Monthly Archives: July 2014

Indie Wonderland: Frederic: Resurrection of Music

Readers, a random Jarenth Info Tidbit for you: my favourite famous classical composer is Frédéric Chopin. I’ve never quite managed to figure out why this is, but it is so regardless. I mean, his music is beyond excellent, there’s that. And his war-torn history of exile and turbulent personal life are definitely interesting reads. And I may just have a soft spot for the name ‘Frédéric’, e-accents and all.

But really, probably both the dumbest and most influential reason I came to like Chopin as much as I do is that, back when I bought my Xbox 360, one of the first games I got to play on it was Eternal Sonata, the JRPG that — and this summary doesn’t really do it a lot of justice — you watch and play the story Frédéric Chopin as he explores a magical musical dream world which represents his dying mind. It’s a game I enjoyed on many levels: while it’s often held up as a prime example of the nonsense and weirdery that JRPGs tend to get up to, it turns out that there are people who really enjoy things like that! And the fact that it implies that Chopin, literally on his death bed, had the presence of mind and the mental fortitude to think up an entire world, backstory, and oddly engrossing location-based RPG combat system, cemented him in my mind as Probably A Pretty Amazing Dude Overall.

Now, the reason I’m telling you all this is because, while browsing Steam for inspiration a few weeks back, I ran across a game called Frederic: Resurrection of Music. A creation of one Forever Entertainment S.A., Frederic: Resurrection of Music promises to follow the journey of a resurrected Frederic Chopin as he travels around the world, challenging other musicians to duels based on modern interpretations of his work.

So, basically, another game where I’d guide Frédéric Chopin through a magical wonderland of musical whimsy? I couldn’t not play that.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium, but it’s also madness. Mechanical, high, but unimportant.)

After the break: Travelling the world, Frédéric-ing it up, yeah! Casual cartoon racism, less… less yeah.

Talk of the Ninja: Cook, Serve, Impressive!

I’ve been out of town for the past few weeks and I’m not headed home until Saturday, so I wasn’t planning on writing any content for you in the meantime, but then on Monday Jarenth posted a spectacular review of Skyscraper Simulator. It’s a scathing review of something that truly deserves to be scathed, which is generally delightful enough to read, but it was particularly interesting for me because I’ve been playing a sim game lately called Cook, Serve, Delicious! And I’ve found it to be a joyous experience.

I knew I had to write my impressions about it.

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Indie Wonderland: Skyscraper Simulator

Skyscraper Simulator, given to me by online Twitter-friend Irridium Underscores, is ostensibly — if Steam is to be believed — a game by the incredibly unwieldely-named United Independent Entertainment GmbH… or UIG Entertainment, for ‘short’. I say ‘ostensibly’ because, even though UIG Entertainment has an impressive laundry list of simulation games on their website — Airport Simulator, Towtruck Simulator, Waterpark Simulator, Woodcutter Simulator — Skyscraper Simulator isn’t actually on that list. Steam lists a company called Actalogic as a second developer, but their site is deader than disco. Which leaves us, the players, with the uncomfortable impression that… maybe Skyscraper Simulator hasn’t been developed at all? Maybe it’s always existed, part of the boundary conditions of the universe? Implacably watching, observing, waiting?

Anyway: the aforementioned Irridium gifted my Skyscraper Simulator under the condition that, if this game does allow you to create your own skyscrapers, I create a penis skyscraper for him. Not just a tall tower, too, something as close to anatomically correct as it would let me. Which, let’s be honest: I was probably going to try doing that anyway. I guess that does mean there’s a better-than-average chance of this column ending up NSFW. But then again, given that I write this column to ramble about video games, should you really be reading this at work to begin with?

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, n/a. Mechanical, medium, I GUESS.)

After the break: Skyscraper Simulator. Interesting gameplay experiment or massive falsehood in advertisement? It’s… it’s the latter.

Indie Wonderland: The Last Federation

“Hey, you should check out GoG during the Steam Sale weeks as well! They have these timed offers where you get games for free!” It were these words, two weeks ago, that repeatedly brought me to the hallowed home of the Good Old Games. Free games were promised, and free games, delivered… but while hanging out there, I couldn’t help but notice GoG was also running a number of frankly ludicrous deals on a whole bunch of other games. There’s something about high discount percentages that short-circuit my brain’s ability to engage in protracted reasoning.

And this is how I found myself suddenly in possession of The Last Federation, a recent entrant in GoG’s possibly-Good definitely-not-Old Games line. I read three bylines about how it was a game about interstellar politics, I noticed a few glowing user reviews, I saw that it was currently 40% off, and hey, suddenly, it was mine. I know so little about it. I didn’t even see who created it!

I guess I could look up this game’s creator before we start… orrrrr….

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, Low. Mechanical, High…ly confused.)

After the break: Going in blind, yeah! Time to unite all the races in the galaxy, or whatever.

Join our Steam group today!

You heard it here first: Ninja Blues has an official Steam group now!

If you join, well, on top of representing a website you might think is neat, you may have the opportunity to play some community-wide gaming sessions! I have several games in mind (The Ship, Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, maybe Warframe, and I’m open to suggestions) but I’ll have a much better idea of what we can do once people join. It all depends on how many readers are able and willing to join up for scheduled gaming excursions.

The Steam group also showcases our new logo, brought to you by Val, the same person that made our site’s banner and background. Here’s her commissions page if you’d like her to make art for you.