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April 27th, 2016

08:52 am - Recordkeeping: Star Billions Seasons 1 and 2 - COMPLETE
Star Billions season 1 is an adorable little iOS/Android phone game about four AIs in space. There's Rosie, the "To boldly go" type. Ein, the "Fascinating" type. Lacie, the "We come in peace" type. And Sarge, the "Shoot to kill!" type. They have a mission, and at each step of the mission you can pick a crew member to deal with whatever situation has come up.

After each choice, you get a real-time clock that shows you when your input will next be needed (usually between 1-5 hours, sometimes longer) and can either play minigames to whittle the time away (literally, it cuts time off in 1-5 minute chunks) or you can just... go away and come back when it needs you for the next scenario.

It's fairly cute, low-stakes goofery for the most part. There's a Big Goal, but most things feel like they're... how to put it... low-danger, low-doom scenarios. Everything will turn out okay in the end, and we might learn something about friendship, teamwork, and courage along the way.

That's Star Billions season 1.

Star Billions season 2 can be summed up, without spoilers, as "AAAAAAAAAAAAA WHAT THE NO WHAT WHY teehee that's cute WHAT NO WHAT WHY YES YES YES AAAAAAAAAA NO OH MY GOD REALLY WAIT CLIFFHANGER WHAT?!"

(If you have played it, please use a rot13-er if you wish to discuss the game in the comments. I know people still working through this one.)

One of the developers mentioned in an interview re the name of the studio: Game dev is full of philosophy. I won’t pretend that my answers are the right ones for everyone, but with the name "Catch & Release" we wanted to reflect this feeling of a really nice but ephemeral experience, like a great meal or a concert.

That's pretty much how I feel, actually. I could replay this over and over (there's a NG+ mode that makes wait times extra-short, so you can shotgun the entire thing and look for changes) but I did what I thought was right the first time. If I start poking holes in the scenario, where will that get me? Let down with a bunch of holes in the scenario, I imagine. No, I had a great time, let's not dilute things any further.

In any event, uhm.

I am awaiting Season 3 -urgently-.

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April 23rd, 2016

06:48 am - Life with Woof and Sqrl and Lovecraft and Howard
NSFW, discussion of Weird Fetish Material.Collapse )

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April 22nd, 2016

06:31 pm - Tales of Graces F Shortpost 7 - Lineage and Legacies
So I tried out Black Desert Online, and the reason this post is not ABOUT Black Desert Online is that it turns out I kind of hate it. I wish I didn't! It's a beautiful game and on paper it appeals to me hugely -- in fact, on other people's screens it appeals to me hugely. I love reading other people's blog posts about this game.

Unfortunately it really didn't click with me. The momentum in the movement, the mashy combat system, the loose undirected gameplay (huh, I thought I LIKED that? Weird, me.) and various other elements meant that by about day 4 of my seven day trial I was staring at the icon and going "I would rather do anything else in the world but play this game."

Fine. Forcing things would just lead me towards getting even more disheartened. So it was back to Tales of Graces F for the postgame arc, titled "Lineage and Legacies".

(Which sounds like a D&D game about political intrigue I guess? Except they kinda did that and it was called Birthright and I don't know ANYONE who ever played it.)
So here"s the writeup of that!Collapse )
Also, I want to mention before I wrap this up that the skit writers were ON POINT with this one. Here's a few of my favorites:

Malik embraces the thug life.
And trying his hand at writing a children's play.
Pascal discusses 'enhancing' Sophie.
Asbel ... continues to be Asbel.

And if you watch only one set of skits here, please enjoy the many appearances of The Mask of Barona.

In May, I plan to start playing as many Final Fantasy games as I can fit on my plate. Between now and then? Who knows?

See you next time!

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April 12th, 2016

01:41 am - Tales of Graces F Shortpost 6 - THE END (for now)
Well. There's still more to Tales of Graces F, but I think I'm done for now!
How it ended.Collapse )
That's the end of Tales of Graces F! ... Well, the ORIGINAL ending. The "F" is for Future. There's a "six months later" arc that I'm kinda interested in playing, that unlocked after the credits rolled... but not right now. Right now I have a trial code for Black Desert Online I want to play with, and that lasts about seven days. After that time I'll know what else I want to be doing, be it "picking up a copy of Black Desert" or "going for the FUTURE ARC" or something entirely different!

Either way, see you again soon!

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April 8th, 2016

10:17 pm - Tales of Graces F Shortpost 5 - Distant worlds together / miracles from realms beyond
Quite a LOT of great substance has been happening, I just haven't been blogging it. As always with this series, the short-short version of things.
Hey, do you think Richard might be... evil??Collapse )

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April 7th, 2016

05:33 pm - Life with Woof and Sqrl - I Doom All Around Me
WOOF and SQRL have been talking about getting a SMARTPHONE.

Woof: "...so yeah I dunno? I guess the next step is to look at a big... electronics superstore and try to decypher some of this stuff. Learn more about phones."
Sqrl: "Great! I will see you when you get back."
Woof: "Well, not today. The weather has been kinda meh."
Sqrl: "Woof? I dunno if you've noticed?"
Woof: "Hm?"
Sqrl: "We live in Massachusetts. The weather here is ALWAYS complete BULLSHIT. It has never once been nice or appealing in any way in all the time I've lived here. If you want to wait for the weather to be nice, we will both DIE OF AGING."
Woof: "I love you even though you hate everyone and everything in the world."
Woof: "Yes, dear." *puts headphones on, watches Netflix*
Sqrl: "grr grr grr grr grr..."

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April 4th, 2016

01:35 pm - Tales of Graces F Shortpost 4 - Adventurers sans Frontiers
I haven't been keeping up much on the Tales blogging because not a lot of great substance has been happening.
Travel travel travel.Collapse )
So that catches us up. I think I'm most of the way through the game though! Maybe!

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April 1st, 2016

10:38 am - Tales of Graces F Shortpost 3 - The Death and Rebirth of Dick Stablord
Where'd we leave off with this? Right. Asbel, Sophie and Richard on the road, stalked by assassins and looking for the support of the local Duke. Unfortunately, there is a roadblock called "Wallbridge". A secure fortress, right in the middle of the path. I'm not sure how Richard forgot about this.
More plotplotplot.Collapse )
Yep, things are looking up for Team Graces!

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March 31st, 2016

09:38 am - May the title never come true.
In this time of extreme hyper-negativity on the internet towards gaming, it feels strange to be excited over a Final Fantasy game again. It also feels like a very solitary experience. So I'm posting here, because god damn it I genuinely AM excited and enthused for this one and I want to lightly offset the slew of "LOL this looks terrible" comments elsewhere.

I hadn't really been paying that much attention to Final Fantasy XV, more than some I imagine. Prince Noctis loses his homeland and must flee in a car with three of his best friends. I still don't really feel I KNOW about the game, but...

The latest trailer kinda makes it look fantastic. The first half is all Final Fantasy, all magic and politics and summons. The second half...

I jawdropped. "THAT'S the theme song?" I said out loud. And then I noticed they were weaving the Prelude in and out of it and that was AMAZING. I really enjoy the focus on the human element mixed with the fantastic here. Going from prince to campfire, from fighting Titan to pinball at 3 AM in a shitty diner. They really seem to have lived up to the "fantasy based on reality" tagline.

Then there's the action combat which I'm still a little side-eyeballing but you know what? OKAY. The history of Final Fantasy is a long string of experiments and differences, changes and tweaks and updates to the formula. Occasionally it straight-up ESTABLISHES the NEW formula. I'm glad it's not the same thing as before, and I'm eager to see what it IS.

In light of this, I've decided that I'm taking the month of May to buckle down and try to play through the entire Final Fantasy 13 trilogy. I know in advance that I -like- them, but I have been TERRIBLE at them.

(I think I got about 30% of the way into FF13-1 ("Just push autobattle, it plays itself" YOU LIE), about two hours into FF13-2 before I realized I loved this game and wanted to play the first before it, and about fifteen hours and half of the objectives into FF13-3 before I pried myself away and made myself decide to play them in order.)

If there's any free time left after/between playing those games, I'll work in some of the other side-games, like Crystal Bearers, FFIV The After Years, and Chocobo's Dungeon Wii among others.

Until then I've still got Tales of Graces F to work on, but... geez I'm eager for this. Shame I don't own a PS4.

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March 30th, 2016

10:47 am - More Tales of Graces F - Not a full gameblog
I'm unlikely to do a 100% blog of this game, but a couple of the reactions I got were like "What." so I figured I'd keep up a BIT of documentation on how this game goes, because my previous Tales Of blog was this enormous heap of posts nobody read that sprawled all over the place. I'm gonna keep this one compact and tidy.

Right, so... seven year time skip.Collapse )
And that's where I've left off so far!

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