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    1001 Touch Games (DS)    by   jp       (Nov 22nd, 2020 at 17:02:52)

    I don't know that there are exactly 1001 games on this cart - but there is definitely a lot of stuff to play around with. How do you organize that many games in a way that makes sense and is navigable?

    Well, the games are grouped by theme (of sorts) with action-based games separated from boardgame/cardgames and puzzle games. It's actually a pretty good collection, I played more than a few (hello Mahjong! Word search! Hello terrible unplayable minigolf, hello puzzloop knockoff, hello weird driving game where you only steer). It turns out that many of these have different levels - and each level is counted as a separate game. As for distinct games (not levels) I still think there's easily 30 different games to play around with.

    I guess if I only had this game and a DS and was stuck on a long roadtrip, I'd definitely get my money's worth. But, it's kind of surprising to me that I think I'd get the most value/time/interest from the non-action games. So, the puzzle, board, card games...there's quite a few variations of solitarie for example (I wonder if each level is it's own seed/layout so once you've played it it's the same the next time?)

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    Lego Rock Band (DS)    by   jp       (Nov 21st, 2020 at 14:01:44)

    So, it's exactly like Rock Band (on handhelds, was the PSP version really the last one I played) - but with lego characters. I'm not sure I've really understood what is supposed to make it special/different OTHER than the visuals...it's Lego.

    Perhaps for some people it's fun to see the Lego version of favorite artists? (Blur, etc.) I don't know, it's not for me really - so I think it'll go back on the shelf. I've played through parts of the campaign, unlocked some venues and such.

    I guess what I'm most impressed by is the quality of the audio and the variety of songs. I wouldn't have thought they could fit all of that on the cartridge! THere must be some clever technical thing I'm not aware of?

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    Earthbound (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Nov 19th, 2020 at 19:29:02)

    Bam! Old school classic complete! I thought I had retired this forever after being bored with it on an emulator, but I found it on the Nintendo shop on my Wii U. That platform significantly improved the experience. Now after completing it, I totally understand why people love it. It'll have a special place for me too. It's so wonderfully weird and quirky, it breaks the fourth wall, and feels way ahead of its time. Like, with some updated mechanics, I would buy it today as a weird JRPG. It reminded me of Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden and I hear that Undertale is basically spiritual kin, so now I look forward even more to playing that because I understand its influences.

    Given the breadth and depth I feel I could go into given the introduction above, I don't really know what to say about the game! Gameplay-wise, it is a totally standard JRPG from the SNES era. Its quirks lie in some narrative (although the overarching story is honestly pretty stupid), items, enemy naming and art (possibly my favorite thing), and some of the settings and other characters. For example, I think my favorite enemies are the "third strongest moles." My girlfriend (whose favorite game is Earthbound) was watching me play this part. You go in some caves and have to fight five moles. I found the first mole, who said it was the third strongest mole. I beat it pretty easily, so I was like, sweet! I am doing pretty good in this dungeon. Then I found the second mole who...also said it was the third strongest mole. I didn't quite realize what was happening until the third mole said the same thing. This is how Earthbound occasionally messes with you and makes fun of itself. I thought it was really funny. My girlfriend's favorite character is Mr. Belch (who I think is a pile of vomit) because of his burp attack.

    Also, riding a bike early in the game made me so full of joy. This was a game about some kid being a hero that didn't seem like a "kiddie" game. I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult. I'm very glad I found this on the Nintendo store. Now, my girlfriend says I have to play Mother 3 and Chrono Trigger.

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    Cradle of Rome (DS)    by   jp       (Nov 15th, 2020 at 17:09:42)

    Ha, couldn't help play a bunch more levels just to unlock a few more powerups, I was curious what they did...

    There's a "resource" powerup that acts like the axe, but also adds a bunch of resources (to reduce grinding I guess).

    I think I reached level 45 or so? And it turn out that sometimes the level does advance even if you don't buy a building....

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    Armello (PS4)    by   jp       (Nov 15th, 2020 at 15:27:21)

    OMG, I'm so excited to play this some more!

    Yesterday I only played the prologue - which is a really well done tutorial for each of the four characters (and character types?) you can control in the game. I was a bit confused at first because the tutorials are incremental - when you start the 2nd one, the first character is on the board taking their turn! (I had somehow not registered that this was a multiplayer boardgame)

    I think one of the things I enjoyed the most about the tutorial is that it slowly opens up - in the beginning you have to really do exactly what you're told, but towards the end (3d and 4th character), you're given much more open-ended (feeling) objectives that you might take a few turns to address and go about them almost in your own way.

    So, it felt really natural as a way to learn the game and begin to make your own independent choices. We'll see how it all pans out once I played a full "real" match.

    I'm also curious if this is a game I'll play regularly? Try the different characters? Play online? I don't think there's a campaign or anything like that, but the world seems to rich in stuff that it feels like a real shame if the amazing setup turns out to be just that - an amazing setup for a fantasy boardgame...

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    1 : jp's 1001 Touch Games (DS)
    2 : jp's Lego Rock Band (DS)
    3 : jp's Armello (PS4)
    4 : jp's Cradle of Rome (DS)
    5 : jp's Carnival Games (DS)
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    Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC)    by   dkirschner

    Beautiful game, great combat. More Fidget please!
    most recent entry:   Friday 2 October, 2015
    Wow, this is a great game. I’d heard of it (the name stands out), but never would have bought it. It probably looked too anime for me or something, or the cartoony art may have put me off when reading about it, or it sounded generic or something. I was wrong, wronger, and wrongest. I am so glad this was in the Humble Bundle account that I won. There have been some real gems in there.

    So, what is Dust? Or, who is Dust? Dust is the main character. The Blade of Ahrah is some type of magical sword called Elysium, and probably refers to the Greek Elysium Fields, where heroes go when they die. And I have no idea what the word “Tail” in the title refers to. Everyone is like a cat person or a mouse person or a lizard person and they all have tails…maybe it refers to the anthropomorphic characters and is a play on “tale.” Anyway, Dust wakes up in the middle of a forest and doesn’t know who he is or how he got there. There’s a magical sword and a flying cat/bat/weasel thing named Fidget, who is adorable. Fidget is the guardian of the sword, and the sword leads Dust off on a road of self-discovery. The sword clearly knows more about Dust than Dust does.

    What follows is a beautiful 2D side-scrolling action RPG with fantastic characters. Dust & Co. travel from area to area learning about Dust’s past, and in the process saving some villages, meeting colorful characters, and the main quest, tracking down a General Gaius who is exterminating a race of people called the Moonbloods. Dust’s past is tied up with General Gaius.

    The only criticisms I can think of at the moment are: (1) General Gaius doesn’t seem very bad for a bad guy, although I think that was purposefully done because I have a lot of questions about he and Dust’s backstory that hopefully will be answered in the future; (2) combat never becomes very challenging, though it is always insanely fun; (3) the story never really grabbed my attention until the very end. But the end, wow, I teared up a little bit. When is the last time that happened?

    Oh, and apparently the bulk of the game (programming, art, story at least) was done by one guy. One guy. Amazing. If there were a sequel out, I would buy it right now and start playing. Best game I’ve played since GameLog went offline! If you like hack-n-slash games or action RPGs, do yourself a favor and grab Dust.

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