the love of all things electronic.

The Platinum Demo – Final Fantasy XV — April 29, 2016

The Platinum Demo – Final Fantasy XV

After reading Game Informer‘s May cover story on Final Fantasy XV, I got interested to finally try the Platinum Demo that came out around a month ago. I downloaded it while playing a few rounds of Rocket League, then I dove right in.

In the demo, you still play as the main character from Final Fantasy XV, Noctis, except you’re in his dream, and in the dream, you’re playing as a kid version of Noctis. A dream creature named Carbuncle (although you can name him whatever you like at the end of the story) guides you through the dream, communicating in text messages to Noctis’s phone. The beginning areas get you familiar with the controls and you move and jump around a rocky, forested environment. You can collect orange crystals along the way, and collecting enough of them gives you access to plates that are spaced around the areas. Stepping on these plates once unlocked do a variety of things, such as change the weather, switch the time of day, give you items, tease some of the summons you’ll see at some point in Final Fantasy XV, or even transform Noctis into numerous vehicles and animals. Depending on the time of day, you may get a different item or transformation from a plate, so experimentation is encouraged.

About halfway through the first area, your guide, the furry little Carbuncle alerts you of enemies up ahead and gives you some weapons to defend yourself, namely a toy sword and a squeaky hammer. The toy sword is quicker to swing, but the hammer hits harder, so it’s simply a matter of preference. You can bind each of your weapons or items to the D-pad. The enemies are known as Nightmares, and they don’t really pose much of a threat. They have a basic slash and a projectile, but they don’t really try to gang up on you. They’re about your size and look kind of like strange blue frogs. In combat, holding circle attacks continuously, while holding square causes you to defend, enabling you to auto-dodge, if the attack permits it. You can also tap square at any time to dodge in the desired direction. You’ll find items that you can use as spells in the game, like fireworks and thunderbolts, requiring you to aim them by holding down circle. While aiming, you’ll see their area of effect before tossing the item.

After the beginning area, things get a little more open, as the next area places you in a house, except you’re about the size of a mouse. You’re free to explore this large room, transform into a car or truck to move more quickly, knock down a block castle (if you want, and let’s be honest: you DO want to), and collect crystals before moving on the the next area, fighting Nightmares along the way. During the majority of this demo, I was heavily reminded of Kingdom Hearts, with the dreamlike fantasy settings, small shadow-like, bright colored enemies, and even the controls, movement, and attacks. I think fans of Kingdom Hearts will really enjoy the demo.

After you make it through your tiny escapade, you’re placed into a city square with plenty to do, including a plate that lets you respawn enemies at will, fighting indefinitely, if you want. Here you can transform into a number of creatures, a large giraffe-like creature with horns, a tusked-buffalo, and an alligator (or crocodile, sorry, I don’t know my lizards) with wings. Once you’re done in this area, you’ll move on to the final area of the demo.

The final area appears to be the city streets of Noctis’s home, Insomnia. Walking forward reveals a giant iron demon with a huge sword appearing, and for this short-lived part of the demo, you transform into Noctis in his adult form and are given real weapons and a fire spell. The demon can be tough, and it actually reminded me of a Dark Souls style boss battle, where being greedy will certainly get you into trouble, and that you need to learn the tells of enemies to be fairly successful. The toy weapons and items prepare you well for the real deal, as the control is all the same.

After you’re able to down the enemy, you’re free to watch the ending cutscene, or you can spawn the creature again, this time much more powerful than the last. This time however, Carbuncle gives you the ability to teleport with your smaller sword, enable warp strikes, and sticking to pillars and street lights to get out of the monster’s reach. Part way through the fight, Carbuncle will also give you access to the Armeger, a number of magic swords that float around Noctis, enabling him to attack with each one, kind of like a super or limit break attack. This fight is much faster paced with the ability to warp and the increased threat from the beast, but really shows what Final Fantasy XV will be capable of once it release September 30th.

I hope that they keep up the good work with Final Fantasy XV, as I really don’t think the Final Fantasy brand can really take another bad game. I’ll be on board at release, just as I was when XIII came out (ugh), but here’s hoping I’ll get a better experience than I did with XIII.

What’cha Playin’? 4/28/16 — April 28, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 4/28/16

I feel like I have kind of hit a wall with Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign. I want to complete everything in the game, but a few things elude me. One of the modes, for instance, is a mission mode, which just requires you to successfully punish opponents after they use an attack with a decent amount of cooldown. That’s no problem, only that it also requires you to deal a set amount of damage in a single combo; something I have not yet grasped. I think I need to spend a decent amount of time in practice mode and watching other skilled players on YouTube to get a feel for what I should be doing. Not only that, but ranked online play and player matches are pretty scarce at this point. Ranking up may be difficult.

I did play a decent amount of Rocket League yesterday, however. Good stuff.

Lastly, content is kind of scarce until I get really into new games, so I’m sorry for that. Commenting to create conversation can help with that!

These “What’cha Playin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

What’cha Playin’? – 4/27/16 Rocket League Hoops! — April 27, 2016

What’cha Playin’? – 4/27/16 Rocket League Hoops!

Honestly haven’t been doing a whole lot besides playing Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign. But yesterday that wasn’t entirely true because Rocket League‘s latest update included a new Hoops mode! So Rocket League now has soccer, hockey, and basketball covered! The Hoops mode is insanely fun, especially for high level players; it allows for a lot of fun aerial play, from awesome dunks, to off the side of the wall epic saves. It really breathes new life into Rocket League, not that Rocket League necessarily needed it! Check it out!

The Games of Summer — April 26, 2016

The Games of Summer

I’ve been putting some time into Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, trying to get everything done in it before Revelator comes out June 7th. I finished the story mode, and I’m almost done with all of the character’s arcade modes. In fact, maybe you can expect a review of it soon?

This summer is going to be big on games for me. Lots of new games coming out that I’m excited for. Here’s my list:

  • Doom – 5/13
  • Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst – 6/7
  • Guilty Gear Xrd – Revelator – 6/7
  • No Man’s Sky 6/21
  • The King of Fighters XIV 8/23

June’s going to be a busy month!

What games are you looking forward to this summer? Post them in the comments and let’s chat!

What’cha Playin’? – 4/25/16 — April 25, 2016

What’cha Playin’? – 4/25/16

This weekend was the weekend that I finally managed to finish my Salt and Sanctuary lore synopsis. My 87 page synopsis, The Drowned Tome, is available in PDF format for online reading or to download it and read it later. Click here to check it out!

With that finally finished, I think I’ve finally burnt myself out on Salt and Sanctuary. You see, that’s how I typically play games: I get really into one or two, and just play them to death until I get sick of them.

Since I’ve finished everything I really feel like finishing in Salt and Sanctuary, it means I can play other games again! So over the weekend I put some pretty good time into Guilty Gear: Xrd: Sign, a bit solo, a bit with my friends, and I made a bit more progress in Demon’s Souls. Also, yesterday, my friend and I chugged through Jet Grind Radio on Dreamcast, since we both love that game so much. It’s just a great game to pop into the DC and power through. It’s great.

I also made a silly video for Salt and Sanctuary. Just be aware that it has final boss spoilers, and is a huge reference to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Check it out here!

These “What’cha Playin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

What’cha Playin’? – 4/22/16 — April 22, 2016

What’cha Playin’? – 4/22/16

Been chugging through my synopsis of the world of Salt and Sanctuary and haven’t really be able to do much of anything else except try to squeeze in some Guilty Gear: Xrd: Sign time.

I’ve been watching the new season of Unbreakable: Kimmy Schmidt, and I have to say that I’m not too impressed. Season 1 was much better, in my opinion, as this season just seems to be chock full of annoying characters. Maybe the charm of Unbreakable is wearing off on me. That being said, it has its moments and I’m sure I’ll still finish the season.

These “What’cha Playin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

What’cha Playin? 4/21/16 — April 21, 2016

What’cha Playin? 4/21/16

I’ve been working pretty hard on my Salt and Sanctuary Lore guide, and I’m currently 24 pages (Times New Roman, mostly 14 point font) deep. When I’m not doing that, I’m squeezing in some Guilty Gear: Xrd: Sign time.

My Salt and Sanctuary T-Shirt came in the mail the other day with some cool extras. Check ’em out! I also threw together a quick co-op guide for the community over at /r/saltandsanctuary.

These “What’cha Playin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike: Fight for the Future (BGE) — April 20, 2016

Street Fighter III: Third Strike: Fight for the Future (BGE)

My Street Fighter III: Third Strike: Fight for the Future review for the Best Games Ever list is now live. You can read the full review from the Best Games Ever list, or by clicking here.

Also, did you know that Cyberphile has a Facebook page? Feel free to swing by and get our new posts in your newsfeed.

Here’s a preview of my review for Street Fighter III: Third Strike: Fight for the Future:

Street Fighter III: Third Strike: Fight for the Future is one of those games that when my friends come over, we can always default to. Many nights were spent playing Third Strike for hours on end, slowly learning each character one by one. When we were at our peak for Third Strike, I was playing with nearly every character, and playing pretty well too! (by my friend’s standards, certainly not on a professional level) It’s just one of those games for us.

What’cha Playin? 4/18/16 — April 18, 2016

What’cha Playin? 4/18/16

This weekend was fun-filled blast. It was my birthday on Friday, so, sorry for my lack of a post. It was a busy weekend. On Friday, I went to a hockey game, which is always fun in my book. On Saturday, I went to Medieval Times, which is kind of like an indoor Renaissance fair, but of Medieval times. When you first walk in, you’re assigned a table, and that table corresponds with one of the 6 sections, which in turn corresponds to one of the 6 colored knights. Prior to the show, you can walk around and buy all sorts of interest things, from real swords and shields to pewter statues and jester hats. There’s also an interesting torture museum, with replicas of many of the Medieval torture devices on display. Once you’re seated in your section, the show begins. The arena is split into two, with 3 seating sections on either side. Your server wench or serf explains that the three knights on your side of the arena are your allies, while the three on the opposite side are enemies. They put on a little story for you about the 6 brave knights from their 6 kingdoms in Spain, and they put on a how involving horse tricks, falconry, Medieval style games from a small tournament, like jousting hanging rings, full on jousting, and finally, armed combat. All the while, you’re being served a Medieval fare of food without utensils, like tomato bisque (never mind that tomatoes were indigenous to the Americas, it’s not like they had Pepsi back then either, after all), garlic bread, chicken (there are vegetarian options too), corn on the cob, a roasted potato, and an apple turnover with a side of coffee. It’s a lot of fun cheering for your knight and booing the opposition as you watch them participate and fight the other knights. If you’re a fan of the Medieval time period, I would highly recommend checking it out. Fun for the whole family.

In terms of video games, I played a bit of Salt and Sanctuary, as is the usual, and I started playing Demon’s Souls again, after receiving Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin from a friend as a birthday gift. I’ve only beaten Dark Souls and Bloodborne, so I need to catch up to get with Dark Souls III. I know that  Demon’s Souls is its own story and world, but that’s just the way I play games. My friends and I also played some Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, and picking it up again has made me excited for Guilty Gear Revelator, which is coming out the beginning of June. We also played a little bit of Street Fight III: Third Strike, which, for some reason, is not on my list of Best Games Ever… Hmm… I’ll have to fix that.

Lastly, I’m finally done collecting information from the item descriptions, NPC dialogues, and stories from the Tree of Skill in Salt and Sanctuary, so I’ve started putting that information together in a readable way, not unlike Redgrave’s The Paleblood Hunt, my inspiration. Look forward to my release of that information. Or don’t. It’s okay.

These “What’cha Playin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

What’cha Playin’? 4/14/16 — April 14, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 4/14/16

As you (probably) know, I’ve been working on Salt and Sanctuary lore stuff. I’ve beaten the game for the 6th time, and have read through the Bestiary, Magic, Rings, and Charms, slowly taking notes and piecing together information about the world of Salt and Sanctuary. It’s been pretty interesting so far, and I’m looking forward to the finished product. You should too! That being said, I actually haven’t done much playing of anything because I’ve been busy putting together that information. Oh yeah, and school stuff.

As many of you know, Dark Souls III is out now, but I probably won’t be picking it up until I beat Demon Souls and Dark Souls II. I’ll probably play through the first Dark Souls again as well too before I get to Dark Souls III. So it’ll be a bit yet.

In other news, you should check out my friend’s Facebook page, Eric is a Huge Nerd. He’s been building and tinkering with arcade sticks lately, and it’s pretty interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes next with his current project.

Speaking of Facebook pages, you know Cyberphile has one too, right? Get Cyberphile’s posts directly in your newsfeed!

These “What’cha Playin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.