The Problems with Rain World

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A Torrent of Small Issues

I recently played Rain World on stream, and as anyone who tuned in would know, I don’t hate the game but it has far more problems than I was expecting. A core issue of the game is…there is no core issue; it’s a big messy tangle of small issues that wouldn’t even be problems if not tied to other small issues, and they all bundle up into a big ball of frustration.

This isn’t quite a review so much as a critique on how to make a much more approachable game. I’ve only played about 4 hours, but it’s flaws are so readily apparent (and so well agreed on) I don’t feel that’s a problem. If you haven’t played the game, Destructoid has a good run down on the issues in it’s review.

So let’s go over the individual problems that add up to a greater, incredibly frustrating hole. Note pretty much all of these are fairly innocuous alone and I’m not calling any of them inherently bad design; instead I’ll go over how each interacts negatively with other factors to result in more frustration than funstration, a word I just made up and must now swear to never use again.

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Weekly Youtube Roundup 2017-02-26

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Keeping up with my new videos can be a bit hard (and Youtube’s wonky subscription modules hardly helps), so I thought I’d start posting a weekly roundup of the past week’s new videos.

So…here’s that!

Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods (playlist) is a narrative/adventure game about coming home and finding your life just isn’t working out like you though it would. I really loved this one and I can’t wait for the series to finish! The first 6 episodes are out as of today.

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Four Goddess Online: Cyber Dimension Neptune Import Guide

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This is a guide for English importers of the Japanese release of Four Goddess Online: Cyber Dimension Neptune of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series.

This guide’s a major work in progress as I’m still playing myself. If you have any questions or info to contribute, please leave a comment, send an email or whatever. While I’m working on it, you can use this Japanese Wiki to help as well.

Updates

Guide Updates
Game Updates

The game was updated around 2017-3-14. Thanks to AzureValkyrie again for translating these!

 

General Info

Release date: February 9, 2017
Platforms: PS4
PS4 Pro support: Not that I can tell
Genre: Action RPG
Specs: 1080p/60FPS with occasional frame dips
Where to buy: Amazon.co.jp can ship internationally and can be used in English with USD/local currency
Review: (soon)

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Localized Terms in Hyperdimension Neptunia

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Welcome to the second article about Neptunia localization. In our first article we discussed about how character names have been localized and the rationale behind the changes (or lack thereof). This time we’re going to talk about different terms that have been used through the series.

Some information was obtained from this interview:
http://www.siliconera.com/2016/04/18/hyperdimension-neptunia-editor-nick-doerr-talks-localization/

The list

Neptunia ← ネプテューヌ (neptune)

In Japan the Neptunia series is just called Neptune. When NISA localized it, they were worried about potential trademark issues (this was around the time companies were being sued over the word Edge), and so the word was changed slightly into a non-existent word.
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Name Changes in Neptunia Localizations

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Of all the issues discussed in localizations, characters’ names are often the most contentious issue. Hyperdimension Neptunia has had just about every possible different style of name change across its history: different name but same meaning, direct romanization, and even completely made up replacements.

An aspect of localization that’s often hard to grasp is that sometimes wording has to change for the meaning to stay the same, but sometimes things are changed for other reasons (or worse, no reason).

What was changed, and why?

The List

Arfoire ← マジェコンヌ (majekon’nu, romanized “Magiquone”)

Probably the most well known of the name changes. Her Japanese name is taken from a DS flashcart sold in Japan called Majikon. Her English name is taken from the R4 flashcart (which is essentially its Western counterpart), and also happens to fit more in line with the French-style naming.

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Welcome aboard Sik, a new Neptunia focused guest writer

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When I started this site I didn’t plan on bringing other writers on board, but plans always change. So today I’m announcing two changes.

First, this site will be somewhat of a home for Neptunia information, as I’ve found it frustratingly difficult to scrape together information on what’s a fairly popular series (for it’s budget/pedigree). These stories will be collected under a new top level menu item for Neptunia. I’ll keep making import guides and covering the release of new games in Japanese, as well as guides once (or before!) the English version hits western shores.

Second, welcome aboard guest writer Sik, who will be assisting in writing about Neptunia!

Sik is a Genesis Homebrew Game developer from Argentina and artist who does lots of Neptunia art, it so happens. Some of his stuff is on itch.io as well.

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Year End 2016

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I originally posted this over on my Patreon but I’ve been meaning to cross-post a bit more between these two sites, so here we are.

I know the year’s not exactly over, but I started writing a post like this in December last year and…never posted it.

Anyway. 2016 was a trying year in more ways than one.  But for the channel and my website, it’s been a good if uncomfortable time.

How We’re Doing

Streams have come back to regularity, even if they’re still not without issue (my ISP stood me up for an appointment check things out.) Streams aren’t huge, but I’m not wasting all my time moderating yet there’s always enough people to maintain a conversation, and Restreamio’s enabled me to have nice cross-channel chat which has been really great. Beam in particular has made chatting a lot less painful due to low-latency.

Patreon pledges went from a couple spare bucks late last year to a reliable chunk of money I can easily plan my spending on (this year’s biggest expenses were Sony Movie Studio Platinum, my new editing tool, my GTX 1060 to keep up my ability to record intensive games, and a PSVR that’s significantly there just for my ability to cover VR games). I’m still not super comfortable promoting Patreon and such, but Iv’e gotten better and Im’ quite pleased with the support you’ve all given (pretend one of those heart emojis the kids like is here).

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What Peach Beach Splash (Might) Mean For Senran Kagura’s Future

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Senran Kagura has always been a series at odds with itself. It showed even in the first game, but it became strikingly clear in Shinovi Versus. Each story ran down a rollercoaster starting off mostly serious, veering quite silly, then back dead serious for everyone’s backstories, then usually back to silly again (and in a few cases a few more twists).

A Pair of Worlds

There are two sides to Senran Kagura: The Fun, and what I will (only somewhat derisively) refer to as the Edge. The main story has always had a sharp edge hidden into it; the very start of Estival Versus ponders on how a Shinobi’s life is a brutal, short thing. Then most of the game returns to Fun as the girls enjoy what is more or less a huge beach party with the opportunity to visit many beloved dead relatives. Fun and Edge battle left and right through the game and indeed, the series as a whole. The other games follow similar whiplash-inducing arcs between drama and silliness.

While I definitely enjoy Senran Kagura for far more than the simple boob fan service, I’d be lying if I didn’t find the Edge side a bit less satisfying than the Fun. When it was just backstories it was very touching and intriguing; a sequence in Estival where circumstances force Miyabi to explore her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to her mother’s death, I felt very connected to her, and the writing felt so real it was a bit uncomfortable as someone with invasive memories of my own.

Mixed Feelings

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