Leon's Microblog – July 2018

I Can't Freaking Believe that there's an entire game mode locked behind getting every single toy from the in-game gacha, and I also Can't Freaking Believe that I spent the last 3 days single-mindedly doing just that based solely on a hunch
Sneaky Gamer is the most goddamn hilarious thing on this planet; end of review as well as start of it.
Only issue I have is that they changed out all the non-Wario characters' English voices for more generic cartoon VAs. Look. I'm not saying it's that big a deal, given each character only had like 6-12 voice barks per game… but they were distinctive barks, goddamn it.
Additionally, the unlockable modes are all quite good. One of them, fulfilling a fan-wish for this series I remember hearing for years, finally reduces the downtime between microgames to zero.
I played the new WarioWare and I was surprised at how consistently good the framing skits for each character are in this one. Usually only one or two are memorably charming, not the majority. Even the final level feels interesting and climactic (a first for the series).
*Masahiro Sakurai proceeds to assuage my fears by wisely adding a fourth Kirby Super Star stage instead* Me: Ah… well,
Normal, sensible people: worried because Smash Bros. is absolutely, definitely going to have a Sonic Forces stage instead of a Sonic Mania stage Me: worried because Smash Bros. is absolutely, definitely going to have a Kirby Star Allies stage instead of a Robobot stage
Once again the corporate centralisation of internet communities robs us of history by making it inconvenient to even write fiction about it
Thinking about ESC and realising the late-00s equivalent of MUDs is Minecraft servers, and that historical fic games about the 00s will have to call Minecraft by a cheesy fake name like "Minercarve", even though everyone associates those names with App Store ripoffs in real life
By the way, a strongly recommended setting for this game: turn on the boldface fonts (which are off by default) if you want either a more authentically dated terminal look or just more comfortable reading.
#IPlayed ESC (https://radicaldreamland.itch.io/esc). I liked this a good deal! Even if more than a few scenes could've dragged a bit less. The narrator (the Navigator) is the kind of cyberpunk wiseacre I like - a cocky mess, but a femme cocky mess.
I'm a fan of challenges to traditional colonial or political meanings and visions for space - of space as just More Earth, of space seamlessly accommodating every meaning implicit in the word "ship" - in things like this or 17776 or others.
Its main premise is one close to my interests: once space is found to be empty and barren, and ceases to have colonial or military value for Earth, only queers, who are already outside colonial values, can live there - in violation of Earth's will - and give it new meaning.
#IPlayed Heaven Will Be Mine (https://pillowfight.itch.io/heaven-will-be-mine). I struggle a bit with the author's very frictionless allegorical writing style in this and WKTD because I'm a fool who can't grip, but I enjoyed this a good deal.
Interfaces that sort by date "ascending" which place past dates before future dates seem to heavily imply that time, as many have long suspected, really is All Uphill.
The cold, burnt-out sun dawns on a frozen Earth, where one final person is insisting that Territorial Control would've been a good Team Fortress 2 game mode "if they'd just made a good map for it"
So, the Sapphire & Steel opening monologue is valid Inform 7, right
Accidentally destroying a 30GB ".DS_Store" file that was actually a 7z full of porn after unwittingly turning on icon preview
Spectrum HoloKnight
Massive ships arrive to re-terraform the planet for the third time this century, reflecting further demographic shifts in the galaxy's high-end real estate market.
"They say the Spell Baton is powered by the pureness of the wielder's heart…" *slowly lifts a small dog with the baton in its mouth*
This is a writing flaw that its predecessor Too Many Cooks managed to avoid by not having any characters *pauses to sip tea while you dwell on the irony of that statement about a video whose main draw is that it's just a long list of characters*
The Final Deployment 4 video is just Glittermitten Grove with a much higher budget and fewer likeable characters. Which is a bit depressing given Glittermitten has about 3 characters total.
Important points: * You play as kids in your Sburb session plus Derse forces in opponent's Sburb session * Grist and boondollars as currencies * Decks have 300+ cards and each game takes 3+ hours * On turn 50, both players MEGAPAUSE for 1 real-time day
I woke up in the middle of the night and instead of returning to sleep my mind immediately started brainstorming a Homestuck TCG idea for an hour, so, hey hey
I'm sorry, everyone, but I have to say it… vore maw pictures with 100% intact unfilled teeth aren't inclusive of impoverished childhoods
There are plenty of examples of successful level palette-swaps out there – DKC3's shifts between equally saturated dominant hues comes to mind. Encore is mostly just "make everything brown or silver", colours which REDUCE saturation across the board.
The real bad news, however, is that Encore Mode's alt palettes are as bad as they are unambitious. The only zone that looks comparable to the original is Oil Ocean, of all things *spindashing eyeballs*
Sonic Mania Plus patch review: Mirage Saloon 1 is still a narrative mess, both internally and in connection to the previous act. The other cutscene additions, however, are sufficient to put my soul to rest.
Writing secret by Leon: First, take every character. Then, write what they deeply want. Then, think of the absolute most fricked-up monstrous way they could get it. Then have it all happen at once in an awful maelstrom where only the worst characters succeed. "I'd read it!" –Leon
FEZ (2012)
"If you put a can of compressed air in a hydraulic press, it gets crushed into a solid "air pancake"." *bites into translucent blue disc* "Mmm… the low-cost food of the future." *empties an entire salt packet into it*
*tapes sheet of butcher's paper to the wall and writes "LIFE GOALS" on it* "Finally, time to figure this out once and for all!" *mentally thrashes through deep, impenetrable fog of anhedonia for half and hour, then writes "cleaning" in the corner* "Well, no time like the present,
"A truly artisanal pistol. Gold leaves on the handle. Filigree silver strands entwined in a cylindrical web for a barrel. It isn't even enclosed or airtight. I, uh, assume it fires bullets by faerie magic." *pulls trigger, bullet slides out and falls to the ground* "Nope."
Realising too late that your mentor kept your latent destructive magic a secret from you all these years not from jealousy, nor even fear, but because you'd crack like an egg from the pressure of responsibility.
Fleets of arcane necrosaucers excavating planets to harvest demons from their respective Hells
A board so light, even a gossamer princess could kickflip it
Copying a single line of DOM code from a decade-old webpage, not realising that hidden on one of the dots is a miniature civilisation of tiny cryptocoin bots who, having long lost contact with their creator's DNS, have become a placid utopia contemplating the universe's vastness.
"Fish morph is extremely dangerous if you're alone… no hands or voice to reverse the spell. You need a trusted friend to do it for you." *reaches down and grabs fish, raising it to eye level* "OY! SNAP OUT OF IT!" *fully nude wet wizard falls to the ground by their feet*
*panting, blood-soaked* "We're evenly matched in combat. It's time to take this battle…" *magically summons two glowing matrices of numbers* "…to the realm of the mind." *uses telekinetic light to etch a 4 in a row that already had one, then messily crosses it out*
Current Smash Bros. Ultimate Rumours Status: a cloaked figure called "the Riddlesome Prophet" claiming to possess "Roster Enlightenment" has made a 5-second video chanting the words "From distant game of childhood's past…" and will release its continuations "to those Worthy".
People talk about games rewarding speedrunning through movement versatility, being able to build and preserve momentum or cut corners reliably, but movement systems that also have visible risk add a lot to the meaning of speed accomplishments.
Counterintuitive fact: just having an animation where Mario slams face-first into a wall at high speed and plummets onto his butt for 3 seconds actually makes Mario speedrunning more intense, because it makes collisions a near-constant threat hovering over everything.
Tag yourself
"Unwilling to let my feet crush even a blade of grass, I took the fog's lightness–" *abruptly tips over in midair* "–and now drift over the ground–" *a nearby acolyte pushes her upright with a mop* "–as gently as the breeze."
"You got almost all the way up the mountain, and now you're mad at yourself because you can't climb this one last slippery rock? Please. Grow up. Act like an adult." *leans hard against rock* "Push it off. It's loose and right near an edge."
"C'mon in – it's saline enough that you float effortlessly. It's truly serene." *paddles over to edge of pool* "You know most corporations our size don't even bother harvesting employees' tears? Such a waste."
How in the FRICK did Captain Toad get to board Snowpiercer
I suspect not everyone who voted The Witness over Braid is aware that there's a puzzle that ALSO takes an hour and a half to solve in The Witness. (Then again, there's a lot more puzzles in Witness than Braid, so I guess, when appraising them as a whole, it dilutes out?)
The remainder of Celeste's blue heart puzzles are honestly pretty good (and given the surprise factor of being in a non-puzzle-centered game) except perhaps for their scarcity and that the other heart varieties don't live up to their promise.
Eight years later, and I feel that this comparable puzzle from Celeste (which I'm spoiling because I think it sucks) is several times worse in terms of being culturally gated.
I distinctly remember there being a lot of fuss about Fez's QR code puzzle – how very bougie it seemed. Remember that back in 2012 the mobile phone market was still largely defined by Apple's $500+ products, with affordable competitors not ubiquitous yet.
Favourite hidden puzzle (sets of puzzles whose mere existence and boundaries are hidden in an otherwise seemingly transparent level structure)
Who wore it better
"I can't maintain this physical form much longer… so listen… you need to–" *lower jaw falls off and crumbles to dust* "–sigh…" *grabs a plastic sandwich container and lodges it into skull* "–you need to–" *entire head suddenly deflates with comedic balloon noise*
A single-quoted pair of single quotes trying to pass themselves off as an empty string, only to embarrassingly multiply in number during idempotence tests
The ability on the left was replaced with the ability on the right many years later. The only differences are A) the ability on the right is 1-indexed instead of 0-indexed, and B) the counter type ("time") is interoperable with other cards. This is just substr() vs substring().
MTG really is JS, though. Reading about a card (Shelkin Brownie) whose only purpose was to remove a combat ability that technically no card ever had… gives me the same feelings as that DOM API (document.implementation.hasFeature) that's required to return true for everything.
*"MTG is just Javascript" voice* MTG needing to keep "Deckmaster™" on the back of the cards for three decades of backwards compatibility is literally Mozilla/5.0
http://www.archerandthesquirrelcomic.com/ – This is a pretty early forest-spirit comic, but the characters feel canny enough that the central mystery looks to be interestingly delivered.
(A lot of the complexity of competitive Pokémon is its RPG damage formula, with tiny situational percentages sprinkled in all over, but those tend to boil down to various thresholds of hits it takes a mon+item+move to KO an opposing mon+item.)
Reading about TCGs is making me realise that you could probably create a fairly close TCG version of Smogon-style competitive Pokémon, with "decks" of six face-up mon cards, each played with five face-down config cards (4 moves + 1 held item) and no draws or shuffling.
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