Saturday, February 08, 2014

[PC] The Wolf Among Us Episode 2 & Jazzpunk Mini-Reviews + Thoughts

No spoilers for either games. Just impressions.

The Wolf Among Us Episode 2: Smoke & Mirrors was a decent episode. The story was still intriguing and the dialogue was still entertaining. This ep is much shorter than the first one and much more linear. It didn't have as many choices or branching paths as the first ep. That was a bit disappointing considering how Telltale kept delaying this installment. I actually replayed a few sections because I wanted to see the other bits of dialogue. I didn't do this for the first ep but I felt compelled to restart checkpoints for this one. It didn't change the results too much but that was to be expected. There isn't too much different here if you played the first ep already so I won't go into details about the gameplay.

The graphics continue to impress. I really love the art and direction. The VO is still amazing as well. I really love all the voices in this game. I swear Telltale has become one of my favorite developers when it comes to who they cast to do voices for their games. Good stuff.

Overall Thoughts

This installment was still enjoyable and added a lot more on top of what we got from the previous ep. Here's hoping Episode 3 is beefier and moves the story further along. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Jazzpunk was not a game that I had on my radar until this week. I wasn't really interested even with the internet buzz until a friend gifted me a copy to check out. I have to say that this is one of the weirdest and most hilarious games I've ever played. This is an adventure game in the first person mode. You're given objectives and you do them. The objectives and optional stuff is quite varied at times. There were some great parodies and homages. The game doesn't have a fail state so you can explore and experiment with all the great gags at your own pace. The jokes kept coming from every angle and were extremely clever AND dumb. I laughed out loud quite a few times. The story is just pure nonsense and super surreal.

The art is simple but very charming and super colorful. It just oozes style. The music and VO is also great. Everyone speaks with a weird filter and is slightly muffled for effect. I do have to admit I was a bit annoyed that subtitles were not available because some of the text that pops up doesn't actually match what is being said exactly. Turn up the volume or you might miss some good jokes.

Overall Thoughts

I'm gonna repeat: this game is super weird and very funny. Even though it was pretty short, I enjoyed my time with it immensely. I highly recommend you guys check this out if you want to try something different. I hope the devs make a sequel because I really enjoyed this strange world and I want to see more of it. Definitely worth checking out.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Digital River - Why do you suck so much?

What is Digital River? It's a company that does all the e-commerce stuff for many large companies. This includes video game publishers like Square Enix, Capcom, Bandai Namco etc. I'm just gonna post my experiences with them and why I think they suck so damn much.

My first experience with them was with Capcom USA's online store. The first issue I had concerned a preorder bonus that was supposed to be included with my Ace Attorney 1 preorder. Apparently it was left out and I had to call and deal with CSR who was sort of clueless about it. Apparently this was a widespread issue on their end from what I read online. After calling back several times, I finally received my bonus.

The second time I had an issue with them also involved Capcom USA's online store. It was for my Marvel vs Capcom 3 LE preorder. For some reason their shipment was delayed for a week or more which was ridiculous. You might be wondering why I preordered from them. This was because they included a sweet t-shirt as a bonus. Guess what? I ordered both versions but they only included one t-shirt with my preorders. So not only were my orders delayed but they also screwed me out of one preorder bonus. Thanks guys.

The third time I had an issue with them involved the Ni No Kuni LE that was exclusive to Bandai Namco USA's online store. For anyone who missed it, a lot of people had their preorders canceled because they couldn't fulfill preorders. I was lucky and managed to get my preorder in early but it was a real nail-biter before I got my shipping confirmation. So many guys got screwed and they had to resort to eBay to get this version that included some bonus trinkets. Bamco had to issue an apology and issued a useless coupon for their store that no one wanted to buy from. It was a real mess. 

The latest issues I've been having with them involve Square Enix USA's online store. Now that SE has been selling a lot of exclusive stuff on their site, I've been forced to deal with Digital River a lot more now. This includes buying FFXIV CE which was restocked for a short while. For some reason they screwed up my order and charged me twice for one order. I called their CSR and the guy couldn't cancel a pending order. I tried emailing them as well but by the time they responded, the order shipped out so it was too late. Thankfully, they shipped two copies out so I didn't overpay for one. They allowed me to return it but I had to pay for shipping so screw that. I sold the extra copy on eBay for more. That's how it's done, son!

I've also had some major issues trying to check my order history and account on the SE store that is tied to their system. They keep saying my password is invalid even though I updated it and it works fine on SE's own sites. I can only guess that something is fucked with their backend.

Speaking of their backend, you might he wondering how to look up your orders with Digital River. They actually want you to look up your orders through their site which is You can enter an order number with a password and/or put in your email and last 5 digits of the credit card that you made the orders with. This blanket system is hilarious because if you input the email/CC method, it'll forward you to whatever order you made with it. This includes being forwarded to ANY online store that has your details. For example, input your email and CC info and you could be directed to your order history in SE or Bamco's sites. I found it amusing. I tried the order number/password method and it usually can't find my order number or thinks my password is incorrect. Broken system.

I really really hate their service and I hate companies who use them. Just because they're cheap doesn't mean you guys should use them. There are so many other better e-commerce companies out there but some of the biggest video game publishers use them anyway. Every time I see Digital River is involved with an online store I just cringe. CRINGE.

While I've had my issues with other online stores from time to time, I've had the most issues with Digital River whenever I need to deal with their shitty account systems and CSR. It's a frustrating experience, period.