This is Fine – EXP Share Post #5

Did I come up with this topic to talk about something that I’ve wanted to talk about in a while but didn’t have an excuse to at the time? Short answer, yes. The point of entertainment is to entertain you. Rather that be a good book, tv show, movie, or video game, entertainment wouldn’t be successful if it did not entertain you. Entertainment can be achieved by being a well produced work of art, funny, thought provoking, or just generally make you feel good. Then there are the time where something can be so good that it is painful. I’m talking about those events that glue you to your seat since you have to know what happens next. What the hell is going on!? I don’t know, but this is an event that I’m going to remember for a while.

*Spoilers for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. Read at own risk (or if you just don’t care).

So there is this little game called The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. It is a long as hell JRPG game that spans 4 games (10 games in total if you follow the overarching storyline). I knew nothing about this series until I found a copy of it in the store one day, and decided to give it a go. You play as the chad Rean Schwarzer as he goes through the daily life of military school as a member of Class Seven, a class that has a mix of commoners and nobles as an “experiment” to shake up the social status of the nation. It is your typical story of learning the struggles of the commoners and the nobility with the members of Class 7 learning to cast aside their issues with one another and the world around them. I’m not here to give a synopsis of the entire story, but it is a really good one that I really enjoyed.

Anyhow, at the end of the game, Rean and his classmates are enjoying the success of yesterday’s Summer Festival. Out of nowhere, they hear that the chancellor of the nation has been shot in the heart by a terrorist, who happens to be one of their classmates, C. This act invokes a civil war between the nobility and resistance force. This shakes things at the military school, since now they will have to involve themselves in an actual war. Things would be fine, but then the school gets attacked by the nobilities forces. What’s more, C is now a piloting a freaking Gundam that was nowhere in the series. Being the chad he is, Rean also summons his Megazoid (I’m sorry for those who don’t get these references) and the two battle it out in the games first and only mech battle. Why they decided to have this at the end of the game? Don’t know, but it was badass. The battle ends with C overpowering Rean since he is not accumstomed to his new partner Valimar. Rean’s classmates come to his rescue and pled beg him to flee while they hold him off. Rean refuses, but Valimar doesn’t care and sends him and Rean flying off. All Rean can do is watch and scream as his friends hold their own as they take on C. Then the screen goes black. Cue the music and roll the credits.

This left me shocked. How are you going to introduce a new mech battle mechanic at the end of the game and then leave on a cliffhanger like that? My words don’t justify the scene enough, since this was the first dark turn that the game throws at you. I remember putting the controller down and reflecting as the sick J-pop played in the background. If you want to see the ending for yourself, I linked it down below (skip to 7:18 if you don’t want to watch the whole fight).

Credit to Racast’s YouTube Channel

So naturally, I started playing the second game immediately. Nothing too outrageous happens in the second game, but it does drop a lot of bombshells throughout the plot and a significant plot twist that sets up the next game. For a while, no game had hit me hard with an emotional end like. I highly recommend this series since it does a great job with all of its characters and knows how to keep the player invested in the story. I knew things were going to be okay at the end, but I would have hated to be the poor people who had to wait for the second game to release. From that point, I would top this as one of my top 10 anime betrayals.

Thank you for reading,

DanamesX

EXP Share Posts + Topic #5

February has come an gone, meaning another EXP Share month has come to a close. There are several posts that other bloggers have shared with the community, and I am thankful for their participation! Here are the posts that were shared this month!

EXP Share: A Story That Involves Someone Special To You by Thero159 – Thero is at it again and sharing a story about teasing her younger brother. As an older (and younger) brother myself, I understand power it feels to watch someone stay on high alert when the threat is a defenseless butler.

EXP Share #4: My High School Friends by The Gamer With Glasses – George is back with a reminiscing post about his friends in high school. What feels like a golden age of gaming to some people, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic myself from reading his post.

My Blogging-Friends and the Games We’ve Shared by Later Levels – Kim shares several stories that may look familiar with a lot of you. Kim’s influence in the blogging community has helped her connect with so many people, and it shows with how much she cherishes some of those memories.

EXP Share: Cat Companions by Ace Asunder – When I said anyone can be a special gaming partner, I meant that anyone could be. Solarayo dedicates her post to her two best roommates; who happen to be here furry companions.

Gaming With Those Special People by DanamesX – I am plugging my post this time since I was very late in getting it out. With working on the Pokémon Catcher’s Catch collab and personal stuff, I almost did not get my own post out. I decided to add short stories from several people in my life that I am always happy to play games with.

Thank you for always sharing! Now to this month’s topic.

March March March! It’s hard to believe that it is March already. Where has the time gone? For most of us, we try not to think about last March, but sometimes reflecting on one event makes us think how we survived during other events. One way we escape the dreaded void is by escaping into another void; video games, tv shows, or books in most cases. But, what happens when your escape pod leaves you into an even darker void that completely negates the other thing that you were escaping from? That my friends brings me to this month’s topic:

Share a story where an event in a game, tv show, movie, or book left you in shock and your reaction to it.

A “what the f***” moment has bound to happen to us at some point. Why not share that story with others! I’m also opening this questions up for the first time to other mediums outside video games. If your story has a spoiler in it, you might want to let your readers know of it ahead of time (yes things that came out 20+ years ago can be considered a spoiler to someone who hasn’t experienced it yet). As always, the prompt will go until the end of the month March 30.

Thanks for sharing!

DanamesX

Gaming With Those Special People – EXP Share Post #4

I’m back with another post on this month’s EXP Share topic. I decided to take a page from what a lot of you have been doing. I’ll be paying tribute to several people that I have a special connection to. Gaming would be a lonely hobby if you couldn’t share it with someone, so I’m blessed that I was able to have these experiences.

Kat (aka MinxtheShadowThief)


I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention my partner Kat. We have been together for seven years, and the one thing that has been constant in our relationship is how much we enjoy playing games. A very early memory that I have when we started dating was finding a game that we could both enjoy. She will mostly roll her eyes at games that I consider a great multiplayer experience (Dokapon Kingdom, Kirby Air Ride, Monster Hunter), but one game that I could finally get her to play with me was Pokémon Puzzle League. If you have not played this game, I highly recommend fixing that. Kat enjoys puzzle games, so this Tetris Attack/Panel de Pon game spoke to her. After getting her hands wet, she quickly became a fierce competitor. We will still sometimes boot up the game and play a few rounds since its just a fun puzzle game with Pokémon aspects from the anime. A fun side story is that originally I only had the virtual console version of the game on the Wii since my older brother had our original copy. For some reason, Kat thought I didn’t have the original N64 version, so one Christmas she surprised me with a physical copy. I had to burst her bubble a bit when I told her that I had a copy back home, but was happy to now have two copies of it. That, and she won me over with a second copy of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles; another game she thought I didn’t have, but I didn’t care since I now had an original case and manual! She was already a keeper, but that act made her a permanent keeper.

My Friend Laha

Laha has been a friend to me and my brother since high school. He was our first friend who was black like us that shared the same interest as us to this day. He was a real inspiration to me by showing me that I didn’t have to be someone I wasn’t to fit in, and that there are people I can be friends with by being myself. We would alternate between houses on the weekends and decide who had to pack their consoles and stuff to the other person’s house (the days before we had similar consoles). One of the first games I can remember us bonding over was Sonic Advance 3 on the Gameboy Advance. Since we were all in band together, we needed something to do on long band trips to competitions. Sonic Advance 3 had a simple multiplayer game you could play via link cable. Basically all you had to do was grab the Chao on the map and be the last one holding it to win. A simple game that you wouldn’t play for long, but we turned it into a spectacle. We called it “Chao Football” and would be our own announcers when possession of the Chao changed. This would go on for a while until we either wanted to move on or someone would ask us to stop (we didn’t really). Other than that, he introduced us to Dokapon Kingdom, a friend destroying party game that has somehow only strengthen our friendship.

My Friend Eric

Eric became a fast friend when we meet in college. He was part of a fraternity that I ended up joining, and since, we have been the best of friends. He would invite me over to his dorm room before we became roommates to play games like….like…..uh, I actually forgot what was the first game that we played. I do remember playing games like Shadow of the Colossus, Soul Calibur 5, and Mortal Kombat, but I’m sad that I don’t remember the first game that we played. Needless to say, we still hangout when we can even though he lives in a different state now. We meet up online these days to play rounds of Overwatch, explore Eorza in Final Fantasy XIV, and dominating the world in Total War: Warhammer.

My Older Brother, Super CJ

You’ve heard me talk about this guy constantly (I need to go back and finish the series I started last year). I would not be the gamer or person I am today if I did not have him in my life. We don’t get the opportunity to play games often as much, but we make the most of it when we can get together. I want to save most of my stories with him for another time, but I will share our time playing Pokémon Puzzle League. The reason I am good at that game is because of him. We might be a bit rusty, but we have been able to make one round in a three round match last over 30 mins (in 3D mode). Most rounds end about 10 mins, so for us it was always fun getting past the 30 minute mark. Fun fact, the game does not like it when it has to process faster than it is capable of. There have been times where we thought the game would break since it was trying to process everything and drop all the frames to try and do so. If I can capture it on camera one day, I think it would be entertaining to watch.

So that is my short tribute to some of the people I care about the most. People have come in and out of my life countless times, but I’m glad I’m still able to hang out and play games with these lucky few.

Thank you for reading,

DanamesX

EXP Share Posts + Topic #4

Another month has come and gone. With that, another month of EXP Share posts have been shared around the community. Last month I asked the community to share a story not from the past, but the present day nightmare that we live in. The objective was to play a new game that was 100% new to them and spend about 2 hours playing it. Afterwards, tell us about your experience with the game and if you will continue to play it or not. Here are the posts from this round:

EXP Share: A Ring Fit Adventure by Pix1001 – Joining us for the first time is Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie! Pix jumped on the chance to join since a new game arrived the same day the prompt was announced (sounds like a good excuse to me!). Take a look to see if Pix got a good workout. Also I apologize for not leaving a comment like I normally would (don’t know how that escaped me).

EXP Share #3: Final Fantasy VII by TheGamerWithGlasses – Participating again is George with his first time experience with Final Fantasy VII. After playing the remake, see what his thoughts about the OG game was after taking less time to get out of Midgar.

EXP Share: First Impressions of a Game I Played This Month by Thero159 – Thero presents a really cute game called Cat Quest! Based on her description of the game, I might have to check it out for myself when I have the time.

Yakuza 0: Trying Something Different by Later Levels – I got Kim to talk about a game that wasn’t Monkey Island this time! Kim went out of her comfort zone to earn those bonus points by playing Yakuza 0. As someone who has this in their backlog as well, her opinions make me wonder when I will finally give it a go.

EXP Share: Anthem is Awesome by Solarayo – Ellen returns sharing her experience with the popular online game Anthem. She also shares an opening monologue that I 100% agree with!

A New Experience – Exp Share by Gaming Omnivore – Nathan slides in on the final days of the month to talk about his experience playing Among Us with a bunch of cool people. While reading this, I couldn’t help but to fell that I was there as well.

And those are the post from the first EXP Share of this year! If you submitted a post and I missed it somehow, please yell at me and I will update the page with your post included. But seriously, I would feel bad if I didn’t thank everyone who participates rather that be posting something or interacting with others on their post. With that, I hope you are all still enjoying this community event that I came up with one sleepy night.

With that, let us set the stage for this month’s EXP Share topic. It’s that lovely month where businesses shame you for not spending money on a significant other and those devil chalk candy with the messages on them reemerge from the hell that they came from. While I have a problem with the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, I have no problem with people expressing their love for one another. With that in mind, I aim to make these topics all inclusive so that anyone can participate. So for this month’s EXP Share topic:

Share A Story That Involves Someone Special To You

This month doesn’t have to be exclusive to just significant others. A special person can be anyone who you deem is special to you. This could be a significant other, a older or younger sibling, a parent, a close friend, your twitch chat, the voices in the wall, or your pet. Just share a story that involves you and this other person and why it is a memory that you hold on to. It is your story you want to share, so tell us all about it and have fun with it. As always, you have until the end of the month to submit your post.

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

Something New, But Familiar (EXP Share Post #3)

Welcome back to another EXP Share post. This month, I asked the community to write a post about a new game that they have never played before and talk about the experience. I originally wanted to do Resident Evil VII for this post since it is a game that I would never play, but wanted to give it a chance since RE8 looks interesting. I could not get past the opening of the game. I am weird when it comes to horror games. I hate being in control, but I will pop some popcorn and watch others play. I don’t like playing games that keep my anxiety on high levels all the time. I play games to take my mind off my anxiety and feel good at the end. Since then I have watched a let’s play of the entire game, so one day I may go back and play it since I know where all the jump scare BS will happen.

So instead, I will commit this EXP Share post to Borderlands 3. Prior to this, I have only played Borderlands 2 a few years back, but never finished it due to losing my save data. I remember liking Borderlands 2 with its absurd gameplay of finding guns to find better guns to annihilate crazy maniacs and the like. What made me enjoy it were the characters and writing of the story. You can get me to laugh and enjoy dumb humor, and Borderlands is packed full of that. I was hoping for more of that silly goofiness in this game as well. What I got was something familiar, enjoyable, off-putting, and annoying all in my two and a half hours of playtime.

For full context, I played the PC version of this game through Steam. I don’t know if different versions have different problems, but wanted you to know that my experiences came from this version.

I was smart enough to decide that I should play this game with other people. I teamed up with Kat and my good friend Eric to explore this new wasteland with. This is when my first issue came up. Launching the game for the first time froze my game. After having to force it to shut down, it booted up normally with no problem, but then the game was confident that my computer was not connected to the internet….which it was. Third time was the charm however and I was able to get into a group with Kat and Eric. After realizing that we had to go into the settings to switch voice chat from “Push to Talk” to open comms (no game should ever default to Push to Talk), we could finally start the game. In most circumstances, I would have probably given up and reinstalled Borderlands 2 since that gave us zero issues in the past.

From there it was time to select our characters. I went with the big boy Beastmaster since I liked the idea of summoning monsters to do some dirty work for me. Shout out to my first companion, Mr. Chew. Once we got into the game, everything felt smooth from there with each of us facing a technical glitch here and there. Kat had framerate issues, but we think it is because her computer is due for an upgrade in the near future. Me on the other hand had the most petty things happen to me. For starters, Kat and Eric’s names kept disappearing on screen, so I had to rely on the minimap a bunch of times to help me find them. I thought it was a setting issue, but Mr. Chew’s name was always above him, so I think the game just hated me. Another issue I had was that the notice to go into my skills menu would not go away no matter how much I pressed or held the Tab button. Again, little issues that shouldn’t amount to much, but got annoying when the game would fix itself and then break again. Eric was the lucky on among us who had the least issues with the game (if he did he didn’t really tell us).

All this makes it sound like we had a bad time playing, but that wasn’t the case. Once we could actually got past the technical issues, we had fun blasting our way through the two areas that we got to. My favorite weapon that I found so far was a shotgun with a stupid blast range that sent enemies flying if I was close enough to them. Eric was able to summon a D.VA mech with his Gunner class and mow down enemies before Kat and I could do anything. Kat was having a good time despite slowing down at certain points. I think our commodore helped us get through the frustrating points and enjoy ourselves loot and shoot gameplay to follow.

Even though we were having fun, I felt like this game is not as good as the second game was. For starters, I didn’t find Claptrap as annoying in the second game as he is in this one. It feels like he just never shuts up. I know that is his character, but our patience with him started to drain real fast. The worst is when you have to find him a new antenna and he gives you hints on new moves like the slide and power drop. It might have been our fault for splitting up to tackle the tasks individually, but when one of use were at this tutorial moment, he would just keep repeating the same dialogue over and over until the person did what was needed. Again, this could have been our fault for splitting up, but it was nevertheless annoying to hear him over and over again. Another thing that feels meh is the story and setting. It feels…like the same game, but worse? You meet up with Lilith and underpants dude (who’s name I don’t remember and too lazy to look up), but their dialogue and the hub world feels bland compared to Borderlands 2. It could be that we never made it to the actual hub world, but nothing felt interesting or exciting about each area. That might all change later in the game, but after two and a half hours, it was a struggle to continue that night. I want to continue playing the game to see if my frustrated mind was clouding my judgement that night, but right now, it feels like another game in the series that doesn’t do anything too new to make me excited to play.

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX