Internet users in China forced to reveal real names when posting online

Perhaps, before talking about this tech news as discovered from Softpedia, there should be my history that took place several years ago or even in the further past of mine.

Back then when I was a kid, there was a school lesson about sending and receiving email messages through Hotmail. The nickname name I came up with was more or less wasn’t 100% a nickname back then like it was an impersonation of a fictional character and that was bad. But sometime in the mid-2000s, I came up with a real nickname that lasted for long time until last year where I changed my nickname again as proven in the recent gameplay videos.

Another past history of mine was that there was another person in Facebook who had the same exact real name as mine that I changed my alias as that time to something different than the universal nickname. Again, it wasn’t a real nickname of mine but that still represented me at that time until I changed my Facebook alias again and made it as universal as other accounts I had like Twitter, YouTube, etc. Perhaps, I suspected that someone was impersonating me on Facebook that I made a change as a result.

Then, here came the past history from Facebook, where the users were forced to reveal real names but the policy wasn’t as strict as what I’m going to blog about. I made changes to my Facebook account with multiple aliases. The first being the real name, and the other is the current nickname in full.

In fact, I’ve been seeing tons of YouTube users attempting to impersonate various fictional characters including the real life persons or whatnot. A policy forcing users to reveal real names or nicknames shouldn’t be a problem for me nowadays as fooling people with impersonating names is a rare thing. But even with a policy like that, there is still an immature workaround for people, like introducing themselves with real names followed by something that doesn’t look anything like a real nickname for instance so the policy may still have a mixed opinion from critics. I don’t like this sort of impersonation but a simple report over it is one challenging thing.

Maybe there should be a policy when creating your own account saying that it’s a no-no to impersonate a person, group, organization, etc. whether it’s fictional or not. So this is why I have a mixed opinion about this news discovered from Softpedia.

 

Such policy as stated above is taking place for various services like WeiBo, WeChat, etc. Perhaps, it is time that I make adjustments to my Sina account if that’s the case but for foreign users like me although I had learnt local Chinese besides English, that may seem to be a confusing problem in the future and especially that I’m way too average at Chinese language due to using English way too much. I also have a WeiBo account but I rarely use it although the service is said to be related to the others like Sina Mail service or something.

The only criticism so far from critics is about banning the VPN. Companies may probably need it for remote corporate access outside of the company premises but to ban the VPN completely is probably due to the fact that many people bypass the geo-restriction. I don’t know which concern is strong, the bypassing part, or the companies’ need for corporate access through VPN? Furthemore, the Beijing government has order the telecom companies to ban the use of VPNs starting February next year for better control of the internet.

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Nostalgia and Nostalgia Forte

As if Keyboardmania and Rocksmith are seriously hard enough, how about you try the REAL PIANO/GUITAR yourself? If real drums are manageable enough compared to Guitar, Bass or Piano which may seem to be harder, other challenges may probably include the cordination with other stuffs as part of the band. In fact, it may look like the DJ-simulation rhythm games have been going in the opposite direction even today compared to some of the dance games which actually make use of the entire body, pose and motion thanks to Kinect but the technology still isn’t perfect as most of the dances are suited for individuals or duos depending on the song.

In fact, I should feel ostracized by how Beatmania IIDX series goes nowadays with irrelevant themes which don’t belong to DJ land that well and especially that Nostalgia decreases the difficulty Keyboardmania series has. Sure, there may be tons of keys but to repair/replace them will be tough in case of hardware damage. That is one proper complaint, unlike the complaint about how hard the game is.

Nostalgia is trying to be like Deemo in terms of gameplay. Although the design of the controller may look like mini piano keys, the way you tap the keys to the corresponding notes is akin to Sega’s Chunithm series. Sure, that also has the elements of Deemo but it has more than that like air notes which make use of sensors to see if your hand is in the air or not.

Well, at least Konami has rebooted Keyboardmania but in a weird but less difficult way. The game may be fun but extreme difficulty of playing a real piano is still there. One better thing is that Marasy has become more famous than before for being involved in Nostalgia due to his piano cover videos. He’s also famous for playing Bemani songs on a piano as well. You can check out his YouTube channel if you’re interested.

Skycurser

Said to be the indie arcade game, Skycurser is one of those commercialized indie games made with Game Maker Studio by Griffin AeroTech, if the name of that team is correct. In the prototype versions, the game consisted of three playable stages although there were plans to have several stages. The graphics are retro Neo-Geo style in a similar vain to Metal Slug series with creepy creatures that have taken over the whole globe that you have to fight them with the plane that is available in the garage. You get three attacks, the normal shot, sword and the shotgun as well as the bomb attack that is like a wannabe super attack taken from fighting games. I don’t know if that is like an Overdrive/Max Mode or perhaps a real super move as it is not supposed to last much longer than usual. When attacking enemies, they splat out blood and they originate from some meteor with green glow and goo from space.

Basically, in the game of Skycurser, most of the places are infected with some plague or something after the meteor crash as indicated with green smoke in some of the stages and it’s up to you to pilot the plane from the garage. Unfortunately, as the game is more or less incomplete even in final form, I don’t know what the ending is like in terms of game story. All you see after completing the game is the simple game outro or some kind.

Of course, there are flaws. Firstly is the game’s intro as if the whole thing is made out of meme GIF images or some kind like everything is quite choppy so to speak. Second is how the flashing HUD messages on top of the screen during the Continue session. Maybe it’s a bug or something. Third, the game is more or less incomplete even as an indie arcade game as if the concept of bringing indie games to the arcades is experimental. There might be indie games ported to the arcades via Nesica X Live like Trouble Witches, Exception, etc.

The arcade system is the Linux-PC based hardware called Airframe. It has the 64-Bit CPU and games made using Game Maker Studio or Unity will need to be exported to HTML5, Linux or some other mentioned platform. So, I asked the team behind the game on Twitter about the CPU architecture as Game Maker Studio 2 came out that it wouldn’t support 32-Bit CPUs anymore or something and I got the answer saying the the CPU is 64-Bit/X64. This means that games made using Game Maker Studio 2 can also be ported to Airframe as well. I don’t know if Construct 2/3 games can be ported to that arcade system as well.

One interesting thing from the developers is that they made the live stream videos of various pure arcade features like the implementation of Arcade Operator Menu where you can adjust settings and perform specific tests, Coin Control System which tells you how many credits are as well as the Copyright Warning Screen for arcade games. I don’t know if that looks like a stupid idea to implement those features in a game made using Game Maker Studio/Construct but for Unity, there are ACTUALLY arcade games made with it. I’m not even joking about that like one of Aikatsu games for the arcades is actually made with that. Problem is, the lessons about implementing pure arcade game features are industrial level, not indie-level. Who’s going to teach me and others about that for Game Maker Studio then?

To get the game updated, the arcade operators make use of the USB stick or perhaps the wireless network connection to update the game to the newer version if available. Of course, for games made using Game Maker Studio, that may seem to be a problem when it comes to version update as if everything will be reset in the update although some features like external files for game settings, high score tables, will be imported if the game finds them after the update.

There are other arcade games made for the Airframe system as well but the information is scarce at the moment.

Sango Guardian Chaos Generation

The game may look like it’s been in development for few to several years before getting finalized sometime this year. At the time the game was in prototype phase, there are mistakes spotted like the flashing messages on top of the screen throughout the game for instance. Those messages were asynchronous in terms of the way they flash if you ask me and that’s not how things flow in fighting games nowadays for the arcades. The messages are supposed to change/flash every second at the same time no matter where you are in during the game.

The amount of characters isn’t quite large but the interface may remind you of various fighting games. The same may probably go for the announcer. The game uses a different game engine and in terms of presentation, it goes towards the Street Fighter IV route.

As the game is made in some Chinese-speaking country, expect things to be in native Chinese although the announcer is using English throughout the game similar to KOF MI series like from the way the characters’ names and the game title are being pronounced. Right now, I don’t know where the game is exactly made in.

For the arcade system, I don’t know the brand and the system specs although it is based on the Lenovo Thinkcentre computer system that powers this embedded arcade system. Not even the name of the hardware is revealed on the bootup screen that I don’t know it either. It uses Windows Embedded Standard 2009 just like the Ringedge series and Ringwide arcade systems. At least, I saw the video of the machine booting up in action and stuff like that but it might seem that the video from Mikado game center’s YouTube channel was about the game update. Apparently, the game was recently finalized and they mentioned things like Nesica X Live and All.NET P-Ras Multi along with Windows 10 when it comes to technical concerns. To upgrade the arcade machines to Windows 10 IOT through the forced Automatic OS Upgrade from Windows Embedded Standard 7 or 8 is asking for serious cussing and bashing from the arcade staffs. Not to mention the upgrades of the OS build-by-build. The only maintenances of the machines allowed are game-updates, necessary OS patches, driver updates, etc. This game on the other hand doesn’t have the player card feature thingy which is the feature you’ll see when you start the game. When starting the game while it’s online, you have the option to start it with or without the card, this is way before the Nesica X Live and All.NET P-Ras Multi services existed. The earlier generation cards would be like VF.NET cards, E-Amusement Passes, Nesys cards, etc.

There’s a chance that the arcade system this game is running on will have additional support for two more years before Windows Embedded Standard 2009 is out of life support. I guess that future updates will feature additional characters and stages but a guess like that doesn’t seem to be turned into a rumor if false.

For consumer system release, I can probably guess that the graphics will be like one-era behind to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One as games that use DirectX11 technologies can be on par with those consoles already.

Senko No Ronde 2

I don’t know if this is the sequel or not from what I saw of some earlier gameplay videos of the game in action. It seems that the game still looks like Senko No Ronde Duo from the look of the assets although the voice acting, HUD and Character Select screen are changed which are quite new as needed for the Playstation 4 and Steam releases. However, it doesn’t seem to be the same for the in-game graphics like they’re one era behind or something. Like what game is this, the remastered version of Senko No Ronde Duo? There must be new graphical assets or something along with new gameplay features.

The first Senko No Ronde already had mixed opinions from the critics due to how complex the gameplay is and especially for the amount of content the game may have and I don’t know if this upcoming reboot of Senko No Ronde Duo will do things better for the global release.

Strikers 1945 for Switch

Strikers 1945 II and III were ported to IOS and Android and I already showed the gameplay videos of myself playing Strikers 1945 III in Master difficulty. It was incredibly difficult and I even consumed some of the in-game currency for extra bombs to survive. Normally, you get three bomb-attacks to begin with but if you run out, you will have to pay in-game currency for extra ones unless you get additional bomb items from the enemies. Obviously, the gameplay videos of Strikers 1945 III from my YouTube channel were incredible to look at although my Android tablet is already on life-support with some hardware defects or whatnot.

The original Strikers 1945 for Nintendo Switch is another decent conversion from what I saw although it misses the transparent boxes in the Scramble screen and the sound effects are different than the arcade version.

Another game besides this released on Switch is Gunbarich, from Psikyo. It appears that the external company, Zerodiv, has the assets to various Psikyo arcade games and it seems that Gunbarich has nicer decoration of the HUD and wallpaper than Strikers 1945 on Switch that you can’t tell where the center portion of the game is in terms of layers. Obviously, the center layer is the arcade game layer, outside of it is where decoration takes place with new HUD and other information.

Raycrisis on IOS and Android

It had been years since Raystorm was released on IOS and Android and Raycrisis is the final addition to the series for mobile. Before the IOS and Android releases of Raycrisis, the mobile versions of Rayforce and Raystorm were updated again with widescreen support, bluetooth controller support and the arranged music for Stage 1 which may seem to be a strange and incomplete move for me. The same can go for Raycrisis in which one of the stages will have its track arranged although the original version is still there if you ask me.

Most of the gameplay videos of Raycrisis aim for the true ending so to find the ones with bad ending and good endings may be rare whether it’s the arcade version or the Playstation/PC version. The mobile version is based on the arcade version minus the 2-player support similar to other shmup games ported from arcades.

The future plan will be to buy the game for my Android tablet from Google Play Store as my Ipod Touch had its screen damaged even worse. Maybe I used it while it was being charged and no wonder it took up so much power than ever. However, I don’t know if Raycrisis is going to work well on my Android tablet as this is released this year but my guess is that it uses the same porting engine as Rayforce and Raystorm as indicated from the similar interface and walllpaper.

One thing to keep in mind is that the ending is different between the arcade and the Playstation/PC versions and the true ending leads to the beginning of Rayforce as Raycrisis is the prequel.

Miscellaneous

There might be plans to add something akin to Raycrisis’ Encroachment system in Project Conspieracy which has still been worked on but the balance was way too off so I discarded it. The idea of this feature might indicate on how dark the heroes’ kingdom’s karma was from the game’s start. The higher the value, the darker the karma was but at that time the feature was implemented, I had no plans to make the immediate transition thingy similar to what Raycrisis will do abruptly if the Encroachment reaches 100%. The Corruption Points indicated on how dark the kingdom’s karma was when they reached the high amount. The same corruption could go to the heroes as they were parts of that kingdom.

Nex Machina

From the creators of Resogun, Nex Machina uses the same voxel concept but the gameplay is akin of Smash TV and Robotron, the classic arcade games I have never played before. I might have seen review videos from Classic Game Room that have Robotron but not Smash TV although the concept may seem to be similar or something. The legendary game designer, Eugine Jarvis, had teamed up with Housemarque to work on the new arcade-style game.

There may be rumors about the arcade release in which Housemarque will have to team up with Raw Thrills and some of the rumors are in the form of the arcade cabinet concept. The game may feature Co-Op like always and the behavior seems to be better than the Local Co-Op in Resogun. The Online Co-Op in Resogun is already a better idea than Local Co-Op although Nex Machina can have both Local and Online Co-Ops just fine.

Like Resogun, the design is quite interesting. In Resogun, the surrounding areas caught in the blast get scattered away whether you boost, use Overdrive, get hit by the enemy or destroy the enemy. In Nex Machina, the same causes the area to produce the pixellated shockwave. The way the area produces the shockwave is that parts of the area get turned into cubes before returning back to normal. Even some of the different weapons you use cause the pixellated shockwave as well.

When destroying stuffs in Nex Machina, things get broken into voxels but unlike Resogun, they don’t produce glows and particles when destroyed. There may be projectiles in some stages that actually cause real explosions in Nex Machina but that’s pretty much that. When you lose a life, you are scattered into pieces with trails of glows. They cause particles when they collide with a wall or something. The same effect occurs when the boss is defeated. Unlike Resogun, what you’ll see after defeating the boss is a bunch of tiny cubes acting as the sea objects. In Resogun, after defeating the boss, the whole place is being blasted where the ship escapes.

My point is that there should be explosions when the machines in Nex Machina get destroyed but instead, the machines are taken for deranged toys. Also, the game may be difficult with trial and error type gameplay in which every time you lose a life, the current phase you’re in restarts.

Lastly, the soundtrack has a similar style to Resogun but it has three composers this time. Some of the songs already had given me the good and interesting impression. Not to mention that the game’s soundtrack is available on ITunes and I already paid for the main vocalized theme. Indeed, you can either buy one track, or the entire album in the ITunes music store.

Dangun Feveron for Playstation 4

After the release of Battle Garegga on Playstation 4 last year, M2 had additional games announced such as Dangun Feveron, Ketsui and Sorcer Striker. The necessity of releasing Ketsui on Playstation 4 is kind of high for me as the modern release of it on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 doesn’t seem to be quite enough as the Xbox series consoles were struggling in Japan and Xbox One took on a worse turn there. The Playstation 3 was slowly catching up like it’s a good thing although the sales of the Playstation 3 release were quite low compared to the Xbox 360 release. There were interesting momentum and reasons to buy the Xbox 360 as of that time like tons of arcade-style games release on that system with the Playstation 3 taking turns next with tons of fighting games released for it as originated from the arcades.

Another problem is that games like Battle Garegga and Sorcer Striker were not quite easy to get for the Sega Saturn although the console succeeded in Japan at the time. Not to mention that Dangun Feveron NEVER got a console port until the Playstation 4 release and it seems that the Playstation 4 has been getting tons of arcade-style games and especially for those originated from the arcades.

As part of M2 Shooting Trigger project, the Playstation 4 release will have the similar M2 gadget interface design although the skin surely looks better than the one from Battle Garegga. Additional game modes will enhance the gameplay even further like Battle Garegga as well as the additional remix soundtracks, one for a club-style remix and the other is a retro-style which brings you back to the 1980s-90s arcade games. Another interesting thing is that the neon glow on the interface lights up to the music as if you’re in the club. Not to mention that the M2-gadget interface isn’t affected by the game’s slowdown which is a smart programming from M2. It’s nearly 20 years ever since the game not having a console release.

Blazblue Central Fiction Ver 2.0

As announced from this year’s EVO, the update would have Jubei as the playable character in Version 2.0 onwards along with the new stage and new intro music. If my guess was right about the game’s trailer’s end part after the introduction of Jubei, that music turns out to be the new arcade opening of Blazblue Central Fiction. The new opening features characters that are not shown in the previous opening. Not to mention that the intro is redone as well and so is the title screen. Other changes include the different HUD along with the balancing changes.

As this has TWO arcade versions, there are things to take note of:

  • The Nesica X Live 2 version has online matches similar to Tekken 7 arcade version in addition to local network matches where machines running this game can be linked around the game center. Online matches connect the current machine to the machine from another video arcades.
  • The Nesica X Live 2 version has machine grouping similar to today’s modern Namco arcade games including Tekken 7.
  • Some of the modes are ABSENT in Nesica X Live 2 version.
  • You get to customize the system voice in Nesica X Live 2 version similar to the console versions of the game provided that you have the Nesica card and account.
  • The title screen will have the Nesica X Live 2 logo at the bottom right if the game is on Nesica X Live 2 service.
  • Machines can be linked locally regardless of which Nesica X Live service the game is running on.
  • When you lose the match, you have the option to retry or quit. However, retrying the match requires an additional credit and there’s no Character Select option. This applies to Nesica X Live 2 version unlike the original Nesica X Live version where the game goes back to whichever mode the winning player was in or the game goes straight to Game Over screen depending on the operator settings.
  • The network icon is smaller in Nesica X Live 2 version and the HUD message that displays player name/shop name changes every time during the match.

My point for fighting games in the arcades is that some of the Single Player game modes shouldn’t be interruptible if the cabinet is Single Player mode in which the machine would be connected to another machine for local network match. That can be a problem if you get interrupted on the local network in the middle of the Single Player mode at anytime. The training mode is fine and the best way to wait for some random opponent to pop up. At least in Street Fighter V, you have the option to turn on or off the random player encounter although the Arcade Mode is still absent to this day which may be a shame like it is one of the main modes that should be present in the game for consumer systems. So, I don’t know if there will be a way to get around the random encounter thing for Nesica X Live 2 fighting games in the arcades as you’re going to be interrupted even worse. Thankfully, the consumer system version may come in handy if you want to go for various Single Player modes.

For Nesica X Live 2 version, when you start the game, you have the option to go for Online Match or Local Network Match. If there’s a player in the encounter list, you can choose to deal with that or search for another player through List Refresh option. If there’s no one in the list, you can safely go for the Single Player Mode.