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

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May 18th, 2018


06:18 am - On Super Robot Wars:
Every time.
Every time, I look at the cast list. And I think, "Okay but there's some good Gundams, some really dodge-heavy mecha in here."
Every time I think, "Maybe this time, I won't just field every single Super Robot they give me and let the Reals trail behind in a scraggly-ass line looking for scraps."


Every time, I lie to myself.

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May 13th, 2018


06:55 pm - Recordkeeping: Aurora Trail INCOMPLETE
Aurora Trail looked like an interesting 3D puzzle game about the use of color. The tutorial starts by having you walk down a hallway, die to the color yellow, restart, and avoid dying. It then puts you in a room where you lose both arms. The tooltip says "Go through the door to continue."

The only door is closed and will not open. The restart button in the menu doesn't work. I can stand in an empty room, armless, or I can quit the game.

This problem seems unique in affecting me, as there's a lot of positive reviews of this on Steam. I'm forced to conclude the game is a super-advanced AI that recognizes my time would be better spent on other games.

Who am I to argue?

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May 11th, 2018


08:58 pm - Recordkeeping: Contradiction - the all-video murder mystery adventure complete
After spending a bunch of time with a AAA Sega game I figured I'd get back to my roots and play a slightly cheeseball FMV point and click adventure.

Because honestly that's something I WANT out of gaming. And Contradiction delivered... most of what I wanted. Detective Inspector Jenks, a man who does enough acting with his eyebrows to overwhelm four equally-sized actors of lesser value, has a time limit of one day to determine if a suicide was REALLY a suicide or perhaps ... MURDER??? and so he sets about terrorizing a small town with relentless Columbo-esqe questioning.

The mystery ... is not satisfactorily wrapped up, really. Or should I say, you spend most of your time investigating one thing and suddenly another element pops up and that's what solves the case, and then Jenks goes "Wow that other shit was WILD huh, what about that stuff? I guess we'll have to check it out some other time!" and the game hits you up for crowdfunding to make a second one.

I make it sound like a letdown, but I wasn't let down. They very clearly TRIED with this one but ran out of funds a mile from the marathon finish, so they quickly reclassified the race as a sprint and jogged over the new finish line. If there's ever a sequel, I hope they can get everybody back.

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May 10th, 2018


10:33 pm - Recordkeeping: Yakuza 5 COMPLETE
After 76 hours (and one continue, curse you QTEs) I can put this one to bed. Yakuza 5 is BRAIN-EVAPORATINGLY huge as a game, with sections I never touched. Accordingly, I got about a 33% completion rate.

The Yakuza series continues to fascinate me, though. Stacks of plot upon plot upon plot, as people emerge from the shadows holding guns and IT'S YOU!! and then they get shot by other people who emerge from the shadows holding guns, and everyone grabs their left shoulder and tears their clothing off in a single mass so they can fist-fight shirtless.

This one had Haruka, adopted daughter of the long-suffering Kiryu Kazama, as a playable character who fought with dance battles. This was easily my absolute favorite thing in the entire game and I spent way too long building her up as an idol starlette. Kinda figures really.

Aside from that... just SO MUCH GAME in this, man. Hours and hours and hours...

One day I have to go back and replay the series from 0 to 6, except I feel like that may take the entire rest of my life to do, particularly if I want to 100% it.

Which ... I DUNNO. 76 hours feels like enough of a game to me.

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May 4th, 2018


07:05 am - A Land Before Sqrls
Every now and then when I'm just streaming quietly to myself for the footage to review later or make clips of if something good happens, I'll get a problem where the Twitch page goes blank except for the words "Unless you have a time machine this content is unavailable."

Which... I'm sure is just a "Stop using adblock" thing, or a site glitch. Something.

Still. It's super-early in the morning. No one's around. I'm being told I need to time travel to watch myself.

My games backlog is so deep it would take literal years of nonstop play to clear it. I have been, in fact, playing for literal years working to clear it with a singleminded focus. Maybe ...

I dunno, what if...

You guys would tell me if I were a ghost, right?

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April 28th, 2018


01:46 pm - Recordkeeping: Ico COMPLETE
Catching up with the hottest hits of 2001, I am.

Ico's a game about a kid with horns stuck in a castle with a very passive girl and all of the lighting effects a first-party Sony design team could program. He jumps, runs, explores and drags the girl along behind him with one hand while fighting off monster shadows with the other. There's a bit of plot, which only overexplains itself into tedium once through the entire game -- a very strong showing.

For the most part I beat this because I hadn't before. It's... mmh. I enjoyed the physical puzzles and jumping around, but not so much anything else?

...that said, there were strong MOMENTS in this game. Really strong visual moments. The endgame 'boss fight'/movement puzzle was particularly strong, even if it did come after the worst moment in the game. Highs and lows, I guess.

The save music was good, and this had enough positive points to make me glad I played it, but I'm a little relieved to have it out of the backlog, honestly.

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April 26th, 2018


09:41 am - Recordkeeping: Clash Force COMPLETE
Ah man, after that one my hand feels kinda achy.

Okay, so... There's a variety of "retro" style NES-alike games out for people who like Metroid, and for people who like Mega Man... this is the one designed for people who liked Contra. Your team of three interchangeable totally radical animal people discover that Doctor Crack is making trouble, and you go out to fight him using only your ability to jump really really high and floaty and your ability to pick up the spread-shot weapon and refuse to let it go for any reason ever.

You get three hits per life, infinite lives, off you go.

This took around an hour of play, and I certainly didn't perfect-clear any levels or touch the added Hard Mode content. I had a good time though. I had a GREAT time right up until the level where you jump from missile to missile, which was an absolutely terrible experience. Blurry backgrounds plus fast-moving enemies plus laser beams exactly where you want to be jumping all adds up to a bad time.

It is however the second-to-last non-boss level, so once you get there you're at least on the home stretch.

Until that point my biggest complaint was "some of the music tracks loop a bit sloppily". Not a major issue.

Fantastic soundtrack, too.

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April 23rd, 2018


10:42 pm - Recordkeeping: Sam and Max Hit The Road COMPLETE
There was a time I could recite this game from memory and while that time is past (I actually found some dialogue while playing that I hadn't seen before, yay!) I still love it up and down the block. This was one of the cornerstones of a young sqrl's personality, and ... y'know, while it hasn't aged so well ("laugh at the freak" humor doesn't, nor do some of the casual one-off lines, and the game's largely an all-guy sausagefest) it still FEELS funny deep in my heart.

It's really, really late-nineties take-nothing-seriously comedy though. I'm gonna outgrow that entirely someday, aren't I?

So I'm AWARE of the flaws in it, and I love it anyway. I badly needed some mental comfort food, so I loaded this up again.

Plus it "counts" as new because I haven't played it since I started recordkeeping.

So do all the other Lucasgames.

Expect to see THOSE float by at some point now that I've gotten MT-32 emulation working. Fancy-ass MIDI!

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April 22nd, 2018


09:14 am - Everything Happens So Much
I was accepted into the Elder Scrolls Online closed beta for Summerset Isle, the latest DLC package. It looks VERY nice, very elfy, lots of sunlight. You can join an ancient order of time-manipulators and rewind your character back and forth, there's a new "Skill Suggestor" interface for people who are stupid about builds like I am, etc. Looks very, very nice indeed.

I almost picked it up on preorder.

It comes out May 21st.

April 26th, my copy of Super Robot Wars X ships from Singapore.

May 18th, I'll be picking up Hyrule Warriors for the Switch.

June is largely a free month, but I'll be saving up through it, as Octopath Traveler and the Switch version of the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy come out in July. Then it's another potential break month in August, but early September is for Dragon Quest 11 and late September is for Spyro Remastered and Shining Resonance Refrain (so September will be three different KINDS of dragon quest, ha).

And somewhere in there, there's rumored to be two "collection trilogy" releases of the six main-series Ace Attorney games.

Mmh. And sometime when I get a chance, I want to catch up on the Yakuza series. Like a full-series playthrough from 0 to 6. Plus I don't have some of the big-name games of the last couple years, like Horizon Zero Dawn... Oh, and this is just the recent big-name stuff. There's all those indie games on Steam, and the AAA titles of years gone by to think about...

Not to mention the PILES OF GAMES I ALREADY OWN.

In other news, I just uninstalled Elder Scrolls Online again.

Who has the time for it?

(Okay so real talk: I will not ACTUALLY buy all of this. This is extremely idealized, it's the plan I WOULD follow if I could afford it. In reality? Maybe a third of it.

Spyro and Dragon Quest are a must, though.)

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April 21st, 2018


02:29 am - Let's Watch A Cartoon!
So a friend of mine noticed I was feeling down (I was telegraphing it hard) and linked me over to a strange little Japanese cartoon. Originally airing in two-minute long episodic chunks on a music-information show, "Inazma Delivery" is the tale of a squooshy, easily-flustered pig fellow who works at a delivery outlet. One day a package is delivered with an illegible address, containing ~something~ wearing a kigurumi of a shark...

I started watching this out of raw fascination. By three minutes in I had big goggle-eyed of "WTF Am I Seeing". Then I started the hysterical giggling.

By 17 minutes in, I was COMPLETELY EMOTIONALLY INVESTED in the plot.

When the video was over, I broke a personal rule of mine and left a "Season 2, please!" comment on Youtube.

Join me, won't you, in enjoying Inazma Delivery Season 1. (Note: Actual episodes start 30 seconds in. The opening is a preview trailer.)

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