Potluck – Joy Autumn Best Time!

Potluck

It’s autumn! Autumn is my favorite season of all the seven existing ones! The invigorating cool temperatures are finally settling in, I get to wear all the sweaters in the universe, nature is preparing for the harsh wintery time ahead and brats are finally off to school, giving me the opportunity to actually enjoy a cup of tea in peace for once…

Potluck 2

To further enhance the whole magical experience of the season, I went and picked “Potluck” – A short indie game which I think manages to capture the whole [Autumn] feeling really well. You have your cute witches making potluck and the main witch protagonist who’s also named Potluck, demon king salesman stealing the potluck – a typical attitude from the profession around this time of the year, exploding tomato power-up and THE BEST SWAMP LEVEL IN VIDEOGMAMING!

Imagine “Pocky & Rocky”, but for the PC, way shorter in terms of length, but with really unique feeling to it! The music and graphics fit together so well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a good combination before. The perfect fit, where I can blabble for hours on how much of a good time I had with the game! I personally enjoyed the various enemy types, despite how simple they might look.They just feel so… in place with the rest…

“Potluck” is like a hundred- piece puzzle of a nice, nature scene [~] that you complete on a cold day. Also, shooting things. It’s fun!

Potluck DONE!

“Potluck” is free of charge and it’s for the PC, computer machine – a common trait for nice and good video games! [no] There is also an alternative version which, tunes down difficulty and destroys any challenge whatsoever in the game. My advice – It’s not a good idea to play that version, because for some reason / the which that gives you the exploding tomato power- up got evicted from her home and the building has been razed to the ground/ . The key to her house still lies around the swamp – a dark reminisce of how tolerant society can be towards things they can’t understand, like the said tomato that gives exploding magic.

“Potluck” receives the award for the comfiest autumn- themed game!

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.;”\\\\\\ Ib //////”;.

ibmination

This was requested by Sapphire SlimeMaiden, who was kind enough to donate fifty octopus dumplings, all delivered via a very rude drone. Thank you! I love food, especially when I actually get to consume it!

So, long ago, a darkness felt on the lands of Parthoris. Cities burned and people complained. Meanwhile, in our world, there was a hype over various horror- themed RPGMaker games. That was a few years ago, back around the time I started university. I remember my friends talking about games like “The Witch’s House”, “Clock Tower”, “Invaders”, “Kekcroc”, “Life is peanut”, “Ib” and what the hell is an IB? How do you even pronounce it, I asked? Is it Ai – Bee? – to which I was IMMEDIATELY corrected and scolded. Thus, given that information in mind, I started calling the game Ai – Bee and then I had no more friends.

To be honest, “Ib” was one of the games that I really and truly enjoyed compared to other titles of the same genre that came around that time. The game presented a pretty innovative take on the horror genre, what with a theme of being lost in a weird art gallery, all in all with dozens of interesting characters, events and solid puzzles to enhance further the overall gameplay. Ib, a girl, nine years old, is the main protagonist of the game. Crimson- red colored eyes, chestnut-brown hair, red skirt, white blouse and a huge big mac in her hand. What seems like a casual visit to an art exhibition with her parents, slowly turns into nightmare of art and roses. It’s up to you to guide Ib to escape from the unnaturally behaving art gallery, one way or another!

ibmary

The structure of the game revolves mainly around solving puzzles. That being said, the variety is huge, without any actual recycling or instances for backtracking. The art gallery is composed of levels, which are indicated by the different color of the flooring. Usually, your main goal is to find a key so you can proceed to each new level. However, once that is done, there is no actual need to go back to previously visited places. As a whole, the game makes sure you’ve go through,seen and explored everything. Ib do have an HP meter, which is represented by a Red rose. Harmful encounters exist in the form of actual moving enemies and certain interaction with specific objects. However, given that you get to restore all your potentially lost HP at water vases and that Ib outruns every existing enemy in the game, it is unlikely that you’ll find yourself getting a game over. The only factor for that is probably the lack of knowledge regarding certain areas, mainly the [panic] ones.

“Ib” took me a while to fully complete. No doubt, this is one of the entries I’ve spent lots of my personal time on. Continuing with further explanation of the game, I’ll also note down certain aspects that were the main reason for me to replay the game over 15 times!

At certain point in the game, Ib meets two additional human [?] characters – Garry and Mary. At that point, once they join party with Ib, interacting with specific objects and responding in certain ways during conversations will ultimately determine their fate, as well as your own. Numerous endings with different outcomes are featured in the game, with some being pretty easy and obvious as to how to obtain. Now, I’ve played the game before a lot and I remember managing to get to every single one without any problems whatsoever. The same thing also happened on a session around a month ago. HOWEVER, after the request, I started having trouble getting to endings which I was always able to. How could have that happen?…

The “True Guertena Exhibit” is a place that unlocks after you beat the “NewGame+” dungeon, which I’ve never seen before, but I really enjoyed as an addition. However, for things to unlock in it, you need to replay the game various times. This made me fly through the game a number of times, missing on objects, interactions and sections which I thought to be…

… of no actual value to the game’s main requirements for a successful run. Saving time eh? And I was wrong. I went as far as to consult with the actual wiki and I saw what my downfall was. Everything in the game matters, even reading a simple note that stands on the side, looking unimportant and whatnot. But on a single run where I’ve went through everything and saved at key locations, that would let me view the endings that I desire, that could have never been the case. Is the intended replay value a huge minus to the game’s structure? I’ll let you be the judge. I could say a thing like: “Maybe the game could’ve had at least some sort of point indicator regarding your actions, be it even indirect one.” I’ve played a game recently with such and I was really pleased with the results. I’m not sure what to say about “Ib” when it comes to that matter. Maybe I just lack common sense, maybe things were placed way out of their way? Who KNOWS?

IB 1.1 DONE!

In the end, I still like “Ib” for what it is – A really fun game, with good puzzles and bits of classy horror. Yes, horror should be experienced as an idea, not as an actual feeling! Don’t watch “Jason X”.

Did I mentioned that I like the graphics and music in “Ib”? If not, there it is! They are pretty great. [spoiler///…;l, I LOVE MARY/..\\\ []] I remember Ib fans hating Mary fans for some reason, while Garry fans being just “Whatever…” GOOD TIMES! 9 out of 10 this gmae!

Red Eyes is creepy! I hate the places where it pop- up randomly! I really do!

Yes, there is also… the Hardcore modification of “Ib”, which adds that one fan- made ending and the option to play through the game with only 1 HP. However, there is a place that still heals you, as to make the puzzle for the fish key… possible/fair??? I don’t know, I’ve managed to play through the modification with full HP due to that! I’m laughing. [T]

Moonlight Ghost – Smashing pot hit!

Moonlight Ghost art

“Moonlight Ghost” is a game made in [RPGMaker – Universe Unlimited] that I’ve played a few years ago and despite having hard time with the post- game boss, [After over 20 tries I gave up…] this game left me with a reasonably good impression. As I revisited this title yet again, I can say that my opinion on it managed to retain it’s position from past perspective. I’m really glad I came back to it once more!

Entitled “A reverse horror game, where you do the horror!”, this game is more of a enjoyable, “take your time” – comfortable experience, with fairly low difficulty. if you exclude the final two missions. The plot revolves around a Boy who, under the influence of the moonlight which was being powered by MAGIC, departs from his body and becomes a ghost. By acquiring this new form, the Boy becomes invisible to normal eyesight, thus, his main priorities shift to sneaking into women’s bathrooms and breaking the unlimited supply of barrels and pots in the city, along with playing the piano, ring church bells and throwing stuffed teddy bears into water wells, which is of course ruining a tradition from over a millennium! The truth is though, that you do all these things, [Except for the first one which never happens!] for the sake of making noise and scaring people around town. While the Boy has various reasons for scaring certain people, most of them are usually with good intentions, wherein sometimes even he is not aware of it until a certain point.  There are four chapters in total plus a bonus one, all bundled together with a pretty nice plot, good number of characters, enjoyable dialogue and even some exploration in the post- game chapter! There are secrets everywhere and you should try to find them all!

Let me tell you about the actual gameplay through! It feels like such a simple formula, yet it manages to be really entertaining. Why?

In each mission, there is a target. The target is a person that moves and it’s your job to scare them and delay them from reaching their objective in time. You accomplish this by attracting/ “scaring” them with noise, either by breaking, moving or interacting with certain item/ switch. Each person has a radius around their body, which picks on the noise that you make. The various noises that you make have their own radius as well, which plays quite the role in attracting/ “scaring” the target. Barrels and pots can be pushed and combos can be made by “scaring” the target multiple times in a row, which rewards you a huge amount of extra points! How does this all shape the gameplay? Despite how seemingly simple the initial idea sounds, you can tell that speed and strategy would be needed if one is to achieve good results! You don’t get anything from scoring an “S” rank on all the missions… YOU DON’T! Well, there is the satisfaction… but… I really wanted some unique reward… dammit…!!! To be fair, scoring an “S” is actually pretty easy, as long as you make sure that you get the maximum combo on each screen. A good advice – Try to either make the target run around a table or bring him/her all the way back from the exit to the start of the screen! This is especially crucial in the very last stage, where every step and combo is of the essence! The actual final boss “The Spirit Queen” is more about proper timing, as her speed is pretty INSANE! I’m glad I managed to finally beat her though, all in less than 10 tries! /////

Moonlight Ghost DONE!

The music was also pretty enjoyable and the graphics/art are quite pretty and colorful. You also get to unlock some art pieces, with some lewd art in between here and there. I’m sorry if you are Christian and you have problem with hair covering boobs or underwear on butts, but that’s just how God decided to test you! You can watch or you can go back to making your healthy meal of oats and frog milk, but let me tell you, there isn’t a third opinion and none of the initial two will lead you to Christian happiness! As for me, this game has lead me to my own happiness of giving it a solid 8.5 out of 10. I wish there were more difficult levels and maybe something could have been done to the plain nature on some of the characters. Is this last one even an actual problem or me trying to find excuses not to fully appreciate this game? I think the answer here is pretty obvious…

Out There Somewhere is a game worth your crackers!

out there somewhere

This is a game that I casually grabbed when it was on a sale, without really giving it much of a thought. As usual, it was left untouched for a few months, which is of course a classic tradition when it comes to the STEAM platform. Once I came around to finally play it, I was left with a pretty good impression. Upfront I am willing to say that this game was way worth for what little cash I payed for it.

In the game, you play as Yuri – A guy-space man on a space ship who, with his crew, fight against a conqueror-villain person named Grigori. The game starts as a classic horizontal SHMUP, which seemed like a pretty plain part of the game to me. Not too long after ten minutes of me fighting the unbeatable boss that popped up at some point, I realized that the game MIGHT be expecting me to lose so I can proceed to a further show composed of neat CGs, all and all leading to the actual game.

The ship crashes on an unknown, mysterious planet and it’s up to you to help Yuri navigate through various platforming sections in search for parts needed for a repair. The game does a good job of giving you a proper introduction to some basic movement controls and not too many screens later, it introduces you to the bread and butter of the game: Teleportation gun! Whenever a bullet fired from the gun gets into contact with a terrain [-?beam/laser], Yuri will be instantly teleported there. Now how cool is that? I found it to be quite the great gimmick! The game really goes places with it, without even being shy about combining it with a classic, basic gimmick – That being the other gun, which shoots normal bullets that cause death and destruction. The puzzles in “Out There Somewhere” are nothing too mind-blowing, but they are definitely impressive. Enemies also exist, which you can avoid via your portal gun or you can slaughter them for your own personal survival and satisfaction, once your obtain the normal gun. Their attack and movement patterns are fairly basic, so it’s nothing a young and courageous- planet explorer can’t handle!

Out There Somewhere DONE!

“Out There Somewhere” is a pretty short game, with moderate difficulty. You are in for some great music and graphics, along with a decent sized- world to explore. The various NPCs that you meet during the game are more on the simple side in terms of dialogue and design, which reminds me a bit of the Knytt games and other similar titles. Also, the people who made this game used the Ogmo-Jumper-Ogmo engine, which explains why this game gives me additional familiar vibes. The controls are really smooth and responsive, to the point where I had trouble getting used to them. Such is the hardship of a person who plays mainly games with horrible controls…

I liked the atmosphere in the game. When it comes to planet exploring, the game managed to impress me with its own share on the idea. What I also liked about the game was the usage of checkpoints – While most people might be used to them as being a bland save option, for once they also serve as a way to trackback and undercover certain areas. You would think that this game might feel like a Metroidvania, but honestly, that aspect is pretty minor. The game is pretty linear, but it has a really decent replay value.

What I didn’t enjoy about this game was the ending sequence as well as the final boss, wherein I think there could have been more to them, especially the latter. It’s not like they are ruining the game in some fashion, but they are clearly not adding much to it.

It’s an overall 9 out there somewhere around 10!

Asahina Mikuru no Yoko Scroll Action – Contact lenses are weapons, Mikuru beam is blue – This platformer is hell, especially if you are new!

asahina

It was the Golden Age of anime, as Suzumiya Haruhi emerged from the emerald gardens of Japan and everyone accepted her as their literal goddess and the best anime/light novel ever made. Eventually, the Haruhi Lemmings would later become corrupted with the influence of Lucky☆Star, transforming into what we now call a man in his early 30s working at McDonald’s. I however, learned of Haruhi due to someone making a character model of her for M.U.G.E.N. To be fair, due to that platform, I pretty much got into toehoe, anime and doujin games in general. At least that’s how it used to be in the past, nowadays I just pay bills and shower three times a week.

Once I finished watching the whole of season one and read at least one chapter from the light novel, I craved to find and potentially play what Haruhi-based games might exist. I was madly in love with the series [until season two], due to the fact that it gave me a new and unique sensation, saying that as I person who mainly grew up watching few anime shows originating from the 70s to 90s. It’s like having your first crush on a girl in middle school, until you find about “Age of Empires II”!

There was this one game where you play as Haruhi herself and you get to move around the screen and shoot at falling stars and aliens. It was pretty colorful and fun, a game that I still like to this day! Another one was a game where you fight in a 3D arena. It was also pretty fun, but it ran fairly slow on my older PC. It had a good variety of characters and unlockables. I might consider revisiting it at some point in the future, who knows?

AND then, there was THIS! “Asahina Mikuru no Yoko Scroll Action” is a platformer based on that one bit from the Haruhi series, where the main cast makes a movie about magic, action and contact lenses shooting beams.

In the game, you take control of Asahina Mikuru, who sets on an adventure through EIGHT stages, all composed of literal, boring – gray platforms, like-like enemies, which tend to spawn in silly numbers as the game goes on and bosses who tend to become desperate, which makes them go to the most left side of the screen in an attempt to escape to a better game. As it is quite impossible for them to perform that action, they usually end up using their attacks off screen or they turn and start spamming them at you! It’s a wonderful world, especially if you consider Haruhi’s hard-to impossible to dodge explosion attack, unless you quickly go behind her or you hold yourself way up in the air via a special weapon.

Asahina DONE! I think

The bread and the butter of the platforming in this game is pretty much knowing how to time your double jump, as well as keeping a steady running momentum. While this game offers quite the arsenal, normal enemies are not that big of a deal. The most they can do is usually caught you off guard during your double jump and push you into a pit. Your default weapon is good enough to deal with most treats, not that good against bosses, really. If you lose your special weapon, you are more or less screwed during late-game bosses. How efficient the special weapons are really depends on their type and the location. Some weapons might make a certain part of a stage go like a breeze or another feel like hell on the slow bus show. You have the opportunity to switch them quite often, which is pretty nice. PICK THE CLOSE RANGED – WAVE WEAPON TO MAKE SHORT WORK OF ANY BOSS! Bosses can be a pain, especially due to their randomized movements and attack patterns. Fighting them usually revolves around being at a certain safe spot and in few cases – The RNG mercy! In few cases. This game is quite doable in 1CC, even without losing a life!

I don’t have anything to say about the music and the graphics really, they don’t feel all that special or impressive as a whole. They are OK! The difficulty of this game goes really high up after the forth stage. Stage five to eight is like a new game plus, where the first four stages are redesigned and bosses receive a few improvements in their attack patterns. Stage seven especially is the one which might be the reason for a player to drop this game. You could say that it’s pretty difficulty and it requires a series of precise platforming, along with keeping your momentum up all the time! What’s even worse is that sometimes when you think you’ve jumped off the edge of a platform, it would turn out that you were actually starting to fall and the jump that you used was your second one, which means that YOU DIE! [Similar experience I had in the first “Jumper” game!]

My advise for that level is to adjust your position on the platforms every now and then! While it might kill your momentum a little bit, it will secure you a steady position for your next jump, because honestly, you don’t really need all that much speed to make it to most platforms!

Another advise from me is that you should kill as many enemies as you can, so you can increase you life counter. The last stage even has enough enemies to supply you each time with a single life, so even if you lose at the boss, you pretty much have unlimited tries! Wait, you do have unlimited tries! The continues are unlimited! But what fun is this game if you don’t get the awesome secret message for the no continue run, right?

RIGHT?

Overall, this game is pretty bland and it pretty much capitalized on a hyphy trend for its time. I like it for what it is though. Like, no adore! 4.7 out of 10!!!