eyes, skin and hair colour his brother is likely Sycamore who is likely Descole. Some mystery.
A diverse collection of #looks, but I think he pulled them all off

It's possible that some of this was deliberate, an attempt to lure players into a false sense of security. There are still two plot points not spoiled ahead of time: Bronev is Layton and Descole's father and Emmy is working for Targent. The first of these is strangely inconsequential, as in many ways is the brotherhood reveal. The Emmy twist is genuinely surprising, perhaps helped by the fact that we’ve already had one traitor in the ranks that we the audience thought we were clever enough to spot in advance. However, it isn't really dwelt on for very long, with her conflicting loyalties to her "uncle" Bronev and the professor confined to a few lines.
All in all, it's hard to say what the correct way to enjoy what is otherwise another fine Layton game is. The Descole reveal is especially strange, given how just giving the butler a disguise of his own would have avoided it. Really, what is the purpose of creating a new identity for yourself and wearing a mask at all times if you then continue to hang around with your longtime companion? A mystery for another time. That'd be like if I continued to write this blog anonymously but kept posting pictures of my nights out with my close personal friend Ian McKellen.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

What I've Been Playing ~ An SEO Optimised Wonderpost

*dusts off the special Blogger keyboard*
*coughing fit*
Hello friends!
Perhaps you've already seen the link I posted on other reputable, popular and high-traffic web sites to my latest post, an SEO optimised look at the games that I've been playing lately. In case you didn't here it is, this is the link.
Got that? Good.
In the post (whose subtitle is "Seven Games That I Have Played Lately") I discuss seven games that I've played in a search engine friendly way. The list includes Telltale's new series Batman, their old series Tales From The Borderlands, From Software's Bloodborne and Undertale. There are other games in there too, but I suspect that the audience for those games is smaller so it's not worth pitching those to the general audience.
Anyway, here's the link, thanks for you time.
And your clicks.
Click the fucking link you pr*transmission ends*

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~ Memory Review

I'm almost sure it was a stealth game.
Solid Snape? Is that funny? What do you want from me?

And now for Miister—you know what? To hell with this I'm sick of this stupid feature
*sound of suitcase closing*
*door opening and closing*
*door opening and closing*
*different footsteps*
*papers shuffling*
And n-now for uh Miister X's th-thoughts about ummmm about the game

"From: To: Re: Memory Review/

It has come to my attention that you may have some information of a sensitive nature about me. But that's OK, because we're pals right? The best of friends! And sometimes good pals know things about each other and they don't say tell the press. It's no big deal. I was err sick for the last few months - no wait it was predictive text, that was it. That's why my messages sounded really rude, err even the voice ones. Point is I've got my thoughts about those games together like you asked. Because we're good friends.

  1. Paper Mario Sticker Star: Met Paper Mario at a party once. He tore a piece of his shoe off so that I'd have something to write his number on. Deeply weird. 5 out of 10
  2. Pilotwings Resort: I've stayed at Wuhu island a few times actually. I always used to hate it when I was playing a round of golf and some fly boy decided to fly his plane around the island because it meant I wasn't allowed to do anything but putting. And the amount of times I'd be woken at the middle of the night by some twat on a hang-glider flying into the wall of the hotel. Real inconsiderate. 0 out of 10
  3. Little King's Story:  I've never played this game. Just one of many similarities between me and the common man. And every one loves the common man right?
  4. Meteos: That's the one with the big evil eye thing right? Yeah, they're all right, the new one with the Nemesis system's especially good. 9 out of 10
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: I err, never actually played this one. That said I'm sure everything you Moustache folks said about it was 100% because you're smart lads. Boy I sure am glad to count such wonderful people as my good friends. Good friends, that's us. Good friends uh... out of ten.
  6. de Blob: Here listen, one time my ex was on de blob and I.... actually that story is better left untold. Point is 10 out of 10
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Film reviews? Cool. I thought Azkaban was pretty good. Malfoy got punched. The whole thing hinged on a time paradox. The castle's architecture was kind of interesting. 8 out of 10
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Don't really remember much of this one. I don't think Malfoy got punched so 5 out of 10"

Monday, 7 December 2015

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for GBA ~ Memory Review

Let's see.

  1. It was an turn based RPG
  2. The turn based combat was *concentrates really hard* decent
  3. It crashed quite a bit
  4. There was a mini-game where you moved sweets around, in hindsight it was probably a knockoff of Peggle or something but at the time it was the bomb
That's about it.

And now let's see what Miister X had to say about — you know what? These are clearly not about the game at all. We'd fire that intern if it weren't for the fact that we never paid him in the first place.
And he took the piece of paper with our lawyer's number on it with him when he left.

"From: / To: Re: Very interested

Wait, did, did that, did that send. Ah Goddamnit Siri."

Saturday, 5 December 2015

de Blob ~ Memory Review

de Blob eh? More like de Man, de Legend. Old Blobby. de Blobmeister! What is there to say about de Blob? What is there to say? What. Is. There. To. Say. About. de Blob? People have said things about de Blob before, many things, so the question is what will I say now? Seriously what is there to say? This is it. The fabled point where the mists of time and general apathy about the game in question join forces.
What do I remember about de Blob? You played as some sort of paint based anarchist, but rather than spray painting clich├ęs and suggested google searches on road signs you cover entire surfaces with paint. The villains were little black and white star fish in English constabulary hats who served another star fish in a general's hat. They wanted to take all the colour out of the area. You are a beacon of hope in this monotonous grey. I think you had some kind of ground pound attack, or maybe some kind of roll attack with which to cover the streets with their blood. And paint. You did a lot of painting. And jumping. Jumping's one of the two things I remember.
Jumping in the sorry de Blob is carried out by flicking the Wii-mote, this kind of thing was the style at the time. I don't recall how well it was calibrated so we can assume that it wasn't so bad as to send me into fits of rage. I have a hazy recollection that while you did a lot of it, the platforming of de Blob was relatively sedate so I doubt you were ever up against it to make precise jumps. What I do remember is the feeling of doing that motion, awkwardly jutting your wrist and to some extent your arm up when really you'd much rather keep it by your side. There's no dignified way to do this micro spasm and unless you're especially slim shaking your whole body like that and scraping you arm along your side constantly is likely a wobbly reminder that you should cut back on the snacks. Not that this is a bad thing to be reminded about it's just sometimes you want to play a game to put your mind off these things.
Which is shame because as I remember the environments in de Blob were nice, large open spaces that spread out both horizontally and vertically. Mr Blob had some kind of wall jump power that let him ping from surface to surface and there may have been some kind of cannons for especially scenic jumps. The other thing that is clear in my head about de Blob was the soundtrack. Each level started out quiet but as you added colour to the area the music slowly started to build and the mixture of different colours in a particular area affected the kind of instruments used. Each colour corresponded to a different genre of music leading to some bizzare yet likable combinations. Seriously the soundtrack was lovely, look it up!
The restorers of time have inadvertently eroded the eyebrows of the Mona Lisa of my memory so I can't really give a proper verdict of de Blob. At a push I think my thoughts at the time were that the gameplay was nothing special but that the music and style was nice enough to elevate the experience above mediocre. I would highly recommend that you.... read another review before purchasing it.

And now the latest quote from Miister X which our intern assures us is about de Blob
"From: / To: Re: Very interested
Dear Dr. Layton,
I'm very interested in the service you described, I just have a couple of questions.
I'm something of a public figure so it's is very important to me that your patient records are kept secrets and that I will be able to visit your clinic without being recognised. I'm looking into a number of different providers of this service so I want to know, using your procedure, just how big it can-CRAP THIS IS THOSE MOUSTACHE GUYS AGAIN, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A  dE BLOB BASED PROCEDURE AT ALL IS THERE, GAAAHHHH"

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Dr. Dark Samus' Phabulous Phazon Phormula

It's the new sensation that's sweeping the federation! A scientific miracle from the mind of Dark Samus MD, EoD (Emmisary of doom), the Phabulous Phazon Phormula. GF troopers, space pirates, Roman Catholics you name it, everyone and everything's crazy about this glorious goop!

But what is Phazon? Well it's a powerful mutagen and energy source that you can add to anything to give it a bit more zing, more pep, more of a can do attitude! But unlike aspirin which is made by sketchy scientists, Phazon is isolated from a natural source, giant intergalactic glowing seeds.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a bottle of Dr. Dark Samus' Phabulous Phazon Phormula from your druggist today!
Phazon is a registered trademark of Dark Samus Chemicals.
Side effects of Phazon include vision problems, insanity and death.
Phazon may contain traces of nuts and sentience.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Official Eye Moustaches Apology (again) and Skyward Sword Review

Hey there purely imaginary readers! It sure has been a while hasn't it?
The next memory review (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword) is finally up. I was going to explain how I was briefly employed in the service industry and while there couldn't access an internet connection that could handle wordpress's editing page but that wouldn't explain the last few weeks. I'm very sorry (or at least I would be if anyone had been even slightly put out by this). I did have time to think of neat stuff so look forward to seeing that some time within the decade.