Journey to the end of the universe

journey

I am leaving this place. It could be for a few months, years or even forever. Due to circumstances, I have the opportunity to go on a journey that might just solve a lot of the major issues that I am facing right now. I cannot say for sure what I am to expect, as the road is long and quite harsh, with an uncertain destination, despite me setting a marker.

The biggest thing that I am looking for is change. I still feel like there is something missing in my life and I want to find it.

I’ve been also having some health related issues. I want to invest more time into fixing those, potentially and hopefully. Time might be of the essence, but I for sure won’t let things slide without making further announcement.

For those of you who took the time to read my posts, thank you! I may not have tried my best into putting out most of them, but my heart was always within’ each and single one of these posts.

I’ve put on halt all my other projects that I’ve been working on currently. If I do return, I promise to resume my work on them!

Well then…

RA Invasion [Part 9] – May the Maul be with you!

vader

“Got Death Star?” This is my favorite Star Wars commercial of all times honestly! I mean, we all could use a tool for planetary obliteration more often than we would like to admit. It’s not about the silly political ideologies of erasing certain species and their home world from existence for the sake of an imaginary better future, but rather, the thrill and responsibility of having control over something and how “properly” one might use it. Cake tastes great, I know that! But what I’ve learned is that it tastes better when you share it with another person. Don’t hold back! Buy a Death Star for a person that you really like or love! With a present like this, you’ll be treated as well to the knowledge of the inner nature of that one certain, special someone. Did they like the wrapping? Have they even used the present or did they just toss it in the corner? If you ask me, it’s all about that one smile they make when they receive the present…

Something, something RA weekend with the usual Twisted Wario update, GBA emulation issues that I’ve fixed and I spend the rest of the time playing the first GBA Lego Star Wars game. I also got a late birthday present from my brother – A small drone! I’ve been investing some time into that as well! It’s pretty fun learning the controls and I do like the idea of getting better at controlling these machines. Maybe if I become good enough I can successfully eliminate Gordon Freeman and put an end to a saga that has been dragging for eons now!

LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game [Game Boy Advance]

I am no strangers to LEGO or Star Wars as a whole. I’ve owned various simple LEGO sets as a kid. Like… a few pirate ships with a pirate crew and… that’s pretty much about it, I guess… I’ve been introduced to the original “Star Wars” trilogy by my brother when I was a baby pretty much, who at the time, managed to hype the Obi- Wan vs Vader fight from episode four to seem like the best thing ever! I remember being really afraid of the lightsaber battles, because I could not bare to watch a person die! Again, I was with a young and pure mind, untouched by the cruelty of action movies.

Years ago, my friend brought a copy of LEGO Star Wars for PC to my place, which had all the episodes from 1 to 6 and whatnot. I’m not going to go into details about it, but I want to say, that as far as cooperative video games go, that one was a nuclear blast! It was really good and we were really sad once we 100% it, because the amount of content the game had was not enough to satisfy our needs! We wanted more, because it was THAT good, really!

So here I am, looking at the GBA version that features episodes 1 to 3 of the saga. I personally did not enjoy the original “Episode 2 and 3” movies, despite waiting since kid for them to come out! I can’t say for sure why, maybe because they did not have that adventurous feel to them like the rest of the episodes. Anyways, this game is played from top- down isometric view. It’s pretty generous, what with unlimited lives, constant checkpoints and merchants that can upgrade your stats for a price. Because of the perspective, it takes a while for one to get used to aiming their attacks properly. It’s a very short game overall, you can go through all episodes in one afternoon. Unlocking every character takes some time though, with the game forcing you to replay and grind through levels for additional studs. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the playable characters that you had at disposal could offer more in terms of gameplay. Most of them share quite a lot of similar traits and that’s not very good for the replay value. Sure, I did all the missions again while avoiding getting any upgrades and whatnot… But apart from that, I can only see another potential run being fun using the repair droid character or someone else who in general is not well suited for the task of having an easy time. Here’s a tip to make your life easier: Darth Maul is a really, really good character! He can access most areas with golden studs, takes less damage from enemies… I think [?] and his special ability is easy to quick spam and aim. A really good character to invest a mere 3k studs!

The game does not offer any exciting platforming whatsoever. Most of it is just you fighting enemies on set pieces, which the developers didn’t held back on reusing over for later levels. I liked the cheat codes rewards, there are some funny things with which you can fool around for a bit. No multiplayer though, this game is for loner wolves. As far as visuals go… they are pretty rough, in a good sense! The badly looping music samples enhance the whole experience even more!

I had fun with this game overall. It was quite bland and pretty bad, just the way I tend to kiss girls on the lips!

Totsugeki Masui Shoujo Alice [PC-98] – Needle on the path

Syringe

A lot of medical tools tend to look pretty grotesque and disturbing. The mere sight of them tend to fuel our imagination with excess ideas of an outcome that would cause us an unimaginable amount of pain, once said tool is put into use. However, in reality, the actual case usually ends up being that you feel little to nothing… I’ve recently had a really messy visit at the dentist, where it took a while for my tooth to get pulled out. For how bloody and unusually painful it was, it still didn’t reach THAT point of uncomfortable experience that my mind fantasized about earlier, before the visit. Perhaps medicine has advanced to a point where one can be always at ease regardless of how extreme the situation is… or maybe I just grew up? … [?]

“Totsugeki Masui Shoujo Alice” is one of the best “Pipe Dream” clones that I’ve ever played!

Still, RNG can screw you up majorly if the game doesn’t decide to give you the proper pieces, especially in later stages where the field is already filled with paths and there are few empty spots where you can discard.

While the game doesn’t have a direct answer to this issue, it offers others that makes things a bit more tolerable. One of them is the addition of 1- ups that you can collect. While they require a bit of additional work for you to collect them, a stage containing one usually means that you don’t have to worry about failing it, as long as you collect the extra life beforehand. Another thing is that instead of having to deal with a flow of liquid that slowly fills up the space and the path that you created, your only concern here is the main character Alice, who can move freely as long as there is a proper path set for her. Backtracking is an option and in some stages a key element for success. You can also make Alice move faster, which is pretty important for stages with tight time limit, which are usually the result of the player being forced to place path pieces on one another, as the game is forcing the lose time intentionally. These stages are the only pain in the butt, but there are things that you can do to prevent consecutive losses. Trying to discard as less pieces as possible is a no- brainer, yet again, it is still quite affected by the RNG. Don’t place pieces that would drain the timer near the goal if Alice has still a way to go! Wait for her to get closer, then after placing the piece, just fire her up to go as fast as possible. There are items that can refill your time meter, but they also require some additional path building to be obtained… usually.

( I really like how the level designer/s put items out of reach to tease the player. You don’t see that kind of design usually, but I still find it quite charming when I do, even if the joke does not have that much of a high impact.)

The game has a decent difficulty curve. It paces between throwing hard and easy levels at you, but in general, it’s quite low in difficulty overall. There is a save and stage select feature as well! If you are looking for a great adult content, this one offers only nudity, with one of the girls being on a plain, boring black background for some reason. Either there was a blackout or she was hiding in a basement, one can only wonder as to why that is as it is.

Personally, I am quite satisfied with this game. If you are wondering what do syringes have to do with this game, I guess it’s the main character’s weapon of choice, which she uses against a guy/s…? [?] You do have to collect one before finishing every 5th stage or else… you just can’t enter the house and a life is lost instead if you try to do so.

Don’t ignore a need for a syringe! Vaccinate today!

RA Invasion [Part 8] – Mystery Garbage Game Science Theater

robot

This weekend I spent most of my time on “The Powerpuff Girls” entry that I didn’t finish last time, along with the usual “WarioWare: Twisted!” update. Not a lot is left to do in that game, though emulation does make it impossible to 100% clear. I am still going to push onward and see how far can I get. I guess in the end, I’ll have to compromise due to the artificial limitations, but what can you do? Another option is to purchase actual hardware and the game itself, but given my current position, I am way too deep in the quicksand to even consider pulling my nose up and take a breather.

I also did that awful Genesis Barney game for RA. You just know that set is good when you have to go through the game not once but three times total! The life of a hardcore gamer is truly harsh indeed!

The Powerpuff Girls: Bad Mojo Jojo [Game Boy Color]

The Powerpuff Girls: Battle Him [Game Boy Color]

The Powerpuff Girls: Paint the Townsville Green [Game Boy Color]

Here’s not one, but three whole awful entries from the Game Boy Color library. The idea here was that you get all three games so you can trade cards with one another and potentially collect all of them. A pretty common trend for it’s time, though these three games didn’t shine when it came to it really. For one thing, you have to go through each game and collect the said cards. While that’s not all that difficult of a task, the games are not really any fun to play, what with the many issues that they have. I am not talking about gameplay wise only, but technical as well. The Powerpuff girls games for the GBC are full of bugs and glitches, which are prior to not only bad programming, but also lack of testing and overall rushed development for a potential money grab, which again, probably solely hoped for a spike based on the whole card collecting/ exchanging thing and the popularity of the show itself.

In each game you play as one of the girls from the show, following their own unique plot. You can still call the others for help, which is pretty useful if you want to prevent any boss from actually moving and being of any threat whatsoever. A lot of people categorize this game as a platformer, but there isn’t any actual platforming, really. You fly around all over the place, but you have a status bar that displays how limited you are in your flying. Landing and staying on ground for a while will recharge the bar. You can also walk on ground freely. The issue here is not with the limited flight, but with the overall level design, where a lot of times you don’t have a clear information of your surroundings. There are a lot of blind drops and I’ve found myself many times overshooting my flying past the platform I was supposed to land on to recharge. Checkpoints in the levels occur after every event, though not all levels are that generous when it comes to them. Dying can be pretty punishable, as it also doesn’t register all the collectables that you’ve gotten. (The number of items that you’ve collected register only after getting checkpoints or finishing the level!) However, the game makes sure to provide you with enough health pick ups, so the only issue is to avoid falling into a bottomless pit or a water body when you run out of fly juice.

Fighting enemies in this game is done by the traditional technique of jousting, where the outcome is always in favor of you. Fighting stationary is not recommended, unless you have a death wish. You also have to dodge projectiles, which can screw up your jousting charge, so additional maneuvering is required. It’s nothing all that complicated though. You also have ranged attack that can stun enemies and bosses. [It is also used to free brainwashed citizens at that one level in Bubbles story!] You can stun- lock a lot of the opposition not only with your ranged attack, but with normal, regular melee attacks as well! It’s all about the timing!

The controls are floaty and sloppy. The general structure of the levels is very dull and repetitive. The only difference between each level is the layout and the tile set. The girls are also pretty much a palette swaps. There is nothing unique or different when it comes to controlling each of them. The three games are quite identical, with similar enemies and stages being shoved in. There are a few boss fights that light up the day a bit with their different gimmicky fights, but in the end… it all comes down to proper jousting attacks to make even them dull and boring. The collectable items [To which number also count defeated enemies for some reason…] are not hard to find, though there are few hidden behind walls and whatnot. The stages are not all that big though, so finding them all is not a big issue…

BUT WAIT…

If that’s the case, how come one of the games I’ve only cleared to 109% and not 110%?

The game featuring Bubbles… I’ve noticed that it has an issue of not spawning some of the flying squid enemies. For example – It sometimes fails to spawn one of them in the ventilation shaft in the museum level. [Near the thug and another flying squid.] It fails to spawn a squid in the Townsville Dump, located inside the cave [?] on the far- right climb with the one, small stepping stool. So I think it also fails to spawn one of the squids in the final subway level as well. But in the other levels the squids managed to spawn eventually after resetting the rooms a few times, so why can’t I find anything in the subway? I’ve fallen into every hole and pushed against every wall. There are no secret rooms that I might have missed. It could be that the programmer forgot to put an item or an enemy or that they just put the wrong number. I’ve spend over ten hours exploring the subway level from head to toe. NOTHING…

So I’ve come to accept that 109% is as far as one can manage to get on that game. If you do manage to find all items and prove me wrong, please do inform me. If it’s about a missing squid enemy, I’ll be more than happy to learn about its location.

These three games have also received revisions. These updated versions give you all collectable cards, lower the hit boxes of bottomless pits/ water bodies and they remove the save feature and completion percentage display. I don’t know if that’s all, but I did find this issue with Revision A of Bubbles game.

Note: This revision does not fixes the problem with the missing enemy/ loot in the subway level. I’ve tried that as well…

Color me impressed as well, what a shit show this weekend was…