Why Nerfs Suck - and Should Rarely Be UsedApr 11, 2021
Nerfs are just awful design decisions, that developers put in when they feel they cannot buff other mechanics or systems or abilities to match the 'problematic' thing. No matter what game or series nerfs are applied to, they always end up feeling horrible for players, and end up making the game or series less enjoyable overall.
For example, the most poignant example of unwarranted nerfs (in my opinion) has to be the Pokemon series, especially going from Black/White 2 (on the DS) to X/Y (on the 3DS). A number of needless changes were made, including:
- The Base Power of a lot of special moves was reduced slightly, but noticeably. For example, special moves with 95 Base Power (Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Surf, etc.) were dropped to 90. Special moves with 120 Base Power (Hydro Pump, Blizzard, Thunder, Fire Blast) were reduced to 110. Special moves with 140 Base Power, which also have the drawback of reducing the user's Sp. Atk by two stages after each use (Leaf Storm, Overheat, Draco Meteor) were dropped to 130 - with the exception of Psycho Boost. There was NO reason for this; no-one ever complained about these moves. They were far from being "broken" or "overpowered".
- When Fairy was added as a new eighteenth type, the type chart was also altered so Steel lost its long-time resistances to Ghost and Dark. Not only was Steel far from being "overpowered" in terms of its tanking potential (its three weaknesses - Fire, Fighting and Ground - are all very common, and many Steel-types lack reliable recovery), it meant that many Steel-types now had to fear the now-insanely-buffed Knock Off, and Pursuit. This was especially true for Steel/Psychic-types, like Metagross, Jirachi and Bronzong, since instead of taking neutral, regular damage from Dark- and Ghost-type moves they were now unfairly weak to them. The new Aegislash - which was far from being unbeatable due to lacking reliable recovery and King's Shield not blocking Will-O-Wisp and other status moves and doing nothing to scare off special attackers - was also subject to this unexpected and frankly idiotic change.
- No additional features like the Pokemon World Tournament, Challenge Mode, Key System, Black Tower/White Treehollow, Hidden Grottoes, seasons. Also no VS Seeker from FireRed/LeafGreen and Diamond/Pearl/Platinum.
- Additionally, weather-inducing Abilities (Sand Stream, Snow Warning, Drizzle, Drought) were altered to be identical to the standard moves (Sandstorm, Hail, Rain Dance, Sunny Day) by limiting them to 5 turns (or eight, if the correct held item is held) instead of infinite duration- this one, however, was somewhat justified because the Generation V competitive scene became almost solely centred around "weather wars", thanks to non-Legendary Pokemon getting access to the two most potent weathers (rain and sun - Politoed and Ninetales). Still felt horrible, and practically killed off the Abilities' usability.
As for going from Ultra Sun/Moon to Sword/Shield...significant reduction in number of usable Pokemon, no EXP Share key item to turn off party-wide EXP gain, the first time a Pokemon has had its base stats reduced (Aegislash), King's Shield having its special effect weakened (if the user is attacked by a physical move, the attacker used to have its Attack stat reduced by two stages; it's now only one stage), the four Terrains having their type-buffing effects reduced from 50% buff to 30%, and some others I believe. Y'know, despite moves being introduced to play around Terrains and Defog being buffed yet again to remove Terrains.
Very few of the above changes were ever justified, and Game Freak have never provided reasons as to why they nerfed things between Generations. They all result in a significantly less-enjoyable experience than what should be the case.
Another game that has seen nerfs, that I have played, is Bloons Tower Defense 6 - a primarily singleplayer game that had multiplayer tacked-on months after release, from a series that is primarily singleplayer. These nerfs can range from a tower's purchase price, or an upgrade's purchase price (the more common of the two), being increased; attack or effect speed being reduced; how many Bloons a tower or upgrade can pop being reduced; and more.
In my experience, Bloons Tower Defense 6 is and has always been a rather difficult game, due to just how expensive upgrades can get, and how relentless Bloon waves can become, along with the new "3D vision cone" gimmick (if there's an environmental detail blocking a unit's radius, the unit can no longer fire despite it, unlike all five previous games). Not to mention bloody CHIMPS mode. So when prices are increased, the game just becomes less fun and far more frustrating - and one of the things I truly loathe is frustration and resulting rage.
Back in the day, the Spike Factory's "Perma-spike" upgrade was a reliable - though obscenely expensive - 'mopping up' tool since its spikes lasted two rounds before automatically disappearing, could pop a large number of Bloons each, and the Factory spewed them out at a rather quick rate. The only problem was that obscene price, making it damn-near impossible to earn it a lot of the time. What did Ninja Kiwi do to the Spike Factory's Perma-spike upgrade in update 2.0, a few months after launch? Why, they bloody well increased the stupid price (from 22,500 to 25,000), and reduced spawning speed by 66%!
That was just the first sign that told me BTD6 was overall inferior to its predecessor, BTD5. Since then, many other nerfs have occurred, and I haven't touched the game much at all, whereas BTD5 has seen plenty of love and attention. STOP NERFING YOUR SINGLEPLAYER GAMES!
Why I Hate Wonder WomanApr 5, 2021
1) She has no weaknesses, meaning there's practically no drama in any fights that include her. She's going to win since she's on the side of good, and a woman; unlike Superman, there's no handheld mcguffin that's going to weaken her in any way. This used to not be the case, when she was first introduced, since back then if she was tied up (preferably by a man) she would lose her powers and have to rely on her brain instead. When that weakness was removed because social standards were changing for the worse, nothing was put in to replace it. Hence, her fights are inherently boring.
2) She's a princess of the superwoman-only island of Themyscira, and her society tends to have a pretty dismal view of men, seeing them as inherently immoral and inferior to women and not worthy of the same level of respect, despite having very little contact with men as a whole. How are we supposed to connect and like someone, let alone a member of that flawed society's royalty, who originates and symbolises such a revolting culture? Not to mention how combat has a very high focus in Themyscira, instead of more acceptable activities like farming and weaving and the like.
3) She was created by William Marston, a man who viewed matriarchies as inherently superior to patriarchies (especially unusual for the 1940s), and preferred female domination over men, which directly led to Themyscira's female-only population and the initial focus of bondage. Indeed, a part of his worldview was "submission to loving authority", which supposedly only exists under female rule.
The character of Wonder Woman was, as a result, heavily flawed from the outset, and has never recovered from it.
Wonder Woman is a worthless character who just needs to die off and be forgotten. She is, in some ways, worse than Marvel's Captain Marvel, primarily her society and real-world conception.
Let's not forget that, in her most recent film, she flat-out raped a man and wanted "him" to die so Steve Trevor could remain in his body, though only she could see his face - so the man's family and friends would see nothing but him acting unlike himself and loving a woman he had never met before, and if he already had a girlfriend or wife...? Not to mention how Steve committed crimes whilst forced into hijacking his body, and the man was left nameless (thus lacking any characterisation whatsoever except for "Handsome Man" in the credits - gee, that's definitely objectification; aren't feminists supposed to be against that? Oh, right, that only applies to women, gotcha, bigoted arseholes).
Current and (Probable) Future Gaming PlansApr 4, 2021
- Finish off Persona 4 Golden; currently on 10 Feb, right before the second-last dungeon (and the most bullshit dungeon due to its absurd restrictions).
- Probably finish off Okami HD (last save: North Ryoshima Coast)?
- Probably finish off Xenoblade: DE again (NG+ playthrough; last save: Eryth Sea)?
- Go through Persona 5 Strikers for the first time.
- Play Persona 5 Royal again.
- Go back to Twilight Princess HD (which would require wiring my Wii U up again).
- Wait until Bravely Default 2 goes on sale/it's my birthday to obtain and play it (long-term plan here).
Not Sure What to Do About My Driver's LicenseMar 30, 2021
My NSW P2 driver's license is going to expire in June, but I'm unsure as to whether I should renew my P2 license (cheaper, and I don't drive much at all so I'd feel more comfortable with the plates) or upgrade to a full unrestricted license (more expensive, but would allow me to have a bit of alcohol instead of none, I can drive any car instead of just those on the Prohibited Vehicles list, and it's what my Dad would prefer).
So, yeah, unsure. What do you guys think?
(Probably) What Marvel's Avengers Higher-Ups Were ThinkingMar 14, 2021
"Okay, so we've got this live-service game, Marvel's Avengers, that cost us a butt-load of money to have our slaves workers develop, right?"
"And it's been haemorrhaging players since launch."
"It has been, yes, sir."
"We did release that new character, what's-her-name, the female knock-off Hawkeye that no-one knows or cares about, last year."
"We did, yes, sir."
"That didn't help bring in new whales players, and then we had to delay the actual Hawkeye release due to a major hack or something, right?"
"That sounds about right, sir."
"Sounds like we need to address one of the game's major issues whilst bringing in Clint Barton, at long last."
"Good idea, sir."
"So...scrolling through this list of complaints here...I'm seeing a lot of 'not enough content' and 'pure, boring repetition' and 'the sheer amount of monetised content is ludicrous' and 'the loot gained is uninteresting' and similar things here."
"I see them, sir."
"Let's ignore ALL of those and instead work on this one - 'I'm getting confused and overwhelmed by the massive number of level-ups and dings in the lategame'. That sounds like it needs fixing!"
"Erm, sir, I don't see that anywhere."
"Yes you do."
"...Of course, sir, I must've just missed it. But, sir, wouldn't that just drive even more players away since we're delaying access to the great combat, and just highlighting the extreme lack of content this game has?"
"Don't question me, maggot. I know what I'm doing, and it's not your place to suggest otherwise. Get it done!"
"Sorry sir, my sincerest apologies. Right away, sir."
"Erm, sir, that fix turned out to be disastrous - we now have next-to-no players..."
"Oh, that's a shame. Shit-can the project and fire all the slaves developers; we need to 'cut costs' again."
"Sure thing, sir. But, begging your pardon, sir, aren't you getting a $15 million bonus for leaving?"
"Yes I am. How does that matter?"
"...It doesn't, sir. Just wanting to check."
"Oh, and go tell players that we'll continue to support the game whilst you're at it, so we avoid online riots."
"But isn't the game getting cancelled?"
"That does not matter. We need some kind of positive PR right now, and that will be good enough."
"Yes, sir, of course, sir."
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition - FlawsFeb 19, 2021
This will be a list of things I don't like about this game, that's actually quite fun.
- When completing a mission, there's no option to automatically obtain all weapons, whereas pressing X on the 'Materials Obtained' screen gets them all. From memory, this was fixed in Fire Emblem Warriors (at least, FEW on Switch; not sure about the 3DS version), but surprisingly never got patched into here...despite the "Damage Taken" requirement having been patched to be significantly easier. Weird.
- Most of the playable roster (24/29) have at least a handful of alternate Costumes (colour schemes mostly, except for Ganondort, Link, Zelda and Impa, who can take the form of previous incarnations - like Twilight Princess Ganondorf or Ocarina of Time Impa), but for some reason Medli, Marin, Toon Zelda, Ravio and Yuga don't have any at all. Not even in this "Definitive" edition. Surely it wouldn't have been too difficult to just add some basic recolours for these five?
- In Legend Mode (story mode), the sex ratio is extremely unbalanced for the Hyrule faction - the only two guys are Link and Darunia (who isn't obtainable until quite a few missions in), whilst there are plenty of gals (Impa, Sheik, Zelda, Lana, Ruto, Midna, Fi). Why make things so horrendously unbalanced?
- Out of the entire roster, there's 14 guys and 15 gals. Not sure why they didn't add one more dude to actually equalise the roster.
- Some characters are ludicrously weak; Fi's an extreme case, but Zelda also lacks punch, as does Ruto. King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule doesn't exactly have much 'oomph' behind his attacks either, and Ghirahim stutters a lot between attacks. Some characters are also annoyingly slow - Yuga, King Daphnes, and some others.
- Why do all of my Fairies have Bombos as their magic effect? How can I get other elements, like Shade? I haven't seen anything explaining this at all - not even online, which is unusual.
- Toon Link's secondary weapon, the Sand Wand, is locked behind some missions in the Grand Travels Map in Adventure Mode, which is the second-last main map and is set to "Hero" difficulty, making it quite obscure. Like, I didn't even realise the guy had a second weapon until I saw the AI use it in some Adventure Mode missions.
- Some Adventure Mode missions can be quite infuriating, since it's particularly easy to fail them; for example, the Messenger-escort ones, since those soldiers are fragile, ganged-up upon, and often not close to each other. The ones with character restrictions, especially if it's a weak character like Fi or Zelda or Spear-Lana, are also notably awful, and the Skulltulas requiring 150 KOs via special attacks are annoying. The 1600-KO requirement for A rank plenty of missions have is absurd.
2021 Games I'm Interested InFeb 2, 2021
So far, I'm interested in exactly six games that have been announced for 2021; the rest...meh.
1) Persona 5 Strikers (23 Feb). I absolutely love Persona 5 and P5 Royal, and I've been looking forward to this sequel for a year or so now. Hopefully it's bloody excellent, as the RPGs were - but the price...AU$100 for the base game, and $108 for the Digital Deluxe? Very likely will have to wait for a sale, later on in the year. Oh, and Denuvo Anti-tamper - fuck Denuvo; I don't care what it is, just fuck Denuvo.
2) Bravely Default 2 (26 Feb). Back in my high school days, I was in love with Bravely Default (and to a lesser extent, Second) due to just how customisable the Job and Ability mechanics were, along with the lovable and memorable cast. I was disheartened when Bravely Second ended with a sequel hook involving "the Sword of the Brave" being a "Key", and the Planeswardens (which Ringabel joined in-between Default and Second), but there was never any third game to follow up on that - unlike the sequel hook at the end of Bravely Default, which featured Magnolia Arch.
HOPEFULLY Bravely Default 2 will feature the Planeswardens and follow up on the Sword being a "Key" for something - and that the new cast and world will be just as interesting and lovable as the originals.
3) New Pokemon Snap (30 April). It's been ages since there's been a worthwhile Pokemon game - the last ones being 2017's Ultra Sun/Moon, over three years ago now - so I really do want this one to be stellar. The series desperately begs for some actual effort and innovation, and from what I've seen this will likely have them. I'm a bit annoyed they took out Todd Snap in favour of a bland, empty-slate male/female PC choice (when Todd had some history, being featured in the original Pokemon anime), but hopefully the game's actual quality will make up for that.
4) Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (14 May). Several years ago, I couldn't get enough of the Mass Effect Trilogy, playing it over and over again on the PS3, then switching to Origin. A bloody fantastic series, that I hope will only be improved in this remake. Oh, and as long as they can separate ME3's War Asset values from the multiplayer (which, by the time I got to Mass Effect, was barren and dead), that would be freaking peachy.
5) Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (???). My favourite PlayStation 2 games are undoubtedly Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, and Deadlocked; I played these plenty as a kid, since the humour was glorious and the sheer variety of unique weaponry was something to behold, along with the memorable cast of characters. The PS3 Future series were mediocre (Tools of Destruction had cutscene bugs, none of them had the same energy or life as the PS2 titles, and SIXAXIS rightfully died a horrible death eventually), with only Into the Nexus being somewhat enjoyable - so I'm hoping Rift Apart will be more like the PS2 titles than the PS3.
This is definitely a tentative interest, this one.
6) Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe (???). Haven't heard anything about this one; just spotted it when searching for 2021 releases. The original was outstanding; hopefully this remaster, or whatever, will be just as amazing.
Persona 5 Royal: Strength HangoutsApr 7, 2020
I love these; Justine and Caroline are just so adorably ignorant of basic human activities and services, and can only think in terms of "rehabilitation" and the prison form of the Velvet Room. I just wonder what the actual humans think of these two prepubescent twin girls with eyepatches, dressed like prison wardens, and a clipboard and a baton. Oh, and their singular golden eye, which is not a normal eye colour.
I'm surprised no-one's yet raised a fuss about their apparent age clashing with their attire, y'know?
Oh, and I find it quite bizarre how no-one can see the twins when they're around the Velvet Room doors, yet they can when the twins are in Big Bang Burger, the gym, or the church. Can Velvet Room attendants choose who can notice them? Are they using that power to also prevent awkward questions about their age and attire? This is something else I love about these Strength hangouts; the sheer mystery surrounding this.