Quick Recommendations

Two things you probably won’t mind checking out.

PS238

So, remember my rant about Cape High series? This webcomic demonstrates perfectly how to do the concept right. For one thing, it’s elementary school, so instead of sloppy teenage make-outs we have a bunch of adorable kids approaching the world of superheroes with childish naivete. For another, there is a plot, and it’s great. The comic starts as a gag-per-page type of deal with public announcements by the first superhero school detailing its policies and such, but after a few pages it quickly develops into a running narrative with well-rounded characters and some deep mysteries. It also deals with some heavy issues, primary how parental expectations can affect kids and the issue of self-identity, which is appropriate given the subject matter.

Overall, it’s a cute, funny and touching story, and you should go read it. Like, right now.

Girl, her brother and his lamp

It’s a short RPGMaker “game,” in which two kids find a magical lamp that transports them into a weird world. The lamp can affect the world, changing it or taking them to other places. Most paths result in bad ends, though they just transport kids to the beginning instead of killing them. Getting some bad ends is necessary to get to the ending. Gameplay is simple: once the intro is finished, two icons appear above kids’ heads. You pick one by pressing left or right arrow. That activates a short animated sequence resulting in a change of surroundings, and new icons appear once it finishes. There is one instance of three icons appear, the bottom one can be selected by pressing down arrow.

Honestly, there is not much meaning to be found in this game. It’s just a short surreal animation with a bit of interactivity. But, hey, the imagery is trippy, the tune is catchy, and the whole thing takes about ten minutes to complete, so check it out. Especially the sun-lightning-brain sequence.

9 Comments

  1. Nerem says:
    I should recommend Maria (Marie? Crap I suddenly forget) and The Witch’s House, both pretty good RPG Maker games.

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      1. Nerem says:
        Aw, I didn’t see that until now. I really liked it, even if I am a big scared baby (who plays horror games all the time).

        EDIT: Haha I’m a super dumbo because I actually saw it and talked in it like 5 months ago.

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    1. illhousen says:
      Quick search yields no results on Maria or Marie. It doesn’t help that the name is pretty popular. The closest match appears to be Marie Goes to Space, which doesn’t look promising.

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      1. Nerem says:
        Now that I’ve had some sleep, I’ve remembered the name. Dreaming Mary.

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        1. actonthat says:
          We do have a tag system, you know.

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          1. Nerem says:
            Yeah I wasn’t super awake when made those reqs, I’m sorry.

            EDIT: I mean, Dreaming Mary is like, RIGHT next to this box, and I still didn’t see it last night.

            EDIT2: Damn, you did Mad Father and Long Live The Queen too. There goes the other games I was thinking of right now. OH! I know. Asphyxia. It’s a Visual Novel I started reading recently. It has a very cute artstyle, and is mostly about a girl dealing with her depression, which I think is where the name comes from.

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  2. Wright of Void says:
    I just finished reading PS238! It is pretty great, though the way the update speed has slowed over the past year is pretty ominous. The kids and especially the teachers are wonderful, and it really fosters curiosity about the setting and the powers — like, where do superpowers come from? How durable is Ambriel? Can people have different combinations of the FISS set, and how are they regarded? (Although I have a hard time believing there have only been 84 flying bricks born in a century when they’re supposed to be the most common superpower.)

    I feel like it lost a lot of steam in the later arcs, though, especially, like, all of volume 8. The story is best when it’s focusing on the characters and worldbuilding, since those are its unique specialties that it’s spent so long building up, and “monster of the week” style plots just distract from that. Some of the plots just feel too bizarre and jarring, and don’t have much lasting consequence in the same way the interpersonal conflicts do, especially now that every single plot hook from the start has now been concluded except for the space station ghost. Still fun, though, and the latest arc seems to be a return to form.

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    1. illhousen says:
      Yeah, I think those flaws are nearly inevitable in format like that, when you are writing the story periodically over a long time and publish it right away. There are bound to be low points and half-assed parts. Normally editing would take care of them, but when you don’t have a complete work at hand, editing is hard.

      As for 84 FISS, I do feel the number is kinda too low. I guess the idea here is that capes normally have unique powers (like, between two mages, one would be an illusionist and another a summoner, and between two pyrokinetics one would turn into a human torch and another throw fireballs around), and FISS are unique for being very similar to one another.

      And, to be fair, 84 FISS means one or two appeared every year since WWII, on average.

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