We had a rough year. Were getting through it. One day at a time. Some days are bad some days are ok. For me I’m doing ok today. I’m very lucky to be able to take a couple of days off of work in a row for the first time in a year? Probably a year. Last year it was because I couldn’t do anything but lie in bed. But I’m able to enjoy these days. And one of those is staving off the guilt of taking days off by writing about video games. So here it is.
Wizard of Legends
A couple of weeks ago your friend and mine Ali wrote about her feelings with rougelikes. She gets into a lot of the reasons I like rougelikes. They help me when I have a rough day and need something to do. The best ones I can sit down and watch a sitcom. Then just let the day wash off of me. I really needed that when I bought Wizards on a whim. It was the best one of those I played in a while.
Wizards you go through random levels with bosses until you beat it. Its a rougelike. In Wizards you buy spells but there’s no like plus damage spells or whatever. They are all viable. You just get more and play around with them. Until you find a combination you like. There’s not a upgrade system. Its mostly a game about getting better. Learning the patterns of the handful of enemies. There’s not much variety. Which is nice in its own way. The most fun I had in that game is playing with the spells and optimizing stuns and damage. To create a wizard who couldn’t be fucked with
You can watch a trailer for this game to see if its for you. If it looks fun its a good chance you will have some fun with it. Its not that deep. But like I said I want a game like that to reach to. To help me. The problem with me. Not to brag. Is I end up beating the rougelikes I play. Its just one day I sit down and I’m done. I can keep on going back. Its still there. To help me turn my brain off. But my brain won’t shut up any more. Its asking me why am I here. I beat it. Its done. Time to close the book.
But its not there to be beaten. Its to help me calm down. Its to help me from thinking. But I can’t stop my brain. So I’m done with Wizards of Legends. It was nice while it lasted. I probably won’t find a rougelike that helped me shut off my brain like you in a while. Thanks for the fun. It wasn’t you it was me. That was a bad line. Good Game 7/10. Thats worse. Its a good game. The End. – Review by me
Heartbreak High: A break-up Simulator
I’ve been reading off and on a book called “Rise of the Videogame Zinesters. How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form by Anna Anthropy.” Its fine. I’m halfway through. Its from 2012 and I could tell. I agree with the core idea of that book. Which is we need game makers outside of the system. We need easier tools so I can make a video game without banging my head in Unity for 20s of hours. We need games by people who aren’t white men. I’m all here for that even though the book is kinda spending pages on what I just said in 3 sentences. Who am I to judge though it was 2012. Another topic she talks about though I have mixed feelings on.
She talks about how we need people who aren’t interested in games or haven’t played a lot of them. Which I kinda agree with. But when we get that we don’t move forward. Like if you making a video game in your spare time you should like games one. 2 is do we really move forward in the experiences we have with games without that back knowledge. Like if everyone just played a Mario then like Ok cool let’s make a game but artsy. We just get 100 braids that jump out of a plane. And that’s fine. If you want to make a braid that’s cool. You grow as a creator by making things. But also creators grow more as they consume other media other games. That’s how ideas form. And that’s how we get games like Heartbreak High.
Heartbreak High clearly comes from someone who loves Visual Novels and arcade games. Alec Robbins creates a game that’s 40 minutes max where you have to break up with everyone in your high school. What leads is a funny time where you try to navigate through dialogue choices. Trying to find that right tone for the person. Sometimes you have to be soft but hard. Or just rip the fucking band-aid off. There’s other surprises mechanically to that keeps you on your toes and guessing. This is a game that Anthropy was talking about with taking back games. Its 5 dollars on itch and its worth your time and money.
Something else that is worth praise is the tone of this game. If you told me the pitch of this game I would honesty imagine a game making fun of Visual Novels or just mean. The game is really funny. But manages to understand you are breaking up with people. You can get mean. You can rip the band-aid off with some people. But the game knows that. I’m having a hard time trying to describe it besides its good and I was really happy with how the game handled the subject. This is a random thing on my site so I can just link to Amrs review which sold me on the game.
Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep
Spoilers for Terras and some of Ventis story. Also this is more going to be a rant or ramble about kingdom hearts. I really want to write a big thing sometimes in the future once I think of a good idea.
I love Kingdom Hearts. Its alot. Most of all Earnest. It’s a series that wears its heart on its sleeve at all times. Its also relentlessly on its bullshit. I inspire to be Kingdom Hearts. My young Kingdom Hearts 2 story was it being my birthday and at a Toys R Us with my grandma. What game did I want she asked? I had no clue but this one had Mickey Mouse on it. She kinda got nervous when she saw it was 50 bucks but she bought for me. I could never get past that boss fight with the water dance. Until last year when I picked it back up. Even though I beat it last year. The memory of the fantastic opening in twilight town. Mickey Mouse in a black hoodie. It stuck for years until I returned.
Birth By Sleep is structured so well. You technically play it 3 time for each character. But each run is only 10 hours. You go to the same worlds but the stories are different and levels are different sometimes. Like Terra you go to the Ball in Cinderella and Ventis is mouse sized constructing her dress. The levels are much shorter then other Kingdom Hearts games. It keeps the game moving. Instead of being bogged down in each world you feel like your always moving. This structure could have backfired but it worked.
Anyway now into some messy rougher impressions
GOD THE PART AT THE END OF TERRAS STORY WHERE YOU PLAYED THE ARMOR FIGHTING XENOHERT TAKING OVER YOUR BODY A++++. ALSO I MEET AXEL AS LEA MY POOR SWEET EDGY BOY. Ok anyway. Like Kingdom Heart tells stories in broad strokes. It gives a crap about the mechanics of the world enough so I understand what matters. I get it. But knows when not to explain shit. Like Terras mind not succumbing and fighting back through the armor is a great moment. You get the idea behind that scene and what its conveying. Its still powerful even if it’s a little convoluted. That shot at the end of that scene will stick with me still. Thats what matters.
That’s what I want from stories. I want earnestness. We can have the star wars conversation here. Like explaining the force is good to give the universe some rules. So you know what is happening. What really matters though is the fight against Light and Darkness. Hero vs Villain. And Kingdom Hearts gets that. And I really do love Disney. I gasped when Mickey showed up to help Ventis in his story. I’m easy. At the end of the day Kingdom Hearts works for people who love it. Fuck the losers who make fun of the trailers. We love it. Its for us. I can’t wait to play more.
Thats it. Some Rougher thoughts this time around. I kind of hoping one of these topics would lead to a bigger idea like usually but no dice. Still a fun time. Got some thoughts out. I can go eat some Taco Bell without felling guilty. Hope you have a good night. Go play some Kingdom Hearts.