terabient: A dog is on your head. You are about to get married. (PQ: Koromaru is very excited...)
For the first time in months, I do not have anything pressing to do on my day off. Which means I am now paralyzed with indecision with a WHOLE DAY OF NO OBLIGATIONS. Do I take an hour-long drive over to an arcade to play a bunch of rhythm games during off-peak hours? Do I go to the beach and walk my dog along the boardwalk because the state doesn't allow pets on the beach proper and Momo doesn't particularly like getting wet anyway? Do I just sit around and enjoy the innumerable video games and anime series that I haven't had a chance to touch yet? The possibilities are not endless, but numerous enough to make a course of action difficult.

which means I'll probably sit around at home with a mild sense of unease due to 'wasting the day away.' On the plus side, the temperature is supposed to get real high tomorrow--the reports are saying into the triple digits--and the house has air conditioning, so lounging about sounds like a pretty good idea.
terabient: Yu Narukami...uh...dressed as his uncle (P4: Narukami)
these unplanned hiatuses from DW are getting longer and longer, aren't they?

naturally the thing that has caused me to rise to the surface of the internet like a dying fish is the advent of the Steam summer sale. help me discover the most efficient way to throw my money into Valve's bottomless pit of digital goods, flist! or do the opposite and encourage fiscal responsibility or...something.

My only definite buys are Sunless Sea and RefRain. I'm looking for opinions on the following:

Kindred Spirits on the Roof
Pros:
-lesbian visual novel/dating sim
-GHOST lesbian visual novel/dating sim
-The lesbians actually have sex!

Cons:
-it's a bit pricey for a visual novel, even with the sale discount
-no idea if the sex scene illustrations are aesthetically and/or narratively satisfying

Akiba's Trip
Pros:
-Apparently a scathing satire of Japanese otaku culture by people who are actually a part of it

Cons:
-The reviews saying it's a "scathing satire" tend to be white dude weeaboo types. I'm not going to say they're lying, but i am going to suggest that they are maybe not great at properly applying the phrase "scathing satire" especially when it comes to video games--particularly when the examples they offer as 'satire' are mostly...not? or are very obvious, very easy to make jokes.
-Even the positive reviews say the actual gameplay is mediocre.

Sublevel Zero
Pros:
-3D, full range of motion shoot-em-up! :o
-Sweet soundtrack

Cons:
-Roguelike (eh)
-Crafting (UGH)
-CRAFTING in a ROGUELIKE SHMUP UUUUGGGGHHHHHHH like okay i guess collecting random junk in procedurally generated dungeons so you can smash it together and make better guns is just ~the trend~ these days but i cannot think of anything LESS fun. Maybe flying into a wall forever, idk.

SOMA
Pros:
-Made by the group behind Amnesia: Dark Descent...which I've never played, actually, but I have heard good things about it!
-It's a horror game under the sea, which is definitely the most horrifying environment on Earth, even a fictional, future Earth.
-There are R O B O T S

Cons:
-you can't fight anything so it's either die or puzzle your way past monsters. i'm bad at puzzles :(
-i like horror games in theory but in reality i am a total wimp and usually give up on them b/c they're 2spooky4me. :((

---

i'm not really looking at much else, but i'm down for any recs you're willing to share. :)
terabient: Madoka is embarrassed while Homura side-eyes her (Default)
SoooOOOOOoooo the Steam Winter Sale is live, and a lot of other digital game storefronts are also having winter sales because if something proves to be popular it must be copied relentlessly. Thanks, capitalism.

I didn't buy anything during the autumn sale so my wishlist has had some time to lengthen, although there are quite a few games there that are perpetual 'maybe' purchases. Not in a rush to make decisions this time since daily and flash deals aren't happening...I admit there's a lot less excitement around the sale because of that, although I was really frustrated with the limited time deals because I usually missed them. :P Still, they definitely gave me a reason to check Steam every time I had a chance. Now, it's just a matter of determining what's worth buying and what isn't.

On the "almost certainly will buy" list:

-Resident Evil 4 HD
-Undertale - well, I think I'm actually the last gamer I know to play this, so I probably shouldn't give a summary? lol
-Why Am I Dead At Sea Got recommended over at NeoGAF, apparently you're a ghost trying to figure out what killed you while heading off some potential tragedy threatening the ship? Also described as Earthbound-like, which may be becoming its own subgenre of indie gaming.
-Sunless Sea The trailer and reviews sound amazing, and a few friends have it on their rec lists as well. A Lovecraftian RPG taking place in an underground sea sounds fascinating. I've passed on it a few times but 50% off is the biggest discount I've seen so I might as well take the plunge.
-Suguri/Acceleration of Suguri - doujin horizontal shmup that I've been meaning to get for a long time but have yet to pick up. They're going for $2 and the sequel is coming out in January, so that's probably a sign to get it.
-Eschatos/Judgment Silver Sword/Cardinal Sins - I uh, already have this game on my 360 but I've become one of those people who is slowly digitizing her physical game collection. It's a shmup collection with Judgement Silver Sword and Cardinal Sins being from the Wonderswan handheld, and Eschatos a 360 release. Eschatos has a really neat chaining/multiplier mechanic that's significantly less stringent than DoDonPachi's, and a timed mode that's fun as well--you have a very short amount of time to complete a stage (less time than you need) but time is added on depending on how well you perform. Cardnial Sins is really neat--each stage is loosely based on one of the seven deadly sins, with different scoring mechanics and enemies; you have to figure out what you're required to do to pass to the next stage. It's kind of like Wario Ware, but...a shmup. And uh, I honestly can't remember what JSS is like, but it's included in the bundle so I'll find out eventually.

My full wishlist is here, if anyone is interested in offering opinions on what else to buy. If you have your own wishlists feel free to link to them in the comments so I can bug you about what you should/shouldn't get too!

I'd offer to do some gifting but I heard international gifting isn't possible anymore on Steam, which is super lame and bleeeeehhhh. I'll see if there's some kind of work around but if not, boo. BOOOOOO. :(
terabient: A smiling sun (:D)
Hello, Dreamwidth! It is the end of November and thus, the end of National Blog Posting Month--for me, at least. While I wasn't able to write much of what I planned beforehand, I'm glad I didn't miss a day, especially given that this month was busier and more stressful than I had anticipated. And my little sidebar calendar is all filled out!

I...don't really have much to discuss today. I have to go to sleep pretty early for work tomorrow, and I need to figure out what's up with the NAT settings on my router before I go to bed, so I'll just leave a few links to things that have amused me recently:

Kickstarter Nonstarters: petsu.it: Here is a video of two guys commenting on a Lovecraft-inspired pet site Kickstarter. Yes. Kickstarter is truly the place where dreams come true, nightmares become reality, and two or more tastes of varying greatness are inexpertly mashed together.

Baron Vaughn on insects: A stand-up routine that has the truest depiction of crickets and bees that has ever existed. I didn't know about Baron Vaughn until I heard this bit on Bullseye yesterday, and...I wish I had heard his stuff earlier. Well, now there's another show to add to my Netflix queue.

Chocolate Philosophy (Long version) from Pop'n Music: This is an adorable song from Konami's Pop'n Music series; it's described as a 'swing waltz', which I think means a swing-inspired song in 3/4 time? Anyway, if you like acoustic guitars and piano with and a breathy female voice singing some truly incomprehensible, allegedly English lyrics, please listen. Even with a transcription, I can't figure out what the song's supposed to be about; I think it's about a girl who everyone thinks is lazy, but she insists that's not true--she just loves everyone (or 'you') so much that it takes everything she has to deal with it, so how can anyone expect her to keep her room in order? That's a super cute sentiment, although I'm only 50% sure that's what the intention is. If you do happen to listen, let me know what you think is going on. :P
terabient: Madoka is embarrassed while Homura side-eyes her (Default)
Played some more Destiny today. I only have a vague idea of how everything works, but it hasn't been too hard to grasp the basics of character progression and how to advance the game. When Destiny was first released, people described it as Phantasy Star Online with Halo mechanics, a comparison that my sister agreed with and that seems apt from what I've played so far. There's the 3 races/3 classes setup, the Guardians are functionally the same as the Hunter's Guild in PSO, The Last City is Pioneer 2 and plot of both games is basically 'discover what destroyed the civilization here, uh oh wait looks like our activity has awakened something DARK and TERRIBLE.' Destiny's Hive even has the same 'sentient infection' vibe that PSO's Dark Force had. The way the social hubs and actual gameplay areas work seem identical to the way PSO2 is set up as well...I wonder if Destiny will add in 'My Room' personal spaces and player shops in the future? Haha, I wouldn't mind if they did.

The gameplay has been pretty enjoyable so far. Controlling your character is intuitive and tight--going from walk -> run -> jump -> double jump -> run -> slide is remarkably fluid and natural, and it's easy to traverse the landscape and position yourself in firefights. Enemies haven't been challenging but it's not like the beginning of the game is supposed to be tough anyway; I'm just glad the enemy AI isn't as limited as Borderlands, where it became painfully easy to predict what each enemy type would do because they had like...2 behaviors total. The weaponry, is already quite varied and easy to use with quality feedback--I can feel the difference between a successful shotgun blast and when I've missed the mark, not just discern it from the damage numbers that pop up on screen. I suppose its a bit strange to praise the basics of game mechanics like this, but it's something that Destiny does really well; it's hard to describe how comfortable it feels to play.

The environments (all two that I've seen) are gorgeous. The skies are particularly beautiful. I've spent a fair amount of time just watching the day/night progress so I can enjoy the different lighting effects and scenery.

As far as things that annoy me, WELL. As one might think from a game titled 'Destiny' the story and worldbuilding is not exactly brimming with originality. From what I've experienced in game: in the distant past, humanity traveled through space and inadvertently awoke some awful thing that tried to destroy everything; it didn't succeed but it wasn't exactly defeated, either, and now 'The Guardians' are protecting what's left of humanity/keeping the evil at bay. The plot has Guardians utilizing light energy for weaponry so when NPCs talking about 'driving back the darkness with your light!' they are talking metaphorically and literally which makes me laugh and laugh and laugh with how over the top it is. I also had to suffer through a cutscene in which an NPC who was clearly in the know about all of Destiny's backstory blathered on about how he could tell me all about the history everyone keeps alluding to vaguely...but then he didn't because of course those times are coming again so I will get to experience them first hand! I mean, why even bother including a 'story' cutscene like that, Bungie. It is a literal waste of time.

The other thing is that while the world is beautiful you mostly just look at it. It's a problem that plagues a lot of open-world games as of late; the game has meticulously rendered and detailed environments but you don't interact with them in any meaningful way. There are quests which send you here and there across the landscape, but you don't explore as much as you follow markers on your radar until you see a glowy thing and press a button to get a checkmark next to some meaningless task. It's pretty telling that about 5 hours into this game, I was being 'led' to new areas but instead of gawking at them my eyes were focused on the radar in the corner so I could finish a side quest. Oh well.

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terabient: Madoka is embarrassed while Homura side-eyes her (Default)terabient

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