Just Another Progress Report (Monthly Musing, May 2019)

My month has been hectic and largely work-focused, so my thoughts have been all over the place. You know what that means…

First things first, ever since I completed Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 in early 2017, I’ve set up for myself a tradition of sorts that I call NepJune. The simplicity of the pun equates to that of the concept: I start a new Neptunia game every June. Since I started Re;Birth 2 in 2017 and Re;Birth 3 in 2018, I’ll start the next installment (Neptunia U: Action Unleashed) this June. (Then will be Mega VII, Sega, and 4GO. I plan to do Hyperdevotion Noire and MegaTagmension Blanc at my leisure before and after Mega VII, since those are evidently spin-offs. All games mentioned are ones that I got on sale.) Re;Birth 3 was a doozy to complete as far as Quests, level 999 grinding, Plans, and Colosseum battles, yet I was considering grinding Challenges until I realized how short my time was (and how tedious some of the Challenges are, especially Marathon Runner). Anyway, here’s the take-away: Next Monthly Musing will be dedicated to the Re;Birth 1-3 mass review that I’ve been planning for months on end. (This also includes the animated adaptation, so I’ll have to watch through that again.)

Second, I have found the inspiration to complete Part 1 of LUMP (Lana’s Unprecedented Mashup Pilgrimage), which I kinda foreshadowed last month. It entails the events of Melemele Island and can be viewed here. (For the record, I did intend for the prologue to be integrated in there.) I owe the inspiration mostly to Isekai Quartet airing this season while the Sun/Moon anime is still ongoing.

Other things…

  • Persona Q2 is coming out in a few days (i.e. June 4), so odds are I’ll be playing through it starting then.
  • Phoenotopia: I want to complete a Most Dangerous Arsenal run one of these days (because it’s the only category that currently has no runs under it), and the thought occurred to me earlier this week when I was thinking about what to do with the paid leave that I had put in for the week (which I decided based on my workload this month and the next). I recently got a run up to Dread Lands, where I had forgotten so much of the route and flubbed enough that I got fed up with the run.
  • Cinq du Soleil: Even though I have inspiration in spades to write LUMP (partly because I’m excited to write out what I have planned for Akala Island), I can’t say the same of Cinq du Soleil. In the midst of writing Chapter 14, with all the ideas running through my head about planned and written chapters alike, I figured I’d want to write a prequel to the story. It will be called Cinq du Passé (“passé” meaning “past” and rhyming with “soleil”), and it will entail the lives of the five female protagonists before they became part of the team. Thing is, I’ve written a decent chunk from Yue’s perspective, but that’s where the news ends, i.e. there’s no telling what will happen from there.

 

À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

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One Last Schedule Change

 Happy 2019!

(This post timing is in recognition of Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time.)

I do plan on continuing Vouiv-review at least through this year, even if it’s not (and most likely never will be) what it used to be. If I do consider discontinuing, it will be before the beginning of another year. But in the end, who knows.

Anyway, the primary reason for this post, as the title implies, is to make one last change to the blog schedule. It’s a simple change, but it’s sure to do wonders for the flow of the main two blog series.

For starters, Poké Monday is scheduled for the second Monday of every month. This is to prepare room for a new series to replace Whimsical Weekend.

And that series is Monthly Musing. My thought process was: If Poké Monday and Whimsical Weekend usually each happen only once every month, why not make them happen exactly once every month? Specifically, the new series is scheduled for the last day of every month.

Accordingly, I aim to change the banner this afternoon. That’s all for now.

At a standstill 5 (Whimsical Weekend #28)

Yeah, um…I feel like I didn’t manage my time very wisely over the past few weeks. The core of it: I wanted to complete all eight main stories of Octopath Traveler before embarking on my first company travel (and, in fact, my first time traveling out of state without family, not to mention my first time traveling by plane since my infancy). I didn’t break the news of the planned travel to my parents until dinner hour of the day before (Monday through Friday is the exact duration of the trip), which was mistake number one because the implications of it were more complicated than I had envisioned.

I wanted to do a brief overview of the Octopath characters before I left, but it’s too late now because I have to get up way early in the morning. And between the emotional music/events of the Octopath endgame (particularly the Chapter 4 boss theme) and the anxiety of traveling with such a series of firsts, I just felt too many emotions for the writing to be on the forefront of my mind. That said, I am tired of doing things like this and leaving nothing but teasers to the humble audience of this blog, so there is a chance that I will later come out with something more elaborate than what I had envisioned for this weekend’s post. As for how later…that’s part of the whimsy.

(In other news, I’m up to floor 60 of Neptral Tower in Re;Birth 2 and 2/3 through the Korok seeds in Breath of the Wild.)

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

En vacances (Whimsical Weekend #26)

(TL note: “En vacances” means “On vacation”)

Thank goodness for post scheduling, because I am on vacation (to Nova Scotia to visit relatives) as of June 23 and until the weekend after the next (July 7 or 8), all with meager guarantee of Internet access. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the mm/dd date of upload and Eastern Daylight time of upload are identical.

What I thought about before the trip? A number of things. First, I was hoping to get a satisfactory Most Dangerous Arsenal run before leaving, but I have too many commitments alongside my full-time job to dedicate so many hours to grinding out such an irritating category (actually more irritating than New Game Plus, I dare say). One such commitment is to the Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth series. While I’m still hacking away little by little at Stella’s Dungeon in Re;Birth 2 (I’m at the last 15 floors of Lost Ruins), I started Re;Birth 3 (or, as I like to call it, 3Birth) at the beginning of the month. Ah, what an experience. Plutia is a great character. That said… When I watched the anime, Plutia ended up being my favorite character. But, I’ve reached Chapter 9, and I have to say as a whole that I consider Blanc to be better. Partly for relatability, and partly for her usefulness in battle. I mean, she is the tank of the series, hands down. …But anyway, I just brought that up because it’s another thing that I thought about before the trip. I was hoping that I could reach the Normal End of 3Birth before leaving. But, it’s currently the dead of Thursday night, the exact departure time is 5 AM on Saturday, and I still have further commitments (translation: Smogon Pet Mods), so I ended up thinking, “Nah, why even bother at this point.”

Another thing is that I’ve been considering getting Puyo Puyo Tetris. Ever since watching 360chrism play through the game and end up speedrunning it (which, by the way, he will do live on European Speedrunner Assembly 2018 stream 2 next month), as well as watching a few other streamers play it (SimpleFlips, S2LSOFTENER, DarkSpinesSonic), I became inspired by the game. What ultimately solidified my decision to buy was that I figured the Switch library was looking a little bleak and that it would be nice to have a 2-player game, particularly for the vacation in question. As of right now, I’ve made a modest progress past 2-1 of Adventure Mode, and the game has proven to be quite entertaining so far. Not as easy as it looks, and certainly not easy to get into, but that’s all part of the experience.

 

That’s all from me. Perhaps, when next we meet, I will be refreshed and of boosted morale.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Smogon Pet Mods (Whimsical Weekend #23)

This is an encouragement to fellow fans of the Pokémon series. If you haven’t heard of Pet Mods on Smogon Forums, then now is the time to become aware. Pet Mods are basically modifications of the Pokémon metagame that are founded upon abstract concepts usually requiring a democratic system to solidify. Need a better explanation? This post does an elegant job of explaining the general premise.

Honestly, I confess that Pet Mods are a prominent reason why this blog is all over the place instead of being focused on particular topics (excluding Poké Monday). Pet Mods are largely dependent on the contributing community, so sometimes I can’t help feeling inclined to play my part, y’know?

While I’m at it, have some recommendations.

Fusion Evolution – Make a fusion of two Pokémon. Give the fusion a name, typing, stat line, and Ability. The fusion’s movepool is simply a combination of those of both its fusees. Very diverse, perhaps to the point of overflowing with creativity. See also: Fusion Moves.

Eternal Pokémon – Inspired by Eternal Floette. Every evolvable Pokémon is given an “Eternal” counterpart that has 1 BST less than its final evolution and has a signature move. To encourage diversity, Eternal counterparts can also have one of their types changed (e.g., the winning Eternal Pansage submission is Grass/Fighting).

You might think that’s not much, but I say it’s enough. And regardless, here’s the main takeaway: Pet Mods need all the contributors they can get. And don’t be discouraged if you submit and don’t/scarcely get voted for (I know that feel); that’s part of living, learning, and having fun.

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

At a standstill 4 (Whimsical Weekend #22)

Somehow I feel like it’s been quite a long time since the last time I said I was at a standstill. At the very least, quite a bit has happened since then.

Again starting with Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2. Turns out I managed to complete absolutely everything (including 100 mil credits and Colosseum plans) except Stella’s Dungeon. I was thinking at first that it was rather tedious (and I don’t want to cheat my way through it), but I feel like, if I approach it as I did the Pokémon freemium 3DS games back before working full-time, it might not be so bad. Going beyond, as eager as I am to finish the trilogy with Re;Birth 3, I feel that perhaps it would be preferable to savor the fruits of the effort taken to complete Re;Birth 2. And also…

I recently started Doki Doki Literature Club, a free-to-play visual novel on Steam. It disguises itself as a cutesy, anime-inspired dating simulator, but it’s no secret that beneath this surface lies some disturbing content. Even so, at this point in time, I am prepared for anything, specifically a psychological thrill to throw off my attraction towards Japanese culture. With that in mind, I am putting off Re;Birth 3 until after completing DDLC, if nothing else.

Also since last time, I discovered all the remaining shrines of Breath of the Wild (including the new DLC ones) and increased my Korok seed count to 533 (admittedly mostly thanks to the Korok Mask from early DLC). I’ll be on and off searching for the remaining seeds, because the seeds are tedious to search for, but the game is still fun to play from time to time.

…And that’s about it to report.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

At a standstill 3 (Whimsical Weekend #17)

First off, I’m still in the process of going for all the endings of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2. As of last time, I took care of the Planeptune, Leanbox, Lastation, Lowee, Human, and Conquest endings in that order, so I only have the Holy Sword and True endings left.

The Land and Human endings are basically just the Normal ending with a bonus cutscene after the credits, so not much beyond the standard fare of cutesy aftermath. Conquest ending, on the other hand… I’m still reeling from that jank. It requires a complicated set of criteria to be done before the end of Chapter 5 (a.k.a. the Planeptune event after defeating three of the Four Felons), and I now realize that the developers were right to make it so.

I’ll try not to go into too much detail (for the sake of avoiding spoilers and saving the detailed talk until I finish the entire Re;Birth series), but I will say that Conquest ending has a fairly similar plot line to Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest (hence “Conquest” is in both names), only it’s smaller scale and with less painstakingly difficult battles, but with a greater touch of guilt and loneliness as the plot advances (granted I haven’t finished Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, but that’s the best comparison I can draw). And actually, seeing the more morbid events unfold made me think back to when I played through the Zero Escape series, which is a far cry from what I’d normally expect of a Neptunia game. That said, I’m guessing that the other two endings won’t be quite as intense (but probably at least more intense than the Normal, Land, or Human endings).

While I’m at it, I never really explained to what degree I play through the installments of the Re;Birth series before I consider myself “done” with them. Along with making sure that I’ve seen all the endings, I also strive to unlock all characters, complete all quests and colosseum battles, fill the image gallery (in other words, each ending done on a separate cycle of a single playthrough), and unlock all plans. Anything beyond that would be…excessive, I imagine.

Other than that, the only notable thing I’ve been up to is continuing my Breath of the Wild playthrough, in which I’m up to 108 shrines, 231 Korok seeds, 10 memories, 30 Shrine Quests, 44 Side Quests, 4 Great Fairies, and 231 Hyrule Compendium entries  (64 Creatures, 58 Monsters, 35 Materials, 70 Equipment, and 4 Treasure).

…Yeah, that’s really all I have to say for now.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)