Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Guns Girl Z

Not seeing much love out there for this incredibly well done anime brawler, so hoping to remedy that. It's free to play and available on iOS, Android, and PC (via Bluestack.)

Download Here: http://www.4inch.com/act1/

"Guns Girl Z" is a side-scrolling gun-based anime beat-em-up. You walk from left to right, shooting or slashing at the zombie girls and eventually killing the boss. You collect new equipment, money, and experience points, which you use to make yourself stronger. There's guilds, friends, crafting, and fully supported chat.

- Crisp, colorful graphics
- Great run-and-gun gameplay
- Best on-screen-gamepad controls I've ever used
- Android/iOS/Bluestack support, as well as cross-device play
- Anime design, all girl cast
- JPN/CHN Voices and decent OST

- Once you get far in the game, it's a huge grindfest
- Anime design, all girl cast
- F2P via a gashapon... you pay a lot of money and get a random item.
- Engrish everywhere. Really bad instructions, lots of unexplained features, and nonsense story dialogue.

All in all, it's a fun game, especially if you grew up playing arcade beat-em-ups. It's free and I think you can definitely get some enjoyment out of it, even if you only do a few levels before the grind-wall starts to bother you. I think it plays on a tablet best.

I'm including some tips, since the game does a poor job of setting you off in the right direction. Hope it's useful, please add any tips you can. And feel free to copy this text verbatim to other forums and stuff... you don't even need to give me credit. Just want to see more love for this game.

Also, if you enjoy the game, please 'Like' the facebook page. They'll hand out some free items if it gets enough likes. Thanks!

Official US Facebook Page for news: https://www.facebook.com/ggzUS


- Keep the starter fifle Flintlock. It's a really good weapon that can last you until end-game. If you get rid of it, it will be difficult to get another copy.
- Consider getting the rare FN2000R drop from Stage 1-3. It's an auto-rifle that levels up easily to 5*. It can last you until at least Stage 10.
- Consider getting the rare Supercond Sniper Rifle drop from Stage 2-5. It levels easily to 5* and is a great gun.
- 'Deathbreath, Ha' from 4-6 is a great farmable skill that increases Critical Hit damage. 'Deathbreath, Shun' is another great farmable skill that increases Critical Hit rate. These skills go very well with FN2000R.
- SupplyMultiply is a good farmable skill that increases the health and ammo you receive from drops. QuickEscape is another good farmable skill.
- The best stage drop costumes is the 5* Secret Service Uniform in stage 5-5
- Melee weapons seem nice in the beginning as they don't require ammo, but they quickly become ineffective because the enemies get too much life.
- Keep replaying Stage 4-9 to most efficiently grind up to Level 50
- Make sure to play treasure box events each week and go as far as you can. They're cheap, short, and you get a lot of EXP
- Use material/meow events to collect any materials you need for enhancing or refining
- The item drop rate doesn't increase in hard mode, so farming easy mode is fine. Hard mode waves are spawned by a set timer.
- Find friends with auto-healing or loot-range powers. Nice passive skills can be much more useful than a high level buddy.
- Summoning a buddy can be used sacrificially against the kamikaze zombies.
- Using the gacha is tempting, but increasing slots might be a better option if you're not intending to spend money. The more slots you have, the easier and quicker it is create lots of hamsters and enhance your equipment. I ended up getting a lot more enjoyment by increasing slots (maybe between 80-100) than hoping for good gacha drops. The stage drop gear will take you deep into the game
- Stage 11 is the easiest place to grind King Meows, but good luck getting there


This is the part of the game that vastly needs more in-game explanation. The basic idea of upgrading is simple: push in items and level up your gear, then upgrade your gear by collecting a specific list of materials. So, basically, do a ton of grinding and inventory management. However, if you know the following, you can save yourself a lot of grinding:

1. The number of stars is the "rarity" of the item. You can only refine an item until all the stars are filled in. Higher rarity items can level up to better stats, but cost more points to equip. When you refine an item, it will go back down to level 1.
2. The higher level the equipment, the more gold it costs for any enhancement
3. Although you'll get less experience in the end, it's much cheaper to combine your low level items before enhancing your high level item with them.
4. If you use the same type of equipment (clothing/weapon/skill), you'll get more experience (1.5x) from an enhancement
4. For Meows: Silver are for Weapons, Gold are for Skills, and Diamond are for Clothing
5. Hamsters can be forged to give a ton of experience. Like the meows, different types are meant for different equipment
6. The easiest way of collecting forging items is to wait for an event day, but this requires a lot of free storage slots
7. In order to refine an item, you must have a free inventory slot and it MUST NOT be currently equipped in any of your set ups
8. If an item has a '+X' attribute and you use it to enhance another item of the same type, the entire '+X' will be inherited

Lastly, the hamster is a great way to gain experience, but isn't really explained in game.

The trick is, you need to upgrade the hamster to MAX level and then refine it before it's worthwhile. It takes 2600exp to upgrade a hamster, which is roughly 2 tiny meows of any type. Then it takes 2 tiny meows of the hamster's type plus an upgrade item (from Thursday event) to forge the item. After that, you'll get a whopping 45000 exp from a hamster, which is great.

Getting hamsters, meows, and upgrade items are best done through Events. But if you rely on events, you'll probably need more storage because you can only collect one kind of thing in an event.

King Meows (75000 exp) can be dropped pretty reliably starting around Level 11.


Treasure: You have a time limit to beat waves of enemies, it resets every week. You'll be able to progress further as you get stronger. Great for quick experience and sometimes drops.

Emergency: At 12:30 and 6:30, a special stage opens for an hour where you can collect a certain kind of meow/hamster. Great for enhancing.

Weekday: Each day, you can play a few stages that will drop a certain material forging type. Great for forging.

Boss: Beat a boss character for special items. You'll need to be pretty high level for this. The boss rotates periodically.

Tower: Play in the tower without needing to spend stamina. Collect points until you lose. You get no experience and very little gold, the only point to this mode (besides for fun) is to get a few achievements.


Login every day for a login bonus item. You can get a lot of free crystals this way. The Login Bonus list changes every month, so you start from the first square every month.


Crystals are the currency in this game. They're pretty expensive to buy with real money, but you can get a lot of free crystals. Do the daily logins. Check for codes on the facebook page. You also get crystals for achievements, for beating stages with crystal icons, and for finishing all stages in a level on HARD. This game is pretty generous with crystals.

There's a thing called an MPASS, which is a great deal if you want to spend real money. You get 300 crystals right off the bat, then you get an additional 60 crystals each day (via message) for the next 30 days. This is 2100 crystals total, including the original 300 crystals. If you buy multiple MPASSes, you'll get the 300 crystals immediately, but the extra days are added to the end of your period. So if you buy two MPASSes, then you'll get 600 crystals and 60 crystals a day for the next 60 days. You will not get 120 crystals a day.


Lucky: 180 FP (friend points from people using your character) - You can only get items you could grind from stages. There are some 5* equipment and meows that are worthwhile.
Prime: 98 crystals - guaranteed 2* and higher.
Gold: 280 crystals - guaranteed 3* and higher.

Your 11th Gold Gacha pull is guaranteed to be 5*
Your 25th Gold Gacha pull is guaranteed to be 6*

Prime/Gold Gacha is the only way to obtain alternate characters. Alternate characters are basically skin/voice swaps... they have very, very minor benefits. Raiden gives you +100HP and Bronya gives you +5 weight limit.


Join a guild and contribute to the guild's level. A guild gains experience based on how much stamina was used by its members to successfully complete stages. You don't contribute points if you don't beat the stage. So if you want to contribute as much as possible, burn stamina on event stages, but make sure you beat the stage.

Once a day, guild members can collect the guild bonus. The guild bonus varies depending on the guild's level, but it's some amount of stamina.


You can add buddies, which you can use during a stage. You gain any passive effects they have (skills equipped or passive costume skills) during that stage. You can also use their character for a short period of time, so it's useful to have really strong buddies. You have to wait about an hour before you can reuse a buddy. When someone uses your character, you get FP, which can be used in the Lucky Gacha.


You get 50 crystals for each of the first six people to use your invitation code. You get Hatsune's Leek (a melee weapon that can change non-elite zombies into an Alice that only drops gold) after six people. From then on, you get nothing. Honestly, the Hatsune's Leek is not a very good weapon, but the crystals are worthwhile.


Official US Facebook Page for news: https://www.facebook.com/ggzUS
Official Forums: http://asia.4inch.com/bbs/forum.php?gid=45
List of all equipment: http://ggz.wikia.com/wiki/Equipdex_All
Character Growth: http://ggz.wikia.com/wiki/Character_Growth

Friday, August 1, 2014

Artists I Follow

So, Comic Con just finished up and it motivated me to revisit and share the list of artists I follow. The list isn't really in any particular order, they're all pretty great. Protip: For the tumblr links, add a "/archive" to any url for a nice, quick overview.

Alina Chauhttp://alinachau.tumblr.com/
Victoria Yinghttp://victoriaying.tumblr.com/
Zac Gormanhttp://zacgorman.com/
Pascal Campionhttp://www.pascalcampion.com/sketch-of-the-day/
Anthony Holdenhttp://anthonyholden.tumblr.com/
Genevieve Tsaihttp://genevievetsai.tumblr.com/
Mingjue Helen Chenhttp://jigokuen.tumblr.com/
Alex Ahadhttp://o-8.tumblr.com/
Joey Chouhttp://joeyart.tumblr.com/
Jen Wanghttp://jenwang.net/
Cynthia L (Koyamori)http://maruti-bitamin.tumblr.com/

Anthony Andreshttp://anthonyandres.blogspot.com/
Bill Washingtonhttp://billwash.blogspot.com/
Raymond Griegohttp://raymondgriego.blogspot.com/
Roberta Tamhttp://robertawtam.blogspot.com/
Max Barrowhttp://maxbarrowart.tumblr.com/
Ben Setohttp://benseto.carbonmade.com/
Sean Galloway (Cheeks)http://cheeks-74.tumblr.com/
Luigi Lucarellihttp://loaduniverse.blogspot.com/
Pakie Seunghttp://pakieseung.blogspot.com/

Cory Loftishttp://coryloftis.tumblr.com/
Martin Hsuhttp://instagram.com/martinhsuart
Bruce Timmhttp://fuckyeahbrucetimm.tumblr.com/
Elsa Changhttp://elasmosaurus.tumblr.com/
Rebecca Sugarhttp://rebeccasugar.tumblr.com/
Mariel Cartwright (Kinuko)http://kinucakes.tumblr.com/
J Scott Campbellhttp://j-scott-campbell.deviantart.com/gallery/
Jeffrey 'CHAMBA' Cruzhttp://artbychamba.tumblr.com/
Teekatas Suwannakruahttp://www.raindropmemory.com/
Mecha Fetushttp://visublog.mechafetus.com/

Arnold Tsanghttp://arnistotle.deviantart.com/
Paul Robertsonhttp://probertson.tumblr.com/archive
David Davishttp://deighvid.tumblr.com/tagged/my-stuff
Tyson Murphyhttp://tysonmurphy.tumblr.com/
Ry Spirithttp://ry-spirit.tumblr.com/
Mike Maihackhttp://mikemaihack.tumblr.com/
Mike Vasquezhttp://mikegoesgeek.deviantart.com/gallery/
Bryan Lee O'Malleyhttp://radiomaru.tumblr.com/
Gigi Digihttp://gigidigi.tumblr.com/

Johane Matte (Avatar)http://rufftoon.tumblr.com/
Qing Han (Night Light)http://qinni.tumblr.com/
Katie J Ricehttp://katiejrice.tumblr.com/
Eunjung June Kimhttp://hediun.blogspot.com/
Pando Sketchhttp://pandosketch.tumblr.com/
Sarah Mensingahttp://sarahmensinga.blogspot.com/
Chris Sandershttp://www.chrissandersart.com/blog/
Kurko Boltsihttp://kurkoboltsi.tumblr.com/tagged/my-stuff

Sakimi Chan (Gnd Disney)http://sakimichan.deviantart.com/gallery/
Nina Matsumoto (Spacecoyote)http://space-coyote.tumblr.com/ http://spacecoyote.deviantart.com/gallery/
Naiiiade (Tokaido)http://naiiiade.blogspot.com/
Ben Balistrerihttp://benbalistreri.blogspot.com/
Brittney Leehttp://britsketch.blogspot.com/
Chapter 56http://chapter-56.blogspot.com/
Cooked Arthttp://cookedart.blogspot.com/
Ryan Langhttp://ryanlangdraws.blogspot.com/
Nate Wragghttp://n8wragg.blogspot.com/
Bill Schwabhttp://billschwabdesign.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Laberishttp://stephsketches.blogspot.com/
Nathan Fowkeshttp://nathanfowkes.blogspot.com/
Erin Huntinghttp://erinhuntingart.blogspot.com/
Miranda Yeohttp://snarkies.tumblr.com/
Chaichan Artwichaihttp://tinsart.tumblr.com/
Tam Nguyenhttp://timtam13.deviantart.com/gallery/
Omar Doganhttp://omar-dogan.tumblr.com/
Tam Nguyenhttp://timtam13.deviantart.com/gallery/
Joe Vrienshttp://joevriens.blogspot.com/
Bobby Chiuhttps://plus.google.com/106306945062511966344/posts

Kim Min Ji (Little Prince)http://www.ki204.com/main.htm
Ein Leehttp://einlee.deviantart.com/gallery/
Abyss Wolf (Pixel Art)http://abysswolf.deviantart.com/gallery/
Cowbell Tiarahttp://www003.upp.so-net.ne.jp/cowbell/


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Half Minute Hero Interviews

So... as you may have heard...

Awesome, right?  Make sure to buy it!  It's on Steam!

As I'm writing this, there's less than a day left until release.  To help hype up, here are all the Half Minute Hero Interviews I've found!  There's a lot of juicy information here...

Famitsu Interview on HMH1:

Kenichiro Takaki Interview on HMH1:

Another Kenichiro Takaki Interview on HMH1:

Kenichiro Takaki Interview on HMH1 XBLA Port:

Another Kenichiro Takaki Interview on HMH1 XBLA Port: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/128051/HalfMinute_Heros_Kenichiro_Takaki_On_Retro_Graphics_XBLA_Experiments.php

Kenichiro Takaki on HMH2 (Part 1):

Kenichiro Takaki on HMH2 (Part 2):

Interview with HMH2 Composers:

Esteban Salazar Interview on HMH2 Localization:

And... if you're interested... a link to my Half Minute Hero Tumblr page:

Friday, January 17, 2014

100 Turn Hero Mini Guide

100 Turn Hero is the latest game by Kotaro Yoshida and a spiritual sister to Half Minute Hero.  

This one is Japanese language only.  Although it's playable without knowing Japanese, it requires a lot more patience than his other games, plus there's a fair amount of dialogue you'll be missing out on.  But even without knowing Japanese, it's pretty fun.  It's not free (about a dollar) and it also features in-app purchases (although they're totally not necessary.)  The in-app purchase are for jewels to level up your weapons, but you can quickly get the same amount of jewels through playing stages.

You play as Hero Fundel, who is on a quest to save the world with the ninja Shadow Maru.  You're on a different island full of visible monsters each stage and need to kill the highlighted boss to win.  You have free movement, you level up by killing monsters, and the monsters don't move or attack... but you can only attack a maximum of 100 times before the stage ends.  You bring three weapons with you and switch between them at will.  You'll want to use multiple weapons not only because of their different skills (ex. strong against water monsters or strong against land monsters), but because the weapons hit a different pattern around you.  When you beat a stage, you get jewels and, depending on the number of turns it took you to beat the stage, another weapon.  You can use jewels to upgrade your weapon.  Choosing an efficient path through the stage is important, this game gives you plenty of aha moments that let you shave a lot of turns.

Honestly, I was hoping for more out of this game.  The concept is interesting, but the game doesn't really do as much with it as I had hoped.  The strategy of the game is 10% figuring the right order to kill monsters in and 90% about bringing the right weapons.  Bringing the right weapons requires a fair amount of grinding, which I dislike.  I think the main reason for my disappointment was that I was hoping the game would be more like Half Minute Hero, which attempted to be a JRPG.  I had hoped there'd be more to a stage than just killing monsters.  The stages in 100 Turn Hero could have had multiple paths through it... quests to complete that give you shortcuts to the boss, searching for secrets in a stage, or party members to recruit.  I think it would have be a perfect touch screen based Half Minute Hero, but instead it's much smaller in ambition.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the game and it's definitely worth a dollar.  I hope ritterz decides to localize this game.  But I would have rather paid for a five dollar game with more charm and surprises.

To play without knowing Japanese isn't impossible, you'll just need to rely on trial and error.  I've added descriptions of some of the various menus.  These descriptions will help keep you from wasting your jewels.  Hopefully this helps with the less obvious parts of navigating the game.

Lastly, I thought I'd go over some tips.

Always visit all the buildings in a stage.  You'll often get gold you can spend at the shops.  You buy food at the shops in exchange for stat increases that will last for the remainder of the stage.  You can increase Attack, Charge, Guard Shave, Range, or Everything.  Each type of food corresponds to one of those increases.

At the end of each stage, your remaining Gold is converted into Jewels you keep.  Quest 14 is really nice for grinding money, you just need a weapon that hits the boss over the water.  That way, you bypass needing to kill the strong guys.  You can easily end the stage with 300 Gold, giving you 100 Jewels.

When fighting a Boss, the critical and guard shave stats are much more important than your attack or level.  It's common to do 1 damage normally against the boss, then have a 20 or 40 damage critical hit.

Most of the "strategy" of this game is bringing the right weapons into battle.  Like in Gun Spirits, weapons can have skills.  They're the orange text on the upgrade screen.  Most are obvious (EXP/Attack/Guard/Charge/Gold increase), but the following require a little special mention:

These stats significantly increase your damage against that type of monster and are the key to progressing through the game without spending money.

Hopefully these tips help you enjoy the game.  So, have fun~  And here's hoping to more Kotaro Yoshida localizations!

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