Video Game Tuesday: Musou Games are Great

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’ve got an opinion piece on a very specific game type. It’s all about why I think Musou Games are Great!

Musou Games?: Musou is the Japanese word for the Dynasty Warriors franchise and it’s variou spin-offs. It’s also the type of game the series has come to represent. An endless hack and slash where you take over territories on a map as a “Hero” of some sort against hordes of unending waves of trash mobs that often die in one or two hits. There have been tons of various spin-offs and “crossovers” from the Zelda series to One Piece. They typically are really repetitive games to play as well, and the story you experience isn’t all that great. It’s either told in a terrible way, or it just has a really crappy story over all.

Wait so how are Musou Games Great than?!?: Well they are really good at one thing. Stress testing hardware. If you want to really test your hardware, be it console or PC, a Musou game is a great way to do it. The unending waves of trash mobs are great to really test how your GPU, CPU and RAM handle them. For instance I could pop in the Gundam Musou game I got for my Xbox 360 on a whim for incredibly cheap during a game store’s store closing sale, and let a ton of enemies spawn in a territory. How long would it take my Xbox 360 to start lagging? How long does it take for it to crash? How long, and no I obviously never tested this far I am rather poor and wasting a perfectly good console is just stupid, till it fries my system completely? These are all answers you can get from playing a Musou game. Well I assume that’s the case for the last one, as I remember learning once the hard way about making damn sure how many polygons I’m adding to a 3D model. See if you accidentally add 10,000 instead of 100 or 1,000 polys to a model it could, at the time which was admittedly a decade ago, utterly ruin someone’s graphics card or entire motherboard from overworking it. So I learned really quick, and thankfully didn’t destroy my computer. However it’s the same principal, all those enemies have polygons, even if just a small amount to save on processing power. Musou games are programmed so that you have endlessly spawning enemies until you claim an area. This isn’t even accounting for the same amount spawning in your already claimed areas to attack enemy ones.

That’s what makes Musou games great. That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

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Video Game Tuesday: Breath of the Wild Final Thoughts

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering what I thought of my time with the latest Zelda game. It’s my Breath of the Wild Final Thoughts.

Puzzles: I’ve already covered how I loved how Nintendo handled puzzles, but I will say one thing in addition. The puzzles weren’t necessarily difficult but there were puzzles all over the world to uncover various Korok seeds, or Shrines. I enjoyed stumbling across them in my exploration of Hyrule and I attempted to solve them on the spot as soon as I found them. For the most part I was able to do so every time with only a few exceptions. Those were ones I had to leave mostly because I had insufficient supplies to continue either exploring the area or complete the puzzles or challenges. The target balloon challenges in particular were my biggest headache, especially in the Death Mountain region because I was unable to retrieve those arrows after firing them. However overall I enjoyed coming across these random and small puzzles and solving them. Sometimes you had to throw a rock into a ring of some sort, or you had to put a metallic block in a specific place on a structure. Sure they might not take much time, but the sheer number of them was highly enjoyable.

Gear System: I also already covered that in a separate post, so check that for specifics. One more thing I will add is that I’d have loved to made my helmets invisible sometimes for certain armor sets, like the Radiant set.

Enemies: The enemies grew as I did, with some of the easier enemies showing up not at all after I had cleared all the Divine Beasts, which was a nice change of pace and kept me on my toes in my travels. Running across any Guardian was at best a headache for a majority of my playthrough, until I had finally accumulated enough materials and Rupees to acquire the Ancient armor set to allow me to not get absolutely destroyed by their laser blasts when I was unable to interrupt them with an arrow to the eye. Even then however I was still cautious around any enemy except the Chuchus.

Bosses: The bosses were for the most part, pretty easy and the world bosses were all incredibly easy as long as I had come prepared for a fight against them. The final boss was also fairly easy, but I hadn’t attempted it before I was well and truly ready to end my time with the game, which meant I had completed most of the Shrines and all the Divine Beasts. That being said if I had not attempted to do them prepared or done a speedrunner-esque playthrough I could easily see how they might be quite difficult.

Story: The story was good, and I’ll admit I had a couple tears in my eyes during my time with the Zora. Seriously though, Link caught the eye of nearly all the high born ladies in Hyrule. That was more than a bit amusing.

Artwork: I played the game exclusively in the portable mode of the Switch, and I was rather impressed with the quality of graphics. I experienced a slowdown only a handful of times and that was only when I purposefully pushing the system by blowing up 8 or more trees at once to see how the physics handled it.

Music: The music was also pretty awesome, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Overall: I’m really impressed with the game, and frankly I really hope that Breath of the Wild is the new standard they’ll use for every Zelda game going forward. The freedom allowed was incredibly refreshing and being able to go pretty much anywhere was incredibly fun. If I wanted to rain death from above on any enemies I could go climb that cliff next to their encampment and get the drop on them easily.

Video Game Tuesday: Eventide Journal Entry 02

Hey all I’m back with my tale of revenge on that damn island in Breath of the Wild for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s my Eventide Journal Entry 02!

What did you come up with?:  I had done a Divine Beast after I failed so spectacularly and found that I might want to get all the Champion’s blessings. So I waited until I had really gotten myself buffed up with a ton of hearts and stamina as well as upgrading my various runes and unlocked all the Champions Blessings. In fact I was going to wait as long as possible before re attempting the stupid thing. I was still pretty upset about failing so close to the end the first time I attempted it. So I came back right before I went against the final boss, with 16 hearts, 2 stamina orbs and 14 weapons slots unlocked and 8 Bow Slots. I also had found a reliable source of incredibly powerful weapons that respawned every Blood Moon on top of one of the Sheikah Towers.

So I stocked up on a bunch of those and some powerful bows and shields and headed to the peninsula I had first attempted to glide from. Before jumping off though I made sure to deplete my Master Sword’s energy in an attempt to see if I could game the system and let it reappear after it restored it’s energy. I also figured I could try dropping my weapons and shields on the ground of an island right off Eventide to see if I could retrieve it after formally entering the trial and being stripped of all my gear. I made sure I wasn’t going to get hit by a Thunderstorm so I didn’t get blown off course again and proceeded to glide to the island. I attempted to land on the Sheikah platform off the coast of Eventide to see if I could drop those weapons and attempt the trial.

That didn’t work, because as soon as I landed on that platform the trial started. Luckily I had saved just before taking off so I reloaded the game from that point and tried again. Figuring I could try with some rocks poking out of the water right next to that platform I glided to those, and landed on them without triggering the trial. So I dropped all my prepared gear and walked on to the island to start it up, after I got stripped of everything I tried to go back to those rocks to get my gear. I wasn’t able to get to those rocks without leaving the trial which beat the entire purpose of me dropping them in the first place. So I reloaded for a third attempt, with my plan to get into the shallow water right at the edge of the island since I hadn’t triggered the trial until I actually got out of it and onto the island itself. This time my plan worked, thankfully , and I proceeded to quickly clear the enemies out near the first orb and put it on the platform in the ocean I had just attempted to land on a few minutes before. Figuring I should try to avoid making the same mistake as last time I decided to do the orb I had done third the last time I was here in order to avoid getting blindsided with a blood moon again. I quickly made my way up the hill and found that another thunderstorm was going to occur. Fortunately some of the enemies had dropped wooden bows so I wasn’t going to attract lightning, but I still had to scramble around to avoid getting my ass handed to me by the enemies with much nastier weapons than my tree branches I had picked up as I was clearing the forest for some easy food. Thankfully I was able to take advantage of the storm and it dealt with the nastiest enemy which was a Moblin. I took down the rest, occasionally using a metallic weapon I had brought with me for a few seconds before re-equipping a tree branch before I was hit by a lightning strike. I then put the orb in the nearby platform and decided to tackle the Hinox, this time I was able to get onto it’s chest and steal the final orb with ease. I did however wake it up as I was running away with the orb.

Thinking quickly I used my improved Stasis Rune to freeze it for a few seconds before I fled around the hill and got out of it’s line of sight before it unfroze while carrying the orb. I cleared out the final set of enemies in my way and was about to put in the orb before I remembered I probably should un-equip my smuggled gearand drop them before clearing the trial or I’d probably lose them for good knowing my luck. Then I put in the orb and got all my stuff back minus the gear I had dropped just a moment ago. I picked that up and decided to thoroughly destroy the damn Hinox as a form of petty revenge while I made my way to the Shrine that had just appeared on the Island. I got my revenge and got the spirit orb from the shrine, which thankfully didn’t have any puzzles since the entire trial to get to it in the first place would count as such.

That’s it for my time with Eventide Island, and it was memorable enough. I enjoyed going back and thoroughly taking advantage of breaking the system.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: Eventide Journal Entry 01

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m doing something a little different. I’m chronicling my first attempt at what I’ve found to be the toughest “puzzle” in Breath of the Wild yet. It’s my Eventide Journal Entry 01!

Eventide?: There’s an island way off the eastern coast in Breath of the Wild and me being the curious type I decided to try getting there and seeing what it held, it’s called Eventide Island. I failed miserably trying to glide there and died to drowning in the ocean, but that was more due to a thunderstorm occuring and blowing me off course than it was due to me not trying hard enough or packing enough food to sustain my stamina gauge. I did forget to heal up though, so when I drowned it was game over for me.

So what next?: Well I decided that there was no way in hell I was going to wait out the storm and because the rain douses any fires you try to set to use the resting system to skip time, that option was out as well. Than I remembered I had a handy and reusable tool to freeze water into pillars, so I started skipping across the ocean from another island closer to the mainland. Well not really skipping, more like gliding for a few feet and grabbing hold of the pillar that was far away as possible to lengthen the space between each use of the Cryonis rune. Then I got attacked by some Lizalfos sporting of all things, lightning attributed weapons. That almost killed me, due to me losing my weapons from being shocked and standing on a bunch of water. Thankfully I quickly equipped a couple tree branches that I keep in case I need to throw something fragile to beat annoying enemies, and proceeded to do just that in order to buy me time to get out a wooden bow and equip some lightning attuned arrows of my own. Payback is a bitch, but it was pretty funny to watch them getting fried.

I finally reached the island and got onto it. Then I was really thrown for a loop when some text appeared from a shrine saying that I was relying on my equipment to do stuff and that I wasn’t resourceful enough. Next thing I know I’m completely naked with only my Sheikah Slate on an island full of really nasty enemies. The goal was to pick up three orbs and put them into three different platforms. So I quickly started to sneak around and proceed to grab an oar as a temporary weapon, along with a half dozen tree branches courtesy of me bombing the hell out of the beach’s treeline. I found one orb and tried getting it to the small island it was on just off the shore of Eventide. I had a bit of trouble until I remembered to use Cryonis to freeze the water under it to throw it onto the island.

Things were going pretty well, until I ran into one of the world bosses called Hinox that had an orb around it’s neck. I tried to sneak up and get onto it’s chest to grab the orb, but only woke it up. After dodging it swinging around a good dozen trees for about 10 minutes and me tossing bombs at it, I finally got the orb knocked off it somehow. So I dashed in, grabbed it and booked it for a part of the island I had cleared. I proceed to put the orb in another platform and start looking for the last one, coming across a hill with a ton of enemies on it. I clear it off and proceed to cook up some food for the last hill which I had guessed might have a ton of enemies on it.

Turns out I was completely correct and this had the worst pack of enemies yet, even the Hinox didn’t cause me too much problems as long as I kept away from it, it being fairly slow. Remember that storm that occurred and blew me off course? Well it hit again and this time I was in the middle of fighting a ton of nasty enemies with metal weapons that made my tree branches look pathetic in comparison. Thankfully the storm actually helped me out this time and struck a majority of them to death with a lightning bolt. I was pretty ecstatic and was glad to be almost done, right up until the sky started glowing red just as I had picked up the last orb.

Sky glowing red?: Yeah, for those unaware when the moon is full it glows a really nasty shade of crimson and it causes every single monster to respawn. EVERY MONSTER. The island that I had nearly cleared out? Not so clear anymore… I grabbed the orb and was trying to dislodge the stone covering it so I could place the stone in when they all respawned. Queue pandemonium and me running around throwing bombs again, and trying to live. The only problem was that the orb I had placed to keep safe ended up getting knocked down a hill by an enemy I had blown back. I caught up to it just as it was going over the edge into the ocean, and fumbled the controls. So I jumped down to get it out of the ocean like I had the first orb, 15 minutes later I was finally on land again with the orb. Except that I couldn’t get up the hill with the orb. I had absolutely no way up with it. After trying to wall run my way up the side of the hill, I ended up sliding down and dropping it onto the Hinox causing it wake up and grab the nearest tree. I had just started running away when it killed me.  Next thing I know I’m once again completely naked with no items at the same spot I started this stupid trial. That details my first time trying to clear it. I’ll write up my second attempt next week, hopefully it’s the last attempt. I’ve got some ideas to break the system in my favor to allow me to easily deal with this.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday? Do you like me writing this kind of post? Please comment below with your thoughts.

Video Game Tuesday: Breath of the Wild’s Puzzles Are Refreshing

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m continuing my little mini-series of my thoughts on the latest Zelda game. It’s how Breath of the Wild’s Puzzles Are Refreshing!

Puzzles?: Yea, as any self respecting gamer will know, Zelda games have some pretty intense puzzles that require you to really think out of the box sometimes. However Breath of the Wild’s physics system really allows the player to truly dismantle puzzles in bizarre ways occasionally in particular. I haven’t had this much fun figuring out how to break puzzles since Portal 2.

How so?: For me certain puzzles are always difficult, especially when you include motion controls. My hands are always shaking almost imperceptibly and this causes me to deal with certain game mechanics with increased difficulty. For instance in Breath of the Wild you are required to tilt your controller in order to move around a ball in a maze. The first time I encountered this mechanic in the game I spent 20 minutes trying to get it to work correctly. This was mostly because the maze’s walls had holes for the ball to drop into an abyss.

I was getting increasingly frustrated until I realized something had been happening, but I hadn’t been paying close enough attention. Exiting the control panel that allowed access to the puzzle kept the puzzle in the position you had it in at the time of exiting, even if the position was titled straight up so the ball would just bounce into the abyss constantly. So I quickly used this to flip the maze over completely and use the bottom of the platform as a simple slope to drop the ball into where I needed it to go. Instead of properly doing the puzzle the game allowed me to completely break it in a way the game makers probably weren’t expecting.

What else?: Well I used the wood you can carry around in the game to solve a puzzle that required torches to be lit up. Instead of moving around a cube to light up certain torches and avoiding both the pool of water it was hanging over and the water spout, I just set a fire to the pile of wood I had dropped and used it to light an arrow on fire to light the torches instead. Another time had me trying to bridge circuits to allow electricity to get to certain switches, and instead of using the intended metallic boxes lying around I just dropped a few of metallic weapons in the correct spots allowing me to completely bypass the entire puzzle with ease.

So what’s special?: Well not many games allow you such freedom in breaking their puzzles or tricky situations. Often times you just have to go in guns blazing instead of using your brain. The best games I found that allow such freedom are those games that have been in development for ages. Metal Gear Solid V is another example.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Video Game Tuesday: Breath of the Wild’s Durability System

Hey all I’m back with my thoughts on last year’s probably best game’s, that I only just got to play this last weekend, only flaw. It’s all about Breath of the Wild’s Durability System!

Durability System?: For those unaware the weapons in Breath of the Wild all have a set durability that prevents you from keeping any one weapon indefinitely. There is an exception though, but the base game still prevents that exception from being usable 100% of the time. This is highly annoying and causes you to constantly scrounge up weapons. For hoarders like myself we hate having to waste good weapons on trash enemies, but sometimes we are left with no choice but to do so.

What can you do?: Well thankfully there are trees everywhere so if you get really desperate you can always throw a bomb at a tree to knock it down to get a quick weapon i a tree branch. Unfortunately they last as long as you’d expect a stick to last, which is to say not long at all. They also do absolutely crap damage, so you won’t be taking down any real enemy quickly with it, only the easiest of monsters will fall before the branch breaks.

Does it get better?: Like I said there is one weapon that doesn’t break, but with just the base game you won’t ever be able to use it all the time, as it also has a durability and has to wait a few minutes before being usable again.

My hope is that in future Zelda games they never include the durability system in this form again. I’d really like to be able to at least repair some of my weapons for a few Rupees.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, do you enjoy the Durability System in Breath of the Wild? Leave your thoughts below in the comments below.

Video Game Tuesday: Patch Notes

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic many gamers should read a heck of a lot more often. It’s all about Patch Notes!

Patch Notes?: Patch Notes are notes of any and all changes that occur when a game is updated. These are most of the time fairly boring reads, especially in the bug sections, but nevertheless such things are really worth reading. Especially the bug portions, because it might just help you avoid getting a game breaking bug, or getting corrupted save files and losing all your progress in a game.

All of your progress, really?: Yeah, really. In MMOs it’s especially worth reading any and all Known Bug sections of Patch Notes before playing. The ideal time to do so? While your game is updating. In fact it’s also worth having your phone or tablet’s web browser open to any community sites, be that a fan site like Blizzard Watch for Blizzard games or a really active subreddit like the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit. This should be done during any major patch, and especially during Expansion launches. They’ll put up things like PSA’s about what not to do. For instance in FFXIV’s latest expansion Stormblood, there was a particularly nasty bug with the first Primal fight players experience in the expansion at level 63.

If you entered the instance and were sitting or doing any emote at all prior to entering you would be kicked from your character and be unable to log in to that character at all once you finished the instance. This was particularly bad, and was just one of the many issues that were occuring during Stormblood’s launch. There were also congestion issues and server issues that were occurring due to DDoS attacks on the FFXIV servers, and later on to the actual ISPs themselves.

Okay so back to Patch Notes, they are not all boring. Some games actually have a ton of fun with their patch notes, and it’s just a fun thing to be reading when you are bored. Crusader Kings II is one game whose Patch Notes are genuinely hilarious almost all the time. Like this little jewel “-No longer possible for AI to plot to assassinate self (unless they are a lunatic).” Brilliant, and it’s actually relevant!

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Are the any particular Patch Notes that you remember just being absolutely hilarious? Feel free to share them below!