Tag Archives: Cave Story

Suikoden III is forever “now loading”

I…I think I have some bad news. I say it like that because I don’t want to admit to myself that any of this is true, as I am a man that holds on and hopes, even as everything around me crumbles, but things do look a little dire. My PlayStation 2 disc for Suikoden III, a game I have been searching for high and low over a number of years and only finally just acquired last year, is busted. Has to be. If you’ll recall, I ran into a nasty loading problem during the first hour of the game, wherein the disc spun unremittingly while the words NOW LOADING flashed at me with malice. Well, it happened again, different spot. And once again after that.

Currently, I’m in this weird place. I spent a week or two burning through all four Blackwell point-and-click games with Tara and then proceeded to kick Mass Effect 2‘s ass to the curb and then systemically achieved 30,000 Gamerscore on the nose. And then…well, I haven’t really known what to do with myself when a moment of spare time opens up. I’ve dabbled a bit more in Rage, played some more Cave Story on my 3DS, and watched maybe too many episodes of Felicity at once. Eh, let me take that back; I could watch Felicity all day long, but only up until the episode when she chops all her delicious hair off.

And so, the other night, I decided to hop back into Suikoden III and see what was happening; I had played beyond the first hour for maybe another forty-five minutes, stopping at an impasse where my party had to wait a little bit before they could meet with the higher-ups of Vinay del Zexay. Turns out, we just needed to stay at the inn two or three more times, which is kind of annoying as the inn–seeing as it has no competition in town–charges a hefty 300 suikobucks each time. After your party has rested enough, Sergeant Joe suggests heading back to the town hall to see if we can deliver our message. And we can. Hugo and friends are invited inside, there’s some small talk, and then the screen goes dark to–I assume–load an important cutscene. Only, the game goes nowhere–it just sits on that loading screen, and I sit staring at it until I realized I’ve sat for probably too long. I don’t immediately think it’s locked up, as Secret Agent Clank taught me that some PS2 games take forever and then some.

Disappointed, I shut off the PS2, examined the game’s disc, and then turned the system back on. That kind of worked the last time. I stayed at the inn two more times again, went back to the town hall again, chatted again, and watched as the NOW LOADING screen mocked me again. Well, boo to that. I have to suspect that the discoloration on the disc is problematic for loading cutscenes. That said, I’m not giving up yet. I’ll keep trying to play for as long it lets me play, and whether that means going off on one of the other main characters’ adventures, then so be it. Maybe Hugo and I weren’t meant to be. Maybe I’ll run into the same problems elsewhere. Maybe, maybe.

It might just be worse to have an unusable copy of Suikoden III in my collection.

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The story of a robot boy in a cave and an evil doctor killing rabbit-like humanoids

Unfortunately, I did not get to participate in the Indie Impression for Cave Story+ as I was, at that time, an insane man, trying to pack for MegaCon 2012 and make sure I had all things with my minicomics straightened out before leaving for Florida or else I’d be totally boned. Which stinks, as I have played it both on my laptop (with and without a gamepad) and on my Nintendo 3DS and definitely have a few thoughts on the little indie darling that could, but now they go here, instead of over there. Right, well, time to level up and share some words…

Cave Story+ is surprisingly simple, and it’s surprising in how many times it surprises you. As the game’s  title implies, there’s a story here, and it does a great job of presenting emotion via the varied portraits of Mimigas. Seems like a girl named Sue is missing and you, a baseball cap-wearing robot who awakens in a cave, are off to find her. Along the way, you’ll learn of an evil doctor who is terrorizing the local village and killing rabbit people with sickening glee. Stumbling across special moments seems natural, but whenever the game cuts back to the man locked in the room trying to instant message with his computer, it all slows down and feels iffy.

Gameplay is fluid and fast, with your little robotic hero leveling up and leveling down within seconds of one another thanks to the swarms of enemies that want to inflict damage and destruction upon your very body. On occasion, a jump might feel a little floaty, but otherwise, everything is crisp and can make for some crazy tense scenarios where you are just shooting at everything that moves while trying to reach a save room as quick as possible. As you kill enemies, they explode into experience points (or hearts or ammo), which will upgrade your current gun as you collect them, turning a wimpy pea shooter into something more deadly. This is an addicting hook for sure, and leveling down is like the worst thing in life.

Currently, our hero is on a mission to get some jellyfish goo for…somebody. Names are a little hard to remember in this game except for Sue. Don’t know why that is.

And now for some Achievements from Steam, many of which are basically freebies:


Pea Shooter: Obtained the Polar Star!


Don’t Get Lost: Obtained the Map System!


Wanna Fight?: Defeated Balrog!


A Gift from Santa: Obtained the Fireball!

I have to wonder if I’ll beat Cave Story+ first on my laptop or my 3DS, and whether or not I’ll beat it more than once. Seems like there’s multiple endings, and I do like multiple endings. Either way, it’s fun and easy to pick up, especially if you are somewhat familiar with Mega Man and/or Metroidvania romps; you just gotta pay attention as there are one-hit kill creatures and spikes all over the place, making every jump and maneuver essential for surviving.

Ghosts, grueling headaches, and retro graphics in The Blackwell Legacy

Another day, another little game discussed over at The First Hour for its new Indie Impression series. Just kidding. They have been nicely spaced out, though I’m sad I missed my chance to write about Cave Story+, but I was in crazy con-prepping mode and didn’t have an ounce of brainpower to spare elsewhere. Oh well. I do have thoughts on that game, especially considering I ended up buying it for my Nintendo 3DS despite having a working copy on Steam–I guess Skyrim is no longer the only game I now have doubles of–just to have gamepad controls, but I’ll write something up later on it, whether here or there or in your underwear. Wait, what? Nevermind.

Anyways, the game up for discussion this week is The Blackwell Legacy. It’s a point-and-click adventure game, no doubt. You point, you click, you observe. The mechanics are by-the-book, so it’s the story that really shines here, and from what I can gather, it’s a good mystery to unravel. Like a mix of The Sixth Sense and The Ghost Whisperer and maybe, uh, The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Rosa really reminds me of Janeane Garofalo. Plus, just like in L.A. Noire, you have a notebook of clues to try out on everyone; I love elements like that. You can read my quick thoughts on it, as well as Greg’s and Steve’s by clicking that link in the first sentence. Seems like Steve completed the whole adventure, while Greg and I only dipped our toes into the puzzle-limned water. I’ll be going back to Rosa this weekend as it’s a relaxing time, and I’ll need some relaxing after stressful car stuff is (hopefully) taken care of.

VVVVVV coming to the Nintendo 3DS via my favorite eShop

I already own VVVVVV, and it runs fantastically on my much-complained-about Macbook. I’ve played it a few times, and I won’t tell y’all how many times I killed our 8-it captain. A lot. A lot a lot. That’s not a slight either, as dying is important to learning. The little flippy platformer was part of Humble Indie Bundle 3, and it’s an adorably hard game, where flipping from floor to ceiling gets increasingly challenging, demanding that your timing be perfect. You play as Captain Viridian, who must not only save a dimension on the brink of collapse, but also find your ship’s missing crew members–all of whose names begin with the letter V. The game has some great chiptunes to move to and really pushes retro aesthetics and gameplay down your throat. Plus, tons of secrets and a Metroid-style map. Creator Terry Cavanagh stuffed a lot of awesome in it.

And now, thanks to developer/publisher Nicalis, Inc., fans can get their masochistic VVVVVV fix on the Nintendo 3DS. Guess the success of their bringing Cave Story to the system helped. This marks the first time a game Cavanagh’s created is making it on a console. Kudos to all.

So, what’s included in the 3DS version? Here’s a bulleted list using someone else’s words:

  • Open-world environment with six unique levels
  • Twenty trinkets to locate and collect
  • Full 3D awesomeness integrated into the retro-looking art style
  • Dual screen functionality with a real-time map!
  • Music by Magnus Pålsson
  • New featured levels
  • Future content updates

Given that I already own the game, I’d really like not to pay too much for VVVVVV on the 3DS. Maybe $4.99 or so. Please don’t price it as high as Cave Story. Please, please. If it’s more than $10.00, I will invert myself into a ceiling of spikes. THAT IS A PROMISE, ESHOP. It’s just that I don’t like playing a lot of games on my Macbook; the keyboard and trackpad are on the verge of failing, and I can’t have anything else open if I want stuff to run smoothly. Can’t wait to move on from Macaroni. VVVVVV, with its minimap and simple look and controls, seems rather fitting on a handheld device, and I suspect I’d give it much more time there than cramped over my work desk.

Anyways, VVVVVV for the 3DS is slated to come out before 2011 ends, which is awesome considering there’s only like three months left. Adding it to the DO WANT list. So much to play!