I Play Porn Games For The Story // 03.07.2011

Fuck Steam! Oh wait I need to do an intro first. Hey and welcome everyone to another vaguely comprehensible collection of thoughts about things including and very limited to videogames, anime, programming and porn games! You’d be surprised how many things I can do whenever I’m not admiring my own reflection in the bathroom mirror, which I do more times than I care to admit, on with the blog!

Steam

Fuck Steam! So here I am with no money and a lot of programming to do, literally telling myself to get a lot of work done on a certain day. You know what happened on that day? The Steam sale started, that’s what! And with it came another treasure hunt metachievement thing. I’d just ignore it but I really want that golden Beat Hazard ship! And Team Fortress 2 Shades! So it’s time for a ticket adventure!

Bit.Trip Beat

First ticket! Bit.Trip Beat, and for this matter the entire Bit.Trip Saga, was a game I thought looked cool on Wii but I never bothered to get it. I am, however, a sucker for indie packs on Steam, so I own Bit.Trip Beat there instead! I had to get past the first section of the first level without missing a single beat, which I did with relative ease. So much so, in fact, that I kept going to see how far I could get. I managed to get a combo of 496 before missing one and NO I DON’T HAVE THAT 500 COMBO ACHIEVEMENT GOD DAMN IT NEXT GAME.

Toki Tori

Toki Tori is a game I bought to get the golden potato back during the Portal 2 ARG, and was one of the games on that list that I was pleasantly surprised with, and enjoyed quite a bit. A harsh contrast to, let’s say oh I don’t know, The Ball. Anyway, Toki Tori is in my opinion a fun puzzle game disguised as a platformer. So fun that I ended up completing the game after the whole ARG thing was finished and really enjoying my time. The ticket here was to stand under 10 sunbeams, in 10 separate levels in World 1. All in all, this one is pretty simple, but a nice way to think about these simple levels from a different perspective.

Lead & Gold

I don’t actually know exactly why I own this game, I opened Steam one day and all of a sudden I had it in my library. If I had to take an educated guess I’d say back when there was a Lead & Gold free weekend one of my friends bought the 4-pack and just happened to choose me for one of the copies, if that’s the case, thanks unknown friend! Having said that, I don’t enjoy this game all that much; I got a few of my bestest friends together and grinded out the 7 headshot achievement and promptly uninstalled it from my hard drive. Some people might feel that that’s rather harsh, I, however, don’t see what I can feel. If vision is the only validation, then most of my life isn’t real. Because if you’re not really here, then I don’t want to be either. I want to be next to you, Lead and Gold, Lead and Gold, Lead and Gold.

AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard For Gravity!

AaAaAAnother member of the potato sack, yet one I happened to own before the pack was released, was next up. I do really enjoy this game, even if it’s balls to the wall hard. This game has an amazing sense of humour that, similar to The Wonderful End Of The World and 1... 2... 3... Kick It! (Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby), the gameplay almost seems secondary to the ridiculous style and comedic value found in Dejobaan Games. Like I said the gameplay here is rather difficult, and when getting the glorious golden potato this was the game I spent the most time trying to beat. The new summer level is rather short, so that’s a good thing, and utilises checkpoints, which is even better! Managed to get a ‘perfect’ score on this level after 6 or so attempts, a good record for me and my AaAaAA skills.

SpaceChem

No, I didn’t buy SpaceChem only for the Team Fortress 2 items, shut up. Well regardless I’m really glad I did, this game is one part amazing two parts MORE AMAZING. The game starts off with you having two atom inputs, and the ability to bond them together, break already present bonds, and output the new combinations. It’s essentially a puzzle game, with a heavy chemistry twist. The further you get into the game the crazier it gets, so crazy in fact that I had to re-learn a bunch of my high school chemistry education just to be better at the game. The ticket here was to complete 3 developer levels. I purposely found 3 rather simple ones because I didn’t want to spend hours upon hours on one solution, no matter how gratifying it would be to complete one of those. Oh well, the ones I picked ended up proving to be rather challenging any, so at least there’s that. I really recommend this game to anyone who likes fun.

Team Fortress 2

I ended up playing a bunch of Team Fortress 2 normally this week, well, when I say normal I mean on a friends only server where someone was always playing K-On songs over their microphone. That was until my bestest friends and I had enough tickets for the Summer Shades item, in which all that played was B.o.B’s Past My Shades, I have the best friends in the world. So then a ticket appeared, to jump in the water while on fire. At first I thought this was totally already an achievement in TF2, but I’m too lazy to look through a list of 379 achievements to back that suspicion up. Oh well, an incredibly easy thing to do, regardless.

Jolly Rover

I had no idea what Jolly Rover was before I started to play it, and it turns out it’s some kind of dog based pirate point and click adventure game. Sure, I guess, at least now the name makes sense. I probably own this game due to some kind of indie bundle, not too sure. Oh well played it until I got the ticket and didn’t feel compelled to keep playing it, having said that it only took me a few minutes to get to said ticket. Maybe I’ll play it for achievements later on in life who can say.

Magicka

Magicka is one of those great games that I can play with my friends and never get bored by it. It also has a great sense of humour about itself and isn’t afraid to let you know just how silly the entire game actually is. The best part, however, is that the ticket is in the exact same vain. Every other ticket so far has been things that can easily be achieved via normal gameplay in their respective games. This one instead is a super stupid grind, forcing you to cast blizzard or rain 20 times in a versus match, something that I’m pretty sure would never happen in normal circumstances ever. What’s also funny is that while all the other tickets try to make good use of summer themed names, this one is just called “Swedish Summer Achievement”, I love you Arrowhead, don’t ever change.

Super Meat Boy

I do really love Super Meat Boy, I am definitely one of those time trail obsessed “if I do this one thing I can shave 0.02 seconds off my time” kind of gamer. So much in fact that I was the first person in the world to get all the trophies in Mirror’s Edge, since I was the only person for the first few days to beat the last level’s time trail target, and not only beat but completely destroy I was number 1 on that leaderboard for months. Anyway, so this will come to no shock at all when I also say I’m the greatest Super Meat Boy player whatever lived (on Giant Bomb). So when this ticket effectively asks to get A+ on all of the Hell levels, all I had to do was load up the game and I got the achievement on the main menu. Score!

Bit.Trip Runner

For some reason in amongst all of this ticket madness I found some time to play games just for fun, I know; what a bizarre reason to play a videogame! One such game was Bit.Trip Runner, which was graciously gifted to me by Rufi ‘I am contractually obliged to mention him every week’ 91. I got through the first world, after almost destroying my laptop and everything mineral based within a 3.5 mile radius due to level 1-11. A really fun game, and if you could let me be a little bit self-indulgent here, I made a rather similar game a while back called Fish Outta Water. Although when I say similar I do mean similar in mechanics, not in quality. I also really love the music and sound effects that delay to the next beat before playing; it’s a nice simple effect that adds a lot to the overall experience.

Portal 2

Recently there was a Portal 2 map making competition, and I recommend anyone who enjoyed Portal 2 to check out some of the high placing entries. Some of these maps are just evil, and a lot more challenging than even anything in the official game. A nice little change of pace to my Portal 2 play of being genuinely proud of myself for figuring out a few of these puzzles.

Puzzle Agent

The recent Puzzle Agent 2 Quick Look got me rather hyped up, and would luck have it I checked Steam and at some point I had already bought Puzzle Agent, hooray for me! Not really got much to say for this that hasn’t been said already, it’s a really good mesh of adventure game and Layton-style puzzles. The puzzles themselves never get that hard, however, with only one puzzle giving me a hard time. That same puzzle in fact, once getting the answer, seemed completely wrong to me, and I cannot, even after reading how to get to that answer, even fathom how to get to that solution. It may only be one puzzle but I’ve never felt that way with any of the Layton games, which in my opinion offer a better challenge in terms of puzzles, and it’s in stark contract with the rest of the game. Regardless, I’m really considering getting Puzzle Agent 2 now.

Persona 3 Portable

I somehow also found time to play some Persona 3 Portable! So far this game has been regulated to 1 to maybe 5 hours per night before I go to sleep. One thing you should note about me is that I play the Persona games, or at least the Shin Megami Tensei variations, with an extreme amount of obsession. I have completed Persona 4 approximately 7 times now (clocking in 600+ hours easily due to many of them involving level 100 runs), and Persona 3 FES 4 times. This is only my first run on Persona 3 Portable and yet I’m already scoping out things to do with my 2nd and 3rd run. My goal in this first run is full social links, which can be rather annoying in Persona 3 when compared to its sequel, and I believe I’m on track to achieve that, and all Elizabeth quests. 2nd run I’ve decided will be a Minako/Ken only dungeon run on hardest or something like that.

So I don’t think it would come as too much of a shock if here I said that I am really enjoying the game so far. The female protagonist adds a lot to the game, even if she’s pretty much just Rise, which makes the game feel fresh despite the amount of times I’ve already completed it. The funny thing about that is now a lot of the social links changed, giving social links to the male SEES characters, and adapting the female social links to be less about them wanting to get it on with Minato. The gameplay improvements that were pretty much copy pasted from Persona 4 do make the battles a lot less tedious, but still keep enough of the Persona 3 mechanics in place to not feel like a complete overhaul.

That being said I think a lot was lost in making the game portable. The gravitation to a more visual novel style storytelling, more than it already was in fact, does hinder the game slightly when there are long story sequences, especially since I fondly remember them with proper character models and 3D environments. Similarly the movement has been simplified down from walking around a 3D space to clicking buttons on an isometric image. I know these are to reduce the size of the game but I can’t help but once or twice I can’t help but to wonder why I’m playing it when I have a Playstation 2 not but a few meters away from me, with Persona 3 FES in the tray.

Shuffle!

Two weeks ago I was left with the feeling that most generic visual novel ass visual novels weren’t that good, and because I hate myself, I went out to find another one! On this quest I came across Shuffle!, and because I really hate myself, it’s another MangaGamer translation joint! Oh boy my favourite!

The premise of this universe is rather interesting. A few years before the game starts, a portal to hell and heaven opened on Earth, linking the three places together. This caused some mass hysteria but nowadays people are pretty chill about it. Devils and Gods roam the Earth, conveniently look almost exactly like humans but just with bigger ears, and are just normal except from the whole “oh wait Devils and Gods can use magic” thing. Due to this, several academies have opened up to research and teach people devils and gods alike about how to use and control magic. Enter Rin Tsuchimi, your average bland medium hair length high school student with more female acquaintances than male. On the way home from school one day he happens upon a god and a devil, who both suspiciously already know his name, despite this apparently being their first meeting. The next day both of them happen to transfer into his high school class. Oh and both of them are the princess of their respective worlds. Not only that, but both of are looking to marry Rin because 8 years ago on their last visit to Earth, both of them happened upon Rin and fell in love at first sight. This is amplified by their dads, the king of devils and the king of gods, who have made giant houses either side of the main character’s house, and are generally silly and forceful for Rin to marry their respective daughter.

There is another smaller, but then eventually major, plot involving the homunculus. Apparently the king of gods and kind of devils being the great BFF they are, used their combined power to try and create a being with amazingly high magic power. The first attempt involved giving the power to a devil, but their body couldn’t handle it and disappeared. The second attempt involved cloning a devil and infusing the clone with the magic, this clone also died due to the amount of magic in their body. The third and last attempt was to make a being out of scratch, with a body that could hopefully handle the intense amount of magic. This 3rd incarnation ends up living with the main character, and the entire homunculus plotline ends up becoming vital for most of the heroine routes, of which there are 5 in total.

I enjoyed Shuffle! quite a bit. The premise is a nice mix of usual high school shenanigans and its own universe twist. There’s always a lot of room for parody when you deal with heaven and hell, even if they don’t ever explicitly call them by those names. It’s also rather weird the races from these places are gods and devils, as opposed to angels and demons, and the actual God and Devil are instead referred to as the kings of their respective races. There are a few throw away lines here are there talking about religion but they don’t spend a lot of time mining that specifically for humour. Though I admit I laughed at the small line saying a certain religion has halved ever since the kind of god and kind of devils were shown as best of mates.

The entire Shuffleverse is kind of crazy to me. The creators Navel has since released two Shuffle! based games that continue down two different routes in the original game. This is a rather interesting approach to take with visual novels, especially since the majority just follow the ‘happily ever after’ routine after the character specific conflict, if any, has been resolved. Unfortunately these haven’t been translated so I don’t know if they are of good quality, I’m optimistic and I feel Shuffle! was good enough that, if these are ever translated, I may as well give them a shot. Another addition to Shuffle! that has been released is Shuffle! Essence. Essence is essentially an expansion on the original Shuffle! game. Not contempt with the original 5 heroines, the developer decided to add 6 more routes which I can only imagine make perfect sense and doesn’t completely destroy the original story by shoehorning in a lot more characters.

Motto To Love-Ru

So after last week’s showing, I decided the best course of action was to watch the sequel, Motto To Love-Ru. So I feel this anime makes the broad assumption that anyone who watched To Love-Ru was all “oh boy that was amazing I’ll go buy all of the manga volumes for this series right away!” I say this because not one minute into the first episode I was already confused about just what exactly was going on, good start!

Motto To Love-Ru actually makes a lot less sense than even To Love-Ru did, which is surprising. So what To Love-Ru did, was take 24 stories from seemingly random points in the manga and animate them as a 26 part anime. The sequel, however, takes 34 stories, shuffles them around and squashes them down to a 12 part anime. This is a huge step up, and something I really enjoyed, as it meant each story wasn’t stretched out to death via intense prolonged fan service like in To Love-Ru. Don’t worry, the fan service is in full effect here, but it isn’t as let’s call it, unnerving as before. Regardless, as before the last 3 or 4 stories (here being the last episode) someone accidently loosens the valve on the plot hose and each story ties directly into the next. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to talk about the plot on this series. The first episode almost feels like it looks at the ending of the last series and actively laughs in its face, and continues to have characters living in the main character’s house who aren’t actually introduced (or indeed living in the house) until half way in the season.

Aside from three characters there aren’t any new faces to the group, and rather surprisingly only two of these three characters end up falling for the main character, though to be fair the 3rd character is a 3 year old plant... or something, she’s never actually introduced, she’s just... there. Like seriously she’s in the first scene of the first episode with a very nonchalant “Oh silly plant alien, you’re not in plant form anymore! You don’t need watering, aren’t you silly. Oh silly plant alien.” Anyway, this means that the anime does not have to take half of its episode count to introduce each character, which means a lot more time to ensue some hilarity. Some alien skunk that turns high school students to children with its gas? Yeah sure why not. How about the main character accidently puts on glasses that lets him see through clothes? Of course. How about the never explain plant alien’s spore makes anyone affected by it fall in love with the main character? That’s weird but ok I guess. Throw in a few beach episodes here and a few images that accurately sums up ZombiePie over on Anime Vice and you’ve got yourself an anime good sir!

Obviously this isn’t the go to anime for an amazing story, but if you want some background noise or looking for a stupid fun time it’s a great anime for that. I had a good time with it and some parts are genuinely funny in that Japanese slapstick kind of way. And here’s when I proclaim my annoyance of very little Ren showings again. This is made even weirder this time around because his female counterpart Run is now some kind of teen idol pop star. You’d think she’d sneeze once or twice while on a tour or something. I better stop thinking about weird plot questions in animes like this; it’ll be the death of me.

Oh wow how did I manage to write that much. Really sorry, hopefully this blog won’t just keep growing and growing like some out of control Katamari. Next week will be filled with a lot more Steam ticket quests so look out for more anecdotes to that I guess! Oh also I made this poorly photoshopped image, Whitta reposted it and raised my Klout score by 5 points! So thanks Whitta!

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Posted by Psycosis

Fuck Steam! Oh wait I need to do an intro first. Hey and welcome everyone to another vaguely comprehensible collection of thoughts about things including and very limited to videogames, anime, programming and porn games! You’d be surprised how many things I can do whenever I’m not admiring my own reflection in the bathroom mirror, which I do more times than I care to admit, on with the blog!

Steam

Fuck Steam! So here I am with no money and a lot of programming to do, literally telling myself to get a lot of work done on a certain day. You know what happened on that day? The Steam sale started, that’s what! And with it came another treasure hunt metachievement thing. I’d just ignore it but I really want that golden Beat Hazard ship! And Team Fortress 2 Shades! So it’s time for a ticket adventure!

Bit.Trip Beat

First ticket! Bit.Trip Beat, and for this matter the entire Bit.Trip Saga, was a game I thought looked cool on Wii but I never bothered to get it. I am, however, a sucker for indie packs on Steam, so I own Bit.Trip Beat there instead! I had to get past the first section of the first level without missing a single beat, which I did with relative ease. So much so, in fact, that I kept going to see how far I could get. I managed to get a combo of 496 before missing one and NO I DON’T HAVE THAT 500 COMBO ACHIEVEMENT GOD DAMN IT NEXT GAME.

Toki Tori

Toki Tori is a game I bought to get the golden potato back during the Portal 2 ARG, and was one of the games on that list that I was pleasantly surprised with, and enjoyed quite a bit. A harsh contrast to, let’s say oh I don’t know, The Ball. Anyway, Toki Tori is in my opinion a fun puzzle game disguised as a platformer. So fun that I ended up completing the game after the whole ARG thing was finished and really enjoying my time. The ticket here was to stand under 10 sunbeams, in 10 separate levels in World 1. All in all, this one is pretty simple, but a nice way to think about these simple levels from a different perspective.

Lead & Gold

I don’t actually know exactly why I own this game, I opened Steam one day and all of a sudden I had it in my library. If I had to take an educated guess I’d say back when there was a Lead & Gold free weekend one of my friends bought the 4-pack and just happened to choose me for one of the copies, if that’s the case, thanks unknown friend! Having said that, I don’t enjoy this game all that much; I got a few of my bestest friends together and grinded out the 7 headshot achievement and promptly uninstalled it from my hard drive. Some people might feel that that’s rather harsh, I, however, don’t see what I can feel. If vision is the only validation, then most of my life isn’t real. Because if you’re not really here, then I don’t want to be either. I want to be next to you, Lead and Gold, Lead and Gold, Lead and Gold.

AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard For Gravity!

AaAaAAnother member of the potato sack, yet one I happened to own before the pack was released, was next up. I do really enjoy this game, even if it’s balls to the wall hard. This game has an amazing sense of humour that, similar to The Wonderful End Of The World and 1... 2... 3... Kick It! (Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby), the gameplay almost seems secondary to the ridiculous style and comedic value found in Dejobaan Games. Like I said the gameplay here is rather difficult, and when getting the glorious golden potato this was the game I spent the most time trying to beat. The new summer level is rather short, so that’s a good thing, and utilises checkpoints, which is even better! Managed to get a ‘perfect’ score on this level after 6 or so attempts, a good record for me and my AaAaAA skills.

SpaceChem

No, I didn’t buy SpaceChem only for the Team Fortress 2 items, shut up. Well regardless I’m really glad I did, this game is one part amazing two parts MORE AMAZING. The game starts off with you having two atom inputs, and the ability to bond them together, break already present bonds, and output the new combinations. It’s essentially a puzzle game, with a heavy chemistry twist. The further you get into the game the crazier it gets, so crazy in fact that I had to re-learn a bunch of my high school chemistry education just to be better at the game. The ticket here was to complete 3 developer levels. I purposely found 3 rather simple ones because I didn’t want to spend hours upon hours on one solution, no matter how gratifying it would be to complete one of those. Oh well, the ones I picked ended up proving to be rather challenging any, so at least there’s that. I really recommend this game to anyone who likes fun.

Team Fortress 2

I ended up playing a bunch of Team Fortress 2 normally this week, well, when I say normal I mean on a friends only server where someone was always playing K-On songs over their microphone. That was until my bestest friends and I had enough tickets for the Summer Shades item, in which all that played was B.o.B’s Past My Shades, I have the best friends in the world. So then a ticket appeared, to jump in the water while on fire. At first I thought this was totally already an achievement in TF2, but I’m too lazy to look through a list of 379 achievements to back that suspicion up. Oh well, an incredibly easy thing to do, regardless.

Jolly Rover

I had no idea what Jolly Rover was before I started to play it, and it turns out it’s some kind of dog based pirate point and click adventure game. Sure, I guess, at least now the name makes sense. I probably own this game due to some kind of indie bundle, not too sure. Oh well played it until I got the ticket and didn’t feel compelled to keep playing it, having said that it only took me a few minutes to get to said ticket. Maybe I’ll play it for achievements later on in life who can say.

Magicka

Magicka is one of those great games that I can play with my friends and never get bored by it. It also has a great sense of humour about itself and isn’t afraid to let you know just how silly the entire game actually is. The best part, however, is that the ticket is in the exact same vain. Every other ticket so far has been things that can easily be achieved via normal gameplay in their respective games. This one instead is a super stupid grind, forcing you to cast blizzard or rain 20 times in a versus match, something that I’m pretty sure would never happen in normal circumstances ever. What’s also funny is that while all the other tickets try to make good use of summer themed names, this one is just called “Swedish Summer Achievement”, I love you Arrowhead, don’t ever change.

Super Meat Boy

I do really love Super Meat Boy, I am definitely one of those time trail obsessed “if I do this one thing I can shave 0.02 seconds off my time” kind of gamer. So much in fact that I was the first person in the world to get all the trophies in Mirror’s Edge, since I was the only person for the first few days to beat the last level’s time trail target, and not only beat but completely destroy I was number 1 on that leaderboard for months. Anyway, so this will come to no shock at all when I also say I’m the greatest Super Meat Boy player whatever lived (on Giant Bomb). So when this ticket effectively asks to get A+ on all of the Hell levels, all I had to do was load up the game and I got the achievement on the main menu. Score!

Bit.Trip Runner

For some reason in amongst all of this ticket madness I found some time to play games just for fun, I know; what a bizarre reason to play a videogame! One such game was Bit.Trip Runner, which was graciously gifted to me by Rufi ‘I am contractually obliged to mention him every week’ 91. I got through the first world, after almost destroying my laptop and everything mineral based within a 3.5 mile radius due to level 1-11. A really fun game, and if you could let me be a little bit self-indulgent here, I made a rather similar game a while back called Fish Outta Water. Although when I say similar I do mean similar in mechanics, not in quality. I also really love the music and sound effects that delay to the next beat before playing; it’s a nice simple effect that adds a lot to the overall experience.

Portal 2

Recently there was a Portal 2 map making competition, and I recommend anyone who enjoyed Portal 2 to check out some of the high placing entries. Some of these maps are just evil, and a lot more challenging than even anything in the official game. A nice little change of pace to my Portal 2 play of being genuinely proud of myself for figuring out a few of these puzzles.

Puzzle Agent

The recent Puzzle Agent 2 Quick Look got me rather hyped up, and would luck have it I checked Steam and at some point I had already bought Puzzle Agent, hooray for me! Not really got much to say for this that hasn’t been said already, it’s a really good mesh of adventure game and Layton-style puzzles. The puzzles themselves never get that hard, however, with only one puzzle giving me a hard time. That same puzzle in fact, once getting the answer, seemed completely wrong to me, and I cannot, even after reading how to get to that answer, even fathom how to get to that solution. It may only be one puzzle but I’ve never felt that way with any of the Layton games, which in my opinion offer a better challenge in terms of puzzles, and it’s in stark contract with the rest of the game. Regardless, I’m really considering getting Puzzle Agent 2 now.

Persona 3 Portable

I somehow also found time to play some Persona 3 Portable! So far this game has been regulated to 1 to maybe 5 hours per night before I go to sleep. One thing you should note about me is that I play the Persona games, or at least the Shin Megami Tensei variations, with an extreme amount of obsession. I have completed Persona 4 approximately 7 times now (clocking in 600+ hours easily due to many of them involving level 100 runs), and Persona 3 FES 4 times. This is only my first run on Persona 3 Portable and yet I’m already scoping out things to do with my 2nd and 3rd run. My goal in this first run is full social links, which can be rather annoying in Persona 3 when compared to its sequel, and I believe I’m on track to achieve that, and all Elizabeth quests. 2nd run I’ve decided will be a Minako/Ken only dungeon run on hardest or something like that.

So I don’t think it would come as too much of a shock if here I said that I am really enjoying the game so far. The female protagonist adds a lot to the game, even if she’s pretty much just Rise, which makes the game feel fresh despite the amount of times I’ve already completed it. The funny thing about that is now a lot of the social links changed, giving social links to the male SEES characters, and adapting the female social links to be less about them wanting to get it on with Minato. The gameplay improvements that were pretty much copy pasted from Persona 4 do make the battles a lot less tedious, but still keep enough of the Persona 3 mechanics in place to not feel like a complete overhaul.

That being said I think a lot was lost in making the game portable. The gravitation to a more visual novel style storytelling, more than it already was in fact, does hinder the game slightly when there are long story sequences, especially since I fondly remember them with proper character models and 3D environments. Similarly the movement has been simplified down from walking around a 3D space to clicking buttons on an isometric image. I know these are to reduce the size of the game but I can’t help but once or twice I can’t help but to wonder why I’m playing it when I have a Playstation 2 not but a few meters away from me, with Persona 3 FES in the tray.

Shuffle!

Two weeks ago I was left with the feeling that most generic visual novel ass visual novels weren’t that good, and because I hate myself, I went out to find another one! On this quest I came across Shuffle!, and because I really hate myself, it’s another MangaGamer translation joint! Oh boy my favourite!

The premise of this universe is rather interesting. A few years before the game starts, a portal to hell and heaven opened on Earth, linking the three places together. This caused some mass hysteria but nowadays people are pretty chill about it. Devils and Gods roam the Earth, conveniently look almost exactly like humans but just with bigger ears, and are just normal except from the whole “oh wait Devils and Gods can use magic” thing. Due to this, several academies have opened up to research and teach people devils and gods alike about how to use and control magic. Enter Rin Tsuchimi, your average bland medium hair length high school student with more female acquaintances than male. On the way home from school one day he happens upon a god and a devil, who both suspiciously already know his name, despite this apparently being their first meeting. The next day both of them happen to transfer into his high school class. Oh and both of them are the princess of their respective worlds. Not only that, but both of are looking to marry Rin because 8 years ago on their last visit to Earth, both of them happened upon Rin and fell in love at first sight. This is amplified by their dads, the king of devils and the king of gods, who have made giant houses either side of the main character’s house, and are generally silly and forceful for Rin to marry their respective daughter.

There is another smaller, but then eventually major, plot involving the homunculus. Apparently the king of gods and kind of devils being the great BFF they are, used their combined power to try and create a being with amazingly high magic power. The first attempt involved giving the power to a devil, but their body couldn’t handle it and disappeared. The second attempt involved cloning a devil and infusing the clone with the magic, this clone also died due to the amount of magic in their body. The third and last attempt was to make a being out of scratch, with a body that could hopefully handle the intense amount of magic. This 3rd incarnation ends up living with the main character, and the entire homunculus plotline ends up becoming vital for most of the heroine routes, of which there are 5 in total.

I enjoyed Shuffle! quite a bit. The premise is a nice mix of usual high school shenanigans and its own universe twist. There’s always a lot of room for parody when you deal with heaven and hell, even if they don’t ever explicitly call them by those names. It’s also rather weird the races from these places are gods and devils, as opposed to angels and demons, and the actual God and Devil are instead referred to as the kings of their respective races. There are a few throw away lines here are there talking about religion but they don’t spend a lot of time mining that specifically for humour. Though I admit I laughed at the small line saying a certain religion has halved ever since the kind of god and kind of devils were shown as best of mates.

The entire Shuffleverse is kind of crazy to me. The creators Navel has since released two Shuffle! based games that continue down two different routes in the original game. This is a rather interesting approach to take with visual novels, especially since the majority just follow the ‘happily ever after’ routine after the character specific conflict, if any, has been resolved. Unfortunately these haven’t been translated so I don’t know if they are of good quality, I’m optimistic and I feel Shuffle! was good enough that, if these are ever translated, I may as well give them a shot. Another addition to Shuffle! that has been released is Shuffle! Essence. Essence is essentially an expansion on the original Shuffle! game. Not contempt with the original 5 heroines, the developer decided to add 6 more routes which I can only imagine make perfect sense and doesn’t completely destroy the original story by shoehorning in a lot more characters.

Motto To Love-Ru

So after last week’s showing, I decided the best course of action was to watch the sequel, Motto To Love-Ru. So I feel this anime makes the broad assumption that anyone who watched To Love-Ru was all “oh boy that was amazing I’ll go buy all of the manga volumes for this series right away!” I say this because not one minute into the first episode I was already confused about just what exactly was going on, good start!

Motto To Love-Ru actually makes a lot less sense than even To Love-Ru did, which is surprising. So what To Love-Ru did, was take 24 stories from seemingly random points in the manga and animate them as a 26 part anime. The sequel, however, takes 34 stories, shuffles them around and squashes them down to a 12 part anime. This is a huge step up, and something I really enjoyed, as it meant each story wasn’t stretched out to death via intense prolonged fan service like in To Love-Ru. Don’t worry, the fan service is in full effect here, but it isn’t as let’s call it, unnerving as before. Regardless, as before the last 3 or 4 stories (here being the last episode) someone accidently loosens the valve on the plot hose and each story ties directly into the next. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to talk about the plot on this series. The first episode almost feels like it looks at the ending of the last series and actively laughs in its face, and continues to have characters living in the main character’s house who aren’t actually introduced (or indeed living in the house) until half way in the season.

Aside from three characters there aren’t any new faces to the group, and rather surprisingly only two of these three characters end up falling for the main character, though to be fair the 3rd character is a 3 year old plant... or something, she’s never actually introduced, she’s just... there. Like seriously she’s in the first scene of the first episode with a very nonchalant “Oh silly plant alien, you’re not in plant form anymore! You don’t need watering, aren’t you silly. Oh silly plant alien.” Anyway, this means that the anime does not have to take half of its episode count to introduce each character, which means a lot more time to ensue some hilarity. Some alien skunk that turns high school students to children with its gas? Yeah sure why not. How about the main character accidently puts on glasses that lets him see through clothes? Of course. How about the never explain plant alien’s spore makes anyone affected by it fall in love with the main character? That’s weird but ok I guess. Throw in a few beach episodes here and a few images that accurately sums up ZombiePie over on Anime Vice and you’ve got yourself an anime good sir!

Obviously this isn’t the go to anime for an amazing story, but if you want some background noise or looking for a stupid fun time it’s a great anime for that. I had a good time with it and some parts are genuinely funny in that Japanese slapstick kind of way. And here’s when I proclaim my annoyance of very little Ren showings again. This is made even weirder this time around because his female counterpart Run is now some kind of teen idol pop star. You’d think she’d sneeze once or twice while on a tour or something. I better stop thinking about weird plot questions in animes like this; it’ll be the death of me.

Oh wow how did I manage to write that much. Really sorry, hopefully this blog won’t just keep growing and growing like some out of control Katamari. Next week will be filled with a lot more Steam ticket quests so look out for more anecdotes to that I guess! Oh also I made this poorly photoshopped image, Whitta reposted it and raised my Klout score by 5 points! So thanks Whitta!

Posted by LimpBishop

Great piece mate - good luck with the Steam Sale, hope you survive!

Posted by Ramone

I was so wishing the title of this was actually something to do with the content of the thread.

Posted by themangalist
@Jonny7892 said:

I was so wishing the title of this was actually something to do with the content of the thread.

Didn't the author address that at the end? 
 
Anyways, great blog, and you'd make great friends with KaosAngel.
Posted by ZombiePie

For future reference any blogs about games (including porn games) go into the General Discussion Board not the Off Topic board.

Moderator
Posted by Psycosis

@ZombiePie: Awawawawa, I knew I forgot something when I was posting! Sowwy.~

@Jonny7892: I do end up talking about visual novels, but this is a weekly blog thing I've been doing, the title is just a silly but rather convoluted joke my friends make at my expense. I covered Sengoku Rance last week which is probably the most 'porn game' ass visual novel I've talked about so far.

@Akvavit: Man, so do I! I've got 12 tickets so far and I need a grand total of 33 to get all the DLC I possibly can, since the rest are for games I don't own.

Posted by reddin

You take your tickets seriously!

So far I have four, and only because they were easy to get. I need to get two more to get a free game out of it, and the rest I don't really care for. If there are more easy ones maybe I'll get the gold Beat Hazard ship.

And thanks for reminding me of the Portal 2 maps. Here is a link to a thread that has the 25 top rated maps that came out of that competition, for those interested. There are some co-op maps as well, too bad my co-op buddy is without an internet connection for the next two months..

Posted by Mento

The tickets this time seem to reflect the difficulty of the game they're attached to, with the Jolly Roger one ridiculously easy and the rest building up from there. They're well thought out. I have no idea how close I am with the SMB one, but most of my Hell times are well below the par and I still don't have it. I should add them up in Excel or some such and see how close I am. There aren't many DLC things I want though, so beyond the 9-12 mark (which I'll hit pretty soon if there's eleven days of this) it'll just be shots at that sweepstake that millions will be taking part in. I've as much chance of winning that as I do winning a prize for betting on Jeff in the Pac-Man league. So, yay for terrible odds?
 
I'm slightly concerned about how often you've beaten P4. What could there possibly be left to see after seven playthroughs? Does Kou suddenly stop loving balls?

Moderator
Posted by ArbitraryWater

I was expecting something about Erotic Visual Novels in this topic. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this, so you've earned a follow.

Online
Posted by Twitchey

Portal 2 custom maps have given me something to play for the past two weeks. I've downloaded around 10, only completed 2 though :p

Posted by Psycosis

@Mento: At first it was just a "now try a higher difficulty" thing, then I experimented with "how about I get no social links" to "how about only the Main Character" to "how about only the Main Character and only default weapon/armor" to "how about only using Izanagi". But if you want really crazy you should check out some Final Fantasy 7 runs, people completing that under level 20, no materia, one character, head submerged in water for the enter duration of the game or something.

@ArbitraryWater: Thanks! Yeah I do talk about that stuff in the "Plot? What Plot" section, though I have a habit of never fully mentioning whatever or not the visual novel in question has any porn in it. This one, Shuffle!, totally does, each route generally follows a "main story, side character start, porn scene, side character conflict, blowjob, they all lived happily ever after" structure.

@reddin: I doubt I'll be buying game specifically for tickets, but with the potato pack and the amount of indie bundles I've bought in the past I'm already at 12. Aiming for 33!

@Twitchey: Yeah some of those are insanely difficult. I can't remember which one but one of the two highest scoring maps almost made it feel like I was breaking the game when I finally found a solution, it's crazy stuff.

Posted by Aronman789

This To-Love-Ru thing kinda reminds me of GTO for some reason. 

Posted by reddin

@Psycosis: There were a bunch of tickets available for thing I owned already, but I just can't be arsed.

Also, I've been thinking about playing through P3P a second time, this time as the female character. I'm mostly debating with myself if I should new game+ it so I can mess around a bit more or start a fresh save because being way overleveled doesn't seem like much fun.

Posted by Psycosis

@Aronman789: I...bu...th...yo...

What.

@reddin: if NG+ is anything like P4 and P3FES the only things that carry over are your compendium and your knowladge/charm/courage stats. Whenever I do it I just stay away from buying any Persona more than a few levels higher than the main character is, otherwise yeah you're just way too overpowered.

Posted by RepThePlantDawg420

nice luring title

Posted by Psycosis

@RepThePlantDawg420: To be fair I do play porn games for the story, and write about said story in this weekly blog. Not like I'm lying or anything.

Edited by turbomonkey138

somebody better post that picture of jeff asap  
 
 
 
EDIT: FINE I SHALL  
 

Posted by Psycosis

@turbomonkey138: Why thank you good sir for that amazing contribution to my weekly blog in which I talk about videogames, visual novels, programming and anime. This experience has served me well and from now on I shall always remember this as the day you delightfully decided to highlight a mere 25% of the contents of said weekly blog.

QUITE CLEARLY, there was a gap in the conversation, a gap that you sought to fill with this incredible addition and for that I feel it is my duty to grant you this applause.

Posted by Aronman789
@Psycosis said:

@Aronman789: I...bu...th...yo...

What.

GTO or Great Teacher Onizuka is a manga about an ex-biker who's goal it is to become the greatest teacher ever. Its actually a very good read, but the gratuitous amounts of fan-service and strange sexual things that happen get overwhelming at times.
Posted by JackSukeru

Nice, well written, entertaining blog.

I bought Bit.Trip.Beat and Bit.Trip.Runner on the steam sale too! Haven't tried Beat yet but Runner is pretty fun (and yes, I am stuck on 1-11, argh!).

I don't really play visual novels but I saw the Shuffle! anime way back when and it was fun, for what it was.

..but man, Kaede though....scary.

I've played a bit of regular-ass Persona 3 (which I picked up before P4 but never ended up opening until way after I finished that game) but sort of got stuck between wanting to have a more streamlined P4 like experience, and not wanting to play P3P because of the reduced production values. Asking for yet another re-release at this point seems rather silly, so I think I will just get comfortable with the idea that I'll never play Persona 3.

Actually, I think I already am.