2013-01-18 10:31 pm

Katawa Shoujo and miscellany

Obviously I've been forgetting to update this when I game. Sometimes I just forget to, or I don't have time, or I just go "meh, it wasn't that interesting". Oh well.

Mostly I've been playing Terraria, WoW, Diablo 3 and some StarCraft 2. No Ys Origin, though I'm not really sure why. I should get back to that soon I suppose.

The thing I have been playing over the last couple of days is... well, not really a game. It's a visual novel dating sim called Katawa Shoujo. Heavy emphasis on the novel aspect, with very few dialogue and action options, and no other mechanics. It's also very focussed on one girl, once you make the choices to go on her path. There are five to choose from, and Emi's seems to be the easiest path to land on by mistake. The game doesn't really do much to indicate whose path you're going down so until you get to act two it's a bit of a guessing game. I was trying to get Hanako, but I guess I made a mistake somewhere.

I will play- should I say read? I will read it again, and maybe use a reference sheet to get someone else. Or I could just make sure I choose different options and hope for the best?

It did take me about 7 hours to read through Emi's storyline, but I think I could go slower. The problem was that I was wanting more interaction and getting frustrated at it, so I skipped and skimmed over a lot of it. I still think I got most of it, because I read easily with not much attention, but still. I didn't really give the story the focus it deserved.

When I do it again, I'll treat it more like a book. That should help.

[ETA: I think this is my first chance to tag something completed too :D That makes me happy.]
2012-12-27 03:00 pm
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Ys and Terraria

Ys Origin today, which could have been a bad idea because I'm stressed a bit, but the navigation fail was actually amusing and I made progress despite it. Plus all the extra killing from backtracking got me a level up.

The lack of a map does bug me a bit, although the running around does seem like it'll help in the long run. Also, it'd be nice to have some sort of tips section or a quest type feature. When I first went into it, I ran around for a bit with no idea where I was up to or what to do next. Not exactly a productive use of time. Again with the lots of killing being a good thing I guess? Plus, incentive to play more often so I remember more.

Also played a bit more Terraria, but it's getting too close to my shift so I couldn't really enjoy it properly. Made a sky arena above my house for when the Eye of Cthulhu starts spawning, started working on a tunnel under the Corruption, and... that was about it. Given that it's only a small map, I suspect there won't be much past the Corruption besides the Jungles, so my next goal really needs to be setting up for Cthulhu and the worm thing. Have to see how it goes.
2012-12-26 04:51 pm

Toki Magic Dragon of Thrones

Played some more Toki Tori today, although I'm at the stage where I'm struggling with every single puzzle. The fact that there are YouTube videos with solutions for all (or most) of the levels isn't really helping, particularly when I'm watching something else I don't want to stop to go hunting for said solution. I may have to go back over the puzzles I've done so far, and maybe do the bonus and hard puzzles for the first couple of worlds. Puzzles aren't really my thing, so I'd sort of be okay with just getting through them any old way, but it'd be nice if I could at least say that I'd mostly worked them all out myself.

Another on the list of games that I bought because someone said it was good and then forgot about is Magic the Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers. Only had time to go through the how to play bit and lose a campaign, but I think it might be something I can enjoy. As long as I can learn enough to not lose all the time. Which.... could be a thing. We'll see.

On thing that has me hesitant is the whole unlocking decks thing, particularly with cash. I'm hoping that it'll work out so I'll either get what I need as the game goes along or learn enough to be sure of what I want to buy, but that sort of thing is definitely not my skill. I like games that go "Here are some good options, learn how to use them and you'll be fine." For the time being I'm sticking with what I've got, and if that's not good enough I'll either quit or get better at the game.

Also tried a f2p mmo called Dragon Nest on impulse and it's not too bad. Well, terrible compared to WoW but that's not a fair comparison so we won't do that. Infinitely better than Everquest at least, and certainly decent enough on its own merits. I had some setup issues because of my dual monitors and Dvorak keyboard setting, and the monitor thing at least doesn't look to be something that I can fix how I want it regardless of how much I fiddle. Probably would have spent more time with this one, but our power's been playing up.

The dialogue to get quests is a bit tedious, and I'm mostly just spamming my way through it all and then checking the quest log after to figure out what's going on. Plus the quests involving Delilah make me.... a little uncomfortable. She's a dodgy vendor, but my character basically threatening her was a bit much. It all seems to be fully scripted though, so I don't think there's much I can do, and I'm guessing it won't affect character relations in any way that wasn't meant to happen. Still, wish it wasn't a thing.

And finally, in the "I've heard nothing good about this but it was on sale and I just had to try it" category: Game of Thrones RPG. So far it's.... not good, but I'll probably play more of it than others might. The dialogue is way too much - serious infodumping issues, probably because of the books/tv series connection - and I have no idea if the dialogue options have any influence on things, but I tend to ignore that anyway unless it's really good. So unless it turns out that what I say actually matters, I'll probably just skim the talk and make whatever comment seems reasonable at the time.

As for the combat it's.... clunky but not impossible, and goes rather well with the not paying much attention thing. Although I've died once so far because I forgot health was a thing. This is one of those games where the epic casualness of my playstyle will help, as long as the game lets it, because I think I can ignore a lot of the awful elements of it.
2012-12-20 04:37 pm

New Game Day

Played three games today, two completely new, one mostly so.

First game was only because it was in Steam's free to play list and I've never played it before and decided I needed to say I'd at least tried. The game being EverQuest. It's since been deleted from my computer. I died laughing a bit at the hideous characters in the character creation, didn't even try customising, and then proceeded to flail at bad controls and UI. Seriously ugly game on all counts.

Then I loaded up Ys Origin. This is one I grabbed a while back on a Steam sale. At the time I hurriedly grabbed the demo to play for a bit before deciding whether or not to get the game at all. Despite being dumped into a level with no clue what I was doing or how or why, I managed to work out navigation, attacks, and the puzzle, all of which are impressive achievements for me.

So far the game proper has had similar success, although the lack of healing ability really throws me off. I'm used to being able to heal during battles, and if there's a way to do that I haven't found it yet, so the boss kicked my arse quite thoroughly. I was getting frustrated enough to want to quit and come back to it later, but I hit a stubborn streak and kept going, which actually paid off! So that was pretty cool.

Navigation and puzzles are not my strong skills, so the lack of a map is really noticeable, and the amount of backtracking the puzzles require is a pain in the neck. That plus the healing thing is really my biggest negatives of the game, which totally doesn't count because it's all user failure. The game itself is adorable and well set out.

Final game was Toki Tori, a puzzle game about.... a chicken collecting eggs. I only picked it up because TotalBiscuit recommended it, and given the game that's surprising enough to take note of. So glad I did too. It's super cute, easy controls (I played it mouse only, there's also keyboard and controller options) and the puzzles are neat. I've been stumped by three so far, but they have a Wildcard thing so you can skip one if you need to, and you get the Wildcard back by completing that level. Although I get just frustrated enough that I think I should do one world at a time and then stop while I'm still feeling good about it.

Also, I've only done the normal levels. There's hard levels and bonus levels, but I haven't even looked at them yet. Not sure when/if I will.
2012-12-18 12:09 pm
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World of Warcrafting

WoW is one of those things that I either play a ridiculous amount or not at all, with a little bit of middle ground. My brother got it shortly after it launched, and got me and a few friends into it not long after. I was rather addicted for quite a while and then.... my laptop fried. So for a year or two I had no way to play it at all. Which was actually pretty okay but geez was I happy to get a real computer back.

So that happened in time for Wrath of the Lich King, for which I bought the original again plus the two expansions, because I didn't have my original login or email or card details or anything, so buying again seemed like the easiest option. And since then I've had continuous subscription because.... well because I can. Even with the times I don't play it at all, I still play it more than other games that I spend as much or more money on. It all works out in the end or something.

One of my biggest things with WoW is that getting to the endgame has absolutely no appeal to me. The bosses and raiding and stuff always seems like so much player-drama and then you run around doing stupid low level stuff and achievements and generally wasting time. Which usually leaves me getting to around level 40, if even that far, then starting a new character to play around with a new class or race or area, or just get the satisfaction of actually making regular levelling progress.

Anyway, with the release of Mists of Pandaria, I decided to a) play more pandas, because pandas are adorable and b) play more classes, to the tune of all of them. So on Dalaran I have 11 characters, one of every class, a Pandaren for every class they can have, and almost equal parts Horde and Alliance. I have two Worgens to make up the numbers for the Alliance, and a Blood Elf and Undead for the Horde. Which amuses me and that's what matters.

So far, aside from the Death Knight, all the chars are in the 15-22 range, and I'm trying to send them to different zones as much as possible. Although at this stage there's inevitable repetition and that's okay.

What I figure is that as long as I focus on keeping them all in a reasonable level range I can just pick whichever suits my fancy at the time and I'll actually keep going with them. That's the theory anway... We'll see.

Today I played about half an hour with my Worgen Druid in Darkshore, but I'm way too tired to really sink time into it. Maybe later this afternoon, or before bed.
2012-12-17 07:20 pm
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More Terraria and Warcraft 3

So. Terraria. This is the sort of game that hooks me really nicely, drains away a lot of time, and leaves me feeling really satisfied with little to show for it.

The thing is, to really enjoy playing it, I need to be able to login, see what I've created, and go "Yeah, I'm happy with this, what can I add/do next?" Which is great, except when the last few sessions have been spent patching stuff together and generally making a mess. So I'm left wanting to clean it all up but not wanting to sink the time needed to do so bit by bit, because I also want to go off adventuring again.

Add to that the random-but-predictable nature of the world generation, and I just really like starting a new world. The only world I have that's lasted is one I share with a friend. All the others have fallen by the wayside.

Which is sort of a bad thing ("I've spent so much time on this and I'm still on the same midgame stuff") but... I still love playing it, so I guess that's okay? I used to play Minecraft, which I enjoyed, but never got into the mods or the creative mode, so the appeal was limited.

Anyway, setting myself a goal with the current Terraria world: Keep it organised and work on beating the bosses.

In other news, had the bad idea of going into EB Games after work the other day (my budget disapproves...) and picked up the Warcraft 3 battlechest because it was on sale.

Once upon a time, I played Warcraft 2 a bit, but proceeded to lose interest in Warcraft until WoW came out. Actually to be honest in that time I wasn't really gaming much at all, and WoW was what I came back to because my brother got into it.

When I saw Warcraft 3, my thoughts ran "I have a friend who plays that, and she likes it", "It's a battlechest, which is cool" and "It's pretty cheap and this way I can't justify getting anything more expensive". And lo, I became an owner of Warcraft 3.

Haven't spent much time with it yet, just the horde prologue campaign, and so far my conclusions are: Pretty cool, graphics and portrait animations are hilariously bad. Seriously, watch the portraits as they talk and tell me that a face should move like that. But I suppose it is 10 years old or something, and the gameplay graphics are certainly good enough to play. Just have to not watch the portraits.

In other other news.... I need to stop buying new games before I finish current ones. On a related note, I need to spend more time finishing games and less time stuffing around with Terraria.
2012-12-01 11:01 pm
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First Issues with Darksiders 2 (Wii U)

Some more Darksiders this evening after work. Reached the part I was up to in the PC version, and completed that area. Which is awesome, except said area included ball rolling. I don't play many games that have the feature, so I can't compare, but for the most part it was tolerable and used well in the puzzles.

Except then it was the key to the boss fight. And to make matters worse, the balls weren't the nice stone ones in the area up till that point. They were alive. With a time limit. Technically a clever boss fight, interesting way to use the mechanic, the level was sort of good practice, etc. By the time I finished the fight I was pissed off. If there was a way to aim the ball, I don't know about it, and the alternative is either be damned good at it, practice a shitload, or pray for blind luck.

I went with the third option.

But that area is done, and I'm done playing for the night. Besides the boss fight, it was rather nice. A couple of the puzzles were annoying, and I worked them out mostly by chance and a moment of "Fine, whatever, I'll reset- Are you kidding me??"

It'll be kind of interesting to see how I go with the area on PC. I'm inclined to think I'll have better luck with mouse and keyboard.
2012-12-01 11:01 am

Wii U, Darksiders II (Wii U) & Terraria

I got my Wii U yesterday, the premium pack and Darksiders 2. Really happy I actually got it on release day, because I had it delivered and the postal service here isn't always that great. But it came and I was home, so no having to go pick it up from the post office. Played a bit of Nintendoland because why not, and... it's not bad but probably more fun as a party thing. Or even a drunk gaming then. Might have to try that on my weekend.

For the most part I'm really liking the Wii U, although the Gamepad is maybe a little awkward for me. Which is partly because I don't actually play on consoles enough, so holding a controller at all is a thing, but the grips seem designed for larger hands than mine. Awesome for people with larger hands I guess, and all I need to do is rest it on my knees or something, which I tend to do anyway because my gaming chair is a giant beanbag. I'll have to play it enough to either get used to it or figure out what doesn't work so I can give feedback or something I guess. So it'll work out one way or another.

Got into Darksiders 2 as soon as I'd figured the controls out enough. Easy setting again for comparison. Controls are obviously different (gee really?) but nicely set up, and the graphics are good. (Although new tv and not much gaming on it, so I don't have much of a comparison basis, and I... don't really see graphics quality as much anyway.) One of the things I've noticed - and I'll have to check at some point because I could just be unobservant/misremembering - is that there's some sidequests in the Wii U version that aren't on the PC version. Well, one at least, Karn asking me to find him a plate he made. I'm sure I didn't get that on the PC, unless I lost the option for the quest somehow. It doesn't really matter, it's just interesting. Plus it means playing both versions wouldn't be exactly the same and hopefully more interesting.

The other thing I've been playing (far too much of) is Terraria. Mostly thanks to TotalBiscuit and JesseCox (of YouTube fame) but also because it's just plain fun. Got a friend playing it too, and the multiplayer world seems to have more in it. Although... that could just be because I'm exploring more in multiplayer than I dare to in solo. We'll see how it goes.

But now I have to get ready for work. More Darksiders 2 tonight maybe, we'll see.
2012-11-29 02:49 am
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First Play: Darksiders II (PC)

I really need to start tracking how much I actually play games, because I tend to get a lot of games, play some a bit, and the default right back to a few favourites. Which means I finish sod all of them. (I've finished three. In my life. Yes, I'm serious, yes I'm somewhat embarrassed by that. I'm working on it, okay?)

Anyway, it's 3am, I've just been playing Darksiders 2 for the first time, and I thought "Hey, wouldn't it be great to use some sort of online journal thing to track this" and DW was the best I could come up with. As long as I remember to actually update it, it should work out okay.

So to the topic in hand.

Recently pre-ordered the Wii U (look, those emails are effective, don't judge me) and got Darksiders 2 with it mostly because price and I'd heard good things about it. Except then Steam had a sale so I ended up with the PC version too because... well, because I'm really bad at budgets and restraint.

First impressions? I fucking love it. I am playing on the easiest difficulty setting, because I know myself too well, so combat has so far been a breeze. But it's been an enjoyable breeze. It reacts nicely, it's letting me spam attacks while I learn how to do it properly, and it looks good. The whole game looks good really, although the areas make me want to just jump and crawl all over everything, and that just doesn't happen. Also I ran into a couple of random fights because of checking out the scenery, but you get that.

The horse... I like it, it looks amazing, but something about the handling makes me think I may end up cursing it later on. I could be wrong, I want to be wrong, we'll just have to wait and see. Although that particular worry could just be because I'm automatically comparing it to Epona in Zelda, and I wanted to turn that horse into glue more than a few times.

And the story is definitely working for me so far. I want Death to succeed, I want to find out the secrets, I want to see the Corruption defeated, etc and so on. Which is particularly important to me, so I'm hoping it lasts.

Given that I'll have two copies of the game, I really, really hope I like it enough to finish.