Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Jobbit: An Unexpected Workload

Hey readers. In lieu of video game reviews, I figured that this week I’d regale you with some quality Jarenth’s Job Advice. In the hope that you can use this hard-won insight to have a better week at your job than… Well, you get where I’m going.

My advice this time is this: If you’re ever in a project progress meeting, and your boss wants to know if setting up, planning, and carrying out a full user experiment by Monday next week is ‘actually cannot be done’ impossible or just ‘really really tough’ impossible, a fun thing you can do to manage your own workload and quality of life is avoid saying “Well, I guess I could technically pull it off…” Trust me on this. Just avoid the temptation of saying that you’re willing to burn your entire free time and social life this week to combine the deadlines you already had in place with this new and thematically-impossible dream scenario. I promise your future self will thank you, possibly while playing the video games needed to sustain some sort of weekly indie games review column.

Anyway, I just figured you guys’d like this. Regular games reviewing service should resume next week.

Spring Time Break Time

Hey everyone, it’s Jarenth. Hope you all had a happy non-denominational springtime-related holiday weekend? May your days have been filled with personally satisfying degrees of casual leisure, spiritual significance, and/or chocolate eggs.

I chose to spend my limited free time this week hanging out friends, family, and babies in lieu of playing indie games, so I bet you know where this announcement is heading. Regular service should resume next 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.

Ranneko’s Favourite Games Played in 2016

With the clock winding down on 2016 it is time for me to look back at the games I finished playing in 2016 and talk about the ones I enjoyed the most. The only requirement for a game to enter this list is that I finished it in 2016, either by reaching the end or deciding I never want to play it again. As a result you won’t really see any multiplayer focused titles here, because they are generally unable to be finished and I am reluctant to admit I have stopped playing them. I actually construct this list as I finish games during the year, so if you want to see what is happening with it at any time, just check it out over here.

Read on for Ranneko’s Top 10 of 2016

Volgarr Final Level Stream Thursday

Ninjustin here. Dude, were you there for the Volgarr stream?! (If not, here’s the archived broadcast. I plan to upload it to Youtube.) It was awesome! Until the moment it became terrible. I was playing through the game, occasionally fucking up but mostly kicking ass, and then right when I got to the secret final final world that you can only reach by coasting through the hard-mode versions of all the previous levels, the stream crashed. That’s not a joke. That’s actually what happened. And for twenty minutes afterward I tried to revive the stream. My internet connection was fine, but the stream refused to happen, so I’m inclined to believe Twitch was having issues. Maybe Twitch just couldn’t handle the epic secret final world on display. I don’t really know what happened, but either way, it was incredibly disappointing.

I’m not giving up, though. This Thursday (March 10th) I’m going to stream again, and this time I’m going to play up to the secret final level beforehand. I don’t want to make you all watch me play through the vast majority of the game again. If I start making that regular on my channel I’d probably be doing speedrun attempts.

Expect me to be on my channel at 3:30 CST. Here’s the time-zone conversion page for it. It shouldn’t take long — maybe 10 to 20 minutes. I may stream a celebratory Helldive afterward.

Fate doesn’t seem to want this to happen, but if that be the case, by Odin’s beard, I will fight fate itself.

Indie Wonderland: Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!

Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!, capitalization and punctuation marks non-optional, combines two of my self-professed great gaming loves: my love of running item stores and bilking world-saving adventurers out of their hard-fought cash (a la Recettear), and my love of playing games with ridiculous names (like last week’s Tembo The Badass Elephant).

I first ‘discovered’ this game when a helpful Steam friend launched it five times in a row, giving me ample time to soak in that name. Holy Potatoes. Holy Potatoes. A… weapon shop? I was immediately enthralled by it. Then, I checked out the Steam page, only to be further taken in by what looked like a bright, optimistic, happy game about… well, about bilking world-saving adventurers out of their hard-fought cash.

And then I suddenly owned the game. Funny how that works, huh?

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low. Mechanical, high.)

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Holy Potatoes. *And* a Weapon Shop, somehow. How are potatoes even *related* to weapon shops? The answer *may* surprise you.

Brief Indie Wonderland Update

Heya, readers.

Again, I’d like to apologize for the scheduled delay in Indie Wonderland services. Only one full column in three weeks is… more or less going on my worst-case scenario for these three weeks, honestly. I mean, it’s not as bad as zero columns. But still.

Also, true story: I’d originally planned to do a little half-column for today. Something to celebrate the end of my work spell and herald the return of Indie Wonderland Proper. I even picked out a good game: there was this Early Access game I’d gotten bundle’d and installed a long time ago, with the express purpose of keeping it for poor Indie Wonderland weeks. As an Early Access game, I wouldn’t feel bad only giving it a few days worth of short look, hence. So I just now opened Steam, looked up that game, and checked the store page for it…

…only to find it had exited Early Access in the meantime! The jerks. I only let their game sit for, like, five months, and they had the gall to actually go ahead and release a completed product.

Anyway, all jokes aside: I don’t really have anything in my library I felt comfortable firing off a one-day-short-look article about. Instead, you get this rambly explanation column. That’s like interesting to read, right?

Normal Indie Wonderland service resumes next week. And without wishing to bite off entirely more work than I can chew, the next Jarenth Plays installment shouldn’t be overlong either. March 31st if I’m judging my current workload correctly, April 7th if I’m not, April 14th if I’m really not.

Thanatos (Doesn’t) Play Dragon Age: Origins

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.

Indie Delay-Land

Hey, readers. Sorry to have to inform you that this week’s Indie Wonderland is delayed: I have *legitimately* had the busiest workload of my entire life the past two weeks. We’re talking old-school literally literally. That phase is over, now, but I’ll need some time to pick up the pieces.

And by ‘some time’, I mean ‘one day’. This week’s Indie Wonderland will go up tomorrow. Because not even the heaviest workload imaginable is going to delay me for more than 24 Goddamn hours.

– Jarenth.