Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nancy Drew Diaries 12: The Sign in the Smoke

Here is my review for Nancy Drew Diaries #12:



Here's a paragraph I cut out of the review, for time purposes:

'In the next chapter, the CITs arrive. Nancy's CIT is a bright and bubbly girl named Maya, and Bess is all, "I will call her mini-me". The CITs include a Mini-Bess, a Mini-George and a Mini-Nancy, which is a fun idea, but outside of this chapter, we won't see much of them. I find it interesting that Mini-Nancy is preppy, super-organized and takes notes about everything. Great description of eight-year-old Nancy Drew, but this book's narrator? Not so much. Seriously, Nancy hasn't used notebooks in decades.'

I also wanted to talk a bit about the end, where Nancy's flashlight goes out, leaving her in the dark woods. Her reaction is to scream "Succotash!" really loudly. I was going to compare it unfavorably to the flashlight scene from the second book. 1930 Nancy Drew is so much braver than modern Nancy Drew sometimes.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Reviews

I've got twelve book reviews that I've recorded right now. Four reviews each, from three series.

Boxcar Children #7 8, 9 and 35
Starfleet Academy #7, 8, 9 and 10
Nancy Drew Files #31, 32, 33 and 34

I'd post a poll asking which series reviews I should post first...but I know Nancy Drew Files will win, because it has "Nancy Drew" in the title.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pizza Announcement Voice

Most workers at my pizza store make the mistake of using their normal voices when calling out pizzas. When the story is full and noisy, that doesn't work at all. The customers won't hear you, especially if you're trying to reach a customer on the far side of the store.

What I do is shout from my diaphragm, so my voice is extra-loud and can be heard everywhere. The way you do this is to fill your lungs with air, and speak from the bottom of your lungs. The idea is that it makes your voice deeper, so it carries farther. It's the same technique that you use in choir, to hold a note for a really long time. It's very similar to the projection technique that people use in theater. (I'm not very good at choir or theater, so I don't know the difference.)

So, I had a dumb idea! Could I make this a puzzle in my pizza delivery game? Like, the main character calls out pizzas, when a co-worker scolds them for not being loud enough. "You need to hold your breath, like you're singing a long note!" Cue a music puzzle, where the co-worker forces you to sing an annoying pizza jingle about five times, until you get it right.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pepper's Adventures in Time

I just finished playing Pepper's Adventures in Time. It's an education game, about Benjamin Franklin. The story is that a girl has to go back to colonial times, to prevent Benjamin Franklin from becoming a hippie.

It's a nice enough game, and the walkthrough will be uploaded to my YouTube channel eventually. This is an early 1990's adventure game, and for the most part, I liked the old adventure game style of throwing puzzles at you, with little direction as to what you have to do. It makes you feel extra-smart, if you can solve one of those puzzles on your own. Fortunately, the game doesn't throw you to the wolves; it does a good job of giving you hints, if you're stuck, and it helps that a fair amount of puzzles have multiple solutions. Pretty much what I want/like from an adventure game.

The main problem with the game is that it's slow. The game pauses before and after every piece of dialogue, as well as pausing before and after every animation. At most, the pause is two seconds long, so it's not game-breaking levels of awful, but it's still very noticeable when the game pauses to switch screens, pauses to have your character walk onscreen, and pauses after your character walks onscreen, every single time. I'll give the game the benefit of the doubt and say the pauses are there, due to hardware limitations at the time of the game's release.

There were two puzzles I didn't like so much. First, the "wait for a minute, until a character enters the room" puzzle. I thought I had screwed up, because I kept clicking on everything, and nothing was happening! Second, the "go back through every screen of the game and talk to everyone" puzzle, which was tedious. Both of those puzzles happened twice. They weren't that bad, but those would be the only puzzles which I disliked.

The game has two puzzles, where the solution is written in the manual. The first one is a quiz about Benjamin Franklin's life. If you don't have the manual, it's pretty easy to look up this information online. The second puzzle is assembling a Leyden jar. You need to get all six parts assembled in a particular order. The tricky part is Step 4, where you fill the jar with water. It's tricky, because the area you have to click on is very tiny. As in, "you can only click on the left third of the top of the tub". I had to watch someone else's video walkthrough for that, because I couldn't figure out which part of the tub to click on. That's probably on purpose, to prevent someone from accidentally figuring out the solution on their own.

The final puzzle of the game was nice, and I thought up a variation on the puzzle, to make it more difficult. (The variation: figure out where the character should stand, as opposed to automatically having the character walk to the correct spot.) That's when I realized, "Uh oh, I'm writing adventure game puzzles! I should make an adventure game next, instead of a visual novel!" I wonder if the pizza delivery game would work as an adventure game...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Oregon Primary Voting

I live in Oregon, which held its primary about a week ago, on May 17th.

Oregon is a vote-by-mail state. They mail ballots to all the voters, about a month ahead of time. You need to fill out your ballot and send it back, before 8 PM on May 17th. You can either mail it directly to the county voting board, or drop it off at an authorized location, like the post office or public library.

It's a good system, designed to eliminate voter fraud, crazy caucuses and problems with poll places. It also comes with faster results! Every county released its results almost instantly, which is easy to do when half the ballots are turned in and processed weeks before the deadline.

What about all the ballots that came in on the last day? Well...um...they weren't reported in the news. And they never will be, because if the fiascos in Arizona and Nevada prove anything, it's that the AP refuses to update any of its vote counts with more accurate information. They stand by their original, rushed numbers.

How rushed? I dunno. Estimates say that about 7% of all the votes were turned in on the last day. So...enough to make a minor difference, but not enough to change the results. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both won the state in the landslide; Donald won everywhere, and Bernie won everywhere except Gilliam County. And he only lost that county by one vote. So outside of there, the 93% vote count should suffice.

Still. We have the Internet now. Up-to-date vote counts should be standard.

Most Oregon counties released their final results on May 24th, a week after election day. The REAL final results will come in mid-June, from the Oregon Board of Elections. If you want the real results before then, you'll just have to visit every county website and do the math yourself.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea

I got to rewatch Little Mermaid 2 recently.

The movie is widely disliked, so much that the third movie completely ignores its existence. But it's honestly not that bad. The premise is the first movie, reversed. Ariel was the rebellious teenage mermaid who wanted to be a human. Now her daughter Melody is a rebellious teenage human who wants to be a mermaid. What a twist!

I'm not sure why people dislike the new premise so much, seeing as it's the pretty much the same thing as the first movie. I guess maybe they're upset that the plot is a rehash of the first, instead of being something completely new and unique. Or maybe people don't like the movie, because Ariel grows up to become a crazy overprotective parent. That doesn't seem like Ariel at all! That seems like Ariel breaking character, because the plot demands it.

I actually think it's kind of realistic for Ariel to be overprotective, because her dad was. Yes, she didn't like it when Dad acted that way, but a lot of people end up unconsciously imitating their parents' parenting behaviors, whether they like it or not.

Now that I'm older, I can better see that Melody's wacky new friends are basically Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King, just without the fart jokes. I didn't really like the fart jokes, so I think it's kind of an improvement in that respect! Timon and Pumbaa are a lot funnier, though.

I don't have anything else to say. I kind of like the movie; my younger sister watched it all the time, while growing up, so I built up an immunity to some of the bad aspects. Same thing for High School Musical. They're both movies that I'd watch if they were on TV, but I wouldn't go out of my way to rewatch it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pizza Delivery Problems

Yesterday, I talked about my pizza delivery job. I want to make a game about pizza delivery, just as a way to vent all my job problems. (Sort of like how Francy Droo was a convenient way for me to vent about all my problems with wedding planning.)

There's more than just complaining, though. Sometimes interesting things happen on the job, and I think it'd be neat to have a game that deals with them. Like, delivering pizza to the houses with giant dogs. I drive up to the house, and a giant dog parks itself right by my car door. I have to decide if I think the dog is friendly or not, and if I can open the car door without being attacked. My compromise is to open the car door, while holding the pizza out in front of me, so the dog attacks the pizza, not me.

Also, customers who do not wear clothes. Some people think that's just an urban myth, but it's true. I've delivered pizzas to people who are half-naked. Usually, it's lazy guys who couldn't be bothered to put a shirt on, but occasionally, it's women with a "no pants, long shirt" combo. One time, I interrupted a woman who was taking a bath, and she showed up to the door in nothing but a towel. Why would you do that, when you know someone is going to visit your house to drop off a pizza?!

So, yeah, super awkward moments with customers who are not fully clothed. More common problems include someone giving me the wrong address, or trying to find a particular apartment in a large complex that reuses numbers. Why would an apartment complex have TWO rooms labeled #40? That's just asking for trouble, even if they're in separate buildings.

There's also the stoner rush, which happens around 9 to 10. Right before closing, a bunch of stoners call in for pizza, because they're hungry. Usually, they're nice people, but occasionally, you get someone who's on drugs and who is NOT acting appropriately. That's never any fun to deal with.

Anyway, MAYBE these things would make an interesting game? Or it'd just be a disjointed series of episodes, about weird/interesting things that happened to me while delivering pizza. I dunno. I'll probably try writing the script for it, when one of my other videogame projects is done. Or when I have free time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Teenagers

On Twitter, I joked that I would spend more time complaining about teenagers, now that I'm 30. I'm going to live up to that promise today, by complaining about my teenage co-workers.

Note: This all happened months ago. I purposely delayed this post for a few months, to avoid incriminating one of my co-workers.

I work at a pizza place. One night, the teenagers weren't even trying to work. They were in a "party time, goof off, eat free pizza" mood the whole time. I'm a delivery driver, so them goofing off didn't affect me all that much, besides for the fact that it took them an extra 10-15 minutes to make any particular pizza. Also, the one teenager got mad at me, because I asked them to give me some lids. They're right next to you, dude, just grab them and hand them to me, I don't need a lecture on how it's not in your job description to help drivers.

By the end of the night, the store ran out of pizza dough, because the teenagers made, like, six pizzas for themselves. I'm not sure what they planned to do if we had any customers. "Sorry, we can't take any more orders; I used up the pizza dough on myself and my buddies". Seriously, teenagers, when the store is running low on pizza dough, and you have lots of orders, it is NOT the time to make free pizzas for yourselves.

So there were a lot of non-customer pizzas, just floating around that night. They were all in the "free to take" pizza warmer, where we keep all the pizzas we can't sell. Those would be mess-up pizzas, or pizzas which somebody ordered but never picked up, now it's an hour old and kind of gross. I decided, hey, I might as well take one of the free to take pizzas.

This one teenager literally stole the pizza out of my hands, because it was his pizza. I asked what made it his pizza. Did he make the pizza himself, or did he claim the pizza for himself earlier? No. He says he thought about it, so that means he owns it. All the other teenager flocked together to scold me, for having the audacity to try to take a free, unclaimed pizza that someone else had thought about.

Like I said, this happened months ago, so all of those teenagers probably don't work at the store anymore. I'm told the average employment period in fast food is one month. So if you don't like your co-workers in the food industry, wait a month. You'll have new ones! Just try not to think about how they're being paid the same amount as you, even though you've been working there for two years more than they have.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Patreon

The people on Twitter said I should get a Patreon, so I did. You can check it out here.

As you can see, I don't have any patrons yet. Maybe I'll get one someday. Having a Patreon account is free, so I guess I can keep the page up forever, just in case I get any subscribers who use that service.

I also haven't had anybody purchase my Sherlock Holmes game yet. Oh well. I wonder how long I should keep the game at its current price.

[Edit: I got my first sale on the Sherlock Holmes game! Thank you, Amberly!]

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spirits of Mystery: Family Lies

Here's the walkthrough ws for Spirits of Mystery: Family Lies. That's game six in a fairytale series; this installment has hints of soap opera to it, with a love triangle. Which man is the Princess' real father?



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Female Deacons

Last week, Pope Francis talked about making a committee, to look into the topic of female deacons. There used to be female deacons in the early days of the Catholic Church, until the deaconate more or less died out, around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire. That's not to say deacons didn't exist, but they didn't really become common again until 1967, when Blessed Pope Paul VI made an effort to restore the deaconate. The United States currently has over 18,000 deacons.

Now, people are arguing over whether or not female deacons should be brought back, as well. I can understand both sides of the argument. Female deacons would be great to have, but on the other hand, we already have male deacons, and we don't 100% know what to do with them. There is a definite disconnect between what the church teaches about deacons, what people think deacons do, and what deacons actually do. We should probably resolve those issues first, before introducing a whole new class of deacons.

Let's take preaching, for example. The church teaches that only priests can give homilies at mass, since they're acting in persona Christi. Deacons can occasionally give homilies, since they have received the sacrament of holy orders. That's the official teaching. In real life, what happens is that deacons give homilies at pretty much every mass they attend, and people think the deacon's main role is to be the priest's pinch-hitter for giving homilies. The disconnect would probably increase if we include female deacons, because they can't give homilies, and that's just complicating matters.

So, what would I do, if I were the Pope?

Well...to be honest, I'd rather have Pope Benedict XVI tackle the matter, because he's ridiculously thorough. He'd write a document which covers deacons, male and female, from all possible angles, leaving no room for doubt. Pope Francis has a more off the cuff style, which can lead to confusion; there was a pretty big uproar with his latest document, which demoted the hot button topic of "can divorced people receive communion?" to a mere footnote.

Anyway, I would do something like that. I'd use the issue of female deacons as a springboard, in order to tackle all the various issues with deacons, in general. We'll see what Pope Francis does!

Friday, May 20, 2016

3DS Recording

Hey, the 3DS Recording Equipment is available for purchase again! Sweet. It's been out of stock for over a year and a half.

...And it costs $200. Huh.

I'm torn, as to whether or not I should purchase this. Obviously, it'd be neat to record 3DS footage the correct way, with non-blurry footage. But I don't have a lot of 3DS games to record. In fact, I think the only 3DS game on my playlist is the upcoming Phoenix Wright game. Hmmm...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

YouTube Plans

I'm gonna try something new for my YouTube channel: Nancy Drew game reviews. No, not like the ten-minute game reviews I did in 2014. I'm thinking more along the lines of those vlog reviews I did, where I babbled on and on about the various games for 20 minutes.

I already wrote out reviews for Games 1 and 3. Both reviews are eight pages; I imagine they will be over 20 minutes long. I want to write a review for Game 2, then I'll post all three reviews.

I also want to speedrun Game 2, because that way, everything will be nice and neat. I'll have a speedrun, a review and an Everything Wrong With video for the first three games. So that's what will (hopefully) be hitting my channel soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Nancy Drew: Codes and Clues

This week's walkthrough is for Nancy Drew: Codes and Clues!



The entire playlist is here.

Hard to believe it's been about a year since the last Nancy Drew game, huh? We've been spoiled with the "two games every year" release schedule.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nancy Drew TV Show

It looks like CBS has decided not to produce the Nancy Drew TV show. They decided to go with a legal drama, instead. The show's producers are now trying to find another network to pick up the show. CBS also owns Showtime and The CW, so I'm guessing the producers are going to go there first.

I wasn't overly excited about the show, since I don't know any of the actors, and the premise sounded a bit too much like a generic cop drama with the Nancy Drew license slapped onto it. Maybe it's because I just turned 30, but I don't want to see Nancy Drew as a 30-year-old. I can't be the only one who's adverse to an older Nancy Drew, given how the 1990's "Nancy Drew is college-age" reboot failed.

According to Nellie Andreeva, the show was dropped because it's "too female for CBS' schedule". That particular phrase has drawn a huge backlash, and people are decrying CBS for being sexist. I would like to know what Nellie's source is for that, because I have to believe no CBS executive is stupid/sexist enough to go around, publicly saying stuff like that. In fact, I was under the impression they were interested in the show, because they're targeting female audiences.

EDIT: The head of CBS denied that the show is "too female" for them.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Haunted Mansion Hauntings

I'm thinking of making a video which shows off all the hauntings, in Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion. I have seventeen different hauntings recorded, but according to the Internet, there are two that I'm missing.

#1. Hallway lights flickering
#2. A chair in the foyer (the red one by the door to the parlor) rises up


Are these scenes actually in this game? Has anyone seen them? Does anyone know how to trigger them? Because if not, I'll post my hauntings video as it is now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sherlock Holmes Game

I have a new videogame for purchase! It's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a text game that covers four of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. Buy it today!

This is the game that I made three years ago. It didn't get picked up for publication in 2013, and it's been sitting on my computer ever since. I decided to bring the project back to life.

I'm charging 64 cents for it, because PayPal charges me 32 cents to sell a copy. So I more or less break even, on that front. The pizza delivery fee works on the exact same principle. They charge $3.50 per delivery, because the driver has to get $1.75 reimbursement.

I hope this game is popular enough to warrant a sequel! I'd love to continue with the other eight Sherlock Holmes stories. Or do the same thing, with a different book. Once I got into the groove of writing/programming the game, it was relatively easy to do!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Message In a Haunted Mansion Seance

I'm working on Everything Wrong with Message in a Haunted Mansion. I thought of, like, five questions about how the various hauntings occurred, since the game doesn't go too in-depth with its explanation. (Probably for the best. An explanation would detract from the mystery!)

We learn that [character] is responsible for all the hauntings. They have hidden cameras and microphones all over the house. That's how they played scary sound effects, when Nancy walked around. That makes sense. But what about the shadows and slamming doors? Were those on automatic timers? Did [character] just sneak around and do those things to creep Nancy out? I feel like SOME of the hauntings must have been on automatic sensors, because they happen even when it's late at night, when all the characters are sleeping. (Also when that character is out of the house.)

The big one that people ask about is the moving phoenix table leg. How did THAT trick work?

Also, there's the séance. It's at 7:45 of this video.



We get a look under the séance table after this. There is a fog machine, which feeds directly into the crystal ball. That explains how that worked. There's also an audio tape, which has the audio footage of the spooky ghost. Problem: there's no tape player! Nancy has to take the tape upstairs to another room, before she can hear what's on it. So how was [character] able to play the tape during the séance?

I also don't know how the piano played during the séance. Maybe it's a player piano set on a timer? The glass breaking also doesn't get explained.

There is a projector under the séance table, which explains how the ghost appeared in the glass window. We later learn it's a one-way mirror, which kind of explains how you can project stuff onto it and have it reflect back. But the projector is totally at the wrong angle to reach that mirror. It's also facing the wrong wall.

I'm left to presume that the projector and tape player got moved, in the time between the séance ending and Nancy looking under the séance table. That's one explanation, anyway.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates

I finished Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. My thoughts on the game are mixed.

Like everyone else, I think it's a ripoff move that they split Fire Emblem Fates into two separate games. I got cynical when they put emphasis on the playable characters from the other game, because that felt like blatant advertisement. Like, I'm playing Conquest; do I really need to see multiple cutscenes of Birthright characters?

I liked the battles, which were mostly good! They had good ideas and a nice amount of variation. But some battles I did not like: the two battles with a turn limit, and the one battle where two new enemies appeared every single turn. I understand that they were trying to make the game as hard as possible, but at those points, the line between "fun challenge" and "unfair challenge" is a bit blurry. You definitely need to play through on Easy Mode first, before you can conceivably beat the game on Normal Mode. Some challenges, you'll have to prepare for well in advance.

So, 90% of the time, I liked the battles. I also liked the marriage and children system in this game. Is it bad for me to say that some of the children are more interesting / better than their parents? Because some of those secondary characters were better than the main characters they spun off of.

Before the game's release, there was some backlash against censorship, with the romance scenes, where your main character invites romantic interests to their house for private visits. Even though we don't have the full versions of those scenes, they still come across as kind of weird and creepy. I would have preferred them to cut those scenes completely. I felt like a pervert, when the game forced me to blow into the microphone, to blow on my romantic interest. Also, the camera in these scenes scrolls down, to show off characters' chests. Even if you are talking to one of those kid characters, it will scroll down on them. I'm not sure what this is doing in a strategy game.

The thing I didn't like about the game was the story. The same basic story ideas repeated, over and over again. King Garron keeps sending Corrin on suicide missions, in hopes of killing her. Iago keeps forcing her to fight her biological family, in hopes of turning her evil. And every time Corrin makes a truce with someone to end the fighting, Hans shows up and starts killing innocent people to restart the bloodshed. Each of those three stories repeated at least four times, with little variation. Eventually, I had to wonder why my main characters were still putting up with these villains. If they had stopped the villains the first or second time, that would have saved a lot of grief.

Overall, I liked the game. It's not my favorite game in the series, but it's also not my least favorite. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more, if they hadn't split the game in half.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Detective Barbie Speedrun

Here is my speedrun for Detective Barbie 2: The Vacation Mystery.



I was kind of bummed that my speedrun didn't include the boat chase sequence. You know, the one chase sequence that I'm actually good at. I went back and timed it. It's about three seconds faster to not have boat chasing. That's sad, but it's good, because it means this is the ideal route!

I have the files for this run, and I'm planning on submitting them to SDA, but I have to do that pirate game first. I promised!

Monday, May 9, 2016

ND: Codes and Clues This Month?

On the Amateur Sleuth blog, there is a comment which says the new Nancy Drew coding game is coming out this month!



I'm ready for this! I have some iPad recording equipment now, which I tested out on Chuck's Challenge. It seems to work pretty well! The game crashed the instant I went to the store section, though, and I had to reinstall to get the game to work again. I hope that's not the fault of my recording equipment,

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cooking - Burritos

I haven't talked about cooking on this blog for a while, since I haven't done any new recipes for months. I keep meaning to go through my recipe books to find new recipes to try out, but I haven't found the time.

This past week, the grocery store had chuck steak on sale. A pound for two dollars and thirty cents! That is a major deal, right? I couldn't pass it up, even though I never used chuck steak before.

Turns out that chuck steak is normally used for pot roast, which I don't like very much. So I tried a Mexican recipe instead! You take the chuck steak and season it. I used garlic salt and pepper, whereas in Mexico, they use spicier things like peppers.

Then, you put it a skillet and cover the entire thing with water. Put a lid on, then simmer it for a half hour. Cut the meat into pieces, then put it back in the skillet and simmer for another half hour. At this point, I added generic burrito seasoning.

The burritos ended up tasting pretty good. My wife says it was very good, because chuck steak is usually bad quality. I liked making a more authentic-style burrito, even if it took a long time. Maybe I'll cook it again someday. And maybe someday, I'll cook the cubed beef burritos I loved so much in college. I keep checking the supermarket, but I can't find cubed beef. I probably have to cube it myself. :(

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ace Attorney Question

I got this question of my blog yesterday!

Hey Michael,

If your decision hasn't been made yet (and you are not generally unhappy with it), please continue Edgeworth's game. Your let's plays were one of the reasons I originally came to the AA-fandom and they are always just so much fun to watch.

Speaking of Edgeworth and Ace Attorney, were they more like "strictly business" for you or is (or was) it primarily fun for you over the years since you started them? Are you interested in AA6 for that matter (both for yourself and your channel)?

Short answer: I would love to do it, but I can't do it anytime soon.

Long answer: You might know that I started Edgeworth Case 2 in December. But then I got distracted by a similar game, Aviary Attorney, and I got distracted by Pokémon Yellow. All three of those games are long and (sadly) not very popular with my YouTube audience. I tried to rotate playing those three games, but the results weren't so good. There was at least a three month gap, before I finally finished Edgeworth Case Two.

Currently, I'm trying to finish Pokémon Yellow via livestream. If I try to do an hour of the game each week, it will take me...well, it'll probably still be many months before I'm done, but at least this way, Pokémon won't clog up my video release schedule and stonewall the 99% of my subscribers who don't like the game for weeks on end.

I think the Edgeworth game would be perfect for this once a week livestream strategy. I'm thinking of doing that, once I'm done with Pokémon Yellow. There are some other walkthroughs I have that didn't work in the short video format, but which could work in the long video format. Fire Emblem?

Also hanging over my head is the video walkthrough I did for the iPad version of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. That's a game by the same author as the original Phoenix Wright trilogy. It is 74 videos long, though! It'll take a long time to post, so I keep delaying it and delaying it. The walkthrough was finished in 2012, for the record. I need to post it some day!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cooking Fever

I've gotten sucked into Cooking Fever, one of those apps where you cook food and serve it to customers. Your goal is to make a lot of money, so you can unlock new types of food. If you make enough money, you can buy a new restaurant and start the whole cycle over again.

Each restaurant has about...30-40 different upgrades you can buy. I've got four different restaurants opened now, although only one of them is almost done.

I'm at the point where I more or less cruise through the game, without playing it. See, the daily bonus gives out 900 coins and 2 gems (the premium currency). And most/all of the upgrades I need require gems. So right now, I have to log on each day, get my two gems, then quit. Keep that going for a week or so, and I'll have enough gems to start buying stuff.

Each restaurant has a daily payout, too. I think they give you more, depending on how many upgrades you've gotten. So I get 1,554 from daily payouts, in addition to the 900.

I like the game! It's just that now it's a better use of my time to not play it, so I can get all the upgrades. I'm sure I'll eventually hit the wall where every available upgrade is, like, 15 gems, so it's not as worthwhile to play for a week, for one minor upgrade.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Three Things Thursday

1. Nintendo has finally gotten around to putting YouTube copyrights on Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess videos. I expect this is because of the upcoming HD re-release. The good news is that you can still watch my video walkthrough, and there are no copyright strikes against my channel! Just copyright notices, which apparently are a completely different thing.

I'm still kind of sad that this is my least popular Zelda walkthrough. I'm critical of the game, but I certainly enjoyed it more than Wind Waker. Probably because it has more dungeons.

2. Cat President is chugging along! Make sure to vote for the game if you' haven't already! We passed 500 votes this week!

Sadly, we've been leap-frogged by a lot of games. Like, we jumped up to 56th percentile when Steam released their latest batch of games, and now we're back down to 51%. I would be more upset about that, but we got over 500 votes! I'm still excited.

3. I think this will be the final version of the page description:

Arglefumph has been recording videogame walkthroughs since 2007. His humorous commentary for the Nancy Drew series and other casual adventure games have gained him a solid following, with over 47 million views to date. He also records book reviews and vlogs, with the help of his family members.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Page Description

I see I got five comments on my blog post, about my YouTube page description! Before I look at them, let me actually try to write a page description on my own.

Making hilarious videos since 2007, Arglefumph is a family-friendly YouTuber who plays adventures games, reads books, and [insert third thing here.] Ugh, this is sounding like the start of my resume. Which looks like this:
As a graduate of Santa Clara University, interests lie in career goals with intensive analytical duties, creativity and responsibilities. Described by others as highly astute and ethical in work related assignments; an extremely motivated and dependable individual; possesses a strong work ethic and attention to detail.

Hmmm...the comments I got bring up some good points, such as "BUY MY VIDEOGAME NOW!" (thanks, Paul) and "colorful commentary for casual adventure games". Maybe I can weave all these things together.

Arglefumph has been recording videogame walkthroughs since 2007. His colorful commentary for the Nancy Drew series and other casual adventure games have gained him a solid following, with over 47 million views to date. (Is it okay for me to write that? Does it make me sound stuck-up or self-centered?) He also records book reviews and vlogs, with the help of his family members. BUY HIS VIDEOGAME NOW.

Thank you so much, everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hardy Boys Casefiles 22

Here's my review for Hardy Boys Casefiles 22! I'm posting it here, because it will most likely be over a month, before I post it to my YouTube channel. (Stupid backlog!)

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This book begins on the perfect note, by talking about how delicious bacon cheeseburgers are. 10 out of 10, would read that again.

*theme*

A man named Chris has requested a top secret meeting with Mr. Hardy, in an abandoned part of town. Frank and Joe show up in their father's place, which happens a lot in this series. I mean, they SAY that Mr. Hardy is a great detective, but so far, the only thing he's great at is letting his teenage kids do all of his work.

The meeting is interrupted, when the culprits show up and shoot Chris six times in the chest. Today's culprits are communist secret police, and they've been hired to stop a man named Janosik from giving an anti-communist speech at Harvard this week.

The minor culprit is a nervous man named Dr. Liehm, while the major culprit is a huge guy named Gregor Krc. Krc knocks Joe out with one hit, AND he insults Joe's manhood, so you know we're gonna see this guy again.

Back with Chris, he miraculously survived the drive-by shooting, because he had a video cassette tape under his shirt. The bullets all hit the tape instead of his heart. Oh. Wow. Is that tape made of steel or something? Because all the cassettes I used in the 80's were cheap plastic.

Chris introduces himself as Chris Hardy, Frank and Joe's long-lost brother. He proves his identity with photos, a driver's license, and random family trivia. Sadly, we can't ask Mom and Dad about Chris' true identity, because they're on a "let's stretch out this mystery as long as possible" vacation. So we'll just have to believe Chris when he says he's our bro.

Instead of asking Chris for details about the case, everyone goes to sleep. 'Cause, you know, there's no reason to question a suspicious guy with an obviously fake cover story.

Chris decides he doesn't want to get his brothers involved in this dangerous situation, so he runs away in the middle of the night. He doesn't leave a note or an explanation or anything; he just ditches them without warning, like a huge jerk.

Well, that clinches it. He's a Hardy.

There's another run-in with the culprits, and the Hardys get help from their buddy, Phil Cohen. Phil has repaired the magic, life-saving video cassette. The video shows Chris shooting a police officer. So the lost Hardy Brother is a murderer? Oh no!

Phil also gets the Hardys into Harvard, with the help of a computer hacker called "The Beast". Our heroes split up at this point. Joe follows Janosik, the guy who's giving a speech. The culprits harass Janosik for a bit, and Joe follows them back to their office building, where he is immediately captured.

Meanwhile, Frank visits a reporter. He learns that the culprits are trying to destroy Janosik's reputation, by handing out videos of Janosik taking bribes. With help from "The Beast", Frank tracks the videos to their source: the building where Joe was captured.

Chris is there, because why not? Let's have all three Hardy Boys show up at the same place, at the same time, independently of one another. Chris helps hack their security system, and they save Joe from being killed, but Chris disappears again.

The Hardys go back home, where their family members solve the case. Dad and Mom explain that Chris is a foster child who they took care of, for about half a year. That's how Chris knows all about the family. Meanwhile, Aunt Gertrude watches the magic videotape, and she recognizes it as a scene from a movie. They just copy/pasted Chris' face over the actor's.

It should have been a dead giveaway that Chris had Tom Cruise's body.

Anyway, the videotape is a fake! Meaning the videotape of Janosik taking bribes is probably a fake, too. He's still a good guy, so the case is back on!

We track down Chris. He explains that he helped the culprits make these fake videotapes, before realizing they are evil. You think he would have figured that out sooner, when they asked him to fake a video of him shooting another person, but he didn't. Good thing he's not really related to the Hardys, because his detective instincts are bad.

The Hardys show up at Janosik's speech, just in time to catch the culprits. As usual, we have a big chase sequence, and Joe has an intense fight with Krc. Who's the better man now, Krc? Who's the better man now?

In the end, Chris and "The Beast" are punished for their crimes, by being ordered to teach five hundred hours of computer classes at Harvard. Considering how much Harvard pays its teachers, that's not much of a punishment.

The End

Post-Book Followup

This is a good action book, with fights and dangerous scenes. The mystery was not as good; it's pretty easy to guess that the culprits are plotting to stop Janosik. Before the first chapter ended, I knew the communists would be the bad guys again, and the anti-communist would be a hero-victim.

The weakest part of the book was the subplot with Chris. I was excited by the idea of a third Hardy Brother, but he was gone most of the time. He didn't stay around long enough to make an impression. They could have replaced him with a completely unrelated stranger, and things would have played out the exact same way. Imagine how different it would have been if Chris had told Frank and Joe the truth from the beginning! I would have preferred that book, compared to Chris pretending to be a Hardy to create fake drama.

I give Hardy Boys Casefiles #22, Double Exposure, a 9 out of 10.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Page Description

The page description I have on YouTube is over five years old at this point. It looks like this:

"Arglefumph plays his way through various adventure games, such as Phoenix Wright, Nancy Drew, and Legend of Zelda. He also does book reviews!"

Any suggestions for a new one? I asked on the Facebook page, and I got this: "I love Nancy and action Games. If you do to or like Funny Comentary please come watch me."

Sunday, May 1, 2016

DS9 Season 1, Epsidoes 15-20

"Progress" is another episode I disliked. Good thing I watched these episodes out of order, because that's four in a row. The premise is that a farmer needs to be evacuated from the planet, because of a flood or something. Kira visits him and tries to convince him to leave. It is about thirty minutes of her, talking to a jerky farmer.

In the subplot, Jake and Nog get trapped in a trading sequence, and they try really hard to break even. I liked that story, although it's weird to have two Jake and Nog episodes in a row. This is pretty much the only time we see them, I think.

"If Wishes Were Horses" had an interesting concept. The characters' thoughts come to life! Sort of like a holodeck episode...okay, exactly like a holodeck episode. Still, it was funny. Dr. Bashir was fantasizing about Dax, and it was awkward/hilarious when Fantasy Dax started pawing all over him while real Dax watched. The story made a nice transition from humorous and playful to a more serious disaster, and overall, I enjoyed it. More than the previous episodes, definitely.

"The Forsaken" is about Deanna Troi's mother visiting the station and developing a huge crush on Odo. I was expecting it to be more like the episode, where she has a crush on Captain Picard (which was amazing), but this one went for a more serious story. I remember liking the episode, but I can't remember anything about it that stands out in particular.

"Dramatis Personae" is about Klingons, and no, wait, it's not. Have you seen the Netflix episode descriptions? They're clearly written by someone who only watched the first thirty seconds of the episode. It's really hard to tell what the episode is like, based on these inaccurate descriptions.

Anyway, the story is that everyone starts acting oddly, and there's a big mutiny onboard, as Kira tries to take control. The end explains this as a "telepathic infection", which caused our characters to take on different personalities and re-enact a big fight.

"Duet" is an extremely serious episode, about a war camp. Kira may or may not have captured the man who ran a horrible war camp, and she's determined to bring him to justice / find out the truth about what REALLY happened. There are several well-done plot twists, and it's a powerful parallel to the Holocaust.

"In the Hands of the Prophets" starts off with a "science versus religion" conflict, over what's appropriate to teach in school. It goes back to the god-aliens in the pilot. Do you treat them like gods, or do you treat them like aliens? That could make for a good debate, but predictably, the show takes the one-sided viewpoint of "science is great and wonderful, while religion is for stupid, superstitious idiots". They at least try to put Commander Sisko in the role of a neutral third party, but it doesn't take very long before he brings up Galileo, in order to make the Catholic Church look bad. Apparently, people are STILL going to bring that up, hundreds of years from now.

So, yeah, the episode's premise alienated me. Pardon the pun. But I was able to compartmentalize my feelings and put them aside; I enjoyed the episode after that. The conflict is interesting, and it introduces a great new villain. The villain is the highlight of the episode, actually! I really want to see her again, even if she's an obvious metaphor for corrupt Catholic cardinals.