Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Frustrations with Bloodstain Ritual Of the Night randomizer

Due to the length of the things I want to talk about regarding the randomizer. I couldn't fit them into a few tweets so I thought I go back to this place and pen down my findings and thoughts. I would not discuss the technical aspect of a randomizer or the features I would want as those are really subjective and really depends on your personal preference.

First things first, let me just show you guys what my settings are when I play the randomizer. I do not think I need to mention there are spoilers as you need to complete the game to access the randomizer.

Note that both "Defeat True Evil" and "Defeat All Evil" essentially need the same key items. Defeat Gebel is the only option that really doesn't soft-lock the game most of the time.

To complete the randomizer in my setting you need 2 things, "Dimension Shift" and "Zangetsuto".

Dimension Shift is needed to get into Dominique's boss room which is literally blocked by solid walls. Zangetsuto is needed to get into Den of Behemoths.

Let's talk about the common problem that everyone is running into, getting Zangetsuto.

In the randomizer, there are 4 places that you can get Zangetsuto.

1. After the 2nd Zangetsu fight from Zangetsu himself (Original location in the normal game)
2. At Dian Cecht Cathedral in the chest where there is a path that leads to Hall Of Termination
3. At Hall Of Termination in the chest of a secret room which on the way to Gebel's Boss room
4. The Gold chest after beating Valac boss of the tower of twin dragons.

If you do not find Zangetsuto in these 4 locations, your randomizer seed is soft-locked and you cannot proceed further as Zangetsuto is likely in the other 2 key chests which you need Zangetsuto to access.

That is probably the biggest frustration when you have a decent good run to find yourself unable to proceed further.

For this, I guess the should be the main focus of fixing in regards to the randomizer as this issue comes out so often.

Now with the second rarer problem. Traversing through the castle itself.

With how the game map is designed or simply how a 2D Metroidvania is designed, you restrict players from getting to places out of sequence in 2 main ways.

First, you can restrict the amount of height a player can achieve. Second is blocking places of entry with soft-walls like water, energy barriers, or literally a locked door.

For Bloodstain, the upper part of the castle is restricted from access mostly by height. The lower part of the castle is restricted mostly by water so you need a shard that allows you to "swim". Note that I quote swim. I get back to it later.

In my successful runs of the randomizer, I almost never need to go to Underground Sorcery Lab. My crazy fast runs also do not involve me doing the bottom part of the castle which you need shards to "swim".

So a crazy fast run would just need you to get "Dimension Shift" from Craftwork boss and getting Zangetsuto from the key item chest in Dian Cecht Cathedral. From there you are good to go to Den of the Behemoths and fight Dominique.

I do not want to too much into how to get around places with certain shards and it will just make this piece longer than needed.

With this case, you can easily see that if you get any shards that force you to go to the bottom of the castle. Your run is almost certainly going to double in the time needed to complete it. But there is something more problematic if you think about all the shards that you need to traverse the castle.

If you are unable to get any shards in your run that allows you to gain more height to reach the upper part of the castle. Your run is also soft-locked.

Which means if you get blood steal, deep sinker, aqua stream, craftwork shards. You are also locked out of the game.

But wait you say, there is still high jump shard that the randomizer assigns to any enemy. Yes but again if there isn't any that drops it you are still stuck.

For the second issue, I am not sure if there is a good way to get around this by the developers. They could introduce logic to have an enemy at the lower part of the map drop high jump always. I do not know if there are good solutions for it as I never developed games before.

So for now I decided to put aside Bloodstain randomizer as I am tired of going into a seed I cannot complete.

P.S. Regarding "swim". You can technically "swim" with dimension shift but the more interesting thing is swimming with "invert". I also found that you can use reflect ray, upgrade it to the longest possible distance, and force Miram into a position to get to the other side of the way. Looks funny but it actually works.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Foreword to - My time with games in 2019 as an Asian Gamer

I will not lie. The idea of this writing comes from Macsplicer's "State Of the FGC" Video series. Check his channel out @ https://www.youtube.com/c/MacSplicer . For me, I am not a person who enjoys speaking verbally. I prefer penning them down.

Here are some things I want to explain, I again have stolen ideas from MacSplicer that I realize doing this at the start or end of the year is kind of hard and at around September seems to be a better period as it is just before the December holidays barrage of games, Tokyo Game Show is happening and I can go back and look at what games have happened this year. Also, note I said games not specifically video games. I am just leaving myself room to talk about other stuff over strictly just video games.

I will, as much as possible, breakdown in pieces what I played so far, what I deem totally worthwhile to play. I will also try to look back at some of the games I played a fair while back and have some serious run-through on how I feel about those games now.

I will try to have 1 word to symbolize what I felt for the year. Something like what Japan does by picking a Kanji to represent a year. I know it feels oversimplifying the year, I would prefer seeing it as the overall sentiment for the year.

This might be obvious to some but I still want to clarify. This article is based on my experience and my opinions. It is again mostly here for me to pen my thoughts. I am not really fond of rapid-fire tweets I used to do as I feel I am shortchanging my whole thought process.

And I just realize I have written a whole bunch of paragraphs talking about the article which I have barely started.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Starting the survey program.

I just want to have some talk about Deltarune. More in the line of what I see of the game not in terms of fun but more in terms of how people are reacting to it and how I see Toby Fox is dealing with the whole thing. Yes, I will also refer to his tweet longer post as well (http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqn3p9).

As for story speculations I leave it to the rest of the internet to debate this to hell and back. Personally I am not that keen on that aspect. The game is not completed, the demo could change etc

Definitely going to have a bit of spoiler in this though mostly not intentional. The game is free, go play it.

A quick summary of how the game fare to me.

Going through the opening of the game already I feel emotional and nostalgic. By mid game, you have already grown quite attached to the characters and their quirks. After reaching the castle, you hope this is not the end.

Did I talk about the music? Oh man the music. You have to hear it yourself. (Fields of Hopes and Dreams has this Seiken Densetsu vibe. Has some Touhou tune in it as well)

The animations and battle section of the game is more polished than Undertale.

Now onto the main topic here

I will talk about the thing that has been hanging over in my head. Toby's tweet longer post. Coming from the success of Undertale has really made it difficult for him. He believes that he will be unable to fulfill hype for his next game and have accepted that fact.

This is interesting for me as a lot of the other developers seems to believe their game can do a lot better than their previous success. Though I believe Toby's acceptance that he cannot fulfill the coming expectations of his next game is going to least help evaluate the pressure of making new games in the future.

He is having difficulties making Deltarune as the game is much bigger and more complex than Undertale. Just the demo itself took a few years to complete. He also stated that he has no experience working with a team to develop games.

In regards to that, this is easy to understand. Undertale was mostly done by Toby himself. Undertale as you can see playing it is almost fully Toby's vision and his own storytelling method. With a team, not only does Toby needs to think about making the game, he needs to supervise other people on the game as well. It is nearly impossible for the game to be fully his vision when done with a team. I am not sure if Toby himself is ready to accept that fact.

Talking about the game development came another point, the game will only have 1 ending. This seemed to have brought some debate between people not wanting to play the game because it only has 1 ending. For me, I don't see any issue. Some of the best JRPGS around are single ending. Single ending or not, I am more interested in the story Toby wants to tell.

Which leads me to the Toby wanting to tell this story for a long time. His initial drafts of Deltarune dated somewhere in 2012. I am not sure if it is the same feeling as I have when I needed to write about Tokyo Dark (ahem read it here https://t.co/TW3De3PnEM). The feeling of need to get it out of your head before it drives you insane not doing so.

Now that I have gotten this off my chest. I can go back to wasting my free time by napping.

End of survey.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

My misadventures with learning how to cook.

A few years ago I decided to learn to cook. Well, more of learning to make more than instant noodles.

I figure the easiest way to learn is to start learning how to make some of the food I eat out like Japanese Ramen, curry etc.

So now in 2018. I learned how to make food scambled eggs, poached eggs, some simple pan meats, some soups etc.

Honestly what I learn is nothing great. My mum probably beats me hands down in the same stuff. I do feel a lot happier now I can make some food without resorting to instant noodles. (Though I still love instant noodles)

I also learned that it is alright to use like pre-done stuff for cooking. Like chicken stock for, powdered dashi instead boiling bonito flakes, using curry mix again instead of making your own.

That lesson was taught by my Mum (Thanks Mum) and well she did say there is not a lot of reason to make everything from scratch unless you have some secret recipe for certain ingredients or simply wanted a dish to have a different taste.

 As for the whole experience of learning how to cook. Well, it is nothing really new to anyone learning how to cook, lots of under-cooked / over-cooked stuff. Burnt more eggs than I dare to admit. Not to mention my knife skills so poor, the slices of meat looked more like something that came out of a 5-year-old trying to cut meat with a pair of scissors.

So I will appeal to more people to learn how to cook. You may not be the winner for the next MasterChef but you gain some satisfaction that you can take care of yourself better.

P.S. My knife skills are still bad.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The noob trap that is Dragon Ball Fighterz

Yes literally. It is not even day 2 (I think it is going to be day 3) and I already see people leaving bad reviews of Dragon Ball Fighterz. Oh yes and the bloodbath of day 1 Dragon Ball Fighterz streams.

This is going be mostly what I feel are unpopular opinions and what people do not want to hear.

Why Dragon Ball Fighterz or any fighting games are not for you.

1. Fighting games are hard and you are going to lose almost 99% of the time before you could figuratively start thinking of getting some wins in.

2. In line with fighting games being hard, you need to actually put in work to get better. If you just want to be entertained. Please look elsewhere. If you want to know the story mode of DBFZ, go to youtube and watch the cutscenes or something. You save your 60 bucks.

3. Now comes the question, what does putting in work mean? I mean everyone seen those great matches at Evo or big fighting game tournaments? What you don't see is people spending a lot of time reading, researching and even going to gyms to get themselves ready. I actually spend time in training mode back when I was very active in meltyblood as well training to figure out how to beat certain tricks and strategies. Those hours spent are never seen by people.

4. Playing fighting games is also a stressful affair. Again this is similar to the point 2. If you are in for the entertainment. Go for other genres (Well maybe not Tetris Grandmaster).

5. If you cannot take losing well, Fighting Games are also not ideal for you. Look I am also often salty (salty here meaning not taking the loss well) when I lose. Get salty, rage, cry whatever but I still come back to the game.

6. Fighting games are also based on the idea of mastery. The mastery of anything means the devotion of time and effort. Something I will actually say is counter to what modern video games are.

To summarise, if you wonder why people in the Fighting Game community enjoy playing it so much. It is basically a form of mastery of yourself, overcoming your opponent and seeing the fruit of efforts.This is not replicated in other games especially team-based PVP games. Win or lose it is all you. No one can take it away or steal it.

Thank you for reading.

P.S. This piece here again comes with me needing to get it out of my system.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Its done! More thoughts that I feel couldn't fit in properly to the main piece

Yes it is finally done. The main piece which is published on Medium.

Here I just want to say a few more things.

Honestly I don't hate Tokyo Dark that much but I needed to get it out of my system. Also I have nothing against the Developers of the game. I always believe that being a game dev is much harder than me writing an article about why something isn't good. (maybe I can learn how to actually make a game someday)

I remember doing a short poll about giving Tokyo Dark more leniency as it is a Kickstarter game but people seem to want me to be more fair regardless of how it was developed.

Several points during the game I was talking to the screen saying "Please give me a god d*mn reason to care about the characters". Obviously that never happened.

One point I didn't talk about in the main piece was how much the game wants you to take the whole scenario seriously. It was especially jarring when the god characters try to convince you that you need to be the mask bearer then have them at the end of the game asking if you did the right thing. So which is it honestly? Again subtly is all lost from there.

I didn't get all the endings. I got 2 endings and the second play through got me the true ending. I watched the other endings on YouTube I just balked at how much more it wants you take it seriously.

This is really the first time I run into a Visual Novel with bad writing and it really drive home the sin of bad writing since a Visual Novel is still a "novel" after all.

I wanted to try for a long time and now I finally did. Medium's online editor is a bit lacking in editor functions. I mean like blogger has more tools I can use. Blogger even has a spellcheck tool built in. I guess the only upside is medium has a place where you can make money from your articles. Oh well,  sell congratulatory with the fact I finally completed this article and gotten Tokyo Dark out of my system.

Now onto the next thing!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tokyo Dark?

I am sorta working on writing my thoughts for Tokyo Dark. It is a Point and Click meet visual novel game according to what the developer says.

The reason the game prompt me to want to write about it is how the game is somewhat not held together properly. I do not mean in the sense the game is broken and does not work. More in the vein of parts of the game do not seem to go together properly.

Like I play JRPGs and they are often not great in like story. For Tokyo Dark, which is (sigh) and Point and click meet visual novel game, I expected more. It seems as I get older it becomes more apparent when story bits do not join well.

Anyways I also want to make clear certain things before I publish the piece once I am done.

One, I am not exactly the most avid Visual novel, Point and click adventure games kind of person. There are a few titles I played which I least understand how they should work. So holding me to be the veteran standard of review the game is not going to work.

Second, this is not a review per say. Well least from what I think it is. I did not get all the endings myself I just went online and watch some of them. Dear god some of them are really.....

Lastly I am not sure if I want to include video footage of the game I mean you can get footage online already. So likely it is a written piece. I am not a yotuber etc so I probably will skip on video footage. Oh and do not watch the trailer if you are even remotely interested in the game. My thoughts will spoil the game as well but I will put a non-spoiler portion part at the top if you are really interested.

If you want a TLDR of the thing without reading immediately about buying it, I will only recommend it if you have no more point and click / visual novel games to play which I think is kind of impossible now considering there are tons out there on steam now. Good ones even.

If not, do not go into this game.