xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
My, RPGMaker really is full of things.

A while back, when I played Last Dream, I posted on Twitter:

"After playing Last Dream, Steam is PUSHING RPGmaker games at me.
"Ara Fell"
"Sydney's World"
"Alicemare"
"Final Fantasy XIII"
"Evil Maze"..."

It was A: A joke about the sheer plethora of RPG Maker games on Steam's banners once it scents you're receptive to the genre, and B: A bit of smartassery at FF13. However, Ara Fell's game dev team REPLIED TO MY DUMB TWEET and oh my god that was a jolt. It was basically just a "Enjoy it if you try it!" but it was enough to guilt me into purchasing the game.

Because I'm a giant weenie, that's why.

Anyway Ara Fell has like a dozen great points and a small handful of bad points. In a world where for a while it was Elves VS. Vampires until humans showed up, our heroine Lita just wants to explore and become an award-winning archer. A chance encounter with some magical jewelry means she's forced into the position of saving the world...

...and man it's kind of weird when your RPG PARTY is so fed up and done with their own quest? Like, midway through the game the entire party gets real grumpy at YET ANOTHER midboss popping up in front of them and just starts chewing it out. That's okay though. The battle system is pretty briskly paced and if you hate it, hey, there's a "Story Mode" option that just lets you throw 9999 until everything's dead and you can get back to the plot. Around Chapter 4 of 6 I turned that on because let's face it, I wasn't proving anything to anyone.

Game still took me around 18 hours. Would've been over 20 without the I Win button.

Anyway, the writing's a little... quirky. The game's also beautiful, with vivid colors and non-static life-filled screens as you explore... except sometimes it's so damn busy and energetic that it wears on the eyes. Or worse, you can't quite make out whether what you're pushing at isn't a valid route or if there's just a stick in the way, buried under shadows and flower petals blowing in the breeze.

Ara Fell isn't badly written, isn't unfun to play, and isn't what you're likely to think of when you think 'RPG Maker', but it DOES have some quirks that show its engine. Your quest log and the crafting system are entirely kept as items in your inventory, for example. I could tell that was a compromise from something. If I had to be honest, I'd say that certain aspects of the plot are a little... predictable, too. The quality of the character writing pushes it through though.

This was worth picking up, and it's a good reminder: Be careful what you say on Twitter. You never know who's watching.
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Going into Elder Scrolls Online I basically wanted one thing: a constantly-updated open-world game I could dick around in. It could've been Guild Wars 2, if I was still into that game. It could've been some other MMO. Hell, it could've been Warframe, even though I still have absolutely zero understanding of how to effectively play Warframe.

I had ESO around in Gold form from a sale, though, so it was ESO I popped on my PC.

With the BF interested in the game as well, I'm relieved that it's serving the secondary purpose of "Being a fairly solid two-player Elder Scrolls game". We've been romping around doing quests that are basically as well-written dialogue-wise as a servicable quest from Skyrim or Oblivion.

I mean, not like those are hugely high standards, but I've always liked the writing in both games and I like it here too. We decided to take a break from the main faction quest line of "Relentless Elf Politics" and head up to Wrothgar, home of the Orcs, to get involved in... uh, Relentless Orc Politics. At least orc politics are usually solved by someone hitting someone else, so y'know. Catharsis.

So that was the main quest, but we also romped up and down the snowy mountains and rugged shattered landscape of Wrothgar doing sidequests. We discovered the truth behind a bit of lore some people have been wondering about, and learned that the best techniques really are passed down by the survivors. We helped a Khajiit ("Cat Person") raised as an orc get in touch with his feline heritage. We freed people from jail and discovered museum pieces and found creepy clockwork reanimations.

We got to read a lot of Investigator Vale novels, too. At least the ends of them, because they're not putting entire novels in the game, just a few pages. Investigator Vale is a private detective whose cases seem to involve a lot of Holmesian / Miss Marple deduction and also a LOT of sleeping with people. Like, the archetype Investigator Vale setup seems to be that she stumbles out of a tryst, pauses long enough to explain the crime and then goes back to finding someone to sleep with.

I'm not kidding. Have a look at "The Locked Room Murder" or "Fowl Play". Investigator Vale is my idol and I would buy every one of her books.

Wrothgar being its own little standalone DLC area, we were finished with it pretty briskly. That said, the royal palace is of course a very profitable place to creep around and steal knick-knacks from. We also didn't really touch any of the 'group' content. The public dungeons we could duo through, but world bosses? Hell no. Those kick our ass.

For the most part, though, I feel like we just completed a small Elder Scrolls game in two-player mode and that was great fun. There's still tons more content left over, too, with a whole "Clockwork City" module releasing soon. Expect to hear more about this game later.
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So this was 12 episodes of a good series with a great big "Um." hanging over the end of it.

The basic premise is this: The Hero and his brave companions have tracked the Demon King down to her lair. He's level 99 and has great equipment. It's time for the final showdown. For stupid hero reasons, he enters the castle alone. She appears before him and makes him an offer...

...what? No, not "rule half the world with me". What kind of dumbass takes THAT offer?

She offers him stability. Affection. A world where hunger and disease are cured, where there is no war with the demons. She offers him a plan not to conquer the world in a bloody overthrow, not to hypnotize the population with magic, but to put in hard work and use economic overhaul and the introduction of concepts like "crop rotation" to make life better. All he has to do is take her hand.

And he says yes.

At its core, this is a series about spreading knowledge and taking a realistic look at JRPG tropes. WHY does the Church want a war with the demons? What kind of economy centers on selling arms to four super-strong people out of a whole world? Where do those crops and currencies come from? For 12 episodes this is a really good show, building up to an overhaul of the world and --

-- then it just kind of stops, and the end credits roll over a breast joke.

uh.

The BF and I went straight to Wikipedia to see if, like... was there another half of the series somewhere? Was there something we missed? Maybe the novels got translated?

No it just kind of stops dead.

...

What the crap, man.

So... this was a GREAT SHOW which at its core was about making a troubled world a better, happier, safer place with the twin powers of compassion and economics but ... don't watch it if you're not willing to sit down and fanfic yourself a better ending afterward.
xyzzysqrl: (Hot blooded with a sense of justice!)
I dreamt that I'd somehow come into owning a Sega Saturn game called "Mister Vice President!!", terribly obscure and only released in Japan because of course it was.

The game started with a lengthy opening movie explaining the US political system as of 1998, then dropped you into a visual novel. You got to pick a character portrait, gender, and favorite color. Then you got a short quiz on your stances on various issues, and it dropped you into campaigning. This was mostly me pushing random options and squinting at GameFAQs because I don't read Japanese.

Eventually, after a rousing speech (probably, lots of cheering) your character is walking back to his apartment when a cry rings out. Rubber-suit monsters are swarming the streets, and they're chasing down the voters from the rally.

Cue CGI transformation sequence. Secretly, you're a spandex-clad hero of justice and it's time for the side-scrolling beat-em-up level as you punch monsters in half and rescue people from the flames.

It isn't a long game and ends with your character confronting the president on a burning space station headed towards atmosphere as he reveals he is the TRUE EVIL behind the attacks etc etc RIDER KICK YOUR ASS INTO THE MILKY WAY etc stop the station with the help of the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt good ending.

On waking up, I just have the disoriented feelings of....

A: "I'd play it."
B: "What, Metal Wolf Chaos wasn't enough for me?"
C: "I wish."
and D: "Man that ending was kind of a rip-off of Burning Rangers wasn't it."

In conclusion: I miss the Sega Saturn.
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Lani Minella as the main character doing a beautifully terrible English accent and sounding like Wancy Shmoo instead of Nancy Drew.

A puzzle involving a sick monk where you blend up poppy juice, mandrake and valeria leaves and give them to him as a "healing potion". ("He's sleeping soundly now." No shit he's probably talking to God in his sleep if we didn't KILL HIM with that mix.)

Characters that animate by distorting their heads upsettingly to "talk" and slide across the screen in static poses to "walk".

Michael, the "Evil Time Traveler" you chase for 90% of the game, sounding like a text-to-speech set to "American Man, White, Midwest". Have a listen.

SUDDENLY, MERLIN!

Cliffhanger for a sequel, of course.

I love hidden object games, I honestly do.
xyzzysqrl: (Play with me.)
The WOOF and SQRL are discussing the old edutainment game The Oregon Trail, for reason that have become somewhat obscured at this time:

WOOF: "...What always got me was that you'd carry 20 pounds of meat back to the wagon and then LEAVE the rest because it was too heavy, and I was like... *gesture at wagon* SO WHAT IS THAT FOR?"

SQRL: "Oh my god, no, but it would be the road trip from HELL don't you understand? Okay imagine you have a station wagon, and you have six people crammed in it, right? And then you add just a GIANT MOUND of 200 loose pounds of unrefrigerated roast beef. Just crammed in the back, between the passengers. And every couple hours, your father stops the car and gets out and comes back with MORE BEEF."

WOOF: "Here, Timmy, you can fit this bear carcass on your lap, right?"

SQRL: "It would be a ROLLING NIGHTMARE."

WOOF: "And they eat straight from the meat pile for three meals a day. No wonder they get dysentery so damn easily. ... This would be a great Chevy Chase/National Lampoon Vacation movie."
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Well, this adds in copy abilities, so it finally feels like a recognizable Kirby game! Unfortunately, there are a few issues here and there. As much as I love the super-sprite-heavy powers like Spark and Fire, they cause these waves of massive slowdown on the NES. Which... I actually really don't mind. I like slowdown.

The problem is that when there is sprite-spam-slowdown the buttons often become unresponsive... so I end up pushing jump and not-jumping, or hitting sword-swing and not-swording. Not-swording in the face of an enemy leans to ouch and die, therefore you want to sword harder. The thing is, once you've not-sworded and ouched, you cannot sword anymore at ALL because your sword is in the form of a star that is rapidly escaping to the other side of the screen and you have to abandon all priorities and chase it down so you can sword again.

It may not be a sword, even! It could be a beam. You see how this can ripple out of control!

ANYWAY uhm aside from that it's good. It's typical Kirby, you've got a buncha levels and there's a Surprise at the end, and the last boss makes a noise like a creepypasta when you kill him, so you know it's a good time.

I enjoyed this. Beat it last night, writing this while half-asleep and waking up.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
This was an interesting one. A six-hour-long Indonesian JRPG...

(...it's a genre, not a certificate of origin and I will bite you if you challenge me on this...)

...that in spite of the fantasy setting ended up reminding me of Macross more than anything else. Blue giants from beyond the world's end are marching on your fantasy kingdom. The realm gears for war. Are you a bad enough dude/lady to stop the blue giants?

No. You are a squire. You're not the big heroes, you're the other guys. As such a lot of the game is watching more important characters get up to antics while you work on the infrastructure and run errands. It was interestingly low-key.

You pick one of six characters to view the storyline from, and I'm PRETTY sure you're supposed to replay with other characters to see the plot beats THEY get. I played through once with my chosen character, then played through the prologue of each other character and saw some real eye-raising stuff that doesn't change the plot exactly but does make me intrigued by their hidden depths.

It's sort of tempting to just play through as each and every character, as well as the "Ravager" DLC that acts as a prequel to the game's events. Maybe I'll do that later, before the sequel comes out.

Incidentally, this is an "episode one of three" game. Your choices carry over, bluh bluh etc. No idea how that'll work yet.

Oh! Also, really good turn-based battle system in this.
xyzzysqrl: (Play with me.)
I've been playing a lot of ESO both with and without the help of the noble Oversized Wolf Boyfriend. I'm still enjoying myself -- enough to drop for an actual subscription fee, which gave my character an unlimited-capacity sack for crafting ingredients.

I don't question the logic of a hammerspace to shove ore, berries, and bits of runestone into. As a toon I am well aware of the joys of having the ability to pull whatever you need out of your pack at any time.

Anyway the thing to do with MMOs is compare them to World of Warcraft, I suppose, because the archetypal Everyone has played World of Warcraft. However I find myself feeling nostalgic over a different game: Dungeons and Dragons Online. Turbine's game shares a lot of similarities with ESO, and does certain things better and some things worse.

Action combat, for example. Both games have clicky combat, swing with mouse 1, dodge by double-tapping sort of manuvering. I remember DDO having a MUCH larger bar for skills... as you would expect. D&D characters are just rich with skills. Elder Scrolls gives you a dozen skill trees but at maximum ten slots (+2 Ultimate slots) to shove them in.

This does help you keep a clearer head during combat ("What are my options?" is always a limited set you prepared carefully ahead of time, and changing weapons to get to skill bar 2 is a Meaningful Action) but I do slightly resent the paucity of options. I know it's probably carefully balanced though. Just... would having an extra utility/support skill slot break everything? (Probably. Players will take every inch they are given and turn it into a mile somehow.)

At least ESO doesn't have a sadistic focus on your stats being built Exactly Correct. Although it's possible the community does.

It's not just the combat, though. Every area in DDO was either a town or an "Adventure Zone", be it a dungeon or overland area, with plenty to do in each. ESO feels similar: You go to town and questgivers fall over themselves to tell you about things to do, then you leave town and find a cave or ruin or a building on fire surrounded by questgivers and resolve some problems.

Or you just ... explore. While one of my characters has carefully been resolving every problem and sidequest she passes, the other has been sprinting off on a cross-faction road trip across the map of Tamriel, ignoring most quests as she romps up and down the roads just seeing the sights and heading for an ultimate goal. You can do this for actual reasons, or you can just do it for fun. It's very nice.

D&D Online had more things to DO in dungeons -- use Spot and hope to find hidden doors, for example... but ESO gives me the same feeling of "Oh dear, this hallway is trapped and I'm going to have to edge around them to that switch down there", or "Ooh! A treasure chest! Lockpicking time!"

The rest of the MMOverse may be off playing Guild Wars 2 (for good reason, it looks like the new expansion is a smash hit with just about everyone) but as usual a game that reminds me of a different game I was quite fond of is what I end up mooning over.
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Between ESO sessions (I have drawn in the BF and a couple other people I know because ESO is on sale in the Humble Store sale, ahaha help) I decided to play this little puzzle-box of a thing. I played the first a while back.

It's... less a "The Room" and more "The Rooms" this time. Lots of jumping between areas, with multiple interactable objects in them. Aside from that, still a puzzle box/boxes, still a good time.

This one took an hour longer than the previous one. Thumbs up.
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I believe the ancient words of invocation are: "Forgive me, I'm back on my bullshit again."

Okay so... There's a handful of reasons why I'm playing Elder Scrolls Online instead of hopping straight to another single player game. In the interests of appeasing that voice in the back of my mind that's been going "You should actually do things that mean progress instead of playing an MMO!", I've decided to lay them out.

To start with, I own the thing. A while back I picked up the "Gold" collection for $20, which included the base game and four of the DLC extra areas, relating to the Thieves' Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Orsinium (Orc-yland) and Imperial City (which is a PVP-y zone I think).

It's a good thing I did, because my current character, the Argonian/lizardlady "Mottlescale" is going heavy on the thieving and is hanging around the orcish homeland doing their quests to help them rebuild their ancestral city and get a new king on the throne. ... Well, really I've mosly been romping all over their part of the continent and doing whatever catches my eye.

A couple of years back that wouldn't have been possible. ESO is in a really good place right now as far as solo content goes, because the list of solo content right now includes everything except certain group-forced dungeons/raids/PVP, and the level range you can do these things at is "Whatever, just show up". A bit ago they rolled out the "One Tamriel" update that basically means you can fuck off into the wilderness and do whatever you want instead of riding the zone-by-zone quest express.

This is both great and kind of nerve-wracking to me, because I usually rely on the zone-by-zone express to know that I'm doing the right things at the right time and not missing anything. It feels very odd to admit that I've been craving feedback to know that I'm not messing everything up with my character and gear and whatnot. It's also been nice because I can hyperfocus on this one zone and doing everything in it, and the game's just like "Okay, all of it scales to you, have fun."

There ARE exceptions. I wandered into something called a "Public Dungeon" once and got pasted by a solid wall of enemies (maybe if I were AoE-built I could've handled that?) and I learned swiftly that the skull-and-crossbones map marker means "World Boss, tuned for like three dozen people, do not go say hello".

For the most part, though... exploring around lazily at my own pace has been pretty great, and it doesn't require any other people involved. It feels less like an MMO and more like a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game, and I guess if I wanted to hop into a dungeon I could... but I still don't understand my character's build so why would I? I'm doing all right by myself, and I kind of want to make a catperson alt to try out being a Sorcerer. Oh, and I need the cat to make furniture for the house I'm gonna get in Morrowind.

Because I'm gonna buy the Morrowind expansion.

Because I am firmly back on this bullshit again.

Forgive me.
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Remember when I bought a big disc of a buncha Kirby games? I needed something fluffy after Nier Automata, so that came out and I started playing.

Kirby's Dream Land, being a Game Boy game, takes about an hour start to finish. It's pretty good though. There's a lot of personality (Kirby totally derailed my train of thought when I paused and he started doing stretches while the rest of the game was frozen), it's just a fun and gentle game.

I unlocked an "Extra Mode" by beating it but I dunno if I'm gonna do that. I already had a tough time against King Dedede, or King Desmond Difficultyspike Duck as I refer to him.

Mostly it's weird seeing all the pieces of what I know comes together. This enemy uses a beam attack, but you can't copy it yet. That's not gonna happen for a few years. Come back later.

My only problem is that now that I've beaten the game, when I try to access it again from the Dream Collection menu, it's stuck on the ending screen that tells you how to open Extra Mode. Uhm.

...hopefully I'll work that out in the future.
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It is of course a well-known fact that if you establish a residence near an existing cartoon, there's the exciting chance of being allowed to guest-cameo on said 'toon and perhaps eventually get a spinoff show of your own. This is why Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Taz-Mania had so many characters: Taz alone had at least a dozen close neighbors in proximity and guests kept cropping up.

I was therefore on a boat, sailing down a string of islands looking for a house to call my own that bordered tight on an existing 'toon. Except Cartoon Network had been through, so all of the good locations had already been taken, used, and canceled. Which was really irritating, because I'd swing the boat towards a nice looking place and oops no wait that's where Sheep in the Big City lives, they're in retirement and nobody's gonna produce a cartoon on top of that anymore.

No particular ending to that dream, it sort of dissolved into a mess of "Hey, remember the Kung Fu Creatures gag from Garfield and Friends?" and ... then I woke up, because leg cramp.

Wonder where all the new cartoons live. Maybe there's a Netflix Apartments I should try to sneak into, next dream.
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Code: Realize ~ Guardian of Rebirth is one of those sprawling multiple-route otome ("man-dating") visual novels. They gave this one away for the Vita on Playstation Plus (uhm-?) months ago and I was playing it quite avidly ... sometime in January? I remember it was before we moved to this current apartment...

VNs live and die based on their characterizations and storylines, and... this one is pretty strong. It helped a lot that instead of a sort of "Your Character Here" main character, we got Cardia. Cardia is a girl who lives alone in a run-down mansion because she is literally straight-up acidic poison to anyone she touches. Like her actual touch melts through metal kind of acid.

For the first chapter or two she's rather passive and moody, but around Chapter 3 (of 13 per route) she gets a change of outfits and she starts actively participating in things.

From there she goes straight-up action heroine in a couple of routes. Lock Cardia in a room and leave her unattended? She'll melt off the lock and kick the door down. Door is treated alchemically to be unmeltable? She's learned to lockpick from Arsene Lupin. Turn your back on her? She knows kung-fu. She can co-pilot an airship and she's never really treated like the group's waif. Everyone treats her like the person she wants to be, instead of the monster she thinks herself to be.

I found Cardia deeply refreshing and she's maybe my favorite character in this thing, which is great because no matter which guy's route she was on I was cheering for her happiness, instead of thinking "Man I wish I was on that other dude's route, he was so much better".

There was a little of that though. 8 of those chapters are identical aside from the "Today I want to go with (GUY YOU ARE PURSUING)"/"I think (GUY YOU ARE PURSUING) has the best suggestion" forks, so you get a long common route to introduce and set up everyone and then it goes into personal stories.

Uh, let's meet our lineup.

ARSINE LUPIN - Gentleman thief, the first guy to be introduced and the last one to unlock a proper plotline. Lupin's route is tough because it has to be a strong canonical ending AND resolve every loose plot thread involving Lupin AND resolve all Cardia's business AND because it's the final route unlocked it has to deal with the shit that came up in everyone ELSE'S route, so there is SURPRISINGLY little time for actual LUPIN in the Lupin route, so the WEIRD thing is that Lupin on this route path actually feels like he has less personality than he does on OTHER PEOPLE'S. I cannot account for that. Whatever. Lupin is all bluster and pride and thiefly ways.

IMPEY BARBICANE - Engineer of hearts and also steamships, ornithopters, secret weapons, you name it he can build it. Impey is Lupin's partner and an incurable romantic who swoons over Cardia at first sight and spends the rest of the VN either A: flirting with her desperately, B: being the butt of everyone else's jokes, or... interestingly, C: once you're locked into other people's routes and it's clear he has no chance with you Impey pivots and becomes the loudest possible cheerleader for Cardia and her chosen. His route is all about Jules Verne SUPERSCIENCE and AIRSHIPS and CHASING YOUR DREAMS and MAKING FUN of CAPTAIN NEMO. He's the light and fluffy character and probably my favorite of the entire crew. I like Impey.

ABRAHAM VAN HELSING - The guy who wears little glasses and goes "Hmf." a lot and is scary-ass prepared in combat. Hero of the Vampire Wars, wields twin shotguns, is basically a weapon in human form. It's hard to warm up to Van Helsing because he does not warm up to anyone else, but there are hints he cares. I think one of his unlockable CG illustrations is just him doing a tiny-ass little smile. His route is all about his PTSD over vampire genocide and also about stopping Jack the Ripper and other serial killers from terrorizing Steampunk London, so hey if you like lots of blood BOY HOWDY we got a route for you.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN - Yeah I know, but this one's just an Alchemist. No giant corpse-men in sight. Frankenstein is the shy dude with a soft voice and a soft touch and a DARK SECRET IN HIS PAST and yeah that's an archetype. He is probably my second favorite character in this thing. His route is about his DARK SECRET PAST and also about Queen Victoria going completely bugnuts and trying to start a megawar for British expansion. As one does.

SAINT GERMAINE - nnnnnhhhhh I just did not like this dude that much. He's the "always has his eyes closed, always has a little smile, is fake as hell" archetype and when his secrets start spilling out they just DERAIL this plot into a spiral of "What the hell. Really. What the hell. Why. Really?" ... so I can't say anything about his route because it's just... so many miles out into left field that it makes this sound like a TOTALLY DIFFERENT DAMN GAME. And Lupin's route cements that yeah all of that is canon so ... nnhhhhhh I dunno whatever.

ANYWAY I really got into this one even if it did take me the better part of the year to complete. Distractions and all, y'know. I realize all that crap up there doesn't make a lick of sense without the game, but I'm half-asleep and have been plinking at this all night so ... butt noises whatever I'm done writing.

Good VN. Had fun.

[EDIT] - Oh right also this is getting an anime adaptation this October! I hear otome VN anime adaptations are kind of ass most of the time, because A: It's hard to compress five routes into 12 episodes and B: in a visual novel your heroine can stand at a window and monologue to herself in 69,105 lines of text about her situation but in an anime you have to trim that down to her eyes half-closing as she says "I wonder..." and then smashcut to end credits.

But there is the chance we will see an animated version of the Van Helsing Cannon.

So it may not be any good but I'm gonna watch it anyway.
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If I talk too much about Nier Automata, I will inevitably convulse violently and let out a stream of raw emotions peppered with giant-ass spoilers. It is a difficult game to talk about, but it's a difficult game NOT to talk about.

So...

Nier, the original, may be what I consider the strongest game ever made. Not the best or most fun or anything like that, although it DOES have one of the best soundtracks in gaming. I mean it overwhelmed me with emotions and feelings and all kinds of things. It is the 'most game' in my personal history. The gamest.

Nier Automata is not better than Nier, or stronger, or more fun. It is different in many ways and similar in many ways, and by the time I was up to the second ending I liked Nier more, and by the time I was finishing ending E I was in big blanketing sheets of tears and my hands were shaking and I was just so intensely, powerfully grateful that I live in a time when games like this are being made.

I don't know if I will ever play it again, but it affected me deeply and will stay in my memories a long, long time. In this it is like the game that came before it.

It is something very special.

I hope they keep giving Yoko Taro work.
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So because I'm playing kind of a rough game (Nier Automata, a game about pushing all your emotions into a pile and setting them on fire) and the BF's been distant since we spend most of our time in separate rooms (not purposely, it's just how the apartment is laid out) we've decided to set at least one night aside a week to sit out in the living room and watch some anime.

I don't watch a lot of it anymore because I'm usually too busy with games, so I picked some stuff off Crunchyroll to make a queue with and off we went.

We have some stuff already in the queue...

- Log Horizon
- Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
- Maoyu
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2
- Ace Attorney: The Anime

but we decided to go for a run of all episode 1s this time. I've jotted down my thoughts on what we watched beneath the cut.

This cut here. )

So it turns out everything we picked was a success! Now we just have to get back into the other shows we were watching, too.
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By the end this got a little tedious, but then it was a very long dungeon crawler. Before I started playing this I noticed that the BF had racked up about 90-some hours by playing the Early Access version. (I won't play an early access game no matter how good it is, if I can help it.) That should've been my clue that this was going to be A: pretty long, and B: pretty good.

It was both, really. Amusing writing, good mechanics, strong clear interface. I haven't played a dungeon crawler this sharp since Etrian Odyssey Untold, although that was a rather harder game.

Actually, this one started out quite difficult (I assume because of my class choices, I picked four of the eight in-game classes and stuck with them) and got easier. By the endgame I was basically untouchable due to my build and weapons. When I said in the comments of the last post that there was a scarcity of healing... well, my builds were kinda messed up I suppose. There ARE ways to heal and regen if you ferret them out. My Soldier was regenning big chunks of her health every time she taunted enemies, and The Prototype was tossing out regens with haiku, and my little Chaos Muffin's armor had a "heal if you..." condition that I kept triggering...

I just had a really good time with this one, good enough that I kind of want to go through again with a party composed of the OTHER four classes someday.

Not right now, but someday.
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What do you get if you cross the Dirty Pair, Gall Force, Wizardry, and Shadowrun?

Apparently you get my Starcrawlers campaign.

Starcrawlers is a mostly-randomly-generated (the story missions are fixed) sci-fi dungeon crawl game. Your team of four disenfranchised mercenaries for hire get wrapped up in a tale of political and corporate manuevering. They also shoot a lot of space pirates on board ships and shoot a lot of security robots in corp office buildings.

It's not ALL shooting. For example, my engineer carries a sledgehammer.

Really though, the turning point for THIS run of the game came before I started, when I decided that I was not going to take this overly seriously. To aid in my quest to not take this game seriously, I yoinked an anime picture pack off ye internet, because nothing says unserious like adorable anime girls with heavy weaponry.

(I gotta be 100% honest: Yes. I looked for furry art FIRST.)

Armed with stolen anime and my own dumb dumb dumb sense of humor, I rolled some characters. Let's meet the team.
Cut in case you don't care about my dumb anime fanfiction. )
So that's the team. Lunatics fighting for the right to be free of corporate control but also to shop at Galaxymart for all your shopping needs, to rid space of the yolks of biopharma corps but also to get nifty tote bags when they donate to that animal rights group that runs all those ads, to stop oppression in space but also for free concert tickets and an autographed poster with every few missions they run for that social media site.

They really need a Megumi Hayashiba theme song is all I'm saying..
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
Kero Blaster is a game where you are a frog (Kero) and you have a Blaster (gun). You work for the Cat & Frog company. You are the custodian.

An infestation of something called Negativus Legatia described offhanded by an NPC as "pieces of your past that have been cast off" is clogging up the servers. Your job is to take your blaster and go shoot it all until there isn't any more.

Negativus Legatia can't be all bad, or the boss wouldn't be keeping one in a tank in her office, would she? ... Right?

Anyway the story is a little vague in places but it's okay. Game plots don't always have to be ABOUT things. You're a frog, you can get a flamethrower. Aim it at enemies and squeeze B and let the problems fwoosh away.

Then when you beat it, you unlock Overtime (Hard) Mode, with a different story and heavily remixed levels. Unfortunately I made the mistake of trying Hard Mode and woke up fifteen minutes later in a ditch next to Interstate 95 with a note in my hands thanking me for the organs.

I'm just not a "hard mode" kind of player. Oh well, I saw credits, I declare this game complete and a good time.

(this game was donated kindly by SilverStar, a dragon of my fond acquaintance. Thank you, a dragon.)
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
"It's like Wind Waker meets Dark Souls!" was the pitch, apparently. I don't know why anyone would think that was a good idea but yes okay let's pretend these two things are tonally close enough that we can work with that.

It's not. If by "like Dark Souls" you mean circle-strafing around an enemy, okay. If you mean you have a stamina bar, okay. But Dark Souls rewarded you for mastering its combat. If you rolled behind an enemy you could backstab for great damage, or parry with a shield, or pull off any number of little tricks of mastery that let you have an advantage. If you're standing behind someone in Cornerstone you can whack them repeatedly until your stamina runs out, and then they turn around.

Fine.

Zelda-style exploration, but everything has physics weight! Oh god no, when I roll into a box and the box rolls on top of me and then I get stuck and pop three feet straight up in the air for no reason and take falling damage it does not encourage me to explore the physics interactions. It encourages me to go out of my way to be sure more physics STOPS HAPPENING.

Everyone in this game talks like they think they're very clever. They aren't. Going into a long detailed in-world explanation of a thing, having my character ask "What?" and then going "IT'S A VIDEO GAME THING BECAUSE THIS IS A VIDEO GAME DURR" is only funny like once, maybe twice tops. More and you're pushing it.

Crafting. Let's craft boxes to use as platforms for awkward chunky physics-jumping. Let's craft sticks and sticks and more sticks.

Awkward, slow, painful combat.

The dawning realization that there's like six islands of this to "look forward" to.

No. God, no, I'm sorry. I don't want this. I know for a fact that it came in a bundle, so I paid maybe $5 tops for it. The store page says $20.

Twenty dollars. I cannot imagine how utterly affronted and pissed off I would be if I'd paid $20 for this. I realize that the frequent sales and lowering prices of games devalues the entire medium to some extent, but...

$20.
No.
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