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61  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 31, 2015, 12:20:41 pm
After feeling like a boss for beating the original Five Nights at Freddy's on the iPad I've been trying to do the same on the PC.  For anyone who says the mobile port was balanced to be equally hard as the PC is lying.  PC is much,much more unforgiving.  But I'm going to do it, I'm going to beat 4/20 on PC.  Because I'm insane.
62  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 29, 2015, 10:26:21 pm
Five Nights at Freddy's 2.  Holy shit, I did not think it would be more terrifying than the first but it is.  The design of the remodeled pizza place is even more vulnerable than the original.  I survived the first night but had to stop playing for the night.  The tension is insane.
63  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: TZH Game Reviews II: Sins of the Reviewer on: January 29, 2015, 10:19:56 am
Recently Completed: Five Nights At Freddyís

System: iOS

Time Spent: Not entirely sure, somewhere between 8 to 14 hours from start of day 1 to finally completing 4/20 mode.  

The Story: You are a Security Guard working the night shift in a pizza place!  A fun pizza place called ďFreddyís FazbearsĒ which has singing animatronic animals like a ďChuck ĎE CheeseĒ or ďShowbiz Pizza!Ē  What could be more fun?  Oh yea, the animatronics are haunted or somethingÖ

The Good:

+ The presentation is unique.  The presentation and interface is first and foremost what sets this game apart from any other survival/horror type game.  ďAmnesia the Dark DescentĒ really redefined survival horror games a few years ago by stripping the player of weapons.  Amnesia forced the player to use stealth and avoidance instead of guns to survive which raised the tension to an incredible level because the players feeling of vulnerability was so intense.  Five Nights At Freddyís (which will hereby be referred to as FNAF because Iím already sick of typing the full title) does Amnesia one better.  In addition to having no weapons FNAF also strips away your ability to move.  Thatís right, you are in a pizza place with a show stage, dining area, multiple hallwayís, a kitchen, closets, workshops, etc. butÖ you only ever see them from the view of your security camera while your vulnerable couch potato butt sits in your office with your fan and your tablet that you use to monitor the cameras in the building.  Meaning that if/when the haunted and homicidal inhabitants of the pizza place come for you, you canít even run away.  Good luck.

+ Genre mashups.  These donít always work, but in this case the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts.  What genres do we have?  First and foremost horror.  The antagonists may be cute and cuddly childish mascots but donít be fooled.  This is a horror game.  Itís also a resource management game.  You start each night with a power bar to manage.  That power needs to last from the start of your shift (midnight) to its end (6AM).  The fan in your office canít be shut off, so thatís a slow but constant drain on the power.  Every time you pull up your tablet to look at the cameras you draw more power, every time you turn on a light to check the blind spots outside your office doors you draw more power, every time you shut the office doors to protect your immobile and vulnerable butt you draw even more power.  (You see where Iím going with this?)  When you run out of power?  The lights go out, and very soon Freddy will pay you a personal visit that you wonít recover from.    One of the most nail biting moments of tension this game can deliver is when you run out of power sometime during the five oíclock hour and you desperately hope that the clock will roll over to 6AM before Freddy finishes you off for good.  Itís also a puzzle game.  There are only four enemies, but each can kill you and each has their own very specific behavior.  For example, three out of the four NEVER move while they are on camera.  But two of those can do something to jack with the camera feeds for a few seconds at a time so you canít see them even if you just had the camera watching them.  Two of them can jam the doors to your office if you donít react fast enough when they are about to enter.  One can literally teleport into the office if you keep both doors closed at the same time for too long.  One will attack you if you either watch them too closely or not closely enough.  There are specific counters to each of them, itís the timing and execution of each counter that is the key to survival, especially on the later levels.  

The Not So Good:

-  The super simplistic interface and presentation makes for a game that is lean on story.  The developer did what he could to seed a backstory into the game thatís presented through answering machine messages left by a previous employee and clues hidden in the background of the various scenes.  Specific details in the scenes can also change (either because the place is haunted or because the protagonist is a delusional loon) which offer more clues.  Itís a very subtle way to clue the player in to the lore of the pizza place butÖ itís probably too subtle for most players to even notice right off the bat, especially when they are busy opening/closing doors, turning lights on/off, watching cameras and generally trying not to die.  

-   The game relies heavily on jump scares, early on this is terrifying and effective.  Later, like when youíre trying to complete the custom level on the hardest setting to unlock the third star on your start screen (the infamous 4/20 mode) the shrill death cry of the enemies becomes freaking annoying as hell.  

-    Ridiculously hard learning curve.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for BigBug, the first person to complete 4/20 mode (all four enemies turned up to the highest difficulty, which is 20, on the seventh and final custom night.).  All of the subsequent winners use his strategy or variants of it (Markiplier is the second to complete 4/20 and his Letís Play series on FNAF is hilarious, he correctly credits BigBug for his winning strategy.)  After being stuck on night six for a while I did some research on strategyís and even with an optimized strategy you still need pinpoint precision, accuracy, timing and a healthy dose of luck to complete it.  4/20 mode is so hard that the creator of the game has never completed it and he initially said it was impossible.  It was only after BigBugs win lit up the internet that he added the third star to the loading screen to offer gamers some sort of reward to achieving it.  And when I said luck, I mean luck.  Success hinges on keeping your power up so that you can either finish with a smidgen of power or run out close enough to 6AM that the final killing sequence doesnít finish before the clock rolls over.  And the final killing sequence can either be very long or very short depending on much of a douche Freddy wants to be.  So if games with a brutally hard difficulty arenít your thing you may not be into it.  

-  The game is short.  Each night is between five and six minutes long (on the mobile versions, on PC they are between eight and nine minutes) which means you could potentially finish the entire thing in under an hour.  The time it took me to finish it includes all the replays it took me to struggle through the last few nights and also beating my head against the brick wall that is 4/20 mode.  And I got off easy.  BigBug spent over 23 hours refining his winning strategy.  Even though he had the winning strategy mapped out for him Markiplier spent over seven hours on repeated 4/20 attempts before finally achieving victory.  But itís sort of like Dark Souls, the punishment before completion directly correlates to the feeling of achievement after you finally manage to pull it off.
Better Than: This is a case where itís REALLY hard to compare this game to another because itís fairly unique.  I will say I found the feeling of tension and impending doom to be more ominous and persistent than the Amnesia inspired ďOutlastĒ which had boring sections and often predictable jump scares.  FNAF manipulates the tension and anticipation so effectively that even jump scares you KNOW are coming are still effective.  

Worse Than: Again, itís hard to compare this to other games, especially when you take into consideration that only one guy did the entire thing but I have to give Amnesia the dark descent the upper hand here because I really think without Amnesia redefining what makes games scary FNAF probably wouldnít exist.

Overall: B: As much as I like this game I canít give it a higher score because of the extreme brevity and the extreme niche appeal.  But to those who this game will appeal to, I canít recommend it highly enough.  I think it says a lot that after having beaten it on iOS I plan to replay it on PC and I already bought the prequel (havenít played the prequel yet.)  

EDIT:  Since I originally wrote this review I replayed the game on PC.  Using my Steam stats I can say that I played the game just short of 8 hours.  I flew through the first few nights, I might have died a handful of times between nightís 5 and 6 together which probably accounts for an hour, hour and a half at most  What did I do with the rest of that time?  4/20 mode on night 7.  Anyone who says that the difficulty is balanced for the mobile version to be equal despite the shorter nights is WRONG.  I went into PC 4/20 expecting to fly through it because I knew the strat and Iíd done it before.  Instead I had how wrong I was force fed back to me repeatedly where I just wasnít fast enough, made the tiniest errors or just got screwed by random chance.  Brutally difficult doesnít even begin to describe this game mode and it boggles my mind that BigBugz ever managed to do this in the first place.  There needs to be a statue to him made somewhere to commemorate his blazing the trail to this monumental achievement in gaming. 

For those who are interested in playing this game and decide to try tackling 4/20 mode Iíll post a few hints here which may or may not spoiler properly based on whether or not my browser decides to behave.  So beware, the rest of this post will be spoilers.
First off, choose your strategy.  BigBugz and Markiplier both used the same strategy which involves keeping the camera on Foxyís location in Pirate Cove.  The risk in this strategy is that with your camera not watching the east hallway outside your office Freddy will enter your office if you ever pull up the camera without closing the East door first.  (I strongly recommend you watch Markiplierís 4/20 completion video before attempting this to get an idea of the kind of speed and precision youíll need to pull this off because itís insane.)  This strategy also depends entirely on luck.  The ONLY way to win using this strategy is to hope that Freddy does his longest kill wind up after the power runs out (which is 50 seconds) because the almost constant door usage makes it impossible to manage your power to last the entire night even if Foxy doesnít charge you at all.  Markilplier also posted a 4/20 fail compilation which showcases some of the misteps he faced on his journey to victory, including a rant against how luck based the final win is.  This is not the strategy I chose but I mention it because a few of the fundamentals carry over to the next one.  (And because itís epically historic.)

BagelTheBagel posted a video on You Tube where he took a strategy created by someone by the name of MrBuu.  In Bagelís video (which you should also check out) he managed to complete the entire night with 2% power left over using this strategy.  Bagel did a good job explaining why the strategy works but left out a few details that you either will learn through trial and error, a guide like this or rage quit the game and never play again.  This strategy relies on keeping the camera on the east hall office entrance and checking it constantly.  Periodically the east door will be closed so you can check Pirate Cove but it will go back to the east hall before opening the door again.  This does three things.  1:  It reduces the amount of time the door is closed which saves on power in the long run.  2:  It holds Freddy to that spot, he wonít move past it if you check the camera often enough.  3:  Checking any camera fractionally reduces Foxyís chance of charging at you, so the constant camera checking will slow him down as well. 

Here are some specifics that will make this strat less stressful.  1:  As soon as you start, check Foxy, then move the camera to the east hallway and flip the camera open and shut constantly, between 12 and 15 times.   This is the time period it takes the animatronics to move up to your office close enough to be a threat.  Ignore the urge to ignore the camera to try to save power for these first few seconds.  Ignoring the camera here is the difference between Foxy charging once or twice throughout the night or not at all.  2:  Be careful with your timing when closing the East door to check on Foxy.  If you time it badly Bonnie will jam your West door while youíre occupied.  I like to check on Foxy immediately after Bonnie tries to get in.  Youíll have a few seconds breathing room while he backs off before trying again.  3:  Donít go too long between checking Foxy.   Rule of thumb that seemed to work for me was checking Pirate Cove at least twice an hour.   If Bonnie is being less aggressive for whatever reason you may have to take the risk and ignore guideline 2, I kept my watch propped right up under my monitor where I could glance at it periodically.  If it went much past 30 seconds between checking on Foxy I would take the gamble anyway because the alternative is having him show up in your office which is a bad day.  4:  Get used to the rhythm of going from east light, camera, west light, camera, east light, camera, etc.  The camera checking has to be nearly constant to keep Foxy at bay.  5:  When youíre doing your checking make sure to turn the light off again before going to the camera, the lights do turn off automatically after the camera comes up but turning it off first saves a few percent in the long run.  Doesnít sound like much but squeezing every last bit of energy you can out of the system is the difference between literally life and death at the end of the night.  6:  The camera checks need to be as fast as possible.  Short little flicks, just long enough to pull up the image.  Youíll get used to picking out whether or not Freddy or Chica is standing there with these mirco views and thatís all the time you need.  7:  Of course when you check the hall lights, deal with Bonnie or Chica appropriately by closing the door and not opening it until they leave.  Make sure that you donít stop checking the camera while waiting for them to leave, keep the rhythm going.  Also by this point, you should be able to recognize whether or not Bonnie is there from his shadow even though he doesnít overtly stand at the window like Chica.  (FYI, I had no power left at the end of the night but the time rolled over almost immediately after the power dropped.)  Thatís it, be fast, be perfect and good luck to you. 
64  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 27, 2015, 10:18:15 am
I really liked the ending. Showing how Joel and Ellie have changed as characters, with Ellie becoming kind of the quiet, bitter one, and Joel becoming a bit more upbeat. The story was pretty great, overall.

I didn't dislike the character development that the ending showcased but
(click to show/hide)

Still replaying GTAV on PS4.  Also been playing Five Nights at Freddy's and holy crap, I can't even get past night 5.  How the hell do people do 4/20? 
65  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 20, 2015, 09:34:04 am
Oh god, I've been playing a ton of GTA V, Far Cry 4, Destiny and Minecraft on my ps4.

I got GTA V with my PS4 and just started replaying again.  I'm surprised at the amount of little touches they added from the PS3 version.  I just transferred my GTA Online character over to the PS4 and the graphical upgrade is surprising.  I'm also glad I got a chance to redo my characters appearance.  For whatever reason my PS3 character looked like someone had used her as a punching bag.  My point being that I hadn't expected to want to replay the game again but I'm having a blast.  I still need to pick up Far Cry 4.
66  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 15, 2015, 10:49:25 am
When I finish the left behind DLC for Last of Us I'll put up a review for the remastered edition.  It's taking a while since I've been only been playing it about twenty minutes a day.  My work schedule blows.
67  General Discussion / Movies/TV Discussion / Re: What Are You Currently Watching II: You Only Watch Twice on: January 15, 2015, 10:48:11 am
My wife has been watching (and by extension so have I) the show Once Upon a Time.  At first I thought it was going to be a total Fables rip-off but it's not bad.

When I actually get a chance to choose the programming I've been watching Psych.  I love that show.
68  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: Do you still visit gaming arcades? on: January 15, 2015, 10:46:23 am
I can't remember the last time I even saw an actual arcade.  I don't really count a bar or something with one or two machines an arcade.  Sadly they seem to be primarily a thing of the past.
69  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 13, 2015, 08:20:49 am
I was playing the hell out of Kingdoms of Amalur.  I've barely scratched the surface of the story though, spent a lot of time on the side quests and faction missions and just started Legend of Dead Kel.  Seems like a fanatastic game.  At least game that destroyed the economy of an entire state turned out well.
70  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 12, 2015, 07:21:50 am
I actually ended up grabbing it on PS4 as well, to give it another shot. My feelings are ultimately the same. I think what does it for me is just the repetition. Fighting the same few uninteresting enemies throughout the game, and walking between the fighting.

Yea, I beat it last night and was pretty disappointed in the ending.  And yes, the repetitive nature of the combat was one of my biggest issues along with the very samey puzzles.  Get a ladder, get a raft for Ellie.  One of my favorite sections of the game was actually playing as Ellie, I started the Left Behind expansion this morning and that looks like it's all about Ellie so it might be good. 
71  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: January 06, 2015, 10:48:40 am
Been playing the "Last of Us: Remastered" because it came with my Christmas PS4.  It's not bad but it's no where near as good as I had been lead to believe.  According to a couple of my friends who played it I should already be absolutely in love with it already (I'm a little over halfway through the game) but I'm feeling pretty "meh" about it to be honest.  There is a TON of polish since it's a Naughty Dog game and it looks fantastic.  The intro was amazing and I like most of the characters, but their is something about the combat that kind of kills the game for me.  And while I was sitting here typing this it sounded very familiar to me so I checked the review thread.  Yut wrote a review on the PS3 release last year and he summed up what I'm feeling.  Unless things drastically change in the last half of the game I don't forsee myself replaying it once I finish it.
72  General Discussion / Zombie Stuff / Re: My Papercraft Zombie on: December 17, 2014, 08:36:40 am
It really has gone quiet. Sad

Though tbh I think the time of great net forums is becoming a thing of the past.
People are more used to the fast pace of social media like twitter and face book.

The time of the mighty forums, giants of the internet, is coming to a close. unable to evolve and keep up with these smaller faster sites.
The first of the giants to die to these, new, social networks was the mighty Myspace, a being of great power, wrenching the internet crown from the corpse of older sites that fell to it.
The facebook, with its faster interaction, brought it to its knees.

Sadly I think you're correct.
73  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: November 29, 2014, 11:04:27 pm
I would have thought by this point when another Steam sale rolls around I wouldn't be interested in anything but I couldn't pass up Arkham Orgins and Kingdom of Amular with all DLC for ten bucks a pop.  Amular is good so far, it plays like I wish the Fable games had turned out.  Arkham Orgins is ginormous and is still downloading.
74  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: October 28, 2014, 07:38:10 pm
So... not sure how it happened (well really I do, paypal was acting wonky tonight) but I ended up with two extra sets of Humble Bundle 13 bundles.

So I have the following Steam games to trade/sell/whatever. (2 copies each.)

Teleglitch: Die More Edition

Tower of Guns

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet


Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs


Risk of Rain
75  General Discussion / Game Discussion / Re: What are you playing? Episode 2: Sequel Reloaded! on: October 28, 2014, 03:43:20 am
Hell yeah! If I didn't buy the Deep Silver Humble Bundle the first time around, I would have thrown in an extra fiver for Saints Row 3 and all the fixin's. But that ten bucks, worth every penny right from the get go.

I haven't got very far yet but I'm always down for some co op. 
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