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Messages - MeshGearFox

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: January 26, 2019, 01:13:23 PM »
Final Fantasy IV - Up to the moon. There's another summon I needa get back on Earth but I think I need FuSoYa and a few levels on Rydia first.

INFRA - Just finished the first act. I was expecting this to be a really short, ~5 hour game with like two areas. Turns out nope. It's huge. Levels are really detailed and have a ton of attention towards verisimilitude. Also lots of... lets say things to collect if you're into that (and it's largely optional if you're not!)

Quern - Had some initial misgivings here -- the second puzzle is literally doing Sokoban to open a door, so I thought it was going to have really disjointed puzzles throughout -- but it really picks up as it goes on.

Myst 4 - Finished Spire -- and solved the keyboard puzzle without any help. That really stumped me the first time I tried playing this. I messed around in Serenia a bit before heading back to Haven.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 26, 2018, 09:10:07 PM »
Merry Christmas! Have some cute mammal thing :  )

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: October 29, 2018, 11:08:06 PM »
Late October gaming stuff.

Ys stuff - Played some of Seven, which seems good although it wasn't quite the style of Ys I was after so ended up playing through the first couple bosses of Origin instead! (also tried the PC version of Napishtim but my GPU did not like that and green-screen-of-deathed very quickly :T)

FF1 - Up to Guruguru Volcano. Playing the original NES version, with a party that's not stupid and some patch that fixes all of the known bugs and makes the game quite a lot more interesting in the process. I like the kind of soft openness it has.

Anyway, it's October, so playing around with some SMT games because... Pyro Jack? I don't know. It seems seasonally appropriate! Went back to SMTIV which I'd never really did much with when it came out, finally got up to Tokyo, just beat the pond boss guy and some optional sidequests. In Megami Tensei 1 from Kyuuyaku on the SNES, I finished the stuff with Medusa, unstoned the flying city of Bien (and got access to the... airship of sorts). Currently wandering the Corridors of Valhalla before going after Loki. (MT1 does not really seem to have a lot to do with the source novels, all things considered :B)

(Also made an attempt at Rhapsody of Zephyr but it's also a lot more text heavy than most Not English games I play (towns are big and have a lot of NPCs and NPCs have three different things they say) and the... writing style/register's pretty tough. Definitely wanna spend more time on this eventually. I will say that I very, very much wish the PS2 version had not changed the original portrait art >:T)

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 29, 2018, 01:22:22 AM »
Stuff I've been playing over the last couple of months:

Skyrim - Got this during the summer sale. I enjoy it immensely although the writing has issues a looot of quests are very unfinished, which is a problem when there's text left in the quest pointing you towards ways to finish them that are not in the game anymore.

No Man's Sky: NEXT - I liked Pathfinder-era NMS a lot but NEXT... sort of took it in a direction I wasn't overly fond of. This might be a common complaint but planets have little to no color variation now, and I'm personally not thrilled with babysitting refiners :T In a lot of ways it has turned in the game that was originally being advertised but that never was a vision to which I particularly cottoned :T

Donut County - Halfway through this. I like the style and narrative a lot but it's short and kind of feels like the entire game is just a tutorial so far? Maybe the second half'll be better about that.

Breath of Fire 4 - On the island.

Legend of Heroes - Windows version. Got this awhile ago but had some issues getting it working right re music/it doesn't like Windows 10/it doesn't like getting tabbed out of. In  Chapter 2. Just got the silence spell and Gale rejoined. Roh's still awol though which is bad because he had all my good spells.

Legend of Xanadu 2 - Up to chapter 3(ish. I think there was a prologue chapter). Party is currently Lyckos and Pyra. Revisiting one of the old towns where Lyckos' girlfriend's at. Game's really on the easy side but I don't think I mind.

Emerald Dragon - PCE Version. Just lost Bagin, about to deal with Gomez. Party is currently Atrushan, Tamryn, Faluna, and Yaman. As a game I'm really enjoying this but there are... things about the story that are... So Yaman's part of this tribe who's very clearlyvisually based off of Native Americans (also they live in... an odd interpretation of a longhouse) only they all speak in this halting broken Japanese and it's like I know Japan wouldn't really have the cultural or historical background in which that kind of stereotype wouldn't fly well, but playing it in the US in 2018, it kind of doesn't fly well! Also you have two ladies in your party -- Tamryn and Faluna -- but I don't think the game's actually passed the Bechdel test at any point which in and of itself wouldn't be concerning except that Tamryn's supposed to the main heroine/love interest/deuteragonist to Atrushan but she doesn't say much period and feels kind of furniturey and I'm not really down with that. Maybe it'll improve! idk!

Zeliard - Took down the first two bosses, up to the forest area.

Last Bible 3 - Birds happened. Think I cleared out the first floor of the tower at magic school. Maaaybe have one more spell left there?

Tenshi no Uta - Did some plot stuff at Stonehenge involving a sacred mirror. Currently trying to get Enya back to Penzance.

Xanadu - Enjoying this a lot, even though it's the opposite of the kind of game I usually like, but waffling on which version to play. I like the soundtrack and general visual style in Revival Xanadu the most, but that version's a bit... buggy. Probably gonna go with the Saturn version -- not a fan of the visuals but it has a number of little things, especially with the controls, that make it nicer to play.

Popful Mail - PC98 version. It has bump combat instead of manual sword swinging like the Sega CD version. Think the PCE version has bump combat toooo? Anyway, just picked up Tatto and heading to the ancient cave.

General Games / Re: No Man's Sky -or- Meet Yoda in the Stars.
« on: July 29, 2018, 07:37:16 PM »
Been playing around with NEXT. They uh... it feels like they pretty much remade everything. To the point where the multiplayer feels like one of the more minor points of the update even. That was surprising.

Also multiplayer's very optional if that's not your thing. You have to flip on an option to let people join you, you can toggle this whenever, otherwise if you do run into someone it's just going to be a floating blue orb that can't hurt you.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: June 10, 2018, 09:41:48 PM »
Mostly taking a break from imports to play some older PC RPGs. Binged pretty heavily on Ultima 5 earlier this year, and followed that up with some Pool of Radiance and Dragon Wars (both of which have been total delights so far, although first edition AD&D has some... strange rules, and Dragon War's satire hits a liiiittle too close to home). Been REALLY into Oblivion lately, of all things. Didn't really care for it when it came out but it really clicked with me now. I guess having a PC with a GPU that can actually run it helps :)

And the occasional spot of American Truck Sim and Densha de Go! Professional. I am very, very bad at trains.

(So I did pick up something called Nemuru Mayu/Sleeping Cocoon awhile back. Gameplay-wise it's not too far off from Lands of Lore, although combat doesn't take place on the main map so you don't have the endlessly backpedaling problem. In terms of story... I'm not actually sure what the premise is. But the first dungeon, which is set in a ruined town surrounding an active volcano, has you helping flower children who have been kidnapped by some spider woman who's trying to eat them. The flower children might be the reincarnated spirits of dead people. Also you buff your stats by taking drugs. Asmik's PS1 output was... peculiar).

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: April 06, 2018, 11:16:58 PM »
There's a recently abandoned Subway restaurant near my apartment. I walk by it on the way home. Almost every single day for the last two weeks or so, there's been this goose standing outside, staring in through the glass front door. Not even acting aggressive or defending something. Just... staring.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: February 17, 2018, 02:16:26 PM »
So I got a Nintendo 64 recently and I have some thoughts on it.

In terms of games, though, been playing the Rush series, Pilotwings 64, Beetle Adventure Racing, Nushi Tsuri 64, and Body Harvest, and I've been enjoying all of them immensely. Aaat the same time most of them have really bad framerate issues when you run them on actual hardware that aren't there when you run them on not-actual-hardware (such as the VC) so it's a bit vexing. (Also I guess with Rush 2049 I could've just gotten the Dreamcast version but I like the music in the N64 one more).

Beyond that, playing some Fur Fighters and Toy Commander (and VOOT a little but I can't get past Dordray :B I need to learn how to reduce V. Armor apparently). Also discovered that I like the original SNES Star Fox after all.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: January 27, 2018, 02:03:59 AM »
Okay I don't think this went through the last time I tried to post it >:T

Stuff I've been playing lately, in no particular order:
Getting Over It
SimCity 4 (Mostly this, lately! More going overboard with trees than proper city planning though! Also trying to load balance garbage.)
Elemental Gimmick Gear
Final Fantasy IV (Which I'm absolutely adoring this time around!)
The Megami Tensei 1 remake from Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei

Also sort of coming to grips with how Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe works.

Also ordered an N64 a few days ago! And got a refund because the seller sold it on Offer Up and forgot to take the ebay listing down :      )

I'm not a star wars aficionado by any means so maybe I'm not the best person to be commenting on this but like

Spoiler: show

1. I don't really like what they did with Poe. He went from static-but-likable character to this... really mansplainy jerk that, when you get down to it, was basically responsible for getting most of the resistance killed because he was dumb?

2. Why didn't Purple-haired Admiral just tell everyone she was trying to fly everyone to a secret base up front and avoid the entire (pointless) sideplot with breaking into the ship to turn off the tracking device?

3. What was with all the really close up face shots? And super-claustrophobic camera angles in general?

I liked the force awakens a lot but I really don't know how I feel about this one :I

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: December 07, 2017, 01:38:47 PM »
Tenshi no Uta - Picked up Enya and got into Pangola? Pangora? tower, where I was able to rescue Kael's girlfried Claire and Jitt's wife Sera. Jitt promptly leaves. He had the thieves key on him so er >:T Overworld music changed after this and it's even better than the original overworld theme. Currently at Stonehenge, on the way to Enya's hometown of Penzance.

Tengai Makyou 2: Manjimaru - Got the flute that summons the boulder ship so I can go to the thicket castle and kill the plants that are eating all of the ninjas I guess.

Stardew Valley - It's really awkward when you can flirt with a character in a game that you share a name with that also has a dog that shares a name with one of your childhood dogs.

Final Fantasy IV - Up to Mt. Ordeals. Really enjoying this now for whatever reason? Only took me half my life to get into it so :S

Dragon Quest 1 - Got the Harp and the Flute. Really appreciating how open this is -- there's no plot gating or anything, and your limits on where you can go are just whatever information you have and your experience level (which has a really smooth curve in the GBC version).

Dragon Quest 5 - The translation in the DS version started annoying me so I checked out the PS2 version which, despite having kinda grody character models makes up for it with a *really* good orchestral soundtrack and better monsters than the DS version had. Except the translation's really... it doesn't read well and it has some obvious errors that result in lines not making sense. I mean I could just play it untranslated. I should probably just do that.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS - Conflicted on this. The quality of life improvements, especially with showing skill gain results, are incredibly nice, but the five second load times for battles are not, and the limited view distance in the field really hurts what was such a key part of the original experience.

Shin Megami Tensei 2 - So I got this and SMT1 back when Nocturne came out and played the other two a bunch but could never get past the coliseum in this one. I still maintain that the coliseum is not a good way to start the game but it's picked up a lot since then. Have some demons on hand now. Beat the Ice King. Heading off to the factory district now.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: November 24, 2017, 10:13:24 PM »
... Why does the font get larger every time I come back here...

Neo Metal Fantasy - (Spoilered for space)

Spoiler: show
I was a little hesitant about this one since it didn't seem particularly well received in Japan, but Duomazov gave it pretty glowing praise and they didn't steer me wrong about Tenshi no Uta or Anearth. Anyway, the introductory bits are pretty standard -- you start off playing as a girl waking up on her 16th birthday. She's tasked with going to a nearby shrine and trying to wake up a legendary hero who'd been locked in stone after sealing away some demon a thousand years ago. Naturally, she's the chosen one and wakes up the hero. The bad guys immediately sense this, raid the girl's town, and kidnap her parents.

Naturally she sets off to save them!

... And promptly gets kidnapped herself, meaning you get to play as the legendary hero.

Who's like eight because he didn't really come back right. Erm... Anyway, he heads south to try to find help, promptly gets knocked out when some slime thing lands on him, and is awakened by a princess, and her two companions, and elf and a robotic centaur guy name (who has a brother named Sadness). There are some other fun characters in Aleph Base, such as Nick Tesla, a bird guy who's trying to install a railgun on the roof of the fortress, Mobile Monroe, the newscaster with a marked lack of regard for personal safety, and Misinformation Bobby, who doesn't give good information.

Very Phantasy Star-ish in style, but the battles are really fast, the dungeons are more reasonable, you have a run button which *really makes you move fast,* and there's this interesting magic system where you get a kind of secondary currency from killing enemies that works like shared party MP. Spells so far are all in the 100-200 MP range, and you get about 170MP per battle so far, so you have plenty of room to use magic fairly freely, which is refreshing.

Also there's voiced party chat, which is nice.

Dragon Quest 7 3DS - I liked the original a lot and was really interested in the new translation, but there are a couple of things that aren't really doing it for me in this version. There're some weird performance issues that make battles really slow (input lag in the menu?) which seems to be something limited to the English release. The new graphics are quite large and zoomed in, so the visible area of a given dungeon/town/overworld is really cramped, and I feel like it's sort of awkward to navigate with that? And then the major content addition's just randomly generated dungeon tablets which isn't something I really care about. (Also maybe it's just me but there've been a few parts of the new script that get so, er, dialectically heavy that they're weird to parse).

(... Also played a bit of DQ5 out of nostalgia. I have to say, as much as Sancho's accent in the DQ5 remake didn't bother me that much back in 2008 or so, encountering it now, for various reasons, it's, well... yikes).

Soul Hackers - Did the Judah Singh vision quest and picked up some sidequest from Paradigm X. Realized that the money in this is essentially bitcoins. Erm...

OneShot - This seems neat. I feel like saying anything more than that would be too spoilery.

Metroid Prime/Mario Sunshine - Picked up the wave beam in the former, messing around with red coin challenges and stars in the oil refinery/loading dock area in the latter.

Stardew Valley - Got a bunch villager story things happening in quick succession. References to the... events going on outside of the valley are are not something I expected going into this at all. Anyway, sitting on around 10k money, deciding whether I want to set up a chicken coop or just go straight for a barn.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: November 06, 2017, 11:51:03 PM »
Stardew Valley - Been spending the most time on this. In summer of year one right now. I think I'd been hesitant to get this because there was something with the setting in the Mineral Town Harvest Moons that was deeply evocative to me which seemed absent here and the streams I saw made it look very mining/combat heavy. As it stands, though, I *like* going in the mines because they have their own sort of ambience, the narrative elements and worldbuilding have a lot more going on than the older HM games did (even if they do have their own sort of charm that's different from Stardew's), and the game's forgiving enough that I don't feel bogged down with having to put together a perfectly optimized farm.

Super Mario Sunshine - Got this years ago but the disc is a little cracked so I've been hesitant to play it so I'll have to see how this goes. Up to Gelato beach. Really enjoying it. Really offsetting the complete *lack* of sunshine outside ;)

Everblue 2 - Finally found a glass marble for building the aquarium. Also did a sidequest on the airplane that got me some new gear.

Quake - Finished, absolutely stellar experience with the exception of the very final boss level and I think level 2 of episode 4. The former is just a linear gauntlet of vores and shamblers. The latter is... it has some not-very-well conveyed things involving teleporters, a shambler ambush in an entirely dark room, and some very awkward platforming.

Quake 2 - Up to the detention center unit. Grenades are quite a lot more useful on hard+ since you really don't want to deal with the licker? enemies head on.

River King PSX - Up to the fourth? area with Tarou. Got a canoe from a talking rabbit. I need to go back and try to actually fill out the fish notebook instead of just beelining it to the next area I open up :P

Tenshi no Uta - Got the Crimson Cherry from some teleporter-filled tower and took it to the Isle of Man so I could calm down the sea god Manannan (which is apparently based on this although their in-game counterpart is an adorably bug-eyed loch ness monster). Sort of surprised that you don't encounter enemies based on the... Isle of Man's flag's leg triskelion thing, given how the usual enemy designs in the game go (it has something kind of along those lines elsewhere fwiw) :P After that, picked up the third party member (named Jit or Jitto or something) and left Erin for Britannia, since the seas are calm enough for boat travel.

Anyway, looked up what the spells did. Found out there's one that reduces enemy encounters, and that there are MP restorative items as well.

Secret of Mana - In the desert area. In the town after the sandship stuff -- Kakkara?

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:53:11 PM »
Gaming thoughts for Sept/Oct:

Quake - Fall makes me nostalgic for FPSes, so! Gone through Episodes 1-3 so far. Very much enjoyed episodes 1 and 3, although... episode 2 I'm not sure how I feel about. Episode 1 and 3 were quite varied in terms of level mechanics and general mood, and were also very... surreal and abstract? Episode 2 was a lot of castle levels and they all seemed to be based around raising bridges. I'll need to revisit them on a replay. Maybe I just wasn't getting what Romero was going for.

Tenshi no Uta - PC Engine RPG, rather Dragon Quest/Phantasy Star-ish. My biggest/only? complaint is that the encounter rate is really high. This isn't actually a huge issue since the battles are incredibly fast. It's mostly just annoying because it keeps interrupting the rather excellent overworld/dungeon music. The game itself has this odd, very zoomed out look to it, but the spritework and areas have a lot of detail in them in spite of this. Lots of weird little events in town and there's a day/night cycle. For instance, in one fishing village, I came in at night, saw some side event that involved watching crabs dancing, and got 1000 experience for it.

Doom 2 - I have no idea what to make of Sandy Petersen's levels. A common complaint is that they're odd looking, which I definitely agree with. They also don't really make a good use of space -- the city levels have a lot of dead air. Aaat the same time I'm also having a very fun time playing them, and they feel like sort of proto-Serious Sam levels at time.

PSX Legend of the River King Game thing - I've been quite addicted to this for the past uh... week or two. Seems sort of like a remix of Nushi Tsuri 2, which was an SNES Legend of the River King game (the ones the US got on the GB/GBC were Nushi Tsuri 3 and 4). The SNES version looks quite a bit nicer/has more detail in the towns and NPC sprites/unique building interiors and more fitting music, exceeeept the way battles work is kind of drag in that one. The encounter rate is really high, the escape rate is low, and the battle system's the same one from LottRK, where you just wait for some punch icon to randomly bounce around the screen until it lands on the enemy.

PSX one on the other hand lets you run 100% of the time with the risk of taking some damage or having something stolen, also lets you just greet the enemies to get them to go away sometime, and the encounter rate's really low. Also all of the player characters seem to have some unique events which is nice. So yeah gross art direction aside this is super fun.

Anyway this also got me looking at getting an N64 now, since it's got Shigesato Itoi's Bass Fishing and another Legend of the River King thing. What is my life.

Quake 3 - Just doing the single player tiers, and finding it surprisingly fun on the harder difficulties -- the bots, while not as good as UTs, have a lot of personality. (Meanwhile going to UT from Q3 and trying to play UT like Q3 does... not end well).

Yuuymai Dooru - A sidescrolling adventure game with light life sim elements about a group of friends exploring their recession-damaged town to uncover the supernatural... things lurking underneath, while dealing with their own mental/emotional problems. Also probably too obscure to have had any influence on NitW, so.

Basically you pick one of the friends to play as during the school day so you can listen to your classmates and find out about ghost-related rumors. At night, you walk one of the character's dog while investigating said rumors. You encounter ghosts but it's not entirely clear so far if they're real or if one of the characters has some kind of schizophrenia? that her father's refusing to treat out of some broken sense pride.

Unreal - Did the first four levels. THAT was a major nostalgia trip. I don't know if any FPS has really given me that same feeling of being in a *world*.

Shenmue - Up to disc 2. Did the stealth bit at the port. I'm ahead of where I need to be so I think I'll just mess around for a few days before advancing the story. The way the late afternoon sky at the port looks gives me... memories.

Quake 2 - There's a secret Hard+/Nightmare difficulty. I have no idea why it's hidden by default, since the AI only seems to behave right in this mode and the general pacing of item pickups in levels feels balanced towards it? Anyway, nearing the end of the second unit. While I'd agree that Quake 1's single player is better, I don't think the quality gap between them's all that great. (Well, I'm not a fan of Q2's soundtrack at all, at least -- Q1ish ambient music would've been a lot better I think).

GOD Pure - Speaking of PSX remakes of SNES games with kind of gross art direction that ultimately play better than their source material... Got the third party member, who was a teenaged girl that had been brainjacked by aliens into starring a cult on Ryuukyuu. The aliens were turning the cultistis into monsters or something.

Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers (The old one) - I haven't done anything productive in this really, just wandered around, dueling guys, and collecting cards. There seems to be some kind of deck scaling going on because the green-deck guys seem to have a thing for Llanowar Elves spam right now and I'm not really familiar enough with MTG to cope with that :)

Shining Force 3 - By some weird quirk of luck/level stat gain, Frank is one-shotting regular mooks, whereas Hayward and that super-generic soldier guy, both of whom should be better, aren't really that good for me. Probably should've given Hayward that level up fruit before class changing him. Ah well.

Rimo-cocoron - Unrelated to Cocoron. Stylistically it's similar to Katamari Damacy visually. Basically you get various scenes where you need to take a "snapshot" of an item in the scene and "use" it on someone in the scene to get them to interact with it, based on their wants. Once you've satisfied enough people's wants/caused enough mayhem, you can unlock the next scene, but there's a time limit so you can't mess around forever. It's vaguely similar to those flash grow games that were popular in the aughts but with infinitely higher production values. Has an impressive amount of events to trigger -- the collectapedia for Stage 2, which I played a bunch, only has like 62% of the events founds?

Children of the Nile - Someone on GOG found a thing to fix the framerate issues with this. I think this is maybe my favorite city builder now? Really unique mechanics -- I'd recommend checking out Tilted Mill's webpage for their design discussions.

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