Let me explain you a thing

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:49 am
kjorteo: Scan from an old Super Mario Bros. comic,, of King Koopa explaining something to his son with an 8U facial expression. (Koopa: 8U)
[personal profile] kjorteo
Those who know me know I, uh, kind of have a problem with overexplaining things. It's just something I enjoy doing, and the impulse is very hard to control. You may have noticed my SoulSilver LP is on track to be like eight hundred thousand words or more by the time it finishes, and probably at least some of that is due to occasional "For those of you who have never played a Pokemon game before, you throw a ball and there's a certain percent chance depending on...." asides. But trust me, I promise you, what you're seeing now was after I went back and cut out as many of those as I could stand before it became almost physically painful to cut anymore. You should have seen the rough draft.

That being said, last night I had a dream where I was on a team-based game show that looked like some sort of Knightmare/Crystal Maze/Laser tag crossover; teams put on special vests, entered the maze, and then presumably stuff happened. I'd apparently seen this show zillions of times before and knew the procedure by heart, but for whatever reason, our team getting our usual orientation like we were supopsed to. I kind of had to take over that role instead, and the rest of the dream devolved into, "Guys, I know no one said anything but we're actually supposed to all file into this room first to get the mission briefing before we start. It's like an out of the way broom closet I know but the secret door is right here. Guys, no. Guys, you can't enter the main hall yet, you don't even have your VESTS. GUYS."

I'm pretty sure that dreams like this are a sign that the problem is more serious than I thought.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
kjorteo: Screenshot from Uninvited, of a closeup portrait of the Mysterious Lady attacking the player. (Mysterious Lady)
[personal profile] kjorteo
Last time: Celine saves the Slowpoke, barely beats a bug.

Moving on.... )

Recordkeeping: Nier Automata COMPLETE

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:24 pm
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.

Because I'm a sentimental doof

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:29 pm
kjorteo: Portrait of a happy Celine hugging a big plush snake. (Celine: Plush)
[personal profile] kjorteo
We briefly interrupt your not-really-regularly scheduled gameblogging because this is still my all-purpose journal and sometimes I write about life stuff too. I mean very very rarely, but it can theoretically happen! This DW is still like 95% games and I'll Poke more Mons as soon as I can, don't worry.

So, I have this plush snake, Snakey. I've had him literally since I can remember (you can tell I was young when I got him because his name is Snakey) to the point where I don't even remember where he came from--as far back as my memory goes, he's just always been there. Between seeing The Brave Little Toaster way too many times as an impressionable child and growing up into someone whose fursona is a literal packrat, suffice it to say that childhood things like Snakey are very, very important to me. To the point that I've commemorated him in a couple of my commissions here and there--that's him in the icon for this post, for example. And here he is IRL after being repaired and restored with fixed seams/more stuffing/new felt eyes and mouth/etc. as a Christmas present in 2013, which was one of the most special, meaningful presents I've ever received.

Today, I happened to get curious about where did he come from, since I couldn't remember, so I asked my mom. It turns out that he was originally a Christmas present from my grandfather to my mom, when she was around 10 or 12. My grandparents had the foresight to hang onto things like that in case grandkids ever happened, and I ended up inheriting him.

I don't have much of a point to this entry, I guess (this is one of those things you write under the "I can dump whatever's in my head because it's my journal" excuse) but I'm just... wow, Snakey is, like, fifty. I had no idea he had so much history, you know? Toy Story 3 fucked me up hard and now I've just kind of been sitting here Feeling Things all day.

I'm gonna hug him so much (gently though!) tonight.

Anime Night Notes

Sep. 11th, 2017 02:26 am
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
kjorteo: Portrait of Celine looking aroused and making bedroom eyes at the camera. (Celine: Aroused)
[personal profile] kjorteo
Last time: Azalea Town was a perfect feel-good nostalgia trip, except for all the strife.

Let's un-strife the place a bit, shall we? )

Recordkeeping: Starcrawlers COMPLETE

Sep. 9th, 2017 03:11 am
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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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