!w00t! Runescape !w00t!

Hoo boy, two weeks without a new entry. That’s a little rough, and definitely going on my permanent record. I would say things have been busy, but I won’t because:

1.) It’s true, but no one likes the truth
2.) Any excuse is still an excuse, so with that said…
4.) I also ran out of peanut butter
5.) The moon told me not to…
6.) Number 3’s excuse was so lame the number changed, and I bet you didn’t notice.

But man- these two weeks have been crazy am I right?

  • Got a new job at Pepsi
  • ENDGAME
  • I got back into a classic game that was one of my favorites growing up (spoiler, title of this blog :p )
  • ENDGAME
  • I don’t watch it, but I hear Game of Thrones has been doing crazy things again
  • ENDGAME
  • Oh, and Marvel produced their epic conclusion to a saga they’ve been making for over ten years now. What was it called again?

Haaaaa, I’m kidding. The movie was phenomenal, but we’re not here to talk about that! There’s plenty of reviews out there, and my opinions not that unique enough to make a blog about so instead I’m going to move forward with something that has been rekindled so such an amount, I would feel foolish not doing it.

RUNESCAPE

Big name, big game, not the same, as others. It shares the common things as other MMORPG’s but what make it stand out above all the others? And why was it my choice of gaming after so long bringing me back? Well I’m sure it would be a question my dad would even like to know.

As a funny story, back in the day, we had to show the games me and my brother wanted to play, to our parents. They were being cool, we were young, and didn’t want us doing Grand Theft Auto level things, or Gears of War level things, and there was a lot they didn’t know about the internet, so being cautious and compromising was their game. And they were good at it. I, on the other hand, was bad at selling.

I could not present a case for myself to save my life. To this day, I am the king of underselling something. I have left that to greater men and women. People would ask me what my favorite kind of music was, and I would list off bands, and they were all, “ew gross, really? WHY?” and then I was like, “uhh, uhh, because the song is all BAM, and the guitar is like JAM!”

…In college I had to quickly learn the phrase, “eh different strokes for different folks” so I could avoid having to put up a case for my opinion.

And my dad was also intimidating. Just picture Dwayne the Rock Johnson, add hair, a pastoral career, and maybe… fifty pounds and boom my dad! tadaaaa

Easily the epitome of free quests

But I was able to play Runescape, despite how he looked at it, he said it looked boring. To his credit though, I was walking around trying to find out what kind of content to show him, but there was so much, I should have prepared something in advance.

This entry is going to be like a letter to my dad. To explain why I played this boring game so much, why I gave it money, how this influenced my career choice, and what this game is going to involve the future of this blog.

May, 2004. Just off the cuff of releasing their graphical update that will forever stick, Jagex released Big Chompy Hunting. At this time I was being introduced to this new game called ‘Run-escape’, by my friend. At the end of Tutorial Island I was entranced in this unique system of Java based gaming you could play anywhere. The way fighting happened was really cool to me, even though it was A attacks B, then B attacks A, and rinse and repeat. But everything was a skill to earn by your own making, from cooking to fishing, to cutting wood, to making crafts, and mining, and fighting. All of the skills have a symbiotic relationship that one supports the other, (excluding Dungeoneering- a beast of its own.) and with the proper knowledge of locations and monster locations, you didn’t need to buy anything.

Okay maybe you might need to buy a bucket.

This first concept was amazing to me. To earn everything in the game was on you. Yes, this is a basic thing in MMO games, but this was my first, and until this time I was used to playing console games like Crash Bandicoot, and Kingdom Hearts. This game was where I -me- was the adventurer. I could customize this avatar to look how I wanted, try out hairstyles and beard trims that I didn’t have, and have fun with it without suffering consequences.

Suddenly, I was with my friend! We were in the same game and we weren’t in the same room!

But what’s this?

There were hundreds of other people also playing this game! Words were appearing above their avatar heads, they were running around, all looking different, some with noob clothes (like me) to the most decorated player with all the latest armor and weapons. And those weird polygon graphics looked so cool. That was another thing, the armor and weapons you picked up- you wore them! Other games didn’t do that. They didn’t want to take their precious Sora and give him a legit necklace change, bangle, or ring when you equipped it.

My friend began to take me to a cow field where I could train my combat skills to get stronger so we could take on harder enemies like evil wizards, goblins, hill giants, and… dragons! Yes, this game was looking so good to me!

“But Chronic, Lord of the Rings online has all of that, so does Ultima Online, Star Wars KotOR, Ragnarok, Eva, Guild Wars, and least of all: World of Warcraft!”

Yes well all of those games did not have the magical hidden charm Runescape possessed. Why? Because those games were all trying to mimic each other, and say they were better, despite all having the same lifeless avatar, controls, quest-text directive, key-bound ability based combat fighting, and arrow key movement. All of that is fine, in fact I’ve spent my fair share on those games, so I feel I’m safe in making my claims. But, here comes my shade…

They were all BORING!

The NPC’s had no character to them! The quests didn’t feel epic, they felt like fetch quests. The main story-lines were the only good parts. Period.

The two best things I find the most fun in any game are the story, and the exploration. I like a lot of color, and fantasy elements thrown together to make something that I’m not going to see in real life. To see the limits of the imagination challenged and stretched, but not to the point of insanity, and still make sense.

Let’s take two comparisons, Runescape has a large Elven city call Prffindas, and even though Lord of the Rings Online has Elven cities, I’m going to use Minis Tirith because it’s fairer to pit two hub worlds together. Hub worlds I mean you can practice all of your skills in one place. For these two in particular they are highest level in-game content. You have to nearly be maxed out to make to these places, which is awesome, settings goals and providing challenges are what game are for. Graphically it has to be given to LOTRO, the scale is enormous, and it’s a real accomplishment to have visually mastered the image J.R.R Tolkien set out to create.

I think he would be proud and definitely be playing it all day long. And if the game had the rights to create the Westlands, the final resting place fo the Elfs, then maybe… just maybe it may beat out my preference. But it probably won’t because the combination of Jagex’s charm of lovable and charismatic NPC’s, your own characters character, and the unlimited potential on the imagination means they can do much more than Warner Bros. Sadly, for all the things Lord of the Rings did, I also like, and prefer the higher fantasy I get to enjoy with Runescape.

Runescape has the Barrow Brothers, six brothers who died but their ghosts remain. Their skirmish rewards you their armor, which is another visually appealing commodity.

This game also has the God War Dungeons. Four factions time locked in a frozen dungeon and are eternally fighting. Players can shove themselves right in the middle of it all, and make their way to the God representative general, fight them and get a chance to also be awarded a ‘Godsword’ a weapon both practical and impractical.

You can also fish for sharks and those funny Monkfish, but they also make their own aquatic life called Rocktail and Karambwan.

They have so many different colonization of creatures and people. From right and proper Varrok, to the jungles of Karamja, to Feldip Hills with Zogres, to the Death Plateau with rock Trolls, to the valleys of Goblins, the desert of Kalphites, Mummies, and Egyptians, over to swamps and vampires and werewolves, to under ground with the lava dwelling Tok rock beings, and to the far west lands of crystal-house dwelling Elves. And let’s not forget about the gnomes! Those rascals…

It’s a fantasy lovers dream game.

But all of that wasn’t even my favorite part.

It was the quests.

The story. It was the story, and is the story that kept me going, and hooked me back in. The story is, the world of Gielnor has not one but many stories as many creatures as there are. And many are great in length, vivid in detail, smothered with humor, and encounters feel more intimate than any other boss fight other MMORPG’s couldn’t offer.

The community is the icing on the cake. It being a relatively niche environment, the players all have a special brand of pride when they meet outside the game. I met a player on my first day, and only my first day. It was a fun day, but I’ve never seen them again. But with that in mind, it’s a game you can play solo and not feel bored. It’s definitely better playing with friends or other people. No one feels like a stranger on the game, because you instantly have something to talk about: your skill level. And if they have a cool piece of armor or weapon or item, or a cosmetic, or they’re in the same quest as you, you find a special bond.

This one time, I was playing a quest where you have to infiltrate a village of monkeys. and if one of them saw you, they kicked you out, and you had to start over. The quest was hard, they made very few places to hide, and some of those places had snakes attacking you. It got to this part, near the end, where these gorillas were blocking the way to the door, and I didn’t have the combat requirements needed to face them. I needed to defeat them, so I could use what they carried to make a disguise and become a gorilla too, which I needed to finish the quest.

But anyway, there was this guy training on them, and he was like, “You need me to defeat them?”
And I went, “That would definitely help me out”
And he said, “Alright cool”

And he just took care of them! What I needed dropped on the floor, and I picked it up, and was able to finish way under the level a normal player should have been. But that’s why I like them! Most of them will let you in even though you don’t meet their “height requirements” and if you beat them, then you get all the spoils afterwards, and it just might level up your character enough to the right level 😉

There’s a guy on YouTube called Settled playing a hardcore account where he keeps his character in the swamps, and can only stay in there and use whatever he can find to become strong enough to face the hardest challenge, “Theatre of Blood”. So there are people making their own game out of the game, and there are others just coming in to play the game and conquer it like Zezima, the best player historically.

So anyway, dear dad, that is why I love playing Runescape. It’s a game for all player types and more, I didn’t even mention all the minigames like Gnomeball and Castle Wars. Or the devastating Player vs. player action of the Wilderness. I normally stay away from those areas. Mainly because I’m still leveling up after fifteen years of playing. But I level up according to my next quest goal. So I’m working on my level 80 skills now. And yes, I’m playing on the new Runescape 3. I love the Old School, and I love the New School. I can go back anytime and play like I remember, but now that I’m an adult with less time than my teenage self, I like how easy they make the game for those with busy lives. Jagex understood who their audience was, a bunch of kids who grew up and still wanted to play. But they also kept the Old School running, just because there was enough people who liked it that way.

They didn’t have to do that, but they did, because they love us. And that shows. What about you, Blizzard? Lucasfilms? Warner Bros? You guys are looking like you love your wallets a little more than your fans. Just saying…

If it wasn’t for the final point that this game is now mobile, and I can train my fishing while working on papers and blog entries, then I’d have a hard time vouching for this game. I’m grateful the original guys wanted to make a flash game that could be logged into anywhere, and now that the game is on every mobile device, Runescape is up with the current times and hopefully is here to stay for a long long time.

I love this game so much, that a lot of my future posts will be ideas for quests that Jagex can have for free, without even having to give me credit (okay maybe like a private email giving me a thumbs up, followed by a message saying, don’t tell anyone, that would be sweet). I keep a lot of story ideas and honestly, Runescape is a great place where I think one day it would be cool to see them implemented.

So I guess you could say this is the Chronic Shenanigan Syndrome’s first blog goal: Get a Quest on Runescape.

Quest Requirements: Level 99 Writing, Level 99 Charisma, Level 99 Commitment, Level 99 Begging and Pleading, Level 99 Self-Confidence, and need a ball of wool

Rewards: A private email with a thumbs up

Phew! That was a lot of gushing. Alright guys that is all I have to say for this week. I have to get back to fishing for Monkfish so I can finally get sharks (woohoo!). Let me know how you feel about the game, my thoughts, or your thoughts on my thoughts, or your thoughts on the game. If my dad is reading this, then I’m sorry for the lame jokes, and that it took fifteen years to tell you why I like something. Love you!

Cites:

Runescape- https://www.runescape.com
Settled- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs-w7E2HZWwXmjt9RTvBB_A

Shining Force IV- needs you!

I never thought there would be another Crash Bandicoot game for as long as I lived. When the series hit that weird mark of changing his appearance and added some creatures to possess and control, the dear orange marsupial had seen his end. But, much later, when Activision released the remastered trilogy, it made me happy and hopeful again, to see that interest in that icon was around, and not just around, but can still run with the big boys of gaming. It wouldn’t surprise me if Crash or Spyro became a hidden character in Smash Ultimate.

And from the ashes of series-being-reborn, is a resurgence of titles finding remastered life. MediEvil, Spyro, and Ratchet and Clank all saw glorious return-to-basics changes, with Pixar quality graphics, and storytelling, to flesh out the lack of from its early years ( B.T.W., the story of Spyro is a coming of age trial, just my head cannon).

Heck, with the Nintendo Switch, Mario, Link, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Star Fox and eventually Samus are seeing graphical updates, with new games that are making themselves the epitome of their franchise lately. Developers are currently taking a step back and looking at their ancient works to see what they can pull back and revitalize. So, its understandable why people are going crazy and reluctantly getting hopes up for their old favorites they thought were forgotten.

It even helps when said developers from twenty years ago are also interested and they verbally express interest. I bring all of this up to discuss my main idea. A while back, Hiroyuki Takahashi, head of Camelot Software Planning, said he would love to make a Shining Force IV.

What is a Shining Force?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

These… These are a Shining Force.

Back in the day (When I was born), this company called Camelot answered the call to produce an RPG to keep up with the Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, and now insane lose-your-unit-forever- craze, Fire Emblem sweeping the NES. What could someone do against three games setting the bar for superior RPG excellence? Should they keep development on their Phantasy Star series? (yes, obviously), would their efforts beat the likes of the NES? Or would it fall to the level of still well known games, but less popularity, like Ultima, or Crystalis?

Enter Sega CD4, Camelot, Sonic! Software Planning. A small team dedicated to making what would be known as the Shining series.

The Shining series started as a dungeon crawler, with units taking turns to use weapons, spells, or items. But after that success it took a brand new route, and went to a strategic, role-playing turn by turn where you had a large (or small) field, multiple units, and grid based movement taking turns to use weapons, spells, or items.

“Okay, Chronic, every other game you mentioned has that!” I hear you saying. Let me finish!

The developers combined the dungeon crawling screen, and the grid-moving action into one, smooth cohesion where you had a bird’s eye view of all your units, and the enemies, and once they collided, it would switch to a more ‘intimate’ view where your character was fully stylized and moving, swing a sword, or firing a bow. It was in this moment that the characters came alive, and they were more than just a little 8-bit collection of miniature figures. Capes waving in the wind, their chest moving up and down from breathing, wings flapping, and feet shifting really added such a depth that the sprites of Fire Emblem kind of did, but not to this extent. So yes, Shining Force raised the bar on style and deliverance of action.

I mean look at the above pictures! I love the scene of the lava below, a magical-glass floor, cliffs on either side, and the sky- blue and innocent above- really shows the clash of light versus darkness in this moment. And for those of you who know this fight, then you know the kind of clash we went up against.

Many of the games, save for Shining in the Ark, and Shining Wisdom, kept this formula, for it twas not broken, and twas not needed to be fixed. Even the games that became portable, and then later ported and remastered had this fighting mechanic. You could even buy stronger weapons, revive lost comrades, and save your game at “bases” (that term would go from a literal base, to a complete town, to just one screen of a town). Some of the bigger games even had town and field exploration. Sonic! Software Planning loved putting in hidden things for people to find, and reward the careful observer, and greater reward the truly insane. You might find a chest only a flying character can reach, or search a barrel for the town exploration to be enhanced, OR if you manage to search a cave wall with no prompt or direction and find a bikini, you could! Or how about walking down the field to fight a wimpy boss, when all of a sudden BAM, rock-head-monsters spawn out of nowhere! Or skeletons with machine guns constantly appearing during the most pivotal fight, and standing on the spot keeps them at bay.

This is all a taste of the gaming experience they produced, I haven’t even went into the Promotion system, the character bonding system, secret characters, difficulty setting, secret naming option, or the Shining story!

Speaking of story, the Shining series kept a lot of their later installments in the same universe. There were branches, and there were time lapses, but for the biggest titles, you could find the mention of Darksol, and Dark Dragon, or follow the family tree of certain important characters.

Sadly, in 1997, when they were developing their widely considered Shining Force 3, the crew was dropped, as Sega focused their attention on the Dreamcast (hilarious, I know). The poor game probably has such a unique and interesting history and renown because of what happened to it, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if it had been completely released.

Well, after putting that behind them, Sonic! Camelot became friends with Nintendo, and made them many sports games. But, they dipped their toes in RPG again and produced a fantastic series called Golden Sun.

So, it’s 2019, we have an unfinished Golden Sun series, an unfinished Shining in the Ark series, a sporadic Shining Force 3 game, and a myriad of titles stretched across every Sega platform ever crafted.

What are we as fans to do?

We need to tell them.

We need to get together and make one voice of what we want. First of all, a single place where we can get all of our Shining titles, including the missing gems: CD, Wisdom, Ark, and more importantly, working with those making an English patch to re-release Shining Force 3 as a whole.

Next, we need a conclusion to the Golden Sun series. The first two were so great, and the third title is good, but because there’s no immediate sequel, it is severely hurting us to not have a true ending.

And then after all of that, you can hit us with Shining Force IV. A return to Guardiana, a new Belzome, a new Devil, a hero becoming the villain, Camelot, we’ll leave the storytelling to you, because that’s what you’re great at. That one time we’re chasing a false king, and we’re pinched between masked enemies and a neutral territory force?
What about that other time when we have to fight our own father for the princess so we can collect her tears later?
Or that other time we spend an hour trying to cross a land-bridge because of one mechanical eye.
Or that time we’re washed up on shore with no weapons and we have to search through the wreckage to reclaim them?
The hero who doesn’t talk once, the entire game, only to say his party won’t die with him, as he teleports them to safety while he (allegedly) goes down with an ancient city?
A phoenix bird?
A baby dragon?
The sword Chaosbreaker?
…THIS GUY?

WE. NEED. MORE. ARMED. SKELETONS.

Give us your best, because your best is filled with memorable moments from gameplay and story combined. Only Camelot can produce fantasy and sci-fi elements together unlike other RPG games. And there isn’t another game that is going to give us our fix.

Start a Kickstarter! An Indiegogo, or a Fig, we’ll give you our money!

Okay, that’s the end of my rant, but before I go I want to thank Shining Force Central for being the oldest and biggest site for Shining Force lovers. I have followed their work for years, and am super proud to know of them. Also, I am giving the links to all of the sites I used to evaluate where most people stand on what they want. Also the link to Shining Force Central, where you can see what awesome things they’re up to.

Shining Force Central:
https://www.shiningforcecentral.com/?p=home

https://kotaku.com/shining-force-s-brilliant-use-of-geography-and-tactics-1825563927

https://www.resetera.com/threads/camelot-wishes-to-make-shining-force-4-and-other-camelot-and-treasures-tidbits.2030/

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2017/10/camelot_software_boss_is_keen_to_make_shining_force_iv_a_reality

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/189706-nintendo-switch/75941722

https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/21/17035780/shining-resonance-refrain-remaster-ps4-nintendo-switch-xbox-one-sega-release-date-price

http://www.camelot.co.jp/public-wpFIu30X/

I Made A Superman Game!

Not really.

Just the idea. But it’s a good one!

Making a Superman game is hard. Why? Because Superman is an overpowered character. He’s the symbol of hope, and by that theme alone, he is unstoppable. I mean if you read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series you remember he one an imagery competition by being Hope.

Naturally, the opposite is despair, so Superman needs to fight more existential battles rather than tests of strength. But since personification of that scale is best suited for the Japanese anime culture, we can still use bad guys and magic sticks to make the people of Metropolis (the the universe it lies in) feel despair.

However, I believe I have a good idea for a good beginning. Realize I made this before the 2018 Spider-man game, nearly three years ago in fact, as the Google Docs file tells me.

Enough for my rambling, let’s get on with the show!

First game: Clark Kent growing up in Smallville learning of himself and his powers. He gets to know Earth, and about the morals of good and evil. Makes friends, including Lex Luthor and female friends. Time skip to Clark in his teenage years learning to use his powers in secrecy while balancing a normal life of trying to be a human. After his first successful mission, it time skips to his travels to Metropolis, fully adult and well into his role of being Superman, including having his suit and looking for his job at the Daily Planet. He finally gets his break to reveal himself to the public and while shaky, he saves the day. Then the Superman hype begins. And the beginning of Clark Kent/Superman balancing act begins.

Game play: The method of playing relies a lot on high jumping, fast running, flying, and switching between powers like Batman switches between gadgets. The city has a health bar, not Superman (yes, borrowing this from the Superman 2006 game). And the health bar is contained within the missions, so there is free roaming so the player can enjoy the mechanics of flying around. There can be specific instances superman himself can have a health meter: when the sun is gone, when he is transformed or taken advantage of via magic, Kryptonite will not be introduced yet.

Setting: For the first game it’s mostly small scale, but high in detail to teach the player that superman lives in a cardboard world, and he must try to not break it. Places like Smallville, Metropolis, Gotham, Star City, Jump City, Steel City places he visits mainly as Clark Kent for job missions and personal vendettas are all filled with buildings and people and life.

Presentation: Of course with today’s technology, it’s nothing to make everything look good. The challenge would rely in keeping the balance of great looking graphics, multiple towns, and computer AI people, villains, and enemies to stay looking good, and still have enough depth in the cities and DC universe. Because Superman can be anywhere in no time flat, the machines shouldn’t limit where he can go, and what the villains and Superman should be able to do. And since this is the beginning for Superman, he doesn’t have to be as strong as he will be in upcoming titles. And in speaking of what he can do this may be a drawback, but this first game features a young Superman, which means vulnerable to magic, love, conflicting morals, conflict in making choices of going on a trip with Lois to get a good story, or staying in town to keep Lex from successfully winning the town over by looking like a hero. Nonetheless, he will still be Superman, thus he will have a variety of his powers, eye beams, frost breath, flight, super strength, superhuman speed, and others. And his powers can affect the health of the town. But his powers can also heal and fix the town. Since he is Superman, he can fix a building in a series of mini-games through varies button mashing sessions to earn extra experience, or points, or currency, or fame. If you leave them idle they go to Lex who uses the advantage to make himself look better.

Story: The story as hinted from earlier entries can rely on the relationship of Clark and Lex. Clark goes from being a small-town boy to a big city man with a secret of being a superhero. Lex grows up with Clark and they become friends, but have different worldviews. Those views are what make them grow apart. And later they come back as adults, to Lex, Clark takes a humble route of being a journalist, while he looks to improve Metropolis through force and his secret of underground tactics and under the table handling. Yet, they have an interesting relationship as adults, seeing as Clark is a man of the press and Luthor still holds Clark in some regard as they were friends as kids. Clark uncovers the dark dealings Luthor has been using and plans to take it to light, but Luthor plans to deal with Clark harshly. It is then that Luthor no longer keeps his facade of a do-good citizen but reveals his underhanded plan or controlling the town through force. Superman then takes on Lex, who with an army of robots and his own special suit and realizes the man of steel is unbeatable. It is then revealed that the conspirator that has been helping Lex is none other than Brainiac, who has been analyzing the man in blue since he revealed himself.

Brainiac then takes over Lex’s suit, with the man still in it, and vastly upgrades it. He then turns half of the town into a giant Brainiac-looking war machine that goes to collect everything the town can have to make himself the strong, and then go on to every other town and do the same until the entire world is consumed under Brainiac, and then he will go on to other worlds in the galaxy. Superman in this moment has to save a vast amount of people, in greater numbers, and in faster time than he ever has before. As a building lights up and starts becoming a part of Brainiac, Superman must go through a series of challenges of button mashes to save everyone he can, or stop the mechanics from connecting to a building to begin with. When Brainiac has enough of Superman’s interference, he uses what power he has to bring the man of steel down. Superman quickly learns he can’t completely destroy the building at his current state, and with it being night and the sun intentionally blocked out by Brainiac, Superman must dismantle the giant war machine and then attack the heart of it and take out Brainiac.

Once inside the heart, Superman finds a fusion of Lex and Brainiac. Brainiac is all prepared with the magical Spear of Destiny he found with his extensive knowledge of Earth history. Superman must then fight Brainiac/Lex until it doesn’t look good until Lex takes over for a minute, giving Superman a second chance to turn things around. Defeating Brainiac, he frees Lex and the giant war machines crumbles and the day is officially saved. Lex goes to prison, and Brainiac is kept locked away. The game is finished, but, there is post-game working to do, where you can find the fortress of solitude to give Superman a home away from home. And Metropolis needs to be rebuilt so you can rebuild Metropolis back and earn some great things in doing so.

So, did you like it!? I hope you did, I had fun making it. Tell me how you feel! And if you have comments, critiques, or add-ons, let me know!

Final Fantasy 15 in Kingdom Hearts 4 (and more)

There’s a bit of theorizing as to where our heroes have ended up in the secret ending for Kingdom Hearts 3. Some think it’s the real world, while others think more final fantasy worlds or more square enix worlds. Well I think those last people are on the right track. Let’s take a look at the pictures.

So, right away we see a massive hint for Sora, the good ol’ building of 104, famous for being a clothing hotspot in the game, The World Ends With You. Back in the 3DS installment, Dream Drop Distance, we got to hang out with Neku, Shiki, Beat, Rhyme, and Joshua in Traverse Town. That town, settled between the light and the dark realm, house creatures whose worlds are lost. Therefore, we already have been introduced to the characters, so the move to a Shibuya world may be an excellent transition.

Which can open up a lot of possible new worlds. Bringing me to my next world, the world Riku is in. And yes, I believe it’s a different world than Shibuya. If you go back and look at the building, it’s a very close model to another place in the final fantasy franchise…

This is the Insomnia Citadel, home to our hero Noctis Lucis Caelum. A Final Fantasy 15 world may be in our next installment, perhaps even in the future of Kingdom Hearts games. But let’s go deeper into thinking, how were past final fantasy characters introduced? Normally, in original hub worlds. But for some like, Cloud, Auron, and Zack, they were integrated into a Disney world. So why not have it flipped around? Let’s see what happens when Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planets world is destroyed and he ends up in Insomnia, or Milo from Atlantis, or, heck, even Kuzco from Emporers New Groove manages to get lost, but then found in Shibuya.

I’m sure they won’t go crazy with this idea, though. So I’m not expecting a horrible ratio of Disney to FF, but this series has a huge amount of potential if they keep the story straight. If they do, we can see Midgar, I mean the remake is close at hand.

In fact all the game are getting ports to the Switch, so with those game fresh on their minds, who knows what this new KH formula holds? It’s an exciting prospect to theorize!

So if you enjoyed this article, let me know, if you spot errors or don’t agree, or see something I can improve on, tell me about somewhere on the internet, I’m just about everywhere.

See ya.

Some Indie Games Look Ugly (really just incomplete)

There I said it.

What is it that I’m playing?

Is it supposed to be cool? I assume that when I see the cover art. It looks like a really cool game, but then when I play it, I’m lied to.

The graphics look bad.

And there’s no excuse. Indie, triple A, no one has an excuse. It’s way into the 2000’s and we’ve had Shovel Knight, Binding of Isaac, Cuphead, Hollow Knight, all come through and bless us with gameplay both challenging and pleasing to the eye.

What’s with the idea of making half decent looking games? We shouldn’t have to sacrifice looks for challenge, the technology and resource for art is out there.

So here’s the games I’m calling out: Hyper Light Drifter, Super Meat Boy, Dead Cells, Celeste, and-these will hurt me personally- Undertale and Hat in Time.

So there, I hurt my own feelings, okay?

But to explain the parenthesis in my title, I don’t think they’re bad games. I just probably won’t play them (anymore than I have to) because my hard earned money is precious, and I want my experience to be fun. And when I say fun, I want to enjoy what I’m looking at.

And just so we don’t misunderstand each other, I don’t think bear looking games mean the best. If you made an actual likeness of Johnny Depp but he handled like a robot at a bad theme park ride, I’m not gonna be impressed.

Don’t sacrifice challenge for looks, and vice versa. Do a good job with both. The market these days for entertainment is a battle royale. I’m trying to make a decent fantasy novel, but the standards are high thanks to years and years of great books and awful books forming the industry.

The same is for video games, and for self publishers- I mean indie companies, the product has to speak for itself and it has to stand out. The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented but we don’t need another Mario clone.

So, with that said, maybe before they put out a game, they should make it look like the art that promotes it, or make art that doesn’t deceive.

Alright, there’s my thoughts. Now, laying before you on a table, with your saw in hand you may do your worst.

Top 5 Levels of Crash Team Racing… That I Can’t Wait to See.

Rev up the remastered engines!

We wanted it, and it’s happening! Who knew all we had to do to was scream loud enough, and our favorite games would come back?

*ahem*

TALESOFTHEABYSSTALESOFTHEABYSSTALESOFTHEABYSSTALESOFTHEABYSSTALESOFTHEABYSS

 

So as we wait for our chance at power sliding across the beach, and hurling rockets at N. Gin, I thought it would be fun to try and make one of those top 5 lists. Here are the top five levels I can’t wait  to see remastered.

5. Roo’s Tubes

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A picture is worth a thousand words! But a three lap course through water and TNT crates is worth twenty years of nostalgia. This level has those amazing moments where you’re completely underneath water with only glass between you and the depths. Instead of some high-money scientists’ home, it’s the track to the first boss racer, Ripper Roo, who will be launching TNT crates out if he is ahead. Remember to hop to shake them off, in case you forgot.

Also don’t forget the shortcut through the bones near the end of the finish line. The terrain will slow the car down but if there’s an accelerating item in the inventory, then those last few seconds may be what defines the race.

4. Tiny Arena

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Despite the name, just like the Tiger, it is anything but. This track gives a feel that an audience is watching, and the competition to save the earth actually has attracted attention, and we’re not just doing this in some blind journey that goes unappreciated, or overlooked. At the very least, it’s exciting and fun to watch, so some spectators are getting some enjoyment out of the suffering anthropomorphic critters getting hit with bowling bombs.

I love the inclusion of the dirt bike style jumps, the mud pits, and most importantly the atmosphere. And according to the new released screenshots of the trailer, the outer aesthetics include giant Tiny statues, a blimp, and what looks like a dome encompassing the whole track. Sure these things might have been in the last game, but PS1 graphics always left much to be desired.

3. Cortex Castle

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There’s no question, one of the coolest callbacks to the first game, with homages like the spiders you jumped on in between dark pits, scaling the side of castle walls, and moving in and around tight turns with stained glassed windows was Cortex Castle. The drawbridge leap, and the giant stairs leading down to the finish line were always making this particular track a treat. You had to be careful, in this later-in-the-game track it was hard to see what was coming next.

And if that wasn’t enough, one of the subtle yet hardest shortcuts to pull off is in this level. If you have an accelerator, or maxed out power sliding to the max at the right time, you just may skip a long spiraling turn around the building and skip straight onward. But the ledge for the shortcut is far and steep.

2. Hot Air Skyway

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Who doesn’t want to wait to see Hot Air Skyway!?

Sharp turns, huge jumps, intimate track size, and Pinstripe Portoroo lobbing bowling bombs!

I don’t even really know what kind of style the track is supposed to be! Like, is it some weird hot air balloon texture?

When Spyro was released and I made it to the Beast Maker Homeworld, the amoun of detail in the background that no could touch blew me away. Just the inclusion of trees, bog effects, marsh motif, instead of fog was amazing! Truly inspiring and made the world feel more real.

Now how about that amount of care for Hot Air Skyway? How about multiple blimps in the sky, or a blimp warfare going on? Maybe even some biplanes from the Crash trilogy, along with fireworks, confetti, and those rings from the last plane mission in Crash 3?

No, I don’t know why they would be there, but it would make the track look amazing! Giving us the impression that we might be able to go there, is what games were about. And bringing that magic back can make young imaginations dream again.

…Sorry, got off the rails there.

1. Oxide Station

Everything. Everything about this level I simply must have. In fact, if at all, maybe save this level and don’t show anyone until they make it themselves. This is the best final level in any racing game I’ve ever played. To me it’s better than any rainbow Mario could cross. For one thing it’s not nearly as frustrating. For another reason, it’s in space!

Oxide brings this huuuuuge map full of winding turns, gargantuan leaps over the track itself, one false rocket will have you in last place, zero-gravity jumping in one section, and my personal favorite, the biggest sizeable jump in the entire game that plummets down below the ENTIRE COURSE! And if that wasn’t enough, when we race the big alien himself, he’ll throw every manner of weapon at us, while trying to master this track. It’s gonna be a great undertaking, but the most fun when we cross that finish line in first place!

So that’s my list. All of the other courses will be fun, and cool, maybe even change my mind, but I’m still excited to see what else they bring. After all I saw that slight teaser they threw in of Crash riding multiple carts through almost every cart game ever made. What else will this game bring? Will it bring all the courses from Nitro Kart and Tag Team Racing? Will we finally get to play as Nitros Oxide? Will there be a remastering of the other big boss (name escapes me)?

Will we see Penta Penguin again???

We can only wait and see.

Up and Coming Games: Onirism

Gimme back ma’ Teddy!

Do you remember Hat in Time? It was cool, remember? Well, the little girl grew up! And some shadow enemy stole her teddy bear. Apparently she also lost her hat, so she’s no longer called Hat Girl. Today we’re taking a look at Onirism, made by Crimson Tales.

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The game demo starts off quick, which is great. I could get a good feel for the controls right away, and the tips for controls didn’t break me from playing. Although I played with a controller, the inputs were for the keyboard, but I figured it out easily. The interactive environment was fun to play with, finding vases and crates to smash for currency. The music delighted me, it was refreshing as I took my walk through the woods.

I soon found a sign with three directions: Village, Temple, and Volcano. I was thinking, cool, quite a bit to do for this demo, it should be a quick but filling experience.

Sadly, I was thinking it would stop at the village, but to be honest I’m still trying to figure out where it ends.

After I went on my way, I found my first gun.oni 2

And then I found the main fighting mechanic of the game. And it is deeply fleshed out already in the demo.

For the demo I found a smorgasbord of guns to utilize against the various frog/lizard/amphibian enemies, hogs, and some freakin’ annoying wind-up toy animal that comes out of nowhere, EVERYTIME!

So I saved someone in front of the locked Village and they told me the key is in the temple. The girl was in no mood to get it, except the villager convinced her that the person who took her teddy went through the village and into the volcano (he wasn’t wrong).

So I went in through the temple, finding some new guns like the elven lance, and the great big boomstick which were hidden behind challenges and upgrades.

And so I went into the temple…

And I got lost in the temple.

And I learned a lot about the game during that time.

1.) The enemies will follow you if you try and run past them.
2.) They’re really good shots when you try running.
3.) When they gang up on you, you’re as good as dead.
4.) Checkpoints are fairly placed. So… progress can be lost. I ended up retrieving the Elven Lance like three times before finding the way to go, AND finding a new checkpoint.
5.) The Elven Lance is cool, but there are other guns, and it’s not effective enough.
6.) The Rocket Launcher though!

The game also has bonus rounds that you can find hidden throughout the world. Be prepared for a challenge though. This game doesn’t hold your hand.

I will say that I am pleased with the Crash Bandicoot style level in the volcano, although I think the jumping mechanic needs to be fixed, because I died a lot…

Actually I died from slipping off the ledge quite a few times everywhere, especially in the Volcano, which by the way is a little more straightforward than the temple.

Going back to the temple, the very bottom held the first boss battle.

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It was’t as simple as shooting it, you had to wait for the weakpoint to be revealed. However, her attacks were tough. I died again and again from the poisonous gas.

You know what though? I found an easier time smashing her with my umbrella!

And that black widow fell, baby!

After climbing back out in a rush, the exit led me to the key!

I went into the Village, found nearly every gun available, had no money, and proceeded to the Volcano.

The Volcano is hard.

I’m stuck in a large room with three waves of enemies, and I run out of ammo at the last wave every time. There’s a default pink rechargeable gun that is available at all times, but the damage is minuscule. I got reeeeeal close to finishing when some lava beast killed me from off camera.

The Kickstarter Side

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There’s a lot the developers want to do with the game. Tons of costumes, more guns, enemies, levels, ports, and merchandise. There’s a candy kingdom with a Prince Blueberry, if reached, will be another playthrough option character. You can even play as the teddy thief herself if they raise it enough, but it can only happen if they raise the money.

The game itself has a beautiful amount of polish already included. Aside from control issues, and some lag problems, there’s a lot here.

There’s a lot of Alice in Wonderland, Skylar and Plux, elements, which is great since EA took that away from me… But if you’re a fan of that gameplay, then you’re going to love this.

You can play the demo now and see what I mean about the Volcano being difficult, now!

 

Kickstarter site:

Game Download page:
https://gamejolt.com/games/Onirism/310178