Vidya Halloweens, and Other Thoughts

Only 10, and already getting into some weird stuff.

(This is going to be a bit of a ramble; it’s Friday, and I have a little to say about a few things.)

I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite “holidays”. (I mean, I love any holiday where the primary celebration is with candy.) I love the sorta macabre, sorta cute, sorta sexy aesthetic and feel to it. And video games are all about aesthetics. Mobile and online games, which get continual updates, are great about getting holiday aesthetics, including Halloween. (After all, that kind of stuff is easy to monetize.)

I find it interesting how different games do different timings for their Halloween stuff, and which games decide to go without. Especially interesting is the Japanese stuff, since they don’t do Halloween there, and least not at all until recently. So they don’t really get it, I don’t think, at least not yet. I think you’ll see where I’m going with this when I post the timings for the Halloween events for different games I’m familiar with:

  • Princess Connect: 9/30 (September!) – 10/14 for the new event, with 10/14 – 10/22 for the rerun
  • Granblue Fantasy: 10/13 – 10/19, with the Halloween alts in the pool through the 31st
  • Dragalia Lost: 10/18 – 10/31 (which is better than last year, where the timing was more like Priconn’s this year)
  • FFXIV: 10/17 – 11/1 (I’m not actually participating in this one, since I’m not subbed)
  • ESO: 10/24 – 11/4
  • STO: 10/31

As can be seen, for the wholly Japanese games, the Halloween stuff is just for October-ish. The western stuff (and stuff with much more of a western audience) is more actually in-line with the actual date. And poor STO, only having one even sorta-related mission to go along with the day, which also runs every Friday the 13th. GBF didn’t even have a proper event, just having the usual Proving Grounds event with “spooky” bosses, and a little running vignette at login.

Speaking of monetization, I was actually able to get this year’s Halloween alts in DL, as well as last year’s. This time of year is really good for gacha games, because they can do a bunch of limited banners after another, with all the holidays (Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s). Doing the character stories for a couple of the new characters (Mym and Odetta), and was a bit disappointed: I’m not a fan of the whole “it was all in [their] head” thing, whether it was a dream or a fantasy or whatever. Sure, they both manage to give a bit of characterization, but a lot of the fun of alts, at least for me, is to see the interactions with the other characters now that we don’t have to waste time with the character’s gimick or initial conflict.

Also, it further goes to showcase how Japan just doesn’t get Halloween very well. Part of the point is that people wear costumes, right? In DL, they actually specifically mention costumes. But the alts (and Japanese Halloween stuff in general) don’t really do proper costumes. Sure they’re sexy or cute, and they’re Halloween themed, with pumpkins and spiders and whatever, but they’re still not costumes. I mean, here IRL we have Sexy [X], but they’re still costumes of [X].

Yes, you saw that right: this dress has no back. Hot.

The Outer World is out, and it looks like the bloggers and “””””journalists”””” like it. And, thanks to the magic of Youtube and Streamers, one can take a gander at it, see what it’s about, without actually plopping down the cash (and/or hard drive space [arrrgh!]) to actually play oneself, and having to trust the mere writings of the above.

I had said before that I wasn’t really looking forward to it, and gave some reasons why. It seems some of those concerns were not realized. Despite being an Obsidian game, it’s not a huge buggy mess. In fact, it seems to have been rather thoroughly tested, with very few bugs being released. Also, the writing doesn’t seem to be too bad. The marketing was really pushing the New Vegas Creators! angle, which isn’t very true, but still better than the past few Obsidian games, by the looks of it.

However, I’m still not going to bother with the game. Basically, it looks like it’s a Fallout 4 total conversion mod, changing the gameplay to something more like Borderlands, and slapping an actual RPG system on top of it. The whole thing is first-person, which completely defeats the purpose of character creation. The humor is that bland inoffensive snark and/or ‘quirky’ garbage that I (obviously) don’t like. All of those are deal-breakers to me, even if the story is good. So yah, not a disaster, not a dumpster fire, not even a bad game, but definitely not for me.

What is (probably, hopefully) for me, is Atelier Ryza. In fact, I actually preordered the deluxe edition. The digital one, I mean. I don’t think I paid full-price for it, since it was only $66, and full price for the base game is the usual $60. But regardless, I preordered, which is the real point. Regardless of game, I almost never preorder any game. I mean, I rarely pay full price for a new (to me) game. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever preordered a game before. The only potential candidates are Skyrim and The Witcher 3, both of which I know I had on Day 1 (for full price, of course). Because those are the only games I knew I would like, going in, at the very least enough to play fully to completion (Skyrim is one of those “This game is bad and I hate it; and I played it for 400 hours so I know of that which I speak.”). And this one. I’ll know in a few days if I made the right decision, but I’m pretty sure I did.

Man, I really wish there were some kind of warming strips, just for the nose. I think the sinus troubles are the main trigger (at this point of time, at least) for my headaches. These troubles are mitigated if my nose is warm. But holding a tissue over my entire nose and mouth is not very practical (everyone asking me if I have a nosebleed is just one of the issues). Neither would be a dust mask, which would be perhaps more appropriate to my job, but I don’t want to breath in all that exhaust I just breathed out (which would trigger my headaches another way). I really don’t hope it’s another sinus infection; two rounds of antibiotics already, don’t want to go a third.