i like how there are all kinds of things in the ps3 games

anonymous asked:

Why do console makers charge for online multiplayer? Do developers benefit at all from this? Or do only Sony and Microsoft benefit? How is pc able to be free multiplayer when I am constantly told servers cost money to run? Hoping you could shed some light on this. Thank you for your time.

Why do console makers charge for online multiplayer?

The general reason is because people are willing to pay for it. Microsoft tried it way back with the original Xbox and it turned out very well for them. Sony followed suit in the PS3 generation and players paid for it there too. People have gotten used to paying for it now, but it isn’t just for online multiplayer either. Players who pay for the service also get other kickbacks - free games, access to demo content, access to certain additional features, and so on.

Do developers benefit at all from this? Or do only Sony and Microsoft benefit?

We (devs) have benefited historically from paid online services (if a bit indirectly). A lot of the online features we’ve come to expect today were pioneered on the paid platforms like XBL and PSN - chat rooms, friends lists, achievements, DLC sales and distribution, and so on and so forth. Features like achievements were built by engineers on the platform side; the game devs were then supplied with a SDK full of new tools to use on our projects. Having that kind of support, especially in the 2004-2008 era was really helpful. Those features didn’t migrate to Steam until later.

That said, it’s practically impossible to take just the online platform as a discrete, self-contained thing because we really can’t. Part of any dev studio or publisher’s relationship with console manufacturers is via the certification process, and their online services are deeply intertwined with it. The online platform isn’t so much its own thing as it is an extension of the total console package.

How is pc able to be free multiplayer when I am constantly told servers cost money to run?

It’s mostly because the biggest service set up on the PC (Steam) is free, and everybody who followed couldn’t sustain a critical mass of customers while switching to a paid service. It’s really very similar to how Microsoft managed to establish the paid service early on.

The maintenance, development, and hardware costs for online play are always being shouldered by somebody. On Steam, it’s paid for by the publishers and devs who sell games on the platform. Steam takes roughly 30% of every sale, and some of that goes to paying for the service and any other endeavors Valve is taking (Steam Box, VR stuff, etc.). On the consoles, it’s paid for partially by the publishers, and partially by the user fees. Consoles also take around 30%, but that isn’t just for online services and game development. It  also pays for console manufacturing costs, R&D, administrative costs, continued development of the platform software, and so on. 

The business stuff can get really complicated really fast due to all of the different parts that can change. It could be possible that Microsoft decided to make XBL free, but that would result in a reshuffling of the overall allocation of funds. Microsoft could make up for the loss of subscription fees by raising the cost of publisher certification, or scaling back XBL development to be less expensive. If they raised the cost to the publishers, it could drive publishers to competing platforms, or it could mean that game budgets get adjusted down to defray the higher costs. If that were the case, it could mean that new games would ship with smaller scope or with more bugs, or any number of things. There’s no one single result from a change like this, but many possibilities depending on what each involved party decides is in their own respective best interest.

Got a burning question you want answered?

Persona 5: A Special Thank You From Atlus to the Fans

One month after the launch of the long-awaited JRPG, Persona series director Katsura Hashino stops by to thank the fans for their support.

Posted by Katsura Hashino Game Director, Atlus

As a developer, I’m very happy to hear that Persona 5 is being played by so many people overseas. To be honest, it’s really hard to gauge its popularity in the West when our team’s in Japan; we’re not able to see everyone’s comments and discussions. It’d be great to interact with the fans abroad, but sadly, I’m stuck in the development room slurping instant ramen (laugh). Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.

I’m going off on a tangent here, but I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries. Of course, it could’ve missed the mark completely and been criticized for it, so my anticipation and anxiety were split half and half. Since the game just launched in the West, I’d like to look back on it at a later time, once I receive feedback from the Western audience—how their gameplay experiences were, what kind of things they felt, etc. I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

Last year, with the milestone of the Persona series’ 20th anniversary, I handed off the series development to my successors and announced the start of my new RPG project that takes place in a fantasy world. Be it a game set in modern day, like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, or a game set in a new fantasy world, I aim to create games that provide an invaluable experience of reflecting on oneself through a journey, while roleplaying as characters that players can deeply relate to.

These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.

Norman Jayden always draws the shortest straw in Heavy Rain

Aka Heavy Rain is a dick to Norman Jayden

I know that I’m about five years too late to the party and that the Heavy Rain fandom seems pretty much dead by now, but I just need to get off my chest how badly Norman Jayden is treated in this game, more so than the other three playable characters imo and why.

Spoilers, obv.

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My E3 2017 Highlights and thoughts

As you may know Pixelboy initially revolved around video games, so let’s talk about the games shown at E3 2017!

Star Wars: Battlefront II

Like the first one Battlefront II looks amazing, but I’m still skeptical about the content of the game. If you know the original Battlefront games, you know what I mean. Give me huge space battles, lots of creative maps and planets and a solid story mode. Damn you literally have a whole universe you can build on!

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (Switch)

It’s known for a while that Nintendo Switch gets his own version of TES: Skyrim and I’m kind of “meh” about it. It was a good game but it is nearly 6 years old and the only noticeable addition for Switch is amiibo compatibility. Surprise, Zelda themed weapons and clothes for the price of an amiibo? So, 15$ DLC for skins? O.o

If you didn’t play Skyrim until now, maybe it’s worth it for Switch, but if there aren’t any new additions or mod support, I recommend the PC version.

Assassins Creed: Origins

The series is kinda dead for me since AC3, but this looks like a setting I’d like to explore. Egypt offers a lot of cool mystical stuff, tombs and beautiful landscapes. If done correctly, this could be one of the best games of the franchise.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

I… I don’t know…
To be honest, I thought Rabbids were dead for quite some time. I loved the party games for Wii back then, ok… I still love them, but I’ve never thought they would mix them with Mario and friends.

Based on the teaser image we got a few days ago, I thought this would be something like Super Smash Bros., oh boy was I wrong. This game is a mix of exploration and tactics game, like Disgaea, Final Fantasy Tactics and so on. 

The first minutes of gameplay looked intriguing. The characters and their animations look lively and fit perfectly together. Rabbid silliness meets Mario charm. You can also find this in the environment.

I’ll definitely keep an eye on that one! :3

Skull & Bones


Finally Ubisoft made something with Assassins Creed: Black Flag.

First thing they’ve done right: Removing the Assassins Creed label from the game.

Second: Expanding on sailing.

Also it looks like that this game uses a more realistic attempt on sailing mechanics, but I hope it’s not just sailing but also some raiding on land.

Give me more Ubisoft!

Beyond Good and Evil 2

All we got was a cinematic trailer, but I’m glad they’re reviving the franchise. So yeah, I’m hyped but there isn’t really much to say about it.^^

Shadow of the Colossus PS4

Phew, what a relieve. I always thought that I have to buy a PS3 or get the original for PS2 somewhere.

For anyone who didn’t play it, DO IT NOW (or in future)!

Super Mario Odyssey


Gameplay: Solid 3D Mario style, like good ol’ days. I’m looking at you Super Mario 64!

Looks and feel: Nintendo is trying hard with mixing different themes lately. Rabbids + Mario, Breath of the Wild has “technology” and now Odyssey with its mix of realistic designed and cartooney worlds. Why the heck does it fit so well?

I saw some guys tests on Mario with Unreal Engine 4 (funny Nintendo also used it for Odyssey) and seeing Mario running around in this apartment felt kinda odd. But now, photo-realistic Jungle, T-Rex, no problem at all?

I’m confused and hyped. I want more… I want it soooo bad! (TT^TT)

Metroid 2: Return of Samus Remake (3DS)

Yeah now it’s clear they used Federation Force as “bait”. I mean they could have waited for this remake to revive the franchise, but they wanted to give Metroid Prime some attention, so the used old gameplay in a spin-off with a teaser ending.

Back to topic: Metroid 2 was my first game of the series and it was hard. No map, similar looking hallways and lots of backtracking, but I beat it! (Ò_Ó)

So, see this classic in new shining armor is fantastic! They seemed to use some action elements from Other M, like the counter attack and some cool new special moves, but they also reworked some enemy, especially the Metroids.

Back on Gameboy all the Metroids did was flying and shooting, all of them and you had to hit their weak-point. Now they all have different attacks and movements and boy, that makes me want to beat them all over again.

The planet itself got also much love. As I said, there was no chance you could build such an environment on Gameboy back then, so everything looked kinda the same, but know, for the first time, we can imagine how SR388 looked like. I think the 3D feature makes the animated background even more lively than it is now.

Honorable mentions:

Rocket League (Switch): About time and f#uck yeah, cross-play features!

Breath of the Wild DLC: Part 1 looked good, new challenges are always good! >:3

Yoshi: I’m not sure why they stick to the wooley style, cause it takes away some characterisitcs from the original Yoshi, but the game itself looked good and kinda reminded me on the 2.5D style of Yoshi’s Story

Kirby: I hope this game features local multiplayer. I enjoyed the last installments, but I hated that every player needed a cartridge.

Metroid Prime 4: 40 seconds of logo, so there’s not much to say. I hope Nintendo releases more infos soon.

PokéMon (Switch): Also just teased… god dammit Nintendo, GIVE US MORE INFORMATION!

So yeah, that’s all I caught about E3 2017.In my opinion, the best E3 in years, with lots of interesting games. 

Thanks for reading!


Pix ;*

An Ode to Silver Boxes

To those who got into video games only in the last 10 or so years, the appeal of the Konami name might not be readily apparent. Newcomers to the hobby probably associate them with Metal Gear, soccer games, and probably little else. But there was a time when the Konami name was as good as gold; in the days of the NES, Konami built itself up as a gaming powerhouse, and it delivered its trademark brand of 8-bit action with a distinct, eye-catching hook: action-packed artwork framed by a silver border.

To me, that silver box, with its weighted lines on either side that faded away to showcase the dynamic art, was a promise — a promise that something awesome was inside. Whether it was flying through space to save the galaxy in Gradius, running through the jungles with a buddy in Contra, hitting the ice in Blades of Steel, maneuvering an assault jeep across enemy territory in Jackal, or driving a stake into the heart of evil in Castlevania, there was almost always something good behind that silver veneer. It seemed like just about any game could get the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality, but to get into a silver box? That meant it had to be something special. It had to be elite: adrenaline-pumping gameplay, cutting-edge graphics, responsive controls, and some of the most memorable music you’ll ever hear from a sound chip.

Not every Konami NES game was great, of course. Top Gun was fun until you tried to land, and few games have disappointed me as much as The Adventures of Bayou Billy. But for the most part, Konami consistently delivered excellent game after excellent game. To me, Konami games were just as much of a reason to own an NES as the first-party Nintendo titles were. It could be considered sacrilege, I know, but as much as I love the Super Mario series, Zelda, Metroid, and Punch-Out!!, if I was forced to choose one library over the other, I might take Konami’s NES offerings over Nintendo’s.

And Konami’s appeal went beyond those silver borders. Konami’s second label, Ultra Games (created to circumvent Nintendo’s third-party publishing restrictions), didn’t feature the silver boxes, but typically delivered quality nonetheless (Metal Gear, anyone?), and Konami’s reputation for amazing gaming experiences continued late into the NES’s lifecycle and into the 16-bit era when Konami eschewed the silver frames for more conventional designs. But even when the silver was gone, the quality remained, with games such as Super Castlevania IV, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Axelay, Contra III, Rocket Knight Adventures, and one of my all-time personal favorites, Snatcher.

And let’s not forget Konami’s licensed offerings. In an era when movie- and cartoon-based games were frequently unplayable garbage, Konami made licensed titles that weren’t just good but brilliant. As a kid, I wasn’t even a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tiny Toon Adventures, or The Simpsons, but I absolutely loved the games. (Well…not the first, awful NES TMNT game.) These games were fantastic whether you enjoyed the property they were based on or not, and the games actually got me interested in the franchises they were based on rather than the other way around. Co-op brawler TMNT IV: Turtles in Time, technique-filled platformer Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!, and skull-crunching beat-‘em-up Batman Returns exude as much polish as anything released in the 16-bit era and remain among my favorite SNES games of all time. As for The Simpsons? Konami didn’t have home-console rights to the property, so when the opportunity presented itself, I bought the actual arcade machine.

As the gaming industry matured, consoles and gaming fads came and went, but Konami remained a leader, branching out into new genres, reinventing old ones, and pioneering its own with offerings that included Suikoden, Vandal Hearts, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Silent Hill, Zone of the Enders, and the groundbreaking Dance Dance Revolution and Bemani music series. When the Pokémon craze hit, I was excited by the prospect of this new, collectable take on RPGs, but I was even more excited hearing that Konami had its own spin on the formula with Yu-Gi-Oh, which I was sure would outclass Pokémon in every way. I was completely wrong, of course, and in retrospect I’m glad, but at the time, it certainly seemed like a possibility.

When I made my first trip to Japan in 1996, it warmed my heart to see a Konami building in the Tokyo skyline, complete with the classic red-and-yellow wave logo. “Those are my guys,” I thought as I looked at the building. I knew they were making magic in there. Maybe someday the Konami Omni Building from Snatcher would even be a reality.

But the magic didn’t last. Though Konami continued to pump out appealing games on both consoles and handhelds up through the PS2 and Nintendo DS eras (special shoutout to Contra 4, a game I’m incredibly proud to have had a hand in revealing), the company’s output dropped dramatically after that. The rising costs associated with the PS3/Xbox 360 era were not kind to Japanese gaming, and the teams responsible for beloved franchises got dissolved, development on some properties were outsourced to external companies, and resources were shifted to pachinko machines and lackluster mobile titles. Subsidiary Hudson Soft, purchased by Konami in 2011, was shut down, and its brands were all but wiped from existence. Later, reports trickled in of how some of gaming’s greatest minds were being mistreated by Konami management, and most of them abandoned ship at the first opportunity.

When I visited the once-proud company’s E3 booth on the second day of the show in 2014, it looked like an abandoned wasteland. An irate Konami fan once accused me of taking the photo shown here before they’d finished setting up the booth, but this was right in the middle of gaming’s biggest annual event, and they apparently didn’t have any products to display. Instead of warming my heart like it had 18 years prior, this Konami just made me sad.

Honestly, I applaud Konami for branching out into alternative revenue sources rather than go belly-up or face continuous losses like some Japanese gaming giants, but to say they threw the baby out with the bathwater is an understatement. By squandering their greatest resource — their creative personnel — and abandoning the brands that made them famous, Konami has eliminated the very things that made them special, and destroyed the good will and respect that they’d forged with a generation of fans.

Will Konami ever try to take back its place of greatness in gaming’s pantheon? Will they consider reviving brands like Gradius, Contra, Mystical Ninja, and Suikoden? Or could those series be licensed to talented outside studios who, like me, were inspired by Konami’s original works and would love to carry on the legacy? After seeing Konami’s revival of Bomberman R on Switch, it may be fair to say that those old brands may not be dead just yet.

Then again, if they are, I’ll still always have my old cartridges…and my memories of those captivating silver boxes.

End of my first year watching K dramas!

So last February is when I started watching korean dramas and since then it has just been a crazy snowball effect. I was trying to learn anything and everything possible about the hallyu wave and that is what this blog has kind of turned into. I just wanted to run down the list of dramas that I saw and in what order and what my general reactions to them were. 

Since I am such a newb with korean entertainment, I feel like I watched a lot of the more popular well known dramas so I had a foundation to start building on. (like what actor’s/actress’ I enjoy the most, what genre ect ect.) I have also learned the entire korean alphabet and have been working on vocabulary as well. When I think about it, I have learned a lot and it hasn’t even been an entire year yet! 

So here is my list.

First k drama ever was in last feb.

1. My Love From The Star 6/10

I was browsing on hulu one day and saw the picture for it of the lead actress and thought she was really pretty. I thought it might have been a japanese tv show so I had clicked on the description and found the synopsis interesting. After watching the first five minutes, I realized they were not speaking in japanese, it was korean! I remember physically pushing pause and thinking to myself about what I knew about korea. Sadly, the only thing I could think of was the division between north and south and that in elementary school I have a friend who was korean and that was about it. 

So I can’t say I truly got fully addicted to My Love From the Star but it was really entertaining. Stuff that really stood out for me that kept me watching was the fashion, how funny the lead actress was and wanting to know about the murder case. It’s funny cause a lot of kdramas have romantic plot lines as I have come to fully understand but in this one, I understood that it was supposed to be in the forefront but I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t think the chemistry was really there and I didn’t find anything about them that I could relate to. (However I did like the kiss scene at the end.)

Another thing that stood out was the fact that it was not over sexualized like many television shows in western culture. I wasn’t fully sold, but I found myself wanting more. 

2. Boys Over Flowers 8/10

Alright. This is where my obsession started. After watching the first few episodes I was interested because of Jan Di. I LOOOVVVEEEDDD her character, she was cute and spunky and I wanted to see her stand up to the F4. I can’t say I was completely hooked in the beginning. It was a gradual process. I really hated Jun Pyo and I didn’t see how attractive Lee Min Ho was with his nasty attitude in the beginning. (did I have a lot to learn about the rich chaebol characters or what? hahaha) After seeing his softer side and how he really cared about Jan Di made me fall in love and then from that point onward I was appreciating every single damn scene with Lee Min Ho in it. 

Around this time I had a really bad cyst and was bed ridden for a couple days while it drained, so what did I do? I stayed in bed and watched the entire series in two days! And I have no regrets. I had so many different emotions, I was laughing, crying, yelling at the screen because of stupid mistakes the characters made. Some scenes were just utterly ridiculous but let’s be honest, I was eating that shit up. I enjoyed every moment of Boys Over Flowers the first time I watched it. It was a guilty pleasure.

Note: I have watched many episodes from other dramas like Surplus Princess, to the beautiful you, liar game ect but I did not list them here because I have not finished watching them.

3. Personal Taste 6/10

So after Boys Over Flowers ended and reality set in that I couldn’t look at Lee Min Ho’s beautiful face anymore, I freaked out a little and started doing research on all of the dramas he had been in. Faith and Citty Hunter seemed really interesting but I felt like I was still so new at the kdrama thing, I needed something more light hearted and easy to follow. 

Watching Personal Taste was an awesome experience. It was nice to see Lee Min Ho in a more mature role and I thought Son Yi Jin was cute in this one. The entire time I watched it I was wishing I could live in a house with that kind of architecture.

Although I found Personal Taste enjoyable, I was getting the same feelings that I did watching Boys Over Flowers! I was on a hunt to find something similar.

3. Playful Kiss 5.5/10

While doing my kdrama research a lot of people were recommending this one so I figured why not? It had Kim Hyun Joong in it and he played Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flowers. Let’s see him get the girl this time, I figured. 

This….drama…..uhhh, guys where do I even begin? I wanted to absolutely hate it with a fiery passion but I didn’t because I liked almost all of the characters. The lead girl was soooo co dependent and obsessed with Hyun Joong’s character and I hated it! There was a second male lead in this one that loved her. (I think his name is Lee Tae Sung) And he was sooo fine! Ahhh I loved him. Kim Hyun Joong’s character treated her like absolute crap. And not the way Jun Pyo did to Jan Di. Like he seriously treated her like crap and she was completely okay with it. Pretty much I gritted my teeth and watched it for Lee Tae Sung and the lead girl’s friends. (they were funny!)

4. Faith The Great Doctor 7/10

So after the terrible disappointment with Playful Kiss I figured, fuck it I need Lee Min Ho in my life so I put on Faith. I really enjoyed all of Faith and this is one where I watched multiple episodes in one sitting. The entire progression with the war went on a little too slow for my liking but I did enjoy Lee Min Ho’s character as Choi Young. I loved the overall story and the ending was one of my favorite endings I have seen in a kdrama to date. I should also make note this is when I was exposed to actor Philip Lee I think his name is and I was happy when I saw him in Secret Garden.

Oh, one last thing, my boyfriend actually was interested in this one. All of the other ones he rolled his eyes at haha. 

5. The Heirs 5.5/10

So at this point I was still super in love with Lee Min Ho and there was a new drama that was buzzing all over drama land called The Heirs. Pretty much same plot line as Boys Over Flowers, I was excited! 

I have come to realize that certain dramas (The Heirs, My Love From The Star) are so over rated and they aren’t even that great. Although I did enjoy certain pieces of Heirs (Kim Woo Bin, the mute mom, the relationships between the mothers ect) I really didn’t like how feminine they made Lee Min Ho’s character. Like…after watching this I didn’t find him that attractive. Actually, after watching The Heirs I took a break from watching kdramas because I was so disappointed. I mean at that point I was like, what other dramas am I going to watch? Lee Min Ho isn’t in them…

6. Coffee Prince 10/10

The Gods in heaven sent Coffee Prince to me. And Gong Yoo!!! So after my disappointment with Lee Min Ho in Heirs, it was so nice to watch a new drama and actually find a male lead attractive. The entire story was executed perfectly and the chemistry between Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye is so amazing, they go from being best friends to lovers. This drama especially touched me because it isn’t the typical, “seperate the two and give them heartache.” scenario. The music wasn’t over played and annoying, I mean seriously, everything was perfect in my book. This is still my favorite drama to date.

7. Secret Garden 7/10

For the most part I found Secret Garden enjoyable. This is where I was introduced to Hyun Bin who I find to be an exceptional actor. The only reason I am not super crazy about this one is the main actress unfortunantely is not up to par with Hyun Bin’s acting skills. At least for me, it was REALLY obvious Hyun Bin had committed to his role 100% and she was somewhere in the 72% range.  

8. City Hunter 9.5/10

After finally getting over my disappointment with Heirs, I decided it was time to watch City Hunter. To my surprise I found it on Netflix so I didn’t have to watch it on my computer! I watched it on my PS3 and my boyfriend actually joined me in watching it. He never thought he would get used to the subtitles but he did because he got into the story along with me. The entire thing was enjoyable for both of us and I am really glad I got to have that experience with my boyfriend. So ladies! If you like watching kdramas and have a boyfriend, I highly recommend watching City Hunter with him lol. 

9. My Name is Kim Sam Soon 8/10

I have heard this is the mother of all Kdramas so why wouldn’t I want to watch it?! I have to say I absolutely loved the entire drama, one of the funniest ones I have seen. Kim Sun Ah’s acting really stood out for me so she instantly became a favorite and of course Hyun Bin was awesome. One of my favorite scenes is the piano scene ;)

10. Scent of a Woman 9.5/10

So I decided to watch this one because of Kim Sun Ah and lemme tell you…you’re going to need some tissues lol! For some reason I found this one listed as a romantic comedy…it is not! This is a melodrama if I ever did see one. It is about dealing with cancer and death so it is a serious subject. I kept thinking by the end she was going to me miraculously healed and if that was the case I was going to hate the whole thing but that is not what happened. It was much more realistic so this is one of my favorite kdrama endings along with Faith. 

11. Rooftop Prince 10/10

This I believe is the only other drama besides coffee prince that I give a 10/10 to. I loved the story, the directing, writing, acting and everything about it. Sometimes I myself can get a little spoiled and I saw myself in the Crown Prince which made me laugh. When he gets mad and yells it feels like I am looking at a male version of myself. This is a must watch for EVERYONE!

12. Goong 7/10

And now I end 2014 off with Goong. I am almost done watching it! I have to say that I really do enjoy it but it is sooooo slow right now! I am on episode 19 and I am almost 10% positive they could have made this show shorter. I am finding myself dozing off every time the elders are having a conversation. All their conversations are almost always the same. But I have to say that I do love Yoon Eun Hye in this drama. 

After I finish Goong I will probably try and finish some dramas I am almost done with (surplus princess and liar game mainly) 

I feel very good with this year of discovering the hallyu wave and I can’t wait for next year! 

*phew* it’s been a while. Work’s been killing me so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to spend on game dev. 

That said, I have spent some time on NPCs and cut-scene graphics from the opening scene. I’ve basically had to build my own character generator to suit my sprites so building out the bases and parts for that has been a bit tedious.I kind of get why so many modern-world JRPGs try to push the uniform thing. Doing all this variety is time consuming…

I don’t have anything visual to show for it, but I’ve been doing a great deal of work on the battle system as well. Last week I finally broke down, bought a PS3 and Persona 5 and then sunk about 95 hours into it (first playthrough complete. I regret nothing). I have a lot of mixed thoughts about the game as a whole, but that’ll have to wait for another post. Playing it DID however, give me a lot of new ideas about how I want my battles to feel and new ways to make them interesting. I’ve always liked SMT’s weakness-based battle system since it made the battles fast with serious stakes (you can lose if you slip up and let your weakness get hit even once). But I’ve always found that a weakness-focused battle system made boss battles very… dull. 

In an effort to give the battles an SMT-esque vibe without out-right copying it… well, let’s just say I’ve got some ideas that should mix things up a bit and keep all the battles interesting and variable. So far it all works great in my head, but I’ve gotta test some battles to see if it’s actually fun in practice.

Thoughts and Observations on Until Dawn’s First Person Prototype Version

So I’ve been watching this video with the newly-uncovered prototype first-person version of Until Dawn that was original going to be a PS3 Playstation Move game, and I of course have some thoughts and observations about it. Also for people who don’t want a watch a 42-minute video you can just read this, since i pointed out most of the important stuff lol

pictures and commentary under the cut!

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Hello there! If you’ve somehow stumbled upon this post please, please take the time to read. It’s a matter of life and death!

I am a panromantic gray-ace genderfluid person. Recently I have discovered that my top right wisdom tooth has become impacted and has been over taken by a nasty infection.  

Wisdom teeth infections are a hazard to one’s health and the infection can travel from a person’s mouth and spread through the body, which puts that person’s life at risk.

I unfortunately, am one of those people who have an impacted and infected wisdom tooth. The awful thing is, my family nor I have any money to afford surgery to remove the infected tooth. Right now I’m attempting to combat the infection with salt water and my father is working on getting me antibiotics.

Another issues I have is at night a black shadow mass will appear in my vision and this could be caused by numerous health issues such as: Heart disease, eye cancer, diabetes, glaucoma and other nasty illnesses which could make me lose my left eye and I could be blind in it forever.

I have multiple mental health issues as well as physical health issues.  

Here’s a list of my mental health issues:
On and off clinical depression
Asperger autism,  
Mental Anxiety
Social anxiety
Panic attacks
Memory problems
Hypochondriasis -meaning I’m really paranoid about my health and if I feel even a slight pain in my body my brain assumes the worst like: oh it must be cancer, or oh it’s diabetes, or oh I must be dying!-  
Insomnia and selective mutism .

My physical health issues:
Hypoglycemia - low blood sugar-  
my weak hips and my legs that like to pop out of their sockets
IBS {{ Irritable Bowel Syndrome. }}  
Impacted and infected Wisdom tooth
Possible: Heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc etc / My left eye has a shadowy mass that appears at night when the lights go off. I keep a light on out in the hall but whenever I turn away from the light and to the darkness of my room a black shadowy mass appears in my field of vision. This happens on and off, sometimes my eye will be just fine other times it won’t. Not only is it annoying it can be a symptom of life threatening diseases.

For the past few weeks I’ve been having heart palpitations, weird vision changes where things would go in and out of focus, head rushes, my chest would hurt and burn -pretty sure it’s my heart. FFFFF  and my arms have been hurting right now my right arm and left arm have dull aches.

I have so many things wrong with me it’s a miracle I am still alive. But I might not be for much longer if I cannot raise enough money to get all the help I need. I’m at my wits end and my body is achy and tired and I’ve been slowing down and my memory is getting more and more terrible.

I need help, I cannot continue on like this or surely I will die young. I’m only 21 years old, I don’t want to die yet. I want to live, please, please help me. I’m scared and terrified and I don’t wish to die. I’m scared of the pain that will come with dying. I wanna grow old, I wanna do so many things. I can’t have my hopes and dreams crushed like this! Please please do whatever you can to help me. If you cannot send any money REBLOG REBLOG REBLOG! Get this matter of life and death out there!  

I’m selling off books, games, and other such things. Please take a look and please please please if there’s anything there that you see and that you like. Please let me know right away!

Red-Eared Sliders: Paper back book, good condition selling for: 3.99

Boys Are Dogs: Paper back book: good condition selling for: 3.99

Runner: Paper back book : fair condition selling for: 2.99

Where’d You Get The Gun, Billy? : Hard back book : worn but still readable selling for: 1.99

Wink Club - Dragon Fire Graphic novel : Paper back good condition: Selling for 5.99

Seekers: Smoke Mountain: Hard back book: Excellent condition : Selling for: 9.99

Left Behind: The Kids - Paper back book: Beat up but readable: Selling for 2.99

Rot and Ruin: Paper Back book: Excellent condition - Selling for: 9.99

Kingdom Hearts Manga - paper back - fair condition - Selling for: 4.99

Don’t Turn Around: Paper back book - good condition- Selling for: 8.99

Survivors: The Empty City - Hard back - MINT condition - Selling for: 16.99 — ON HOLD FOR @dragaura 

Rascal- paper back book - great condition - Selling for: 3.99

Narnia The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader -paper back book - excellent condition - Selling for: 7.99

Icarly paper back book with pictures: Fair condition - Selling for 3.99

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You - Paper back book: mint condition - selling for: 8.99

Here’s some games if books do not tickle your fancy!

Pokemon Yellow Special Pikachu edition: No game case, beat up cover but still playable and still works! 


SLY COOPER THIEVES IN TIME FOR THE PS3  - in subherb condition, has ONLY been played once- Going for: 20 $

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Gates To Infinity: 34. 99
Pokemon Sapphire version: 9.99
= $44.98


Silver And Gold Wrangler Quartz Pocket watch, bidding starts at 100$






Poems: 5$
Short Story: 15$
Novella: 35$
Novels: 50$


Rock candy: 

Rock candy will come in packs of ten pieces. Each bundle of ten rock candy pieces will be 5 dollars. So if you want 50 rock candies it will cost you 10 dollars! And so on and so forth! Your rock candy will take 2 weeks to prepare however! So wait for them to be in stock! I WILL TELL YOU HOW MANY 10 BUNDLES OF ROCK CANDY I HAVE IN STOCK!


Sugar Cookies will cost: 30$
Chocolate Chip cookies will cost 35$ 





Until Dawn Developer’s Stream Commentary - warning: spoilers

I wrote an abridged notes post earlier, because I didn’t think to write down these answers until halfway through the stream, and I had to leave a little early anyways. But I went and re-watched the stream and put together this post, which contains the questions asked during the stream and the random facts they just threw out.

Link to video of stream!

Also, possibly, they revealed flamethrower guy’s name!

Some questions are paraphrased for clarity and brevity’s sake. I cut out some of the questions with more obvious answers, a few joke questions, and questions they didn’t really answer or kind of forgot to answer. But here you go!

Keep reading

Reverse Inputs: Hajime no Hedgehog-A Look Back At Sonic the Fighters.

Originally posted by therubberfruit

Fighting games were big in the 90’s with developers finding every way possible to ride that cash wave. However, when original IPs didn’t work for many companies, they attached any and every licensed property in hopes of making the next big thing, regardless if it made any sense or not. Thus we get weird things like Sonic the Fighters. Sure, Sonic rolled around and destroyed stuff, but that didn’t directly make him a fighter per se, let alone worth having a fighting game. However, through the powers that be, Sonic the Fighters did come out and actually brought with it some stuff that made it stand out. Even if the original conception of the game was a joke.

No really, the game really got its start as a joke.

Back around 1995, internal Sega developers Sega AM2 (makers of Virtua Fighters, Outrun, Shenmue) were working on their next fighting game, Fighting Vipers. During that time, as a joke, the AM2 team put Sonic and Tails 3D models into the game during development. Originally it was a joke, but that joke took on a new meaning once more members of the team saw it and finally then showed Yuji Naka, Sonic’s creator and head of the Sonic Team back then. After some convincing, Naka gave the team a blessing to turn the joke into a fully fleshed out fighter. So May 1996, Sonic the Fighters, also known as Sonic Championship, went from being a joke to a game. There’s no denying how it’s a bit jarring to see Sonic in a fighting game, beating up all his animal compatriots. Yet, Sonic the Fighters isn’t just a quick cash in, there is some real depth and fun to be had here.

Originally posted by kazucrash

Sonic the Fighters, being developed by the team that did Viruta Fighter, shares a lot of its aesthetical quirks with that series: It’s a 3 button fighting game (Punch, Kick, and Guard) and focuses a lot on chain combos, with alternations with button presses/directional inputs to get different moves and stances. Though don’t think this is a re-skin of Virtua Fighter (no pun intended).  For starters, the game is much faster than Virtua Fighter, sharing speed with Fighting Vipers. It also shares Fighting Vipers’ “floaty” combo system, where heavier damaging combos come more down to air juggles and combo-ing off of wall splats. One of the biggest deviations from the then standard AM2 fighting game formula though was also the barrier gauge, based around the Sonic power up of the same name. Like most fighting games, Sonic the Fighters had a block button that would block most attacks. Unlike most fighting games though, it would not last forever. Each player had about 5 barriers which would take about a few hits before breaking. Once all of the barriers were broken, not only could you not block for the rest of the round, but the rest of the match. It encouraged players to be more offensive as you could only be defensive for so long before your barrier broke or you were thrown. Some attacks could break one barrier instantly and barriers did not regenerate between rounds. The barrier gauge also factored in another unique aspect of Sonic the Fighters, Hyper Mode. Hyper Mode can be activated at the cost at one barrier. Once activated, it speed up attacks and allow for certain attacks that are only available in that mode. It come at a cost though: Once activated, it would turn all of your barriers an orange color, making them far easier to break. Even after the mode had run its course, your barriers will remain orange and easier to break for a while before returning back to their original blue color and properties.

Originally posted by maskedkitsune

Roster wise, the game is filled with the regular Sonic crew, along with some rather obscure Sonic characters from Knuckles Chaotix, and one with a little Sega history to them, Bean. Bean is not from any Sonic game but based around the protagonists from an old Sega arcade game Dynamite Dux, a game worked on by Sega AM2. Much of the cast remained true to their 2D heritage: Sonic does spin dashes, Tails flies, Knuckle glides, Bean throws bombs….which they did do in Dynamite Dux but it still works given the cartoon-y nature of Sonic.  Speaking of which….

Originally posted by ppiixxeell

The graphics in Sonic the Fighters deserve a second to talk about. Sonic the Fighters ran on Sega’s Model 2 arcade hardware which was equivalent to a slightly more powerful Sega Saturn system. The board could do some really great 3D graphics for the time. So it was weird when you see Sonic the Fighters’ pseudo-blocky 3D graphics that invoke a bit of the weird polygons from the first Virtua Fighter.  But take a closer look at the models and you can see this was more style choice than anything else. Despite being a bit blocky, Sonic and crew are extremely expressive. Characters squash and stretch when getting hit or smashed against wall. Not only is this done really well in the game but it also serves as a call back to Sonic’s origins, where Yuji Naka found inspiration for Sonic from American cartoons like Tom and Jerry. In a way, Sonic the Fighters’ graphics “future proofed” with its distinct style that no other fighting game had, and still doesn’t to this day.

Originally posted by therubberfruit

Sonic the Fighters is far from a perfect fighter though. Probably the one thing going against the game is lack of depth. In comparison to other fighting games, and certainly ones from Sega AM2, Sonic the Fighters lacked that depth others had.  It does make sense that AM2 wouldn’t try to appeal to the hardcore fighting game crowd and try to open more people to fighting games. Still battles can be kind of tiring after a while with a very limited cast and limited move set. Also the game is kind of imbalanced which doesn’t work in its favor. There aren’t impossible match ups in the game but certainly ones that certainly favor certain characters, especially if that certain character has a projectile attack. But the thing that really worked not in Sonic the Fighters favor was its relative scarcity. Despite having a release in North America, Japan and Europe, the game was hard to find in Western Markets and never had any home ports until 2006. The game finally made its way to the home consoles apart of the Sonic Gems Collection. Previously, the closest thing to home release for the game was a few characters from the game showing up in the 1996 Sega 3D fighter Saturn-exclusive crossover game, Fighters Megamix. I played the GC version of Sonic the Fighters when it came out for the Sega Gems Collection. I was really excited to play it too considering I’d seen magazine articles detailing its development but never a cabinet in the wild. My first experience with it though, left me feeling a bit miffed. I mean I got the game and it was certainly fun in some parts. However, much of the game felt too repetitious and didn’t reward exploration with combos. It wasn’t until about a year ago when a friend on tumblr convinced me to try the 2012 PS3/360 port of the game that not only gave it another try, I also started to see the interesting stuff that existed. Even still, I can’t deny the game can still get repetitive and draining after a while, even with another human player.

Originally posted by runningwithhelicopters

Sonic the Fighters is one of the better cases of odd IPs getting a fighting game. The game stands out more when you consider it is a pretty decent fighter. It was handled by a team of fighting game experts, featured details that were still true to the source, and even feature an unique graphical style that still turns head to this day. If you do want to get this game, I strongly recommend the PSN/XBL version. The one on Sonic Gems Collection is serviceable but Sega went the extra mile on the digital release. Not only does it give you decent netplay, but more characters to play as including Metal Sonic, Robotnik, and even Honey the Cat. Honey the Cat is the fursona a Sonic-ized version of Honey/Candy from Fighting Vipers who was meant to be in the original release of Sonic the Fighters, but never was finished. Her 3D model was left in the game’s files, . However, for the PSN/XBL versions, Sega actually finished her and made her playable, a rather amazing feat given Sega’s track record on well anything nowadays. Outside of Sonic the Fighters, Sonic would punch his way into another fighting game for GBA, Sonic Battle, then join the roster of Super Smash Bros Brawl and its sequel.  Sonic the Fighters highlights one of the more notable characteristics for Sonic and the series: His malleable nature. For better or worse, Sonic has been molded into various games, looks, and even characters thought out the years by Sega and his fan base. We live in a world where Sonic can beat up his eternal rival Mario in one game, then be on his team for rugby at the Olympics in another game without really loosing anything in the process. Sonic may not be my favorite thing to come out of Sega but I’d admire that blue Needlemouse’s infectious tenaciously through the 25 years he has been around. And also that he was in a pretty decent fighting game too.

Happy 25th Birthday Sonic.

My Favorite Games of 2016,Pt. FINAL

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 is probably as good an ending to the Dark Souls franchise (or at least the From made ones, Namco is unlikely to let this franchise just die) as we could have possibly gotten. After Bloodborne and Dark Souls 2 I had kind of accepted From was never going to make a wholly open game with a totally interconnected world ever again, and I was right, cause Dark Souls 3 is still a generally linear game, with no real sequence breaking possible and only a few branching paths about where you can go. However, the area design, enemies and bosses are all massively improved from Dark Souls 2, and of the three games it’s probably the most fun to fight shit in.

It portrays a dreary, dying world; a world significantly worse off simply because it isn’t allowed to die. Horrible monsters, worse than any in Dark Souls 1 wander the land, reality itself seems to be warping and twisting, the new plight afflicting people seems even worse than the undead curse (turning into horrible nervous system root dragons seems pretty fucking horrifying) and all it all it’s hard to see how any Age of Darkness could be worse than this. It’s the perfect end to the series; this world, in it’s current form, is doomed to an extent that you cannot save it. Not only can it not be saved, you cannot even stave it off. Could the Age of Darkness lead to a rebirth of the world? Who knows, but at this point it’s more than clear that there’s no point in continuing down the path that’s been kept all this time.

Miyazaki said he wanted the game to have a sort of quiet, solemn beauty, of a dying world. And it does. It also, thank god, doesn’t explain everything. Hell, it adds even more questions, with the new root monsters and the Profaned Flame, along with the ‘Age of Deep Waters’ (which could possibly be a Bloodborne reference, but let’s pretend it isn’t.) It’s not the ideal, but it’s damn close, and I put at least a hundred hours in it with more than a few builds, even doing some PVP with my garbage asshole cheater Estoc build.



Trails of Cold Steel 2

Let’s be honest here.

If you didn’t see this coming, you either

  1. Thought it was going to be Yakuza 6 or Yakuza Kiwami
  2. Haven’t been paying attentiont to my shilling
  3. Still don’t know this series even exists.

Trails of/Kiseki is remains the greatest series that nobody in the west plays, with even fewer converts than the Yakuza franchise has, which would be impressive if it didn’t make me want to burst into tears every time I think about it.

Trails of Cold Steel 2 is the sequel to Trails of Cold Steel, although the Kiseki games structured more like Digital Devil Saga with the two main games in each series (Sky, Crossbell, Cold Steel) forming together into one narrative and each game more or less directly leading into it’s sequel. And it improves on the already great Trails of Cold Steel in basically every way, as the conclusion of a story should.

Mechanically, not much is different. Things have been rebalanced, there are new Arts (spells) and Crafts (techniques), and a very prominent new battle mechanic I’d rather not spoil, but it’s really just an improvement on the already core mechanics, which makes it a pretty good JRPG with decent amounts of player agency.

But what really shines is everything else. Kiseki consistently has the best music, writing and characters of any games.

Period. Not JRPGs. Not RPGs. Period. Which is why it’s so upsetting that they’ve never really hit it big in the west, despite being pretty huge in Japan. Now, part of this is just bad luck. Most of the series is on a dead platform (PSP and Vitaaaaa) and part is timing (Cold Steel hitting long after the PS3’s prime) but also is just due to the lack of any marketting XSeed can do cause these are localizations done on an EXTREMELY limited budget.

Trails of Cold Steel 2 has one of the best climaxes and final (well, 'final’) dungeons of any game I’ve ever played and is everything I want out of writing and story-telling in a game. Every character has a great design and clear, unique voice, with a backstory and personality that make sense considering each other and leads to realistic behavior based on these two things. It avoids every single pitfall one typically gets annoyed with in 'anime’ games, sometimes bringing up said pitfalls to specifically subvert them.

It’s a fantastic game in a fantastic series and I recommend it just as much as I do the Yakuza series.

Sup bitches.

Sup bitches. It’s Chad Warden here, aight? I’m talking about that PS Triple. The PS Triple. I ain’t talking about that Wii. The Wii, shit. Shit, people be talking about how it’s all new and shit. But you know what I’m trying to say? I’m trying to say, is that. come on now, the Wii? Come on, that little controller, that looks like a dildo. I ain’t, I ain’t trying to play my games with no dildo, aight? Maybe if the game is, like, WarioWare: Shove It Up Your Own Ass game. I don’t know if there’s any minigames where, you know, shove it up your own ass, but… Come on now, the Wii? And people trying to say that the, the PS3 should copy the Wii with the motions and… I don’t give a fuck. Shit, shit, the Wii, you know what they should copy? They should copy how to get good games. They should copy how to get good games from the PS3. Everybody knows, is that, PS3 makes the best games, now I mean nigguh? I mean, come on. You got little games, when you got Wii, you got Legend of Zelda, where you walk around with little bitch and his little bitch ass sword with little shield and he just goes HA! HA! HA! Come on… Who wants to play that shit? I need to shoot some nigguhs. Pow! Pow! Nintendo, and then you be talking about Nintendo isn’t copying anything and how Sony is copying everything. And that shit’s BULLSHIT! That’s BULLSHIT! Shit, to say Final Fantasy was on Nintendo before Sony? Have you played the PS1? Nigguh, nigguh, the PS1 got Final Fantasy 7! Shit, Nintendo tried to copy that shit. They know that they can’t compete if they don’t have Final Fantasy! I don’t even care if any of the others systems have Final Fantasy, because Final Fantasy sucks ass now! Ooh, look at Final Fantasy 12 where you run around as a little girl and shit. Fuck, everybody knows that girls can’t do shit other than suck dick! So, what I’m trying to say, is that… Sony… Sony’s the bomb nigguh… Is that true shit… Sony is true shit… You know… So… And then you, and then we got these Xbox fans… About fans of the Xbox 360… The Xbox 360, Xbox Circle, the fuck they think they are? They think they’re smart as shit? We ain’t doing geometry, we trying to play some games! And that’s one thing Xbox don’t got. Xbox ain’t got games! It ain’t got games! Shit, what, what, nigguhs trying to say like, Gears of War. Shit, fuck Gears of War, more like TEARS of War. Man, that shit has that little bitch crying all the time, see that commercial? Little bitch-ass commercial with that song? With that pussy-ass song? Shit, true games, true games has some 50 Cent on the background, some Fat Joe, some BALLIN’. Shit, not some of this Mad World shit, no, fuck that. And then what else this Xbox got… Xbox got… Halo… Nigguhs, nigguhs trying to talk about Halo. About Halo 3. You what I’m saying? Man, they best rename that shit, to GAYLO 3. Shit, that shit’s mad gay. TRUE nigguhs, TRUE nigguhs don’t play that shit. You know who plays that shit? Gay nigguhs. Gay nigguhs. Sony always wins baby, Sony always wins. You can’t beat Sony. Shit, that shit’s slick, slick. That shit… Have you seen the PS3? That shit’s is, is nice, slick, black. FWOO FWOO, FWOOWOO. That shit’s nice. Shit, you like my hair over you bitch, my hair? You like that shit. That shit’s slick, shit’s black. Shit, my hair was, was blond before that shit, aight? I dyed that shit black, you know why? Because PS Triple, the PS Triple! Ah… Shit, money, money. We got this one little fat bitch, I don’t even know his fucking name. But we got little fat bitch, trying to say that the PS3 costs less… What kind of poor, bitch-ass cardboard box is he living out of baby? Six hundred dollars ain’t shit to Chad Warden. Chad Warden wipes his ass with six hundred dollars. Six hundred dollars ain’t shit. Shit… I’ll give you six hundred dollars just to shut the hell up nigguh. You know, I can’t take the Wii with me, I can’t have it in my Caddy. You know, I need, I need to play some HD games while rolling in my caddy. How am I supposed to get some honeys with the Wii? Say, yo baby, look my Wii. You know what they’ll say to me? They’ll fucking laugh. When I show them my PS3, honeys get all over the… shit… get all the honeys with the PS Triple.

anonymous asked:

The most striking thing about Sonic Boom to me was that Sonic 06 already happened, (and apparently Sega really got shook up internally from it) but then they waited a few years, turned around, and did the same exact thing again. You'd think they would be more careful but I guess not! It really gives the impression that Sega just straight up doesn't give a shit. Hopefully the wait we've been having lately will be worth it

Well, it’s important to note that Sonic Boom and Sonic 06 happened under very different circumstances:

  • Sonic 06: Sega of Japan plans a big ambitious Sonic game for 360, PS3, PC and Wii, targeted to celebrate Sonic’s 15th Anniversary in 2006. Upon learning how underpowered the Wii hardware is, the project lead (Yojiro Ogawa) leaves Sonic 06 and starts up a Wii-exclusive Sonic game (Secret Rings). He has no extra resources to work with for the Wii game, so he has to borrow half of the allocated resources from Sonic 06, severely crippling that project. A new project lead (Shun Nakamura) is appointed, and he’s stuck with trying to pick up the pieces in order to ship a game on hardware with dramatically different architecture than last generation, something that many Japanese developers of that era were struggling with. Even with many features being cut or scaled down, the game still ships in a barely functional state, and according to rumors, even though Sonic 06 went through Quality Assurance testing, most of the bug reports had to be outright ignored due to the limitations they were working with. Secret Rings (the side-game that sabotaged Sonic 06) also comes out and suffers for its lack of budget, but since its limited budget was built in from the start, it manages its resources better and comes out the other end a more tolerable experience.
  • Sonic Boom: Worried that sales are slumping, Sega of America tries to revitalize interest in Sonic the Hedgehog by rebooting the franchise with a newer, more hip take for a burgeoning generation of younger Sonic fans. Perhaps taking a page from the astronomical success a company like Level-5 sees with things like Yokai Watch, this Sonic reboot will launch with a simultaneous cross-media assault of comics, cartoons, toys, and other merchandise. To help them with this reboot, they hire Bob Rafei and his new company, Big Red Button. Rafei helped launch Crash Bandicoot at Naughty Dog, a game that bore clear Sonic influences, so it seems like a good match. Big Red Button targets next-generation platforms for “Sonic Boom,” a four-player co-op Sonic game. It utilizes the powerful CryEngine 3, but Sega surprises them with an exclusivity deal to launch the game on Nintendo’s Wii U. Sega of America’s plan is to release Sonic Boom after Sega of Japan takes a crack at Nintendo’s platform with their game, Sonic Lost World. Sonic’s Wii games had universally out sold their 360 and PS3 big brothers in the past, and Sega hopes this trend of Sonic selling best on Nintendo will continue. CryEngine support for Wii U is awful, and Big Red Button struggles to squeeze the game on to Nintendo’s platform. They request more time and more budget from Sega to help get the game done, but there are two problems: Sonic Lost World kind of bombed, making Sega skittish about pouring more money in to other Wii U projects (like Sonic Boom). On top of that, all the other Sonic Boom stuff (those toys, comics, and cartoons) are scheduled to launch for the Christmas season. Sonic Boom on Wii U was designed to be the tent pole to prop all of this stuff up, and delaying it would be a disaster. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, Big Red Button limps across the finish line after serious cuts on internal staff in order to make their deadline.

It’s not like anybody at Sega sat down and said “Let’s waste years of time and millions of dollars by throwing another Sonic game in the garbage.” The road to hell is paved with the best intentions and all of that – and in this regard, at least as far as Sonic Boom is concerned, Sega was coming from a well-meaning place, thought they were making all of the right moves and just happened to bet on the wrong horse. Who even knows, the mandate to shove Sonic Boom on to the Wii U may have actually come from Sega of Japan. Wouldn’t be the first time the Japan end of things did something like that.

None of this is any excuse for what a failure either game is, of course, because bad decisions were still made along the way, even if the people involved tried to make the best of it. But it helps to have context, is all.

Um, excuse me? Pathfinder Ryder? Sir? Or…ma'am, I guess?

Okay, so, in order to ensure our species weren’t wiped out by the Reapers, our ancestors left the galaxy on generation ships, I get that, that makes sense.

But why did we bring the Krogans? They can’t breed, right? We left before the Genophage was cured, before that whole Collector thing happened. (don’t ask me how I know that) I mean sure, Krogans live like 1000 years, but so do Asari. And Asari aren’t almost all violent psychopaths!

And why were there no Drell, Elcor, Hanar or Volus ships? Was the Alliance just like ‘sorry, you don’t matter enough, your races have to die’? Did they see the other races building these ark-like vessels and just go 'eh, we’ll be fine’? Is it cause not enough people wanted to fuck those races? What about the Batarians and Vorcha? Is it cause they’re analogs for minorities? The Quarians at least make sense cause they’re weird nomads.

In fact, why do we even have 'Pathfinders’? Wouldn’t a probe do the job of looking for inhabital planets way better than a person? You can send out hundreds of probes, too. Wouldn’t the generation ships have a stock of such probes when they LEFT, in preparation for arriving in the new galaxy?

And how did you disarm that person pointing the gun in your face? You just kind of touched the gun, and then had it. Why didn’t he just shoot you? Why did he even get that close? Why didn’t the two Krogans guarding the door behind you shoot you? Why does your face look like it’s from a PS3 game?


#6: A Little Extra Christmas Money

Length: Long

There was blood in my shoes again, as I sat in the staff room waiting for my heart-rate to return to ‘not-deadly’.

Seriously, had I known that making some extra Christmas money was going to be this intense I would have just bought a big bag of macaroni and glitter and made everybody calendars.

I’d seen adverts for temporary Christmas staff for a major online retailer. I won’t say which one just in case they see this but you might have seen people… droning on about their latest innovation. If you’re still in doubt, during the training period I was informed by a manager with a puffed up chest that the warehouse had its own public road built by the local council just to accommodate them. As I say; which retailer? A major one.

The role was a picker. As the Christmas orders flooded in it was my job to dash around the shelves, pick them up and bring them back for packing. I’d worked in target based environments before so I thought I’d known what I was letting myself in for but… No. I guess you don’t become a major online retailer without knackering a few ankles. I took a pedometer to work one day out of curiousity and was amazed to see that I covered nearly 16 miles in a single shift.

The job was monotonous, but what was worse was the sheer pressure of the role. I had a handheld little beepy machine that I had to use to scan all the items I was picking and, Christ, no sound in history has ever become so irritating as fast as that little handheld. The world over, there are babysitters violently shaking infants and thinking that at least they don’t have to carry this thing for a daily half-marathon.

Every few hours, I’d have to check in with a supervisor who’d check my pick rate. He could even set it to start beeping if it got too low, like I was the bus in Speed, charging around the aisles with an imaginary Keanu Reeves on my back making sure I don’t go below 50 items/hour.

Every shift was the same. BEEP - One Direction - BEEP - Pokemon X - BEEP - Game of Thrones - BEEP - Breaking Bad Complete Box Set - BEEP - Hunger Games bedroom poster - BEEP - Hopes - BEEP - Dreams - BEEP - Legend of Zelda Premium Wii U Giftset.

It didn’t take long for the physical demands of the role to come to the fore. The skin at the base of my nails was broken and peeling from being caught on 50 books and CDs an hour. My knees ached and popped from doing more squats than an Olympic wannabe. But the worst was the blisters.

I’d check my feet after a shift and see raw, red, irritated skin. I’d check again in the morning and try to gently roll a sock over the big skin bubble of protective fluid that developed overnight. The worst though, was spending a day running on it; feeling the pressure of your step stabbing at the periphery of the blister; feeling it bulge and wane with every step; feeling the pressure separating the layers of skin. Then, finally, feeling that one short jolt of pain followed by a warm, seeping damp that collects under the arc of your foot.

It was another shift down, and there was blood in my shoes again.

Beep beep, motherfucker. Beep beep.

Still, the money was alright, and it was only temporary.

What really stepped up the game was when I offered a night shift. The night shifts were a different animal. People said they have better pay, lower pickrate targets, fewer supervisors, fewer orders coming through, the whole lot. They were massively coveted for anyone whose personal timetable wasn’t tied to the school run, so if you were offered one you damn well took it. I was offered a fortnight’s worth of shifts and the extra money would mean I could quit a few shifts earlier before Christmas. It was nothing short of a God-send. 

My first shift was a week later. It was stripped back alright, but even I wasn’t ready for just what a skeleton crew they had running the graveyard hours. The pickers were out in force still but everything else was pared right back to the bone. It was just us and a scant few supervisors in a warehouse that normally housed thousands. Plus, it was the ‘Night Supervisors’ – a strange, mythical breed. Mine was Derek.

Derek was ambiguously old; old enough that being contracted to such an antisocial shift begged questions about his personal life that he was too old for anyone to dare ask. He was a narrow man, with narrow eyes in front of narrow opinions. He wielded his clipboard and tally-sheets with all the macabre glee of an executioner; just waiting for you to slip so he could take the miniscule amount of power he’d been afforded and promptly get drunk on it.

Even the utilities were stripped back; the fierce halogen overheads turned off in favour of motion-detecting spotlights once every 5 feet or so that only lit the immediate area around you. It made charging around the corridors quite fun at first, watching the rippling lights follow you along the aisles like spotlights at a theatre performing the world’s dullest rendition of Picker of the Opera.

However, it was here that I realised I’d been sold a lie; sure, the pick rates were lower, but there was a reason. The night orders were more complex and needed picking from much further flung corners of the warehouse. The extra running meant that a lower target was instantly just as difficult to maintain. Soon, I was charging up and the down the corridors with as much urgency as I did on any day shift, riding the ripples of motion-tripped light like some kind of weightless surfer.

It was those lights that first got me.

I was putting together a pick that was, thankfully, mostly CDs. Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons. I charged over to Aisle 15, trying to speed hop to avoid popping the big blister on my right heel, and scanned the first with the usual BEEP. Then, some way down the aisle, another light came on. I squinted into the dark towards the newly lit patch but I couldn’t see anyone who could have triggered the light. I shook it off; probably just some stock falling over on a shelf.

I headed off to pick up Imagine Dragons, scanning the shelf again. BEEP. And again, down the aisle, another light came on. I stood, squinting into the dark to try and see what could have set it off. But there was nothing. There wasn’t even any stock on those shelves that far down. I called out to see if anyone was near enough to have set them off. ‘Hello?’

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series - Localization Blog #1

Hey, Trails fans!

This is Brittany again, Production Coordinator at XSEED. So. Yes. The rumors were true. Every time the words “Trails of Cold Steel” showed up on news sites, we were giggling like preschooler dorks because we knew it was a real thing that was happening. On the flipside, we were also visibly cringing because of how we couldn’t participate in any forum discussion surrounding it whatsoever. And with the fanbase Trails has, you can bet there are always lots of questions.

This blog will serve as more of a preemptive Q&A session for Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, Trails of Cold Steel, and the Trails series in general to try and clear up the series’ position in the West as much as possible. We’ll also be sharing the first official PC English screens of Trails in the Sky Second Chapter along the way!

Why the name Trails of Cold Steel?

Longtime fans of the series know the game as Sen no Kiseki, which roughly means something like, “The paths/trails of a flash/flicker.” It’s typically meant to represent that glint you see on a blade being drawn as it catches the light. It’s clearly not a very easy word to render in English and still make sense with the current “Trails” moniker, so we dismissed the more literal “Trails of a Flash” and other similar titles rather quickly.

I suggested Trails of Cold Steel for several reasons:

• The story is based around Thors Military Academy, a place in Erebonia where many young political upstarts balance school life and war tactics as part of their daily curriculum. Conflict and weapons are something of a theme in Cold Steel, and I wanted words which were specifically reminiscent of steel blades.

• The term “Sen” is a fairly serious word—"Steel" alone wouldn’t have set the right tone, but “Cold Steel” together helps reflect the strain of Erebonia’s intensely classist, military powerhouse society.

• Being a big fan of the Trails series myself, I’ve bought every single soundtrack related to the series. Even before we had the rights to Cold Steel, I’d bought the soundtrack. Hell, I bought it day one! And the main battle theme (which is a killer track, I might add) is called “The Glint of Cold Steel.” The second I saw it, I thought, “Well, that has quite a nice ring to it!”

• When Ken and I were in Falcom’s office and proposed the English title, they immediately smiled and said, “Actually, we once considered using the word ‘Steel’ in the title ourselves, so that’s perfect. We like it.”

So, there you have it. As of now, the official English name of Sen no Kiseki, completely endorsed by the original developers themselves, is Trails of Cold Steel.

Aren’t there a few games that come before Trails of Cold Steel? What’s up with that?

Let’s get this out of the way: I am absolutely thrilled we’re continuing the Trails series in the West. It quickly became one of my favorite series along with Ys, and I absorb all information relating to it much like how a northern clingfish clings to rocks. Look up northern clingfish videos, by the way; they’re really cool.

When Falcom approached us with interest in seeing the game localized (and yes, they came to us), I naturally was all for it. But like most fans, I worried because of the two games that preceded it—Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki (which I will henceforth be calling Trails to Zero and Trails to Azure, though those should not be considered final or official names)—because they have some events in them that seem to tie in with Cold Steel directly. Is it okay to publish the series out of “order”? If we do take on Cold Steel, will people be missing out on some critical information by not playing Zero and Azure first?

I was fortunate enough to be able to express this worry in person to the president of Falcom, Toshihiro Kondo; I was also just as relieved by his response. Immediately, he responded: “Actually, this is kind of intentional. We wanted Cold Steel and Zero/Azure to be playable in any order because we noticed that, with Cold Steel, the demographic suddenly became younger. Many new fans of the series were going back to the old games.”

Essentially, their goal for Cold Steel was not only to continue developing the incredibly deep lore behind the Zemurian continent, but to do it in such a way that would both please longtime fans and help new fans feel right at home. Rest easy knowing that you can canonically play Cold Steel before Zero/Azure—you’ll simply be getting a different perspective on events, seeing things in an order that differs from what Japanese players experienced, but is still confirmed by one of the Trails creators to be A-OK and even pretty much as intended.

And, hey, while I’m all about encouraging people to play Trails in the Sky first, you could start with Trails of Cold Steel and then go back to the Sky series if you so desired; you’d just be enjoying a whole different set of Easter eggs. I absolutely adore the ridiculous amounts of detail this series manages to put out without completely shutting out a curious new audience at the same time, and apparently Falcom does, too.

Even if the games can be played in a different order, why didn’t you work on Trails to Zero and Trails to Azure first? Why “skip ahead” at all?

The simple answer is this: Zero and Azure started as PSP games and by the time we would have finished both of them, the PSP will have long been dead as a viable platform. Even though we’re working on Trails in the Sky SC for PSP now, all the effort going into its PSP launch is a labor of love, not profit.

However, there does exist a Japanese PC port of Trails to Zero and a Chinese PC port of Trails to Azure. This means that, theoretically, we could go back to the duology at any time if the series remains successful, since Trails in the Sky has found new life on PC in the west. PC love won’t be falling out of fashion any time soon.

Trails of Cold Steel is only for PS3 and PS Vita, however. With the PS4 already taking the world by storm, the PS3 is slowly falling out of favor, meaning we have a very limited window to get it out and still justify it as a smart business move—especially since we have Cold Steel’s direct sequel to consider. That’s the main reason we opted to move forward with Cold Steel’s localization even before we knew the series was intended to be played in any order.

In short, what all of this means is that the chances of Trails to Zero and Trails to Azure getting released here are not, uh, zero. Just keep supporting the series, and let’s see what happens together!

 You guys are still working on Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, right? Will it be out before Cold Steel? What about the last game in the trilogy, Trails in the Sky 3rd?

Yes, we are still in QA for Trails in the Sky SC for PSP (PS Vita/Vita TV compatible) and PC. And yes, it will also be out before Cold Steel, so you will be able to thoroughly enjoy the conclusion to Estelle and Liberl’s story before Cold Steel’s launch.

I say “conclusion” because, while 3rd is related to content within FC and SC, the overarching story fans were introduced to from the first game will indeed be concluded with SC, satisfactory ending and all. 3rd serves as something of an intriguing offshoot from the series and stars a beloved character introduced in SC: one Kevin Graham. Rather than take on the grand scale of FC and SC, it dives even deeper into character development and series lore, with said lore dipping its fingers into every game in the series in some way, shape, or form. Needless to say, I would be thrilled to work on it, and have made my opinion very much heard in the office. Ha ha.

While far, far, FAR from confirmed, I will personally continue to push for 3rd and hope that fans will back me up by buying the hell out of SC. Please. Seriously. Buy it. I’m not even going to try hiding how desperate I am here. I want us to keep working on this series forever.

 We’ve been waiting a long time for Trails in the Sky Second Chapter. What’s the status of that? And what’s the localization status on Cold Steel? What about “Cold Steel II”?

We know you’ve been waiting for SC. Boy, do we know! And in hindsight, we wish we could’ve scheduled its localization a lot better, because at this point we want it out the door just as much as you (ha ha). I’m currently working together with Trails in the Sky FC & SC editor Jessica Chavez to clean things up and make sure it’s as polished as can be within our crazily hectic schedule. In fact, we’re working 100% in tandem with some of the series’ biggest fans to ensure that every fact is checked and every piece of foreshadowing is correctly shadowed, and just in general taking every step we can to ensure even our biggest critics are pleased with the final product. So far, I could not be happier with the feedback we’ve received.

That being said, we know the series has had something of a rocky start in the West in terms of scheduling, and it’s stressed us out as much as it would anyone. We’ve even joked about it by dubbing these delays and surprises the “Curse of Kiseki,” which has a particularly hilarious acronym when also paired with Trails in the Sky’s now-infamous acronym.

Aaanyway, we’ve learned a hell of a lot over the years, so this time, we didn’t want to jump the gun on announcing Trails of Cold Steel too early (and we didn’t, because the translation process started a year and a half ago!). As of this writing, not only is Trails of Cold Steel fully, 100% translated, we’re reaching the final stages of editing as well and will very soon be recording a whopping 10,000~ voiced lines for the game. You may remember Nick from his sublime work in STORY OF SEASONS; he, together with the newest addition to the XSEED team, Kris, are working together to bring you one sensational experience.

…Oh, and Trails of Cold Steel II in already in the process of being translated, so don’t you worry your silky little heads none.

•        Will Trails of Cold Steel I and II see physical releases, or will they be digital-only like Trails in the Sky SC?

I’m pleased to say that both Cold Steel I and II are confirmed for physical and digital launches on PS3 and PS Vita.

 There’s still plenty of work to be done, and I’m almost certain this blog won’t answer everything, but I hope it clears up the biggest mysteries surrounding this series. The world of Trails is wonderful and full of life, and I hope fans will continue to support it in the West for years to come.

- Brittany

And, hey, just because I can: my very first localization project, Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven, just launched on June 2nd physically and digitally for 3DS! If you like SRPGs and things that melt your heart, LoM might be the game for you.