rolling thread of stuff worth reading on videogames

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cozwn, Sunday, 31 August 2008 09:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

No offence to you personally cozwn, but I could shoot holes in that article all day. Then I noticed it was written by Stephen Fry, who should really know better. His "the Arctic Monkeys are a popular beat combo" shtick is pissing me off. And his deliberate stuffed-shirt use of painfully obscure words like "rorty".

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 09:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

you have hurt me heavy in my heart

cozwn, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

The column is called "Dork Talk", but it's written by tweedy men who should be smoking pipes and growing giant vegetables. Worse than Fry is the fucker with two Amstrad PCWs...

With books, I send the manuscript to the publisher and they have to key it into their computer. With journalism, I print out a copy, then fax it.

It makes my blood boil the way he casually makes unnecessary work for other people. In both cases someone has to type the information in again, or in a best case scenario, OCR it and then check it for OCR errors.

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

And "rorty" means "incorrigible", so why didn't he just say that, instead of trying to show off his big vocabulary AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Anyway, none of this is aimed at you, cozwn

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's just that everyone in England at the moment seems to be either a middle aged person pretending to be a teenager, or a teenager pretending to be a gangsta...

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 14:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

It makes my blood boil the way he casually makes unnecessary work for other people. In both cases someone has to type the information in again, or in a best case scenario, OCR it and then check it for OCR errors.

-- snoball, Sunday, August 31, 2008 2:37 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Link

oh no somebody has a job!

s1ocki, Sunday, 31 August 2008 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

And that typing/OCRing would be done by an intern who has more than enough work to get on with already. One of the cornerstones of technology is it's ability to reduce the need for repetitive work. This guy's attitude flies in the face of that (or rather, flew, because he replaced the Amstrads with a Mac).

snoball, Sunday, 31 August 2008 17:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

haha, take two

czn (cozwn), Saturday, 29 November 2008 21:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tom explains a bit more

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 1 December 2008 10:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

the guy behind passage

czn (cozwn), Monday, 1 December 2008 12:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

czn oyu linked page 2 of that article!

Everyone is a Jedi (Will M.), Monday, 1 December 2008 16:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

passage is that zelda on rails with no enemies and bad graphics innit

El Tomboto, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

That makes it sound better than it is.

polyphonic, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

Nintendo's little console that could is shattering sales records left and right, and might just move more units in 2008 than any game system in history. Casual hits Wii Play, Mario Kart, and Wii Fit continue to captivate new players. But meanwhile, Nintendo's loyal fans, the ones who stuck with the company through the lean years, are feeling a bit like when you go to high school and your former best geeky friend is suddenly all hot and popular and doesn't talk to you anymore.

^^^^ lol!

TOMBOT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 17:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

was this written by stephen fry the famous homosexualist actor

cankles, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 17:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^^ Yes

snoball, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 18:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

gaylord british

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 19:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

can somebody make one of them things where you have a picture and then a big equals sign and then another picture, and then another row of the same thing but two different pictures, and it makes a concise argument or something? I'm busy. It should look like this

totally sweet dos bootup screen into command line = ps3 controller with that fucked-up lookin blackberry keyboard addon
old-ass macintosh system <7 black and white GUI = wiimote

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

except I guess a dos pc was always hella cheaper than the mac so it doesn't hold up

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

did we ever have an actual console argument thread on here or ILE?

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

idk! let's make a poll!!!!

cankles, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

or better yet a series of polls a la the gamefaqs CHARACTER BATTLES, we can argue whether goku could beat up sephiroth!!!!

cankles, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 20:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah we need to do a SEVENTH GENERATION CONSOLE WARS POLL so we can combine all the truths from the mind

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 23:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

pls do

czn (cozwn), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 23:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

anyone read this?

czn (cozwn), Saturday, 6 December 2008 12:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

not read this, just putting it out there

cozwn, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 23:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

the magical wasteland article they (he?) mention really is excellent and i would be interested in what some posters here think (or thought) of it. i'm also really glad he mentions the time extend articles which are a good template for what games reviews (as opposed to criticism) should look like. i was a lot less impressed with the "if gamers rule the world" article which strained so much to make its point it ended up sounding like a jonathan franzen parody.

handsome dude (Lamp), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 02:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Some interesting stuff. I suppose every games writer has to overcome some kind of inferiority complex coming from society at large?

Nhex, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 02:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

What the heck is this?

Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

not read this, just putting it out there

― cozwn, Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:24 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

something about the fact that you have to make it through 700 words of meandering philosophizing to get to his list makes me value this dude's judgment a lot less

s1ocki, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 18:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

what, you didnt need ten paragraphs lovingly outlining this guyz movie-selection process?

j3W1SH LAGG4RD (Lamp), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 19:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

ya i dont know if i trust that guy's opinion on good writing.

s1ocki, Thursday, 18 December 2008 00:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

you shd def check out the magical wasteland blog, most stuff on their is pretty decent

cozwn, Thursday, 18 December 2008 00:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

man there's this great crazy japanese dude on the eurogamer forums who always posts these massive screeds about jp RPGs. totally tl;dr but I'll gobble this up all day long:

"As long as we're talking about Square Enix's output this generation, I think I'll rank everything they've done:

Egg Monster Heroes - a pleasant B-grade RPG with neither enough depth or a good enough story to be really special, but certainly very fun while you play it.

Children of Mana - still one of my favorite DS action RPGs. I really like making Mana into a dungeon hacking game. The enemy animations are awesome, I love combining magic and weapon attacks to make my own strategies and doing random errands for the villagers to get stronger stuff. The gems system is great, the boss battles are epic and I like the random different requirements for each floor of the dungeon.

Mario Basketball - another fun take on Mario sports, I'm not sure why but the portable versions are always better than the console ones. Since this is Square Enix-made the bonus Square characters are a nice touch and the dribbling with stylus feel was well-used, as well, its got lots of hidden depth and a well-tuned challenge level, but is still easy to play. Another winner.

Final Fantasy III - a superb remake of a classic game. Really nice to have the difficulty kept despite Square Enix's tendency to make games easier in their remakes. Except they really should have kept developing until they could get more than 3 enemies on the screen at a time, as that is the only thing that wasn't as good as the original. Loved the mog mail elements and redone characters. Also has probably the best DS intro movie ever.

Rocket Slime 2 - As the sequel to the incredibly fun original, absolutely nothing is lost, except a great chance to use the stylus. Better yet, the highly unique tank gameplay makes it better than ever. Fantastic humor and charm; its one of the DS's top tier games and its one of the first original games on the system to deserve the title of future classic.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales - Leave it to Square Enix to be one of the only companies who can follow up on Nintendo's trend of mini-game collections and make an excellent game out of it. From all the loving references to the series, to the absurd character of Mog, the Super Hero, to the great and tricky card game, its a good one. Some of the minigames aren't as good as others, but luckily most of them are pure gold and the game's got a lot more to accomplish than most mini-game collections.

Heroes of Mana - The first in the burgeoning RTS meets SRPG gameplay concepts, despite some control hiccups, this one was great. It really mixed the Mana world concepts with RTS ideas well. Better yet, knowing that AI and control features weren't a match for a typical RTS, its depth was found elsewhere and thus it had a completely different feel than a Western RTS. Also, a really long and involved game.

Front Mission 1st - a port of the PS2 remake with a few more enhancements, I feel like they totally didn't pay attention to the needs of a DS game with this one. The basic game is unchanged in that its a good SRPG and the enhancements make it even better, but a failure to make sure it plays comfortably on the DS means that some of the appeal is harder to get into. Should have had more of a graphical remake as well. So great game at the core, but a lazy job done on this version.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - beside the somewhat iffy way the CG characters were animated, a feeling that it doesn't have enough side content and they could have done more to make gambits more flexible, this game's light-hearted plot was a welcome throwback to the whimsical nature of Final Fantasies of old, and as the second marriage of RTS and RPG gameplay, it surprisingly plays very differently from Heroes of Mana. Overall, a much better spin-off sequel than FFX-2 and still one of the most beautiful games on the system, with an incredible soundtrack.

Dragon Quest & Mario in Itadaki Street Special - Not much to surprise here, as usual, these are great multiplayer and singleplayer board games and this one is yet another well done game in that line, except made again fresh with boards and characters with a Mushroom Kingdom and Dragon Quest theme. This and the PS2 Final Fantasy & Dragon Quest game are probably the highest peak the series has reached. As always, the AI is surprisingly challenging, making for an infinitely replayable singleplayer game on top of the multiplayer.

Dragon Quest Monsters Joker - Mmmm, yummy. What the game loses in random dungeon flexibility and the total uniqueness of the caravan gameplay in the third title it makes up for with impressively 3D environments, great online tournaments and some awesome improvements to the base gameplay. Like Tactics A2, a game that can suck up hundreds of hours if you let it.

Shall We Listen to the Classics on the DS? - Yes, I bought one of Square Enix's ventures into new gaming territory. The idea of this one was that you listened to classical music and learned all about it, with visual aids and quizzes and the like. Except, only a small piece of the whole tune is played with information on how to buy the entire thing. It plays like an elaborate ad and feels like such a cheap ripoff that I feel bad just giving it attention in this paragraph. Since classical music largely in the public domain, why on earth did they do this? Also, since several of Square Enix's composers are famous, why did they not solicit their comments on the music? Koichi Sugiyama's comments especially would have been incredible. While its true that I learned an awful lot about classical music from it, seemed like a wasted opportunity. I want them to make it up by including full tunes and doing a 100 best songs/arrangements of Square Enix game.

Blooming Flowers DS Gardening Life - Now this may not please gardening maniacs or pros, but as a beginner who always wanted to know about this stuff, but never really tried, this is excellent. Thanks to this title, I finally was able to learn all the names of flowers and plants that I could only guess at before, know how to pick flowers and plants to grow in my house that I could afford to keep up and put in the right place and even start an herb garden for cooking (which amazingly, I started due to Cooking Navi, the DS is truly a monster). Excellent, easy to use, very handy and a fantastic introduction to gardening and plant knowledge. Why Square Enix got plants and flowers so very right and not music is beyond me though.

Yosumin - Did you guys know this is probably coming to you in the near future? Be very glad, as this game kicks ass. It's a puzzle game where you select smilie thingies of the same color to make a square and they disappear replaced by random other tiles. The basic rule is that you have to make a certain amount of colors disappear on each stage before time runs out. Play a free version of the game here: Of course as you play, new elements get introduced. The basic strategy of bigger squares netting you more points, but potentially wiping out other colors you could use to make a square is really well balanced and the DS game adds so many ways to play, that it's basically endless. Yosumin is the best puzzle game on the DS, period.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - An enormous singleplayer improvement on the Gamecube game and an extremely deep action RPG. Playing dress up with weapons and armor makes for varied replay and the puzzles, environments, enemies and abilities make for a game with a constantly evolving feel. This is where the series started threatening the Tactics games as the best Final Fantasy spin offs.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 - After the crack cocaine addiction of the first, comes another multi-hundred hour epic. There's just so much friggin detail and so many ideas packed into this one and its so damn well thought out and fun, it will take you ages to plumb all of the jobs, side elements and ways to play it. On the other hand, it just has so much to it, it makes you wonder how they can possibly think of anything new to put in another one. You can make a case of which type of game is better, Advance or the original Tactics, but this one just smacks them both down.

The World Ends With You - 100% fresh, with all sorts of innovative ideas, totally its own identity and a great setting. The only thing really wrong with it is that it can't seem to rise above the types of characters it also wants to criticize and is kind of infected with them. Other than that, its really hard in this day and age to make an RPG that be compared with anything else, but this one achieved that. It may not have sold billions, but it seems to have been influential on the RPG market, as Blazer Drive and Devil Survivor both seem to take after it.

Final Fantasy IV - Voice-acting, new abilities, a more Celtic soundtrack, far better difficulty that brings more of the game's true depth, I remember I used to dream that RPGs would be like this one day. I can't believe it came true. Since the Dragon Quest remakes are ports of already well-done remakes, this stands as Square's best remake on the system. One wishes they kept the bonus dungeons in some form though.

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen - I'm still pissed that they took out party chat for English players, but the fact that this game received another dose of polish and refinement makes it easily the best version of the game you can play. It helps that its always been better than most RPGs since its release as well.

Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness - As a port of the two cellphone games, this is sooo much better handled than Front Mission 1st. Appropriately adapted and enhanced for the DS, the only downer is the lack of original music, as they are all remixes of other Front Mission tunes. Still as a prequel to the first, everything but how the antagonists are drawn is strongly of interest to the Front Mission series' plotline and carried out well. The branching missions and plot lines are as ever, fun to compare and the hugely tweaked gameplay makes it one of the balanced games in the series. Also, its great to also see cameos from Front Mission 2, aka the best game in the series.

Nanashi no Game (The Game with No Name) - Okay, so its controls are little awkward, and the gameplay is super simple, and some of the plot details are "Eh?" worthy and there's too little content. But none of that matters when this game managed to completely frighten me to the bone more so than any console game with far more graphic power at its disposal can. I guess it just shows how incredibly strong Square Enix's graphic designers and scenario writers are that they were able to accomplish this on the weakest hardware of the generation. Also an excellent example of experimenting with the culture of games itself within the game and how to make a truly powerless protagonist without using violence, and using that to make things even scarier. Running away from the threat in this game once unnerved me so badly that I called a friend and asked to stay over at his house for the night.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride - Because of the somewhat lower quality music, whether this is the best version of the game is up for debate, but all the other enhancements make its gameplay the best version. One of the greatest RPG stories in the history of the genre just gets even better. As usual, if you've only played the original this is going to seem like such an incredibly thorough remake you won't believe they went through all the effort they did, but even the DS version shows a lot of attention to tweaking the game to be as perfect as it can be.

Sigma Harmonics - The very idea of making murder cases wherein the detective therein can solve them in different ways is fresh. Combining it with an outstanding setting and an interesting RPG part makes it even more so. Though its not as thoroughly thought out as Remnant, Vermilion, Yosumin or World Ends With You, its another great example of what terribly unique things Square Enix comes up with when they birth new franchises.

Chocobo and the Mysterious Dungeon + - I've not finished it yet, but its nice to play the Wii game on the DS where its easier to start and stop, and dare I say it, but the DS's quainter graphics and inability for the story to get in the way as much as the console game make it stronger (not to mention the fact that its got more content). Not nearly as strong a game as Shiren, but definitely the runner-up to the roguelike crown on the DS.

Chrono Trigger DS - I hate it when a classic gets updated and I don't feel everything is an improvement. I've always felt companies should offer a way to play the original in the same package. It's nice to see them listen for once. Because you can play the original in any way you want, you can ignore the albiet nice enhancements and make sure that nothing ruins them. Again, the DS version of a classic turns out to be the definitive one. So that's 4 (definitive: this, FFIV, DQIV & V) vs. 2 (FFIII and Front Mission 1st).

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume - strategic, typically morbidly fascinating character storyline in Norse mythology trappings with hella unique ideas backing it up. It's 3 for 3 for this series in terms of not being able to tell which one is best and up there in my games of the year for 2008. Probably my favorite brand new DS game that Square Enix has made thus far.

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - as much as this has some great enhancements, I can't help but feel the new cutscenes reduce some of the old charm unlike the way it was handled in FFIV. Also the new guest characters break up a little consistency of the world in a game where that's kind of an important thing. Nothing added is really all that necessary and the glitches are little annoying. It's nice to have it portable of course, but of all the ports they've done, this is the only one where I think the original version was unquestionably better. Though I guess its different for the English version, since people can now actually make much more sense of the story due to the cleaned up translation.

Final Fantasy - Yep, I've bought this game a total of five times and I'll probably keep buying it as long as they add new stuff, as the original is still one of my favorites in the whole series. The new dungeon in this one is better balanced than the ones they added before, but it still lowers the game's difficulty too much to make all these changes. The graphics have gotten unbelievably good looking, I can't believe the game has changed so much from the original. At the same time, I can't but feel that it's another case of it just being a different flavor of the original and not the definitive version, mostly because of the lacking challenge now.

Final Fantasy II - On the other hand, this one keeps getting better each time they remake it, its tweaked to play even better. Better yet, the new dungeon that makes more use of the unique keyword and item system is extremely clever and was totally awesome way of getting more use out of that system. Again, the even more vibrant graphics are appreciated. Definitely the definitive version, especially since the Dawn of Souls version finally was the one that brings it up to quality with the rest of the series.

Star Ocean: First Departure - Gorgeous, gorgeous new graphics engine make this game really stand out, but the decision to go 3D on the world map takes a little charm out of the original. Otherwise, the item creation getting beefed up to the standards of the second game and the new playable characters making it a little more in-depth totally improve the game so that it can stand toe-to-toe with the rest of the series now.

Star Ocean: The Second Story - Kind of lazy in comparison to all the other ports and remakes, but the extras are unequivocally good and since the original is one of my all time favorites anyway, and this is the definitive version, *shrugs* its good to play it again and discover once again why I was so hooked to it when it first came out. I love this game's flexibility. I always get addicted to the item creation and bonus bosses for hours.

Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special - it's basically a way to play the PS2 game on the go and as such, I only bought it for that reason so I could get rid of the PS2 version. If you omit the time I spent playing the PS2 version, which is brilliant, I played the DS one a lot more.

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth - The basic game is pretty much unchanged, but I don't feel like any of the additions add any real value whatsoever and in a way kind of detract from the original's feel, but only a little bit really. It's basically just as good as the original version, and at the same time, it's Valkyrie Profile, one of the best games ever. More people need to play it and see why. So Square Enix's PSP remake/port grades stand at 3 (definitive: Itadaki Street, Second Story and Final Fantasy II) vs. 4 (other versions might be better: this, First Departure, Final Fantasy and War of the Lions).

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Very addictive to clear out all the missions, the random element to battle keeps the game fresh, a great example of how to design a complex game to be portable and all the Final Fantasy VII cameos and references are very fun. That said, beside some well done references and Zack's characterization culminating in the great, great, GREAT ending, man does the story stink of overthinking some good and bad ideas and mixing it together into third rate anime shlock.

Final Fantasy: Dissidia - When this game wakes up in the morning, it showers itself in AWESOME. When it has to go the bathroom, it shits out pure, unspoiled AWESOME. When it speaks, the whole room shakes in fear at its great and exalted words o' AWESOME. Where it steps, flowers of AWESOME grow. If Final Fantasy: Dissidia looks at you, you will quake in righteous fear at the power of its all-encompassed AWESOME. Yeah, I've only had it for a few hours, but in that little amount of time I must conclude that Square Enix has completely bitch slapped the shit out of fighting game makers for not thinking creatively enough (even though they still make great games, if they thought like this the genre would not be losing popularity on consoles) and has designed the best character compilation fighter ever. The Vs. series and Smash Bros. lie in shame at the feet of this game. I love how even though its based entirely on old IP, it's gameplay is the freshest and most original I've seen for a fighter since the days of the original Smash Bros. and Bushido Blade. Dear God in heaven and alive is this game AWESOME. I've never played characters who play as uniquely as Exdeath, Onion Knight or Kekfa do in any other fighter. You can laugh at Nomura all you like for some of his absurdly bad character designs in comparison to Amano, but with games like Kingdom Hearts, The World Ends With You and this, he truly has inherited the Square and the Enix round of developers ability to bring innovation in the most unlikely ways. I'm not going to be surprised if this turns out to be my all time favorite PSP game or game of the year with more play.

Infinite Undiscovery - Hmmmm, like Radiata Stories, it seems like a game where most of its ideas don't get the chance to shine as much as they could, but its still a great game in spite of that. Even though it may have been their idea to engender roleplaying responses without it, one really wishes for easier and more control of the other characters. Otherwise, it's beautiful, got lots of unique ideas and I'm probably the only person in the world who absolutely loves the main character. I also like the, "Good lord, what have I got myself into?" FFVIII feel of the plot.

The Last Remnant - SaGa team! Already talked about how much I like this game despite the technical flaws in this thread. May the SaGa team live forever, creating games that don't hold you by the hand and play so very differently than other RPGs.

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and The Tower of Mirrors - I thought this might be the first time ever that a Dragon Quest game, spin off or otherwise, wasn't AAA. Very fortunately, I turned out to be wrong. A wonderful mix of RPG and arcade gameplay that requires the best understanding of both worlds, I hope to see many sequels and games one day take advantage of the beautiful ideas present here. I especially love the great ingenuity of implementing the various shields and how very arcade-game-style high score replayable the game is.

Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Forgotten Time - Great little roguelike with fantasy remixed Final Fantasy music, but the DS game, graphics aside is the better version. Wii betrayal! Duh duh duh! Also, although its at least charming with the classic Final Fantasy characters, everything else is up there with Crisis Core as most pathetically awful plot for Square Enix this generation. What on earth were they thinking with that green haired alien baby...thing?

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King - As I said before, Ring of Fates is where the series started challenging Tactics as the best spin-offs, and here is where that challenge became even stronger. A simulation of what its like to run an RPG kingdom, so very novel and its extremely well made in that the basic idea is taken and run with as far as it can go. Rockman 9 aside, this still feels like the best Wii Ware game yet.

Lord of Vermilion - Card-based arcade RPGs are a dime a dozen these days, especially in a fantasy setting. But leave it to Square Enix to totally knock it out of the park. Moreso than Last Remnant, World Ends With You, Nanashi no Game, Yosumin or Sigma Harmonics, this feels like their most completely well-roundedly accomplished new franchise. Easy to start, easy to play, but hard to master, I'm surprised they struck such a great balance for their second arcade game. One of those arcade games where you wish you could take the cabinet home, it's so pretty and sexy.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Battle Road - Addictive in small doses as a distillation of the Dragon Quest Monsters game, and always fun to see classic monsters rendered so lovingly, but I can't help but feel there's always a more they could do with it.

Final Fantasy IV: The After - I hate to tell you this people, but Before Crisis was a great game, even though it was only on mobile phones. I also hate to tell you that this is a great game too. Again, it's such a better a sequel than FFX-2 in all its unbelievable suck was. It is so much of what you could want with an extended stay in the world of FFIV and is so fun to revisit old areas under new storylines. Lately, it seems like so many RPGs are getting lost in meaningless additions to a battle system, but this game's Chrono Trigger-esque links are a truly meaningful and well-carried out idea. I also like the Shin Megami Tensei use of moon phases, which is especially appropriate considering the plot of the original. It's also really cool to be able to play the middle portion of the game, each character's chapter in order you please like the end of Final Fantasy VI. This is too high profile not to port to the PSP or DS, so hopefully, like Border of Madness, we see that happen. The last chapter is set to be released soon, so I can't wait to see how it ends. :)

Friends of Mana - a kind of low-scale MMO, where you live in one of three Mana villages and work with the villagers by raising pets to do various things to help out the villagers. As you and your friends work together to go on quests and scenarios of varying lengths, the Mana Tree grows, the happiness ranking goes up and more things become available to do. From fall harvesting to playing board games together to fishing to summer and spring events, it's like Animal Crossing meets an RPG with Dark Chronicle-like kitchen sink array of elements to take part in. Better yet, it's been out for nearly 2 years now and Square Enix is still sending new content out for it. Very charming to dip into casually while on a train over the weeks and months, especially because of the warm Mana-esque graphics.

Seiken Densetsu - The original updated in a more conventional manner, unlike Sword of Mana, while I love Sword of Mana for doing all sorts of cool new things with the concept of the original, I feel like losing the old puzzles was kind of a downer as well. So it's nice to have a second version like this that is more faithful to the original, but updates the graphics and music a great amount. I like both remakes for different reasons.

Dragon Quest Monster Friends - It's Dragon Quest Tamagotchi! Talk, pet and raise a dozen or so Dragon Quest monsters until they introduce you to your friends and you can then use them to replace your cell phone's convenient features in a Dragon Quest fashion. Ever fancied being woke up by a Dragon alarm in the morning? Well now you can! A must for a Dragon Quest nut like me for the small price. The dialogue is so awesomely funny in this game. (Did you know those lava rock monsters have to be careful of their allergies because if they sneeze, they might blow up? Man, it's gotta be a tough life to be a Dragon Quest monster.)

Crystal Guardians - Though I feel like for once, the graphics effects could be stronger, as you don't really get much of a feel for the difference in technique between the different jobs, this SRPG puzzle game is really cool. You basically pay gil to place different Final Fantasy Tactics jobs on a field with a road on it. Waves of monsters run down the road and based on how you placed your jobs, they will be taken care of or escape and steal crystals. The better you protect crystals the more you get to work with in leveling up your jobs and such. During waves you place new jobs and power them up accordingly to handle the new threat. New elements like special crystals, new jobs and summons appear as new versions of the game get released. Tricky and fun to replay different ones, it's really quite a cool idea and well done for what it is. Again, needs a port to one of the portable systems so everyone can experience it.

Demon Chain - An original puzzle game somewhat like Puzzle Quest. You have a grid of different colored icons and if you match up three icons or three colors, you can make them disappear and affect your abilities, such as powering up two types of skills, recovering HP or damaging the enemy. When you make one set disappear, at the bottom a marker shows a color or icon that if you next make disappear will result in a chain, at the end of chain the power up effects are even stronger. You fight against six opponents until you can reach a new level and then repeat the process. As you go on, you can change costumes for each character which gives them jobs with different skills. Not as deep as it might sound, but well balanced and quite fun.

Hokkaido Serial Killer Crimes: Disappearance in Ohotsk - A remake of the Famicom of one of the adventure games before Yuji Horii got huge with Dragon Quest. Since the original is very old, this complete remaking of the visuals and gameplay take it and make it playable for a new generation. A pretty good adventure game experience somewhat like the Jinguji Saburou games.

Ellark - Due to the destruction of the world below and the lack of precious resources, a floating ark in the sky called Ellark is trying to rebuild the world piece by piece by using magical books to create new worlds. You wake up without your memory wandering which book you came from. You travel from book to book from the ark, carrying out adventures in Dragon Quest RPG fashion, except it's an online RPG (not an MMO) that you play by e-mail by sending in new decisions each week and then preparing for the next week once you get the results. I don't feel like you can do quite enough in each week for the pace of the game, but its an interesting idea with lovely graphics and the little stories are fun to take part in, as is looking at your avatar as you outfit him or her with new armor and such to change their appearance. Reminds me of the old Sword of Hope Gameboy games."

♪☺♫☻ (cozwn), Thursday, 18 December 2008 14:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

getting to the bottom of that required no less than six page-downs

jamescobo, Thursday, 18 December 2008 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

I know, right? a forum post! crazy!

♪☻♫☺ (cozwn), Thursday, 18 December 2008 17:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

GameSpot UK: Why are you sick of Katamari Damacy?

Keita Takahashi: Wouldn't you be?

cankles, Thursday, 18 December 2008 18:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yesterday As I Was Enjoying The Sonic Demo For The 1,000,000 Time My Picture Started To Go All Black And Grainy I Wasn't Sure Of The Problem So I Went Back To The Dashboard And The Screen Was Fine Apart From My Avatar That Was Also Grainy. So I Decided To Turn Off My Xbox And Switch It Back On. But When I Switched It Back On I Got 1 Red Ring And On The Screen Saying In Loads Of Diffrent Languages System Error.

I Also Got A Code At The Bottom Of The Screen Saying E 74. So I Went To And Went To Find Out What The Problem Was. The Only Help They Could Give Me Was Unplug Everything And Plug It All Back In. So I Did. Same Screen Came Up And I Still Had One Red Ring. It Also Said It Could Be A Problem With A Bit Of Hardware. Customer Support Was No Help The Robot Gave Me The Same Information. But I Found If I Unplug The Wire That Goes 2 The Back Of My TV Then The Red Quadrent Does Not Come Up.

Could This Have Any Thing 2 Do Wif It?


when dont't you connect and im flying darkness (cozwn), Saturday, 20 December 2008 17:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

man, it must be onerous to feel compelled to capitalize like that. plus you can never get an iphone!

jamescobo, Saturday, 20 December 2008 18:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is some pretty enraging shit:

the curious case of poster burt_stanton (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 05:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean loldon review of books lol john lanchester lol this isnt a viditorial lol who cares but, i mean seriously: "[Bioshock] was a huge hit, and I have yet to encounter anyone who has ever heard of it." O RLY

the curious case of poster burt_stanton (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 05:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Older media have largely abandoned the idea that difficulty is a virtue; if I had to name one high-cultural notion that had died in my adult lifetime, it would be the idea that difficulty is artistically desirable. It’s a bit of an irony that difficulty thrives in the newest medium of all."

difficulty in meaning, reading or understanding /= difficulty of execution, or playing

OɔIXEW (cozwn), Monday, 22 December 2008 11:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

btw the mental image of john lanchester hunched over a controller is a bit unbearable
"fuckin tubular!"

OɔIXEW (cozwn), Monday, 22 December 2008 11:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha I liked that article, I didn't really disagree with anything in it

TOMBOT, Monday, 22 December 2008 14:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

i agree with some of his assertions and disagree with others but concluding with such a hands-in-pockets, shoulder-shrugging, bet-hedger is pretty lame. "are games art? well, not now, probably, with some exceptions but it's likely they might be, in the future, probably."

and the whole thing is really lazily argued and glib and inept esp when he's talking about games and the way they function. he invokes poole but doesn't really understand him or try considering the ramifications of routine as ritual, for example. i actually think he's right about the second way in which games can become art but that point deserves to be made better, with more clarity and rigour and generosity and less emphasis on mechanics.

i'm dreaming of a white xmas btw (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 16:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

the way I read it, his main point was that we at least need to be having the conversation (something that gets brought up every year by different people, but his version was enjoyable enough that I actually read it) and paying attention to some of these questions - he starts off with $$$, which should tell you right away he's not trying to find a big answer in this piece.

TOMBOT, Monday, 22 December 2008 16:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think lanchester tries to tell ppl reading the lrb "hey, video games are a thing now, here's why" and then he tries to answer the "is it art?" qn. and it feels to me like he's doing the former to justify even asking the latter which gets my hackles up, and maybe it shouldn't. but that's such a big, important question to some many ppl in the industry, not just me, that i can't help but feel he's not equipped to answer it.

also the other big flaw, and i think it leads from his relative unfamiliarity with the medium, is that he keeps complaining about sequels and corporations and the money-men and yet gives no indication of playing anything other than "blockbuster" releases himself. its fair play to say that considerations of developers and others aren't important to the end result but lanchester tries to have it both ways here sating "that nothing within a world so fully made by a corporation can be truly creative" and then refusing to engage with the desires motivating "corporate" designers.

ugh i can tl;dr about this for hours but the article bothered me which is probably lame but there it is

i'm dreaming of a white xmas btw (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 16:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm such an illiterate

give the gift of gabbneb (Lamp), Monday, 22 December 2008 18:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

That is true of all the days that have passed since MIDI

El Tomboto, Friday, 19 January 2018 11:18 (two months ago) Permalink

i was too young to remember was a horrible human being Daryl Gates was

i remember the LA Riots and D.A.R.E., had no idea the guy behind all of those was brought in to take over the Police Quest series!

at this point it wouldn't be too hard to draw lines directly from Halo/COD and Microsoft to US military recruitment (and for people failing that, enrolling in police academy)

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 19 January 2018 11:46 (two months ago) Permalink

he claims to have invented SWAT as well. he's like ground zero for paramilitary police propoganda

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 19 January 2018 11:47 (two months ago) Permalink

this article from a couple of years ago is pretty good on the direct and indirect links between gaming and the military:

grim-n-gritty hooty reboot (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 19 January 2018 11:48 (two months ago) Permalink

Great story on Police Quest. Game looks super pleasant!

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 19 January 2018 13:28 (two months ago) Permalink

Oops, link here

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 19 January 2018 13:29 (two months ago) Permalink

thought the article was kind of patchily-written/edited but still well worth reading, thanks! ken williams perpetually coming off worse and worse in my mind. one of the living avatars of how easily west-coast/60s counterculturalism slid into reactionary 80s-mustached business conservatism.

Righteous wax chaperone, rotating Wingdings (Doctor Casino), Friday, 19 January 2018 13:50 (two months ago) Permalink

The counter-cultural Sierra stuff was always pretty conservative! Leisure Suit Larry, for obvious reasons. And Space Quest, which I don't think has a female character till the 4th game.

(I never played any of the Roberta Williams stuff till recently - Colonel's Bequest holds up quite well!)

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 19 January 2018 14:55 (two months ago) Permalink

at this point it wouldn't be too hard to draw lines directly from Halo/COD and Microsoft to US military recruitment (and for people failing that, enrolling in police academy)

― AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, January 19, 2018 5:46 AM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

It sometimes occurs to how non-implausible it is that FPS-es could be employed as a Last Starfighter-esque tool by the military.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Friday, 19 January 2018 15:08 (two months ago) Permalink

drone pilots already use xbox controllers iirc

grim-n-gritty hooty reboot (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 19 January 2018 15:10 (two months ago) Permalink

because hellworld

grim-n-gritty hooty reboot (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 19 January 2018 15:10 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah i posted the article for the content, not the writing. i had a vague memory of the daryl gates police quest but hadn't really thought through the implications, and i didn't know about sierra's conservative underpinnings

na (NA), Friday, 19 January 2018 15:20 (two months ago) Permalink

I wanted to know more about what happened next (like, did anyone quit/how it changed how people felt about Sierra/etc) but this was the 90s and your work options were "get used to it or quit"

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 19 January 2018 16:48 (two months ago) Permalink

I always looked at the PQ series as a bizarre outlier for Sierra's output. The police code crap was insane, even compared to LSL's stuff

Nhex, Friday, 19 January 2018 17:07 (two months ago) Permalink

remember lucas arts taking shots at sierra

Mordy, Friday, 19 January 2018 17:19 (two months ago) Permalink

One of the top Twin Galaxies record holders gets caught cheating multiple times; all his records are still on the site.

adam the (abanana), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:01 (one month ago) Permalink

pretty good

Nhex, Monday, 29 January 2018 05:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Bennett Foddy, the maker of "Getting Over It" (and QWOP!), plays "Getting Over It" with Tim Rogers.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 2 February 2018 01:46 (one month ago) Permalink

glad to see Rogers still looks and acts like a tool

Nhex, Friday, 2 February 2018 02:29 (one month ago) Permalink

i had been holding off on watching speedruns or anything so this is fascinating

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Friday, 2 February 2018 02:30 (one month ago) Permalink

—How did the development of Revenge of Shinobi begin?

Ohba: Sega was upgrading their console hardware from the Mark III to the Megadrive, and in tandem with that we were trying to think of something new and exciting to do. At that time in America, the arcade version of Shinobi had become a huge hit. In fact, ninjas in general were all the rage in America then. And so we decided our next game would be ninja-themed.

On the technical side, since this was going to be on the new Megadrive hardware, we wanted to use as much parallax scrolling as we could. We wanted every stage, if possible, to have over 3 layers of background scrolling. Our idea was to come up with a style of gameplay that actually made use of those multiple backgrounds.


By the way, as for the title of the game (“The Super Shinobi” in Japan)… at the time, a lot of Sega games had “SUPER” in the title. We didn’t just want to go with plain old “Super Shinobi” though, so we (quite meaninglessly) added “The” in front of it. (laughs) Those were the days!

—By the way, this game is called “Shinobi”, but the hero never does anything stealthy! Why is that?

Ohba: Hmm, it’s probably because we wanted to show how cool and badass ninjas are. They can jump higher than normal people, they’re physically stronger… we wanted to show them off, I guess? (laughs)


—The game balance for Revenge of Shinobi is undeniably difficult in places, but it felt like if you practiced, you could clear it.

Ohba: I actually did very extensive simulations—on paper. We imagined a very good player and asked ourselves, how many points could this player get by X stage? How much life would he need to get through X part? I had mapped everything out and knew the item locations—plus, the number of enemies was limited by the hardware, so with all these variables in hand, I could actually simulate and predict a lot of things on paper alone.


—I understand you actually had permission to use the copyright for Spiderman; how did that happen?

Ohba: Sega had already acquired copyright permission for the Spiderman arcade game they were developing. We were actually asked by Sega to include Spiderman as part of the promotional effort for that game. In that case we were actually told to make him look more like Spiderman. (laughs) That’s also why he doesn’t die when you beat him, he just runs off.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 3 February 2018 18:14 (one month ago) Permalink

discovered this via Metafilter and have only skimmed it so far but kudos on the work involved. a fanmade history of the CRPG:

drugs don't kill people, poppers do (Noodle Vague), Monday, 5 February 2018 17:41 (one month ago) Permalink

is this a crpg addict project or totally unrelated?

Mordy, Monday, 5 February 2018 18:44 (one month ago) Permalink

i think it's a different set of people - started at a site called RPG Codex. the reviews aren't all earth-shatteringly insightful but the scope of it and the design are really nice

drugs don't kill people, poppers do (Noodle Vague), Monday, 5 February 2018 21:16 (one month ago) Permalink

i automatically read rpgcodex on whatever i'm playing because the people there have played everything and play v critically and have a whole conflicting assortment of furious dogmas that makes for good discourse, but a lot of posters there have more or less the political profile you might expect fyi (dunno who did the book tho)

have been meaning to start a thread about GRIMOIRE, the retro blobber developed by a megalomaniacal rightwing gen-x codex guy, which was vaporware for like decades but was "finally" "released" on steam last year, at premium prices, undocumented, and half-functioning-- well not about the game, which i have not played, but about the codex thread where he screams about how it's not priced for lazy millennials and sjws while a small coterie of fans adores him (and adores the game for being broken) and a furious nemesis (who also seems to be pretty rw) sets himself to cracking each new updated executable out of spite

difficult listening hour, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 02:12 (one month ago) Permalink

soon to be a major motion picture

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:50 (one month ago) Permalink

that Atari article was really good, esp in light of Bushnell recently getting dissed

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I enjoyed both of those, thanks Nhex. Lot of good Sierra reading-up to do on that filfre website.

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yeah, the atari piece was great

i've just finished reading john markoff's what the dormouse said, about the intersection of california counterculture and the early development of personal computing in the 60s and 70s, which covers some similar ground to the kotaku piece

it feels like there's a lot of potential for a mad men-style sprawlingly ambitious tv show about that whole era, something like halt and catch fire but with a different focus

NEW CHIMP THREAT (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

^i love that book! it is as if the 60's hippie dream of no country boundaries where everything was free and shared was somehow made flesh by all those acid-dropping engineers.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yeah, it's great! been on my list for ages so i'm glad i finally got around to reading it

NEW CHIMP THREAT (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 14:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

everything on jimmy maher's blog ( is super worth reading, he's great

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 14:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

having now read quite of few of jimmy maher's articles i can confirm that he is indeed great

NEW CHIMP THREAT (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

this one, on the utterly bizarre story behind the neuromancer videogame, is particularly good:

NEW CHIMP THREAT (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

was reading the good ol' sermon on the mount today and realized that jesus was talking about roguelikes in Matthew 6:19-21

“19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

jesus is basically pioneering the structure of a roguelike, where you always start back from level 0 but you can spend accumulated treasure to increase permanent attribute bonuses or to purchase starting items or whatever. heaven is HQ, life on earth is the temporary attempt

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Saturday, 10 March 2018 01:25 (one week ago) Permalink

he's saying "spend some of that gold on this store here on the 4th floor, but don't forget to reserve most of it for after you die, where the bonuses are permanent. we should cut INT and boost CON"

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Saturday, 10 March 2018 01:29 (one week ago) Permalink

i believe i am finally ready to accept jesus christ as my saviour

Roberto Spiralli, Saturday, 10 March 2018 01:53 (one week ago) Permalink

(massive bonus in exchange for in-game purchase)

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Saturday, 10 March 2018 01:55 (one week ago) Permalink

Revelations is like some surreal text adventure

 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
> up

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
>examine throne

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
>touch throne with scepter

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
> extinguish lamps

6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
> examine beasts

7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

>examine him on throne

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

>look at book

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

>open the book

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

>give lion to elder

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

>feed seals to lion

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

>administer field sobriety test

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

>give poison to elders

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

thomasintrouble, Saturday, 10 March 2018 11:10 (one week ago) Permalink

>sit on throne of god
>there’s someone sitting there!

>ask god to get up
>you can’t do that!

>craft throne
>you can’t do that!

>ask god to dance
>you can’t do that!

Man, revelations the game sucks, come on

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Saturday, 10 March 2018 14:56 (one week ago) Permalink

Now that's something you don't often hear about Goldeneye.

— Kat Bailey (@The_Katbot) March 10, 2018

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Sunday, 11 March 2018 16:48 (one week ago) Permalink

Miyamoto otm

valorous wokelord (silby), Sunday, 11 March 2018 16:54 (one week ago) Permalink

it is true that james bond kills at least 700 people in the course of a typical goldeneye playthrough

i made that stat up, but the number is high

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Sunday, 11 March 2018 16:55 (one week ago) Permalink

that's a lot of handshaking. just impractical.

Roberto Spiralli, Sunday, 11 March 2018 16:58 (one week ago) Permalink

if only you could talk to sean bean and famke janssen, then perhaps you could try and make friends with them, form alliances... now that would be interesting

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 11 March 2018 16:59 (one week ago) Permalink

maybe he could just shake the hands of the doctors that just saved hundreds of lives and tell them to pass on his well wishes to victims

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Sunday, 11 March 2018 17:00 (one week ago) Permalink

you know within 5 minutes of the patch coming out, someone would be repeatedly crouching behind sean bean's butt and triggering the handshake animation and over again

and in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine♪♫ (Karl Malone), Sunday, 11 March 2018 17:01 (one week ago) Permalink

xxp, and I’ve said this before, the Book of Judges is totally a warhammer / RTS setting waiting to happen

someone should also consider an Old Testament inspired MOBA at some point imo

El Tomboto, Sunday, 11 March 2018 17:03 (one week ago) Permalink

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