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    Kingsway (PC)    by   jp       (Jun 28th, 2022 at 19:04:31)

    I'm 6 hours in and I've had a win!

    After banging my head against the wall a bit with the Warrior class I was able to succeed with the Rogue. This was mostly because I got the upgrade (chose, not randomly received) were each successive attack was a bit faster and I had a weapon that did poison damage. It was a good run and I now feel like I have a better sense of the game's progression (generally go up/down and head east warily - there's a timer of sorts so you're forced to move eastwards).

    The game's main gimmick is the fake windows-style OS that runs the entire game. It's fun and cute, but some aspects get a bit cumbersome/tiresome - for example managing inventory gets annoying but the biggest is the shopping. It takes too many steps...add to cart, confirm, then drag thing you bought into your inventory.

    I do want to try out some of the other classes - the Rogue was more fun than I expected, and I guess the other classes probably have their own special perks/skills to use. I'm played mostly as the Warrior without success, but now that I get the game, perhaps it'll go easier?

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    Rayman Origins (VITA)    by   jp       (Jun 28th, 2022 at 12:54:13)

    I often mixup Rayman Legends and Rayman Origins. I know I played both on the PS3, but don't remember which one came first and so on. I fired this up the other day because I was curious - and it turns out that I had not played the PS Vita version of Origins. Such a great game...and it looks like the game levels are the same - which is nice.

    The Vita adds a few things that are new - you can use the touchscreen to tap on lumis that are inside bubbles, as well as tap enemies that have inflated (popping them). There might be other stuff but I'm not sure I want to continue playing the game because, great as it is, I've already played it. That being said I did play through the entirety of the first world/area. I wanted to play one of the musical platforming levels that I adore - but rather I played a flying on the mosquito 2D shooting level as the final one. I don't recall this exact level, though I did remember flying around on the mosquito, so I'll just blame my memory for this one. Though...I am curious...

    I did see a note that the Vita version has the most "content" with unlockable stuff - and I think this refers to these "half ying-yangs" you need to find - you just tap on them, which is why I think they're new. I'll do a bit more digging just in case.

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    Neopets Puzzle Adventure (DS)    by   jp       (Jun 28th, 2022 at 12:07:22)

    I don't really know much about Neopets - I mean, I know it existed and what it was about in the general sense, but I'm not familiar with the Neopets lore - names of pets and so on. So, I have no real way of knowing if this game is "true" to the source material. But, it's been fun to play what is essentially a kids game that clearly has lots of background material that I assume kids would have been all over. Sort of like playing a Pokemon game without any knowledge of the types and so on, and the characters are just like dropping these references assuming that you know what they're about.

    The game itself is...not that interesting. I've been playing the story mode, eschewing the mini-games for now,'s pretty linear, there's a map - but you don't choose where to go really and the character you create walks from place to place automatically (sometimes this takes quite a while, when going someplace on the other end...and you can't interrupt it or do anything about it once the character is moving along). The game's core gameplay is essentially a version of reversi (or was it Othello?) - the two-player abstract boardgame where you place a piece on the board and then flip over your opponents pieces to your color if they are between two pieces of yours. You continue doing this until the board is full and then you see who has the most pieces. Confusingly, as you place pieces you can also earn XP - which doesn't matter in the context of the match, but your character levels up and, I think - gains the ability to have more neopets (neopetpets?) than give you a special move you can use in the regular match.It's not all that exciting and seems like it's under-utilizing the Neopets stuff? But then again, if I recall, the neopets webgame was mostly about raising/hatching neopets...but still, there isn't any of that here either...

    That being said, the game is connected to the bigger game - you can get codes which I presume unlock stuff for you on Neopets "main". There's also a fair amount of multiplayer options that, for obvious reasons, I'm not going to try out.

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    Post Void (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jun 27th, 2022 at 22:23:43)

    Another recently acquired freebie that looked insane. Post Void is a retro FPS, but like in some psychedelic Hotline Miami vein. It's fast and frenetic with bright colors and flashes. Don't ask me what the story is about. There are 11 increasingly challenging levels, but if you die, you die. Enemies are vicious and come charging at you. Every enemy you kill returns a little bit of health. If you don't kill an enemy after a short amount of time, a timer counts down from 3 and you die if you don't get a kill.

    After each level, you choose a perk from among three options. Perks include faster reload speeds, new guns, slower enemy bullets, a compass pointing toward the exit, and so on. I always liked to get the one that slows their bullets, gives more health, and get an Uzi. Not sure what is optimal though. I can reliably make it to level 4 after about 45 minutes of practice, but get annihilated by various enemies that I haven't been able to clearly see yet. They kill me so quickly!

    This is fun and gets my heart rate up. I watched someone finish a run on YouTube. This has me curious about other modern retro FPSes, as that's a genre I haven't dabbled in.

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    Bridge Constructor Portal (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jun 27th, 2022 at 19:18:03)

    This was a freebie at some point and I tried it out because of the Portal theme. The Portal mechanics are cleverly integrated with the building in Bridge Constructor. You basically build bridges to guide little workers and their carts through portals to the exit on each level. At first, I was pretty enamored with it. It's cute, they got GLaDOS to voice.

    I got stuck on level 20 though (of 60); the challenge really ramps up! I think my struggle with it is that I know what I need to do, but I can't execute. Rather, I can execute, but it takes a lot of fiddling to do it. For example, on this level 20, you have to use panels to redirect some orbs into their holes so that cubes drop on the turrets, such that your carts can pass safely. Okay, so I had the idea figured out quickly! But getting the orbs to hit the surfaces at a specific angle to start a chain of bounces so that they go where you want them to is like...tweak, run test, tweak, run test, tweak, run test, tweak, run test, forever until you get it just right. Granted, my solution (when I looked it up) wasn't ideal, but it was going to work.

    I watched levels 20-60 on YouTube, and there is no way I would have kept with it. The difficulty ramp happens around where I stopped. The game continues to add Portal mechanics, from speed gel and bouncing gel to laser grids to launching panels, and requires evermore elaborate bridges. I feel like I had a good understanding of the Portal bit, but not the Bridge Constructor bit. I shouldn't be an engineer.

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    Sayonara Wildhearts (PS4)    by   jp

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Thursday 9 July, 2020
    Played a few songs again the other day, but now specifically to unlock achievements. For one of them I learned something I had not noticed at all when I was playing regularly! There's a song where you can "teleport" from the left of the screen to the right and vice versa! Huh! I wonder if there are other songs where this exists and I'm guessing it's the key to get gold scores on those levels?

    The achievement system is interesting - there's a special UI that lists them all, but they're in the form of cryptic clues/riddles you need to solve in order to know what to do. They're all tied to signs of the zodiac (2 per sign, there's a b-side with the other half) all on a wheel you can rotate. Once you've unlocked the trophy, a crown appears above the respective zodiac sign. I read a few, but wasn't motivated enough to try to figure them out and then do them. So, I looked online. I think it was a good call because otherwise I would have spent a long time between experimenting with answers and being able to pull them off. I think if they were all clues to something that wasn't hard to do, it would have worked better for me. In my mind having a double challenge - figure out the thing and then pull it off is too much (especially when you need to pull it off to verify your solution).

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