Thursday, June 21, 2018

You're Not Rotten, Just Forgotten || Forgotton Anne (PC)


Athazagoraphobia: the fear of being forgotten or ignored and fear of forgetting.”

Beautiful environments

Forgotton Anne is a 2D indie-adventure game that is heavily story-driven. Created by ThroughLine Games and published by the Square Enix Collective, Forgotton Anne follows the tale of Anne, the Enforcer of the forgotton world. When the game started, I was reminded of a movie I watched called OblivionIsland: Haruka and the Magic Mirror. In the movie, Haruka loses a mirror that was a precious possession to her and finds her way to a world of lost and forgotten things. Forgotton Anne is very different from the movie, but the world made me think of that movie.

Anne is the Enforcer of the world, which means it’s her job to keep the forgotlings from getting out of hand and dealing with the rebels (forgotlings that want to stop the construction of the Ether Bridge). Anne seems to have a bit of a ruthless reputation to the forgotlings, which I suppose is well warranted since Anne could distill them without thinking twice about it.

The color schemes are beautiful as well

The story is well told, nicely paced, and deeply emotional. The characters all have their own motives and personalities, and I enjoyed meeting all of the different forgotlings in the world. There are many decisions to make, mostly related to whether you’ll distill certain forgotlings, or try to reason your way out of it. Given my own personality, I tried my best to talk my way out of everything.

The game is overwhelmingly beautiful, with a style similar to a Miyazaki film. Anne herself reminded me a little bit of Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. The animations are pretty smooth, and I loved the variety of movements, and the thoughtfulness put into how she moves—like stepping on every step when taking the stairs or having a specific turning animation while crawling.

There were a few things that ruffled mt feathers, but some of it is really nitpicking. For example, in the plant, when Anne descended a set of stairs, I noticed that the stairs appeared in front of her feet, instead of behind. A small issue, but I still noticed. Once when I was trying to drop down from a ledge, instead of falling, Anne changed to her animation pose when she hits the floor and fell down in that pose. I also was moved around the screen once as if I was on a moving platform, but I wasn’t.  The other issue I had was with the platforming. Sometimes I would be holding the run or wings buttons, but when I tried to jump it wouldn’t work—and sometimes it didn’t register my jumping at all and I would just fall.

This game gave me plenty of reasons to be sad.

Despite these little issues, I still found the game amazing. The music was beautiful, the sound design was thoughtful and created an immersive atmosphere. I often felt like I was strolling though a Miyazaki film. The environments are so detailed and well put together. I appreciate the time and effort that was put into it. I *highly* recommend you pick the game up for yourself and give it a play through. You can pick it up on Steam *here* for $19.99. The game took about 7.5 hours for me to complete, and it was a joy the entire time, so I feel it’s worth it.

Be sure to let me know down below what you thought about it! Did you stay with the forgotlings, or return to the Ether?

Thank you, as always. Until next time!
Bellannmae

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Where Gaming Begins! || Origins 2018


Over the weekend, I went down to Columbus with some friends to attend a day at Origins 2018. In case you don’t know what Origins is, it’s a convention where gamers and creators gather for 5 days of game filled shenanigans. Everything from tabletop games to role playing can be found at Origins. This was my first-year attending, so I was particularly excited—even if I just wanted to see all the Dungeons and Dragons things.

From the left: John, Me, Bethany, and Ashtan

I went with some of my close friends: John, Ashtan, and Bethany—our DnD. Our group is getting ready to start a Dungeons and Dragons Tal’Dorei campaign, but more about that another time. There were a lot of interesting things we saw. Ashtan and John even got to meet Chris Perkins. Bethany and I went to the Dungeons and Dragons hall to get our hands on some DnD tote bags (Plus, she and I didn’t really know who Chris Perkins was).  I love DnD, but I’ve never really been immersed in the popular culture of DnD until recent years.

There were also massive amounts of table top games, and so many different companies were there to show their wares. If I had a million dollars there would have been so many things I would have gotten for myself, and for my friends. However, I didn’t. I got my daughter a Hatsune Miku blind bag, because she’s very into Miku’s music right now, and I also got some dice, and a comic book from a local artist.

I got a "misfit" metal set, and a mini minty green set.

We only had one day, so there was so much we didn’t get to do. We didn’t get to demo as many games as we wanted, and we lost track of some of the things we wanted to come back to. The vendor floor was so big and flooded with so many people that is quickly became mildly overwhelming. I should have been more prepared for that amount of people, but I wasn’t. It was my own fault. Next year I’ll be more prepared.

I even saw some cosplayers! I didn’t get any pictures of them as generally it was just in passing and I was often distracted by all of the shiny and pretty things. I was thoroughly impressed with the skill and variety of the vendors. I wish there had been more comic books, but I get that it was a gaming convention. I would need to hit up Ohayocon or something for more comic and manga related merch.

John and Bethany demo-ed Stroop

The one game my friends did end up buying was Stroop. I watched John and Bethany demo it, and it looked interesting. I was too exhausted to demo it myself, but I look forward to taking part at the next game night we hold. Stroop is a game based on the Stroop Effect. Stroop effect is a demonstration of interference in the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., "blue", "green", or "red") is printed in a color which is not denoted by the name (i.e., the word "red" printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color.



Overall, my first visit to Origins was a huge success! My legs were tired, and my nerves were shot, but it was worth it in the end. Memories were made, and fun times were had. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to get a hotel room and stay for an extra day to really get the full experience or demoing games and meeting other people.  

Below I’ll post any other pictures I have:

I love my Octopus bois.  

A poster a got in my DnD tote

Ashtan and I

We spotted a Holly!

Be careful, I think that's a Mimic

Bards of Entertainment

Thank you for reading, as always. Until next time!
Bellannmae

Thursday, June 14, 2018

So I'm gonna fly! || Mimi's Delivery Dash


“We need to find our own inspiration. Sometimes, it’s not easy.” –Ursula, Kiki’s Delivery Service

Even the title screen throw me back to the movie :)

Mimi’s Delivery Dash is a short game created by Caffinate for the Movie Game Jam 2018. The game was created in 10 days, which is impressive for the amount of polish this little game has. I may be a little biased since Kiki’s Delivery Service was the movie that introduced me to Studio Ghibli and holds a dear place in my heart. Kiki’s Delivery Service is also the movie that Caffinate based this game on.

In the movie, Kiki is a young witch who leaves home to begin her training. She uses her flying abilities to make deliveries for a bakery to get by, but one day she finds that she has lost her ability to fly. Kiki spends the rest of the movie trying to find her spirit within to regain the ability she lost.

Someone has a delivery to be made!

In the game you play as Mimi, and you are making deliveries on your broom. The controls are simple enough, and you have a select key and a boost key. I like the various references in the game from the movie also. The music and sound effects are all very pleasing, and the visuals are beautiful.

Overall, this game gave me a wonderful sense of nostalgia and made me very happy. I want to go watch Kiki’s Delivery Service now (which I also recommend)! There is only one level, but I definitely wanted more because I enjoyed it so much. You can download this little for yourself free from Itch.io *here*. Let me know what you thought down below! Have you seen the movie?

Thank you, as always. Until next time!
Bellannmae

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

It's that time! || E3 (Thoughts and Excitement!)


I missed the first day of E3 because I was deathly ill, which sucks, but I was up and ready for day 2 with the Ubisoft conference, and Sony of course. I was caught up one the other E3 showcases, so I wanted to just write a bit about what I’m excited for going forward, or any surprises.

Vacation, anyone?

I think one of the biggest surprises I got out of E3 was a teaser for a new Elder Scrolls, and the speculation of where it takes place—Hammerfell perhaps? Or High Rock? Wherever it is, it’s beautiful. I’m excited to see what new stories will be told, and where we will go from there. I guess maybe I should stop fooling around and finish Skyrim, then…

One of the games I think I’m most excited for is Skull and Bones. It’s about PIRATES, ya’ll. If you know me, you know I love pirates. My love only grew a few years back after I watched a Starz series called Black Sails—which I also recommend. Back to the game, it looked stunning. The character models, the water effects, the ships… they all looks so realistic. From what I gathered, it also looks like there will be realistic changing weather, boat customization, and probably much more. The combat looked challenging, but interesting as well. I am really looking forward to seeing this game in the future and hope to get my hands on it.

I’m not a big player of Assassin’s Creed games, not because I don’t enjoy them, but because my stealth ability in games is… pretty sad to be honest. I have to say that I am excited to see the new Assassin’s Creed teaser. Ancient Greece? Sign me up!

Playstation had some big offerings with a new Destiny expansion coming in September, and The Last of Us part 2. Control looked interesting, and very physics based with what looks like a lot of anti-gravity going on.

Well look at you now.

What’s this? A Resident Evil 2 REMAKE?! Color me excite, guys. RE2 was one of my favorites. And it looks quite good. It gave me an immense sense of nostalgia to see it, and I hope that it lives up to the expectations.

Even games that I haven’t played much of or haven’t heard much of looked good. Such as The Division 2, or the next For Honor game. Also, a new Dragon Quest!  And Kingdom Hearts 3, of course.

Nintendo made some big impressions also. Even though I don’t personally own a Switch, they got me excited. Daemon X Machina—I have a soft spot for giant mech suits, so this made me all warm and fuzzy. A new Xenoblade Chronicles, new Pokemon adventures, Super Mario Party… there was a lot to love from Nintendo this E3.

I appreciate a good epic battle.

I was surprised to see Fortnite being brought to Switch! Well, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised, since Fortnite has made quite a craze of itself.  I WAS excited to see a new Fire Emblem announced! I do enjoy the tactical battles, beautiful environments and story.

The future of gaming looks good, at least for now. There were also a lot of indie titles announced that I’m stoked for! Like a DLC for Cuphead, Tunic, After Party, Harold Halibut (SUPER excited for that one!), Children of Morta, and more.

What games are you most excited for in the coming months/year? Let me know down below!
Until next time, friends!

Bellannmae

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The gift of Myrrh...dur! Murder! || 1st Degree [DEMO] (PC)


When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” –Mark Twain

I love the intensity

1st Degree is a murder-mystery 18+ BL visual novel in the works by Parival. You play as Rei, a detective / copycat murderer, who is trying to catch / understand the methods of a killer that has been dubbed “The Doctor”. Outside of the whole murder thing, Rei is a typical smart ass, sarcastic protagonist that we all know and love. The game is still in demo mode, but it has me excited to see a full version.

You meet a large cast of characters in the demo, each with a unique personality. I love that this demo is fully voiced, since it really helps to bring something a bit more personal to the characters. All of the voices seem to fit the characters, but man… Aiden’s voice gives me shivers (in a good way). But in terms of looks, I think it’s a tie between Leo and Minami.

Good ol Rei

I like the story of the game. I’m always a fan of murder-mystery, and I think the twist of having the killer (or one of them) as the main character is interesting. I also wonder how his… extra-curricular activities will cause conflict later in the game. 

The artwork is very nice, and the designs for the characters are all lovely. I love the variety of expressions, as well as the well detailed backgrounds. The sound and music are well done as well.

One thing that I really appreciated with this demo was the use of a glossary. 1st Degree uses a lot of different medical terms which can be confusing some someone who doesn’t have a lot of medical background. While I didn’t need to use the glossary, I think it’s a wonderful thing to include for players.

Everyone has to relax somehow

Overall, I’m very excited to see how this game develops. Rest assured I’ll be buying the full copy when it releases! If you’re interested, you can download the demo free from Itch.io *here*, and there are also links on the page to follow the game as it progresses. Let me know what you think down below!

Thank you, as always. Until next time!
Bellannmae

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I Had to Fold! || A Tale of Paper (PC)

As long as we don’t die, this is gonna be one hell of a story.” –John Green

Our little paper friend looks like a KH Heartless

A Tale of Paper is a daring adventure created by OpenHouseGames. You play as an Origami figure trying to survive in an unknown world filled with water, murderous Roomba vacuums and spiders. Let’s jump right into talking about the game!

I enjoyed playing this game despite some issues I had—particularly with controls. As much as I love my little origami friend, I really struggled at times to get them to do what I wanted. Jumping was awkward, especially as a frog. It felt I needed for control over the distance I was trying to jump.

Found a... friend?

I like the variety of origami transformations you get, and the functionality of each. I love the environments (particularly the room with the planets) and the music is fitting. I really like the premise, and I feel the developers had a great idea with this game. Some parts of the game feel a little unpolished or awkward, but it doesn’t take away from the overall feeling.

I wasn’t able to finish this game, because I had issues with the controls. I wasn’t able to make it past the part where you’re running from a spider, Crash Bandicoot style. I kept getting stuck on things in the environment I shouldn’t have gotten stuck on or falling into the puddles of water because I couldn’t see them quick enough. After 15 minutes, I had to quit to save my sanity. I may try again another day, but for now I will appreciate what the game has given me thus far.

It was fun to hop around as a frog

I hope that OpenHouseGames continue to create interesting and unique games like this in the future. Be sure to download the game to try for yourself, free from Itch.io *here*. Let me know what you thought down below. Did you make it past the spider?


Thank you, as always. Until Next time,
Bellannmae

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Silent Story || A Raven Monologue (PC)


Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” –Dr. Seuss

Starting off all alone

A Raven Monologue is a bit more of a story than it is a game, but I wanted to let people know about it anyway. A Raven Monologue was created by Mojiken Studio and is describes as an experimental silent story about a Raven who does not know how to croak, and his relationship with the townspeople.

What stands out most about A Raven Monologue is the artwork. The art is hand drawn and animated, which is something that I personally enjoy and appreciate. Clicking through the story has the feeling of reading a comic book. It’s a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.

We're off on an adventure

The music is phenomenal, and really compliments the game as you play. As for the meaning, I’ve seen a lot of different opinions on what the meaning of the story is, though the creators seem to have left it up for interpretation. It can mean what you need it to mean, I suppose. There is even a discord channel open for discussion on it, and you can find the link to that n the Itch.io page.

When I first played the game, my impression was related to materialism. During the first half of the story, the Raven seems to be collecting things from the people that he meets. When the Raven begins his journey back, he ends up alone. It made me think about how people are more important than things, that the Raven should have spent the time with the people rather than collecting the things.

A friend!

However, I was reading some comments and another thought occurred to me. Mojiken said in their description that the Raven didn’t know how to croak, and someone else pointed out that the things the Raven takes, with the exception of the pinwheel, are all taken from speech bubbles. Could it be that the Raven is actually taking their speech for his own? When I thought of the game like this, it changed the overall tone of it.

Those were my thoughts on it, but perhaps you can interpret it in a different way. Feel free to download the story for yourself, it’s free on Itch.io *here*. Let me know what you thought down below! Did you take something else away from the story that I didn’t?

Thank you, as always, and until next time,
Bellannmae