Strangers' Abode: Planescape and other RPGees

Strangers' Abode! My blog segment about video games! Blauuu!

Planescape: Torment

In case you didn't know, It's an old game I used to play, but never finished..
Ermm.. Ignus, Morte, Nameless One.. uhh.. Yeah.

 Updated my dair.. journal.

So I'm slowly nearing the end of the game. Or am I?
Hell, it's never clear with those Black Isle games.
Anyhoo- it's amazing how well told and deep the story in that game is.
It's like reading a good book.
And that's pretty damn rare.
At least in this medium.
Next up- Baldurs Gate.
Yeah, I.. I really don't know where that came from.
It had to be that made me play all these games again.
Also- I just re-instaled Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2.

Fuck! No! What am I doing? Shit!

Finaly Finished Final Fantasy

More than finished, played about 80 hours, that's 30 hours of gameplay AFTER the end of the game.
Never again. That game isn't even that good.
I won't compare Western and JRPGs here. There's a time and a place for that.
But I have a beef with FFXIII.

What the hell was up with the story in this game? Why can't I understand what's going on?
Why are there so many plot holes it looks like a cheese grater whatthefuckishappeningattheendholyshit... *gaaaasp*
Even so, I enjoyed it.
I'm not going to go too deep into the rabbit hole here. I want to forget about those 30 hours, and focus on those last story hours.
That's 10 hours. 10 hours I want to remember from a game I've been playing for 80 hours. Jesus christ.

 Never Forget

And StarCraft 2

Could've just said Starcraft- the '2' would be implied. Or would it?
I bought StarCraft 1 recently... Yeeeah..
I don't know what I'm doing anymore.

And that's pretty much it lately! 
See ya around next time!
Updated my journal.

Streamin' Minecraft

Since I have to test my higher resolution streaming anyway (For the european GB SC2 tourney), I thought the best way to test this is to play StarCraft 2.
But then I found out about Minecraft's free weekend.
So yeah, I'm going to Test stream half an hour/an hour of Minecraft.
Because there's not enough "let's play minecraft" videos out there.
There's never enough...

Tune in if you want to:


Strangers' Abode: Zombie General Edition

Strangers Abode! My blog segment in which I feed you with my brain mush!
Hmm.. that didn't sound right at all..

Star Fantasy

Or Final Craft.
I'm loving Final Fantasy XIII. And it's not that I love the series unconditionally .
I hated the 12th part. But something about Lightning's story is very appealing to me.
I've been playing for 50 hours, and I've had a blast all the way through.  
The combat is fun, the story is engaging, the world is interesting the characters are..
Well yeah.  Hope and Vanille are the game's only problem. They should've been toned down a little bit.
But they eventualy overcome their problems, so it's not that bad. And  I've noticed the linear gameplay, I don't mind it all that much though.

The thing that bothered me- and that found its place in Brad's review- is that you don't feel the scale of the world. I mean, how could you? 
You're moving around through tight corridors and never see the map, it's like the whole place is a giant maze more than an actual world.
And you don't participate in any games, side missions or anything interesting with other people.
It's like reading a book. It has a plot, interesting events, but no interactivity. And last I've heard, this was a GAME.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want a nameless character and/or an open world sandbox game.
God no. I hate those games. I just think that someone somewhere forgot what makes games special.

Ah hell, even with those problems the game's awesome, and I recommend it.
Also, Starcraft 2.
Played a bunch of multiplayer, and I pretty much suck at that game.
It's still fun though.
Oh yeah:



Hence the title.

Vampire Hunting

Castlevania HD is a good game. It may not be a great game, and God forbid a supberb one, but it's not BAD.
At least it wasn't bad for me.
But you have to gather a possie to have a good time with it. And and play it on hard. Then it gets crazy. Crazy FUN that is!
Hahaha, I'll be here all day folks!
No I won't, I have to go!

Strangers' Abode: One Game Only Edition

Conundrums left and right, this is another edition of Strangers' Abode- my blog segment in which I use short controlled bursts of information aimed at your head.
                                                                             Blat blat blat! Let's go!

One Game Only

One game only doesn't mean this blog will focus on one game, it means I can get only ONE game from the following selection:
  • Super Street Fighter IV
  • Starcraft 2
  • Minecraft
  • Microsoft Points (Let's say I'll get 2/3 games that way)
  • Just cause 2
Now, two of these great games cost the exact same ammount of money.
Starcraft 2 and SSFIV. Incidently, these two are the biggest contenders on that list.
Funny thing is- I already share one Starcraft 2 key with my brother.
But it's not as comfortable as I wish it was.
Also- I can't play against him, which is a bummer.
Two- TWO Starcraft keys purchased by me in a short ammount of time?
Insanity (not to use the word madness).

 I want a LAN option you bastards!

So why shouldn't I go for SSFIV? Well, you see, I'm not that good of a fighter.
I had SFIV, and my win/loose ratio was about 20% to 80%. Hint: 20% are the fights I won.
Minecraft? What?
 And this.

It's a very interesting game, and I've found out about its existence by reading that blog.
Fascinating, you should check it out- if you hadn't already. Thanks Fallen189, for putting this game on my radar!
Now, the big thing about Minecraft is that it's really cheap right now.
By not buying it while it's in the Alpha stage, I'm loosing money! The game will be more expensive in Beta!  
Just Cause 2 is the least appealing game of the bunch.
It looks pretty though.
Damn. I've got a conundrum. 
Any opinions?



And now- back to our show

Castlevania is comming out this week- and I'm eagerly awaiting its premiere.
I love side scrollers, and Metroidvania games are a perfect example
of a complicated, well structured 2D game.
Puzzle Quest 2 is a nightmare. I can't play it anymore.
The second I see an enemy standing on my path, I turn off the game.
Then I start it up, fight that enemy, go on, see another monster, turn it off. 

I'm level 40, and every fight still takes about 10 minutes. I have had enough.
It's like playing Persona 4 without the story.
Only boring dungeons remain. 


Man, I'm really selling you on the game, huh?
And that's pretty much it.
Thanks for reading! Bye!

Story, Writing and Narration

Story Time

 The battle is the weakest aspect of Suikoden 2..

While rummaging through the ruins of old console games,
I have found one that hasn't aged a day in my mind- Suikoden 2.
I realised this game was probably one of the best JRPGs- hell, RPGs I've ever played.
Screw that, best story game I've ever played.

Which bummed me out a little. I finished RDR not long ago, and the story was decent.
Actually, it was pretty well done. But something was missing..
And it wasn't the nostalgia- I played Suikoden 2 about four years ago.
That's not enough time to get all mushy about it. 
So, if it's not the poochie-poochie feelings, then what?
Well let me tell you something about the characters, story and writing in this game... 

Marston's love and blindness

I didn't really like John Marston, and certainly had no attchement for...

...his wife and son, who the story writers desperately wanted to shove down my throat the last couple of hours of the game. 
All they did was whine, and make me do pointless missions. Yes, after four missions of shooting damn forest animals,
I felt waaaay closer to my "son". You know what they say, nothing makes a bond between a man and his boy tighter, than shootin'
and skinnin' some deer!
It just felt dirty. All of it.

It felt that way because it was forced.
John Marston may have loved his family- he lived with them for 16 years.
I on the other hand, couldn't care less about a bunch of strangers I've met an hour ago,
and only knew an hour before everything ended.
I barely cared about Marston himself.  
Don't get me wrong, Marston is clearly a more likable fellow than Niko or Carl Johnosn.
But he's just too passive about everything. he has his moments, but mostly he just doesn't care.

End spoilers.  

Games that made you think

So maybe it just wasn't for me. Some people enjoy it, but does it make them/you think about it?
Does this game make you care and feel bad/good for all the people involved?
Persona 4 did. Good story driven games do that.
I'm not saying ONLY JRPGs are skillful at creating an interesting world with charismatic characters,
no, I cared about the fate of my crewmen in Mass Effect 2.

Except for Miranda, I mean- she has a nice ass, but man.. 
I have no idea what someone was thinking when writing for that character.
Oh, but she has a sister that she cares for! Bleh!
 Aww, cheer up! I'm actualy saying good things about your game!
Suikoden 2 was one of the few games with a story I cared about.
I also got deeply invested in some of the Final Fantasy games,
mainly FFIX- it has an amazing way of pulling me into the world it has created.
Even if it was a lil' bit cheesy here and there..
And how could I forget The Longest Journey? 
That game was worth the time spent on looking at a faq
(I'm not that good at adventure games).

So what game made you feel for the characters and its story? What games you couldn't get into because of its writing?

Strangers' Abode: LIMBO, RDR, PQ2, Alien Swarm


 Welcome to  Strangers' Abode, my house is my head, so take your shoes off! Don't want you to make a mess!
 It's just a blog segment in which I talk about the games I've been playing lately. 
I'm a little late to the party with RDR, but hell, it's still worth mentioning.

Between Limbo and Redemption


I liked LIMBO. However some puzzles were annoying.
The atmosphere is great, the graphics are amazing and
The ending is open the interpretation, which I actualy liked.
People talk about that here and there on the forums, which is great, I like reading up on that stuff. 

Red Dead is another game with an awesome ending- it was very clever, glad Rockstar didn't dissapoint. 
I just finished it, and will probably play some more.
It's a bit dull now though, the story was the main thing that kept me going.
PQ2 is incredibly long. It's too long.
Especialy if you consider doing all the sidequests and exploring every room.
Man, I'm already tired of puzzling. It's just too much, really.
I miss the story of PQ1, it felt more epic and interesting.
This is just- there's something evil here, kill it.
Whereas in PQ1 you were fighting a war, making alliances.. 
Maybe that is its biggest flaw.

Summer of Arcade 2010


Been thinking about Summer of Arcade lately..
And the only game I'd buy from the remaining four- is Castlevania.
Yes, it's flawed, but Monday Night Combat is a DOTA meets TF2
both things are not very appealing to me.
There's also Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and from what I've heard
they're just banking on nostalgia with that title.
Since I never played the first game in the 'franchise'
I don't suppose I'd enjoy this one. 

Lara Croft looks bad, I don't think I'd enjoy another top down shooter.
That's what I thought, but then..

Valve being Valve


Valve's the only thing (except for Blizzard) that keeps my faith in PC games strong.

I've enjoyed playing Valve's latest free(!) source engine game.
Alien Swarm plays really well, requires tactics, team play
and it's a lot of fun to shoot the aliens in the face.
What more could you want?
Enjoy Alien Swarm? Downloaded it already? If not, do so. 
And that's pretty much it for now.
I still have that crazy LIMBO achievement to get. 

Oh, anyone reading this can recomend me some good JRPG classics?
SNES era games would be great!

Famicom: Clone Wars

Famicom, NES..

Famicom, a revolutionairy console, known in the USA by the name of Nintendo Entertainment System. Now, considering this is a website about video games (video game website about video games) you probably know all about Famicom, and you've seen or played some of its 8-bit titles. Even so, a little background info is needed. So, the original Famicom came out in 1983 in Japan, and then in 1985 in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world where it was known as the Nintendo Entertainment System, NES in short. As I said, you probably know this. What you may not know though, is the history of the NES clones. Countless bootleg duplicates of the system, that included hacked versions of the original games.
 Original Nintendo Family Computer

..or Pegasus?

When I was little, I always thought my console was an original Nintendo console. Well, I was a bit too young to know what I know now, or even what I knew some years back, when I used the internet to get the scoop on the Nintendo consoles. So I type in "Nintendo consoles", and look through their systems. Wait, no Pegasus on that list? Yes, Pegasus. You see, here in Poland, NES was REALLY REALLY rare, so nobody had one. Instead all kids had a Pegasus- a clone of the Famicom system from Taiwan, nobody knew, and most don't know even TODAY, what was/is a NES. 
 The controller has six buttons..

Now, I don't know what the hell you had in your house, but for me the mighty Pegasus was an original Nintendo Entertainment System. It wasn't cheap, either! What was really peculiar for me even back then (with my tiny brain of a seven year old) was that the cartriges had 400 games on them. Well, okay, that's like a mix tape sort of thing, I get it. What was weird, is that there were about 60 games on that cartridge (which was still plenty) and after the 60th, they started to repeat. Why? Well, the 2nd Contra had double the lives. What? Yeah. The 3rd Contra had a powered up version of your gun as your default gun. And my favourite Contra had infinite lives.
I suspect there was nothing like that on the original Nintendo console, but I may be wrong. The weird thing is, people still buy Pegasus consoles here in Poland. They think of it as a rare item, and some buy it because of nostalgia. It's a weird situation, and I really don't want to enlighten them, ruining their childhood memories. Don't get me wrong, it's not like our experience with the console is based on its originality, but I felt somewhat betrayed when I learned that my first console was a crappy duplicate.

Countless Clones

You think the Pegasus was the only NES clone? Or maybe you've seen a few brandless vids (coined by Jeff) consoles on sale at a crappy kids store, or in a back alley, sold by a creepy looking guy with a weird accent and waxed moustache.. no? Well, either way, there were many more, and here are my favourite ones:
Arcade Station and Arcade Action
There were countless console duplicates sold in the USA as well as Europe, China and Japan, but these little fuckers are the worst. You see, My dad bought me a NES that looked somewhat like SNES (that's Pegasus for ya) but he still KNEW it was an 8-bit console. In fact Pegasus was advertised on TV. These consoles though looked like N64s! A parent that's not into gaming would buy this piece of shit diguised as the cutting edge Nintendo console. The very next day the guy in the back alley would be gone with the money. Awesome.
This bastard looked like Playstation. It even had a similar logo. But it was EVEN WORSE than Arcade Station/Action, cause it was sold as a console that can read CD's, but when you've opened the disc tray- there was a cartridge slot instead of a laser. Classy. The funny thing is, Polystations are STILL IN SALE. Three years ago I've seen a brand new Polystation being sold on a local market. Holy shit. 

 There's no need for caption here, is there?

As you can see these two clones were used to fool the parents into buying something that's ten years old. There were ones resembling Sega systems too, like Sega Master System or Sega Mega Drive, it didn't matter though, cause under the hood, they were all Famicom clones. Beautiful. But there were better ones out there.. Pegasus, as I mentioned before, was a really good one. And apparently, so was Dendy- a popular Russian NES duplicate.

The End..?

I just mentioned a few, but there are about 100 (or even more) NES clones in existence. Can you imagine Xbox360, Wii or PS3 clones being created in Russia today? I guess those days are over. But don't be sad. I'm sure somewhere, someone is just about to sell a Polystation console to a naive parent.
Pictures used from Wikipedia.
Links to check out:
Edit: There's an awesome list of NES clones here:

Remember?Net Yaroze! 5/8- Fatal Fantasy VII edition!

Did "Fatal Fantasy VII" draw your attention to this little blog? Well you've been tricked. Cheated, conned, played, bamboozled (my favourite one). Okay, there is a game with that title here. #50 "Fatal Fantasy VII", and it's pretty scary how close its gets to the source material. But first, a little introduction to the horrible world of..

Net Yaroze. A PS1 development kit responsible for 84 games shipped on PS1 demo discs. For every good game you stumbled across, there were ten awful, awful ones waiting around the corner. I'm more than half way through, and I couldn't be any happier. You see, most of these 'things' after the 30th one aren't even games. People sent out their tech demos, and pre alpha versions of their homebrew products. I enjoy bad games, I laugh a litte bit and move on. But there's nothing funny about tech demos. Ironically (Bender would disagree) the first game on today's list is..
"Tunnel Demo"

A fitting name, it's a demo of a racing game (that rhymed!). Now, a demo consists of actual gameplay, or so one would think, but what awaits us here is a short tunnel (hence the name) and a ship. Now, make no mistake, there are NO other opponents. Which is kind of sad really. It's just you, no music, no sound effects, no goal. You- going in circles. The controlls are bad. Worse than you might think, by pressig up you speed up, strangely enough you go straight to your maximum speed, and that means it leaves you with only limited controll of the ship. You turn left and right with circle and square. Again, why the weird controll scheme? Left and right too normal for you? You had to make it more fancy? You can go to the 'track viewer' and view the one track. So that's all I can say about this game. Or should I say "steaming pile of.. garbage".
"Pune Yaroze" 

Homebrew games have a tendency of being treated as direct clones of other games. In many cases that may be true, but this is actualy a quite interesting game. It's

 Nice choreography!
Snake. Yeah, that goes against everything I said in the previous sentence, eh? Well, sue me. It's Snake, but for two players. It' ain't bad, it's actualy FUN. Something I can't say about most of these.. things. 
So, if you're not familiar with the gameplay, let me lay it out for you. You're a snake (duh) and you grow constantly (or after eating an apple/some other fruit) and your goal is to eat enough fruits to unlock the door and reach the exit. Here though, you don't eat apples. You just grow. In fact, your ass doesn't move even an inch from the place you start. So you're this humongous line that keeps growing and you need to close your opponent in a tight space from which they cannot escape. 
It's like someone would combine Snake with Tron races. Hmm.. there was this great Tron races game on Linux.. Damn, I'm starting to think about better games again. Sorry 'bout that. So yeah, this is fun. Now, what was that Linux game called..?
"Car Demo"

No sense thinking too much about this one. It's from first perspective, it's ugly and it handles really bad.
"Between The Eyes"

 What would you get if you'd cross previously mentioned Tunnel Demo with a hooker's wardrobe? Between the Eyes.
    This is how this game would look like if it existed. 
A game with a style so hideous and the controlls so bad, it would put all the makers of the previous Yaroze racing games to shame. "You can do worse that that!" it would say. It would laugh at them, cause the would be producer of such a game- let's say a man named Lewis Evans- to shoot himself, as he created the most foul, disguisting and terryfying game that has ever roamed the earth. Hundereds would die from swallowing their own tongues in seizures, as the game would constantly switch colors inducing epilepsy. Such a game would be cursed, CURSED for all eternity. Thank God that game was never made. And that's how I'd like to end this little paragraph. Nothing happened here, there's nothing to see here folkes. Go home.

"Second Offence Demo"

They meant Tech Demo. We're greeted by the mechanical voice that says the name of the 'company'(?) "MOBIOUS CODEWORKS" it doesn't stop after saying it once, no,
it's actualy a part of the remixed tune that repeats itself throught the demo. Then we see a shiny doughnut rotating hopelesly in the vacuum. ANd then a scary lady. Well, to be fair, all this stuff looks really nice, considering PS1's capabilities. But.. why? Let's mov--"MOBIOUS CODEWORKS"--e on.

"Fatal Fantasy VII"

Hahaha.. really, I'm not joking here. Fatal Fantasy VII. 

Wow. First thing that caught my eye, is that this "game demo" was produced by the same people behind "Terra Incognita" which I reviewed back at the very begining. That's great- I thought- the english translation of TI was absolutely hillarious, so this is going to be even better. I was a little dissapointed when I've figured out there's no way to switcjh from Japaneese to English. Well, whatever, let's take a look anyway.
You press start and there it is, does this remind you of something..?

Yeah, yeah.. it does. It swirls around for a bit too. Okay, how about this then:

This is starting to get a little creepy. And then you turn around.

Hey, look, Cloud's STOKED! Goddamn! For once in his miserable emo life. I'm glad, really. You walk around some more, exit the bathroom and go into another dimension
 This dimension is famous for its bathrooms.
(apparently to take a whizz you have to cross the gates of oblivion itself- as my friend stated) and end up in a nice garden. This is where the first battle would take place. 
I said 'would' as this is the end of the demo. The 'Final' (*nudge* *nudge* get it?) screen reads: "Fatal Fantasy VII, coming in december?" No. No it's not. Never again have I heard anything about Fatal Fantasy or Team Fatal. The history of this project remains a mystery.
So that's all I've got to say about Fatal Fantasy VII. It was a great dream. And it's amazing how the graphics in the game look like the graphics of the original, I'm actualy impressed. Maybe that's why they did this? To get Sony's attention? I hope these guys were hired by Squaresoft. As far as I'm concerned, they've earned it. 
Thanks for making Terra Incognita and Fatal Fantasy VII guys, wherever you are! 

 I'll just post this on some FF7 fan site and say that you can get here after breeding six golden chocobos.



What a HUGE step down from FFVII. This is a weird one, it's aprogram that allows you to view Mount Fuji from couple perspectives. There are about twenty pictures of ths glorious volcanic cone, but it's pretty useless today (although it was useless back then too I suppose). I'd rather look up the "Thirdy-six Views of Mount Fuji" on the internet. Case cl--"MOBIOUS CODEWORKS"--osed.

Uhh.. yeah. This one's a top down shooter. It's impressive, although it doesn't have music nor sound effects, but  that's really frequent among Net Yaroze games. Either way, it's enjoyable, it has nice 2D graphics, balanced gameplay, powerups, and cool enemies. Overall it's pretty good.
"Appointed Station"

I really wsh I could say something about this game, but there's SO much going on, I can barely see anything. It's chaos. You're a ship flying through space, shooting things,
 What the hell is going on?
there are space birds here and there.. flying.. but.. they don't don't hurt you, and.. well.. that's it. Erm.. Yeah.

"Sam The Boulder Man"

Another Boulder Dash clone, but made by the same guy(s) behind "Clone" reviewed earlier. So that means.. the same sound effects? Yeah.. yeah it does. The music, the sound effects, it's all there. So, again, I don't like Boulder Dash very much, so I've got nothing to say about this title. Apart from the fact that it looks pretty decent.

Developed in 12 weeks- is always a good sign with Net Yaroze titles. I'm not being sarcastic, most of these games were apparently done within days. A longer hatching period means a better game (there are exceptions to this rule,a nd I'm sure one game in particular is a world record braker in this discipline) and that's the case with Gravitation.
It's fuuuun. This is a multiplayer only game. To describe it, I'll have to use other games again. It's like asteroids, but it's a two player game. So the objective of the game is to kill each other. There 
are 8 different maps, and each one is like a maze, it has it's shortcuts, and strategcly placed holes in the walls- through which you can shoot down the second player. The tricky part is to kill your rival, while manouvering through the maze. Most of our lives were wasted by crashing into the walls, but when your opponent collects a powerup, well, you're pretty screwed. They range from switching your left-right directions (which means instant death) to bullets being shot from each side of the opponents ship, making a previously simple act of destroying his ship almost impossible.
What can I say, my friend is rather picky about his games, and he said this game's alright. We also went through all of the eight maps. And that's the best recomendation for Net Yaroze game I can give. Just don't play "race" play "dogfight".
Untill next time, 
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