the love of all things electronic.

What’cha Playin’? 12/23/16 — December 23, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 12/23/16

If you’re keeping up with my streaming, you’d know!

Just kidding (sorta). I tried out Oni, the PS2 Ghost in the Shell knock-off by Bungie and… Man is it BAD. Well, maybe not bad, but certainly not good. From the 4-ish hours I spent with it last night… The controls are wonky, some parts are overwhelmingly annoying and unfair (one hit kills, what?), the gameplay is pretty much just mashing the same controls over and over again in the hopes that it works, the levels are ugly and boring, the story is bland… All in all it’s a pretty underwhelming package. I’ve only completed 5 of the 13 or so missions in the game, but it’s getting hard to continue, not only in difficulty, but mentally. There’s nothing to keep me going.

The only redeeming qualities are the neat attacks and throws, but once you learn that they’re all pretty much the same and only look different… Well… Yeah…

Have you checked out the other Cyberphile links from the About page? You should! I get my microphone back soon and with it I’ll be able to perform higher quality streams and video content. Stay tuned!

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – PS2 Review — December 21, 2016

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – PS2 Review

My Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex review is now live! You can read the full review from the Review page, or by clicking here.

Check the About page for links to Cyberphile accounts on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube!

Here’s the bottom line if you don’t have time to read the full review:


  • Fun 3PS gameplay with a few twists to keep it fresh.
  • Varied, fun levels that never get stale.
  • Well written story that seamlessly ties into the anime.
  • Great voice acting by all the characters you’d hope were there.


  • Pretty short.
  • Sometimes unbalanced baddies.
  • Batou levels just aren’t as fun as Motoko levels.

Final Score: 9.5/10

If you’re a fan of Ghost in the Shell in any way, you need to play this game. It’s a great supplement to the anime. If you just want to play a fun, futuristic, fresh 3PS, you’re in good hands with this one. I highly recommend it.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (BGE) — December 5, 2016

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (BGE)

My Amnesia: The Dark Descent 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 Amnesia: The Dark Descent:

Amnesia: The Dark Descent revolutionized the first person survival horror genre, especially the kind that has no combat. Games like Outlast and Slender: The 8 Pages may never have been what they are today if not for Amnesia’s influence.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent puts you in the shoes of Daniel, a man trapped in a Gothic castle, known as Brennenburg, with a severe case of amnesia in late August, 1839. Daniel doesn’t remember what he’s doing there or why, but but he does know that he’s being hunted by something. A journal entry, written by his pre-amnesiac self, offers one main goal: Descend into the Inner Sanctum of the castle and kill the Count of Brennenburg, Alexander.

Final Fantasy XV – Other Mechanics — December 2, 2016

Final Fantasy XV – Other Mechanics

I talked a bit about story, characters, themes, and settings two days ago, and the combat mechanics yesterday, so I wanted to take a moment to talk about what you can do in Final Fantasy XV when you’re not advancing the story or strictly in combat, even though a lot of what you’ll be doing is combat, of course.

Final Fantasy XV has a sandbox component. When you’re going from quest to quest or outpost to outpost, you can choose to get there however you please. In order from safest to least safest, you can fast travel assuming you’ve been there before and have a measly 10 Gil to get there, you can hop in the Regalia, the car, you can rent a Chocobo, Final Fantasy’s flagship bird/horses, or you can walk. Walking from location to location can cause you to stumble upon monsters, but running away is pretty easy, and not tied to chance or anything like that; you simply have to remove yourself from the combat area. Since it’s tied to the story that you’re being pursued, you can also get attacked while in the car, but it’s far less common, and Chocobos move quickly enough to escape before enemies can make their moves.

Since you’ve got a sandbox, you’re welcome to explore. Throughout the land you can discover treasures, ingredients for Ignis to cook with for the party for important (and sometimes necessary) stat boosts, campgrounds to rest at free of charge, dungeons containing powerful weapons for Noctis and his special ability: the Armiger, or simply shop and explore towns. There are a veritable TON of side quests, but only a handful of them are truly unique, and they’re all basically fetch quests: go here, get this, come back. Likewise are your main source of making money: Hunts. Hunts are bounties that you can go on to kill some trouble-making monsters for some money and an increase in your rank as a Hunter. The harder Hunts can only be taken on by higher ranked hunters, so you’ll need to rank up to take them on. Whenever you get into town, a restaurant can show nearby points of interest, offer you food to temporarily boost your stats (and it’s usually a pretty big boost, mind you), and offer you hunts. Restaurants are kind of like a base of operations. Though sidequests can get tedious, the rewards and experience gained from doing them makes them continue to feel important.

Nighttime is especially dangerous, especially for the low leveled, as daemons come out to skulk about, and they’re no pushovers. If you absolutely have to travel by night, keep moving. This makes the resting mechanic useful not only to spend your experience points (as EXP accrued is only added to characters after resting), but to advance the time.

There’s something about the world of Final Fantasy XV that draws you to it, and it might sound strange at first, but hear me out… The world of FFXV reminds me a bit of Hyrule and Termina, the worlds of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, respectively. You kind of feel like you’re on this grand journey, but everyone is kind of going about their day in their own way. Locations feel not like they were specifically made for the player, but for the residents of the world. Riding a Chocobo takes me straight to excursions of riding with Epona, and the characters that have their own business go about it seemingly without a real care in the world. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the world of FFXV is it’s own living, breathing world, complete with tons of things to find and do. It has this sort of charming quality that the overworld of LoZ has about it, and seems to do it well.

I’m hoping to get some serious play time in this weekend so I can talk about it more.

Final Fantasy XV – Combat Mechanics — December 1, 2016

Final Fantasy XV – Combat Mechanics

I’m having a great deal of fun with Final Fantasy XV, and yesterday I talked a bit about the story, characters, themes, and settings, so today I thought I’d talk about combat.

The first real difference FF fans will notice is that combat is no longer turn based. Like FFXIII, you only control the main character, Noctis, while the rest of the team will do their own thing unless you command them otherwise. (I’ll be talking about  the PlayStation controls, so just keep your Xbox equivalent in mind) While in combat, holding circle will cause you to attack repeatedly until you stop holding circle, and likewise, holding square will cause you to dodge all incoming attacks with a quick teleport out of the way, provided you have the MP to do so, which drains slowly while square is held, and a little quicker when a dodge must be performed. You can also tap square to dodge out of the way manually. Annoyingly, sprint is also mapped to holding circle, so I’ll often be trying to sprint out of combat to regroup, only to find Noctis attacking the nearest enemy again. R1 locks you on to an enemy, but it must be held instead of toggled, though I’m sure there’s an option in the menu to switch that. If you press R2, you can pause time to bring up your item list. Tapping triangle will perform a warp-strike, provided you have the MP to do so. Noctis will throw the currently equipped weapon at the locked on target (or in whatever direction you please if you’re not locked-on) and teleport to that location. The farther away Noctis is from the target, the more damage the warp-strike will do, and you can even target specific body parts of enemies in an attempt to break them, doing good damage, and putting them in a state of Vulnerability, dealing extra damage and preventing them from attacking until they recover. If you take too much damage in battle, you can hide behind structures as denoted with square to restore your health and MP, or you can hold triangle, provided there’s a point-warp nearby, usually a vantage point where Noctis can hang by his weapon out of danger, provided he has the stamina to do so, and the enemies don’t have ranged abilities to pick him off with. Teleporting to a point-warp location will instantly restore your MP as well.

If you run out of MP in combat, you will no longer be able to warp or dodge for a decent amount of time in what is known as Stasis. Over time Stasis will wear off, but it’s best to just keep an eye on your MP gauge, and point-warp or take cover before you run out. Managing your MP is a major key in combat.

Sometimes during combat, an enemy will wind up for a big strike and the square button will flash onscreen. If you fail to block this attack, you’ll take heavy damage, but if you do manage to, you can quickly press circle afterwards to parry. Better yet, if a teammate is around (and they often are), they’ll often help out for even more damage with a link-strike, which not only looks cool, but makes you invincible for the duration of the animation, which can be useful in a pinch.

Another key to victory in combat is the Blindside mechanic. If you attack an enemy from behind, you’ll get a boost in damage known as a Blindside. Again, if a teammate is around, they’ll perform a link-strike. Circling around your foes to land more effective attacks and reading when they’ll counterattack is important to get a hang of as quickly as possible.

Pressing L1 brings up skills for your teammates to use, one for each of your buddies. These abilities are super useful, and can be used at will assuming you have enough of the link bar (I think that’s what it’s called) filled up. The link bar maxes out at 3, and each skill costs 1-3 bars to use. That said, using them typically makes you invincible for the duration of the animation, and can usually be followed up with an extra strike if it’s an attacking skill.

Final Fantasy XV is very lenient with dying. When you or a friend lose all of your HP, you go into into a state of Danger, where you can no longer perform any actions except using items and limping away. Going into Danger lowers your maximum HP permanently until you rest, eat, or use an elixir of some sort, and while in Danger, your Maximum HP will constantly deteriorate. A buddy can help you recover from Danger, as you can with your friends, which removes the Danger state, but your maximum HP will stay lowered, and your current HP will be around half of your new lowered maximum. Alternatively, a quick potion will also remove the Danger state. While in Danger, you can still be attacked, and if you lose all of your maximum HP in your Danger state, you’ll die. However, if you have a Phoenix Down on hand, you won’t get a game over, always giving you a second chance. If Noctis dies without a Phoenix Down, it’s game over, but if you win a battle and everyone except Noctis is dead, they’ll all come back with about 1/4th of their maximum HP. Maximum HP lost via Danger does come back slowly on it’s own, but resting, eating and elixirs will restore it immediately.

It seems like quite a lot, but it makes for a fun battle system. There is also a wait mode which pauses time when standing still, if you’d prefer to plan your attacks more. More FF stuff tomorrow, surely.

Gauntlet: Slayer Edition – Review — November 28, 2016

Gauntlet: Slayer Edition – Review

My Gauntlet: Slayer Edition review is now live! You can read the full review from the Review page, 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 the bottom line if you don’t have time to read the full review:


  • Fun, fresh, dungeon crawling action, especially with friends.
  • Local and online multiplayer available for every activity.
  • Fun and unique characters makes replaying fresh.


  • Somewhat short story and repetitive content.
  • Frustratingly unfair enemies, especially late-game.
  • Less fun solo.
  • Shared lives.

Final Score: 8/10

At any rate, Gauntlet is really fun and addicting when it’s not overwhelmingly frustrating. If you have some friends who can appreciate a good dungeon crawl, take them into the Gauntlet, and you’re surely have some great fun. Solo is still fun, but as is true with the arcade classic as well, Gauntlet is best played with buddies with a need for greed.

What’cha Playin’? 11/9/16 The Elder Scrolls: Arena — November 9, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 11/9/16 The Elder Scrolls: Arena

Everyone was worried about the election, and I was just pondering whether I should go Imperial or Stormcloak. At any rate, congratulations or my condolences depending on who you voted for, but that’s all I have to say about that; I’m not a politics person.

While the TV was being taking up by news, I started the Elder Scrolls: Arena. I gotta say, despite being old and aged and on DOS, I’m actually having a pretty fun time with it. When you start, you find yourself in a prison (as is par for the course for the Elder Scrolls) and learn that the Imperial Battlemage, Jagar Tharn, has banished the Emperor to a plane of Oblivion, and is masquerading as the Emperor, releasing monsters to the land and ruling over it. Unfortunately, everyone in an important position to do anything about it is also replaced or killed. In fact, a woman, Ria Silmane is the only one with any answers and can only turn to you, as a lowly prisoner wouldn’t be under any suspicion. In fact, nobody even bothered taking your weapons away when you got thrown in the cell! Ria promises to give you guidance in your dreams, as she is dead, and only her magic binds her to the world. She informs you that the only way to save the Emperor is to find the eight pieces of the Staff of Chaos that Tharn has broken and scattered across the land. Once you’re out of the prison, you get teleported to a random town in the province that your character hails from. From here the game opens up as you either hunt down the Staff of Chaos, or do whatever it is you want to do. I’ve only just gotten into town (Where you can ask around for directions and rumors and things) and bought a few things (I love the ability to haggle prices, which that was in more games) so I can’t say too much more, except for that I’m digging it.

I’ve also, of course, been playing Skyrim. I’m nearly level 50, and between 60-70 hours but I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface! I guess that’s what Skyrim is, since the game is so huge.

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

These “What’cha Doin’?” 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’? 11/7/16 – The Elder Scrolls — November 7, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 11/7/16 – The Elder Scrolls

Sorry for the lack of a post on Friday, but things have not been super interesting, unless you’re a big Skyrim fan, as I’ve pretty much just been playing that. I can give you some details on my current character and where to go from here though, that’s for sure.

Okay, so, normally when I play an Elder Scrolls game, especially Skyrim, I play as a sneaky, light armored character, eventually toting some magic, mainly illusion and some restoration. I sneak around, get huge sneak attack bonuses, go invisible, or make the enemies attack each other before sneaking in and eliminating the final guy. It’s crazy fun. Any weaponry I end up using usually goes for dagger and bow, for maximum sneak attack damage. I usually go Wood Elf too, because, what can I say, I’m a fan of Wood Elves.

Anyway, I wanted to try something different and just go for a brute-force tank character. So I’m toting heavy armor, shield and sword (actually usually an axe, but I prefer the sword). But I maxed out my One-Handed ability so now I’m working on leveling up my Two-Handed skill. I have this badass Ebony Battleaxe. Run in, beat stuff up, move on. No magic, though I did use some restoration magic early-game when health potions were scarce. This guy is mainly a good guy mercenary sort of thing, so he’s doing the honorable thing, so, no Thieves’ Guild or Dark Brotherhood, and no Mage’s College, as magic isn’t really his thing. I did do the Companion’s story line though, and I plan on joining the Imperial army and completing the main story with this guy; he’ll be the majority of my trophies, but I do plan on making a character quite like the one I usually play to clean up some of the trophies I won’t get with this guy.

Finally, Skyrim has re-sparked my interest in high fantasy, and so I’m interested in trying the other Elder Scrolls games I haven’t played, starting with the very first game, Elder Scrolls Arena. It’s officially free on Bethesda’s site, and they even include a guide on how to set it up with DOSbox in case you’ve never used DOSbox before. I’m currently reading the 91 page (!) user’s manual that comes with the game to learn what all the stats and stuff mean before jumping head first into it. I have to say though, I’m actually kind of excited to go back to the Elder Scrolls roots.

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

These “What’cha Doin’?” 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 kind of character do you usually play in Skyrim? What high fantasy games, movies, books, anime, or manga should I check out? I’d be interested in seeing what anyone has to suggest!

What’cha Playin’? – 11/2/16 – Skyrim — November 2, 2016

What’cha Playin’? – 11/2/16 – Skyrim

Skyrim is not a game that you can really experience everything in in just a few short hours; You need to play it for the long run. If you’re completely unaware, the game takes place in the land of Skyrim, the northern part of the continent of Tamriel, the Elder Scrolls world. Once you start up a game, you find yourself a prisoner (an Elder Scrolls staple) on the way to the headsman’s block. Just before you can get put to death with the rest of the rebels, a dragon, which hasn’t existed in Skyrim for hundreds of years appears, and throws things into chaos, giving you just enough time to escape. Once you do escape, you can do pretty much anything you’d like; head for the main questline to warn others about dragons, or do any of the hundreds of other sidequests, explore, craft armor, weapons, and potions, join a guild… The possibilities are nearly limitless; it’s not unheard of to put hundreds of hours into Skyrim.

And that’s what I plan to do; I’m already 20 hours in, taking things slow, reading all of the in-game books (there are many and most are quite interesting and tell a lot about the lore of Skyrim and Tamriel), and talking to everyone. It’s great, relaxing at times, but super fun all of the time.

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

These “What’cha Doin’?” 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’? 11/1/16 – Skyrim Special Edition — November 1, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 11/1/16 – Skyrim Special Edition

As it turns out, I did get the Skyrim: Special Edition on release day, but I didn’t delve into it until I finished Demon’s Souls, because I know if I did, it might be a while until I had finished Demon’s Souls. At any rate, I’m back in the land of Skyrim and I’m loving it all over again. I think Skyrim may make it’s way back onto the List of Best Games Ever; the amount of replayability in it is huge. In fact, I had it on there at one point, but removed it, silly me! The Elder Scrolls games are great RPGs and Skyrim is one of the best.

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

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