Before getting into this, allow me to get a bit personal.
Many years ago, I had a netbook, a cheap laptop aimed for basic internet use and nothing more. The netbook’s lack of power and me being a teen without the autonomy or money to just buy things really limited my options to get games. So I looked around the Internet for free things that I could play that wasn’t from Newgrounds (I wasn’t really into the flash game scene), which led me to getting into RPG Maker games, and I’ve been in RPG Maker hell ever since.
But I wanted more. And that’s when I read an interesting Kotaku article: a game called Anodyne was up on the Pirate Bay, which the creators stood by and used as promotion. I thought the game looked cool and if the creators were cool with it, I might as well go for it.
And so, outside of RPG Maker games, Anodyne became the first indie game I ever played. It’s a game that I hold close to my heart because it really showed me what a handful of people were capable of putting together. I remember reading through the game development thread a bunch. I remember reading through the Even the Ocean thread a few years later when it was still Even and Ocean. When I was able to buy things I finally formally bought the game off Steam and recently, I won a giveaway for the newly released PS4 port. Sure, I have a backlog and a bunch of e-mail requests to check out games, but if I’m getting one of my favorite games for free, you sure as hell can bet I’m on that.
Anodyne is a game made by Analgesic Productions, consisting of Sean Han-Tani and Marina Ayano Kittaka (note: the opening credits uses a previous name she went by), with the PS4 port done by Nnooo. Anodyne throws you into the Land, the dream world of Young, a youth armed with nothing but a broom on a grand quest to save the Briar (maybe).
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Writing about this was on the back burner for a while. Like, a long while. I even recorded a video back when my computer could actually handle that well. But then my computer had some weird nonsense happening and I kept getting distracted by stuff, you know how it is. It was only recently that I started looking at my backlog of stuff I had that I could play for this blog that I remembered that I should have written about Danmaku Unlimited 2 by now.
Danmaku Unlimited 2 is by Doragon Entertainment, a one man indie studio. As the name indicates, it’s a bullet hell game. It’s a generic title, but thinking about it, it’s rather fitting.
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The Cheshire Cat appears before you, making snide comments and mocking you as you go. “Alice,” he keeps calling you, as he does to everyone, because all people are the same to him. You dismiss his nonsense and he disappears, with the inevitable promise of coming back to harass you later. You turn your focus to the doors before you and they beckon you to delve into the dreams of their occupants.
Alice mare is a game made in Wolf RPG Maker, made by Miwashiba, translated by vgperson. I previously played Miwashiba’s LiEat games, which I thought were okay adventure games with a charming style. If the dates for the original freeware games on Vector is accurate, Alice mare was actually made before the LiEat games, so I tried going into this without preconceptions from playing them.
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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.
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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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.
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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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!
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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The long awaited day for Yume Nikki fans has finally come. After a decade of inactivity on the front of official works, an official reimagining of the cult classic dream exploration game was announced. It finally released Feb. 22 on Steam and as a fan of the game since middle school, I pretty much bought the game as soon as it was available.
Yume Nikki – Dream Diary – is developed by the Kadokawa Corporation, which is largely known for developing the RPG Maker engines that helped birth the original Yume Nikki to begin with. The original developer, Kikiyama, reportedly gave input on the project. There’s conspiracy theories that Kadokawa just made the game on their own since Kikiyama is anonymous and chooses to stay that way, but that’s nonsense, considering the fact that Kikiyama’s own website updated with the new logo (it’s the first link under the first red text on the left). I don’t know, maybe next people will claim that the site was hacked on Kadokawa’s behalf.
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My New Year’s resolution was to clear through my backlog of games, and I’ve been making good on that so far. Helen’s Mysterious Castle, Space Moth DX and Monolith were part of that list and I consider them cleared. And so, I continue moving on through that backlog with Artifact Adventure.
Artifact Adventure is an RPG Maker game made by Bluffman, published by your friends at Playism. A nefarious Swamp King is threatening the world and so the king calls on a bunch of heroes to deal with him! …And that’s pretty much the main plot.
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I talk about RPG Maker games a lot on this blog and I’ve spent a lot of personal time on those, but the other type of game I’ve spent lots of time on are roguelikes. More specifically, those twin-stick roguelike shooters. Well, you’d probably call them “roguelites,” but man, I’m not getting into that terminology argument.
There’s an addictive appeal to these games and their action means that they don’t have the slowness of a lot more traditional roguelikes. According to my Steam, I’ve spent almost 300 hours on Nuclear Throne, probably 50 on Enter the Gungeon (between Steam and PS4) and 200 on The Binding of Isaac; there’s a lot of things about the latter that frustrate me, but the fact that I ended up spending so much time on that anyway is a testament to how much I get into these games.
So, it’s no surprise that I picked up Monolith, which is also a twin-stick roguelike; more specifically, it’s the dungeon crawling type where you advance room to room. The game is by Team D-13, who describes themselves as a trio of roguelike and shoot em’ up appreciators, their love of the genres uniting into this game.
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I’ve played a few shoot em’ ups, though I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert. From what I’ve seen, there are two archetypes of shmups: one where you fight spaceships and one where you fight anime girls. Today, I’m looking at a member of the secret third archetype, one that Mushihimesama crosses into: the one where you fight giant bugs.
Today’s game is Space Moth DX, released January 22, 2016 by 1CC Games, published by Black Shell Media. You are the almighty Space Moth and you want to go to space, but alas, a whole bunch of other bullet shooting bugs want to stop you. Also, according to the game’s dev log, our hero is a bitter moth that’s jealous of how pretty the other bugs are, so they can also “soul-drain” the color out of them, which is pretty sick.
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