Bubbles

Isolation with Woof and Sqrl

WOOF is planning to shop.

SQRLMOG: "So we'll need more of this low-sugar jelly too... maybe not grape, this time? Again?"
WOOF: "I'm sorry, grape is the THING. We're..."
SQRLMOG: "...close to Concord, I know. Everyone around here has a concordussion."
WOOF: "...I'm sorry, what."
SQRLMOG: "A ... con-cord...ussion... conc...ord-shun... conc... Look this is a tough pun give me a bit okay."
WOOF: *facepalming*
Five minutes later, from a different room:
SQRLMOG: "CONC'D IN THE HEAD!"

Epilogue:
SQRLMOG: "You could have been trapped in viral isolation with anybody in the universe and you got me, you know."
WOOF: "Your demands are easy, you just want like some hot soup every now and then."
SQRLMOG: "Holy shit I get DEMANDS? Is this a ransom situation now? I want to get REAL infected, meet the president and spit right up his nose. Can I demand that?"
WOOF: *more facepalming*

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Lex Luthor

Animals, Crossed



I'm doin' the Animal Crossing thing again. You knew I would be.

Not going to document it as energetically here as I have in the past, but I might slip a post in now and again.

Switch Friend Code is SW-5767-9854-4093 if you'd like to visit my ever-growing Tailfloof and come away packed full of apples or something.

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Challenger

Recordkeeping: Dragon Quest 2 COMPLETE

A while back I beat Dragon Quest 1 and downloaded the second game to my phone, to play Any Day Now.

Because one of my friends is hard at work on the NES version, I decided THAT DAY WAS TODAY or at least that day was like a week ago. I also discovered that the mobile phone version is kind of the Soft Padded Nerf Version You Cannot Hurt Yourself With, so being a compulsive grinder like I am I finished the game something like seven levels above the mean.

This was certainly a landmark step in the field of JRPGs, introducing such wonders as "a party with different specialties", "cutscenes", "rare drops", etc. I feel like every time I play an older Dragon Quest game I'm simultaneously getting a lesson in what RPG history was like AND a good time.

Of course, even the Childproof Chewable version of DQ2 has a real rough spot at the ending. I'm told that in the less deboned variants of the game, the ending areas will actually escape the cartridge to physically murder you in real life. Kind of let down I didn't experience that, but welp, can't have everything.

I've already downloaded Dragon Quest 3 to my Switch. We'll see whether I actually play it in a timely fashion or if my next post on the series is in like 2027, read only by the superevolved viral nodes roaming the landscape in search of infection hosts to ravage.

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RUN AWAY

Recordkeeping: Warlock of Firetop Mountain COMPLETE (enough)

I've beaten this one a few times and lost several more times and while there are a slew of characters I HAVEN'T completed the quests for, I think I'm good with calling this one for reasons I'll go into below.

Way back in the Goldie Oldie days, in the beforetimes, the Fighting Fantasy gamebook line existed. There's two things that are important to know about these: First, they're solo adventures where you choose your own route through a dangerous maze of obstacles and battles, and second, they're British, meaning their idea of a grand adventure is one that kicks the player in the groin and laughs about it.

There's this whole weird social humiliation thing going on over there, I dunno.

Anyway, Warlock of Firetop Mountain manages to be (IMO) the best Fighting Fantasy adaptation by dint of expanding on the content of the book. You have about a dozen or so adventurers, each with their own personal goal inside the aforementioned mountain, and usually (but not always) with the alternate goal of murdering the warlock in charge. You do some battles, you solve some puzzles, you hope to find your personal goal, and then you murder an old man and win.

So the game has some strong variety, but it's not enough to keep you marathoning it, because you will always visit the same places in the same order because the book was written in a fairly linear sequence, as many books are. The opening routine is going to get very dull, and how far "the opening routine" extends depends on which characters you play and what they need to accomplish.

There's a bonus gauntlet mode, where everything in the entire mountain is trying to kill you personally and you earn points based on how far you get. That's kinda cool. It's not quite enough.

Still, as I said, I finished this repeatedly and I will keep playing it when I have nothing else to do. That's pretty good for a book published the same year I was born.

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Sqrl-Bit.

Recordkeeping: Anodyne COMPLETE

This was VERY interested in raising a lot of mysteries and complications and then not answering them. I'm not sure if I mind, because I wasn't interested in any of the questions either.

Anodyne is something like a romhack of Link's Awakening except instead of a charming dreamy atmosphere you get an oppressive one. It's still got lovely music, but it's deliberately overtightened control-wise (you WILL obey that tile grid, damn you) and very purposefully antiquated.

I kind of enjoyed it? It was nice to play a mysterious sort of game where there was actually mystery, and I liked the art and music. So... while I feel like the game MIGHT have been trying to convey things, I'm not sure I cared to hear the message. I was here to indulge myself in weird puzzle shit and the game delivered. I'm good with that.

Now I can play the sequel, which I am led to believe is considerably more of a Real Game with Things To Say.

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Sqrl-Bit.

Recordkeeping: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX - INCOMPLETE

You know, I really really wanted to love this, but I'm just not feeling it as much as I expected.

It's hard for me to pin down what exactly I don't like about it, but I feel like... where Red/Blue Rescue Team had a somewhat-decent amount of dungeon crawling fun to them, DX has already come down to "Just recruit a giant swarm of pokemon and then you win."

It's not that I'm not having some fun, but I'm finding it a heavy letdown. It's not quite what I -expected- or wanted, and I need to set it aside to clear that out of my head so I can approach it and figure out what it wants to be.

Good music though.

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Sqrl Barbarian

Do You Wanna Date A Dragon?

So I backed a thing on Kickstarter recently and I figured I'd promote it here, because the last stretch goal is coming up and I might as well waggle it around.

Cindr is a physical card game about a dating matchmaker service connecting dragons and dracophiles. It has very sharp artwork, is from a company that has experience actually shipping physical games, and will allegedly be out sometime in September. It also has a solo-play mode for the lonely, and a co-op dating mode, presumably for the polyamorous.

For obvious reasons (and the less obvious reason, which is that I have little sense but do have access to a credit card) I had to back this. Others may or may not enjoy doing the same, so... hey, spread the word around, will you?

[EDIT] Kickstarter closed, they made the heck out of some stretch goals. Thank you all.

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Ducks

Recordkeeping: Open World Game the Open World Game COMPLETE

Open World Game starts off with a lovely little 3D-rendered view of a forest. Then it rhetorically asks "You don't really NEED this, do you?" and takes it away, replaced with a minimap view filled with quest icons and collectables.

The rest of the game is about answering that question.

Do you need your games to be pretty? To offer substance? Immersion? You will be turned away. You'll get a little bit into this and go "Ha ha I get it" and quit.

Do you love the feeling of sweeping icons off a map, clearing quests blindly for the "DING" of a completion, collecting trinkets to read about in the codex menu, and watching the little percent meter creep towards 100? Yeah hey you're good, welcome to your game.

I personally 101%'d this game in a little over two hours, and enjoyed every minute of it. I enjoyed the goofy, referential text in the journal. I enjoyed hunting down the last few quest markers in an area. I even enjoyed the fishing minigame, because RPGs need a fishing minigame to be considered RPGs.

In a weird sort of way, Open World Game The Open World Game actually revived my enthusiasm for the entire genre. By reducing it to the very basics and presenting them with a smug satirical smirk, it asked the question: "You don't really need all the bells and whistles, do you? You love this for what it is at heart, right?"

And y'know. I do. I really do.

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