xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
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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)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.

Mildred Wirt Benson

Jul. 9th, 2017 10:59 am
xyzzysqrl: (RUN AWAY)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: (Message for you!)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
I am not particularly a fan of Game of Thrones. I think I started reading the novels and got to ... around book three before I realized suddenly I didn't know who anyone I was reading about was or what they were doing or why I should care. That's in part my awful memory and in part "too many characters and sideplots" but nope, sorry, I'm out.

(I WAS a Wheel of Time fan and then Perrin fucked off into the woods for like four solid books never to touch the plot again and I didn't care anymore, but that was where my loyalties ended up in the Great Epic Fantasy War that never actually happened.)

I am a fan of Telltale's games, although it's a little embarrassing to admit that. By now everyone knows that they have just the one trick, right? They do basically interactive television, you walk through an episode and it plays the story at you and you pretend your choices mattered and you never ever replay it because you will see they did not.

When I'm away from Telltale's stuff for a while I convince myself I can see the Matrix and I know where all the strings are and so on. They won't get me again. Then you hand me one and I actually start to think what I do matters again.

Maybe it does matter. I always advocate for dialogue options and narrative choices, even if it's ultimately a branching funnel that goes to the same destination. The illusion of mattering is more important to me than actually mattering. I said that back when I played Star Billions and I say it here too.

Anyway my total lack of investment in the pre-existing universe let me play this game like I had two fists full of dynamite and wanted a hug. I chose whatever selections looked narratively interesting, not what selections I thought would bring about the best outcome. I roleplayed Asher Forester as having an erection for murder bigger than would fit in his pants and I played Mira Forester as a butt-kissing magnet looking for the biggest power-booty she could smooch.

Everyone largely died, because hey! Game of Thrones! It's the meme! Still I would be down for a theoretical season 2 for two reasons:

A: It would be interesting to see what minute ripples were caused.
B: They didn't fucking finish the FIRST one, it ends on a couple of cliffhangers. Thanks, Telltale.

In short: This game was free on PS+ and I absolutely got more entertainment out of it than I have other free games on there, but I still don't want to go binge-watch the books or read the TV show. I was just here to kick over a couch or two, suplex the serving staff and pour wine into Tyrion. Call me up when there's a second season but I'm off to greener, less bloody pastures.

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