Ranneko Plays Alghero – Channel Update 2017-09-08

I spent most of the last week in sunny Alghero in Italy. Unsurprisingly this limited the amount of time I could spend recording videos or monitoring the channel.

I did pick up Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle for the Switch aka MCOM and that game has been a blast. I have finished up the story content and only have the 4 Ultimate challenges left to play. It is a really interesting twist on the XCOM formula, with a much higher emphasis on movement, damage ranges, and distinct characters. Well worth a shot.

On the channel, the Ransistance is in full swing and I am busy tying up various character based side quests in Torment: Tides of Ranmenera, it feels like events are coming to a head there which should allow for a shuffle in the channel schedule.

Firaxis has released a free demo that consists entirely of the photo booth, which means there is now a free tool anyone can use to create soldiers that can be imported into XCOM 2. This means I have revised the recruitment form. I have stripped out the overly long second page, if you want to be added you can either just specify a name and optionally a few other basic details. If you want a fully specified soldier, now you can create it yourself and then send me the file.

This week’s releases were:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Curious Ranpedition
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera

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

Indie Wonderland: Necrosphere

If you had me guess from the title alone what sort of game Necrosphere, my first shot would be — and I admit there’s some degree of wishful thinking in this — a ball sports-type game played exclusively by the undead. I know I can already get something like that in Bloodbowl, but listen: I just want to see teams of shuffling try to do fancy football tricks. ‘Necrosphere‘ sounds much more dignified than ‘Deadball‘.

My second guess would be ‘probably some sort of 2D indie platformer’, because that’s just a safe bet in this day and age and gaming environment. Which means I’m up for the silver medal in ‘reading Cat Nigiri‘s mind, so. That’s still pretty good.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, almost none. Mechanical, fairly high.)

(Game source: Developer review key)

Necrosphere, or: It’s More Evocative A Title Than ‘Ghostjump’, But Technically Less Accurate.

Ranneko Plays XCOM 2: War of the Chosen – Channel Update 2017-09-01

The Ransistance has returned, ready to kick the Advent and their new allies off the earth or to die trying. At the time of writing this, I have recorded the first 7 episodes and it is remarkable just how many changes have been made. Firaxis have ensured that anyone who starts up War of the Chosen will encounter new content immediately. From a new cutscene that takes place before the previous opener, to more variations on gatecrasher, to many more changes on the strategic layer. I am having a blast playing it and probably would have recorded more were it not for a bout of illness followed by travel.

Firaxis has released a free demo that consists entirely of the photobooth, which means there is now a free tool anyone can use to create soldiers that can be imported into XCOM 2. This means I have revised the recruitment form. I have stripped out the overly long second page, if you want to be added you can either just specify a name and optionally a few other basic details. If you want a fully specified soldier, now you can create it yourself and then send me the file.

This week’s releases were:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Curious Ranpedition
MondayLet’s Dissect A Couple of Games of Star Realms
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Wednesday, Friday: The Ransistance: War of the Chosen

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

Indie Delay Land

Heya, readers and friends and friends who read. Stress and high workload over the weekend have culminated in a painfully overloaded writing arm today, so I’m delaying typing Indie Wonderland until tomorrow. Thanks for understanding.

– Jarenth

EDIT: In light of the website’s recent troubles, I’m postponing this week’s column to next week entirely. No sense rushing out work if the site won’t let anyone read it.

Ranneko Plays With Timing – Channel Update 2017-08-25

The Star Realms analysis videos continue, though feedback is, as usual, unfortunately limited. I got the typical dozen or so views I get for the first episode of a new series but the first episode this week has thus far received no traction. We will see how it does long term.

Currently, I release videos every day at midday, with the theory being that people who live in the same timezone as me can watch them at work, but I am considering trying a later release time to see if I can catch more people at a time where they might want to watch. My current thinking is to try shifting video releases by an hour, waiting a couple of weeks, comparing and repeating. So if a video seems to be out at an unusual time, that is probably why.

As a reminder, the Ransistance will return once War of the Chosen releases on the 29th of August. Firaxis has released a free demo that consists entirely of the photobooth, which means there is now a free tool anyone can use to create soldiers that can be imported into XCOM 2. This means I have revised the recruitment form. I have stripped out the overly long second page, if you want to be added you can either just specify a name and optionally a few other basic details. If you want a fully specified soldier, now you can create it yourself and then send me the file.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Curious Ranpedition
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Let’s Dissect A Couple of Games of Star Realms
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera

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

Indie Wonderland: Pixel Shopkeeper

Has there been any game about RPG shopkeeping since 2007 that landed quite as well as Recettear? I’m wondering. I know more games do exist in that particular hyper-specific niche: I remember playing Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! (review here), and I’m waiting for Moonlighter with pretty baited breath. But has anything so far made a similar splash?

I find myself thinking these things as I watch the Steam download bar for Pixel Prototype‘s Pixel Shopkeeper, the genre of which I think you can probably intuit now. I want another RPG shopkeeping game to make the same splash as Recettear, because Recettear ruled. Maybe Pixel Shopkeeper will be the one?

Only one way to find out.

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

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Pixel Shopkeeper. Not a game about running a pixel shop, but… Actually, that’s pretty valid too. Take it however you want, I guess.

Ranneko Plays With Star Realms – Channel Update 2017-08-18

This week we finished up Massive Chalice. I had a great time with the game but it turns out it was a little shorter than I needed right now. The plan was to go from Massive Chalice to XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, but that doesn’t come out until the 29th.

Until then in the Mon/Wed/Fri slot, we are going to do something a little different. We are going to talk about Star Realms. Specifically, we are going to look at replays of Star Realms games and try to work out where the pivotal moments were. Where the initial mistakes were made that resulted in later victory or defeat. It is a little bit different from the other coverage of Star Realms on my channel and I hope people like it.

The Ransistance will return once War of the Chosen releases on the 29th of August. Firaxis has released a free demo that consists entirely of the photobooth, which means there is now a free tool anyone can use to create soldiers that can be imported into XCOM 2. This means I have revised the recruitment form. I have stripped out the overly long second page, if you want to be added you can either just specify a name and optionally a few other basic details. If you want a fully specified soldier, now you can create it yourself and then send me the file.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Curious Ranpedition
Monday, Wednesday: Ranneko Plays Massive Chalice
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera
Friday: Let’s Dissect A Couple of Games of Star Realms

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

Indie Shortieland: Tacoma

The gaming buzz on my social media timelines the past week or so has been pretty much all Tacoma. And with obvious reason: It’s the latest opus of Fullbright, they of the superlative Gone Home. As part of my general non-disclosure agreement with any and all games news I haven’t read much about Tacoma, but I have learned a few things: That it features gameplay much in the vein of Gone Home, that it has a character either called or named after Odin, that it’s set in space, and that people say it takes about three hours to complete, start-to-finish. Obviously, the latter seems like silly exaggeration, and after playing it for myself this weekend, I can confirm that that number is nowhere near accurate.

I completed it in two and a half hours.

It should be obvious that I can’t really use my regular review pattern with a game like Tacoma. Not only is it primarily narrative-driven, which is always a dicey prospect, but if I did my usual ‘I’m playing through the first half hour or so and what is this’ shtick, that’d essentially spoil outright almost a sixth of the game. I do want to talk about what made Tacoma work for me as it did, though. So you all get a Shortieland. I know you were probably clamoring for another 7000-word epic after last week, but I hope we can all agree that it’s for the best I leave some of this game intact.

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

(Game source: Bought it myself

After the break: Tacoma, or What In The Name Of Space Happened Here.

Ranneko Plays Camping – Channel Update 2017-08-11

This week I am away! Camping on Gotland for Medeltidveckan (medieval week). As such there isn’t too much to discuss right now, I have been trying to record enough to stay ahead because I keep having small trips which is making it harder than I would like to maintain a buffer.

The current schedule is:

Saturday: Syfro Saturdays – Ranneko and Syfro Play Thimbleweed Park
Sundays: Curious Ranpedition
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Ranneko Plays Massive Chalice
Tuesday and Thursday: Torment: Tides of Ranmenera

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

Indie Wonderland: Pyre

I’m guessing approximately zero of you are surprised I’ve been looking forward to Pyre. In case you are, let me give you some crucial backstory: Pyre is made by Supergiant Games.

That’s it. That’s the backstory. Supergiant Games has made two games before Pyre, and both Bastion and Transistor (which I reviewed here) were great fun, and masterclass studies of the use of innovative design techniques. I loved both games and still rate them very highly; that I was going to try and dive into Pyre as soon as possible was basically a foregone conclusion. In fact, I’ve gone even further than my usual ‘try to go in as blind as possible’ approach: I’ve pursued an active campaign of non-information against Pyre. All I know so far is that it’s… an RPG? Or a sports game? Or both?

Or maybe neither? I’ve been really thorough about not knowing anything.

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

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Pyre, I game I’ve been avoiding news of so studiously I might almost have missed that it exists.