What Video Game Did I Play Yesterday?

July 2022

July 31st, 2022

It's the last day of July, and I got five more game specific pages set up today! I've already been to Bed, Bath and Beyond this morning, too. I'm unstoppable.

Last night, for important reasons, I got my old PS3 out, cleaned up, and ready to play, with a stop at the console's Playstation Store. I had never had so much trouble getting a company to let me give them a stack of money. I had to set up an app-specific password through my phone to log into the console at all, which gave me dreadful work flashbacks, then, in order to add funds to my Playstation wallet, I had to get a digital PS Store gift card on Amazon and then add it to my account externally. It was all such a hassle that after getting the new set of games downloaded, I went back in and backed up all prior PS3 purchases, effectively turning my PS3 into a very specifically targeted version of a preloaded classics console.

From there, though, I took a hard turn from what I'd intended getting the system out and dug into Sonic the Fighters, which is a really excellent game because it lets you make the Sonic characters pummel each other. Actually, I do really like this game! It plays well, especially for a 1996 3D fighter, the smooth polygons are really cool looking, and I like how much personality it has, both in terms of characters and stage backdrops. I played through Amy's arcade mode last night, because it's fun to use the squeaky hammer.

My one point of bafflement, though, is that in one playthrough and another quick trophy scum, I got 100% of the trophies for this game! No doubt it made me feel powerful, but I felt like it was kind of lazy to make every trophy such an easy target as "Beat Stage 1," "Beat Stage 2." I'm still going to play it more, but I was surprised at that.

Speaking of trophy scumming, I also played Parappa the Rapper Remastered some more last night. I grabbed the easy mode trophy quickly, then got the basic game clear one, too. I do enjoy playing this, but going back to it now, it feels more like Dragon's Lair, or just an FMV game in general, than a normal music game. The buttons matching up to syllables and words on the player end gives it a weird feel that, at least for me, makes it hard to get back on rhythm when I got thrown off. It's still fun, and this won't be the last I play of it, but it's a much stranger game than I remembered it being.

Alas, I must go to Wal-Mart now. If I become lost in the aisles, please let my affection for obsolete games with cute animal friends stand as my final testament.

July 30th, 2022

This morning, I've gotten some good work on this site in for a Saturday! The August 2022 post archive page is set up and linked across the board, albeit as a placeholder, so I can still hit the ground running with it on Monday, even if I get swamped at work. I'm working on making my Game Index section more functional, too, getting posts about each game onto their own pages. It's still somewhat clunky, but I like it much better than just dumping readers over onto the monthly archive pages. Anyway, I started that the middle of last week, with pages for Pinball and Phantom Brave, then got three more games transferred over today. It's something I'll have to keep chipping away at.

Speaking of Phantom Brave, though, I finally got a good chunk of time to play last night! When the PSP port of this came out, I played it for a few hours and bounced off of it with vitriol, feeling like it was asking way too much of me. Playing it now, I think I might have just been irritated that it wasn't flat out another Disgaea game. There's a lot going on, even at the start, but it's more interesting than unreasonable. I still spent a lot of time last night building up my squad, to have enough party members to counter the rule that they can only be on the field for five turns at a time, but that's not really a problem.

I also cleared the "Plant 5,000 Flowers" weekly goal in Pikmin Bloom! I think I'll do both weekly challenges again next week, too.

July 29th, 2022

I'm doing a quick post during a work break today before absolute apathy sets in again. At work last night, due to bad luck, I got a late call that made me miss my last break and forced some overtime, so I didn't get to move around as much as I wanted during the day. I was pretty set on getting my 20k steps goal in Pikmin Bloom, though, so I went to the Planet Fitness across the street and spent half an hour on a treadmill. I had thought maybe it would cheer me up, but instead, I was still frustrated and more tired than I would have been otherwise. The goal was met, though.

After that, I just played NES Pinball before bed again. I tried Game B, which is different from Game A in that it is faster, more difficult, and vastly more enjoyable. I think I ended up going 5 (very bad) rounds before falling asleep, but it was a good time!

July 28th, 2022

I played another 15 minutes of Phantom Brave before falling asleep again last night, but let me tell you, it was a hell of a tutorial level. Only 5 work days left until I get a two week vacation! I haven't had a vacation in about 2.5 years, so I feel like it is badly needed.

July 27th, 2022

Yesterday, I skipped playing Ensemble Stars and didn't do anything interesting enough to post about in Pikmin Bloom. I have no intention of quitting Pikmin Bloom, but it's so simple that there's not much to say about it on a daily basis. I'll probably drop back to talking about it if I have something to say about it, or have cleared a weekly challenge, rather than scrambling for screenshots on it daily.

Last night, though, in the interest of playing a game with character classes, I picked up my copy of NIS Classics Collection Volume 1 and started in on Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Remastered. I got too sleepy to press on after 15 minutes, though, so I saved, quit, and will move forward tonight.

July 26th, 2022

I played more games than I should have yesterday, which involved getting unreasonably frustrated at Ensemble Stars. I failed to get three stars on one of the 30 sections of the event and, trying to math out if it was better to use 12 (out of 10 offered every few hours) energy points right then and there to get that third star, or carry on and see if I could loop back later, I realized it was too much. The game was trying to stress me out to get me to spend money and win that way, even then playing so many hours a day that giving up would become a sunk cost, and I don't need that. I already unlocked a lot of cards and the full event story, so I'm just going to collect login bonuses for the next few days. I don't need clearing a game event to be as stressful as my job is right now.

In mobile games that are actively anti-stress, I picked up a couple of new weekly challenges in Pikmin Bloom- the usual 20k step challenge, and a "plant 5,000 flowers" challenge. This led to two realizations. First, I went on a walk yesterday morning without entering the weekly challenge first, which led to around 3,000 steps not counting. I went on a longer walk that night, so it was no big deal, but it's something to keep in mind for the future. The second thing is that, even though I thought the 5,000 flower challenge would be undoable, I planted over 1,000 of them on my second walk of the day. I think I'll probably clear that pretty easily, too.

Aside from mobile games, I got inexplicably excited about playing some video pinball last night, but do not currently have access to Devil's Crush or Pokemon Pinball, either of which would have been perfect. Sonic Spinball has a little more going on than I wanted to deal with, so I ended up playing plain NES Pinball on Switch online. It's fine, and I got an ok score by my standards. Switch Online is useful for fulfilling gaming whims that are hard to explain.

July 25th, 2022

Yesterday did not end up being a big game day, because I went with some family members to see John Mulaney. I had been posessed by a very weird level of stress that, going to see the comedian, I would not laugh once, but it turns out, he was pretty funny. Who woulda thought?

Even though I walked a lot, my phone was not with me, so I did a rubbish job at Pikmin Bloom yesterday. I grew a white Pikmin, though, and can't decide what I think about it. It's definitely not as good as the purple ones, but decent nonethless.

Over in Ensemble Stars land, though, I played the absolute crap out of the current event. I didn't get as far as I would have liked, but I'm going to try a little more tonight. Even if I can't win, I at least want to get the card prize for beating 20 of the 30 levels.

July 24th, 2022

This morning feels way more difficult and frustrating than it should, so I'm somewhat distressed! My internet is cutting in and out, my phone is acting weird, and my eyes are puffed up from allergies. The new nitro cold brew from the coffee shop across the street is solid, but I want to go back to bed and also not show up at work tomorrow.

Anyway, a new event started in Ensemble Stars, and though from the outside, the set number of lives (or rhythm game stages) to complete makes it look more doable, the fact that each song takes 3 BP (the game's energy) to complete makes that veneer of possibility a deception. I'm still going to go for it, as it might be possible with some good timing and the energy refill whistles, but I don't think I'll be able to do it, especially not with an in-office day this week. It's a little frustrating, but when I'm in a better mood, I'll be better able to appreciate the amound of event rewards I'm racking up regardless. I already have 3 of the event cards after one day of play, which is pretty great.

In Pikmin Bloom, I got my 20k steps for the week, but the chess Pikmin I unlocked was just the purple one again! It was a little disappointing, but the purple Pikmin are so good at fighting mushrooms it's hard to be frustrated.

I didn't play it much, but I did a small amount of trophy scumming in Parappa the Rapper Remastered, nabbing the training mode trophy before I passed out from being awake for 18 hours. I'll grab the easy mode one, today, probably after lunch, just because I can.

July 23rd, 2022

Yesterday at work, one of my co-workers put a Parappa the Rapper gif in our work chat, so, naturally, I had to figure out the quickest way to get playing it after work ended. I ended up going with Parappa the Rapper Remastered on PS4 because the price point seemed reasonable enough, and I didn't have to hook up any out of the standard rotation systems to play it.

Going through the first few levels before the chicken defeated me and I realized I had other stuff to get done made me feel powerful, and I'm not sure if it's just because I have the game memorized, or because since Parappa, even free to play rhythm games have gotten so much more difficult that the one-line-at-a-time style makes it easier from a modern perspective. It's still a lot of fun, and the characters and music are still charming, but I was surprised that the moose driving instructor didn't instantly destroy me.

That being said, it's not very shiny for a remaster! The in-level stuff looks pretty great, but the cutscenes before and after levels look blurry and terrible, with massive amounts of the screen taken up by a frame.

The picture above is an overall view of the cutscenes, and for the photo below, I'm slightly breaking my own crappy images for the aesthetic rules to complain about someone else's crappy images. Look at how blown out the black outline around Sunny's eyes looks, though! I know Sony probably didn't want to dump all of its resources into a quick port of a game that takes less than an hour to beat, but it feels pretty lazy.

Anyway, aside from that, I also played Ensemble Stars for longer than I probably should have. I got one of the idols looking distressed, dressed up in a bee hoodie, with cash crumpled in his hand in the gacha, which, make no mistake, was my goal. His outfit is weird and I identify with his despair. He has supplanted a much rarer, more powerful character as my player profile card so other players know what I'm all about- crying because I have one piece of paper money and someone has made me put on fake antenna. If I were to be generous and call this a playstyle, I would say that this playstyle is, in fact, why I have not done well at events yet. My character is the crying bee, though, so see if I care.

July 22nd, 2022

Somehow, my energy is even lower today, but I got my first chess Pikmin in Pikmin Bloom yesterday! I love that it's one of the round purple ones, they're so cute! I won't have an update on this game tomorrow, since I really haven't done anything other than have it in my pocket as I doze off and putter around my apartment, but I'm going to drag myself to walk on a treadmill tomorrow morning, so it'll be a temporary pause.

I did a lot of the office mode stuff in Ensemble Stars, but was too sleepy to play the rhythm game.

July 21st, 2022

I still don't have much blogging power today. I started Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers last night because I wanted to wave my arms around like an idiot playing a Wii game. So far, it is fun and dumb. I'll post more about it when I have not watched the pieces of a bookshelf from Target bust out of the bottom of their box and slide down my apartment building's staircase.

In Pikmin Bloom, now I can fight mushrooms.

My office in Ensemble Stars got a major upgrade, with a bed being placed in the garbage zone. This actually makes me really happy, and the little chibi idols use it often. I don't blame them, being stuck in a little room with snacks and activities must be hell.

July 20th, 2022

I am not excited to post today, but I don't want to lose my streak, either. With Pikmin Bloom, I went to Sam's Club, was at the gym for a decent amount of time and then was downtown for a concert. My step count was good and I got a lot of Pikmin grown.

Over in Ensemble Stars, I am facing down the prospect of leveling Subaru to level 75 for the next Start-Dash mission with the despair of the grandfather in The Magnificent Ambersons staring down his own death. I'll get there, but 'tis tedious. (The screenshot is cropped today because I made a dumb mistake taking it, not for any interesting reason.)

July 19th, 2022

It was a standard game day yesterday. I played the 2D levels of the Spa Service mode in Pokemon Puzzle League, which is the line clear challenge. 3D mode is where it gets really good, I think, but it was fun enough to buzz through the first 15 normal levels, then fail at the single chance challenge level after that set. It pleases my unsophisticated brain to see all of the Team Rocket "disguises" in this mode, too.

My phone was charging most of the day, so I didn't get many steps in Pikmin Bloom. It's a bad start to the 20k step challenge for the week, but I still don't doubt I'll succeed.

Lastly, in Ensemble Stars, I thought I cleared the last phase of the Start-Dash event only to, somewhat despairingly, find out there was yet another screen of grind-heavy missions yet to clear. It's hard to say the game is short on goals to clear, if nothing else. I expect to have this set of missions done sometime in August.

July 18th, 2022

I finished the 10,000 step goal in Pikmin Bloom yesterday! It involved a lot of wandering around, both outdoors and in malls, and I had to walk to the grocery store to achieve it, but victory was mine. There was no prize, but that is okay. It made me feel powerful. This week's goal is to beat a daily challenge, just any of them, to get a chess themed Pikmin. I'm doing the 20k steps for the week, which isn't super challenging. I don't think I could get through the 100k for the week, though, so the doable plan wins out.

In non-mobile games, I picked up my PSP and the system's port of SSX On Tour. I got this very cheaply at the local game store and thought it would be laughably bad. It is janky in parts, that is true, but I was doing dumb tricks, and Maximo Park was blaring out of the tiny little speaker, and I felt very strongly that it was, in fact, a game that rules. I will type about some of the problems more concretely the more I play, but I was really happy with it last night.

Over in Ensemble Stars, I got my title for the last rhythm game event, coming in at a smooth 48,420th, thousands better than the last event! I love the ranking titles in this game. Showing off how badly I suck to other players appeals greatly to me. Here's to a solid 50,000th place in the next event, too!

July 17th, 2022

Yesterday, I enjoyed my games with some maniacal laughter. Finally, I got all the explosives placed on the abandoned cruise ship in Digital Devil Saga! After two years (mostly spent having set the game aside) of running back and forth away from Bat on the 9th floor, my party can finally go get Argilla and, I imagine, get repeatedly wrecked in a boss fight until I figure out what spells I need to throw at everyone. Screenshots and ebuillent Line stickers were sent to a friend, ice cream was eaten, and it was all very wonderful.

This screenshot doesn't have anything to do with the situation at hand. I just thought it looked neat.

With Ensemble Stars, I got all the story pieces in the current rhythm game event and, somewhat anti-climactically, got all of the costume patterns from the summer office work event. Today's screenshot is extremely cropped to show that off. I thought it would be more difficult, or at least take longer, so I was a bit surprised! I'll spend some time crafting all of the outfits as my next goal.

In Pikmin Bloom, I'd been hoping to see how many steps a mile on a treadmill could net me, but the game didn't count most of my steps while I was out at Planet Fitness! After I got home from that, I walked to a neighborhood Indian restaurant for takeout, and it also didn't count those steps, which was doubly frustrating. I fixed up my settings a little to see if that helps any, which, since today is the 10k steps community day, I hope it does. So far, so good, but if it tanks for me again, I'll be back and whining more tomorrow!

July 16th, 2022

Yesterday was a normal games day. I did the normal level 1 player vs. mode in Pokemon Puzzle League, which was enjoyable, since it's Pokemon Puzzle League.

Since the morning was rainy, I went to Planet Fitness instead of taking a morning walk, and I don't think it counted my steps properly for Pikmin Bloom. I'll complain about this slightly more tomorrow.

Before bed, I cleared out the daily missions I could in Ensemble Stars. As lazy as I was about this over the past week, I was surprised to have kept up well enough to get the final weekly mission bonus. It is sometimes a gentler game than I expect.

July 15th, 2022

It was a fun games day yesterday. I had an in-office day for work, so I decided to take advantage of it and go around town during my breaks and lunch with Pikmin Bloom. There were a lot more of the big flowers than I expected downtown, but less expeditions, where you can send your Pikmin out after items after a play session, than I had thought I might pick up. I got a little over 7500 steps in for the day, though, which made me feel powerful and helped me get the 20,000 step weekly challenge done pretty easily!

I was also happy that Pokemon Puzzle League hit Nintendo Switch Online a few hours earlier than I'd expected. It's one of my favorite all-time games, and I'd kind of thought anime licensing deals would keep it off the Switch online service. When they announced it last week, though, I'd been pretty excited, and was happy to see it there when I turned the system on last night. I just buzzed through the 1 player vs mode on easy and the first 15 stages, to get back in the swing of it, but I'm looking forward to matching many blocks.

In Ensemble Stars, I started working on redoing the office. I got the shaved ice stand that's part of the summer event, so my idea is to try and make it a bit like an open floor plan market. So far, it's split into a food court, an office area, and a garbage dump, but I have some more ideas here.

July 14th, 2022

Last night, I mostly watched TV and tried to recover some of my old PSP games from backup. It worked in some cases, failed in others, and the old laptop I had MediaGo on smelled unpleasantly of popcorn.

After all of the PSP effort, though, I ended up grabbing my Switch and starting in on Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. Limited time gimmick sales aside, it's so cool that we can get new translations of Famicom games in the 2020s. As neat as playing this is, though, I did a really awful job last night! I ended up dodging out of Chapter 1 after confidently organizing my party, ending my turn, and then realizing just as the enemy moved that my pegasus knight was about to get absolutely slaughtered by an archer. Alas! It'll be easy enough to avoid when I try again, though.

As for mobile games, I was lazy in Ensemble Stars again, making it through a pretty minimal amount of daily goals, even as I buzz through the outfit collecting event.

My Pikmin remain cute and good. I'll have a bit more to say about Pikmin Bloom tomorrow, and think I might try the 10k steps community event on Sunday.

July 13th, 2022

I only did mobile games yesterday, so it's the perfect day for a lunch break post.

I took a walk after work and racked up enough levels in Pikmin Bloom to unlock expeditions, where the Pikmin run off and grab stuff. It is cute, and remains low effort. I am happy with this for a shiny version of a step counter so far.

I had enough energy to actually play Ensemble Stars instead of halfheartedly clicking through my login bonuses, making headway in both the rhythm game and office work mode events. I'm getting lots of the summer outfits, and it is satisfying to collect things.

July 12th, 2022

Yesterday, I was not very peppy, so I did mobile gaming only. In Ensemble Stars, I did much less, but I want to post about it more, so it gets the top spot. In the office work mode that I am weirdly fascinated with, despite the fact that it is low on gameplay and disconnected from the rhythm game almost entirely, there is currently a summer event, to get new outfits for each and every character. What strikes me as odd about the office work mode is that it's incredibly grind heavy without any obvious way to pay-to-win, like I usually assume a gacha game might have. That's fine, I'm not interested in coughing up cash for it, but it does make it a little hard to get a read on. Since outfits are a quick and easy way to raise an idol's stats, though, other than the standard "one stat point for one team member for each job completed" level grind, this event is very satisfying. Levelling up is good, and dressing my game characters in dumb outfits is even better, so this is a fine event indeed.

Of course, I fell asleep after 5 minutes of play last night, but I'll make some progress tonight!

Aside from that, I really got going in Pikmin Bloom, racking up over 4,000 steps. My thought was that if I went for a walk to the store, I'd be less tired, but in fact, as all of you reading probably could have guessed, it instead made me really, extremely tired. The Pikmin are super cute, though.

July 11th, 2022

I'm so sleepy today, so this post is kind of late. On Saturday, though, I had to get a new phone, which I got to play with some on Sunday. I downloaded Pikmin Bloom, which seems to be an extremely low maintenance take on Pokemon Go. It's cute, it's no hassle, and there's flowers. I'm all for it.

Aside from that, though, I was really tired. I had my PSP out and ready to go, but felt like it just wasn't worth the effort. Instead, I picked up my Switch and used the online service to play Dr. Mario 64. Story mode is fun, but I can't really say I like this better than the NES/Famicom version. I do like Dr. Mario, so I can't say I had a bad time, but this version wasn't clicking with me last night.

I also couldn't get through the daily missions in Ensemble Stars. An office/idol work campaign started up, which I'll write more about later in the week, but getting through any of the rhythm game stages just wasn't happening. I'll probably skip over a lot of it again tonight and get to bed early.

July 10th, 2022

Today, I bask in the glory of posting while I wait for my hair to dry, so I don't look too weird when I go to Subway for lunch.

My most interesting game yesterday was a cute little adventure game I found in one of my itch.io bundles, Little Favors. It was made in Bitsy, which is an interesting game engine I've stared at more than actually used. I keep thinking I should try to make a game in it, but have not taken any of the necessary steps to do so.

Anyway, Little Favors is a very cute, brief, and charming browser game where you do fetch quests to help a cat overcome a shopping crisis. It's not super complex, but knowing how the rooms and interactions had to come together to run in order for the player, I was really impressed by how smoothly everything ran. The little animal sprites are really cute, too, and even though the interactions are brief, the characters have a good amount of personality.

If you'd like to play it yourself, you can find it here! Click here to play!

From there, everything was pretty standard. I played the Episode Shadow pack-in DLC in Sonic Forces, in which we learn that being a little rude to someone can make them a full on supervillain. I'm going to keep this in mind as a new career path during work tomorrow. That aside, I am close to hitting a wall in this game. The time trials and red coins aren't a bad challenge, but the levels aren't interesting enough to run over and over trying to get everything right. Collecting the avatar parts is fun, but I'm not sure I have the patience to 100% this.

Then, I played Ensemble Stars way too much yesterday, trying to make headway in the event to very little avail. The font is way smaller for the song translations now, and it seemed to run with a little more lag than it used to. My office is up to 12 trash cans, though, so I am clearly doing very well.

July 9th, 2022

My Saturday "update" for this week is all backend stuff. I installed GIMP on the weenie little Windows laptop I'm on right now, that I use to edit this website, in order to cut down on the devices I use to take care of this daily. Typically, if I can take direct screenshots, like on my Android tablet or Switch, I will. Everything else is photographed through my iPad camera or, again in the case of the Switch, transferred over to the iPad using the archaic QR code reader system. I then email the photos over to myself, and before today, I was then making my fuzzy little jpegs out of the screenshots on a second, older and more frustrating computer, emailing them back to myself, and bouncing over to this machine.

I have known that this is a bad setup since the first day I posted here, but it took me over a month to simply install my image editor on this laptop, cutting a few steps out of my process. It seems nice so far, and'll make things faster on bad days at work.

Tomorrow, I might do an overall update to the website itself, but I haven't decided yet. If I don't end up doing anything like that tomorrow, I'll save it for next weekend.

Last night, I got trapped in mandatory overtime, which kind of tipped things over for the whole evening. I did a few missions in Sonic Forces, not accomplishing much, but having a pretty clear idea of what I want to go after today.

After that, as always, I cleared what I could of the daily missions in Ensemble Stars. Today's screenshot is cropped, unlike the usual ones, to make sure the text is readable. For me, this game having a character that talks at length about their church is a feature rather than a bug, since I think depictions of Christianity from cultures where it's not such a dominant religious ideology are interesting. This quote that comes up during the idol work sections always makes me laugh. I am curious what the original Japanese was here, because I suspect it's a translation error. If not, "May you be at rest. Amen," is an unexpected, to say the least, thing to tell fans calling in for an idol's radio show.

July 8th, 2022

Yesterday ended up being a really challenging day at work. I had some trouble getting myself to do anything once chores were over, but convinced myself playing a game was better than staring at a wall and worrying. For minimal stress, I grabbed my Switch and used the online app to play Super Mario Kart. I don't actually love this game in and of itself, but I really like the music in it, so it's relaxing and cheerful to play. I got first in a couple of 50cc cups, felt mildly powerful, and was a bit cheerier for it.

From there, I did the daily missions, but nothing else, in Ensemble Stars. It was more energy than I thought I'd have. This screenshot is not significant, I just think it's funny that the character looks like he could be serving someone a subpeona as they enjoy brunch at an expensive cafe.

July 7th, 2022

Last night, I picked an RPG I'd been having some spatial awareness struggles with back up, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga I. It is very enjoyable and interesting, but I am inexplicably stuck on the cruise ship dungeon 20 hours in. I've made efforts to go back in and get sorted out, not sure why I am so lost, but this time, I am not going to be defeated. By God, I'm taking notes! Before I go for it, though, I had to refresh myself on how the game systems work, so I spent about an hour in random battles and messing with menus last night. It's gripping stuff to write about after the fact.

Everything else I did was just mission clearing. I got through 5 or 6 super quick missions in Sonic Forces by redoing the Green Hill Zone intro level over and over to clear some of the "use your homing attack on 5 enemies in a row!" style missions for Sonic.

In Ensemble Stars, I did my daily missions and then played some songs quite badly before going to sleep. This is what mobile rhythm games were made for.

July 6th, 2022

I didn't do anything exciting yesterday, so I'm dashing out a quick post during my work break. In Sonic Forces, I set a goal to clear three missions and ended up clearing a 4th when the daily mission bonus kicked on, to get one of my S ranks cleared and out of the way.

In Ensemble Stars, I did the daily missions, a few of the Starry Lives to scum some diamonds, and read a couple of the machine-translated-into-slush story segments to clear off the last event. The standard story's translation isn't great, but it's doable. Some of the campaign story stuff is a wreck, though. Some proofreading or editing would help a ton. The screenshot is unrelated, but I thought it was funny that the main screen characters can look like they've had it with each other.

July 5th, 2022

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to sit down and finish Adventure for a Bit, which you can download from itch.io if you're curious. Here is the link! I had stalled a bit on finishing this, since I thought it would be a super long play session, but it turned out I only had around 15 minutes of the game left. There's nothing wrong with that, I just felt slightly like a dingbat.

At any rate, Adventure for a Bit was quick to play, had cute and charming characters, and had some really pretty and relaxing worlds to wander around in. It ended up being a really good random pick from my itch.io bundles.

I got back to messing around with post-game missions in Sonic Forces, which was pleasantly low stress. Most of my time was spent trying to keep deaths to a minimum in the third EX stage, and I did, to my credit, eventually get an S rank. It took a lot of horrific deaths by laser and falling from great heights to earn that, but it happens. I also unlocked this glorious Chao backpack, in shining pink. I ordered bootleg Crocs with a Chao like this on them, so I was quite pleased.

Last but not least, I hit my stride in Ensemble Stars and am ready to play until my eyes bleed tonight. I'm still working on the Start-Dash missions, but maybe tonight I can get them cleared!

July 4th, 2022

Well, it's finally happened. Persona 4: Ultimax the Ultimate Suplex Hold is the first video game I've ever played in the state of Wisconsin. I took my Switch with for a car ride and did play quite a bit, just level grinding in Golden Arena mode. I wasn't doing my best, since I was playing pretty late. For all of the time that portable games have existed, no one has quite figured out how to counter sunlight, so I couldn't get much of anywhere during the day. On the way back, though, I gained many levels and defeated an alarmingly low number of opponents. It was very enjoyable, and I do think I'm getting Rise figured out a bit better through trial and error.

Over in Ensemble Stars, I had it in my head that I wasn't so sleepy after getting home, so I intended to play quite a bit. After about five songs, though, I began failing to comprehend the basic concept of movement upon a screen, so I shut it off and was asleep in a flash. I did get a screenshot of my idol office before shutting it off, though- I'm up to eight trash cans!

Even though it's a holiday here in the US, it's pretty rainy today. I'll probably have more to write about than I ought to tomorrow.

July 3rd, 2022

Yesterday's gaming was slightly different! I was marginally on the go yesterday, so I dragged my Switch around and sat on a couch other than my own playing Persona 4: Ultimax the Ultimate Suplex Hold for a while. (I definitely had to pull out my game case to get that title right.) A fighting game where you can level grind is my ideal portable game, so I was just messing around with Golden Arena mode. When I first got this, I'd used Yukiko a little, since she was my best character back when my family had the first P4 Arena, but yesterday, I started leveling Rise. I'm not so sure about her yet! I definitely like hitting people in the face with a mic stand- that's also a top feature of Guilty Gear, but I don't feel like I have a good grip on how she plays yet. I'll see if I can get any more of a feel for her today.

My second video game quest did not end in any actual gameplay. I'm trying to get some of the dodgy Wii era Sonic games and scored Sonic and the Secret Rings yesterday. The case was a little beaten up, though, so I decided to test the game before bed. Setting the Wii up was kind of a hassle, though! I got it done and verified the game worked, at least as well as any copy of this particular game truly can, but rechargable wireless controllers were a true innovation.

After that, I was too tired to finish the daily missions in Ensemble Stars, but I tackled a few and shall treasure my player title that lets me tell the world I ranked 54,769th in the game's first event. I'm a pro.

July 2nd, 2022

Another day, another blathering post about moderate amounts of time spent playing games!

In Sonic Forces, my big accomplishment was to figure out how to get some red coins, then die and lose them. I got an S rank in one of the EX stages that I'd been struggling with, too, I guess that's more impressive. It's less memorable, though. It was kind of fun to play without worrying about progress.

With Ensemble Stars, I'd been worried that I'd have to put in a bunch of time to clear the event story, but it took less than an hour. After that, I went back to failing at making fancy jellos and cleared my daily missions a few hours later. I haven't read the event story yet, but I was more driven by the feeling that later, it would irritate me to have a piece missing than I was by needing to see how it ends. This game has over 40 collectible characters- I think I counted 48 last night. It's kind of too many for me to worry about the side story stuff so early on, since their personalities aren't super clear yet. It's not bad, just kind of overwhelming.

July 1st, 2022

It's the start of a new month! I have the day off work, so I did my weekly "improvements" to the site today, but it's mostly stuff on the back end. For my own sake, I'm putting my images in folders moving forward. It'll make navigating what I'm doing while I post way easier, even if there's no front end benefits to be seen. I also got the July post archive page started and linked across the board. It's a party, to be sure.

On the gaming front, there's no changes. I got started on the post game stuff of Sonic Forces, gathering coins and doing missions. I at least want to get the full honors on every avatar animal type and do the side story stuff for Shadow, but don't know if I'll 100% the whole thing. Certainly, though, I'm getting my $10 worth out of this game.

Over in Ensemble Stars, I'm focusing on the idol work mode to level up the office and craft new outfits for the office chibis. It's mostly mindless level grinding, though I realized I could have gotten a decent jump on the next goal by focusing on the event a bit more. Luckily, I don't care enough to regret not playing with more dedication.

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