ori and the blind forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

I listen to a lot of instrumental music on YouTube, like Nier: Automata soundtrack, Westworld soundtrack, Persona 5 music, etc. Sometimes I let YouTube’s autoplay just run wild, and that’s how I ran across the beautiful soundtrack for Ori and the Blind Forest.

I had vaguely heard good things about this game from when it first came out, but I was on the outs on video games at the time so never looked into it. After being randomly introduced to the soundtrack, I started listening to it on an infrequent regular basis. Finally, this last weekend, while visiting a friend, the topic came up and he decided on a whim to buy the game. We ended up playing it for a few hours then and there, and wow, what a gorgeous game.

Ori is a Metroidvania game, meaning it’s a 2D platformer where you gain the ability to do more and more things over the course of the game. Your only actions at first are the standard running and jumping, as well as being able to shoot things with the spirit that follows you around. The new actions you learn include Megaman stuff like double-jumping, wall sliding, charge attacks, etc. There is also a consistent map where you can always travel back to old locations to find secrets and powerups you couldn’t reach the first time you did the level since your actions were limited.

You play as Ori, a… I’m not totally sure, forest spirit?… on a quest to restore the dying forest. It’s kind of a somber story… along the way, you find I think remnants of dead forest spirits that you commune with to gain their powers. The primary antagonist is a giant shadow owl Kuro, who you discover only attacked the forest to begin with because the Tree of Light, Ori’s “biological parent,” as it were, killed her shadow babies when it spread its light trying to find the lost Ori.

The soundtrack and very vibrant and pleasant, and goes well with the art direction. There is no human civilization in this game, although there are some stone and wood walls that operate from switches, so most of the environments are some variation on nature. A gloomy forest, a dark cavern, a windswept mountain. There are also levels for the “temples” that restore certain powers to nature, namely the water temple, wind temple, and fire temple, that are much more puzzle-focused rather than pure platformy.

I played on Normal and finished the game in about 12 hours or so. I spent some of that time going back to explore places I couldn’t reach before, so I probably could have done it in less time. I ended up with I believe 88% of the total world explored, and I know I skipped an entire optional dungeon, so there is definitely more content to explore. There are a lot of classic platformer sequences, like moving platforms, dodging periodic projectiles while navigating spike pit-filled areas, and ceiling traps that drop when you get too close, the usual.

I bought the game for $20 straight up and already consider it money well-spent. Again, love the visual/audio combination, and the game itself is challenging with fun puzzles that aren’t so hard you’d throw your controller, but you do get that sense of satisfaction when you clear it or figure out a trick for the first time. If you’re looking for a great game to spend a bit of time on, maybe switching off with a friend, Ori is a great choice, and it has a sequel coming out next year!

mhw: canteen rare ingredients

canteen

Since I’m solidly in the Monster Hunter World endgame now, I figure I want to start documenting some stuff into guide-like format for interest/posterity. I do frequent /r/MonsterHunter/, so I get exposed to many of the commonly asked questions, which would frequently benefit from a guide with pictures!

So, to start off, here are the locations for the rare canteen ingredients! NOTE: Does not include Iceborne yet.

You should be aware of the research point gathering spots on each map, the ones that give you a canteen ingredient from a rare gather? Well, there’s an even more rare gather – specifically, there is a unique gathering node that only appears when the locale has “Flourishing” or “Upsurge” for that type of node. For example, in Coral Highlands, an “Upsurge: Pearl Oysters” will spawn a unique Pearl Oyster node. Gathering at that node will give you an account item for a new canteen ingredient!

I will update this post as I get more screenshots! Warning that this technically spoils some areas and names if you haven’t unlocked them yet. If you just want a hint for where you find it, you can ignore my description and only use the screenshot, or maybe the minimap on the screenshot :)

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more games to add to the backlog!

Welp, my Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online Limited Edition came in, yet another game for me to add to my backlog. I do enjoy IFI’s LEs, so I figured I should keep collecting them. I will get around to playing them all… some day…

The CD in the paper sleeve is a reprint of the CD in the plastic-wrapped jewel case because the silk print on the first batch of CDs apparently wasn’t up to IFI’s standards or… something… O.o

nep4

kadowaki mai has the best fgo party

Kadowaki Mai is the voice actor for Ilya in all the Fate properties, and this is an English-subbed Chaldea Radio where they take a look at Kadowaki’s party in Fate/Grand Order. It’s… kind of incredibly amazing :o

Kadowaki’s voice is subbed in pink, while the dark blue is Takahashi Rie, who voices Mash, and the yellow is Tanaka Minami, who voices Nitocris, a character who appears in the 6th singularity.

Now I feel like I need to study all the voiced lines to come up with a crazy party :O

fgo for newbies: palingenesis

A friend asked me a Fate/GO question about which I thought was worth writing a short post. “Do I want to do Ascension or Palingenesis?”

Fate/Grand Order: Ascension

Fate/Grand Order: Palingenesis

A quick lesson on FGO history, Palingenesis was not added to the Japanese version until the First Anniversary event, specifically on August 6, 2016. That means the key Palingenesis item, the Holy Grails, were just useless paperweights prior to this event, and there was a lot of speculation before then on what exactly the item would be used for.

Flash forward to the US version, where we know that they have implemented “all the quality of life improvements from the Japanese game at launch.” This includes, for some reason, Palingenesis, even though most people will be unable to use it for another few months when the ability to farm certain ascension items is opened.

EDIT: I previously wrote that Ushiwakamaru’s interlude was not appearing as an odd side effect of the game implementation. With some research, I found out that her interlude was released along with the Okeanos singularity, so this is not a bug or oversight. My apologies for any confusion caused or misinformation spread.

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a guide to fate/grand order

Fate/Grand Order

As you may know, on June 25, 2017, Fate/Grand Order was released on the US iTunes store and Google Play store. If you’re looking in the right places, it’s easy to find various resources on the game, like Twelve Upcoming Servants You Should Save Up for in Fate/Grand Order or Frequently Asked Questions: A newbie’s guide to FGO USA 07/18/17 (for how much Crunchyroll covers new content in the Japanese game, I’m surprised they haven’t published anything yet for the US version). However, most of these guides make a few presumptions that do not necessarily apply to everyone interested in the game, but mainly: You are familiar with Japanese-style mobile RPG games.

So, this guide is intended to be a true newbie’s guide to Fate/Grand Order. Maybe you watched one of the recent animes (Fate/Unlimited Blade Works, or maybe Fate/Grand Order: First Order, or Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Ilya) or played the Fate/Extella game and thought you’d give it a shot. Maybe your friend convinced you to download it and you’re kind of lost. So, I will go over the basics, covering stuff that some people might take for granted, especially if they came from other similar mobile games.

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