Monthly Archives: December 2014

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 13: Two For One

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, the Franco-Iberian people took their first tentative steps into the sweet robotic future of Supremacy. Our units are sleek and angular, our guns fire strange undefined plasma, and our colours of choice are black and yellow. Fully half of each of my cities currently looks like Human Revolution’s neo-Detroit, but it’s safe to say that we did, in fact, ask for this.

After the break: This Supremacy stuff is pretty cool. I want more of it! More points, more units, more skyscrapers, more wonders.

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 12: Supreme Commander

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I made friends and influenced people. Specifically, Suzanne Fielding, CEO of the American Reclamation Corporation. Though cool towards me at first, a long-running series of developments including ‘me finally being useful to her through the medium of trade’ and ‘me being good friends with another guy she kinda likes’ have finally warmed her to the idea of an honest-to-goodness military alliance. And while neither Suzanne, Samatar nor me are necessarily front-runner contenders — okay, Samatar is actually doing pretty okay on his own, but Suzanne is literally in last place — I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the power block formed by our three-way alliance may be the most impressive display of muscle on Terra Atlantea.

Let’s see if that claim’ll ever be put to the test.

After the break: I wander further down the path of damnation. And by ‘damnation’ I mean ‘sweet robotic transhumanism’.

Ninja Blues, Non-Official Curators Of Goodness

Heya, readers! Ninjas? Bluesies? What do we call you guys, anyway? ‘Cool people who know where it’s at’?

Anyway, cool people who know where it’s at, a little bit of site news for you. Since we haven’t been very vocal about this, it may have fallen by the wayside that we have an official Ninja Blues Steam group you can totally join. And back when Steam curation became a thing, we expanded that group with our official Ninja Blues curation list.

It’s a small list, at the moment, as we’ve only recently started doing this. But I can guarantee you that every game on that list carries the Official Jarenth And/Or Ninjustin Seal of This Is A Pretty Okay Game, You Guys. And, obviously, more will be coming as we encounter and play more games that are worth recommending.

And thanks for reading Ninja Blues, all of you! Stick with us, kids, because we’re going places.

– Jarenth.

– Or Ninjustin.

– Who wrote this post? Ha ha, you’ll never know!

– Unless you’ve been reading for long enough to recognize that this is typically a style Jarenth would write in.

– Dang.

Unless it’s a ninja trick, haha! Uncertainty: restored!

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 11: For The Alliance

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I put into motion my nap-powered stratagems for getting my civilization back on the rails. No more flailing after every popup, losing units to stupid garbage left and right, or worthless battles with eminently uninteresting aliens for this. From now on it’s all about trade, expansion, solidifying alliances, and gaining the power and standing I need to be able to win this game in the long run.

The poorly-thought-out, entirely unfocused research and technology selection can stay, though. I mean, that’s kinda become my jam at this point.

After the break: To say that my plan falls apart almost *immediately* would be a bit of a lie. Because it actually seems to work quite well!

Indie Wonderland: Go, Go, Nippon! ~My First Trip To Japan~

Woof. Lemme tell you something, readers: these visual novels and dating sims are getting to me. I’ve been doing this VNADS nonsense for, how long, two months now? Two and a half? And I haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg for what’s available. Hell, I haven’t even started scratching the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been taking loose-lying pieces of ice for handy-dandy drink refreshment and patting myself on the back for bravely diving into the weird and wonderful world of visual novels.

I need to wrap up the VNADS experiment soon. At least for this year. I’ve been letting so many interesting indie games pass by simply because they weren’t visual novels! It’s honestly driving me a little mad. Plus, I think I might be starting to parse my real-life conversations in visual novel terms? I’ll probably revisit this idea again, next year — maybe as an annual autumn celebration of sorts? For now, you get this week’s article, then I’m taking next week off for Christmas purposes, and then one to close out the old year and lead in the new. I even have just the game picked out, too. Don’t worry, you’ll love it.

As for this week: don’t ask me how I decided on Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip To Japan~ (Go Go Nippon from here on out). If you have to ask, you’ll never really understand the answer. Look at it! It bills itself as sort of an animated guide book to visiting Japan… except it’s also a romance-driven visual novel? And the Steam tag ‘Nudity’ promises some great things as well. I have zero idea how easy-to-write-about this game’ll end up being, but I assume you all understand that I have to find out.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, somewhat high, for those parts of it that can meaningfully be spoiled. Mechanical, still a visual novel!.)

After the break: visiting Japan, yeah! Learning facts and trivia, yeah! Incredibly contrived romance, yeah!

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 10: Change of Plans

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I built the Panopticon, a genuine world wonder! Yeah, woo, go me! Sure, the Panopticon’s benefits aren’t exactly earth-shaking… and the fourteen turns it took could probably have gone towards more productive ends… and it hasn’t really changed my power standing among the colony leaders much…

But hey, what matters is that I got a mediocre boost to a score that doesn’t really matter in the long run in the best of situations! Yeah!

After the break: I sleep on things.

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 9: It’s A Wonderful Life

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I didn’t break any rocks in the hot sun. I did, however, fight the aliens, and the aliens lost like chumps. Their champion land unit, a giant Siege Worm, died from procrastination. It’s almost like they’re a barely sapient race of underdeveloped bug monsters and I’m a scientifically-focused group of heavily armed tool-using invaders. Nobody could have predicted this outcome.

Annelid dominance notwithstanding, though, I’m still far from being out of the woods. The Le Coeur Hinterlands are still flush with aliens, including a second Siege Worm. But more to the point, roughhousing with the locals does nothing to improve my standing among the other colony leaders, most of whom — statistically — are doing much better than I am. Barring some kind of breakthrough, or miracle, I actually don’t know how I’m going to get on top of this. If I’m going to get on top of this. I don’t like saying this, even to myself, but… it’s possible I hobbled myself so much through bad choices and a poor starting position that it’s unlikely or impossible for me to catch back up.

Doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying, though.

After the break: I do what the other players do, in order to be more like what the other players… be.

Streaming on Wednesday

Whoops, I was supposed to post this yesterday.

Hi Internet! I’m Ninjustin and we’re going to stream on the Hitbox channel, same time as usual — 2:00 PM Central. Jarenth is gonna be behind the wheel this time — he’s planning on playing either The Binding of Isaac Rebirth or Lichdom: Battlemage.

I just realized that I haven’t really talked here about how the streams have gone so far. Honestly, we’re enjoying them! I used to stream occasionally for my old dead blog, and I generally had one or maybe two people in the chatbox. This time we tend to have maybe five people chatting, and that combined with the fact that two people are on the stream means that people can chat with one another about how we’re doing, and the person not playing the game can keep up with the chatbox and bring up questions that the two of us can then answer. It’s working pretty well so far.

We’re streaming on Wednesday instead of Saturday this week because on Thursday I’m taking a trip. The trip will be two weeks long, so I don’t know if we’ll get any streaming or podcasting done during that time, but I think I’ll be able to write a bit.

Anyway, we hope to see you there!

Indie Wonderland: WORLD END ECONOMiCA (Episode.01)

You know what? Sometimes, you just gotta go by instinct. A few weeks ago, in the comments section for that most inspiring of visual novels (Sakura Spirit), a commenter by the name of Pawel (345) mentioned that if I was ever in the market for non-awful visual novels, I could try… well, it was a whole list, but the thing that stuck out is the two particular games mentioned that were on Steam: WORLD END ECONOMiCA, and Hatoful Boyfriend.

Sometimes, you just gotta go by instinct. WORLD END ECONOMiCA, developed by Spicy Tails and brought to Steam through the Kickstarted efforts of Sekai Project, being mentioned in the same breath as Hatoful Boyfriend, a game that I unreservedly recommend to anyone ever? I’m not incredibly superstitious, but it seems to me that sort of thing might mean something.

And, well, that’s how we find ourselves here, readers. WORLD END ECONOMiCA, silly capitalization non-optional, episode 1 of 3. Sometimes, you just gotta go by instinct.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, really very high, particularly on page 2. Mechanical, not a factor.)

After the break: then again, sometimes you shouldn’t.

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 8: Under Siege

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, the aliens did it. You crazy bastards, you actually did it. No longer content simply with causing poison clouds, or with picking off my trespassing Explorers, or destroying my roads and improvements with their destructive worm bodies, or even preying on unguarded Trade Convoys, a pack of Wolf Beetles has actually directly attacked my one squad of Rangers. And… well, that’s it, then. Animals in your back yard that roughhouse and damage your property is one thing, but if one of them bites you in the arm? You have no choice but to put them down.

After the break: the aliens learn to regret their mistake. Assuming they have the capacity to learn.