What Was Your Side-Quest/Mini-Game Purgatory?

We’ve all had one! Some random NPC gives you a quest in the opposite direction of the main game and now you can’t return until you complete this trivial matter. Only, it’s not trivial, is it? What seems like a light, airy piece of cake is actually an overpoweringly rich and heavy slice of Belgium trip choc. Not as easy to consume but still you persist. I’m off tangent a bit, talking about cakes but it doesn’t matter because off tangent is Yakuza 0’s domain and my personal limbo.

Yes, I’m sure regular readers of my ramblings will know that I’ve been at Yakuza 0 for months now. Well, good news everyone! I’ve cleared it. I’ll be posting a review in a few days but I just wanted to talk to you about something that withheld me from completing the game in a speedier time. You see, I wanted to complete both Kiryu’s and Majima’s main side quest. Majima’s I got done pretty easily. Kiryu’s though…..that’s where my demon resided. And it wasn’t gruelling combat or lack of money to proceed. It was bowling. Slight spoilers for a Yakuza 0, it’s only a sub story but that’s your choice if you want a sub story spoiled. If you are intrigued by the Yakuza series, I would read on so you see why it’s so loved.

Anyway, bowling! The sport of kings! And I was a jester, flailing around, hoping to succeed. But first I’ll introduce you to my troubles. For Kiryu’s side story, you need to buy and upgrade properties owned by 5 real estate kings. Basically 5 sub bosses. I wanted to own all the properties and defeat all the kings. And I did do. Except when all was said and done I still had one property that I didn’t own. I tried in the past but to no avail so I put it on the back burner. I was determined to acquire it before I closed the book on my Yakuza 0 playthrough. My problem was Emiri. Emiri was the person who would allow me to acquire the bowling alley, However, I needed to max out my friendship with her. No big deal, I just bowl and it goes up over time. Except for the last pip of the friendship meter. Emiri informs me, with a misleading smile I might add, that there is a competition ongoing. Whoever scores a turkey first, wins a turkey! For context, the game is set around December so a Christmas turkey isn’t so far-fetched. See that Yakuza 0, I’m saying your nonsense isn’t nonsense!

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OK, a turkey, 3 strikes in a row. Can’t be that hard once you get a system going. Except, I couldn’t do it. I would get 2 strikes and then choke the turkey………that’s that expression right? For the life of me, I couldn’t do it. And this went on for 3 days! 3 real days of on and off Yakuza 0. I did other tasks but getting that turkey was my gaming priority that week. And then this happened, this is what made me write this article because at this point, it felt like the game was laughing at me.

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That’s all spares, 2 strikes and a big failure! 9 frames and I consistently hit 8 pins down and then followed it up to make a spare. I even tried to change the angle and power and I would still get that. I couldn’t get 3 strikes in a row but 9 spares? Sign me up, I’m the Spare King! And then on my last possible chance to get 3 strikes in a row in that game, I got 2 strikes and then 8 pins again. I was more gob struck than disheartened. I couldn’t do that again if I tried. Downtrodden but never broken, I told Emiri to reset them again! Eventually, I did it!

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I got 2 sets of turkeys that time! Those 3 days wishing for a turkey and I got 2 at once. They’re like buses apparently. You wait forever for 1 and then oh hello, 2 show up. But whatever, whinging over, it was time to collect my prize! Emiri talked it up that this was a turkey to die for so surprise me with that tasty bird!YAKUZA 0_20181009161927

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………OK then. Who cares?! I did it, yay is me! I’m not even bothered that it’s a bit sadistic what Kiryu named his new chicken pal. I got the bowling alley as a property AND a manager chicken. You can’t argue with a deal like that. And so ended my trial. I’ve had many times where a side quest has taken over my life or even ones that I have given up but still think about as the ones that got away. I’m looking at you Final Fantasy X’s dodge the lightning migraine. So what are some of yours that stick out for you. Or maybe you just have one in particular that was the thorn in your side for a time. Feel free to share in the comments, I’m eager to hear your pain. Thanks for reading.

Game Subtitles! Come Out To Plaaaaaaay!

You get home, brand new game in your bag. It was pre-ordered ages ago and you’ve been waiting all week for it. You excitedly put the disc in, wait for the now mandatory 1 hour update and install before playing. The game starts up, you enter your first cutscene and…….why is the person talking so quietly? Why aren’t the subtitles on!

You can’t hit the start button out of fear that you’ll skip the opening cutscene so you listen intently to what’s being said. This is usually important information. Now, some games start with an action packed sequence with lots of noise and exposition. And unless you have a good soundbar or are playing with headphones on, a lot of details can me mixed in the audio of a thin TV speaker. It can be difficult to parse the relevant information.

So how come, subtitles aren’t on by default? Most people I know always want the subtitles on. I would imagine that over 90% of gamers feel the same way. I completely understand that it can break your immersion seeing text on the screen but nothing breaks my immersion like leaning my ear to the TV to hear what Captain Exposition is trying to tell me. To me, I think subtitles should be on by default with the option to turn them off in the options. Subs on seems to be preferred.

Or do what some games do and subtitles as an option when starting a new game file. I always appreciate this option as 9 times out of 10 I forget to go into the options before I begin my first playthrough of a game. I thoroughly appreciated that this was available on the new Spider Man game. It is the correct way to do it in my belief. Best of both worlds for everyone.

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Another reason for subtitles to be on by default and this is more peace of mind is for streaming purposes. This is more for LP’s but how many times have you watched a Twitch stream or Let’s Play and the player(s) are talking over the dialogue? Or they’ve started the game and then realised that subtitles aren’t on during the cutscene and have to go into the options once gameplay starts? Again, I know this is minor stuff but streaming is more common now and it just benefits the viewer to have subtitles on by default.

But let’s imagine we’re playing a new game. Let’s imagine Red Dead Redemption 2 as that’s out soon. We’ve started the game up and after a lengthy opening scene we’re chucked into the gameplay. That was a long scene and cowboys sometimes have gruff voices so it wasn’t an easy listen but we got most of the dialogue. But we don’t want to miss anything so the first thing we tend to do is go into the options while the lack of subs is on our minds. Now we get to play, find the subtitles!

Is it under the Video category? That would make sense as it’s something we see. It’s not there? Well, it must be Audio then, as it’s spoken words put into text form. *Gasp* It’s not there either. Game? It’s in the Game options…..I guess that makes sense since it is a part of the game but so is audio and visual and they got their own sub-sections. Why the Game options?

There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to where the subtitles are placed! I’m very good at moaning as I’m sure you’ve noticed about me writing this article about such a small thing but if it’s something that is easily fixable, then shouldn’t it be fixed? Can we not just all decide together which section in the options, subtitles belongs to? Then have it implemented in all future games.

Anyway I’m going to stop my whinge there. I could talk all day about subtitles and if you want more on that try my previous post, A Game Sin That Needs To Die: Small Text. Let me know how you feel on this matter in the comments and if you prefer your subtitles to be on or off and why. Thanks for reading.