Meme from [personal profile] singloom

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:24 pm
[personal profile] shamanicshaymin
shamanicshaymin: Quote from Napstablook from Undertale (Default)
Fandom, personal life stuff, political, and so on, let the opinions fly. No judgement or shaming here, please.

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Stolen from [personal profile] cypsiman2

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:37 pm
[personal profile] shamanicshaymin
shamanicshaymin: "Now make that cute face of yours." (Charasriel :: Danger)
Send me a canon and I will describe how 4Kids would "localize" it.
[personal profile] shamanicshaymin
shamanicshaymin: Mama stands for comfort... (Mama Tattletail :: MAMA'S COMING)
Toxic lessons from dumblr: BDSM is abuse. Um, WHAT?

Talk about NSFW topics and abuse and Puri's enraged screaming. )

I hope to GOD someone types an extremely long and detailed rebuttal to that post complete with links and professional sources, because I can't stand the thought of damaging misinformation like this spreading like wildfire.
[personal profile] swordianmaster
swordianmaster: daxter peering from bottom right. is it safe? (Is it safe?)
After Undertale got big, a whole bunch of games came out where a central conceit was the ability to confront your adversaries in non-violent ways. It became a trend-bubble in gaming for a little while, though it's still up to minor debate as to if it made a lasting impact or if it was just a flash in the pan.

Thing is, very few games went further with it than "do a violence" vs "don't do a violence". They gave you skill checks to avoid conflict (West of Loathing, Bioware games), or made it purely dialogue-based. Or they were things where "oh, the things you're up against aren't actually bad and just want to give you milk and cookies".

This is a lot of words to say that Renowned Explorers is the very first game I've played, maybe ever, where nonviolence is a tactical decision instead of a moral one.

Taking inspiration from the 19th century explorers of the British Empire (and the pulp fiction based off of such), Renowned Explorers is kind of like a mix of a 4X game and a standard turn-based strategy game, where you explore regions one node at a time with limited resources (there's that FTL similarity again, I don't know what to call that genre in particular), but conflicts are played out like a normal TBS.

Thing is, each of the characters you can choose in your team of three has one or more of three kinds of attacks: Aggression (aka actual violent stuff), Deceit (taunting, emotional abuse, etc) and Friendship (encouragement, compliments, ego fluffing). These three types interact constantly, and set a kind of field effect to the battle based on the tone of the fight, and one sort of action will always have the upper hand over another - violence always bowls over peace, but gets worn down and misled by trickery, which is no match for encouragement. The way your team and your opponents are both "feeling" work together to create the Mood. In other words, if both sides are boasting the powers of friendship, they're both vulnerable to sudden backstabs, whereas if one side is violent to a still-peaceful opponent, they'll have a bonus that makes them harder to subdue, that sort of thing. It's surprisingly intricate for a game where you can offer a peace treaty to a monkey.

I mean, I don't really know what to say about it that isn't oddly detached "reviewer-ese" or just me saying "hey this game is good and if you like TBS stuff maybe give it a try", but when I say that, keep in mind to take it with a slight bit of caution - the difficulty curve gets pretty sharp near the end, and the main story mode has permadeath, in a game that takes maybe 4-6 hours to push through if you're working at a brisk pace. It can be frustrating to lose progress like that, and lives (or "Resolve", as it's called in-game) are hard to get more of in the span of the game. You lose one every time one of your characters is KO'd or disheartened, and can lose them for failing particularly harsh random events, too, so it's kind of rough.

Definitely a game you could put the time into to learn how to master, though.

52 IN 52: Orion Trail cleared

Sep. 13th, 2017 03:53 pm
[personal profile] swordianmaster
swordianmaster: montblanc would explain it, but (supernerdy)
What happens when Oregon Trail meets FTL, they have a baby, and that baby becomes fascinated with the subtle charms of a bag of dice?

Yeah, that's this game. Honestly, I have no better ways to describe it. It's about three parts Star Trek tropes, two parts Oregon Trail resource management, and fifteen parts RNG.

How is it like FTL then, you might ask? That's easy, the FTL similarities come in two forms:

1) You choose your next destination from a spiderweb-like set of branching paths, though in Oregon Trail style you can only ever go forward, never double back, and
2) Your ship is constantly on fire and crew members are dying hideously.

Past that it's little more than a series of skill/RNG checks at each destination, with good/bad random encounters between them. You pick a crew of four members generally named as bootleg sci-fi characters (yeah, the game embraces its funy, though I admit I had a bit of a chuckle at the Borg Analog refugee's name, Seven of Eleven) with stats distributed amongst five qualities: Combat, Tactics, Diplomacy, Science, and Bravado (the latter being your ability to Leeroy Jenkins your way into and out of scenarios in one piece). At every junction/skill challenge, you're asked to pick a few responses based on the scenario, each keyed to a different stat (or, rarely, all keyed to the same stat with different penalties for failure). Each point you have in that stat changes another negative result on the RNG wheel to a positive, and once you run out of negatives you can change (you can't remove critical failures, and there's always at least one) you start changing the positives to critical successes. Thus, a lot of the "strategy" of the game is "reduce how much you can get screwed over by luck via jacking your stats up as high as possible and favoring your high stats in choices". It's a pretty simplistic game, but that also means it's a nice little casual romp, albeit one that is far more about rolling a dice and praying the RNG favors you this once.

And speaking of the funy, the jokey references and crap - remember back in Saturday Morning RPG's writeup where I mentioned that one of the ways to do it right was to own it as hard as you can? Yeah, Orion Trail does that. Everything is holograms and synthetic food, there are several scenes which poke at the concept of "space typhoid/dysentery/cholera" and how those are totally different than the earth versions, honest, one of your necessary resources is redshirts, which act as a buffer protecting your actual important crewmembers from getting hurt (and yes, every last one of them dies with a Wilhelm Scream), even the nudge-nudge-wink-wink Geico Gecko joke turns out amusing because it turns out "saving you money on your insurance" means "the space lizard mafia will only break your legs a little if you don't pay your 'protection money'". It takes the references and plays around with them, as opposed to just going "HEY LOOK, A THING".

Also, you can have a bear as your captain. More space games need Captain Space Bear.

My one complaint is that it's going for $8 on Steam, and with only five "maps" to go through, that's maybe a bit too pricy for it. Wait for it on sale, as usual.
[personal profile] swordianmaster
swordianmaster: frustrated neku (*headdesk*)
I've been trying to keep up with this project, I really have. And I'm technically not behind if we consider the year starting when I started this, so I don't feel like I can really complain. I'm 4 games behind "current" by my tracking, and have been so consistently for about three months, thanks to a combination of seasonal depression, life stress, and an obsession with phone games and games I've already played to death for years.

But I've been slacking on one thing I said I'd do, and that's chronicling the games that get the better of me, that I give up on. I haven't mentioned a single one, though it's happened several times. So, instead, I'll go down all of the "no, fuck you" in detail here.

HOLY POTATOES! A WEAPON SHOP?!
There wasn't really anything wrong with this one (well, there were several things wrong) but it just failed to keep me interested; I got bored and wandered away. Aside from leaning pretty hard on its funy (as an example, one of the first workers you get is a chesty green-clad potato named "Laura Craft", there is no reason for this, it just exists, because), the game also is basically an unholy fusion of idle clicker and stressful time-management simulator. Things are chill and relaxed until they aren't, but it doesn't really change the stakes any, just makes you confused as to why you should care. So I stopped caring. I may eventually go back. Maybe.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4: EPISODE I
I tried to install this mid-May, it refused to run, saying it needed the newest version of Java to run. Not the Java Runtime Environment, no, but full-blown Java.

I laughed and promptly uninstalled the game. I'm not gonna put my computer at absurd amounts of risk (Java is notorious for having security holes big enough to shove a StarFox macro-fur's dick through) just for a mediocre Sonic game. Call me when you're Sonic Mania.

ANOTHER METROID 2 REMAKE
This is a real good game but fuck trying to hit a five pixel large vulnerable spot on a large, otherwise invincible enemy. And fuck having to do this some one hundred or so times over the course of the game. Hopefully the titular metroids in Samus Returns won't be so bullcrap.

SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING TRANSFORMED
This game singlehandedly made me change my opinion about tutorials and handholding in video games. Sometimes, it's important to have any idea at all of what the fuck you're doing. ASRT doesn't tell you fuckall, which is why Steam has no less than three "YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE GAME, HERE'S HOW" guides on its servers. On top of that, I suck at racing games and was expecting this would have as gentle a learning curve as Sonic Riders Zero Gravity.

Needless to say, I was not given such.

LOOT HOUND
I went as far as I could through this until it became obvious that I would need to grind tens of thousands of experience points, 400 or 500 at a time, to get any further. Then I used Cheat Engine to give myself that EXP. Then I realized it didn't really help the game get better.

The problem is, the game presents itself as a goal-oriented casual game; it tells you "your dog(s) can find things, go find things" and then it promptly shrugs and becomes... a dog-walking simulator. The dogs in Loot Hound are incredibly realistic, which is to say that they don't do anything you want them to do, pee constantly, and end up leading YOU around instead of the other way around. It doesn't help that the "loot" starts out in apparently predetermined spots, but that those spots are maddeningly hard to find, especially when your dog wants to bark at a squirrel or pee on a bush or piss off a security guard. Not helping matters either is the fact that levels become vast expanses of flat green or flat white after a while and it becomes incredibly hard to orient yourself.

I know for a fact I played this wrong. I played it as a game to be beaten and it put me in the doghouse. If I just treated it like a dog-walking simulator I would probably not feel ripped off of the buck fifty that chrono.gg asked for it.
[personal profile] swordianmaster
swordianmaster: fluttershy looking especially creepy (TACOOOOS)
This started off as a pretty innocuous 3D physics platformer. You run around with a booster rocket, a rock-cutting laser, and a steel cable, and you tear apart rocks and move them around.

Then the underpants came out.

See, apparently the plot of the story is that two brothers, Tiny (that's you) and Big (the main antagonist) are fighting over a pair of underpants they inherited from their grandfather. These pantaloons go on your head and grant you magical powers and to be quite honest, Big is kind of a douchecanoe.

Thus, you get to the third level (out of six) and suddenly the rest of the game ends up involving dodging rocks being violently hurled at your face (or cutting them in mid-air with your laser, but that's a lot harder) as a powermad little man with tighty-whiteys on his noggin tries to squish you with the landscape. But it's still a physics platformer and you're expected to carve up the landscape yourself to use as platforms over bottomless pits.

It's a relatively short game, but it was still a little long for my tastes, as it had every last one of the problems endemic to the 3D platformer genre - the camera was constantly an adversary, the controls were both too touchy and wildly imprecise entirely depending on how fidgety I needed them to be, and quite honestly, I had some hitbox issues where something would whiz past my head and despite missing me entirely, my little man would freak out and die.

It has good music, at least! And if you can handle the starched briefs aesthetic it's a nice game to look at. Definitely worth a look if that sort of game is your thing.

Sadly, that sort of game is not my thing and the last hour or so of a three hour game was spent screaming and cursing.
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