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The Forbidden Codex of The Pink Beyond - A Sqrl's Journal

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February 22nd, 2018


10:00 pm - Recordkeeping: Chroma Squad COMPLETE
I've got some extremely mixed feelings about this one.

The writing is the big thing - It is a MESS. Like, this might have been acceptable on a kickstarted game, but when Bandai-Namco put their publishing mitts all over it, the first thing they should've done was a major script pass and revision.

I'm not even talking about the constant meme-bombing and net-culture-reference dropping, I'm talking about lines like "Do any of you want a cupcake? I'm going to grab a few ones." and "I usually stunt cute dinosaurs." If you stare for a few minutes you can get the gist of what they mean, but they're phrased so unnaturally that it's hard to believe this game got out the door in this condition.

Maybe it's the TV-Nihon version of the script. I just know when the last boss made a "Welcome to die!" joke and the characters griped that people would think they'd screwed up the localization, I gave the game a death glare. You haven't EARNED that gag, you know.

Anyway, this is a game about putting together a Super Sentai/Power Ranger team to save the world. Except not for real, you're just in a studio filming some stuff. Buy some costumes and weapons, work your way from cardboard to vinyl to high quality rubber, and get those episodes in the can so Twitter will love you.

The strategy-RPG stages are ... pretty okay? Except... there's a lot of SETTING variety but not a lot of tactical variety. There's zero terrain effect and there's not a lot to block your path because you film in big open areas most of the time, so mostly it's a lot of running back and forth hitting minions that appear and wearing down the boss for a finisher. You have to hit the director's marks/optional objectives for the highest fanbase, or you can push an advertising agency to do it for you.

I feel like this game, on the whole, reaches the lofty heights of "acceptable". It's not a great game, it's got problems (which my compatriot Sword goes on about at length in his post) but it has got a certain dorky Internet charm. People who had a massive amount of affection for the source material put this game together and you can feel it come through every now and then, particularly in story scenes towards the ending.

Thank you for protecting the Earth, Sylveon Pink, Vaporeon Blue, Eevee Brown, Leafeon Green and Jolteon Yellow. Goodbye, Evostone Sentai Eeveerangers. Your Super Hero Time is through. Now go and rest our heroes.

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February 19th, 2018


01:49 pm - Recordkeeping: Dragon Quest 1 COMPLETE
So I had never actually finished this one.

I know I've played it. I have fuzzy memories of playing it. Maybe as a rental? But the first Dragon Warrior I remember with any clarity of detail is IV. I completely skipped the first trilogy that I am aware of, and I became aware that I have been doing a lot of retrogaming recently, and HEY the entire first two trilogies of Dragon Quest are on the app store...

So, long story short (too late), I grabbed Dragon Quest.

To enjoy Dragon Quest 1, you have to really love to grind. You have to be okay with the knowledge that a good 55% or more of the game you're playing will be spent camped up just outside a town's walls, pulling in monsters one at a time, killing them, and moving to the next. Not exploration, dialogue, any of the stuff we take for granted as a foundation of RPGs today. There's plenty of that and you can enjoy it.

But you WILL need to grind.

Happily, grinding is one of my favorite parts of RPGs, so I got on well with DQ1. I do plan to play the entire rest of the series, and I plan to enjoy them.

As thou must.

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February 17th, 2018


09:18 pm - Recordkeeping: Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers COMPLETE
A while back I picked up the Disney Afternoon Collection of games, because of course I did, have you seen my childhood? I mean seriously.

I decided to play and finish Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers first of the games in that package. I have a lot of memories of going over a cousin's house and this was like... the only two-player game they had. They were always very insistent that you had to check under EVERY SINGLE BOX for items, and in any given level of C&DRR there's like 250 boxes to pick up.

Accordingly we'd only get maybe three or four levels into the game before I'd start deliberately sabotaging attempts to make progress in the hopes of being allowed to do anything else with my evening. I was pretty delighted to see it's a way easier game if you're NOT playing by ridiculous made-up rules and are just trying to complete some stages.

Also like... 90% of the enemy sprites in this thing trigger my Latent Furry Gene and force me to admit in public that yeah I'd flirt heavily with that. Shout-outs to Rug Bunny, Ninja Pajama Squirrel, and Tennis Kangaroo in particular. ~IM me~

So yeah, this was a fun experience. In conclusion, somehow they left out Foxglove, everyone's favorite one-episode wonder with a total 4 minutes 34 seconds of screen time, and I hope this is rectified in Rescue Rangers 2: The Search For More Rescue.

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07:17 am - Recordkeeping: Ahnayro - The Dream World MOSTLY COMPLETE
I'm going to check this one complete because I ... "finished" the game (although it basically just tells you 'great, you're done, there may be a season 2 someday') even though I have one puzzle remaining. More on that at the end.

Ahnayro is a puzzle game where you use Wikipedia and Google as your surrogate helpers. It's all about information correlation and processing, really.

For example:
Spoiler for one of the first puzzles.Collapse )

My sample puzzle illustrates this better, but because it's all about information gathering on YOUR part, you can go off down hilariously wrong rabbit-holes still thinking you're making progress. I got real good at looking at the various numbers and letters on each code wheel and ruling out possible lines of inquiry because no, no, that's not on the wheel, no that won't work, no that's too vague a concept... Oops, wait, no, it WANTED a vague concept and I was getting too specific...

Then it starts unlocking links to websites. This is the puzzle I'm stuck on, one of the websites has an archives link that's password-protected and I can't quite figure out what the password would be. I'm not sure if figuring out the password is actually possible with the in-game tools or requires outside aid, and I'm a little too social-shy to go plunging into the Discord to ask, although I've skimmed the forums a bit.

That's a thing too: Both Ahnayro and its sister game The Black Watchmen warn you that you will want social elements, a contact with the community. I got through Ahnayro okay although I DID once scramble for a hint guide (holy shit that was an obscure connection. I'd passed it over three times because I didn't know the right word.) but I'm a little timid about Black Watchmen.

So... this is a brain-kicker of a -- wait I just had a thought about the possible password -- ah no luck, nevermind... wait what abo-- nope, didn't work.

...uh anyway this is a brain-kicker of a puzzle game, very tough, very data-intensive, like one of those crazy-person corkboards in video game form.

It's also horror themed and narrated, so you get a LOT of nightmare imagery described in first person. Be warned if you're sensitive.
Seriously.

...aaa what is that fucking password...

BONUS LIFE WITH WOOF AND SQRL:

Sqrl, fumbling: "I can solve all this clever weird puzzle shit but I can't figure out which way to twist the bread thingie."
Woof: "...you can't remember that doors have knobs and you shouldn't walk into them either."

*sighface* ONE DAY he will stop being right.

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February 16th, 2018


03:58 pm - Delightful Fluff-Butted Propaganda


The BF happened to grab this screen from a Phineas and Ferb episode.
I promote this ideology and/or service.
Embrace the Tail.
There is enough Tail for all.

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10:25 am - Recordkeeping: NERO - Nothing Ever Remains Obscure INCOMPLETE
In the roughly 47 minutes I played this game:

I determined it was a walking simulator/straightforward "walk and look at pretty things" game.
Realized it was very likely an indie game about death.
Got stuck in the scenery twice and fell through the floor once.
Realized the third time I could not actually extract myself from the scenery.
Weighted my desired to play Another Fucking Indie Game About Death against the time and effort it would take to start again.
Stopped playing.

Maybe another time, another day, when I'm feeling more morbid or forgiving or something. Maybe.

Right now, screw a whole buncha this. If I want to glitch myself into oblivion I'll play a Bethesda game or Goat Simulator or something.

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February 15th, 2018


05:18 pm - Recordkeeping: Adventures of Mana COMPLETE
So what got me buying the Secret of Mana remake, anyway?

Well, I was playing Adventures of Mana. It's a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure with 3D-er graphics, or put another way it's a remake of Sword of Mana without so much plot and writing in it.

You, a spikey-haired polygonal boy who looks like Fighter from Final Fantasy 1, must save kind of a tissue paper of a girl from the dangerous forces of the Dark Lord Darklord. ... Yes, it's that kind of game. There's a lot of dungeon-hacking and a lot of world exploration around a tile-based landscape and yes I got EXTREMELY lost and wound up 10 levels over the curve by endgame.

This one's notable to me for having really cute monster designs (mostly) and for being a localization credit for Michael Christopher Koji Fox, who I know for his job writing billions of puns for Final Fantasy XIV.

All in all, I had a good time with this. Old-school ARPG gameplay is often hit or miss, but I seem to be craving it lately. Between Crystalis and Adventures of Mana, I've really been mopping up the hack-and-slashers.

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February 14th, 2018


06:49 am - Poor Choice Theater
Me: "I'm going to try not to spend much on games this year, due to my tremendous backlog and desire to focus on putting entertainment money towards other things."

Also Me: "Ooh, a 25 year old game remade for only $40."

Not a place of honor, nothing good here, do not emulate sqrlmogs.

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February 13th, 2018


04:37 am - Recordkeeping: Double Dragon Neon INCOMPLETE
In retrospect this outcome was obvious. I started Double Dragon Neon because it was irritating me.

The Playstation 3's home menu has small icons you scroll down. The Double Dragon Neon one plays EXTREMELY loud music, to the point where if I was scrolling through games and forgot it was there (which I did, often) it would actually jumpscare me. Eventually I decided to play it just to get it off my dashboard.

Between the faux-80s ironic presentation, the copious invincibility frames for enemies, and the mechanic where you have to dodge an incoming attack to "power up" your moves into doing any damage at all, I was really sour on this but felt an urge to push on.

Stage 9 of 10 is your character on an auto-moving "vehicle" of sorts, sliding down a hill while fighting copious enemies, all of whom crowd onto the platform and make it hard to see what you're doing, all with those iframes making it impossible to interrupt incoming attacks, several which spin-kick you into an auto-knockdown if you knock THEM down without throwing them off the platform. Falling off the platform to either side hurts you massively.

After six attempts at this I realized I didn't want to finish anymore.

The game played loud, irritating music the entire time it was uninstalling itself.

I'm glad it's gone.

For a second opinion, though, Sword liked the game better than I did but I think he actually references the stage I ragequit on as a downside, so that's at least me not crazy.

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February 11th, 2018


03:24 pm - Mazinger Infinity WATCHED
The question I keep coming back to is, who was this movie FOR, really?
Spoiler Country.Collapse )

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