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

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February 7th, 2016


10:59 am - Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull Part 2 - Bess Marvin's Big Easy Evening
LAST TIME: We ate a bunch of setup and also a faceful of pass-out powder. Nancy was attacked by a skeleton wearing an ascot, so our main suspect is that dude from the animated Mystery Skulls video. Let's see if we might just be able to make him disappear. (Muh muh muh muh muh muh muh muh.)
But first...Collapse )
Next time, let's get on that trail and start investigating the rest of the house properly.

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February 6th, 2016


02:45 pm - Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull Part 1 - It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
It was December 15th, 2014 when I last finished playing through a Nancy Drew game here on the blog. In my opinion that is TOO LONG. I've got a bunch more of these to get through! Yet I kinda stalled out for various reasons. Mood, time, whatever.

Enough of that.



Nancy Drew is going to SHUT THIS SKULL DOWN -- right after this message.

All previous Nancy Drew adventures are available (in reverse chronological order, flip to the last page for the first entry) via the Nancy Drew tag on Livejournal!

Catch up on individual adventures of Nancy Drew you may have missed, or just re-read an old favorite! Again: Last Entry First order...

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake! (Game 7 in canon.)
The Haunting of Castle Malloy! (Game 19.)
The Secret of the Old Clock! (Game 12.)
The Haunted Carousel! (Game 8.)
Danger By Design (incomplete for now!, also Game 14)
The Final Scene! (Game 5.)
Secrets Can Kill: Remastered!
(Technically Game 23, remake of Game 1.)
Secret of the Scarlet Hand (Game 6.)

Okay! Let's get solvin', sleuthbuddies!

Are you all excited? I"m excited.Collapse )

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February 5th, 2016


04:51 pm - Recordkeeping: Bully - Scholarship Edition INCOMPLETE
Well, around three-to-five missions from the finale of this one, every mission available to me is a "You Lose Instantly If Seen" stealth run.

The end.

UP UNTIL then, I was ... in a strange position where I was kind of enjoying it even though I was seeing the game as Evil Versus Evil. The kid you play as ("Jimmy") is a big tough jerk with a THING about Revenge and a quick, dismissive, egotistical attitude. He lives to fight back against authority and bullying... even if, y'know, this makes him a bully as well.

The only reason HE'S not the bad guy is Gary. If your character is Bart Simpson, Gary is Eric Cartman. Gary is an off-his-medication manipulator who thinks everyone in the world should be beneath him. There's something genuinely WRONG with Gary, and I would have sympathy for him if he wasn't a completely unrepentant little shit. As it is, Jimmy at least shows occasional self-awareness and human empathy. I suppose that makes him the hero by default, as very few other people in his town have those traits.

Mostly this game reminded me of a time when I was having my soul sand-blast eroded by people like Gary. I don't really want to force myself on through the finish to punch him in the face. I want to put him in a drawer and forget about him forever. Sorry, Bully. I'm not sure this is a game I'm gonna finish.

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February 3rd, 2016


02:22 pm - Sqrl Snapshots - Bully
I think I'm doing the power-slide wrong.

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February 2nd, 2016


02:31 pm - Recordkeeping: Halo - Combat Evolved COMPLETE
This is not my childhood. I played Doom, Quake, Action Quake 2, any FPs I could get my hands on, but I was older by the time Halo came out. It was kind of strange and... I'm not sure how much I liked it at the time.

Replaying it, it's a lot of fun. The enemies are smarter than I remembered, although they don't feel as sharp as Half-Life's enemy set. Mister Chef feels like a goddamn TANK, huge and slow moving. The weapons have a good balance, although the assault rifle is curiously lame as the game goes on.

It got irritating by the end, but this holds up surprisingly well after decades of games biting on its style.

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January 31st, 2016


02:14 pm - Recordkeeping: Earth Defense Force 2017 COMPLETE
After The Witness, I needed something packed full of EXPLOSIONS and STUPID THINGS. So I dug out EDF2017.

EDF! EDF!

God I love this game. Storm 1 is you. Aliens approach the Earth! Scientists have named them The Ravagers. Will they be friendly? Oh no! Giant ants are attacking! It's the work of the Ravagers! Their spaceships are invincible unless you shoot the giant glowing spot! EDF! Everything explodes! You get new guns, like "Two guns taped together that shoot in a V" and a flamethrower and hand grenades that split into more hand grenades. Oops, R&D didn't make the tracking system for your missiles correctly. There goes half the city!

NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

Follow the captain! The captain's dead! Are you scared? Hell no, you're Storm 1. It is official EDF series canon that after everyone else died, Storm 1 stood in a field with a rocket launcher and assault rifle and fought a giant-ass transforming UFO Mothership until it blew up. He's like Ace Combat's Mobius 1, but on land. You cannot stop Storm 1. Not even the Mothership Laser can stop Storm 1, and it has the special power to not just blow up half the city, but also MURDER THE FRAMERATE. Try dodging in super slow motion!

There have been other EDF games. Insect Armageddon tried too hard, Invaders From Planet Space is on the Vita, EDF 2025 was awesome, EDF 4.1 will probably sell me a PS4 someday. But this is EDF! EDF! EDF! 2017 and it's AMAZING. One of my favorite games ever.

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January 30th, 2016


06:23 am - Recordkeeping: The Witness NOT COMPLETE
Here's the thing about most games: As long as you are physically capable of pushing buttons, and mentally capable of continuing to push buttons, you will win.

That's it. That and tons of free time are the secret to how I finish so many games. Platformer? You'll hit the right timing sooner or later. RPG? You'll outgrind the power curve given time. Certain adventure games? Click everything on everything, win game. It's persistence and patience.

The Witness beat me the old-fashioned way: By being smarter than me, and outlasting me. I got to the "endgame" area and looked at what was asked and my mind just SCREAMED. I could sit down and study this like a college-level course, but I can't take it anymore. For the last several days I've lived and breathed and slept and ate puzzles, and I can't take it.

Right now.

The Witness is designed to be a very, very LASTING game in a way that most aren't. I have no trouble believing I'll go back to it again and again over the course of the year. I have 17 hours clocked and it's estimated to last much longer. It's a true masterwork, genuinely smart and sharp... and it's not like they're going to crap out The Witness 2: Line Harder in six months either.

Even though I couldn't finish this game, I respect it a lot. I look forward to a rematch. When I've recovered.

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January 27th, 2016


01:39 am - Recordkeeping: Lost Planet COMPLETE
This was such a fucking late-80s/mid-90s anime OAV of a game.
Spoilerspace.Collapse )
Also everything in this game likes to knock you down or stun-juggle you, which was a tremendous ass-pain. Flopping over on the floor or watching your character reel around out of your control really isn't fun, game developers! I don't know why you keep doing that!

Oh well. Not every game is A++ Great material.

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January 24th, 2016


11:22 pm - Recordkeeping: Mega Man X COMPLETE
Another day, another classic game of my youth DEFEATED. Young Marketable Child Sqrl would play this often, and would usually get up to about the first stage of Sigma's Fortress (the post-eight-robots boss fort... y'all know how Mega Man games work, right?) before getting kicked over and made to cry by the precise platforming involved.
Older Sqrl buckled down and tromped through this. At least two hours alone were spent on the last boss fight. Still, with a game this old... what can I say about it? I guess I'll bring my unique perspective around to focus and give it a

FURRY GRADE-DOWNCollapse )
Feel free to debate these ratings in the comments. I will laugh nervously and run away.

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January 23rd, 2016


09:58 pm - Recordkeeping: Magrunner - The Dark Pulse INCOMPLETE
This is a puzzle game about magnetism where likes attract and opposites repel.
This is a puzzle game about magnetism where likes attract and opposites repel.
This is a puzzle game about magnetism where likes attract and opposites repel.

I mean... it was basically Portal With Magnets. Solve the test chambers. There was a cyberpunk framework story. Lovecraft was getting involved. It seemed interesting enough. And then I suddenly realized WHY it was taking me four or five tries per puzzle to get things to work the way I wanted them to. It's because this is a puzzle game about magnetism where likes attract and opposites repel.

I just...
No.
I'm not playing this any more.

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