Sunday, July 31, 2016

We're Having a Baby

My wife is pregnant, and we're having a baby! The due date is Christmas, and I'm letting you blog-readers know about it a full three hours before the news drops on YouTube. Love you guys!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Democrat Convention

Well, I talked about the Republican Convention last week, might as well talk about the Democrat Convention this week!

The convention started off in the worst possible way. A hacker leaked thousands of DNC emails, which proved what everyone more or less knew all along: the Democrats purposely tried to rig the election, in favor of Hillary Clinton. The head of the DNC was forced to quit her job as a result of this scandal.

...Then she immediately got hired to work on the Clinton campaign. Which is kind of mind-blowing. You'd think Hillary Clinton, OF ALL PEOPLE, would try to distance herself from email scandals and corrupt politicians, but no. Apparently, her campaign doesn't care if its members follow the Democratic party's rules and conventions.

I saw the speeches given by President Obama and Hillary Clinton. President Obama's speech was fantastic. I haven't seen him give a speech with such passion and emotion in years! It kind of makes me wish that he was running for a third term. For me, Obama's speech completely overshadowed Clinton's. Her speech was merely okay, with the best part being the various one-liners, which will probably be tweeted and retweeted for weeks.

On an oratorical note, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are opposites, when it comes to precision. He is overly general, and he'll say "all" when he means "most", as in "All anime should be subbed instead of dubbed!". Hillary Clinton is overly precise, and she'll get caught up in minutiae, as in, "Nancy Drew: Secret of Shadow Ranch is a good game, but it comes with 32 problems which I will list in alphabetical order".

Friday, July 29, 2016

Murder on the Orient Express - Ending

I just finished playing Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express. The ending was so convoluted and ridiculous that it made me want to scream. I can only hope that the book had a better ending. At the very least, I hope it has an ending where someone other than Poirot talks, 'cause the game has thirty minutes of Poirot monologuing to a stone-faced audience.

Granted, the ending would have been much longer if everyone talked at the appropriate moments, but still.

The solution to the mystery is "everyone did it". Every single suspect stabbed the victim, as part of a complicated plan, ten years in the making. They formulated this plan down to the tiniest detail, complete with a fakeout suspect! They very neatly pinned the crime on a third party, with a lot of fake evidence to prove their guilt.

And indeed, that's how the game ends. The police accuse the imaginary third party of being the culprit, and the murderers get away, scot-free.

Even though they went through the trouble of creating the perfect murder plot, everyone decides to throw the plan out the window, and they make up a bunch of random crap at the last second. So for example, Culprit A decides to dress up as a Japanese woman and parade around for no reason. Culprit B imitates the victim speaking French, to frame the Frenchman. Culprit C leaves a handkerchief at the crime scene, in order to frame Culprit D, who leaves behind a pipe cleaner to frame Culprit E. So on and so forth.

None of this was in the plan. Why? WHY DIDN'T ANY OF THEM STICK TO THE PLAN? They went through all the trouble of framing a third party, then changed their minds and decided to frame each other. The whole POINT of the plan was to have everyone get away with murder. Why undermine this plan that you spent TEN YEARS working on?

Based on the dialogue, none of them knew about it, either. As in, they all independently decided to frame each other! Quite a remarkable coincidence! They all turned on each other, at the exact same time!

...Or at least, Culprit F apologizes to Culprit G for framing her. Maybe some of the other culprits did plan to frame each other, just to confuse the detective.

Culprit B: Oh, hey, Culprit H, I know the plan says to frame a third party, but I changed my mind. I'm gonna frame you instead.
Culprit H: Oh, cool! I was gonna frame you, too! Guess that works out.
Culprit G: Whoa, are we all framing each other? I want in on this action! Can I frame Culprit I?

The detective being onboard wasn't part of the plan, by the way. Ha! They blocked out every room on the train except for one, and what do you know, a famous detective takes that room. Again, quite a remarkable coincidence! The mastermind is probably kicking herself for not thinking of blocking out ALL the rooms.

Basically, the game tries to have its cake and eat it, too. It says that everyone was corroborating on a complex plot, AND everyone made stuff up without talking to each other. That is impossible. Either the culprits worked together, or they didn't. Either they planned everything, or they improvised everything. If there is an in between--some stuff was improvised, some wasn't--then you need to be CLEAR about that, instead of making blanket statements that everything was planned and unplanned at the same time.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Camps

We got Mary enrolled in a few summer camps this year, and I don't want to be a complaining old guy, but man, all these camps are run by incompetent college kids who have no idea what they're doing! Get it together, college kids!

Camp #1 had important paperwork for all the children. But College Boy didn't think ahead and sort the papers. No, he just dumped them in a giant pile. So he had to dig through the entire pile, for every single person, causing a two-minute delay for each camper. Multiply that by twenty campers, and hey, nobody's getting checked in on time.

That camp also had a problem, where one boy hit other children. The college kids responded by doing, um...nothing. They weren't sure what to do, so they did nothing. Even the preteens in the Baby-Sitters Club know better than that! Separate the fighting children, try talking to them, do something! Don't just ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

Camp #2 was at a school. They actually had TWO Lego camps at the school, but the college kids at the front assured me that they were the one and only Lego Camp in the building. Mary wasn't on their registration list, obviously, but the college kids said that happened all the time, nothing to worry about. It's not a good sign when the first introduction to camp is, "Sorry, we screw up a lot."

The camp was basically "throw kids in the corner with Legos and hope they keep quiet for nine hours". Fortunately, the camp we DID register for was run by actual adults who planned activities in advance.

Camp #3 took 45 minutes for drop off/registration/sign in. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. They easily could have cut that in half, by putting some instructions about the process on their website, but no. The college kids directing traffic didn't know how the registration process worked, either, so they accidentally put everyone in the wrong waiting line. Oops, ha ha! This happened with drop-off AND pickup. The traffic lines for drop-off don't match up with the traffic lines for pickup, just to make things extra confusing.

The college kids at registration also had the problem of "we didn't sort anything ahead of time, so let's spend three minutes digging through our files for each and every child". That didn't help.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Trying Out Games

I tried out some games on my giant list of games to look into! Here are the results.
  • Maestro: Dark Talent -- Good game! Now I'll have to look into other games from this series. (Not a good sign when trying to go through my list of games starts with me adding MORE games to the list)
  • Christmas Eve: Midnight's Call -- I like it, although obviously, I'll have to wait until December to post it. (Spoiler alert: If it's game made by ERS Games, there's a 90% chance I'm going to like it.)
  • Dark Parables: Swan Princess -- I already promised I was going to get this game when I played the demo.
  • Witches' Legacy: The Dark Throne -- I recognize this series. People have told me to play it before, and I can see why. It's a good series, nice story, and they clearly put a lot of work into it. It's just not for me, though. I can't seem to get into it.
  • Witch Hunters: Full Moon -- I liked the first game, but this one doesn't seem as good. There's less story, and the setting wasn't as neat. Maybe it's just me, but I had an astonishingly difficult time figuring out where to click. I misclicked on items, I misclicked on zoom-in areas, etc. So I'm going to give this game a pass. On a positive note, the music is REALLY AMAZING.
  • Spirit of Revenge 1: Cursed Castle -- Yes, oh yes, I'm getting this! It's like
  • Spirit of Revenge 2: Elizabeth's Secret -- I liked it, but I'm not super enthusiastic about it. Maybe I'll get the standard edition, instead of the more expensive bonus edition.
  • Spirit of Revenge 3: Gem Fury -- I'm on the fence about it. I guess I've played too many "kids are attacked at a haunted summer camp" games.
  • Spirit of Revenge 4: Florry's Well -- Your sidekick in the game is a drunken ghost. Sounds like a must buy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Baby-Sitters Little Sister

I have eleven books for the Baby-Sitters Little Sister series. My plan is to review them, at the same time I review the Baby-Sitters Club books.

If the series picks up traction, then I'll get more books. But if it's obvious that people watch Baby-Sitters Club without watching Little Sister, then I'll end my review series there. Maybe I'll review some of the Little Sister books my library has, because I can get them without paying money.

Right now, I've been putting the Little Sister books in the same playlist as the Baby-Sitters Club books. At what point should they become their own separate playlist? I'm thinking Book 5.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Posting Order

I'm trying to do my book reviews in chronological order, but I don't know what to do when there are multiple books in the same month. Like, Nancy Drew Files 38 and Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Supermystery 4 both came out in August 1989. Which book do I review first? Do I try to review them both at the same time, or what? Should I prioritize the Hardy Boys spinoff, just because there are fewer of those books?

As I said yesterday, I'm getting close to the River Heights series. And it looks like there are some triple dipper months! That is, months where there is a new Nancy Drew Files book, a new Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Supermystery book and a River Heights book. How do I handle that? Which series gets priority in that situation?

Same question goes for the Baby-Sitters Club books and the Little Sister spinoff series. Starting with Book 47, they also get a mystery spinoff series, because of course they do.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Book Reviews

My book reviews this month were for Nancy Drew Files #33 and #34.





We are getting close to an interesting part of the series! #38 is The Final Scene, which became Game #5. #39 is The Suspect Next Door, which launches the Right Heights spinoff series.

Meanwhile, the Baby-Sitters Club is inching closer and closer to the point where it officially goes into franchise mode. As in, the TV series launches, the spinoff series gets regularized and ghostwriters take over. This is also the point where I have to decide if I'll buy more books or if I'll just skip over the books that I don't have. I didn't have Book #20, but luckily, my local library had it, so I was able to read it without buying it.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trump Speech

Yeah, I know I said I was sick of politics last Friday, but I'm gonna talk about them again!

I saw Donald Trump's big speech at the Republican National Convention. Well, I saw part of it. It was 45 minutes long. I'm not going to watch the whole thing. What impressed me about the speech was how non-Republican it was. Like, all you have to do is change one or two things, and it's the same speech Hillary Clinton could give next week when she becomes the Democrat's nominee.

In case you missed it, he endorsed gay marriage and transgender bathroom rights, as well as equal pay for women and paid maternal leave. He avoided popular Republican topics, like abortion and religion. In other words, he doesn't care about fighting the culture wars. He's either going to avoid them entirely, or side with the Democrats on them.

He briefly pandered to the Republican base, by talking about expanding the military. At the same time, he wants to remove our military from other countries, like Japan or the NATO bloc, who can afford to protect themselves, instead of piggybacking on our military, with little cost to them and great cost to us. So he's more or less a military isolationist, with no interest in fighting other countries' wars for them. Or at least, he won't fight other countries' wars without being well compensated for it.

With economics, he said a lot of the same things that Bernie Sanders has been saying. He wants businesses to pay their fair share of taxes. He thinks international trade deals have been bad for the United States. He railed against businesses who fire a bunch of Americans and send their jobs overseas, just to save money. He thinks student debt is crippling the younger generation, and we need to fix that. That's mostly the same as the Democrats, with some differences. He didn't mention increasing the minimum wage, and he still supports tax cuts for big businesses. He also denounced businesses who hire illegal immigrants and pay them criminally low wages, which sounded more like his anti-illegal immigrant spiel than a legitimate part of his economics spiel.

So...yeah. I was surprised at how Trump's speech fits the Democratic party much better than the Republican party. I mean, I know he's been a lifelong Democrat, but still. He's not even pretending to be on the same side as the Republicans. And for the most part, the Republicans seem totally fine with him revamping the party's agenda.

My question now would be how his policies are different from Hillary Clinton's, seeing as he's a liberal Republican and she's a conservative Democrat. They're only going to get more and more similar in the upcoming months, since both candidates start leaning to the middle, post-nomination. Sadly, I don't think the Clinton/Trump debates will contain ANY substantive policy discussion. It'll mostly be them attacking each other, nonstop.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ad Orientem Mass

In Catholic circles, there has been a lot of talk about Cardinal Sarah, who said that all priests should start celebrating mass ad orientem, "facing east". He thinks they should try it out, starting on Advent, with a view towards possibly doing it full-time.

The basic idea of ad orientem is that the priest faces the altar, during certain parts of the mass, like the Eucharistic prayer. That way the priest and the congregation are all facing the same direction. Some people love it, and they say it gives the sense of everyone being together, focusing on God. Some people hate it, and they say it looks like the priest is turning his back on everyone.

I've never been to an ad orientem mass myself, so I can't say which type of mass I prefer. I've certainly been to masses where everyone zones out during the Eucharistic prayer, to the point where I'm sure they couldn't care less if the priest is facing the altar or not.

Predictably, I suppose, people turned this into a political issue. The conservatives like it, while the liberals don't. In general, the liberals have responded by explaining how the Cardinal's remarks are just suggestions, not mandatory orders. They also referred to General Instructions of the Roman Missal paragraph 299, which has something to say about altars. The conservatives have responded by saying that paragraph was mistranslated into English, probably on purpose. They also note that the Missal contains the instruction "the priest, facing the people," in several places. That indicates he was previously facing the altar, and now turns around at that point.

So...I dunno. It looks like both sides can read the instructional manual and find support for their position.

Me, I'm just happy that Cardinal Sarah is doing something as part of his job as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Boy, is that job title a mouthful!). The last time I heard anything from this group, it was when they studied the Sign of Peace at mass, with a view towards improving it and moving it to a different part of mass. Their study took nine years, and the result was...nothing. They recommended doing nothing at all, and sticking with the status quo. Did they REALLY need nine years to conclude that everything is fine? That seems like a ridiculous waste of time to me. It's longer than a US Presidency! So I'm just glad that the new guy in charge is moving at a rate faster than "one thing per decade". (He's "the new guy", because Pope Francis put him in charge of that department two years ago.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oregon Trail Genres

Another idea I had for my Oregon Trail game is to put it in different genres. Like, each pathway is a different genre! One is a mystery, one is science fiction...

...That's as far as I thought things out. What are other genres that could work, in the context of "people on the Oregon Trail?"? Let me check fanfiction.net...

Okay, adventure could work! Maybe horror. I really don't know what the definitions are for the spiritual and supernatural genres. Suspense could be a neat challenge? As for all the other genres, like "tragedy" and "friendship", those seem to normally fall under the general category of "romance".

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Oregon Trail Romance

I kind of want to write a game called Love on the Oregon Trail. For research purposes, I reserved the Oregon Trail Romance books at my local library.

...Those are an actual thing. The library had two of them, and they were both short story collections.

Let me read the summaries. It seems the stories have these plotlines...
  1. Lady marries a man she barely knows.
  2. Nurse falls in love with a patient
  3. Murder or Matrimony is a detective who is trying to find out the secrets of a woman's past. He falls in love with her along the way.
  4. Our hero is forced to work for a mean guy with an even meaner (and flirty) daughter. Can he escape them and marry the nice girl?
  5. Evil uncle wants to force our heroine to marry his business partner. Can she escape him and marry the nice guy?
  6. Our heroine's family wants her to move to Oregon with them, when she wants to move east.
  7. Man with amnesia is adopted by all-female family. Scandalous!
  8. Heroine needs to find her missing father in Oregon, so she teams up with a guy who's trying to save kids from evil adopted parents.
  9. Heroine has to cross-dress to help protect her friend and daughter.
  10. A tornado kills almost everyone except our heroine and several little girls.
  11. A woman looking for her lost son enlists the help of a woman-hater who slowly falls in love with her.
  12. A tragic death splits a family in half, and our heroine must decide which half to follow. Also, two hot guys want to marry her.
  13. Poor widow falls for a man who plans to do one last tour before retiring.
Okay! That's a lot of stories and ideas. Can I appropriate some of them for my videogame? Like, the mystery storyline. I wouldn't mind trying a mystery story. And the amnesia person is cliche, but it could be neat.

Obviously, I'd have to change the stories a little, otherwise that'd be plagiarism.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BSC Super Specials

Next on my reading list is Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2. I didn't like the first one or the BSC prequel book, because I don't like the format.

The format is that the characters switch narration, every single chapter. Every girl gets a chance to narrate, and they each get their own subplot.

The problem is that there are seven baby-sitters. So each girl gets three chapters to narrate. And three chapters is not long enough to fully introduce and resolve a subplot. Plus, you have to wait six chapters in between every iteration of a subplot, making it hard to remember what's going on.

The most common subplot seems to be the Vacation Boyfriend subplot.

Chapter 1: Girl meets boy. She thinks he's cute.
Chapter 2: Girl talks to boy. Oh my gosh, he likes her, too!
Chapter 3: Girl and boy go out on date. This ends in tragedy or romance.

There's not a lot of wiggle room there, because there's only room for three chapters, and one of them HAS to introduce the romantic interest. I'd prefer it if we had more developed stories.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass

After "Finding Dory", the drive-in theater showed "Alice Through the Looking Glass". My thoughts on it are the same as my thoughts on "Finding Dory": I liked it better than the original movie, which I didn't like so much.

This movie is sort of a genre shift, into an action film. My wife and I like dumb action films way more than you'd expect, from people like us. For example, we both liked "Terminator Genisys". Everyone else hated the movie, but we liked it! We're sad it won't get a sequel. Both "Alice" and "Terminator" have crazy CGI everywhere, which is cool to look at.

So the story is that Alice keeps travelling through time, in order to save the Mad Hatter's family. She is being relentlessly pursued by Time, a quasi-villain who wants to stop her before the entire universe turns into rust. Alice tries and fails to save the family a few times, before she realizes that you can't change the past. You can only learn from it.

The best part of the movie was the tea party, where the Mad Hatter and other characters had a philosophical conversation with Time. He asked Time to define when "soon" is. I thought that was an interesting question. Then they transitioned into make a lot of time puns. So that scene amused me on multiple levels.

The acting is good, as you'd expect, because there are so many famous actors in the film. Alan Rickman, who plays the caterpillar, died before the movie's release, and I'm wondering if they changed the movie because of his death. The caterpillar makes a brief appearance towards the start of the movie, when Alice first enters Wonderland. Then he completely disappears for the rest of the film, and no one mentions him at all. Perhaps they originally intended to do more with that character.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Finding Dory

I got to see Finding Dory at a drive-thru! Mary was super-excited to watch it, while Katie slept through the whole thing. I was half-asleep myself.

I liked the movie, and I thought it was way better than the original Finding Nemo. That's not saying much, though, because I kind of hated Finding Nemo. Sorry, but I didn't like any of the main characters. Marlin and Nemo were too whiny for my taste, and Dory's humor sort of fell flat.

Well, the second movie is better! Dory's humor still kind of falls flat for me. There's only so many times you can do the "ha ha, she forgot something" joke, before it stops being funny, you know? But the movie develops her character, beyond quirky comic relief, which was a welcome change. I also liked Dory's parents, although the movie kind of made it impossible not to like her parents. They're set up to be the most wonderful parents ever, through the use of copious flashbacks.

Dory's new friend Hank was interesting, too, simply because you weren't sure if he was a good guy or a bad guy. Her other friends were mostly nice and funny. I liked the sea lions who were possessive of their rock, even if that was just a variation of the seagull joke from the first movie. It worked better here, since they sounded more like real-life sea lions than the seagulls sounded like real-life seagulls. I should know! There are some sea lions in the Willamette Valley. They're fun to look at, until boating season starts, and they wisely get as far away as possible.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Time

It feels like I've been ignoring this blog lately, because I don't have enough time to write. I'm running out of time a lot, it seems. I also haven't been able to keep up with studying non-English languages and videogame work.

Maybe it's because it's summer, and I have to spend more time watching Mary. Maybe it's just bad time management on my part. Maybe it's because I keep screwing up whenever I do have free time, and I waste it on random stuff instead of work.

My current big timewaster is recording those games on the Wii. I really should stop trying to play games that are well over ten hours long. So I'm making an executive decision to NOT do a walkthrough for Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. First of all, because it's too darn long. Second of all, because there was a huge lack of interest in my Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess walkthrough. And third of all, Nintendo/YouTube's copyright detection system is pretty good at finding Zelda games, so I probably wouldn't make any money off of it.

Another big timesaver would be not doing speedruns for a while, because those are not very profitable, in terms of the time I put in VS the reasonable return I can expect. This puts me in kind of an awkward spot, because I had plans to do a speedrun year. Like, I was going to speedrun every new game I got this year. I've done three speedruns I haven't posted yet! Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of Wolfhill, Whispered Secrets: Everburning Candle and Mystery Tales: Her Own Eyes Meaning the two I need to finish are Living Legends: Bound By Wishes and Spirits of Mystery: Family Lies. Maybe I should just post the three speedruns I have done, and not bother with the other two.

Speedrunning Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None would be interesting, especially with how you can solve a lot of puzzles in any order. It'd also be infuriating, with its strange triggers and its copious "talk to everyone about everything in order to proceed" puzzles.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Politics

I am really depressed today, and I'm having trouble getting up the energy to do video work like I usually do.

There was a big terrorist attack in France yesterday. The seventh one this year, by some accounts. Over 70 people died.

That's bad enough as it is, but I was following the story online, and I was disgusted at how people immediately politicized the issue. That is, everyone instantly started to ignore what happened, and they turned it into another Republicans VS Democrats fight. I was also disgusted at how both sides purposely twisted statements, facts and circumstances to fit their own beliefs and agendas, while accusing the other side of doing the exact same thing.

I'm sick of how this keeps happening. It feels like it happens with every single issue, and there's never any resolution.

I think disgust with the media and politics is what helped lead to the rise of Donald Trump, actually. He's a non-politician, who made other politicians look ridiculous and eat their own words. Plus, the media dislikes Trump, and they constantly ran attack pieces against him. For anyone who doesn't like media and politics, those are two big points in Trump's favor.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How to Proceed

In case it's not obvious, I'm trying to do a review, an Everything Wrong With video and a speedrun for all the Nancy Drew games. I've been going through the games in chronological order.

But this is kind of slow. Do people want me to do something else?

Like, just do "Everything Wrong With" videos, until I've done the whole series, then go back and do reviews, then go back and do speedruns. Or just do speedruns and "Everything Wrong With", then go back and do reviews. I'm pretty sure I could get the videos done faster, if I wasn't trying three series simultaneously.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Treasure in the Royal Tower Extra Phone Call - Followup

Here's a followup to an earlier post about a third phone call in Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower.

The way to trigger the phone call is to start a fight between Lisa and Nancy, so Lisa will refuse to talk to Nancy anymore. I have no idea HOW you make this fight happen. The Her Interactive boards indicate it happens during your conversation with Lisa about the library. And, um...I've never had a conversation with Lisa about the library.

Any ideas how to do that? Someone else said you can talk to Lisa about exploring Hotchkiss' room, and that's another conversation I've never had with her.

Anyway, since Lisa won't talk to you, the trigger for the "medallion in shed puzzle" gets changed to Lisa leaving you a voicemail, as opposed to the normal way, of Lisa telling you directly.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dream

Okay, so I had a dream that I was playing the upcoming Nancy Drew game. At one point, Nancy had to entertain the crowd with ballet, while I was the announcer. I had to describe what was going on in the ballet, but I don't understand how ballet works, so I made up a bunch of stuff about someone summoning a giant tree monster.

Rumor has it the game is based on The Witch Tree Symbol, so that totally works. Maybe? I don't know how that rumor got started. Maybe because of the word "witch" in the title, and how Game #33 based on Book #33 is a neat idea.

At the end of the game, Nancy stopped the culprit with a bowl of popcorn. That is, she turned the bowl upside-down and dumped it on the culprit's head. I was confused, because I thought she was going to throw it at them.

I'm pretty sure none of this will make it into Midnight in Salem. Speaking of the game, though, I haven't heard anything about it. I don't know when its release date is. Please stop asking me that question every single day. Thank you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Miss Clue Chapter Five

Here is Chapter Five of Miss Clue: Cruise Most Deadly!



The website is taking a two week gap between chapters, so that means Chapter Six is next Sunday, the 17th. I will probably upload a video for it on Monday. Sometimes, I have to wait for the official guide to be posted, because I can't solve the puzzles on my own. That happened in this video! I couldn't find the gas can or the spark plugs, which ended up being wires, not plugs.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None

My current walkthrough is Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None.



This is a great game, trapped inside a mediocre game. My main issue with the game is that the player is forced to go through every single screen of the game, at least five times, in order to move the story forward. That doesn't include the many times you'll be forced to backtrack through the entire game, because you overlooked a small item.

The worst part is that this happens twice at the start of the game, before the interesting storyline starts. Come on, game! You want to START with the interesting material! You don't want to delay it a half-hour, in favor of wandering around aimlessly.

There are a few puzzles which require moon logic, like "the flashlight batteries are in a flour can" and "you get rid of thorns by pouring apple cider on them". It would have helped if you could click on or interact with things related to puzzles. For example, one puzzle is to get rid of a goat by pouring water in its trough. You can't click on the trough or interact with it, so I thought it was just part of the scenery, and not part of a puzzle. Same thing with the water pump, that's part of the same puzzle.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Treasure in the Royal Tower Problems

I'm going to make my Everything Wrong With Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower video! Any suggestions as to what problems I can list?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Arglefumph Banner

Andrea Duran-Dean just shared this banner with me on the blog!



What do you readers think? I think it rocks!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Game Demos

I said yesterday that there were demos of the new Zelda game. I don't 100% trust Zelda demos, thanks to Twilight Princess.

If you've played the game yourself, you probably noticed that the first part of the game is a little weird. It's good, but it has weird elements to it. Like Link being a falconer, which happens nowhere else in the game. Like the subquest to get slingshot, a weapon which you only have to use once in the game (and even then, you can skip it). Like the Malo/Monkey kidnapping sequence which went unexplained, storywise. Like the first part being split up into three days, and you having to reach the first dungeon three times before you can enter it.

Well, there's a reason that part of the game is a little off. They made it, for the purposes of having demos. It's fun to play, but it's also not representative of the game itself. I've been skeptical of Zelda demos ever since then.

Zelda obviously isn't the only game series that does this. A lot of casual games like to frontload with exciting, interesting stuff, so people will buy them quickly. And then when you reach the main game, things are totally different. I hate it when that happens. It feels like I've been tricked into getting a mediocre game! Or I feel disappointed, like the start of the game was so much fun, why isn't the rest of the game like that?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

When I was on vacation, they released a preview for the new Zelda game! It's called Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it's going to be released on the Nintendo NX. They were hoping to release it on the Wii U, but it looks like they won't finish it before the Wii U ends. This seems to be a running theme for the Zelda series; the N64, GCN and Wii Zelda games all came out at the end of the console's lifecycle / beginning of the next console's lifecycle.

...I miss the NES era, where we got three Super Mario Bros. for the same console. Also three TMNT games, six Mega Man games, and two Zelda games. Now, it feels like you get one installation per series, per console generation.

Anyway, I saw the preview video, and it looked okay. It looks pretty much like the other Zelda games, except now your character can do mountain climbing without the help of vines. I didn't get a chance to see any of the followup videos, but I'm sure they had a demo or two available for people to try.

There was an Internet rumor that the main character would be female in this game, and everyone I know got super-upset that the rumor wasn't true. I have no idea why people believed an English-based rumor about a Japanese game. Like, I understand one of the licensed spinoff games, Hyrule Warriors, has a female heroine named Linkle. (Which is a dumb name, BTW.) But it's a pretty huge jump to go from "a spinoff made by an unrelated company has a playable female character" to "now the main series must have an all-female cast".

Keep in mind, it's also a huge jump to go from "something happened in the handheld games" to "this affects the main series". Zelda isn't super-big on continuity.

The Internet was also freaking out, because main character Link is topless in the new game. I think that might be why we don't have a female main character in the game...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

DS/3DS Collection

Wowsers, people seemed interested in hearing about the games I own. So here's all the DS/3DS games I own. I'm debating whether or not to buy a DS / 3DS recorder. They cost lots of money.
  • Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
  • Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
  • Fire Emblem Awakening
  • Golden Sun Dark Dawn
  • Bravely Default
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner Soul Hackers
  • Kid Icarus Uprising
  • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
  • Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
  • Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright
  • Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon
Looks like most of them are RPGs that I haven't played.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July to you, and Happy First Anniversary to me and my wife!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

NES

I was going to play/record some NES games this week, but I don't know how to connect the NES to the flatscreen TV. The NES has a yellow and a red cable that connects it to TVs, but the TV has six inputs and only one is red. Oh dear.

I was able to see the NES screen for a bit when I plugged it directly into my Hauppauge PVR, the device I use to record console games. But there's a delay of about a second, so I can't use that to play games off of. No, I need to play the game normally on a TV.

I'm hoping the issue is just with the TV. When I get a chance, I'll try it again with an older TV.

This isn't a priority, because the only NES game I have to walkthrough is McKids. The other games I have are Mario/TMNT/DuckTales, and those have all been done by tons of people. It'd be nice to speedrun one of those games, but again, they've all been done by tons of people. Pretty much the only way to get a record on those games is in an obscure category, like "Duck Tales Normal Mode Glitchless 100%".

Speaking of that, do you want a speedrun record? Play Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger! It has nine different categories, most of which are untouched. When there's no competition, getting a record is easy!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

GameBoy Games

Playing games on my Wii was a bust, so I pulled out my GameCube to record some GameBoy games. I played Animorphs GBC for about 25 minutes, before stopping. The critics are right: this game is bad. I'll try to post the videos sometime soon.

I've got a handful of other GameBoy games. Would you like to see me play any of them?
  • Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons / Ages (GBC). I loved these games in high school. Why haven't I replayed them yet? Sheesh.
  • Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC). I've never played it, but it has good reviews.
  • Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga. Just like everyone else, I thought this game was really good. Now, I think it's a little overrated, and part of that is because they brought back the villain for the next two games. Fawful is an amusing character, but not that amusing.
  • Duck Tales GB. I had vague plans to speedrun the two Duck Tales Gameboy games at one point.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I loved this game to death in high school, but it's not what I usually play for my channel. I'd love to speedrun it, but...well, I guess it's the same problem as the other games I want to speedrun. I don't have the time for it!
  • Fire Emblem GBA. I have both Fire Emblem games for the GBA, and I haven't touched them. One's still in the original wrapped. I'm such a bad Fire Emblem fan.
  • Castlevania. I have all the Castlevania GBA games. Again, it's something I like, but it's not what I normally play on my channel, so I don't know how well it'd be received.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Wii Games

My wife and kid were away at summer camp for a few days this week, so I got a chance to play some of my old non-PC videogames. Katie keeps all my videogames in storage under the stairs, because she thinks the living room looks messy with my gaming stuff out.

I pulled out the Wii, intent on doing a walkthrough for Zelda Skyward Sword, but it turns out that I don't have the Wii Motion Plus. The only other Wii games I have are Prince of Persia and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The Mario game is multiplayer, so that's not an option, and Prince of Persia is pretty far removed from what I usually play on my channel. It's a nice game, although I don't think it was accepted by fans of the series, because it's a movie tie-in that came out after the series ended.

The only other game on my Wii is Paper Mario for the N64. It's a fun game, but it's kind of long. As in, the standard playtime seems to be about 18 hours. I recorded the prologue and first chapter, which took about two and a half hours. Then I found out, ha ha, my recording equipment messed up, and the audio is a mess.

So in the end, no Wii stuff got recorded. But hey! That doesn't mean I should put my Wii on ice forever, right? Let me know what you think about me making walkthroughs for these games!

  • Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
  • Paper Mario N64