Beating games is okay, but you can always do better 翔子’s profile

I like a lot of things most people seem to dislike.

I can also get snappy if our opinions clash - in case that happens, please tell me and I’ll try to adapt.

If I don’t have anything cool to say, I’m probably playing: Coloring Game, Coloring Game: Little City, Coloring Pixels, Dot to Dot Puzzles

For my ABC Challenges, go here: General, Hidden Object Games, Point and Clicks, Visual Novels.

Monthly themes I took part in: May 2019 (actually totally forgot about that one), July 2019, August 2019, May 2020, June 2020, July 2020

See dem sweet Steam stats here.
PlayStation stats are here.


Kill #0.75: 14/10/20

…yes, this post is late. I’m still working out ideas for the new look and struggling to motivate myself.

Mushroom Cats 2

0.3 hours, 37 of 37 achievements

Click to expand

A paid sequel to Mushroom Cats, now with more cats, more mushrooms and more hats! If you've seen Mushroom Cats before, the formula is the same - finding hats and putting them on cats. How many more times can one say "cats" and "hats"? It truly is a mystery!
I bought this game on sale and meant to complete it earlier for a monthly theme; needless to say, that failed. Still, Mushroom Cats 2 was a short and sweet addition to my library. Recommended for kids and adults alike!


Next up: Ceee~le-brate good (?) times, come on!

Kill #0.5: 14/10/20

Half-Life 2

Sweet Story Bad Girl

0.1 hours
7 of 7 achievements

A surprise warm-up before I get into the real stuff!
This, uh… this wasn't good. The art is most likely stolen, the music - grating and I don't know if there even is any kind of a cheap thrill to be gotten out of this. There is a free +18 DLC, but since the achievements don't go that far, I'm not bothered to, either.

Next up… dancing with corpses?

Progress report: Wait, you’re still alive?!

Yes… I am. rolls eyes, sighing
Life really got me good this time around. My laptop noped out on me back in August, or so I thought… but then it didn’t really… but then it actually did. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a new one ever since then - I knew I would need it for school anyway - and due to… again, life getting in the way, I only got to start using my new laptop today. My mind is spinning from all the logging in and password recovery I had to go through today, but at least I’m back! And with a 64bit system, too! Yaaay! :D

Since I’m going back to school, though, I’m thinking I might try and start picking my targets off one by one.
First up, a game I’ve been just about dying to play~!

Progress report: Fourth week of July ‘20 a.k.a. …wait, that means it’s August already?

Mmm… yeah, nope, I’m still too busy fangirling on the daily. I just squeezed this one in an hour before Sunday ended.

1.9 hours
Kii-kii?

Upon Bangledeschler's suggestion, I got the Borderless Gaming app and this nightmare finally fullscreened properly for me. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Creature Romances is an indie VN in which the protagonist is the only human around. Sadly, no reason why is given, because the focus is spending time with his childhood friend, Kokonoe Kokoro… who is a grasshopper. I'm really not into bugs (and this VN did nothing to attract me more to them), so this will most likely be the only title about bugs I ever play. Besides the whole "lack of fullscreen option despite its existence in the menu" fiasco, I didn't have any other problems with this VN. Still, I don't see myself recommending it to anyone, ever.

See you next week! :)

Progress report: Third week of July ‘20 a.k.a. Just So This Week Isn’t Left Empty…

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

6 of 6 achievements

I've never had the chance to play an Animal Crossing game before, and, needless to say, I've been getting jealous of people who got the newest one for the Switch and have been able to put so much time into it… so I got this one and I have to say, it's just as fun as I expected it to be! For the time being, I got all the achievements and am aiming to keep it on my phone until I get to link my progress with a Nintendo Switch account.

Pokémon Masters

Pokémon Masters

2 of 10 achievements

I'm not big on Pokémon, so the intricacies of this game are probably lost on me, but the story seems straight-forward so far. I am aiming to bounce from the game when I unlock all achievements, but I'm going to try my best to keep it on my phone until I get a Nintendo Switch account to link my progress to.

The Sims: FreePlay

The Sims: FreePlay

8 of 51 achievements

According to release timelines, this game came out after The Sims 3… and it's better of the two mobile games I know of. In FreePlay, you can slowly build up a town made up of households, which you later move new Sims in, as well as buildings they can work or shop at. While a construction is in progress on the town map (and that's what you're always going to want to do), you can control your Sims individually to complete various goals and get rewards to progress further. The goals are what makes the game so addicting, if only because they don't stop coming (and they won't stop coming). I might as well try and play the game until I get some more achievements.

The Sims Mobile

The Sims Mobile

7 of 10 achievements

This one is basically The Sims 4 for mobile devices, however… it's bad. Really, really bad. You can only control one household, made up of the maximum of four Sims (and even that is only possible assuming you're willing to pay tons of in-game currency for it) …and everything is a boring clickfest. The game presents the process of deepening relationships, furthering careers and learning hobbies as "stories", but the reality is that you send the Sim on work shifts or friend/lover meetings and keep interacting with things that give you points until the event time runs out or you gather enough points to make it end earlier. Stuff's so boring I can't believe there are actual communities for it out there. However, since I've gotten most achievements easily (and they give a lot of points, too), I decided to try and see it through to the end… of the achievement list, that is.

UtaPri

Uta no ☆ Prince-sama: Shining Live

14 of 14 achievements

Ah, yes, I'm finally talking about the game my husbando is a part of.
If you ever played an anime-based mobile rhythm game, you might know how this works, but in case you haven't: while tapping along to the beat is an important part of the gameplay, if you want to end up with a high score, you first need to boost the levels of the cards representing your unit. The more rare a card is, the stronger you'll be able to make it in the end. To make it easier on you, when you start playing, the game will ask you to choose your favorite idol and you will get one of their UR cards as a freebie (which can already give you an immense jump; my current save is the third time I try playing the game and leveling up the first UR instantly never failed me). There's also a main story, spread over nearly 20 chapters at this point, side stories for all the available cards, as well as special stories that release during events. The whole game also contains many different goals, for completing which you receive items used to level up the cards or unlock bonus content (outfits, side stories, voice lines).
Remember how I mentioned you can choose one of the idols as your favorite? The game utilizes a "live 2D" engine, which not only lets you watch the idols move around and gesture in the stories; you can also tap your favorite idol on the home screen to make him say random things, more of which you can unlock by using his cards in the rhythm game.
The UtaPri franchise has been growing like a monster for 10 years already, but this might just be the best part of it for the Western audience (considering the fact that the original games have never been localized). If anything, it's the one mobile game I don't plan on giving up.

See you next week! :) You’re free to place your bets: will I be cured of my mobile game addiction by then or not?

Progress report: (Actually?) Second week of July ‘20 a.k.a. Stuck in Mobile Game Hell…

Just like the title states… I picked up the spare phone I got recently and after realizing I could totally play games on it… that’s what I did. I took way, way, way too many games upon myself at once and that’s why this post is the way it is.

5.7 hours
...with catgirls?

I've had high hopes for this VN ever since I learned of its existence… and then the rabid influx of catgirl fans absolutely killed it for me. More specifically, the sleek UI and the cuteness were on point, but the eroge staples… I feel like I never played one before, considering how annoyed I got at those. First, there aren't any males around besides the MC and his father (who never shows up in person), as if that's realistic. Following that, all the humanoid cats are female, as if that also makes any sense. Seriously, there's the usual "1-2 friend(s) and/or rival(s) of the same gender" staple, and then there's just unrealistic wish fulfillment. And it's a little creepy, too. The MC goes from thinking of the catgirls as his daughters (even though they're not) to straight-up dicking them just because they're in heat. That ain't it, chief. Still, I feel like I gained some resistance to all the "nyahaha~"-ing and "goshujin, goro-goro"-ing, so I'm curious to learn about the other catgirls from the later volumes.

See you next week! Hopefully I’ll be cured from my newfound addiction by then :)

Progress report: Second week of July ‘20

Is it the second week? Or is it only the first one? The concept of time is just all-around annoying at this point.

Gomo - Here, you play as Gomo, a stitched-up creature, who wakes up one day only to realize that its dog, Dingo, was abducted by an alien. The game is very limited, and therefore straight-forward, so it could be a good choice for kids (as long as your kid doesn’t mind the dark brown palette and the fact that Gomo single-handedly stops a war by launching a nuke). It’s one of those games that almost constantly get a 90% discount, which is the price I got it at during the Summer Sale and the price I would recommend getting it at any point.

Summer Fling - The premise is simple: you’re a soon-to-be college student and on the first day of summer break you gather up the courage to invite two of your beautiful female friends on a trip to your parents’ lake house. Then, you choose which girl you’d like to romance, or even if you’d like both - there’s a hidden harem route! The choices are mostly freebies, like “Which one of us do you like more? A/B/C - both”, although you also help the girls with choosing swimsuits and this is probably the first time I’ve ever experienced swimwear holding this much value in a game. While this was my first experience with a VN from Dharker Studio, I’m surprised this wasn’t their first VN - I’m not sure if I would be satisfied if I were a backer of the Kickstarter for it. The background art looked okay, the music was pleasant, but nothing special; the girls were both pretty, although they seem to suffer from the same-face syndrome (and the way their sprites slid from side to side when changing expression was kinda annoying) and the font choice was peculiar, but readable. I noticed that the game seemed to stop itself at certain points, so I went ahead and got the free adult content patch… it still felt like the game was holding itself back. The visuals didn’t even try to match the text and neither were very titillating - I’ve read fanfiction that managed to excite me more.

Transparent Black - Set in the same universe as Confess My Love, Transparent Black focuses on who seems to have been the love interest in the previous game (her name is redacted this time around, as is the boy’s name whenever mentioned). Maybe it’s just that it’s been a while since I played Confess My Love, but taking their relation into account, it’s hard to believe that this game makes sense. What I have to give it, though, is that it was less random than the other game and thus easier to complete.

Viki Spotter: Camping - This randomly popped up on Steam’s front page, so I decided to get it for a quick 100%. I’m not sure how fun it would be for kids, as the differences are super easy to spot. What I do know, however, is that the background music was a really annoying loop that I muted probably not even a minute in.

See you next week! :)

Progress report: (whatever’s left of the) First week of July ‘20

I’m still being called much more strongly by my console games… but I’m not giving up on Steam! There’s a lot of summery stuff to play!

Here’s what I assassinated in those five days, though:

  • Dr. Daisy: Pet Vet

    3.4 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Pixel Puzzles 2: Christmas

    10.4 hours playtime

    27 of 27 achievements

  • Summer Rush

    2.9 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • THE AWKWARD STEVE DUOLOGY

    1.5 hours playtime

    3 of 3 achievements

Dr. Daisy: Pet Vet - This was baaad. So bad. Not even naming its release year (2008) can justify how bad it is, because by that time PlayFirst was already massively popular thanks to their Dash series, which follows the same concept. Dr. Daisy: Pet Vet is about Daisy - a main character so unimportant that I forgot her last name - an aspiring veterinarian, who just started her residency. And what a residency it is! During its course, she gets to treat animals in five different places, each one casually sending her over to the next every ten levels. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think many places, if any at all, are able to make up that kind of crazy residency period.) Then again, the gameplay is so lacking and repetitive that it’s impossible to look at it realistically. It all consists of check animal in - get it seated on an examination table - examine - run blood test/do x-ray (optional) - give medicine. Heart’s Medicine is about treating people and yet it did it all so much better! Also, while the Dash games weren’t necessarily aimed at children, Dr. Daisy feels very children-aimed, which is why it’s such a flop in terms of letting kids learn - the game thinks up pet-specific illnesses, which, while creative, are wildly impossible and might even go over children’s heads (Like elephants trying to work as stenographers or, uh… I think there was something about chickens banking or investing in stocks?), and even then, the medicine you give those animals is pretty the same all the time. It’s like the FarmVille controversy before FarmVille was even a thing. What also personally really annoyed me was the sound design. The BGM was already nothing to write home about, but then every animal has its own soundbite that the devs felt needed to play every few seconds, as long as the animal is in the clinic; as well as the soundbite that indicates patience loss. Now imagine playing a level with twelve different animals (the maximum a level can hold), all of whom are constantly losing patience unless you pay attention to them. Speaking of patience loss, that, coupled with the lousy and unsatisfying upgrade system (which, to add insult to injury, resets with every new stage) is what ultimately makes this game a repetitive, boring and yet fairly easy (with an occasional pinch of frustrating) clickfest. The bonuses that are supposed to help you are so weak at the start that you just want to upgrade them. Guess what? The upgrades are all decided by the game and mandatory, which means that you’ll spend half of them decorating the clinic instead of making the game less of a chore. Not that there’s any real payoff to the whole thing. All in all, I can’t, in good conscience, recommend this game to anybody. We should all do ourselves a favor and support Blue Giraffe/GameHouse instead, they seem to get it right.

Pixel Puzzles 2: Christmas - Christmas? In the middle of summer? Why the hell not? I could almost smell the pine while solving one of those jigsaws! If you’ve ever experienced any of the Pixel Puzzles games, you know the drill by now. A mildly annoying, but still playable jigsaw game.

Summer Rush - What better time to play a game about managing a beach resort than the summer… in the middle of a pandemic… Aaanyway, in this one you play as Jennifer, an FBI agent sent out to investigate recent disappearances - specifically, disappearances of beach owners. To be able to do her work undercover, Jennifer starts managing a very basic beach resort - and that’s where the player comes in. The gameplay is standard time management fare - get visitor seated and continue delivering everything they ask for until they leave. What I found unusual was that this game doesn’t have a mechanic for trashing items you don’t need - simply click what you want to carry and it’ll swap out the unneeded item. The upgrade system is just a little bit away from hitting the spot; right before you think you’ll be able to max most things out after the next level, the story takes you to another resort and locks the previous one behind you. I should probably mention that once in a while there will also be a HOG level, but while easier, those levels are just not worth talking about. And while there is a story, like I mentioned, it’s uninteresting, written in broken English and the ending is anticlimactic. I found the music okay, but it’s one of those looping track deals, so you might find yourself muting it fairly quickly; however, the voices of the clients were just outright weird (I found Jennifer’s “Hello!” at the start of every level particularly creepy). Other than the story mode, there’s nothing else to do (even though I’m not one to play endless modes anyway), so this is now completed. Progress on summery games, woo!

THE AWKWARD STEVE DUOLOGY - A two-in-one FMV about the misadventures of Awkward Steve. In both stories, you’re tasked with helping Steve survive (quite literally) the challenges he has to face. Thankfully, Awkward Steve is not much of a thrill-seeker, but… an introvert …and, as a fellow introvert, I found myself relating to Steve very easily. While the first story is the one that might be better at piquing one’s attention, I think that the second one was much more interesting, in the end. I also have to note just how awesome it is that this game was made just by one person - the man who played Awkward Steve - and released by Oh, a Rock! Studios, whom I’m starting to like more and more. I’m eager to check out more of their games now.

See you next week! :)

Progress report: Fourth week (+ last days) of June ‘20

Get it? Last Day of June? The game that’s still in my backlog? Aaanyway, that was weak; let’s move on.

Pretty much everything these days was fine and dandy… until yesterday. I tried eating a melon, like I would usually do when there is one at home… and suddenly, my mouth started burning. For context, I haven’t eaten anything else for a while before eating. Also, I’ve eaten only somewhat spicy things (not too good with that stuff) in my life before - like jalapeno peppers or… well, soups with too much pepper (that’s how sensitive I am)… and I recognized fairly quickly that this was much worse. So I tried seeing if anyone online ever had this kind of problem and I was lead to believe that it’s a minor oral allergy, which “shouldn’t go beyond an annoyance”. With my mouth still burning, I tried mixing the rest of the melon with milk and honey, which are known to ease burning in the mouth, and leaving it overnight to bite. However, I’m really not convinced by what that site said, since the stinging ended up lasting until I went to sleep (so for about 4 hours) and now that I woke up, I still feel numb where I got burned. This is all super weird, because until now, I’ve been convinced that I was never allergic to any of the things I know (save for a minor allergy during childhood) and I’ve especially liked eating melon, because of how soft it is and tastes. If any of you fellow assasins were interested enough to read the paragraph, I’d love your input on this (preferably if you’re not as confused as I am).

Either way, this week’s assassinations are down here:

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden - You could have called this game “BioShock: The Hidden Object Adventure” and no one would have argued with you. …maybe except 2K, I think they would have liked their sales cut. I feel kinda lied to by the promotional art; while the protagonist does seem to look kinda like that, her function is different than her dress code suggests, if that makes any sense? Also, she’s voiced by the same woman AM seems to not let out of their voice booth; some original protagonist that is. Anyway, yeah, as much as I feel like I missed out on a lot of plot while playing BioShock, I strongly feel that Abyss parroted its themes. The minigames in this one were either stupid easy or really dang hard, in my opinion. It all required a second playthrough for achievements’ sake, but luckily, this one is a standalone, so there’s nothing more to see later. Done and dusted.

Answer Knot - Follow suggestions simulator, basically. The initial premise made it seem much more interesting than the plot twist ended up being. I’m not really a fan of aliens, after all.

Captain Firebeard and the Bay of Crows - I really am glad the monthly theme got me to complete this game, ‘cause otherwise I don’t think I’d touch it so soon, if ever. Captain Firebeard’s story is set in the 1700s and tells the story of an adventure the titular character and his crew set out on after learning about the Bay of Crows. The VN was made in my arch-nemesis of the dinosaur variety… but I have to say, it doesn’t look half as bad as most VNs running on the same script do. The writing of the whole thing is also much more better than True Lover’s Knot, which is another VN from this studio that I’ve had the (dis?)pleasure of reading. The director notes in his commentary (found in the DLC) that he took care to be as historically accurate as possible after the studio was called out on the inaccuracies found in another VN of theirs (yikes?), so I also have to give credit for that, although without personal comment, since I don’t know anything about pirates or sailing boats. Still, there are downsides. I believe the devs are, by now, well-known for including minigames in each of their games, and this one was no exception. The minigame present here was much less enjoyable than the one found in True Lover’s Knot (which seems to be one they default to more often) and for some reason its audio only worked in one ear, but at least the achievements related to it were lenient (and didn’t bug for me, thankfully, as I’ve seen reviews mentioning that possibility). Speaking of the audio… the voice acting is really “meh”. I have heard worse, buuut… Captain Firebeard is the most important character in the story and he looks like he’s well over 40 years old at least, so why does he sound like a twenty-something shouting and rolling the R in his room? The non-English characters are going in and out of their accents, the first mate gets the emotions wrong at times and it really irks me how they didn’t seem to know the right way to pronounce certain words or which word to put an accent on. Thankfully, there is one importantly British character and her voice is perfect, no audio or acting issues. All in all the game wasn’t a bad time, but I found myself thinking “please end now”… right before it ended on a big cliffhanger. It has been almost three years since the game was released though, so I’m pretty sure there was never actually a plan to continue the story; maybe except for the spin-off DLC, which I also happen to own, but discovered that it doesn’t work because someone at Sapphire Dragon Productions seems to have forgotten to include the executable with the actual game in the files. Here goes another yikes.

Self-Reliance - This one really caught my attention when I first found it. An FMV? Made in China? Focused on sexual education? And it’s free?! I originally thought of playing it for my Free Games Week, but had to give it up, as the videos wouldn’t play on the PC I normally use. Now that I finally got to it, however… I really can’t decide how I feel about it. On one hand, the atmosphere is campy at times and all the actors look like they could make good friends; on the other hand, the translation is almost nonexistent (three of five chapters are as raw as can be; so much so that the choices have been left blank) and where it does exist, it’s begging to be edited to look presentable, aaand then there’s one elusive achievement that has only been figured out and unlocked by the lucky 0.4% of people. If a translation update gets released, I’ll be interested, but I’m not counting on it. So far, I’m marking this one as “beaten” and extending a congratulations to all the people who made the game possible; I wish my school projects had been half as cool as this.

Tasty Shame in Silver Soul! - Honestly? I don’t get what this game is supposed to be at all. I mean, I get that it’s a piss-poor attempt at a VN-style story dominated by an ultra-obvious Candy Crush copycat, but other than that? It’s just bad. So bad that it was removed from the store quite a while ago. As for the specifics: the matching game wasn’t terribly hard, the short story scenes were easily forgettable and the language was terrible. (There is an individual being credited for translating the game from Russian to English, but I’d like to stop and ask one thing: have you ever seen a translation so bad that the game thanks you, the player, for being made? As if you were actually the developer? Because that is exactly what Tasty Shame in Silver Soul! does in its credit roll.) The only reason I didn’t finish it when I first played it is that the way it presented itself before the last choice made me think I would have to replay the whole game multiple times to get all the endings… which didn’t turn out to actually be the case. Oh well, at least now it’s finally done.

The Waters Above: Prelude - I have to say, if it wasn’t for my last minute monthly theme title swap, I probably would have never gotten to reading this. Boy, would I have missed out! The Waters Above: Prelude, as its store page states, is a story about sea nymphs who take care of stars. It’s made up of four vignettes, each of them introducing the characters and establishing their relationships. Even after reading all of them, the concept appears bizarre to me; I can’t tell where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sadly, I will never get an answer, as the full project has been cancelled a few months ago (and I originally kept myself from reading this in wait for the main game’s release). If I were to judge what is released, however, I’d have to say the VN is wonderful on all fronts. The background and character art are simply pretty, the UI artwork (which often doesn’t get enough attention) is absolutely one of the more beautiful (if not the most beautiful) I have ever seen in a Ren’Py VN, the music is a delight for the ears and each of the stories made me want to know more about the characters it featured. While I own Studio Élan’s other works (though have yet to play them), it’s a damn shame The Waters Above didn’t get to see the light of day, as I would buy it in a heartbeat.

This month’s theme is right up my alley… oh yeah, see you next week! :)

Progress report: Second and third week of June ‘20 (a.k.a. Oops!)

Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.

My answer to that would be that life derailed itself; thankfully for no reason more dangerous than a little too much caffeine and a bigger PlayStation backlog.
However! I (fortunately or not) also managed to expand my Steam backlog, which is what this post will be about (for the sake of sticking with it).
(Adding insult to injury, this post was meant to come out much, much sooner… the next week is already closer to its end, god damn it.)

Here’s what I managed to acquire during those past two weeks:

In total: 20 games from 6 bundles (2 of which were bought earlier), 3 (non-SG) giveaways, 1 trade and 3 freebies

See you next time! Don’t be like me :)