I Play Porn Games For The Story // 18.12.2011

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Why hello there! Welcome to my little weekly blog. Here is where I take time out of my incredibly busy schedule of not doing university coursework to write about what I’ve been doing instead of university coursework! This list usually includes videogames, visual novels, and from time to time includes anime, mashups, and an undeniable love of Space Jam.

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Four Swords Adventures

“Hey Psy!” My friend said in a much more eager tone than he is prone to greet me. “Joe said to bring a few GBA’s through so we can play Four Swords Adventures!” You could tell he was pretty excited. Our weekly ‘videogame night in which we sometimes will play videogames’ started to become the highlight of the week. We all knew, maybe some of us more than others, that the prospect of the four player GBA Gamecube games would boil to the surface of our collective surface, but maybe some of us were a bit wearier than others.

~

“Shit.” Joe exclaimed when the subject of conversation naturally tuned to videogames while we were ordering our weekly pizzas at a local kebab take away. “I knew I forgot something.”

“What man?” Ross said, but we all felt he already knew the answer.

“I left my GBA at my parent’s place.”

“No worries.” Ross said, desperately trying to save the evening. “We’ll head back to my flat on the way down, I’ll ask Zac for his GBA.”

“What about everything else?” Lewis chimed in after ordering his, at this point traditional, 12 inch donor pizza.

“Oh I’ve got 3 GBA’s and 4 link cables with me already.”

“Wait.” I was silently monitoring the conversation, but this seemed a detail too important to point out. “You brought 3 GBA’s and 4 link cables, why didn’t you just grab 4 GBA’s on the off chance?”

“I didn’t think Joe would be that stupid.”

We all laughed, it was true, Joe was the one that decided to suggest this activity, it is kind of weird that he would be the one who was the worst prepared. The conversation turned to many other things over the course of us waiting for our takeaways. We rolled into Ross’ flat rather nonchalantly and claimed our fourth GBA. The evening was saved, or at least, so we thought. Maybe not having a fourth GBA was the real savoir in disguise.

~

Now we’re in the common room, we gather here first and eat our takeaways. For many of us, now coming up to half 9 at night, this is the first meal of the day. We savoir our takeaways and look forward to the night, and more often than not the morning, ahead. A TV in the corner is playing episodes of Cubix: Robots for Everyone because terrible 3D animation is the only way to enjoy a meal.

“And how about there’s just a picture of a fireplace taped on the radiator.” Lewis exclaimed after a fit of laughter, it wasn’t long before his laughter was joined by the rest of the room. No-one remembers how the conversation turned to ideas for a Christmas comedy sketch, but no-one complained. After a while our meals were finished, and we proceeded to one of the bedrooms to start our videogame adventure. We loaded up Four Swords Adventures and connected the four GBA’s. There was a small scare of one of said GBA’s not having any battery, but maybe that might have been our only escape. It passed by rather quickly, and we were finally able to start playing the game.

“FUCK.”

“HOLY SHIT WHY DID YOU TAKE THE BOOMERANG YOU CAN’T VIDEOGAME FOR SHIT.”

“JESUS CHRIST JOE STOP TAKING ALL THE BIG FORCE GEMS.”

“WE JUST NEED TO PUSH THIS ONE FUCKING BLOCK GET THE FUCK OVER HERE.”

“WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE GO TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CASTLE FUCK.”

“PSY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST PUSH THE BLOCK.”

“STOP THROWING ME DOWN BOTTOMLESS PITS GOD DAMN IT.”

“I FUCKING HATE ALL OF YOU JUST PLAY THE FUCKING GAME.”

“WHY DID YOU VOTE ME DOWN HE WAS THE ONE FUCKING EVERYTHING UP.”

“I SWEAR TO GOD PSY STOP DESTROYING THE BRIDGE.”

“FUCK IT’S TINGLE.”

It’s a wonder that we’re still friends.

Mario Party 8

“Hey guys.” I said, as I tilted my body a good 10 degrees, raising my hands to a parallel position with my face. “Let’s play some Mario Party 8.”

None of us really know why we started playing Mario Party 8; it was pretty unanimously met with immediate disapproval. However, in amongst this disapproval, the game was already starting up. If you remember, while a while ago I had played Mario Party 1, 4 and 8 with friends before. Only Ross is part of this weekly videogame night was a part of those original Mario Party sessions. Only he knew true fear.

We played 20 rounds on Koopa’s Tycoon Town; the map I feel is the best in Mario Party 8. It throws a lot of the basic rules of Mario Party out of the window, and has a more Monopoly style to it. To gain stars in this map, each character has to invest in hotels. If that character has invested the most amount of money in that hotel, they get stars. If the hotel has less than 20 coins invested in it in total, it’s worth one star. 20 coins up is worth two stars and 50 coins up is worth three. Apart from that, however, this is some Mario Party yo. Rolling dice, landing on red spaces, hating your friends, all your favourite things are back here.

Five rounds in and we already realised the mistake we made. Luckily, my idea of playing for 50 rounds was shot down incredibly fast. I was in dead last with no coins and no stars, several others had two to six stars already. I, however, was winning my fair share of mini-games, and seemingly only Ross knew what was going on. Suddenly, a battle mini-game started, one in which each player had to contribute 20 coins. I, of course, had no coins, investing in a hotel I couldn’t even own just so I could get rid of them. I won the battle mini-game, and suddenly I had the most coins.

What followed this, in amongst the chorus of "Waluigi number one!" as I shook the wiimote every chance I got, might have been the biggest ass kicking in the history of videogames. The game ended with me on top, scoring a grand total of fourteen stars. Twelve of these stars were from hotels, the last remaining two being the mini-game and most coins bonus stars. The runner-up, Joe, had managed to score himself seven stars, again one of these was indeed a bonus star, and quite frankly the less said about the remaining two the better.

“That was fun guys.” I proclaimed, breaking the silence. “We should play this more often.”

They didn’t agree.

Paper Mario : Thousand Year Door

While I didn’t actually play Thousand Year Door myself, I did sit in a room and watch my friend play it for a good six hours, so that counts right? It damn better, because it might have been the most fun I’ve had with the game ever.

First of all I love the Paper Mario series; I think that Thousand Year Door is an absolutely amazing game that I’ve completed several times over. I’m even a fan of Super Paper Mario for as polarizing as that entry seems to be, and my hype for the 3DS version could not be higher. My friend Joe was at the controller, on his first playthrough. Also present was me, rather obviously, and Lewis. We started talking about things that happened later in the game, much to Joe’s chagrin, though we did throw in a lot of fake spoilers in there for good measure. I’m sure Joe’s really looking forward to his Monty Mole companion.

What made this playthrough so magical was the entire Glitz Pit chapter. Again, I can’t even remember how it started, but we started to dub all of the voices in the game. I had accidentally ended up with most of the main characters of the chapter; Rawk Hawk, who had an incredibly deep nonchalant voice, Grubba, who sounded like the announcer from Crazy Taxi with a little bit of the Engineer in there for good measure, and finally the newly hatched Yoshi, whom Joe called ‘Mario’, who had an incredibly high pitched gangster slang filled voice. Let’s just say the points in the story in which ‘Mario’ was talking to Rawk Hawk were incredibly strenuous, though still incredibly funny.

Other characters range from the absurd to the flat out racist. I also ended up voicing Bowser, who has a blocked nose and sounds like the bird announcer from Animal Soccer World, Kammy Koopa, who sounds like Francis from Left 4 Dead, Vivian, a generic Japanese schoolgirl voice (where every sentence ends in ‘uguu~’), Ms. Mowz, who sounds like Bangs. My friends also had their fair share of amazing voices. Princess Peach is somehow Chinese, which works rather well with TEC who seemingly has tourettes. Each challenger in the Glitz Pit has their own amazing voices, some of which actually made perfect sense with the things they were saying.

Oh and since I’m talking about Thousand Year Door, yo you guys know Vivian was a guy in the Japanese version of the game? I find that absolutely fascinating, and in fact, makes perfect sense when you think about chapter 4. Her character does have that incredibly specific anime embarrassed/scared shota archetype to it. The whole falling for Mario but still unsure to even help him in battle is really well done, especially since it impacts gameplay in a really cool way. Vivian was always my favourite companion when I first played it and thinking about it more recently with this relatively new information, and considering what I’m like nowadays, that favouritism makes a lot more sense.

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Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo

When it comes to what I love about visual novels I always return to the same thing, amazing story, but most importantly amazing story twists. There are a lot of incredibly straight forward visual novels in which the main character somehow has a bunch of female friends in which he has the incredibly difficult decision of which one to bang, and sure they have their place. But I’ll always love visual novels that, while still having certain elements of that, attempt to go a lot further with their story. Sharin no Kuni, is indeed, one of these visual novels.

The story stars Kenichi Morita, in a world in which the law is very different. Instead of locking people up for a certain number of years, each punishment is tailor made for the crime. For instance, if a person kills another, they are forbidden from ever having children. These range from the small punishments to the ultimate punishment, of no-one allowed to even acknowledge you exist. Kenichi is a Special High Class Individual cadet, and the last leg of his training is to enforce these tailor made punishments in his original home town. Kenichi is a weird person, often breaking the forth wall, making bad jokes and relying on drugs to get him through the day, an act that he suspects no-one knows about. Once he makes it to the meeting point, he meets up with his supervisor, Masaomi Houzuki. Who enrols him in a high school where the girls he has to supervise are. During the meeting, a second SHCI cadet makes it to the meeting place, and is set up as a rival to Kenichi. However, Masaomi pulls out a gun and shoots her in the head for being late. In case you haven’t figured it out, you shouldn’t mess with Masaomi.

Before meeting Masaomi, Kenichi finds himself talking to Hinata Natsumi, who’s obligation is “Prohibited from Falling in Love”, which admittedly doesn’t come up that often since she’s incredibly shy. He also meets Sachi Mitsuhiro, who holds the obligation of a “12 Hour Day”, meaning she has to take medicine to knock her out for 12 hours each day, and Touka Oone, who is “Prohibited from Becoming an Adult”, meaning she has to obey all orders given by her mother Kyouko, who just so happens to be a teacher at the high school. Kenichi also has a non-blood related sister called Ririko who has the “Maximum Penalty” as stated before, everyone around her has to pretend she doesn’t even exist. She is the reason Kenichi wishes to become a Special High Class Individual and become her supervisor, as the only person that is allowed to acknowledge her is her own supervisor.

So that’s technically the set-up, but a lot of crazy things happen that I literally threw my arms up in the air on several occasions due to how amazing the plot twists are. I’m not going to delve into the later stuff because this is a story that if that set up intrigues you then you should definitely check it out. I will say this though, this is made by the same team that made Devil on G-String, and in fact this visual novel came out first, and is what convinced me to check out Devil on G-String. Both stories feature some amazing plot twists after plot twists and just when you thought everything was fine hey guess what plot twist. Both of these games beginning plot twist. In Devil on G-String, the main character reveals himself to the ‘Maou’ that is terrorizing himself and his friends. In this game, Kenichi reveals himself to be Ken Higuchi, a childhood friend of the main heroines and Hinata’s childhood crush, though somehow none of them remember him. It’s a rather great little detail that, when playing Devil on G-string, made me go “oh you guys” and pose in a very ‘shucks’ like manner.

Again, I don’t want to talk too much about what happens, but I really recommend this story a lot. The whole concept of the tailor made punishments make each route incredibly unique when compared to other visual novels, and the ending beats take almost everything you assumed of the main characters and throws them out the window with such ferocity that you’ll never know what hit you.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to my friend’s flat for more Thousand Year Door. We’re on Chapter 4 now, Vivian’s chapter, so I can see that being really fun. Before I go, however, I feel that I must inform you that Katawa Shoujo is being released on January 4th. Katawa Shoujo is, in fact, the reason I started reading visual novels, so it’s great to see it getting a release date. And you can certainly expect an extensive blog about it in three weeks time!

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