New Wandering Fortunes Chapter 22: The Pearl Kingdom

About a year and a half ago our protagonist friends arrived at New Zhopolis, and discovered a seedy hive of wretched folk out for no one but themselves. (A few months later they found some good folk though.) Now we’re now and they’ve arrived at a new kingdom on a new planet. What will they find at their new home? It’s as big as New Zhopolis, but warmer, shinier, more colorful–but is it nicer? Join them as they explore their new home in Chapter 22: The Pearl Kingdom.

If you want to read the next chapter in a hurry, they go up a month early on my Patreon, which also has weekly updates of what I’m currently working on and other behind-the-scenes odds and ends for people who give monthly pledges. You can also give a single donation at my Ko-fi and get the next chapter early.

Game Review: Detective Pikachu

Wow, this game is a lot newer than the last one I talked about! It’s only been what, a month? Well, I finished Detective Pikachu and the Case of the Coffee Cup, or whatever, so let me say a few things about it. SPOILERS AHEAD

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Game Review: Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Think about it. It’s been 2/3 A WHOLE YEAR SINCE THIS GAME CAME OUT. It’s been known about for almost a whole year. For almost a whole year Mario and Rabbids have been together. Yeesh.

So anyway I got this game at Clichemas and finished it like a week ago–well, I beat the final boss, anyway. I haven’t 100%ed it yet, and it’s not particularly high on my to-game list, but it’s still on there. So what are my thoughts on this game?

Well, to be honest, the Rabbids are the least problematic part of this game. They’re easy to hate, but there are a few moments where they’re good and even cute. Pretend I got the footage of that, I don’t think I ever downloaded it. No, the gameplay is worse than the Rabbids. All games of this type have randomness built in, but there were absolutely moments where I only won because luck happened, or the opponent got a lot of luck to win. And let me tell you, replaying fights is the worst. Okay, maybe not the worst, but when you do it over again you want to get going quickly and instead it just slowly pans over the area like the first time you start with no way to skip that. I’m nitpicking, perhaps, but blah blah blah.

Speaking of quickly, maybe I’m just impatient but there were many times where I moved the cursor to a spot and clicked on it to make a move, only to realize I didn’t go to the exact spot I wanted it to go to and the wrong thing happened. So that was annoying and the camera movement in the battles is kind of off, it snaps to a square but that usually just means it snaps to the square before the one you want.

The difficulty is also really weird. There were a few instances where a chapter spikes in dififculty with a hard fight that takes me several tries, and then the difficulty goes back to where it was with some pretty easy fights. I suppose it could be based on how I upgraded characters, which was usually not focused on HP because look at all this other good stuff I can get. That said, one thing annoying about the level-up system is you can actually undo all the bonuses and redistribute them, but you can’t just undo one thing at a time? Just seems like it’d be a big time waster then…

Also, when’s the DLC to play as these guys, Ubisoft?

All that said, it was a fun game and fun to look at, too, and if you like turn-based strategy games and if you like Mario, I’d recommend it. Actually, isn’t that pretty much like how Fire Emblem plays?

is fire emblem+rabbids next?

Apparently there’s a presidential debate tonight, so let’s look at the candidates as VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS

On one side, we have Donald Trump. He’s a default character available from the beginning. He hits really hard, but he’s slow. He has a degree of unpredictability that, somehow, just makes him really predictable. A lot of rookies play as him because, against another rookie or easy CPUs he often is easy to win with.

Then we have Hillary Clinton. She’s another default character available from the start, and she has a lot of skills and strength that makes her a strong character, but all her moves are difficult to pull off and require a lot of practice. Like, a really lot of practice. You doing anything else with your life? You won’t be able to use her very well. You need a lot of money time to get good with her, and those who do are usually able to beat everyone else easily. A novice can hardly beat anyone.

We also have Jill Stein! She’s a hidden, unlockable, hidden character who is really difficult to unlock. However, she’s easy to use and strong, so a novice is able to use her well, as is someone who has practiced with her a lot. She’s high in the tier list. Not top tier, though. That’s Diddy Kong, who was removed from the race for throwing mud. Or maybe it was poop. Either way, she does have some weaknesses, such as an inability to use items well.

Gary Johnson is also a hidden, unlockable character, but he’s the joke character. He’s not very good. At all. Though he’s also difficult to unlock.

Also, Bernie Sanders has been found in the game’s coding. He was cut from the final version, but he’s still in the game’s files in incomplete form. There’s some really specific and complex glitches that can let you play as him, and for the most part he works without much trouble. For the most part it’s just that a match with him and Clinton leads to some game crashes. He generally plays like a stronger Jill Stein but has his own set of weaknesses.

I hope you enjoyed this complete turnaround of my previous statement about being unable to social media anymore because I started my dayjob today.

Miifoto Roundup #2

Whoa, something with a second in the series? Weird. More Miifotos from Miitomo! Yes, some people still play that application. Look, I don’t have AR on my tablet because it doesn’t have a gyroscope for some reason because who needs a gyroscope for normal things so I can’t take pictures of Pokemon on Earth so this is what I’ve got. First up is something I think I have posted before, but here it is again. Miitomo: The Movie.

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Later while making a Miifoto comment I went overboard and kiiind of made a sequel.

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Click for more ridiculous pictures!

I play video games

Two or three months ago I started an LP (“Lettuce Play”, it’s healthy) of Octodad: Dadliest Catch, shortly after getting back into the LP scene because my microphone was replaced. Then my replacement microphone died and I had to get a replacement replacement microphone. I’ve heard the microphone I have is good, I guess I just have THE WORST LUCK WITH TECHNOLOGY

Anyway now that I got another replacement I’m doing it again, I’ll finish this game next week, and also, every single video of this series is of a length that starts with a different digit. I am the worst at timing things.

Click for videos!

Review of Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

A little while ago I finished this book that I got a little over a month ago. I had a post about it; it’s a “chooseable-path adventure” version of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare by Ryan North, a sequel to the same thing but with Hamlet called To Be or Not To Be. I don’t do reviews all that often but maybe I should start. Maybe the best way to make myself better at reviews is to do more of them?? Just note that this will largely be in view of someone who read the first book, To Be or Not To Be, which I also recommend.

First thing’s first, this book actually solved a major issue I had with To Be or Not To Be, which was that in that book you had the path that followed the original play Hamlet, and it felt largely like the other paths were just sprouting off this main one. There were a few places where a totally new storyline would sprout, but for the most part you had to read through a lot of one path to find a number of endings. With this book the paths that deviate from the original early on feel more like their own stories, and there are numerous locations where you can veer off but then return to the original story, so if you want to read to the end of the normal story more than once you have option so you don’t reread a lot of things.

Another area this book improves on the first is simply how it’s designed. The first gave every choice at least its own page, which led to a lot of empty space. This one divides the choices into sections, so most of every page is utilized. There was only one spot where this was problematic, as one section had two choices listed but the second choice was on the second page, so it could be easily missed. Also: I know nobody actually cares about the design. I’ll move on.

This book has not one but two story-within-a-stories (not counting the Romeo and/or Juliet-within-a-Romeo and/or Juliet), and one is about drugs and amazing and has an adorable Puck (thanks to one Andrew Hussie). A few other outlandish things from To Be or Not To Be return as well, such as ghost time travel, but I actually felt the returning outlandish things weren’t utilized as interestingly as in the first book.

But this book does have new outlandish things that are amazing, such as controlling more than one character at once or unlockable characters. Yes, you can unlock a character by completing a certain path. It’s pretty obvious which path it is, though. Maybe next book Ryan can fit an unlockable character into an unexpected path. Come on, let us choose a story using one of those robot suits!

Ultimately this story is hilarious, and that’s the point. Whether it’s the witty or silly characters (definitely the best-written Friar Lawrence ever), the Shakespearean prose reduced to plain English/bullet points/power point slides, or just the ridiculous narration (find out how he gets out of writing a sex scene!!), every path has something to laugh at. In the end I would have to say this book is an improvement on the first, and book scientists that I totally didn’t pay off thought that was impossible!

New book in the mail: Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

Some years ago I had a blog post about To Be or Not To Be by Ryan North, a chooseable-path version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Well, now he has Romeo and/or Juliet! And good gourd this book is 41% off as of my typing this, sheesh. Anyway, I got the book in the mail today and have done one readthrough. I successfully died at breakfast, I am off to an excellent start, it was fully intentional.

For To Be or Not To Be I kept track of what pages I read and tried to figure out which ones I had yet to read. This time I’m being much more thorough. I have a spreadsheet.

RomeoJulietSpreadsheet

Checkmarks are pages I’ve read, the next numbers are which pages these lead to. If they have a checkmark on them then I do not need to read that page again, whether because it’s an ending, I’ve read every page it can lead to, or it’s an extraneous route that leads to a page the previous page leads to also.

This book is a game, and I’m going for 100%.

I play video games sometimes

Okay, a lot of times, but I also sometimes record those games. I used to do it a lot, then I ran out of games and time, then I got some games but my recording stuff was super old, then I didn’t have any time, and now I’m here.

Low quality video for a low quality boss, indeed. I’d like this to become a semi-regular Thing that I do, maybe a video once or twice a week time willing. I’m always busy with writing, of course. And… And napping.

Is Violence the Answer??: A Look at a Video Game!!

I know that, as a writer, I should probably talk about stories and novels and writing and stuff, but I’m talking mostly about the story and writing of a video game, so whatever! I have a big overview of what I’ve been reading for the past 8 or 9 months in the works but I want to finish reading this one book first.

So, anyway, what’s this post about? A very… interesting video game I came across yesterday–actually, the demo of a video game being funded on Kickstarter. It’s called UnderTale, and the point I am going to make here is that it really makes ya think. Okay so first play the demo if you want to try it and don’t want to be spoiled.

So, as you can tell by the description on the Kickstarter, this is a game where you can win every “enemy” encounter without killing them. “Crazy talk!” you say. “Video games are about beating up your enemies, usually physically, sometimes verbally!” Yeah, and movies, and stories, and music, and the news, and congress, and… See where I’m going with this? It’s old news that we have a culture of violence and every form of media is violent and oh my gooourd we must not let the kids know of death and blood is evil and argjarhrejfndk, but the point is that something like this really brings it right to you.

Here’s the point: Near the end of the demo you have to… face off against the only other character in the game who’s nice to you, Toriel. Pretty much. Well, at least at first. Most video games would have this “oh okay attack the nice person and when defeated they will let you keep going.” NOT THIS GAME! There’s no “defeating” in this game; no “fainting”; you beat an enemy, you freakin’ kill it.

But, remember, in this game, you don’t have to kill enemies. You can spare them. You don’t get any experience… which, strangely enough, increases your “love” instead of “level”, but still, you don’t have to hurt anyone. You don’t have to hurt the nice character. I suspect that the game was made so that it’s intentional that you’re likely to kill Toriel the first time: with each hit, the damage you do seems to increase. Then you might try to go back and not kill her–turns out that seems to be involved in the game’s plot. Of course, in real life we don’t have a save feature.

What am I trying to say with this post? I dunno, I just couldn’t think of something better for a blog post today. I said I wanted to start making one every few days, right? HA! Just kiddin’; I think this is an interesting line of thought that too much credence is put into violence as a solution in media, and I will fully admit right now I will be looking through my second novel with this in mind later.

Of course, that’s not to say that an intergalactic invasion and demonic resurgence could be easily solved through diplomacy. And I’m still a terrible person because after going back and saving Toriel I went back again and killed her on purpose. GYAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHhahhaahah… ah ha ha ha…

All in all this is a cool game. Even though this post is under the category of Review that wasn’t the main point, but since it is, I might as well say something on the game, which I guess is just go try out the demo; the genre isn’t actually my kind of game, but the story looks amazing.