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!)

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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!)

At a standstill 2 (Whimsical Weekend #14)

It kinda pains me to be doing this when my last “At a standstill” post was Whimsical Weekend #12, but once again, I just don’t have any particular writing topic in mind right now. I did mention freelance coding before, and I’ve been really into it as of late, especially considering I can see the light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel. That and the regular work routine are making it difficult to think about anything else.

I would like to briefly touch upon a few things, though. First off, I take back what I said about the Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth series; I’d rather cover all three installments en masse after all. (I also plan to re-watch the anime afterwards, because that was a blur to me the first time I watched it.) I mean, I decided to start playing Re;Birth 2 last month and managed to achieve the Normal Ending (rather anticlimactically, I must say), and there seems to be a lot more ground to cover for the remaining endings, what with the Shares and Lily Ranks and such. For now, I will say that Re;Birth 2 took a step down from Re;Birth 1 overall, but I won’t explain why in full detail.

Second, about the same time I started Re;Birth 2, I actually bought the secondary story (Conquest) for my copy of Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, considering the advent of newer Fire Emblem games and that I haven’t gotten the most out of the Fates series yet. But dang, man, I’m sixteen chapters into Conquest on Hard mode, and I have to say that the difference between Birthright and Conquest is the difference between Super Weenie Hut Jr.’s and the Salty Spittoon. (Shoutouts to SpongeBob.)

And finally, I’m thinking that I should later get around to speedrunning Phoenotopia more seriously. My mindset as of late has been: “Wait until a golden opportunity to stream,” but now that I think about it, that’s a terrible mindset to have. I mean, I set my expectations too high when I stream, only to be disappointed when I end it off at an inevitably early time because I can’t get a run past Bandits’ Lair due to my rust. Coupling that with the fact that I get few opportunities to stream in the first place (considering I still live with my parents, and I don’t know when would be a good time to change that), I now realize that I’m probably better off just recording offline instead. And yes, I do still plan to improve my times, even in any% and 100%. (For both categories, I recently devised new strats that I don’t plan to discuss right now. Also, my times in All Moonstones and All Medals could definitely stand to be more optimized, the more I look back at them.)

So, um…that’s about it.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

At a standstill (Whimsical Weekend #12)

Yeah…I’m not even ashamed to be posting this on Monday midnight. The truth is, I haven’t been motivated at all to come up with a proper post over the course of these two weeks. I’ve just been going through the standard routine of going to work every weekday and using my leisure time to indulge in whatever forms of entertainment may tickle my fancy. In particular, watching Twitch streams while doing some freelance coding is what I’ve been into lately. (Whom I watch depends mostly on the time of day, but twitch.tv/360chrism is definitely the stream where I hang out most.)

I suppose, if there’s anything I would have felt like writing about if I had taken more time to think, it’s Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1. Part of me wanted to save such talk until after completing the entire Re;Birth series, but later on I thought, “Well, it was recently that I decided that I had played the first installment to my heart’s content, so…” Wait, actually, I was considering optimizing the equipment of at least my main party members (Blanc, Noire, Vert, Ram, Neptune, and Nepgear), and I never really got around to that, so perhaps delaying that sort of talk is for the best.

I was also considering talking about the Conceptis Block-a-Pix app now that it’s recently come out on Android (I don’t have an iOS device), but there’s not much to talk about, considering I’ve done an entire analysis on the form of puzzle in question, so I’ll just say here what little I have to about the app. My main beef with it is: If you create a box around a number, the area of that box can exceed the number of tiles required by that number, whereas the site applet has a constraint for that. Second, in greater puzzle sizes on smaller screens (e.g., 30*45 on an 854*480 screen), it’s hard to tell ‘6’s from ‘8’s. The second one is not of dire importance and definitely not an easy fix (considering it’s the standard Conceptis font), but I’m hoping the first one gets fixed in a future update.

I guess that’s all for now.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

…Hopefully I’ll actually have a substantial post by then…

What’s to come (Whimsical Weekend #9)

So, as of the beginning of this month, I have been privileged to work full-time, and my hours are similar to those that I had during the internship, only one hour later and with only half the commute. Because of this, and because I’ve been spending my leisure time in such weird ways, it’s become increasingly difficult to think of what to write for this blog. This is the second week after my most recent Poké Monday, but I can’t really think of anything that I’d like to write about at this time. For that reason, I will use this post to discuss my plans for the future. (I know this makes things less whimsical, but when I put my thoughts out front, it increases my inspiration to create new content.)

Memeathon X submission

Memeathon is a speedrunning marathon for meme categories and games. The duration of the upcoming Memeathon (Memeathon X) is from March 31 to April 2, and submissions (which opened on February 11) end on March 5. For that reason, I figured it would be the best opportunity to submit my main speedgame: Phoenotopia (the Flash game, of course). I mean, the game itself isn’t enough of a meme on its own, especially considering the non-meme categories range from 50 minutes to just above 2 hours long, so I submitted something shorter and more meme-related: 69 HP RTA. I’ve mentioned the category in at least one previous post, but the route has since changed for the better. Actually, rather than writing about it, perhaps it would be better to link a demonstration video:

I have done a few runs since changing the route, and I’ve completed the objective (getting a maximum HP value of 69) in less than 30 minutes on multiple occasions, although I don’t believe that it’s possible in under 29 minutes. Regardless, when I submitted the run, I used 34:30 as an estimate, although solely because it’s half of 69 minutes. Not a very generous estimate, but I’m hoping to make it work by rehearsing plenty. That’s assuming I’ll get accepted, though, and that’s not a 100% guarantee. If it does happen to be the case, however, I’ll make sure to post something about it on the Whimsical Weekend thereafter.

Phoenotopia any% post-commentated

Earlier this month, I did end up improving my Phoenotopia any% PB by roughly a minute; my record is now 50:53 RTA, 53 minutes in-game time. I streamed the run live on Twitch during midnight hours on that day, and the video without commentary can be viewed at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/119856238 (Sadly, Twitch videos cannot be embedded on this site quite like YouTube videos can.)

Currently, I am working on a commentary transcript so that I can eventually upload a post-commentated version to YouTube. The transcript right now covers about 23% of the video length, so there’s still work to be done in that department.

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir review

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but similarly to what I did with Mondaiji, I felt like doing a review of this series after finishing the 12th volume of the light novel (although the 12th apparently isn’t the last of Fafnir). It wasn’t until about a year ago that I delved into the world of light novels, and I chose this one second because I was so big a fan of Kili Surtr Muspelheim in the anime that I became insatiably curious about her. Currently, I am on chapter 3 part 4 of volume 12, making very gradual progress because I don’t read it all that actively (maybe once every few nights).

Other?

I have no idea, to be honest. Cinq du Soleil and Diamond Hollow II Story Mode New Save are still on the backlog, and I also plan on improving Phoenotopia categories other than any%, but everything else is up in the air.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)