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Messages - MeshGearFox

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1
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.

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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.

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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?

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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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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 30, 2017, 11:54:50 PM »
Playing PCE Engine stuff mostly -- Tenshi no Uta, Manjimaru, Rondo of Blood, Blood Gear, and Splash Lake in particular.

Also Secret of Mana (not a PCE game, obviously!)

Not really playing No Man's Sky since 1.3 made some changes I'm not really in love with (planet gen is a very noticeable step down from 1.24, animal gen is... off, the new biomes are very repetitive  because none of the new plants or plant-like... things they have are procedural/vary, also the more realistic plants really, really clash with the existing, more fantastical ones, and I'm not in love with the new HD textures), so I'm waiting to see if those get addressed at all or if I should just roll back to 1.24.

Booted up A-Train 9 for a bit and didn't really play it, just went into ride mode and... watched that, and it was nice, and I'd really like finding some mostly non-violent/low-violence city exploration thing, although one with more persistence and less alien-ness than say Bernband. Something like Persona 5 maybe but without the actually game-like elements. Guess this is a good excuse to go back and finish Shenmue.

Although most urban, explorationy things are more in the GTA-style so not at all non-violent and like...

I had this moment the other day that maybe speaks to my I pretty much don't play a lot of modern games anymore, but I was watching someone stream the new Monster Hunter game the other day and half-way through whatever hunt that was, the target monster starts limping and trying to run away from the player, which is a visual cue that the boss is getting low on health and what you're doing is working, etc. But like, mentally I'm registering this as "this is a hurt and scared animal" and I had to shut the stream off because it was making me really uncomfortable?

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 30, 2017, 07:34:29 PM »
No Man's Sky - Okay I hit like 50 hours, forcing myself to take a break until Waking Titan (or whatever the next update is called!) drops (apparently august 9thish?). Even if I get distracted and never return to this, it's been some of the most fun I've had in a space game.

... I don't think I've been playing much besides NMS in July. Erm.

Legend of Xanadu 2 - Played it for a bit and got up to the second chapter. Very Ys-y on the fields, bosses are sideview. Weapons level up like in Xanadu Next. Usually I prefer PCE games to be more colorful but I kind of like how PC-98ish this looks :S

Emerald Dragon - Killed a spy, dropped off Barsom, and got what I'm assuming is the main party. Prefacing this by saying that I do like the game a lot but RPGs where all the ladies in your party are mages and all the Tough Strong Protector Folks are guys kiiind of feel a bit...

Comment on Suikoden 2: In terms of mechanics/art design/area design I like this a lot more than Suikoden 1, but I'm also not feeling the story very much. It feels like it kind of overreaches in terms of like, trying to be a Serious War Story, but then it's still got this out of place campiness which was fine in like S1 but sort of clashes with the tone here?

Also I was screwing around with the Japanese version of LoM. Enemies seem to do like 3-4x the damage they'd do in the US version and the AI actually seems to work? What the heck?

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General Discussions / Re: Today In The News
« on: July 18, 2017, 10:09:19 PM »
Congressman Farley gave a distant smirk.

"The cloaking arrays are still functional," he thought aloud to the pair of Europan empaths in the room.

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:18:16 PM »
So this amused me a lot.

Started playing the PC Engine version of Emerald Dragon yesterday. Fun game. Early backstory is that a human girl named Tamryn washes up in the dragon realms, befriends and grows up with a dragon named Atrushan, and then later goes back to the human world. At which point demons invade and she calls on Atrushan to come help out (he gave her one of his horns so she could call him with it). Atrushan gets sent to the human world thusly, after being given a human body to survive some... curse that prevents dragonfolks from normally going there.

Anyway, early in the game, Tamryn's kidnapped by demons, Atrushan ends up in the same jail cell as her, and helps break her out. In the PC Engine version, the scene plays out with Atrushan recognizing Tamryn, Tamryn NOT recognizing Atrushan because he's a human, Atrushan turning back into his dragon form to simultaneously show her who he is and also bust down the jail door because he's a huge dragon, and then injuring himself because anti-dragon curse. He then says something like "I was trying to act cool but I guess that didn't go so well" and then they hug and it's cute and dorky.

Meanwhile in the SNES version (which is the only version with a fan translation for some reason, even though it's very widely considered the worst version by a long shot), scene goes like this:
Atrushan lands in jail cell, just opens the jail cell door, and makes a crack about how a woman wouldn't be strong enough to open it.

what :)))))))))))))))

Secret of Mana - Just picked up sprite and am in the jail area of the witch's castle.

Breath of Fire 4 - Unsealed Urshin. Want to reseal Urshin.

No Man's Sky - I started a base on some frozen island planet inhabited with carnivorous deer with creepy eyes. Need to find a formula for glass now I guess. Got an Atlas Pass. Considering returning to the path of the Atlas for a bit. Hoping 1.3/Waking Titan/whatever doesn't shift the balance *away* from wandering around on planets and photographing weird birds. Fleshing out the combat would be cool but that's not what's drawing me into this game! (Also hoping further attempts to improve the proc gen don't break it because I'm getting some pretty neat planets!)

---

@ Mickey: I found this really lovely desert planet with sky snakes and a habitable base in creative mode but I have no idea how to productively share... solar system locations :I

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 10, 2017, 09:35:46 PM »
Very addicted to No Man's Sky. PROBABLY need to force myself to take a break.

Tengai Makyou 2 - Got a little further in this. There's a hermit that does these badly drawn ink drawings and if you offer them to the Buddha statue in this town they become real. Some guy in the town got a castle via... this. Meanwhile I got a boat, because the hermit wants me to go to a tower in the middle of a lake and get a biwa from the mistress of the tower. I think I also need the biwa to go all Panama on one of the demon castles.

- edit -

There's an abandoned base on this planet and I'd be tempted to set up something there except it's an inferno world with frequent fire storms and sentinel drones that shoot on sight.

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 07, 2017, 09:36:59 PM »
Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence - Haven't had a chance to spend much time with this but it seems pretty neat! Combat portion is VERY reminiscent of Dragon Force. Also the base management/officer management/diplomacy game feels a fair bit more robust than what RottK 11 has. Also the map's cool, you can see people wandering around and like birds and famous landmarks such as Mount Huzi. (I still want to try to figure out how to play Tenshouki at some point. People seem to like that one).

No Man's Sky - So yeah I had basically zero /good/ expectations about this game and I've been playing it non-stop. I actually want to force myself to quit playing it for awhile but it's like... 30 minute play sessions turn into two hours and argh.

Maybe the low expectations are part of it. I'm used to space games with planetary flight looking like this and not having working... ground collision or anything of interest to actually FIND on the planets. Or maybe if you were REALLY lucky, like Evochron here (which I still doubt has much on the planets)!

I'm not running much in the way of mods -- one for taller and denser trees, and one for taller and denser grass (and some minor shader replacements). I'm pretty happy with the planet generation as it is, although looking at older screenshots these seems not to have been fixed until the first major content patch. Maybe as a result of this, a lot of the terrain mods *prior* to that patch are... rather not to my liking.

I mentioned this before but I like how... un-annoying things in the game are, which sounds like a backhanded compliment but a lot of space games do annoying things so it's noteworthy. When you're in dogfights, you get a targeting helper thingy showing you where to shoot in front of the ship you're targeting, The on foot, FPS-y controls feel tight. The game gives you good feedback about where *things* are.

Iii do kind of have some beefs with how NPC traders don't have unique inventories -- dynamic, persistent traders like you get in Space Rangers 2 or Hardwar or something wouldn't work with the scope of the game, but having them have different things to sell, or maybe different prices, would be nice. On-planet trading posts feel a bit lifeless -- just having some NPCs standing around outside on them would be nice. The space stations are also... boring. But those are all pretty ancillary things. (Also the fact that there are friendly AI ships period is pretty nice, even if interaction with them is kind of limited).

(Also people need to stop complaining about the game generating dumb looking animals that don't make any sense. We have those IRL. They're called birds).

Tengai Makyou 2 - I needed to get some miso dango to offer to some Buddhist statue to open up a secret entrance to some old mountain guy's house, but I couldn't find any anywhere. It was being sold in some shop like two towns back. Some NPC even told me to go there, I just went to the wrong shop. (Also idk if miso dango would be good or not).

Secret of Mana - Replaying this for a bit out of nostalgia! Picked up GIRL, headed off to Gaia's Navel, Evermore shoulda been on the SNES mini too.

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General Discussions / Re: Today In The News
« on: July 05, 2017, 10:13:36 PM »
So uh... Not to be that guy but uh...

How many Popes have had prostate cancer?


That was dumb and I'm sorry for posting it and also I'm /not/ removing it out of shame.

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 04, 2017, 12:53:25 PM »
No Man's Sky - Forcing myself to not play this for awhile so I don't burn out...
Spoiler: show
- Made a Korvax scientist mad at me.
- Got hyperdrive and went to a different solar system.
- Found Gek. Did not pet the Gek.
- Found an antimatter formula. Also made drones mad at me.


Broader comments, NMS is thankfully avoiding a lot of the obnoxious things 3D space games tend to do (overly long flights between anything, adherence to real-world physics when it's to the detriment of the game mechanics, boilerplatey ship operation). It's not doing anything that *annoys* me.

Suikoden 2 - Got the Star Dragon Sword. Going to improve weapons and equipment and deal with Neclord.

Anearth - Beat the demon king (I mean, demon masquerading as a king, not the king of the demons). Which was SMT levels of hard because demon king's area of effect attack which is instakill for the main character and Kashim combined with Olga being the only character strong enough to do real damage (he's immune to magic. Yey.) but also too slow to hit consistently unless Vestoril spams speed buffs.

Not at all clear on whether Kashim is the true king or the brother of the true king. Also not clear what the giant skeleton in Rostarl castle is.

Found a statue. I think I have four of the five statues now, one of which is still in the possession of the Conrole Island lizard tribe.

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: July 02, 2017, 05:15:09 PM »
I also want NMS now but time sink :<

Suikoden 2 - Did some stuff in South Window, picked up mahFreedn amY, and was instructed to go to North Window, which was in the northwest. Because I forgot what directions were I ended up in like Raddat, which is in the opposite direction.

Koei's Suikoden - Started up a new game of this as the guy with the bandana. Currently at like four provinces I took over without a fight and another one I invaded. Just playing on easy mode for relaxed building~

Manjimaru - Up to the second overworld area. Just encountered Kabuki. The elder of some town I was in's fiance is apparently shacked up with Kabuki and I need to deliver a letter to her. (I should probably get back to Anearth before investing too much time in other PCE stuff. Also Legend of Xanadu 2 has nice music, dang)

Aquanaut's Holiday 2 - Explore the Depths of the Heart sea a bit and found some... alien tower thing. The log entries for the stuff you find has hints as to where OTHER relics are and maybe where the other sea entrances are.

Darius Burst - Did a few of the CS mode missions. Also trying to 1CC the easiest route in arcade mode. I'm like ALMOST there. The one mostly vertical scrolling level in the game is probably my favorite.

No Man's Sky - Oh my god I found friendly ambulatory palm trees.

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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: June 29, 2017, 11:05:46 PM »
Tengai Makyou 2: Manjimarugaloo - This is neat! Immediate impressions are that it's like *really fast* Dragon Quest with a lot more detail in the overworld. Anyway, basic opening story is that some local villagers show up at your house, ostensibly because they want to scold Manjimaru for whatever pranks he's been pulling but also probably because they just want to hit on his mom a lot. Manjimaru busts out of his house and joins up with some of the local children to go to a fair in High Mountain village.

You go to the festival, and while you're watching it, the Underworld Clan appears and summons a giant plant thing (actually seven but the other six are elsewhere) and kidnaps everyone in High Mountain, also Manji's mom. Then you go and rescue her from a cave and find out that Manji's a descendant of the Fire Clan and it's his destiny to... kill the hell plant things. (Also I think Kabukiden kind of spoiled that Manji's father is either alive or his mom just gets hitched at some point).

Anyway so one of the things that's cool is that you get spells from talking to Tengu, which are hanging around in huts on the map. So there's a reason to explore and talk to townies to find out where these guys are. Also there are villages around that aren't strictly plot related so it... gives the world kind of a vibrant feel?

Also your MP for scrolls and HP restore on their own over time and I don't think there's any real penalty for dying, and it's hard to overstate how *fast* the battle system is, so it doesn't have the annoyance factor that a lot of older JRPGs can get.

Anyway, only downside so far is that I wanted to find something that I could verify the disc with, and such a tool exists but it was like, on YsUtopia and oooooooooooooooooh booooooooooooooy. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY.


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