Tuesday, 24 April 2018

I Attack Your Accurate Adaptation Of The Rules Directly! (Yu-Gi-Oh: The Sacred Cards)

Oh jeez. This is going to be a hell of a post, isn't it? I will do my very best to keep it brief-ish, but it could balloon out into a hot technical mess. Still, as this is less a review and more just a waffling journal of errant thoughts and half-formed dreams based on playing old portable card games, we can afford a bit of vagueness. So. Here is a post about me, and my over 15 year-old obsession and occasional resurgence in the card game world of Yu-Gi-Oh (hereafter referred to as Yugioh for sheer convenience in typing). I, the intrepid Japanese animation explorer I was in my teens, happened to get into this card game anime for kids as it aired on TV back then. It didn't make any goddamned sense but my god was it wild. It somehow felt like a step above the other anime fare I'd been consuming, like Pokemon or Sailor Moon (about which a great deal someday, I promise you)... but that could be just nostalgia talking. Then I found out that they had a real card game based on this shit, and you could buy it... and well, I was hooked. I had my bunch of pals and we all played it together for the next six years until we all moved away to go on with adult life, but we still saw each other and played it online. There are shenanigans and stories that could be told. Legends that remain hidden in my head. The Labyrinth Saga, or the Butterfly Dagger Gambit, or the Meteor Crush Trick. Odd little stories that just make me smile today. For now, we won't talk about those. We have to talk about a Yugioh game I played this week... but to do that, we had to come back here, to 2002. Relative newcomer to the card game that I was, I discovered a little something on one of my shopping trips. A Yugioh game! For the Game Boy Color! Wow, holy shit! I can play the card game on the go, AND the thing even comes with three free cards! Relatively decent ones for the time as well! This, then, is part of our preamble. Come with me for but a moment, to witness Yugioh Dark Duel Stories.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

An Early Spring Fling (Fire Emblem Echoes)

Oh holy goddamn. I haven't updated this thing in almost a quarter of a year. Oops. In my defense, a lot happened in January and February. No real creative drive, y'know? Well, those particular hardships and things are in the past now. Time to move forward and talk about some stuff that's on my mind. I impluse bought a video game and the things it's done to me over the past five hours of play have given me feelings. Enough feelings to talk about it... by preluding with talk about other games. Yes, it's a good old-fashioned waffle to welcome in 2018 on my blog. In late March. Shush, I know it's been a while. Anyway, today we're going to talk about Fire Emblem... and how I'm pretty sure I'm at odds with the mainline approach the majority of these games take, and what that means and all other manner of things I haven't plotted out yet. This is a journey we'll take together, so let's roll back to the past.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Farewell, 2017.

Another year has ended, just about! With only a few hours to go, it's time for a little mini-retrospective of things I've made this year. I'm expanding to include stuff beyond my writing this time, and there will be videos I made or participated in as we go along. Here are the quick highlights, then!

Don't You Mess With A Little Girl's Dream, Or She's Liable To Grow Up Mean (Metroid: Rogue Dawn)

A huge sprawling piece motivated from beating the ROM hack Metroid: Rogue Dawn in January. I really liked doing this one, as I got to get real crunchy in a way I hadn't in a long while and let loose. Metroid has been a series that's inspired those esoteric weird thoughts in me, and it was good to get those out. The post is a little outdated now that an official Metroid II reimagining has occured, but this was still good to write.

Dark Souls 2: A Trip Report/Boss Critique: [Part 1] [Part 2]

Opinionated hard game writing. My favorite. Dark Souls 2 was a game that rubbed me in many ways. Some right, some unfortunate. It was all over the place and in these boss fight analyses I find a great deal of time to complain. That's me to a T, though. It was good to be critical in a different fashion, and I got to be a salty old fart about Souls games. What's not to love?

The Five Worst Doctor Who Stories EVER (That I Actually Kind Of Love)

Oh, this was a fun one to do. Finding a defense for some of the most unloved stories in Doctor Who history was a tricky one to do, but I found my groove. It took a lot of effort and note taking to get it done, but I'm pleased with the end result. There's nothing I love more than going to bat for unloved Doctor Who, and maybe I even made somebody reconsider! Possibly. I dunno. Either way, I liked this.

Trapped In A Maze Of Relationships (Persona 4 Golden)

The biggest non-novel thing I did this year, a massive 5000-plus word screed about how Persona 4 is a good game with good feelings. It was one of my Games Of The Year 2017, so you know it left a mark on me. I honestly don't have more to say beyond the fact that I believe I wrote this all in one sitting on the morning after I beat it. Just a white-hot stream of content from my brain to the Internet. Wild. Wild, but good.

A Psychic History: A Magically-Imbued Walking Tour In Gander, Newfoundland

Now this was out there. I attempted to become a third-rate psychogeographer and chart a journey and personal history through the bustling city streets of Gander, Newfoundland. I don't know if it worked, but it was way out of left field for me and sort of a trial run for something I'd love to try more of. It's easily the most out of my comfort zone I went this year, and for that I'm proud of it.

Doctor Who Reviews: Oxygen

Sure, I had my own First Impressions posts on Doctor Who and we'll see one later... but a nod to my pal Rainiac. He's dedicated enough to have done weekly podcasts on the show as it aired this year, and I got to be a part of several of them! I'm thankful for that, so here is me giving him a signal boost on what ended up being one of the best episodes of S10 Doctor Who. I could have picked the one I bitched about, but I went positive. For now.

Fairune: A Review

I dunno. Of all the formal traditional computer game reviews I did this year, it's this one that stands out the most to me. I tapped into some sort of passion for the thing and how I encountered it, and I really like how it turned out. They're good words for a good game, and I have very little to say otherwise.

Let's Play Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

That's right, I am a Let's Play type originally! This is the only actual LP I did in 2017, and it's of one of my new favorite games ever. I did it on the then-new Hardcore Mode because I'm some sort of Hard Game Monster, and I think I did pretty great at this! There's some bitching in there to fill commentary time, but all in all I love the game and like this.

Ninja Gaiden SPEEDRUN In 14:08

My friend Polly got me into trying a speedrun this year, and after a week this was the result. I have not refined it since, but I'm nonetheless proud of what a week's grind could produce. Perhaps 2018 will see me dust it down to a sub-13, or try out MORE games I love fast. Who knows?

Vlog: Grand Bank September 2017- A Beautiful Basement Of Old And New [Part 1] [Part 2]

Somewhat related to that whole third-rate psychogeographer thing are my Grand Bank travel vlogs. I adore this sleepy little place in the south of Newfoundland, and filming my interactions there help make the experience more enjoyable. It also gives me a way to relive those good times, and show off a perfect place to the masses. Please enjoy the lovely scenery and basement ramblings and whatnot.

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams (All Of It)

I really love the spooky marathon tradition that I've started here. Over the month of October I got to write words about all sorts of things from all sorts of sources, and really broaden my creative horizons. Where else did I talk about songs and 60 year-old movies? Nowhere else. I shall have to do another one of these in 2018, but what I'll talk about I have no idea. We'll worry about that in about 9 months, huh?

Both Of The Articles From Last Week

After resting my fingers for most of December, I always end up blitzing out a lot of content before year's end, due to the GOTY lists and the Doctor Who Christmas specials. You've likely already seen them as they're so recent, but here they are again! The Doctor Who one is my tearful goodbye to the Moffat era and Peter Capaldi, and the GOTY list is a celebration of everything that impressed me this year. What fun.

Frezno's 10 Year Let's Play Anniversary Retrospective Clip Show!!!

As of this evening, I have been making those Let's Play videos for a full-on decade. The pals and fans I've made along the way are treasures, and the memories priceless. I would not have this blog and the eyes that are on it were it not for me making those videos, and I'm eternally grateful. To commemorate this, I made a little clip show/retrospective where I waxed nostalgic and showed old footage of my highlights. Here's to however many years more I do this shit.

And so we close out the year. I've used this final space in year-end writeups past to highlight some character from my Game Of The Year, and talk hopeful for the upcoming new unknown. So, this time it's Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4. May her elegance and grace bless you for the year ahead. 2017 had its good spots, and it had its bad spots. Much like Persona 4 in that regard, actually. Hold on to those good memories. That's what Yukiko here represents: the good feelings from 2017 that will stick with you as you move into 2018. Keep them close, like a good luck charm. Happy New Year to you all, and may 2018 bring as much happiness as possible, for both you and I...

Friday, 29 December 2017

Frezno's Games Of The 2017 Thing!

Well, here we go again. 2017's setting just behind the big magical year mountains, and 2018 is about to crest over the... other big magical year mountains. This metaphor got away from me, but the point is that I played LOTS AND LOTS OF COMPUTER GAMES in 2017! It's time for another go-around retrospective of the most interesting, emotionally affecting, and/or Just Plain Fun things that I ended up blasting through this year. Expect a lot of arbitrary categories, some with more than one entry in them because I can't kill my darlings and this is my own goddamned list so I MAKE THE RULES HOORAY HAHA. I'm really excited to get into this whole thing and gush about stuff, so let's get right on rolling with Frezno's Games Of The 2017 Thing!

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 First Impressions: 2017 Christmas Special (Twice Upon A Time)

I'm seein' double! FOUR Doctors!
Oh fuck. Here we are, at long last. For months I've pondered what I would write here. Now we're here... and where do I even begin? It's not just the end of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who, but the end of Steven Moffat's seven-year tenure as the head of it all. It's a particularly bittersweet finale for me personally. I did some review podcasts with my pal Rainiac in the Matt Smith years, but it was the Peter Capaldi era where I became a regular guest, just to his immediate virtual left. Not only that, but 2014 and the start of the Peter Capaldi era is where I made a request on a whim. I pitched the idea of doing Doctor Who First Impressions to the webmistress of a site called Boss Dungeon, Andrea Ritsu. She said yes, and I got through the first series on there. Boss Dungeon's gone now, and those writeups are still here on the blog... but the point is, a girl giving me a chance to write about something I loved started all of this. I can't thank Andrea enough. Point is, the Peter Capaldi era is when I started looking at this show I love dearly with a more critical analysis mindset. It has enriched my enjoyment of the thing, in letting me analyse running themes and motifs in greater detail. Would I have adored Clara Oswald as much if I hadn't picked up on those teacher/mirror of the Doctor details? Maybe not. Writing about this era of the show made me love it more, and now that era has waltzed off into the sunset. Let's give Capaldi, and Moffat, one last critical analysis. Let's talk, you and I, about Twice Upon A Time.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 31 (Halloween H20)

Happy Halloween! Was it a productive day? Did you get any Halloween treats? I have a bunch left over so I'm currently snacking on shit intended to be given to nine year-olds in masks. We gave out Reese's cups. Y'know. The good shit. Of course, as a grown-ass adult I can't go out and get candy from strangers... so instead I watched movies with the horrifying death of human beings as spooky entertainment. John Carpenter's Halloween has become a tradition for me since 2013, and rewatching it today it's just as great. I wrote about it last year as the capstone for this, and yeah. Still good! I hold a fair bit of disdain for Halloween 2, and it doesn't really do much for me beyond being Halloween Part 2: This Time With MORE Grisly Kills! Beyond Halloween 3 I don't really care to go after any of the sequels... save this one. The idea of this one sounded neat enough that I figured I'd give it a spin. A Godzilla 1984 sort of situation that ignores all of that other stuff I don't care about to be a years-later sequel to the original... and I guess by extension Halloween 2 has to be there because it also continues the Laurie Strode plotline. Fine, okay, it's canon. What does the world of Halloween look like 20 years later, its own future update now almost as old as the original was at the time? Join me for one last haunt and we'll find out.

Monday, 30 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 30 (Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei)

One last song and dance before the finale, kids! We've got a doozy of a secret origin here, as these are the roots of a long-running series. Shin Megami Tensei and its various branches are a hell of a thing, and this year I completed two of them. The first, Persona 4 Golden, was a complete masterpiece and I wrote 5000 words about it. It is almost assuredly the second-best, if not best, video computer game I played this year. The second game, on the other hand, was the original. Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei. Well, the Super Famicom remake, but who's counting? I didn't really write about it, though I likely could have. Good thing I didn't, because now I can do this. That first game was actually a loose adaptation of a series of horror novels... and the first of those novels was actually turned into a Japanese OVA. It was watching that which got me to play Megami Tensei the first, and now I've returned to waffle about it for a few hundred words as one of the closers of our marathon. Dig in, kids. We're going into one hell of a world here.