• Pathfinder,  Review,  worthless shit

    Pathfinder Godsmouth Heresy Post-Mortem: Package of Double Stuf Oreos Takes 10d10 Damage

    Hi everyone,

    Great job on completing the Godsmouth Ossuary! I hope everyone had a good time despite the loooooooong length.

    First:

    These were the main complaints I got:

    – Monsters were a bit too easy

    – Length

    I’ll work on both of those for the next module. Next time we’ll put 5-6 hours as a cutoff point. Another complaint was that people kinda spent a lot of time acting OOC and getting tied in knots on combat/exploration decisions which is fine up to a point, but it tied into the length complaint.

    People really liked the challenges and not the spot XP system (get a stone for every passed skill check) so much, so I’ll definitely continue the former and discontinue the latter.

    Second:

    Here is the full list of stuff you guys found sans pure treasure/gold items (blue means it was magic, the unidentified forms are in red):

    – cloak of resistance +1 (a silky, grey cloak)
    – phylactery of faithfulness (an odd leather headband with a tiny wooden box inset in the middle)
    – bracers of armor +1 (iron bracers curiously free of rust)
    – Sihedron medallion (a seven-pointed star medallion)
    – set of masterwork banded mail
    – masterwork bastard sword
    – 2 curved daggers
    – stone tablet of Identify (a tablet that reads EVAD TNEMGDUJ)
    – stone tablet of Hold Portal (a tablet that reads DLEIFRAG)
    – stone tablet of Remove Disease (a tablet that reads AKUSA)
    – stone tablet of Shatter (a tablet that reads GOOBLE GOBBLE)
    – 2 scrolls of Delay Poison (a scroll that reads EM DAER)

    – feather token (feather) (a green feather)
    – feather token (whip) (a red feather)
    – scroll of Remove Paralysis (scroll of FOOBIE BLETCH)
    – bag of tarnished silver powder (worth 1 GP)
    – a potion of love (a pink potion that tastes like strawberries and cream)
    – a potion of Eagle’s Splendor (a clear, brown potion with white specks that tastes like old licorice)
    – masterwork ranseur
    – half-plate armor inscribed with the Rune of Wrath (cosmetic)
    – 2 potions of Hide from Undead (a milky potion that tastes of chalk)
    – wand of Disrupt Undead (a wand made of segmented animal bones)
    2 potions of Cure Light Wounds (clear green potion that tastes like lime)
    2 potions of Enlarge Person (dark red potion that has a slight fishy taste)
    wand of Command Undead  (wand made of black iron)
    – 1 flask of acid
    – 2 flasks of alchemist’s fire
    – 2 smokesticks
    – 1 tanglefoot bag
    – 1 thunderstone
    – a set of masterwork studded leather
    – a +1 spear
    – an alchemist’s kit
    – a set of masterwork embalming tools
    – an alchemist’s formula book
    – thieves’ tools
    a scroll of Ghoul Touch (a scroll of SALADBWL)
    a scroll of Mage Armor (a scroll of GUFF)

    Third:

    Here are the full lists of challenges:

    Like I said, people liked these a lot, so I’ll definitely make more next module… and I just realized that I missed a golden opportunity to have a skeleton-centric challenge called ‘Charnel Knowledge.’ Dammit!

    Fourth:

    Here are the Pharasma encounter cards. Initially, the one statue in the Cathedral was only supposed to give you an Aid spell, but I thought that was kind of boring so I changed it into more of a meeting with Pharasma to add drama to the Esme encounter.

    Fifth:

    Rather than a synopsis of the entire module, because that would take a while to write, here’s a list of the encounters you had instead:

    Encounter 11: 4 skeleton archers

    Encounter 12: 3 crawling hands

    Encounter 13: brown mold

    Encounter 14: Erdikhaan (skeletal champion of Wrath)

    Encounter 15: lemure

    Encounter 16: 2 ghouls

    Encounter 17: bloody skeleton

    Encounter 18: 2 tengus (negotiated)

    Encounter 19: lustspawn

    Encounter 20: gasburst zombie

    Encounter 21: alchemical skeleton and alchemical zombie

    Encounter 22: Svilennius Tripe, Mr. Morrow, vat zombie

    Encounter 23: Esme and her 2 skeletal handmaidens (Lulu and Fiona)

    Encounter 24: 4 alchemical skeletons

    Finally:

    Please update your DNDsheets. I’d like to see what new stuff you get and it helps me make challenges. See you all next time!

  • Annie May,  First Impression,  Review,  worthless shit

    OVA Roulette – Nakoruru

    Vintage: 2002

    # of Episodes: 1

    It must seem like a no-lose proposition to an animation studio: make an anime show based on a fighting game and take advantage of a built-in fanbase. Problem is, even the more well-known fighting games make for lousy shows, and if the franchise isn’t good to begin with, the no-lose proposition soon turns to no-win. Especially when that franchise is Samurai Showdown, oops, I mean Samurai Shodown, and double especially when you choose to make the show centered around one bland character.

    The plot is this: the titular Nakoruru is found walking through the snow with a big gash on her back until she collapses and is found by two even duller characters. They take her to a village, animals start acting up, Nakorururu goes to sleep and has a nightmare, Bland Female Character 2 sings a song, bear attacks and dies, some plague woman comes by, landslide, plague woman cackles ominously.

    That’s it.

    That’s literally the entire show.

    This means either production stopped after one episode because the studio ran out of money, or the other episodes withered away in shame.

    Rating: Don’t have a rating system yet, so I think I’ll start with 2.5 out of 5 and add/subtract points arbitrarily.

    2.5/5.0

    + .5 = show doesn’t look half bad

    + .5 = somehow got character designer from Mezzo Forte so characters look aight

    – .5 = a Samurai Shodown show and no Earthquake?

    – .5 = seriously, no Earthquake?

    – .5 = plot starts a growing conflict but doesn’t finish it…

    – .5 = …but the scriptwriters found time for a 2 minute song

    Final Score: 1.5/5.0

  • Resident Evil 5,  Review

    A Review of Resident Evil 5 aka DON’T USE MY GREEN AND RED HERB SHEVA I’M AT 70% HEALTH FFFFFF

    I have an unfortunately long history of playing game franchises and watching movie franchises out of order. I’ve seen Aliens vs. Predator 1 and 2 and Alien, but I haven’t seen Aliens. I played Devil May Cry 3 and 4 but haven’t even touched 1 and 2. With the Resident Evil series, I played 4 first, the Gamecube remake of 1 second, and now 5 third. This has, unfortunately, resulted in me being entirely incapable of understanding the backstory of 5, thus reducing any dramatic tension of the return of an important character to “Am I supposed to know this person?” Everything I know about Resident Evil can be summed up in three points:

    1. There’s an Umbrella Corp. and they make viruses.

    2. If something goes down somewhere in the world, there is a good chance Wesker did it.

    3. ‘master of unlocking’

    Fortunately though, that didn’t detract from the gameplay, which overall was quite good. Like every other Capcom game before it, there are several stupid design choices, but I’ll get to those in a minute.

    PRESENTATION

    RE5 looks and sounds fantastic. Wait, I should probably qualify ‘sounds fantastic’ with ‘as long as your teammate isn’t yelling for your help every 5 seconds’, because that happens quite often and is very irritating. As for graphics, I don’t know what Capcom did, but they really captured the look of a swamp or the look of a dusty African village. Shame that they felt the need to get away from detailed, original locales like that in order to go back to the staple of the shooter world: the flame-barrel-and-metal-pipes factory.

    GAMEPLAY

    The gameplay is top-notch, though with a few minor flaws. There’s a communal inventory system that carries across difficulties and replaces the old attaché case (good idea), but then in-game you only have 9 slots per character (bad idea). This means you have to spend a lot of time you don’t really have in combat to play musical item slots, as you need to shuffle around your armor, herbs, weapons, and ammo.

    Speaking of which, you’ll want to make sure you make extra-special careful to keep all the herbs and first-aid sprays. Sheva’s apparently some first-aid spray/herb junkie who keeps jonesin’ for a fix, because as soon as you hit something like 60% she puts away the pistol she will invariably have equipped no matter how big a damn arsenal you give her and makes sure to make you wish you played co-op mode instead.

    Other than the partner AI and the inventory system, the gameplay is fun and smooth. My favorite parts are the moments where you have to defend yourself against waves of enemies while in a big open area with lots of treasure and ammo because those moments made you feel like you were in a horror movie.

    ONLINE

    The online modes (the ones besides co-op mode) are both decent, though I’ve only played several hours of Versus mode. Mercenaries mode has you and another person fighting off waves of Majini trying to rack up combos and hit timers. It is a lot more fast-paced and frantic than the normal Resident Evil 5 gameplay, and Bob and I had a blast trying out different character combinations and trying desperately to raise our score to A-rank. I should mention that once you hit A-rank, you unlock another Mercenaries mode character with a different weapon loadout and another stage if you hit B-rank, making multiple tries necessary in order to unlock everything.

    Versus mode is alright, though there are a few slightly annoying bits. Even though the spawn time is quick and individual deaths do not matter much, it sucks in any online game to be chain-stunned over and over without any chance to counter, and if another person gets a shock grenade launcher that is precisely what will happen. Also, more maps would be appreciated, as between the game, Mercenaries mode, and Versus mode, it’s likely you’ll get sick of playing through the same village square or the same temple again.
    Overall, I enjoyed Resident Evil 5 very much, even though it’s not without its flaws. As long as you play co-op though, these flaws won’t detract much from your enjoyment.

  • Resident Evil 5,  Review

    Resident Evil 5 Review – My Residential zones always turn Evil

    A lot of Capcom games made in the past few years has at least one or two questionable design decisions. A lot of people hated Dead Rising‘s save system and friendly A.I.. There was the T-ENG limits and falling/rolling wankery of Lost Planet, along with the Japanese and their Energy Guns. And Devil May Cry 4 had that accursed camera which would quite possibly cause devils to cry.

    Yet all of those games are awesome. I’m not sure how Capcom turns out games that have glaring problems but are still highly enjoyable. That was a pretty mediocre segue into Resident Evil 5, but I’ll forgive myself because I’m great in lots of other ways. Sort of like Resident Evil 5! Goddamn I’m talented.

    The presentation is great. Absolutely fantastic. I mean, I’m not playing on a high-definition set or anything, which some would argue invalidates my opinion almost completely. Those people are elitist assholes. The graphics are very nice, the music is…well, it’s there, and it does its job I suppose. Voice acting is pretty good in a Resident Evil sort of way. I really enjoy the menus, which have a Metroid Prime vibe to them, and that rules. I’d comment on the sound effects, but the built-in speakers on my old, standard definition set are pretty bass-free. That’s one area I don’t feel qualified to judge either way. From what I can make out, guns sound like guns and dudes running at me screaming and waving dynamite sound like dudes running at me screaming and waving dynamite.

    I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the controls, and I don’t really understand why. It’s almost the exact same thing as RE4, depending on your control scheme, and who needs strafing anyway? Strafing is for pussies. If you’re not slicing enemy projectiles with your knife like you’re in the Matrix or something then cash in your chips Junior.

    There are two major problems I have with RE5. I have a feeling they’re the kind of things that would only bother someone on the higher difficulties, if they were noticed at all on Amateur or Normal. I don’t really know since I’ve only played through the game on Veteran and Professional. I’ve also only played the campaign with Eric, because I’ve heard stories about Sheva’s AI and I don’t want none of that son, not even a taste. Regardless, let’s assume that her AI is a large negative, since not everyone has a friend who will play with them. I suppose that means I have three major problems with RE5. The second is the cut scenes. The game doesn’t – doesn’t – pause the action while a cut scene is playing. You can’t be hurt while you’re in a cut scene, but that doesn’t mean the fucking nanosecond it’s over you won’t be hit with a chainsaw, or a bigass tentacle, or a stick of dynamite or WHATEVER. It’s awful, and when you die in one hit it makes many segments absolute nightmares. Particularly bosses with cut scenes. Nothing like trying to fend off hordes of tentacle goo monsters then BAM cut scene, guess what, when this is over they will be surrouding you and you will die.

    The third is, frankly, the worst offender. The quick time events. The good ol’ Q T E. A lot of people hate QTEs, always have and always will. Personally I never had a problem with ’em. They could be annoying when overused, but kept tension up during otherwise noninteractive scenes and playing a simplified Simon Says to shove your swords into a minotaur’s throat felt pretty nice. That’s before I played RE5.

    Veteran was bad enough. Then I played Professional, holy hell. Did you know the command prompt is affected by game difficulty? On Professional the QTEs would usually last less time than the time it took for you to be hit. Substantially less. On many, many occasions I’d see RT+LT flash across the screen then disappear; early on I hoped I had avoided it, or someone had interrupted the animation, but quickly I began to announce my DYING status as soon as the buttons disappeared. I won’t go into a rant about using two button QTEs almost exclusively, or about how you really shouldn’t use buttons for QTEs that a person is almost guaranteed to be pressing at any given moment in your game. I could, oh my God how I could, but I won’t.

    There’s a chunky amount of bonus content to keep you busy after the main game is over. Assuming you beat it at least once on Veteran, and then go back on Professional, that’s already two playthroughs. Mercenaries unlocks once you beat the game on any difficulty, and Mercenaries owns. Online co-op Mercenaries owns extra hard and was quite fun. It also seems a lot more forgiving (even with the reduced point scaling for two people), as it’s much easier to keep your combos lasting for a very, very long time. Mix in grabbing all the BSAA emblems, grabbing all the jewels, and other things that give you both achievements and in-game content (which is a fantastic system), and you have quite a chunk of gameplay here. Then there’s the recently released Versus mode, which is another post. Just take my advice: if you’re planning to play Versus, try to save your bonus points.

    I really like Resident Evil 5, and I think most fans of RE4 will too. The game’s not very scary aside from the lickers, but RE4 wasn’t scary either; it was simply awesome. Which RE5 does its best to mimic, and for the most part succeeds. Plus everything is better with a friend, right?

    Right.