Rundown (7/14-7/20) Natalie and the Computer-Generated Flowcharts

It has recently come to my attention that TFGamesSite member nexoq developed a computer-generated flowchart maker known as Graphify that can take .rpy files for Student Transfer Scenarios and create a functional flowchart using them.  This is a far cry from needing to dig through the .rpy file oneself and playing the game to test for any and all possible path permutations, and it’s something that I will be using in the future to double check my work.  But I’m still going to make my usual hand-made Draw.io flowcharts since they look a lot nicer, are more space efficient, and have a more unified format. I mean, just compare the header image to this flowchart I made for the same Student Transfer Scenario.  But this is still quite amazing.  Thank you nexoq!
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Rundown (7/07-7/13) The Lattice Method

Back in grade school when I was learning long multiplication, my teacher introduced my class to a method to simplify complex multi-digit multiplication problems into single digit problems known as the Lattice Method.  It involves taking the equation, making a grid or rather a lattice, and then splitting the equation into several single digit multiplication problems, the answers of which are added up at the end to determine the overall answer to the equation.  It was always my preferred method of multiplication, but once I started attending high school, none of my teachers understood what this method was or why I was doing it, and since then I have never heard anybody reference this method, at all. Which is weird because while it is a bit time consuming and requires a sizable amount of space to write out, it is a very easy and reliable way to calculate an equation.  Anyways, that’s all I have to share this week. Time for video games!
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Rundown (6/11) E3 2019: Hyper Bursting!

Woo!  E3 is mostly over, and the hype has undoubtedly causes every audience member to burst with powerhouse excitement, and things may have gotten more than a little messy in the process.  Anyways, the main conferences are done, the actual E3 event, where people try to get work done in a loud, crowded, and smelly convention center, is underway, and the only press conferences of the day was Nintendo’s.  So let’s cut all pretense and jump right into the gooey center of the E3 Claire eclair.
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Rundown (4/14-4/20) Natalie Versus Transit

Sometimes when travelling back between the standbys of home, school, and work, I pontificate about how few placed I typically visit in a given year, and how that number is realistically less than 30 unique locations.  I suppose this is a sign that I should “get out” more, but I truly have little desire in going to places for the mere sake of leaving, especially when the process of getting from one place to another is such a dull affair for people without the ability to work, read, or mess around on their phone while in transit.  Seriously, I went to two new places yesterday but my 6 hours out involved about 4 hours of setting up computers and another 2 of sitting in a hot car in silence. It, combined with how often paratransit is late in picking me up really does make me worry about the future and the transportation related woes it will contain.
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Rundown (3/31-4/06) Natalie Got Her Gacha Fix!

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 (3/24-3/30) Japan Vs West: A Statistical Battle!

A topic that I regularly see brought up in the circles I follow is the idea of western game design versus Japanese design, what distinguishes them, and how Japanese game design is better.  While it would be easy for me to say that I tend to prefer Japanese games, I’m the sort of person who likes to have data for things, and as such, I decided to go through every game I played from 2016 to now, and compile whether or not I have a preference towards Japanese games.  What I found is that things are split fairly evenly between both fronts, as in that time I played 156 games, 53% of which were Japanese, and 47% of which were western.
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Rundown (2/17-2/23) Tax Time Makes You Go Crazy!

So this past week I began another engagement with a CPA, wherein I aid him in various tax related activities while juggling my office job, grad school, personal time, and time spent making content for this quaint little site.  It is a side job that pays well, and is rather pertinent to my interests as an accounting major, but it also represents yet another activity that impedes my ability to go through games or work on my own projects. It’s not ideal, and this week is a particularly hectic, since I am going into my part-time job today, on a Sunday, when the office is closed, because somebody thought it would be a nice treat if I went home early on Monday.  I swear, I was mentally referencing last week’s header image for the past 5 days, stewing over how much I wish I had done everything sooner rather than later.  Garf!
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Rundown (2/10-2/16) Flowchart Nightmares Ahead 2: You Can (Not) Prepare

Last Friday the Student Transfer development team announced that Version 4 will be coming before the end of February, boasting that this version will contain roughly twice the content as Version 3.  A surprising bit of news that I find to be simultaneously exciting and intimidating to me, as I have taken on the duty of creating the flowcharts for sprawling choose-your-own adventure style visual novels about TG, body swapping, and more.  I very much want to enjoy the game and take my time with it, but Version 3 took me a good week to get through, so I am a bit concerned about getting a flowchart ready in a timely manner, especially with work and grad school keeping me so busy.  As such, I decided to do my homework in advance and download what I can off of the public Student Transfer GitHub in order to get cracking on a rough flowchart for V4 at the risk of spoiling myself.  Only to discover that with the way this game is developed, I would basically need to consolidate the builds available myself and… yeah, that sounds like more trouble than it’s worth.
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Rundown (1/27-2/02) The Saga Must Go On!

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 (9/30-10/06) Backup Your Backup’s Backup!

Something I really have not addressed in the 6 years I have been doing this (yes, really) is my stance on the physical vs. digital debate.  The argument often seen here is between the permanence of physical goods versus the convenience of digital goods, with the arguments against each reflecting the alternative’s benefit.  A la, physical goods can be cumbersome, and require install times and such, while digital goods are temporary licenses that could be revoked in many instances.
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Rundown (5/06-5/12) The Glory of Employment!

Like with most of my breaks between semesters, I have been working full time, though full time might be a bit of a stretch here, since I have actually worked from home in the evening and worked on Saturday as well.  From writing checks, diagnosing PC problems, and setting up new PCs. According to my mother, this is the norm for most companies in my home country, where its full time employees are expected to try to better their employer even after normal hours of operation, in order to keep costs down for the employer and allow the employees to maintain their positions.  I am actually quite fond of it if I may be fully candid, but then again I also like the idea of employees living in company mandated dormitories and company towns.
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Rundown (3/04-3/10) Stop Everything! Press-Switch is Out!

So, a new build of Press-Switch came out, utterly surprising me, and as is always the case with releases of this game, or its sister title Student Transfer, it shot straight up on my priority list.  Except this time I am actually going to review this latest build V0.5a, even though it is largely a revision that does not have most of the content, as, due to coding issues and a desire to change the introduction, the game needs to basically be remade.  That would be enough to dissuade me in most cases, but screw it, I’ve wanted to review this game for almost 4 bloody years, and I’m gonna do it! At least, after I put out this massive Rundown.
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Rundown (1/28-2/03) Flowchart Nightmares Ahead!

So, after thirteen months of dev time, the latest build of Student Transfer has been released, and going through it has become my first priority.  I should have a review of the game up around the 14th, but more importantly, I have to work on another flowchart for the game.  While I do enjoy mapping out a complicated series of choices in a visually appealing manner, this build seems particularly… nasty in the sheer spectrum of its choices.  I mean, I honestly had to go into the game’s files just to figure out how the heck it all works.
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Rundown (1/14-1/20) Too Many Visual Novels!

In case you have not noticed, for the past few months I have been reviewing a lot of visual novels on this fair little site, with the genre comprising nearly half of my reviews since halfway through 2017.  Now, this was not really a conscious decision on my part, and has more to do with how I simply have a large number of visual novels on my list of games to review, and far fewer games of other genres.  I have a number of reasons for this, such as visual novels being less prone to disinterest me after playing them for a brief while and less likely to suffer from notable technical issues, but the point is that I am going to keep reviewing a visual novel every other week for the foreseeable future.
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Rundown (1/07-1/13) Livin’ the Trans Life

So, for the past two weeks I have been presenting myself as female whenever I go out, and doing so had felt rather.. odd to me.  On one hand, I feel as if I am doing nothing different at all, seeing as how I started feminizing my voice years ago, and started altering my walking patterns several months ago.  It truly feels as if I am doing nothing different as I was when presenting myself as male, except now I have a feminine, if swollen, face, and my hair is a bit longer and nicer.  I guess you could say the change does not feel as massive as I initially thought it would, but that’s okay, considering I am more comfortable with myself than I have been in many, many years.
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Rundown (12/10-12/16) Let the Hiatus Begin!

On December 16th, I underwent facial feminization surgery.  Due to the intensive nature of the procedure and prolonged recovery time, this site will be entering a hiatus effectively immediately, lasting until sometime in mid-January, likely January 17th, 2018.  Until then, the only thing I will post is a pre-prepared end of year post.  I never wanted to pull a hiatus like this, but I sort of need to for recovery purposes.  So until then, I’ll see you all later.
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Rundown (11/05-11/11) Sonic Team Made an Oopsie!

Over the past week Sonic Forces came out, and the general reception of the game has been… pretty darn poor to be honest.  From criticisms levied towards the barren level design, a story that does not properly take advantage of its premise and characters, and various underlying gameplay/technical issues that make the game less refined than Sonic Generations, which came out six years ago.  It is a genuinely confusing state of affairs, especially because of how much time Sonic Team has had to invest in this game.
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Rundown (10/15-10/21) A Master No More!

Over the past few weeks, there has been a distribution going on for the new legendary Pokemon, Marshadow, which was distributed at GameStop in the United States.  Unfortunately, I missed my chance to visit one to get the mode needed to get the new Pokemon and preserve my complete Pokedex.  Why is that the case?  Well, I am not very mobile on my own (I cannot drive) and the task of asking my mother if I could stop by one of these stores was a bit too much for me, what with my social anxiety and such.  I downplay it a lot, but my social anxiety and poor social skills makes it genuinely hard to do even basic tasks.  I feel awkward so much as saying hello to someone unless they greet me first. Continue reading

Rundown (6/14-6/17) E3 2017: The Psycho Wars Shall Return

Well, the week has passed and E3 2017 has ended, and before I know it, it will be E3 2018 and I will be doing this whole shebang all over again, except then I will be further along in my transition and be far more pretty.  Normally not much news comes outside of the press conferences, but there were enough stories to justify a traditional rundown, so I’ll just get started. Continue reading

Rundown (5/28-6/03) Natalie Avoided Wasting a Bunch of Time!

So, I did not talk about this last week, but I played a bit of Fallout 4 recently thanks to a free to play weekend deal.  I was very critical of the game leading up to launch, objecting to a number of additions of changes made to the title, and after spending 4 hours with it, I feel that I was completely right to think that.  The protagonist is severely limited by the inclusion of voice acting and a baked in backstory, the dialogue options are very poor at conveying the protagonist’s actual response, and the story begins with such a rapid and dramatic set-up that it all rings hollow.  Then there are the overburdened crafting and town building elements that I know I would have invested 100 hours into if I actually purchased this title. Continue reading

Rundown (2/26-3/04) Welcome to the Future, Kid

future-linkSo, at GDC this past week, some Nintendo developers showed off Hyrule Wars From The Legend of Zelda, a scrapped concept for Breath of the Wild that had aliens invading the land of Hyrule, also called Legend of Zelda: Invasion.  It’s a very peculiar concept to say the least, and featured concept art of what looks to be Ganondorf in a Metallica shirt, and concept sketches of Link in modern clothing riding on a motorcycle.  I know people are giving Breath of the Wild all the felacio its bulbous appendage can handle, but I would be far more interested in playing a Zelda game with a differing aesthetic rather than one I am am more likely to hate than love due to mechanical changes that freak me the flip out. Continue reading

Rundown (2/19-2/25) Murder Your Family for Maximum Power

captureYou know what?  Griffith from Berserk only did three wrong things.  One, care for Guts enough so that he was torn apart over his departure.  Two, rape the princess and steal away the virginity that the king hoped to steal with his musky old penis.  Three, let Guts and Casca live when he could have easily killed Guts and Casca was rendered mentally retarded due to all of the demon rape.  Everything involving him sacrificing his army and family for more power?  That was a rational and well formed decision.  It could be that I forgot some things, as it has been 5 years since I read the manga in full, but I don’t believe anyone who says they would not kill their family when they are unable to so much as lift a spoon to their mouth. Continue reading

Rundown (1/29-2/04) Simple and Clean Is the Way

So, I was directed to a three hour unscripted lecture on the story of Kingdom Hearts.  I watched it, and am almost amazed at how much the story resembles the slew of fan fiction that it inspired.  It is the most contrived and convoluted thing I have ever seen go on for this long, and I am convinced that Square Enix lacks any sort of narrative editors and that Tetsuya Nomura should never, ever, be put in charge with the story for anything ever again.  Now all of that incomprehensibility is inside me, and it will never leave.  Anyways, there’s a bunch of news this week for some reason, and now I need to talk about it. Continue reading

Rundown (1/08-1/14) Switch It Up 2: The Electric Switcheroo

Let’s do this nasty thing! Continue reading

Rundown (12/04-12/10) A Mostly Two Tone Rundown

vlcsnap-2016-11-13-11h59m13s766Seeing as how Final Fantasy XV has released to high praise from critics and fans alike, I got to thinking, when was the last time a Final Fantasy game was universally beloved and saw wondrous success?  Well, the answer I came to is Final Fantasy X, a game originally released in 2001, 15 years ago.  Since then, the series never had a wholly beloved mainline release, and modern entries steadily fell into mediocrity and mockery after experiencing the height of its popularity.   Continue reading

Rundown (11/13-11/19) The Radiant Black Side of a Harvest Moon

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Oh this week was fun.  I had my birthday, a new Pokemon game came out, I had a minor existential crisis, and I received my first major instance of stomach pain in… ever.  Truly a week of ups and downs if there ever was one.  Anyways, time for video game news. Continue reading

Rundown (10/23-10/29) Yare Yare Daze

35Sometimes, I start to lose all motivation for doing this, for writing about video game news, or even reviewing them.  I think it is a self confidence issue, where I assume that the work I put out is bad, that nobody cares for it, and that the entire action is some sort of time wasting activity, even though I do enjoy writing about games at the end of the day.  It’s just that… I don’t know.  I’ll just shut up and talk about the Pokemons. Continue reading

Rundown (5/31-6/06) The Japanese Localization Building-School

0 PGOS Racial Localization Friendship of JapanIn my dumb brain, companies like Idea Factory International, NIS America, Atlus, Aksys, XSEED, Sekai Project, MangaGamer, JAST USA, Carpe Fulgar, and anybody I’m forgetting all work in the same building located somewhere in California.  The building is based off of the one blueprint that was used to build every high school in Japan circa 1950, and it is a complete mess.  With random unlocalized games everywhere, old bootleg VHS tapes of “the hottest Japanimation”, a locker full of PSPs, this one incredibly disturbing classroom filled with full scale figures and body pillows, and dirty laundry that piles up every week until Jimmy clean up their blankets and graphic tees over the weekend.  Then there’s Nana, who is just sad after spending three thousand hours a year playing everything this company produces, and is flat out disgusted by the tropes at this point. Continue reading