A student with a passion for game development and all things Japan.
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Oh wow, it's another one of these! The world is still kinda shit, and for me on top of home issue, is kinda soul draining. However! We always have video games, and for me while anime games are my preferred choice, racing games would be a solid 2nd on the list for me. I find that because they usually have a story that doesn't really involve a plot, they are very easy to pick up, play for a bit, leave for a few months while real takes over, and start playing again, which makes them a prime candate for me to just write a few sentences on! And I've been playing a lot of DIRT:Rally by Codemasters, so let me talk about it!
Let me start off by saying Codemasters really knows how to make games look good. The graphics on the car are astounding, the detail in the environments are amazing, and on my new laptop with a GTX 1650 and 10th Gen i5 processor, it runs at a constant 60fps, which is insane, However, please make my own livery in the next game, I want to Mini or 1600cc car that has weeb s**t on it.
Anyways, Dirt: Rally has 3 modes, Rally, Hillclimb and Rallycross. Rally is the signature mode, as the DIRT series is derived from the Colln McRae Rally series, and man is it hard! This is admittedly somewhat due to game being very heavy on the simulation side of things, so if your like me and use a controller, watch out!
There's also a lot of differences between this and a regular street race. If I was playing something like Grid: Autosport, the street racing there involves me being on screen with a bunch of other cars, and the roads are wide enough to accommodate side by side racing. Here, it's like a bike time trial, where everything is narrow, the road furniture constantly changes, and you're on your own against the clock.
Another thing that really hinders the experience for me is the handling, which to be honesty, is pretty fine tuned for steering wheels, and it feels like I need to play with ABS on just to stop locking up or stop the car in general. Also not helping is when I'm on a snow stage and having to deal with ice physics. ICE PHYSICS. IN A RACING GAME. Yes I know this is an off road game, but still I'm not use to this.
However, once you get used to it, it's fun to race. I just think that the game has a lot of mechanic that you need to get use to, hell there is co driver yelling instructions at you for road furniture, what the road furniture is, what kind of turn the next turn is, it's too much for me to get use to at one time.
Hillclimb is something I honestly only put time into for this but to sum it up, it's like Rally, but with super modified cars and no co driver, so it's a little more traditional, but damn, do the cars there feel even more unstable at high speed with a controller.
But now on to the mode that I actually know the most about! Rallycross has only been around as a world championship since 2014, and this is the first official game for it. It's a bit lacklustre with tracks, as, there are only 3 with their variations. Lidden Hill in the UK, Hell in Norway, where it always seems to rain, and Hojles in Sweden. How did you guys miss the Estering? Or Loheac? Or Hockenheimring? I guess all of these and more are in Dirt 4, and GOD DAMN IT.
Anyway, Rallycross is mix of both touring car and rally surfaces, so you have to be versatile. The races work this way: Qualifying is split into 4 heats and 4 groups of 4 drivers, and the fastest 12 from their combined finishing positions go into the semi final. The ones in Group A start on the first row, B on the second one and C on the 3rd one. The top 3 from each Semi-Final go into the final.
I honestly enjoy this mode the most because I feel as if I have control of the cars here, though the Supercars are still very slidey and I hate them for that, but the 1600 are alright and the classic mini is a joy to drive in. It also helps that the racing keeps me on my toes with the Joker Lap. This is a lap that all care have to take which is slower, and I find that this keeps things interesting, take it too early, and your stuck at the back, take it too late, and you just lost the place you were in. It's quite interesting.
Dirt Rally seems to take a lot of learning of in my opinion, which is not great for beginners in my opinion. If Dirt Rally 2.0 is better at this I would recommenced it to everyone, but the game requires you to sit down a learn it constantly for it's rally mode, which isn't great for a racing game in my opinion, you should be able to from the get go to some extant be able sit-down, play the game for a bit and get on with your day, which I feel like it's better accomplished in Rallycross mode. For that I would have say, get this if you are a sim racing fan, it's obviously made for that crowd. Besides that, I would say look for other alternatives.
I'm really sorry that I haven't written much in the past few months, really trying to get out of this hole I seem to be in, but Damn I can't get out of it atm. Got a few plans though so please look forward to them!
But for now, take care and I will see you guys next time!
Written by Nana Marfo
Good Smile Car image taken from Good Smile Racing's Twitter
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Yes, I live! Sadly, lockdown hasn't treated me well, and uni has been hellish on top of that, but Geoff Keighly, host of The Game Awards and game indusry insider, made something called the Summer Games Fest. This was probably meant to happen next year as he was stepping away from E3, but due to the cancelation of E3, it's happening this year. As a quick side note, I don't think Gamescom: ONL is happening due the cancellation of Gamescom this year, but that's besides the point. On Wednesday we got the big news that Unreal Engine 5 is happening, and I want to talk about it!
Just as a side not, I mostly focus on asset creation, and I don't have super deep knowledge of the pipeline. I'm just excited about something and I wanna talk about it!
We start off with Brian Karis and Jerome Platteaux talking the 2 new systems in Unreal Engine: Lumin, which improves the effects of Dynamic Globel Ilumination, and Nanite, something that if it works properly, could VASTLY make the job of 3D video game artists a lot easier. The footage they show is running on PS5 in real time, and MAN does it look amazing!
The first thing I want to talk about is the opening in the cave. It showed that the amount of tris in the was akinned to pixels on screen, and that the textures were 8k textures via virtual texturing. I'll talk about this more in a bit when I get to the zBrush portion of the program. They also state that the lighting in this demo, powered by Lumin, is all dynamic, without using light maps, which is pretty insane.
They also talk audio engine improvement, which I'm not gonna talk about because I don't really know too much about the sound pipeline. They also talk about their particle system Naigra, and how each particle can now 'talk to one another' and can read the environment better than ever. They also talk about the improvement of the of their animations systems, including predictive foot placement, as well the abilty to trigger new contextual events seemlessly. A lot of improvements into animation within the game engine is good, as this help compensate of an animator's mistakes.
They talk a bit more about Lighting, which again, I don't know too much about, but I want to talk about something that could change the workflow of the inderstury.
That stachu you can see in front of you there was imported directly from zBrush, according to Epic Games, which is huge because usually models made in zBrush are skulpted digitally, which means there meshes are very uneven and topology is not very good. This is why usually models have versions with lower poly counts, as they usually are easier to optomise in a game engine. But with this, it seems that time period has ended as they use the assets that are usually used in cutscenes. The reason that cutscenes can use higher quality assets is because typically, cutscenes are pre-rendered, and don't have to worry about the memory being used in real time. This does depend on the game though, so don't quote me on that entirely.
Overall, I'm VERY excited for next gen of console, as well as what companies decide to make with them! I really hope you guys are as well, as on the day of writng this, sony does it's big event for the PS5!
Man 2020 would be amazing if all the sucky stuff in the world wasn't happening. Sadly we can't change that. Anyways I hope you guys are all always doing well, a lot of gaming news is dropping right now, so if anything super interesting comes up, I'll ramble about it!
But for now, thanks for reading, stay safe and I'll see you guys next time!
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Hello! I have a bonus article for you guys this week because I really want to talk about the Neptunia game is coming out August 6 2020 in Japan and 2021 to the west called VVVtunia! I'm just gonna call it Virtualtunia, because how the f**k do pronounce the name? Update: In the west this game is called Neptunia: Virtual Stars.
VVVtunia got announced in November of 2019, with an announcement trailer teasing a new re-design of Neptune, 2 new characters and touting this games as celebrating 10 years of Neptunia and 25 years of Idea Factory. Famitsu and Dengeki Playstation gave us some more details.
In this new spin off game, which makes sense to me, as this game is more different to what the series usually looks at, the 4 goddesses, with pretty cool re-designs, team up with virtual idol team Mewtral, currently consisting of just Yuu and Mii, thought there are some that are not revealed, in order to save Virtualand.
One complaint I've seen with Neptunia is that there are too many spinoff right no, with I get, but at the same time, Neptunia has always been a series to tackle different topics within the Japanese digital space. While the Switch hasn't been covered yet to my knowledge, we may get a new game based off the PS5 and Xbox Series X pretty soon. Plus, E-Ninja Neptune is still in the works, and who know what that will be.
During the November announcement we got some screenshots of gameplay showing Neptune carrying a gun, as well as an room showing off the 2 new idols, Yuu and Mii.
Also, I apologise for the image quality, this is is the best I could get in all the cases.
In December of 2019(and I think uni made me miss this), we got some more screenshots, showing off the VN styled cutscenes, which look to be in 3D this time. I have to say, the graphics are a HUGE step up. Looking at HD quality screenshots, this is a gorgeous looking game. We also got a look all the characters with guns.
In January of this year, the "Guest Connect System" was announced, will feature real V-Tubers! They will become involved in a incident and turned into V-Cubes, and after saving them, you can help them out in battles! This is awesome, Nep usually parody things with references, but the fact they are adding in the possibility to have Kizuna AI, Siro and more V-tubers in the game, is pretty surreal.
On February 14th, 2020 during a stream, we got our proper first look at gameplay, and it looks pretty awesome! The gun gameplay looks to be pretty casual, but for Neptunia that's fine, it's always been more about exploring conspects rather than making them more advanced. YOU CAN SWITCH CHARACTERS IN REAL TIME, ANY TIME. This is a really cool mechanic, which may have been in the Tamsoft games, but to a lesser extent. Did I mention that to me, this game is one the best looking anime games that is upcoming? The worlds looks great, and I can't wait to play this game. EXE attacks look next level, and Nep has some hover boots which I think is pretty cool!
Overall, this is probably on of my most anticipated 2020 games. Due to the way Idea factory international handles releases, it may not ship to the west in 2020, but I'm still really excited. Update: I was correct and this is one of my most anticipated 2021 games.
...this is probably worst it's even been for me being a weeb on this blog. Oh well. Anyways, I did leave some stuff out for the sake of writing convenience, so please check out my sources, Gematsu and Silloconera, there was even a unsubbed behind the scenes video, go check that out.
But for now, thank you guys for reading... and what the hell.
See you guys next time. Take care and keep creating!