Play with me.

Recordkeeping: The Legend of Zelda - The Minish Cap COMPLETE

So ... I dunno, I was just struck by a sudden urge to go play a Zelda goddamn it, so that's what I did. And instead of picking any of the big popular ones that I haven't played, or the major re-releases peppering the market, I went off and grabbed Minish Cap which is a third-rate game stuffed in the back of the timeline which nobody really acknowledges or cares much about as far as I know.
There's not even a Triforce!
There's not even a Ganon!
Or a Dorf!

Thus is the way we do things around these parts.

Anyway I had a great time. The Minish are adorable, what little we see of them. Their official art is MORE adorable and I'm PRETTY SURE they contributed directly to SOMEbody's adorable furry microphile fetish, which is also the kind of insight you get 'round these parts. The puzzles are good and I only missed a major gameplay mechanic for a few days worth of time, which is solid work for me.

It's a Zelda, man. There's a certain quality floor and it's still above "good".

Anyway, solid game. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Message for you!

Recordkeeping: Google's Olympic Cat RPG Thing COMPLETE

Look, I don't know what to call this.

Google has a thing on their front page, it's a weird... sports JRPG about being a ninja cat on a quest to get seven scrolls from sports-loving animals on Champion Island. It's absolutely lovely, has a number of cute minigames, the animated scenes are great, there's a plethora of side-quests if you go off the beaten path, it gets WAY too real at times. It's good!

Unfortunately it's... also reminding me of, y'know, the Olympics that nobody wanted this year, and which are carrying on anyway as a kind of athletic roach motel. That sucks.

The game's fun though. Very cute. I'm sad it'll vanish soon, as all Google project ephemera does.
[EDIT] Or it won't. Apparently Google does archive their doodles, which is nice to know. Thank you, [personal profile] julian. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
RUN AWAY

Recordkeeping: Penrose COMPLETE

Today I woke up thinking, for no reason I could put together, about A Dark Room. If you're unfamiliar, it's an idle-game sort of thing, click some buttons and some things happen, keep the numbers going up, etc.

So I decided to prod that. About three minutes into it, a pop-up comes up letting me know it has sound now. Nah. Then another pop-up about ... some other thing? I didn't get it, and it sounded like an enhanced game mode. So I clicked it out of curiosity and it went to Penrose.

Namely it went to the web demo of Penrose. I didn't find out until later, irritatingly, that the web version is incomplete and you need to drop $1 on Android or iOS to play the full thing. Which I did. But first I played the web version.

It's a hyperlink story. You make choices and things change. Perspectives change. Minor choices make major changes, although you only ever really have minor choices that make major changes. You never really get to change much of insignificance, which is a shame but understandable.

So you look at the story and you change it, and you read it again, and you change characters and read it again, and then you change something else and wait shit how did it get like that, and you scroll back and read from the beginning and well THAT'S different, so you follow another trail and another and well SHIT and another and...

...eventually, abruptly, it ends. In a way that made me "well SHIT" even harder. And then think about it.

Penrose is... a strange, strange little story. I don't regret playing through it.

It does make me wonder why I woke up thinking of "A Dark Room", though. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Gap Time

Huh? Oh. Hey, yeah I'm alive.
I just went off to Elder Scrolls Online and Skyrim as escapism and, uh...

..well. Nothing much to say. But I'm around. No worries there.

(Actually, I guess MOSTLY I'm around on Twitter, because I have a rare disease where if I have a thought I have to blurt it out as quickly as possible or I die. But, y'know.) I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Office Point Rescue Deja Vu COMPLETE

Yeah hi. I've not been in much of a mood to talk, so I've been burrowed in MMORPGs lately.

That said, I took some time to play Office Point Rescue - Deja Vu, which is a remake of an earlier FPS I didn't play. It's a first person shooter designed like a light-gun game: when enemies see you they stop dead and aim at you, then fire on a regular basis to give you time to stop-and-pop or duck out of the way.

Enemies usually take two headshots or three body shots (on the difficulty I was playing) so it's not really a challenge of "can you beat them?" but "can you aim fast enough" and like... the music was great, the gameplay had a good ... speed and I liked the building layouts...

Mmh, I dunno. This was fun. I'll probably play some of the other games this guy makes. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Play with me.

Recordkeeping: SaGa Frontier Remastered ...mostly complete? Working on it.

At only three out of eight characters complete, this doesn't FEEL done. I'm sure not done working on it. But I've seen the credits roll a few times now and my guide has always been "Credits seen?" for a complete, so I'm marking it here.

SaGa Frontier is the first entry I played (knowingly) of my absolute favorite impenetrable JRPG series. I love the SaGa series to death, I don't even care that I can't figure a lot of it out. It's exactly what I want in a game: a weird gridlock of systems and mysterious depths that all rub against each other, catching on the edges. You can gaze forever into SaGa and always find something new.

I found several new things in these playthroughs and I've been playing this game since 1997. I sat down and did research on how the Monster Transformation system works, for example, and got ring-seeking creampuff Riki into fighting form. I learned that guns scale off the same stats as magic, and turned magical boy Blue into a sniper bonded with a living rifle. I figured out what the Mystics are for, the weird race that bond monsters into their equipment for bonus stats.

I also learned that, once you know what you're doing and why, SaGa Frontier is a surprisingly small game. I have no doubt I'll beat it with the other characters available.

This is one of my favorite games in one of my favorite series, but after 30 hours with it I'm ready to play something else for a little while.
I'll come back to it again. I always have. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Trainslation COMPLETE

This is an interesting little free-on-Steam ex-Game Jam thingie. You start off in a foggy train station, near a big nexus junction of subway lines. There are ghosts. You have a piece of paper in your hand that tells you where you SHOULD be. You're not there. Get there.

Getting there takes some doing, but you can do it easily enough if you want. But getting there is only part of the fun, y'know?

I haven't gotten the "Good Ending" on this, because I hyperfocused a bit. That said, the game itself isn't why I'm recommending it. Once you finish the game, you unlock a half-hour video of one of the developers explaining every design choice and talking about what it takes to make a game in Unity, even a "simple" one like this.

It's a fascinating mini-documentary about choices and compromises and why ghosts, anyway? I feel like every indie game has a story like this and I would love it if every game had a video documentary about itself that I could watch. If you're like me, you'll find this neat too. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Rar Grr

Recordkeeping: Castlevania COMPLETE

Beating Lycanthorn reminded me that I never actually finished NES Castlevania.

Well, that's that done then!

Back when I was a kid I never got past the third stage, the one with the heavy blue tones and the ravens that would slap you around and the best music track in the game, "Wicked Child". ("Heart of Fire" is pretty good though. And everyone loves Vampire Killer of course.)

Having legit finished the thing, I don't know if I missed all that much. There's some serious challenge in later levels though. I spent a lot of time logjammed against particular sections involving heavy-armored axe-throwers. A couple of times I just put my head down and sprinted and went "nope nope nope" past as many enemies as possible.

Still, Castlevania's a legend of a thing for a reason. Great soundtrack. Strong atmosphere. Good game formula. Just a solid everything, all around.

Not that you need me to tell you "hey, Castlevania is good". I feel a touch extraneous, lately. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Play with me.

Recordkeeping: Lycanthorn 1 and 2 COMPLETE 2X

So these were... pretty solid? Lycanthorn dares to ask the question "What if Castlevania really existed?" with a GZDoom-engine standalone game where you play a werewolf monster hunter wielding a great big axe. I really liked the melee-centric gameplay, the chunky pixel art, and of course the absolutely banging soundtrack.

So then I go to Lycanthorn 2, which is kinda a little Simon's Quest, kinda a little Link's Awakening, kinda a little Castlevania 3 where you have four characters to swap between. Except three of them are kinda lousy, and that includes Rain, the werewolf protag of the previous game.

Oops.

You've also got an engineer, whose power is "owns bombs and a gun" and who (aside from unlocking a bombable brick for you) is reduced to boss-shooter because his Special Move melts about 50% off a health bar, you've got a suit of armor which is great for sequence-breaking because it has a weird uppercut that launches you over walls and up mountains on the overworld, and you've got a vampire whose power is that he can shoot bullets out of his fingers by pointing at them real fast.

So you're basically walking around like "CHECK OUT HOW COOL MY RAP POINTS LOOK" for 90% of the game. Sometimes you swap to the other ranged dude so he can massacre half a boss fight and then swap back to Fingers McPointy.

I dunno how you'd solve this problem. I don't know that it IS a problem. Ah well.

Anyway both of these were real fun and I'm glad I played them but you don't really have to. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Sqrl Barbarian

Recordkeeping: Tales from Candlekeep - Tomb of Annihilation COMPLETE

Hmmmm.

I can see why people wouldn't like this much. You've got these four adventurers...

Birdsong, a pretty catperson bard, with the power to make other people roll better!
Asharra, pretty birdperson wizard, able to cast spells and cause crowd-control lockdown!
Dragonbait, pretty lizardperson paladin, able to tank and do damage and buff!
and some human dude ranger i don't care

...and they go off to the jungles of Chult. Chult is a really fun word to say. Chult is also a campaign area in D&D (because this is a D&D game) and, uh anyway you play a board game. Tiles drop down, you have a move action and a do-stuff action, you fight random monsters... there's like 12 quests and a bunch of side quests and they're ALL done on a board of tiles.

There are two tile sets in-game and you don't see the second for -hours- so that's a bit dull.

Anyway, you can collect items to craft better gear and ... this looks like it would take EXACTLY FOREVER to actually get to the top-tier gear, or you can just buy it on Steam for actual money if you want to I guess cheat your way to full buffness. Also you can buy a fifth player character but he's a human druid and I didn't care at all about humans, why are they even IN D&D god go away humanity.

That said, you go into a tomb and fight a lich and it's... like, this isn't bad for a quicky D&D-like experience I guess. I had fun and kept playing. But it's kind of surrounded by this aura of "You should pay us more" and I didn't feel like it, so instead of playing through again on high difficulty levels I just got the credits and quit. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.