Heya, readers. It’s been about a week and a half now since the last Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth episode hit monitors world-wide, which means it’s about on-schedule for me to write about the whole thing. Yes, I’m not very expedient in these things sometimes. To compensate, I’ve also updated the Beyond Earth Let’s Play page to completion. So if you’ve ever wanted to jump to your favourite episode without all that clicking-through-the-archives-hassle, now’s your chance.
Hey there, Ninja Blues Fans!
This is Thanatos peeking his head in for just a moment to bring you some, well. News.
My buffer for the Thanatos Plays Dragon Age episodes is currently all run dry, and I probably shouldn’t have let it, but that’s a long sob story you don’t want to hear. Point is, it has run dry.
Additionally, while typing up the Wednesday’s Episode, I noticed a thing: my computer is running really, really slow. Like, even typing this in I have to pause after every sentence and wait for the text to catch up to what I’ve actually written. There might be something seriously wrong with my computer, is what I’m saying.
I’ve tried all the normal fixes, restarting, updating software, manually checking through the installed programs to try and catch any errant ones and deleting them and, as I type this draft, there is a full system scan running in the background on my computer. While I systematically purge my machine of any stray bits of code, I’m not adding any new data to the cache (In the form of, say, documents to write the next chapter of the Let’s Play), and double-definitely not uploading any images to Ninja Blues and/or Jarenth on the off-chance that some little niggling bits of ‘ware stow away in the files.
What does this mean for you, the readers at home?
No Dragon Age Let’s Play this Wednesday whilst I’m locked in mortal combat with this (possible) virus-beast. I’ll make it up to you guys somehow. Probably. A thousand apologies for the inconvenience.
“Jarenth, did you play Life Is Strange?” “Jarenth, have you checked out Life Is Strange yet?” “Jarenth, you should consider getting Life Is Strange!” This, dear reader, is a snapshot of my life about three weeks back, very shortly after Don’t Nod Entertainment released the first episode of Life Is Strange, an upcoming five-part episodic adventure game “that sets out to revolutionise [sic] story based choice and consequence games”. Yeah, that’s right: no less than three people told me about this game. In a single day, even! I don’t know how things work over where you live, but here in Jarenth-land, that basically spells out ‘hey, maybe try playing this game at some point in the near future’.
I didn’t actually know anything about Life Is Strange at this point, mine. Not even that phrase I just copy-pasted from the Steam page verbatim. Subsequently, I gave it lower priority on my to-play list than a game I’d been looking forward to a lot and a game I’d been putting off for ages. But hey, ‘three weeks after launch’ is still like a timely review, right?
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium. Mechanical, medium.)
(Game source: Bought it myself.)
When last we left off, we had cut a bloody swath through the Arl of Denerim’s estate, leaving his son (and son’s two best
handmaidens cronies ‘friends’) in puddles of their own blood with empty pockets.
All in all, it was an outing to feel… well, not exactly good about. There was still a bunch of murder that happened back there. Men (and almost, if not entirely exclusively men, now that I think about it) that my childhood friend and I slaughtered in droves. Those men had names, and families. Some probably had women and children, they had hopes and fears and loves, and some of them were probably planning on going out to the pub for drinks afterwards, and many of them probably had nothing to do with the systematic oppression of Elves.
Andraste’s breath, we’re monsters.
In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I stopped Vadim Kozlov’s plans for world domination and advanced my own plans to operational status all in one fell swoop. Yeah, that’s efficiency for ‘ya. I hadn’t really been keeping up on the narrative direction the Supremacy victory path was going, but it turns out my self-identified villain role in this narrative was amazingly serendipitous: the last step of Operation Emancipation is to send a sizable army of battle robots to conquer Old Earth, and to forcibly convert everyone there to the Supremacy Affinity. To upgrade them, if you will, to a new kickass robotic standard of living. Under my command, yes, but hey: what’s a little thing like free will and bodily autonomy when compared to the end of all death and disease, superior intellect and the destruction of language barriers, the incomparable sense of unity that can only come from being networked to every mind on the planet at once, and built-in jet boots? Old Earth’s humanity may be putting up a fight right now, but they’ll thank me once I complete my conquest.
If I complete my conquest. Remember: Vadim Kozlov may be down for the count, but I’m still not the only one playing for all the marbles.
Ah, Sunless Sea. It’s finally here! Long-term readers of Ninja Blues and listeners of our Discourse Dojo podcast — such as it is — may remember that I name-dropped Sunless Sea as one of the few games whose Early Access program I actually liked in the podcast of that topic. I even very specifically added a note about its projected February 2015 release date in the post-podcast post. And hey, look at that! Failbetter Games basically came through on their promise 100%.
Hell, even-more-long-term followers of my work may even remember that my on-again-off-again infatuation with Failbetter Games’ magnum opus, Fallen London, was the principle reason I first got on Twitter in the first place! That I would write about Sunless Sea, spiritual successor to a game that’s brought me so much joy and randomly arguing with strangers instead of sleeping on time, at the earliest opportunity was basically a given.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low. Mechanical, medium-high.)
(Game source: Kickstarter reward.)
In the last episode of Jarenth Plays Beyond Earth, I brought the fight to Vadim Kozlov. I spent turn after turn blasting away at the walls of Konechno, desperately trying to break through to Vadim’s domain so I could stop him from… bringing settlers over to Earth, I guess? I’m still not 100% on the details of this master plan, but as far as I can tell, Vadim is trying to fulfill the promise of finding new homes for the people on Old Earth that we started the Seeding with… and I’m trying to stop him from doing that. Which means that, yeah, it’s a good thing I already had my ‘I am 100% the villain’ realization a little while back. Rescuing the stragglers of a broken world, huh, Vadim? Not on my watch.
Oh, your Earthling Settlers already have a small town on the surface of Terra Atlantea? We’ll just see what my giant death spider has to say about that.
That’s right, everyone! More Star Realms for the masses. Ranneko and I both enjoyed doing the first Star Realms Diary, so we decided to record a second game. We hoped it’d be different from the first, and interesting to talk about and watch in its own way. We got two out of three, so that’s not bad.
When we last left off, Samantha got scary. Not by finally making good on all of her murder and arrow-based threats (though she’s getting to that part), but by making a dry ‘bright side’ quip on seeing her fiancé getting brutally slaughtered while on a mission to rescue her.