Ranneko Plays Twitch Achievements – Channel Update 2017-12-15

Twitch recently rolled out achievements. Normally I don’t really get why you would want achievements for website usage, but I guess this both fits their brand and helps solve a very important problem: How do I know if I am affiliate or partner material?

While trying to rebuild my buffer (which I mostly also stream to my twitch channel) I noticed I was remarkably close to filling all the requirements for Twitch affiliate and on Wednesday of this week I succeeded!

I had some fun just doing more normal Heat Signature streams for a change rather than the slightly awkward non-interactive Let’s Play recording streams I normally do. I will have to see if I can make time for more in the future.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday and Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Ran Is Away Too
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips / Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Indie Wonderland: The Sexy Brutale

Tequila WorksThe Sexy Brutale has received tons of critical praise since its release in April of this year. I’ve watched and read a small number of non-spoiler reviews, all of which impressed on me how good this game supposedly is and that I should play it as soon as possible right away. It’s been on my games-I-intend-to-play-and-review list for a while now. I’ve owned it since June. I just didn’t get around to it.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m trying to fix my mistakes, okay.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low-ish. Mechanical, medium-high-ish.)

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break: The Sexy Brutale. Did I honestly forget to play this game for months, or am I doing a clever meta-bit that relates to the game’s overall… No, no, I just actually forgot.

Ranneko Plays Running the Buffer Low – Channel Update 2017-12-08

Since getting back from Australia I have been taking my time for myself. Just spending time playing what I want to play and not doing much in the way of recording. This was probably a mistake because I have surprisingly few free weekends and the current buffer ends on Sunday the 10th of December.

This means you can expect to see a fair amount of streaming this weekend while I try to rebuild the buffer. Just keep an eye on https://twitch.tv/ranneko or my twitter feed for announcements.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday and Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Ran Is Away Too
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips / Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Indie Wonderland: Kingdoms and Castles

Hey, you know what’d be nice? At the end of this, the Hell Year? To look at a video game that’s explicitly not about violence and destruction, but about development and creation. Too many games have a vocabulary of only violent verbs: kill this, destroy that, steal such, hurt so. And there’s room for those, to be sure, but sometimes it feels like they’re all there is room for. Or maybe they’re just what I reach for when I don’t feel like being critical, it’s entirely possible this is me. Either way, how about a more pleasant game for once?

Now, I can’t prove I mumbled this to myself mere minutes before the Steam promotion email for Lion Shield‘s Kingdoms and Castles hit my inbox. But doesn’t that sound like great serendipity either way? Just the fact that this game was apparently on my Steam wishlist… I don’t even remember adding it there. Plus, Lion Shield’s mission statement is explicitly “Lion Shield seeks to make games with three core values: players’ creative expression, strategic decisions, and beauty.

If you add those two together, this might be a Christmas Period Miracle.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low. Mechanical, high-ish.)

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: But will Kingdoms and Castles be a miracle for my violence-plagued soul, or will it ‘miraculously’ cure me of all desire for city-building games? ONly one way to find out!

Ranneko Plays Picking A New Game – Channel Update 2017-12-01

This week Ran Signature came to an end, and (spoiler alert) the Ransistance too will soon come to a close, this means I have to pick both a shorter game for the Sunday slot and another longer game. Generally when this happens I start looking through my steam library, trying to find recent additions or just games that have been sitting on my backlog for quite some time. I try to keep in mind game length when I do this, I reserve different lengths of games from each game slot.

Sometimes I am reminded of a game I started ages that I want to finish, or a game I remember generating a lot of discussion and I slot that in, other times I talk to people or ask for suggestions. I try to avoid First Person Shooters, not because I don’t like them, but from past experience they take too much focus from me, making it too difficult to keep up commentary. I also try to avoid games in genres I have no real interest in like sports or racing.

In the case of the next Sunday game, I have picked Emily is Away Too, I was surprised to see it pop up in the November humble bundle given I had absolutely no idea they had made a sequel to Emily is Away. I am looking forward to exploring it.

The last week’s releases were:

Saturday and Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Ran Signature
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips / Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

‘Indie Wonderland’: The ADOM Review That Didn’t Materialize

Along with Rogue and Nethack, Thomas Biskup‘s Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM from here on out) is often billed as one of the great fantasy adventure games of the ASCII era. It’s a sprawling epic of a game, dozens of races and classes and possibilities and a hundred years of implied backstory set in the giant world map of the Drakalor Chain. It’s the first and so far only one of those big three games that I’ve actually played, and I have good (if time-dulled) memories of sitting side-by-side with a friend, playing our respective characters and dying our respective deaths and slowly figuring out how all this stuff works. And how we could subvert the whole no-save thing with clever use of hand-written batch files. You know who you are, friend who still reads this work; say hi in the comments!

I recently learned of, and got a review key for, the Steam version of ADOM. I interpreted what I saw and read as an attempted remaster, which got me interested: For all its perks, ADOM is very inaccessible, in the way that ASII games from that era usually are. A remastered ADOM, made visually accessible and incorporating contemporary game design wisdom, has the potential to be an incredible thing. I happily entered the key, downloaded the game, booted it up, and rolled my first Grey Elf Elementalist, figuring everything would be alright forever.

I’ll give you a moment to take in the title of this review real quick.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, basically nothing. Mechanical, basically inscrutable.)

(Game source: Review key.)

After the break: The reasons three why this is a list of reasons three, instead of a proper review.

Ranneko Plays Double Update – Channel Update 2017-11-24

Time to play a little catch up on the channel. With Torment: Tides of Numenera completed, I needed to come up with another game to play in that slot. Time was short as this occurred during the preparation for my Australia trip and I hadn’t anticipated Torment finishing quite so soon but I quickly spotted an obvious candidate in my steam list: Pillars of Eternity.

Long time viewers may remember that I started Pillars of Eternity sometime last year and stopped because 1) I was getting a little tired of the constant fighting and 2) the series was getting a little long. Given the tendency for the audience to drop off over the course of a long series it generally isn’t a great idea to have a super long 100+ episode series.

On the other hand, I really want to finish Pillars of Eternity and doing a Let’s Play of a game helps me stick with it and play consistently. So back to Dyrwood we go, let’s see just how long this RPG is. Should I start cutting down on the fights or sidequests to speed things up?

The last two week’s releases were:

Saturday and Thursday: Pillars of Ranternity
Sunday: Ran Signature
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips / Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Let's jump some JUMPS

Indie Wonderland: Omegaland

Sometimes you have to take a chance on a game you know nothing about. Or so I tell myself; the drive to only ever play the RPG adventures and metroidvanias and interesting experimental games (and visual novels) that I know I’ll enjoy (or loathe deeply) is ever-present. But without boundary pushing, how could I expect any sort of critical growth? Stagnation is death when it comes to writing.

Anyway, this unexpectedly wordy paragraph only serves to explain why I picked up Jonas Kyratzes‘s Omegaland. It looks for all the world like baby’s first platforming game, which isn’t generally a genre I’m wild about. But I know looks can be deceiving in projects like this; I have played Frog Fractions. So maybe there’s more to this game than meets the eye? The Steam page‘s “be prepared for few surprises along the way” (sic) does suggest that…

Then again, it might not be. Should I be judging this book by its cover? Only one way to find out.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low. Mechanical, medium-high.)

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Listen, I’m really hoping to be the first to discover the next Frog Fractions, okay. But not in like a Frog Fractions 2 kind of way, like – listen, it doesn’t matter, here’s Omegaland.

Ranneko Plays The End of Torment – Delayed Channel Update 2017-11-10

This update was delayed somewhat on the grounds that I was helping out at and then attending a wedding. The end of my Australia trip was super busy and I didn’t have the time or inclination to get this written up.

During this particular week; I finished up Torment: Tides of Numenera. It has been quite a journey, not only was there 67 episodes of the main series, but there are another 46 episodes of Torment Thursdays and playing around with the initial beta and 3 episodes of playing the alphas. I have spent about 76 hours reading out a lot of text.

I think what I enjoyed most about the game was the opportunity to spend time exploring the setting of Numenera. Unfortunately, my total pen and paper experience with Numenera has consisted of half of a oneshot adventure but I have always enjoyed the ideas expressed in the setting. Exploring a world that has seen advanced civilizations rise and fall so many times that the world is fully of ancient debris right down to the soil and Torment: Numenera was a good vehicle to explore it.

As far as the ending, I was surprised at how persuasively the Sorrow was written. She has been relentlessly pursuing us the entire game and we have witnessed her destroy not just other Castoffs, but also other more apparently innocent people and yet she was able to explain her purpose and convince me that this could not continue. I don’t think I have ever had the villain convince me over to their side before.

The releases for the week ending on 2017-11-10 were:

Saturday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Sunday: Ran Signature
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen
Tuesday: Heat Signature Hot Tips / Ranneko’s Tuesday Tips

After the break, more about the videos that released last week!

Indie Wonderland: Songbringer

I first heard of Wizard Fu Games‘s Songbringer in that most me way of hearing about new games: An online acquaintance hyped it on Twitter. I otherwise have very little idea what to expect from Songbringer. It bills itself as a ‘procedural action RPG’, which, what exactly does that mean? What do those words in that order tell us about what this game is? Nothing, that’s what. Which means there’s only one way I’m going to find out…

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium. Mechanical, medium-high-ish.)

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break: By playing Songbringer, that’s what I meant. That’s how I’m going to find out. No, Wikipedia is not ‘just as good a solution’.