[39] The Other Pokereviews, Part 127

A very decent OT fic that sadly does not show any indication of being in it for the long haul, a moemon fic that appears to not be porn, a fic about how hard it is to be persecuted for wanting to screw your property, a fic that just describes a game battle, and finishing off with a cool what-if where Mewtwo wasn’t abused.

Anime count: 13

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The Other Pokeauthors, Part 125

“Well guess what buddy?  You messed with the wrong writer.  I know you are a troll, and I know you think you’re smart.  But you screwed up.  I happen to know some of the devs in charge of this website, and getting them to lock out your IP address is just a matter of IMing them, which I already have.  Think you can make more alternate accounts?  Not from that device.  I’m going to have you blacklisted wherever you appear.  So have a nice day, and kindly go…”

Does this ever work on anyone?

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Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass, and Open-Ended Stories

Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass is an RPG by Kasey Ozymy, the developer of A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky and The God of Crawling Eyes, two games we previously reviewed. It’s clear that the developer learned a lot about game design in the intervening time; Jimmy is actually fun to play, with challenging battles that never feel like brick walls or games of roulette, as well as a tight and intuitive set of tools and mechanics for you to play with. It also just doesn’t bother with elemental effects, which I thought was a nice bit of streamlining. There’s a ton of content and it’s honestly a steal at $15, so definitely pick it up if you’re in the mood for a jRPG.

(Don’t bother with the postgame, though. It just throws you against the exact same enemies and bosses from the main game with literally no difference except bigger numbers, then caps it off with a really tedious battle that’s a total crapshoot followed by you effectively winning halfway through but having to continue punching your way through mountains of HP anyway. Save yourself the time and just look it up on YouTube.)

Unfortunately, story-wise, the author decided to dive into a completely different genre, and his inexperience in that area is very stark. The premise of the game is that it all takes place in the imagination of Jimmy, a young boy — and because it’s a world of his dreams, it’s also a world of his nightmares. To the developer’s credit, this is not your typical “looks cutesy but is secretly SUPER EDGY!!!” affair: the story does genuinely oscillate between horror and truly lighthearted segments, and most of the horror elements are relegated to the edges, which I thought was very fitting — to confront Jimmy’s repressed fears, you have to go searching for them. It does a really good job of making it feel like the horror is intruding on Jimmy’s fantasy, and that he’s actively trying to push it back.

My issue is that none of it really goes anywhere. The horror elements are all flash and no substance — or if there is substance, it’s so vague and opaque I can’t find it. Individual areas are very well-designed, but they don’t seem to add up into any coherent whole. Supposedly, the horror levels are meant to give us a psychological profile of Jimmy via his worst fears, but I couldn’t find any consistent thread that paints any meaningful picture beyond the most banal, superficial, and obvious reading. I wouldn’t mind this so much if the horror levels were just window dressing, but they’re not. The main story is one of those infuriatingly obtuse plots where everything is ~up to your interpretation~, right down to the ending itself, which explains absolutely nothing, not even what the Pulsating Mass is. The horror dungeons feel like they’re supposed to be vital pieces of the puzzle, but trying to use them to read into the main plot feels like grasping at straws.

More details under the cut, with major spoilers, obviously, but I will say that I don’t think the spoilers will ruin the game for you — the plot’s strength is in the characters and areas, and like I said, there’s not even a big ending reveal to spoil in the first place.

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The Other Pokeauthors, Part 123

“Fun fact: Outside of fan fiction, I actually wrote an original story and got it published under my real name as a paperback, and that was BEFORE I began writing that fanfic of mine based on Diamond and Pearl, so don’t you EVER try to tell me that I can’t write, mate. I can clearly write well enough to convince people to pay me MONEY for it. Let’s see your counter-argument for THAT one.”

People really have no idea what we do here, do they?

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