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My 2021 Game Diary

This follows the end of my diary from 2020!

List items

  • Starting the year out strong, after Tim Rogers's review got me off my ass to finally finish this game before I watch the video, so I don't get spoiled. I played this a while ago, but my Japanese wasn't as good back then. Fortunately, the language barrier is not too high with this game. It was good practice.

    It's a pretty fantastic game for its limitations. It really maximised the narrative impact with what they could fit into the game, with the use of its structure. Repetition is used both to establish stability and habits and to easily disrupt them for memorable moments. The gameplay challenges make it fun to puzzle out and survive through. Dating is easier AND harder than you'd think, in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways. Kinda makes u think...

    For the 1st playthrough I ended up with Kisaragi (i was aiming for Himoo but I met her a bit late 😔). I feel like I want to keep replaying this!

  • Got the demo for this. Haven't actually played it but I thought I might as well add it first. I saw a hunting horn speedrun from my favourite hh player and i had no idea they changed so much of the moveset. it looks wild. i gotta get on it right now

    update: i played this a few times and hh is completely insane. they reworked the entire moveset and it's really cool now. repositioning moves from the recitals are now faster and integrated into the normal attacks, with a couple new additions. recital move does self improvement by default and it's... a defensive move too?? the spinny is now a meter?? simplified AND flexible maintenance? wirebug gap closer???? waaaaaahhhh woo

    update2: got the game for real now, unsurprisingly it is very good. i even kinda like the tower defense, even tho i hate tower defense. incredible decision to put a lot of vocals in the music with multiple languages including a made up one

    oh yeah i wanted to note, i guess poetry reading differs between cultures, but it's kind of a bummer that they don't sing out the english intro poems! it's not even like spoken word. ah well

  • We finished it! The two end climaxes got me laughing so hard. Thanks Josef Fares for this wonderful game.

  • Been setting up my PS Classic (which is a pain in the ass but it's kinda fun) and giving FF7 another serious try. To no surprise, it is pretty good. I'm having a good time. I think Aeris is pretty cool. Oh yeah I did change everyone's name actually, so far:

    - Clout

    - Barreth

    - Tifer

    - Earithe

  • ah i don't like tower defense but i like furry

    i do want to just point out, i don't really know the roots to this, but something that confuses me about this and a lot of other mobile gacha games is that they're Chinese games being marketed with Japanese branding internationally. is this a focus test thing? strange!

  • damn this game fukkin SUCKS. the gba version is more fun to play tho, surprisingly

  • played the GBC version. pretty cool???

  • lol alright

  • this one's a big surprise! it's kinda tough, but it's a weirdly fun action adventure game. it does have this 90's PC game energy, and it's neat that it got on the PS1 as well. save states are a huge help lol

  • kinda bummed because this game's one of the PS2 games that STILL doesn't work really nicely with emulators in 2021. apparently it's so bad that the PSN release on the PS3 straight up just turns off some graphical effects so it can run at full speed! maybe i should just get a modded PS2...

  • I've been messing around with a bunch of old games, and this is one of the top standouts! I don't have as much trouble playing it now, so I wonder if my rhythm just sucked way more back then.

  • oh yeah i'm still playing through this. now i don't even really bother like reading or thinking about it, i just go with my gut and win the game 😎

  • picking it back up again, this game is good hey. it feels like a very deliberately balanced and challenging game, which is surprising to me for a pokemon game. the normal gym!!! i really missed out on this back then huh

  • this game's still as cool and narratively shallow as i remember it lol. just cool guys being dudes all day all night like in clone wars 2003. dump blaster rounds on some droids and their heads and arms explode and they do a little boogie. breach every door and watch whatever's on the other side blow up. hell yeah

  • i can't go back to jail dude!!!!! no thank you!!!

  • It seems like development for this game has ended :( this is my favourite typing game but ah well

  • it's cook serve delicious alright! I like to test a new keyboard on this game and end up playing it for like 2-3 more levels lol

  • this game is.... really chill....................... it's very nice..... it's totally a dragon quest.......... why isn't this game released outside Japan.............................................................

  • finally getting to that point where i'm catching up to the main content, and then i can probably go and mess around with the other half (or more?) of the game. how did they make so much of this game? aaahh (that's me screaming)

    update: noting that i started levelling blue mage, it really is like a whole other game inside the game. i'm really enjoying it. the way you're meant to grind on enemies but can circumvent it with friends gives it an old-school mmorpg sort of feel too.

  • only played the demo but oops this game is going to kill me!!!! they'll find me skeleton in tfront of the pc still cliking at this!!!

  • hit man

  • played this on a whim while browsing through a list of all snes games and this seems reeeaaallly wild. it's all sorts of games all slammed together so confidently that you simply gotta hand it to them. it's an adventure game and a life sim and a tactical rpg and whatever else they felt like doing. cool stuff!

  • is cute. didn't know it was set in melbourne :) i recognised the art museum and i miss it :(

  • my brain was like continuously exploding from this. i think it's really cool when the puzzles are so galaxy brained that you can't simply solve it and just have to kinda play around with it, and there are patterns that emerge clearly as you play around with it but there's a vague sense of goal that you have in mind but can't reach just yet, so it's kinda jazzy that way. also i have to say, i've always thought that trombones are a fucked up ungodly music instrument, and this game's translation of it into puzzle design is even more fucked up. sorry trombonists but it's true. you're all playing like a clown puppet of an elder god like come on, just look at it. why does it have to slide around so long like that. weird ass

  • i know nothing about arthurian legends and this is really fun. you just fuck around with the story constantly and everything is vague and i can't really tell where the limit is just yet. when i "finish a run" the first time i was like lol. that's how it is huh. it's wild!!! it's also kinda fun that the combat mechanic is like a chess for the soft brained, like me. there's also maybe something to be said about how interesting chess becomes when the idea of consequences is introduced into it. it's a game in which the only interaction is enacting violence, or setting up for future violence, or implied violence. but in pendragon, violence does have an effect on the story! thinking about oh no can i move this chess piece in a way that doesn't kill this other piece OR myself is very weird and fun.

  • not really what i was expecting, it's a sort of aspirationally non-linear RPG that feels more sprawling than like a slay the spire and the sort. it kinda reminds me of renowned explorers with the dual deck system. but it's one of those games that's like, i kinda don't like that the systems are so tight in an open-y game like this. the UI clutter also kinda bugs me but i get that it's early access. seems cool though.

  • damn this game is cool. i love the period ninja shit they do. the dialogue is pretty sick. maybe not a surprise that they know how to really go in on their writing style in a Japan setting, just as well if not more than in their quasi-European settings. i'm still early on so no comment on the rest of the game just yet.

    update (post lady butterfly): it's been really interesting to learn and internalise how to play this game. my frustration when playing it always came from a lack of understanding, so it feels like there's always a deeper layer to it that i'm just continuously scratching away at it, and when it clicks i'm like sharpened into a knife just stabbing everyone in the neck and then i'm like damn i'm a fkin badass shinobi (and then get sad again because of the dragon coronavirus and then get frustrated again because new encounters are on some next level bullshit and rinse and repeat).

    update (post monkey 2): wtf i hate snake eyes. i hate them. i died more times to the snake eyes than to the monkeys. wtffff (weirdly enough i didn't find the monkeys too difficult tbh)

  • idk i don't really like this. going in i could not even imagine enjoying this game even at its best, and really my main issue with it is that i simply don't like the music. it's just not my thing

  • i just ended up playing taiko no tatsujin again. i do love taiko no tatsujin. maybe this is the year my skills will return. i feel like these days i can probably become more musically capable in general, i'm getting a better sense of rhythm than i ever could, it's just my hand coordination that's declined so much now. my right and left hand just don't sync so well anymore? well, let's just keep practicing music stuff in general

    update: i didn't really play this for a few months, i was just like idly imagining and drumming stuff in my mind like krillin and gohan on the way to namek sometimes. i just picked this up again recently, and i suddenly feel like i've gotten better at it than even back in the days? obviously i'm lacking practice in terms of not remembering all the charts, but i'm definitely way better at hitting in rhythm and swapping hands now. i can even do different styles or whatever easier now. i guess the mental image training actually worked or something i dunno. anyways i still enjoy playing this after all. just a simple game of pattern recognition and hand coordination and enjoying music.

  • oh this game has a lot more to it than i thought. pretty fun game with simple ideas. maybe i'm just too early on to say but it felt like the logical next step to it would be to introduce some kind of flexibility to the interaction. feels pretty "digital" so far.

  • oh i didn't expect this to be like an arcade puzzle game. pretty interesting concepts thrown together. very Japanese pc indie game kinda feel. idk if i'll mess around with it much more tho.

  • ngl kinda wish this game didn't have a run button. i have some issues with it similar to amnesia dark descent, but i think i like this one more. so far a bit of a letdown compared to dear esther too tbh, because of how video gamey it seems. but i assume it's going somewhere.

  • holy hell this has like literally a 10-hour prologue, but it's finally going places. the writing is a bit meandering sometimes (low points especially when it goes into the uncomfortable child abuse kind of stuff) but at least it's not as bad as some other suspense VN-types i've played. i do really like the brazen mystery genre subversion in its core, at least on paper. it's gonna take me literally 40 more hours to finish just these question arcs (+ 60 more for the answers lol) so we'll see how it goes. i have my notes ready (tho i like that it has enough note features in the game to follow up with so i don't actually have to take that many notes. also it keeps repeating stuff in case i have the memory of a goldfish, which i do).

    BTW if you want to play it: 1) the original art is so much more endearing than the updated ones, 2) voice acting and even newer art patches etc exist but personally i didn't bother, it's long enough as is lol, 3) the translation is wild as hell it's like a 90's VHS fansub level of translation, they translate things with some liberty or like not bother translating things at all willy-nilly ("he just called himself 'boku'"????) so it might not make any sense without at least some Japanese knowledge, and it weirdly has a 1-button language switch for the really specific niche who want to practice reading Japanese I guess.

    update: mamma mia the translation has honestly been really getting in the way sometimes. it's too bad because a lot of its problems should have not been too difficult to avoid (and it's not like it never had the chance nor the time to do something about it), it's just totally uneven and amateurish, and it stops being endearing like 30 hours in. the worst offending decision was one line at the end of episode 2 that seems like it might have become a meme in the fandom, where the translator just intentionally added in a whole new line into the script to just, completely out of nowhere and for no good reason, make a terrible misogynistic joke that barely flies in 2009, let alone 2021. it makes me want to die because it is something I might have written in middle school because it's le random xD. it is such an insanely bad choice, and it is simply incredible that they didn't bother to do anything about it 7 years later in the 2016 release, even though they apparently did make other changes to make some other things more faithful to the original script. did they think this was funny or something? it's only funny if you look at it in the way that oh wow, these conscious decisions multiple people made over multiple years for no reason actually make the story genuinely worse. it's truly baffling.

  • Been really enjoying the beta. the rollback netcode is pretty amazing. i'm already a big fan of GG so i'm glad all the new character designs are fire, and things are easier to pick up. hard to believe this is the game that made me try to learn a charge character (may). liking ramlethal a lot too! this game seems to have a bright future ahead of it, more so than usual.

    update: game's out, yeah lobby sucks and the connection is busted etc etc but the game rocks. it's fun. the really pointy design of the characters make it easier to download the game into your brain like in hades, which actually helps a ton. it takes like 30 minutes to memorise the entire character moveset and get the gist of it. text explanations in the command list now seems so obvious that i don't even know why didn't everyone just do this all the time. it just tells you why they put most moves in the game. it's like the most occam's razor solution to the learning problem lol.

    anyway i'm learning how to play the game for real and putting in the time in training, it's very quick to setup which is nice. looking forward to getting the updates (combo maker!!) and having servers that work.

    update 2: it's pretty funny that they tried to patch the loading time and it went down from 2 minutes to 1.5 minutes. oh well at least totsugeki works. and the game's still fun.

  • fuck me i accidentally moved out of this page because there's no leaving confirmation if i click on the history sidebar and it wiped like 500 words i was writing down. anyway no clickers concept on GB so. these are a bunch of incremental games with endings i tried out

    - Megami Quest 1 & 2: MQ1 is simple, and pleasant that way. It's more of an idler and i like that it is a lot like old-school JRPG's with its missables/one-off secrets. MQ2 is a bit too much too quickly for me. The old indie PC game vibe is cool tho (reminds me of Kingsway, which went for this vibe intentionally.)

    - Crank: idk how i missed this crank game this whole time. it's really neat. i think this came out even before paperclips, but it's got a similar sort of progression going from one little thing to something much larger by the end. this is my favourite kind of clickers i think. compared to paperclips again tho, it's not as thematically consistent nor as fascinatingly strange, but it is still at an impressive enough scale to be interesting all the way through. it's very good in pretty much every aspect (i like the storytelling especially), just maybe not quite there. in my mind this feels like the Bastion (2011) of clickers, but i'm not going to get into why and how.

    - The First Alkahistorian (Stages 1-3): these are pretty disappointing in a lot of ways, but they are really impressive in terms of cool animations and web programming. It's a bit funny how the first one has too much (not good) writing, and then the second and third have too little. I wish they were better!

    - Space Lich Omega: very obviously (and explicitly) inspired by candy box, but i'm not sure if i like it. i didn't stick around for long because the early progression is a bit weird (it doesn't start from 1, weirdly enough), and i didn't like the style of writing. maybe it gets good though!

    - Idle Mage Attack: ah i don't really like this type of idle games where you watch some characters run around and kill monsters. it's not very clicky and i personally didn't like the visual style, so i skipped over it.

  • booted this back up because ggst got me in the mood and like hey, ggst is good huh. honestly the auto combo and easy gatling stuff do make it more confusing to get into. the flexibility in the skills makes it even harder to know what move to use when, it's a bit much. and then getting in the match, it's like oh a lot of these characters are more awkward than i expected. the charge moves are so difficult to get out. it's really one of those things that are like, huh once you see people try a good solution on some of these problems, it's hard to unsee it in retrospect. the tutorials give some nice pointers but it is real dry and feels detached. also honestly i still have no attachment to the characters so it's kind of a bummer lol

  • got back to this again after uniclr, dang it's weird how different the movesets are for some characters. also now remember why i don't like this game very much, a pretty technically demanding game in timing and mechanics, and weird feeling movesets but not in a way i like. and i don't like the character designs, and everything just weirdly seems literally too bright to me? like it looks washed out? i just don't really like its style in general i guess, even the menus i'm like idk about this (like look i like green, but why is everything so shiny green?). but hey i think the changes they made from this to strive (including the process throughout the betas) to make guilty gear much more approachable is worth studying. also reminding me how good the tutorials are in this one, as basic as some of them are, with the character specific ones teaching the basic expectations of every wildly different characters through a list of moves and combos. them taking the next step in the command list in the strive beta gives me hope for a more explicitly descriptive version of this.

  • played this local vs, this game's pretty nuts tbh. it's so funny that you can get turned around so easily. i guess this sort of has auto combos?

  • a lot can happen in 2 seconds lol

  • wtf you can just go to instant kill with P+K lol. this mechanic used to be so insane and a funny part of how the game works over all. you can just use it to psyche someone out, or work it into a combo. it's like the most fucked up grab mechanic in fighting games. it's a little sad that they've kinda lost that edge now

  • completely forgot to log this one earlier, this game seems great. i'm still not too far in past the tutorial, and surprisingly i'm more into the big robot stuff than the story mode? it's like an accidental cool interpretation of RTwP CRPG-style tactics. it even has party comp stuff. i can't deal with a full RTS nor a tower defense, so i like this a lot actually. the upgrade system is kind of a lot, but i like the flexibility it gives.

    that said, i do love this kind of non-linear game structure, mixing in the strategy game with the straight narrative in separate but interlinked modes. there's something about how the archive/collectibles stuff is given equal weight to the other modes too. what i really really wish is for fighting game home releases to take notes from this game. all of these are things that are usually present in fighting games, but not presented this well. like at least have story chapters unlock when you beat arcade mode with the character or something. i think this kind of holistic structure could really encourage players to explore more of a fighting game and gain a more comprehensive perspective, pick up new characters, learn matchups, read lore/gain emotional context, etc., which is something i always find more and more lacking from fighting games. i think smash has been like only a couple steps away from this too. it's just really weird when comparing this to like unist or xrd above, which has completely disparate modes where you either practice combos for 60 hours or read a visual novel for 60 hours "if you feel like it". it makes extra no sense when it's like xrd where the story mode immediately follows the arcade mode, so i could open story mode and go wtf is everyone talking about, then open google to see if i'm missing something, then open youtube so i can rewatch some arcade cutscenes in a different (but also incorrect) order, and then rearrange the information again in my mind palace. like do you think i should cook a 3-course dinner and just dump it all on a table and be like "go nuts" if i think only the taste matters anyway, right? come on

  • finished this before the patch hits just so i get my old playthrough done. i like it a lot. i think it's very funny and contemplative. i'm pretty surprised how relatively conventional the epilogue is, but i think it's still part of the sweet aftertaste this game has about like looking on the silver linings in life when you've hit rock bottom.

  • watching someone new play hades made me just go for a run real quick. broke my shield record :) (sub 19).

  • i was finally playing this, after buying it like 2.5 years ago. i forgot how much AAA games kinda piss me off? lol. also didn't like the first boss fight because it's like some superhero movie bs. putting this back down for now but we'll see. i like the combat just fine, though it is more like the old god of war than i was hoping tbh.

  • hey i really liked this. i think i said this is like a breath of the wild for pikmin. i do enjoy rolling around and eating weird mushrooms.

  • (._. )

  • it's a bit easier than i expected (have been one-shotting all the bosses so far until ep 3), and the story is a bit janky (fault of translation?), but i like this a lot. it's got good jumping and plenty of action feedback loops. there's cool dragons and shit too hell yeah

  • was streaming this but i also just really enjoy taking the photos. every time i go back i find more lore somehow. what a neat game.

  • I didn't really like this when i got it the first time, because it's just so mashy, but i don't hate it this time around. it's just weird because the action part is maybe the most tedious. it's still mainly an RPG, but it is fun how straightforward it is. it's not super complicated and things move really really fast. kinda wish it was a bit weirder (this is my first ys and i keep hearing about the bumper cars thing...). at this rate i'd probably just listen to a podcast or watch tv while playing it.

  • started playing this as like a moby dick book club with a friend. maybe i really missed out not playing this earlier! i'm only a few days in, but i love this game. i just think it's neat! what a lovely game.

    update: i'm like 40 hours/1.5 months in, turns out you can "finish" the game before 400 actual days but i'm still not done with the game. i love how this is like a pet game i run once in a while to mess with and it's very lonely but calming. this is such an incredible game to me, i'm just having such a good time playing it and comparing notes with friends and figuring things out very very slowly. everyone should take notes from this!!

    update: The Longing Has Ended

  • joined ludum dare 48 compo rules to compete with a friend and had a pretty good time. it's pretty fun to look around and play each others' games and leave comments. here's my game if you want to check it out

    i also posted a dev log on the itch page to see the process detailed, if you want to see that.

  • i think so far it's a bit of a letdown in that i just wish instead i could play raw danger (ie disaster report 2) on the PS2 without it running like absolute shit on an emulator, but it really is a disaster report with the disaster report nonsense i know and love. i love to be the joker of huge emergency disaster scenarios. just genuinely funny things happening in the guise of a serious disaster educational role-playing experience.

    btw tho i'm really pissed that i just found out about kyoei toshi which is a japan only disaster report spinoff where you're a civilian trying to get away from giant robots and monsters fighting in the city. those robots and monsters? literally godzilla, gamera, eva, and patlabor. like actually licensed giant robots and monsters fighting in a disaster report game. this is the most insane and perfect pitch for a game that i'm pissed it was only ever released in Japan. come on bandai namco release it as a tie in for godzilla vs kong or something pleeeeaassseeeee

  • fuck me i do love doraemon and i do love story of seasons and i do fucking love the watercolour stylings of the artists who worked on legend of mana

  • i didn't replay this myself but i watched someone play through it, which in this case i think is close enough. also adding like a 3 hour discussion and reading after that. i do think this is an important and still relevant critique of art criticism and video game consumerism, and i'm glad to see through it again because it's actually a little more hopeful than i remembered. the way the message is 100% spot on and how the reaction to it plays out exactly how the game imagined to the dot still turns me into the joker though. Honestly, while we're here, I do think about this game often whenever people start to speculate on new Giant Bomb hires or how the crew actually hates each other or whatever.

    I don't want to just go on another rambling rant about all this, so I'll leave with a quote from Austin Walker's review of the game, which I agree with 1000%.

    "It’s not that The Beginner’s Guide repudiates auteur theory because it opposes the idea that some artists can create in a particularly authoritative way, but instead because by elevating “the auteur,” we may also wind up reducing them to an object of our consumption. In this way, The Beginner’s Guide addresses not only the psychological strains of personal relationships in the digital era, but also an emerging structural anxiety in the video game industry."

  • played this on my mate's ps5 and i guess i still just don't really like big budget games like these!

  • was finally convinced to get this. i like it because it's dragon ball, but i'm a bit conflicted about it because i like parts of it but not so much other parts. the way auto combos are just how the game works is so strange, it's an extra like "oh how did the auto combo do this" on top of the confusion of doing stuff i don't mean to do because it's contextual. it's kinda neat tho i like the characters. there's a clear line of reasoning from this to what they've been testing on strive, i think.

  • this game is kind of a mess but in a way that these ticket arcades are always a mess. it's really entertaining in a sort of perverse way. i like the way this game is designed, it's very ambitious but surprisingly well realised, in spatial/architectural terms of like how nice the buildings are and how the bus line actually works. i do wonder how much further can the developer stretch it though, the island seems huge.

  • played this for Terry Cavanagh's game. roblox is pretty neat tbh. the wackiness of some of these games reminds me a lot of the old warcraft 3 scene, it's kinda nostalgic. it's a real like "oh this is what the kids are into now" moment tho lol

  • i don't think there's a game page for this and i couldn't be bothered to add it but i played key to heaven. that solo mmorpg someone is making and finally launched to early access that i read about from patrick klepek's story somewhere. it's contextually pretty interesting but it is what it is i guess. the 2d tile based thing is nostalgic to me because i used to play nexia/nexus back in the days...

  • oh this bumper cars business is not easy huh

  • basically was racing to the capra demon, still a fun game. new character is a sorceror. maybe i'll just go back to my old save tho.

    update: nito and seath down now. sorcery is ridiculous. i can just press the soul spear button and all the bosses die. ornstein was a hard barrier to get past but once i got soul spear + crown of dusk + dragoncrest ring i just smoke him in 2 hits lmao. getting the moonlight sword was a bit of a pain, and i wonder if it wasn't actually all that worth it...

    update: i linked the fire, build got so powerful by the end i was just dumping points randomly and felt the urge to kill every optional boss because it literally takes me 2 hits to kill anything that moves. went to NG+ and killed the demon with 1 cast of dark bead. wow. they literally put easy mode into the game and everyone still kept going on about difficulty settings for years wtf is everyone talking about.

    update: played this again to mess around with modding and randomisers. pretty fun. but i immediately got stuck because the gargoyles got replaced by an iron giant and super ornstein lol

  • tried out the CBT a bit. it's pretty cool but i don't really care for this kind of game i guess. like genshin i just completely forgot about too. in a weird way now i kinda would rather have the old kind of instanced missions.

  • tried to do the expedition to get normandy with friends but the game is so gd busted it was actually one of the most annoying experiences i've had since destiny 2, it's so immensely frustrating we were all getting so cranky we all ended up doing it solo but even more pissed for a variety of other reasons that may or may not even relate to the expeditions mode being busted. wth is up with this game. i feel like there's still some fundamental issue with the design of this game that gets in the way of everything good about it but in a really upsetting aspirational AAA game kind of way. it feels simultaneously over-designed and under-designed in different spots. it just pisses me off every time i come back to this and i just hate it more and more over time.

  • I am a huge fan of inkle as always, and I really love this game. It *feels* like it has a smaller scope, but i love the way it slowly reveals the gameplay systems and schemes hidden just under the surface. It's not the first time inkle has played around with the idea of a time loop/roguelike-ish structure (see: sorcery 2, 80 days), but this is definitely the one that feels the most like i'm going down the stairs to retrieve the amulet of yendor yet again. great stuff!

  • i can't really say why but this does really compel me the same way i run through the crystal caves for the 500th time to finally cut Seath the Scaleless's tail. I played this for like 5 hours the first day I got it. there's a few things i'm not the biggest fan of, but it is one of those games that feels like they really thought of you playing the game, while allowing you to really try to break their game to get the fastest speedrun route. It's just like a really compelling mario maker level. good luck to them releasing this eventually i guess!

  • i messed around in this because i couldn't wait for strive to release. it's still really good, and basically confirmed that i still do like this more than the xrd era. there's just something to it i like more, at a lower level of play. i have to say i still don't enjoy watching this played at the highest level, and maybe that's also why i don't like playing xrd. it's also a pretty good package for a game, with a per-character story mode on top of arcade mode, and a bunch of other stuff coming with it (what does M.O.M. even stand for again?). they don't really have the leeway to make that kinda stuff anymore, unfortunately!

  • played the demo for this. the animation is pretty cool, but i don't really vibe with it i guess? i don't really like the way the rhythm game works, and the story seems a bit too basic, as far as the demo goes anyway.

  • it's vermintide 2 alright. i still like it a lot but i just don't care for this type of multiplayer grind structure. i wish there was a better way! it is also maybe a lil bit disappointing to not see anything particularly impressive from what they added to it in the past couple years

  • oh it's zelda

    i like the painting stuff. i think it's funny that you can go to art school and take a class and paint paintings. the painting is pretty enjoyable.

    update: got to the end! it's really a beautiful game. the music is definitely a standout, but i'm honestly floored how good the open-world/zelda design and the scale of the game in general. design-wise i think it's pretty much spot on. it tells the story while still building this nice world to explore and hang out in.

    i think for me (and this is just a note for me i'm not really aiming for this as a criticism of the game to put out there) my one big issue is mainly in how clunky some of the dialogue writing is. it can be a little on the nose and cartoonishly awkward sometimes. i think it generally works when played humorously but i feel like there could have been more in terms of subtext and not turning all subtext into text. the game very often spells things out very clearly without even setting up any kind of, i don't know, a literary or poetic approach. it's good at times but not quite right at other times. it's a little hard to stomach when the lack of subtext is half-jokingly used and muddies the idea behind it a little. especially when it's on heavier topics. it's more tiring than anything. it's one of those "is this just preaching to the choir" kind of thing, like, would i have gained much less if i did not already agree with the intent behind the story to begin with? it is a pretty fine line to walk i guess, especially when working with a childlike type of tone, but to be fair good children's books do excel at creating subtext and taking poetic risks in its storytelling. maybe it was a production thing and it did not get too developed on the way to release but either way i guess subtlety is a little bit difficult to plan for. and also to be fair there's probably already a lot of technical requirements the story had to fulfil and higher priorities in the design and programming that makes it harder to write in that way. i guess basically the thing that i hoped was better to me is a little more sophistication and subtlety in the writing to push the story further. which i guess is a roundabout way of saying "it's a bit much". again tho this is just a personal note it doesn't really matter because this is just me projecting my own sensibilities and goals onto it.

  • learning bass. took me a bit of time to set everything up just right but it works quite nicely now. the feedback system in this is honestly surprisingly good for a beginner, it can probe around and recommend specific things to focus on, in a way a music teacher might. the recommendation and difficulty system is also neat on paper, though maybe a bit weird sometimes. maybe it's because the note detection is fairly generous, so you still have to rely on your own musical judgement at the end of the day. after playing it for a few days the system also kinda dries up a little.

    i do want to also add that the thing i like with these kinds of music games is learning new songs or finding new ways to appreciate songs i knew about. that's kind of the thing that makes me pretty interested in the rocksmith+ news, because i think the teaching/learning aspect of it is debatable (although the design expansions and extensibilities they have put in the beta seem really promising), but there seems to be more potential in the regular song curation for them that way. there's not as much like sales quota per song that they have to reach. it's pretty funny that i really like to play the La Sera song Love That's Gone as a beginner and i looked it up and being featured in the Rocksmith default package is like one of its claims to fame. If it was a DLC i don't think it would sell that well and i'd never have encountered it at all.

  • idk just tried to play this on a lark. unsurprisingly a lot like uniclr. learning a lot of the lore too

  • for the lore

  • i thought this was going to be relaxing but it's actually pretty tiring lol. i do love to see things get clean tho

  • played with the dlc. it's not as much of a surprise or a sketch comedy thing anymore, but it's still pretty fun. i like the post-credits game a lot. are sequels to parody games disguised as a remaster release with a washed up protagonist yearning for their halcyon days becoming a trend? (no)

  • got into the closed beta. i like the design of it but the ASIO setup is still a pain in the ass as always. my input is still clipping only in the game for some mysterious reason. also still kinda buggy sometimes so hopefully they can get it all fixed up soon.

    oh yeah and i should say, it seems like note detection got a bit stricter, it misses on ringing strings or just plain bad playing. RS2014 is pretty darn lenient so this seems like a big improvement tbh. i really need to work on my muting.

  • i might as well get through this so i can really say yeah i played all the dark souls no problem. they really nerfed sorceror early on (casting costs stamina?? why don't they give you a shield???) but i can imagine it just gets stupid again later on. maybe it's just because it's running at 60fps but it feels easier to run past everyone. wtf is with the enemy placement tho. they were already making bloodborne so i guess their enemy counting sense got skewed. they just throw 50 guys at you and 20 of them are sitting around every dang corner in the game it gets real old real fast.

    update: i'm at the shrine of amara now. they really nerfed sorcery a lot, it's almost like just shooting arrows or swinging a sword now but needs a lot more investment into it. weirdly enough the best way to use it now is to rely on the utility than the damage. i looked into speedrunning routes and ended up with +10 dark rapier with dark weapon and now doing DS1 soul spear tier damage finally. with under 20 str/dex it's already doing way more than a 40 int soul spear or homing soulmass. it's a bit weird when thinking about the lore of it but oh well it is what it is.

    update 2: now finished it. i still feel like there's A LOT i really don't like about this game but at least now it's done. i still do like the way it looks and sounds, just too bad it's probably not exactly well realised.

  • pretty cool game. more of a methodical shooter than i expected. it looks real nasty but i honestly appreciate the work that went into making it look exactly the way it does. something to be studied for sure

  • i'm not sure if i get this one. pretty cool vibes though

  • moving onto bloodborne from dark souls 2 now, and good lord, you really feel that sub-30 FPS in this game. it's even worse than dark souls 1 because it's such a fast paced game with more emphasis on timing and here i am accidentally jumping trying to dodge an attack while the framerate tanks to 15 FPS. at least the loading is slightly faster since last i played i guess. i get people love this game but there's still a lot i don't like about it, which is also many of the same problems i was having in dark souls 2, but at least they're trying a lot of new and cool things. btw in retrospect it kinda makes sense that they were going from a d&d fantasy setting to a call of cthulhu eldritch horror setting.

  • i've heard about this game for so long without ever realising that this was a puzzle game. just played the demo that came out on steam and i love it! big fan of the new look too. looking forward to the release now. (ngl kinda wish there's an undo feature tho. and maybe swapping panels. maybe in the full release!)

  • This finally came out globally, the next-gen 3D sequel to Love Nikki, so RIP Love Nikki from my list (although tbh i still want to see the end of the LN main story campaign to catch up on the lore).

    Maybe this isn't really the Dark Souls of dress up games, even though the item description lore is still there, but it's now become the Kingdom Hearts of dress up games because of how truly out of control the lore is now. It feels like the writers are really having fun with this one, because it's taken all of the things that happened in Love Nikki as 100% canon, and dove even deeper into the madness. I guess at the end of Love Nikki (or they just made this shit up and I wouldn't notice anyway, though apparently this is also connected to the end of Nikki Up2U2 (the second game in the series)) Nikki apprenticed with a truly powerful fashion designer who doesn't even live in the tangible reality but some kind of abstract sea of memories, and then that designer unleashed the true power of styling and ended the world of Miraland (the fantasy world Nikki was summoned into). Nikki then isekai'd herself a second time by travelling 680 years back in time to Year 0 of Miraland to stop him. I guess it's much closer to warring times in the timeline, so there's a surprising amount of talking about politics and straight up shooting guns at each other and all sorts of strife. It's like 300 years before they established sanctioned styling battles, which I guess is like the Geneva Conventions of Miraland (not even kidding they did this after a World War broke out in the lore), so the use of styling power can still be pretty wild. They just wield it like using magic to do whatever. The story has so much more suspense and drama, I'm super into it.

    This made me really think about what it is about these games that make me like them, between Dark Souls and Kingdom Hearts and this. They have this sort of wistfulness and mystery that makes the game really compelling to me. Maybe it's weird to say that it's a form of subtle storytelling that may constitute worldbuilding, seeing how in-your-face these games can be in other ways. I think the nonlinearity is also a part of it. I think these structures arise naturally out of the scale of the productions of these games, but there really is a surprising depth to it in terms of narrative design. There's a sort of archaeological aspect to it that I enjoy.

    Anyway, the content is still a bit limited, and maybe it's also partially because of how it works with 3D models. It's definitely less janky and more impressive looking. The UI/UX in general is so much more manageable than in LN fortunately. I do like this a lot, I hope future updates will bring more out-there outfits like LN did. There's only 2 guns in the game now, as far as I can tell. I could use more swords!

  • Finally picked this back up to finish it. I was just one trial away, but there sure was a lot of puzzles. It does feel like it's a bit light on both sides of the gameplay; the puzzles are not especially difficult, nor is there a lot of crime investigation to be done. It's still cool and fun that Layton and Wright do their things together though, and the story about the witches and such really is the spot-on intersection between a Layton and an Ace Attorney story. The prosecutors/inquisitors in this game are some of my all time favourite designs from the series too.

  • Been getting into this following layton v wright. So far I really like it. It is a bit weird to me that cases 1-4 all feel like warmup, as far as the gameplay goes, but at least the story is compelling. I love the premise of the difficulties and significance of foreign exchange studies in the Meiji era. It makes me appreciate how good we have it in the 21st century!

  • this has been in my backlog forever and finally gave it a shot to see what's up with it. the Friend Mode or wtv does feel like an evolution of Konami's own TokiMemo in a lot of ways. it's narratively more complex and also written in a much more grounded way. i like the way it does skill tests, and how it signposts when you can meet the others by lining up your schedules as an alternative to the dating-heavy TokiMemo format. It unfortunately feels limited in other ways though, like how there are only 3 characters with only 100 days simulated, but it is understandable once i reached "the true love plus experience" after i start dating one of them (in my case it was "the middle option", Manaka Takane). It seems like an insanely different kind of simulation game slammed on top of the game before it. Imagine if Civilization turned into an RTS partway through the game, but in REAL real time! We went out on a date Friday night watching pro wrestling (as in, literally my Friday night, i had to set a reminder) and texted each other and stuff. I tried talking to her with the DS mic, which i guess is kinda like talking to a chat bot but with an actual writer and actor behind it. i realised after the date that my DS date and time were off by 10 years though (2031??), so when i corrected my time, the game freaked out and assumed i was gone for a year into the future? Anyway now my virtual girlfriend is mad at me and won't talk to me. i think i have to apologise to her on mic and i don't really want to do that so i guess i'm dumping her, sorry Takane.

  • it has a striking look but 90% of the time i'm just going "lol cmon man". it's reaching a bit in terms of narrative and general adventure game design. it's very tedious to play, but almost pointlessly so. the writing and voice acting are uh, they could be better. looking at it from an artistic perspective, i wouldn't say it feels very well considered or coherent. i don't think i even need to the myriads of technical issues i had, and that it didn't let me flush the cake down the toilet, before i say that i think this is a bad game. i recommend everyone to not play this game. i do have to admit that i found it very unintentionally funny, though.

    there is one last thing i will say about it... sometimes marketing really does make or break a game huh

  • played around with this again because tim rogers was on my mind. it's still extremely good. what a shame that it wasn't good enough to take off in any way. if only the money spent on marketing 12 minutes was spent on this instead lol

  • it was time to finally play this one, and wow it knocked me on my ass almost immediately. it's a HUGE design revision of the original tokimeki memorial, truly the ideal AAA tier sequel to Tokimeki Memorial 1 beyond my wildest imagination. It starts with an open-world exploration game to simulate the boy protagonist's childhood as debussy plays in the background??? and it's 1 whole disc of this whopping 5-disc game??

    when it skips to the high school years, it goes back into the familiar TokiMemo structure, but wow there's so much surprise in store there too. I'm still in spring of my second year so we will see how things turn out later.

  • yeah i'm playing star ocean 2 again. what can i say i love star ocean and i love staring at the strawberry jam rotating in my inventory menu.

    actually, i can and will say one thing, every time i play this game the more i notice how messed up the translation of this game is lol. what does "So that's it." even mean. is it supposed to be "is that so" or "i see" ?? well whatever i do think it's pretty fun lol.

  • i genuinely never even heard about this game until fairly recently, finally gave it a try because i had my 3ds set up anyway. you draw a lot of circles in this huh! i do like the adventure gamey elements of this more than drawing the circles

  • this and UtK2 are still some of the best action games ever made IMHO. they're just so good in almost every way. very fast paced and narratively interesting and just so perfectly made for the DS.

  • i want to take my time a bit with bloodborne, so i started dark souls 3 to get my dark souls fix. i guess playing 2 and 3 and bloodborne back to back makes me appreciate this game a bit more. it's a lot more responsive and it's got all the quality of life features i want out of it. it's too bad i just don't really vibe with it.

  • i'm absolutely awestruck by how good this dragon quest is. i lost my dq3 save file, so i gave up on that and started this, but i'm kinda glad i did because i like this a lot more than dq3. it feels like a paradigm shift for into a stronger and more structurally sound narrative in a dragon quest, the way final fantasy 4 was for that series. there's just such strong character writing for all the main characters and even the side characters, and it feels bold for them to make me play the game for literally 12 hours to live out the world before i actually get to play as the hero character. and i loved it. i love all the characters and stories, especially my boy torneko. it's too bad that the version i'm playing doesn't have the party chat feature (i'm just reading the script from a wiki on a browser to fill it in) but it's still a great time and a fantastically designed JRPG as expected from a dragon quest.

  • monkey puncher

  • joined Terry Cavanagh's stop waiting for godot game jam.

    godot seems promising. i want to keep using it for things.

    Highlights from what I played:

    Frog Finder: i love this game... this is amazing to me for a game jam game. it's so fun and playful and has really strong design ideas and aesthetics. i wish i was smart enough that i can make something of this caliber in just a couple days.

    1GAW - Week 4: it's like snake but instead of a snake it's a slime constantly shiddin on the floor. it's silly on paper but what was surprising to me is how deep the game actually is. well, not that deep, but there is strategy and feedback loops to it. simple but gets the brain going

    The Broken Time Machine: straightforward adventure-y type game, but i like that it's a speedrun FPS

  • i quite enjoyed this. fairly simple and linear puzzles. not a huge fan of the narrative ngl but it is what it is.

  • Sat down to check Hellblusser out and then 1.5 hours later I already beat normal mode lol. What a look. You don't see people using the pixel art scaling filter often (apparently this is HQ4x to be specific). I like how the colours get offset on hitstop. just cool.

  • coming in here really late but i like it. this is a game that feels so effortlessly cool. genuinely sick fashion style and visual design. not sure about the single player story but that's alright. i'm not at the octo expansion yet so maybe it goes deeper.

    I love the music lore in this btw. How is there a virtual Celtic Rock band on the soundtrack. Now or Never might be my favourite track of the bunch but there really is a good variety of music in there.

  • just playing the demo, not too sure about it just yet... we will see...

  • You can really tell that this isn't a big AAA production right away, but the level of art production and design details is super impressive. This may have the most sophisticated simulation of people eating dinner together that I have seen yet. Oh, and of rice farming too, of course. So far, the one thing I'm not happy with is some of the menu UI flow, and the way the action side of things progress does have that lower-budget action JRPG kind of feel to it. The combat system itself feels so particular, in a pretty intriguing way if you like that kind of brawler/fighting game style fighting. What a wonderful fantasy farming simulator!

  • played the DLC. it's a bit spooky but it's cool and sweet :) i liked it


    I really liked the premise that these people are from an even more ancient civilisation that made decisions that are so much more divergent than the Hearthians and Nomai. They experienced a lot more conflict with their regrets, fear of the future, and their quickness to abandon or hide what they have previously gained. It's a bit of a shock to find out that what they have sealed the most tightly, what they seemed to deem the most dangerous in their society, is their last bit of courage to confront reality. They are also aesthetically distant and scary from the lack of language translations, massive design distinctions from the rest of the game, and their direct hostility. For a game so positive about the spirit of discovery and connecting with the universe, this DLC really shone a light on the dark side of things!