General Gaming

A Slight Case of Amnesia…

Halloween time is approaching!!!! I love Halloween because I like dressing up, eating sweets and drinking interesting colour cocktails and pretending they’re witch potions, I’m not as big on the scary part though. You may have noticed an absence of talk about scary games from my blog, this is because I am a massive wuss.

I would never be able to get through anything like Five Nights at Freddy’s or Silent Hill, I just can’t do it. The scariest game I have ever played was probably Resident Evil 4 (Bioshock comes close though) where my sister and I squealed and screamed our way through it. i couldn’t finish it, I was terrible at it, my fighting technique was closing my eyes, mashing buttons, and hoping. I still shudder to think of the zombies that had chainsaws, they were horrible. The big difference between games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill though is that you can attack in Resident Evil but in Silent Hill you’re reduced to a more realistic version of events, where you just have a torch and your feet to run, if anything gets you you’re basically helpless. You’re not going to be randomly finding ammunition everywhere in a real life horror scenario are you? Batteries for a torch is a lot more likely.

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Nope. Sorry Ashley, you’re on your own.

So basically, horror games overall? Not my jam. Horror games where you can’t even defend yourself? Nope. Never. Never ever. Even if I was paid to play them I am doubtful that I actually would be able to. The funny thing though is that I always find their plots so interesting, I want to know what happens in Silent Hill and Five Nights at Freddy’s and will happily read theories about them and watch Let’s Players play them. I watched my other half play through Layers of Fear a while ago and that was fantastic, I highly recommend that if you like creepy games with a rich story to piece together. We were both so invested in the story and figuring out what was happening, and it’s not just jump scares and monsters, it’s mostly psychological and some of the things they do to freak you out is so clever. I actually had a nightmare about some of the paintings they have hanging up in the corridors, if you’ve played it you might know what I’m talking about but I won’t elaborate so that the effect isn’t spoiled for future potential players.

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No thank you

Enough about Layers of Fear though, that’s not what this post’s about. This month, just in time for Halloween, the whole Amnesia collection (the whole collection!!!) was announced as one of the free games on PS Plus this month I made my boyfriend download it so that I could watch him play. When we started the first one (The Dark Descent) he’d not finished his dinner so he handed me the controller and asked me to get the game started… OK, I can do that no problem, wander through this creepy castle/big house that’s all good, no problem, follow the weird spots of what I can only assume is monster blood on the floor… SCARY NOISE! CHARACTER FAINTING! NO NO NO! I then made the character hide in a cupboard and paused it until Dan was ready to take over. He thought I was joking at first but nope, dead serious.

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Why would I EVER want to do that? Yeah, sure, let’s follow this trail to my death.

Once he took over I watched in horrified anticipation as he navigated his way around the castle picking up notes that revealed parts of the story little by little and made a bottle of acid to melt some gross blood goop that was covering part of the door to what I assume is where the ‘magic’ happens. The story so far is extremely reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft, it reminds me of the story The Nameless City in particular (one of his less known, it’s a bit long-winded) which is about an explorer gaining access to an ancient tomb, despite the locals’ protests and warnings, getting trapped, and discovering an ancient race of Lizard People. While there are no lizard people in Amnesia (that I know of) there is a lot of talk of an explorer (I assume it’s your character, I think he’s an archaeologist) travelling to a foreign country where he explores a tomb, ignoring the warnings and superstitions from the locals, getting trapped and finding an otherworldly thing. That’s about as much as we know so far, that and the fact that we are in some zombie creating, nut job’s castle for some reason where you’ve managed to leave notes to yourself strewn all over the place.

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I like this hall, this hall feels like a safe zone… I could be wrong though

I for one am enjoying the experience, from the safety of my blanket fort, while Dan – who is not a scaredy cat – is not too thrilled with it. He doesn’t like the fact that you run out of resources like lamp oil and tinder boxes quickly and that you kind of lose control of the camera which will move away from its’ position when the character gets scared and starts spacing out. I think that it makes it more realistic that way because you’re not going to have an eternal lamp in reality and when you pass out chances are you’re not going to be looking at the same spot when you wake up as you were before. It didn’t seem that different to Resident Evil where you have to open the menu a lot to do things like put oil in a lamp or use items and Dan loves those games (particularly the first one). I’m not playing though so I can’t really speak for the controls and game mechanics other than what I see. Dan is also not keen on the lack of monster presence as of yet, he’s eager to get to a ‘more exciting’ part.  We’ve only seen one monster so far, and when I say ‘seen’ I mean ‘caught a brief glimpse of’ before the camera started whirling and I ducked under the blanket to safety, adding a cushion for good measure, it’s early days though so that may well change soon. Hopefully my blanket will hold strong against the upcoming animated terror.

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Actual picture of me watching a scary game

Have you played Amnesia? What’s your take on scary games?

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General Gaming

Adulting And Gaming: My Struggle To Do Both

Bit of a moany post today but please bear with me. I’m hoping for some advice from fellow bloggers so if anyone fancies giving a bit of game-related agony aunt advice please feel free to advise away.

The long and short of it is that I’m trying to adult and it’s taking away from my gaming time. I wish it wasn’t the case, I didn’t even notice that much until I recently started playing Planescape: Torment, but it’s true. I’m not the same gamer I used to be. I’ve changed a lot since my teens where I used to dedicate my evenings and weekends almost entirely to playing games without a care in the world (I was a popular teen…) but now all I can manage is an hour or two in the evening on some days, and maybe a few hours on the weekend. While that may seem a lot to a non-gamer it is nothing compared to what I used to do back in my teens or when I was at University. The reason behind this is not rocket science, it’s just that I now work full time, because of this I don’t expect to launch back into the day-long gaming stints that I used to be able to do, but even so I don’t seem to be able to reach the levels of gaming time that some people seem to be able to achieve. After a long day at work followed by cooking dinner, making lunch for work the next day, and maybe some exercise I only end up with about an hour or maybe two of free time, if any free time at all. I slump to the sofa, exhausted, and lament my lack of time as my other half, usually working his way through a game as I look on jealously, points out yet again that I have too many hobbies. Now we get to the point where I get a bit confused and annoyed. I have two fitness classes a week after work, I manage this blog, and I sew occasionally. On top of that I have a weekly driving lesson which is a bit of a pain but that’s only temporary and once it’s over I get a free evening (and a car). When you say it like that it’s not really a lot, is it? Most of my time in the evenings is actually taken up by cooking which I enjoy doing because I’m a big foodie and my cooking skills have increased dramatically since I’ve been watching what I eat a bit more, but it does take up a huge amount of time. Dan will simply not eat if food is unavailable and will happily forgo a proper, home-cooked dinner for a microwave meal to maximise his gaming time and while I don’t mind a microwave meal occasionally I don’t want to eat them all the time. Finally, I want to get a good night’s sleep so going to bed late to get that extra gaming time in always makes me stress that I’m going to be too tired in the morning.

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As I said before, I recently downloaded Planescape: Torment and I like it but I’m struggling to get into it. This isn’t the game’s fault it’s more that it’s so immersive and there’s so much to explore and do that I need to set aside a good couple of hours to get a decent amount of progress in. I don’t want to play it in the week because it’s on the PC and I spend all day at work looking at two PC screens so the thought of spending a few hours at a desk in front of another PC when I get home makes me feel slightly nauseous. Instead I’ve been playing it on the weekend and during the week I’ll either play through a couple of days of Stardew Valley or a few Overwatch matches (the TV screen is not on par with a computer screen so it’s OK). Even then though there’s more adulting to do, socialising is a big part of my weekend because I don’t get a lot of time to see people in the week and while I love my friends and don’t want to sacrifice my time with them it does still take up a large amount of my weekend. Even when I do get to sit down for a long time and play I’m constantly thinking “you could be doing some exercise right now to help with that thing you’re doing in your exercise class, you could be sorting through your spending to see how you could save some money, you could be making a big batch of food so that you don’t have to cook as much in the week… Could be doing this, could be doing that” and I can’t switch it off. If I keep on playing I will feel angry with myself at the end of the weekend because I don’t feel like I’ve been productive.

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I don’t think that playing games is a waste of time but I do make myself feel guilty for playing them because for some weird reason I seem to think that they are things that should be put on the back burner and only played as a reward when I’ve finished the never-ending, constantly-being-added-to list of things to do that I have. I know that that’s ridiculous because some of the things are not really that important and I love playing games, I never used to feel guilty for playing them. Weirdly “could have made some stuff with your sewing machine” is one of the critical thoughts going round my head in these moments but sewing is just another hobby, it’s not something that I consider to be more important than gaming (if it was then my blog would be about sewing instead and I wouldn’t have met all you lovely people), they’re on equal footing in terms of enjoyment and time consumption but the fact that I end up with physical proof after I sew something sort of makes me feel like it’s more valued.

I guess I just need to de-stress and stop thinking about all of these things (much easier said than done) because the fact is even if I didn’t have any hobbies I would still find a way to distract myself and procrastinate instead of completing the ever growing, self-improvement list.

How do you regulate your time between gaming time and ‘adulting/chore/hobby’ time? How much time do you get to game a week? Do you ever get to escape from the black hole of ‘ unrealistic things to do’ as an adult?

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I relate to this 100%
General Gaming

Life is Strange

Spoiler free section

Don’t worry I’m not getting all deep with that title. A few months ago I downloaded Life is Strange for free from the PS Plus monthly deals, it then sat there for a long time. I always wanted to play it but I had a feeling it would be emotionally draining and a bit depressing. I decided to finally bite the bullet and give it a go a couple of weeks ago, and you know what…? I was right, it’s depressing as shit.

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Don’t get me wrong, just because it’s depressing doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s bloody brilliant but after I play through an episode I need to have some time to think about life, the universe, why we’re all here and why is humanity so bad sometimes? Life is Strange is all about Chaos Theory (or the butterfly effect, if you prefer), you can do lots of different things and they will all effect the future in a different way, sometimes the smallest thing you do will have repercussions, this is all helped along by the protagnist, Max, having the ability to ‘rewind’ time. I played this through with my other half so we were both controlling it at different times, which meant I made choices he wouldn’t have made and vice versa so I’m curious to play it through again (once I’ve forgotten a bit about the plot, if I ever can) without his influence to see what would change. Each episode is about 2 hours long as well (give or take half an hour, depending on how you play it) so it’s just like watching a TV show or a movie meaning it was fun to play together, discuss the plot afterwards and theorise about what we thought would happen.

This is actually really difficult to write about because I keep writing about the plot and then having to explain how I got to that point in the plot through the decisions I made and my draft post keeps turning into a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff so after discarding about 5 drafts of this I’ve given up and instead I’ll just list the things I thought were good about it and the things I thought were bad (and they’re not bad really, more things that I thought could be better). Be assured though that I really liked this game, it’s brilliant and I would highly recommend it to everyone.

 

HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD. SERIOUSLY, THERE’S LOADS. 

 

Good Stuff

  1. The story is so immersive, like I said before, it’s like watching a TV show or movie. The tone of it is great, the life that the characters have is so believable
  2. I love plots that let you develop your own theories as you go along and this left room for a lot of these. This might sound a bit pompous but at the end of episode 2 I did guess who the bad guy was, more on that later, but there were plenty of other things to think about and try to get my head around besides the identity of the killer/drugger/creepy dude
  3. Chloe. She’s a great character, at first glance she’s really cool and funny then she suddenly turns on you in random situations when she doesn’t get her way. If this was real life and I was Max then I would have just refused to do half the stuff she wanted. “Let’s go hang out in a dump!” No thank you. “Hey, try shooting this gun!” What? No. “Let’s break into your school!” Leave me alone. (That just goes to show what a bad video game protagonist I would be I guess, I would just rewind time to get an extra 5 hours sleep or something.) Chloe is a really complex character, which is always nice to find in a video game, and I ended up feeling a need to try and stay on her good side even though I didn’t necessarily agree with half the stuff she was saying. Chloe and Max’s friendship felt very real.
  4. At the end of every chapter you get to see what everyone else chose to do in key “rewindy timey” parts. Surprisingly a lot of the “big” choices (like helping alternate reality Chloe kill herself or not, or warning Victoria about the Dark Room) were split around the 50/50 mark, I kind of assumed that some of them would be skewed in one direction so it was interesting to see that most people were actually really torn on the choices. The most skewed choice was killing Frank’s dog where something like 96% of people didn’t do it (I like that that is the one thing almost everyone agreed on, poor dog), in a fit of panic I accidentally pressed the wrong button and threw the dog treat into the road where we heard the screech of brakes and I yelled “NOOOOO REWIND IT REWIND IT!!!” as Dan freaked out, questioning his choice in partner shouting “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! REWIND IT! HOW COULD YOU???” luckily I could rewind it and saved the dog but there was a moment I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to rewind and felt horribly guilty
  5. Making some of the choices was really scary, when it came to parts like trying to talk Kate down from the roof, helping alternate Chloe die or not, or the very end where you have to sacrifice Chloe or the whole town, my other half and I were basically playing hot potato with the controller trying to make the other person take responsibility for making whichever choice was to be made by pushing the button
  6. Representation: It’s always good to see real world issues portrayed in games. The issues in Life is Strange ranged from suicide to sexual assault to drug abuse… Then there was also the representation of sexuality, you can choose to romance Warren or Chloe, personally I went for Warren because he seemed very nice and sweet. I like that I have the choice to romance Chloe though if I want to, it’s something that is being seen more frequently in games but is still not totally out there and it’s still seen as a novelty rather than a normality.
  7. The bit at the end in the maze was so creepy, I couldn’t play through it because I’m a massive wuss, Dan had to play that bit. Having all the male characters tracking you down with the flashlights and multiplying until there was loads of them was so freaky.

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Not really bad but kind of irritating stuff

  1. OK, I’ll jump right into the main thing that bugs me about this game. Once you wake up in the dark room the plot starts to unravel and gets a bit tangled. So we go back in time and get Mr Jefferson arrested, we also win the Everyday Heroes competition as a nice little bonus. Yay! Then we get to the best case scenario present. Jefferson is in jail, Max is in San Francisco, Kate is alive (we couldn’t save her in our game), everything is awesome. Then you get a call from Chloe who’s being eaten by a tornado. Well shit, we totally forgot about that huge impending apocalypse we kept getting visions about didn’t we? So now we go back to when we took the winning Everyday Heroes photo and we tear up the pic. Now we’re back in the present and… Hang on, back in the dark room??? How?! How does not winning the contest mean that Jefferson doesn’t get arrested? At first I thought it meant that we hadn’t warned David to come save us but no, he arrived so that still happened. If we hadn’t won the contest then someone else would have done and even if I hadn’t warned David, Jefferson would be flying with the winner to San Francisco, right? I don’t understand how this is the outcome of that… Maybe I’m missing something, if so please enlighten me!
  2. Filler missions. EUUUURGH. I do not want to spend half an hour looking for bottles just because you wanted to make more money by selling your game in separate episodes and needed to justify doing that by making each episode last about 2.5 hours. There was a filler mission in almost every episode (if not all of them) where you would have to find stuff. Every time it happened it would be so frustrating, it would completely ruin the flow of the game which was so immersive then suddenly “hey could you get 5 bottles for me?” Are you serious? I’m messing with time, people are dying and you want me to find 5 bottles?
  3. Max. She’s a bit of a dick in my personal opinion. I don’t like her. She’s a very sarcastic, “I’m such a nerd, I’m different to everyone else”, thinks she’s funny and occasionally some of the stuff she says gets a short “ha” reaction but mostly she’s not really funny, unless she’s talking to Warren and then suddenly she’s a social butterfly.  She doesn’t make great decisions (when on auto pilot) and some of the stuff she says is not what I would have said in certain situations. She’s also really into her photography and examining her stuff gets really boring, “wow, Blahblah the great photographer that photographed things, so impressive, such great work, so little I care”. Not that I don’t appreciate photography, it’s cool, I just don’t want to hear about it when I click on almost every little thing. I kind of agreed with a few of the things Victoria said about her to be honest. Kim from Later Levels mentioned this before and she pointed out that she’s a teenage girl, she’s meant to be a representation of yourself in some way, she’s not perfect and she’s right, I’m so used to having a “perfect” protagonist that it was quite a difficult adjustment, it took a while to get used to, and I suppose I was a lot like that when I was a teenager (I cringe to think about some of the stuff I used to come out with, I used to consider myself an elite music know-it-all but thinking back to it now I just came across as horribly snobby and irritating, I would give teenage me a kick up the arse for sure).
  4. Is no one going to talk about the tornado that is slowly arriving to destroy Arcadia Bay? If I was Max that would have been the thing that got me worried, I would be trying to find ways of preventing the tornado or evacuating everyone, instead Max doesn’t seem to believe that it’s going to happen even though she’s been, you know, GIFTED WITH TIME TRAVEL, you’d have thought a random tornado wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility after discovering you can rewind time.
  5. As I mentioned before, Mr Jefferson’s great reveal as the antagonist was kind of obvious to me, he was the only person that made sense. At the end of episode 2 (or maybe 3) you see someone putting pictures away in a file with girls names written on it, so it’s something to do with photography, you also know there’s something sexual about it because all the victims are girls so you can assume that it’s most likely a man. Nathan is too obvious, he’s not smart enough to be the mastermind, you don’t really interact enough with anyone else that is male and into photography so by process of elimination that just left him. I did wonder if it would be Warren, just as a huge shocker, but I’m glad it wasn’t.
  6. Occasionally there are moments where people tell you way more than they usually would. The main example of this is when you see Nathan in the diner: We just got him suspended from school, accused him of drugging, sexually assaulting and driving Kate Marsh to suicide but after a little angry episode at Max he’s fine to spill the beans on everything and have a nice long chat. Occasionally with the word “bitch” thrown in to remind you that he doesn’t like you. This isn’t a huge deal really, it is something that usually happens in games, but it does detract somewhat from the immersive game play and makes you say “hang on, why are you telling me this?”

Again, those things weren’t enough to have me not enjoy the game, it was still great, it just could have done without them really.

I’m not really sure what I think of the new game, it will be interesting to play up to the disappearance of Rachel Amber as Chloe (I assume that’s what it’s going to be about) but without the rewind time power I’m unsure how the gameplay will be as that was the thing that ‘gameified’ the first one for me, otherwise all you would do is walk around and click stuff, maybe it will just be like a detective style thing? Guess I’ll have to play it to find out, oh no…

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To finish off here’s the end of episode choice lists we made, if you’ve played it before then take a look and compare your own choices with mine! What did you do differently? Which decisions did you find the most difficult? What did you choose to do at the end?

 

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General Gaming

Dragons’ Tea Party’s Quest to Find Virtual Love Continues

After my fleeting romance with a sickly rock dove named Ryouta, who I met through Hatoful Boyfriend (ending at his sickly demise), I decided to try my luck with a different species, a human. Can you imagine such a thing? The scandal has made things difficult to say the least. I, Papa Squatts, moved into a cul-de-sac with my awesome daughter Amanda where I met lots of other single dads that also live there, very convenient and very exciting. I quickly narrowed down my favourites: Robert (the bad dad), Joseph (the good dad) and Craig (the fit dad – fit as in ooh lala you so handsome and gym 24 hours a day fit. Even my mum said she fancied this one – until she saw the baby strapped to his chest – so you know he’s good).

I went on a couple of dates with all of them, sparking lovely little moments like this one:

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Just to clarify we were looking for a toy capybara, not a real one

And this one…

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It’s OK, we just did some whittling, I made a toothpick

And this…

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Him to the DJ, not to me. It’s true though, Radiohead are amazing but very depressing

Joseph ended up winning me over, mainly because of his wife to be honest, she’s a dick and while I was on my date with Robert she tags along and flirts with everything male in the bar so I felt like Joseph needed to be saved from this 2-dimensional Jezebel.

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Yep… Totally my intention

That’s how our relationship may have started (well that and making brownies, that was fun although I did kinda want real brownies afterwards…) but on our second date I was overcome with how sweet he was. We did some dad dancing to spice up the empty dance floor at the youth club dance, finishing off with the move from Dirty Dancing, and then he showed me a surprise Margaritaville he’d set up in the church office just for me where we sat in deck chairs, sipped margaritas and chatted about things. It was so lovely. Here’s a little photo album of our best moments… JOSEPH STORY LINE SPOILERS

 

 

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No one was on the dance floor, our dad eyes connected… We needed to get this party started
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I got Amanda to safety
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Which dance move to impress with first? (I chose the Lawnmower)

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Hell yeah
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OMG this is adorable, we talked about this before and he remembered, this man is so sweet…
Joseph date 3
Date 3… Hell yeah
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Indeed
Joseph date 4
Me deciding what to yell at the ocean, I chose option 2
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HELL YES!!!! WOOOOOOOO

After this, my dear readers, we made tender (though censored) love down in the cabin of his yacht (you don’t see anything, it’s all dark screen, very PG). I thought everything was going brilliantly, he’d broken up with Mary… Everything was awesome… Until it wasn’t.

Maybe you noticed how some of those pictures had tear stains and ice cream smudges all over them, hold on to your hats because here comes the emotional epilogue…

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What no
Wait, what?
Joesph back with fucking Mary
No!
Joesph back with fucking Mary what
NOOOO!!!!
Fuck you
You arsehole, you’re worse than your bitchy wife, I can’t believe this, I gave you everything! I didn’t go on my third date with Robert for you!!! You absolute twat!

I couldn’t believe it, what had I done wrong? Could it be that our last date only getting ranked as a ‘B’ meant that things didn’t work out? I was so heartbroken and upset, I can’t believe Joseph would do that to me after all we’d been through. I sat and ate some ice cream alone for a while then Amanda came up and made me feel better. Instead of ending up with a boyfriend I got the World’s Best Dad Achievement.

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Her face doesn’t look sincere but she totally was, she’s just embarassed

Amanda endWorld's best dad

Amanda is so great, and I’m not just saying that because she made me feel better at the end of the game (Aha! Yes, t’was a game this whole time!) She radiates cool and your relationship is something akin to Rory and Lorelei in Gilmore Girls (if Lorelei was a man) so there’s loads of playful banter between you but also parental responsibilities that, as a single father, you try to handle as best as you can.

In case you hadn’t guessed after that emotional rollercoaster, this is my of course Dream Daddy, a dad dating simulator game but don’t let that kinda creepy description put you off, this game is amazing. I haven’t laughed so much while playing a game (well I’ve laughed at games but not with them, this one is a laugh with game) since I played Portal. It is so well written and genuinely funny. Long term Tea Party readers might be thinking I’m a little biased because I’m a big Game Grumps fan (they created it) but honestly it’s nothing to do with that, it’s just a really good game. The premise is that you move into a dad-populated cul-de-sac with your daughter Amanda, You then meet all the dads that live conveniently close to you in the cul-de-sac and make friends, they add you on Dadbook (a cross between Tinder and Facebook I guess) and through that you can choose who to go on a date with. It sounds kind of weird and lame but trust me, it’s great.

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So aside from my wonderful whirlwind romance with Joseph what else is great about this game? Well, considering everything is described to you in text and you don’t really see any animation other than characters’ facial features and stances changing, or the shower of hearts and aubergine emojis that appear when you do something that another dad likes (seriously), it’s surprisingly easy to picture what is happening and get immersed in the story. I can almost imagine this game coming out as a book. The jokes are great and all the characters are likeable, except some of the kids, I even actually kind of like Mary, Joseph’s bitchy wife (ashamed as I am to admit this I literally just got the ‘Mary and Joseph’ thing as I was typing this. Eurgh. And their kids’ names are all variations of Chris… As in Christ… Euuurrrghhh.) She has a dark sense of humour which I kind of like and I think she’d be fun on a night out.

Your daughter Amanda is a brilliant character too. Her personality really comes through and the voice actress for her deserves a medal or something because a lot of that is thanks to her – she manages to bring Amanda to life with minimal voice acting, but it adds so much. I want to be friends with Amanda, she’s awesome. We had some great times through the bad and the good, including some surprisingly sweet, sincere advice from your own character to your daughter having a tough time.

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This resonated a lot with me because my mum told me almost exactly the same thing once when I was having a teenage friend drama. Kind of feel bad for giving Papa that face now to deliver those nice lines.
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Seriously, your relationship with your daughter is incredible

So to cap off this amazing game, Joseph had to get one last jab in didn’t he… Arse. If he thinks I’m going to pursue him in my next playthrough then he is 100% wrong, that ship has sailed Joseph (or yacht, like the yacht we hung out on that one time… Where you said you *sniff* liked me… And we… *sobs uncontrollably*). Maybe Robert will have me back in my next game…

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Seriously. fuck this guy
Awards

Dragon’s Tea Party has 100 Followers!!!

I have reached 100 followers!!! I am so happy and proud. When I first started this blog back in April I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, I was very nervous about it and it took every inch of my confidence to press the ‘Publish’ button on my first post. Little did I know back then that there was such a wonderful blogging community waiting to welcome me, discuss all my favourite games and boost my confidence to the point where the dreaded ‘Publish’ button is not that scary any more.

When I first started blogging I promised myself that I would update my blog with WordPress’s Personal Plan when I reached 100 followers, so my blog may look a little more professional soon, depending on when I get around to it.

Now for my speech…

I want to thank all my super regular readers for… Well, for reading my blog regularly! You’ve all helped me out so much with my confidence in writing and I love discussing games with all of you.

The Shameful Narcissist

I Played The Game

Lightening Ellen

Richenbaum Fotchenstein from Virtuanaut

Kim at Later Levels (whose latest blog party is probably what helped push me up to 100 so thank you for that!)

Nostalgia Trigger

Adventure Rules

Jay Borenstein from Nerdspeaker

Cary from Virtual Bastion

I would also like to thank my first ever follower, Claudio Caudullo from Explore the Gaming World. I don’t see much of you in the blogosphere and don’t know if you will see this, but I will always remember how excited I was when I got a notification telling me I had my first follower, you even beat my mum to first follower position, impressive.

Finally, thank you to everyone else that reads my blog, whether it’s just occasionally or frequently, I truly appreciate it so much and I hope that you’ll keep coming back for more Tea Party action!

I know that 100 followers is not a huge amount compared to some but it’s still a big milestone for every blogger and I’m very excited. I’m not going to make a big thing about it though, I’ll just take my 100 Followers trophy and go eat my 100 Followers cake in celebration.

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Did you guys think I was joking? Any excuse for a Tea Party!
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Icing is hard, still yummy though
General Gaming

The Dragon’s Return to PC Gaming

 

Back in my youth I used to be a PC Gamer. It was my main way of playing games, I’d spend hours and hours (I don’t want to know how many) playing games like Neverwinter Nights, The Sims, Dragon Age, Age of Mythology… I loved it. I got into consoles in my mid-teens when my dad brought home his PS2 but even then, it was never my main console until I moved out of my parents’ house and started University. I could have bought a gaming PC or laptop for my time at University but they are SO expensive and I was a poor student living almost solely on baked beans (mainly so that I could spend the money on alcohol instead, no regrets!) Now though I am living with my boyfriend and he has a gaming PC! Yay! It’s the only reason I’m with him really…

Plunging back into PC Gaming wasn’t quite as smooth and fun as I hoped, first I couldn’t remember my username/password for my Steam account. Luckily, I didn’t have that many games on my old one though (I never got to finish American McGee’s Alice though…) and I made a new account (thedragonsteaparty, if you’re interested). Once that was sorted the first thing I did was search for my one and only, my video gaming peak, my soulgame… only to dramatically howl “NOOOOO”, put my head in my hands and take several moments to compose myself. Neverwinter Nights is not available on Steam. I mean they have Neverwinter, the free to play MMO which I have tried on the PS4 but due to my aversion of MMOs and an embarrassing “oops the mic is turned on and everyone on the map can hear me raging over this game” moment I decided it wasn’t for me. I’d been looking forward to playing NWN again and re-visiting it. Nevermind, I guess I’ll just have to pick something from this enormous online gaming library that doesn’t have the one I game I had my heart set on… So, in the end what did I reboot my PC journey with again? Well, it was a choice between two very different games: Dream Daddy and Planescape: Torment. Two very different, polar opposite games. On a bit of a dating simulator high since my experience with Hatoful Boyfriend, Dream Daddy won and I started a game with new dad on the block Papa Squatts (Dan’s name idea, not taking credit for that one.)

Dream Daddy is a dating simulator where you play a dad who dates other dads. It’s been hugely popular due to its wonderful representation of the LGBT community and character diversity. Other than this,  my main motivation for playing Dream Daddy is that it’s a Game Grumps creation, and you guys must know by now that I love Game Grumps. Another big motivator is that it has really good reviews on Steam and I’ve heard great things about it (Adventure Rules did a couple of posts about it a while ago as well). I was not disappointed; this game is awesome. The best thing so far is the dialogue, and with a dating sim that is the thing that needs to be the best as that’s most of what happens. It’s really funny, I have laughed out loud a few times at some of the dad-style anecdotes and scenarios. Unlike Hatoful Boyfriend it seems like it will take more than an hour and a half to finish as I’ve played it for quite a while already and I’ve only just attended a barbecue and met all the dads that all conveniently live in the same cul-de-sac and are all single, except one who has a bitchy wife. Totally gonna steal him from her, mwahaha… But then I like the sporty one too… And the ‘bad dad’… I can’t choose!!!

Image result for dream daddy

I’ll do a nice big post about this in the future because it’s amazing but until then let’s take a look at my other purchase…

I bought Planescape: Torment, mainly because it’s been recommended to me by a lot of people, it looks very Neverwinter Nights/Baldur’s Gate-esque and it’s from the same developers (Black-Isle Studios) so I’m very excited to start it. Unfortunately for Torment, at the time of downloading I was more in the mood to play something chill so Dream Daddy was more enticing. I mean, the blue dreadlock dude isn’t really my type, I’m sure he has a lovely personality though… Or… maybe not…

Image result for planescape torment

I’m sure that Planescape: Torment will be getting a post or two in the future as well, I am already predicting that I will get addicted to it, much as I did NWN and all my old favourites. But until then, who should be my Dream Daddy? Mat, Craig, Hugo, Brian, Damien, Robert, or Joseph? I’m leaning towards Joseph, he makes cakes and has a mean wife that I feel like I need to save him from.

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Potential future boyfriend Joseph is the one in the middle 😉

Are you a PC Gamer? What’s your preferred game console? Have you played Dream Daddy too? How about Planescape: Torment? What were your thought? (No spoilers for either please!)

General Gaming

My Obsession Confession

*dreamy voice*
Well thought out characters… Excellent plot… Pew, pew, pew… a gamer encounters many wonderful moments on their quest for the perfect game, make sure you have the right accessory to take on your adventure…
*barely audible breathy voice*
Obsession… The new Fragrance by The Dragon’s Tea Party
[Dragon roars majestically in background as a woman dramatically jumps into the sea for some reason]

Can you tell I did a 4-year Advertising course at University? Yeah. It’s truly a wonder I’m not further along in the industry by now.

Are you obsessed with a video game right now? Do you spend the time you’re not playing thinking about what you’re going to do when you can play again? Do you immerse yourself in fan art, memes, comics related to the game? Do you listen to podcasts, watch videos or read about how to get better at playing the game, or how to get that one item you really want, or how best to do the thing? Are you planning a tea party where all the cakes are going to be based on the video game? If you answered yes to all the above you may be a little obsessed. The tea party thing is a little specific so I’ll let a ‘no’ to that one slide but if you answered yes to that one too then we should get together and compare cake notes (seriously, I would love that, get in touch).

When I find a game (or a TV show or movie) I like, I will really like it. A LOT. I want to research all about the different characters, know all the different fan theories, buy all the merch and get fully immersed in it. I do try and restrain myself from going on about my current obsession in my blog but it does slip through sometimes, you can almost see patterns from when I first started writing, the trends go from Dragon Age to Stardew Valley to the current obsession: Overwatch. With the Overwatch World Cup Finals just a couple of months away, this is only being fuelled right now. That’s what the aforementioned themed tea party cakes are all about by the way, we’re going to invite some people over to watch the final (99% sure South Korea will win but it will still be fun to watch) and I love playing hostess, so I’ll make some themed baked goods for the occasion. I’ll put some pictures up when I make them but considering my previous disasters with icing they will not look anything like what I’m picturing in my head.

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This is not what I made, but it’s what I hope mine will look like (spoilers: they won’t)

My obsessions tend to begin when a game has a few core elements: well thought out characters, an interesting plot, a wonderful world/setting to explore, etc. Once I’m hooked I’ll start my little circle of obsession:

  1. First of all I’ll take a shine to a character and I’ll look up a little bit about them…
  2. Then that character will inevitably have a relationship with another character (romantic, friendly or hateful, whichever) and I’ll get drawn into that…
  3. Fan art or memes comes into play here. It will start innocently where I’ll see a couple of memes about the game and think they’re funny, then I’ll search for memes related to my favourite characters. Fan art inevitably joins in here as I search for specific people…
  4. Suddenly I’ll see some fan art depicting something I don’t quite understand, why would this character be saying that thing or doing that? Back to Google and BAM I’m sucked into the addictive fan theory section…
  5. Now I know all about the characters I identify with them and I love them all, I want to go shopping!!! I am a little restrained in this bit usually because money saving is still a thing but I may have some Junkrat and Mei fridge magnets on the way as we speak… So not quite that restrained
  6. Finally, I am fangirled out. I continue on the same sort of level of immersion and then eventually it drops gradually over time, never quite extinguishing though, I’m always happy to dive back in whenever. Along comes the next game to grab my attention…
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I had to use this meme, right? It just fits

So that’s my little circle of fandom. I know that to some people that’s probably noob level fangirling (my sister, for example, makes my little circle look like a pebble seen from space. I have never met anyone that can rival her Anime-based knowledge and fangirling). Despite the fact that I am aware that I am not quite as obsessed as I could be, I am still intensely aware of the impact of this on my social life. For example: I always get a little frustrated when someone likes the same thing but not to the same degree as me. I’ve had more than a few funny glances where I’ve been discussing Harry Potter or Doctor Who with someone and I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent about a random fan theory (I try to stop, usually tailing off awkwardly, once I realise I’m rambling – my wonderful social skills everybody!) At least with movies or TV Shows it’s a little bit more mainstream but I often forget that not a lot of people are into video games and they rarely get mentioned in “everyday life” – so if someone makes the mistake of saying to me “What’s Overwatch?” I start a 5 hour monologue with an accompanying PowerPoint before realising that they are slowly edging away, eyes darting around looking for an escape.

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When I talk abut my current obsession…

Another thing that really impacts my obsessions is when a friend will get obsessed with me. When I was really into Dragon Age Inquisition my flatmate and I were in our final year of University and Dragon Age was a huge distraction. We both spent an embarassing amount of time playing it and when we weren’t playing it we were usually discussing fan theories and quoting it at each other. Same with Overwatch at the moment: my boyfriend and I will be playing it together, discussing it, watching the world cup qualifiers together, we’ll be walking along and see a strip of green light or something and yell “I NEED HEALING” – we’ll think it’s the funniest thing ever, but no one else will get it, unless they’re also Overwatch players – then we have a beautiful moment of unity while everyone else edges away from us slowly.

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So I guess what I’m trying to say through this post which, not going to lie, I was putting off writing because I was playing Overwatch too much and wanted something a little more substantial to write about but I have nothing else on my mind at the moment… I’m trying to say sorry if I go on about certain games a little too much because they’re my current ‘thing’ – but if you are into that same thing then let’s get together, eat some themed cake and discuss theories!

On a related note! Next weekend is play-Overwatch-for-free weekend! From September 22nd, you can download the entire game (completely free!) and play it to your heart’s content (although you’ll need a PS Plus account to play it on PS4, or the PS Plus equivalent for Xbox) until the end of September 25th. If anyone’s got a PS4 and fancies dipping a toe into the best team shooter out there, drop me a line, and maybe we can play a few games together!

Do you get easily obsessed with games/TV Shows/Movies? What are you currently really into? What sort of things do you do to fuel your obsessions?

General Gaming

Dove Love

I’ve met The One, my friends – he works several jobs to support his sick mother, he enjoys hanging out in parks and, perhaps the most endearing quality… He’s a rock dove. Before you go judging me and my life choices, please allow me to explain our love story…

Ryouta and I were childhood friends, he a rock dove and me a human girl, an unlikely friendship to be sure. Later in life we both attended the same school: PigeoNation’s Institute. Why am I in this bird school when I am human and not actually a bird? That is a good question, but we don’t have time to think about that right now. Upon starting this new school, Ryouta told me that his mother was sick. He works several jobs to take care of her, even though he is often ill himself. We still managed to have fun though, despite his busy schedule! We went for walks in the park and participated in the three-legged race together (yes, we made a strange couple, a bird and a human doing a three-legged race- but it was OK, he basically carried me most of the way; his bird feet are so strong). Ours was a story steeped in romance and feathers, and ultimately, tragedy. This is the tale of how I met – and lost – my one true dove. Uhh, love.

Are you still with me? I should hope I wouldn’t have to clarify this, but I understand that the above story may be a little convincing, so I’ll say it just in case: I’m not really dating a rock dove. This is the result of me playing Hatoful Boyfriend which I downloaded for free (like hell would I pay for it) as it’s one of the free PS+ monthly games. I had heard about this game before and was mildly curious about it –  I thought it was a dating simulator where you could date birds, but that’s ridiculous, that can’t be right… Right? Well after I disbelievingly played through it last night, I can confirm that yes, it is indeed a dating simulator where you date birds. Mostly doves to be precise (or a sparrow, or a super creepy Partridge if you’re that way inclined). I have never taken so many screenshots in such a small space of time by the way, so be warned that this post will have lots of images of doves saying some really random stuff, like this…

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Seriously, what is happening?

So what on earth happens in Hatoful Boyfriend? Well, I will attempt to tell you – ‘attempt’ being the key word here. You are a human girl (my name was BuuurrrRd perzen – Rick and Morty tribute) and you go to a school which is only for birds. An exception has been made in your case, why? Because reasons. (Seriously, they go to explain it and then your character gets cut off mid-explanation and it’s never brought up again.) Just into the start of the game I had a bit of a screenshot frenzy.

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Are you serious? A powerful visualisation module in this game? Awesome
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“Powerful visualisation module” – this game knows it’s bad, and works with it. I like it. Also, this sort of kinda gross innuendo talk pops up A LOT
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Is that picture just from a random google image search?

There don’t seem to be any other females, bird or human, in this school, leaving all the hot dove tail feathers for you, yay! So, without further ado let’s meet our bachelors (in person and dove/pigeon/bird form!)

First off we have Ryouta, your childhood friend:

Image result for hatoful boyfriend characters ryouta

He’s the sweet, kind of quiet but would stick up for you, friendly, no huge quirks, has a sick mother that he has to look after so he’s always super busy, also has health issues so they often get in the way of him doing things. Basically, the ‘normal’ option.

Then we have the posh one, a Fantail Dove named Sakuya. He is a Japanese/French aristocrat (I don’t know if that means fantail doves are French but he lives in Japan or if that means he is French by parentage… I don’t care enough to find out.) This guy was the one I was actually going for, because every time he appeared on screen it was like BAM CHECK OUT MY TAIL. Apparently fate didn’t lead me in that direction though. He’s very up himself, but it’s OK, you can bring him down from his high bird table and show him the fun, common, things in life. Trying to date this bird is basically living through the song ‘Common People’ by Pulp, if the girl was a bird and it was set in Japan that is.

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Now there’s the kooky, sporty, mentally unstable dove named Okosan. He REALLY likes sports and pudding. He can also talk using brackets, it’s very impressive. I tried to avoid this one because I had no idea what he was talking about and was struggling to understand what was going on as it was.

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Apparently he has no human form…
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You are a fucking bird

Then we have the teacher, Kazuyaki. He has narcolepsy, which is very sweet and endearing. He’s also very nice and will let you know how well you’re doing at school by telling you that you did OK… Actually no wait you did terribly.

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Finally we have creepy, sexual assaulty, ‘I will drug you’ Partridge, the school doctor. I was really hoping he would be called Alan but no, his name is Shuu. I don’t actually know if he’s a romance option, I guess he is? He seemed more like the bad guy, but nothing really happened with him after a while.

Image result for hatoful boyfriend characters shuu

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This is a goddam creepy-ass partridge. I used to think they were cute but now I’ve been mentally scarred

There were some more characters which, depending on the choices you make, you can romance as well (I think) but the above were the main ones that I came into contact with, I would however like to give a special little shout out to a sparrow that I met, the only other female I met in the entire game actually, the only reason for her shout out being that her theme song is quite something – it sounds like I just got into a boss battle…

I’m going to have to put a little list of random things here that I couldn’t help but question while playing this game, despite the fact that I know there is no point because the game is basically just saying “dude, just go with the flow” the whole time you play:

  • Why do I live in a cave?
  • How did I fit on the back of a sparrow’s mo-ped? Is the mo-ped normal sized and the sparrow has stuff to help her drive or is the mo-ped sparrow sized and I am sort of crouching/balancing on the back? Why can’t the sparrow just fly?
  • Are the images of birds in this just from Google Images? It looks like they are photoshopped Google Images
  • How the fuck am I competing in a three-legged race with a dove as my partner? I need to see some sort of visual of this. And apparently the dove is the one that did the most work! How?!Hatoful Boyfriend_20170906214603
  • When I first meet most of the birds I also see a human portrait to go with it, but that is the only time you see a human form of them. Can they turn into humans at will? Are the human portraits just a sort of artist’s impression of what they would look like as a human? Are the human portraits just there to help you actually decide which bird is the most attractive?
  • There is a famous bird blogger called Brian Pigeon and THE BLOG IS REAL AND EXISTS IN REAL LIFE. It’s here. Not a question, this is just amazing and should be pointed out. Squirrel obesity is a serious problem.
  • Am I a bird-sized human?
  • Are the birds human-sized?
  • Are we all normal-sized?
  • What is life?

The game finished after about an hour, maybe a hour and a half. I guess the idea is that you play through it with different choices and get a different bird depending on the outcome.

So my outcome with Ryouta, who I hadn’t even been going for in the first place, (Ryouta romance story line spoiler alert – although if you really care that much, you should probably have a good think about your life) ended up getting pretty sad. Basically I helped him get another job, found him working at his secret part-time job, reminded him that he would be dead if it weren’t for me so he owes me his life, comforted him when his mum died (at this point I was like damn, this game can be a bit sad) then it was Legumentines Day (basically bird Valentines’ Day). I bought my bean with the posh dude in mind – we’d been to the fair and were running the student council together. I thought I had a shot. Then up comes Ryouta and, oh shit! He gave me a bean! What do I do? His mum just died, I can’t not take the bean! What about my posh guy? Turns out I didn’t have to worry, because after buying the bean you have literally no other choices to make. We hashed out some relationship issues, like him having a shorter lifespan than me being a bird and all, and that lifespan being even shorter anyway because not only is he a bird, he’s a sickly bird. Turns I can be really diplomatic when all I need to do is mash X, and I think we ended up agreeing to get married. Here is our love story in pictures:

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Yeah, remember that bitch, you owe me your life
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Oh OK that’s cool. I mean you could have made more of an effort, you’re not even wearing a wig
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Time to seduce posh dude…
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Wait, no I don’t! I had no say in this!
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OMG he’s proposing, this is the happiest day of my life
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WHAT?! Way to spoil the moment
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WHOA WHAT??? Is that him dead??? Is that his dead mum? Oh wow…

Playing this game was an emotional roller coaster.

To be honest, as mad as this game was it was fun to play. I was sat with my other half going through it and we were both laughing the whole time, if I had been playing it alone I dare say I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. If you have a friend over and fancy playing something funny then I would recommend it, but I wouldn’t spend more than £5 on it, and even that is pushing it to be honest. Or maybe I’m just stingy? It’s also quite clear that the designers are taking the piss out of themselves so it’s not really a sense of “oh, what have they done?” super-cringey playing, it’s more in the Goat Simulator/I Am Bread ‘this is weird and I’m into it’ sort of realm.

Have you played Hatoful Boyfriend? Did you pay money for it? If so, do you regret your decision? Who was your dove boyfriend? Would you play this game?

I’m just going to chuck some random images in at the end here that I didn’t get to put in above, please enjoy.

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Actually thought I was getting bullied by a dove gang here for a second until I realised they were talking to each other, not me

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General Gaming · Rants

A JRPG Nightmare… Final Fantasy X-2

I would put a spoiler warning here but this game has spoiled itself already.

I don’t even know where to start with this… I had heard it was bad but literally nothing could have prepared me for the sheer monstrosity that is this game. I know I slagged off Final Fantasy X a lot (see here, here and here for my little trio of posts about it) but I did like it really, it just had a few things that I found hugely annoying and while I’m not taking what I said about it back by any means I would rather go on a date with Tidus and listen to him talk about his daddy issues all night than play through FFX-2 in its’ entirety. If you know how much I hate Tidus, then you know that that is really saying something.

“But Dragon! Why did you play it if you know it’s meant to be so bad?” Well tiny human readers, this poor life choice came about because the version of FFX that I have also came with FFX-2 so I had it anyway and I quite enjoy playing good-bad games (so bad they’re good, like Deadly Premonition, Duke Nukem Forever, Final Fantasy X…) so I thought “you know what, why not? It might be fun”. I have never been so simultaneously bored, confused and embarrassed playing a game before. That opening scene is one of the cringiest things ever made in gaming history… I’ll get to that in a sec. So I’ll take you through my reactions to this game as they came, I actually wrote notes as I was playing because there was no way I was going to remember the amount of stuff wrong with this game.

First of all, when you start the game you’re greeted with this…

That actually made me hide behind a cushion a little bit because it was so cringy. So Yuna is a pop star, Rikku has AMAZING hair (seriously, Rikku’s hair is literally the only thing I like about this game, it is so cool) and she is trying to break into Yuna’s show with Lulu 2.0… Ok… Now Yuna is here in her original outfit aaaaaand it’s gone replaced with some weird purple salsa thing and this song. Who made this? Why? I hate everything about this. Once the show is over you chase Yuna and get attacked by easy-to-kill ninjas. What is with this battle system???? I don’t like turn based fighting and this is almost not turn based any more but it was so fast that all I could do was panic and mash X to attack. If you’re going to make the fighting fast paced you can’t have a turn-based style menu to peruse and tactfully choose your next attack from because you don’t have the time! It should be one or the other! I ended up changing this in the configurations. Oh and Lulu 2.0 (her real name is Paine by the way… Yeah, that is actually her name, Lulu 2.0 suddenly seems like an upgrade doesn’t it) is so emo that she doesn’t even face the enemy, she is apparently part owl and rotates her head round to look at them while her body faces the opposite direction. At first I thought the game had glitched and that her head was on the wrong way round to her body, but nope, it’s just a phase mom!

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster_20170901181310
“I think my friend is being attacked by a horny lion but I can’t quite see… If only I was normal and could face the right way…”

Just when I thought I couldn’t get more confused a second Yuna backflips over herself, a second one? Right. Basically, turns out that a sphere hunter has taken a dress sphere or something that allows her to turn into a singing Yuna (and apparently attract a sell out crowd of thousands, pretty impressive really). We then battle and I equipped Yuna with the ‘songstress’ dress sphere and she… she… well… so she danced at them. She literally stood in front of the sphere hunter and attacked her with dance (the opposing sphere hunter did the same to be fair, it was a dance off). Just… I don’t know, see for yourself.

So that just happened. Now let’s board this giant lobster spaceship, oh sweet it’s Brother from the previous game, he was ni- … oh no they’ve made him super creepy and he shouts everything. For some reason his creepiness is portrayed as endearing, he is now the equivalent of that guy from your class that you think might have something a little bit wrong with him so you accept his Facebook request out of pity but then he messages you CONSTANTLY and you end up blocking him but then he gets really upset about it so you pretend it’s a glitch and then you try to avoid him for the rest of your life so that you don’t have to confront him about why the glitch hasn’t been sorted out yet. At one point, for some reason I can’t remember, he is lying on the floor and when I went up to speak to him this happened. Are you OK Final Fantasy?

 

 

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Pretty sure this was a glitch but from what I’ve seen in this game it wouldn’t surprise me if this was meant to happen
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Lobster Airship!

Before I go back to the “story” (I use that term very loosely) let’s just look at the most ridiculous idea for a game since Sonic and The Black Knight appeared on our screens: dress up fighting. Instead of having lots of skills that you acquire through focusing on different class paths and having that all under one character (e.g. when I played FFX Yuna was my white/black mage using healing and attack magic) you swap your outfit to correspond to which class you want to be and you can do this in mid-battle, the outfit you want has to be next to the outfit you’re currently wearing though on the dress pyramid thingy, god forbid they make it too easy for us and just allow you to swap to whatever you want, you have to work to get from sexy samurai to festival pyjama party. The classes are a mixture of normal to ridiculous as well, so far I have got :

  • Warrior (normal)
  • Gunner (yep, cool)
  • Songstress (kind of like a bard I guess but why the dancing???)
  • Festival (what the fuck?)
  • Black mage (OK, back to normal again)

Just to clarify a little more about the “festival” outfits, they are all in what looks like pyjamas and Rikku is attacking with candyfloss. This is SO stupid.

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WTF has Paine got on her face? A Five Nights at Freddy’s mask?
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You might think this is some sort of weird fan art but no, actual weapons and outfit used in battle, poor fish
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This is apparently a garment grid that I can get later, yay?

I’m not going to lie, stupid outfits aside I quite like the idea of an outfit change to go with your class because I’m a bit girly like that, but they don’t keep the outfits on when you’re out of battle, what do they do? “oh crap we’re being attacked, hang on two secs while I just put my mage outfit on…” this means that you can’t really see the outfits because they’re always zipping about in battle mode. From what I can see I like Yuna’s black mage costume but it’s hard to tell. On top of all that I have no idea what the stats are doing when I swap these outfits round, they all change drastically and I can’t tell who is better in which class/outfit.

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While we’re on appearance, hey Yuna, what is that thing down your back? It looks like a pink lion tail. Is this meant to be her hair?! I am genuinely asking, is it really? How did that one part of it get so long in the space of two years? And why has she done that to it? It looks like she escaped from the Matrix and forgot to pull the wire out of her head. How does it not constantly get in the way? Rikku looks like she’s going for a Jecht/Captain Jack Sparrow inspired thing, she’s also a huge fan of assless chaps and thongs in this game, but you know, each to their own I guess, maybe she likes the breeze… Still love her hair though. Finally, Lulu 2.0 it’s-not-a-phase-mom Emochick. She’s the strong and silent type, her name is Paine, just like what she feels in her heart every day as she resents her parents for their lack of understanding of her soul. There’s not a lot to say about her as she is so strong and silent so far that it’s removed any need to attempt crafting a personality for her. I’m not even going to talk about the revealing clothes they’re wearing… I’ve mentioned it before and I can only come to the conclusion that they thought “hey you know who we didn’t objectify in the last game? Yuna and Rikku, if we make it 2 years later they are both legal right? Sweeeeet $$$”.

FF X2

Back to the “story”! Lobster airship drops us off in a super inconvenient spot on a mountain where we race other sphere hunters to the top of a mountain (where the ship could totally have dropped us rather than below it, just saying) to be the first to get to the sphere. Luckily the game also decides to teach you how to jump at this point and it’s so stupid and counter intuitive that they leave you a huge amount of time to get to the top as you also learn to jump, I don’t think it would be possible to lose, I stood at a ledge for about 2 full minutes watching Yuna wobble over and over as she refused to jump up a small ledge. You also fight a few gun snakes (I wish I was joking) and ninjas on your way up but nothing is really a problem because mashing X still works at this point. What is this guarding the sphere though?! My first boss?? IT’S A GIANT CRAB! Hold on to your hats though because if that didn’t freak you out enough then the name of this crab will terrify you. His name is BORIS. ALL FEAR BORIS THE MIGHTY IRON CRAB. I genuinely believe that Square Enix put some animal names in one hat, and then some items/elements (like gun, metal, fire, sword) in another, pulled out the papers and put them together, voila! Snake Gun and Iron Crab! Once we have the sphere we go back to the airship and put up with Brother a little bit, then we go to Besaid, the starting point of FFX and where Wakka and Lulu now live together. Lulu is going to have a baby! How lovely! How far along is she? Due in 2 weeks! Oh goodness, she must be huge! Let’s go say hi. Oh Lulu, my goodness, you literally have not changed one bit. You’re still wearing your corset at 9 months pregnant? Are you giving birth to a noodle?

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Whatever. I wasn’t even surprised any more at this point.

We then set out trying to find a cave, to open this cave we needed to find numbers hidden around the island but I may have talked over Lulu recommending that I speak to people on the village and ask about the cave so I ended up wandering around Besaid getting angry about the island’s lack of caves for a really long time.

Finally, we found the sphere and left the island and went to Zanarkand, I remember this place having some nice music… It sounds a little different though this time… Are those bagpipes?! Why would you use bagpipes in any piece of music, let alone this one??? That, my friends, is where I quit. I just couldn’t do it. For the rest of the night I played through the first episode of Life is Strange to remind myself that video games are good (it worked by the way, Life is Strange is brilliant, can’t wait to play the second chapter tonight). I couldn’t totally escape from Final Fantasy in that though, Life is Strange is made by Square Enix too and that prompted this little bit of self-indulgence on their part when I looked at a TV in the game:

It’s been a while since I did a big ranty post like this, so I suppose it’s a good thing that FFX-2 gave me a ton of stuff to write about, I’ve been in a writing slump recently so a long post like this hasn’t happened in a while. Mainly because of this I’m wondering – even though the idea of it is making my stomach churn – if I should try and keep playing FFX-2 a little bit longer… What do you think? Would you like to read about this a bit more or do you think it’s better as a one off? What are your thoughts on FFX-2 in general? Is there anyone out there that actually likes it? I won’t judge you too harshly if so!

I’m just going to leave you with a couple of final random screenshots of the game, just let them speak for themselves (I did play a little bit further than Zanarkand in the end in the name of blog pictures).

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster_20170901195042FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster_20170901182528

 

Cosplay · Events

Film and Comic Con Bournemouth

Having recently moved down to Dorset and therefore being a little out of the way of big, geeky events in London that I had had the pleasure of attending while I briefly lived there (MCM London Comic Con, Rezzed 2017…) I had heard talk of a Bournemouth Comic Con. I wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere near as big as London Comic Con (and I was right) but I do love any excuse to dress up and I don’t really mind how big it is as long as I have a good time, because of that this post will mostly be me being a bit cosplay indulgent but then I’ll write about the event as a whole nearer the end!

Cosplay

To start the plan for my cosplay I Googled the date of the event to give myself a deadline but what is this??? The 28th/29th August? Aaaah!!! A week away?! (At the time of Googling) There was no way my Mei costume would be ready in time (yes, the Overwatch obsession continues and is now making it’s way into my sewing room). I do have my Link costume from my last Comic Con adventure but that shield was heavy and being a bit of a smaller event I wanted to scope out the cosplay caliber first and do something a bit more casual. Luckily, being the fancy dress fan that I am I have a fancy dress box and I soon dug out my Splicer costume (from Bioshock) that I wore for Halloween last year (although Alice in Wonderland and Unicorn were also on the cards). Unfortunately I had thrown my Splicer dress away thinking I wouldn’t need a torn up dress any more. Foolish past me. Amazon Prime to the rescue, I ordered a cheapy chips dress at the last minute then Dan and I got to work ripping our clothes up the night before the event, we even took them outside and partially burned them, I bet the neighbours loved that. We went with another two splicers as well, one of which looked pretty scary and got very into character, small children did not like walking past us, that was until it was just Dan and I sat down and a small child walked past us and excitedly yelled “BUNNY RABBITS!!!”.

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As you can see from the slideshow above, I don’t do scary very well.

Lots of people took pictures of us though, in fact I think that almost as many people took my picture there as they did when I put loads of effort in and dressed as Link for London Comic Con. Maybe that is because there weren’t as many cosplayers so it was a bit more of a novelty to see us, but of those that were there there were some really good ones, here’s a little slideshow of some of the ones I saw.

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There was a cosplay masquerade too, which I believe was a little show where the cosplayers got to show off their costumes, but because the guys wanted to go out and travel across almost the entirety of Bournemouth in search of food at lunch time rather than just buy a sandwich at the event, and also because we couldn’t really figure out where to go to actually sign up, we didn’t get to go. Nevermind! I know for next time now. It wasn’t very well sign posted anyway though, we didn’t even know about it until someone asked if we were going to enter, they could have done with handing out leaflets or something with a timetable of events and where to find what but I noticed they didn’t do that at London Comic Con either.

Guests

The most high profile guests were John Rhys-Davies (aka Gimli from Lord of The Rings, the role I know him for) and David Prowse (Darth Vader, the body not the voice), I didn’t get an autograph or any pictures as I don’t really know them for anything other than that so it didn’t seem right where as when I met Catherine Tate I have seen loads of stuff that she does, not just Doctor Who.
There were also some Cosplay guests, one day I hope to be that good at cosplay, it’s amazing what people can make. I got a few cards so if you’re interested here’s a link to some super col cosplay people:

 

Shopping!

Once you’ve seen 1 generic geeky merch stall you’ve seen them all really haven’t you? It’s the artists that really bring these sort of events together, selling things that they’ve handmade themselves and there were a lot of them in Bournemouth that were very talented. I’m not really one for art, I appreciate it and I’d like some to display on my walls but I don’t have the personal interest to maintain a full attention span for a long number of hours, after a while I just don’t really care, in London I was so exhausted wandering around that everyone’s work just seemed to blend into one and all I wanted was to go home, in Bournemouth though I was happy to wander round having a nice long look at everyone’s stuff. Most of what I bought was edible, I bought a brownie and cupcake covered in edible glitter and Butter Beer, being edible they did not survive long enough for me to get a picture… Oops. I also bought a unicorn ear cuff and spent an embarrassingly long time debating whether to buy an alpaca plushie wearing a top hat or not, in the end I decided against it because I wasn’t sure if I actually wanted it or if it was just me getting caught in the event hype. It was super cute though…

These seem to be all the rage at the moment

Here are some links to those lovely shops I saw:

  • Glitterica (they sell lovely glasses covered with geeky logos and icons made in glitter)
  • LolaArt (some art inspired by movies)
  • Lauren Cox (some really cool drawings)
  • T-Baggin (super cool nerdy t-shirts, and how cool is that shop name They have the DC Bombshells on t-shirts and I really want one)

In Summary…

I had a really nice time, and I didn’t set out to compare the two events at all but you know what? I actually enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the London Comic Con. I would definitely go again, in fact I may forgo London Comic Con in the future to go to the smaller ones instead, London’s not that far away from me I guess but the stress, cost and organisation of it really takes it out of me, this one was just so easy though! London has a much better chance of having special guests that are a bit more relevant to my preferred fandoms though. Having said that all our really famous English actors and celebs seem to end up in American conventions rather than their home turf. One day I’ll get to go to San Diego Comic Con…

Have you been to any geeky conventions recently? Would you prefer going to a smaller one or a bigger one? Are you planning any cosplays in the future that you’re going to show off?