Monthly Archives: March 2017

Indie Wonderland: Oxenfree

Random Jarenth Trivia: You know what bit of game dialogue has managed to stick in my mind for almost seven years now? It’s from Alpha Protocol, the section where you have a shootout with the coked-up Russian gangster (I won’t pretend to remember his name). And one of his voice taunts he uses now and again is something like, “Oh, American! Come out, come out, wherever you are! Olly olly oxenfree, whatever the fuck that means.” It stuck with me because whatever the fuck does that mean? I know the phrase, but I’ve never understood what it means, or what the context is. I want to reiterate here that I’ve been thinking about this for seven years.

But you know how I’m finally going to put this to rest? No, not ‘just fucking Google it’, what kind of pedestrian do you take me for? My plan is to play Night School Studio’s Oxenfree. Surely the best source to finally put the source of this weird saying to bed is a tangentially titled game about a bunch of teenagers spending the night on a spooky island!

What could possibly go wrong with this plan?!

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

(Game source: Bought it myself, apparently.)

After the break: Darkness, tape recorders, pop quizzes, ghost spooks, doomed frequencies. Turns out a lot of things can go wrong in Oxenfree.

No Stream Week (Week of 3-27-2017)

Ninjustin here, and I’ve got terrible news! I’m going to be on vacation for next week. I forget what the vacation’s about, something about getting on a giant boat with a bunch of other people to sail to some islands. Anyway, I thought I should let you folks know since Twitter is awfully impermanent when it comes to announcing things, and I wouldn’t want any regulars to show up to the stream (or lack thereof) and wonder what’s going on.

I also wanted to give a big thank-you to everyone who’s been watching my streams. I’ve been streaming regularly for the better part of a year now (had to check the calendar myself to confirm it) and it’s been a very fulfilling activity. Talking about games, while playing games, and interacting directly in real-time with the people interested in your words is incredibly engaging, and I’m happy to continue doing it.

I’m considering posting here regularly to give updates on what games I’m streaming, possibly even set specific games for specific dates each week so you can look ahead of time and see if you can watch me stream the game you’re interested in. Please let me know if you’d like me to do this!

If you’re curious, lately I’ve been mostly streaming World of Warcraft, For Honor, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone, WASTED, and just recently I started a playthrough of Skyrim: Special Edition with several mods that give it a survivalist edge.

Here’s a link to my channel, and as always, thanks for reading and for watching. See you in about a week.

Ninja Blues Writers Room: Jarenth

Hey readers. No normal review this week, sorry: It was the kind of week where I had very little time to play new games. Regular service should resume next week, assuming the universe is up for it.

Because I try to never leave you empty-handed, in lieu of a review I decided to this week write something that was requested in comments a few weeks back: An overview of / insight into my writing process. Behind the curtains at the sausage factory, so to say. I don’t know if this is of interest to any of you, and I have to stress that there really is no game review in the proceeding — I know, that’s something I would do, but I promise it isn’t. If you’ve ever wondered how I go about producing the content that I do, though, I guess today’s your lucky day.

After the break: Keep on reading, you strange soul you, for a look at all my writing secrets.

Indie Three-For-One Land: Ninja Abzû Blade

Hey readers. It’s been a while since I did one of these triple features. I usually do these either when I have a backlog of smaller games that I don’t think have enough meat for a full review, or when I didn’t get far enough into a larger game the previous week. Those of you who’ve seen my Twitter account devolve into non-stop Breath of the Wild screenshots may be able to guess the cause this time.

Not to say that the games I want to talk about this week aren’t interesting, though; there’s a reason I had each of them in my backlog. I’ve got a diverse set for you this week: one game about morphing, one game about diving, and one game about bullying. And jumping. And rolling. And delivering pizza. And piquing your interest enough to keep reading, hopefully.

(Or skip ahead to page 2’s Abzû, or page 3’s Morphblade.)

After the break: Pizza, water, and liquid metal, in no particular order or combination. That’d be rad, though, could you imagine?

Indie Wonderland: Night in the Woods

Yeah, let’s not even pretend to be surprised about this one. Last week’s social media timelines were positively abuzz with Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods. Couldn’t go five posts without seeing big-eyed black cats or cyclopean foxes with cups on their ears. I… actually know very little about this game? As we’ve established, part of my crafty review strategy is to craftily remain almost entirely unaware of upcoming or anticipated games. Can’t buy into the hype if you don’t know about the hype, I always say. As a result, Night in the Woods is essentially a mystery to me. I’ve seen crisp animal graphics and I assume there will be woods, at night, but otherwise I’m living-under-a-rock levels of blind.

Which is the perfect mindset for reviewing a recent, popular-buzz game, if you ask me. Almost like I planned it that way.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium, but as low as I can get it. Mechanical, high-ish, but at least I don’t mention the yarn.)

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: I did not, in fact, plan things this way. Anyway, how about that Night in the Woods?