Thursday, November 3, 2005

Cave Story

Cave Story!
I heard about this game from a post on

So I checked out the link he gave me, which lead to the Aeon Genesis website. Aeon Genesis is a fan-translation group who had brought over a lot of quality Japanese games, mostly SNES RPGs which we non-Japanese folks would have no hope of playing otherwise.

This time, they translated a freeware Japanese game called Doukutsu Monogatari ("Cave Story"), released December 2004 by Studio Pixel. Such a simple name for a wonderful action adventure game. With gameplay akin to the current incarnations of Castlevania, you control a soldier girl who must explore the caves until she gets to the end. A bit simplistic but Cave Story actually has a "story" of sorts: there are NPCs sprinkled althroughout that advance the plot, as well as give helpful hints. You'd even come to love the villains you'll encounter.

And then there're the hero's different guns, ranging from the basic Polar Star to weirder ones like the Bubbler. Each of these guns can be powered up 3 levels by collecting crystals from destroyed monsters, with their effects growing with each levelup. However, if the hero takes any damage, the weapons also take damage, often resulting in them degrading. Powering them up doesn't take much effort fortunately, so it becomes only an issue during boss battles.

The gameplay is solid and the graphics are charming, especially when we consider the fact that this is a freeware game. Which kind of puts to shame those US/UK game companies who churn out crap games.

I played Cave Story using my Logitech Dual Action Gamepad, and the game automatically maps to the buttons, even to the point of using the Left Analog Stick for its directional control.

If you loved Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (inclusing the various GBA remixes) and Metroid, be sure to check this game out. Here are the download links again:

Doukutsu Monogatari -- LZH is a compressed archive format; I used WinRAR to unpack mine.
Cave Story English Translation Patch -- unzip this, run the patch, and tell it where you installed the game.

Game on.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Massively Multiplayer Roleplaying Games

As I'm writing this, Windows Update is downloading the Microsoft .NET Framework (it's taken 2 hours and counting... don't you just love crappy 56k dialup?). I need it to run WinTin, a MUD client. I've recently begun to play MUDs again, hoping to find there what I found lacking in graphical MMORPGs like Ragnarok Online.

I'd use zMUD instead as the client, except it'll cost me $30, which I can't pay for right now. So I chose WinTin instead. It's got the same power functionalities and it's free and open source too!

What exactly am I gonna play? Lusternia! One of the things I hated about RO was the bland fetch quests. Lusternia seems to tout it's quest system a lot on their page, so I thought to give it a whirl. So in case you find yourself adventuring in Lusternia, give my character, Laire, a call.

D&D 3.5e and Humor

Since my disconnection from Ragnarok Online, I've been prepping up on reviving my pen and paper gaming hobby. Got the v3.5 books (didn't get around to buying 'em when they first came out because I was too hooked on pRO at that time). Did some online surfing to get a feel for the state-of-start in gaming. Subscribed to a couple of RSS feeds (mostly and morrus'). And that's how I stumbled on this little web comic serial called The Order of the Stick.

Now I'm a fan.

If you haven't read the comic yet AND you're a D&D gamer, then you're missing out. Get your d20s ready and join the party ASAP! You'll be traveling with Elan the Bard, Durkon Thundershield (dwarven cleric of Thor, complete with Highlands accent to boot), the beautiful rogue Haley Starshine, the halfling ranger Belkar Bitterleaf ("world's best tracker under 4 feet tall"), the mysterious elven wizard Vaarsuvius, and their leader, the veteran fighter Roy Greenhilt.

Happy birthday to me!

I think that title kind of makes me sound pathetic... *shrug*

Haven't posted in ages, despite previous promises to post more regularly. So I won't make any this time. Okay, so here we go. What have I been up to?

Well, for starters, I've semi-retired from Ragnarok Online. That's right. My decision was a bit forced; someone (who I trust enough to give access to my game account) freaked out and deleted all of my Loki server characters. Took me almost two years to get those electronic avatars to where they were. Guess that's life for you. I did cry about it, mostly because it was the lowest blow she could deal me, but, on the other hand, I guess I'm thankful. My life's been starting to move in another direction right before this incident happened, so I just took this as confirmation of my new path.

Of course, I won't forget what she Fynn Elenium and the others. They will be avenged someday. I shall have to cause the deletion of the culprit, her entire family, and all her hopes and dreams. Oh sweet, sweet revenge.

All that's for later.

I've been working again (for a month now, I think). Systems Administrator for some exclusive girl's school. Job's good, no complaints there.

My girlfriend's leaving soon (November 13th) for Abu Dabi (sp?). I do hope this time we'll hold on. We didn't have much luck the first time she left (about a couple of years ago, for Qatar). But we've learned, we've loved, and we're gonna try harder this time around. I love you, Janette.

OH RIGHT! Today's my birthday! Sorry, I almost forgot. Mom and sis just treated me to a very nice birthday lunch. Nothing fancy, just spaghetti and chicken and those little hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks... Heehee. Like a kid's party. I should be in Katiklan later today though (to meet Paeng and Krishlex and hangout at Boracay). But with my girlfriend's imminent departure, I had to take a raincheck on that.

I'm also enjoying Day Number 2 of our ultra-long vacation! No work on Monday (Oct 31st) because November 1 is a holiday. School holiday on the 2nd as well (All Soul's Day; thank you, catholicism). And I think November 3's the end of Ramadan (thank you, Islam), and the 4th's also declared a holiday since it's lonely getting stuck in between two non-working days. To make it short, no work until the 7th! It's nice having a long-ass time to relax.

I'm, like, 29 years old already, I think...? Or at least that age when you're in denial that you're growing old. Growing old's only a mindset anyway. I'm still that impish 15-year-old boy who loves gaming.

The future might be hazy, but I'm thankful that I'm getting somewhere.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Like A Phoenix...

(or, Yay! KoO's now level 2!)

The Knights of Obscurity, my pRO Loki guild, was broken a couple of weeks ago. It was immediately reformed on the very same night, last January the 5th, with Fynn Elenium taking on the guildmaster position as replacement for former guildmistress, Sevrin Astergarden. Now, a little over two weeks and two guildhunts later, the new KoO has gained it's first level up! (Pwede na ulit maki-salingpusa sa guild wars! XD~!!)

jan 23rd ~1230h
800k EXP to go (from left to right): Ices Frostmourne, Fynn Elenium, Sevrin Astergarden, Alena, Leon Cross, Maria (and her pet lunatic, Kimmy), and Kaela.

jan 23rd ~0200h
Knights of Obscurity, Guild Lv. 2 again (from left to right): Kaela, Stajah (who joined us just as we entered the "guild" dungeon), Sevrin Astergarden, Fynn Elenium, Alena, Leon Cross, Alestor (who managed to join us shortly before levelup), and Ices Frostmourne. Maria had to back out during the middle of the guild boost on account of extreme sleepiness ^^;; Special mention to Maraksus, who did join the guild as we celebrated at the Prontera tambayan (in front of Grandma's House) XD.

Game on!

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Turning Japanese...

My japanese name is 猿渡 Saruwatari (monkey on a crossing bridge) 駿 Shun (fast person).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Happy New Year, everyone! ^_^v