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 (5/19-5/25) The Future Is Random!

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  • Reading time:11 mins read
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This past week I finished up the first iteration of what I hope to be a new segment to go alongside my Reviews, Rundowns, and Rambles, which I’m dubbing Randoms. Randoms are short stories based on various ideas, concepts, and prompts that I either stumble across or pop into my weird brain. A segment meant to contrast my novels and novellas, which take me forever to write, and require me to commit to an idea and characters and make everything part of one big continuous multiverse. The first Random will debut on May 31st, but I am not committing to a more specific schedule going forward. Could be monthly, could be quarterly, could be whenever the hell I feel like it.  Remember kids: Die Zukunft ist Zufällig.
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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 (3/03-3/09) Natalie Should Read More Books!

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  • Reading time:7 mins read
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Seeing as how my status as a writer should not be up for much contention given how much rubbish I’ve written over the years for this site, between novels, hundreds of reviews, and the weekly musings about game industry news, one would most likely expect that I am something of a reader as well. However, that really is not the case, as while I do read a good number of articles, short stories, and many visual novels, it has been quite a while since I last read a full book. I used to read novels frequently back in high school, but as I started putting more and more attention into my site, and began writing my own stories, I began developing an urge to work on my own writing pursuits whenever I tried to start reading a book. It just reminds me of how I have not told the stories I’ve wanted to tell yet, and I begin to feel like I’m procrastinating. Though, this does not really apply to watching videos, probably because it is a more passive activity and a different medium entirely.
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Rundown (5/27-6/02) Much Ado About Pokemon and Info Dumps

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  • Reading time:12 mins read
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I mentioned before that I utterly love gaming history, and all of the odd bits that come attached with it, and one of the greatest fascinations for me as a child was the development of the second Pokemon game, originally entitled Pokemon 2, before being renamed Gold and Silver. Basically, the game was extensively delayed, reworked, and refined over three years before it finally came out, and a lot of things changed in that time, with said changes being evident thanks to a 1997 Space World demo. Well, said demo founds its way onto the internet… 21 years later, and a lot of details about the original rendition of the game were made available, including map data and many unused Pokemon designs.
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Rundown (8/13-8/19) I’m a Weird Sonic Fan

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  • Reading time:8 mins read
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Some might be wondering if I will be reviewing Sonic Mania soon, as its PC version will be coming out on August 29th, but I am not planning on reviewing it for quite a while, as I often wait for games to go on sale and such. I will get to it eventually, and will hopefully enjoy it, despite it being pretty obvious by now that I am part of the generation who genuinely prefers the 3D games over the 2D games. I mean, I like them so much that I have done some concept work for a story that “homages” Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, and I was more excited to hear this new track from the rapper behind the Knuckles stage themes for Sonic Adventure 2 than I was for anything pertaining to Sonic Mania. I guess you could say a weird Sonic fan that way. (more…)

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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode I Review

After going through the classic Genesis-era Sonic games last year with reviews of Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2, CD, and 3, I thought I was done revisiting the classic titles. I am, but there was one mainline Sonic game that tried to recapture the feeling of these games, one that the upcoming Sonic Mania will basically overwrite. That is Sonic The Hedgehog 4, an episodic game series that must have done so poorly for Sega that they actually never finished it, instead stopping after two episodes. Seeing as how both games are surprisingly different for episodic titles, I will be reviewing the games separately, starting with Episode I naturally. (more…)

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Freedom Planet Review

Well, this has been sitting on my to-do list for quite a while. After going through the Genesis-era mainline Sonic games back in 2016, I wanted to go through Freedom Planet as it was originally envisioned as a Sonic fan game, and takes many clear inspirations from the series. Yet due to my previous experience with the game, there was one minor mechanical decision that simply prevented me from giving the game my full attention. One that I will get to in a little bit. (more…)

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Shadow The Hedgehog Review

_12After going through select entries in the Sonic series over the past few months, I think I’ve reached my end with this. A game that released eleven years ago, and served as a present for my eleventh birthday, because I was still a dumb little child young enough to find the edginess of this game to be cool. So I got the game whenever I did, including the limited edition Shadow The Hedgehog beanie. A collectible that I eventually threw away, but remembered well enough to reference it in a story of mine… because I think that the fact Sega sold this game with a beanie is funny. (more…)

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Sonic Heroes Review

g9se8p-444After reviewing the mainline Genesis era Sonic games, I developed an urge to revisit a pair of Sonic games that I remember fondly from my childhood. No, not the first two Adventure games, I already reviewed those, the two that came out later and were tepidly received, Sonic Heroes and Shadow The Hedgehog. If only because I had not played either of these games in a decade, was curious of how poorly they held up, and was in the mood to emulate a few GameCube games. (more…)

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Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles Review

20161011212322_1After two months and four games, I am finally done with the Genesis era mainline Sonic games. It has been an annoying journey from the abysmal Sonic 1, frustrating Sonic 2, and surprisingly alright Sonic CD. Now I arrive at Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the complete version of Sonic The Hedgehog 3, which only exists because Sonic Team made too many levels to fit on a Genesis cartridge and had to develop new technology to make their original vision playable to the masses. (more…)

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Sonic CD Review

com-sega-soniccd_screen1Continuing with my Genesis-era Sonic retrospective from parts 1 and 2, Sonic CD originally began development as a portion of Sonic 2 before mechanical differences led to the game being too vastly different, causing it to later be repurposed as the marquee title for the Sega CD. Unlike the three mainline games, I’ve actually never played Sonic CD as I simply lacked access to it as a child, and as such don’t have much of a history with it. So without further ado, let’s just spin dash through a loop, bounce off a badnik, and grab a couple of rings… or whatever. (more…)

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Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Review

20160802204946_1Continuing my quest to revisit the mainline Genesis era Sonic games, one done simply for my own curiosity, I am brought away from the disheartening Sonic The Hedgehog and towards its far more beloved sequel Sonic The Hedgehog 2. A game I fondly remember playing at my dentist’s office while I waited for her to clean my teeth and tell me how many cavities I accumulated over the past six months. Good times. (more…)

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Sonic The Hedgehog Review

20160730143042_1After the unveiling of Sonic Mania, it occurred to me how little I personally remembered the Genesis era of the Sonic The Hedgehog games. I only ever played them at a young age, and I don’t think I played them very much at that. Heck, the first Sonic game was the first video game I ever played, and all I remember about it was being in Marble Zone, losing all my rings, and getting upset after I died. A memory that acted as a very poor first impression of video games.  Yeah, so I already have reason enough to not like this game, but being a poorly constructed relic doesn’t help much either. (more…)

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Rundown (8/08-8/15) Verde’s Doohickey Is an Act Of Plagiarism… I Think

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  • Reading time:10 mins read
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0 Haganai You Commited Plagarism feel badAfter seventeen years in the making, not really but it felt like it, I am finally done with Verde’s Doohickey, my novel for 2015, although I may put another one out on Christmas of New Years. Depends on how quickly I can write this far simpler story and how easily the dynamic between the two main characters flows, because I have been struggling to get the everyman and asshole dynamic right for years… Man, it’s only been a day and I’m already talking about my next thing. (more…)

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Rundown (12/28-1/03) Fart 4 Friendshipping

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0 KLK DOuble Friendship surpriseWell, 2015 is now upon us. It is a nice number, multiple of five, and has a nice calendar. It also happens to be the year where I will set a few of my upcoming novellas during, as I am the sort of guy who needs to tell the reader the date when writing a story. It is a dumb obsessive trait that I will probably never work out of, mostly due to how I doubt anybody will ever talk to me about my stories. Hell, they are a secret to everybody I know off of the interwebs, partially due to how I lack any friends… (more…)

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Sonic Adventure 2 Review

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Note: I re-reviewed this title in 2019. Please disregard this review.

Yes, yes, I reviewed this back in June, found it to be very upsetting, but felt I should give it another look after being compelled to look at its predecessor and finding myself enjoying the game far more than I expected. Mind you, the game in question is still riddled with problems and from an objective standpoint is not very good, but these reviews are ultimately subjective and just because something is not good does not make it unenjoyable. (more…)

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Sonic Adventure DX Review

ChubbsNote: I re-reviewed this title in 2019. Please disregard this review.

Okay, backstory for me in particular involving Sonic. I was born in 1994, Sonic The Hedgehog was the first game I ever played, adored the hell out of the Gamecube Sonic games, and maintained some sort of connection to the franchise for… well, it’s still not gone as of yet, but is nothing like it used to be and is more akin to what people who got invested into something that continued well after they should have grown out of it, but can’t just stop. So here’s a review of a game that I loved at age ten, to celebrate me leaving my teenage years behind! (more…)

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Sonic Generations Review

pusher-gameNote: I re-reviewed this game in 2019. Please disregard this original review.

Why did I play this game again? Why did I go through the obnoxious challenges a second time in order to get a meaningless 100% that some may say is incomplete as I did not get four Steam achievements? Why did I buy a game I did not necessarily like a second time? Well, the answer there is that it was part of a Sonic Pack on the Humble Store, which was discounted 50% or 75%. But yes, I am reviewing it again as my library has been drying up a bit, and by chance I glanced at my Sonic Generations review from back when and was not happy with what I saw. So… let’s do it to it! (more…)

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