Underneath my yellow skin

All and asundry

Qadir is hotter than the burning sun.

I want to find a new game, but I haven’t. Not really. I’ve dabbled in Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York by Draw Distance and–by the way, the name irritates me every time I see it because it’s so pretentious. A colon and a dash? Please. Anyway, I’ve never played any of the other VTM games even though it should be my jam (love vamps!) because they’re old. It’s old. One game thus far with a sequel being teased. I was gifted the game by Ian and decided to give it a try the other night. There are three clans from which you can choose (classes, if you will), two of the three which intrigued me. The anarchist class and the artistic/lover class. The third class is the blue blood (wealthy) class, which leaves me cold. I will try it at some point, probably, especially as it’s the only female character of the three, but I have no interest in it.

I started with the anarchist, naming him yanluo–the Chinese god of the underworld. I never capitalize names in games and I don’t know why. After roughly fifteen minutes, I started over again as the artist, naming him gamab–the African god of death. Sense a theme? The basic story is the same. Oh, it’s an interactive graphic novel, by the way. All the characters are impossibly hot, but that’s to be expected because they’re vampires. Well, there’s one who isn’t because he belongs to the Nosferatu clan, which is the hideous monster clan.

It starts with a mysterious vampire (I presume) talking to you at the beginning and explaining that some powerful vampire had died. Then it goes back to how you became a vamp in the first place. It’s a different story for each character, but it ends up the same. You get turned, your sire deserts you, and the *sigh* Sheriff, Qadir, comes to clean things up and whisk you away. I’m sighing because he is yuuuuuuuuuumy. I was Googling the game for reasons and there are quite a few people thirsting for him.

I like the game. I’ll try the blue blood character at some point, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll play it. It’s interesting, but none of the dialogue choices are ones I’d choose. It’s the bane of dialogue-driven games, unfortunately. One of the choices is usually close enough and I haven’t had a situation where all three choices are completely off. While I like it, however, I just don’t have much compunction to play it. There’s no burning desire so we’ll see if I actually go back to it.

I bought a Time Management (TM) casual game that is a restaurant sim, kind of. There are many like it and they are pretty soothing. Or at least they would be if I didn’t have perfectionist tendencies that make me have to get five stars every level. It’s called Cooking Stars Collector’s Edition by Aliasworlds. By the way, I think it’s hilarious that casual games now have collector’s editions. It usually means one extra chapter and maybe collectibles. That’s neither here nor there, though.

In this game, you play as a hard-bitten woman who opens a restaurant. I want to say Nancy. Not sure that’s her name, but let’s roll with it. She has a friend or brother or something we’ll call James who is a lawyer but somehow she ropes him into being the cook at the restaurant. Look. The story isn’t important in these kinds of game. You get a burger restaurant that is in disrepair. You have to serve a certain number of customers in a certain amount of time for a certain amount of stars. You start with very little in the way o f boosters, but you can buy them later at certain levels with the money you accumulate. This is a standard thing in these kind of games. What’s an interesting twist is that you can only get three stars for each level until you hit expert level. That’s usually ten levels or so in and then you can go back and redo the earlier levels to get expert. It’s usually cake at that point which is both nice and annoying.

I get way too caught up in the game because it tickles that part of my brain that is obsessive. It would be comfort gaming if I weren’t so stringent about getting the damn five stars. Oh, and the power-ups don’t carry form one restaurant to the next so you can’t get way OP.

Still playing Hades by Supergiant Games. Actually beat the fourth-floor boss once with…the twin fists. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are. The thing, though, is that melee does so much more damage than ranged, it’s ridiculous. Yes, beating that boss opens things up a lot and adds to the story, but once you make it out of Hades (realm), there’s a reason you die anyway and go back. It’s pretty clever, actually, and I appreciate it, but I’m tired. I tried Heat 1 (like NG+) just to see what it’s like. It’s eh. The game is already hard enough without adding extra shit to it.

Also, like so many of these games, I can make it to the final boss and have a decent or great run, then I just lose to the final boss. I had this issue with Nuclear Throne by Vlambeer, Dead Cells by Motion Twin, and Streets of Rogue by Matt Dabrowski. Making my way, painstakingly, through the game, using up so many resources until I get to the final boss where I’m annihilated. The biggest example is of Dead Cells. I usually made an ice build which was fine and wonderful–until I got to the Castle. Then it was shit. It didn’t do anything against the final boss, which was really frustrating. I could look for items to replace my ice stuff in the Castle, but it’s not a guarantee and it’s fucking expensive.

I feel the same with Hades. The final boss is ridiculous. I mean, all the bosses are annoying when I first encountered them because of their massive health pools, and the last one is even more so. It’s everything but the kitchen sink thrown at me and I don’t feel at all capable when I go into the fight. If I don’t have all four of the death defiers, I know my chances are slim to none. A boss where I have to have four resurrects is bullshit.  And adds. Constant adds. And timing-based attacks. And brief invisibility. And, and, and. Look. I understand bosses are supposed to be hard. I understand that the final boss should be memorable. But that thin line between difficult and unfair is gossamer thin. For me, it’s too much on the one side with this game. Even having beaten the game once doesn’t make me feel any better about the last boss.

It really feels as if it’s build based and weapon dependent. For me, I mean. When I beat the final boss, I had health regen, strong defense, and I can’t remember what else. In my latest run, I got to the final boss with three rezzes, all lightning, but simply not enough damage. I had the spear which doesn’t do much raw damage. Attack is so important, I skimp on defense, but that doesn’t work, either. Basically, nothing works for me.

It’s almost time for me to move on. Reluctantly. It’s a shame because it’s a terrific game.



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