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Final Fantasy 15 Brotherhood Episode 1 and Review

It has taken 10 years for Square Enix to give fans a release date for “Final Fantasy 15”(September 30th according to one source), but now just a few months before launch they give us a prequel anime AND Movie? I’d almost dare to say Square have some issues with priorities. It’s hard to be too up set though, because this was pretty good. While this doesn’t make up for the over long wait and whatever clusterfuck that forced them to changed the game from “Final Fantasy Verses 13” to “Final Fantasy 15”, but in all honesty I’m okay with anything that helps us move past and forget FF13.

As I am including the episode here and it’s only 11 minuets long, I’m going to skip over the plot synopsis and you can watch it for yourself. Instead, I’m just going to jump into the things I liked. First of which is the art. Not being the worlds biggest anime fan I’m not quite sure how to describe the art style, but I found it to be simple stunning to look at. Kind of like the game…..they one that was announced 10 years ago……yeah if you cant tell I’m still kind of sore about that. Anyways, good visuals.

I also liked how they incorporated game powers into the fight scene. With the exception of any magic, this fight included all of the combat abilities i’ve seen be used in game play used here: the teleporting attacks, the switching weapons, even helping out party members….i’ve seen all of that in game play. I’m sure it would have been easier for everyone involved if they just picked one main combat option and focused on that, but I’m glad they made such an obvious effort to go beyond the superficial in making this a “FF15 anime”.

That fight scene also might have answered a question i’ve had for a while: what’s the game’s rating going to be? With the demo being attached to “Final Fantasy Type 0”, the first M rated eatery to the franchise, I started looking at the combat and recently began wondering if Square were planing on this being the first Main-line entry to receive the “Mature” rating. But once I saw that most of the enemies you’ll be fighting are going to be robots, that may be a sign that they are still planing on going the T rout by showing us that we’re not going to be carving up real people. I’d be fine with this going either way, but it’s funny that this comes out right around the same time the question popped into my head.

All in all, I enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next episode. How a bout you? Leave a comment below and let me know what you thought.

Cool Stuff From Around the Web: Eli Roth Directs an Animated Dark Souls Trailer

Actor and Director Eli Roth has just released this gory little trailer for Dark Souls 3. While the overall trailer feels more related to Dark Souls tonally more so than anything else, i found this to be a fun watch. Just know before watching, this does get pretty gruesome.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: October 5th, 2010

Systems: PS3(Reviewed), Xbox 360, PC

Developer: Ninja Theory

Rating: T

Metacrtic Score: 80(PS3)

With the ever increasing likelihood that these next few reviews will be the last I do for this blog, I wanted to review one of the games I’ve wanted to play for a while. Too bad that game turned out to be a massive disappointment. At it’s absolute best the game was just boring, but the game rarely reached those heights. For most of the time I spent with this game the sheer incompetence of its creation made the entire experience tedious in ways I didn’t think it was possible after Uncharted 2 pretty much perfected this particular game play formula the year before.


The Cast of dull, uninteresting characters.

Story wise things start off well: you, as the protagonist “Monkey”, make your way off a slave ship as it crashes only to have one of the other victims, a young girl named Trip, to fit you with a slaver obedience headband. She tells you that if Monkey gets her safely to her home she’ll let him go, to which he swiftly tells her that once he’s free he’ll break her neck. It’s about here where the story becomes insufferable. Monkey constantly reminds us and Trip on how he plans on killing her for what she’s done until he just…doesn’t anymore. While there is a point in the game where it makes some since to deepen the relationship between the two, they begin acting more friendly hours before this. I’m okay with the turn this story took; hell I was even expecting it. But these turns have too have some bases, and this just didn’t have one. And all of this before the game even introduces “Pigsy”, a gross character who I hated from his first appearance to the last time he appeared before I quit playing.

Not helping matters is how the game just keeps going on. There are three games worth of story here, all of which have been crammed into one. This makes each ark feel rushed while making the game as a whole feel over long. Most of the games plot points feel like there was a story outline the writers were following, but none of them knew how to actually write the story so they just used that outline as the final draft of the script.

While the story at least lied about possibly being interesting at the start, the game made it clear that this was going to be a dull experience right from the start. I made a comparison to the Uncharted series earlier, and with the sole exception of the combat here being more brawling based than shooting, it’s a fare comparison. The game play is divided into Combat, climbing based platforming/exploration and sections where the game forces you to slow down for story sections like the famous Tibet section in Uncharted 2, with the occasional set-piece or puzzle sprinkled throughout.

And all of it is infinitely more shit than in the Uncharted games.


At lest the game was nice too look at…once the textures loaded in

I’m not sure if I can say the combat is the worst part of the game, but it is what you spend most of your time doing, so the depths of its mediocrity is what sticks out the most to me. Monkey has three primary attacks, light heavy and sweeping (as well as the ability to block and evade attack) and the game tries to ape the Batman Arkham games combat style with enemy color coding to let you know when to attack or dodge, but the games combat just does not have the depth to warrant this. I won nearly every combat encounter by mindlessly hitting the heavy attack until enemies went down, usually after two or three hits. Most deaths were due to the game not having any form of lock on, so I’d be swinging at a target that just wasn’t there while being attacked from behind. Not helping matters is how the sluggish and overlong the games animations are. Like way to many games when this was released there’s a prompt to use a finishing move for most enemies, and all of the animations seem like there were designed to pad out the length of each fight. Compound this with a noticeable delay for every button press and you have one of the worst combat systems I’ve played in a long time. And that’s before the boss fights.

Or should I say “boss fight”. Even those there are more than one, the first few are literally the same enemy with a few upgrades that I beat the same way each time: hitting it with a stun charge then waling on it until the boss got back up and then repeating the cycle. There was one boss near the end that changed up the formula, but only slightly. Instead of hitting it with a stun charge I shot at explosives. The lack of combat verity is depressing when you look at the enemy verity (at lest with the common enemies). There are several types of robotic foes for you to fight and in the hands of capable developers this would have forced you change up your strategy on the fly each battle. But It didn’t. I won nearly each fight the exact same way: hit heavy attack until it was over. I can overlook some flaws in a game if there is one aspect that really stands out, but there’s nothing like that here, so all the little annoyances just pile up while the big ones become increasingly more aggravating.


You’ll fight this “Dog” a few times. None of them are entertaining fights.

The exploration sections are just as bad. Even the simple act of walking from A to B is a pain as monkey would often start moving in the opposite direction as the one I was telling him to go. I could deal with this when the camera changed position, but this happened pretty much every time I tried to get Monkey to move. And again, that’s not where the issues stop. The platforming requires you to be in a rather specific spot in order to jump from one platform to another, and if there is no platform Monkey just sits there or stumbles. Platforms you can uses have a shine to them that’s meant to help you know where to go, but I found that this was either unnecessary due to the ease of the section or to underdone to be of any help.

My last issue with the game play is a major one, but it may just be an issue with my copy, so take this complaint with a grain of salt. Near the middle of the game there is a puzzle involving a windmill where you have to have Trip start and stop it in different positions in order to drop each sail. This part of the game gave me more trouble than any other part of the game as my orders wouldn’t go through. After having Trip stop the Windmill and getting on to finish the puzzle I often couldn’t get her to start it again. After trying off and on again for two days, constantly shutting off my PS3 and restarting the game I finally managed to get the commands to work and got through the puzzle with ease as it wasn’t hard to figure out. If that was an issue with my copy of the game, fine but if not that is unacceptable.

The one kind of decent thing about the game is how pretty it can be. Once all the textures have popped in (which an take a while) the games does have a rather nice look to it. The game is colorful and stylized which makes the rusted machines and abandoned cities overrun with foliage a pleasure to look at. But then characters start talking and all that effort is gone to waste. Monkey and Pigsy sounds like every other “gruff” character from the period, meaning they talk like they eat nothing but rocks, except when Pigsy whispers. Then he sounds like every “disgusting fat guy” character mumbling “you like that, don’t you” while watching a porno that I’m sure you’ve seen in some low brow “comedy” you probably didn’t laugh at. Not only does he come off as gross, but it almost sounds like he had two different people voicing him.

I’ve heard before that this was a retelling of the classic Chinese book “Journey to the West”. Having not read the book I can’t say if that’s true or how accurate it is to the source, but I can say that there is a film adaption on Netflix that was pretty fun to watch (though again, I don’t know how accurate it is as an adaption) and that I a much better use of your time that this shit storm would be. I can not think of a single thing this game does that hasn’t been done better somewhere else. Literally the only good thing I can say about this game is that it’s technically not broken to the point of unplayability. There are games I hated more. There are games that disappointed me more; but I cannot think of a single game I played that failed this badly on this many levels while there are so many better versions of everything it has to offer.


Telltale’s Childhood Trauma Simulator Returns with Walking Dead Season 3

In an Interview with telltale CEO Kevin Bruner revealed that The Walking Dead Season three will be arriving latter this year. Bruner told the site that Season 3 will “take an ‘unexpected’ approach” and to “to bring in a wider swath of fans”. This could mean that this new season will follow a new protagonist, and if that is what Telltale is aiming for then i’m terrified for the fate of Clementine, but oh so eager to find out.

More information will be released this summer, with the season premier to follow some time after that. Until then, check out my reviews for Season One and Season Two.

Be an Ally to the guys from GameTrailers

Back in February the website GameTrailers was shut down after  13 years in business. With such a talented team it was hard to think they would just disappear, but i assumed they would be scooped up by larger sites looking for talented writers. Well, today we learn that i was wrong about that, as the team behind GameTrailers have started a project, Easy Allies, and they’re asking for your support.

If you enjoyed the content  GameTrailers had been producing and want to see more of it, consider throwing them a few dollars on their Patreon page.

If you’re like me and can afford too, may consider following them on twitter or subscribing to their youtube or follow them on twitch. 


I Finally beat Dark Souls 2.

Back in November of last year I reviewed Dark Souls 2, but I never got around to beating as I often have to move from one game to the next. The fact that the game simply didn’t live up to the first game didn’t help matters much either. But with Dark Souls 3 coming out next month and Destructoid’s Joe Parlock doing a video series of him Beating Souls bosses I decided to sit down and finish the game properly. And as I did last time I thought I’d give you all my thoughts on the experience.
In the end, I still agree with everything I wrote in the review. It never quite reaches “bad” territory, but it never gets past “unremarkable”. I’ll probably give it another go to get my Souls fix before I can get Bloodbourn and Dark Souls 3 (which I’m hoping I can do sometime next month), but this made me regret trading in both Dark and Demons Souls, as I truly believe they are better games all around.

Metal Dead Review

By William Shelton

Release Date: October 6, 2014
Systems: PC
Developer: Wall Thru Walls Studios
Rating: N/A
Metacrtic Score: 71

I may have mentioned this before, but I’m a huge Metalhead. I keep my hair long, dyed black and have aspirations to not own any shirts without a band logo on it. And while there may not be a lot of games, movies or tv shows dealing with metal or metalheads, I’ll give just about anything staring a metalhead a try. And that’s pretty much how I ended up buying Metal Dead. I don’t remember the exact circumstances that lead me to the games steam page, but the second I read the title I knew I was going to drop the $5 on it. So now the question has to be asked: was it any good? Lets find out.
The game opens with protagonist Malcolm sleeping while his best friend Ronnie drives down a zombie filled road. Ronnie soon wakes Malcolm in the most metal way possible: blasting some old school death metal at max volume. We learn that the two Metalhead buds had been holding up in their apartment for the last month, but dwindling resources forced them to leave their comfort and relative safety if they hoped to stay alive. We also learn that Ronnie’s idea of “Staying alive” means investigating the source of the zombie horde, and has been driving toward where the host has been gathering. Naturally this both scares and angers Malcolm, who’s attempts to get Ronnie to turn around causes a car crash as well as getting Ronnie killed.
But things aren’t too bad! Malcolm soon finds his way into what’s left of a medical/pharmaceutical office, where a mad German scientist, Doctor Fritz Von Fechenheim, uses some Frankenstein-esk procedure to bypass the zombie instincts in Ronnie’s undead head, and the two friends are reunited once more. From here the two go on a series of minor quest to find survivors in the office and gather supplies in order to escape via a helicopter on the roof. All the while Ronnie’s zombified head reminding you just how Metal the situation is. As you progress in the adventure you’ll encounter a man-eating pot plant, a seizure inducing anime, a zombie shark and Heavy Metal will save the day.
It’s made pretty clear from the beginning that you are not meant to take this game very seriously, and I think that works for the best. While zombies might not be as omnipresent as they were a few years ago that over saturation of undead drama’s have given us pretty much ever version of these kinds of characters we can take seriously, were as comedy still allows for some interesting avenues for exploration. I mean honestly, will you ever see someone use their ability to shred on a guitar used to blow up zombies heads in “The Walking Dead”? Hell No. This is very much a game made to make you smile, and I was grinning throughout my four hours with the game.
My only real complaint with the games story is that…well….it’s not quite metal enough for me. Sure you do use a death metal CD and a guitar solo to progress in the story, and Ronnie does keep excitedly spouting how metal this all is, but very little love is actually given to the metal subculture. I mean, one of the obstacles is a man eating weed strain, and not a single “cannabis corpse” reference? There’s a zombie chef at one point, but no “Butchered at Birth” imagery? While I’m still glad to see some love for metal being shown here, I can’t help but feel that all the metal love is superficial at best. I know the game was an indie title, so they probably couldn’t have afforded any licensed music, but I can’t help but feel some real metal tunes done in the games chip-tune style would have been a real nice treat.

Game play wise this is a strait point and click game. You use the right mouse button to cycle through interactions like “look at”, “talk too”, “move to” and “touch” and the left button to use said interaction on whatever you click on. You also have an inventory filled with items you can use on objects in the world as would be expected. What separates this game from that other zombie themed point and click game I reviewed a while ago is that this uses more of the classic “moon logic” found in older point and click games, but it still grounds most of the interactions as to not be too annoyingly difficult to figure out. For example, at one point early in the game you have to cook some beans for some one. There is a fully functioning kitchen in the game, but you can’t use it too cook. Instead you have to find another source of heat, which is pretty obvious if you’re paying attention in the early game. It’s a roundabout way of thinking, but no where near as off the wall as some adventure game solutions i’ve heard about before.
While none of the puzzles are hard per se, I do wish the game was a bit clearer as to what you can interact with in the game world. Sure the mouse icon changes, but only if you scroll over an object you can mess with. There were two puzzles I ended up looking up solutions for because I didn’t think to look at certain parts of the rooms I was in. And that leads me to the one huge caveat I have to make to anyone thinking of buying this: it’s a pretty short game. I beat the game in four hours, and it would probably have only taken half that if I wasn’t so very thick at times. For $5 this isn’t too bad and I had enough fun to justify the price, but as “play time” has become a bigger-than-it-should-be topic, I thought I’d bring it up just in case.
In the end, while playing this I was reminded a lot of “Todd and the Book of Pure Evil”, a little known Canadian tv show that used a metalhead protagonist mostly to establish tone than be a show for metalhead, but still created a worthwhile bit of entertainment. That’s pretty much the case here. This isn’t the “metal love letter” I was hoping for, but I still had a lot of fun with Metal Dead. It was a light bit of entertainment that kept me smiling and proud to be a metal fan. With a sequel being green-lit on steam green light, I’m hoping to see more of both this franchise and Walk Thru Walls Studios .


Salt and Sanctuary Multiplayer Gameplay and Impressions

Ever since i beat Dark Souls (and made the stupid decision to trade it in) i’ve been looking for new games to fill the whole in my Hollowed Heart. Because of that Salt and Sanctuary has been on my radar for quite some time now. And once you look past the painfully awkward voice over here, i think you’ll see why. with the sole exception of the perspective shift this could almost be made by using a “find an replace” creative tool. But i’m okay with that. As much as i love the Souls games, i’d like to see more developers try their  hand at creating a similar experience as that brings new perspectives too each game. I’m still hoping someone eventually makes a Souls-like game with a non-western setting/mythology, but for now i’ll take what i can get.

Pokémon Sun & Moon Reveal Trailer and Impressions

As a celebration of the twenty year history of the Pokemon franchise, this is a really sweet video. As a reveal trailer for the new games, this is a huge wast of time. And that’s the core of my main issue here: this is clearly labeled the “Sun and Moon Reveal Trailer” but the first half of the trailer is little more than nostalgia bate.

But it is damn good nostalgia bate. I’ll admit, i haven’t played a pokemon game since “Sapphire and Ruby”, but this really made me want to go find a copy of X or Y and reintroduce myself to the franchise. But i still wish the trailer had something more too say than “hey kids, a new pokemon game is coming out soon, get your wallet ready”