My progress for this month: Fnord’s profile
Because I’m terrible with keeping things like “currently playing” and my future plans consistent and up to date, I’ll just simplify things and make a list of my progress for the month, until I can come up with a good system.
If anyone is curious about my complete backlog, it can be found here
Star Wars Episode I: Racer
Minecraft: Story Mode
Vendetta - Curse of Raven’s Cry
I think I’ll give up on this month’s theme. The dropped game for this update really made me lose any and all motivation to play any more boat games. And can you believe this was the fixed version, and that the original was even worse? Now I’m almost curious about how broken that game was!
A bit over a week later, and it’s time for another post! I’ve got a really questionable game this time around, one I’m not sure was worth the time I put into it… Two of the games this time around also had a really annoying heartbeat sound that was used to indicate being damaged. Both of those games were incidentally from 2007!
Speaking of The Walking Dead, I’ve had the closest thing to a movie & TV series binge that I’ve had in ages (a decade or more!) in the last few months. Since November last year I’ve managed to watch 4 movies and 2 seasons of a TV show. That’s about 3 movies and 2 seasons more than I usually watch. And they’ve all been zombie-related.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 1: This one showed how the zombie invasion started, You get to see the daily lives of people, as the events are slowly set in motion. This was interesting. It was a short season, at 6 episodes, and that felt just about right. Heck, they could probably have managed to make it a little bit shorter even, but still, 6 episodes was a good length. Not a whole lot of padding, enough time for you to get to know the characters, and it was interesting seeing how things started.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 2. Welcome to padding city! This was 15 episodes, and it should have been 5. There was so much filler material. It also had a scene that reminded me of this scene from Austin Powers, where a couple of people drove up to shoot at a bunch of zombies, starting quite far away from them as the zombie horde slowly shuffled towards them, and one of them decides that he needs to reload his gun, and just stands there, not even thinking of walking away from the zombies when they’re within arm’s reach. He did of course get eaten. It was just so silly that it made me laugh at it.
Night of the Living Dead The classic zombie movie that kind of cemented what we think of as zombies today. I expected to turn it off after 30min, and never go back to it, as it’s an ancient black & white zombie movie. How good can it be anyway? Turned out, really quite good. Romero was smart enough to focus on the people, and not the zombies. Yes, it has its scenes where it shows its age, but I genuinely thought this was a very good movie.
Dawn of the Dead The most famous of Romero’s zombie movies, and one I’m far more torn on than Night of the Living Dead. When it works, it’s quite good. I liked how the movie started, and I liked the scenes we got in the mall, when the characters are settling in, and trying to decide what to do. But it was tonally quite inconsistent. We had another Austin Powers scene here, well kind of. During a zombie invasion one character in a sombrero just decided to strap himself into a machine that measures your blood pressure, even though he’s surrounded by zombies. That was the worst scene, but it had a few others that ended up just being silly, in a way that did not fit the movie.
Day of the Dead the darkest of the movies thus far. The earth has been overrun by zombies, and you get to follow a small band of people living in a bunker. Tension rise between the soldiers, and the scientists, and you get scenes that makes you wonder if the zombies really are the real monsters here…
This one was more consistent than Dawn of the Dead, but also less interesting. It’s a perfectly fine movie, one I did not mind watching, but it was not good enough as to prevent my mind from wandering.
World War Z. What a complete piece of utter garbage this movie was. It does not really care about introducing its characters, and its reason for having the character fly around the world is so flimsy and out of character for the movie that the RPG adventures I wrote when I was 10 were better put together, more consistent and made more sense. Also, they could not even get the zombies consistent. Why are the zombies played by real actors completely different from the CG zombies? And why does the CG zombie movement seem so “weightless”? This zombie makes the Resident Evil film series seem like consistent masterpieces in comparison (and the Resident Evil series is not good…)
Sometimes you find a game that defies all reason.
I gave the old Wisdom Tree games a try. They came in a bundle a while back, and I was curious (plus I randomized what game to play next, and one of the games from that collection came up).
The standout game in this collection is Spiritual Warfare, a game where a kid is in a park and needs to convert evil people to the true faith by throwing fruit at them. These evil people includes:
People running around with huge kitchen knives who want to stab children (these can be saved if you throw fruit at them)
People with wooden clubs, who want to clobber children to death (these can be saved if you throw fruit at them)
People who run around bushes (these can be saved if you throw fruit at them)
People who ride bicycles (these are beyond salvation and are so utterly evil that their eternal souls can not be saved and if you throw fruit at them a devil will show up and try to murder you!)
This game played like a bad Zelda 1 clone with annoying music and bible questions. As a non-Christian I could not help but feel like the “right” answers for these bible questions were the bad answers, basically boiling down to “Don’t think, believe in god” “Don’t worry about doing good deeds, believe in god” and other such things. The right answer was always blind faith, never good work.
I did not stick with this game. It was just awful.
The other games in the collection includes a game where you stacked animals to put them in the ark. This game was kind of broken, as far as I could tell. And two bad boulder dash clones. Because for some reason Boulder Dash is a good representation for Christianity.. or something.
Don’t you just hate it when you find a game you’re really enjoying, and then you run into a bug that makes it impossible to progress further? That just happened to me in Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy. I’m mildly annoyed right now.
Some short ones this time around.
Seems like I started “weeb month” early. Dang, I could have had more games added to my played list for this theme, had I just waited a little bit longer!
Now this game I liked! Suikoden is a classic JRPG released for the PS1. Unlike most other JRPGs, you’re not just following a band of 4-10 characters, you’re building an army! The game is centered around a conflict between an emperor who’s gone evil (always the emperors going bad in JRPGs, eh?), and a small “liberation army”, who tries to overthrow the emperor. You start with a small group of people, and as the game goes on, you recruit more and more characters. 107 to be precise (not including temporary party members). This is both a strength (it feels like you’ve got a growing army) and a weakness (with that many, most can’t get much development, and it gets hard to justify spending time on more than a core party). And on top of the usual JRPG fare, you’ve also got large-scale battles (an underdeveloped portion of the game that nonetheless at least adds more flavour to it).
If I were to point to any big flaws this game has, it has to be the difficulty, or lack thereof. It’s likely the easiest JRPG I’ve ever played. But despite this, I do feel like this is one of the top PS1-era JRPGs, beating games like FF7. And I’ve heard that part 2 is even better! (But I think it might take a while before I play that…)
Feel like participating in this month’s theme, but have nothing to play? Here are some giveaways to enter!
Stunlocking. Have you’ve ever been stunlocked in a game and thought “Wow, I’m really glad that I can’t do anything right now, other than what my character’s HP go down?”. I bet you have not. Stunlocking is one of those things that should never be happening to the player. I think it’s perfectly fine for the player to be able to do it to the enemy (as long as the game’s actually balanced around you being able to do it, and as long as that enemy is not another player), but getting stunlocked in games is just frustrating.
With stunlocking I mean any situation where you’re losing (most of your) control of your character, and the enemy can repeatedly apply this effect to your character, with no realistic way of you preventing this or breaking out of this state. Imagine fighting an enemy wizard in an RPG, and the enemy wizard casts “freeze” on you. Freeze lasts for 3 seconds, and during this time you can’t do anything, other than possibly rotate on the spot. So you wait 3 seconds, and then the enemy wizard casts freeze again. You’re stuck again, without the ability to do anything. Now repeat this until your character is dead, or least where it’s lost a significant portion of its health. There’s no way to avoid this effect once it hit the first time, as you’re unable to move out of the way of any freeze projectiles in time. So sure, you could have avoided the first freeze effect, but none of the following ones.
Most developers are sensible enough to put in some way to avoid this in their games. You might get a few invulnerability frames, the game might not allow another freeze effect to be applied right away, enemy wizards might only be allowed to cast freeze once every 20 seconds, and it will never have more than 2 wizards in any given encounter, and so on. But then there are those that don’t. I was playing a bit of Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (it’s not a great game… Imagine the PSP-era Ys (same developers) but far more clumsily made), and an enemy appeared. It hit me, and pushed me back, into another enemy, which in turn hit me and pushed me back into the first. Repeat. Yes, I was juggled between two enemies. This is the kind of thing you want to avoid happening in your games. Secret of Mana is even worse in this regard. If you’re hit your character can get knocked down. If you’re hit when knocked down your character can have another “knockdown” effect applied to it. Which results in your character being knocked down for a few seconds, then the animation for getting up plays, then as soon as that animation plays, another knockdown animation plays. So yes, the game stacks these effects, and will play them one after another. It’s the main reason why I don’t like Secret of Mana (the other reasons are: The screen only scrolls when you’re very close to the edge, making it so that you can very easily get surprised attacked by an enemy, the companion AI is awful and they get stuck in things, and you’re not allowed to go far from your companions. And then there’s how spells just stops the game. Oh and the inventory system is awful…. okay so I really dislike Secret of Mana, but this was not meant to be a mini-rant about how bad that game is!)
I don’t really see how one can defend the player getting stun-locked. If the goal was to add challenge, then there are far less frustrating and more interesting ways of doing that (heck, just up the damage the enemies deal. Dying fast in games is more fun than slowly watching your characters health drain without you being able to do anything about it). Yet I keep running into games where the player can get stun-locked (or fear-locked or whatever the game wants to call that particular status effect, they’re functionally more or less the same).
There are a couple of related issues to this, like when you’re stuck in a defensive loop, and can’t do anything other than heal yourself, or you’ll lose, but if you don’t do anything else, you can’t prevent the enemy from damaging you. This primarily happens in JRPGs, and to some degree in Wizardry clones (although the later usually have large enough parties and other ways of dealing with this issue).
- Won on SteamGifts 161
- Temp 1
- Games beaten - August 2016 7
- Games Beaten - September 2016 13
- Games Beaten - October 2016 11
- Games Beaten - November 2016 9
- Games Beaten - December 2016 9
- Games Beaten - January 2017 15
- Games Beaten - February 2017 12
- Games Beaten - March 2017 5
- Games Beaten - April 2017 13
- Games Beaten - May 2017 9
- Games Beaten - June 2017 12
- Games beaten - July 2017 9
- Games Beaten - August 2017 8
- Games Beaten - September 2017 8
- Games Beaten - October 2017 6
- Games Beaten - November 2017 6
- Games Beaten - December 2017 3
- Games Beaten - January 2018 6
- Games Beaten - February 2018 6
- Games Beaten - March 2018 6
- Games Beaten - April 2018 3
- Games Beaten - May 2018 5
- Games Beaten - June 2018 7
- Games beaten - July 2018 7
- Games Beaten - August 2018 5
- Games Beaten - September 2018 1
- Games Beaten - October 2018 8
- Games Beaten - November 2018 6
- Games Beaten - December 2018 2
- Games Beaten - January 2019 8
- Games Beaten - February 2019 12
- Games Beaten - March 2019 8
- Games Beaten - April 2019 12
- Games Beaten - May 2019 8
- Games Beaten - June 2019 5