xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
I beat this game by accident!

...
Kind of.
See, I had never played a Kirby game so I was like "Okay what's a good one to grab?" and people told me Super Star. Kirby Super Star is a collection of six or so games plus a handful of minigames. The first one I played, "Spring Breeze", was maybe half an hour long tops. So, y'know. I figured I could just dabble a bit and keep going and maybe some of the others would be longer...

Well I beat them all in about a week. There is some really good stuff in here, it's like a short anthology series featuring the same character but constantly mixing up his abilities and what he can exactly do. Have a race! Do a Metroid! How's your reflexes? All things this game wants you to poke at.

I was impressed enough to buy the 20th Anniversary Collection that includes ...uh, Kirby Super Star, so I will PROBABLY play through this game again on the way to beating all six games plus minigame stuff in THAT one.

I guess I'm a fan now. Who knew I'd enjoy cute pink things that like eating physically impossible amounts and turning into destructive yet adorable forms?
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
So it turns out the sale on the roof of the department store is all base-building decorations and stuff. I do pick up a few things, like another plush Lapras for base-display purposes, but it wasn't worth the narrative break.

More importantly TEAM MAGMA'S SECRET BASE is located in a cave just next to the city. The grunts guarding the door tell me, left to right, that:

- Maxie is off stealing something. But the idea they'd tell me where he went is laughable.
- Their feet hurt.
- Maxie went to Mt. Pyre, just south of route 121. But the idea they'd tell me why he went there is laughable.

Awful lot of laughing going on around here, huh?
Let's keep the comedy rolling beneath this cut. )
Tune in next time for the thrilling answer to maybe a couple of those questions!
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Lately I've been making an effort to get out and walk every morning I can stand to. Not far, a half-mile around the block or whatever. (How big is a "block" supposed to be anyway?) This is for my health and heart and to offset the fact that I am normally an immobile lump.

Also it's because I want to play more Pokemon Go.

So I'm walking and happen by the little cafe down at the end of the block, which ALSO has a Pokemon gym in it. It's pretty busy for the hour (9 am Sunday? Maybe the hour isn't that weird). Lot of people talking about their babies and handling strollers, bunch of housewives chatting loudly about something to do with teenage sons. I'm not good with people but I want to check out what's at the gym, so I sit for a second on a bench nearby and pull my phone out of my pocket.

If I were better with people, maybe it wouldn't have registered, but I'm acutely aware of all activity around me due to an excess of middle school bullying. So I'm suddenly and intensely aware that while the Baby Cluster is carrying on about babies and baby and baby baby baby baby, the Housewife Cluster just went DEAD. SILENT. A glance in the reflective cafe frontglass shows that they're ALL looking my way and one of them has just faux-casually flipped her purse open.

I do not pull up Pokemon Go. I open Telegram and send a few "I am doing an inconspicuous boring thing!" messages to people on my contact list. I put the phone away and sit for a few moments more. Then I carefully get up and leave.

Behind me, when I dare peek, every one of those ladies has a phone out.

So I start to feel, like... okay. Maybe I did okay there. Maybe I just dodged a gym leadership duel I am ILL PREPARED FOR at my low level with Melinda Marlboro and her gang of thug moms.

Then I glance at my shadow and realize while I was sitting there, sweat and the breeze managed to tease my hair up into a giant Super Saiyen Level 9000 Fucking Anime Dork Dumbass hairstyle.

So maybe it was just that and the phone thing was a coincidence.

I don't know. I kind of want to hide under my desk in case Team ThugMom kicks my door down and steals my Jolteon.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Last time, we made fun of Team Magma.
Wait, that's every time.

THIS time the game's gonna take us down to Fortree City, where the grass is green, the leaves are green, everything is green and also brown because these people build their homes in trees.
Up we go. )
This was getting long-winded anyway.
xyzzysqrl: (Sqrlish RAGE)
Last time we beat up our father, learned to ride on the back of a fishcat, and inexplicably sidetracked to look at clothing of the ages. Then I took several hours on a sidetrip to level up Jigglypuff and evolve it to a Wigglytuff with Hyper Voice.

Also my copy of Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon arrived in the mail! I ordered this when I was halfway through Explorers of Sky and promptly got scammed by a dude in China, but happily Amazon's fulfillment policy is a real thing and I wound up with a copy of the game anyway.

You guys have NO IDEA how hard it was not to instantly fall into that. Like, I played just a bit to scout it out, and the urge to throw this playthrough aside and declare Magical Nintendo Christmas was INTENSE. I appear to still be complete Mystery Dungeon trash, even if this one being set in and around a Pokemon school for kid Pokemon makes me throttle the "SHIP IT" lever backward a touch.

Still, we're here and we're moving along with Omega Ruby. Let's sail off down route 118 and see what's out that way.
Whee, surfing! )
NEXT TIME: More gym shenanigans.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
We've now seen both of "May"/Lime's costumes for this game. The bandanna look she wanders around in normally and her costume outfit which the BF referred to as "looks like she's a special event vendor in an MMO who will sell you fancy cakes". I can't really refute that, but I can't refute the appeal of fancy cakes either.

Put them inside me.

Anyway, I was thinking we could use that as a branch point to explore some of the character art. This is gonna be a pure linkdump post, y'all can skip it if you want... but like the previous Bonus post this is stuff I just plain found interesting.
Come with me on a journey of clothing. )
xyzzysqrl: (Bubbles)
Last time on Omega Ruby we had a hot springs episode and learned a valuable lesson about not being your own grandpa. Also we fought Team Magma atop a volcano but mostly it was hot springs time.

Also Lime fights like her dad and Flannery knows this, which raises questions.

1. Do all the regional gym leaders just hang out and battle each other when they've got nothing else going on?
2. Did Flannery have to challenge her way up to the position of Fire Leader even though it's implied she inherited the gym itself from her grandad?
3. Can we have a cute spinoff that's like... Satoshi Tajiri's Gym Leader Babies?
4. Can we instead have a cute spinoff about being a gym leader's pokemon and just lazily hanging out in a single town having goofy low-key adventures and battling incoming trainers?

Exactly none of these frankly ridiculous questions will be answered in our next frankly ridiculous update.

A few questions will be raised though. )
Next time, we'll surf around some and gather stuff and then get back on that whole "plot" business. Please look forward to it.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Last time on Pokemon Omega Ruby we met Team Aqua, an Abba-inspired peppy eurodance group famed for songs like "Cartoon Heroes" ... Wait no I'm sorry this is a gang of weirdos cosplaying men/women of the sea who want to flood the planet. A very easy mistake to make.

Anyway they showed up to stop Team Magma and Brendan showed up to stop Team Magma and Lime showed up to stop Team Magma but somehow Team Magma didn't get stopped. Is it in fact possible that Team Magma is more competent than two teenagers and a group of Danish music pirates led by a community college swim instructor?
THE ANSWER AWAITS underneath the cut. )
NEXT TIME: ... Let's go home, shall we?
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Last time we walked around a shopping mall/apartment building and I discovered my pun game is nowhere near as clever as I thought it was. I briefly considered retiring in deepest shame to a far-off island and becoming a hermit, but y'know I'm already set up to blog about Pokemon on the internet so I guess I'll just keep rolling with that.
It's a good option. )
So next time, we might actually get up that mountain I've been talking up! STAY TUNED.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
When we last left our intrepid heroine, she had relentlessly mocked Team Magma (Did you know humans stand on the land? It's true!) and moved on to Mauville City.
It's a giant mall! )
See you next time!
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
It is almost impossible for me to overstate how suspicious I was of Kemono Friends at first, thanks to the current landscape of anime.

An anime with an all-girl cast airing late at night ("Otaku-o-clock") with obvious mysteries surrounding the landscape and identity of one of the primary characters, with nebulous monsters involved? And it's all sweet and innocent and gentle, to the point where critics were calling it "mind-sapping" or "intelligence-draining"? Yeah.

I was 99% sure this would be a cunning trap designed to lure in viewers and punch them in the face with "deconstructions" and "oh look everything you loved about this show was secretly evil and gross haha".

Kemono Friends never does that.

What looks sweet and gentle stays sweet and gentle through the whole thing. The mysteries are tied up well but just vaguely enough there's an opening for a season 2. All through the 12 episode run, it remains a Nice Show about cheerful anime-furry girls. Every one of them is a Friend. However, there's this new girl. She doesn't know what animal she is, but she's very good at solving problems. What kind of Friend could she be?

It is not perfect. The fact is, this is a tie-in show to a mobile phone game that was canceled before the show came out. They basically just handed some 3D rendering software to a VERY small animation studio and went "Whatever, do what you like."

Visually, this is ratty-looking. Vehicle wheels will forget to spin, Friends will skip along the top of the grass instead of walking on the ground, the action scenes are mostly just big jumps, characters "fly" like they're being click-dragged across a Windows desktop and one character (Plains Zebra Friend) in the background of a shot was so poorly rendered the fanart imageboard tag for her is "Savannah Striped Giant Slug".

So it doesn't look great and it's chirpily sugar-sweet, but... I feel like this show just has so much heart. Somebody cared, and that snowballed. Kemono Friends has a loving sense of humor, it treats its characters with respect. It knows what to leave unsaid. The big moments it has are predictable but treated without irony or a wink to the audience. It's earnest and I loved it.

It's still really clearly for kids (WHAT was this doing in a late-night time slot?!) but I enjoyed it as a weird furry adult, and I'm not alone. Kemono Friends was a smash Japanese hit, to the point where not only will there be a season 2, there will also be a new mobile phone game, one based on the anime this time.

It honestly warms my heart to see that happen. I look forward to season 2.

(If you're going to try it, please note episode 1 is maybe the weakest and reflects -all- the problems I mentioned. By episode 3 and 4, the series has hit its stride and if those do nothing, it's worth moving on.)
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
In the very early AM, when the sky is dark, a friend tosses me an egg. I tuck the egg carefully in position behind the plant-lizard, masked seed bulb, mushroom, fluffpuppy and green lumpy thing and run around in tight circles for a while to give it a start at hatching. Then I go to bed.

When I wake up, the power is out. It takes me another day to get this update finished.

Good morning, everyone. I'm playing Pokemon Omega Ruby, and it's time to Dewford Town. ... do Dew... Dodew... go forward to D... township of Dewforwarding...

We're going into Dewford Town okay. This pun was poorly thought out.
Just get in here. )
It is beautiful and heaven help me, I want to move in. Next time, we'll explore if that's an option. (I am guessing no.)
xyzzysqrl: (Challenger)
So! Remember when I said this:

"It is while doing this gym that Mint starts trying to evolve. I have JUST ENOUGH Pokemon knowledge to whap the B button a couple times and stop him. If I don't evolve him, he'll learn a cool move. I'll explain why in a different post, it's not just that I want him small and cute forever, I promise."

...in today's post? Well, we're at that different post now.
This is a sidebar, and you can skip it but I think it's interesting. )
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
When we left Lime, she was parked outside Rustboro City. In we go!
The adventure continues. )
With that it's back to zip across the sea to Dewford Town, which is where we'll pick up next time. Please look forward to it!
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Last time, we got things off and rolling and I was a bit surprised by the narrative structure of this particular game. By which I mean - so far there isn't much of one. By now in Pokemon Y we had been introduced to some distinct characters and given a heartwarming speech or two about free will from Professor Hug-Me.

Maybe we'll get a speech and/or a hug later. I've never played original Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald. I dunno any specifics about what's coming.

Onward. )
See you next time, as Lime and Mint challenge their first gym. Are they prepared? Ahahaha I have no idea.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Greetings, loved ones. As you may be aware I recently climbed into a bright yellow bucket and rode it down a deep dark pit into Pokemon Hell, which is where certain kinds of adults go when they are bad and another very different kind of adults go when they are on vacation.

I am the latter.

I figure... I'm back in the fandom hard. I installed the Collectable Card Game client on my PC and I've been muddling with that some against the AI. I've been glancing thoughtfully at the anime. I've even considered looking up some scans of Pokemon Special, AKA "That manga where everything is batshit insane".

Y'all have no idea how long I have spent looking up fanart of SPECIFIC SCENES in PMD: Explorers of Sky on like Pixiv or whatever and just letting my excess empathy splash down my face in the form of SOBBING AND WHIMPERING.

It's time for me to just go ahead, relax, and do another Pokemon playblog. Sorry guys. Pokemon Hell demands my sacrifice.

I always say I'm gonna keep these blogs short and then blurting out like the entire life history of random NPCs, but I really am gonna TRY to do a fairly low-effort cruise through my game of choice: Pokemon Omega Ruby. (SPOILER FROM THE FUTURE: I failed in the first entry, but maybe I'll shut up more as time goes on.)

Good friend of sqrls Alicia gifted me Pokemon Moon recently and I DO need to play through that (hopefully before Ultra Sun/Moon come out) but I haven't done Omega Ruby yet and it's been on the shelf long enough. (I hadn't even broken the plastic before now.)

If you're not familiar with it, Omega Ruby is the remake of "Pokemon Ruby", which was the start of Generation 3 of Pokemon. I have no strong feelings about generations. I love all the pokemon, even gloriously ridiculous ones like Honchkrow have a place in my heart.

That said, this one was made after the focus of my previous gameblog, Pokemon Y and so contains data for every little monster that was in THAT game. I could drop some Pokemon into Y via the Bank application, breed myself up a small army, drop the eggs to whoever I end up playing in OR and go through the game with a ridiculous team.

(Incidentally, remember I was surprised about 92 hours in PMD: Explorers? Try 130-ish hours in Pokemon Y. This series, guys, geez.)

Will I? I do not know. I'm really open to anything here, I'm just looking to have a good time. That's what Pokemon is for, isn't it? Still, a journey of a thousand scampering little creatures begins with a single step. Now that I've yammered for like a page and a half...
Let's get started. )
NOW IS THE BEGINNING OF A FANTASTIC JOURNEY -- I'm really looking forward to it. We'll see if I can keep my notes any shorter next time. Sorry, everybody!
xyzzysqrl: (Play with me.)
Oh where do I even start...

Explorers of Sky is another in the Mystery Dungeon series, so you can expect a nigh-fetishistic focus on exploring randomly generated dungeons populated with dangerous pokemon. Your character is a member of a guild of explorers, adventurers who sally into the unknown to discover new lands or chase down outlaws normal pokemon are too distressed or weak to deal with. As hybrid defenders of justice and mappers of the realm, you'll be shuttled around from dungeon to dungeon, recruiting new pokemon and collecting items to help you survive.

I chose to name my partner-to-be "Wattson", as he was a Shinx, an electric-type pokemon. Ahaha it is a joke. And then, running with it, I chose "Sqrllock" as my Eevee stand-in's name and we became Team Deduction.

By the end of the game I was treating these two like a married couple and the game was doing NOTHING to put me off the idea. Actual Sherlock shippers would be side-eyeing me like "Whoa there dial it back a couple ticks?" but NO I WILL NOT. Horrible plot things would happen and these two little fluffs would assure each other that they cared for one another and would never give up or surrender, never let a moment of doubt come between them. I mean, geez, normally I would be off drooling over other pokemon because I'm a goddamn furry but in this particular case no. Aside from one special guest star who stole my heart and a trio of charming explorers I was faithful to my chosen partner the whole way through the game.

Also, the Mystery Dungeon series is where you go to get punched in the heart by masters of the Emotional Heart-Punch Combat School of Creative Writing. If I wasn't breaking down in heaving great emotional sobs at some tragic twist of fate I was getting all teary-eyed over the Power of Friendship. There are lines in here I'll never forget, the context around them is too meaningful, too powerful.

"It's just not possible for either of you to be unwanted in this world."

I'm sorry, I broke like glass.

*ahem*
Now, all that said...

I spent -ninety two hours- on this game.

I don't DO THAT.

Like, unless it's an MMO or something, I am usually OUT by hour 30 or 40. So I was SUCKED IN. You know why I stopped playing it, after 92 hours? Because I have ordered the sequel, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, and I want to play THAT without suffering burnout. I am so hungry for this game I bought a second game to keep gorging myself on.

Maybe it's a sign that I am a jumbo-sized baby person, I don't know. What I do know is I desperately needed this game. I needed it to exist and I needed to play it.

(Also, now that I've read her post, Celine wrote something very similar to what I did when SHE finished it. Makes sense since we talked the HELL out of this game on IM. Like, hours and hours of picky scene-by-scene analysis. If I have become trashy fandom sludge it is her fault.)

This game reignited my Pokemon spirit. Expect to see a lot more Pokemon for a while -- I am seriously considering an Omega Ruby gameblog.
xyzzysqrl: (RUN AWAY)
One of the things I wanted to do in the upcoming days was another Nancy Drew playblog, however the heat and light and general fatigue has been wiping me out lately. I don't want to run the risk of leaving another one unfinished, so I'm going to postpone that a while.

Still, the reason I wanted to post a playblog at all was to celebrate the birthday of Mildred Wirt Benson, which is on the 11th of July. The original Drew ghostwriter under the name Carolyn Keene, she is responsible for defining much of what the character was and would become: Not afraid to stand up to adults, a bold truthseeker and a curious girl who was allowed to like "girl things", but without the passive nature of some of the female heroes at the time. (Remember, this was around when the original Wizard of Oz film had just been released.)

This article on her death goes into far more detail, and amusingly enough makes me think that perhaps NOT posting a playblog is the right choice after all. As far as it goes, Ms. Benson was rather sick of Nancy by the end of her life.

I don't think I'll ever be, though.
xyzzysqrl: (Sqrl Barbarian)
Or as I played it, "Wonder Girl". Changes the title screen and everything. A nice touch.

So here's what I DIDN'T like about Dragon's Trap:

A: The challenge rooms were really very challenging.
B: The momentum from running and jumping was still a bit slippery.
C: Maybe the level design is a little biased towards flat planes.

That's it. The rest was gold.

So you're already starting off with a great game: 1989's "Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap" for the Sega Master System. Linear stages but lots of reasons to revisit them and grab collectables, with an exploration-focused hub structure and several different cursed forms to play as: Dragon, Mouse, Piranha, Lion, Hawk. Each with its own talents, lots of collectible weapons, hidden secrets, okay that's all in the original game.

Then you paint over it with absolutely gorgeous drawn backgrounds and character sprites and play wonderful beautiful mixes of the level music over all that. There's a button that toggles between updated and original graphics, and I kept switching back to the original to go "But... how did this become THAT?" and then I'd sway back to the updated visuals and just... let it WASH over me.

I want to speak objectively about this, but I can't. This game was part of my childhood. I got a Master System and a crate of games (bought from the local rental store when they went out of business) well after I had a Super Nintendo. I didn't have a lot of inherent bias at the time -- a game's a game, right? -- but I quickly learned that a lot of that crate was kinda crap.

Wonder Boy 3 wasn't. It was special and fun and weird and silly. The remake is all of those things, maybe moreso. It fills in the blanks the way my imagination USED to, by showing a big world surrounding the events of the game. Instead of a simple blue horizon there's deserts and forests, mountains and beaches. It reminded me a little of why I started loving video games in the first place and why I still love the medium today.

Those challenge rooms will probably make my blood pressure skyrocket though, I'm not kidding. They're hard.

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