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    Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)    by   jp       (Aug 18th, 2019 at 22:24:59)

    I've decided (realized?) that I really enjoy the Dragon Quest games. A LOT more than the Final Fantasy. I don't know what it is, but I think it's a combination of the art (which is childish/for children/safe/unpretentious), its sense of humor, and then the way the game's story unfolds in interesting ways.

    I'm about 10 hours in on this one...maybe a third of the way through, and...

    a. You start as a really young child (5?) and you follow your Dad around. He often leaves you alone and you do some exploring (getting a bit stronger). You have a friend, Bianca. And your Dad has been on some sort of quest... You also, later on, gain a pet saber-toothed cat (named Saber). A funny thing...when you read books on bookshelves it sometimes tells you what a book is about followed by a message that you don't know that because you're too young to read! When you wander around outside, your Dad really kicks butt in the encounters and if you're wounded - he heals you at the end of each fight! (takes care of you!)

    Apparently your Dad (and you?) are some sort of reincarnation of some past King? There's something like that going on just based on a cut-scene...but this is just me speculating.

    b. You later go on an adventure with your Dad and there's a big bad guy - he's too tough! He kills your Dad and takes you (and another guy) prisoner! 10 years later.... you're a prisoner, and you escape, and you make your way back to your village but it's all destroyed! (time passed!) Bianca is nowhere to be found... NPCs you met earlier are surprised to see you and tell you what your Dad was doing...and you decide to take up his quest. The other prisoner is a prince, and he was really nasty, but your years in slavery together have "taught him a lesson".

    (There's a bunch of missions, so I'm just highlighting the stuff I thought was cool)

    c. So now I head off on my own - and things are going fine until they aren't. I can now (when they randomly decide) recruit monsters to my party! This was actually the worst part of the game so far because the random monsters are too tough for me to solo, and my monster party mate really sucks and gets one-shot all the time. So I grind, and grind, and grind (heading into villages to resurrect, heal, etc.) I do this for a while until more monsters have joined and they're levelled up enough to not die immediately...

    Continuing the story...

    ...oh, there's a village that needs help! There's a monster that comes out at night and wrecks things. So, I help out and IT'S MY OLD PAL SABER! He only stops fighting when you show him a ribbon that Bianca gave me.

    Keep on adventuring and I visit a new town...and Bianca's Dad is here...and so is Bianca! Everyone is super excited and Bianca joins the party because she wants to adventure (and I think she wants to marry me...) Her Dad is older now, and sick, and might die.

    Currently, I've just obtained two rings (fire and water) in order to marry this woman (forced by her dad) to get a shield I need. Bianca isn't happy...and neither is the woman...but I don't know how it will work out.

    I wonder who the heavenly bride is?

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    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Aug 11th, 2019 at 17:10:55)

    I'm 22 hours into Mankind Divided and I've done four story missions. Yesterday I got to the gun mod tutorial. Am I playing incredibly slow?

    What I HAVE done: explore nearly every nook and cranny of Prague. At least the first two parts of it (are there more??). I've got a ton of money and more praxis points than I know what to do with. I can break in anywhere and steal anything.

    The pacing and open world are throwing me off. Am I far? Am I not far? 22 hours is a long time and I have no sense for my progression through the story. It feels like I'm doing things out of order. Example: I spent two entire play sessions just sneaking around and stealing everything I could from the Palisade Bank, a gargantuan building with guards and security systems densely populating it. No quest or anything. I just found myself inside and started doing my stealth thief thing.

    The exploration, stealth, and thievery are clearly mesmerizing to me. Combat? I'm not quite sure. I've mostly knocked people out, and shot a few with tranquilizer darts. Story? Not enough data yet. The world-building though is excellent. I've read a hundred emails in hacked computers, e-books, personal data files, and more. There are a lot of little stories that weave together to give a sense of a world on edge after the Aug incident at the end of Human Revolution. I'm looking forward to doing more story missions soon.

    I have noticed some odd gripes. The TVs and radios in the game. I hate them. These people in future Prague have so many TVs, and they are all tuned to the same news station that loops the same broadcast. Similarly, the radios are all tuned to an Alex Jones type angry man. I turn them all off whenever I can, but I've really come to loathe them because their noise pierces through all other sounds in the game. There are some bugs. After the gun tutorial, the game crashes. I re-did it three times. So I technically never completed the gun tutorial. Sometimes guards will become hostile to me because I am in a friendly space that used to be forbidden. The guards still think such spaces are forbidden sometimes. I don't know if this is a bug, but often vendors (like NPCs marked as such! In stores!) will not show me anything for sale and make comments suggesting that I have no money (and that that is why they aren't showing me their inventories).

    It seems weird to write about Mankind Divided having played so long yet so little. How many more areas are there? How many places will I have to revisit? How many story missions are there? I know it ends on an awful cliffhanger, and I think I know that it only takes place in Prague. Its scope is illusory.

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    Life is Strange (PS4)    by   jp       (Jul 19th, 2019 at 19:52:29)


    And woah, that last episode went all kinds of crazy places. In really interesting ways as far as I'm concerned. I already knew about the final decision (save or not save) so I wasn't surprised there BUT that's totally fine because it was the natural/expected way for it to go. I mean, that's what the game was building up to in more ways than one. I also felt that it was consistent with the gameplay - and Chloe herself calls this out in the end. Max is essentially manipulating people and time in order to get what she wants (save her friend) but the universe is basically pushing back at all that.

    I'm really curious to play the "prequel" now because, supposedly, there won't be any of those time-rewinding mechanics? Supposedly? I guess I'll have to wait and see..

    I also enjoyed how most of the trophies were connected to taking specific pictures. Something that, again, is consistent with Max's character AND it forces you to seek out those pic-taking moments...BUT, you're provided with a visual clue of what/when those might be. I didn't get them all the first time around, but I was more attentive later. Like a photographer would be attentive perhaps?

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    Thief (PS4)    by   jp       (Jul 19th, 2019 at 19:44:34)

    I've finished chapter 4 and I'm really surprised at how quickly major events are happening in the city. And also, it's neat how, at least so far, there has been buildup between these events in the city.

    For example, sometime between chapter 2 and 3 there were people in the streets complaining about the oppressive regime. A lot of public unrest. This was preceded (chapter 1 and 2?) by the regime cracking down on people more - more soldiers in the streets as well. By the time chapter 4 rolled around, there was a full scale revolt were the stormed the central keep/tower (which I assumed I'd get to at the end)! Chapter 4 was basically infiltrating the tower... while it was collapsing, exploding, etc.

    So, in all pretty exciting stuff.

    I'm having enough fun to keep on playing BUT...

    a. I'm always getting lost in the "open world" city. I have a hard time navigating to the places I need to go. I'm also always distracted by windows you can "break into" - not remembering if I've been inside (stealing) or not.. It also doesn't help that some rooms you break into have multiple points of entry/exit and that sometimes these are on different areas of the map. So yes, navigation has been a real pain and I've lost a lot of time to this.

    b. I'm not a fan at all of having to buy all my arrows. I'm scavenging all over the place and it feels that if I'm wasteful with the arrows I'll never save enough for the big upgrades because there simply isn't all that much money to be made. AFAIK, all the loot is fixed (never respawning) with the exception perhaps of whatever the townspeople/soldiers might carry. But trying to make $$$ of that would be a REALLY, REALLY annoying grind. I feel like the games' design wants me to try out the arrows and do fun things with them...but I'm all like ONLY if I REALLY have to. Otherwise I'm just wasting money. I've also been save-scumming those moments where I missed a few shots (trying to headshot soldiers)... I'd much rather you were limited in carrying capacity and that new arrows were unlocked along the way. So, feel fine about using them all in a mission, you'll get them back but perhaps be a bit careful about not wasting in a mission.

    c. The game has some haptic gameplay moments. I've realized that these are really rare in games. Most will have haptic feedback (rumble when explosions) but few have gameplay where you need to make a decision based on a slight rumble, for example. The haptic gameplay happens on two different moments. First, when you're searching for hidden things behind paintings/bookshelves that have them. You slide you hands around and need to stop when you feel a buzz on the controller. The other is when you pick locks. Here you rotate the left stick (or right?) and again need to feel a buzz. Harder locks require that you do this more often and the window of movement is "smaller", so you need to be more careful and precise.

    d. Oh, I'm also not enjoying the scarcity of "focus". You use this to activate a special sight and other abilities. BUT, it decreases never to increase again until you find and use a poppy flower. Again, there's all these neat upgrades/abilities you can unlock but I'm super careful about using focus because it doesn't replenish and there aren't that many poppies lying around (and there not cheap to buy). So again, the games' economy is getting in the way of what I imagine the intended play experience was supposed to be...


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    Kero Blaster (PS4)    by   jp       (Jul 19th, 2019 at 19:12:47)

    So, I finished it!

    This game was just on the shy side of what I was willing/able to play in terms of difficulty. It was made better due to the possibility of upgrading your weapons, available hearts, etc.

    As soon as I finished, it offered up a new game! Strangely, it's not the same levels but harder, but different levels entirely (and harder). I tried the first one...and quickly realized that I wasn't going to get very far without a lot of practice, frustration, and time.

    The last level was interesting - you have to head back to fight the mayor/president(?)...but along the way you need to deal with all of the different kinds of monsters/baddies you've been dealing with along the way. This included one of the bosses (thankfully not all of them) who was obviously much easier to deal with since now my weapons were maxxed out.

    I wasn't too excited about the extra boss after the boss though. It took me a while to understand how it worked and to practice enough to BARELY defeat it. Barely. Phew.

    In all, I enjoyed the game - it's pretty old school in its design BUT really polished in a way that old school games were not. And, as far as I can tell, it's a Japanese indie game which makes it extra cool.

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    What is GameLog?

    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    Recent GameLogs
    1 : jp's Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)
    2 : dkirschner's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC)
    3 : jp's Thief (PS4)
    4 : dkirschner's Wuppo (PC)
    5 : dkirschner's Scanner Sombre (PC)
    Recent Comments
    1 : jp at 2019-04-02 18:53:34
    2 : dkirschner at 2019-02-28 19:14:00
    3 : jp at 2019-02-17 22:48:06
    4 : pring99 at 2018-11-15 20:17:00
    5 : U1 at 2018-11-15 11:13:56
    6 : Light at 2018-11-15 04:37:55
    7 : Light at 2018-11-15 04:16:15
    8 : Light at 2018-11-15 04:09:31
    9 : Light at 2018-11-15 04:00:44
    10 : Light at 2018-11-15 03:52:32
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    The Sims 2 (PC)    by   origin8

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Tuesday 15 January, 2008

    In the Sims 2, players are required to control the lives of their characters by meeting their aspiration needs. Since the Sims 2 is an open ended game I have to set goals based on what I want to happen to my Sims. For this game I wanted my family to have a new family member- which is interesting because my Sim is pregnant.


    Throughout the time I’ve played the Sims 2 I have learned how to manipulate their lives and meet their needs. In this past game I created a family of five (the mom, dad, and their three daughters). Each daughter had a different personality which was pretty interesting. Now that the family grew accustomed to their new home I want them to have a new family member (hopefully it is a son). But while I was in the process of adding a new family member there was a terrible fire and one of their daughters died.

    Right now my Sims are going through a terrible heartbreak – it was very sad to watch one of my Sims die, but that is part of life, at least, now there will be a new family member!

    This game involved a lot of my emotions: sadness, happiness, accomplishment and success. I accomplished to get the mom pregnant and I increased her fishing skills and the dad got promoted. Overall the game was really fun and full of emotion.

    [read this GameLog]


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