Posts by MagiWasTaken

I'm a 21 year old Indie fan(atic) who loves Dr Pepper and Indie Games and blogs on here in his free time.

MonHunLog #9 – All about that Grind

So, in November we were taking care of our feline companion in MHW: Iceborne and then I played a whole bunch of the game and had a lot of fun. Here’s another MonHunLog!

Alas, I actually don’t really remember where we last stopped playing. I did play it a bunch on Stream and made plenty of progress but I apparently may have thrashed the draft for this one and have to start a new… Oops.

Uh, last time, we did hunt Ebony Odogaron to be able to fight off Velkhana which is quite weak against Fire Damage and Elder Seals. We did it with the Nether Vajra that I crafted. It still took me two tries to actually slay it… but the Elder Seal was really good against it, blocking some of its attacks and patterns, which is quite nice. After that, we had to take care of the Seething Bazelgeuse that appeared… which took me three tries but we made it work! The Seething Bazelgeuse is like the normal Bazelgeuse: Annoying… The difference is that he’s more annoying thanks to his explosions and fire damage and the option to 100 to 0 you in seconds if you don’t watch your step. It also is beefier and flies more. Yikes.

Luckily that was over and just like in the main game, there is something wrong with the problems we’re facing right now. There are earthquakes and there is that song… and it didn’t stop with Velkhana’s slaying… Alas, we investigate different sites and find hints that three new Elder Dragons are showing up in unusual habitats while the other fleets are researching the songs and the earthquakes.

My favourite Elder to hunt is actually in this one: Blackveil Vaal Hazak!

I loved the normal Vaal Hazak already but this one’s quite a bit cooler. He’s week against Dragon damage (our Kinsect has that!) and Fire damage (our Nether Vajra has that!) and is immune to Water, and resisting Thunder and Ice. In the Rotten Vale, we fought against Blackveil Vaal Hazak and immediately got carted three times, failing the mission in the process. The problem was that we couldn’t fit in Effluvia Resistance 3 into our build (especially as I don’t have that quite yet), so our health got cut in half by its spores immediately once we got close. Nulberries helped against this but with it constantly spore-ing us, those ran out quite fast. Alas, we switched tactics and started attacking more aggressively, then using our nulberries and potions and just going back to camp to refill on items… Breaking its head actually enables it to get flashed. The other fungal patches can also be broken on its body… and eventually, we made it!

The next Elder dragon we fought was Ruiner Nergigante in the Guiding Lands. This one isn’t too different from Nergigante attack-pattern wise. It causes bleeding, which is quite problematic, and also regrows its horns faster. The biggest problem is that it can two-shot you rather easily but once we used some of our jump attacks with the Glaive, we were able to avoid a lot of its attacks and break off its horns. With Nergigante, you have to attack the white spikes as those are breakable weak points that eventually turn black and basically resist damage. When Ruiner Nergigante is enraged, the spikes just get black a lot faster, which is quite annoying. This was more of a “boost stamina and dodge a lot” type of fight. Once we’ve struck it down, it was then time to fight off the third Elder Dragon: Namielle

Namielle is incredibly beautiful and is weak against Fire and Dragon. Again, just the right type of weakness for our weapons! It uses Water attacks (annoying!) and Thunder attacks (super annoying!) in combination, which makes it rather deadly. Since we still didn’t have many health boosts, this fight was rather difficult. Luckily, we learned eventually that brightmoss is really good at draining its puddles. This is important since the water puddles basically arc the electric attacks it uses, resulting in a deadly combo. Hence, we drained those, sliced it up, brought it down, used some potions, and got it on our second try!

And now… for the last part… we realise that the earthquakes and songs are caused by the Old Everwyrm that our Handler’s grandfather searched for. Shara Ishvalda is basically a fully-grown Xeno’Jiiva and first appears in a rock-covered form that can be dealt with rather easily. The next part is the hard part, though, as it has resistances to Fire and Dragon damage and as I don’t currently have an Ice or Water weapon. I’d still like to try it with Vice+ and its upgrade but for that, I’ve got to farm up some Ebony Odogarons that are just not dropping that Ebony Odogaron Mantle for me.

Alas, I stopped playing as much MHW for now… I wanna get back into it again but the grind is just a bit tedious and I don’t have an Ice Weapon just yet, so I need to get a new Glaive for that… and I’m just a tad burned out from MHW right now, so I’ll have to continue the journey in the future again! I mean, I enjoy the grind but if the drop chances are so low, I’m just a bit frustrated with it. I wanna play more MHW in the near future tho! Just not right now!

Until then,…

Cheers!

Anime that I’m watching this Season

For quite a while now, I’ve been watching Anime. While at first, I’d only go for shows that have been full aired already, I have grown more and more accustomed to following each of the different seasons and checking out shows that weren’t completely out yet, one week at a time. This had a bit of a thrill to it as you would always have a week or so until the next episode and could hence think about it or speculate with friends on what could happen next – unless of course, there is some sort of source material available, i.e. a manga or a light novel. At the same time, watching airing anime had the benefit that you weren’t able to binge the show, basically securing some sleep during the night.

Alas, I thought I’d talk about the shows I’m watching in 2021’s Winter Season.

Because of the current on-going pandemic, there have been quite a few anime that got delayed from the autumn season to the winter season. This results in this season being packed with a lot of new seasons:

  • Beastars Season 2
  • Log Horizon Season 3
  • Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
  • Yakusoku no Neverland Season 2
  • Dr. Stone: Stone Wars
  • Horimiya
  • Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Season 2 Part 2
  • Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken Season 2

The shows that I’m most excited about are Log Horizon’s third season as well as Beastars’, Horimiya’s, Re:Zero’s and Slime Datta’s second season. Having been a huge fan of Log Horizon when it first came out and when the second season aired, I’m kind of worried that my taste in shows may have changed too much to appreciate the third season… but as far as the other shows go, the first seasons haven’t been too long ago. A while back, I finished the Manga that Beastars is based on and as far as Slime Datta goes, I’m up-to-date in the main manga and the spin-offs. Re:Zero’s first of part of the second season hasn’t been too long ago either, so I’m rather excited about seeing it get continued so soon, already. As far as The Promised Neverland goes, I both liked and disliked the first season and am hoping that it gets better in the second season with this rather open-world setting… The Stone Wars Arc that is getting adapted in Dr. Stone’s second season is quite cool but I’m mostly watching it to see how the animation is done and what differences there are to the Manga.

When you keep up with the manga, it’s quite interesting to see how it all turns out in the anime-adaption, which is quite interesting. As far as Slime Datta’s concerned, I noticed that there are some differences in the directions that the show got taken into back in Season 1 since it’s all based on the light novel. The manga takes a different approach, so that’s also more than interesting.

Speaking of differences from Manga and Anime, Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? aka So, I’m a spider, so what? also got its anime-adaptation this season and from episode 1 onwards, I’ve already noticed differences in the manga- and anime-adaptation. Since the show is based on the light-novel (that I haven’t read), there is actually new stuff in there that I, as a manga-reader, don’t know about. Very lovely indeed. The animation is great. The soundtrack is great. I’m looking forward to the next 23 episodes that are yet to come out, although I am a tad worried about the CGI that is being used for the spiders. While the main-character is rather cute, the mother has been quite hard for me to bear, especially with my arachnophobia.

I loved Horimiya’s previous show when it first came out in 2012 and followed the Manga for a while in 2011, so I was surprised to see a new show this season! The original show only featured four episodes that have been rather sweat and adorable. The first few episodes that have aired have been lovely as well, depicting the Japanese concept of honne and tatamae rather well – honne being a person’s true feelings and desires and tatamae being the person’s behaviour and opinions one displays in public. The show is about Hori and Miyamura who both act differently at school contrary to how they act at home, which is something that I can relate to. They get to know each other over time and, well,… it’s a RomCom and I have a soft spot for those. I like the dynamic of the characters and loved how it all turned out in the manga when I first read it. I may have to revisit that one, though, as I hardly remember anything from it. For now, I’ll just enjoy the ride, though. 

Apart from that, there is obviously Shingeki no Kyojin’s “Final Season”, although I doubt that it’s really the end since it’s not only very popular but also since the 16 episodes are nowhere near enough to adapt everything. I liked the first season a bit and then it got kinda boring and predictable… the second season was alright… then it got a lot better. Now, I’m kind of hooked on this season because of the approach it has taken and I’m thinking of continuing the manga again past the point where I stopped reading. I was up-to-date at one point and then stopped reading to not spoil this season too much after it was announced. Alas, I already know a lot of stuff up to the [redacted] which should be revealed next episode. I like this season and am alas following it, although I’m keeping my expectations super low to not get underwhelmed by it, just like how I did it with the last season… and that worked back then and so far I’m really liking it.

And well, there’re also some shows that are just “so bad that they are kinda good again” like Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari… it’s just so stupid that I love it again. 

Oh, and World Trigger got a second season but I have yet to finish the first season before I start that one… 

At last, there’s Kaifuku Jutsushi no Yarinaoshi aka Redo of Healer… and I hate it. I hope the anime goes into a different direction than the manga and I already cannot recommend the show based on what I’ve seen so far. 

Either way, that’s basically what I’m watching. The last show is more of a “watching it to complain about it with a friend” show while everything else is actually quite good. This season is quite great with the exception of the last show I mentioned. 

Do you follow anything from this season? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Fishticuffs

I’m a sucker for interesting takes on the rogue-lite formula. Games that are like Rogue are roguelikes, so they’re basically turn-based perma-death Dungeon Crawlers, I guess? I mean, definitions vary but a lot of people go by those while others think of roguelites as roguelikes with permanent upgrades that persist through runs. So while roguelikes may be somewhat limited to one or the other definition, Roguelites aka Roguelike-likes have so much more freedom available to them. From mythological roguelites to metal roguelites there are a plethora of games out there with similar features that bring their own twist on the genre and give people joy with the differences. Celebrating the differences is a great mantra to live by anyways.

Today, I wanted to talk about Fishticuffs by Yokcos, a game that combines the roguelite formula with the bullet hell genre and… fishing!

Developer: Yokcos
Publisher: Yokcos
Genre: Roguelite, Bullet Hell, Fishing, Arcade, 2D
Release Date: December 21st, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was sent by the dev.

In Fishticuffs you’re trying your best to get a high score and bring some fish back home to the dinner table… but sadly the fishes are fighting back. Play as a hook and embark into the depths of the sea where you kill enemies, dodge projectiles, collect powerups and money and become stronger.

While the chill tunes at the beginning make it seem rather harmless, appearances are deceiving! The game isn’t a bullet hell game for nothing, after all! Your only attack is your space/left-click ability that lets you dive a short distance downwards and strike one foe. This ability, however, goes on cooldown for a little while meaning that you may deal one damage point to an enemy but you won’t be able to spam it constantly. 

Enemies, on the other hand, shoot out missiles and projectiles in periodic intervals. From horizontal to diagonal shots to electric fields by electric eels, there are a bunch of different enemy types with all kinds of attacks to avoid. You only have three lives, so you’ve got try your best to, quite literally, dodge a bullet.

On your journey downwards, you’ll be able to collect money and powerups. Powerups help you in your runs by giving you a wider hook or giving you a chance to damage enemies when you collect money. A lot of the power-ups seems a tad underwhelming but once you get a bunch of them, you’ll end up with a nice build that works quite well. This has been quite pleasant overall, although I would have loved it if there had been some drawbacks to the perks you get. In other games, picking up one upgrade would, for instance, increase your damage at the cost of your attack speed while another would increase your defences at the cost of increasing your hitbox and slowing you down. In this game, you basically just have these minor passive upgrades that kind of add up and eventually feel good… but on their own, they aren’t that noticeable, which is something I would have loved to see.

At the end of each level, you can spend your collected money on items in the shop. More often than not, you end up with only enough to buy one of two options. There is also a mushroom-like fella that tells you to not kill him and to not go into the shop… as well as a bigger enemy that drops loot as well… and while these are neat ideas, they don’t really get explained anywhere and it can lead to some misunderstandings. At one point, I thought I got healed by the mushroom-fella so I hit him again in the next run and didn’t healed, so that left me confused. I would love it if there was more clarity in regards to where healing comes from or what certain things do.

Once you’re done with the area, you’ll go onto to the next area with a completely new theme, other enemies and other items. At different depths, you have completely new experiences and other things to watch out for, which makes the game quite challenging. What I loved about the second area, as an example, was just how ominous it was. From the soundtrack to the style of the enemies to the eyes that pop out in the background… it’s very dangerous and scary, all of the sudden, which is a welcome contrast to the bright and relatively friendly shallow waters that you were just in earlier.

As expected, killing fish also yields money. On top of that, some items are synergizing with each other better than others. This actually results in a bit of a meta that can be found in the game… So when you lose your run and see that graph of how far you’ve gotten compared to previous runs, you can actually think about it… but since it’s really challenging, I would have loved to see some options to maybe make it easier for people that aren’t that good at games. The furthest I’ve gotten so far was Level 2 and I’ve had a few runs behind me already and really enjoyed it but if I were to recommend this game to a friend, I’m not sure if they’d be too happy with it judging from the difficulty.

Options to make the game a bit easier, like giving you a “bomb” or whatever to clear projectiles, once per level, could make it already a lot easier. Adding difficulty settings like easy/normal/hard, giving you more damage/HP or less damage/HP based on the difficulty would be another way to add more accessibility to the game. I mean, you don’t have to make it harder or easier if you don’t want to but a lot of games have those options and they are more fun for more people. Apart from that, I would have liked it if there were some graphics options like the brightness levels or some sort of colour-options. But at least, you’re able to fully remap the controls!

The soundtrack is fancy, the art style is adorable, the game is quite enjoyable. For the price, you get quite the challenging experience for your buck and alas, I’d say I’d recommend the game. The game has some depth to it but isn’t the most complex and while it is challenging, it doesn’t feel too frustrating as you’re able to start up a new run in a matter of seconds, which is quite lovely. 

Hope you enjoyed the post! If you want to check out the game for yourself, you can find it over here. Make sure to check out the description for a lot of fish-puns! And take care of yourself!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indiecator is part of the Digital Gaming Communities Web Archive now

The day before yesterday, I decided to write about content scraping and web crawlers as well as the addition of a small sentence that will appear on newer posts. I decided to not go through the hassle of updating all of my 260-something posts as… really… it’s going to take a while. I will update my reviews probably but there really is not much of a point, I guess, especially with a site of my scale.

Anyways, after a restless night and after thinking about it more, I wasn’t too sure if my reply was justified and if I understood it too well. Naithin‘s reply to my post helped a lot, as well, in giving me some context to why they’re doing that… and frankly, it’s understandable. Bloggers come and go. I see plenty of people turn up as Newbies or Mentors to the Blaugust event and it’s lovely… but some of them just don’t post as regularly anymore, which is not quite lovely.

Sometimes people burn out from it or real life happens and honestly, blogging consistently can be a bit of a hassle. For the last eighteen days, I’ve tried myself at posting daily just to see how long I can keep this up and I’m already noticing that it’s becoming harder and harder to schedule posts or to make it within a day’s time. Reviews are also hard to write up under time pressure – a process I’ll document eventually as well as a prompt.

So, the site in question that I didn’t out in the initial post was the “Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation [that is currently selecting] different websites for inclusion in its Digital Gaming Communities Web Archive. The Archive is an initiative developed by librarians at Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, and Duke, Michigan State, and Wilfried Laurier Universities under the auspices of the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation. [They] preserve content, across varying web formats, generated by and related to digital games, in order to foster research within the discipline. Themes of the collection include critical gaming, game ethics, accessibility in gaming and game design, and user reviews and playthroughs.”

So, if I were to look at the themes, I could check off quite a few of those:

  • critical gaming? Check.
  • game ethics? Check.
  • accessibility in gaming and game design? Check.
  • user reviews? Check.
  • playthroughs? Check.

I kinda talk about those topics here and there and I guess my site can be a resource for them. It will also allow future generations to view my reviews and whatnot when I’m no longer able to write up posts. On top of that, it’s going to enable them to research my thoughts, views, posts, etc. even when WordPress is no longer doing what WordPress is doing. I mean, everything has an end eventually and if I die, I doubt I’ll be able to post any longer. I hope that I’ll be able to write up a “RIP” post just in case I die… In fact, maybe I should write up one like that now and schedule it… and just always re-schedule it while I’m alive until I no longer am alive. That’s kinda grim, now that I think about it… so Nah.

Essentially, the Archive-It page can be found over here. Searching through the video games page will reveal that TAGNEndgame ViableBioBreakAeternus Gaming and Aywren are already part of it, which is nice to see. Looking forward to being a part of it, too, and to see other people’s websites be put on there as well.

My point still stands: Their overly flowery language bothered me initially and it still bothers me that the initial e-mail basically said something along the lines of “we’re gonna do this and if you don’t respond, we will just assume that you’re okay with this”. If the e-mail had arrived in the spam-folder, I probably would have missed it and they probably would have done it without my approval, from what I can see… At least that’s how I understand it. With English being my third language, it was kind of hard to see that.

Still, I apologized to Samantha Abrams and explained what lead to my decision and why I’m now changing my mind. She understood being sceptical of the initial e-mail. On top of that, she appreciated the feedback on the language and said that she can actually be more straightforward in their outreach, so I hope that this maybe even changes the way other people will think about it. 

Kind of proud of how this Blogging-thing is turning out. We got featured on a different site, feedspot, before, and I’ve been happy that we got a lot of referrals from there. Through Twitter and multiple other blogs, we also received a bunch of referrals and maybe the archive will result in something like that as well. 

Hence, that would result in more people finding my reviews on some of those Indie gems I’ve been talking about in previous posts… and people will check those games out and have a fun time. My thoughts on political standpoints or on gaming etiquette and Twitch etiquette will prevail quite a bunch. At the same time, my more embarrassing posts ridden with typos will prevail for eternity… “Yikes forever.”

So, just a little update on the situation and me changing my mind.

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

League of Legends Season 11 – 7/10

The other day I wasn’t too successful with my placement games in League, so I decided to play more ranked two days ago as well as yesterday. We finished on two losses last time and ended up with four losses and three wins this time around with only two more games to go. My current placement ranked is Silver 2, which is alright. If I get two more wins I’ll gain another 76 LP, bringing me rather close to Silver 1 or potentially even the gold promos.

Anyways, in the first game, we played an MF+Zyra bot lane against an AP Twitch Support and a Crit-Jhin. Our team was mostly owning the enemy lanes. Our Ornn in the top lane went 3/2/10 by the end of the game, completely shutting down the 1/11/4 Darius until the very end of the game. With the feed from Top Lane, Diana got rather strong and ended up with a score of 13/13/5 by the end of the game, dealing the second most damage on our team. Our Ekko did alright. He got one out of five dragons and ganked a fair amount in mid and top lane, ending with a score of 7/10/9… Problem was the enemy bot lane, though. Jhin didn’t really do too much until the late game and my MF was rather strong, dealing the highest damage in the game… The problem we had, however, was the enemy Twitch. Twitch Support shouldn’t really be a thing but thanks to a lot of buffs to his AP scalings and thanks to some AP items working really well on him, it is a thing. The Twitch had the second highest damage in the game and while I was poking from afar using my plants and poking him down and everything, he just ended up getting a lot of kills onto me. Once I picked up my Liandry’s, I was able to deal decent damage and even kill two targets, but most of the time I was wondering if I had gone colourblind since my screen was constantly grey.

With 15 deaths and the second-lowest amount of gold in the game, I wasn’t too proud of this game… but we still managed to win somehow. My biggest concern here was that there is little to no counterplay to Twitch. He doesn’t get revealed until he attacks you. He just one-shots you… and then he goes invisible again. His Damage-Over-Time effects deal true damage but thanks to Night Harvester they also deal an additional 125 (+15% Ability Power) magic damage, per tick. Night Harvester also works on Auto-Attacks, which is why Nashor’s is so good… and generally, this build is no fun at all, which is why I started banning Twitch until that build gets nerfed again.

In the next game, I played Vel’Koz together with my Tristana against a Maokai + Kai’Sa lane. Our biggest problem was that Nidalee would hang around bot lane and chase us down relentlessly. Her spears were really accurate and it’s just rare to see a Nidalee, let alone a good one, in your games, so I underestimated the damage most of the times that she’s able to deal with no items. Later on, her spears would nearly one-shot you and it was just an annoying match overall. Our Brand wasn’t doing too good while our Volibear didn’t deal a whole lot either in the game. Meanwhile, the enemy Maokai would constantly get poked down by me in the lane, only to get rescued by a Kai’Sa-Heal or a Shen-Ult. They eventually ended up grouping rendering our fed Kha’Zix useless in most scenarios… and we ended up losing a game that felt like an even game even when it really was not. It was more of a Jungle vs. Jungle game and eventually, Kai’Sa popped off, too, when they started grouping, leading to our defeat.

Nothing to do about that loss. Was just a bummer. Go next, I guess.

In the next game, we played as Lux + Vayne against MF + Seraphine. Since I didn’t expect any early kills, I opted in for a Guardian build with Imperial Mandate. I then built the Zhonya’s to protect me a fair few times against the enemy Yasuo, Garen or MF. Eventually, I picked up an Oblivion Orb before buying my Watchful Wardstone. With a score of 3/7/23, I felt as if I didn’t do too badly. Sure, I could have died less but in the end, we lost the game because of other reasons, really, and the enemy team just ended up farming us in our base, so those deaths weren’t really my problem…

The biggest issue in this game was that I did basically no damage at all. It at least felt underwhelming even though I did more than Zac, Seraphine and Elise and nearly as much as Malzahar. My bindings were good and with a 42 vs. 48 kills game, it was actually quite close. Sadly our Malzahar was not doing too good, struggling quite hard against Yasuo, and while our Gragas ruined the Garen in top lane early on, Garen eventually was just unstoppable with this Bruiser-build of his that allowed him to tank for ages while cashing out damage like an assassin. In the end, MF actually also got a bunch of kills but she didn’t really pose a threat, in my opinion. I think if I had opted in for Luden’s Tempest instead of Imperial Mandate, I might have been able to actually one-shot her among the other squishies. It was just unlucky that Seraphine landed some really good ultimates on us, giving them the win. This was especially frustrating as we lost while having a 4k gold lead at one point of the game.

The next game we played was a Xerath + Draven lane against a Vel’Koz + Varus lane. This was a bit more of a stomp, to be honest, with Diana scoring 23 kills and with Shaco popping off with his 16 kills. Our Draven wasn’t doing too good, so I ended up roaming a bunch and securing kills in mid lane. Eventually, we ended the game with 55 kills and 38 deaths, as a team.

This game, we actually nearly threw the game as they kept winning team fights while grouping while we didn’t go for picks when our comp is all about picking off enemies. Our Diana said that they have no late game and that we’re winning this for sure, but it was getting rather close, despite us having a rather big lead. Luckily, we ended soon after that. Despite having the lowest gold in our team (I often didn’t get assists for kills that I assisted at), I actually dealt decent damage. In the actual damage graphs, it doesn’t really show it but my ultimate shots were able to chunk away quite well at the enemies, securing us a bunch of kills… so I’m quite proud of that.

Alas, in the last game, I had to first-pick so I decided to go for Leona. I’m not too confident on her but since our team didn’t hover anything, I had to go with something with CC and Tank capabilities. We faced off against Alistar and Vayne, which isn’t the scariest matchup, especially as I can E to the Vayne to stun her and Samira can just E to her and juggle her up for two stacks of her passive. I kinda fucked up by not buying items at the beginning of the game, giving them a free level 2 with no engage from us but we then just killed them a whole bunch and were snowballing out of control. Our Syndra wasn’t too good at the game but our Top+Jungle were just godlike. Poppy played 11 games of Poppy this season with a 100% win rate. Volibear also had a high win rate in a similar amount of games. They ended up doing their job and we snowballed in bot lane and the enemy Ryze wasn’t too scary. We won the game quite easily, despite the hickups with coming to lane with no items, etc.

Here and there I tried pushing the lane and ended up stealing a cannon minion from Syndra. Syndra then would ping “?” on me, then flash on the spot and recall. I decided to apologise for it… but then it happened another time and they just stood still for a minute or two, potentially raging IRL. I’ll have to be careful about stuff like that in the future. Apart from that, I enjoyed using this build with the Solari into Zeke’s. My next item would have been Abyssal Mask. Honestly, I’m not sure if Zeke’s is really that worth it but I’ll have to check the damage on that again next time. Abyssal Mask would have given me the MR against Gragas and Ryze that I really needed on top of amplifying the damage my teammates did by 10% whenever I cc’d enemies.

Oh well, that brings us to the end of those play sessions. I’ll just have to continue banning Twitch and playing the champs I’m good at while being careful about my positioning. Playing CC was alright that game… but as you can see I had only about 9k gold at the end of the game and tank items are expensive. Playing tank isn’t that rewarding, in my opinion.

Looking forward to reaching gold somewhat soon and potentially climbing up higher. Hope you liked this update.

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Content Scraping and a new addition

Today, I got an e-mail from some legitimate-looking site asking if they could use a web crawler to archive my blog on their site, so that people in 5/10/15/20 years can research gaming, critics, etc. 

I say “ask” but they actually only told me that they will do that… and that I can refuse if I want to. I responded that I don’t want them to do so.

Alas, I’m making a post about it as I didn’t really have a post for today.

Research is great and I support it fully but I don’t get why researchers wouldn’t be able to just check out my blog in the future as well. Sure, WordPress may not work in the future… Nah, just kidding. There may happen something to my blog or my site that will stop me from ever posting on here again… But I’m sure that my posts will persist on the world-wide-web without any issues even if I don’t want it to be. Nothing gets lost on the internet after all, right?

But the way they did this was rather ugly. They formulated everything in their e-mail so overly flowery, hiding their intention, to the point where I had to ask Frosti if he could translate it for me. At first, I was wondering if this is spam but after checking site upon site and sources, as well as reverse-image-searching for that woman that mailed me, I found out that it’s actually legitimate. Alas, I found it weird that they didn’t use language that makes it easier to understand.

Alas, I don’t really know how this won’t affect my blog’s performance and why people wouldn’t just ask me any questions in case they want to research my blog. If there was one researcher or scientist who would ask for permission to use my site, I’d allow it probably (don’t take that as permission btw, e-mail me instead). It’s a different story to just scrape off content like that, factually stealing it, and then uploading it to another public site where it’s just going to get checked out by people that won’t have to visit my site. 

My blog works in the same way that their archive works… with the simple difference that my blog and all content hosted on here is owned by me. I mean, the words I wrote and the thoughts I thought were my intellectual property, right? 

So I declined the offer. But I’m sure there is some site somewhere that is doing that already and I don’t have the resources to check every single site on the internet, I guess.

Alas, I thought I’d introduce something to my blog that a lot of other bloggers also have on their sites… the following block:

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Is it gonna do a lot? Probably not. Will it protect me from worrying that my posts are getting used somewhere else to generate money for other people? A little bit.

The big idea here is that I’ll basically just put that in all of my 261 posts so far (or at least most of them) and the many more to come… At the same time, people potentially will find that post and get lead to my site where it actually originated from. The catch is that I’ll have to add this reusable block to 261 more posts… and I’m kinda annoyed by that already… oof.

Maybe I’m being a bit sensitive about this or a bit paranoid… but I don’t want other people to earn money off of stuff that I created, especially when I don’t earn a cent in the first place and when I wouldn’t receive anything from them. I feel like that’s fair enough, right? 

What are you guys’ thoughts on this? Have you had to deal with people stealing your posts before? What have you done against that? Any other suggestions on how to make this place safer against that? Let me know!

Cheers!

Looking forward to Pawnbarian

One of the titles that I’ve been eyeing for a while now has been Pawnbarian! It’s supposed to come out in Q1 of 2021 and I’d be happy to review it once it’s out… but for now, I’ll have to make do with the first few impressions I got from the demo that is available here

Developer: j4nw
Publisher: j4nw
Genre: Minimalistic, Roguelike, Chess, Puzzle, Card Game
Release Date: Q1, 2021
Played on: PC
Available on: PC

Pawnbarian is a roguelike based on Chess. Play as a brave fighter of the Northern Chesslands, always on the lookout for a new challenge. Fight your way through the dungeon, one turn at a time! There are more characters planned for the full version as well and while the Pawnbarian may sound like more of a “more brawn than brain” type of character, he actually offers a lot of versatility. By moving to the top row, having three pawns in hand or by starting the turn at the top row, you get to promote a pawn into a queen. Other classes/characters will have other rulesets.

Combat is turn-based, leaving you plenty of time to plan out your next few moves. When it’s your turn, you have limited moves, indicated by the yellow pieces below the chessboard. Some of your pieces (indicated at the top left by a lightning symbol) refresh these moves, allowing you to move another time. 

The enemies also move in different patterns and all feature their own mechanics. Some of them are nimble, meaning that they’ll dodge away when you attack them unless they’re against a wall. Others spread blight, have more range or split into multiple enemies upon death. 

By hovering over enemies, you get to see these rules yourself and hence learn about them. At the same time, you can see how much damage you receive when you hover on different tiles. 

If you’re familiar with chess, you’ll know how the pawns, rooks, knights, and so on move. If you’re not, then the game will help you out by showing you the moves that you’re allowed to do with the selected piece. 

When you get hit, you lose hearts, indicated by the (anatomically correct) heart symbols below the chessboard. Hearts can be guarded via shields that you get for moving pieces with a shield symbol. At the same time, you can reacquire hearts in the shop that you encounter after every floor. At the top of the chessboard, you can see your current gold as well as a bunch of gold chunks and gems. Every turn one of those gold chunks vanishes but if you manage to finish the current floor with any of them left, you’ll be able to spend that gold in the next shop. This is a somewhat interesting mechanic as you have to try to solve these floors in the least turns possible… but at the same time, you’ve got to be careful and not get too far ahead of yourself as every floor can be deadly!

In the shop, you’re able to upgrade your deck by adding more effects to your pieces. At first, I thought that the pieces there would get replaced by other pieces… This was an oversight of mine as it actually says that you get permanent upgrades for your cards… in the tutorial… that I skipped. The tutorial itself is quite beginner-friendly. It tells you the basics of the game within seconds and lets you experience two floors before heading into the actual tutorial dungeon. I somehow completely missed the fact that there is a tutorial, although I’m blaming that on my headache.

What I love about this game (or the demo of the game, to be more precise) is the fact that the art style is super minimalistic. It shows you what you need to see without overwhelming you with all kinds of gimmicks, UI shenanigans or complicated tooltips. Instead, you see what you want to see immediately – and if you need to know more, you hover over tiles and pieces.

At the same time, the game is able to communicate rather well where the damage comes from, how much damage is dealt and where/how you died. After about 90 minutes, I actually was able to defeat the demo dungeon, which I was quite surprised about. The Blight mechanic, as well as the Nimble mechanic, were somewhat hard to deal with but I’d imagine that without those, the game would be rather plain and easy to beat. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of other enemies the full game will have to offer.

Apart from the interesting and challenging mechanics, as well as the minimalistic art style, the game also features a lovely soundtrack so far that doesn’t get on your nerves after you’ve listened to it for an hour and a half. I mean, a lot of demos feature the same track over and over again, which can be quite annoying. In this demo, the gentle sounds convey this feeling of adventure quite well while at the same time allowing you to relax while playing.

Pawnbarian is a lovely chess-roguelike hybrid that adds its own twist to the Rogue-formula while sticking to the core premise of permadeath and turn-based combat. Personally speaking, I’m really looking forward to seeing the other enemies as well as the other characters that will be introduced into the full version. 

If you want to, you can check out Pawnbarian over here. It is also available on itch.io if you want to play it over there! Make sure to wishlist it if you haven’t yet – and if you want to, you can always try out the demo over there as well!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to leave feedback or any suggestions for other demos to check out!
Take care!

Cheers!

Where I stand

For the last couple of days, a lot of things have been going on. The Capitol Riots are one of the most agitating and saddest things I’ve seen in the last few years apart from the countless demos in Germany by people that are too stubborn, too lazy, too anxious to believe that there’s a threat out there that actually kills people.

I wanted to write about this topic, just shortly, to make you know that I do not condone any sort of false information or fake news spread on my blog or in my community on Twitch. I do not condone any sort of QAnon/Querdenker type of bullshit to be spread here. If you’re a conspiracy theorist who’s thinking about lizard people, Bill Gates, and some sort of dictatorship in Germany led by Jews or whatever, then please, please, please, would you kindly fuck off from here.

I do not condone any sort of hate speech or bigotry spread on here. My stream is an LGBTQIA+ safe space and we have many people from all over the world in our community. I do not want to hear any sort of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, or other forms of slurs, bigotry, and insults in there targeted at members of our community or me. I do not condone anyone targetting anyone on my blog and I’ll continue to delete comments like that whenever I see them.

I am all for a discussion but I don’t plan on giving a platform to those people that are spitting on democracy and our values and that are leading riots and demonstrations against the state and against lockdowns, carelessly ignoring hygiene rules and masks and whatever, carelessly endangering anyone that might die from it or might come in contact with the elderly, the sick and the weakened.

I won’t give a platform to those people that fight actively against democracy and wield black, red and white flags while marching into the Capitol or any other place. I won’t give a platform to the Cheeto or to any of the Nazis, QAnons, Maga people, Covidiots, and other supporters that Cheeto has been inciting.

I won’t give a platform to more violence, physical, mental or verbal.
I won’t give a platform to anyone who calls the BLM movement a “terrorist group” or anything like that and who generalises all of the movement against white supremacy and racism as a “group of looters and terrorists”.

Fuck White Supremacists. Fuck Nazis. Fuck Trump. Fuck QAnon. Fuck Bigots. Fuck Querdenker.

I thought that even I have a platform, so I should mention my stance on it and some of my thoughts. What happened at Capitol is horrible and I’m sorry to hear that the Cheeto had another Trump Card like that. I hope the nightmare is over soon and I hope that it’ll get better soon. Arnold Schwarzenegger has published a message to his fellow Americans and friends around the world on his Twitter account and I recommend watching it.

I want this place to be a place where we can talk about games and enjoy Indie stuff and other games and after getting a few racist trolls on WordPress I decided to publish a post that explains my position here as someone who streams and blogs and tweets and speaks. As someone who’s able to not just review games but also have a stance on things. I’m not neutral, after all. Alas, I should make clear that I’m against Nazis and Racists and Sexists and all the other bigots in the world and the fucking idiots out there that are still endangering people. I hate it when people enjoy the freedom of speech we have here only to spout nonsense and hate speech and only to incite to violence against politicians and refugees and immigrants while saying that there is no freedom of speech. I hate it when peaceful protestors get struck down while the police are the ones that are being attacked when Querdenker movements start acting with tens of thousands of people in Berlin or wherever. I should note here that I hate racism among cops and I hate that it’s a thing, be it in Germany or in America. In Germany, it’s not as bad as in America, I would want to say, but I actually don’t have any statistics at hand as there are politicians that don’t want to investigate racism among policemen and soldiers. I wonder why. So, it’s a thing, yes, but I still hate it when people get attacked. Not all cops are bad, but a lot of them are. I hate it when some of the good ones out there, defending the parliament against those violent protestors that want to feed their families or whatever – well, I hate it when those people get attacked. I mean, I hate it when people get attacked, period. I don’t want to see that happen to any of us. But sadly, a lot of the bad cops and the racists and whatever are letting people go on like that even when they get attacked in Germany, while they open the gates for the rioters on Capital in America. Fuck Racists and Bigots among the cops.

Alas, uh, I can sum up that I’m for freedom of speech and for democracy but against Nazis and Bigots and all of those people that are against democracy. With Alex Turner’s words “perhaps fuck off might be too kind” but uh… you can have your opinion, just don’t share it here and don’t spread hateful stuff on my blog or in my stream. Thank you. If possible stop being hateful, period. Don’t hurt people. Be kind to others. Don’t be an asshole.

“Die Gedanken sind frei” – your thoughts are free, after all. Your words can hurt, though.

Cheers.

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Steam Winter Sale 2020 Haul

So, last year (wink wink nudge nudge) I posted about the games that I was eyeing this sale. There were a bunch of great deals in there but I decided to not go for certain sales.

For starters, I was quite excited about Humankind… but I’m hesitant now about pre-ordering it. I doubt that the 10% discount is all that worth it for a game that I haven’t seen much from yet. I think I’ll rather wait for it to come out, maybe get a few patches, and eventually, I’ll get into it. Until then, I’ve got plenty of time to get through other titles by Amplitude like the up-coming Endless Dungeon or the Endless Space games I own… or Endless Legends (which I actually enjoyed so far). 

Fe and Sundered were both available for four euros but I wanted to decide for just one of them. I wasn’t too sure on Fe as, while it looked interesting, I’m not too sure how it feels and plays. Alas, I decided to go for Sundered instead as it’s a roguevania and I’m sure I’ll like it.

On top of purchasing Sunset Overdrive, I also got Yakuza 0 to play it before the other Yakuza games that I own. Yakuza 0 was available for about five bucks, so I felt quite good about that purchase, especially as it looked like a ton of fun from what I’ve seen so far. I’m looking forward to getting into Sunset Overdrive eventually, although there are a bunch of other games lined up before it. 

Moons of Madness was 50% off but as Jeromai pointed out there was a bundle available on Humble Bundle that included Moons of Madness and a bunch of other games at the same price. Alas, I decided to go for that instead as it featured Deep Sky Derelicts, Tacoma, Still There, and Moons of Madness. All of these are nice additions to my library and my ever-increasing backlog. There are also a bunch of keys in there for games I’m not interested that I may give to friends that like games like that. On top of that, there was a key for Breathedge in there but as I already own that game, I’ll have to give it away, too. Incredible game, btw. 

Instead of buying Ni No Kuni, I ended up going for Doom Eternal. In hindsight, this was a great choice as I’m enjoying Doom Eternal quite a bit right now. I also bought Doom 2016 as it was available rather cheaply and as I’ve been told that some like that title more than Eternal… so I’m looking forward to trying that out after playing through Doom Eternal! 

If I don’t count the Bundle that I got, I spend 40€ on games this sale. I spent 13€ on the bundle (I added a bit extra because of the charity stuff there and the value that I got out of it), so that adds up to a total of 53€. The games that I got on steam alone were worth about 140€ with Doom Eternal being the priciest at 60€. The games in the bundle that I registered to my account were worth 74.50€, resulting in a total of 214.5€ worth of games acquired this sale for a price of 53€, so basically 75% off.

Honestly, I’m glad that I got some of these games but I want to make an effort to play through more of my titles. Right now, I’m getting back into Ratropolis and Hades again but also playing a fair bit of Doom Eternal and Minecraft. Next week, I’ll start my playthrough of Bioshock 2 on Twitch. After I’m through with either Doom Eternal or Bioshock 2, I’d like to play Sunset Overdrive and potentially the first Yakuza game. After that, I’ll have to try out other games and see where things will lead me. Streaming and blogging are helping me chunk away at that big backlog of mine, slowly but steadily. Alas, I hope that I get to go through some of those in this year.

What did you guys buy? Is there a purchase you decided against? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Others on the topic:

Naithin
Krikket

Season 11 – Placement Games 2/10

Season 11 has started! So I played three games from my placement series but one of them was a remake so that doesn’t count really. Alas, here’s an update:

In the first game, we had a promising comp. My duo mate’s Jhin got picked by the enemy so he went Miss Fortune instead. Since we already had a lot of AP damage in our team and since the enemy team had three melee-champions, I decided to pick Senna to keep them at bay with Glacial and my W and to poke them from afar. The enemy team was rather beefy with both Tahm Kench and Swain but they were mainly AD, so I had high hopes for this one, especially as the Jhin picked Magic Resist runes against a double AD bot lane… alas, I started poking him out of lane but Swain apparently didn’t connect yet so we got a remake, sadly. While I would have loved to play that game, I’m also kind of glad that we didn’t since our top laner was auto-filled. 

The next game went horrible. My duo mate and I were playing Jhin and Vel’Koz which is great since the enemy team didn’t have too much range and since Jhin is super strong right now. My Vel’koz is not too shabby either, so I had high hopes for this game in champ select… if it weren’t for our teammates. Our Top Laner and our Jungler were premade, too, and played Teemo and Vi. Teemo lost early against the Irelia, so that wasn’t good… Irelia quickly snowballed and became close to unstoppable. Vi is a great pick in the jungle since you can gank rather early with your Q and since your ultimate as Vi is incredible in team fights. The problem was that Vi just didn’t gank at all, resulting in us having a hard time in bot lane with Orianna roaming a lot and Kayn ganking way too much. This would be no problem if it weren#t for this annoying Draven+Lulu lane that we had to face. Draven can snowball really hard if you don’t shut him down early. We missed opportunities to get kills on him and eventually he kept one-shotting me and Jhin. At the same time, Draven would use his flash and heal all the time but we’d still get no jungle attention from Vi… I mean, nobody really did get any ganks from Vi. 

Alas, the enemy Kayn was three levels above our Vi, got all the dragons but one, and was super strong, too. Our Gragas mid went full damage but didn’t really have an impact. Our Bot Lane was super behind. The Vi went full damage as well, despite being behind, and since Orianna, Irelia, Draven and Kayn would constantly roam and kill us in our own jungle, I amassed a lot of deaths. This game was horrible. We were not able to do anything while our top laner and our jungle were constantly flaming us. It was not fun at all, especially since Draven would also go invisible after every kill. The biggest problems were Irelia, Kayn and Orianna, though… so it was too much to handle, and alas, I lost my first game.

The third game that I played yesterday was a Nami+Lucian game. We had a Malphite Top against an Akali that got super fed. Our Yi got some early kills… Yasuo refused to play an AP champion, so I was basically the only AP champion in our team, especially with Malphite going full tank. We got some good kills early so things were looking good. I was sure that we’d be able to stop the Akali later on in team fights with our Malphite’s and my ultimate ability. Sadly, though, Ezreal ended up getting a bunch of kills and… Lux kept one-shotting me with one Q+Auto.

Welcome to the League of Oneshots where Yasuo is able to flame you even when he’s 2/8 with barely any kill participation and where Lux one-shots you harder than Akali – who btw was always there to clean up as well.

In the end, I had to mute everyone but since Lux and Akali were so fed I couldn’t ward anything. Yasuo and Yi kept dying right when Drakes were about to spawn. Meanwhile, Lucian was falling off, Ezreal got a bunch more kills in our base before they ended up finishing. It wasn’t fun at all.

So, that was my last game of the day. I was a bit frustrated with the quality of the games. The placement games so far ended up placing me in Silver III… which is fine. I can climb out of that. If I win some of the next games, I’ll place higher though, so I’m going to try to focus more on my positioning in the next ones. 

Again, most of this post sounds like I’m blaming my team or whatever but I know that I played like garbage, myself. Sure, my team’s decisions at times weren’t optimal but in the end, what counts is that I play better, or else I won’t be able to reach platinum.

Goals for the next games:

  • Get some good bans in. Samira is less of a problem compared to all the assassins in the game.
  • Watch my positioning. I need to die a lot less, especially with my current champ pool!
  • Mute everyone. I just gotta do it. Everything that has to be communicated can be communicated via pings. I don’t need the chat for anything but the “gl hf” I type at the beginning and the “gg wp” at the end of the game. 
  • Focus. The longer games continue and the more frustrating they are, the more I lose focus. These past two games were lost at minute fifteen but we could have had good team fights to turn the game around, potentially.
  • Stay positive. Again, just do it. “Oh, we’ve got a Yasuo who’s never played the Champion before? I’m sure he’s smurfing. Oh, he died five times already? He’s not gonna be worth any more gold!” I gotta stay positive and focus on the goal of the game: Winning. I only gotta get upset at my own mistakes, as always.

I did the latter part quite well in those games but I eventually lost focus, especially when teammates started flaming… I should have just muted them.

So, uh, in case I wanna keep my post-streak up, I’ll post more on this in the near future! Hope you enjoyed this post. Did you start playing ranked yet? The grind tends to be rough at the beginning and at the end of the season but I’m sure I’ll get some good games soon!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Among Us

A while ago, I watched John Carpenter’s “The Thing” with a few people on Discord and enjoyed it quite a lot. The actors are doing an incredible job at conveying this feeling of anxiety and distrust they have… I mean, there is a thing that is possessing bodies, acting like them, and killing people there… But then I noticed that it’s really similar to a game I wanted to review: Among Us. Obviously, the similarities are there as Among Us even features a map inspired by the movie, Polis!

Alas, today we’re taking a look at Among Us by Innersloth, the popular party game of teamwork and betrayal.

Developer: Innersloth
Publisher: Innersloth
Genre: Space, Trustlike, Social Deduction, Social Deception, Multiplayer
Release Date: November 16th, 2018
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, iOs, Android
Copy was purchased.

Among Us’ premise is simple. There are four to ten people on one of the three maps with one to two Imposters among them (roll credits!). The crewmates’ job is to finish the tasks to ensure victory. Meanwhile, the Imposters have to try and deceive everyone into thinking that they’re crewmates while also killing off people. To do so, they can kill people, vent into places, lock doors, and sabotage.

“Oh, hi, Skully!”

The main portion of the game, however, is social deception. Just like with other social deception games or trust-likes, as someone called them, you try to gaslight, manipulate, and deceive people. You want people to trust you so that you don’t get voted out. When a body is found, people will report it. The people near the body or whoever’s not accounted for is obviously the Imposter. Once a meeting is called on emergencies or when a body was found, everyone has time to discuss the matter, clarify where everyone was, deceive, or do whatever to prove that you’re innocent. Just like in other games, the crewmates then decide to vote someone out while hoping that that person is indeed the Imposter.

Unless you play with the proximity chat mod, you’re not allowed to speak during the actual rounds. When you die, you stay quiet. Meanwhile, you can only talk during the meetings. The Proximity Chat Mod allows you to talk to nearby people, which can be quite fun. There are also other additions to the game that can help you discover a playstyle you and your friends like.

All of this may sound complicated but you get the hang of it once you play a round or two. Be it at small gatherings, with friends or online with random people, you’ll be able to play it without much trouble.

Close enough to not be sus.

The more complicated bits are tactics like marinating* people (*marinating means that you’re “sticking around to give them a sense of comfort and trust when near you”) or the faking of tasks. While it is fun for the first few times that you play the game, it can be also rather taxing as you lie and deceive your friends only to backstab them in the end. At times you trick people into believing you while you gaslight others and accuse them, falsely, of being the Imposter even though you did it.

So, do I like a game like that? Not really. I don’t feel too good about it, so I can’t really play too many rounds at a time and I get tired of it quite fast and leave early most of the time. For a game that is available for free on the mobile versions (both Android and iOs), you can get a lot of entertainment out of it. The low cost of four bucks on Steam also helps with having access to it and inviting friends to play it with you. I easily got thirty hours of entertainment out of it, which is absolutely worth it, although that was partly due to alternate rulesets as well.

In Among Us, you’re able to customize the game’s rules to fit your needs as well. Want to make the game more challenging? Turn off confirmed ejects and visible tasks. Want to make the games shorter? Lower the tasks and the kill cooldown. Want to play Hide n Seek? Change the Vision settings for crewmates and imposters to fit that playstyle. In the end, it allows you to have a pleasant experience no matter who you are, as long as you have the right people.

Just the routine check up in the medbay I guess.

The online portion of the game sucks, however. Lobbies are either toxic with people having “bad words” in their names and these randoms just randomly voting you out. The absence of voice chat makes it hard for you to defend yourself, especially since the majority of these random peoples in public lobbies seem to be unable to write full sentences if at all. It’s hard to have fun in public lobbies, in my opinion, frankly because the game got so popular that a lot of kids ended up getting into it. Alas, I’d recommend private games.

Even with private lobbies, however, the game’s popularity is harming the game more than it helps. I’m sure the developers are aware of this but at times it can be rather hard to get into games, even when they’re private, as there are times when the server is just full with too many people logging into the game.

Apart from that, I would love it if you were able to change the number of Imposters as well as the map in the lobby-settings. If you want to change the map, you’ll have to quit and enter a new lobby. If you take too long to decide, everyone gets kicked. With a lot of settings being in the lobby, I don’t get why the map, the number of crewmates and the number of Imposters are only accessible in the pre-lobby-settings.

But at the end of the day, I end up excusing those small issues as it is a rather cheap game that can be played with people anywhere and everywhere.

Purple just claimed that white killed someone in this public lobby I joined. Everyone voted white. White wasn’t it. I called an emergency and voted purple. We won. I got banned from that lobby because I’m making sense. Fun.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed the Hide n Seek ruleset where Imposters see nothing while Crewmates see everything. At the beginning of the round, the Imposter announces that they’re “it” and they’ll count down to zero. The Imposter has to “find” people (aka kill them) while the Crewmates try to avoid the Imposter at all cost while finishing their tasks. Another ruleset that I really liked is “Chaos” where you’re allowed to talk whenever and where you can’t talk at all during the meetings. Vote time is decreased to 15 seconds with no discussion time. You have to vote people or else you’ll get voted off next. Once the meeting is over, everyone tries to finish their tasks while keeping quiet about previous rounds. As the name suggests, that’s really chaotic, especially as anyone that reports the body sounds suspicious when they can’t defend themselves.

In the end, it’s a fun game with an adorable art style, gruesome kill animations, an okay soundtrack but a lot of value for the little money you spent, if at all. Due to crossplay, you can enjoy the game with your friends on Steam, iOs, and Android without any issues, allowing a lot of people to join in. In the same manner, you can try and alter all of the rules, resulting in a pleasant experience that can be customised to fit your needs. Hence, the recommendation.

Although, I’d say that you should leave the game be a game. If you end up taking the gaslighting and everything into the Real Life, you may end up destroying friendships. Oh well,…

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Hades

I’ve always been a sucker for mythology. From Norse to Egyptian to Greek mythology, I’d take everything in and read up on all sorts of articles and myths and thoughts. I honestly loved it to bits. In the same manner, I love it when games incorporate mythology into their lore and build a universe around it that brings life to these old legends and stories. A game that does that really well is Hades!

Developer: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Genres: Action, Roguelite, RPG, Indie
Release Date: December 6th, 2018 (Early Access) - Left Early Access on September 17th, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, Switch
Copy was purchased.

Dive into the underworld where the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, Hades, is reigning with an iron fist and where his son, Zagreus, is trying to escape hell. Meet a bunch of different characters, interact with them, romance some of them, gift nectar and ambrosia to your favourite people and the Gods of the Olymp themselves, and experience the story of Hades, one run at a time. Hades is an Action-Roguelite by Supergiant Games and in this review, I’ll tell ya why it’s such a great game!

Well, in this game, we play as Zagreus, who very much has a reason to leave Hell and to be angry at his father, which I won’t get into. Zagreus uses one of six different weapons in each of his escape attempts powered by Boons of the Gods of the Olymp. These weapons were used to slay the titans and are, alas, strong on their own already but as you progress further into the depths of Hell, you have to face stronger foes and more challenges, which is why the Gods help you. A variety of gods are there to assist you in your dangerous endeavour, most likely since they’re bored. From your uncles, Zeus and Poseidon, to your grandmother, Demeter, there are a plethora of interesting characters ready to provide you with their assist.

Your weapon tends to have a normal attack and a special attack which both are quite unique. Each weapon has four different aspects that each play differently and make use of different mechanics. On top of that, some weapons (like the shield) have other move sets that make use of holding buttons down or timing attacks properly. On top of that, you have dashes and the ability to perform dash strikes.

The various boons you encounter offer bonus effects to your character, making you stronger or more sturdy, or they change how your weapons work. Demeter is the goddess of the seasons, fertility, and death. Her boons help you afflict enemies with the “Chill” status effect, making them slower or dealing damage at certain conditions. Aphrodite helps you weaken enemies while Ares, Zeus and Artemis are all about that damage. There are a plethora of status boons, passive boons, and raw damage boons in the game and they all synergies quite well with each other, to the point where there’s also duo boons that combine the boons of two gods into one stronger perk. If you have high DPS, you may consider stacking Dionysus’ “hangover” status effect on enemies, while you may consider going for raw damage with Ares if your weapon is slower.

These boons can be acquired by getting through rooms. Gods tend to give you a selection of three boons and you don’t know what you’ll get beforehand. Rooms also can feature other rewards such as Gold to purchase boons and other items in the shop, gems and darkness to use after the run has ended, maximum health, hammers or other rewards. Each run can feature up to two Daedalus Hammer boons which basically change how your weapon is working, making each build stand out even more.

What I love about Hades is that a lot of it feels rather intuitive. You see enemies, you strike them. You see boons, so you go for ones that sound nice. You don’t really have too many “noob traps” in the game and generally, you can progress quite well, especially once you invest your Darkness into that mirror of yours – aka permanent character progression that helps you get stronger after your runs.

But apart from combat being very fast-paced and fun to play with and apart from the plethora of possible builds with each of the four aspects of the six weapons available to you, the game also has another component: The Story.

The Story of Hades evolves whenever you talk to characters. From Achilles to Nyx to Thanatos (I love him), there are a plethora of characters ready to assist you by guiding you or helping you out with trinkets. By giving nectar to the different characters in the game, you receive trinkets that grant you benefits in the run. On top of that, each of the characters in the game has a ton of voice lines and a quest of sorts where you try to help them get through some of their problems which ends up benefitting you as well. Simply speak to characters after your run whenever you see an exclamation mark on their heads and enjoy the fully-voiced and witty lines that both refer to mythology but also have a lot of character. Each of the figures that you encounter has its own problems, traits and personality, which is awesome as it brings life to the mythology that people often refer to as “boring”.

And the game isn’t over yet once you’ve completed a run successfully and escaped Hell as there are various things to do like renovating hell, helping the characters out, fulfilling prophecies, fishing, achievements, and completing the runs with higher difficulties that you can assign yourself to the run. Once you manage to leave Hell once, Hades puts up a pact of punishment onto the gate, resulting in you being able to complete runs again with rising heat levels and more challenges such as more challenging bosses and special enemies. But if you’re actually struggling with beating runs, I can also recommend activating God Mode with grants you a 2% damage reduction bonus whenever you die. You start at 20% already which is A LOT but you can gain up to 80% damage reduction to help you experience the story without getting frustrated with the runs.

And I haven’t even gotten into the amazing art style or the fantastic soundtrack or the wonderful voice acting. I haven’t even gotten into the romance options and the further challenges as well as all of the different secrets in the game and the different areas that each have their mini-bosses and mechanics and traps. There is a ton to talk about in Hades and while I once thought that it was a bit “grindy” at times when it comes to gems, that thought simply vanished after unlocking a few of the house contractor projects. So, I don’t have anything bad to say about Hades and I can understand why it was nominated as Game of the Year, among other titles, and why it won “Best Indie” and “Best Action”. I really can understand that as I haven’t seen a game as polished and as wonderfully crafted as this one in ages.

And more updates are coming out here and there, as well, adding a ton of things, which shows the love and care that Supergiant Games puts into their titles, to the point where I had to rewrite this review about nine times so far. I hope that you enjoyed reading about this game and that you’re checking it out yourself eventually.

For me personally, Hades might very much be my Game of the Year 2020.

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Kernmantle

So, a while ago, a developer sent me a request to review their game via my Steam Curator page. The developer in question developed Kernmantle and I kind of put off reviewing this game for quite a while since I’m not sure how to start or end it.

The problem with reviewing games is that I personally want to give every game a fair chance of getting played and reviewed. If a game seems to be abysmal or anything like that, I tell the developers in a kind e-mail that I think that it’s for the better if I do not review their game.

Developer: North of Earth
Publisher: North of Earth
Genre: Platformer, 2D, Physics-driven, Adventure
Release Date: October 5th, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was sent by the developer.

In the case of Kernmantle, I accepted the game and decided to play it until I noticed that it’s absolutely not to my liking, despite what it seemed like. For anyone wondering, it’s a physics-based 2D Adventure where you climb up a 2000-meter-deep canyon and attempt to reach the top. It seemed interesting since it works with lighting in a pretty way while having a rather simple art style and I guess some mechanics behind it. Hence I gave it a chance.

At last, however, I noticed that that’s about it. Simple style, no story, pretty lighting, annoying soundtrack, abysmal controls.

A game that is all about climbing sounds like fun in a way… but the checkpoints are far away between each other and when you fall down once it’s more frustrating than Getting Over It or any other game, in my opinion. That’s not because of the depth that you’ve fallen or the lost progress… but for a different reason.

In Getting Over It, a game that I adore to be fair despite not being good at it, I know that I fell down because I didn’t get enough momentum or because I aimed at the wrong spot. It’s basically just me being at fault.

In Kernmantle, the controls are super janky and sometimes do not respond. So, while I’m holding onto the trigger of my controller, the grip just loosens it despite there still being plenty of stamina left in my hands. And that’s annoying when it happens once. It’s annoying when it happens twice. It’s frustrating at the third time and I stopped after the fourth time when I realised that it all was for nothing since there seems to be an invisible wall ahead of where I wanted to go with no other way to go from there.

At the same time, the game is incredibly condescending. The signs that are supposed to explain the game to you always end with something along the lines of “you moron” or “you idiot”, which is just rude. I feel like the developer is trying to be funny when they’re just insulting people that will refund this game afterwards anyways.

The character design and controls feel similar to Mount Your Friends but for whatever reason don’t work like that, although ripping off the controls would have been a lot better, in my opinion. A controller is required to play the game while Mount Your Friends at least allows Mouse+Keyboard: A feature that is much needed in games like these.

All in all, it’s a mediocre game that would be better with keyboard controls, akin to Getting Over It or Jump King. Paying ten bucks for this would be a waste. I can’t recommend Kernmantel, at all. Play Getting Over It or Jump King instead if you really want to.

Cheers.

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Thoughts on the Game of the Year Award

So, yesterday, Belghast actually published a post on his games of the year 2020. His list featured a variety of games that I have either been eyeing or that I’ve watched or even played. I definitely recommend his post!

But this lead to me thinking… what is a “game of the year” anyway and why does it have to be just one and no more than one title?

In my opinion, the title of “game of the year” should go to a game that really coined a year. A game that you couldn’t escape from no matter where you went… a game is omnipresent on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and on all other streaming platforms, media outlets and websites. I feel like a game like that is probably hard to make. A game that doesn’t get outshined by other games despite being released before any other games. I feel like that would be a game of the year.

The Game Awards nominated six games for the title: Doom Eternal, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and The Last Of Us Part II. In the end, I had to google who won and apparently Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us Part 2” is now the game of the year 2020 which actually surprised me.

The surprise mostly came because I didn’t really realise that it came out this year. At the same time, the hype wasn’t that big around it, if I remember correctly, and it wasn’t as present on Twitch as Ghost of Tsushima, for instance. On top of that, I also heard a lot of bad things about TLOU2 and the one instance of me watching a stream of that game… was not good. I’ll post on that eventually as well but uh spoilers and stuff.

Anyways, that resulted in me checking up on how nominees are selected in the first place and what kind of authority the game awards are to be able to just decide what game deserves that title… and well, apparently, that’s a stupid question. I mean, The Game Awards apparently are kind of a big deal and I just wasn’t aware of that, really. There is an “international jury of over 95 global media and influencer outlets, selected for their history of critical evaluation of video games” in place that decides nominees based on a lot of factors, also including categories like esports and accessibility. The producer of the Game Awards, Geoff Keighley, himself is not a member of the jury and doesn’t vote on winners or nominees. As far as the nominations go, the jury I mentioned above votes via ballots and votes on their top five titles. Based on those votes, five titles are nominated each year. In case of a tie, there will be six nominees, just like this year! 

Alas, it makes sense that there are titles by big studios like Nintendo and Square Enix while also smaller studios like Supergiant Games represented in the top six, this year. Hades probably would have been my vote as I didn’t play any of the other games (although, I did buy Doom Eternal and will play that soon). I’m not too fond of remakes, especially after what they did with Destroy All Humans earlier in 2020… and I don’t own a Switch so I won’t be able to play ACNH anytime soon. I don’t own any consoles, making it hard for me to play Ghost of Tsushima or TLOU2. In the end, I only played Hades (as far as the nominees go) and would probably have nominated Lightmatter, Drake Hollow, Risk of Rain 2, and some other titles.

Obviously, “The Game Of The Year” is not a game that coined the year… but I just feel like the title kind of implies that. It kind of implies that it’s THE game of THAT year. When you’d talk about 2020 in gaming you wouldn’t be able to talk for two minutes before bumping into that game… It is the game of the year after all… So maybe I’m a bit hung up on that name or the title or my definition but it doesn’t seem like it actually means what it, in my opinion, entails or implies.

When I think of titles that coined the year, I’d probably think of Fall Guys or Among Us. I literally couldn’t escape Among Us for the longest time, so I played it as well, got burned out, and eventually, it came back to me when friends from my old high school chatted me up and wanted to play it with me. Even Ms Magi who doesn’t really play any games was aware of Among Us and did install it on her phone at one point, resulting in us having conversations about it… although she wasn’t too captivated by it.

Anyways, Among Us probably wouldn’t be eligible for nomination since it came out two years ago… or it didn’t get nominated. 

But there’re also other categories and Among Us ended up being the “Best Mobile Game” and Fall Guys, for instance, also scored in quite a lot of categories. Hades won Best Indie and Best Action, which was lovely to see. It was great to see Carrion, If Found, Spiritfarer, Through the Darkest of Times, and some other indie games also seeing love. 

In the end, I don’t really think highly of game awards like that but I love seeing that Indie Games stand close to other games in categories like “Best Action” or whatever. I love seeing a lot of games that I’ve watched or played be nominated for big awards like that but I don’t really care about the winner, to be honest, unless it’s a game I’ve never heard of – in which case, I’d google and potentially wishlist it. So, while I enjoy seeing the nominees, I don’t like the actual award being handed to a title, as I most likely would wrap my hands around my head and wonder why that specific title got that specific award. 

This sounds like I’m constantly whining about why my favourite game didn’t win or whatever but in reality, it’s just me complaining that “of course The Last Of Us Part 2 got the GOTY award” for a minute or two before sipping my coffee and moving on. It doesn’t really matter much… I mean, there’s going to be a GOTY edition of this game that I probably won’t play. Again, more on that soon. But in the end, it doesn’t affect me. I don’t have these annoying friends anymore that would just try and annoy me by saying that they were right and that I was wrong or whatever. Honestly, I don’t care really. I just moan about it once and forget about it two minutes later as I browse who else got nominated for the indie titles that actually interest me. 

Congrats to the winners. Congrats on the nominees.
Happy New Year to everyone else!

Cheers.

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Is another review needed?

Some games out there are real gems but will never get any attention. And that’s sad, so I started reviewing games on this blog and recommending underrated games to friends and eventually, this became a big part of my life. It’s a hobby that I’ve been doing for more than a year now and it’s always fun to find gems and recommend stuff and write down my thoughts about all of these things. Lovely!

Meanwhile, other gems out there are well-known and have their own dedicated communities. People know titles like Slay the Spire, The Binding of Isaac, Stardew Valley, etc. already. Do they need more reviews or should I even write about titles like that?

Note: Since I forgot to take any screenshots for most of the games I’m mentioning in this post apart from Hades, I’ll only use screenshots from Hades. I’ll keep it spoiler-free, though, so no worries about that.

That’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot for the past couple of months. I’ve got countless posts sitting in the drafts about titles that I wanted to review and that I wanted to talk about. Just when I was about to get ready for the finishing touches, I ended up hesitating: Do I add something to the world by just saying what is already known? There are too many reviews for me to add any new thoughts to the same topic, after all, right? 

And that’s where my opinion changed recently: The fact that it’s a review by me should be enough to make my review different from other reviews.

The Steam Curator “Can you pet the dog?” would now say “yes, you can pet the dog”, I guess.

Even though everyone has probably said everything about every popular game out there, I can’t be 100% sure about that without having read all of the reviews out there. Obviously, that’s not possible. I can’t read every review out there and honestly, I don’t want to. In the first place, I don’t read reviews on games that I’m reviewing until after I’ve posted them as I don’t want to get influenced by other people’s opinions on the matter. I feel like that’s quite important, especially as I don’t want to accidentally or subconsciously write something similar or maybe even the same sentences as someone else has. 

Alas, I kind of changed my opinion on the matter. Of course, countless people probably know about Graveyard Keeper, Monster Train, Celeste, and the like, but I think that my opinion should matter as well. Maybe I actually do have something to add to the giant pool of reviews out there. Maybe I actually do have a different point as to why a game should or should not be bought. 

Every opinion matters, after all, and alas, every review is important. There probably is someone out there that hasn’t played Celeste yet or that has been hesitating to play it because they don’t like Platformers… and only recently, I played it for the very first time and enjoyed it a lot! It made me feel good about myself as a person that plays games as I was dashing through the air in levels that other people thought were really difficult. Meanwhile, Celeste was thought-provoking and challenging in other rooms when people said that it was an easy level while I was struggling to figure out what the intended way was and whether or not my way was doable, at all. There are countless reviews on Celeste out there but I’m not sure if any platformer-haters out there have taken a look at the game only to say that it’s actually great as an introduction to platformers. I don’t know if people that hate the genre would pick it up. Alas, my opinion as someone like that, as someone who hates and sucks at platformers, matters! My opinion matters and in that instance I probably have something meaningful to add to the ocean of reviews.

Well, who would have thought that there’s lava in hell, eh? What a surprise… /s – no spoiler. 😛

Or take Hades, for instance, the game that got updated so much during Early Access that I ended up having to rewrite my review a total of nine (!) times because things that I didn’t like got changed or updated and suddenly with new implementations old weapons and boons actually were incredibly strong or powerful. I suddenly enjoyed those, so I rewrote a few paragraphs, only to realise that it all didn’t work out too well, as my style changed in that time. When I was done with rewriting it for the ninth time, it has already been released with its version 1.0 and everyone hopped onto the hype train, resulting in me feeling like my review wasn’t needed. Again, that mindset is bad. 

I can praise and love Hades as much as I want to and I’ll do so eventually. I’ll be able to add a lot to the discussion as I’m a mythology-crack and as I love Transistor and Bastion. I probably have other takes on the game that other reviewers may not have had.

Alas, since I have had different interests in my life and since I’ve been enjoying different games, movies, books, poems, shows, and other media, my reviews may already have a different take on things. Just because I am obsessed with mythology, I may already have different bits and pieces of information to add to the discussion. Just because I’m into Drama and plays and stuff, I may already be able to connect lore pieces together or laugh about something that other people may not get. 

No turning back now.

I’m not saying that I’m better at reviewing games than other people or that my reviews are better or worse. I’m just saying that every review is unique and that every reviewer has different tastes, interests and takes on the same topic, making them unique and special and alas, their opinions are important. 

What does this mean for me and my blog? Well, I’ll revisit all of those drafts and try to publish some of my older posts throughout the year and rework them to fit my current style and you’ll probably see some newer games in there as well as some more popular ones. There will be the odd one here and there with a very underrated and unknown game and I’ll just hope that it’ll get more attention. 

I hope you liked my take on the matter. I feel as every take on a topic is important even if some if not all points are the same. As long as it’s written independantly it should be allowed to exist. As long as it’s a different person writing it, it already should be able to provide some new thoughts and opinions on it. And well, obviously, the people that read my blog posts are not the same that read Frosti‘s or Krikket‘s, right? 

Alas, I hope you enjoyed this post and the next few on other stuff. Have a nice day and stay awesome!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.