Emergency covering-for-sick-admin update go!
E3 is getting a lot of attention. I actually have been following very little of it because, honestly, what could be more exciting that muth phukin Earthbound
Zero Beginnings on Wii U!
We had a member hit 2000 reputation for the first time, and his two thousandth upvote was for his response to the Earthbound announcement!
Hey, guys, did you know I like Earthbound! I wasn't sure that was coming across clearly!
Member of the Week
This gentleman is knee deep in all of the news I just wrote about. He is our most reputable member, and his posts covering the big E3 shows have been fairly extensive. Also this fellow likes Earthbound. That's really all the reason I need to give him this honor.
Honorary Game of the Week
I was going to pick Earthbound Force for GotW, but we don't have it on the site, and I wasn't able to find a working download for it. EBF was the game that introduced me to RPG Maker, and when I was searching for it, one of the top results was an MP topic I started in 2006 called When did you start using RPG Maker? That aside, Puffin has inspired me to do better than this for my Game of the Week write up.
Actual Game of the Week
Admittedly I chose this game because it has "Earth Bond" in the title, but upon playing, I found an rpg maker game that very obviously had a lot of love and effort put into it. From the optional "ramblings" available at startup, I was informed that this is an indulgent side project related to another game called Sacred Earth: Light. As far as I can tell, this is a fairly extensive series, though this is the only entry available on MP.
The game is quite pretty, with anime-style character portraits during dialogue, a custom menu that's only slightly janky, and no rtp in sight. I couldn't tell if the assets were borrowed or original, but they all matched each other nicely, which is certainly something that doesn't always happen with this engine.
There are quite a few custom systems - this game was partly made so that some of them wouldn't go to waste, apparently - and you are given a couple of chances to have them explained through generic dialogue menus, which I can't say I'm a huge fan of. The systems themselves were pretty interesting though. Battles are fairly standard with a few additions. After enough normal attacks, you get one super attack. And the normal attacks themselves are more varied than usual; you pick a number of maneuvers from a list, with different attacks for small, flying, or heavily armored enemies for example. My one gripe with combat is that I couldn't find a way to use healing items outside of battle, and enemies can still attack while you try to parse the dozen or so items you start the game with.
Battles are encountered randomly but not very often, which I appreciate. This gives you time to appreciate things like using items to navigates the map and solve puzzles like a Zelda game. In the time I played, I got a raft for crossing certain water obstacles and a hammer for hitting tough switches.
The characters in the game are very well done. You only have two player characters, but they encounter a group of (eventually) named enemies early on, and everyone so far has a well-defined personality. The conflict starts out small-scale as far as the main characters are concerned, but a larger story is vaguely hinted at when they meet the baddies.
Aside from a handful of minor quirks, this game almost feels like it could have been on the Super Nintendo. I will definitely be looking further into the Sacred Earth series.
Poll of the Week
Everybody wants to be seen by somebody. Let's be real though. Everybody wants to meet Monkeydog.
New Poll: Who's E3 showing made you the happiest? (Not to be confused with "Who 'won' E3?")
Other Stuff of the Week
What did we Play?
Monster Summer Game (Steam), Civilization V, Minecraft, Kirby's Dreamland 2, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Depth
What did we Watch?
Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen, Cosmos, A Trip to the Moon, Arrested Development, NCIS, Arrow, The Flash, Steven Universe, Community
What did we Read?
A Memory of Light, Mistborn: The Final Empire (presumably), The Hobbit, What If?, Battlefield Earth, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 7
What did we Listen to?