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21
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« Last post by Jimmy on October 08, 2018, 04:10:37 PM »
I also started reading Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal, the fifth book in the Medieval Mysteries series. I'm not sure if I've talked about this series before on the boards, but it's set in 13th century England and is about a couple of nuns and a monk with a secret solving murder mysteries. It's not dissimilar to the Brother Cadfael mysteries, if you're familiar with those. I started reading the series while I was doing an internship with the publisher in 2012, and, though it can be a bit hit and miss, I've really enjoyed the series. Good characters, fun mysteries, and just well-written overall.

This seems like a really neat concept for detective fiction.  How "realistic" is the setting?

Very. It takes place mostly in and near a monastery on the eastern coast of England (though they sometimes travel to different locations in some books in the series). The author is a medievalist professor so she knows her stuff about it, and always includes an afterward about her research and what was going on in the time period and how that influenced her writing for each particular book. It's also a very character-driven series. The mysteries themselves are usually secondary to the characters and their own personal struggles, which I actually like a lot.

Anyway, I highly recommend the series. They're fun, but also short, almost pulpy in their own way, so they're actually not a huge commitment despite the series being fourteen books currently (book fifteen comes out in February). The first book is called Wine of Violence. The highlight in the series so far, in my opinion is the third book, Sorrow Without End. I first read the eighth book in the series, A Killing Season, and that's what got me hooked.

They're published by an independent publisher of mysteries called Poisoned Pen Press, which is based in Arizona. They actually have a pretty good selection of mysteries, and they are the original publisher of the book Drive, by James Sallis (probably better known for its movie adaptation starring Ryan Gosling). They publish everything from cozies, comedic mysteries, and noir. I'd say check out their website, but it's currently down, so...
22
Game Journals / Re: Jimmy Plays No Man's Sky
« Last post by Jimmy on October 08, 2018, 03:51:27 PM »
I've clocked about 110 hours into No Man's Sky since the next update hit, and I'm beginning to lose interest finally. My fleet is almost complete; I just need two more trade frigates. My base is complete. I've finished the Atlas Path, and I'm making my way through the Awakening quest still (though it seems to have hit a roadblock). I'm going to keep playing until I finish the Awakening storyline, but after that I'll likely only play if someone I know hops on.

It has turned into a great game though. I do recommend it to anyone who may have held off when it was initially released as it is now the game we were wanting it to be at its initial release. And if you have friends to play with then even better.
23
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« Last post by Arvis on October 08, 2018, 03:49:07 PM »
I also started reading Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal, the fifth book in the Medieval Mysteries series. I'm not sure if I've talked about this series before on the boards, but it's set in 13th century England and is about a couple of nuns and a monk with a secret solving murder mysteries. It's not dissimilar to the Brother Cadfael mysteries, if you're familiar with those. I started reading the series while I was doing an internship with the publisher in 2012, and, though it can be a bit hit and miss, I've really enjoyed the series. Good characters, fun mysteries, and just well-written overall.

This seems like a really neat concept for detective fiction.  How "realistic" is the setting?
24
General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2018
« Last post by Jimmy on October 08, 2018, 03:47:26 PM »
I finished Mega Man 11 over the weekend. So I guess that brings my completion list up to two games this year, which I think is actually better than last year.
25
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« Last post by Jimmy on October 08, 2018, 03:45:50 PM »
I've kind of given up on One Lonely Night for the time being. Outside of an explosive beginning it has been pretty dull for me. I imagine it will pick up, but I'll get back to it when I have more time.

So I'm reading other stuff. It may have been a mistake (because of my lack of time) but I started reading The Way of Kings. I'm a little more than 100 pages in, and I'm liking it so far even though it really feels like this is an extended prologue in a way.

I also started reading Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal, the fifth book in the Medieval Mysteries series. I'm not sure if I've talked about this series before on the boards, but it's set in 13th century England and is about a couple of nuns and a monk with a secret solving murder mysteries. It's not dissimilar to the Brother Cadfael mysteries, if you're familiar with those. I started reading the series while I was doing an internship with the publisher in 2012, and, though it can be a bit hit and miss, I've really enjoyed the series. Good characters, fun mysteries, and just well-written overall.
26
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Last post by Jimmy on October 08, 2018, 03:30:14 PM »
I finished Mega Man 11 on Saturday night. Pretty fun game, and I grew more appreciative of the Double Gear system in Torch Man's stage. The upgrades helped as well. I still think it was poorly implemented for the boss fights.

Aside from that my only real complaints are the stage length and the forgettable music. The difficulty feels about right to me, but the longer stages turn it into a grueling gauntlet of difficulty. I died probably twenty times in Torch Man's stage, and probably only slightly less than that on Acid Man's stage and the first Gear Fortress stage. Thankfully the Gear Fortress wasn't that bad after that first stage.

Overall a pretty solid entry in the series, which isn't bad considering it's a Mega Man game post-Inafune. 
27
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« Last post by ironmage on October 08, 2018, 08:59:42 AM »
The Fionavar Tapestry (Guy Gavriel Kay):  I quite enjoyed Kay's "Under Heaven", which was set in a fictionalized version of Imperial China, so I was curious to see his take on High Fantasy.

Unfortunately, Fionavar was written over twenty years before Heaven, and it is clear he wasn't nearly as mature as an author at the time.  His critical failure here is that he didn't prune his ideas; it feels like he put every single idea he ever had into this book, and it's too much.

This book has light elves, dark elves, dwarves, giants, King Arthur, gods, half-gods, demons, nomadic horse riders, a Dark Lord, a High King, princesses, high priestesses, wizards, Dave, seers, sea monsters, tavern wenches, dragons, unicorns, spirit animals, ancient evil, isekai, magic tiaras, magic rings, magic daggers, magic stones, magic forests, force fields, ghost ships, the Wild Hunt, cursed lands, exiles, necromancy, resurrection, telepathy, teleportation, drought, and endless winter.

That's just off the top of my head.  I probably missed a few.  The book was 774 pages.

I wouldn't say this book was particularly bad, but it was often a slog to get through, and I can't say I recommend it.

I should have checked the rear cover of this book before I picked it up.  I have a rule:  Don't read a book with Tolkien's name anywhere on the cover, unless the book was actually written by Tolkien.  Oops.
28
General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2018
« Last post by Greganox on October 08, 2018, 04:10:28 AM »
Beat Shining Force Resurrection of the Dark Dragon this weekend. Loved it. It struck a nice balance between being a faithful remake and modernizing game mechanics(i.e. splitting items and weapons). My favourite aspects of the game were clear bonuses,  Max now getting offensive spells like other series heroes, two secret characters you can get earlier than in the original and the new characters especially Narsha's spell list. As a con it did come off as easier than the original but it didn't bug me too much and I usually don't venture into new game plus. Lastly I'm a little indifferent towards the fact Max talks in this remake. 

29
General Games / Re: Fire Emblem Heroes
« Last post by Aeolus on October 08, 2018, 01:14:56 AM »
Now I'm not saying that the VG being a time consuming random crapshoot isn't a problem, but slashing the rounds down from 45 hours apiece to 20 hours would do a lot to help (as well as getting rid of the 'fight in the arena 10 times' flags).

The same could be said about the GCN as well. You could easily reduce the mode down to half of its current length as well as reduce the amount of points needed for rank 25 in half and not an hour of sleep would be lost over the change.

Its basically what they did with Tempest Trials and that's still been their single most universally positive change they've made to their modes thus far.


Also, I failed to mention this, but Dorcas is getting a seasonal alt for the next +_+ (where he will be Smashin' Pumpkins).

Edit: Specifically while dressed as a shirtless Minotaur Armor. He's also powercreeped the Atk stat with 41 as a goddamn base.

The rest of the update deets include:
-The refines of which Vidofnir gains +7 Def and Res on EP against Swords/Lances/Axes and now Dragonstones with the unique refine providing +4 Atk/Spd when within two squares of Infantry or Armor allies, Nidhogg is generally unchanged, but its unique refine gains the ability to attack Tomes and Dragonstones without reprisal, and Lon'qu got a sharper sword with LaD 3 as his unique.
-The GHeB Abyssal rewards are more golden accessories (one of which includes a Rubber Ducky) with Narcian's out now.
-+_+'s new seals are Spd/Def, Darting Stance and Brazen Atk/Res (Shigure's breathing a sigh of relief for now and Celica just got a Seal that's practically perfect on her).
-The rest of the Fall Armor Banner (and Sky Miall)'s stats include the following: Horkas' monstrous 41 Atk, Hyrrh with a predictable 179 BST and min maxed for maximum +non-Spd/-Spd stats (and because she's a seasonal her Breath is likely forgeable), Hiles with shittacular Def/Res for an Armor, slowass Hagero (still hits like a truck and is built like one too), and Sky Mall is in desperate need of Wrathful Staff.

Editle: Spoopy banner II is out and after 115 Orbs, I managed to get away with Myrrhder (sadly a +Spd/-Def Myrrhder; at least the Supers balance each other out and that her BST is so insane to begin with that its not a terribly huge performance impact). Admittedly, I actually got her on my sixth pull. The rest were for trying for the other ones and only managing a 4 star Libra and a mess of fodder.

Kaedit: New calendar is out and uhh, we've got two new banners over the next month with no sign of Book 3 starting. I'm betting a Paralogue and Far-Fetched 2. The good news is that the next Legendary banner is a bit further out from the next spread of Gout Cream (though still under the next Vined Grapes), so that we won't end up with last month's nonsense of no free-time for two weeks straight.
30
General Games / Re: Fire Emblem Heroes
« Last post by Hathen on October 08, 2018, 12:55:26 AM »
Yeah it was same hell city this whole Gauntlet, I ended up spending like 2000 of my flags outside multiplier hours. For once I've managed to pick the winning team from round 1 though, so lucky me.

IMO the problem with VG isn't that it lasts as long as it does, the problem is that you have to play at very specific, essentially random times if you want your contribution to be worth anything (which also reflects in your personal rewards). It's terrible design for what should be a pick-up-and-play mobile game. VG is by far my most hated mode because the game dictates when you should play rather than the other way around. If anything the stupid length of time VG lasts alleviates problems by allowing for more chances for you to spend your flags, but of course my point is that that shouldn't be the way the event is designed to begin with.

As for the new Halloween banner, I like the variety in characters chosen and colored daggers/bows. I hate that we're still getting nonsensical armors left and right for these. I got dick all for orbs though so I guess it doesn't matter for me whatever the case.
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