Mar. 25th, 2017

kjorteo: Pixel-style portrait of Celine's face (GOOD.)
This one was the first product of a few new systems I'm trying. It's the first game of any actual serious length I started and fininshed after adopting this whole book report thing (everything else I'd either started ages ago and am just finishing up now, or it was like half an hour long anyway.) It's also the first since the creation of a Google spreadsheet where I'm keeping track of my actual backlog (it's... immense) versus the two or three games I'm currently actively playing, and trying to remain focused on the latter without touching the former (as opposed to my former strategy of WHEEEE-ing about and getting like fifteen minutes into every single entry on the list.)

In other words, this was a trial run for whether I could really sit down and start an actual real game and see it through to completion, something for which my track record up to this point has been somewhat less than stellar. I chose Lolo 3 because it wasn't too long (the timestamp on my NES:CE save says I beat it in 22:46,) and being a puzzle game like Hanano, it was similarly bite-sized. I could put in maybe ten minutes a day trying to figure out one room, rather than having to clear out my schedule for a three-hour dungeon slog between save points. Also, I'm a huge fan of the Lolo series, and Lolo 3 is probably one of the best games in it, and yet I'd actually never beaten that one before! I came close several times, but other games always happened and I always got sidetracked.

Well, no more. After... what... four attempts? I finally beat this one. It's done. There. Whew. I feel like I can put to rest something that's been haunting me since childhood.

As I said, Lolo 3 is probably my favorite Lolo game, narrowly edging out the also-excellent Revival of the Labyrinth because the former doesn't have any of those fucking "?" rooms. It does still have some aggravating hidden information as per standard Lolo protocol (currents, alternate enemy respawn points, "which of these hearts give you shots," etc.) However, it also has several quality of life features that make it by far the best of the North American NES releases: there are world maps with rooms grouped into levels to sort of break up the flow and make getting through a total of 100 rooms feel less tedious, lives are no longer finite, and for extra variety, you can freely switch between and play as Lolo or Lala (until a hopeless boss fight at the end of level 13 leads to you being kidnapped, and levels 14-17 consist of whichever one you weren't using taking over on a quest to rescue your former main.) It even has a new enemy, the tractor-beam-like Moby that can add a wrinkle to the underwater-themed levels. Good stuff!

So yeah. I just wish Lolo games didn't have so much trial and error hidden info bullshit on certain levels, because other than that this is one of my all-time favorite series and this was probably the best game in that series.
kjorteo: Pixel-style portrait of Celine's face (GOOD.)
I think it's complete, anyway. I reached the end of a long corridor with a scary face that jumpscared me and auto-exited the game, and launching it again started over. (Crashing and restarting a lot with the game different somehow, creating new system files after the crash to continue the narrative like some creepy ARG, etc. have all been deliberate parts of a few other creepypasta games before, but not this time apparently.) So I guess that's it? It's complete enough.

Essence.exe is a creepypasta Mario game, by the way.

Normally, when I finally clear a game off my list, I go through the rest of the backlog and make a top five list of the ones I most feel like I want to tackle as my next project, discuss the top five with [livejournal.com profile] xyzzysqrl, and then... go out on a random whim and play whatever I happen to feel like anyway. *Blush, mumble* But I felt like skipping all that and just doing this one real quick because, I mean, it's a creepypasta game. Can't be more than like fifteen minutes long, right?

All the preliminary creepypasta game trappings are done very well--there's some appropriately cryptic and creepy text files. The one misstep there was in this one:

ANA
ANACONDA
ANA
ANANAS
ANNE

SON, WE SHAL UNITY AS ONE BEING
SOON, WE SHAL UNITY AS ONE BEING
SOON, WE SHALL UNITE ASS ONE BEING
SOON, WE SHALL UNITE AS ONE BEING

COMPRESION..... 30.45798920%
REQUEST FOR SKIN FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT....... 0.12%


Where the ANA ANACONDA bit reminded me of that weirdly animated Nickelodeon girl that got a half-hour special in front of the Digimon movie. Giggling to myself over that mental image didn't exactly make the atmosphere any creepier going in, but oh well. The actual game handles the creepiness very well so that was soon forgotten anyway.

The game's biggest failing, I think, was that there was just too much arcane nonsense in the gameplay. Yes, creepypasta games are supposed to be glitchy and weird and unintuitive to a certain extent, but they should also shepherd you along so that even if you're flailing around with no idea what you're doing, you sort of end up where the game wants you to be anyway. Hell, the "whoa, wait, why am I suddenly in this room?" sense makes it scarier, anyway! I shouldn't... if I have to stop playing and go do some researching to see if there's a walkthrough somewhere for how you get to the next area, I'm not scared anymore. The immersion is broken at that point.

Still, I came in expecting a quick less-than-a-day romp so I could check something off my list and get another "yay I completed a game" point all while indulging my interest in game creepypastas a little, and that's exactly what I got. No complaints in that regard.

Get it here if that's your thing, by the way.

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Celine Kalante Love

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