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About Honor_Hand

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  • Birthday 01/23/90

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  1. It finally came to be, one of the major figure manufacturers from Japan has finally made a stunning figure on the cat goddess herself. She looks spectacular and her price is very reasonable. I had already talked previously about this project Kotobukiya was preparing along but seeing the whole piece painted it's another thing entirely. I am supposed to be saving money for other matters right now but fuck it, I just couldn't say no to this one. It's Felicia after all, I just had to pre-order her. I did that on the spot after seeing her listing up. xD






    More pictures in the spoiler below:



























    I pre-ordered mine through AmiAmi here. Apparently, she won't be coming out until September 2022, so that's a long wait until then. I'm sure she'll be more than worth the wait, though. Look at that stunning physique. Her posing is perfecto too, sí señor. Really love the way how they captured her face, you know. It looks all playful and happy, which fits the character to a tee. There's also plenty of skin in showcase, as it should be for Felicia. Excellent work on the artists and sculptors. Bravo, seriously.


    Hope it sells like hotcakes so that other studios and manufacturers, and more importantly Capcom, take notice so that I can have more Felicia figures in the future. That would be like a dream come true. 😍


    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. FinalFan


      Hey hey, I was waiting for you to come back when I learned about the pre-order for Felicia started earlier this week.

      They also announced a Lilith figure.

    3. Honor_Hand


      @Copanele It was finally time to give some proper fanservice to Felicia in my profile here. :D And yeah, the one with the interchangeable faces was kinda...odd. Like none of the includes faces were really good. Plus the damn things cost an arm and a leg if you remember. 😅 This one looks far more worth it. It may be smaller in size but the quality is definitely there, and the face is just spot on. ;)


      @FinalFan I noticed the pre-order went up kind of late. 😆 I kinda had a hunch Lilith was going to be the third character, much to the dismay of Q-Bee's fans, lol. 😂



    4. Copanele


      You know what, even if I never buy statues, if the Lilith one looks like the art, heck why not, might ask how to purchase one 😂

      Also lol glad it's not a Q.Bee one.. That character is borderline creepy. 

  2. Platinum #159 - Dead Nation (Vita)


    Multikill. Massacre. Carnage. Decimation


    Today's platinum I'll be talking about is the Vita version of Dead Nation. I got this one about a week ago but only now I have some time available to write about it. I originally came into contact with Dead Nation thanks to Sony's Welcome Back program. If memory serves me right, this was a program that Sony had prepared to solve the 2011 PlayStation Network outage. Remember that one? It was quite a doozy back then. At the time, I picked Wipeout HD alongside this title not knowing much what to expect. What I found was a very engaging and thrilling arcade experience that has remained one of my favorites even to this day.



    Press Start to begin clearing the zombie infection


    The original Dead Nation was developed by Housemarque and released for the PS3 in 2010. The Vita version on the other hand was ported by Climax Studios somewhere around 2014. Some things had to be sacrificed in order for the game to be able to run on the Vita but I believe the end product is still worth checking out. Dead Nation is a top-down shoot 'em up game, more specifically, it's a twin-stick shooter, a genre that has come to define the Housemarque experience to this day. The objective is simple, survive the zombie apocalypse and reach the end of the level. Don't let zombies eat your face.


    Dead Nation happens to have a story but it's nothing worth pondering about. If anything, it serves more as a pretext of the world it takes place in and the actions our characters take. Talking seriously here, the whole script for the game was probably 2 pages long at best and it basically amounts to, "This happened, so I had to go there to find X." After which something like this would follow at the end of the level, "It seems X thing was already moved to another place when I got there. There were some tracks left behind, so I had to follow those tracks into the docks." It's simple, it's straightforward and it gets the job done. The delivery on the voice-acting is pretty spot-on for our gruff protagonists, I liked it.



    While dark and muddy in its visuals, the game makes great use of lighting


    Now, if there's one place where Dead Nation truly excels at, that's got to be its gameplay. Being a twin-stick shooter, we'll have to move our characters with one stick and use the other stick on the Vita to aim. It works wonderfully and immediately becomes second nature. Our objective will be to traverse 10 levels of ascending difficulty and survive the zombie apocalypse. When zombies are killed, we'll be awarded with both money and points. The more efficiently we can dispatch the zombie menace, the more money and points we'll be able to get. Zombies come in all forms and colors. Regular shamblers are the norm of the day but even among those, we'll have to be mindful of the fatso ones that deal extra damage and love charging at us unexpectedly. These can be lethal on higher difficulties. Firemen zombies cannot be ignited by incendiary weapons. Military zombies are tough and spongy as hell to go down. Hell, there's even a Santa zombie that appears randomly on the levels and gives us a small boost to our score and money. Thanks, Santa!


    Outside of the regular zombies, there are also other special enemies we'll have to be careful of. Jumpers, as their name indicate, love to jump and create a small shockwave where they land. Mouths have the ability to summon a swarm of small red shamblers that love to sneak hits on you. And Cutters... Well, let's say these fellas can 1-hit kill you on higher difficulties if you're not careful enough. Things can and will get scary when you see a couple of these charging at you. To help curb the zombie outbreak, we can use cars left behind by fleeing people to set off the alarm on them to draw the attention of the zombies. Additionally, fuel tanks on certain levels can be used to make the zombies go boom. Dispensing machines can either give us a health pack to heal ourselves or we can shoot them so that they attract the zombies' attention. The game could've probably used a few more of these environmental hazards but what's here is okay.



    Here's when we are introduced to the panic-inducing Cutters


    In addition to the varied repertoire of zombies, Dead Nation also features multiple upgradeable weapons that we can use to our advantage. From rapid-fire SMGs, barbecue-producing flamethrowers, and rather esoteric blade cannons, there's always something. I really love how all weapons are different from one another and have their best uses against certain zombies. It's perfectly balanced out. Even the seemingly useless flamethrower can be turned into a very resourceful weapon if you know how to use it. All weapons can be upgraded with money on different stats, such as power, rate of fire, clip size, max ammo, and so on. Our characters can also be equipped with different armor pieces that affect our running speed, the strength of our melee attack, and our durability. They are scattered through the levels and we'll have to keep up an eye to find the chests that contain them. All in all, both the core gameplay and design ideas of Dead Nation hold up pretty well. One small caveat I have come in the forms of the controls. Everything is nicely laid out on the Vita but I can't help but feel that the sticks and shoulder triggers aren't 100% precise for the job in this game. They are not bad by any means but they kinda make you wish you could use a proper gamepad instead.


    The presentation of Dead Nation can be characterized by its very dark and generally muddy palette that sets the tone for the massive zombie virus outbreak that is happening in this world. That being said, smart use of color helps us to easily differentiate collectibles, stuff that can be triggered in the world, and the many different zombies that we'll be encountering. The Vita version does feature fewer polygons and less texture quality than the PS3 version, a compromise of having to port the game into the portable console. But that's all in favor of the game keeping a mostly steady framerate throughout the levels. Another thing worth mentioning is that the game features less zombies on screen than the PS3 version. So it doesn't look as hot and it doesn't have as many zombies as the PS3 version but it does run reasonably well on the Vita.


    I really like the score used in Dead Nation. It may not be entirely original but it works wonderfully on depicting the dread in the world while at the same time picking up on tempo and intensity when the carnage gets underway. That's right, it dynamically changes during the slaughtering. Once you reach one of the "gauntlet areas" in one of the levels and the survival music kicks in, you know some crazy shit is about to go down. Weapons sound A-okay. For example, the sound of blades cutting through the undead, or the boom of a mine going off at any unfortunate zombie that happens to set foot on it is a joy to listen to. Very good sound design all throughout, in my opinion.



    Zombie barbecue on the highway


    Trophies are okay in terms of difficulty and the time needed to get them, for the most part. Not too easy but not too hard either. Highlights include King Of Looters & Top Gear, which may take a bit to collect but can easily be done with a guide. Double the Action for clearing the game in co-op. That's right, the game can be played with 2 players and it rocks even more this way. @cr1s lent me a paw on this one and we had a good time clearing this one up. Word of warning, though, the online code wasn't too good so our matches had plenty of lag and missed inputs due to this, which in this game are crucial for surviving. Morbid Curiosity might be tough for the gamer who is not used to handling the stress of micro-managing a lot of shit at once on the screen while not letting zombies chomp their face off. Finally, Genocidiary & Car Killer can be somewhat grindy. Since this version features fewer zombies than the PS3 version, the grind for Genocidiary took a few more hours than I expected.


    The Road of Devastation DLC includes its own set of trophies and it basically amounts to a survival minigame with ascending rounds. You have one large map to play in with different routes to take in that favor certain upgrades on your character and certain zombie encounters as well. In Arcade mode, we'll have to go through 6 different rounds with checkpoints and infinite lives. On Endless mode, well, no checkpoints and you just go for as long as you can survive. Note: it does get pretty crazy and the framerate can go way down on the Vita. Two trophies are hard here, Never Give Up & Combo Master. The first one did take me around 2 hours or so and a few retries until I was finally able to devise a proper strategy to survive until Round 10. I actually managed to get into Round 14. I could've probably gone longer if I hadn't decided to check the hardest route right there and then. The game dropped like 3 Cutters right in front of me and bam! Dead. Combo Master requires a high combo count and a steady stream of zombies to get while playing this mode, which could be tricky to obtain.



    You shall not pass!


    TL;DR: A nice adaptation of the twin-stick shooter that originally appeared on PS3. Some concessions were made to bring the game to portable but it still holds up pretty well. I would personally recommend the home console version over this one, though. Grab a buddy in local co-op and have a blast blasting the undead. That being said, the Vita version is still reasonably good and is sure to bring a good source of fun to any would-be owners with its rock-solid gameplay and thrilling zombie massacre. One final word of advice: Don't let zombies chomp on your face if you decide to play this one!


    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. DogFoRaw5




      I'm a huge sucker for twin stick shooters and there are still some I've yet to play. Dead Nation is one of them, though I've already played Resogun, Super Stardust Ultra and Nex Machina. I really enjoyed them. 😊

    3. yuber1234


      Congrats! I don't think I've ever played a twinstick shooter but this one sounds fun. The fact that I'd have to do the entire game in co-op is off putting though lol.

    4. FreshFromThaDeli


      Well done! 


      I love Super Stardust and enjoy Resogun. I need to play more Housemarque games and this is on my radar. Good write up, I'll be sticking to the PS4 enhanced version when I eventually do get round to playing this entry. 

  3. @FinalFan Blur & MotorStorm: Pacific Rift two straight racing gems from the PS3 era right there, I had a lot of fun with both games. They were tough in their own right too. Blur in particular is very special. Hope you have a great time with those, FinalFan.
  4. Platinum #158 - Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (Vita)


    It's over 9,000!!!


    Hello, everyone! How it's going? Sorry for the lack of posts and activity from my side over the last few days. I've been dealing with some tough personal family issues and I haven't been really in the mood to post about my gaming activities lately here due to that. That and the fact that I've been putting up some extra hours of work as well. But anyway, today I'm feeling in a better mood to write about what I've been playing lately. Shit may get tough, but I still try my best to find some solace in gaming. :)


    Today's game is one I got the platinum on October, 30. I got the platinum on it after at least 2 months of having to do a ton of stuff in it. That being said, I was really impressed by this title all throughout considering I am very casual on all things Dragon Ball. I know it's the greatest anime of all time and the best thing since sliced bread according to almost everyone out there, but for me, it's always been a series about buff dudes beating the shit out of each other and battles that dragged for far too long on TV. Hey, I know it's great and all but that's how I remember it. :P Also, sorry for using that old meme for the subtitle but I thought it was the only thing that fit there. Not only that, but it's also the title of the platinum as well, so all the more reasons to use it as a subtitle. xD



    Time to press the start button and go all Kamehameha


    Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is a 3D Team Fighting game, or maybe more accurately, an Arena Team Fighting game. The game was developed by Artdink and published by Bamco Namdai (:P) around 2014 on the PS3, Xbox 360, and the Vita. I remember this title received a lot of flak and mostly mixed-to-negative reviews when it came out. I wasn't expecting much when I started playing it, but the more I played it, the more I started to question why all the negative reviews on the game at the time. Today I'll be talking about the Vita version. So, as with 99% of the Dragon Ball games out there, DBZ: BZ follows the same plot as in the anime series. Shocking, I know. However, the story really doesn't play a big role here. Instead, you're given a mission grid that you have to progress on with while reliving classic and important battles from the series. At first, you'll have to use a set of preset characters from the anime, but the game opens up very quickly and allows you to bring any character you've unlocked to all of the different missions. Of course, using characters that correspond to THAT specific time from the show will bring dialogue and chit-chat between the characters that correspond to that time. Bringing different characters will not always trigger these chats but I thought this is the kind of neat thing fans would appreciate. There are 60 missions to complete of escalating difficulty and they can all be completed either solo or via co-op online with friends or randoms. 


    The gameplay is that of your traditional 3D arena fighter and it feels surprisingly good. Granted, it's not a deep fighter by any means but while it can be button-mashy, it does provide you with a lot of options to play a tinker with. For example, characters class themselves under 4 types: Melee, Ki Blast, Support and Interfere. Combats are usually carried out on 4 Vs. 4 formats but the game does allow for missions against hordes of lesser enemies or missions against giant monsters that require coordination with your team to beat effectively. The Melee-type characters are your regular close-quarter fighters that favor having high HP and beating the crap of other characters up close. Ki Blast characters favor energy and prefer to spam the shit out of their projectiles to keep you at bay. Support-type characters aren't the best fighters, but they are of vital assistance to provide healing bonuses, energy recharge boosts, buffs, and so on. Finally, the Interfere type... Well, I can't say I understood this one very well but basically, they're good at stopping other fighters on their tracks or just being an annoyance to them, essentially giving you time and a window of opportunity to do your stuff.




    Down you go. Vegeta can be unlocked very early

    I really enjoyed playing as him for most of the game since he was one of my favorite characters in the show


    The combat itself feels pretty fluid and responsive. You can block attacks and dodge at will. All characters also have their own arsenal of moves related to their type and that can be easily be used with a combination of different button presses. Some moves may overlap with others in appearance and usefulness, but they all feel reasonably unique on their own. Considering the game features over 70 characters, I can say they handled this pretty well. Of course, some characters have multiple forms, like Goku, Vegeta, Frieza, Cell, and a few others, but their moves and effectiveness do change between forms. Sometimes even their character type may change during these different forms as well. You would think less powerful characters cannon-wise have less usability in the game BUT the game does balance this out by giving fewer retries to the more powerful characters and more extra lives to the weaker ones. Finally Yamcha, Krilin & crew can put all those extra lives to good use, lol.


    The camera is fast and responsive and the VIta's touchscreen comes into play when you want to assist your comrades during the fight, either to provide energy or to revive them if they've been knocked down by the enemies. Granted, coming to grips with how the touch screen worked took me a while but I eventually learned how to use it. You can also issue simple strategies for your AI partners to follow with the use of the D-Pad on the Vita.




    Hands down, my favorite battle in the game


    One other thing that also plays an important role in DBZ: BZ is cards. You can use these to upgrade and customize your characters. You obtain cards as loot from completing missions and, besides providing the corresponding boosts to your different stats, they can also grant interesting bonuses during combat. Extra XP at the end of battles, super armor to not get flinched like a true Saiyan, better combat efficiency in the air, faster energy recharge rates, so on and so forth. There's plenty of room for experimentation in this regard. Of course, collecting all of the cards takes a lot of effort and there are cards that provide ridiculously good bonuses as well, but players will need to work hard to attain them.


    Co-Op battle gives players the chance to tackle all of the main course missions with human partners instead of bots, and you'll want to do this for the later missions because your AI partners can be rather dumb when it comes to reviving you when you're knocked down. Some later missions also require you to employ special strategies to beat them in an effective manner. Sure, you can try to brute force most of your way through but the game is happy to remind you by beating you into submission that using a good, sound plan is a far better option. I did the vast majority of the missions with my buddy @cr1s and we had a great time together figuring out how to move forward in the game. At first, it started very easy, but more than once we got stuck in missions that we couldn't make any progress in with our builds at the time. Another thing that played a big part in making progress here was the assistance of extremely high-leveled random players that provided their help. I was amazed at seeing so many active players in this old game, especially on the Vita. Anyways, these randoms helped us either through sheer force or by laying out the proper strategy to follow to defeat the many foes the game threw at us. For real, there were missions that we were stuck with until we noticed we could use, say, Dr. Gero, to stop a reckless Super Saiyan 3 Goku that was kicking our ass every single time. Or maybe working together with extra support characters so as to keep a certain threshold of HP to keep pummeling the enemy boss. It was fun. If I were to pick a damn good moment, it was when we defeated Frieza in its final form. It felt really good. Or when we finally figure out a way to defeat Perfect Cell later on. Again, it was a nice experience.




    Don't forget to share your energy with fellow players at the end of the mission


    The game also features a Battle Mode, which is more of a competitive battle arena where players pit against each other to see who's the strongest fighter. There are no missions to complete here other than beating the crap out of other players whether in a free-for-all format or a team configuration. Another extra game mode here is Dragon Ball Grab, where teams of different players rush to get all of the Dragon Balls dispersed on the field before the time runs out. Not particularly exciting but I guess it's there too.


    Onto the presentation side of things, the game features a cel-shaded 3D aesthetic that, while it may not look as vivid or vibrant as the anime games of today, still feels pretty convincing and accurate to the characters being represented. Animations were adequate and, above all, the game ran considerably well on the Vita, all while still looking reasonably good. There were a few missions where the Vita chugged along and the frame rate came way down, but it was mostly on missions that featured way too many characters on the screen and with the action heated up to the max. Other than that, the game ran surprisingly well all things considered. The music was... I can't say I remember the show's theme all too well, but the main theme is right there at the start-up screen of the game and the music that plays during combat was good too. Sounds effects of buff dudes beating the shit out of each other and giant particle beams tearing through mountains and whatnot, they all sounded pretty appropriate to me.


    The biggest point of contention with the game comes in the trophies. They are not hard per se, but they do demand a big time commitment from the player, not to mention that there are others that also require coordination with a big group of players online. For example, trophies like Gathering Of The Saiyans!, Gathering Of The Z Fighters!, Hey There! It's Me, Goku!, The Android Party & Gathering Of Frieza's Army!, they all require you to assemble a team of at least 7-8 human players online to do them effectively. You could theoretically do them with just 2 players but since the game auto-fills the rest of the characters for the battle, it could take ages until you get lucky and the game selects the right characters. For that reason, it's way better to just coordinate with the 6-7 human players you'll need for these. Clearing all of the missions in the game can be tough on your own, either playing with a human partner or coming across strong human players online does help in reducing the difficulty here. The Legendary Super Saiyan & Super-powered Warriors can be grindy. There are cards that can help you on this task but you need to be mindful of amassing the required PP to get from the Weekly Line-Up. Speaking of which, that Weekly Line-Up changes, as you probably guessed, every week in the game. Cards cycle in and out in a 6-week weekly pattern so you have to be aware of having the necessary PP to get the cards you need when the time comes. After that, it's all a matter of picking up Legendary Super Saiyan Broly on Mission 51 and bitch-slapping all of those Saiyans time and time again. Mission 6 is also a pretty good farming spot as well. Also, worth mentioning, Porunga's Wish is essential to get early on in the game if you want to cut on the grind. Don't be like me and obtain it very late in the game. 😅



    This Lucky Girl card is also very important to get


    Real Warriors Don't Sleep is for attaining 50 hours of playtime. By the time you're done with the game, you'll be at around 20 hours. It's worth noting that only the time playing the mission is what counts. For this effect, there's also a grinding strategy that can be used with the Cyborg Guard card that auto-blocks weak attacks and then picking an easy mission with a large time limit. It... still takes a while to get but it can mostly be done AFK. Finally, Card Complete will most likely be the platinum popper for many. Basically, you have to get all of the cards in the game. There are 142 of them, some can be obtained as rewards from missions but others may require extra cards equipped to get even rarer cards when completing missions with a high-enough rank. Others can be bought from the in-game store, and others can only be obtained from the Weekly Line-Up during its 6-week rotation period. Needless to say, it takes time and a lot of farmed PP to obtain. By the time I was done with everything, I was somewhere around level 893 in the game, so not too far off from level 999, lol. 😆


    TL;DR: Unlike what most reviews out there would lead you to believe, this was a surprisingly good experience on the Vita. I am not a DBZ fan at all but this game effectively lured me into the franchise. It's not a difficult game where you have to go balls-deep to understand it, no, having a fun time is what matters the most here. Its aesthetics are pleasing and the performance during the action holds up pretty well for the most part. Trophies aren't particularly hard but they do require plenty of work. Grinding is moderate-to-heavy, A sure recommendation for Dragon Ball fans. Gamers looking for a fun action game on their Vitas or something to play with their friends on Co-Op could also enjoy a good time with this title.


    1. Show previous comments  10 more
    2. Honor_Hand


      Thank you, everyone! :)


      @Copanele Gotta get those extra PPs, otherwise Chi Chi won't be happy. :PxD

      @PooPooBlast Thanks for the welcome back message! :)

      @AihaLoveleaf Super Saiyan Nappa would be quite a sight to behold. I mean... just imagine all that golden hair on him. 😂 But yeah, @yuber1234 & you are better off not playing this one due to that heavy requirement of having to manage extra people online. It's a hassle. The boosting group where I was, well, it took us like 2-3 weeks of messaging until we were finally able to come up with a solid session to play and get the trophies. 😅

      @FreshFromThaDeli Thanks, Deli! :D Yeah, if you're looking for a fighting game with a reasonable amount of depth, you won't find that in this one. I mean, it's fun to play, but it's more like a "turn off your brain" kind of fun. There's some planning to be had and general strategies to follow, but the overall combat leans more towards the button-mashy nature. And yeah, lol, there are some actual QTEs with Pursuit Attacks and Z-Moves, so yeah. xD


    3. Flubberwunked


      Nice to hear from you again Honor and I hope your life and family stuff goes well/gets better in the near future. 


      Congrats on the grindy Platinum. This game seems like one of the more impressive DBZ Platinums to have, so be proud of that 👍The thought of needing more than 3 players for the online trophies sounds like an absolute nightmare though lol. At least there was some good fun to be had with cr1s. :)

    4. Honor_Hand


      @Flubberwunked Heyo there Flubber, thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it! ^_^


      Indeed, I hadn't noticed until you mentioned it. I checked the other DBZ games around and the platinum on this one seems to be on the more difficult side to get. I can imagine it's not so much due to the grind but more due to having to coordinate with all the extra people. All in all, it was a good game, cr1s and I certainly had a good time playing it. :D

  5. Congrats on the DBFZ platinum, @yuber1234. 👍 It's unfortunate that the game wasn't too deep in its gameplay. I personally don't have much of a gripe with that if the rest of the game manages to deliver. Kinda like Granblue Fantasy. Sure, it had a number of weak spots and it's not a fighter that would please the EVO enthusiasts out there, but its overall enjoyment was still on the high side and it was well crafted for the most part. At least we can agree that ArcSys really pushes the envelope in these when it comes to their presentation. The games look sick even for someone that's not a fan of the property or knows very little about them. I am hardly a Dragon Ball fan but I picked DBFZ to play it at some point soon based mostly on the whoa factor it had on me and, well, the fact that it's an ArcSys fighter too. The 20 million Zeni grind does look like a miserable time but I hope the rest of the game will be able to deliver to me in some way.
  6. I should've blocked you. Just kidding. Great write-up on the game, can't say I agree with it at all. As I've already stated, I legit remember having a blast with Lords of Shadow, and I'm not talking from nostalgia or anything like that. Sure, it had some rough spots here and there, but all in all, it was an epic monster-slaying adventure for me. I remember it more fondly than other hack n' slash games from the era. I really wish I could try out Dante's Inferno one of these days since that one has always been on my radar for a plethora of reasons. And if you say it's better than Lords of Shadow, welp, all the more reason to check it out.
  7. Kinda late to the party but congrats on that 100th milestone, @Destructor-8. Nice choice of game there for that spot, my friend. I absolutely adored Hot Pursuit when it came back on the PS3 in 2010. It was a perfect homage, in my opinion at least, to the previous Hot Pursuit game of 1998. High-end exotic supercars on beautiful open roads with exhilarating pursuits. I played that one a lot back then, same with the 2010 version. I enjoyed it so much that I made it a point to have the best times among my friends on the Racer campaign. 😆 I'll be picking this PS4 remaster once I have a chance. Looking forward to beating some of your times there, haha. Have fun once you get to Vanquish. That one is a tough ride overall but a very enjoyable one nonetheless. It's definitely among the best action games I've played. The story is kind of meh but the action is constant and the gameplay top-notch. The Tactical Challenges are the bane of many there but I'm sure you'll pull through.
  8. First time I heard about this game but it looks and sounds promising. The soundtrack is pretty dope, that's for sure. Haven't played a point-and-click adventure in a really really long time. I'll keep this one in my radar.
  9. Platinum #157 - Granblue Fantasy: Versus (PS4)

    Lce73d4.png  1L853f74.png

    Believe in victory, believe in eye candy


    One of ArcSys' most recent entries in the fighting game world set to whoa players with its crisp visuals and rich backgrounds but that ultimately ends up falling a bit short in its premises. Granblue Fantasy: Versus came out in 2020 and was published by Cygames in Japan, Xseed in America, Marvelous in Europe, and TSS in the rest of Asia. It is based on Cygames' incredibly popular mobile RPG series called, you guessed it, Granblue Fantasy. I came to this game not sure about what to expect, and what I found was lots of potential in rich characters and visuals that are kinda marred down by a bog-standard story and a lack of offerings for the hardcore fighting game enthusiast out there.




    Is it as epic as it looks? Let's find out


    Gameplay is that of your standard fighting game but it has some twists and unique concepts of its own. Concepts that aim at making it accessible for newcomers but at the same time engrossing for veterans. In this spot, I think the game succeeds reasonably well. In essence, it's a 4-button fighter with two extra buttons for skills (or macros) and guards. The first 3 buttons are your standard light, medium, heavy attacks but the fourth button performs a move that's unique to each character's fighting style. Pretty cool. In addition to this, there are overheads, throws, specials, an evade & crossover maneuver that's risky but rewarding, throw breaks, ground & air techs, and taunts. No sick roman cancels or air dashes in this one but what's here is strong enough to suit most fighters. As far as nuances of its own, in an attempt to make the game more accessible for newcomers, Granblue features an auto-combo feature similar to the one found in the likes of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle or Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax. Basically, as long as you keep pressing the same attack button, you're bound to get an easy short chain with which you can easily catch your opponents.


    Another interesting mechanic are the skills, which are married to the RPG origins of these characters. Skills have a cooldown period and are unique to each character. They can go from unique counters, to grab approaches, to charge stances, you name it. These skills can be activated via the corresponding skill button (duh), which makes it easy for newcomers to pull off battle-changing moves quite easily. However, in an effort to keep things interesting, you can also input these same moves via regular fighting game commands and enjoy a reduced cooldown for your mastery. That's neat. I feel this keeps both the game accessible enough for newbies and at the same time rewarding enough for those that want to master its intricacies. Sames goes to the evade and crossover mechanic, which can be very difficult to pull off. But try to read your opponent's mind to pull it off correctly and you'll have the upper hand in battle. The gameplay itself is very neutral heavy with pokes and calculated decisions taking central stage. It's neither fast-paced nor slow, it's got the right speed and just the right balance of oomph and flash to feel great for all types of players.



    Ferry and her ghostly pets is a fun character to use


    Where things start to get a little grim for the game are in its modes and offerings. I feel it disappoints both casuals and veterans alike. So, you've got the main mode that's called RPG mode. This is the meat and potatoes of the game because outside of this all you have is Arcade, Versus, the tutorial with a handful of easy combo missions and that's it... Oh, and the gallery I guess. But anyway, going back to RPG mode. Here the gameplay changes to a more beat 'em up style in which you'll have to move left and right on a stage and beat enemies to move forward. Problem is, every stage is nearly identical and most of them only consist of two screens, and on top of that, the fighting mechanics doesn't adapt too well to them. There's very little enemy variation too. They can be repetitive and mind-numbing to play. You would think that at least the story would make up for this, but nope, it doesn't. Here you'll be presented with your standard fantasy tale of heroes and companions banding together to defeat a great evil. I mean, the voice acting in it is good (I went with the English dub and I can say the cast it's surprisingly likable), but the tale itself is nothing extraordinary nor interesting.


    The highlights of RPG mode were probably the boss battles. Of those the game does have a few of them sprinkled in and, while not all of them are great, the ones in which you have to fight huge-sized enemies and actually employ some sort of strategy to avoid their attacks and whatnot felt pretty cool. I'd say some of the very last bosses in the game like Bahamut, Beelzebub, Rose Queen, and Grand Order were fun to fight. But outside of these encounters, most of the RPG mode is pretty forgettable. You also get to roll for weapons in this mode to equip them on your characters to get a proper elemental alignment and whatnot to stand a chance against bosses. Outside of Hard Mode, though, you probably won't notice they make much of a difference, and their implementation feels kinda tacked on.



    Not even a Flying Suplex of Love could save the story from being as cliched as it is


    Moving to an area where the game performs admirably is in its presentation. And HOT DAMN! Trust me, this game could easily and single-handledly score a 12 out of 10 in presentation alone. It's THAT beautiful. For starters, it's running on ArcSys' now-signature 2.5D engine first used for the reboot of the GG series but the visuals themselves are astounding. Crisp, colorful, vibrant characters and landscapes smoothly animated with a crazy detail for attention make each and every aspect of the Granblue Fantasy world come alive in this game. Speaking of vibrant characters, I kinda feel they deserve a mention of their own. This is probably the fantasy fighter ArcSys always wanted to make, but now, they have access to an endless pool of rich characters to draw from. It's hard to not find a character to love in this game. Their interactions and banter towards one another before, during, and after fights are just exceptional and well-delivered. The base game comes with 12 characters and one final boss that can be unlocked. That's a reasonable start. Right now, however, there are at least 10 extra DLC characters that can be added to the game, with more planned on the way. While I know the practice itself is questionable, fuck it, I caved in and ended up buying this one character that I just had to play with.



    Look at that fluff!!!


    Enters Yuel, Ancestral Guardian. What a prime quality foxgirl, if I have ever seen one. With her fiery dance moves, extreme nimbleness, cute yet sexy figure and one of the fluffiest tails in existence, she won my heart over in an instant. I saw the character and I just knew I had to get it. Curse my weakness for kemonomimi girls, lol.


    Anyway, back to the review here. Outside of Yuel, characters like Ferry, Lowain, Charlotta & Ladiva all scored high as frequently used characters for me for one reason or another. But in short, the overall cast is just exceptional. Their design, their overall aesthetics, their voices, their moves, everything about them is simply great. In addition to this, there are at least 10 varied stages in the game with beautiful background visuals to fight on as well. Another point in the presentation that also scored high for me is the music. It may not be up to the greatness of our lord and savior Daisuke Ishiwatari's work in GG or BB, but the rest of the compositions being credited to the names of Nobuo Uematsu, Tsutomo Narita & others carry a certain heavy weight in this game, a weight that sounds exceptionally well. With so much of this talent having worked in the likes of Final Fantasy, it's no wonder why the soundtrack sounds so epic high fantasy at times. All of the scores in the game were great, from the ones in the menus to the character-specific themes, it was all a joy to listen to.


    sTLdDKN.gif  trn1hMu.gif

    A quick look at how sweet these attack animations look like


    Trophies in this game are mostly easy. There are, however, a few annoying trophies to have in mind. Luminiera's Blade can be obtained in 2 ways, and both are equally boring. The first one entails playing RPG mode on Hard difficulty, farming a few things here and there, and then getting the corresponding drops to forge the weapon. The problem is RPG mode is boring and playing it on Hard made it more difficult than my patience could handle. The other method involves rolling for it until you get lucky and get it. Amass tickets, roll, if you don't get it, download your backed up save and try again. It took me 6 hours of this crap until I got it. Talk about bad luck...


    Another dumb trophy is Granblue Know-It-All. The description seems innocent enough but if you are playing the latest version of the game, you WILL NEED to buy all the DLC characters for this one to pop. Yeah, no thanks. I am fine with the fox lady myself. A good way to get around this one is by downloading the base 1.00 version of the game. Once you've cleared the story in RPG mode, simply go to the Glossary section and it should pop. There, your wallet is grateful now. Finally, there are a couple of online trophies to be aware of: Backup Please! & Reporting In! require you to use to online co-op feature in RPG mode. Alongside these, you also need to complete at least 2 tutorial matches online, win a match, save a replay and use emotes and stuff in an online lobby. There were no active players online when I played this, so I had to use the help of my friend @DistantFox on this one. Thanks for the help here, man. Really appreciate it.



    Will you challenge the Lord of Flame?


    TL;DR: Granblue Fantasy: Versus is kind of in a weird spot. I'm sure fans of the mobile RPG will love seeing the characters come to full life in this game. It's accessible and easy to pick up but at the same time provides just enough meat in its gameplay to keep more knowledgeable fighters interested. The problem comes from its apparent lack of modes, side diversions, or any sort of challenge for the enthusiasts. The crisp visuals and bountiful presentation are sure to keep eyes, ears, and hearts pleased, but the lack of actual content or modes to play with makes it hard to justify spending the full price of the game. Even with a discount, it's still hard to justify.


    One thing ArcSys could do to boost its appeal is, maybe, bundle the DLC characters with the game in a complete package and then halve its price. That would make it a hell of a lot more attractive consumer-wise, IMHO. Either way, I'd recommend this one to curious players who like pretty fighters, as there are plenty of high-quality waifus and husbandos to be had here. Just do your best and try to get it for a price that's comfortable for you.



    Finally, some cute/funny/cool Yuel-themed images and GIFs for your enjoyment. x3














    Someone needs to make figure out of this pose like pronto ↑






    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Honor_Hand


      @AihaLoveleaf And that's the only correct choice there. Tail fondling is the best. Would totally recommend it. xD




      @Copanele Better late than never. :D Yeah, this one may not be EVO material and has a severe lack of modes but it was still entertaining and cool to watch nonetheless. It had a cool "game feel" to it, similar to BBTAG. That's outside of RPG Mode, of course, that's another thing entirely.


      @FreshFromThaDeli It's a cool trade-off that rewards both newbies and pros alike. It's a shame the game has such a high price tag. It's fun to play and visually appealing but totally not worth it at that price. Should they make a bundle of it with all the DLC characters and sell it for less, I can totally see it catching up a little more with people. As it stands now, it's more of an expensive treat for fans of the Granblue Fantasy universe than anything else.


      @yuber1234 And a survival mode, and maybe a few trophies that encouraged gamers to do more combos, I don't know, anything other besides RPG mode would have been great. 😅Maybe some of those extra modes we often see in the BB games could've been put to good use here because RPG mode alone is just too weak to carry the whole game, both with its shallow gameplay or with its predictable story.


      Thanks for the comments, everyone. :)

    3. Kale


      congrats friend :)

    4. NordicSaiyan


      Platinazo, enhorabuena Honor! un abrazo😁

  10. I am seeing the trophies here on Exophase. Pretty standard list, nothing too difficult or time-consuming I think. As long as they don't make Legend difficulty similar to the one on the Vita version of the game, it should be pretty doable, lol.
  11. I can also second @yuber1234's opinion here and recommend Arcana Heart 3. The trials that you did in Chaos Code sound awfully similar to the ones in AH. Not sure if the gameplay is going to be exactly the same but I found Arcana Heart great in that regard. Plenty of waifus to pick with their arcana alignments and a charming retro aesthetic. I liked AH so much so that I still want to stack more games in the series under my profile. The main bad thing about the game are, as Yuber mentioned, the online and the LP grind. Grinding those can take a while.
  12. 100% Complete - Dark Awake: The King Has No Name (PS3)

    L392aba.png  1Ld88ade.png

    An uncanny tale of myths, blonze, and a king that somehow forgot his name


    This game here is a frontrunner for the "What the hell is this doing on my profile?" award of this year. A close friend brought to me the ridiculousness of the trophy list here on PSNP and when I saw the trophies, I just knew I had to play this one. Little did I know that it was going to be a fighting game, a weird amalgamation of one if anything. Dark Awake was developed by a developer known as Eolith and was originally released in Japanese arcades in 2004 under the title of Chaos Breaker, which if you think about it, sounds miles better than Dark Awake. Engrish-sounding title and subtitle aside, Dark Awake was released under the Taito Type X board, which has powered several fighting games in the past, including the likes of several KoF games, and a number of Arcana Heart & BlazBlue titles as well (for the X2 model at least). Dark Awake here is an early release on this board and it shows. Prior to this playthrough, I had zero knowledge of the existence of this game.



    Chose your characters, epic gold gold adventure awaits


    Dark Awake is a fantasy-inspired team-based fighter with character designs that resemble something straight out from Golden Axe, or perhaps more accurately, Dungeons & Dragons. You have 18 characters (plus 2 hidden ones available via cheats) to choose from, and they are divided into 6 racially distinct teams. You have a team of Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Dark Elves, Undeads & Orcs. Each character has its unique playstyle, and they all play out with motions similar to your regular Street Fighter game. Strictly speaking, the game is a 4-button fighter, BUT you also get to fight as a team similar to the king of Fighters series. Well, maybe not that similar because there's no tagging. You can, however, call in your teammates for assist attacks a la Capcom Vs. series; and if you go down, they are next in line to continue the fight. Another interesting thing in this weird melting pot of a game is that it also encourages footsies and poking a la SamSho, and even goes so far as to include a weapon clash mechanic. There's actually a variety of clash mechanics and other stuff to wrap your head around in this game. Can't really say I understood everything that well but hey, they are there.


    In addition to that, you also get the normal array of fighting game mechanics, such as tech-rolls, throwing, cancels, super bars (or mana bars rather), and the like. Oh, and one more thing to also add to the equation is that you can also equip your team of fighters with various RPG-inspired items that can grant a variety of effects and attacks to our team. In total there are 32 items that we can use to provide healing, boost our defense, give us speed, swords that can absorb health, hammers that can be used as a burst to space away from our opponents, spiky maces that summon a small army of orcs to stomp our enemies, staffs that shoot all manner of lightning, et cetera. You get the idea. Their effects are somewhat minimal but can impact battles if used effectively



    Troll big, troll smashes little human to pieces


    You could say the tools are there to create an interesting and extremely unique fighting game but is in its gameplay where Dark Awake struggles the most. For all its good faith and ideas, the game feels very janky while playing. A LOT. It's difficult to compare it to something else out there but a SF or KoF this game ain't. The combats play reasonably fast but it's hard to get a hold of what's going at times or why you're being hit even if you're blocking. Attacks lack that satisfying punching feeling that you would associate with the best games in the genre and the animations can range wildly from "This is a cool-looking attack" to "What the hell did happen there?" The responsiveness of the inputs is something that leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of times I found myself not getting the desired moves even though I was sure I was inputting the correct motions. Other times, I found myself doing all sorts of cool stuff just by going ape shit on the stick and the buttons without any thought or strategy. Simply put, stuff works but either the game is stingy on how precise the inputs have to be or I have no clue what's going on. Also, I was not in the mood to go deciphering hieroglyphics on GameFAQs for some moves.


    The visuals are in a tough spot. I like retro games and while the characters here are nothing short of unique for a fighting game of this time, everything still looks blocky and far too pixelated for my liking even though the game tries to keep its original 4:3 ratio. Maybe I should've played it on a smaller screen but the spritework here doesn't hold too well. Character design is compelling for a fantasy-themed setting. Sure, the humans are your regular meathead barbarians but you also have a giant ass troll, a goblin riding some sort of lizard monster, scantily clad big titty elf sorceress (best girl), smoking hot dark elf warlock (2nd best girl), a dwarf that fights with a huge-and-barely-movable cannon, a skeleton knight with a polearm riding an equally skeletal horse. These are some promising character designs. Animations on them, however, as said above, range wildly. Some of them have totally cool moves while others feel like they kinda got shafted on the number of frames they got (or was this by design?). The music is another point of contention. You can expect your usually fantasy-themed tracks here while fighting but some stages feature what sounds to me like jazz, and not the cool-kind or epic-kind of jazz, no, no, more like the elevator-kind. It was kind of weird hearing jazz with dwarves wielding flaming axes against the undead with broken siege machinery in the background. Like, try to picture the Helm's Deep battle in LOTR with elevator-jazz music in the background for a moment. Does it work? No, no it doesn't. It's only a few tracks, though. Most of them are your usual fantasy fare of the era. They're not outstanding but passable.



    A match between Sandra and Elrond... I mean, Elion


    Trophies! Here's where things get interesting. If you see the trophy list you can see where the Legend of Blonze started. Apparently, this is what happens when you load the trophies in your profile with English settings. They (apparently) don't look like this when you load them with the Japanese language setting. Someone was either very lazy at their work or left some really funny placeholders there. Anyway, finding proper info on this game out there was, as you can imagine, troublesome. With many guides inflating the real difficulty of the game. First things first, there are some lengthy online trophies to be had. Wish I could pinpoint them on my profile but I have no fucking clue which one is which now. Tsk, whatever. You have to win 50 Ranked Matches without using your mana gauge and 100 Player Matches. This... takes a while... a really long while to complete. I roped @cr1s to help me on this one. You're the best, buddy! Thanks for the help on this one. The online net code here is atrocious. Most laggy matches I have ever had in my life, right up there with KoF XIII and BattleFantasia in terms of horrible online grinds.


    Additionally, you also have to complete the game using each of the different race teams. So that's one 1 arcade playthrough as a team of Humans, 1 as a team of Dark Elves, 1 as a team of Undeads, and so on. There's also a trophy for completing the game using a mixed team. The hardest trophies are for beating the secret boss, the titular The King Has No Name (cool name, I know...), and one for clearing arcade mode with 30+ mana items without continuing. You can set the difficulty to Very Easy but let me tell you, this has got to be one of the most relentless "very easy" AIs I've ever seen in a fighting game. The first 3 fights are easy but they get exponentially harder after that. Don't get into a corner else you want the AI to rape you like you have no idea. To get more items during an arcade playthrough you need to finish your matches with as many points as possible, that is getting at least 1 or 2 Perfects and as many Straight Bonuses as possible. The Straight bonus is when you defeat every opponent without ever losing a fighter. Doing this legit would be close to impossible even in the easiest settings. The worst part is, there are 4 trophy guides out there and it's just inconceivable to me how all of them completely missed out on mentioning the best trick to do this. Simply have a second controller at hand and challenge yourself when you're about to die. That's it. That way you can easily keep your points, bonuses, and items intact. How every guide writer out there completely overlooked mentioning this is beyond me.



    Sorry to disappoint but this is the hidden boss in the game, a big ol' red dragon with a neck problem


    TL;DR: A unique coalescence of fighting game concepts and ideas married to a classic D&D/Golden Axe fantasy-inspired setting that happens to feature janky gameplay. Horrible online grind, easy single-player trophies despite the poorly-written guides out there. I believe this game has a permanent discount and costs around $10 on the PSN store. It can be exclusively gotten only from the JP store. Is it worth playing? It can be fun depending on what you're looking for. It's certainly unique. Maybe you should ask yourself if you want to see a big titty elf sorceress beating the crap out of some dwarves with some weird jazz going on in the background. 😆


    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. yuber1234


      Congrats! This sounds awful but I want to play it for the novelty lol. Not willing to deal with the PS3 JP store though.

    3. Honor_Hand


      Many thanks for your comments, guys. :)


      @Copanele Now that you mention it, it does sound a lot like a Heroes of Might & Magic fighting game. xD


      Here's a PSPrices link to the game. Not sure if any of the kanjis there will be useful in helping you and @yuber1234 locate the game, but here you go:

      It's fun for the novelty. Way better than the Jesus fighter we were talking about the other day at least. :P


      @ronin_leon It's a really old-school arcade experience. Probably not one of the best ones out there but still interesting enough to check out if only for curiosity's sake.


      @Flubberwunked Hey there, Flubber! :D The characters have a rather nice design. Maybe displaying them on a 50-inch screen wasn't too wise of an idea on my side. 😅


      Oh man, I know exactly what you mean. Take this Granblue Fantasy: Versus game I am playing right now for example. It only asks you to win 1 match online. And on the other side of the spectrum you have games like KoF XIII, which ask you to play 300 matches and win 100 out of those. Such a huge difference between them. Recent fighting games tend to be easier in this regard but damn, there's like no safe middle point between them. I could do fine with like 20-25 wins myself. 😆


    4. The Arizona Ranger
  13. Congrats on the platinum, Yuber! Fair to say that you enjoyed this one more than Granblue. I really have no idea about the characters in the Chaos Code universe but hot damn, do the waifus and the fan service looks great in that game. Sure, it may be a bit old but that's not something that detracts from the game, not to me at least. Gameplay appears to be tight, responsive, and enjoyable, which is a lot to say from most fighters out there. Not too sure if I'll be able to succeed in this one seeing that Survival Modes are usually a guaranteed death sentence for me in most fighting games out there but I'll still try my best when I get to it. Need to finish BlazBlue, Granblue, and BattleFantasia before moving on with this one. Looking at Rui here, well, I haven't played the game yet but just looking at dat ass is enough to know who will be best girl there. Which game will you be tackling next?
  14. [Genshin Impact (PS4)] Lady Luck smiled at me last night and I was able to get the character I was aiming for in the current banner, Sangonomiya Kokomi. :D






    It was a straight lucky pull. I was at like 40-50 pulls, still not close to my pity range, and I was able to get her due to the gems they gave us last night to celebrate the one-year Anniversary of Genshin. I know people are kinda disappointed with the character for this and that, but I don't care, I wanted Kokomi and I got my Kokomi. :D Tried her on the current test event that's available and I really liked her moveset and the fact that she's a very competent healer with reasonable fighting capabilities. She may not be a straight-up DPS character, but still, a formidable healing support to have in my adventure. I'll be raising her alongside Raiden soon.


    And above all, guys, have you seen how cute and graceful she is? I mean, that's the defining reason why I wanted to get her so much. :eyebrow: She's cute as a button and her outfit is just beautiful. Love it. All in all, happy that I was able to get her thanks to a lucky pull. I am going to continue rolling on the current banner to see if I can get Rosaria as well since she's the only 4* star waifu I am missing in my personal Genshin harem. I am not too hot on her but I do want her as well. Can't leave any waifu behind. Gotta catch 'em all. 😌


    1. Leon Castle

      Leon Castle

      She's cute and she's a heck of a tactician.


      Can't leave any waifu behind. Gotta catch 'em all

      So true ShkKZjB.gif

    2. Honor_Hand


      @Leon Castle That would be the perfect motto for the game. xD

  15. 2nd dose of Vero Cell Sinopharm obtained, full immunization acquired. 💉✔️✔️






    I was actually supposed to get this one on Saturday the 25th but I went to the same parking lot in which I got the first dose and I got there late. Turns out they had only worked half a day on Saturday and everyone was packing up and leaving by the time I came. Figured out I could get my second dose anywhere else, as per the instructions of the local vaccination campaign. On Monday the 27th, I had the luck that the government deployed a mobile vaccination point right on the street back of where I live. So I walked there and took my 2nd shot immediately. It was quick but a bit more disorganized this time around compared to my first shot that was with an appointment. I had to wait for a while for the health personnel to sign up my card and the correct paperwork after I took the shot. Nothing too bad, like 20-30 minutes maybe, but still. Like 98% of the people making the queue there were getting their first shot, and there were a ton of people so maybe they were a bit overburdened due to that. 😅


    Everyone in my family was also able to get their second shot as well, including my dad, who had been waiting for over 3 months for his Sputnik vaccine. Unlike the first time around, though, he didn't feel ill or bad after taking the 2nd dose. Same for me after I took my second dose, I only felt a bit exhausted and sleepy on the 27th but I was fine after that. My arm also felt funny for about 2 days but, other than that, nothing major to report.


    So yeah, this was my experience with the vaccine. All is good. :)


    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Slava


      Getting my second component of Sputnik V in two weeks.

    3. Honor_Hand


      @Slava Best of luck with your second shot there, man. My dad got the second dose of that one and he didn't have any symptoms afterward this time around. 👍

    4. Slava


      Yeah, my friend told the same thing. He felt sick for a day after the first day (so did I), but felt fine after the second one. I hope it goes the same for me. Seems like it's the opposite of Moderna, where the second shot is worse. Or so I've heard.

      *After the first does I mean