LiEat

Now that tests are out of the way, I can finally look forward to clearing through my backlog of stuff. This particular game is outside of my comfort zone of playing RPG Maker games. Because this is made in Wolf RPG Editor, which is technically different.

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LiEat is a a game by Miwashiba, translated by vgperson and published by Playism. The release of LiEat on Steam is actually three games in a launcher, acting as different chapters.

The world of LiEat is a weird modern-fantasy mix where dragons are humanoid with different, specialized powers. In the case of the main protagonist Efina (or Efi), she has the power to eat the manifestations of lies. She is adopted by a swindler named Theo that changes his name and identity wherever he goes, selling information to people. While each chapter has a standalone story, there’s an overarching story about the nature of dragons in the world and what the deal is with Theo.

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The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth +

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The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is the de facto roguelike twin-stick shooter by Edmund McMillen and Nicalis. Personally, I have a complicated relationship with the game. It is good as a time waster and while I definitely haven’t spent as much time on it as the experts out there, 220+ hours is still nothing to sneeze at. However, some of the things in the game feel more malicious than actually challenging and the Lost and the Keeper just sucks ass, okay?

Back in January of last year, the last expansion, Afterbirth + (stylized as a cross) was released, adding some more content and official mod support. At the start of May, what is presumably the last big update for the expansion was released and I thought that I should get back in the game and write something about the expansion as a whole.

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An article and a bunch of games I did within an hour and a half

So I was sitting in my school’s library, waiting for my next class in a few hours. I was bored, so I went on Twitter to ask for some short games to play. I thought that maybe I should write about the stuff I played real quick to make up for the fact that I didn’t publish an article last week. Professionalism!

Spider’s Hollow

Spider’s Hollow is a game made in Puzzlescript by my friend, Far Away Times. I told them I’d get around to playing one of their games one of these days and I guess now is the day.

Spider’s Hollow is a simple puzzle game where your fairy protagonist goes off to search for her friends that disappeared investigating a small hollow. The first two levels are tutorials that introduce the game’s block pushing and the fact that walking in webs slows you down. Seems simple enough. But then the narration in-between levels turns out to be by the eponymous spider, who will start chasing her down after a few moves are made.

Spider’s Hollow is a block pushing game that’s less about clearing the way to the exit, but more about either blocking off the spider’s path or delaying it from reaching you before you get to the exit. Unless the school’s computers are screwy, there seems to be no audio, which is my only big negative to the experience. I wish that there was more content, but otherwise, it’s something short and sweet with a surprisingly bleak ending.

Winnie the Pooh’s Homerun Derby

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This isn’t a small indie game, but it’s an infamous flash game made on the orders of Disney. My friend Rasen suggested this to me and while I respect and care about him, this is the worst curse ever bestowed upon me.

Winnie the Pooh, this foolish bear, must hit a certain number of home runs as his woodland pals throw balls at him. You position Winnie the Pooh with your mouse and click to swing, with swings at the green circle being more likely to produce a home run.

Something that annoys me about the game is that there isn’t a pause function. There isn’t even a restart or quit function either, so if you’re literally unable to win, you just have to wait for Pooh’s chucklefuck friend to be finished throwing to reach the inevitable conclusion.

Alright, so here’s the thing: my reflexes are absolute shit. I actually can’t pass Piglet because I’m absolute garbage at games of pure reflex. I ended up quitting on Piglet, but I consider that a blessing. I know what’s in the horizon. I know that these motherfuckers start throwing bizarre tosses and doing King Crimson antics. I know that if I keep playing, I’ll be folded into nothing for nothing. I will see nothing but despair if I keep going. So I didn’t.

Music is nice though. It’s nice cheerful stuff, which is rather contrary to what you’ll be feeling playing this.

Anyway, check out Rasen’s podcast, We Are Finally Podcast.

The Inhumanity of Hitpoints

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The Inhumanity of Hitpoints is a text by BabylonTheGreat made for the Manifesto Jam. Like a scholarly text, they rant against the continual usage of hit points in video games, viewing it as a game abstraction that needs to go. I don’t entirely agree with their ramblings, but I also see where they’re coming from. Granted, in the comments below, they admit that this manifesto is rather utopian and that they didn’t have any big alternatives to the hit point system in mind.

Reading this makes me think about how video game lives are sort of dying as a concept in platformer games. Like, a lot of hard indie platformers opt to just give you unlimited lives instead of forcing an arbitrary limit that only makes sense in the realm of arcade games that wants to eat your money. Like god, can you imagine how obnoxious Super Meat Boy would be with a life system? Even Super Mario Odyssey has ditched its lives in favor of a slap on the wrist punishment, which is good, because the series’ continued usage of lives and such has grown to be more arbitrary. Will similar shifts happen for other genres? Who can really say??

Agar.io

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My friend Julien suggested checking out Agar.io, that multiplayer game where you’re an orb and eat other orbs to become the greatest orb ever. With my mighty steed, Future Funk, I went on an orb gathering adventure.

You guide your cell around with the mouse and you can divide and shoot your divided clone forward, which is useful for catching the small fry that’s really good at dodging. There are also spiky orbs that could split yours up if you’re big enough when you touch it. And that’s pretty much it. Just a quest to get bigger and become the biggest fish in the pond.

My honest opinion on Agar.io? It’s one of those games that’s just sort of satisfying to play, even if it’s kinda uneventful. Watching your orb grow in power and gobble other orb carries the same satisfaction as watching the numbers in a clicker game run up for me.

Eventually, my conquest to bring Future Funk to the world was ended when it was chewed up by a mass with a rose in its name, so I guess the Democratic Socialists of America hate future funk.

Slay the Spire

After a week of hell, I’m mostly done with my school projects. Just got one final to worry about and it is a take home, so I’m feeling pretty good about things. I thought that I should buy something as an end-of-semester gift for myself.

My friends have been playing a bunch of Slay the Spire lately, which has had me thinking, “dang, maybe I should hop on this.” However, what finally pushed me into getting it was watching Northernlion play from the beginning and witnessing his amazing misplays. I mean, he’s probably amazing at the game now, but his early Slay the Spire videos was the stuff of madness to me and had me thinking “jeez, I should get this and see if I can actually do better instead of being a backseat gamer.”

I started playing Slay the Spire when I remembered, “oh right, I have a blog for this kind of stuff.” I failed to update last week because of a bunch of school junk and this place was long due for an update, so I decided that I should write something up about Slay the Spire as soon as I finally win a run. And I did – 24 hours later – which is a good enough time to make judgement, if you ask me.

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To those that are not in the know, Slay the Spire is one of those hot roguelikes on Steam Early Access. I know that combination of words is terrifying for gamer reactionaries, but hear me out. Slay the Spire distinguishes itself through being a card game, with combat being played out through cards, your deck slowly getting built up as you ascend toward the Spire. I’m currently at the 36 hour mark of playtime, so I can easily say it is an addictive ascension.

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sacraments i and iv

It’s almost the end of spring semester and I’m real tired. I got four projects to finish within the next two weeks and one of them is a ten page research paper. I’m in hell. So, because of that, I decided to look at some short stuff that I had on my backlog, since I don’t have the time to play anything longer.

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Sacrament I and Sacrament IV are games by melessthanthree and they’re meant to act as a lead-up toward his bigger upcoming action game, LUCAH.

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The Thief of Wishes

There’s something that I’ve been ignoring when it comes to indie games, and that’s the mobile market. As my April Fool’s post may indicate, I mainly just play Final Fantasy gacha games on my phone, in my continual spiral toward self-destruction. The only mobile game that I’ve seriously looked at for this site was Highwind (which, by the way, recently updated, so check that out!). So you know what, let’s check out more mobile stuff.

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The Thief of Wishes is the first game by All Blue Studios, a Polish development team. The game is an interactive storybook that’s aimed at kids, with narration to go along with it. Does this qualify as a visual novel? As far as my tagging system is concerned, yes.

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FFRKR Week 13 of 2018!

ffrk1Hey record keepers, it’s your pal, Dari Scitydreamer, and welcome back to another weekly Final Fantasy Record Keeper Report, or, FFRKR! What? This is off-brand for the site? This has always been an Record Keeper fansite, what are you talking about? So anyway, quick recap! Last week, we had a discussion on the Final Fantasy V event dungeon and whether or not some of the new characters introduced are important enough to warrant being made characters in FFRK. Again, I argue that if they made Jihl Nabaat a playable character, that minor FF XIII villain that got unceremoniously dropped out of the narrative, why the hell not? We also discussed our pulls from the 33x Relic Draw and hollered about trying to get Tyro’s new Ultra Soul Break.

This week’s report will just focus on upcoming events, so it’ll be a bit light. Easter Sunday is tomorrow and as we all know, the Easter Bunny detests video games, so in honor of him, I’ll avoid going into the usual 5000+ word sermons these reports go into.

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Kero Blaster

It’s Spring Break, that time of the school year where I constantly switch between playing video games and lying in bed, just sort of disassociating. I finished Nier Automata and that’s a fantastic experience that I consider a must play. You know what else I consider a must play? Kero Blaster!

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Kero Blaster is a 2014 game by Studio Pixel, published by Playism. That’s right, the same Studio Pixel that made Cave Story, one of the most well known indie titles, a cornerstone in games, probably Nicalis’ main source of revenue when they’re not milking The Binding of Isaac. So yeah, those are some high expectations to live up to.

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A Few Hours with Visual Novel Maker

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The past weekend, Degica, the company that publishes the RPG Maker engine line, had a free period where you could try RPG Maker MV and their recent in-house release, Visual Novel Maker. I’ve been curious about Visual Novel Maker ever since I heard of it. I don’t have much experience in visual novels. I played around with Ren’py for a bit and made something, but I’m no expert in it. However, Visual Novel Maker, like the RPG Maker line, promises an accessible game making experience, so, I thought that I should check it out.

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Preview: Patchman vs Blue Squares

Enkian Games wasn’t the only developer that emailed me about checking out their game. I also got an email from Naturally Intelligent Inc, who talked about the game they got up on Kickstarter and I thought, “sure, let’s check this out.”

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Patchman vs. Blue Squares is the upcoming second game of a series called Don’t Be Patchman. You play as Patchman, but, you also don’t want to. I don’t know the specifics, but apparently Patchman caused the drone-filled dystopia tormenting people (called “Sheeple”), so that’s a pretty good reason why he doesn’t want to be him. But, I guess Patchman’s taking responsibility to fix the mess that he apparently made. The plot seems to be going in the direction of fighting corporate entities and if that idea’s approached sincerely, I’m all for that.

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The demo consists of one level, running around a junkyard on the outskirts of some facility to help a drifter. While there’s platforming elements, Patchman’s more of an adventure/stealth game. From the trailer, you can do stuff like putting on disguises to fool drones, but it doesn’t show up here. It’s mainly just dodging around and running like hell. The gameplay is just sorta alright to me. I’m not exactly wowed, but everything works fine. Gotta say though, isometric platforming is usually hell for me, but it works out fine in this game, so props for that.

Personally, the strongest aspect of the game is the art style. The character designs themselves are simple, but their pixel work is pretty detailed. On Patchman’s design, him being mostly purple helps him stand against the environment, which I appreciate. I also think the environments are done well and I especially love how dirty and decrepit the junkyard is. There’s also a lot of minor details to the game that I appreciate. For instance, Patchman’s facial expression shifts for a bit after a cutscene, like running and crying in despair after seeing a picture of the new villain to fight before eventually collecting himself. There’s a whole lot of debris in the junkyard that adds detail, with a lot of it being capable of being kicked around for some interactivity. Stand near one of those blue square posters for long enough and Patchman rips it off the wall and crumples it into another object to kick around. I really love these kinds of details, it adds more life to the game.

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Development of Patchman vs Blue Squares is being funded on Kickstarter and has 26 days to go, as of this writing. Personally, I feel that the demo needs to be longer. Looking at the trailer and some of the promotional stuff for the first game, there’s a whole lot of mechanics beyond what’s shown in the demo and if that stuff’s going to carry into the new game, I feel that Kickstarter backers should have a taste of some of that. I like the look of the game, but I don’t think the demo is a sufficient taste, if that makes sense.