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Alan Stock

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    Games, Photography, Travelling, Films, Clubbing, Dog's bottoms.

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  1. I've had a bunch of blue screens on my base PS4 and I guy I was playing with got about 6 blue screens in 4 hours, it's definitely screwed. PC players have been getting crashes too. As for the season, loving it. It may not keep me playing for weeks but the new map is great and such a breath of fresh air for the game. Ranked is fun and the new longer range meta is a nice change from R99 Peacekeeper every game. Charge rifle is OP but really fun to use, and a good Crypto is really handy on your team, even if I don't enjoy his playstyle much.
  2. Does this go live tonight? I think this is finally the patch that will see me picking up the game again for a bit. The new map looks really cool, especially the train. I watched the new trailer and have no clue what abilities the new guy has. What does his drone do? What's his ultimate?
  3. Issues whilst docked? Wow that's bad. When Wiper mentioned locks, I suppose I should have said I've reached a "lock" rather than a proper ending. I looked up the game's composer and was suprised to see he never worked on any of Uchikoshi's previous games (his name is Keisuke Ito). He's worked on a number of games including Yakuza 3 and the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series. Credit to him for nailing the feel of Zero Escape's music and there's some really catchy chillout tunes in there too. Also I love the nod to Zero Escape with the sound effect for the mental locks. I forget what the sound effect was used for in Zero Escape, something to do with the escape rooms? Anyone remember?
  4. Good to hear your experiences Wiper. I played a few more hours tonight and things got good fast, a good wee rollercoaster and I reached an "ending", some twists I kinda saw coming but other mysteries I didn't. Now I have access to the flowchart and will resume tomorrow to go back in time and see more story. As I suspected it's gotten a lot better once things start kicking off with lots of questions left to answer. The dreamstate is kind of annoying in how (understandably but frustratingly) there isn't a great deal of logic and a heap of trial and error. Which would be fine but as the dream segments have a time limit you keep having to reset if you mess up. And I ran out of time in one dream segment tonight, thinking "oh I wonder how this will change the plot?" only to discover you just restart from the beginning of the dream if you fail, negating the whole tension of the thing as you know the right actions to do on any retries. Despite this qualm the story is quite compelling now and the characters are good. I hear ya on the pervert thing, it does get a bit old, I mean it can be funny at times but although it was also prevelant in Zero Escape they've gone a bit overboard with it in this game. The branching mechanic seems a bit odd but the effective removal of choice isn't a big deal for me, as in the previous games it boiled down to going through every choice anyway to get the full story. I'm on base PS4 for this and have had no technical issues at all, most of the loading is near instant and I haven't had any major frame drops. I find with the Switch quite a lot of games get framerate issues unless you play docked, which is why I try to play docked as much as possible! Looking forward to seeing how the story branches now. I would love to ask Wiper what you got for your first ending (I'm curious as to whether the first playthrough is the same for everyone) - but of course we may end up spoiling it for each other if not, so I'll wait until I've finished the game before I start asking about other folks playthroughs.
  5. So I've played this for maybe 4 - 5 hours, and things are starting to get interesting. What follows are spoiler-free impressions. Somnium Files has a much slower pace than Zero Escape (or the writer's other games), and so far there have been no WTF moments or heart racing tension. That's not to say it's bad by any means, it just hasn't grabbed me too much yet. However there are plenty of little mysteries and seeds being planted which I know will pay off later, plus some of the reviews I skimmed mentioned it is off to a slow start before things start getting really good. It's starting to get there but so far I've definitely not been in the mindset of playing it till 6am like Zero Escape because I have to know what happens. I do have faith though and I heard it gets really tense and crazy later on with the usual Uchikoshi twists and excitement. So throw any preconceptions that this is like Zero Escape (at least the first few hours) out the window. This is very much a dialogue based police investigation with a scattering of dreamlike weirdness and technology thrown in, so far (I'm on Day 3 or 4). You talk to people, you investigate places, you explore dreams and a murder mystery unfolds. The writing is pretty good so far, it's very Uchikoshi in how the characters speak (I assume its the same translation team too). There's all the usual sexual innendo and silliness you'd expect, the characters are solid so far too. And yes, of course there are plenty of boobs and cute girls, although thankfully not every girl is like that. For anyone who was worried about the animation and art style after Zero Escape Time Dilemma, have no fear. In Somnium Files the characters look good, they are animated fine, they're expressive and the lip synch is even good. There are plenty of cutscenes and although the animation can be stiff overall it's a vast improvement over Time Dilemma. The art style is a bit weird with some characters looking realistic and others straight out of a manga but it holds together fine and looks pretty good. The voice acting is good so far and the music is pretty great. I'm pretty sure it must have the same composer/s as Zero Escape as the style is similar and there are plenty of catchy melodies. The music tone is lighter overall with more chilled out and silly moments but there's room for that to develop as the plot gets darker. Gameplay-wise there's plenty of dialogue options when talking to people although a lot of it is just exhausting each conversation tree. You spend plenty of time on screens with a cursor clicking around investigating objects - even when just talking to main characters you can usually explore the background room to find out more. I've given up clicking on chairs and stuff "A chair" but just like Zero Escape some mundane objects can lead to little conversations between the characters. Crime scene investigations are so far akin to Danganronpa, click around and use abilities until you find everything so the plot can move on. Dream exploration is a bit weird mechanically with more of a puzzle element to it, although it seems a bit trial and error (I've only done a few so far, about to head into my third). There are other little bits of interactivity in the game too which seem to be increasing as the game goes on. Although the game is quite railroady so far, there have been a few choices about where to go, when to leave an area, and certain actions to take. There may be details I've missed which could affect the plot, as of yet I have no clue how the structure of the game works. So it's been quite enjoyable so far but not gripping, plenty of good ideas though and lots of mysteries being set up. No sign of flow charts (although there's one in the menu i won't look at it yet), no game overs or anything yet either - although there have already been a few choices I've made which definitely seem like "routes" or potential game over situations. I'm guessing based on reviews its building up slowly and will pay off the further into the game I get. I was actually expecting quite a short game (somehow forgetting that doing all routes on Zero Escape games could take 20 hours+), but it seems like I'm still quite early on. It's enjoyable so far but I'll be playing on in anticipation of it getting better and better as it goes on, fingers crossed.
  6. It's vanished from the PS4 Store for me too, plus its gone from my Purchased Library, as of last night. Rather worrying and I hunted online for answers. In a thread on the Zero Escape Reddit it seems we're not alone. One guy emailed Spike Chunsoft for answers and they said they weren't aware of it and are gong to look into the issue now - so I'm really hoping it still appears on release or I'm going to be really pissed! I've tweeted at their English Twitter account too for an update but I'm not holding my breath to hear from them before midnight. Fingers crossed!
  7. This is out at midnight tonight in the EU, although the lucky US already have it. I got it on preorder via PSN two days ago (45 quid down from 50 quid). On the purchase page it said 23 hours to go (at 1 in the morning). So last night at midnight I excitedly logged in to download it... and the timer was back up to 24 hours. So it turns out that the PSN pre-orders timer doesn't show days, instead it counts down every 24 hours and then resets every day until release day! So I had no game and have to wait another day to play it Sort out your pre-order design Sony! PS The special editions look quite nice if you're into that kind of thing, with an art book and other bits and bobs.
  8. I honestly wouldn't be surprised. Although I've just picked up snippets of info, I understand there are missions in the game and that makes me think of MGSV style missions, where although its open world there are loads of set pieces and events happening all the time to punctuate the exploration stuff. Given how little we've seen of the game so far I'm sure there is tons and tons we aren't seeing. Like for example, surely there are going to be boss fights against Mads and his undead crew, the skull dude and so on. There's the "being dead" underwater place we've barely seen anything of. Maybe its going to be a lot more action packed than what we're being fed so far. Take MGS3 and MGSV - they had plenty of quiet bits where you skulked around the jungle or bummed around in the desert but that was just the leadup to when it all kicked off, and all of that of course was interspersed with awesome set pieces and cutscenes.
  9. So hot on the heels of AI: Somnium Files, we get a new video at TGS finally showing some gameplay and story of Death March Club. It's a story-based Saw style killing game. This is the debut title of the new studio formed by Zero Escape series creator Uchikoshi, and Danganronpa creator Kodaka. Both of those series are excellent, twisting murder visual novels based on killing games. Before we only knew the rough details and some screenshots of Death March Club but now we can find out a bit more. I'm not really sure what to think: Turn on English subtitles using the Youtube captions: So first of all the inclusion of "realistic" characters is a big surprise we didn't know about. But is that just the premise to set up the story? Secondly, the art style looks way cooler in-game than the screenshots suggested. I dunno if I'm sold on it but as we know from Danganonpa, cute definitely doesn't mean nice - though strangely we don't get to see any violence or murders in the trailer. Next, the gameplay looks, well - crap. Endless running across rooms. Bog standard platforming and crate pulling. The gameplay has never been the strong suit of Danganronpa and Zero Escape but the puzzle escape rooms in Zero Escape were decent and Danganrona had a whole load of mad shit going on and some actual deductive reasoning thrown in. This on the other hand looks boring as hell, I hope there's a lot more to it than this. As for the story, it looks promising, if you can accept the art style. Zero Escape's Uchikoshi has written the main plot and he's a mad genius when it comes to killing game plot lines (his latest, AI Somnium Files has been getting good reviews). Presumably there is some kind of crossover between the cutesy world and the "real world" we see in the intro. So I'm not worried about the story, but I am worried about the gameplay. But it all looks very weird and I'm very intrigued about how this is all going to turn out. Honestly I would have been happy with another visual novel, but at least they're trying something new. The question is whether the creators have stepped too far out of their comfort zone. One to keep an eye on for fans of Zero Escape/Danganronpa.
  10. I think even if the open world stuff does turn out to be a bit dull, I'll still happily trawl through it just to get to the next cutscene. I find that sometimes with game series like Metal Gear, Final Fantasy and Xenoblades, the story is so compelling and the cutscenes are so good that sometimes you're just racing to get to the next one. It's a bonus when the actual gameplay in between is good! I've only skimmed through some of the latest videos as they're giving too much away. A lot of the fun of Kojima games is discovering all of the little details, story, characters, and general weirdness completely fresh. From what I've seen though, I do have some hope that the trekking may not be as boring as we feared. We've seen plenty of gadgets, a motorbike, combat and spooky sperky aliens, so hopefully there'll be plenty to do to break up your endless walks through the Scandinavian scenery.
  11. Nah Zero Time Dilemma was very divisive because of its big shift in the format and the low budget animation, you're far from alone. Lots of people think its pretty rubbish compared to the first two Zero Escapes. I really enjoyed it (after the initial dissapointment) but it is quite a bit weaker than 999 and VLR. What's important to know about Zero Time Dilemma though are these facts. First, it ran into massive development issues because it was going to get canned (its worth googling to find out the full story). That's why the animation is so ropey, for example. This also led to Uchikoshi outlining the overall plot but only writing half of the scenarios in the game (unsuprisingly most of these were team Carlos'), and other writers did C-Team (which is by far the weakest group with Eric and co). The game only got saved after international fans made such a big and heartfelt appeal that Chunsoft decided to get it finished after all, but even then it had a terrible budget and a short timeframe. The pacing in Zero Time Dilemma is way off thanks to its fragmented format, which makes it confusing as well and hard to care about the characters. That puts a lot of players off. Unfortunately a lot of people don't stick with it, because its in its final hours when all the fragments start joining up, that's when it becomes an amazing rollercoaster. Uchikoshi also did a pretty mediocre job of tying up loose ends with it which annoyed a lot of fans (including me). So as you can see Zero Time Dilemma went through some troubled development and its kind of a miracle we even got it at all. Some people would still argue it would have been better off not made, but if you embrace its flaws there's still a great story in there (and oodles of atmosphere). That's why I was so curious as to what Uchikoshi's next game would be and whether he still had his mojo - fortunately from the reviews for the Somnium Files, it sounds like he's still got it.
  12. Gamespot 8/10 I've not really read the review as it seems to contain way too many plot details. But if you don't mind learning about the story go ahead: https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/ai-the-somnium-files-review-eyes-love-you/1900-6417301/ I was looking at preordering and once again Chunsoft is going for premium price - 45 quid on PS4 and 52 quid on Switch. It hurts - not that I'm against paying that much for games but as you know it will be short and you'll probably only play it once, its a bit of a gutpunch for those on a low budget. I really believe that if they'd stuck to a slghtly lower price bracket with this and Zero Escape then more people would be willing to take the chance. Zero Time Dilemma was the same.
  13. More reviews trickling out, Eurogamer Recommended today: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-09-16-ai-the-somnium-files-review-a-bizarre-story-masterfully-told Kotaku has a mid playthrough impressions article too: https://www.kotaku.co.uk/2019/09/16/zero-escape-directors-new-game-is-another-twisty-captivating-mystery I've only skimmed the paragraphs related to plot and characters so as not to spoil anything. The overall impressions though are that its just like any other Uchikoshi game: branching plotlines, twists, science, weirdness, lewd jokes and escape room style puzzling. Voice acting is supposed to be good. They're basically saying if you like Zero Escape and co, you'll like this. Can't wait now, will be buying it pronto!
  14. Its a great tune but I had waaay too much free time as a kid and rinsed the whole game, every secret, every boss, got every character to level 99... so yeah it got a bit much! These days I'd just pop on Youtube, Spotify or a podcast, back then I had a CD player and about 5 CDs. It's still stuck in my head to this very day... Bah dah ba ba, bah dah ba ba, bah dah ba ba, bah dah ba b,a BADABADABAbah ba da ba, bah dah ba ba, ba dah ba ba, DOOO DOOO DOOO BEE DEE PEE DOO PEE DEE DOO WOO, DOO WOO DO DO DO dumdatedumdatedumdum, BUR DE BUR DE DU DUM, pom, pom, pom pom! See, just like the videos above!
  15. Ah I must be remembering it wrong and combining my annoyances, I do remember it went on for something crazy like 50 floors!
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