I Play Porn Games For The Story // 29.04.2012

Oh hey! How y’all doing? I’m doing fine I guess, just writing this blog. Pretty boring if you ask me, you should probably just skip past it and not even acknowledge its existence. But if for some reason you chose to read this, then welcome, hey hi hello, let me tell you what I am.

Yoshi’s Story

So a friend of mine decided to buy Yoshi’s Story on eBay for a few bucks, because hey, it’s Yoshi’s Story. Now I hadn’t actually played Yoshi’s Story before now, but I always heard it was pretty good with a great visual style. And yeah that’s what I came away thinking.

While the gameplay is what it is, it’s definitely the art style that stuck out in my mind. It’s pretty much the same idea that Little Big Planet had, of all the levels looking like they’re just made from actual materials. It’s a really cool look and, even with Nintendo revisiting it somewhat with Epic Yarn, really should be done more often in my opinion.

The game itself is incredibly short and easy; again I never played it before now so I don’t have any nostalgia associated with it, but man it isn’t the best game to actually play. While there are a fair number of levels, only 6 if I remember correctly are actually required to be played to reach the end of the game, with the rest of the levels being available as alternative routes pretty much. It made for a decent system when playing with multiple people; however, as we’d each complete the game using different paths, but it’s still weirdly short.

Mario Kart 64

After being bored of that, we threw in Mario Kart 64 and actually had fun for once. I’ve never actually believed Ryan’s theory of the first Mario Kart you played is your favourite, because Super Mario Kart is the first one I played, and I think it’s the 2nd worst of the lot; Mario Kart 64 is in my opinion the... worst version. Yeah I really don’t like this version that much.

I don’t really know what part of it that I don’t like; maybe it’s the weird character sprites on a 3D level, maybe it’s the actual levels not being that good, maybe it’s the fact that the controls and the camera is just incredible weird after being used to the newer entries, or maybe it’s because Diddy Kong Racing is superior in every way, but this is a bad version of Mario Kart in my eyes.

Not to say the entire thing is bad, that Yoshi level in the last cup remains my favourite Mario Kart track. It’s just so stupidly designed that they somehow managed to overflow the ‘stupid’ integer and find themselves at ‘amazing’. Especially due to the fact that the map and the ranking system just replaces all the characters with question marks. I know that’s mostly just because of how many paths there are that ranking would be changing way too frequently, but it adds to the stupidity. I’m legitimately depressed they haven’t thrown this track into any of the newer games yet, as when they announced that feature in the DS version this was the track I thought of that’d be perfect for that.

But like I said this is nowhere near the best Mario Kart experience, give me Double Dash any day. I actually got the starman statue in that game, which you only get if you beat all the hard staff times in every level. Doing that replaces a Pinata statue in the Peach Beach level with a starman, and I can’t tell if this is a glitch or not but next I loaded up the game it was gone. I was obsessed with that game, and I really hope they release a ‘double dash’ mode or something in a handheld entry at some point.

Or maybe I’m just crazy.

Ef – A Fairy Tale of the Two

This week I read Ef – A Fairy Tale of the Two, a visual novel by Minori. Minori was the group behind Wind, the game I covered two weeks back. If you remember, the thing I loved the most about Wind was the twist, so I had high hopes for this one, and man, it didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

The story is split up into four separate stories with four separate protagonists. The protagonists (in order) are Hiro Hirono, Kyosuke Tsutsumi, Ranji Aso and Shuuichi Kuze. Most of the characters have some sort of tie with each other, such as Kyosuke being friends with Hiro, which makes all the stories feel rather intertwined without any story actually relying on the events of the other. One of the cooler things is that with this format, there are four different character routes technically, while making all the routes make sense. Probably the best example of this is the first and second chapter stories. The first chapter has a love triangle as the focus, between a girl called Miyako Miyamura and the main character’s childhood friend Kei Shindo. Not to spoil the first chapter’s ending, but the weirdest thing was I aiming for one of the girls, but that turned out to be the bad choice, and the girl that Hiro didn’t get with turned out to be the main heroine of the second chapter. On one hand it’s weird that it presents two girls and then says one of them is the wrong choice, but on the other hand the story makes sense and it was mostly just be trying to fight where the story was going.

I also have to point out this game looks phenomenal, like legitimately the best looking visual novel I’ve played, and even better than a lot of actual games I play too. While a lot of visual novels rely on twenty or so character sprites, maybe five per character, and a few event scenes, this visual novel must have thousands of these character sprites. Characters animate like an anime, using what I can only assume to be voodoo magic to determine the volume of the voice sample and animating the mouths to go along with it. There are quite a few scenes of the characters walking down streets and they have side view versions of the sprites on screen as if the character was actually walking. It may seem like small things but considering a lot of visual novels just have the character sprite on screen rather lifeless, it adds a lot to the experience.

The stories themselves culminate in a rather great twist as well; one I think is on the level of Wind, with the added bonus of the entire game just being one big story, so you don’t have to repeat the twist several times, so a lot better in that regard. The entire story is told as recollections from two other characters, Yuuko Amamiya and Yu Himura (which isn’t the twist, as that’s how the game opens), and the final nature of those two is a pretty bad revelation, but that’s only a minor nitpick on an otherwise amazing story.

Much like Wind this also has an anime adaptation, and much like Wind I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on how good or how faithful it is. What I can say is this is another story that definitely has to be experienced.

Then again what do I know I must say that like 50% of the time.

SCP Foundation

Hot damn, the SCP Foundation is my current obsession and I can’t tell if I love that or hate that fact.

For people that don’t know, the SCP foundation is a wiki dedicated to supernatural stories, and if I’m getting my facts straight (which I never do) it originated on the 4chan /x/ board and pretty much spun out of control. What the site is now is over a thousand stories, quite a lot of which are really interesting, and quite a few that are actually really scary.

The reason I’m not too sure if this is a good thing for me is that I’m incredibly easily scared. The first day I read some of the entries I pretty much couldn’t sleep, and yet went back to read a lot more. An example is the original story, which is weird reading up about it now because it’s pretty much an angel from the Doctor Who reboot. Yet for every scary one there are a handful of really stupid ones. Such as a tomato that can propel itself at incredible speeds at a person that makes a bad joke.

The outcome of all of this is a giant pool of really interesting ideas and concepts. My friends and I are all in agreement that a lot of the concepts on that wiki would make amazing bases for short stories. So much so I’d describe that wiki as the logical progression of the Goosebumps books.

And now that this is over with I’m going to go back to coding stuff. Cause as it turns out when you leave all your university work to the last minute things can get pretty hectic! Oh well, serves me right I guess.

8 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by Psycosis

Oh hey! How y’all doing? I’m doing fine I guess, just writing this blog. Pretty boring if you ask me, you should probably just skip past it and not even acknowledge its existence. But if for some reason you chose to read this, then welcome, hey hi hello, let me tell you what I am.

Yoshi’s Story

So a friend of mine decided to buy Yoshi’s Story on eBay for a few bucks, because hey, it’s Yoshi’s Story. Now I hadn’t actually played Yoshi’s Story before now, but I always heard it was pretty good with a great visual style. And yeah that’s what I came away thinking.

While the gameplay is what it is, it’s definitely the art style that stuck out in my mind. It’s pretty much the same idea that Little Big Planet had, of all the levels looking like they’re just made from actual materials. It’s a really cool look and, even with Nintendo revisiting it somewhat with Epic Yarn, really should be done more often in my opinion.

The game itself is incredibly short and easy; again I never played it before now so I don’t have any nostalgia associated with it, but man it isn’t the best game to actually play. While there are a fair number of levels, only 6 if I remember correctly are actually required to be played to reach the end of the game, with the rest of the levels being available as alternative routes pretty much. It made for a decent system when playing with multiple people; however, as we’d each complete the game using different paths, but it’s still weirdly short.

Mario Kart 64

After being bored of that, we threw in Mario Kart 64 and actually had fun for once. I’ve never actually believed Ryan’s theory of the first Mario Kart you played is your favourite, because Super Mario Kart is the first one I played, and I think it’s the 2nd worst of the lot; Mario Kart 64 is in my opinion the... worst version. Yeah I really don’t like this version that much.

I don’t really know what part of it that I don’t like; maybe it’s the weird character sprites on a 3D level, maybe it’s the actual levels not being that good, maybe it’s the fact that the controls and the camera is just incredible weird after being used to the newer entries, or maybe it’s because Diddy Kong Racing is superior in every way, but this is a bad version of Mario Kart in my eyes.

Not to say the entire thing is bad, that Yoshi level in the last cup remains my favourite Mario Kart track. It’s just so stupidly designed that they somehow managed to overflow the ‘stupid’ integer and find themselves at ‘amazing’. Especially due to the fact that the map and the ranking system just replaces all the characters with question marks. I know that’s mostly just because of how many paths there are that ranking would be changing way too frequently, but it adds to the stupidity. I’m legitimately depressed they haven’t thrown this track into any of the newer games yet, as when they announced that feature in the DS version this was the track I thought of that’d be perfect for that.

But like I said this is nowhere near the best Mario Kart experience, give me Double Dash any day. I actually got the starman statue in that game, which you only get if you beat all the hard staff times in every level. Doing that replaces a Pinata statue in the Peach Beach level with a starman, and I can’t tell if this is a glitch or not but next I loaded up the game it was gone. I was obsessed with that game, and I really hope they release a ‘double dash’ mode or something in a handheld entry at some point.

Or maybe I’m just crazy.

Ef – A Fairy Tale of the Two

This week I read Ef – A Fairy Tale of the Two, a visual novel by Minori. Minori was the group behind Wind, the game I covered two weeks back. If you remember, the thing I loved the most about Wind was the twist, so I had high hopes for this one, and man, it didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

The story is split up into four separate stories with four separate protagonists. The protagonists (in order) are Hiro Hirono, Kyosuke Tsutsumi, Ranji Aso and Shuuichi Kuze. Most of the characters have some sort of tie with each other, such as Kyosuke being friends with Hiro, which makes all the stories feel rather intertwined without any story actually relying on the events of the other. One of the cooler things is that with this format, there are four different character routes technically, while making all the routes make sense. Probably the best example of this is the first and second chapter stories. The first chapter has a love triangle as the focus, between a girl called Miyako Miyamura and the main character’s childhood friend Kei Shindo. Not to spoil the first chapter’s ending, but the weirdest thing was I aiming for one of the girls, but that turned out to be the bad choice, and the girl that Hiro didn’t get with turned out to be the main heroine of the second chapter. On one hand it’s weird that it presents two girls and then says one of them is the wrong choice, but on the other hand the story makes sense and it was mostly just be trying to fight where the story was going.

I also have to point out this game looks phenomenal, like legitimately the best looking visual novel I’ve played, and even better than a lot of actual games I play too. While a lot of visual novels rely on twenty or so character sprites, maybe five per character, and a few event scenes, this visual novel must have thousands of these character sprites. Characters animate like an anime, using what I can only assume to be voodoo magic to determine the volume of the voice sample and animating the mouths to go along with it. There are quite a few scenes of the characters walking down streets and they have side view versions of the sprites on screen as if the character was actually walking. It may seem like small things but considering a lot of visual novels just have the character sprite on screen rather lifeless, it adds a lot to the experience.

The stories themselves culminate in a rather great twist as well; one I think is on the level of Wind, with the added bonus of the entire game just being one big story, so you don’t have to repeat the twist several times, so a lot better in that regard. The entire story is told as recollections from two other characters, Yuuko Amamiya and Yu Himura (which isn’t the twist, as that’s how the game opens), and the final nature of those two is a pretty bad revelation, but that’s only a minor nitpick on an otherwise amazing story.

Much like Wind this also has an anime adaptation, and much like Wind I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on how good or how faithful it is. What I can say is this is another story that definitely has to be experienced.

Then again what do I know I must say that like 50% of the time.

SCP Foundation

Hot damn, the SCP Foundation is my current obsession and I can’t tell if I love that or hate that fact.

For people that don’t know, the SCP foundation is a wiki dedicated to supernatural stories, and if I’m getting my facts straight (which I never do) it originated on the 4chan /x/ board and pretty much spun out of control. What the site is now is over a thousand stories, quite a lot of which are really interesting, and quite a few that are actually really scary.

The reason I’m not too sure if this is a good thing for me is that I’m incredibly easily scared. The first day I read some of the entries I pretty much couldn’t sleep, and yet went back to read a lot more. An example is the original story, which is weird reading up about it now because it’s pretty much an angel from the Doctor Who reboot. Yet for every scary one there are a handful of really stupid ones. Such as a tomato that can propel itself at incredible speeds at a person that makes a bad joke.

The outcome of all of this is a giant pool of really interesting ideas and concepts. My friends and I are all in agreement that a lot of the concepts on that wiki would make amazing bases for short stories. So much so I’d describe that wiki as the logical progression of the Goosebumps books.

And now that this is over with I’m going to go back to coding stuff. Cause as it turns out when you leave all your university work to the last minute things can get pretty hectic! Oh well, serves me right I guess.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

I never actually played the first Yoshi's Story but it's levels in Super Smash Brothers are always good.

Posted by S0ndor

I remember getting my ass handed to me when I played Yoshi's Story as a kid. Also, Mario Kart 64 was my first Mario Kart experience, and I recognize its relative awefulness. Everytime someone overtakes you, they play a little sound effect (wahoo, awawawa, Peach!, Here we go). The rubberband AI makes this nigh unbearable. Furthermore, drifting is completely pointless in that game.

Posted by Little_Socrates

Mario Kart 64 is definitely the worst Mario Kart. Double Dash or DS are probably the best, though I haven't played 7.

I might just have to check out that SCP board, though.

Edited by Mento

The hidden challenge of Yoshi's Story is to collect 30 honeydew melons (not watermelons, sorry Kanji) on each stage, which isn't as easy as it seems. But is still pretty easy.

I don't doubt there are more games with that sort of arts and crafts visual aesthetic out there. I seem to recall it being a theme in the levels for Plok, but that might've just been the naming convention for places. Some Pikmin 2 levels too. Could be an idea for a future list.

/e: Forgot to give you kudos for saying Diddy Kong Racing was the better N64 cart racing game. Was it ever.

Moderator Online
Posted by ArbitraryWater

I remember being able to beat Yoshi's Story even as a kid, so there's that. Still have fairly fond memories, most of which I'm sure would be dashed the second I put it in my N64 again. Also: you are correct. Mario Kart 64 was the first Mario Kart I played (in fact, it was the first game my family owned) and I cannot stand it at all anymore, except for maybe the battle mode because we all know that 64 has the best battle maps, BY FAR.

Diddy Kong Racing is the best Kart game on the N64, though that has the fairly serious problem of planes being the best vehicle 90% of the time and there being no real red shell equivalent, which means that if you start ahead, you usually stay ahead too

Posted by Video_Game_King

@ArbitraryWater said:

we all know that 64 has the best battle maps, BY FAR.

Oh hell yes. It's hard to imagine Mario Kart without climbing to the top of a Block Fort and launching shells in every direction, turning the bottom part of the map into a chaotic death land. (I think it's clear that I may be the only person in this thread who still enjoys the hell out of Mario Kart 64.)

Posted by Psycosis

@Video_Game_King: Ok yeah if there's one thing I absolutely loved about Mario Kart 64 it was the Block Fort level. Didn't play that recently but that's the one map I think of when I think of the battle mode in the Mario Kart series.

@ArbitraryWater: The thing Diddy Kong Racing and Crash Team Racing did great was the hub world you can just race around in. Somehow those games did it amazingly and then most attempts since has been rather bad.

@Little_Socrates: I'd say it's worth checking out if you like that type of story, all of the articles talk about how each SCP is contained and how it was discovered, various reports on them and even interviews on the more humanoid entries.

Another really cool thing they do is what they don't talk about, a lot of names and locations are blanked out, and key information is removed. It's that whole thing of what you can't see is a lot more interesting than what you can, allowing you to imagine yourself what it could possibly be.

My favourite instance of that is the Cyborg Girl, one of the tests they run on her is letting her play a Wii game, but the game name is replaced with squares. So on the site it's written as ███████ █████ █: ██████████, but with enough deduction you can figure out they're talking about Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

Posted by Wolfgame

I am pacing myself through EF at the moment as well. I got the digital release from mangagamer One issue to mention is their executable throws up false positives on nearly any antivirus, but the game itself is very taxing emotionally. The story is fantastic, I had trouble getting into the anime but I may go back and watch it, this game excels at emphasising story above sexual content. I recommend it for any fans of visual novels.