kane_magus: (Default)
Before I even watch this video, I am going to go ahead and answer the question. Yes, absolutely, monetization is affecting game design. It has been doing so for years now. I and [personal profile] owsf2000 and many others have been ranting about this asinine horseshit for years. It fucking sucks fucking ass fucking hole. It always has fucking sucked fucking ass fucking hole. It will never not fucking suck fucking ass fucking hole.

Now, to actually watch the video.


Youtube embed behind cut )


I absolutely agree with this video. My only minor issue with the video is that it seems like Ryan and Mike are hugely behind the curve if they're seemingly only just now starting to notice this issue and to have a problem with it, due to "oh noes not muh zeldas" or whatever. Ignoring that quibble, yeah, like I said, 100% agreement with them. The whole goddamn thing goddamn sucks goddamn ass goddamn hole.
kane_magus: (Default)
Huh, what a coincidence. You know, what with how I've been playing a lot of this game lately and all (Steam version).

Finally defeated the dragon last night, actually, and started the "post-game" stuff. I think I'll start a New Game+ when I finish that and wait until then to do the DLC/Expansion stuff. It'll be the first game in a very long time that I've looked forward to playing a second time so soon after a first playthrough.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Here, have another post that consists entirely of embeds of tweets. This time it's not Donald Trump related, so there is that, at least.

Embedded tweets behind cut )
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Large Youtube embed behind cut )

This is one of my favorite point-and-click games, and certainly one of my favorite Star Trek games. The only Star Trek games I'd rate a bit higher are Star Trek: Judgment Rites, which is the sequel to the PC 25th Anniversary game shown here, and Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity, which they also briefly mention in the above video. Why there aren't more (and more modern) Star Trek games like these now, today, instead of the putrid turds we've gotten lately, I don't know.

You can find both of these Original Series games on Steam and on GOG. Sadly and frustratingly, A Final Unity isn't available on those platforms (yet, anyway).

And, yes, the PC version of 25th Anniversary is indeed many orders of magnitude better than the NES version, which is, itself, much better than the Game Boy version (even if that was the first Star Trek game I ever owned and played and for which I still have fairly fond memories, even though, in retrospect, it objectively sucked complete asshole).

Happy 50th anniversary, Star Trek. Here's to another successful 50 years (and hopefully much better video games in that time).
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Humble Sierra Bundle.

Just plugging this, because it's cool.

Starbound

Jul. 28th, 2016 08:38 pm
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
When this game reached 1.0 and left Early Access, I finally caved in and bought it, despite the fact that seemingly everyone on the Steam forums apparently hates it. I don't get that, perhaps in part because I am not one of those who followed the game from its inception, but still... I don't get it. I'm not going to say anything else about that, though, except to say that... well... it's the Steam forums, which are only slightly less hateful and asinine, generally speaking, than Youtube commentary.

So. Here's my take on Starbound. If you buy this game, try to play it at least until you get to the Outpost/Ark before you decide yay or nay on it. When I very first started, I finished the tutorial section and got to my ship. I beamed down to the first planet (which is the only accessible one at the start), and then I was like... huh... this really is just Terraria all over again, but with a scientific theme instead medieval/magic. I thought that was kind of lame. I almost gave up on it early, given that I'd already put almost 280 hours into Terraria and if I wanted to play Terraria again, I would, you know, just go play Terraria again. But I kept playing Starbound long enough to get the core fragments necessary to activate the portal to the Outpost/Ark (which really didn't take all that long, once I actually started looking for them), and played through the mining station quest, which repaired my ship so that I could go to different planets, and that's where the game opened up like nobody's business.

All in all, without getting into a gigantic overly-detailed play-by-play of my current playthrough, I'll just say that I've not regretted my purchase, after having played it for 29 hours so far already, according to Steam, and there are plenty of aspects of the game (colony building, pets, vehicles, etc.) that I haven't even touched at all yet. It is similar to Terraria in a great many respects, but on the whole, it is still its own game. Starbound is not just a "Terraria clone," any more than Terraria was just the "2D Minecraft clone" that far too many people claimed it to be.

I'll just give one example of something cool. So I went to an oceanic planet. Fortunately, I had already crafted a breathing device (initially for use so that I could mine fuel on the airless moons of some planets), which let me breath underwater as well. At first, I stayed on the surface, going from island to island, where I found several Asian-themed buildings, some of which were occupied, which was cool. Then I went underwater and just started walking around on the ocean floor. (Same as when I played Minecraft, and also with games like Aquaria and such, I just dig games that allow underwater exploration.) At first, I thought the height of my exploration on this planet would be when I happened across an underwater ruin of a bunch of buildings similar to the Asian-themed buildings on the surface. But then, later, I found an entire futuristic underwater city (complete with airlocks to get in), filled with NPCs. It was pretty cool. And that's just the one planet.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
"Up to 75% off tales worth telling: The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and more!"

Yeah, just wanted to plug this.

I have all but a couple of these on Steam already, but here they are on sale on GOG.com, if you prefer that.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
You can get all four of the Star Trek games on GOG.com now, during the current sale, all for 80% off, or a total of $4.76 USD. I would have been on this like white on rice, if I didn't already have them. Just thought I'd pass the word along, in case anyone might be interested.

Oh and, for what it's worth, there's a separate sale on other Interplay stuff, but that one doesn't interest me as much, since I already have what little from that one that I'd have wanted, and none of what's left interests me that much.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)


I saw the Steam/GOG release notifications about this game and thought it looked pretty cool, but watching the above video is what has convinced me to actually buy it (probably, someday). I remember playing the original Harvest Moon game on the SNES back in the day, but couldn't really get into it all that much, since it seemed to be more focused on just the farming stuff, and that was pretty much too close to my own real life at that point in time to be enjoyable. Stardew Valley, however, has more than just the farming aspect, as they show in the video above, which is cool. In any case, I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

This is another case of how just watching a video of some guys messing around in a game is more effective than any officially made advertisements in convincing me to potentially give a game a try.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)


Up until now, I'd had pretty much zero interest in Goat Simulator. Now, though... now, if I see it on a steep 75%-plus Steam sale or something at some point, I might actually pick it up.

Truly, the creators of this game couldn't have made an official commercial for this game that is better than the above video of just James and Mike fucking around for 15 minutes, at least as far as convincing me to finally give the game a try at some point. Though, admittedly, I was probably laughing more because of their reactions to stuff in the game than because of the stuff in the game itself.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
...and is currently sitting at an aggregate 4.2 user rating on Metacritic (for the PS4 version)[1] and a 44% "Mixed" user rating on Steam.

Yeah. How about that.

/me idly goes back to not giving a shit about Street Fighter V.

(Adding the asinine anti-singleplayer trend tag here, since Street Fighter V is retardedly online-only, but this is another case where I wish that I had originally made the tag be "asinine anti-offline trend" instead, since that's more what it's actually about, but I have linked to it too much in other posts to change it now.)

[1] - And notice how I didn't even mention what the aggregate score from the professional critics was, because I haven't given a shit about those guys for a very long while now. (Not that user ratings are all that much more useful on that site either, mind you, but still, in this case, I think it's not entirely out of line.)
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)


Between this and all the bullshit surrounding the PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight, I think that WB Games should just get out of the PC market altogether. They clearly seem to want to do that, after all.

(Not that I, personally, give much of a shit at all about either game in the first place, really, on the PC or anywhere else. I'm perfectly fine waiting for a <$5 sale on Steam before getting them, or simply doing without, whichever.)
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
If you ever wanted to try the X series but didn't want to have to use Steam to do it, well now you can get it on GOG.com. And on top of that, it's even on sale for 75% off at the moment, which means that the entire series (minus X Rebirth, but that's no big loss[1]) is available on GOG.com right now for a little over $10 (or else it's 50% off each game individually, if you didn't get the entire series at once).

Just to note, I am still playing X3: Albion Prelude (with currently 988 hours into that game alone, according to Steam, not even including all the hours I'd previously put into the earlier games), to this very day in fact (meaning I literally just quit playing it only a few minutes ago, then opened Feedly to see this deal), so yeah, I can definitely recommend it, as I already have many times in the past.

[1] - With that said, however, I've been hearing that X Rebirth itself has been polished up into an actually halfway decent state nowadays as well, so whenever the next big 4.0 update comes along, I may give Rebirth another try. And, apparently, there's a whole new game coming at some point as well. Hopefully, this new game will be the true X4 that Rebirth definitely was not.

Asphyxia

Nov. 3rd, 2015 05:27 pm
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
According to the Steam page, the game is described as "Samantha and Lillian are best friends. At least, they were, until everything fell apart. Now, Samantha has a day to repair their relationship – but is it already too late?" And that is, indeed, the main gist of the game. It's a visual novel in which you play as a girl who is trying to repair her fractured relationship with another girl who used to be her best friend.

However, as you play the game, you may start to notice things, mainly the names of the characters. Coleridge. Wordsworth. Southey. De Quincey. Byron. Shelley. And so on. So... yeah. In this game, you are actually playing through a (very) loose reenactment of the lives of gender-flipped English Romantic poets from the 18th and 19th centuries, except set in modern times.

When you finish the game once, it explicitly tells you this in the "Extras" section. "I hope you don't feel too cheated to learn that this is an 'edutainment' game disguised as a girls' love story~ ❤" Also, there are biographies for each of the poets/authors upon which the main characters in the game are based, and if you didn't already know the histories of these people, then you can read it there, from which you learn that there is pretty much no true happy ending for any of these characters from the game itself, if you assume that their subsequent lives mirror those of the real people on which they are based.

So, as for the game itself... it's a visual novel, like many others that exist on Steam (though some of the games that are tagged as "visual novel" on Steam aren't actually true visual novels, at least not in my opinion). However, I found this one somewhat more interesting due to the art style, which is more like Victorian dolls than the typical anime/manga style that you see in most other VNs. The music is pretty good as well. There are four endings in all, only two of which could even remotely be considered "good" endings (and, as I said above, even those are overshadowed by the actual history of the real life people on which the characters are based). Some mature subject matter, drinking, drug use, and that sort of thing, is discussed (but not depicted) so be warned, if you're not into that sort of thing. Though there are a few lighter moments here and there, the overall tone of the game is pretty dark and moody, which is fairly appropriate, I think.

All in all, it was a pretty decent use of the six hours or so it took me to get all of the endings. I'd recommend it.

Oh, and as mentioned here, there is another, free game made by the creator of Asphyxia, which features the two main characters from Asphyxia, if you wanted to take a look at that as well. I haven't (yet) played it myself, though.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Did I make a post about The Beginner's Guide? I meant to, but apparently I never got around to it.

Well, I'd recommend playing it, but in case you don't want to pay $10 on Steam for a game that only lasts a couple of hours or so (my full playtime was 116 minutes, so says Steam), here (and below) is a full LP of it by Liam and Woolie of Super Best Friends Play. The video was apparently recorded on the day that the game released (October 1, 2015). They go in completely blind, knowing nothing about the game, and that's truly the best way to experience it, I think. It took them about an hour and a half, same as me, and then there's a few minutes of "WTF did we just play? Was this real?" stuff at the end of the video. I'd already played through the game myself, but I have to say that watching the LP and hearing their reactions to the game was just as interesting, since I shared a lot of them.

Youtube embed behind cut )

Here are my own thoughts about the game:

I'm pretty sure that the whole thing is "kayfabe," to use a bit of pro wrestling lingo. Or, more appropriately, it's what you'd call a "worked shoot." It's seems pretty clear that it's not real because A) a guy as severely aloof as Coda was presented to be, especially later on, most likely wouldn't have ever gone to a gamejam-type event in the first place, and B) if it is real, then Davey Wreden is a human piece of fecal matter for putting Coda's stuff on Steam (and especially for selling it for $10), after being explicitly asked by Coda not to share his work anymore. I'm of the opinion that neither Coda nor Davey Wreden, the character narrating The Beginner's Guide, are real (as opposed to Davey Wreden, the guy who made The Beginner's Guide and The Stanley Parable, who I'm pretty sure is indeed real [and who may or may not be dealing with some real life issues of his own that may possibly have inspired the creation of this game]). I have no idea if there is a real life equivalent to or inspiration for Coda at all, but if there is and he's even a little bit like how the guy in the game was portrayed, I'm not sure whether I'd want to meet the guy or run screaming in the other direction. >_>; My belief, until proven otherwise, is that Coda is pure fiction, though, perhaps a representation of Wreden's own creative side.

(EDIT) Oh, and I briefly disabled my Youtube comment blocking add-on on Firefox just to look to see what people might have been saying about the game and the video, and I was very, very quickly reminded of exactly why I was blocking Youtube comments altogether in the first place. When will I ever learn. (/EDIT)

Undertale

Oct. 7th, 2015 10:23 pm
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Okay. I'm going to talk about Undertale now. Here, also, are the Steam and TVTropes pages for Undertale (view that latter one at your own risk, especially if you are spoiler averse).

Here is a demo for the game. I might actually go back and play the demo myself at some point, because I've heard there are some tricks that it does that even the full game doesn't do, such as manipulating the demo's manual based on how you play. As such, you should probably look at the demo's manual before, during, and after you play the demo. (As far as I can tell, the full game doesn't have a manual at all.)

First comes the non-spoilery bits. I'll provide a LJ-cut and tons of spoiler space and even <lj-spoiler> tags once I get into the really spoilery stuff, so don't worry too much. Just be warned that there'll be some slight spoilery stuff even before that, though.

Mostly non-spoilery bits behind cut )

The music is awesome. Hell, I'll even do an impromptu, half-assed Game Music Thing, right here and now.

Just a very few (ever so slightly spoilery) examples from the soundtrack:

Youtube links behind cut )

Now onward into real spoiler territory...

Super spoilery bits behind cut )

So, yeah, you should give Undertale a shot. It's pretty neato, I think.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
I'm not going to be buying it, because I already have most of the games on it, but the current Humble Indie Bundle is a pretty good one.

Games I have personally played and can recommend:
Sir, You Are Being Hunted
The Deponia series (though I haven't actually played the last game in the series yet, myself, the first two are pretty solid)
Skullgirls (including all DLC)
Planetary Annihilation (I backed this one on Kickstarter. Also included in the bundle is a 66% off coupon [on the Humble Store] for Planetary Annihilation: TITANS, which is basically the same game but with more stuff. Seems... a bit odd to me that they're putting a coupon in the Bundle, rather than the actual game itself, and I'm not sure that's a good precedent to be setting there, but... whatever... that's the only bad thing I see about this particular bundle)
Gone Home (despite what you might hear from most of the rest of the Internet, particularly the misogynistic GamerGate assholes, this is actually a pretty cool game)
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
*Placeholder post so that I don't forget to talk about Eternal Senia at some point real soon-like. It's just too late to do it tonight, though.*

Eternal Senia is a pretty interesting game. Made by mostly one guy in RPG Maker, it doesn't really play much like a typical RPG Maker game, in that it is an ARPG. Though not entirely unheard of with RPG Maker, it is somewhat rare. No random battles or turn-based combat or anything like that. You walk into an enemy and automatically attack it. Later on you get special attacks on the Q, W, E, and R keys.

The story as a whole is kind of bland, but the endings (there are three of them, all fairly easy to get) are all of the "bittersweet at best, none of them truly happy" variety, which somewhat makes up for it. A lot of the English text was written by someone for whom English is obviously not their first language, but it's not bad enough to mar understanding of the story.

The game is really easy (which was the intention by the creator). I finished the game, all endings, and all of the optional "side-quests" given by the same three NPCs you meet at the end of each section prior to the boss, in a little over five hours total (though I did give up and just look up the locations of a few of the chests in the final area). Also, somewhat embarrassingly, I completely neglected to use the system for upgrading the special attacks, so all of those remained at level 1 for the entirety of my playthrough of the game. For some unknown, dumb reason, I didn't even realize you could upgrade stuff until after I'd finished the game and went to the "bonus room" and did the speed mini-game thing which awarded another 1000 SP, at which point I realized that I'd never used that stuff, which was when I found the upgrade mechanic and felt really stupid. Even though there's a frickin' screenshot of the skill upgrade screen right there on Steam. I had over 75,000 unused SP by the end of the game. Using that, I was able to upgrade each of the four skills from level 1 to level 25. >_>; With that said, however, even before upgrading the skills at all, I was still able to kill pretty much all non-boss enemies in one or two hits with even just regular attacks, let alone the specials, which is why I never noticed it or felt a need for it even after I found it. I think the only time I ever died legit was when I tried to fight the Demon Lord boss on hard mode, after which I didn't bother using hard mode anymore. So, yeah, the game is super easy.

On the whole, the game is pretty good, especially for a free game made by mostly just the one guy. As such, I would recommend it, if you've got a few hours to kill. As noted in the comments below, the game is apparently "inspired by" Ragnarok Online, which I didn't know about until after I'd already finished it and was looking at the Steam forums, because I've never played RO (given that it is a MMO game, and I generally loathe MMO games, with one exception, though I played through even that one entirely solo and was glad to be able to do so since I otherwise wouldn't have played that one either, but I digress). He also makes mention of the Mana games in the dev commentary stuff in the bonus room, and it's easy to see the inspiration there. Though, for what it's worth, I do find it a trifle odd that apparent "fan-games" like this are able to make it onto Steam, even if they're free like this one. But at the same time, I don't have a problem with it, either, as long as they aren't shit-tier quality games like a lot of them tend to be, which this one is not.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Yesterday, I was reading some recent tweets by Dan Shive, the creator of El Goonish Shive, concerning the new King's Quest game. At first, he was simply praising the game (starting around here), but later on, he began to rant (starting around here) about the fact that people were apparently telling him on Twitter not to support the new King's Quest game because of something about The Odd Gentlemen (who developed the new KQ game) and their previous involvement with Hiveswap, the game based on the hugely popular webcomic series, Homestuck. (Let me tell you about Homestuck.) Apparently, there are vague rumors that they misappropriated money from the Hiveswap Kickstarter (which, sadly [or perhaps luckily], I didn't back, because I didn't know about Homestuck at all until well after that had ended) to help fund the King's Quest game. I don't know if that's true or not. If it is, then The Odd Gentlemen are indeed scumbags. However, that is (mostly) irrelevant to the point I am about to make here.

See, I agree with Mr. Shive, for the most part. I think it's kind of dumb to hate on a work of art, be it a video game or a book or music or whatever, merely because you dislike something that the artist said or did (within reason). Hell, I've even said the same sort of thing myself already, years back when I was ranting about Doug TenNapel and his asinine views on the Quran burnings, in which I also mentioned Orson Scott Card and his homophobia[1], among other things as well. Hell, I still play some EA games, such as The Sims 3, even though I hate EA with a fiery passion otherwise (and despite the fact that there are things specifically concerning The Sims 3 itself that make me hate EA with a fiery passion).

However, as Mr. Shive himself also says, I can understand why one might not want to actively give money to an artist (or a game dev, in this case) since that money would actively go to support that artist in their future endeavors, which might include things that one might not want to be involved with. That's completely fair. If you believe the allegations concerning The Odd Gentlemen and want to avoid supporting them by not buying the new KQ game, then more power to you. Hell, even though I still play some EA games, like The Sims 3, I haven't bought any other EA games at all since probably (EDIT a year or so later) Dragon Age IIThe Sims 4. Yeah, I finally caved and bought TS4 on Origin, when it was on a relatively dirt cheap sale overall. >_> (/EDIT)

But again, at the same time, to say that someone shouldn't recommend or even like the new King's Quest game because of some tangentially related thing that The Odd Gentlemen may or may not have done regarding Hiveswap... well, I don't know. I think it's kind of dumb to hate King's Quest over this. For what it's worth, to go with what is probably the most extreme example of this, I think what I've seen of Hitler's paintings are actually pretty good. Yes, I totally went there. ¬_¬ Or, perhaps more timely... will I say that I would never go back and watch (and maybe even possibly enjoy) an episode of The Cosby Show or I Spy or Fat Albert or whatever, due to the current shitstorm surrounding Bill Cosby? If even a small portion of that shit is true, if he only drugged and raped even just one person, let alone dozens, then Cosby is a complete and total shitbag, sure... but I don't think that means that there's now suddenly nothing whatsoever of value that can be found in those older works of his, so no, I'm not sure that I will say that I'd never do that. Nor will I claim that I'd never go back and watch a Chris Benoit wrestling match. Yeah, I know I'm starting to stretch the meaning of the phrase "work of art" there, but still... Benoit was in some pretty good matches.

In any case, as long as whatever crazy, unethical, bullshit things done by the creators don't or didn't directly affect the nature of their works, then I'm not going to straight up avoid those works entirely just because of that. If, on the other hand, whatever asinine things they do are indeed directly affecting the works themselves, then that's where I start boycotting shit (and that's a big part of the reason I don't buy EA games anymore, specifically, and why I'm starting to abandon the game industry as a whole, generally). But I also totally get how this is definitely a YMMV situation.

Disclaimer: I have not played the new King's Quest game yet, mainly because I refuse to play any episodic games until the whole series of episodes is available, but I most likely will play it at some point, regardless of any controversy that may be surrounding it. (Unless, perhaps, said controversy actually turns out to be true, but even then... I'm still taking the same "wait and see" approach as I was before, concerning the new KQ game.) I have read Homestuck, and I believe that it is indeed as awesome as most people say it is. I'm looking forward to Hiveswap. For that matter, EGS is also pretty cool, I think.

[1] - And I thought I'd made another post along the same lines as this one here and that other one specifically concerning Mr. Card and the new (at the time) Ender's Game movie as well, about how a lot of people apparently thought that Mr. Card's homophobia tainted the movie too much for them to enjoy it or want to go see it, but I couldn't find such a post. Maybe that post was made to Facebook or something instead of Livejournal, in which case screw it, I'm not hunting it up. *shrug* Or maybe I just started to write such a post but then deleted it without finishing it. There have been a ton of posts that I've almost made like that.

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