IMPORTANT! UPDATE! : Officially moved to the new site! Will no longer post here!

Hello my fellow gamers! SO I am proud to say we finally moved all our content to our new site!

Indievidualgamers.com

We will no longer be posting articles, reviews, random things on this site anymore.

The site will remain up for as long as possible just for personal reasons, looking back, remembering where we started and so late viewers can be redirected to our new site.

We here at IndievidualGamers want to thank everyone for their support and love. We appreciate all the time spend checking out our articles and giving such good feedback.

It is always important to remember where you came from, to me this wordpress blog is where it all started, my streaming, my blogging, my first step into this industry and putting myself out there. With that said I just want to say thank you all and hope to see you in our new site!

Thanks again! And keep on gaming gamers! Stay true and always remember you are individuals in a socially confused world. =)

MUCH LOVE!

 

 

Oh and here is the site one more time =)

Indievidualgamers.com

Indievidualgamers.com

Indievidualgamers.com

 

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Brawlers vs Hack-and-Slash: What’s the Difference and Why They’re Awesome

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Just as the names suggest hack-and-slash and brawlers are combat oriented games. They are very similar to each other, but they are not exactly the same. There are core differences between the two that I’d like to highlight and why I prefer one over the other.

Brawlers can be best described as 1 vs 100 games, where you are the 1, and you had to face 100 enemies. Games of this genre include Double Dragon, The Simpsons Arcade game (I loved playing this game when I was younger), Castle Crashers (check out the review that wookiez277 did), Gauntlet, etc. etc. Your enemies are significantly weaker than you are, besides for maybe the bosses. The one thing to notice about the first four games is that the player move sets are extremely simple, so they were very easy to pick up. Most games like this required only two buttons (one for jumping, and one for attacking) and a joystick. However, not many of these moves gave you an area of effect or crowd control attacks to take on a long stream of enemies easier and health drops were limited. As a result, beating these games became extremely difficult. Even if you were a seasoned gamer, these games were super hard, and it was not recommended to play these games by yourself. Many of these games started out as arcade games, because you needed at least 2 players to beat them, which meant 2 quarters as opposed to 1 per play-through. Despite the obvious advantage that these games took over players, they are still some of the most memorable games to play. This forced, multiplayer design brought people together in the most subtle way. I remember playing the Simpsons Arcade game with my family, friends, and even kids I’ve never met before. These games had the potential to have complete strangers come together and have fun side-by-side, unlike the online multiplayer. Seeing each other’s faces of frustrations and high-fiving when you completed levels made these games much more personal, and the experiences were awesome. The sad part is, the arcade industry is dying very quickly, and future generations may find it difficult to experience games like this.

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I can best describe hack-and-slash games as a combination between brawlers and fighting games. Games of this genre include, Kingdom Hearts, Devil May Cry, God of War, and Bayonetta. Hack-and-slashes were similar to brawlers in the sense that in both games you had to face a hoard of monsters and they were combat based. However, hack-and-slashes take it a step further by adding combo moves (the fighting came aspect) and crowd control attacks. These moves made it possible to beat a number of enemies efficiently, so single-player play became more viable. If you read my previous article about Dust: An Elysian Tale, I talked a little it about first order optimal strategy (FOOS). They are simple techniques, strategies, or weapons that players could use as an introduction to the mechanics of a game. Some examples of these include the Nube Tube from Call of Duty 4, the stinger into basic melee combo in Devil May Cry, and E. Honda’s 100 hand slap from Street Fighter. They were designed so that beginner players could pick them up and have a chance at beating higher level players, or get through most parts of a game. However, they are by no means meant to be the best strategies to use. If you were to exclusively use FOOS in a hard mode or against an experienced player, you would not get very far. Learning how to design your combat around FOOS could make or break your game. The games listed, however, did the combat right. One of the best things that these games do is show a clear progression of your skill. In RPG’s you level up your characters so that they may get stronger to complete the game. However in games that lack RPG elements, the player, YOU, had to get better. The first time you pull off that complex combo is an exhilarating experience. The first thing that goes through your mind is “I DID IT!!!! But can I do it again?”. And then you practice it over and over, until you feel comfortable with it. You then apply it to actual combat scenarios in the game, and you just see yourself kick your cocky friend’s ass or you clear a room of monsters that you didn’t know how to clear before. Then you realize “Wait a minute… there’s more than one comb attack to learn.” So, you try out different weapon combinations and different characters to see what else you can do.  Next thing you know, you’re on YouTube watching some guy playing Devil May Cry and executing the sickest combos that you’ve never even thought of. Now you wanna try it yourself. The feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment are compounded, and it feels amazing. The experience gets richer and richer the more you play and discover. At the end of the day you feel good about yourself and you get a feeling of accomplishment that not many games can invoke in you.

To answer the question of which I prefer, it is definitely the hack-and-slash. The main characteristic that these games possessed was the combat. The combat in hack-and-slash had a lot of variety and was very complex. In brawlers, however, the combat gets very old very quickly. What made brawlers fun was the multiplayer and it’s pretty much the only reason why they were fun. There was no real progression and the only time you were satisfied was when the level was over. Hack-and-slashes gives you many more “FUCK YEAH!!!” moments.

P.S.

For the love of God and all that is holy DO NOT PLAY DMC (the 5th installment of Devil May Cry)!!! You have been warned. If you want to play a Devil May Cry, play the 3rd one. It’s the best of the series.

Entwined Review

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E3 2014 was unbelievable. Watching the developer press conferences, I was wholly impressed with the sheer dedication to gamers and the barrage of games announced. However, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, as I will not be able to play the majority of those games for a long while. That is precisely why EA announced the Battlefield: Hardline beta could be played right after the show, why Destiny released their Alpha that night, AND why Sony announced Entwined, available right then and there.

Entwined is very much an indie game, developed by bright students from Carnegie Melon University, with the help of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). SCE does is scouts the globe looking for aspiring young game designers with original ideas, and then they bring those designers in as interns, eventually hiring them full time and publishing their games. This is how Entwined started.

The game begins with a quote; four simple words. These four words combine to form a powerful message: “Always together, forever apart.” These words represent the start of our journey into a game with an incredible story. In Entwined, players assume the roles of two characters simultaneously through use of both analog sticks – an orange fish and a blue bird. These are two creatures very much in love, but cannot unite as lovers. In the game, players have to guide these two creatures through portals, all while filling a meter to its max. Upon completion, the two creatures combine, forming a majestic green dragon. This is repeated nine times, in nine different chapters.

The artistic direction of Entwined is spot-on. It is rare that a game’s art can invoke such emotion in me, but Entwined did just that. I found myself saying, “Wow, that’s beautiful” many times. Entwined’s score is just as perfect. Through each chapter, the combination of relaxing music and breathtaking art allowed my mind to wander to its deepest crevices. Entwined is able to tell a dynamic story through imagery and sound alone.

However, Entwined is one of the more frustrating games I have ever played. While it’s controls are utterly simplistic, they get in the way much too often. Players must guide the creatures through barriers, but miss a barrier, and the meter goes down. Once both meters are filled, players are required to hold L1 and R1 and go through the barriers concurrently. Making one mistake at this point has the potential to bring you back to square one, and it’s very easy to make a mistake.

Overall, in the two hours it took me to complete Entwined, I was taken on an emotional roller coaster through brilliant music and fantastic art. This game has the potential to be an amazing gaming experience, and is, but it’s super frustrating gameplay controls and mechanics take away from that. It has so much potential, but doesn’t quite get the equation right. Regardless, I cannot wait for more from these developers, and I sincerely hope that feedback like mine will be taken into account in the development of their next game.

I give Entwined a 7.5/10

A Look Back At thomas was alone

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Stylized with no capitalization, Thomas Was Alone was released by indie developer Mike Bithell in 2010 with little expectation or thought to the effect his project would have on the gaming community.  The minimalist platformer sparked a minimalism craze extending to and including a return to the 8- and 16- bit graphic styles in addition to the rise in “Video Games as Art” movement.  It was the beginning of an era where people questioned what could be done with games and the necessity of publishing giants to make them.  With this in mind, it’s easy to devalue Thomas Was Alone compared to the effort put into titles from bigger developing companies, even if they’re only 5-man teams.  However, let’s start by examining the game on its own merits.

 

In the beginning, Thomas is the only character you control, a red rectangle two blocks high in a simple, blocky platformer landscape.  All you can do is move at a constant speed and jump.  Pretty soon, a whole cast of characters, variously sized and colored quadrilaterals, is assembled and you switch between them in order to utilize their unique characteristics to overcome obstacles and reach the goal.  From reversed gravity to the ability to float on water, the powers each rectangle possesses would be moot were it not for the highly polished mechanics and clean physics.  Granted, all you do is move and jump but it’s particularly refreshing not being able to glitch through a wall, a feat not uncommon in today’s games focused on realism.  When you play the game you’ll see that your character rectangle does not overlap with the floor blocks because of some shoddy programming, which is particularly important in such a simple game and I think that’s worth something.  The characters will never accidentally slip off the edge and you can tell because the visuals are sharp, the colors are vibrant and stand out in clear contrast to the background and inanimate objects.  Quite simply, the game is a pleasure to look at and has great feel.

 

However, the narration is the element that caught most people off guard.  When players think of platformers, the games that usually come to mind involve stretches of platforming punctuated by cutscenes to move the story along or if it’s old school, no explicit narration at all.  Thomas Was Alone breaks this trend and tells the story from a retrospective point of view while you play, a frame story that you cause to exist.  Half the game’s charm and appeal comes from the beautiful and amusing voicework of Danny Wallace, a stark contrast to the simplistic gameplay of Thomas’s adventure.  In fact, the question posed by the indie project was if a minimalist game could still prove dramatic and deliver a meaningful narrative.

 

At the time of release, there were plenty of flash games online that answered the question, some quite successfully, but Thomas Was Alone reached new heights that none of the others did.  The simultaneous narration/gameplay combination was fresh for many and the time usually spent on the game came out to around 1-3 hours, unlike the bite-sized gaming session of a flash game.  Ultimately, the game wins an 8/10 for innovative storytelling and gameplay so polished you could see your skin cells if you used it as a mirror.  However, the story is still a bit nebulous at times, leaving the player in the dark and mildly breaking the suspension of disbelief.  Thomas Was Alone was one of the games that lead the way for indie developers, consequently, there are many of games after it that do it better in one way or another, possibly depressing its score to a 6/10.  Regardless, if you are looking for a great game to introduce someone to platforming, convince somebody that games can be intelligent or break them into gaming in general, Thomas Was Alone is a great title to start with.  With the popularity of the game and people vouching for it to their friends, it’s safe to say that Thomas is no longer alone.

Who is the Crotchety Old Gamer?

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Hello my fellow gamers! So recently (not really recently it’s been almost a month now I think hehehe, Sorry!) I won a giveaway from the Crotchety Old Gamer, Thanks by the way! And I was thinking of a way to give him a shout out but was unsure of how to do that. Then the best way for a blogger to give out a shout out to another blogger would have to be by, of course, writing an article about him. SO I emailed this awesome guy and gt a kick ass interview with him. Now you may ask, why interview another blogger? Who better to interview!? A fellow blogger is doing exactly what I’m doing, he’s putting his thought on paper (or word doc) and expressing how he feels about a subject, in this case gaming. We focus to much on the big fish, the game developers, the creators of big company, what about us? What about us as gamers, who better to speak and talk about games than the people who play them?! That’s why I wanted to interview this blogger/gamer, because he understands us gamers, he is a gamer and writer so it all works out. So here are the Q/A I asked, hope you guys enjoy and definitely check out his blog. I’ll link it at the end!

What interested you/motivated you into blogging?
I have always loved gaming, but I love writing more.  After numerous attempts to finish books, scripts and short stories then failing to complete them, I decided to start writing about something I love with a passion: gaming.  When I jumped in I assumed no one would care about what I had to say: it was really just for my own satisfaction and inspiration.  Then something crazy happened.  People were reading. Holy fucking shit.
 
When you write an article, what would you describe your “voice” as?
Good question. I was in the army before and when I write it is a combination of my drill sergeant, and an art critic touched with George Carlin.  I try to maintain a grouchiness that says “I don’t care what you think” but not so much that I am openly hostile toward my readers.  At least not outside the about page.  On top of that I aim for astute and comical.
 
What do you enjoy writing about the most?
Video games.  From a narrative perspective, however, I love fantasy and sci-fi.  When I play games I have always over-analyzed them, and the same goes for movies, shows, books etc.  I always disassemble the narrative elements to ascertain what motivated it, to a certain degree.  Writing about games gives me a good excuse to really delve into a game, analyze it, enjoy it, bathe in it.
 
Is there a certain method to your writing? Or is it usually free for all? 
There is a methodical chaos that I apply to writing articles.  In the first paragraph I put an intro, then there is a sort of game talk start, the body a conclusion where I tell you to buy it or save your money and then I rant about something in the game that pissed me off.  The last part where I rant is only half-serious in many cases, though.  I always try to provide my readers with a balanced look and critique of the game that shows the pros and cons in a unique and entertaining way.
 
What do you hope to achieve with your blog? What is it’s mission statement?
My mission statement is to show people that games are art.  Period.  Games don’t have to be drab or boring or “non-games” to do so, but can be engaging, interesting and moving all at once.  The really talented developers are those that are able to achieve this synthesis between game and non-game elements.
 
What influences you to write? Other blogs?
My biggest influence is Cracked.com.  I love those people and I am going to try my hand at submitting to their prestigious annals.  They deliver interesting news about every damn thing you can imagine in the history of ever.  Seriously.  And they do it in a way that will make you piss yourself laughing.  It is informative and engaging.  Dangerously genius.
 
What do you admire the most in a game? Such as it’s graphics, story line, game play, etc.
as a writer, narrative.  I recognize that a game is more than its story, though, so my thoughts are that achieving the synthesis of a game’s mechanics with its story and artistic elements creates a unique experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.  All the best games achieve this.
 
What kind of games do you enjoy playing?
Good ones.  Make a bad fucking game and I will tear you the hell apart, employ discretion, talent and creativity and I will build you a little shrine on my blog.  Do all of this and touch me emotionally and I will love you for it.
 
What is your favorite gaming genre?
Shoot.  This is a tough one.  I always come back to First-person shooters.  They are quick, fun and let me tear people apart.  It’s therapeutic.  Then there are games like Minecraft and strategy games.  With strategies, Civ 5, for example, I get too obsessed with little things.  With Civ 5 I got obsessed with getting “a good start”.  If my resources suck, my terrain is crappy, enemies find me too quickly or the enemies take too many ruins that I consider mine (which is any I reveal) then I will restart.  At one point I restarted Civ 5 so many times, on a custom-tweaked map mind you, I literally memorized all 22 civilizations that I had selected to battle against.  The things we do for love.
 
Name a game, doesn’t have to be your favorite, but has in someway influenced your life.
There are a lot of games that did this, but I would have to say the game that influenced me most powerfully was Final Fantasy 7.  That world drew me in and showed me a game that was fun and at the same time moved me to tears.  It made me laugh, made me cry and showed me people I would consider friends since I’ve explored so much with them and helped them through tough times.  I didn’t play this through the first time, but my older brother Sam would play it on his playstation.  My two younger brothers would join me and we would watch Sam play for hours like it was a movie or a t.v. show.  It was the first game that really showed me the level of artistic and story-telling genius that could exist in a game.  I was 11 when this game came out.
 
Name a game that you absolutely are done with, rage quit and just frustrates the hell out of you.
E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy.  I wrote an article about how abysmally terrible this game was.  It had overly-complex leveling systems, and I loved Sins of a Solar Empire, the most complicated space RTS ever.  Then there is a loose aggregation of what might be considered narrative elements delivered in a tossed-salad format all at once.  There was no editorial discretion paid and if there was that person should be tossed into the Pit of Carcoon.  The crafting systems made no sense, the stealth system is like being deaf and wearing metal boots.  The art was nice, but the characters were as trivial and flat as a playing card.  Everything about that game makes me viscerally angry and makes me want to smash something over my head so I can forget having to recall that the game exists.  It was that bad.  The worst part?  I fucking paid money for it!  More than nothing!
 
Name three things you think a good game should always have.
Smooth mechanics, artistic qualities that blend well into its ambiance and a solid storyline. And, If I may, guns help.  Lots and lots of delicious guns.
 
If you could be any kind of Pokemon, which would it be?
Probably a starter Pokemon, those are the ones you form the tightest bond with since they are with you from the beginning of your journey.  Most likely Froakie, because Greninja is a total badass.
 
If you were in a zombie apocalypses what would your go to weapon be? One melee and one ranged, and explain why!
OO!  I would use the machete I keep on my desk and, not to be too cliche, my long range weapon would be an M16A2.  In the army I was a damn good shot with this baby and 5.56mm ammunition is remarkably common.
 
If you could get transported into any gaming world, which would it be? Keep in mind in this world you won’t get a re spawn. Think long term =P  
Pokemon.  Kids are able to leave home at 11, travel the world until they get an idea of what they want to do in life and even then it is perfectly acceptable to stop whatever they are doing for a Pokemon battle.  Also, you have a pokemon to travel with you and experience your adventure with.  And THEN kids are encouraged to keep several close friends with them and work together.  It is honestly the coolest world ever.
 
Why do you game?
The reasons I game have changed over my life.  As a kid it was just because it was fun, but also to escape bullying as a kid.  No one really liked me and I was socially inept.  As I got older, gaming became a group activity I did with my brothers and friends and people I grew up with.  In college it was something I did to relieve tension and after I dropped out it was something I did to get away from the world.  Now, gaming is all of those things: I play for fun and friends still… but my biggest reason is to feel a connection to a larger unity.  I was exclusively a PC gamer for years and got an Xbox to be a part of that community.  I adore Steam because it connects me to peers who share my views and beliefs and have something in common, even if it is a love of gaming.
 
 
And there you have it! This guy is awesome, his mission statement is so similiar to mine which is so awesome, and the whole thing with Final Fantasy 7!! I did the same! I watched my brother play it haha. This is why it’s important to ask our fellow gamers. Because we have so much in common and we realize that the community we live in isn’t as big as you think 😉
Thank you The Crotchety Old Gamer for doing this awesome interview and thank you readers for taking the time! Much love from all of us here at Indie-Vidual Gamers, Have a dope day everyone!!!!!!!
 
^ Here’s the Link for this guys blog, it is AWESOME! check it out guys!
 
Be sure to check out our twitch channel, follow us on twitter and be on the look out for some new and awesome things! One major thing I’m working on at the moment is something called “Readers Board”  Where you the reader can submit and article to me and i’ll post it here, the article can be about ANYTHING, a rant, a love for a game, a review, anything you want =) 
 
Take it easy guys!!!!!

New Challenger : yanhipitan

Hey all,

My name is yanhipitan (real name is Ian) and I’m new here at INDIE-vidual gamers! I’m a freshman at engineering school, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that I love to write, and I love to game! While I run my own gaming website, http://www.TheWayfaringDreamer.com, in which I review games and interview game developers, here, I plan to contribute articles relevant to the gaming community. I actually do more reading about gaming than actual gaming, but when I do play, I use my Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita, although I was raised on Nintendo consoles, and they will forever hold a place in my heart. I love indie games, and I’m excited to contribute for my compatriots here at INDIE-vidual!

-Ian

And our family keeps growing!!!

Hello my fellow gamers! It is my honor to present to you yet ANOTHER author for the Indie-vidual Gamers blog. His name is Yanhipitan, I know this guy from when I used to work in retail and let me tell you he is a great, funny, and a really chill guy! He is also the creator of his very own blog ThewayfaringDreamer. (His link will be posted at the end of this post). So yeah! He know his stufffff. He’s done interviews with game developers and composers who created the music to those games. Such as Darren Korb, who composed the music for Bastion. So show some love and lets welcome our new member!

http://www.thewayfaringdreamer.com/

^The link to his blog

 

In addition, keep in mind we are moving blogs soon (hopefully soon) most of our past articles have been moved there so definitely check it out!

http://www.indievidualgamers.com

Don’t forget to check out our twitch.tv, Streaming random games and chance to meet me! The creator of indie-vidual gamers =)

http://www.twitch.tv/inwhat123

And finally, indie-vidaul gamers finally got a twitter out so be sure to follow that too, I’ll be using it to update the blog and just do quick shouts for upcoming things as well as when I stream and news about the channel. So follow us at @inwhat298

 

From all of us here at IndieVidual Gamers, we’d like to thank you and hope you keep on gaming! Stand United!!!!!