The idea I've got for this page kind of goes like this: I try a lot of games, but I put a lot of games down very quickly. I do not want to commit to a full LP for every single thing I'll pick up for an hour or two. Sometimes I just want to have a record of what I've been looking at, and maybe upgrade a project to an LP if I'm enjoying it.
for the last few days I've been playing various formats on Pokemon Showdown. I played random battles at first to start trying to get a bit more used to the flow of PVP, and when I got over the initial hump there and hit a rating around 1300 on the current gen ladder (currently lower because that's just how randbats goes sometimes), I started looking into some of the other formats. OU and UU don't really interest me that much so I gave NU a shot and got bodied there, and then I gave RU a shot because I can use Gardevoir and Slowbro and Mimikyu and they're good there, and I'm still getting bodied but not as hard as I was getting bodied in NU, and I like looking at the funny pink beach dude and Revavroom more than I like looking at Rotom-Mow and Jolteon. The main thing that's annoying about the lower tiers is that there's not really any current sample teams to just plug and play with and it takes longer to get a match.
went through disgaea 7. it's another disgaea game. they've iterated on the mechanics a bit more and it's easier than ever to breeze through the main game. the maps seem larger than usual and I ended up running characters with three pairs of boots to make it feel more reasonable. the gacha they've added to the hospital in conjunction with the evility scrolls cracks the game wide open, and the changes to healer xp means that just chucking the healer and 8 other units in a corner with a bunch of xp boosters (triple xp from the dark assembly, extra xp from the cheat shop, pirilika's and the sea angel's party xp boosting evilities) is the best way to level early game, since there's not really anything too much better than getting 11 levels or so a turn for doing basically nothing. I forgot that I already did a writeup of what and how below.
story-wise disgaea 7's pretty good. It's not doing anything too unique for the series, but what it's doing it's doing well. All the plot beats hit the way they're supposed to and the cast, while not at the levels of some of my favorite characters in other entries (like valvatorez and his posse of losers from disgaea 4), are all well executed and likable enough. Fuji's a good male tsundere, Pirilika's an enthusiastic weeaboo, Seefour likes explosions, Yeyasu is a massive loser, and then Higan and Suisen are a bit weaker, but I can definitely remember a lot more of the cast in 7 offhand than I can for 6 (there was, uh, zed, and his sister, and the red ranger with a plugsuit, and the king? i do not remember their names). on the whole though i think disgaea 7's probably one of the better entry points into the series. most of the rough edges have been smoothed out and it all works together pretty well. i still think disgaea 4 complete is probably the best package overall, but if anyone's asking me about disgaea in the future I'll probably just point them to Disgaea 7.
I've continued working my way through Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru and got through with episode 7 last night. There's a lot going on with it, but as far as the umineko likers tell me episode 7 is as much explanation as I'll get. The culprit's situation is deeply fucked, the Ushiromiyas are monsters, the riddle's solution is deeply mean, but also a lot shorter than I thought it'd be, and then there's a ton of really clever narrative sleight-of-hand. I think I can see why the game would annihilate the brain of someone who played it at a more formative age. I've still got another chapter to get through but I'm not expecting it to tell me anything I don't already know. Seems like it's just there to close things out and ask you what you thought of the themes.
I played a bit of Void Stranger, up through the first interlude. I don't play many sokoban-likes, but it seems like there's some meat on it and probably a good story if I would get deeper into it.
Fate/Samurai Remnant came out. I'm not totally sure what people were expecting out of it, but it's not quite a full musou and not quite a strict action game. From the reactions I've been hearing online it seems like people weren't expecting a type-moon game to be mostly text occasionally broken up by a bit of gameplay, which is just bad pattern recognition imo. It seems like it'll be probably one of the most straightforward holy grail wars to get people an easier on-boarding point into fate things than the bad musous or one of the RPGs that wasn't localized, or the VN that never came over. I'm having a decent time with it so far.
I played a bit of Spirit Hunter: Death Mark. It seems neat. It's a story that seems like it's ended up on the horror side of the horror/mystery split. People get the titular death mark and then find themselves drawn to a mansion with a talking doll dressed in gothic fashion. If they don't figure out a way to break the curse before the morning, they die. I didn't get much further than that, since it seems like you can't just save and reload whenever, and can only do so at fixed points. It's probably to enhance the horror and make decisions feel more impactful or something, since Experience's dungeon crawlers will just let you save whenever you want. I'll probably get back to it at some point, it seems neat. I guess October's as good a time as any to get back to it and Paranormasight, get the spooky games in.
played some more armored core 6. got through chapter 2. it's still solid
played through the Disgaea 7 demo, and got one of my units up to 9999. the long and short of the grinding strategy in the demo is as follows:
- HL: roll the gacha with the points you get from healing party members. throwing the armor knight in 1-5 into the base makes this easy.
- mana: use the evility scrolls you get from rolling the gacha on the unit you want to gain mana, then convert them to mana at the evility shop.
- xp: pirilika gets an evility that boosts the exp gain of adjacent units at somewhere in the level 25-30 range. grind her up to level 30 by pressing magic wall in the +1 attack geo tile zone in 2-2 and then make scrolls of that evility and pass it around to other party members. boost the range of the magic wall skill (or some other buffing skill) on either pirilika or a healer as much as you can, put some exp boosting evilities on your unit that you're planning to level, then pass a triple exp bill by paying off the senators. head back over to 2-2, throw the +1 attack geo effect onto the geo panels, arrange your units in a 3x3 grid around the unit, and then press magic wall for seven hours. there will probably be a better way when the full game comes out in a bit over a week, but having a unit at 9999 means I can now just make generics at 7999 and just waltz through the rest of the game now. I also changed the character's class a few times while I was grinding it out so now I have all the generics that are available as of the demo at a minimum of rank 5. The videos I was looking at recommended using a nekomata to make it go a little bit faster since they get an extra attack when they're under 10% HP, but it didn't seem like it sped the process up all that much in the end.
Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don't Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King is a game that one of my friends kept mentioning, and I nearly wrote it off as one of those kind of lower-rung Nippon Ichi games until they said it was by Experience, which took me from "maybe i'll think about looking into it next month" to "gotta buy it and get my dungeon crawler fix". It seems like Experience is continuing to improve and refine their dungeon crawler formula, and this one seems as good as ever. I'm about one demon king in right now. Not sure if it's going to turn out as good as Undernauts yet, but it seems solid.
It does have the problem that a lot of the games in the genre have though, where it's really annoying to reroll the bonus stats for a good number when you're creating a character. thankfully, i found out how to get the hidden good bonus starting stats , using a secret method that has been hitherto unknown
played some more armored core 6. i cleared out a few missions and got through the end of chapter 1. can't think of anything to say about it right now.
been playing some strip mahjong fangames by splushwave. normally I wouldn't think much of mahjong games, but the ones this company makes have gone and bolted an entire RPG to the side of it and made the mahjong play itself if you want it to. It ends up creating a pretty similar kind of mood to what I get out of gacha games on auto mode. it's compelling in a way I wasn't expecting it to be, and I've ended up losing a couple full days to them so far. the main annoying thing about them is that getting textractor to read the text initially is fiddly and it doesn't capture any of the menu text when i do get it working, so I have to actually read the japanese and try and remember the absolute nonsense that spells are named in dragon quest on jp or try and remember that the dot skills in fgo are 呪い, 毒状態, and やけど, because for some reason the dot skills in their fgo mahjong game affect the enemy's life points directly and so servants that can inflict those on the regular like serenity (in game 1) or baobhan sith (in the append disc) are insanely busted. the dot skills in the fgo one makes the games less about actually doing well in mahjong and makes it more about using fgo knowledge to loop your main DPS's NP a bunch and maximize the amount of dot damage the enemy's taking. it's an approach that's just really weird and, as such, is more compelling to me because I haven't seen anything like it before. maybe i should dig deeper into mahjong games, see if anything else is like this.
Over the last few days I've been playing some of the Armored Core games.
Armored Core 1 is neat and I like the mood the game has where I am constantly struggling to get even the barest minimum of upgrades for my mech. It's grimy and tells of a tough world where making progress is tough. I'm sure there's ways around it but I've been having some success by just getting the large magazine machine gun and just eating the ammo costs since it's pretty reliable for the price. I'm about 17 missions in.
Armored Core 2 was very similar until I scraped together the money to buy the grenade rifle and then proceeded to laugh my way up the arena to get the money to play around with building whatever mech I felt like. However, in doing this I got pretty lazy and wasn't really using my full toolset in the way I think the game expects, which led to me getting walled in the mission where Strung takes you out to a desert with no radio with the promise of advance payment, since that was basically a normal mission followed immediately by an arena fight, so I had to actually learn to use my missiles instead of just relying on my gun. I think I'm about 22 missions in right now.
Armored Core 6 is a different game by comparison. Moving around is easy, getting money is easy, and getting the tools to mess around with your mech happens a lot sooner. If something's troublesome you don't have to start the mission over from the beginning and it gives you checkpoints like candy. I'll probably get walled soon since I've played like five missions of it but this doesn't seem too bad so far, especially not after piloting the much more cumbersome mechs of the early games.
in another 'game i was inevitably bound to play that i have started playing' news, I have ended up starting Muv-Luv Extra today. I'll do a live play of it for my friends on discord, but dunno if it's worth it to cross-post here.
I was reading some of Joe Wintergreen's posts today, and saw that he worked on InFlux, a game that I've had sitting in my Steam library for who knows how long, while I was looking over his Youtube page. So I booted it up and played it for an hour or so. InFlux seems like a perfectly competent marble-rolling puzzle game. It feels very TIGSource-core. You've got a limited, basic set of verbs (roll, push, pull, boost) and then the game introduces and then plays with that verb set through levels designed to teach you how mechanics work one at a time with minimal explicit tutorializing. It's enjoyable enough for what it is, even if it does play it very safe with its approach and ends up feeling a bit textbook as a result. Rolling the marble around and making it ramp off halfpipes is fun as a basic verb though and they don't try to get in the way of that core when you're just rolling the ball around between the puzzle levels.
Oh whoops, fell off of this for a couple weeks. Mostly since I haven't played much of anything for more than a few minutes, and the one game I did play for like two hours (Trails) I've got off in a page I haven't published since I want to finish one of those games before I commit to anything more, as Trails, at a ballpark, as a whole, would take more time to finish than FF14 up through Endwalker. What I have been playing is Yeah, You Want "Those Games", Right? So Here You Go! Now Let's See You Clear Them!. It is exactly what it says on the tin. It's a collection of mobile game ad games. Pull the pin, math tower, fluid matching, and money run. "Those games" are exactly what they seem to be, and are about as challenging as you'd expect them to be. Compared against the pull the pin game I downloaded on my iPad a while back to find out, this is just the pure experience of what is advertised, and doesn't have any of the well-oiled ad-serving machinery that I'd encounter in the real versions of these games. It's neat.
I played a little bit of The Pale City, which seems to be a sort of cthonian RPG maker game. It's got a cool mood to it, but I didn't get very far into it.
Today I picked up QUESTER, and it has the sort of aesthetic sensibilities of a DOS or PC-98 game, just gussied up a bit to take advantage of new hardware being able to display more graphics at a time, while keeping the minimalist no-animation grid-based movement. I haven't played enough of it to say much more than that. It seems neat, but has a little bit of friction to it and I'm not as used to trying to get into games with friction in their design as I used to be, so it'll probably take a bit of adjusting for it to click.
While I was waiting for a late-night stream I played a round of Lumines Remastered. Lumines is still my go-to mindless puzzle game, and I like it a little bit more than Tetris. A while back I was so enamored with Lumines that I made my own rough prototype of a Lumines clone since I wanted to see what it'd look like if it had all the tetrominoes instead of just the squares. It didn't turn out very well, and I guess that's why they just went with the one shape for their game board, and why they made it as wide as they did too.
For the last few days I've been playing Pokémon Sleep. As games go I think it's one of those games that most clearly encapsulates current design trends. What would, in any other point in time just be an alarm clock and maybe a sleep tracker with a Pokémon skin to promote the brand has been upgraded into a glorified Fitbit app that has a $10/month battle pass and various RPG elements for some reason. It's a curious experience. The normal game style of introducing new elements after the main loop finishes once creates a lot more friction when the main loop of the game is "going to sleep", and the time for a tutorial is when you're barely awake.
Well, it finally happened. Cry, scream, insist you'll never play it, come up with every excuse in the book, Falcom does not care. The unceasing release schedule means that, sometime, somehow, eventually, if you play turn-based RPGs, you will eventually, through no fault of your own, end up booting The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC. Trails: you're going to play it some day. And for me that day is today. Additionally, on booting it up I was contacted by an old friend who demanded my opinions on it, so I guess I'm obliged to go and write up a dedicated play log for it.
played a bit more of Monster Attack. After fighting off off-brand tripods in missions 7-9, mission 10 introduced legally distinct Godzilla, who has a nasty breath weapon that took out the tank I was in very quickly.
played through Monuments to Guilt, by Louis, after it popped up on my Cohost feed. It makes its case clearly enough, and I think the most clear point it makes is to just walk back to the start of the exhibit after looking at all the hostile benches and watching the slideshow of all of them and just note that, man, that first bench sure is nice. I'd sit in that first bench.
Went looking around for what the earlier EDF games were called and found that EDF 1 was localized as Monster Attack, and EDF 2 is Global Defense Force. I started playing Monster Attack and it's about what I remember from the time I dug through the Superlite 1XXX series of games in an ISO list and found some game that sounded cool called Chikyuu Boeigun, which turns out to be the Japanese title for the EDF games. EDF 1 opts for a tank control sort of scheme and automatically raises and lowers the gun to the level a monster is at. There aren't any civilians screaming or any of that hammy voice acting where they yell "Oh no! They got Frank! And next they're going to get me!", and they don't sing songs to the tune of John Brown's Body like they do in later games. What I've seen so far though seems like it has all the same bones as the later EDFs. I'm planning on going through all the mainline EDFs, so I should probably make an LP page for it.
I looked up reviews for Exoprimal to see if, hope against hope, that they had changed anything at the last minute and pulled back on their bad online only mentality and they have not. Because they opted not to make their game 'EDF but with dinosaurs', I decided to go and pick up Earth Defense Force 5 over on Steam, and let my mind smooth over as I mow down thousands upon thousands of those goddammned bugs that are trying to invade the Earth. After playing through about 13 missions something about the pacing clicked and I think I could see myself just picking up EDF for a bit, doing a mission, and then putting it down again every time I feel the need to fidget and feel like I'm doing something. This feels like potentially excellent progress in my attempt to find a way to stop my gacha gambling problem if I can make it stick.
After finishing the Tsukihime remake I wanted to see all of the routes that weren't in that one, so I picked up Tsukihime and its various fan discs and put them on my Steam Deck. The tone of Tsukihime is a bit different than TsukiR and the presentation lacks the polish that their new game with big gacha money has, but that doesn't and shouldn't matter too much. The art isn't as airbrushed and the compositions are a bit weaker but none of it is bad by any stretch, so I'll probably just plug away at it right before I go to sleep for the next little while here. I'm thinking I'll mostly focus on the Far Side routes since I'm told that the Ciel route only really diverges from the Arcueid route at the end and the Arc route in TsukiR seems mostly unchanged from what I remember of playing Tsukihime about a decade ago.
Played a bit more of Tsukihime - A Piece of Blue Glass Moon, and finished Ciel route normal. I'm still not totally sure what I think of it yet. Guess I'll have to put my impressions on the backburner until I see the true end. Where I am in the ciel true end route end seems like it's got a little bit more going on, the usual metaphorical fighting between the two heroines fighting over their shared love being represented a bit more literally as a no-holds barred fight as they make their way over to the person they both like, with ciel's protestations (here depicted with her shooting a .30 caliber gun) having no effect. Something to that effect anyway. Now, through the power of editing the page five hours later: I've finished the true end. still not totally sure how I feel about it. It's a pretty fun ride but I'm not totally sure where the back half of that fight fits in with a metaphorical reading of things.
played a bit of Touhou Makuka Sai ~ Fantastic Danmaku Festival part II. I continue to be bad at shmups but want to understand the appeal of the Touhous so I will keep periodically bashing my head against them until I understand. the game is a touhou fangame. it is a shmup. i do not have the necessary experience to distinguish between this and any other danmaku game.
played through a decent chunk of SEQUEL kludge, the fourth game in the sequel series. it picks up the various threads that colony dropped in the back third about the machine continent and the unexplored zone at the south of the continent that colony takes place on. there's a decent little exploration system down there where doing various small tasks makes something on the map unlock. production-wise it's probably an excuse to mess around with MV's scripting system. they've implemented what looks like a bespoke map system that you can zoom out and see where you are, and it doesn't look like it's just the off-the-shelf one you get when you look up minimap plugins for rpg maker MV. at the very least it seems like hakika's customized it with unique sprites. the story continues in the same kind of mood as the rest of hakika's games, and I gel with that well enough so I'm more than happy to just wallow in the setting for a bit longer and see the story play out. it feels like this one and the last one keep pointing to another sequel game set in not-japan but there hasn't been anything on that front announced yet since hakika just released innocent rules a bit under two weeks ago.
played SEQUEL colony. as porn game creators go, hakika is usually trying harder than most to make a real game. the closest point of comparison I have for the sort of style it's going for is something like a more self-serious, less restrained to heart 2 dungeon travelers 2. the balancing in sequel colony feels a bit more shaky than sequel blight or sequel awake, though that might just come from me not understanding how the brand system works. either way i got annoyed by it and hacked the stats up to see how the rest of the main story played out. it was solid enough, some story about a repressive state apparatus covering up the truth of its leadership while a researcher behind the scenes was trying to become immortal. it's some decent enough fantasy schlock.
-played star anise chronicles 1.5: where's twig after seeing a chost by its creator mentioning it in response to talking about how the pico-8 doom port is insane. It's a pretty charming and well-put-together little platformer. you play as a cat and gradually get the powers to meow to open doors, to swipe glasses off of platforms, and a horizontal teleport. it takes around, I dunno, 40 minutes to get through. the writing is about as expansive as you can reasonably get within the limits of PICO-8, which is to say it's pretty minimal and simple, but there's enough room to get a little bit of personality in there. It's not a big game by normal standards, but it's the most ambitious game I've played on a PICO-8 cartridge. It's neat!
played more final fantasy 16 and got up through the point where you can get a chocobo. I'd been noting that the map design had the same sort of feeling as ff14 where navigation on foot felt pretty slow, and wished that I could get a mount. I do wonder where the story's going with Clive struggling to liberate people and them not accepting him as a liberator as he wanders in with a swathe of destruction behind him.
played some more final fantasy 16, and can now see a bit more of what they're going for since I'm out of the intro and into more normal gameplay. got up to a little bit past where clive gets his limit break in the most kingdom hearts sequence i've seen outside of kingdom hearts. after pressing l3+r3 to accept the truth while his past ghost self watches and he fights dark clive inside his heart, clive gets into a kaiju fight with himself and wins. i am extremely glad that they have not just wallowed in the mood they had set in the opening.
suddenly got hit with the crushing weight of realizing that i'm nowhere near being able to do anything close to what i want to with my work life, and that i've whiled away most of my 20s for nothing, and feeling like if I don't make a change soon I'll be stuck in this rut forever, so I spent the day extremely lethargic. I dug out my old PSTV after a conversation set off by looking at the current state of Vita emulation and tried starting a tamamo run of fate/extra but didn't get more than a few minutes into it for the various reasons in the first sentence there.
final fantasy 16 released today, so i've naturally gone and picked it up. it seems like it's Final Fantasy: the HBO drama so far. I'm not a big fan of that kind of prestige TV aesthetic, but I'm not really who they're targeting with this one and I've been getting way more into Dragon Quest recently anyway. The action combat seems like the reasonable evolution of what Type-0 and FF15 and FF7R and stranger of paradise were going for. I think I'll probably end up preferring what stranger of paradise is going for over what 16's doing, just kind of going off initial story and combat impressions. It still feels pretty good to play and pressing buttons doesn't immediately repulse me like it did in FF15.
skipped through the arcueid route since I read that with the buggy MTL text hooker a few years back, got a couple chapters into Ciel's route
tsukihimates finished their translation patch for the tsukihime remake. nothing's getting done on here until i finish reading that. see you in a few days
- tried the exoprimal demo. regrettably, the number of dinosaurs on-screen at any given time was reasonable and did not cause the console to struggle under the weight of all the dinosaurs. there were no raptornados. the writing was not very campy. and then after fighting a bunch of dinosaurs there was some move the cube to the extraction point thing where you had to fight off raptors and the enemy team and it sucked. the game is not close enough to being the dinosaur EDF i was hoping it would be. And, sure, that's not necessarily what it's going for, but I am not interested in any execution of the game's concept that isn't 'EDF but with dinosaurs', so the further it gets from that the less I care about what it is.
- started playing Valkyrie Elysium. It seems a lot better than the initial impressions I heard gave it credit for. It seems like a really solidly put-together action game that feels good to move around and fight in, and the writing seems serviceable for what it's going for even if it's probably not what fans of Valkyrie Profile want. as spinoffs go this seems pretty respectable, with nice environments and good game feel. Maybe it'll wear thin by the end, but the bones here seem solid.
The Final Fantasy XVI demo dropped today, and it's pretty much everything I'd expect from a Naoki Yoshida production. Guy loves him some medieval fantasy and this Final Fantasy feels, writing-wise, more like Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre than the rest of the mainline Final Fantasies.
played more ranked SF6 and remembered to record and upload the matches. I'm going to go and set up the page for it right after I hit save here.
played a bit more of world tour mode on SF6. I asked some other people about the ending of the story mode and they said the only difference was where you end up on the podium at the end there, and I can respect it.
Reached credits on the Street Fighter 6 single player. I ended up losing to Bosch at the end and getting what seems like the bad ending, though it's also a reasonable end to Bosch's character arc and the thematic question of "what is power". Understanding it just as violence invariably leads to destruction, the game seems to say, while also seeming to imply that there is a way to pursue power recreationally. Or at least, that's the initial impression I get. Another reading might ask me to reconsider the premise of power as mere violence, or any host of other decently interesting questions that I'm not entirely sure are the reading I'm supposed to get out of it when I don't know what happens when I win the tournament against Bosch. Playing normally in that fight I think I'd lose, and winning would take either a lot more skill or using every tool in my arsenal to win. To use items and all that is to say to the game that you are willing to win at any cost, and it's to get an understanding of power not as something which is fair, but as being willing to stoop to doing anything to win. In that scenario there is no such thing as cheating in combat, no such thing as being cheap, or being unfair. There is only playing to win, and under this view losing is not an option. It's kind of interesting to contrast this, which is pretty clearly the view that Bosch is supposed to represent, with what happens when he wins, which is that he dies. In doing everything to win, he reaches ruin. There's something weird there, which means there's more to it than that, and some part I'm not thinking about, but I've written all I want to about it for now.
Played some more Street Fighter 6. Over on ranked I hit rookie 3, and I'm doing a little bit better at using my options. Guiles are kicking my ass though, I think I need to learn what he's doing more. In the story mode I found the island with a bunch of level 50 enemies and I've been using that to powerlevel a bit. I should probably upgrade street fighter to a real page since i've played it for more than a couple of hours across a few days now.
decided to give DJMax Respect another shot and dug out my old fightstick to get an experience more in line with the way the buttons appear on screen. I probably need to replace some buttons or cables on it since it's dropping inputs a lot, or buy a hitbox to replace it, but initial results feel promising.
played a bit of corru.observer. it feels like an interesting evolution of the sort of multimedia approach that old flash games used to have. It looks very cool but it's hard to play in longer stretches. so far I've gotten two scenes into the memory of the embassy.
played a few minutes of Torchlight to see if my opinion on top-down diablo-style games has changed. it has not. it plays okay but not enough for me to want to spend the sort of time on it that it's asking for.
- played a few rounds of street fighter 6 online. I mostly got bodied and need to spend more time just learning what all the characters can do, as well as play better in neutral and remember to use a couple of the autocombos every now and then.
- picked up Lunacid and played it for about 5 hours straight. It's a really well-done first-person action dungeon crawler in the King's Field vein.
played about 20 minutes of Golf With Your Friends, and then promptly refunded it because I didn't like how it felt to play.
played some more street fighter 6. I went online and went like 3-12 in novice 1 ranked. the single-player mode is still neat, but it'll probably wear out its welcome by the end.
-Street Fighter 6 came out today. It's Street Fighter. It's pretty solid. I'm probably not going to be doing anything else today.
- i lie, i picked up a gacha for a few minutes and gave 404 Game Re:Set the briefest of tries. yoko taro has a bad track record with gacha games and this one continues that trend. gameplay-wise it's a mediocre shmup in the vein of an azur lane. gacha-wise, it's split into a character gacha and an equipment gacha. the equipment gacha is a bunch of little sega figurines. that's cute and kind of charming, but not charming enough to make me not want to drop the game.
- played a few minutes of DJMax Respect on my computer and boy does that game not play well with proton. I was getting downwards of 20 FPS and refunded it pretty much immediately because that's just not playable at all.
- gave the demo for Astlibra Revision a shot. it felt pretty good, kind of like a more responsive version of fortune summoners.
-I've gone and booted up Outer Wilds for the first time in a few years, since I saw a post that reminded me I never picked up the DLC. Here's a log of my time with the Outer Wilds DLC:
Attempt 1: The menu tells me that there's a new exhibit in the museum. I head over to the museum and wonder where the new exhibit could be until I see the sign that says 'new exhibit'. It talks about the mapping probe, so I head over to it. I crash into it, and I find nothing. I wander around the solar system a bit until I end the cycle on the white dwarf station.
Attempt 2: I go to the mapping probe again and remember how to use the radio. This gives me the deep space channel, and it shows a signal back at Timber Hearth. I head back there, and then wander around the oceanic vents until the sun explodes.
Attempt 3: I find the source of the other signal on Timber Hollow at the radio observatory. Inside the building it shows a picture of an astronaut on an image with a readout that says 137 degrees below it. I follow the map pod to 137 degrees and find nothing. I restart.
Attempt 4: I double-check the radio tower picture and it sure does say 137 degrees. I return to 137 degrees and find nothing. I wander around the solar system a bit more and decide to follow the radio for an entire cycle next time.
Attempt 5: I beeline to the radio emitter and align my flight trajectory with it starting somewhere around 22 degrees. I subtract 137 from 360 and wonder if I'll see anything at 223 degrees. I do not. I crash into the emitter somewhere around a readout of 270 degrees. I did not see anything interesting while following it. I'm out of leads at this point so I put the game down for now.
- played chapter 5 of sword and fairy 7. it has a card game. i will update the page later.
- played a chapter of liar princess and the blind prince. I might start a page for this one. I've been meaning to see it through to the end for years and need a good excuse to do so.
got my new capture card in and updated its firmware, and then played a bit more sword and fairy 7. gonna try an old approach where I just record the game first and then pick out the screenshots and do the writeup later, as opposed to what I've been doing so far, which is to do the writeup as I play it. kind of a coinflip which approach lets me be lazier about this, but I'm going to play it by ear.
-played a bit of r4: ridge racer 4. the aesthetic seems comparatively easy to replicate in html so i might try and do something with that.
2023-05-26: played some of myhouse.wad. it's neat but i am very bad at doom. it's also been documented extensively elsewhere so there's not a whole lot of point talking about it here.
- booted up fate/extra ccc to see if I could use text hooking and MTL to get through it and ran into the same problem I did last time where the ADV segments and the VN segments didn't play nice with each other, so I stopped, and will go back to waiting for iwakura's team to make any progress on editing their translation patch again.
-played a few more minutes of minstrel song. i found some treasure chests in a cave.
2023-05-20: ordered a new capture card because I finally got fed up with how finnicky the blackmagic intensity pro is. here's my review of the blackmagic intensity pro: it works half the time if I'm lucky, as long as I only open OBS once. I have to know exactly whether a console outputs at 720p60 (nintendo consoles do this) or 720p59.98 (playstation consoles do this), so you need to know that for table stakes before you can even diagnose if it's just not working because the daemon failed to initialize or got held up by some other process or something. it will output audio sometimes, and depending on the phase of the moon it's a coinflip between whether the audio outputs correctly or has been pitch-shifted in some bizarre way. the software is useless and takes up unnecessary space on my computer. if i try to open up obs a second time or even just put the console to sleep and turn it back on a minute later the audio just gets lost. when it's working, it works great. however most of the time it is not working and it makes capturing footage more of a chore than it needs to be. i have been using this thing on the regular for about eight years and i despise it.
- picked up persona 3: dancing in moonlight and played it for a bit. the remixes are solid, and the rhythm game is fine once you get into the rhythm of it. the writing makes me wonder if I've just aged out of persona, and I probably have.
- played another few minutes of SaGa minstrel song, but I'm just not in the right headspace for it.
- tried the demo forMonster Menu The Scavenger's Cookbook. seems like a pretty reasonable evolution of mystery dungeons. take out the strict 'everything moves on the grid at the same time' bit, add in nippon ichi's usual SRPG combat, expand on the hunger system a bit by adding a cooking menu. seems fine, I'll probably pick it up around when it comes out if I get far enough into the demo to hit the end of it.
2023-05-15: got stuck at the car dealership while waiting for some way overdue maintenance and decided to look through some of the other translated PC-98 games. I booted up Brandish 2 since I remember liking Brandish 1 a lot when I played it on the Vita some years back. So far I've figured out that I can pick up items with PgDn and equip them by clicking on the Equip button and dragging them to the equip slots. I found a manual for it hosted over on Gaming Alexandria, though it's untranslated so I've gotta bumble through it with my extremely bad Japanese. I've additionally found that I can look at things with PgUp, and I can open doors by right clicking the mouse to set the cursor into object interact mode represented by a hand, which lets me open doors if they're unlocked.
-looked through my ps4 library and decided to boot up Metrico+. it feels very of the 2010s. the aesthetic is minimalist and the explanations are nonexistent. it feels like the devs watched the egoraptor video on megaman about how good design is when the game doesn't have to tell you how to play and took it to the conclusion that a lot of the devs did in the 2010s that you shouldn't explain mechanics or have tutorials without noticing that egoraptor's analysis was off-base insofar as it didn't take note of the fact that games would have come with a manual that explained how those games worked, and reading the manual was part of playing the games back then. sure, you can figure it out without it, and that's the point of the video, but you should have some way of just telling players about what the mechanics of the game are because they might not be familiar with the lingua franca of video games and the various visual cues. booting up a game without access to the manual is more of a recent phenomenon that came with the shift to digital games, where you can't really package a manual for people to read while the game installs in the same way as a physical package. ranting about 2010s design trends aside it's an alright puzzle game. most of the puzzle is just figuring out what you're looking at and what's doing what where. it looks neat. wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it but it's competent enough at what it's doing.
-downloaded wordscapes on my phone. like other casual phone games in this area, this is mainly a vehicle to show you ads and push microtransactions with all the latest thought in mobile game player retention clutter. this isn't as extremely aggressive about adding ever more timers and puzzle pieces and competitions and upgrade trees as the pull the pin game I downloaded on iOS a few months back, it's just most of the way there. final review: i feel my grey cells dying in real time out of ten.
-picked up judgement for about 20 minutes. it's still okay but I wasn't really in the mood for it. kind of want to just skip to lost judgement.
-picked up stranger of paradise: final fantasy origin for a bit and then got walled by tiamat. stranger of paradise continues to be extremely good.
-booted up stranger of sword city to give it a shot. this is Experience's first dungeon crawler as far as I remember, and it's so much rougher than their other ones. play undernauts instead.
2023-05-11: had to get up early for a three hour meeting at work and had nothing in the tank after I got home so I just booted up Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line and listened to some music from the music department at square enix goya. i have no thoughts on it (positive). head empty, press button. ff14 music is probably the best of the modern FFs, SaGa's music is so much better than I expected.
-Immediately after posting that last line I thought "dang, I want to play some SaGa", so I picked up Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song. Might start a diary on this one as a text log and upload it if I keep playing over the next few days.
-booted up disaster report 4 for the first time in three years, and got past the extremely out-of-place segment where you join, recruit for, and then become the leader of a cult and back into the regular game and got a bit of the way through the next segment where you try and help an injured old lady to a hospital.
-decided to try fear & hunger: termina. this one's interesting. i should keep a running diary about it. gone and made a page for it here
2023-05-06: started playing digimon survive. haven't gotten far enough in to get any solid impressions yet
-tried cassette beasts this morning and refunded it after around an hour. Maybe if I were in a different kind of mood I'd gel with it a bit more, but-- I dunno, I just don't really like the kind of indie rock sound the overworld theme is going for in general, and I'm just tired of this genre of '90s retro pastiche as an aesthetic. It was kind of interesting when Gone Home did it, but Gone Home was ten years ago, and it's gotten more tired as the last decade's worn on, and I never really jived with other things aiming at this kind of general area like Life is Strange. it's not an aesthetic I want to get more of. There's almost certainly a solid game in there, I'm just not the person to go digging for it.
-picked up final fantasy 3, since it's pretty much the last one I haven't looked into before. i guess they saw the class system in dragon quest 3 and went 'what if you could change your classes whenever without needing to go to the temple of dharma' and tried to figure out what possibilities they could wring out of that. seems about as solid as final fantasies usually are.
-reinstalled control to try and see why i uninstalled it a few years back. i couldn't figure out who i needed to talk to to advance the game state and then tried moving around the character and shooting the gun. I then remembered how it felt to play and it was just so bland that i ended up uninstalling it again. it's like if lobotomy corporation were made by hollywood, without most of the things that made lobotomy corp interesting.