☐☐ ☐☐☐ ☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐

drownd

I spent most of my life living high up in the mountain. Among pine and rocks, in a pitiful excuse for a town where I’ve set up a nest. The nearest body of water is a pretty shallow river. We don’t talk about that river. It’s a boring river. I’ve never seen any fish in it, but they do say that it gets a bit more lively as it goes further down the mountain into the plains.

I’ve never wanted to go on that school trip during high school. By no means I wanted to have fun at a beach or dip into the lukewarm waters of the sea itself. I still remember the awful daily breakfast that we would get composed of dry bread and the worst tarator I’ve ever had. Among other awful memories from that trip, the one that stuck with me over the years was how I almost drowned when I decided to dip into the sea for the first time in more than a decade.

Kunoichi Drowned DONE!

If I have to describe the experience of gradually losing oxygen and having water rush inside your nostrils, ears and eyes, all of which is done in differently timed segments, depending on the waves mood, I would say that it was pretty exciting and thrilling. It’s a type of fear which taught me that there is no reason to fear death. Even the cases where pain is a major factor would usually end in a pretty unique bliss. Fear? What fear? Fear gets alight by misunderstanding and lack of proper information. If you’ve known death even a little bit so, you would not have any actual reason to fear it.

During the moment when I was drowning, I felt a lot of sadness building up inside me. It was not however due to my life being endangered, but more so because I felt… really lonely. Even with all the people around who were on the verge of panic, it felt like I was all alone in the whole universe. I wonder why that was?

Perhaps this is the feeling that invokes ultimate fear in the minds of all who live when it comes to the subject called “Death”…

It’s a trip beyond wild, honestly.

Syobon Action 1+2 – Meloncholy for an exaggerated trend

kawaii

This game… it’s something I’ve seen people play all over the internet, but personally, I never gave it any time whatsoever. Does this fit into the whole clean- up scenario that I have been running? I guess it’s OK to also do stuff that I’ve been holding off from playing for over a decade.

“Syobon Action”, a title that has been integrated into the major hive mind as a tool for projecting one’s exaggerated persona. It’s a norm that has been solidified over the years, which is usually how things go in those cases. Humanity, since it came to be, has been doing this sort of thing, what with nation and religious formations, which even to this day show off quite the major impact in the human society. It’s a tool for sorting out human types. Why do humans need to be sorted out? It’s all about providing a certain safe space for survival and potential evolution. At least that the idea, but people buy it nevertheless. Was there ever a time when we weren’t upheld by it? Maybe. But I doubt it…

So what is it about this game that’s so attractive? It’s supposed to be a Mario clone, but with a way more cruel setup. How true is that though? Increasing the instances where one is bound to fail actually works in favor to the adapting process of the mind. If anything, it gets easier for one to be able to read those further along. And it’s not like you have limited resources to do so, this game gives you all the extra tries in the universe, all you need is time to capitalize on it.

I like the subtle humor of this game and the OST selection from various cult- classic kusoge gamesoft. The original game is actually really well designed, with difficulty curve that can reach out to pretty much everyone. The fan- made sequel though, that’s where they lay on you the true nature of the game. The awful hitbox detection, the awkward and unreasonable momentum… “Syobon Action 2” makes sure to take the worst from the engine and smear it all over on top of your cake. If anything, it makes completing the game even more satisfying, honestly!

I’ve cleared the games in “Open Syobon Action”, along with the secret ice stage and the minus world for it. The minus world for the main stages of the two games I’ve streamed on twitch, but I played it on an English translated version, which also fixes the sound for Windows 10. It has been a lot of work, with around 600 accumulated deaths.

“Syobon Action” is decent, but I expected a bit more from it, not gonna lie…

Brain Hotel – A pretty unique mess

villain

I had this friend in middle school, who would spend a whole lot of time on the internet looking for brand new indie releases. After piling up a decent amount of games on numerous CDs, he would give them to me saying “Here’s a bunch of games, see if you can find anything of interest that we can play”. I was in charge of quality check, though my experience back then could not be compared to the one I currently have. The early years of the 2k were pretty magical, I have to admit. Aside from experience being an actual factor in certain decision making, I would say, there were a lot of good indie games released back then by people from all over the world. Well… you still had your fair share of garbage as well, but as I said, experience was quite the factor when it came to decision making.

Adventure games by independent studios were at their boom, with numbers back then that could not be compared at all to nowadays. One such titles that I had the displeasure of playing and recently REPLAYING on stream was “Brain Hotel”. Weirdly enough, my friend didn’t mentioned it being on the CD that I got, but the title made me curious nevertheless. Starring the story of a guy who’s wife cheats on him with their own pet dog who mutates into fully fledged furry, our hero starts a delivery service, which eventually takes him to a convention for super villains. There, he learns that one of the villains in particular plans a mass genocide during the convention, with the help of a device that would let him control all electrical appliances, potentially giving him enough recruits to form an army to carry out his diabolical plan. For the sake of goodwill you decide to stop him, with the help of the villain’s personal traitorous robot and a blow- up Wonder Woman sex doll.

Yeah, this game had a pretty specific theme for its time, that did not really aged all that well. It was that combination of weird and wacky with a bit of toilet humor in between. Certainly, this game was not the first one to try this formula and sadly, it was not the first one to fail miserably at it either.

Brain Hotel DONE!

There is something unique about the game’s graphics, but I really don’t feel happy looking at them. It’s like they tried to go for a semi- realistic look, but it just didn’t mange to make it all the way to the end, probably got lost between two cups of soda or a burger.

The game is pretty short in terms of length and the puzzles vary from simple to average in terms of difficulty.  It’s usually the case of bringing a specific item to a room and use it on a s certain object. There is no backtracking and even if you get stuck, there is but a limited amount of objects that you can interact with, thus, your options are quite limited, as long as you don’t put yourself into an Alzheimer loop.

Something that I personally enjoyed in this game is the voice acting. While there is room for improvement, overall, it’s a not all that bad. However, when it comes to the content of the actual conversations, it’s just not doing it for me. It’s all old jokes and stuff that just doesn’t do it for me… at least not anymore.

If you are looking for a short blast from the past, go give this game a spin. What I can promise is for certain the lack of high quality, but everything else on the platter is in order.

RA Invasion [Part 16] – Casual GBC suplexing.

killing machine

I’ve organized a plan for RA, where I’ll do a different console per post, with increased +1 entry each time, up to 10, after which I will make a reset. The console pick up is entirely done by RNG, although I do tend to avoid those that still lack a sufficient number of games in their library. However, for a time being, I might put that on hold, because I really want to prioritize the major clean- up that I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now. Well, I’ve kind of started it a while back, but for real, I should be more consistent with it.

Monsters, Inc. [Game Boy Color]

Monsters, Inc. DONE!

This game is a platformer that starts out pretty decently, but it quickly accelerates into shoving instant deaths into the face of the player. That comes in terms of enemies, platforming segments and boss battles. Boss battles in particular are pretty awful, because it’s not really crystal- clear as to how they should be handled, especially the second one. Another major issue is the boss patterns, which you need to learn proper, as you cannot really outrun your foe and your huge hitbox is of no help either. This game doesn’t shine all that much when it comes to level variety and some visuals in certain levels can be confusing sometimes when it comes to handling properly the platforming. The controls of this game are not very good, but I’ve seen worse. Suffice to say, even if you get used to them, performing certain difficult platforming segments still won’t feel as good as they should. At least the game is generous enough to provide you with a decent number of extra lives and HP pick- ups are all over the place.

How well does this game live up to the original source material? Last time I’ve watched “Monsters, Inc.” was probably over more than a decade ago, but from what I remember, I think this game does its job good enough. You can switch between Sulley and Mike in certain levels, but the majority of the game is dedicated to Sulley. Sulley has a bigger hitbox, can grab onto ledges and roar at sleeping children at the beginning of the game. Further along, Boo will join him for a few stages, but as far as I have played this game, I never found her attack to be of any need or use anywhere in the game. Mike is the character to go in pretty much every stage where he is available. He can double jump and has a projectile attacks, which costs 1 HP per ammo, but it’s still pretty good enough to take out most of the opposition that might try and stand in your way.

My final statement for this game is – I really hated the stage with the doors! The issue there is not the design of the stage, but rather, the fact that you need to position well to grab onto the doors in order to climb on top of them. That gets especially frustrating when it comes to the moving doors, where in some cases Sulley would refuse to grab at all, resulting in pretty much a loss of life and a restart of the whole stage. I also think that the vertical scrolling is done pretty badly. To keep up with your nemesis who is chasing you and can instantly kill you, you need to be really ahead, way past what the camera shows you even. Memorization of the level layout plays a huge role in that, but is this really how the developers intended the level to be played? Does this game suffers from a lack of quality playtesting?

I wonder…

Warlocked [Game Boy Color]

I called this game a “Budget Warcraft: Orcs and Humans”, but I don’t know how strongly do I feel about that opinion. It’s quite the unique experience, I’ve never imagined that I would ever play RTS for a handheld. I think what made me come up with that opinion for “Warlocked” more than anything was the resources gathering in this game. Come on now! A gold mine that you sent your workers to and lumber harvesting? That is so WC alright! I do like that they made different variations for the gold mine and the lumber. In some levels you gather rocks and in the underground levels you mine the gold straight from a drilled- in hole in the ground. Those are but a few simple touches that put a genuine smile on my face.

When it comes to the two factions in the game, the only differences between them are the sprites. Both Humans and Beasts play the same, they both have identical unit types and structures that share equal stats and functions. The only buildings that you can build in this game are farms, towers and barracks. Farms increase the maximum number cap of units that you can have, but sadly, no indication about it is displayed anywhere on the hub menu, which can be kind of annoying. Turrets provide a slight defense for your base. Pretty weak in general, can easily fall to merely a two melee soldiers. The barracks lets your produce either melee soldiers or archers. The first type is what you’ll be producing most of the time, as archers are more fragile, expensive and only necessary for taking down enemy dragons, really.

Maps vary from small to medium- sized. In general, the campaign missions are on the low side of difficulty. Especially the missions where you can obtain Dragons, which you can use to clean up any opposition in no time. In general though, the enemy CPU doesn’t gather resources and does not rebuild structures, but is usually fortified really well. A few waves of melee soldiers usually does the job just as well as a single drake. As for the missions themselves, they mix it up with something new and different every now and then, so it’s not always about cleaning the whole map from the CPU’s units and structures.

The bread and the butter of this game are the wizards. These are really strong units that you can rescue per each missions, after the first one for each faction. They can be stored and summoned from a temple structure, which you need to reveal on the map in order to use. They have no cost for summoning and each one can provide you with unique power. In general, most wizards can instantly kill an enemy unit. Some of them do that and turn the enemy unit into resources, which are credited to your bank right away. Some wizards can convert the enemy units into archers for your own personal army or into weak critters that you can kill in few hits. There are wizards that make your units tougher to kill or fortify your turrets to be able to sustain more damage. The list goes on and there are wizards unique to each factions, even though they are yet again a sprite swaps sharing similar stats and powers.

Maps hold secrets, like wizards, hints, maps for multiplayer and gambling mini- games that you can unlock, so full exploration is encouraged. Army stocks can be saved, imported or exported. The mini- games provide you with additional extra gold for your stock files. [?] I wonder how good multiplayer is? I haven’t experience it yet, but would really like to at some point in the future.

The RA achievements push one towards finding all the wizards. While that is fine and dandy, wizard distribution is unique for each new save file. Luckily, that distribution comes in the form of a few unique sets, all of which have been recorded by a guy on the internet. I’m really glad that documentation exists, because honestly, there is no point in replaying the campaigns over and over, without any knowledge regarding the wizards spawn order. In my case, I was literally chasing after finding sprite swaps of wizards that I’ve already experienced during my first initial run. [Only Sage and Necromancer were left when I consulted the documentation.] Is this a form of cheating or did I do good for saving time chasing wild gooses? I’ll let you be the judge of that…

The plot of this game is pretty bland for each faction, wherein you just build up your path towards dethroning the lead figure of the opposing nation. The music in this game is pretty catchy and it fits quite well with the muffled and bland voices of the units. It’s quite the hilarious experience, I really enjoyed it!

Having trouble defending your main hall? Put a wizard there to halt all attacks along with a worker to repair all the damage. If you have a wizard than can convert enemies into resources or archers, you can turn the attacks into quite the profit! It requires a little bit of micro, but it’s quite effective.

This game… It’s not really amazing, but it can be the perfect gateway game for anyone who wants to get into the RTS genre. Personally, I give it a honest 6/10.

[Beta] Omnistone Journey (100 Wins)

ivern

100 bloody battles have been won on the Howling Abyss using the power of the Omnistone! This keystone isn’t really all that good in general. The damage output is quite low, even on champions that can benefit from all keystones. Take also into consideration that fights never cease on this map. I barely get to 1300 damage on average. Maybe I’m not using it well? I do tend to miss on activating all of my keystones, but then again, some situations require you to take your time and be patient. Utility wise, the Omnistone is… better than nothing I guess. I wish they could include Guardian and US in the shuffle as well, at least for HA. I understand why they were not included in first place, SR always takes priority overall…

The champion who scored most wins up to now using the Omnistone is Ivern. I think he is OK for HA, but with Omnistone… It’s not like his damage output changes all that much. If anything, it hurts his utility more as a whole. Still, he is our top guy… for now.

Account level is at 29. So close to 30… All 450 and 1350 BS champions have been obtained, except for Zilean.

I screen and save every win. I thought about making an archive and uploading it, but I think I’ll hold off until we get some decent numbers for this project.

As a reward for reaching this simple milestone, I will include some additional stuff for this project:

Every Boost provided from a stranger would net this project 1 Milk Coin. [Party members do not count!]

Every champion who reaches level 5 will earn additional 5 Milk Coins.

I can see the potential death in this project, if at any point the Omnistone gets removed or changed significantly. Until the grim time comes though, I should just do my best and try to score as much as possible.

Next milestone – 1000 Wins!