Category Archives: annoyances

[Tiny Farm] Add me (to the Power of ∞)

Almost a month ago, users from other Gamevil and Com2uS games decided to throw common sense and etiquette out the door and mindlessly bombard the companies’ message forums known as HIVE clubs with “Add Me” friend requests to fulfill in-game friend invite quotas to obtain special goodies and bonuses.

If you check any of the clubs, you’ll find that they’ve all been infested with these Goodies Hunters. (I brand them as such because sincerely doubt most of them are remotely concerned with actual friendship.)

Tiny Farm HIVE club infested with add me requests
At the Tiny Farm club: Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me. Add me.

For Tiny Farm players, it’s rather frustrating since we use the message board to find information about event quests/objectives and also to seek help from others to tame special animals visiting our farms. The barrage of “Add Me”s end up pushing all the questions, informative posts, and taming requests way down the page and due to the club’s ultra archaic and backwatered design, it’s impossible to quickly locate them as it has no search function or a log that lists all of your own posts. In short, you are forced to scroll through the entire slog of useless crap.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however! While there exists another fan-run message board, it’s pretty much been abandoned since the creator, johnnysilver, has quit the game a long while back. Now a new unofficial message board has been created in the wake of this mess thanks to frequent club users, Eluzyion and Animal House. You can find it at http://tinyfarmcommunity.freeforums.net/ 😀 At the moment, it is free from obnoxious friend requests and it’ll most likely stay that way since unless spam bots start creating accounts, the forum requires registered users to log in before they can even view it. The whole reason the HIVE clubs were subjected to the abuse is the sheer ease of accessing them in-game and the fact that you don’t need to register again to use them once you have a username or auto-generated account number from the game you logged into.

So if you’re tired of how useless the Tiny Farm Club has become, consider joining us at our new home! :3

Actually, It’s About the Ethics of These Mobile Game Companies

This isn’t about issues in journalism. I chose the title because it fits the subject matter of this post. The type of ethics in question, however, is work ethics. I’m mildly miffed that no one else seems to draw attention to the incompetence of Rayark, Inc. in their lack of proofreading text in Implosion – Never Lose Hope, and GCREST with their constant careless updates of CocoPPa Play. I feel strongly about these issues because it makes me wonder why I should support companies (or continue to support in Rayark’s case since I already purchased the game) that half-heartedly work on their games.

Continue reading Actually, It’s About the Ethics of These Mobile Game Companies

April: 30 Fucking Days of Awareness, Appreciation, or Days

Earth Hour and Daylight Savings are stupid
Earth Hour and Daylight Savings: They’re both stupid.

One of my pet peeves is how people can pull “awareness days” out of their asses. There’s even a goddamn website with a list of these things.

My issue is that a lot of them are either asinine or just things that should be celebrated EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR. But I suppose, in the case of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, those can be seen as “extra special kindness days” rather than “Gee, we should be nice to Mom or Dad that day.”

One of the greatest offenders to me is Earth Hour which is annually observed on the last Saturday of March. Why only choose the one freakin’ day to “create awareness for climate change”? Shouldn’t we be doing something (like conserving energy) everyday?? I’m sure as hell aware of climate change and wholly believe in it. I don’t need 60 minutes of darkness to remind me that it exists.

At any rate, I decided to try my hand at thinking up some awareness days and decided to make every single bloody day in April a part of the madness. Some of these may already exist; I didn’t comb through that site or Google for this crap. If there are duplicates then it just goes to show how easy it is to designate a day for something mundane. 😛

An expletive is included with each day for emphasis.

  • April 1st – Look Both Ways Before Crossing The Fucking Street Day
  • April 2nd – Read a Fucking Book Day
  • April 3rd – Talk to Fucking People Day
  • April 4th – Fucking Mobility Day (i.e. walk, run, cycle, drive, roll, etc.)
  • April 5th – Fucking Immobility Day (i.e. staying stationary like lying in bed, sitting on a chair, etc.)
  • April 6th – Fucking Messy Rooms Appreciation Day
  • April 7th – The Grass is Usually Fucking Green Appreciation Day
  • April 8th – Fucking Respect All Races and Genders Day
  • April 9th – Fucking Invisible Sicknesses Awareness Day (because not every kind of illness is physically obvious)
  • April 10th – Fucking Antarctica Appreciation Day (or sub that for any country people don’t really talk about)
  • April 11th – Fucking Oxygen Awareness Day
  • April 12th – Fucking Oxygen Appreciation Day
  • April 13th – Synchronize All Your Fucking Clocks Day (if you haven’t done so already)
  • April 14th – Fucking Furniture Appreciation Day
  • April 15th – Fucking Anticipation Awareness Day
  • April 16th – Keep Dogs on a Fucking Leash When in Public Day (designated areas where they don’t need to be using one are exempted, of course)
  • April 17th – Fucking Washroom Break Appreciation Day
  • April 18th – Stop Fucking Tailgating the Car In Front of You Day
  • April 19th – Stop Leaving Shopping Carts in the Middle of the Fucking Aisle Day
  • April 20th – Stop Fucking Westernizing Shit in Foreign Moves & Shows Awareness Day
  • April 21st – Original Fucking Pronunciation Appreciation Day (e.g. karaoke is read somewhat like kah-rah-oh-ké)
  • April 22nd – Pay Attention to Fucking Fine Print Day
  • April 23rd – The Customer is NOT Always Fucking Right Awareness Day
  • April 24th – Fucking Ground Floor Appreciation Day
  • April 25th – Merry Fucking Christmas Day
  • April 26th – Fucking Obsolete Businesses Appreciation Day
  • April 27th – Fucking Sun Awareness Day
  • April 28th – Fucking Moon Awareness Day
  • April 29th – Fucking Awareness Day Awareness Day
  • April 30th – Enjoy Your Fucking Life Day

To the Point Review for the Movie, Triumph in the Skies (衝上雲霄)

Triumph in the Skies promo poster
Triumph in the Skies (衝上雲霄)

This is written for the benefit of folks like me who are illiterate to Chinese but can understand conversational Cantonese and watches Chinese movies and TV dramas now and then.

A super brief background of Triumph in the Skies: the Hong Kong TV series that the movie is based off of was about airline pilots, mechanics, and stewardesses and their hardships and interactions with each other. It also gave viewers some insight on pilot training and other technical but interesting aspects of being apart of an airline crew.

Note: There are actually 2 series: one from 2003 and the wildly popular sequel released in 2013. It’s the second series that gave someone the idea that there should be a movie adaptation.

You’d think that, because the movie carries the same title as the serials, as well as featuring some actors from it, it’d have a similar sort of flair.

Nope.

It is 100 minutes of pure, utter shit.

The English synopsis found at the Wikipedia gives you the plot straight-up; it’s a flick that focuses on 3 separate storylines revolving around the relationships of 3 different couples.

This is literally what you get AT FACE VALUE. The 3 tales are NOT a part of an over-arching story. You will sit there, for 100 minutes, watching a disjointed pot-pourri of random shit happening with 6 individuals that get NO character development whatsoever.

The only redeeming value is the gorgeous cinematography featuring various locales in and around England.

Triumph in the Skies would seriously be better off as a slideshow.

Current Tiny Farm Events & A Proposed Tiered Model for Quests

There’s a bit of anger and frustration going on with the Tiny Farm community lately thanks to Com2uS’ brilliant strategy of releasing two HEARTS-EATING events within days of each other. The first is the Valetine’s Day event which runs from Feb 11th 6 PM until Feb. 25th 11 PM PST. Shortly after the debut of that event, the Lunar New Year event made its appearance. This started Feb 15th 6 PM PST and will end on March 4th 6 PM PST.

Tiny  Farm Valentine's Day & Lunar New Year Events 2015
Double the events, double the UNfun.

Simultaneous events are nothing new in Tiny Farm, but the problem is this: Hearts, which can be viewed as a form of virtual currency in Tiny Farm, replenish at a rate of 1 per 10 minutes. You may be able to imagine how terrible it is to try and meet a requirement that reads “Give 50 Hearts to a rabbit”  for someone that has a pool that maxes out at, say, 21 Hearts. 😛 Incidentally, that 50 Hearts crap is something the game asks for in the Lunar New Year event and it appears MULTIPLE times.

Now imagine having to deal with that ALONG with needing hearts to buy gifts for neighbours so that you can obtain cookies which are then used in a lottery draw that MAY grant you a Valentine’s Day animal! Unsurprisingly, the chance of getting an animal is dismal and it costs 10 – 20 Hearts for one gift. These gifts can either give you 1 cookie, 2 cookies, or 8 cookies, depending on the type of gift you buy. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that a single draw = 4 cookies. 😛

Continue reading Current Tiny Farm Events & A Proposed Tiered Model for Quests

Open letter to CocoPPa Play users and fans

IMG_3928.JPG

IMG_3922.JPG
If you’re a player that doesn’t regularly make use of their “play the event/limited time gacha X amount of times” gimmick to increase the chances of specific event gifts to appear, you will probably agree that it’s BEYOND infuriating when it comes to collecting ice cream and the temporary 10% rate increases are a joke.

The ratio between to dog balloons and ice creams are *completely* fucked up. As of this post, I have 100 more balloons than what you see in my inventory post and only about 7 ice cream (after turning them in for the quest in the other image). So yes, I managed to not only recover all the balloons used for the screencapped quest but got even MORE since then.
I recommend anyone displeased or dissatisfied with the situation of the event gifts to voice their complaints to GCREST Entertainment via the Contact Us link at the very bottom of the Help menu in-game.

Please don’t be passive and assume that a developer will just ignore you or that “this is the way the game is”. It never hurts to write to them with suggestions or concerns! There’s every chance that if a group of people complain about the same thing, they WILL listen and change things for the better. If they can’t or won’t do it for the current event then maybe they’ll implement something for the next one!

Let’s make CocoPPa Play a continually fun experience! ^_^

P.S. For what it’s worth, I wrote to them and got a reply thanking me for the suggestion and that they’ll consider it. I think they need more of a nudge so please write too! ^^~

Reviews of some iOS and/or Android apps~

Updated October 18th, 2014: Added a screencap of a review of Terra Battle and an revised review of Fable Age.

Updated September 4th, 2014: Added reviews for Manor Fable and Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge. 😀

I guess I’ll make this post a repository for reviews that I submit to the App Store and Google Play. For some reason, they don’t always appear. I suppose they could have been rejected but when I see stupid useless 5-star reviews like “Because Kairosoft.” are accepted then I wonder why mine aren’t? Maybe it’s because I’m too honest and write down what I really think of the app?

Please note that I’m not linking to the pages of any of these apps on either iOS or Android stores unless they’re worthy of attention. 😛

Fable Age
Rating: star-ont

Terra Battle
Rating: star-ontstar-ontstar-ontstar-ontstar-ont

(Submitted to iTunes Canada)

A review of Terra Battle and a revised review of Fable Age
Click to see full version.

Hidden Object – Manor Fable
Rating: star-ontstar-ontstar-ont

(Submitted to Amazon Appstore)
This game is terrible to attempt to play through in one sitting. I’m on level 63 on Story mode and only 82% done. The problem with Manor Fable is that it reuses the same few scenaries. The only differences are the placement of some objects and the type of challenge you’re presented with when searching for them. For example, the game may just provide you with silhouettes of the items or write them out in text.

There’s also a match 3 puzzle mini game that serves to add to whatever plot the game has. Honestly, I just want to play the meat of it so I skip through all the dialogue scenes and the diary snippets you obtain from the mini game. I believe I would have cared about it more if the game brought back the story with more frequency instead of having the player randomly go through the same places repeatedly in between “cut scenes”. (Poor sleuths?)

Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge
Rating: star-ontstar-ontstar-ont

(Submitted to iOS App Store)
It shouldn’t be a surprise that lengthy timers and “penalties” (re: units being knocked out means equipment breaking unless you have Unbreakable ones) exist to lure people into buying Ambers. In fact, growing the damn tree can take a while without them. At least there’s a ton of missions that’ll let you grind for materials and silver so there’s no need to restock those with premium currency.

Aside from the IAP trap, the game suffers from random crashes which loses game progression data when you load it again, a frustratingly annoying Wishing Well (I get way more weapons than shields and backpacks), and you can only invite Facebook friends? Kind of limiting the pool there.

GAMEPLAY TIP: For fun, I grew my tree through premium currency as you can buy them through the merchant and built facilities based on objectives not related to the “story”/map nodes. DO NOT DO THAT. If you have 2 Storage Warehouses and a Tavern, you will not have room for later facilities that you obtain through blueprints because the merchant will eventually run out of stock on Acorns.

Knights N Squires
Rating: star-ont

(Submitted to Google Play)
This game is seriously for little children or people with extremely low standards when it comes to defining a fun game. Knights N Squires is MIND NUMBING; you run down a single path from left to right slashing away at enemies. Sometimes you’ll throw in a block or a skill. There’s even an AUTO PLAY option cuz the game play is THAT simple. All the staples of freemium crap are here too like daily login bonuses, bringing along “friends” to help, lottery draws for allies, rare materials for upgrades, etc. There’s nothing innovative or interesting. Just cute packaging and a waste of time.

Star Trek Trexels
Rating: star-ont

(Submitted to iTunes Canada)
This should seriously be renamed Star Trek Notifications because that’s pretty much how it’s to be played …. UNLESS you have tons of money to spend on Dilithium Crystals so you can instantly finish everything. Otherwise, you’ll just be waiting and waiting AND waiting for facilities to finish building or upgrading, crew to finish retrieving artifacts or training, and probes to complete their scans of planets. So the natural way to play this is to assign crew to places and start construction on everything that you can and then exit the game. Once you receive notification(s) that something is done, THEN you can continue playing. What a joke!

Whatever happened to keeping players ACTIVELY engaged in a game? The only active thing you can do is shoot debris to replenish Command, Research, and Energy points. You may occasionally get Dilithium as well but the return on this mini shooting game is so small that it’ll take eons to build up stock that way.

Honestly, I don’t dislike the game THAT much to give it a 1-star rating. However, what I DO loathe is developers asking for 5-star ratings to inflate the app’s ranking at the store making it seem like it’s something worthy to be checked out. You want 5 stars? You EARN it, buddy.

The primary method of playing Trexel: relying on the notifications window!
The primary method of playing Trexel: relying on the notifications window!

Pocket Wizard: Magic Fantasy!
Rating: star-ont

(Submitted to Google Play)

This one's in the form of an image because I wanted to show the developer shrugging off my critique.
This one’s in the form of an image because I wanted to show the developer shrugging off my critique.

 

Tiny Farm: Fix your inventory, Com2uS!

Edit on September 4th, 2014: Com2uS actually revised the inventory system an update or two ago so this post is no longer relevant. However, I’m keeping it here just to show folks that infinite scrolling is a really terrible design.

Phew. It’s been a while since I wrote up an entry on Tiny Farm. I’m still playing it because I love collecting the super cute animals. I just wish animal certificates weren’t so expensive. I’ve long exhausted the ability to buy them with gold. Have to rely on Bells now. 😦

Anyway, Tiny Farm received a massive overhaul a few weeks ago. Oddly, the ONLY revision the inventory UI received was reduced icon sizes so now each page has 2 lines of items instead of a single one. While that reduces the amount of scrolling one had to endure, it still means A LOT of scrolling for someone like me that has tons of things in storage. Sure, I can sell stuff like fences and rebuy them but why would I? Why should I have to? I’d rather save the money to spend on other things like the unnecessarily expensive lottery draw events.

I recorded the video on my iPad mini with Retina to show how idiotic the inventory design is. In it, you will see that I have to scroll forever to find the freakin’ Yellow Lotus Lantern that was automatically placed in inventory after claiming it from the gift area. I know I zoom past it in the initial scroll-by but it’s just to show that it doesn’t pop up at the end like what other sadistic developers may do with new things you get. At least that would make some sort of sense. This lantern showed up on page 7 or so.

The video was originally longer to show that every single item I have in the gift area is subject to the same random treatment but I decided just showing the lantern was enough.

So what can be done to improve the damnable design? Here are my suggestions:

  • ALL new items/animals you get should appear at the BEGINNING of your inventory.
  • Additional tabs on the side to sort between plants/trees, fences, and decorations just like in the freakin’ Store page.
  • Some ability to manually input a search string to look for something.

I wonder if there’s something in the code that’ll make these additions extremely difficult to implement? There’s no reason such logical ideas haven’t found their way into the game yet. It’s been over TWO YEARS since Tiny Farm debuted. Inventories will only get larger over time. >:/

I might fire off a message to Com2uS about this. A few weeks ago, I complained about the simplicity of the Com2uS Hub to them such as the inability to easily locate one’s post and the lack of a search function (for keywords and users) so what’s another complaint? XD They can make pretty looking games but they sure can’t seem to create intuitive user interfaces. The Hub is SO backwater it’s not funny. The way it functions is like a message forum from a few decades ago. 9__9

Ys: Memories of Celceta – Jack of All Trades Trophy is … Ugh

Ys: Memories of Celceta - Jack of All Trades Trophy Get. Yay.
Stupid grind-dependent achievements need to disappear from the gaming world.

I think, under ideal conditions — such as players spending an obscene amount of hours using each character, it’ll be possible to get the max skills trophy without feeling the grind. However, I doubt that that’s the case for many.

According to multiple Japanese walkthrough sites, skills unlock when characters reach certain levels. By level 50, Adol should have 12 skills and everyone else should have 10. Unfortunately, there is some other criteria that governs how they unlock. A quick Google search led me to a GameFAQs post where the author stated that obtaining skills is dependent on fighting tough enemies or enemies that are around your character’s level.

….. The in-game manual mentions the tough foes bit too. 😛

There seems to be a consensus that beating up enemies in the final dungeon is a pretty good way to get any missing skills. I wonder if attacking Foria-Daros will also cause them to unlock as well? The thing is level 59, after all.

Anyway, regardless of the method, I still hate these kinds of mindless trophies. There’s no real sense of accomplishment. In fact, all I got out of it was relief. 😛 I mean, even with the Warrior Seal IV (which boosts skill EXP gain by +4) equipped, it STILL took a chunk of time. (Not sure if it took over an hour since I play on and off. :P) And all I did was rotate between characters, hold the R button + mash the respective button for the skill I wanted to level up over and over until the notice that it was mastered appeared. If I wasn’t going for the Platinum trophy, I wouldn’t have bothered with this at all because it’s a really idiotic “achievement”.

Incidentally, skill levelling has NOTHING to do with successfully executing them on enemies. You can attack air all you want and still master them. :E