Tag Archives: Orlando

The fruit in Jasper’s Journeys is not for eating

jasper's journeys early imps gd

I guess I’m on an indie action platformer kick at the moment, having moved on from Jables’s Adventure right to Jasper’s Journeys. To further blur the line between those two names, I’m going to invent a title called Journey’s Adventures and play that next, right after another go at Journey. I kid, I kid. Though this also means I’m moving backwards in time, which happens when you begin to dig into my laptop’s videogames folder, where I dump a ton of downloads on a nearly daily basis with the hope of checking the games out much sooner than later. Still, Jables’s Adventure came out in 2010, and Jasper’s Journeys is from February 2008. Yowza. I wasn’t even blogging back then.

Anyways, Jasper’s Journeys stars Jasper, who is a Loffin, whatever that is. I think it is a race of people with long, purple hair that have floaty jumps and don’t take any fall damage. I could be wrong on all that. Also, still not sure if Jasper is a young man or woman; for the purposes of this post, I’ll go with female pronouns. Unfortunately, her cat Orlando got kidnapped by an evil witch on a broomstick while playing in the tall grass. Seems like she’s keen to use this cat as an ingredient in some spell she’s concocting, and so it is up to you to save the feline by traversing fifteen levels of danger, platforms, and lots of fruit to collect.

Completing a level is as simple as finding the blue dragon, which will pick Jasper up and take her to the next level. If you find a purple dragon, you’re in luck, as this one will take you to a special island full of fruit, which is your only source of ammunition for taking out the baddies. However, to find this dragon, you’ll have to noodle out some puzzles based around platforming and finding colored keys, as well as fighting off enemies and bosses with health meters. There’s no in-game map, so you’ll have to pay attention to your surroundings and remember where to return to once you have the proper keys in your inventory. Along the way, you can also visit an inn to save your progress, as well as purchase items with acquired gold, like shields and status-affecting potions.

I played on the easiest difficulty settings, and I’m fine with that decision. The most trouble I got myself into involved areas where there were moving spikes on the floor and platforms above and having to take Jasper and make her jump from platform to platform without dipping into the sharp bits below. Naturally, because I’m playing Jasper’s Journeys on a keyboard and not a gamepad, this was more tricky than it needed to be. Also to blame: her floaty jump, which made it challenging to land on platforms now and then, especially when guiding her via the arrow keys. Otherwise, it’s not too challenging of a game, certainly on easy, but I wasn’t looking for a challenge here. Instead, I liked seeing how the levels changed from one to another, with the former focusing on grassy hills and the next tossing you beneath a castle, and though the pixel art never hits any extremes it is still pleasing to the eyes, some eight years later.

The same could be said about Jasper’s Journeys‘ soundtrack, but to your ears, not your eyes. It’s gentle and laid-back when necessary, but can up the tension during boss fights. However, the songs don’t seem to loop after they finish, and because I’m a slow gamer and like to check every nook and cranny for secrets, the majority of a level ended up being played in silence, which is a bit weird. Sound effects for killing enemies and picking up fruit are goofy and call back to the days of mascot-driven platformers on the SNES.

For some reason, it feels more odd to play a game that is only eight years old versus something like Final Fantasy IX. I don’t know why. I guess I’m having a hard time comprehending what the world was like eight years ago, which, all at once, doesn’t seem like too far back, but is also an eternity ago. Both in my life and the industry. The AAA gaming landscape of 2008 consisted of work like Burnout Paradise, Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, Braid, Fallout 3, and Fable II. As well as Jasper’s Journeys. I wonder how big of a splash it made; I think I got my copy in late 2011 as part of the Humble Voxatron Debut bundle. Shame it took me nearly five more years to play it. I’ll have to get a jump on Chocolate Castle soon too, I guess.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #10 – Jasper’s Journeys

2016 gd games completed jasper's journey

A witch stole your cat
Fifteen levels stand in way
Don’t understand fruit

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

Once more, off to MegaCon to StreetPass like woah

megacon 2013 orl fl gd post

It’s been a year, and so I’m off yet again to attend MegaCon 2013 in Orlando, FL, this upcoming weekend. I’ll be there with my wife Tara Abbamondi at Table Red 1 in the Artists Alley, selling comics, looking all shy, and quietly StreetPassing with my 3DS safely in my pocket. If you are going to the show, please do swing by our table and say hi; I’ll be the one with the beard.

Now, last year, I was able to StreetPass 168 times. That’s a lot for three or four days of non-stop comic convention action. Especially when I am behind a table for most of it. Seriously, it seemed like I couldn’t clear out my gate fast enough before one or two more Miis popped up, ready to give me a puzzle piece and help swing a sword in Find Mii 2. That said, given how the handheld system has grown since February 2012, I think I can do even better. Maybe over 200 tags. Maybe…250. Who knows.

As always, I’m looking to complete more puzzle murals, with maybe seven or eight still to go. I also recently found a retail copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening and have played maybe thirty or so minutes of it, but hopefully that’s enough to have unlocked its StreetPassing features, and so I’m hoping to gain some new comrades. I think I’m full for Super Mario 3D Land, with three present boxes awaiting my return, but I could always use more of those. What other games use StreetPass? Hmm, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy does, though I don’t remember what one trades. Favorite song and a profile card? Shame Paper Mario: Sticker Star doesn’t–at least not that I’m aware of–as it would be really easy to just gather some super strong, shiny stickers from those you pass. In short, give me lots of stuff.

Anyways, place your bets below in the comments on how many StreetPass tags you think I’ll obtain at MegaCon this year. I offered the prize last year of a “blog topic of choice,” which I don’t Tara ever cashed in, but let’s go with that again. If you are the closest, without going over, I’ll write about whatever you want. Even if I don’t know much about the topic, like Call of Duty multiplayer loadouts or how to mix that special potion in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk. Really, the choice is yours, so guess away.

And see you when I return! I guess those blog posts on my progress in Paper Mario: Sticker Star and overall thoughts on Hector: Badge of Carnage will just have to wait…