xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
This was a pretty good...

I want to say "hidden object game" but, uhm. It kind of was only a hidden object game when it felt like it? For the most part it was more of a "puzzle adventure". It started off really well, with lavish animation (for the kind of thing it is) and good puzzles and all. Dragged on a little too long, but the ending came up after just enough time and I was satisf--

Wait, it's not over.

Okay, well. Just a little further then, and ... okay this is like chapter five, how many chapters are in this? Seven and a bonus chapter.

Why?

And... uh, as the game drew on, the translation got worse (Artifex Mundi are Polish developers) and the animated scenes stopped being quite so animated and the pacing just slowly ground to a halt under a sea of minor delays and busywork and puzzles that had increasingly tenuous connection to the game world and and and

end, game
please end
END NOW GAME PLEASE
GO AWAY GAME
STOP

...And then I decided to maybe not play the bonus chapter.

So this is one good game and three quarters of a half-decent game welded together. I mean I can't complain they didn't give me ENOUGH. Is nine hours too long for a hidden object game? It FEELS too long.

I mostly enjoyed it anyway.

Social, Antisocial

Oct. 20th, 2017 07:31 am
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
It's increasingly tempting to move my spur-of-the-moment banal gaming reactions over to either Mastodon, in which case I would need to learn for example what Mastodon is and how it works, or just dump all of them here. The downside with dumping them here is that this journal would balloon to eighteen thousand posts a day of single screenshots with a one-line reaction, and I can't imagine why anyone should be subjected to that.

I've been putting them all on Twitter but Twitter is increasingly not a place I want to frequent. I feel kind of tired and Done With This Already.

Lately I've been keeping up more with Telegram (where I am @XyzzySqrl ) and Discord (where I am XyzzySqrl#0080 ) and there's something to be said for forcing people to come to you if they actually want to talk to you. It's not like I'm gonna go out and find people on my own, I guess. I've always been really bad about socializing, and with AIM shutting down that's another entire branch of people I know who I guess get trimmed off if I can't come up with a way to stay in touch.

It is nice to have a place I can offhandedly dump thoughts so they don't make me crazy though. I should really stop using people's IM windows for that and get a social media outlet.

One that isn't a giant heap of ass.

Which brings me back to dropping Twitter.

Sigh.

--

Aside from that, I've been all right. I am supposed to schedule a doctor checkup but I have been full-bore nocturnal, sleeping through the morning and awake at night. That's not really useful to anyone. I've also been fairly depressed which I am honestly bored with now? I've been depressed for 30-some years, I'm tired of it and I can't understand how I keep falling for this.

My nervous system goes into a state of "oh no the sad thing, remember the sad thing? remember all the sad terrible things you did when you were young?" and I'm just like -I KNOW- I'VE SEEN IT BEFORE SHUT UP AND LET ME WATCH GIANT ROBOT CARTOONS IN PEACE.

Most of my play prospects right now, stuff I'm actually doing and will blog about later, are either super long or MMOs or endless games or just aren't gonna be done any time soon, but that's okay. I have some kind of ridiculous stupid games-complete record this year, I can take time away from that and just dick around and do other stuff. Maybe I ought to read a dang book for a while, if I can focus on anything over the "oh no sad!" whine of neurological thistle-browsing.

Wise Words from Fate/Grand Order

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:08 pm
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl

To live is to suffer. To live with a tail is divine. We should all have cake or something.
kjorteo: Portrait of Celine exercising, with a workout headband. (Celine: Exercise)
[personal profile] kjorteo
Last time:



I'm sorry, I will probably go through the entire rest of the game and never get over this moment. This will be one of the things that sticks with me from this game. Eusine plays it off positively, like, "Oh, wow, did you see them run! What a spectacular sight that was!" but I am positive he is silently inwardly attempting to hate me to death.

I'm a bit busier than usual this weekend, and don't know if I'll have the time to advance too much farther in the game right now. This works out, though, because I got just far enough to do some fiddling with my party, and I now have more Pokewalking to do in order to bring a certain new recruit up to speed. More on that next time. For now, let's just say I'm doing some building and leveling behind the scenes this week.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of this amazing moment, let's have a filler intermission entry and talk some more about the Legendary Beasts!

'Special Aside' more like excuse to explanation-dump, amirite? )

Recordkeeping: Ara Fell COMPLETE

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:10 pm
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
kjorteo: Screenshot from Dragon Warrior, of the ruined town of Hauksness. (Hauksness)
[personal profile] kjorteo
Last time: With a little gentle persuasion, the road forward is open.

And now that road shall be taken. )
xyzzysqrl: (Hot blooded with a sense of justice!)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
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.

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