Category Archives: Site News

Back In The Saddle

Heya, readers. If you’re seeing this, then: woo! Ninja Blues has crawled back up from a frustrating and attack-filled January 2016. Hopefully, with the measures we’ve taken, it should be smooth sailing again from here on out. At least until the hackers and the scammers adapt again in the ever-flowing arms race that is The Internet, but hey, what can you do.

Couple of points of site news for you:

a) We’ll be porting over our work from the Ninja Blues Repository to here over the next few days. Expect us to be fully back and caught up sometime soon.

b) I’m officially bringing in Ranneko as our third core Ninja Blues member. Not only was his help and support invaluable for getting through January, but his massive volume of work kind of makes him eligible for the position through sheer determination alone. He doesn’t know yet that I’m planning to do this, though; won’t he be surprised when he sees this post.

c) Yes, our banner is busted right now. Blame WordPress. We’re working on it; one catastrophe at a time.

And finally, in actual game-related news:

d) The imminent release of XCOM 2 can only mean one thing: it’s finally, finally time for a new Jarenth Plays series! Given that Jarenth Plays XCOM was one of the most popular things I’ve ever done, and one of the most fun, me picking up this torch with the sequel was more or less assumed. It’s going to follow up from whatever meager storytelling I had going on back then, too; if you ever needed an excuse to re-familiarize yourself with the (screenshot-devoid) first Let’s Play, now’s the time.

And, yes, I am recruiting for this second XCOM iteration! If you’re interesting in being a soldier, scientist, or engineer in my fight against ADVENT and the alien menance, now’s your chance. Sign up in this Google sheet, or leave a comment under this post, with your name, class preferences, and looks/colour scheme.

So yeah! Welcome back, everybody. Thanks for your continued belief in and support of Ninja Blues, it means the world to us. Let’s see if we can’t make the rest of 2016 suck less.

– Jarenth

2016’s First Site News

Heya, readers! Happy 2016!

The reason you’re reading this sparse update and not a new Indie Wonderland is this: after last week’s final Sakura surprise, I spent the last week of the year actually taking the relaxing vacation I was due. This involved hanging out with friends, sleeping in, celebrating my fixed Wii U, and no games that didn’t involve apocalypses of any kind, either nuclear or squid-tacular.

i.e. I didn’t play any indie games.

Regular service resumes next week, as it so often does. In the meantime, though, to not leave you all high and dry: why not watch archive footage of mine and Josh’s annual New Year’s live stream! This one was a particular doozy: it has a whole bunch of Crusader Kings II, and a small bunch of incredibly hard zombies. Meaning that if you don’t very much care for medieval dynasty nonsense or hyper-focused zombie shooting…

…well, like I said, regular service resumes next week. See you then!

A Double News Announcement

Heya, readers. Two things I want to talk to you about.

One: those of you that have been with Ninja Blues for a while now are probably wondering what the deal is with the next Jarenth Plays. I had so much vim going after wrapping up Starships in July. “Please yell at me if I haven’t delivered anything end-of-August”, does that ring any bells? And now it’s November, and still nothing has materialized. What’s the deal with that, self? What happened?

And the honest answer is… I don’t really know?

No, but seriously. There’s a bunch of factors I could blame: work, bad luck, a sudden influx of social obligations. But I think the actual main cause here is that I’m hitting some weird kind of motivational writer’s block. I have plenty ideas for Let’s Plays, dozens of them, complete materials for two, and even a handful of draft episodes for the one I’m currently ‘working on’. But for some reason… I’m just not making any writing progress. I find myself reluctant to just sit down and write, and whatever I do put out comes at a glacial pace.

It’s a strange sensation to me. Doubly so because it’s not universal; the Indie Wonderland train is happily rolling along every week.

I don’t really want to make any more (hollow) promises, but I will say this: I’m totally intending to kick the LP writing into high gear this November. If at all possible. We’ll see if my brain cooperates. I’ll definitely have more free time this month, so maybe I’ll be able to guilt-coerce myself with that.

Which neatly leads to to thing number…

Two: it’s November again! And do you guys remember what happened last November? I certainly do. If you do too, you’re probably grinning with schadenfreude-delight right now. And if not, maybe all you need is a little refresher course

That’s right! It’s time for another Visual Novels And Dating Sims month! Or however long I can stand the concept this time around.

Now, I’ve actually been planning the games I want to play this time. There’s so much possibility. I jokingly said I’d play Fate/Stay Night last year, so that’s technically still an option… but a friend — an actual friend, not you lot of vultures — dissuaded me from that. Another idea I had was maybe looking at some more VN sequels: I know WORLD END ECONOMiCA has a second episode on Steam now, and harem drama slash tactical space battler Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius earlier this year had a frankly bizarre-seeming high school spinoff — the same characters, the same relations, but now they’re students instead of mech pilots. Even discounting my thoroughly miserable experience with the former, this could probably be interesting.

But here’s the thing: of all my 2014 VNADS reviews, one game rocketed to prominence in a way I’d never have expected — and that no other game quite managed to match. I don’t know if it was my writing, the generous amount of anime nudity, or the fact that the game had a strangely prominent place in public consciousness for a while (let’s be real, though, it was probably the boobs). But whatever the case, where once my most popular piece was hard-working Factorio, it now is… that game.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed its popularity. Over the course of 2015, developer Sekai Project put out no less than six new games in the same… I hesitate to say ‘series’, but they definitely all have the same basic concept.

And because they couldn’t leave well enough alone, neither can I. I am first and foremost an entertainer, after all, and every entertainer knows the golden rule: ‘give the audience what they want’. And the Ninja Blues audience has spoken. So it is with heavy heart that I announce here, that tomorrow marks the official start of Visual Novels And Dating Sims II.

Sakura Harder.

Indie Dumb Delay Land

Hey readers,

Because I am a doofus who forgot a crucial USB drive with text and images on it at work, today’s Indie Wonderland will be be posted tomorrow instead. Sorry about that; I know how much you all rely on Indie Wonderland as your shining Monday light.

Was signed,
the mana-Jar.

Indie A Poor Simile For An Excuse Land

Heya, readers. Sorry, there’s no Indie Wonderland today: I spent all of last week hosting an international guest and basically painting the country red, and as such, I didn’t have the time to really play anything for the column.

I mean, I played some of this game, but this is hardly an indie game at all.

It just had a bunch of random guns and some weird story about handsome dragons.

And I played some of this game, but that’s not even a computer game.

Look at this horrible low-tech wood and cardboard affair.

I also spent some time in this place, which I guess has some games.

If you’re going to that place for the *games*, though, you might be doing it wrong.

But I have no idea how I’d incorporate this thing into here.

So I won’t. If you don’t know what this means, you wouldn’t care anyway.

So, once again, sorry. I was going to put up a warning earlier, but then I realized I could get some easy sight gags out of the whole deal instead.

Regular service resumes next week.

Indie Delay-Land

Heya, readers.

Due to some poor planning on my part, this week’s Indie Wonderland is delayed until tomorrow. Sorry! You’d think I have a handle on this weekly timing thing by now, after four years of doing this stuff, but here we are regardless.

Check back on Tuesday for what should be a riveting dungeon-crawling adventure.

Jarenth Plays, Intermission

Heya, readers.

As you may have read and/or surmised by now, Jarenth Plays Starships officially came to an end last week. Hope you all enjoyed it! I’ve appended the Let’s Play Overview page with a much-needed Starships Index; it will now be easier than ever to quickly find your favourite episode! Is it the one where I effortlessly kill everyone ever? Or the other one where I do that?

“Jarenth, Jarenth, when’s your next Let’s Play?” I’m glad you asked, Nobody In Particular! Short answer is, I’m currently working on it. I have two possible games lined up; once I finish harvesting gameplay material from both of them, I’ll have to decide which one to do — either ‘if any’, or ‘first’. I hope to get to this in a handful of weeks. Please yell at me if I haven’t started anything by the end of August, alright? Let’s use that as a soft social deadline.

Once again, thanks to everyone for reading my work and leaving comments! And if you like what we’ve been doing here, with Jarenth Plays in particular and Ninja Blues at large in general, please consider donating to our Patreon Campaign if you haven’t already! The support we’re already getting from our current backers is an incredible motivator to continually cast aside my social life in favour of writing more of these things.

– Jarenth

A New Challenger Approaches

Q: How is Ninja Blues like the popular Nintendo franchise Smash Brothers?

A: Our roster just got bigger, too!

Woop Woop Woop

That’s right, readers! After a long history of occasional cooperation, Ninja Blues Friend Ranneko has decided to become Ninja Blues Contributor Ranneko. While the brunt of his work will — as always — be posted on YouTube, the accompanying work that could previously be found on Ranneko’s Blogspot site will run on Ninja Blues from now on.

Ranneko intends to keep posting Let’s Play videos every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so look forward to a surge of new content on this site in the coming weeks. In fact, the first episode of RanStacking may well go live… tomorrow?

Stay tuned!

A Light Sprinkling Of Site News

Heya, readers. Two small updates for you:

1) You may have been wondering why there was no second Tabled For Discussion this Thursday. I don’t think I was clear about this in the announcement post, so to clarify: the current posting schedule for this feature is one Thursday every two weeks. Lostclause has indicated that this is a schedule he’s comfortable with.

2) The Ninja Blues Patreon just surpassed fifty monthly dollars. This is super rad. So, as an open message to everyone supporting us financially: you’re all amazing people and your support means the world to us. And as an open message to everyone supporting us with traffic and exposure: you’re all amazing people too.

As yesterday’s Yomi stream has shown — and as a side note, we hope to have that stream archived and uploaded soon for those of you who couldn’t make it — we’re already hard at work converting your financial contributions into site content. And that one was only the tip of the iceberg. All I can say is, stay tuned.

Back In The Air

Heya folks. Sorry for the unexpected outage. Lessons were learned: keep your website properly updated.

To compensate for the brief hours of No Ninja Blues, I have two pieces of good news for you:

1) The next Jarenth Plays installment should, ceteris paribus, go live next Tuesday. Yes, I know I said it’d be ‘end of March, start of April’, not ‘end of April, start of May’. In my defense, I was really intended to get it done faster this time around. And then I just didn’t.

But! Tuesday 5th, if all goes well. And then once a week from there on out.

Yes, once a week. Turns out this particular Let’s Play is a little shorter than expected! But, to compensate for that

2) Regular site reader and Twitter pal lostclause pitched the idea of writing semi-regular tabletop RPG articles for Ninja Blues a little while ago. And given that we both liked his initial offering… again, all going well, you should see the first installement of this as-yet-unnamed feature appear on Thursday 7th. It’s a new content direction for Ninja Blues, to be sure: we haven’t really done anything unrelated to video games yet. But I think you guys’ll enjoy lostclause’s work!

– Jarenth