kjorteo: Portrait of Celine exercising, with a workout headband. (Celine: Exercise)
Last time:

I'm sorry, I will probably go through the entire rest of the game and never get over this moment. This will be one of the things that sticks with me from this game. Eusine plays it off positively, like, "Oh, wow, did you see them run! What a spectacular sight that was!" but I am positive he is silently inwardly attempting to hate me to death.

I'm a bit busier than usual this weekend, and don't know if I'll have the time to advance too much farther in the game right now. This works out, though, because I got just far enough to do some fiddling with my party, and I now have more Pokewalking to do in order to bring a certain new recruit up to speed. More on that next time. For now, let's just say I'm doing some building and leveling behind the scenes this week.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of this amazing moment, let's have a filler intermission entry and talk some more about the Legendary Beasts!

'Special Aside' more like excuse to explanation-dump, amirite? )
kjorteo: Screenshot from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, of Bulbasaur smiling and looking excited. (Bulbasaur: Excited)
No, I'm not falling into another Pokemon game, because I'm already neck-deep in one Pokemon game. It's just that I have Moon sitting on the shelf, unplayed, and there are a bunch of Mystery Gift event giveaways they're currently handing out that I may as well grab while I can. I preordered Ultra Moon, and even that can sit on the shelf until I'm actually ready to play it, but I may as well 1) play the upgraded version instead if I wasn't already tied to the original, and 2) have all those event giveaways waiting for me when I do. There won't be a rush at that point, but I at least need to get them first.

So, some observations from Moon's prologue, on my quest to at least get far enough to find an actual shop with the Mystery Gift delivery person in it. Because first-glance blind reactions are hard to replicate, and if (if, and we'd be talking years down the road) I ever playblog Ultra Moon like I'm doing SoulSilver, I don't want my unscripted first impressions lost to time.

No major spoilers or anything, some long-ish rambling though )
kjorteo: Screenshot from Jumpman, of the player character falling to his doom, with the caption "FAIL" on the bottom. (Fail)
Oh yeah sometimes I play games besides Pokemon, and I'm still doing that book report thing.

[personal profile] xyzzysqrl brought my attention to a very cool-looking light beam puzzle game on Steam. She then pointed out that there are other games like that if I'm curious, and oh hey Chromatron is free. (She then also added, "You can see the, uh, production value difference.")

Okay but fuck Chromatron, though.

I'm sorry. I try really hard to persevere in puzzle games. I never said that I'm the undefeated Godlike master of all things puzzle, and I break down and have to use hints just as much as the next person, but I at least like puzzles and don't like to admit when a puzzle game is just too much for me. I try not to let it come to that point. Even if it ends with a COMPLETE entry about "Okay I did beat this but in retrospect here's a whole big essay on all the parts that were bullshit," I at least try.

I've beaten every game Qrostar has ever made. I've made it through SpaceChem and TIS-100. Not this one, though. I think Chromatron may be the first puzzle game I've played since I started this whole game report project that ended prematurely in a huff of "No. Fuck this."

I mean, the tooltip/tutorial/new concept writeup for level 29 reads: "When a quantum-entangled beam goes through a splitter or another quantum tangler, the quantum wave function collapses, and the two beams are no longer entangled." This is a new mechanic the game is trying to teach you. For level 29. There are 50 puzzles in the first game, all told.


No, I refuse. I did 1-30 (minus one or two that required giving up and looking up the solutions along the way) plus 34. That's enough.

Honestly, this is... not a bad game in itself. The aesthetic is pure Windows 98 Chip's Challenge but it works and looks fine. The mechanics are smart, clever, and well thought out. They're too smart, is all. I am not the right audience for this game. I was a solid D student in almost every STEM class I ever took. This game hinges puzzles on your ability to think in terms of "Oh, yes, I know exactly how white beams of light split into red/blue/green at precisely the angles I need based on what angle they hit the prism, and all I need to do is recombine two of them to light the cyan crystal and then quantum-convert the split offshoot of one of them to change its color (leaving the other as-is) to light the magenta crystal." If that sounds like your kind of game, this is a great game.

For me, though, I've reached the point where I'm comfortable leaving this to my smarter friends, the ones who actually enjoy dealing with this kind of nonsense. I'm done. I'm tapping out.
kjorteo: Screenshot from Daedalian Opus, of a solved puzzle with the text "GOOD" displayed on underneath it. (GOOD)
I really wanted the last entry to include all of Goldenrod City, ending with a climactic gym battle the way Azalea Town's entries did. I should have remembered that 1) Azalea Town was a two-parter as well, and 2) Goldenrod is big. Last entry was running long even from the preliminary stuff. There is so much more of this city to explore, from checking out the random buildings to furthering the plot, which itself first involves a trip to the radio tower before we can do the gym.

In the end, part 9 of this run ended up being more or less part 8-2. And also gigantic. Fair warning.

More Goldenrod, then? )
kjorteo: Scan from an old Super Mario Bros. comic,, of King Koopa explaining something to his son with an 8U facial expression. (Koopa: 8U)
Those who know me know I, uh, kind of have a problem with overexplaining things. It's just something I enjoy doing, and the impulse is very hard to control. You may have noticed my SoulSilver LP is on track to be like eight hundred thousand words or more by the time it finishes, and probably at least some of that is due to occasional "For those of you who have never played a Pokemon game before, you throw a ball and there's a certain percent chance depending on...." asides. But trust me, I promise you, what you're seeing now was after I went back and cut out as many of those as I could stand before it became almost physically painful to cut anymore. You should have seen the rough draft.

That being said, last night I had a dream where I was on a team-based game show that looked like some sort of Knightmare/Crystal Maze/Laser tag crossover; teams put on special vests, entered the maze, and then presumably stuff happened. I'd apparently seen this show zillions of times before and knew the procedure by heart, but for whatever reason, our team getting our usual orientation like we were supopsed to. I kind of had to take over that role instead, and the rest of the dream devolved into, "Guys, I know no one said anything but we're actually supposed to all file into this room first to get the mission briefing before we start. It's like an out of the way broom closet I know but the secret door is right here. Guys, no. Guys, you can't enter the main hall yet, you don't even have your VESTS. GUYS."

I'm pretty sure that dreams like this are a sign that the problem is more serious than I thought.
kjorteo: Portrait of a happy Celine hugging a big plush snake. (Celine: Plush)
We briefly interrupt your not-really-regularly scheduled gameblogging because this is still my all-purpose journal and sometimes I write about life stuff too. I mean very very rarely, but it can theoretically happen! This DW is still like 95% games and I'll Poke more Mons as soon as I can, don't worry.

So, I have this plush snake, Snakey. I've had him literally since I can remember (you can tell I was young when I got him because his name is Snakey) to the point where I don't even remember where he came from--as far back as my memory goes, he's just always been there. Between seeing The Brave Little Toaster way too many times as an impressionable child and growing up into someone whose fursona is a literal packrat, suffice it to say that childhood things like Snakey are very, very important to me. To the point that I've commemorated him in a couple of my commissions here and there--that's him in the icon for this post, for example. And here he is IRL after being repaired and restored with fixed seams/more stuffing/new felt eyes and mouth/etc. as a Christmas present in 2013, which was one of the most special, meaningful presents I've ever received.

Today, I happened to get curious about where did he come from, since I couldn't remember, so I asked my mom. It turns out that he was originally a Christmas present from my grandfather to my mom, when she was around 10 or 12. My grandparents had the foresight to hang onto things like that in case grandkids ever happened, and I ended up inheriting him.

I don't have much of a point to this entry, I guess (this is one of those things you write under the "I can dump whatever's in my head because it's my journal" excuse) but I'm just... wow, Snakey is, like, fifty. I had no idea he had so much history, you know? Toy Story 3 fucked me up hard and now I've just kind of been sitting here Feeling Things all day.

I'm gonna hug him so much (gently though!) tonight.
kjorteo: Screenshot from Laura Bow 2, of a horrified-looking stuffed porcupine beneath a dead body with blood around its mouth. (Nightmare fuel)
Before getting into this entry, I would first like to give huge thanks to [personal profile] xaq_the_aereon for this lovely artwork! To be honest, I started this run with a sort of glum "I don't expect anyone to read these or care, but I've already written them so I may as well post them I guess" outlook, but... wow, you know your playblog is doing something right when it has fanart.

This really re-energizes me. If people are going to be inspired by this blog, then I want to make this blog inspiring. I want to continue on with this adventure, and make something grand enough to be worth this kind of reaction. I want to live up to this.

I don't feel like I have to, mind. Not in the "oh no now people are watching and I'm stressed out" way, or at least not yet. I feel like my disclaimer in the first entry still has that covered pretty well. But at least as of this writing, I want to keep going with this.

Thank you, [personal profile] xaq_the_aereon, for the encouragement. May you enjoy today's entry as much as I enjoyed your lovely gift!

Last time: We ventured to Violet City, did a bunch of stuff, and got a gym badge.

Let's assess the current team and keep going from there, shall we? )
kjorteo: Portrait of Celine exercising, with a workout headband. (Celine: Exercise)
Last time: I finally learned how to catch Pokemon (thanks, I never knew) and acquired a Hoothoot named Scout for "you'll see why next time" reasons.

Let's see what that's all about, shall we? )
kjorteo: Screenshot from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, of Bulbasaur smiling and looking excited. (Bulbasaur: Excited)
Right, so, last time we devoted an entire entry to the title screen. What happens if you actually start the game?

Let's find out! )

Next time: Off to Mr. Pokemon's house! Maybe I'll get more than five minutes into the game before derailing on some entire-entry-requiring tangent, but since I know what's coming, I kind of doubt it.
kjorteo: Portrait of a happy Celine hugging a big plush snake. (Celine: Plush)
I started playing this game when it first came out, and I really loved it, but I never finished it. My memory of the experience was that the game was fantastic, but maybe a bit long and samey after a while. I sort of got the point early in world 6 (out of 8) and got bored and stopped. It's been on the "I really should finish this one someday" shelf ever since, and now I finally did. Enough years have passed since then that I was fresh and rested on the Squeak Squad experience, so clearing out the final stretch now was fine. However, even the three worlds this time felt like "Yes this was a good experience, I am content with this and am pleasantly full now," so I can see how I might have gotten tired and overstuffed from the prospect of doing eight.

So, there's my overall impression, I guess: Squeak Squad is phenomenal, and if an abbreviated version of it had been in, say, Super Star or some other collection like that to keep things varied, it would easily have been my favorite game in the entire collection. As a full title, though, I am inclined to agree with my past self's assertion that it runs a bit long. It's a shame that there's too much of a good thing here, though, because I really cannot overstate just how good the thing itself is.

Squeak Squad is a fairly traditional Kirby-style Kirby game (which is kind of saying something in a series that's known for Canvas Curse and other experimental oddities) that's probably most similar to Dyna Blade from Super Star, if I had to pick a point of comparison. It has that Mario 3-like hub world maps between stages, anyway. You can float around and get Copy powers and blah blah the actual draw to Squeak Squad in particular is, of course, the Squeak Squad.

The primary antagonist for most of this game is The Squeaks, a gang of rodent thieves bent on stealing all the treasure in Dreamland. For some oddly specific reason, that includes making double extra sure Kirby can't have the delicious strawberry cake that he was about to eat before it was tragically stolen. Seriously, every faction in this game spends the entire game treating Kirby's cake like it's the Ark of the Covenant. Even Meta Knight gets involved because cake is that important. That's a Kirby game for you, I guess. Because eating is serious business in Dreamland, Kirby will stop at nothing to stop the Squeaks from stopping at nothing to stop him from stopping them.

It's all typical Kirby plot nonsense but I'm saving the best part for last because LOOK AT THESE SQUEAKS. Especially look at their leader, Daroach, who boldly answers the burning question everyone has always been dying to know: "What if Plok's fursona became a magician and then a thief?" He is my new favorite character in the entire Kirby franchise and I love him forever.

Seriously, even their theme music is great. The "Squeak, Squeak!" effect between certain sections is the cutest thing.

(I mentioned Meta Knight is in this too, which is also fantastic. He is my other favorite character in the franchise behind only Daroach, because he is basically an actual canon in-universe version of someone's grimdark DeviantArt Kirby OC. He tries so hard to be Christopher Nolan/Christan Bale Batman in a world that stubbornly insists on treating him as Adam West Batman, and it's incredible every single time. So yeah, this game gets high marks for its cast, for sure.)

Every stage has up to three treasure chests in it. The HUD on the map screen very helpfully shows you how many you've collected, making it very easy to know where to look if you feel like hundred-percenting this game. (Which is recommended, actually, because later it pulls a nasty trick where five star fragments from various chests scattered about the first six worlds are needed to access world seven and continue the game.) Most contain things like alternate palette swap options for Kirby, music packs for the sound test mode, and various extras like that. The typical stage formula sees every treasure chest except the last one be hidden through some side passage or something along the way throughout the stage, and then the last one is in the last room and involves facing off against one of the Squeaks for it. (Grab it and reach the exit while they're chasing you, it's right next to the exit but you need to get there before the Squeak does, beat it out of the Squeak in a straight up miniboss fight, etc.)

It's all good fun and there's not much else to say I guess because I mean it's a Kirby game, but it's a GOOD Kirby game. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go back to making heart-eyes at my magic squeaky boyfriend.
kjorteo: Teary Bulbasaur portrait from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. (Bulbasaur: Teary)
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is the best Lilo and Stitch/Super Meat Boy/Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest crossover fanfic I've ever-- wait hold on let me start that again.

So, once upon a time in IM, [personal profile] xyzzysqrl sent me this recommendation:

"As far as I know, you enjoy:
Difficult platformers.
Nonlinear Metroidvania style games.
Cute things.

Have you seen this game?


Never let it be said that Sqrl doesn't know exactly how to pitch a game to me.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a Metroidvania-style action platformer that the developers themselves claim was inspired by Super Meat Boy, which I can maybe sort of see in the gameplay. Death comes fast and frequently if you're not careful, but is cheap and relatively painless. You can save almost wherever you want (there are unlockable tech tree abilities specifically to facilitate this) and the death/reload/respawn process is quick and seamless.

The main difference, of course, is that Super Meat Boy is pure carnage played for laughs, whereas Ori's violence is more bloodless and its presentation is that of a more serious and stunningly beautiful game. That trailer should give you a good idea of what this game both looks and sounds like, but I'll also add the Sorrow Pass theme because it's my personal favorite. Definitely get a version that includes the soundtrack if you get this.

Anyway, you play as Unico Ori, and adorable little fluffball with a huge and loving heart and the power to bring light to the darkness, tragically orphaned and put through increasingly intense levels of DOES NOT DESERVE THIS. At first glance the basic plot is almost comparable to an early ZZT purple keys collectathon--the forest is in ruins because the elements need to be restored, do the chain of [Go to area A to find the mystic Thing that unlocks the door to the temple in area B, clear out the inner temple proper which is big enough in its own right to count as area C] a total of three times and restore the three elements and you're done. However, oversimplifying it to this extent does a gross disservice to the emotional impact of the plot in the fine-details level and the characters living through it. Sqrl managed to cry for every single cutscene in the game, and while I didn't quite hit perfect 100% cry completion the way she did, boy I sure got punched in the heart by a lot of them anyway.

Exploration is controlled through a combination of hard and soft gates--things like the door to the temple (or almost any locked door, really) are more or less impassable barriers until the plot lets you through, but there are also collectibles and even entire areas that open up as you gain new powers. The latter is almost just like any Metroidvania, only (with one or two exceptions) rather than needing a new beam or missile or other sort of offensive weapon to blast through a wall, it's mostly just treacherous high jumps that require Ori to get increasingly more mobile in the air, like some kind of speedy high-flying luchador. The game has a very good learning curve and pace to distributing its enhancements, though, so you never really feel overwhelmed by all the moves you're expected to keep track of, even as you go through a series of triple jump-glide-air dash-fire an energy ball and ricochet off your own shot-air dash (again, because the ricochet resets all your jump options) shenanigans near the end.

I have very spoileriffic thoughts about this game which I will hide below the warning, but for now, suffice it to say that this is an exceptional top quality product. Everything from graphics and sound to gameplay are all finely tuned and outstanding, and if Sqrl's recommendation sounds as good to you as it did to me, then definitely check it out. Also check out Sqrl's review when she beat it, which can be found here.

kjorteo: Screenshot from Cho Aniki, of a macho-camp bodybuilder with fairy wings and antennae. (Cho Aniki)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl is a precious gift and every conversation with her is an adventure.

Celine Kalante:

Yeah uhm.

Notice that tiger also has a dorsal ridge?

I can't explain Eorzean wildlife.

Celine Kalante:
... Eorzea is weird.


Celine Kalante:
Beefy Tigersaurus.

I think there were a couple of those in Zootopia.

Beefy Tigersaurus is my favorite discontinued Chef Boyardee line.

Celine Kalante:
Beefy Tigersaurus was around when Power Rangers started to get weird.

oh god


Celine Kalante:
I would still be watching that show RIGHT NOW if it did that and you know it.

Also thank you for getting that stuck in my head forever.

I mean... yeah. Yeah, basically.


kjorteo: Pixel-style portrait of Celine's face (Default)
Celine Kalante Love

October 2017

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