2014/11/26 12:00

Nintendo VC Releases for 2014.11.26

What an interesting week we have here.

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Donkey Kong Country (Super Famicom): ¥823 (¥219 cart-only, ¥471 complete on Suruga-ya)
Donkey Kong Country 2 (Super Famicom): ¥823 (¥684 in box on Suruga-ya)
Donkey Kong Country 3 (Super Famicom): ¥823 (¥269 cart-only, ¥1000 complete on Suruga-ya)
DK is back with the whole DK Crew. It’s hard not to wonder what made the whole series disappear from VC and then get dropped back down instantly. I love that the games are called Super Donkey Kong in Japan. It captures that leap to a platforming series in such a beautifully subtle way.

detana_twinbee
Detana!! TwinBee (PC Engine): ¥617 (¥700 card-only, ¥1580 complete on Suruga-ya)
Detana!! TwinBee (PC Engine): ¥617 (¥700 card-only, ¥1580 complete on Suruga-ya)
The fifth TwinBee and the second arcade one. (Don’t you just love my ability to read Wikipedia?) Goodness, there is a colorful, playful, totally non-super sexual feeling to this shooting series that I miss. Not that I even like shooters that much to begin with, but TwinBee has that French saying level of differentness and colorfulness that I wish today did not remind me of scantily clad girls shooting at giant things.

2014/11/25 23:00

Fans of six

It was a year ago, perhaps more, when I filled out a survey for Square-Enix about my favorite Final Fantasy games. As I play through Record Keeper, I noticed that they started out with a scene from 7, then dipped into some other games, but after getting a taste of most of the games (nothing from 3, 8, 9 or anything post 10 just yet), there has been an intensely strong focus on 6 for quite some time now.

Three of the named characters I have are from 6, others are one-ofs, save 4 from which I have Kain and young Rydia. Terra and Celes were from special events, only Cyan came from simply playing, but there have been so many more story events for 6 than any of the other games so far.

I have to imagine they are holding back on 7 (and started with it) since it seems to be beloved. Keep the players wanting. But this heavy focus on 6 simply has to be because of some survey or something tipping off SE to the love the fans have for 6. At this point in a Free-to-Play game it can start to feel real grind heavy, but to give the player a nostalgia trip right then? That has to be calculated like so much of these games is.

2014/11/24 23:00

MISHWLAWIHMT: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Whenever I hear about 2001: A Space Odyssey my mind wanders back to my high school senior year Language Arts class. I don’t think we were shown it – or any parts of it – but there is a false memory that tells me otherwise. I remember my desk near the window in that class whenever I think of this movie.

Which isn’t a lot because obviously I had never seen it until now. Except for knowing the famous spoilers that one would know about movies like 2001. Well, I sure didn’t know enough to be completely spoiled. I knew there was the opening ape scene – no idea it was that long or even its own story. I had no idea about parts two or four. When the part with HAL was winding down I looked at the remaining film time and was shocked. Then I watched the rest of the film in its remaining confusing, space-baby glory. It was terrifying.

My high-school girlfriend wanted to rent The Shining one day and so we did. Then we watched it. Then I went home and proceeded to live a life where moments of that film would come and haunt me at the most inconvenient times. Although 2001 does not hit the notes of terror that The Shining managed to, the ending scene reminded me of several moments and made that evening’s sleep a bit less restful.

Yet, I overall enjoyed the film. I think one concern I had before going into this “watch more movies” mindset was “What if ‘the world’ is right? What if I’m wasting my time with video games and real art is found in things like film?” Childish? Sure. But finishing 2001 I realized I loved video games even more at that moment than before. Because things are being made by people. And we are here to enjoy them. Or not. And that’s beautiful.

2014/11/23 23:00

What I Played Last Week – 2014.11.16

Trails in the Sky: SC

I beat it! Nice ending, feel good. Ready to move on to The 3rd. Someday. Not now.

Xenogears

For now, this! As painfully slow as it feels. I just want to have said I have completed it! I am kind of enjoying the battle system, so it’s not a complete waste of time. But the engine is just so clunky and being emulated on the Vita isn’t helping anything other than not having to worry about starting and stopping.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper

Got Celes. New event opened with Lena. Got her too. Lots of awesome characters available. Bummed I missed

To the Moon

I heard this wouldn’t take much time, so I decided to just finish it up. And it was true! I finished it fairly quickly, cried, and then went on with my life. Honestly, the “game” segments of this game bring it down a bit. I could do without them and think it would have been a better experience without them.

Crossy Road

That new mobile hot thing! It is available for GET on the iTunes Store. Frogger plus hipster.

Disney Tsum Tsum

Um. How did this get here? Let’s just ignore it for now.

2014/11/21 23:00

My foot’s cold

Wow, I’m going to be that guy and complain about losing weight. But I am finding myself feeling significantly colder this year than years past. And I am right now sitting at many less kilograms of total weight than I was a year ago. Actually, it has been a while since I was on the scale and I am slightly worried that I am heading in the weight-gain direction, but it’s far too cold to strip down and get on the scale.

Science is preventing me from knowing.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding how I lost the weight – and I don’t really know! I haven’t been exercising, nor making any particular changes to my diet. I kind of eat bread and rice less. So that is a thing, I suppose.

So cold, though. So cold.

2014/11/20 23:00

This music is goThis music is good

Most of my time with Final Fantasy Record Keeper has been, unsurprisingly, with the sound muted. It happens with smartphone games. I know this, and yet I still went through the trouble to ensure mine had awesome music implemented well. FFRK does the first part (It’s Final Fucking Fantasy, after all.) but manages to fail on the second.

I had my headphones in already when I decided to spend some time grinding out some Magic Stones so I can unlock White Mage Lenna. After about ten seconds of the totally awesome battle theme from FF5 it looped. And by “looped” I mean it started over. And then played a bit. And then I finished the battle. And then the victory fanfare played. For a few seconds. Then it started over again. Then the music stopped playing for a bit.

So something is not right. Which is a shame and yet not something I think they’ll fix any time soon since I have to imagine there are other bugs and issues much higher in the “To Fix” list. Just today all players got 1 free Mythril because the Jump command was not working properly and they just fixed it.

(If you selected a specific target for the attack it would still attack any target like an unspecified attack would. This is a fairly neat idea for the game. You can just select attack and it will pick the target for you. Or you can tap on the target before selecting attack or an ability and then it will be used on that target. Except for Jump. Well, until today.)

2014/11/19 12:00

Nintendo VC Releases for 2014.11.19

Aha! Here we go. A big blast and a nice one at that.

antarctic_adventure
ANTARCTIC ADVENTURE (Famicom): ¥514 (¥1100 cart-only, ¥2300 complete on Suruga-ya)
You know I’m going to mention the Let’s Playing we did of this. As a quite older game I’m not entirely surprised its price is fairly high, although I’m not sure if it is worth it these days. Definitely fun to mess around with, though.

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Bomber Man ’94 (PC Engine): ¥671 (¥610 card-only, ¥990 complete on Suruga-ya)
This was released in 1993, mind you. The “year plus one” thing always weirded me out, especially when I had a puzzle magazine I was subscribed to and found myself receiving the December issue in early September. ’94 is considered the best Bomber Man, isn’t it? Although it was for the intense amount of multi-play that was possible, and I’m just realizing that I have no idea how multi-player works on VC if even at all.

king_of_swing
DK: King of Swing (GBA): ¥702 (¥240 cart-only on Suruga-ya)
This game. This game. If you have not played this game, play this game. Donkey Kong must swing around and collect bananas. Sure. Doesn’t sound crazy. Except the L/R button controls used to hold on feel so beautiful and perfect. Hold the button to have that hand hold on to a block. Thing. Whatever. Hold to hold. It’s so simple and so much fun. Whenever it was dead at Toys ‘R Us when this was in the GBA demo unit, you bet your sweet cheeks that I was playing it, an eye out for my boss not catching me doing such. My work was done anyway. Trust me.

nuts_and_milk
Nuts and Milk (Famicom): ¥514 (¥260 cart-only on Suruga-ya)
(Cough.)
One day a high school student downloaded some ROMs and opened up one called Nuts & Milk. A pixel penis ran around trying to save some pixel breasts. It was weird. It was a ROM-Hack. I don’t know who this high school student is, I don’t even know what a ROM is. But I’m sure that this student would be pleased to know that the actual game is not that much different, only with a lot less genitalia.

2014/11/18 23:00

Disk speed

I’m going to finally finish Xenogears. I just completed Sora no Kiseki SC so why not ride the long RPG train until the end of time? This save file is more than five years old, and I am just now getting past the point that I stopped playing when I got my NA copy so many years back: the tournament. Which I’m thinking was not very far.

But damn, even on the Vita (or especially on the Vita?) it’s so slow. Every time I access the memory card it is a good few seconds before the game even response to button presses again. Every transition is a decent wait. And the camera likes to twist itself right behind walls and overpasses and all sorts of things. This is rough. Which feels weird since I’ve played a lot of 16-bit games over the past year and they don’t feel nearly as rough. Which makes sense, but still feels bizarre.

2014/11/17 23:00

MISHWLAWIHMT: Blade Runner

Welcome to Movies I Should Have Watched Long Ago When I Had More Time, a segment where I watch a film that I have heard so much about and nearly everyone else in the world has seen, but I haven’t. Then I finally do. And write about it.

This week I chose Blade Runner because of the beautiful glassware that they talked about on Roderick on the Line. Getting me one would only cost $96 if you’re feeling generous. Just saying. It was that and the Japanese edition of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? sitting unread on my Kindle. So like a high school student, I rented the movie.

I went into it knowing about the “controversy” over the handling of the film. The added voice over and its later removal. The Director’s Cut that wasn’t exactly that. I knew the whole “Is Deckard a replicant?” bit. I didn’t know what a “replicant” was, but the beauty of the whole thing is that I was able to suss out the basic . And to the movie’s credit that spoiler meant so little in terms of “spoiling” the movie. I enjoyed it thoroughly. The music was grand, the story riveting. It’s a film I’d like to add to my collection.

What endeared it to me was how contained the whole plot was. No grand, world-wide issue. There was a problem, it was solved, but everything didn’t go as planned. And there was some food for thought. Plus all the little things. Old views of the future are always a curiosity, and it’s fun to think about details like how Deckard was often seen reading a newspaper. And while the newspaper has been heavily replaced, I’d never use my iPad as a makeshift umbrella. It’s more likely that I’d be the umbrella.

As the credits rolled, a Facebook notification popped up on my screen. My grandfather, who had been struggling with pneumonia after a hip replacement, had just passed away. We knew things weren’t good. We knew it was going to happen. There was a time limit – well, there always is but now it was visible. We knew it. But knowing didn’t make it any easier.