Friday, July 4, 2014

Geek Recap: Q2 2014

After skipping the recap for the previous quarter of year, here I am again to chronicle my geeky activities from April to June 2014.


Artix Games In my previous post I noted how the quest for the Blinding Light of Destiny in Adventure Quest Worlds could be tedious and time consuming. Well, what I recently discovered it's that the farming of Undead Essences was actually only the tip of the iceberg. It will take really an absurd amount of time, patience and dedication to complete it, but that's not what really bothers me (considering that I will put it on hiatus and get back to it once in a while). My real issue with it is that defeating all the monster required to finally forge the weapon will certainly get me to the game's level cap much, much before I complete it. The problem is that once I'll get there, I won't be invested in playing the game anymore, and for that reason I will assemble the Blinding Blade of Destiny (which is actually a requirement to forge the ultimate weapon) and wait until the level cap will be raised to resume the farming... assuming that it will even happen, obviously.
The classic Adventure Quest, on the other hand, made me a little upset when I had a very hard time defeating some bosses in the latest releases, until I remembered that the answer to that was simply to equip the freaking basic armor to have higher defense stats and win the fight. Putting that aside, it's still a great game and the only other little issue I have with it is that there are at least three different story arcs going on and it's not really  that easy to follow of all them, considering that two of them (the Truphma and the Transmorphers saga) are quite complex on their own.

Tanoth Online A very simple browser game based on the same concept of Bitefight, Tanoth Online is something I care about only because it demands very little time and effort to be enjoyed. The progression is slow but constant, there is no overarching plot or ultra-complex quest to pick up with. You can literally play it everyday, stop for a year and then go back to it and start right where you left. It might sound stupid for "true" gamers, but it's a winner for those who want something easy and simple that won't take you away months of your life.

Shining In The Darkness This name has been in the back of my mind since I started playing video games many years ago, being the beginning of the Shining games series. Now that I'm approximately at one third of the game itself, I'm thankful to whatever higher being (the God of Gamers ?) that I didn't have the chance to play it back then. Shining In The Darkness combines the disorienting mechanism of a first-person dungeon crawler like Eye of the Beholder and the random encounter system of the old Final Fantasy games. Translated in a just slightly more comprehensible language, it means you have to expect turn-based battles to pop up at every step you make... and I can guarantee you that in some case, this occurrence is literal. Thankfully, today is possible to play that game in your emulator (or, just as I'm doing thanks to a Google Plus post by Cody and Jon from Unqualified Gamers, right in your browser) with features like the instant save and gif maps right from Gamefaqs (on this matter, I wish to thank Paul Keating for the great work he did there). Now, if you think that this game it's a piece of cake with these helps, this is not really the case. Even with this "arrangements", Shining In The Darkness will still be a though, unnerving and time-consuming game. If anything, I will keep up playing it (and hopefully beat it) even just to marvel at how cool is to be and old-time retro-game player in this modern age, not to mention the "documentation" purpose of such feat.


Jojo Bizarre Adventures: Stardust Crusaders When Jojo Bizarre Adventures first two story arc anime transpositions finished airing some months ago, I made a "Last Impression" article on Japanator (that you can check right here), and there is very little I can do here other than reiterate the very same concepts. My biggest praise on the transposition of Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency was about how David Productions was committed to reproduce as faithfully as possible the original manga on the screen, and the only minor (and completely irrelevant) observation I could do was that the character design was just slightly different from the original. Well, this time around  even such minor remark would be totally out place: Stardust Crusaders visual style, design, and basically everything is absolutely identical to the manga. I like to think that such precision was impossible without a genuine love for this classic shonen from the anime staff, and it's safe to say that nobody could pull off such an astounding representation as David Productions, to which all true Jojo-fans of the world owe some debt of gratitude.

Avatar: The Legend of Korra Book 3 After the resolution of Book 2 (which I won't spoil here), it was difficult for me to believe that the authors could bring something to the table that could keep the viewers interested in the story, and that's where a show like Avatar sets its difference from your average Dragon Ball Z arc, where the only way to keep the story going is to replace the previous big bad with a new, more powerful big bad. Sheer power it's not the point in a show like Avatar: there are many ways to villainous characters to pose a threat to the world. And i can't avoid to mention the very two characters whose return made me rejoice (SPOILERS AHEAD). Call me nuts, but Desna and (especially) his sister Eska are the true characters who steal the show to me. Just a couple of lines with another certain "old acquaintance" of Avatar fans make the first three episodes worth watching... as if they weren't awesome already one their own.

What's next: Shine On, Crazy Backlog

The whole point of playing Shining In The Darkness is to complete the so-called "Shining Trilogy", which means that the games that will follow will be Shining Force 1 and 2.
Needless to say, I will keep up with Tanoth Online, Adventure Quest and Adventure Quest Worlds as long as I'll have an Internet connection and a bit of time to spare.

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