Saturday, 29 December 2012

albus vs barlowe, hard mode (max 50)

Because tips for this battle are hard to find (most FAQs focus only on Shanoa mode) and this took a stupid number of tries, my suggestions to anyone else trying this:

1. Grind up to level 25 if you're not there yet. I was at 22 when I started this and getting nowhere. This makes a big difference, because:

2. When you first enter the boss fight room, if you do enough damage quickly enough, he will disappear without attacking. So if you've leveled up enough, jump when you enter the room and use your rapid-fire gun on him, and he should spazz out and disappear without doing anything.

3. You can *repeat* that several times once you know the timing. Don't chase him after he disappears - wait a moment, then fire off a Max Shot to the right. He'll start to come onto the screen and get hit by it. Jump and rapid-shoot him again and he should, once again, disappear. As long as you can hold this pattern you can get in damage to him at no danger to yourself.

4. Eventually he will manage to attack, and obviously each attack has its own pattern to dodge. For the Fire attack I found that running a little ways to the side, then double jumping into the air and warping the other direction is an easy and repeatable way to avoid all the fireballs. Step left, hop hop, warp right, hop hop, warp left, etc. The Ice attack you have to stay off the ground, and the Globus attack, if you time it right you can use the invincibility aspect of the flame-kick.

5. Stay on the left side of the room; if you ever get away from it run/warp back there fast. Because if he ever does his Electrical Cage attack, you must warp to the far right of the room and duck in the corner until he's done - and this only works if he started his cage move by moving to the right. Which he'll do if he was on the left side of the room. If he starts electrifying on the right, you're screwed.

6. When you get him down enough to start using the rush attacks, invincible fire kicks all over the place should protect you.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Your opinions are bad and you should feel bad

Baffled by the people I keep encountering lately who seem firmly convinced that stories are not art unless they cater to a very specific aesthetic. Preferably one that involves as much sex, racism, and misogyny as possible, because only the grimdark holds aesthetic value.

4chan is currently arguing that the English VN market is doomed because there are people who vocally prefer non-sexist stories, and this is inherently antagonistic to 'art' and destroying the entire medium.

Or this guy, talking about how he didn't want to buy a VN with no explicit rape scenes:

If I want great stories where nothing can happen (because age ratings do not permit actually evil characters who do actual evil and actual relationships where people, heaven forbid, actually love and make love to other) there are literally thousands of other games and games companies who do that.

While I have sympathy for his original complaint (buying what he thought was an H-game only to find out it was the expurgated version), I raise an eyebrow at this being described as a story where "nothing can happen". So, you know, traveling to alternate worlds, fighting epic battles against outer and inner demons, making friends, being betrayed, heroes sacrificing their lives, overthrowing a corrupt political system, what have you, all of this is nothing if you can't explicitly see young girls being raped?

Of course, he was probably just annoyed and ranting a bit rather than meaning it seriously. We all do that... (looking up at blog title)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

December 2012 Big Visual Novel Sales

So it's becoming something of a tradition in the gaming world to have massive blowout sales in December, right? May as well join in the fun.

So, for this month, almost all of my games can be purchased (in download format) for $5 each. Simple, flat-rate, no fuss. How much of a discount that is depends on how much the game cost to begin with!

To get this offer you'll need to use a special discount code - instructions for this and several other December-only offers can be found at this webpage. If anything on there isn't working, please let me know!

In other development news, The Royal Trap is still merrily ticking along gathering artwork, and I hope to be able to release it in the first quarter of 2013.

I am currently playing around with something so experimental that I can't properly describe it, and so early/artless that screenshots would look like nothing but a bunch of lines and boxes anyway. It is distinctly not a visual novel, but might be classable as a dating sim... sort of... but NOT a stat-raiser. It involves schoolgirls, solving mysteries, and having things like Object Cards and Location Cards. At least, it does at the moment. This is still early enough that wild new ideas and completely new plot arcs are popping up and being shot down all over the place.

Sorry for the lack of information regarding future developments on Magical Diary. Due to life being life and change happening over time, it looks like in order to move forward I will have to give up on my plans for someday being able to release a cohesive mega-game of freshman year... because it does seem that I'm going to have to throw out all the existing art and start over. This is always a painful thing to do, even when it's a good idea. Nobody likes letting go of a plan, or wasting a bunch of half-made assets. So this is why Wolf Hall has never gotten off the drawing board. my new year's resolution - to bite the bullet, give up on the old, and look for the new.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

well, what did you expect?

According to this news story, people who eagerly disabled their phone security in order to download "free" versions of games that they should know perfectly well are not actually free, found their phones hijacked and zombified.

It's a point I raise sometimes when dealing with Yahoo Answers requests for pirate links. If you're obtaining goods from someone you know perfectly well obtained them illegally, someone who clearly has no problem with stealing and ripping others off, do you think they'll hesitate to rip YOU off?

Sure, there are 'honest' pirates who think information deserves to be free. There are dealers who sell exactly the drug and concentration that they claim to be selling. And sometimes goods really do fall off a truck. But if you're going to deal in risky business, learn to evaluate risk!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Order of Ecclesia

So, I have finished my first run through. It did involve a lot of walkthrough-checking. I don't really feel bad about that; I like finding all the Stuff. Sometimes I will play sections or fights without having read ahead and then go back later with the guide to see what I missed.

I have a minor twinge of stubborn annoyance that I had to rely on an insanely cheap trick to beat Dracula in the end... I don't know if I would have felt better if I'd thought of that myself, or if only beating him the way I was originally trying to fight would have felt like 'enough'. I could do the first half of the fight with no damage easily enough but I could neither get the hang of the patterns of phase 2 nor, on my own, deal enough damage fast enough to be able to overlook them.

(Cheap trick: Light+Dark Union, Union-boost ring, Death ring, Dominus. Deals obscene damage at a safe distance... and that 'distance' part is pretty important when you have the Death ring on.)

Final stats: lvl 40, about 15 hours, 99.something% map completion (see, I wasn't scrupulously checking the guide!)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

silly gamer conversations

(Paraphrasing, of course)

"Do you have the Witcher 2?"

"No, I have 1. Still in its box."

"It's on huge sale at GOG."

"Oh. Huh. ... yeah, but I have a zillion games in my backlog already. I have never played 75% of the games I own at GOG."

"If you have 1 you should get 2."

"I have had 1 for almost two years and still haven't played it. And I only have 1 because someone bought it for me, I think. If someone wants to buy 2 for me sometime, cool, but otherwise I should restrain myself to things I have some slim chance of using."

"It's only cheap today."

"It'll be cheap again someday."

"... this is true, and something these sales rely on you forgetting."

Saturday, 8 December 2012


If you saw me reference people talking about Long Live The Queen, you can find the podcast in question here. It's fairly brief, just a few minutes around the 20-minute mark.

I maintain a foolishly optimistic glimmer of hope for the narrative category of the IGF. A girl can dream, can't she?

news tidbits

Haven't been posting even though I have been gaming, because I've been playing Ecclesia and my comments at the end of a session are usually "ARGH THAT STUPID (whatever just killed me)" which therefore goes to twitter rather than a full blog post.

Couple of interesting bits off slashdot:

Nintendo of Europe is blocking Wii U content in the region that is rated PEGI 18+ between the hours of 3 a.m. and 11 p.m., according to a Eurogamer report. Under these stipulations, the four-hour window of 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. is the only time users can purchase games like ZombiU or Assassin's Creed III or even view trailers for such games.

Which as noted in comments is possibly more blocking the adults with jobs who need their sleep than the teenagers who are willing to stay up to the wee hours.

Over the last month, both game publishers and gaming communities alike were surprised to find their GameSpy multiplayer support suddenly disabled by GLU Mobile, who purchased GameSpy from IGN this August. Many games, including Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Swat 4, Sniper Elite, Hidden and Dangerous 2, Wings of War, Star Wars: Battlefront are no longer able to find (and in some cases even host) multiplayer games. While games like Neverwinter Nights are still able to directly connect to servers if players know the IP address...

... Which is a reminder that any game you have which relies on external multiplayer servers can disappear at any moment. Not that this stops most people from buying things.

They're generally old games, but it's still annoying to find that your game has just stopped working.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

not trying to strike a match here

So I spotted someone on the web describing one of my games as the "WORST DATING SIM EVER." This caught my interest - is this someone who actually plays these games? Why is this game the 'worst ever'? Worst GAME ever I don't usually bother following up with because that tends to mean someone who is totally disinterested in either the graphical or gameplay style, but why worst dating sim? What is it being compared to?

... Of course, I had an inkling of what the actual answer probably was, and was not surprised when he answered and proved me right.

"Because you have to play a girl."

Definitely THE worst ever, huh?

(Note - Obviously I do not demand that people who are not into this stuff suddenly force themselves to play and pretend to like it, what fun would that be? Just... Think of the assumptions packed in there.)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

futile torchlight

MMORPGs are morally wrong and should never have been allowed to exist.

God bless Paragon City.