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About AK-1138

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  1. ba4f2cc770f07cf59471813c53da262e.jpg


    It's my party, and I'll make a wantonly self-indulgent post about if I want to! I'm literally the only person I know who doesn't share a birthday with some famous human who is also inordinately cool and/or talented (to wit, my mom shares one with Bret Hart, and my nephew with Paul McCartney 😑) and at the rate it's going, it may well forever remain my curse.


    Bought Kingdom Hearts: Malady of Mammaries and some of the Rawshark and Clannagh games I've yet to play, if'n you're wondering. Kingdom Hearts and birthdays kinda got a special connection for me (though ironically it's been ages since I actually played one on my birthday!), so it kinda felt right to cash in on a decent discount today.


    ...But ya gotta know, I'm more of an unbirthday guy, so I'm busy planning for tomorrow and all that. See ya!

  2. Happy birthday man! I Hope you have a great day.

    1. AK-1138


      Thanks a lot! Bee T. Dubs, this may well be the shortest thing I've ever seen you write 😈

  3. I bid you a glorious day of hatching 🎂 May your day bring you good tidings of whatever the hell it is AK loves most 🎁😲😍

    1. AK-1138


      Thank you! I do enjoy a good tiding, especially with bacon and some well-aged milbenkäse, so I'm hoping a fewadem pass my way too 🙂

  4. Chill Rainy Gamey Weekend Vibes:



    Yes indeed, by the vicissitudes of fate and the inscrutable nature of the universe, the two hath converged on this very day! This not particularly uncommon event is bound to subtly influence your RL luck stat, so feel free to invest all your savings in, like, powdered toast or something, because your chances of utter and complete resultant fiscal ruination are lessened by at least 7.4%!


    So yeah, I'll probably give Undertale a proper writeup someday, when I finally get enough Determination to make my own trophy hunting history checklist thing. As a bit of a spoiler, the overarcing theme will be how its sole claim to any kind of inordinate superlativity is the impressively creative, catchy, and cookin' soundtrack; one of the best to come along in ages, and most certainly the best to ever be composed by a vulpine humanoid named Toby!


    By sheer virtue of its thematic versatility, there are few other singular games whose musical offerings appear as frequently in my cornucopia of themed playlists... erm, not least because it's something so comparatively rare as a game soundtrack available on Spotify. Oh, the life of a game-enthused playlist architect doth be a hard one... hint hint, ye rights holders of infinite inertia!

    1. Joe Dubz

      Joe Dubz

      That was a great game! Coincidentally enough one of its trophies ended up in my milestones. I forgot about how good the tunes are tho 🤯

  5. Was at the regional wildlife and forestry museum with my nieces, and they were mesmerized by a video display showcasing the butchering of an elk... as you do, I guess 😂


    The way that series has progressed in terms of realism, I suppose it's only inevitable that the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption III will painstakingly recreate this slow and torturous process in real time, including all the first four stages involving the esophagus. Platting RDR2 took some two hundred hours, give or take; I hope you're prepared to spend about the same amount of time just watching animations in the next one.


    This post was made only in 57.3% jest.



    1. DrBloodmoney


      I'm pretty sure that guy took my teeth out in a nightmare I had


    The bad kind of second breakfast.




    (Call it a crappy 'shop if you must, but I feel like I put more effort into this than the developers did with their game.)

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. The Arizona Ranger
    3. Pray_4_the_End


      I just platted that game myself not too long ago, and it was by far the shittiest of all the Vita Lego games I've played thus far. 

    4. ihadalifeb4this
  7. Platinum #632: LEGO The Hobbit (Vita) Difficulty: 2.5/10 Playtime: 17-18 hours Okay, okay... so originally I wasn't really intending on doing a write-up for this... but if movie studios can, with impunity, inorganically transform what should have been a tight and judiciously measured duology into a bloated trilogy whose pacing is somehow both as slow as molasses going uphill in January, and as frenetic as a seven year old who just ate an entire bag of sugar and drank it down with a sixpack of Dark Dog (I promise you, that will be the most obscure reference you'll see all day) SIMUL-DAMN-TANEOUSLY... then I can surely milk this for all it's worth, just to prove that my particular brand of hackishness is decidedly Hollywood-worthy. HA HA; overblown internet complaining! Is there anything more charming and likeable in this world, I ask you? So yeah, basically, it's just Another Slightly Underwhelming Handheld LEGO Game. Only, it's about hobbitses. And dwarfses. And Evangeline Lilly's speckly freckly cheekboneses--err, I mean, umm... elf...ses...? Being a lifelong fan of the works of one Johnald Ronald Rabinowicz Tolkien to the point of mawkish and/or childish inanity and/or insanity, I'm an easy sell on pretty much anything with his name on it... which is just as well, because if this particular LEGO game didn't have such an amazing setting to fall back on, it may well have been my least favourite LEGO game of all time. I do realize this does make it somewhat more than just "slightly" underwhelming, but I made this addendum during copyediting after repeatedly referencing the acronym later throughout the writeup, so fuck it. The ASUHLG (wow, the acronym almost sounds like an Orc name or something!) games' penchant for optional goals is a hit-and-miss experience at the best of times. Though this particular gameplay quirk is one I do tend to have some innate fondness for, oftentimes the instructions are just too vague, which most definitely does apply here. It does not help in the slightest that online help in this regard is not only somewhat scarce... but some of the sources have been contradictory, resulting in some busted level runs on top of, you know, the usual fuckton of busted level runs. Some enterprising dragon could amass a hefty treasure pile from alla them, is all I'm saying. The resultant fun factor is about as consistent as... well, that of its source material! Wait... so, does that make this an objectively good adaptation, then? Help, I'm a confusion! Whereas the mainline LEGO games receive some much-deserved criticism for sticking to formula as much as a newborn babe, in my experience, the ASUHLG (reckon I hate myself for coming up with such a clunky--if pleasantly orcy--acronym yet?) counterparts seem to suffer from the exact opposite, and nearly always to their detriment. Case in point: the fundamentally flawed attempt at a node-based overworld map in the vein of Super Mario World, also known as a game anyone would rather be playing. Not only is it a dull and joyless facsimile of said--existing only to create an illusion of openworldedness-- navigation is a frequently unintuitive endeavour. Side quest dialogue is unskippable, which, when combined with a near-complete lack of in-game collectible tracking, is a special kind of evil that would make Sauron cream his spiky metal boxers. And of course there's some dodgy event flags with some of the micro level-based quests forcing you to replay a fair few of them. Oh yeah, and did I mention how I had to replay the first half of the story when my characters would patently refuse to spawn on the map? Never outsource QA to ents, kids. Ultimately, I have a hard time recommending this to anyone who isn't a dyed-in-the-wool completionist. It only barely edges out the Vita Marvel game on the tier list of LEGO games on the admittedly tenuous strength of its license alone. One thing I do recommend, however, is... The Friendship Onion! Not a weird new genetically modified vegetable that magically induces friendship, but a comparatively fresh new codpast starring the actors what portrayed Perry and Mippin in that other Tolkien movie trilogy that's actually not only good, but kind of one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, and stuff. Their quirky banter certainly helped me maintain as chipper a mood as possible Durin this questionable experience. ...Actually, just skip the game altogether and listen to that instead. You will thank me later... as will Mssrs. Boyd and Monaghan for this cheap and transparent plug! Ah, with this ill-gotten shill money, I'll be able to afford PO-TAY-TOES for the first time in years! And since I'm off to resell this disappointment of a game, maybe I can even get some gravy! The road goes ever on... Final Rating: 5.5/10
  8. Rainy Gamey Vibes:




    You know, it isn't often someone is genuinely woken up by the sound of insanely loud rain on their windowpane... but it happened today! And it's still coming down like dats and cogs outside! But Oliver, don't be scared, though yesterday no one cared...


    Whew, Ethan Mars wouldn't have a prayer of saving SHAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN if the dramatic inchometer were consistently stuck on a level of intensity such as this... yep, that poor kid'd drown faster than a guy who just got a brand new pair of shoes from his friends Tony, Paulie, and Lorenzo.


    You know... apropos to nothing, I juuuuuust might spend a majority of today inside playing games, for a change 😏

  9. Oh-Ubisoft.jpg


    [ACIV: Black Flag] Why does this come off like someone just copypasted a bit of actual internal Ubisoft communications and called it a day? 😬

    1. AihaLoveleaf


      I take offense to that message title. They can't go making fun of us Trophy Hunters like that.

    2. AK-1138


      @AihaLoveleaf I bet that's the insider term they use for us, in the same vein as "whales." At least this one doesn't necessarily dehumanize its subjects as the species isn't, umm, speciesfied. If we aren't human "crybabies" in this context, I hope we can at least be those cool lizard things what can squeeze blood out their eyes.

  10. I played a game and then I wrote this about that game. I tried doing it the other way around but I'm not enough of a corrupt contemporary vidya garme jurnalizt to do it that way.


    Ah, with such incisive cutting edge satire, I should be on television making BIG BUCKS!!! But I do this for nothing, because Mama AK raised herself a good egalisamaritanian.


    P.S.: Many ice cream bars died to bring you this information. Don't let their sacrifice be in vain, and read this, or something!



  11. Platinum #629: Difficulty: 2.5/10 Playtime: 25-30 hours Right, sooooo... at this point, you're probably wondering, "Why was this posted such a comparatively long time after your reviews of the two previous titles?" Umm, well, would you believe me if I told you that it's an intentional stylistic choice made to emulate the considerable time gap (which is borderline nonexistent compared to the quality gap, hoo boy...) between the releases of The Godfather parts II and III in a needlessly pretentious metatextual fashion? 'Cause that's totally what happened! It's not as if I kind of forgot to write it, or anything. It has nothing to do with my being an interminably lazy hack, so just leave it, okay?!? ... Oh yeah, games! Specifically, this game. It is the third game in a trilogy of games, could you tell? And how good of a game is this game, not just in and of itself, but in comparison to the earlier series games that are also games? Your games. My games. Game's games. Game game game. Well, game your gaming game hole and lemme game ya about the game! Yep, so ain't no two ways about it: this is the best in the trilogy. Insomniac keep going from strength to strength in terms of making the games progressively more enjoyable on a consistent basis, to the point that upon consulting my Mind Palace for material for this very review, no one singular instance of lengthy and egregious badgamedness was conjured forth. This isn't to say there wasn't the occasional neglible patch of fun-dampening non-funnage... but that's a game for ya. They's all got 'em. But how can you know if you're actually having fun if there's no contrast, you know? There's finally a much-needed second weapon wheel to cut down on stop-start menu fiddling, that horrid bane of the PS2 era o'er which only the truly damned would ever shed a tear. The RPG elements are a lot less grindy... although, speaking of grinds and tears, let's actually shed some of the latter for the much-missed rail grinding mechanic, which is nowhere to be found here. Another delicious quality-of-life improvement is the automatic equippage of the Swingshot in the vicinity of grappling targets... heck, it's even been merged with other traversal tools just to prove a point! ...Oh, and the shader work is genuinely impressive for its time! Joy! ...Yeeeeeeah, you can kinda tell how important graphics usually are to me by the way I shoehorned that in there, huh? Obviously, we're still a few light years away from the gameplay convenience revolution of the PS3 era... but considering where the series started, my overall impression is, that revolution has already been televised, in part at least. Even the story and character aspects have finally found their footing! It's hard to put my finger on just what it is, but this is the only one I was on board for... and, uhh, not bored with. Just the central conceit of Clank now playing a dapper spy robot (still a better Bond than professional sad sack charisma vacuum Daniel Craig, fight me) on space TV with Ratchet as his long-suffering butler is an endearing setup. When robots declare war on organics (and given our track record, who can blame them?) the Galactic Space Rangers--whose new roster includes some familiar faces--call on a certain galaxy-saving duo to aid in their Wars among the Stars. With this much more focused and dramatic plot setup, the series is finally able to reach some level of parity with the epic Saturday morning cartoon goodness of its brother-in-platf...arms, the Sly Cooper series. That's high praise, right there. My only major gripes with the game is that the focus on actual platforming is noticeably scaled down, and the somewhat repetitive battle missions aren't quite the cat's bananas that could potentially fill the resultant hole in my heart. Might be for the best though considering the series' platforming will never be quite up there in the top tier anyway? The Revenge of the Sith of the trilogy it indubitably is, but ultimately, it doesn't quite oust the PS4 game as my series favourite. Y'know, intangibles 'n' stuff. It's been the best of times, it's been the blurst of times... in all, I'm happy I gave the original games a try, and I'm looking forward to experiencing the rest of the trophy-supported games down the line. Yes, happy... that's what I am. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy!!!!!!!!!!!! And may all your Yaksmases be smelly! Final Rating: 8/10
  12. Chill Weekend Gaming Vibes:




    Funny, I never really did quite notice how chill this music is when actually playing. Maybe it's because, I don't know, I'm usually stressed to shit trying to suss out mines, drones, and soldiers while a nerdy girl in short shorts with a frankly unsettling family dynamic is crossing an oil fence at a pace that makes your common garden variety snail look like Usain Bolt just mainlined a bird bath's worth of crack rock cocaine?


    Kojima should (and probably regrets not having though of it at the time) have provided some real Pentazemin with this game... not least because this is nothing compared to going up against a seemingly endless series of Metal Gear RAYS, or genuinely broken virtual missions.

  13. Second verse; not at all same as the first. It's a thing of true, life-affirming beauty-- arguably unique to our beloved interactive medium--to get to experience such a concerted level of improvement from game to game.




    Obviously, the only logical conclusion that could be made is that they were somehow able to access my inane rantings of future past way back in 2002, and made changes accordingly. Blame it on Y2K or Freakazoid or whatever, I don't know. Welp, no matter. They done did a good, so I followed suit and dialed down my perceived hacktitude by, oh, let's say, tree fitty percent. Aye, bothing but the nest for these hard-working lads and lasses!


    ...Now get back to working on Ratchet & Clank: The Four Sisters on Thumb Street or whatever the next will be called, you lazy eediots!

    1. rjkclarke


      "So, if I can be serious for just a minute here"


      Channelling your inner Lance Storm? :D


      Glad you enjoyed that more than the first one... That seemed particularly, erm..... Torturous? For you.

    2. The Arizona Ranger
    3. AJ_Radio


      Ren & Stimpy was awesome.

  14. Platinum #628: Difficulty: 3.5/10 Playtime: 20-25 hours ...What, me angry? Perish the thought! As ever, I remain the imperturbable and measured exemplar of decorum and ZENNNNNNNNNN, you assumptational little monkey!!! Apropos to nothing, my subject today represents one of the greatest subversions of the dreaded sophomore slump in video game history. In fact, to save us both some time, just go back to my earlier review up there, and strike and reverse nearly every negative point. Whew, well, not much point in my rambling on here, now is there? See ya next time. Bye! ...So, if I can be serious for just a minute here (not much longer, mind; it's me, remember?): yes indeed, a substantial part of this particular game experience is just luxuriating in the end product of a development team dead set on rectifying mistake after mistake, like a particularly satisfying metaphor analogizing a simile. In the words of a certain game designer-cum-serial prevaricator: "It just works." The vast improvement across the board is emblematic of an ethos of objective self-criticism that all too many contemporary developers are wary of enacting; though granted, their reasons vary. Complacency at best... at worst... well, you know. My point is... yes sir, I like it! That being said, in terms of creating a wholly consistently fun experience as smooth as its smooth-as-a-freshly-shaven-yak framerate, they aren't quite there just yet. The beginnings of the series' light RPG elements are just that: beginnings. They rapidly become an afterthought that largely feel tacked on to motivate you to change... up your arsenal, and the options are not all winners, even if the batting average is much higher than OG RC. The logic of EXP allocation is also all over the place, ensuring weapons are rarely, if ever, situated in that sweet spot between natural usage, and grinding. Some other ideas like space combat and mech battles are hit and miss... and I could actually hear my brain cells dying a dog's death whenever I came across another hacking minigame. Only very rarely is this ever a favourite gameplay quirk of mine, and this one brokenly infuriating incorporation of said goes right in the bottom of the barrel for me. That's the closest I ever really got to the thunderous doldrums of OG RC PTSD again. The story, too, is a noted improvement: I still find the delivery somewhat awkward and the comedy rarely lands for me, but hey, just not having our furry robo duo spending half the game stuck in a lazy and hamfisted approximation of the "You have disappointed me and I hate you forever" stage of the third act of an animated movie, really goes a long way... although, the Captain Qw.. err, Captain Obvious twist in this one isn't winning any Pulitzers anytime soon neither. And ya gotta know, Ratchet suddenly sounding for all the world like a certain lovable Meg Ryan-haired Blitzball Boy and/or snarky space samurai wizard from space just... does something to me, ya know? Somewhat of a missed opportunity not to have the Blitz Gun fire actual Blitzballs though, ya? When you got the ball, you gotta score! Just the inference that our inexplicably more congenial furry hero apparently abhors wearing underwear is more characterization than he ever got in the first game... So yeah, I think you get the gist of it from my largely positive and decidedly un-angry tone here. Best thing is I can say is, I couldn't wait to wash my filthy, corrupted hands of the first one when I was done, but here? Boy, I'm stayin' the course past platinum completionage and grinding out the weapons sometime down the line. Starting out your series with Godfather III ain't the most auspicious of beginnings, but as long as you get a Godfather II and I out of it... well... it may well be worth staying the course, no? ...Okay, so my belaboured Godfather metaphor might not be the most apt, as this is hardly a once-in-a-generation masterpiece or anything, but it's a stompin' good time most of the time. It don't quite get me ready to do the Happy Happy Joy Joy Dance (not least because I just plain don't have the hindquarterial circumference for it!)... but boy, this story ain't over yet, and your grandmother may yet learn how to suck eggs... but for now, here endeth... whatever this was. Final Rating: 7.5/10
  15. Chill Weekend Gaming Vibes:



    Ahhh yes, the perfect background music for using a bottomless mug to pour red dye on the upper body of a sickly pale and snarky conquistador helmet-wearing talent agent to trick him into believing he's got a sunburn so he turns over, so you can poor cooking oil on his back, causing the sun to burn him for real, and allowing you to use a serrated knife that you pulled out of the back of the corpse of a fast food chicken restaurant patron (who is a dead ringer for Manny Calavera), to cut off a tattoo of a map from his peeling skin.


    What would Freud make of adventure game puzzle designers if he were around today?

    1. rjkclarke


      If there ever was a time to start creating alt accounts just to give out more rep points or give them more than once :D .. It should have been today. I'm gutted I can only rep this once.. Thanks for posting some Monkey Island goodness!

    2. AK-1138


      Wow, do people actually do that? Hmm, now you've forced me to enact even more CONSTANT VIGILANCE so as to suss out any potential Replicants. This box of special alien-detecting sunglasses ain't worth much when there aren't actual faces to see, you know?




      Anyways, that's about the nicest thing anyone's said to me all week, so thank you 🙂

    3. rjkclarke


      I know there is at least one person that does, or did... Allegedly of course.. But they were giving it to themselves 😂


      Think I'd better get myself a pair of those glasses :D...


      " Wooo. It's like a drug. Wearing these glasses gets you high, but you come down hard."