Games You Played Today IV: Quest of the Avatar

These are my lil men for Stargrave. The three fantasy figures are grunts, soon to be replaced, but they’re the only ones painted by yours truly. Im going for crooked cops and criminals kinda angle just to work with the miniatures I was given.


got WRC 4 for Vita, it’s a 2014 racing game which explicitly genders you male and has you pick between 12 generic white european man driver portraits, which is uhhh, a bit disappointing

like at that point what was the point just ask for a name and a flag, don’t bother adding portraits, christ

plays pretty alright, though, and looks a lot nicer than WRC 5 for Vita, (no, not that) Milestone did a better job of caring for the low-end platforms than KT Racing seem to


(misposted this in the wrong thread, it’s late, i’m sleepy)

I’ve been hell of into FFXI again recently, it’s a blast. Did some old content (assaults) today with a couple of friends (including @Tegiminis) where the flow was roughly

  1. everyone takes an ID tag from the receptionist at a mercenary agency building - used to be you get 3 a day but now they’re 3 every 10 minutes
  2. everyone picks up the same mission from further up into the building - 6 NPCs at the counter each for one of 6 zones
  3. we take the expansion-specific fast travel to the corresponding zone for the mission (or wait around for 20 minutes while the party member who doesn’t have the fast travel waypoint tries to navigate Aht Uhrgan zones to get there)
  4. I buy an assault armband for 50 imperial standing (expansion currency) to designate myself as the leader of the group. I’m not sure why this is separate from party leader.
  5. I start the assault, which so far has ranged anywhere from “kill 5 rocks” to “bait enemies into using AoE attacks on prison cell doors to find the 1-in-4 prison cell that has a guy that you need to rescue”. Apparently one of the missions we haven’t done yet is an escort mission where if you stand too close to the NPC he complains about the smell and if you stand too far away he tries to escape the mission and you fail
  6. everyone comes back home through the expansion-specific fast travel and reports back in to the receptionist.

I’m doing this because one of the best-in-slot rings for my job (corsair) is locked behind being rank 3 at this activity. The way ranking up works is every time you do one of these you get 1 rank-up point (5 if it’s your first time on a particular assault) and you need 25 to get access to a quest that lets you rank up. The way you find out your progress towards the next rank is you talk to an NPC that reports your tally by indirectly talking about it which means players at the time had to figure out the way this rank-up mechanic works by themselves back in the day, which is really funny.

Anyway this was all, without argument, very tedious and convoluted, but something about it - maybe the fact that this is the first actual group content I did in a long while (you can’t use Trusts in assault) so the tedium became a “we’re in this together” thing with my friends; maybe just the aura of final fantasy 11 in general - made this some of the most compelling gaming I’d done in weeks. There’s something about FF11 that manages to present the idea of “you’re playing a videogame online with other people” as something still genuinely novel and exciting by itself in 2022.


got bored

installed Diablo Immortal on my phone

yeah, it’s Diablo 3 a decade later except they gave the game a stick to poke me with in the hopes I’ll open my wallet

as someone who owns D3 thrice, jesus no, why would I play this over PC or Switch seasonal

also I still have my cart hitched to the horses and the wives (pulled Palmer and Yelan? sittin’ pretty in the land of gacha). hell, I’d rather idly play my burner Linux Genshin account (the patch you use for this involves actually blocking some of their anticheat servers in your hosts file) on my Deck.

on an unrelated note, Genshin runs really nicely on the Deck


My favorite part of this was when we were waiting for our fourth to arrive and we were all doing job emotes at each other. Jumping on a frog like Naruto and throwing a bandage that visibly sticks to the character collider were the best.


good to see my old bottom line review of popful mail still holds up, based on your experience


Wildermyth is pretty cool. You control a group of (in my case, at least) randomly rolled adventurers over several years as they investigate and defend against incursions of supernatural foes in their homelands. It asks you early on to define the relationships between a few of your starting characters (friends? rivals? lovers?) and along the way you fight turn-based tactical battles and do little choose-your-own-adventure prompts that can effect how your characters develop. Every action you take, whether attacking an enemy stronghold, reinforcing your own settlements, scouting unknown lands, etc., advances time. I imagine as the game keeps going I will find my party spread thin as they try to take care of many tasks at once, etc. There also appears to be no healing abilities in battle, and your characters heal over time so you need to occasionally give them some non-combat busywork while they recover from their wounds.

So a lot of that doesn’t sound too unique, but the presentation (well, the writing, not the graphics) goes a long way. It’s early days for me so far so obviously I haven’t seen anything repeat or encountered anything where the procedural story generation has left plot holes, but thus far the whole thing feels pretty organic and like a pretty well-GM’d tabletop campaign, or like a session of a good board game that has event cards or something along those lines.

Hell, in a climactic battle one of my characters should have died but a knick-knack she was carrying as a result of an earlier vignette saved her life. And her lover suffered an attack that left him with a magical deformity. They were married shortly after the battle and the game goes on to describe in light detail some of what happens over the next 11 years before chapter 2 picks up with my adventurers older, (questionably) wiser, and at least some starting to go grey.

Now one thing that is pretty unique is how the game handles magic. Your spellcasters (in this case, Mystics) don’t have MP and they don’t innately have the ability to hurl fireballs or anything like that. They commune with the objects around them and bend them to their will. For example, they might commune with a barrel, and the barrel will have the ability to burst and shower nearby enemies with wood shards. So they have to play a little more reactively and you just have to use whatever any given map provides you with.

Your three classes are Fighter, Hunter, and Mystic. And that’s it, but you customize them a bit by selecting their abilities and equipment, etc. Different weapons can do different things (defeating armor, greater reach, etc.). Standard RPG stuff but I still enjoy this kind of tinkering.


i read the thing where you have to spend twenty goddamn american dollars per greater rift to get legendary gem drops and i really hope that game fails lmao


Woah Alundra rules! Guess it is Working Designs Week at Select Button Dot Shoes.

I am playing the unworking designs patch I am not a moron.


oh shit i remember alundra being incredibly hard back then, maybe i should play this patched version


When I played Alundra as a kid, at some point I used gameshark to get Moon Jump and jumped into some fortress that had really high walls. I wandered around in there for a bit and then when I went back to the village the game was suddenly in the middle of some plotline with completely new and important characters I had never seen before.


here they all are


also enjoying this placeholder (I guess they thought they were going to do another nine?)


ah c’mon it just looks like the devs got a race suit and all took turns wearing it, it’s kind of cool

(on a closer look maybe they just edited their heads onto a picture of a race suit …)


I mean, yeah, that is nice, but there are at least one or two different kinds of people in the world, apparently not represented on staff, some of whom might even consider playing a racing game


i bet the sound effects are sampled from their own cars


(I am very seriously considering a rom hack to de-gender the dialogue for this game I just bought because aargh)


s/o to forza horizon 5 for the they/them option


this doesn’t even have a she/her option! grr!


games shouldn’t talk about you in the third person if they can’t be polite


I always confuse Alundra and Azure Dreams. I have never really played either of them, but I remember when a friend played them, whelp, high school us had a lot of nicknames for the vehicle in Azure Dreams: