Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 22: Strike And Counterstrike

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, my long-standing alliance with Suzanne Fielding of the American Reclamation Cooperation very swiftly and unexpectedly crumpled to dust over the course of a handful of turns. It was a frankly upsetting experience, and it took me a little while to adjust to what from my perspective was the fastest face-heel turn in recorded history. Well, Terra Atlantean history, anyway. And then, just as I was getting ready to consolidate my armies back in my home territory and mope… I discovered that Hutama had been massing a fleet and a small army right outside the city of Maeva. The city, you’ll remember, he originally ‘gave’ me to end our earlier war. And while I don’t want to be overly skeptical, right now, I can only assume he’s experiencing some serious gifter’s remorse.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that last episode was not a good day. And prospects for today are… not particularly rose-coloured either.

After the break: Hutama’s being a smarmy, overconfident, predictable jackass. As usual, yes.

Thanatos Plays Dragon Age, Ch. 3

When last we left off, some round-ear decided to crash and come rollin’ up all in the ghetto Alienage, looking for some black Elven ladies to completely objectify.

What a bunch of dicks, right?

This screenshot brought to you by… well, this LP, but also by pretty much every critique of this game which says it's anti-women.

This screenshot brought to you by… well, this LP, but also by pretty much every critique of this game which says it’s anti-women.

Ringleader McBeardy von Dickface up there is actually – although we won’t actually know this for another couple minutes of cutscene – the son of this city’s Arl. The game doesn’t precisely explain what the hell an Arl is, even when this comes up, but it seems important. I’m sure there’s an in-depth explanation buried in the codex somewhere, but what we’re going to tell you *right now* is that the Arl is basically a mayor. Landowner, typically in charge of a city or equivalent chunk of land, commands the local police force which doubles as his ‘loyal’ standing army.

After the break: will pissing off the mayor’s spoiled son have any negative effects? Nah, probably not.

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 21: Forever Alone

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I scared Vadim Kozlov into submission. And by ‘submission’ I mean ‘paying me a large stipend of Energy and resources to stave off an unnecessary war that neither of us were really looking forward to in the first place’. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have engaged in any actual fighting anyway… but it was good to see that, as much as I’ve been fretting over Vadim, he’s apparently at least as afraid of me as I am of him.

Now, with Vadim’s… I’m tempted to call it ‘surrender’, I’m now officially the toughest guy around. Big man on campus, as I said last episode. It’s a good feeling! I can basically strut around and do whatever the hell I want without anyone interfering. I mean, who would dare? So I’m pretty sure this development means that nothing bad will ever happen to me again, ever, until the end of recorded time.

After the break: But then *that* wouldn’t be a very interesting Let’s Play, would it?

Indie Wonderland: SteamWorld Dig

SteamWorld Dig and I have something of a spotty history. I’d seen Image&Form Games‘ fancy robotic digging simulator pass the front pages of Steam every now and again — no relation, as far as I can tell — but in spite of its vibrant colourful look, it never really seemed to appeal to me. I’ve played digging simulators before. Minecraft, Terraria, Starbound. I looked at SteamWorld Dig, and I saw stretch before me another endless progression into the dark bowels of the earth, progressing from ores to tools to better ores to better tools in all-too-familiar pattern. I don’t need another diamond pickaxe, thanks.

But then, last week, Lady Luck saw fit to provide me with a SteamWorld Dig Steam key through the magic of a conveniently-timed #GamesMatter event. And while I was pondering whether or not I should play it for review, I accidentally found some pretty rad SteamWorld Dig fanart on the website of Teslagrad developer Rain Games. Remember those guys from last week? Turns out they really dug SteamWorld Dig, pun only possibly intended.

In other words: on the exact day I found myself capable of getting a SteamWorld Dig key as a gift, I discovered that the developers of a game I really liked a lot themselves quite enjoy this game. I don’t want to say that that makes the pairing of me and SteamWorld Dig destiny… but if there was ever any better reason to bite the bullet and try this game out for myself, I don’t know what that would look like. Maybe some kind of million-dollar-heritage last will clause? “In order to receive my money, you must spend one full night in this haunted video game…”

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, high. Mechanical, high. Be ye warned.)

(Game source: Developer-gifted Steam key, by way of #GamesMatter.)

After the break: But enough about my weird daydreams. How many ores did I dig up in SteamWorld Dig? The answer may honestly surprise you.

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 20: Boogeyman

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, everyone on Terra Atlantea up and decided to start wearing new clothes. Everyone! Even Hutama, sneak-mongering bastard that he is, seems to have taken my advice re: getting a better tailor to heart. Let’s hope he’s equally receptive to my other advice, which involves never ever messing with my civilization again under penalty of obliteration.

Seriously though, that suit looks *much* better on him.

Oh yeah! And Vadim Kozlov decided that it’d be a good idea to start colonizing my shores. In the very last paragraph of the previous episode, I’d just discovered a very recent Slavic Federation Outpost fouling up the place. And I’m… I’m not actually as angry about this as I figured I would be? In a way, I can respect Vadim proactively trying to keep tabs on me. As if he doesn’t have his best operative in my capital anyway, but I digress. Settling an Outpost on my shores is a perfectly valid move from a tactical perspective, and I’m not about to throw a hissy fit over it.

I will probably burn it to the ground, though.

After the break: Clash of the titans! Except, well, not really. Near-collision of the conflict-averse tall guys?

The Star Realms Diaries: Jarenth Vs. Ranneko

Hey, look, everyone! A video about Star Realms! And it has me in it, and Ranneko!

I could explain what this video’s about… or you could start it up right now, and have Ranneko’s smooth, dulcet tones explain the idea to you. I know which version I’d prefer, I’ll tell you what.

After the break: But if you do want to read more about it, you know where to go. It’s… it’s here.

Thanatos Plays Dragon Age, Ch. 2

Last episode, I called my cousin Shianni a drunk. “Get-Drunk-Before-Noon-Day”, I believe was the exact text of the insult.

It was. Also, Fun Fact: Thanatos does not drink and, in fact, disapproves of alcohol in general, so this is actually the option I pick *every time*.

It was. Also, Fun Fact: Thanatos does not drink and, in fact, disapproves of alcohol in general, so this is actually the option I pick *every time*.

She actually brushes off the insult fairly easily, without getting offended. Samantha must have delivered it incorrectly. I would have used more withering disdain, and less having-no-actual-voice. I understand, though: the cost of voice actors for at least twelve different PCs and sets of dialogue would have been astronomically high.
Apparently, the poor sod I’m to marry, a guy named Nelaros, got to the Denerim Alienage earlier than anticipated, and it’s time to get everything thrown together. Fortunately, the family already has this taken care of, so all the blushing bride has to do is throw on her wedding dress:

After the break: what does the wedding dress look like? DON’T LOOK YET IT’S BAD LUCK

Jarenth Plays Civilization: Beyond Earth — Episode 19: Dress To Impress

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I discovered incontrovertible proof of alien life and the possibility of time travel. I then proceeded to blithely ignore all of that… where by ‘I’, I mean ‘Beyond Earth’. Man, I’d have loved for this whole political squabble over land and ideologies to just like that fall by the wayside as a result of this! Who were these past aliens? Why did they bring one human being back in time? How does their time travel work? Can we replicate it? Should we replicate it? What do these discoveries mean for literally every truth we human beings hold self-evident? Who cares about that? Let’s go back to fighting wars over shiny minerals and floating rocks, am I right?

After the break: Or, better yet, let’s play pretty prince dress-up for a while!

Indie Wonderland: Teslagrad

Teslagrad, by developer Rain Games, is one of those rare games that has been on my ‘to-play-soon’ list for a really long time. No, like, for a really long time. A cursory dig through the accumulated strata of my Google Chrome Favourites — guys, I have so many Favourites, you honestly don’t even know — reveals that I first saved a link to the official website back in… February 2013? Is that about right? It was a still a humble in-development website, then, offering a demo and promising a completed game for purchase ‘soon’. ‘Who knows, we might even get on Steam!’ Was this before Steam Greenlight was a thing? It feels about that long ago.

Teslagrad drew my attention because it looked to be developing into a rad 2D platformer themed around electricity and magnetism, so I decided to forego spoiling my experience with a demo, and instead, to keep an eye out for its release. And I have… more or less. Teslagrad went gold a good long while ago, but I missed that happening. Then I saw it was actually coming to Steam, so I decided to wait for that… and I missed that too, when it happened. Then I saw that it would be in a Steam sale soon, so I decided to wait for that to pick it up…

…and wouldn’t you know it, third time’s the charm. Time to see if Teslagrad was worth the wait.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, light. Mechanical, heavy-ish.)

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Teslagrad. Is it… [some lame electrical pun]? Yes, dear readers, it probably is.