Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Splatoon story mode screenshot log

Splatoon screenshot

Got up to stages 19 on Squid Jump before getting a game over.

Continuing sets you back a few stages and resets your score to 0... may as well restart from the beginning in that case.
It gets really hard when there are a lot of those powerups that make you jump really fast, and almost all the platforms are tiny ice or conveyor belts or tiny moving platforms.

Here's my screenshots checking out all the small details in the hub area.

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I'm just gonna play the single player in this. The multiplayer is pointless now that we have Splatoon 2. The Joycons are infinitely more comfy than the bulky gamepad.

Started the campaign mode, Octo Valley.

The first world is very easy and boring. There's no challenge at all, and it's all very linear. Then I got to the first boss... That was actually kinda fun... and then the 2nd world is where the game started getting way more creative and fun with its enemies and obstacles.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Metroid Prime comprehensive playthrough part 4

Tallon Overworld South

Now heading into the crashed Frigate... immediately you can tell what this place is because it looks similar to the ventilation shaft on the other Frigate that you escaped from at the beginning.

Metroid Prime screenshot Metroid Prime screenshot Metroid Prime screenshot

Reactor Core... a huge room with platforms that looks like it'd be a huge pain to get back out of if you came here before getting the gravity suit. And the Aqua Pirates here will pretty much guarantee you fall to the bottom while fighting them.

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There's a bunch of machinery down here that looks scannable, but of course being underwater it's all unusable. Although the power conduits to open the door are still usable. This door is on a ledge that I think is unreachable without the gravity suit.

In the next room, which has a door to a save room and another power conduit door, you can see glowy radioactive stuff underneath the crumbled floor. I dunno what the pirates would be doing in this crashed frigate... maybe trying to salvage materials or something?

Metroid Prime screenshot Metroid Prime screenshot

Got my 9th energy tank for free, just basically lying in plain sight on the linear path through the Frigate.

Another conduit door, just up out of the water... damn should have saw that coming.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 7 - Final

Mount Horu, the last area of the game, has an incredible difficulty spike...

There's fire and lava everywhere, and even most of the floors that you can stand on, will hurt you if you stand on them for more than like half a second. There's a bunch of really fast shooting enemies that can only be defeated by their own projectiles, and often you NEED their projectiles to get up through the paths, so you have to kinda avoid killing them.

At the top of this area, there's two doors that lead to some linear action/puzzle sections where you push a rock down to block the lava flows, and this opens up a couple more doors below... each door leads to more difficult action/puzzle sections that open up more of the Mount Horu area, until eventually you get to the bottom where you find the final element.

Kirby Super Star Ultra - high playthrough part 2

World 6: Revenge of the King
King Dedede demands revenge! Will he finally reign victorious over his age-old nemesis?!
"I'ma get revenge on dat der kirbeh"

This first level is like a purple jelly colored version of Green Greens... There's some really cool/whimsical looking stuff in the background... I could stare at and admire the graphics of the kirby games for a while they're just so good.

omg what... this purple forest area is too good, and before I even get the time to fully admire it, there's this insanely cute elephant miniboss.

wtf how can a game be this cute and good.

One thing I didn't realize up until now, but the cpu partner thing makes it REALLY easy to juggle between wanting to always keep your mainstay fav ability while still being able to try out other abilities once in a while... The elephant gives me suplex kirby, and now I can try that ability out while still keeping the sword in reserve as a cpu partner until I want to go back to it.

omg, the suplex movelist in this game is... surprisingly complex... as much as some of the Return to Dreamland moves. but they're mostly all just for style and don't affect your actual offensive ability at all.

That level ends with Purple Jelly Wispy.

Illusion Islands... it's a purple Ice Cream Island.

Kirby jumps in the boiling purple drink and swims around like it's nothing.

I think there's split paths here that may or may not be one-way only... took that path that requires a stone or hammer... kept the sword cuz I was enjoying how sword kirby looks in this game so much...

I don't care if I miss stuff at this point, like I'll take any excuse I can to replay this game through again because it's that fun.

This fire lion miniboss... it looks so cool in this game. I think this mode has been nearly all about new/returning minibosses that weren't in the original KSS.

I hit a warpstar before I was able to take fireball power...

Lolo and Lala... These single-room, mario bros arcade style minibosses are always great to see return in some form... it's such a well designed boss fight, that again I'll take any reason to replay that exact same boss fight again once in a while.

Third stage, Crash Clouds... the rainbow jellybean versions Grape Gardens?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 6

There's a few things that I'm able to get now with the Light Burst ability, but it seems there's still some breakable looking walls and stuff that I can't get through yet... Only one ability left so whatever that is has to be the thing to break walls.

Next area is Sorrow Pass, up above Valley of the Wind. Interestingly, this area has a lot more wind/gliding sections than Valley of the Wind had... It's supposed to be the fire area, isn't it?

The enemies in Sorrow Pass are even tougher than in Misty Woods and Forlorn Ruins. It's a very linear path of almost entirely wind gliding obstacles... There's a big central vertical structure that you keep coming back to and opening up more shortcuts as you go further along... Eventually I made it to the last ability and warp point... This last ability is the charge jump, which lets you break through breakable ceilings, and you can also use it while clinging to the wall to charge jump horizontally and break through walls. It starts getting confusing with all the buttons you have to press to do an aimed charge jump off a wall...

Also I'm realizing this climb ability is actually more useful than I thought. Not only is it needed to do a horizontal charge jump, but it's also very useful for dodging enemy attacks in certain situations where you don't have any ground to stand on.

Now I've opened up the path to where the objective marker is telling me to go... and something tells me that might be the final level of the game, because I don't see any other big sections opening up after this... unless maybe you go inside the Spirit Tree for the finale. I guess now is the time to re-explore the entire world one last time and collect everything...

I stopped leveling the blue ability branch after I got the Triple Jump. The last ability on that branch is just extra defense, but I wanna try and beat hard mode without that. Instead I started grinding the purple path so I can get all of the things that'll let me see where all the items are in order to 100% the game. I'm only half-way through the red path, and haven't unlocked the Cinder Flame ability yet... If it turns out I don't have enough ability points to unlock that before getting to the final boss, then I'm just gonna try and beat the game without it. No deliberate grinding allowed.

There, that was easy... I now have all of the items on the map. I didn't even need to unlock the "see fake walls" ability. Although I'm still missing one energy cell... I'm guessing it must be in this last area coming up, because it doesn't show up anywhere on the map.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Kirby Super Star Ultra - high playthrough part 1

Kirby Super Star Ultra box cover art

I've never played the DS version of this before, and it's been like over 10 years since I played the original Kirby's Super Star, so this is like, practically a blind playthrough. I only remember the basics.

What I do remember is that this game is not really "6 games in one". In fact, it's pretty much the size of a normal Kirby game, with each "game" in the menu screen being about the size of a single world. Like in most Kirby games, the first world is always the shortest and pathetically easy, and then the worlds get progressively longer.

Spring Breeze is the first world, it's only 4 stages long. These stages are extremely simple, much like Dream Land 1. There weren't even any secrets to find, except for the one time I went into the moon and got to a bonus room where you collect a bunch of food and 1ups while falling, then land in an optional miniboss. Also there might've been some extra stuff beyond the door that lead to the Dedede fight, I dunno, that last stage was weird how it basically let you start the final boss right away.

This is the first game where every Kirby power has a Smash Bros like moveset. This is expanded further in the newer Kirby games.

Beating Spring Breeze unlocks the next 3 worlds; Dyna Blade, Gourmet Race, and The Great Cave Offensive.

Dyna Blade is basically like world 2. Gourmet Race should really be counted as another bonus minigame (there's 3 others unlocked from the start, labeled as "Sub games". So the Great Cave Offensive would be world 3, Revenge of Meta Knight is world 4, and then finally Milky Way Wishes is I think might be long enough to be considered both worlds 5 and 6. And then there's some other modes added in the DS version that I've never played before.

I guess I'll do the first of the 3 Sub Games next.

This card minigame is quite hard... You play against 3 cpus, and it shows a bunch of face up cards on the touch screen, then when a card shows up on the top screen, the first one to touch the matching card on the touch screen wins... but it gets easier as you go into more rounds, as the number of cards to choose from goes down... er, actually maybe it's just random. The 3rd level is insanely hard, the only way to win is by just keeping the bottom screen in focus, and hope that the one that comes up in the top screen is instantly recognizable and your stylus is already near it.

I won all 3 levels after about like 15 minutes... damn that apparently doesn't count towards completion. The file is currently 9% completed.

Next I'll do world 2: Dyna Blade. Looks like this is 5 stages long.

I like these CG cutscenes that were added in.. kinda showing the transition period between the 2D Kirby art style and Return to Dreamland.

This is where a lot more stage elements are introduced that weren't in Spring Breeze... like ladders, bomb blocks, puzzles with missable rewards... all things that are useful to learn about before starting Great Cave. And also the stages have become a lot longer and more complex. Like already in the first stage it's not always clear which way is progress and which way is optional rewards... sometimes I think both ways lead to progress.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 5

I can't think of much new stuff that the glide ability gives me access to... all I know is that the next destination, for the Veil of Warmth, is further northwest of the Valley of the Wind.

I found out that the Black Root Burrows is actually an extra optional area that was added in to the Definitive Edition of this game, and I actually have everything I need to go through this area now... It turns out this area isn't as hard as I initially thought. Of course, now that I have a ton more life capacity and save capacity, this helps a lot.

There's another glowing orb thing that you gotta carry around, just like in Forlorn Ruins, except instead of allowing you to walk up certain walls/ceilings, this glowing orb lights up the area around you and also makes certain invisible platforms visible, and makes those blue light doors invisible so you can pass through them. You don't have access to any of your acrobatic abilities while carrying the orb, so it's a bit tougher of a platforming challenge... fortunately you can still drop the orb whenever you are safely on the ground, in order to more easily kill the enemies around you to make carrying the orb around easier. I just realized how useful the bash ability is in combat. Using it to deflect the enemy projectiles back at them as a means of getting rid of them, is much safer than rying to engage in close combat and platforming while at the same time dancing around their projectiles.

After getting through the darkness area and putting the orb back in its place, the entire area becomes bright again... and I already managed to get all the ability cell pickups here while it was dark lol... but the path in Black Root Burrows actually continues... I get the dash ability, which apparently is completely optional outside of this extra area... and since I already unlocked air dash in the ability tree I have that move now as well... This makes navigating through the world even faster and less tedious than before (and it already wasn't very tedious at all).

Next is a few platforming sections making use of the dash, and then you get to ANOTHER new ability, the Light Burst, which is basically a Yoshi's Island egg throw. This place uses this ability a lot to activate switches that only the Light Burst can reach... and you can also through the Light Burst straight up and then do a bash off of it in midair to get extra height without the use of an enemy... this opens up so much... I think pretty much nothing is out of reach anymore...

I'm not sure what's up with this little story sequence at the end of this area... it shows ghost images of a bunch more of those fat characters like the one who adopted Ori in the beginning... one of them died and then the other left home and went somewhere else.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 4

Forlorn Ruins... already I'm hopelessly stuck... wtf am I supposed to do here at this part with the floating blocks? You can fall on one of them sideways, but that doesn't get you anywhere except towards a wall of spikes.

... aw damn... I had to look up a walkthrough to figure out that you can walk along all 4 sides of those floating cubes... that never even crossed my mind at all. The rest of it was easy... then there's an epic escape sequence, just like in the Ginso Tree... except this time you mostly just use the glide power to ride the wind while avoiding falling spikes and stuff... that part's really annoying, mostly just a matter of trial and error.

We get some backstory on Kuro, the evil owl thing... it turns out he's not evil, he's just trying to protect his family, cuz his species is very weakened by the Spirit Tree's light or something... and I'm guessing the Valley of the Wind is close to where he lives, because this is where Kuro finds Ori and there's a stealth sequence going back through Valley of the Wind to get avoid getting killed by him.


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 3

I'm glad I started grinding the blue ability tree path, cuz it looks like I'm really gonna need that infinite air for the swimming sections in hard mode.

I re-explored everything again with my new powers, and then I ended up getting to the Warmth element area before figuring out how to get to the wind place. The top-left of Hollow Grove has some really crazy enemies, including one that shoots an instant-death laser all around it... and you really need to get good with the Bash move to get through this place... I got a teleporter and a few more energy/life cells out of it, but this isn't the way to progress right now. Also yeah I got the infinite swimming by the time I finished all of this.

Now I'm at 43% total completion by the time I even start heading towards the Wind area. By the time I get to Valley of the Wind, I'm so good at using the Bash ability, and I have so many life cells and energy cells that I'm actually finding the game a bit easy now.

Then, instead of going into Misty Woods which is where my destination is, I explored further to the south of Valley of the Wind... it seems the path keeps going this way. There's a lot of weird green glowy liquid down here... and then further down it turns into this frozen over area that looks really amazing...

I don't know if I'm supposed to be down here yet or not... but I guess I'll just keep going until I get to a road block.
ooh, so it turns out this is where you need to go after you explore the Misty Woods... at least I got the map for this area... Valley of the Wind is now 80% completed already lol

Wow... I did not see that insane difficulty spike at Misty Woods coming at all. This place is incredibly hard on hard mode. Not only is it hard to figure out where you're going since there's no map, but I also get disoriented often since I don't remember which way I was going after I die... there's a lot of stuff here that makes use of both the Bash ability and the new gliding ability. Also I got enough ability points to unlock the triple jump during this part... it doesn't really change the game that much.

This place keeps changing too... it's like, I think I went back and forth a few times but it was different each time, so it felt like I may or may not have been going the right way. By the time I got the lantern thing to make the map appear again and turned the forest back to normal, I managed to get 94% completion in this area... Now that I see the map it looks very linear, but I'm pretty sure there were more parts of it that aren't shown on this map. I don't know where to go to get the last 6% of this area done.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 2

I spent like the next hour re-exploring everywhere to get what I can with double jump... there's a few things I noticed that seem impossible to get to, even after I get the triple jump and air dash.

I've now unlocked air dash through the skill tree, but I can't actually use it yet because I haven't yet learned the normal dash.

Finally, after getting a few more life cells and energy cells, now I feel much less vulnerable and I can actually tank a few hits before dying... now I'll start the inside of the Ginso Tree.

This place is kinda annoying, but also fun... It took me a LOT of deaths before I realized that going through portals refreshes your double jump. This area is a very unique section made up of single-screen rooms that keep going further and further up the tree.

Eventually I got to a new power, which is kind of like an air dash, except it's more like a counter move that bounces you off projectiles/enemies and rockets you in whatever direction you choose. If you use this on a projectile, the projectile will go in the opposite direction that you get bounced in... this gimmick is used immediately in the 2nd half of the Ginso Tree...

After you destroy the thorny things that were corrupting the tree and preventing it from producing water, suddenly there's an intense escape sequence where you have to use your skills to climb up through the rest of the tree while a rush of water comes flooding up from below you... there's also a bunch of energy pickups along the way and of course I want to get all of them during this escape segment cuz I don't know if I'll be able to come back here.

That last part was really fun, it reminded me of a Rayman Origins/Legends sort of level. I got all the things inside the tree, but somehow the map only shows this area as 99% completed. I guess it's because there's some small corner of the map that I didn't go into in order to make it so the map is fully explored.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ori and the Blind Forest hard mode playthrough log part 1

This game has amazing presentation... the beginning cutscene really drew me in.

The gameplay... it's okay I guess. Once the real game starts and you gain the ability to shoot homing shots, I'm thinking this isn't very fun yet, but it'll probably get better as I gain more abilities. I can see on the pause menu that there's quite a lot of new abilities to unlock.

I really like the save system. You can technically save anywhere, but it uses up soul energy, which I think auto-recharges at a slow rate or something? Either that, or you need to collect it from the blue glowy things. There's expansions you can get that let you store more soul energy cells at a time.

There's also a skill tree menu that you can only access at your save points. Once you've created a save point, you can always go back to it and access the skill tree. The stuff that enemies drop is the currency that you use to gain skills. I can't tell whether enemies respawn based on time or on distance, but either way they made it so it'd be really stupidly tedious to grind in the early areas for a bunch of skills.

The first skill I unlocked was the "shoot faster" skill obviously. I bet there'll be a skill to increase the range of the homing shots because right now you really have to put yourself in danger in order to hit anything. Then I got the "pickups float toward you" skill, then the skill that lets you re-use your custom save points infinitely, so you don't need to wait for a soul recharge in order to save again.

So far the gameplay mostly revolves around exploring every path to collect the keys and then going back to unlock the locked door to progress. Also there are map stone things, like the map consoles in Metroid, except you have to find the missing pieces before it'll work.

After getting the wall jump ability, and the warp point at Hollow Grove, I went back to the first area (Sunken Glades) and found a path leading into Black Root Burrows... This area is completely dark... I bet it's probably possible to do some sequence breaking here, but screw that, I'm not exploring this place without some kind of light source.

Oh, and now I see that the charge shot also uses up soul energy... and yeah, you can only recover soul energy from the blue gems that don't respawn very quickly... and now there's a bunch of walls that requires charged shots to destroy and I have to juggle between progressing and creating save points. Also there's doors that require you to simply deposit multiple cells of stored soul energy... which I obviously can't do anything about yet because I only have 1 energy cell capacity.

This game is getting pretty addicting now. Once I got to the Moon Grotto and got the double jump ability, the platforming suddenly got way more intense. I wasn't expecting this game to have Meat Boy style platforming difficulty all of the sudden. This is great.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fatal Frame III: The Tormented - First playthrough log

Fatal Frame III: The Tormented box cover art


Rei and her friend are in some old building for some reason. Rei mentions that she wishes this place were haunted... then suddenly she notices something, and sees what seems to be the ghost of her dead boyfriend down the hallway.

This starts out kinda similar to Fatal Frame 1. There's a grainy noir film filter over everything as you're wandering the hallways. It looks really cool when you use the viewfinder. Right now Rei just has a normal camera, although I can get points for shooting non-aggressive ghosts this early on.

Wow wtf, I just wandered into a hallway and got killed by the first aggressive ghost in the game, since my camera can't capture them yet... At first I thought maybe I wasn't supposed to go that way yet? But then when I respawned, it put me in a whole different area... what's going on?

I'm in some kind of temple/shrine looking building now. Rei sees the ghost of her dead boyfriend, and tries to catch up to him... Then suddenly she wakes up and is on the ground surrounded by a bunch of same-looking priestess girls, and they attack Rei with some cursed stakes or something... then she wakes up for real out of her daydream, she's still in that same building with her friend standing there...

Later, she processes a photo of the guy she saw in the hallway earlier, proving that wasn't just a daydream... Then that night, Rei is dreaming and ends up back at the outside of this huge temple building.

Hour 1 - The Sign

Now I'm wandering the hallways inside this temple like building... There's a few ways to go now. There's a bunch of locked doors, including some with special symbols on them... but the only way I can go is to the 2nd floor where I find the Camera Obscura, and a save lantern.

Then there's a couple fights against some angry woman and a younger girl... These enemy animations are really good.

And then Rei finds some an actual living person who is freaking out and wishing she hadn't survived... and and another person covered in tattoos who starts chasing Rei, and she freaks out and runs out of the house, and wakes up as soon as she steps out of the house.

Right after waking up, some kind of nasty bruise starts appearing on Rei's skin, but it goes away once her friend shows up to snap her out of it. The atmosphere of this bedroom looks so incredibly normal and non-spooky compared to the usual atmosphere...

Friday, October 20, 2017

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - First playthrough log/screenshots

Specter Knight can climb and wall jump off certain walls (only dirt walls I guess)... can only climb so far per wall-landing, similar to Skyward Sword...

His scythe attack is interesting... he can't jump very well, but any time you are within scythe range of an attackable object while in midair, you get a sort of homing attack prompt that, if executed, will either make you air-dash diagonally upward or downward depending on whether you are above or below the object... I dunno the exact hitbox dynamics here, but it's a pretty fun concept. and, you can already see it being used in really cool ways for the sidepath secrets in this first level.

Oh yeah... the levels have a certain number of red skulls to collect (10 in the first level)... these are used to trade in town for Curios, which are the special A button abilities you can purchase. Curios use up your Darkness meter... and there are Darkness Wisps you can find in certain levels that will increase your darkness meter. A woman in town tells you what levels the Darkness Wisps are, and also says that every level has one Willfullness Wisp in it (increases your Will meter, aka hearts).

And there's a thing in town that you can donate money to... so yeah money does still have a purpose here. I don't know what it unlocks but it's something.

Also you absorb the souls of all the enemies you defeat... I'm not sure what this does though. Do the souls just refill your Darkness meter?

I like this so far... and yeah the story is decent. It has a very Castlevania vibe where you're the bad guy working to increase Dracula's army.

The Red Skeleton misses his beloved, and the red skulls you find throughout the stages remind him of her, I guess? That's why he trades you Curios for them. But you don't just get the Curio power... he sends you to some secret skeleton zone that's like a mini level where you learn to use that Curio.

lol this mirror character... he tells you your various playthrough stats... "I'm not a mirror!"

woah, I think I just completed a sidequest on accident... this gold knight wanted to get stronger or something... and then I destroyed a lantern above him by airdashing through it too many times, and the lantern oil fell on him and turned him red, increasing his strength somehow.

oh, and I found out that donating to those weird spirits that float overtop of pots... well I did one of them at least, gives you access to upgrades for your Curios, in exchange for even more money.

Screenshots of first level:

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Hat in Time screenshots log part 7 (finale)

Wow that Mafia rocket race... that's like a way harder version of Koopa the Quick... I had to use the scooter and then the time hat near the end to just barely beat him... actually it's incredibly easy if you just use the time hat alone... beating it with just the scooter alone is a fun challenge though.

A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot A Hat in Time screenshot