Natalie Rambles About 2019

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  • Reading time:63 mins read
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Because 2019 is dead… or close enough to warrant a retrospective.

The sky has been painted a persistent white from constant clouds, the ground has become caked with snow and ice (or at least it should be), and everybody’s school and work schedules are thrown out of whack as the year comes to a close.  It’s the much terrified year end, the point in time when people are expected to look back on the year that passed us by, highlighting the highs and the lows, and hopefully re-centering oneself during a period comprised of both frantic activity and mellow relaxation around loved ones.  Or at least that’s my skewed perspective on the matter.  

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Rundown (9/15-9/21) Spoil Age

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  • Reading time:9 mins read
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In this age where people are encouraged to constantly do things live, to stream, react, and offer spicy hot takes to the current going-ons lest they be forgotten and falter into designed irrelevance, spoilers have become an interesting topic.  Some think that all major spoilers should be prefaced as spoilers. Others think that an arbitrary amount of time needs to pass before something may be openly spoiled. While a groundswell of people just stopped caring about the prospect of being surprised by works and think it’s perfectly a-okay to spoil anything, citing that there was this or that study done and it showed that one’s enjoyment of a work was not necessarily impacted by spoilers.
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Rundown (6/10) E3 2019: Work X School X Conferences

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  • Reading time:26 mins read
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You know what the worst past of E3 is? The fact that I cannot simply drop everything to enjoy spending an entire day in video game wonderment. As such, since 2013 the Monday kicking off E3 has always been a frustrating affair where I not only want to watch the conferences, do a write-up, which takes time because I am a slow writer, and keep up with the news that falls between the cracks, but I need to attend college classes and do part-time office work that mostly consists of spreadsheets, filing, and processing bodily specimens. Anyways, enough customary moaning.  The video games are here!
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Rundown (4/28-5/04) The Reviews Will Never End!

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  • Reading time:11 mins read
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I’m steadily approaching the 7th anniversary of this site’s quaint little existence, and with it over 7 full years of reviewing every game I played for a significant amount of time, amounting to something like 370 reviews in total, only 230 of which are still public. In that time, I have begun associating the very act of playing a game with the act of collecting my thoughts, writing the review, editing it with varying levels of thoroughness, gathering a sample of the hundreds of screenshots I took, and posting it onto this site where it likely will not garner any real attention, as the only things people come here for are my Press-Switch and Student Transfer reviews. Or rather my flowcharts. It has become such a big part of gaming for me that I honestly cannot ever see myself stopping, and even if I did, I would assuredly miss the sense of closure that penning a review provides. But enough about reviews. This is a rundown, so rundown some gaming news!
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Rundown (4/21-4/27) Resolution Solutions

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  • Reading time:8 mins read
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One of the reasons why I am apprehensive towards the very idea of upgrading beyond my current 1080p monitor is that I play a large number of games with set resolutions that generally look like crap when scaled upwards due their quantity of 2D art assets. While 3D games are generally safe from this thanks to the magic of polygons and anti-aliasing, and sprite-based games can look great when displayed at 3 times their original resolution, games that rely heavily on 2D art assets are not so lucky, and it makes me worry about their future. I know there are programs like Waifu2x that can quadruple the size of artwork with minimal quality loss and ReShade can do great things for 3D titles, but I have yet to see anything that allows for, say, Muv-Luv to be boosted up to 1080p as you play it, which would be bonkers and make me utterly ecstatic.
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Rundown (3/31-4/06) Natalie Got Her Gacha Fix!

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  • Reading time:11 mins read
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Ever since I stopped playing Fire Emblem Heroes a year ago, I’ve been craving a game with some sort of gacha mechanics, as I love the sensations that come with getting rare and powerful characters accompanied with light flavor text and unique artwork. It is a desire that I have been looking to satiate in a somewhat healthy manner, and wouldn’t you know it, the Student Transfer dev team provided just that with their latest April Fools goof. A standard no-frills card collector gacha title where the player can earn 160 unique cards with flavor text that were enough to drive me to achieve a 100% completion rate, and then proceed to happily read through the descriptions, taking delight in the information, background, and general absurdity they provided.
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Rundown (3/17-3/23) Gaming Distribution Cataclysm

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  • Reading time:14 mins read
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If this past week is any indication, I think one of the biggest issues that will permeate throughout gaming this upcoming generation is the matter of games distribution. This was originally a fairly simple concept, but with digital distribution growing in popularity, many game companies have been looking for ways to have the means of distribution better serve them by creating their own platforms or signing exclusivity deals in order to lessen the risk associated with launching any kind of product. While this sort of thing typically results in the establishment of a diverse and competitive marketplace that ultimately benefits the consumer in the long run, in the short run it creates a very hectic environment where the consumer is put in a place of uncertainty and inconvenience as they need to choose what platform they’re going to invest their time and money into.
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Rundown (3/10-3/16) Crack the Mind into the Bowl!

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  • Reading time:10 mins read
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This past week I’ve been wrapping up my review of Student Transfer V4.1, and in doing so I noticed just how much of this update deals with mental alterations and the chaotic events such changes can lead to. This in turn caused me to realize that, despite never really seeking this sort of thing out, I am actually somewhat fascinated by the concept of information being added, removed, or replaced in one’s mind, and seeing the ensuing results. While I have seen a fair share of media depicting identity death or mind breaks, a lot of ST’s more mental focused content has a tinge of uniqueness to it that honestly gets my creative juices flowing, and is something that I hope to eventually work into some of my future novels… which I really ought to get back to working on. Oh life, why do you insist on keeping me so gosh danged busy?
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Rundown (1/27-2/02) The Saga Must Go On!

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  • Reading time:15 mins read
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So, just a few days ago I released The Saga of Vincent Dawn, and while I am ultimately happy with the finished project, I am aware that some of the writing seen throughout the story is not up to my previous writing standards. The act of going through and summarizing a hundreds of pages of poorly written text is an arduous process, especially when it is very personal to you, and when it came time to edit it all once more, my patience grew slim, as I just wanted to be done with the project and get started on the next one. Though considering how I am still working on the outline, I really have no idea when it will be done. But it will get done, ‘cos I’ve got a story to tell and I’m gonna tell it no matter what, even if nobody actually reads it.

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Rundown (12/02-12/08) Transformation In Process!

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  • Reading time:23 mins read
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As some of you may have noticed, over this past week I have been changing bits and pieces of this site around in an attempt to clean up the residual rubbish that pops up when running a website for… over 6 years. Now, this is really just a change in title, the removal of old (bad) content, and little else, as I am still going to be updating this site with reviews, rundowns, and the occasional novel. If anything, this is a change made to facilitate this site’s future, as after spending the better half of a decade fumbling through this wackadoo writing experiment devised by 17-year-old me, there are some things that I really should revise. I would also want to change the theme, but a lot of the alternative offerings are lacking in what I want, so I’m going to just stick with the theme I copied from Divine Intervention. For now anyways.
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Shadow Complex Remastered Review

2015-12-26_00040Before I packed up my consoles into a plastic box for what I assume will be a rather long time, Shadow Complex was a game I played annually since its release, always coming away from the title with a smile on my face. As such, I was pretty happy when I heard that the game was going to be released on PC, and quickly got to it and cleared it twice in two successive days. I realize that more praise for a game that is almost universally beloved may be unnecessary, but after writing well over… 200 game reviews, many of which I discarded for quality reasons, this sort of thing becomes a habit. (more…)

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