Underneath my yellow skin

A plethora of choices and two obsessions

I have an obsessive nature that if I don’t rein in, can run rampant throughout my life. It’s especially apparent when it comes to pop culture. I don’t like much, but when I do like something, I suck the blood out of it. Which is apt because I played as a Supervampire yesterday and died in the Mayor’s Village to a bullshit situation. I was trying to use an item, and then when I went back to actually playing, either my fingers were off or the keyboard wasn’t properly responding. Or, what is more likely, it somehow reverted back to Dvorak. Any rate, the Supercops killed me before I could figure out what went wrong.

What game am I talking about? Streets of Rogue, of course. The game I was going to quit before, several times, but then get sucked back in when I win a run. That high is almost comparable to beating a Dark Souls boss, but not quite because there is more RNG at work than in beating a DS boss. Yes, there is some RNG there, but it’s instances, not whole floors. In SoR, I often feel whether I win a run or not is based on items I get, traits I get, and which missions I get on which floor. Also, which character I play. Cop is the easiest (Supercop is cruise mode) with Soldier being a close second. (I would argue Supersoldier is easier than Supercop, especially with Infinite Ammo.) Assassin, once I got the hang of her, was super fun, and Vampire was fairly chill as well once I fully embraced her nature–and was able to chomp on people even when I was fully healed. It still surprises me that I won as the Shopkeeper, but I basically played her kitted out with as many guns as possible. And, since she got great deals on everything, I had enough money to buy ammo every floor.

So far, I have won with Soldier, Cop, Shopkeeper, Vampire, Assassin, and Doctor. I finished the Big Quest with the Slum Dweller, but got ripped apart in the Mayor Village.

Side Note: I’ve seen a recent spike of people using ‘apart’ to mean ‘a part’, and it makes me rage every time. One of my personal pet peeves (in English).

When you finish the Big Quest of the Slum Dweller, you become an Upper-Cruster. The other Super Special Abilities versions of the characters are way overpowered. This one seems like a joke because the only two positives I can see to her is that she starts with a tidy sum of money and she can use the alarm buttons during the later levels to summon a Supercop. This I know by reading about it because I have not made it very far as the Upper-Cruster. With the other souped up characters, I sailed through the game. Either I’m doing something wrong with the Upper-Cruster or she really is just a joke character (a poke at wealthy people being useless). Oh, Upper-Crusters run from conflict so having friends of your own class is not helpful in this situation.

Side Note 2: Teleport-Happy is god tier as a Trait. I didn’t value it much at first, even when Norrtherlion mentioned people telling him it was god tier. You can transport anywhere anytime as long as no immediate danger is president. Why is that a big deal? I’ll tell you why. Because you can avoid much of the mayhem on the Floor 3s, and you can transport to the Exit from wherever (with a few small exceptions). You can also teleport from indoors which you can’t do without it, which means once you finish the last quest, you can just teleport to the Exit. It’s fucking amazing, and it’s the reason I got at least two of my wins.

Anyway, I’m also playing Binding of Isaac: Rebirth/Afterbirth/Afterbirth+ every day, which I need to stop. It’s comfort gaming, but it’s not adding anything to my life other than mindless escapism. I did try Greedier Mode for the first time in over a year, and it reminded me why I hate Greed/ier Mode so much. I managed to win as Samson, but only because I got the D…20? D20 on the second-to-last floor. You need the D20 to break the game in Greed/ier Mode, and it took me fifteen minutes to do it. I also had an Algiz Rune for the second phase of Greed, and that made it a walk in the park.

The only thing I need to do on my Post-Its is to kill Mega Satan as The motherfucking Keeper. I hate him. So much. Also, getting to Mega Satan is not easy to do in general. You need to pieces of a key to open his door or you need Dad’s Key, which is an active item that opens all doors in the room. It’s useful, but not a top tier item. It’s kind of a big ask to haul it all the way up/down to the Chest/Dark Room just to open his door. The way to get the two pieces is by fighting two angels, which means you have to eschew the (usually better) deals with the devil. Oh, and because The Keeper uses coins instead of hearts for health, you can’t have any soul hearts with him, which means one hit on a floor greatly reduces your change of getting a devil/angel room. The good news is that if you do manage to get a devil room on the second floor (first time you can get it), you probably don’t want to take it, anyway, without having a health up available to offset going down to being one-hit the whole game.

You can’t even do the usual cheat of getting an extra life as Judas or through Dead Cat because you have to finish the game as The Keeper in order to get the achievement. Anyway, you need to get to the angel room twice and have two bombs and beat two angels. Then you have to take the key to the Chest/Dark Room and open Mega Satan’s door. It has been my bugaboo, and it’s so bad, I filled out the entire Post-It for The Forgotten, a character that came out a year later (therabouts), and I still haven’t filled out The Keeper’s. By the way, unlocking The Forgotten was perhaps the single most unpleasant thing in all of Isaac. And I nearly fucked it up by using Mom’s Shovel slightly off the actual place I needed to use it because I was so stressed by the time I reached the Dark Room. Fortunately, I had a battery in another room, or I would have given up the game forever.

Veering abruptly to a different subject, I need a new game. There are two that have caught my eye: Children of Morta and blasphemous. Children of Morta, developed by Dead Mage, is a rogue-like-lite with RPG elements set in a fantastical world and is absolutely gorgeous. Some people are saying it’s a marriage between Dark Souls and Diablo, and having watched Northerlion play an episode or two, I am digging it. I also love that the family names are John, Linda, Grandma Margaret, and Uncle Ben (so far) in a fantasy game. On the other hand, the boys (RKG) streamed blasphemous yesterday (and I’m watching it now because I only caught the last fifteen minutes live), and it’s a Dark Souls Castlevania developed by The Game Kitchen. It’s moody and dripping with lugubrious, Catholic imagery. It’s a platform brawler 2D Dark Souls-lite with a main protagonist with a tall, pointy hat.

The one I want to get is the one I’m currently watching. Right now, it’s blasphemous, but when I’m watching Children of Morta, it’s that game. My heart says blasphemous, but my brain knows that I’d get frustrated with the platforming. They are both gorgeous in their own ways, and it isn’t the graphics that will be the deciding factor. Oh, no, no, no. The platforms crumble as you are fighting on them. I think they’re on a timer, but uh, no. I already don’t like platformers, and if that’s the main draw to the game, then it’s probably not for me. Too bad because the combat is very similar to Soulsborne games. I will say that what appeals to me about Children of Morta is that you can play ranged as well as melee. And there’s magic. There seems to be magic in blasphemous as well, but not as overt.

Each is priced around $20, and I could buy both for two-thirds the cost of one AAA game. I might just have to do that.

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