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Beating Games


A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
Finished Deathloop the other day. Really really enjoyed it, even if I never ended up exploring a chunk of the slab powers. I always tend to pigeonhole myself into one particular build in Arkane's games for some reason. Still, it was fun, and the writing and acting were top notch.
Did the same and definitely had my preferred aether + nexus setup that I rarely deviated from.

Couldn’t bring myself to shoot Julianna so I guess I got the “bad” ending. Felt right enough that haven’t felt the need to go back through and try again.


Stacking is a fun, short game by Double Fine (they also made Psychonauts). In Stacking, everyone is a matryoshka doll - you know, the russian dolls, that can be stacked one inside the other. You are the smallest doll of all, tasked with finding your family, who was abducted by an evil baron who enslaved them, and use your ability of stacking inside of bigger dolls, to control them.

Each doll has a unique power, which is used to solve puzzles. This powers can be anything - one doll can do a punch, one can shake hands, one can shovel coal, or maybe you have a child doll, which can just blow bubbles. Many are just there for fun, but the puzzles all have multiple solutions, and with different dolls, you can solve them in different ways. The puzzles are a bit point'n'click adventure game-y, but with multiple solutions, it's not to hard to find one. Also, there are three hints for one solution, with the last one spelling out what you have to do. I only needed that ones, and that was just because I misunderstood the power of a doll.

It is pretty short, with only four levels (I beat the main game in 3.7 hours), but there is a second adventure, that I haven't played yet. Also, the game encourages you to find all solutions to a puzzle (the puzzle becomes unsolved again, which doesn't hurt your progression, that still stays). Also, most levels have an extra challenge, also with multiple solutions, which I didn't try (I just wanted to beat it, before going for extra stuff). There are also other small things you can do. And just trying out different dolls, and what they can do, is fun in and of itself. To give you an idea of how much side-stuff there is, I only got 50 %, at the moment, the rest is finding unique dolls (many exist multiple times inside a level, but some are one-of-a-kind) and finding unique solutions.

Also, it looks great. The FMVs are made in a silent movie style, where the text isn't spoken, but shown on an extra screen. They look great, and the whole game is just fun to look at. It shouldn't be expensive (I guess 9.99), and I'm sure I got it during a sale for 3 bucks, or so. I recommend it, it was nice and fun.


can stop, will stop
I've had Stacking in my backlog forever (think I got it in some Humble Bundle a while ago), thanks for the reminder to play!


A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
Credits rolled on that Inscryption game the internet won’t shut up about.

Indeed quite good! Wife walked in just before the credits rolled and just said “what the fuck was that all about”, apt.

Just wish you had a proper mode with the the skeleton and magic decks.

Seems like there is an official endless/roguelike mod I should try out.


Post Reader
Adios is a short story about a pig farmer who tells the mobster he disposes bodies for that he doesn't want to do it anymore. Not much of a game but it's worth checking out if that sounds interesting.


The DRKest Roe
(He, Him)
Finished and enjoyed Final Fantasy 5 Pixel Remaster, but it has also confirmed the feelings I gained from my replay of FF7 in 2020 that I can no longer really enjoy classic ATB systems. They're just a half-baked way to pretend the battles aren't turn-based, and it doesn't add anything of value. Either embrace that it's a turn-based game, or come up with a system that's more active that "wait for bars to fill up then rush as fast as you can to put in your command" Honestly in retrospect it's kind of amazing to me that it took Square Soft 6 whole entries to try a different system.
Seems like there is an official endless/roguelike mod I should try out.
Yeah, if you look at the Steam updates a recent post will have the keyboard combination to activate it. It's not what I thought it would be (you have to play with debuffs to unlock more stuff essentially) but after beating the game you do have the option to just restart the game again, I replayed a bit just to remind myself of how some things initially played out, the game really is brilliantly crafted from a story perspective.

Glad I played it because it's such a cool storytelling experience but the actual game part changes too much for me and I still find it really frustrating. I think ultimately I liked the act 3 gameplay best, managing the energy level was interesting.
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Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
I beat Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX. Its a pretty decent playing Mega Man. Could use fewer half naked children.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is finally off my backlog. Our long national nightmare is over.

I wouldn’t say it’s either the best Persona or Fire Emblem game on the Switch, but I would say it’s at least in the top three examples of each!

…actually maybe I would say it was my favorite Fire Emblem game; was pretty lukewarm on the other ones on the console

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart is a good Ratchet and Clank game, not in the top tier like Up your Arsenal or A Crack in Time, my pick for the peak of the franchise. I wasn’t as blown away by the game’s whizz bang technical chops the way a lot of people were, since R&C games looking incredible has been the norm since at least the PS3. The instant loading of such a lavish and spacious game is something I never expected to see on anything other than a supercomputer, I have to say.

As fun to play and look at as Rift Apart is, the story left me disappointed. I like Rivet and Kitt, and hope to see them come back later, yet there’s only a few other bizarro world version of familiar faces, and they appear mostly at the climax of the story. Except for Pierre, a counterpart to a robot pirate that I, a Ratchet and Clank super fan, barely remember. He’s in it a whole lot. Someone on the development team must have really liked him.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Finished off Operation Logic Bomb via SNESflix, and the ability to simulate extra lives by making a save-state whenever I got a health refill.

It was a favourite since small-times, but given the stinginess with health restoration (there’s a small number of single-use first aide stations, and you also get a full refill when you use one of your 3 continues) and the absolutely ludicrous rate at which you can take damage (no mercy invincibility and enemies are aggressive) I was never able to beat it despite its short length.

So now I have!

It’s got a deceptively clever structure, looking like Contra but being much more methodical as most of the game is spent trying to determine the angle of attack where you’re least likely to be in danger, and even has some Zelda-like components as there are obstacles and targets you can’t bypass without tracking down the proper weapon upgrade. And the plot is presented by finding security and computer footage which gradually shows the lab you’re infiltrating being invaded by aliens.

It’s pretty clear the game was made on a budget or with a narrow window (of the games four areas, two are palpate swaps and they are by far the largest stretches of the game, and the third and final boss is a barely edited sprite of a boss you’d fought only minutes before), but you can tell they were really trying to make something special there.

Good for you, Employees of Jaleco, in 1994 or so!


This is off-topic, but what is SNESflix? Google is useless, it always thinks I'm talking about Netflix. Is this a Switch thing, that lets you play SNES games?


hardcore retro gamin'
Operation Logic Bomb is one of my favorite "hidden gems" on SNES. Also, it's the third game in the Ikari no Yousai series. We got the first one of those as Fortified Zone on Game Boy.


Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I have now beaten both Beneath a Steel Sky and Beyond a Steel Sky. Some thoughts...

Beneath has the better location variety on average. Both of these games are ultimately pretty small world-wise, but with the factories, security office, a few businesses, three separate apartments you visit, etc., Beneath feels like it has more going on even though it doesn't really.

But that said, when Beyond delivers, it delivers. The area outside the gate, the museum, and especially (EARLY GAME SPOILERS) Graham Grundy's apartment are all very robustly detailed locales.

In general, I liked Beyond's puzzles better. Both games have some emphasis on using things on stuff and exhausting certain dialogue trees to unlock new options, but Beyond's hacking device allows for a little more variety. So puzzles aren't just "USE THING X on STUFF Y" or "Tell Joey to do something", but also "What piece of code/s is/are useful for what I want to accomplish" and "How do I get this code from Point A to Point B?" now.

And while I miss many of the characters from the previous game I had a lot more fun talking to who I could in Beyond. Dialogue trees run a lot deeper and there are some fun new characters to interact with. Tarquin the poetic droid is a big fave of mine.

Both games are a pretty fun time while they last but I don't blame anyone who wants to wait for a (cheaper) sale to pick up Beyond. These were a great way to unwind after the grim darkness of >OBSERVER_, another neat sci-fi title which I also beat recently.


hardcore retro gamin'
While I don't think Ys IX: Monstrum Nox was as magical as Ys VIII, it definitely tries to get to that level, so anyone that liked VIII will like IX. I still had a lot of fun with my roughly 36 hours with it.


Just finished Beast Breaker. It’s an absolutely stellar game, though it stretches itself pretty thin by the end. You have the tools to dismantle it about halfway through, but it just… keeps… going. It’s a shame, because the last few fights are really cool, but you have to grind identical fights for quite a while to get there.

The ending is devastating, especially right now. It’s all about clinging to hope even as the world hastens its own demise, and… yeah.