Friday, December 11, 2015

The best gimmick

Yikes, been a busy week.

Dragon Quest Heroes hit its false ending last night. It did have me fooled, based mostly on the difficulty of the what I thought was the final battle. I ended up blowing through all of my healing items instead of trying to beat it more strategically because I thought I was done. Nope, it was a trap, and there was more to do and no way to refill on items (not that I had any money) or save.

I was not pleased at all when I had to run back through the previous three areas, now refilled with monsters, and get to the entrance while a timer ticked down. I made it comfortably, which should have been a clue to the game's try intentions, only to be confronted with this guy:

(Damn, look at the character levels. I am only around level 33.)

He looked tough. I was intimidated, worried, all worked up. This is exactly how a person should feel when facing a boss. Here's the catch, or concession, that the game made: as rough as the boss looks, he's a gimmick. There is one trick to beat him and it is spelled out. I was never really in any danger but the game waited as long as possible to let me in on secret. I had already done the work, this was the exciting conclusion to the chapter.

All of the excitement without screwing the player over and sending him or her back through a half an hour game they had already played. It is easily the highlight so far and will be what I remember long after I have put this game away or gotten bored with it and moved on to something else. Unless I get stuck on the real final boss I should be able to put the game to bed over the weekend.

Punishing difficulty is not always the answer. Who knew.


I do not have many possessions that can be described as old. Going through several houses over the years and making regular purges keeps ones residence from becoming a museum, or warehouse, depending on the quality of the stuff that isn't thrown away. This is just as true about electronics and video games as it is for anything else. I still have a reasonable selection of Xbox 360 games, games that I hope will someday be added to the backwards compatibility list, and I even have one oXbox (Phantom Dust) and one PS2 (Culdcept) title the I keep around, just for shits. Other than that, everything goes.

My oldest possessions, aside from my childhood teddy bear that lives (possible haunts) the spidery part of my basement, are my two tower speakers that I purchased in college. There are right around twenty years old and have outlived more receivers and televisions than I care to count. The sub-woofer and surrounds are only about a year or two younger but the towers are the star of the show.

I love my speakers. About a weak ago, while playing Rock Band 4 and appropriate volume, the left speaker developed a nasty buzz in the tweeter. It has gotten progressively worse, moving from occasional to constant, from annoying to infuriating. It's going to be like putting a pet to sleep, but the speakers, and by extension the receiver, have to go.

Funding is the problem. I spent this year's fun money, almost exactly what I would need, on my sleeve. Don't get me wrong, I do not regret spending that much on tattoos for a second, but god damn do I wish the body modification bug would have bitten a year later.

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