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  • A lot of stories that don’t really go anywhere today.

    I’m not really seeing the benefit to having the dialogue in Swedish.

    Moreover, this doesn’t seem to be an actual story so much as bits of setup that don’t […]

  • Ah, January. I was feeling lazy and I was pretty sure the fic output would be low, so I let it build up. This covers January 1st-2nd. Some isekai, some no-pokemon AUs, an actual canon divergence fic with Jessie […]

    • I can’t remember the last time I saw a setup with the mom a battler and the father not! Nice.

      I initially read this as batterer. Did not know what to make of it as that prioritizing one type of progressivism over another.

      But as far as battlers, I have recently come across a romhack that does it. On the other hand, no dad. Romhacks are basically Pokémon fanfictions, in so many ways.

      Pokemon Unbound is the big Romhack of 2020, and it feels like I’m trap in a bad fanfiction. Ever bad Romhack has a bad conversation with Arceus at the beginning. Unbound basically boasts its features, so maybe I should not judge.

      Whatever, I’m might leave this type of storytelling as suddenly as I reentered it.

  • So, this summer I took part in a fanfic game where people pretended to be other people, and I finally went back to review the last fics because it’s that time of year.

    Training Data

    Social media and […]

  • Yes, I finally got around to this one! I’m… rather ambivalent towards it.

    Darkest Dungeon is a party-based RPG roguelike where you compile a party of 4 from 17 different classes and send them on expeditions […]

    • If I remember right, part of your complaint for the extra grinding forced by loss of progression is fixed by the game’s Radiant difficulty, which was designed to speed progression while keeping the combat intact. It allows things like getting the Experienced Recruit upgrade faster, making town management cheaper, and speeding up the dungeon leveling. I haven’t tried it out myself, but I’d recommend it to anyone who wants the experience without the time dump.

      I’ve never felt the Vestal to be required except in a few cases. Usually you could get away with two of the lesser healers, or even an Occultist solo healer. I do agree that healing wasn’t very strong, though. The game’s balance seemed inclined towards damage prevention rather than healing. I’d say the two most powerful characters in that sense were the Plague Doctor and the Hellion, given that they have abilities that stun two enemies. The action economy you get from that is really good.

      I too was a little disappointed by the heroes being cardboard cutouts, but each class still felt like it had enough of its own personality that I could get invested in the class itself, at least. Particularly, I almost got tripped up on the final boss because I sacrificed two characters who were willing to die but would have been much more useful for the last stage of the fight.

      The game’s combat does suffer from quite a lot of RNG, it’s true. Everything from the turn initiative to the damage variance to whether or not characters die when they are killed comes down to a roll of the dice. Personally I’m fine with RNG-based combat systems, but this could have stood for some tuning. I do love the virtue system just for the Rule of Cool factor, though.

      Speaking of Rule of Cool, I do feel like the game is really aesthetically complete, even if it’s mechanically not there. That is its greatest strength, in my opinion, and it keeps me feeling fond of it even if I’m not willing to replay it or buy the DLC.

      • Oh, I did play in Radiant mode. If that’s “speedy”, I don’t want to know what the standard difficulty is like.

        The art is indeed the strongest part of this. I was really impressed by how many poses they drew for all the different attacks. The Cultist Priest in particular was an excellent use of obscured horror (the way it twitches in its idle pose is so subtly unnerving). I also found the mosquito vampires delightfully clever — bat monster vampires have become pedestrian at this point, so it’s great that the game went a step further to make its vampires seem truly inhuman and horrific.

        I actually found the final monsters to be the weakest aesthetically, to be honest. Generic flesh blobs are just kind of eh at that point. It’s the uncanny valley that’s truly creepy.

        • I too loved the vampire mosquitos, and also the depraved noble aesthetic they had going. A lot of the area/boss backstories were about little sins or crimes that got out of hand and escalated under the Ancestor’s neglect or worse, attention. The idea that this orgy among his friends basically got so out of control it ate the manor’s gardens is hilarious to me.

          I also loved the demons being piglike because he summoned them into pigs, the only animal he could easily get in huge quantities for his experiments. That those experiments were failures is even better.

    • For interested parties, I wrote a bunch of nitpicky mods tweaking really specific things, most notably removing damage variance, so give those a try if you’re into that.

      I do appreciate that the developers made the game files so transparent and moddable, though the organizational structure… left some things to be desired. Why did effects and monster AI have to be in completely separate files from the monster data?

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  • Continuing where we left off. A much weaker showing this time, with a lot of games I couldn’t even finish.

    Death? Preposterous!
    Puzzle/Visual Novel

    I could not get into this at all. In addition to RPG […]

  • Someone made a throwaway to troll me and for some reason couldn’t stop responding.

    U gay
    Jun 13Is your name elmo because you had a touch me elmo as a kid and got molested? Haha
    Jun 14Do I know […]

  • I recently tried out the first Yo-Kai Watch game, out of curiosity for what the rest of the mons scene is doing.

    My most important takeaway is that anyone who says Yo-Kai Watch is trying to copy or replace […]

    • This was also my experience. I couldn’t even finish the game, the grindiness got so boring. I loved the Yokai designs and the ideas but god it was so deeply unfun.

      • Supposedly the third game greatly improves on all of this, but I am dubious. Might watch a quick playthrough to see how it shakes out.

        (Apparently the third game is also set in America, which, lol, that must have been awkward at the localization meeting.)

    • there is an uncomfortable undercurrent of “the spooky goblin man made me do it”

      That sums up, like, a third of all youkai stories. There’s a youkai whose sole reason for existence is to block your path on the road and make you late for an appointment.

    • Shin Megami Tensei really doesn’t have that much of a tiered power level as you think. Like yeah, they have tiered spells, but nothing really prevents you from putting high-tier skills on low-level Demons and levelling them up.


      Hell, Shin Megami Tensei III has a Pixie that you recruit at the start of the game and you can keep and if you keep her in your party until close to the end of the game and let her evolve naturally to her ultimate form, she’ll revert back to her original form except at level 80 with some of the best spells and skills.

      • You have to go out of your way to do that, though. The standard gameplay is to keep fusing your demons up into stronger demons, at least in my sample size of Devil Survivor.

        • Devil Survivor plays very differently from the other games. But generally if you find a demon you like you can just level it up and it’ll keep pace as long as you can find a way to feed it new skills, which Persona provides in spades. Fusing is more a method to move skills you like to other demons. Generally it’s intended to pass them onto stronger demons but with how the demon fusion system works you can figure out how to put higher-level  skills on lower level demons. When I was playing SMT4 I had the trouble where I just didn’t have much need to fuse very often, and I ended up dragging Alice from level 50ish to level 80 because I didn’t have a good way to replace her.

  • It’s that time of year, everyone!

    Expect Dresdening soon.

  • With creepypasta apparently no longer popular, what horror fic remained made for a peaceful little stroll. One was actually good! Others were not, but in a diversity of ways.

    [Also, the plot of my story will be […]

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  • A Few Situation When Marriage Counseling Becomes Essential

    Marriage counseling helps couples overcome the issues and challenges they are facing with their relationships. Psychologist West Palm Beach enables couples to discuss their problems, understand the communication gap between them and bring the needed spark back in the relationship.…[Read more]

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  • So, ran a bundle to fundraise for Black Lives Matter, offering over a thousand games for only $5. As a fundraiser, I found the ethos… questionable (“Give us money so we can do actual activism while you […]

    • As a fundraiser, I found the ethos… questionable (“Give us money so we can do actual activism while you stay at home”)

      Not everyone can be the person on the street, and especially right now I’m incredibly uncomfortable with judging people for that.

      Nonprofits need money and if your circumstances make active participation impossible donating is a useful and helpful way to assist causes.

      • It’s more that the focus on something as frivolous as video games. This isn’t something that’s going to keep people engaged with the issues after they donate.

    • The way you’re required to juggle so many resources, particularly the approval of a diverse constituency, was really engaging and forced me to make some tough decisions.

      Flashbacks to getting assassinated by the Greens because you supported gun rights in Democracy 3.

      • It’s actually surprisingly hard to get assassinated in DemSocSim. I never had it happen once despite wrecking the economy bad enough to get coup’d several times.

  • A revenge review from someone I reviewed 4 years ago for some reason, and one extremely chill response.

    A response to your review at
    The Doctor’s Charlene

    I […]

  • A mixed bag today.

    By the way, The Zoroark Games have concluded! I did not participate, but Farla did, and there are many other good stories there too.

    Anime: 3

    I don’t watch the anime, so I’m not goi […]

    •  Rather than techniques to be used in a fight, the moves flowed together in a way more akin to a dance.

      Rhythm and timing, and kinetic linking and kinesiology, are actually incredibly important to combat sports.

      This is an excellent description for a pokemon modeled after a sports player. It makes perfect sense that they’d emphasize style and performance.

      … Oddly enough, despite (or perhaps because) of that, some of the most flamboyant and stylistically distinct fighters have incredibly odd and decidedly ungraceful ways of moving, specifically to upset their opponent’s sense of timing and rhythm. Michael Page has perhaps the single most style and performance emphasized style of fighting, and even despite the dance moves he sometimes does to taunt his opponents, it’s one of the weirdest and least graceful looking styles in combat sports.

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