Tag: videogame

Fate/Extra: Extra Clothes Are Not Included

Fate/Extra is an RPG taking place in a world alternative to the canon Nasuverse where mana has disappeared from Earth somewhere in 70s. As a result, magecraft has died out and former magi families reinvented themselves as spiritual hackers, people capable of using their magic circuits to “digitize their souls” and enter virtual worlds wholly rather than interacting with them through an interface. It’s kinda unclear what they normally do with that ability aside from playing virtual LARP games as the game takes place in a very special setting that probably doesn’t have an analog on Earth.

Specifically, we find ourselves on the Moon. There is an ancient computer beneath the surface built by unknown hands. From the dawn of humanity it recorded all information about Earth from the movement of tectonic plates to lives of ameba to thoughts and ideal of every single person. Its purpose is unknown, but what is known is that it hosts a modified version of the Holy Grail War to which all spiritual hackers who can find their way in are invited. Hundreds of magi would fight in an elimination tournament, and the last one standing would get their wish, any wish granted.

You are one of these magi. Prepare to get flashed.

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EverLasting

Some of you may remember Farla’s review of the game Lasting and perhaps my own comments where I described a peculiar glitch I’ve encounter.Since then, I’ve played the game many more times, returning to it every few days. It takes only a couple of minutes for me to find a glitch now that I know what I’m looking for. The game changes doors’ “locked” property sometimes, and when a previously locked door gets unlocked, sometimes nothing is created beyond that, allowing the player to escape the confines of the game.

Basically, all you need is to find a closed door and click on it until it unlocks or until you die, at which point you should start anew.

While the game itself is very atmospheric and intense if pretty simple, I find the glitch more interesting and worthy of exploring.

Not a single object can be found there.

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The Sandman

The Sandman is very sort of a sequel to The Crooked Man. It’s is pretty solid in story terms. There’s some stuff in the initial setup that seems clumsy, but it actually pays off very nicely in the second half. It rerminded me of The Witch’s House in that there actually was a reason for seemingly incongruous stuff like putting the frog in the slot.

Designwise, eh, random RPGmaker style flaws. There’s cutscenes where actual gameplay stuff is accomplished and “gameplay” that is figuring out what part of what room she needs to stand in her house to get the next thing to happen. Also one of the puzzles requires numbers and you’re supposed to look at your phone and use the time despite that having nothing to do with anything as far as I can tell, they just share letters involved.

But wow, the story was really worth it.

(If you play, make an extra save right before showing the pink gem, that’s one of the two decision points for the endings.)

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Reap and Sow

This is a really intriguing little thing that doesn’t seem to live up to its potential. Gamewise, it’s a(n incomplete) horror Harvest Moon.

I’m not sure what to make of this, honestly. I really loved the idea and the setting and atmosphere is just great, but the mashup only works for a bit before you start seeing problems. But it’s pretty short and you don’t even need to complete it to see what it has to offer. (more…)

The Stanley Parable, or, What is Metacommentary? (Guest Review)

The Stanley Parable is a game about games. You wander through an office building while an omnipresent narrator narrates your every action. The trick is that he narrates your actions before you perform them, so you’re given the chance to disobey. There are a large number of paths, choices, and endings, many of them quite bizarre. This all adds up to a metacommentary on the inherent limitations of game narratives – that is, pointing out that they only allow you the illusion of choice. The Stanley Parable points out that regardless of how many options the game gives you, your choices only allow you to traverse a set number of premade paths; therefore, it asserts, the narrative isn’t truly interactive. I found the game very funny and clever overall, but this is one thing that didn’t sit right with me. (more…)

Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem (Guest Review)

Hello, Dragon Quill! This is Ember with a guest review!

Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem is what the developer calls a political fantasy/otome VN, but I personally like to refer to it as a diplomacy simulator. You play a young noblewoman from one of seven kingdoms (well, one of six, really — one of the titular kingdoms isn’t playable) who’s been sent to an international summit to foster peace between the nations. Part of that peace-fostering process involves intermarriage, which is where the otome/romance element comes in. But there’s a lot more to do on Vail Isle than scout out a future spouse (or paramour): there are mysteries you can solve, secrets you can uncover, and a world-alteringly important diplomatic process you can attempt to influence for personal gain, the good of your nation, or the continued peace and prosperity of the known world. (more…)

Heroes, Power Fantasies, and The Legend of Zelda (Guest Review)

I played lots of The Legend of Zelda when I was a kid, mostly the old GameBoy ones (which are, of course, the best). When their focus moved to fancy 3D console games, keeping up became more effort than it was worth, so it dropped off my radar for a while. This summer, I suddenly realized that let’s plays exist, so I decided to catch up on how the franchise has evolved since. I noticed some interesting things, which I believe can tell us something about how we view power fantasies, and how video games factor into that. (more…)

Telepath Tactics (Guest Review)

Telepath Tactics is the latest entry in the Telepath RPG series, and is markedly different than its predecessors. It ditches the vector graphics and awkward birds-eye camera angle for more a more traditional 3/4th view and pixellated style, and streamlines the experience into a linear series of battles like Fire Emblem rather than a free-exploration RPG. I believe that the latter change makes it a better game, but at the same time drastically hinders its storytelling ability. (more…)