Save Point

Money can buy everything except “love”, “friendship” and “exp points”.

Atelier Crack and Other Stories December 27, 2009

Well, I’ve been dead to the world lately!

As for games, I’ve mostly been playing Atelier Annie, a DS game known affectionately by my family as Atelier Crack because I play so much. It’s a resort development sim game with the Atelier alchemy engine as a major part of the development. I tried very hard to get the best ending without looking in any FAQs– and by “very hard”, I mean “thirty playthroughs hard”. Normally I’m not one to fast-forward through dialogue, but the game can be played in a few hours if you do. Unfortunately, it’s only possible to trigger the best ending, or even the normal ending, by coincidentally visiting a particular location in a particular month– the game gives no clue about this trigger point, and I had no reason to visit at that time, so I missed it every playthrough. It was easy enough to get the best ending once I gave in and looked it up, but I may never have stumbled across it otherwise. I think that’s bad game design. But not to worry; the game has seven different endings, so there’s plenty to figure out on one’s own. There’s also the addictive compulsion towards 100% data completion, from which I am one rare drop away.

A lament to Nintendo: I bought Super Mario World for the GBA because I was nostalgic for the original, which I learnt to play like a pro with my eyes closed when I was ten. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the controls; on the DS I had to hold my hand at a wrist-spraining angle just to accelerate and jump. I suppose this isn’t anyone’s fault because the buttons were remapped for the GBA, which didn’t have as many buttons as a SNES; but it’s made a choppy, barely-playable mess of a game that played like warm butter in its original configuration. The result is an insult to the gorgeous playability of the original. I wish they would re-release it for the DS with its proper control configuration. At least, I am glad they added a few bonus coins– it’s just like the original but with some extra bits that make me think, “Aha, that wasn’t there before…”

I’ve also been playing N+ for the DS. It’s a great deal of fun, although the lack of background music is a small disappointment. The difficulty of the levels is highly variable: some are ludicrously easy, and some are rather hard; since it’s meant to be a time trial game, experienced gamers will probably enjoy alternating between the two.

You all know, dear readers, that I’m in love with Mana Khemia 1 and have played it four times so far, right? In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, I adore that game. The sequel, on the other hand, does not even deserve to exist.


Failcat Causes Fail November 6, 2008

Filed under: Metagaming,Retro games — haounomiko @ 12:28 pm
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The world keeps turning. I’ve started practicing for Super Mario World speed runs. After completing a few runs with abysmal times, I began to understand that I was wasting a lot of time being cautious. If I play recklessly I might screw up, but if I don’t then my time will be better; on the other hand, if I screw up even once then I’ll have to start over from the beginning.

So I have a lot of practice ahead of me. Last night I nearly completed a decent run, but I died near the end of Bowser’s castle because my cat decided to come over and headbutt my hands while I was playing. She didn’t mean any harm by it, of course, but it was rather frustrating. Back to the start screen for me…

Incidentally, The Backloggery is a site that may be of interest. Although ostensibly for cataloguing one’s game collection for one’s own benefit, I wonder if it will become the seed of a social networking site for gamers. I wouldn’t mind that.


This World Has Weird Plumbing May 26, 2008

Filed under: Metagaming,Retro games — haounomiko @ 10:54 pm
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I’ve been away for a while, attending an anime convention and visiting friends, hence the lack of updates. We played some classic Mario (I’d forgotten how much fun the American Mario 2 was! More about puzzles, less about making difficult jumps– right up my alley) and a bit of Katamari Damacy. I’d meant to finish Phoenix Wright 2 on the trip and start in on 3, but once my journey had begun, I turned on my DS to discover that I’d left it at home and instead brought– Kurupoto Cool Cool Stars. Noooooo!

The moral of the story? Next time, I’m bringing all my games. It shouldn’t really be much of a burden when my whole collection would fit in a CD case.