Ranneko Plays Runs The Buffer Down – Channel Update 2017-06-16

This post was a little delayed. It turns out getting everything coordinated again after a break is trickier than I would like. I managed to bleed my buffer almost completely dry. My buffer lasted through to Saturday the 17th, and on that day I finally edited and uploaded the video for Sunday. I have managed to sort out a number of recording sessions though and, with some effort, I have recorded and edited episodes that will last through to the 28th.

It is still shorter than I would like of course. I will work on expanding it in the comings weeks.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Ranowned Explorers: International Society
Monday and Friday: The Ransistance
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Wednesday: Ranneko Plays Massive Chalice

After the break, more about the videos that released this week!

Indie Wonderland: Splinter Zone

Have you ever heard of a gateway to the Splinter Zone? I hadn’t. The only reason I even know about (primarily) Eric Merz‘s opus is because some well-wishing soul retweeted a call to review action onto my Twitter timeline. Which is perfect, honestly. I’ve reviewed mostly higher-profile stuff the last few weeks, which is fine, but it might be nice to go back to my original roots and really dip into the indie. Look at a game that’s happy with even my C-tier level of extra exposure. As long as the final verdict isn’t ‘this game made me want to claw out my own eyes’, it’s a real win-win situation.

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

(Game source: Developer review key.)

After the break: My eyes are still intact. Is that good news for Splinter Zone? Or does that mean it just didn’t try hard enough?

Ranneko Plays Returns – Channel Update 2017-06-09

I am back! Spain was lovely, though while I was away I of course did done precisely zero recording.

I did try to keep an eye on the blog and channel while I was away, though with only a phone it was harder than I had hoped. It looks like The Ransistance has started off fairly strong for my series, gathering a couple of dozen views for the first couple of episodes.

In general, the first couple of episodes of most do a lot better than the rest, it makes sense to start at the beginning and give 1-2 episodes a try I guess. Unfortunately, I have seen no new volunteers to join the ranks. If you haven’t done so already, remember you can sign up here.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Ranowned Explorers: International Society
Monday and Friday: The Ransistance
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Wednesday: Ranneko Plays Massive Chalice

After the break, more about the videos that released this week!

Indie Wonderland: Scanner Sombre

I’ve been eyeballing Scanner Sombre for a handful of weeks now, ever since a random Rock Paper Shotgun news announcement that I since haven’t managed to find again. The theme of exploring dark underground caves through the mechanism of rainbow lights appeals to me, what can I say. I’m a sucker for some solitude. Plus, Scanner Sombre is developed by Introversion Software, the people behind such big names as Prison Architect, Darwinia, and a personally formative title of mine, Uplink. They’ve got a history of games that I find neat or at the very least interesting, and they’re applying this to a theme that I can see myself literally and figuratively get lost in for a while; I don’t want to say that Scanner Sombre was made specifically so I’d review it, but the numbers don’t lie.

Though it is interesting to note that for the longest time I mentally referred to this game as Scanner Sombra; maybe my subconscious is telling me that as much as I think I’ll enjoy a solitary cave dive, I might enjoy it even more with a cast of diverse and colourful fightin’ dads.

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

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break: Scanner Sombre, which I hope doesn’t actually end up making me somber. But hey, only one way to find out.

Ranneko Plays Holidays – Channel Update 2017-06-02

I am still on holiday! I am trying to sort out these posts before I head off because ideally, I would like to just leave my laptop at home. I have am terrible when it comes to traveling light, normally I have a minimum of half a dozen different devices in my carry-on just to cover any entertainment possibilities. If I can leave my laptop at home… I will still have half a dozen devices on me but the bulkiest one won’t get in the way.

For the record, the devices I have taken with me are:

  • Switch
  • Vita
  • Phone
  • Kindle
  • Pebble
  • Bluetooth Headphones

This week brings new series! In the Monday/Friday slot I will be fighting the alien overlords in The Ransistance (you can sign up to become a soldier here). On Wednesdays, I revisit my favourite game from 2015 and play through Massive Chalice for the first time since I wrapped up my Massive Tips series.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Pit People
Sundays: Ranowned Explorers: International Society
Monday and Friday: The Ransistance
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Wednesday: Ranneko Plays Massive Chalice

After the break, more about the videos that released this week!

Indie Shortieland: Rakuen

I want to tell you about Rakuen.

I started following Laura Shihigara on Twitter after her phenomenal contribution to To The Moon, which to this day is still the only piece of video game music I love so much that I have a physical representation of it in my home. Given how much I dug To The Moon in general, you won’t be surprised that I was interested in her involvement in/spearheading of Rakuen, a game that from the little news I elected to follow of it seemed very much to be what I promise I’ll never call it again, a To The Moon-like. Same concept, but different context, setting, characters, and way the player inevitably gets their heart broken, that’s what I figured. I was particularly drawn to the recurring visual of the boy in the origami hat, since that’s one of the few origami pieces I can sort-of do myself, and the title, Rakuen. If you’d put me on the spot, I’d guess that it’s Japanese for either peaceful or paradise; I know this, of course, because I phonetically memorized the lyrics to the opening song of the Kirby anime.

Bringing all of the above together…

Rakuen came out on Steam a little over two weeks ago. I waffled on picking it up for review purposes at first, figuring that I didn’t know how much there’d be to talk about. But I eventually decided ‘you know what, I’ll just play it, it’s bound to be cool, and I’ll see if I get any writing out of it afterwards. So I bought Rakuen, and started playing it, and eventually completed the whole story.

All of this happened yesterday.

Regular readers might remember that I sometimes play fast and loose with the description of my playtimes and -dates, especially if it suits the review story. “I just beat the final boss,” I’ll say at the start of the second page, in actuality having beaten the boss three days ago. I get it, this is my narrative style, I dug this hole for myself. Which is why it’s important for me to reiterate that all of this happened yesterday. I installed Rakuen, and started playing Rakuen, and finished playing Rakuen, all on Sunday March 28th 2017. Yesterday, from the perspective of when this article goes up. Which means that Rakuen gets the unexpected honour of having my fastest-ever review turnaround time: Since I played well into midnight to close out the story, I’ve gone from final play session to written review in less than 24 hours.

And here I was wondering I wasn’t gonna have anything to say.

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

(Game source: Patreon funds.)

After the break: Why I think Rakuen deserves some rapid review throughput.

Ranneko Plays Vacation – Channel Update 2017-05-26

I am on holiday. The trip actually only kicked off yesterday, but understandably I’m not exactly able to keep updating and recording videos while I am away. As I have mentioned in the posts for the previous weeks it has taken a fair amount of preparation but at this point, the channel should pretty much just play itself. Videos releasing at midday every day, automatically tweeting out and adding themselves to the appropriate playlists. The marvels of the built-in YouTube scheduling and playlist systems.

This week I finish Ranless Sea and put a pause of Pillars of Ranternity, that means next week you will see some changes to the schedule. In the Monday/Friday slot I will be fighting the alien overlords in The Ransistance (you can sign up to become a soldier here. On Wednesdays I revisit my favourite game from 2015 and play through Massive Chalice for the first time since I wrapped up my Massive Tips series.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Pit People
Sundays: Ranowned Explorers: International Society
Monday and Friday: Pillars of Ranternity
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Wednesday: The Ranless Sea: Zubmariner

After the break, more about the videos that released this week!

Indie Wonderland: Earthlock: Festival of Magic

Hey, you know what I like? Magic. Big fan of the stuff, I love magic. In fact, you know what I wouldn’t mind? If there was a whole festival related to magic. No sir, I wouldn’t mind that one bit.

“Jarenth, is that really the best opening you have for Snowcastle GamesEarthlock: Festival of Magic?” That is really the best opening I have for Snowcastle Games’ Earthlock: Festival of Magic.

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

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Earthlock. Hopefully the game itself is stronger than my terrible attempts at an opening.

Ranneko Plays Preparation – Channel Update 2017-05-19

Working with a buffer can be hard but very rewarding. I am currently getting ready for a trip at the end of the month. I won’t be gone for too long, just under 2 weeks, but to do that I need to ensure that I can extend the buffer far enough.

Generally speaking, I do most of my recording on the weekend, but vacations generally take up weekends on both sides of the trip, which means I not only have to cover the period I will be away, but a little longer until I can find more time to record. This means a 2 week trip needs a minimum of a 3-week buffer.

Somewhat unhelpfully, the trip also falls on the changeover points for 2 of my series. At the end of this month Ranless Sea will wrap up and Pillars of Ranternity will be taking a well-deserved break. This means that I need to try to prepare 3 weeks worth of each of the new series, along with prepping the title screen and ideally outros. At least if some of this falls behind I can try to get a little done during the trip.

At the time of posting this may be a little bit late, but one of the new series will be titled The Ransistance and will be an XCOM 2 Let’s Play. If you want to join up please fill out this form. (NB: the only thing you absolutely HAVE to provide is a name, everything else is optional)

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Pit People
Sundays: Ranowned Explorers: International Society
Monday and Friday: Pillars of Ranternity
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Wednesday: The Ranless Sea: Zubmariner

After the break, more about the videos that released this week!

Indie Wonderland: Environmental Station Alpha

Another relative unknown from the endless depths of my Steam wishlist, Arvi Teikari, Roope Mäkinen, and Joonas Turner‘s Environmental Station Alpha was released a little over two years ago, in a time where the world had yet to turn into a 24/7 Stranger Than Fiction madhouse. I don’t remember how it got on my wishlist, apart from that it ‘seems neat’ from the outset. But it was on Steam Sale a few weeks ago, and so, here we are.

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

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Environmental Station Alpha. Yeah, that’s all I got for the intro. They can’t all be winners.