Makai Wars Discord Server

It’s been a while since I really managed to keep on top of the Makai Wars Guide, so I thought I’d make a separate post about the much more active Discord Channel we have, you can join here!

It’s really part of my discord server for my whole site/youtube, but it’s one of or maybe the most active Makai Wars Discord too, so all your event and build questions can easily be answered there, plus helpful links in the pins including the character skill translations. My personal Discord account is SirTapTap#3775!

Shoutouts to Disgaea RPG if it ever launches.

Fan Art: Good Night Cheetah Mobile by MobndePurple

This fan art is from from @mondepurple, thanks a lot! It’s sort of celebrating AbyssRium switching publishers form Cheetah Mobile to Flero Games, hoping the transition does some good.

Here’s a version with background:

Continue reading “Fan Art: Good Night Cheetah Mobile by MobndePurple”

Flero Games announces “Tap Tap Fish AbyssRium Pole” a new Idle Game

Flero Games recently acquired Tap Tap Fish AbyssRium, and they’ve now announced a second game will be created: Tap Tap Fish AbyssRium Pole. I had hoped the acquisition would be a good time to chop off the clumsy “Tap Tap Fish” from the title, but apparently not (and no, the game is not in any way related to SirTapTap).

There’s very little information about the game yet, but iOS and Android app store pre-registrations are open. According to the iOS store page it’s expected very early December 2019, though this could be a flexible placeholder.

The press release is short on gameplay details and what is included makes it sound like the game may play exactly like the first AbyssRium so far, just in a different location but with many of the same fish. The best look into the game is the brief 15 second teaser below.

Hopefully the new game will address many of the complaints the game has accrued since Cheetah Mobile bought it, including arduous events and many bugs.Flero games recently acquired AbyssRium from Cheetah Mobile, though Cheetah Mobile is still publishing the game in China. There still seems to be no new word on the Nintendo Switch version of the original AbyssRium, which Flero Games was originally supposed to develop. With Flero acquiring the game outright, perhaps there will be more news on that front soon.

As you might expect from the creator of the biggest AbyssRium guide, I’ll be checking out the game myself whenever it launches and make some guides to help players!

Pokemon Masters Review (Soft Launch)

Pokemon Masters is out—kinda. There’s a limited soft-launch in Singapore and soon™ Canada, but eager superfans are already playing in other territories via VPNs and the usual tricks. Here you’ll find my evaluation of the game in its current, early state as I’ve completed all the content currently on offer and talked the game over with many other direly impatient Pokemon fans. My efforts to keep things simple has failed—so be ready for a fairly complete look at what the game is like today!

If you wish to play the game or just read up on how it all works in detail, I also have a Pokemon Masters guide on this here site or you can pop in our Discord server to chat about the game!

Editor’s Note: The game’s full release is upon us! The final release fixes a couple of bugs, changes gem prices slightly, adds 5 free trainers to the roster, and has a minor intro event with some similarly minor rewards. It’s nothing that really affects my judgement of the game, so I’ll be leaving the rest of the review as-is.

What Is Pokemon Masters?

Pokemon Masters is perhaps a Gachapon Mobage-style mobile game first, and a Pokemon game second. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but rather I mean that this game was clearly designed to reinforce its goal of being an accessible, stand-alone mobile title before all else. A few tried-and-true Pokemon design choices and rules have been left behind in this process—which occasionally makes things a little confusing for long-time players.

Instead of catching Pokemon, this time around you’re “scouting” for Sync Pairs; a Trainer and Pokemon pair that you actually use to battle. All battles are 3v3 in Pokemon Masters, so you can choose 3 trainers and their Pokemon . Sync Pairs aren’t like normal Pokemon ; not all unevolved Pokemon can evolve to their final form, and Types are tied more to Trainer than they are to the Pokemon; most dual type Pokemon are single type, all pokemon only have a single weakness, and resistances and immunities don’t generally exist.

janine & Ariados pokemon masters
Yep, it’s Gachapon

Pokemons’ Stat growth and Base Power for Moves are also freely re-balanced, moves are tied to a Sync Pair and can’t be changed. There’s no IVs (thank Arceus) or EVs, level 100 is level 100. It’s a drastic overhaul but mostly results in a smoother, simpler experience still largely recognizable as Pokemon. It also offers a balance setup more similar to the usual mobile gachapon-fests; a Treecko can be stronger than a Serperior because they say so, that’s why.

There’s no PVP (possibly a blessing due to power creep and other pay to win nonsense common to these games), but there is co-op play unlocked after beating most of the main story.

3v3? Yeah, You Know Me

pokemon masters combat
Ingame battle

The best thing about the game is definitely the battle format. It’s close to a mix of Rotation and Triple Battles from the main series, but all Pokemon can be hit and target other Pokemon at once; nothing only targets “adjacent” creatures. Pokemon’s moves  charge in “real time” but attacks are still cued up for an almost-turn-based battle closer to Final Fantasy’s famous ATB system.

The 3 Pokemon simultaneous match up offers strategic possibilities beyond the usual on-on-one fights, without the more time intensive complications of a full team 6 versus 6 one-at-a-time style of traditional Pokemon . And more importantly, many new “Trainer Moves” were added to the game with the 3v3 format in mind, adding many buffs that hit the whole party. Skills like this are pretty rare in the mainline games.

As a long-time Pokemon fan it does bother me just how much the AI cheats though; in the mainline games you’re always fighting “real” Pokemon that you could have on your own team right down to the moves and stats. In Pokemon Masters however, enemy Sync Pairs have extremely overpowered Sync Moves (but charge them much more slowly than you usually do) that hit the whole team and often include a Haze effect to remove your buffs. It’s something that would be fun for raid bosses, but feels excessive and cheap in regular battles. It really reduces the feeling of fair competition that’s very big in Pokemon, both in gameplay and story.

All in all I really enjoy the new format, and I really hope Pokemon Sword and Shield will offer a variation of it for play. Addition of online co-op battles to Pokemon is also very welcome. I’ve often wished I could play Battle Tree etc. in Co-op, but only local play has been offered so far, and the peak of having local friends with the latest Pokemon release was grade school for me.

Little Story, Lots of Personality

Continue reading “Pokemon Masters Review (Soft Launch)”

Fanart: Parker, as a Tap Tap Fish AbyssRium IAP!

Here’s adorable fanart of a hypothetical”Parker IAP” for AbyssRium! Made by ess#8498 from our Discord Server! You can also follow Ess on Twitter.

Parker IAP
– Price 9.99
– 110% Vitality boost
– 30% Life creation discount
– Chases great white sharks
– Freezes all the developer’s assets

Here’s the simpler original post from Ess too. I actually like it a lot, it feels very in tune with AbyssRium’s style.

Parker fanart by Ess

See all fanart & sources in the Fan Art Gallery.

Makai Senki Disgaea RPG Delayed 3 Months for Major Code Rework

Makai Senki Disgaea RPG, the Disgaea mobile game (not to be confused with Makai Wars) has been delayed for an estimated 3 months due to major infrastructure and coding issues rendering the game unplayable.

Players have been having trouble with Disgaea RPG for weeks as noted by the official @Disgaea_App account. Since I made the Makai Wars guide and plenty in my Discord server were (trying to) play Disgaea RPG I thought I’d put up a quick news release on the situation in english.

Announcement of the 3 month delay on their official Twitter:

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Free Points: Introducing Avant-Garden, an Itch.io Collection of Surreal & Unique Games!

One of the best resources for good, free games is definitely Itch.io, the Steam for indies. Today I’m introducing my Avant-Garden collection on Itch.io, a collection of surreal, engrossing, and sometimes just lovably weird games that I love. And most of them are point-blank free!

Free Points is a series of weekly(ish) free game recommendations. The games may range from the most surreal of Alt Games to the most traditional of platformers; the only requirements for a Free Points game is that they’re free (real free, not free to play!) and very much worth your time.

What Is Avant-Garden?

Avant-Garden started out as “Cool Weird Games”, a collection I’d add every…cool, weird game I found into! I frequently use Itch.io to find interesting experiences for my YouTube, and after removing games from my “to review” queue, I liked to add them to another “worth playing” collection for others to see.

Sacramento, a game in Avant-Garden
Like Sacremento here, many of these games are brief, but leave a lasting impression.

After a while I grew a bit tired of the old name, and I’ve noticed some of my favorite game developers don’t appreciate the simplicity of calling their games “weird” in general discourse—though I certainly don’t mean it as a negative myself! It is a bit frustrating to see fantastic, unique games reduced to “look at this weird crap I found!” on various big YouTubers’ channels, after all.

Looking for a better word, I came upon a fun pun and Avant-Garden was born. I find it encapsulates the feeling of a quick, meditative romp that many of these games offer, and matches the experience I have of cultivating and adding to the collection. I adore finding new games to add to my garden.

Avant-Garden as it appears on itch.io
A sample from the gallery, which shows metadata, thumbnails, and descriptive blurbs. The icons show which platforms a game can be run on; itch.io can have Android APKs too, not just PC games!

Not absolutely everything in Avant-Garden is free; many are Pay What You Want, some are premium, but most can be played free of charge. Itch.io collections helpfully list the price if any.

Why Play Avant-Garden?

Continue reading “Free Points: Introducing Avant-Garden, an Itch.io Collection of Surreal & Unique Games!”

YouTube’s Copyright Match Tool: What It Is & How To Use It

Today it looks like YouTube is rolling out the long-awaited Copyright Match tool, which will let normal Creators deal with video-stealers. In the past it’s mostly just been larger companies that have been privy to Content ID and other more exclusive tools.

youtube's description of the copyright match process. Create videos, copies of content will be automatically found, and youtube will allow you to act on them.
A basic rundown of the tool, via YouTube

The tool was announced a while ago but (at least for me) just released and was added to the YouTube Studio Beta, where it can be found in the new Copyright section.

How Copyright Match Works

You’ll get an email when you have access to Copyright Match in the new Studio Beta dashboard. It’s not presently in the old Creator Studio.

You’ll be shown something like below, assuming you have any matches. It lists the videos, some metadata on them, and includes links to the video to see it. You should check the video manually to see the exact context it’s used in, though as you can see in the below images, my matches were all 100% direct rips with not so much as a commentary track or video edit of any kind.

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The Axiom Verge Randomizer (And How To Play It)

First, there was the Link to the Past Randomizer. Then, the Super Metroid randomizer. And now comes Pozzum’s Axiom Verge randomizer! Since SirTapTap.com basically started out with an Axiom Verge Guide, I definitely had to check it out. (Thanks to the dev for stopping by our Discord too!)

What Is The Axiom Verge Randomizer?

If you’ve never played a Randomizer before, the basic concept is to randomize some major gameplay aspects of a classic video game to enhance replayability and provide a new challenge for players who have already beaten, 100%, or even speedrun the base game.

Randomizers make particularly exciting things to speedrun, livestream, or race due to the unpredictability. I’ve streamed the Link to the Past Randomizer in the past and I’ll be streaming the Axiom randomizer tuesday!

In the case of Pozzum’s randomizer, it’s the item locations that are currently randomized. As a Metroidvania with multiple movement-based upgrades, that means how you get about the existing map can change drastically based on which items you get early (or late!).  You can also randomize the enemies, if you enjoy death.

According to Pozzum, the project is briefly on hold while they build a new PC, but it’s still being worked on. Check the Releases page on Github to see the latest changes, and report issues so Pozzum can address them.

What It Does

Basic features of the current version (0.6.1.1):

  • Creates a separate randomAV.exe file to play without breaking the base game
  • Randomizes all item locations
  • Items, especially early on, are placed somewhat to keep the game possible
    • About 25% of seeds currently are impossible to complete however
  • Option to remove temporary one-way segments in Zi and Ukkin Na from the base game
    •  This reduces the potential of impossible-to-escape situations
      • (Base game fun fact: the 1 way Zi fall isn’t actually one0way; if you savewarp you can return, a common speedrun strategy)
  • Option to randomize enemies too
    • This could get painful fast
  • Option to generate a list of spoilers for hints/etc
  • Optional Practice mode which gives all weapons/upgrades in early rooms to allow you to try out odd combinations to get used to gear you wouldn’t normally use early game

How To Get The Axiom Verge Randomizer

You only need two things: a current Steam copy of Axiom Verge, and the randomizer itself, which is free on Github. Epic Games Store’s version of the game will be supported soon, but doesn’t work currently.

Note the program generates an alternate  executable file for AV rather than altering your “clean” copy directly. Your “clean” game and randomizer share save files though, so be careful with them. You can copy and paste your save folder if you need more save slots or want to protect your pre-randomization saves.

If you don’t have Axiom Verge on PC, it’s actually free on Epic Games Store from now until Feb  21st 2019, so grab it quick! As said above, it won’t work yet, but you should be able to get it soon. Use that time to practice the base game.

Step by Step Install
  1. Install Axiom Verge from Steam
  2. Download the randomizer
  3. Extract the randomizer somewhere you can find it (desktop etc)
  4. Run AxiomRandomizer.exe
  5. Let it move it’s files to Appdata when it asks (avoids permissions issues)
  6. The app will ask for your Axiom Verge installation file, you can find it by right clicking Axiom Verge’s entry in Steam, going to properties >  Local Files > Browse Local Files… then selecting Axiomverge.exe
  7. Now you’ll get the Randomizer’s main UI and can make a seed!
  8. The first time you run it, you’ll have to manually run “randomAV.exe” within the Axiom Verge folder (find it via step 6) to get it to run, the run button in the randomizer won’t work the first time because of security stuff.
  9. Start a new save file and you’re playing AV Randomized!

What To Know

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