Nothing-A-Day 08
10/09/09 at 00:57 EST

Oh, another uneventful day.

As if you couldn't guess, I've been playing Birth By Sleep some more, and a couple more surprises have come my way. I'll do what I can to keep things "spoiler free" like a true gentleman of netiquette from here on out. Discovered that the game facilitates online play, in a variety of silly mini-games (including what appears to be a racing game) but what caught my attention was the ability to add "D-Links" (basically, summons) to your command menu for other people. Meaning, you can summon irl friends in battle. Bit of a pity that none of my friends own a PSP, huh. Oh well.

Difficulty curve's been rather volatile. Boss fights seem to have a 50/50 chance of containing at least one attack that, when fully executed, results in a one-hit kill. Other bosses have sufficiently over-powered enough attacks that, while not as immediately fatal, require me to be on the top of my game (read: persistence) to survive. I guess I shouldn't really complain but it gets somewhat irritating when the boss fights are five to ten minutes of gameplay beyond the nearest save point. I'm a stubborn mule and play with the One Life Rule. There is no Continue, there is no Retry. There is only Load Game.

Something really feels odd about the game, though. I'm thoroughly enjoying the combat system, the music is top notch, the graphics are crisp, and the level design has taken a turn back toward KH1, effectively rolling back the mistakes made in KH2. As much as I enjoyed KH2, the levels were extremely narrow and linear; it was impossible to "go the wrong way" the first time around because there was only one way to go. BBS takes a page from its roots and offers you a more open world with multiple branching paths (even if in some cases they are tiny worlds). It was a core part of the experience - you're there to explore strange new worlds, not walk through a script like you're watching a movie.

No, what bugs me is the dialog. Maybe I've become more analytical and picky over the years, but the dialog and overall writing feel less convincing. There are assumptions being drawn that, as far as I can tell, the protagonist should not be able to assert, unless of course s/he grew up watching Disney movies, a possibility I surely doubt is the case. The other thing that seems kind of odd to me is how they dangle the characters from the first three games in front of the player every so often as if we're just running through a maze to get a piece of cheese. I don't know why I feel so discontent with the idea, since last time I checked, that's what I wanted. Characters just seem to pass by so briefly, moving in-and-out just to say "Hey, remember me?". I think what disturbs me is that I get the impression the game is treating me like an idiot, as if I couldn't remember what has happened since KH2. Then again, KH2 did exactly that to the player through the foil of Sora, so I don't know what I'm complaining about.

I just spent four paragraphs talking about BBS. Yay. Suffice to say, the rest of the day was equally interesting (it wasn't). Getting too damn cold to bike to work without a jacket on, and I stubbed my thumb something fierce while playing Foosball. Fierce enough to cause bleeding. For all of a second.

I don't know what's happened, but I've been in remarkably good spirits lately. No, not just in the last 30 hours since I've had BBS; longer than that. The past week or two. I think I've been thoroughly distracted away from my insurmountable failure as a human being for not pursuing any goals or dreams or anything like that. In that respect, about two months ago I took up XNA programming and have been having a lot of fun and success with it up until about...three, four weeks ago? at which time I encountered a particularly difficult stepping stone in my application and left it indefinitely, as I tend to do. Baby steps; I've known what I need to do the entire time but have just recently started actually doing it, and given that it should be the last remaining challenging obstacle in the short-term development, once I trudge through this horrid sludge I should be coasting and loving it again. What am I working on? A couple people know. I've gotten into the habit of not saying what I'm up to in order to address my habit of not finishing what I start. Best not to get any hopes up for a reality that likely will never be.

Oh, and I found out that Legend of Neil did actually get its third season (finally). That is fantastic. I'm looking forward to watching the entire season in one sitting when it's done. And then watching all three seasons in a row in a later sitting. (For those keeping score, The Legend of Neil is a well-done live-action Legend of Zelda parody.)
Tagged under: gaming, life
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