AK-1138

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About AK-1138

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    Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma
  • Birthday August 1

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    Midgard
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    Film, music, video games

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  1. All the ones I've played are tied for second place.
  2. Platinum #510: Please Don't Touch Anything Difficulty: 2/10 Playtime: 1 hour, 20 minutes Enjoyment: 7/10 Video game and Coronavirus safety guideline all in one! But really, they missed a trick by not calling it by what it really is; a Dee Dee Simulator! Whoa, remember when she had massively thick eyebrows for some reason? Heavy, Doc. Ahem! Anyways, yep, this is one of those "do random stuff to create random outcomes" with a bunch of buttons and doohickeys and gewgaws to mess around with. Usually these kinds of games can be a bit too obtuse with nudging you in the right direction, but it does offer some slightly cryptic in-game hints for those who wanna take the high road, i.e. not me! Some of them are even quite intuitive. A game like this lives and dies by its ability to provide some pleasantly overstated comedy and I'd say it does alright. Pop cultural references are a dime a dozen, with the '80s being a favoured topic. Some are particularly cleverly implemented, such as the one that directly copies the events of WarGames... the '80s movie, not the cage-based wrestling stipulation. Repetitive button combinations can become a bit of a chore; it's just as well it's as short as it is. Some of the puzzles also requires precision and dexterity that does not gel with the control set-up. Punching numbers into a button-based telephone feels as slow as a rotary phone in this one. Overall, it's a harmless bit of fluff that will provide an hour or two of entertainment, especially with its clever trophy list. Little you're liable to remember down the line, but it does what it says on the tin and sometimes that's a victory in and of itself.
  3. Well, at least now we know who does the writing for POWGI games...
  4. Ironically, I only watch "speedruns" when I'm forced to watch a video guides for trophies, which I hate doing in the first place. Like Jecht and Blitzball, I don't get the appeal of watching other people play, especially not when they're in gotta-measure-every-fraction-of-a-second-and-when-to-piss-in-a-bottle charisma vacuum robot mode. And unless I should ever lose my hands in an unfortunate shmelting accident, it'll remain that way.
  5. Platinum #509: Harvey's New Eyes Difficulty: 2.5/10 Playtime: 7-8 hours Enjoyment: 8.5/10 As good a classic 2D adventure game as I've played in a long time, made by a confident team of developers with rock-solid knowledge of the basic ingredients, but who aren't afraid to make a few inspired breaks with the medium's orthodoxy while they're at it. The wit is crisp as a spring daisy, the atmosphere is dependably grounding, and the puzzles are doggedly clever. Lilli is a pleasantly twisted orphan living in a convent, where she is an unwitting(?) instigator of trouble. Her best friend Edna is the sole escape from her dogmatic monotony. When an unfettered psychologist threatens to take Edna away, Lilli is thrust into the thick of things, and is hypnotized by a creepy red-eyed stuffed bunny (the Harvey of the title... nothing like the one from the Jimmy Stewart movie!) into losing her free will; the worst fate an adventure game protagonist could possibly suffer. Thus begins a surprisingly complex journey through the twisted mindscapes of Lilli's psyche to reclaim that which her creator may have intended as a gift, a curse, or both. As you may be able to glean, it's a more ambitious story than most in its genre, and one that succeeds as a serious bit of storytelling despite the multifarious nature of the script. It's drenched in comedic sociopathy, sure... but it's got a quiet, understated dignity to it that allows it to deliver moments of genuine pathos more than once. It's an impressive balancing act to behold, and they make it through to the end a in respectable fashion. The simple but lovingly rendered graphical framework can be deceptively effective, with small atmospheric touches making things come alive despite its pragmatic minimalism. The voice work is varied and professional-sounding; almost shocking for an indie adventure game. The music can get a little repetitive, however, as there are only a handful of tracks and they're all pretty short loops, at that. And that vocal main theme is probably one of the worst vocal pieces I've ever heard in any game. The trophy hunt itself is a bit of a drawback. Many of the trophies are just grindy padding, existing seemingly only to fill a quota. Some of them can even glitch out on you if you apply the "skip animation" function a bit too liberally. It's entirely the wrong approach for a game like this... where are all the ones for initiating optional conversations about inventory items, a.k.a. the best part of adventure games? Including a trophy for skipping every minigame was a cute touch, though. Also, fair warning to aspiring hunters... if you aim to play the game the proper way without skipping cutscenes or dialogue (y'know... the only way to play a good adventure game), expect a completion time that is much closer to mine than any of the variety of guides out there. As an avowed adventure connoisseur, this more than does the trick for me, even with some nagging flaws. The quality control is impressively high, as is their batting average for comedy. The cloying, sarcastic Lemony Snicket-esque narrator in particular, is an absolute treat. It's a good game made by good people, and having now found out it's a sequel (some things in the game did seem a bit wanting for explanation) to an older game, I'm very much fixin' to give that one a tumble, trophies or no. Yes indeed, this one is gumbo!
  6. A bit amazing. One of those rare movies that deals with complicated relationship situations without judgment or undue moralization. A truly mature movie in so many ways; I was almost shocked to discover its comparative age. Andie MacDowell's performance is beyond stunning, and masterfully conveys the convoluted neuroses that drive her profoundly unhappy character without ever making her seem weak or unduly self-obsessed. Indeed, she is hardly blameless as to her current predicament. As good a performance as I've seen in a long time, from one of the best to ever do it. And Spader isn't far behind; their life situations may differ, but they're both stuck in lives that they haven't yet wholly affirmed as their own. They have flaws and weaknesses to overcome--many of which are self-made--but are good people at heart, who deserve something better. Even the "villain" of the piece isn't some irredeemable scumbag. The film's methodical pace requires the viewer to let sympathy build at a very gradual pace, and it may well not be for everyone. No need to spoil much but the ending, in its own unique way, made me as happy as any, shall we say, less complicated movie about love I've ever seen about love. And as a "recovering liar" in my own right, it had a special significance to me especially. The understated use of cinematic shorthand and minimal scoring leaves the efficacy of the proceedings in the hands of the actors and script alone, and they do not falter for a single second. I'll definitely watch it again someday as I'm bound to have missed countless nuances while I was warming up to this unique experience.
  7. I don't necessarily hate the general idea... it's just too bad they'll never "trophyfy" a music video actually worth watching.
  8. Platinum #508: Difficulty: 3/10 Playtime: 31-32 hours Enjoyment: 8.5/10 Yep, it's still my second or third favourite FF depending on my mood, but ya gotta know... that's a pretty distant second or third place to hold, there. Handily the best of the PSX trilogy, regardless. For such a defiantly experimental game, It comes staggeringly close to greatness in many desirable aspects. It took me a while to come around to it (I had two failed playthroughs to my name before I "got" it, and one abandoned 100% completion run after) but it feels much more like "my" game than VII or IX. The central themes of how everyone has a different path towards maturity, and how suppressing emotions rarely leads to anything good, are ones that gain more and more resonance with me personally. It's not always Shakespeare, but the emotional intent is a lot more evident than VII, for example. Characters are filled with hidden depths and their growth is a joy to behold (I still maintain the game could have done without Zell altogether, though... just sayin', I'd trade him for Seifer anyday). I'd have liked a bit more focus on that than the predictably overwrought end-of-the-world pretext that overtakes the narrative towards the end. It's also got one of my all-time favourite plot twists that really recontextualizes so much of the game. And then, there is the wonder that is Selphie.... anyways, on balance the story is one of the series' finest achievements, and one augmented by the lush and colourful aesthetics of the visuals. The gameplay is still addicting and satisfying with a whole lot of freedom to play the game your way once you get hip to the jive. It could've done with being a bit less grindy in the early stages in terms of unlocking abilities to make the most out of any enemy encounter, but the 3X speed function really helps assuage this tedium. Indeed, rather predictably, 3X speed makes the game even more fun, especially when grinding out them Tonberries and trying to trigger rare encounters. Feel free to make another version of FFX on the PS5 with this exact function anytime, guys! Bit of a shame to see the retention of a few niggling flaws such as the low diversity of enemy encounters and lack of stat junction abilities in the early going, but gotta build character somehow, I guess. The trophy list was a slight disappointment as well. It's just an abridged version of the Steam achievements which was a dull affair in and of itself. I would have liked some fun bullshit trophies like, I don't know, making Squall look like a goof ordering people to prioritize the hot dog supply over the intercom, or knocking out Zell in battle a 100 times or something like that, I guess. Initially I was pleased to see the list was a bit less high-maintenance than Steam, but ultimately I would have preferred something at least a bit more demanding. In fact, now that the game is much more playable, I may finally get back on that horse and get that sweet 100% completion someday, lvl. 100 Guardian Forces and all. VIII wasn't then, and isn't now, an accessible crowd-pleaser like VII (indeed, there was a time I had nothing but vitriol for it) but for those susceptible--be it today or years away-- to the thoughtful slow-burn pace of it all, better RPG experiences are few and far between. I'm truly grateful VIII got its time in the sun again--and I doubt I'm alone here--and am proud to rank it amongst my trophy collection. It's a train ride well worth taking, still...
  9. Posting this for absolutely no reason at all.

     

     

  10. Grand Theft Auto III - Where To? I was just getting around to doing the last third of the 100 taxi fares today when I randomly noticed it was May 10... the date of the very first entry in the morbidly self-attentive diary narrations of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Gotta take advantage of unlikely serendipity like that! So, blasting my weird Japanese bootleg copy of Bernard Herrmann's iconic score I got right down to hacking, in the taxi driving sense of the word... ...And if I didn't hate the crappily designed area of Shoreside Vale already, I sure do now. Where in the other two areas I was fully capable of stringing together fares upwards of 30, I struggled to get even three or four. I ended up quitting out of the missions whenever someone wanted to go somewhere I had no chance of getting them on time because of the sloppily implemented and seemingly random time limit system. I recommend that anyone who goes for this trophy get the lion's share of the 100 required done elsewhere because the third island is a failure of good game design in ways untold even by janky 2000s Rockstar standards. Oh, and rather hilariously, my last fare ended up at the import/export area, which was missing a Cabbie for the checklist, so right in it went, how's that for some extra catharsis on top?
  11. Platinum #503: Difficulty: 3/10 (with cheats) Playtime: 31-32 hours Enjoyment: 8.5/10 Now, I won't bore you with an account of my long and convoluted relationship with this game; suffice to say, my opinion of it has hit nearly every stage of the spectrum over the years. Hadn't played it in a dog's age, so I did. ...and jeez, it's kinda good, ya? Yes indeed, as a classic RPG it's still a fine bit of business. It's a solid mix of tradition and innovation that is pretty damn timeless. The opportunity for triple gameplay speed alleviates a lot of the sluggishness the game always had in and out of battle, and I'd be lying if I said it weren't all the more fun for it. There's a lot of remasters could benefit from optional, forward-thinking quality of life enhancements like this. Heck, I would've liked to see some more changes, like a triple AP weapon for every character instead of just two... hell, Triple AP armor while you're at it, eh? I just love efficiency boosting stuff like that, me. It's just as well my favourite party is Cloud/Yuffie/Cid anyways, I guess. As for the story... the Midgar section is one of most satisfying story sections in any game, but as per usual, it trails off into an increasingly unfocused mess from then on out. There is a good story somewhere in here, but the clunky and anemic writing (or just perhaps the sheepish localization) drags it all down. Characters flit in and out of the narrative without much fanfare; I never really get a solid feel for most of them. I want to like it, but it's just a clumsily told story with the odd moment of genuine pathos appearing only sporadically. Like the video game Morricone that he is, Uematsu's classic score does an infinitely better job at providing emotional depth than the writers. As a game, it holds up really well; much better than I remember. It's just as well I've become more of a "gameplay over story" kind of guy over the years. And just saying, as a guy who still takes pride in having completed it 100% on my old backwards compatible PS2 (RIP) with a crappy third-party PSOne memory card shaped like a car that you had to physically press down every time you needed to save because the connector pins were faulty out of the box... I'd say I've damn well earned a semi-tainted cheat playthrough with the occasional bit of God Mode, if any person alive has! Proud of how much I still remember as it pertains to completion, actually... I only missed that damn materia in the racing lounge and Barret's ultimate weapon... but you know, that only motivates me to play it again sometime, and you can bet your last piece of Gil that it won't be as long a wait as last time, because that's what happens when you're pleasantly surprised by a game you thought you knew like I was. As for the remake? I'll try the demo sometime I guess, but few game companies have let me down as consistently often as Square has done for 13 years or so... and it never stops hurting. We'll see... (Psssst, because I'm a weird person who does weird stuff like this... I decided to unlock the Limit Break trophies in the order of which I like the player characters, in ascending order... so if you're an even weirder person than I, go on, look at my trophy list ordered by date and you shall certainly obtain this quintessential bit of information. Go on, ya looney!)
  12. Final Fantasy VII: Best Bromance What can I say? I just nailed me one Titanic-sized cantankerous cannon-handed resistance fighting dreamboat, and a semi-tricky bronze trophy to boot! And all I had to do was treat my other friends like crap... oh, this is the night, and they (more specifically, I) call it Barret Notte...
  13. 7BYD7JMr.jpg

     

    You know I'd be all over that remake right now had they returned this line to its original Engrish grandeur. This kind of stuff hurts me in my soul... people don't go "Eeeh, Da Vinci missed a spot on the Mona Lisa, lemme touch that up a bit"... same \^÷€÷£ing principle.

    1. MidnightDragon

      MidnightDragon

      You spoony bard! 

  14. Platinum #502: Difficulty: 3/10 Playtime: 30 minutes to an hour Enjoyment: 6.5/10 Nothing much to say here other than it's another bit of decent platforming action published by Victory Road (not the PPV where Jeff Hardy showed up to wrestle out of his ever-loving gourd), who just really need to get their heads in the game regarding this whole region stacking business, huh? Anyways, Chop is Dish (and yes, that is its real name! Just go with it) is your average "Michelin chef has his prized ham stolen by spooky, scary skeletons and deviled demons, and must travel the ends of his oddly food themed earth to get it back" story. Classic Sephistoclean introspection if ever a game contained it. With shotguns and molotovs well in hand, it's time to grab them cakes! It doesn't do anything new with the formula, nor is it an amazing usage of it in the first place, but it's fun enough. The game doesn't outstay its welcome, and is just challenging enough to ensure you need keep your head in the game at all times. Actually, less seasoned platformers may well come to require the use of its Game Over-dodging load exploit more than once. The trophies are easy enough but a few of them are awkwardly implemented. Some of them require you to die in certain ways five times, but the game only tracks this statistic within your current playthrough, and if you have fewer than five lives at any point without having popped them (and chances are you will) you will have to replay a decent chunk of the game just to pop these trophies. This is how I lost my chance at the leaderboards. Not fun. Ultimatelty, some quick and easy platinumi--err, platforming for an agreeable price point. Nothing you'll remember, except perhaps the protagonist's proclivity towards deeply bizarre outbursts like "Risotto in my grotto" or "Banana in my antenna". A hearty three-course meal it is not... hell, even toxic McDonald's crap is a stretch... but you should know what you're in for from the name alone. You get what you pay for... and little else.
  15. ...How much is that in Drebin Points?