Friday, September 28, 2018

You! Yes you! Stand still laddy!

'Chamberlain, don't you have something to say to the class?'

Chamberlain was slouched at his desk, his head barely visible over the top. He groaned and rose, pulled to his feet by invisible marionette strings. Eyes followed him to the front of the class. There were snickers. Not subtle ones. Chamberlain took down names on a mental revenge list.

'Well?'

He sighed, loudly, and rolled his eyes, loudly, like only a disinterested middle schooler could.

'...Chance was right.'

...

There is a lot of Ninja Gaiden in The Messenger, so much so that it admits as much during the description of the first obtained power: being able to climb vertical walls. I would call it an homage and nothing more if I did not know that there was a twist coming, an opening of the linear gameplay and a generational leap in the presentation.

It's good. It's very good. If only the cursed joycons did not cause me so much physical pain to use. Why is there is not an actual d-pad on the left joycon? Why? I can play for an hour, maybe, before I am treated to a preview of what regular rock climbing is going to someday to do my joints.

Moderation, I guess, at least for this game. I do need to get some work done throughout the course of the day.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

He we go, podcast time

I know the singing was out of sync. It is not a problem with the recording, I am just that bad at singing.


Chamberlain and Chance - Put a ring on it

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Don't look, it's too good

I made the mistake of watching some Digital Foundry information on Forza Horizon 4. Digital Foundry is wonderfully nerdy, the hard core nerd stuff that troubles itself with pixel counts and individual dropped frames. That know what the hell they are talking about and what they had to say about the game made my mouth water.

Soon. Soon.

...

Forty three hours into Dragon Quest XI and I think can see the end. It is still in the distance, almost illusory, but at least I know that it is out there. Only two party members are still missing (the two best magic users, of course) and I have a pretty good idea of what will happen after. Bosses have not been an issue but I am constantly broke. New towns bring up new equipment, only some of which I can afford. I don't want to grind for money, as that is even more boring than grinding for experience, but I am nervous that my second rate armor and weapons will not stand up against the ultimate bad guy's assault.

This specific fear, that of not always having the best equipment available, actually led to me purchasing in game funds with real world money for one of the Tales games. It was not one of my proudest moments.

...

Podcast will post tomorrow! Everyone but me was either too sick or too busy.

Monday, September 24, 2018

We're getting the band back together

It is not uncommon for JRPGs to either end the world midway through or unleash some earth shattering event that the player needs to undo when they were supposed to have prevented it in the first place. Near Armageddon is a well worn plot device. Dragon Quest XI does it, it does it very well, in a way that develops characters, explains what happened in the first half of the game and (finally) generates a main bad guy.

A scary main bad guy, one who actually posses the power to make good on his threats.

I am in the process of reassembling the team after have spent a few months as a fish (no, really) and am pleased to find the world changed. Revisiting towns is less of a chore when the road there looks different and is filled with different enemies. I hope it doesn't take too long to get my main team back, though, as my dedicated healer is currently missing and that is a difficult hole to fill.

At any other time of year I would be happy for there to be another 40 hours of game to roll around in. Instead I feel rushed, like I absolutely need to get this game done and gone in six more days, and the game deserves better than that.

...

TellTale is gone, which is very unfortunate, especially for the 200+ people who are suddenly out of a job. I have heard the Ubisoft is sniffing around the ashes, looking for good people, so there is hope for some of them.

As a final fuck you to poor management I would appreciate the script for the last the episodes of the final season of The Walking Dead finding their way out into the public eye (assuming they exist). I really need to know what happens to Clem.

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's going to be close

I arrived at what I thought was the beginning of the end of Dragon Quest 11 last night, having collected the lat macguffin that unlocks a path to the world tree. No, Alex laments, you have at least twenty hours left.

Under normal circumstances this would not be a terrible thing. I am not having a bad time with DQII (except for the music) so there being more if it to go is not a bad thing. It is going to run up against the sequel to my game of the year two years ago, Forza Horizon 4, a game that I have actually purchased and I am pretty sure has already pre-loaded.

The demo has been skipped to temper my excitement. Should the two game meet, should I be forced to choose between murdering the 1000th cute monster and driving across the UK in an obnoxiously over powered machine with my hair on fire, I know what will happen, and it does not look good for DQII.

The nameless character just got moderately more amusing - I unlocked dual wielding. Yes, I take more damage and can no longer block at all, but it looks cool and hits even harder. The faster I can make random encounters, the better. There are a lot of them and I cannot start avoiding them lest I be unprepared for bosses.

Not grinding, no. Just killing what is in my way.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A boring pattern

A full weekend into Dragon Quest 11 and it feels like I am not getting anywhere. I only just met the last two party member (who have yet to actually join the team) and hit an emotionally poignant reveal but I still have no idea who or what the actual bad guy is.

Two weeks ago when Alex was in his pro-DQXI faze I asked if party members not in the battle line up gain experience at the same rate as the ones that are doing the fighting. He said yes and I got excited because that is what I thought I wanted. It turns out that my complaining for years about games not doing this has been all wrong.

Allowing characters not in the party to gain experience means that I will never actually shuffle the party. I have two teams right now that differ by one person: the healer. I do not need a dedicated healer for random encounters because enemies never do enough damage to kill so she is swapped out in favor of, currently, the jester character. For bosses the healer is in. That's it.

Granted, once I get a higher damage character the jester will be removed (because he really isn't that good) but that is the end of part variety. I suspect, or at least hope, that the game will through a curve at me later but right now combat might as well be automatic. Which is not exciting. Easy, but not exciting.

Twenty more hours? Something better change soon.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday?!

What's this? I am caught up and there is nothing I can work on? It must be Friday!

Seriously, I almost bought The Messenger just so I would have something to so while looking like I am doing something productive. Instead I fired up Slay the Spire after having quit the game a half a dozen times because I can walk away from it at a moment's notice. That moment never came, so guess what I did all morning.

Dragon Quest XI is progressing slowly. I should be able to wrap it up before 10/1, then again Shadow of the Tomb Raider just shipped and I would very much like to see how it looks.

There is a lottery ticket stuck on the fridge that could fix all of these problems, plus a whole pile more, and for a whole bunch of people. It won't happen but it is fun to pretend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fuck it, I am taking my lunch break

As of this morning I had not had Taco Bell in almost two weeks. This travesty could go on no longer so I managed to peel myself away from my desk, hop on my bike, and be out of the house and away from my computer long enough to get a crunch warp supreme, taco and large Mt. Dew. Things felt normal again.

This personal upheaval is why I needed a game like Dragon Quest XI. Dragon Quest XI is not interested in challenging me, at least not yet. It is content to walk me through moderately interesting, occasionally cute scenarios in which I murder scores of equally cute monsters. It is the right game at the right time.

It is also a long game, one that will most certainly be put on hiatus if it overlaps with Forza Horizon 4.

Anyway, podcast time!


Chamberlain and Chance - Swing swing swing

Friday, September 7, 2018

Not a wise investment

I have played all of We Happy Few that I can stand, what I believe to be around one third of it, and I need to collect my thoughts. The final few hours were significantly less annoying that the first few. All of the worst mechanics, not being able to run in towns or be out after dark chief among them, had been circumvented by skills, allowing me to fast travel from place to place and take care of side quests in an efficient manner. There were even a few very linear story missions that were almost interesting. Then Arthur's section was complete - he escaped from Wellington Wells. remember what a giant asshole he was as a child, and didn't know quite what to do next.

On to Act 2...

Act 2 strips away all of the purchased skills and hand the player a new character: Sally, the chemist who has been selling illegal blackberry joy to make ends meet. Not only does she not have any of the skills that Arthur ended with (she can't run in town, she can't be out at night) she also has no fast travel, cannot wield most weapons and has a tiny health pool. She can mix up chemicals to subdue enemies, which sounds good, only the game doesn't bother to give you any of the ingredients.

Taking that many steps backwards was almost untenable and that was before Sally's baby was introduced. She has to go back home fairly often to feed this child lest her guilt become too great and it lower her stamina. You read that right, keeping a baby alive (with no fast travel) is a gameplay mechanic.

That was the last straw. I turned it off, just like everyone else. According to the Xbox achievements less than 2% of players who started the game finished Arthur's act. Less than 1% finished Sally's and less than one half of one percent finished the third.

And Microsoft paid cash money for this studio.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Home but not free

Once again I am forced to explain an lapse in posting. I have started a new job that allows me to work from home 100% of the time but that also require my full attention. I have fallen terribly behind on my YouTube list, I have not posted over at PA or trolled Reddit in days and I have not written anything here. This may clear up after I am done learning how to do things and actually doing things.

But do know what I did do? Record an episode of my favorite podcast!

I am also still playing We Happy Few, which is not my favorite thing. At all.


Chamberlain and Chance - Metroidvania Mania