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I write about video games and horror-related items. Also, I wear a hat.

I finished Cosmic Star Heroine. Be proud of me.
January 30, 2019

Out of the three Zeboyd titles I've played, this was my least favorite. I like it, don't get me wrong, but it's nothing grand.

+Great soundtrack.
+It has a great combat system that involves equipping characters with abilities rather than using the standard Fight/Item/Magic commands. Most abilities can only be used once, though some are limitless. You can restore those abilities by having a character use their recharge command. A small number of abilities, though, can only be used once per battle (such as a res ability one character has).
+Cthulhu makes a cameo as a super boss.
+Suikoden-like recruitmen system for secondary characters. These are guys you don't use in battle, but grant you passive bonuses when you have them set to your party.

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Game Progress, 1/24/19
January 24, 2019

It's a new day, and I've installed a ton of junk on my computer that I'll probably end up uninstalling. Hey, whatever. I feel like I've hit a new era in my war against the backlog, because I've finally completed the Gothic franchise. That, Mass Effect and Dragon Age seemed to be the most daunting gaming collections I had on there (other than Tales, which I don't count because they're mostly standalone games anyway), so I feel like I've made some real progress there.

Arcania: Gothic 4 (PC)

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Game Progress, 1/15/19
January 15, 2019

Cold Fear (Xbox)
As you can tell by this post's summary, Cold Fear is done. The final boss is pretty ridiculous, until you figure out how to deal with him without taking much damage. The main thing is learning to dodge his charge attack, which requires you to run toward him and then veer to the left at just the right moment. After that, I had some trouble getting the QTE intended to finish him off to work. However, during my successful run against him, I only took one hit and finished the beast off with about ninety percent of my health.

Iconoclasts (PC)

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One thing I don't like in modern platformers...
January 12, 2019

Stringent level evaluations that stifle progress. Two examples: Action Henk and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams.

Both games evaluate you at the end of each level. If you don't score enough stars, then you can't unlock required boss levels. You then hit a period where you need to "git gud" and replay super tough levels to the point of insanity, all so you can earn more stars. Giana Sisters takes this to the next level by putting you through way overlong stages, and only counting stars within the same world towards you total. In other words, if you want to unlock the boss level in world three, then you need stars from world three levels. You can't go back to the easy levels at the beginning of world one to earn stars.

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Cold Fear really didn't age well
January 12, 2019

If you haven't played Cold Fear, it's a PS2/Xbox era survival-horror game with a greater emphasis on third-person shooter elements--kinda like Resident Evil 4. I'm currently playing the Xbox version, and man, is it dingy. I don't think this game is going to rate well with me once I finish it, assuming I don't rage quit.

    No tank controls, which is good. It handles better without them anyway. However, you can't rotate the camera unless you aim your gun. Otherwise, you're stuck with a sloppy semi-fixed camera that gets you injured or killed pretty often.Whenever your character begins to aim, he never points in the direction he was originally facing. if you're facing an enemy when you initiate the aim, your character will look either off to the side or behind himself.

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What Joe's playing
January 07, 2019

I've decided to take on four games at once, as I used to. We'll see if I finish all four of them, though. I have a feeling I'm going to abandon at least two of them.

Arcania: Gothic 4 (PC)
aka Gothic, but with Sad Robots
aka The Adventures of Budget Seth Green

I've already chatted about this one, and I've made no further progress. Please see that blog post for more details.

Cold Fear (Xbox)
aka I Liked This Premise Better When It Was Called 'The Intruder Within'
aka Where Are the Fucking Save Points?

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Gothic 3 is done, and I've begun Gothic 4.
January 05, 2019

I completed, and enjoyed (despite how arduous of an experience it was) Gothic 3. Review coming soon.

As you can imagine, I aim to end my time with this series once and for all. I obtained Arcania: Gothic 4 in 2012, and decided to install and play it tonight. And let me tell you, it's uh... interesting.

-Piranha Bytes parted ways with publisher JoWood Studios before this one came out, and Spellbound stepped in to develop it. It's obvious from the get-go that it has a different developer. I understood before going into this one that it would pretty much function like it's own game, and I'm okay with that.

-The rebel ending from Gothic 3 is treated as the canon ending. The nameless protagonist from the previous games also has a name now: King Rhobar III.

[read the full post...]

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