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on computer games

  • Weapon Breaking Done Well?

    TLDR: which games do WEAPON BREAKING without making you want to tear your hair out?

    i'm playing through Dark Cloud and had forgotten how tedious the weapon system is. weapons function as "leveling up" instead of using a traditional experience-based system. weapons need to be upgraded, fused, and repaired throughout the game. and a durability system dictates that once your weapon hits 0 durability, it breaks. broken weapons can cost you hours of gameplay if you're not careful. there's even the possibility of breaking all your weapons and starting from square one near the end of the game if you're not vigilant with repairs.

    for Dark Cloud, this weapon system is a unique leveling system that differentiates itself from its action-rpg peers. it introduces a level of risk that keeps you alert while making weapons you've upgraded-and-maintained feel like valuable treasure. however, this system is also tedious to keep up with as weapon durability decreases quickly and repairs are time consuming.

    after hours of playtime, i think i've isolated the reason why the weapon system is so annoying: menus. the entire system is menu-based. i often find myself pulling up the menu mid-battle to repair my weapon. there are automated repairs, but these require some setup. if Dark Cloud somehow incorporated more interactive ways (outside of a pause menu) to repair weapons or made weapon durability decrease at half the rate or made a broken weapon repairable (instead of gone for good), this would have gone a long way to reduce tedium.

    games like Breath of the Wild are often criticised for similar weapon-breaking systems, and it got me thinking about the fact that i have NEVER seen a weapon-breaking system praised or even vaguely complimented.

    are there any games that do weapon breaking especially well, and why?

  • Psycho Wand, My Beloved [short story on gaming addiction] Psycho Wand, My Beloved

    David was a normal middle-aged man with a wife, a mortgage, and some cats … until he got his hands on Phantasy Star Online.

    Psycho Wand, My Beloved

    a short story / black comedy about gaming addiction and the value of digital treasures

  • Feeling "as" the player character

    I saw a video essay where the author argued that games have a unique way of making the player feel the same way as the character they're controlling. Here's a link but I'll try to summarize it. Basically, there is empathy, where you feel "with" a character as you see what they experience. Then there's sympathy where you feel "for" a character (as in the character feels distress and you feel pity). But the video argues that in games, you can feel "as" the player character, too, and illustrates this with the final moments of Super Metroid, which I won't go into detail here but it's more or less about being confused and scared at the same time that Samus would be confused and scared. (It's explained a lot better in the video lol)

    I find this an interesting idea, and I always like story telling concepts that are unique to computer games, to set them apart from other media. I'm also having trouble coming up with other examples of the player feeling "as" their character, so I thought I'd make a thread about it.

    I guess whenever the player feels any sort of emotion and the character is a mute stand-in for the player, you could theoretically attribute the same emotion to the character, right? But then you might as well say "you feel the same triumph as Mario, as he defeats Bowser", or the tension of the spaceship pilot in Asteroids, when you narrowly fly between two boulders. After all, Super Mario kind of tells a story, and Asteroids...? Hmm. At least with games, there's always the chance of an emergent story, something that the player makes up in their head, independent of whatever narrative the game might have. I feel like the point of the video is to say that video games can make the player feel as their character, even when there's some more narrative going on. So yes, does anything in particular come to your mind here?

  • Generic (fantasy) settings are better than "original" settings

    This is mainly about sword & sorcery type of fantasy games. By generic setting, I mean anything that copies D&D Forgotten Realms 1:1. You know, elves are nimble, long lived and good with bows, wizards have long white beards, orcs are evil or at the very least aggressive and violent.

    Original settings are more like a Brandon Sanderson novel, where there might be magic but maybe not, we don't know how it works, or what the society is like. It could be fun to read about in a book, but it requires too much explanation (or exploration) in a computer game.

    In games especially, it's useful to have stereotypes to fall back on. That way the game doesn't need to spend so much time explaining things, and can go to the more interesting things straight away: Tactical combat (gameplay) or character interaction (story). When you see an orc, or elf, you know what to expect, they're like shorthand. After all, most of the time in games, a fantasy setting is only an excuse as to why people fight in melee, why there's mana and spells, in short why there are game mechanics. So there's really no point in trying to "be creative" by changing up established tropes. (If you want to make an allegory about society, use a sci-fi setting!!)

    (feel free to disagree and discuss)

  • Phantasy Star Online Ephinea [MEGATHREAD]

    ANYONE PLAY ON THIS SERVER? i started a character a few weeks ago, named "Buru." i typically play on the Fodra Ship1 from 9pm - 1am et. i am in the midst of several projects and my attention span is less-than-stellar, but if you see me on, say: "HELLO IT IS [BLANK] FROM LEMMY - WOULD YOU CARE TO EXPLORE RAGOL WITH ME?"



    From the about page: "Ephinea is a PSOBB server that aims to replicate the official SEGA experience, while also adding quality of life changes alongside extra features to spice up PSO and give it more of a modern feel. This means:

    • Experience rates are default.
    • Drop rates are default.
    • Rare enemy rates are default.
    • Class parameters are default.
    • Item parameters are default, with some minor exceptions.
    • There is no custom equipment.

    The drop tables are changed from the original SEGA drop tables, mainly in Ultimate with some minor changes in other difficulties, due to balance concerns. “Iconic” drops, such as Sealed J-Sword and Handgun: Guld are still where you’d expect them, however. There are no plans to change the fundamentals of the game, as we wish to offer a server that players can always come back to and experience PSO as they remember it."


  • min-max ruins games & families

    min-maxing in online games promotes an environment of elitism that forces anyone who plays with the min-maxer to conform to a very narrow play-style; this by-default limits gameplay options for other players, and often leads to ridicule and negative experiences when the non-min-maxer does not have the "perfect build for tanking Odin" or whatever.

    min-maxers are boa constrictors wrapped around innocent little field mice. the mice just want some cheese but the snakes are eating them alive and i am the mongoose

    stop min-maxing. start max-mining.


  • are microbes having sex in your drinking water? [what do you drink while playing GAMES™?]

    what do you drink while playing games?

    personally, i drink water but i am concerned about microbes having sex in said water. i also drink coffee and, twilight: wine.

  • My Time in Arcadia

    betwixt red maple and palm — a golden retriever in the dark

    My Time in Arcadia

    cross-posted from:

    > i run a gaming blog that is more like a creative writing blog. i just published this essay. the essay's main theme is nostalgia and living-in-the-past told personal stories. > > if you read it, let me know what you think. thanks.

  • Gods Among Men and Mer or: SOTHA SIL IS DEAD [essay inspired by Morrowind]

    cross-posted from:

    > ! > > 6784-word essay inspired by Morrowind. First chapter reviews the game; the rest uses the Tribunal, Dagoth Ur, and Soul Sickness to analyze social media's impact on society by using personal stories and some fiction to drive the points.

  • Final Fantasy Legend II or: SAVE THE WORLD [video essay]

    cross-posted from:

    > created this video essay thing based on an essay i wrote for my website. > > > > ! > > if you happen to watch, let me know what you think > > could post this in the SaGa forum as well but figured this would be a better spot. > > covers some of the following: > > 0:00 (Introduction & Justification) > > 2:26 (CHAPTER I: History of Final Fantasy Legend II or: Richard Dean Anderson's Haircut in Season 6 of MacGyver) > > 5:11 (CHAPTER II: Presentation, Setting & Plot or: Smoke Dope, Go Bananas) > > 7:57 (CHAPTER III: Music or: Is this Emerson, Lake & Palmer?) > > 11:34 (INTERLUDE or: Artistic Gentrification) > > 13:15 (CHAPTER IV: Gameplay or: Nintendo Power Nominee for Hardest Game Boy Game of 1990) > > 20:58 (CONCLUSION or: SAVE THE WORLD or: If Richard Dean Anderson is the Peak 90s Action Celebrity ...) >

  • Phantasy Star or: THROUGH BEING COOL (video essay or something)

    a 'video essay' on Phantasy Star 1, a brief history of JRPGs, and the perils of BEING COOL

  • what Geodude doin'?

    what's he doin' with his hands?

  • FISHING FOR GOD - an essay about GOD and THE PROBLEM OF EVIL Fishing for God

    Perhaps with a good enough fishing rod and long enough line, we’ll catch God?

    Fishing for God

    copied from Mastodon:

    #essay inspired by #LegendOfTheRiverKing; its thesis: "God probably doesn't exist but if He does: He's Pure Evil"

    the first chapter is a #CreativeWriting #ShortStory that (i swear) is actually relevant to the rest of the essay this time. subsequent chapters tackle 'the problem of evil' and various arguments for the existence of #God(s) from #IntelligentDesign to 'arguments from morality/personal experience/causality/etc'

  • STARDEW VALLEY [but good? (mod recs)]

    i like Stardew Valley but get bored after 5 hours or so because TOO BORING and NOT ENOUGH VIOLENCE. i am looking for mods that make the game more like Rune Factory (or something); see mod requirements below, are there any mods that fulfil even some of these?


    • RPG ELEMENTS (levels, stats, skills)
    • ARMOR and WEAPON expansion (more, varied types, etc)
    • More and varied MONSTERS
    • Expanded EXPLORATION (more maps with monsters, etc.)
    • Expanded CAVES and DUNGEONS
  • FISHING GAMES [that aren't really about fishing]

    which games have the best fishing mini-games, etc? the game CANNOT solely be about fishing.

    ~by "best," i mean "fishing mechanics enjoyed subjectively"~

    MY LIST:

    • Final Fantasy XI (both pre and post fishing mechanics changes)
    • Breath of Fire VI
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


    or: how do i get good and STOP DYING? or: questions, screenshots, general help, etc. etc. etc.








    • do not play with controller (well, you can, but there are a large amount of drawbacks such as: sticks for the cursor, can't type, can't bring up the esc. menu, etc.)
    • check "small dungeons" before starting a new game
    • use classic attack style, otherwise: good luck attacking in the direction you want

    post only the scariest screenshots from only the scariest Halloween essence computer games first up: HERETIC, Raven Software, 1994

  • Games You Can't Play Around Loved Ones [or anyone]

    any games you can't play around your loved ones? i've got one, it's pictured. i've been playing this as a "project" (lol) and the dissonance of "is someone going to walk in on me while something NOT-GOOD is on the screen?" is it's own game unto itself; like, "the wife is busy making dinner, i know she won't walk in for the next hour or so" and then there's the risk-taking of "yeah they could walk in at any minute"; this game defaults to windowed mode with a VERY OBVIOUS minimize button for a reason.

  • 621: Quoth the Raven

    stories about ravens, gundams, bag boys, love, sex, drugs, wine, women, and weapons

    621: Quoth the Raven

    experimental absurdist essay inspired by Armored Core VI containing 4 sub essays on:

    1. Gunpla/Giant robots
    2. drugs, alcohol, addiction
    3. political systems; anarcho-capitalism (a critique on libertarianism)
    4. succumbing to dark thoughts & the Berserk manga/anime

    a major goal of this essay was to be FUN to read; jumping from topic to topic in a very hyperactive manner while exploring some heavy existential themes; i don't expect anyone to read this but if you do, please let me know what you think.

    needless to say but this contains spoilers for every aspect of Armored Core VI


    In this video, Louis Theroux goes to South Africa to film a documentary bordering on exploitation of the poor and suffering; what do the BBC and Louis Theroux gain from this other than wealth, fame, and Nielsen Ratings -- or whatever the equivalent is in the UK? During this exploit, Louis Theroux comes across a violent criminal named Maleven just recently released from prison for "TWO GUYS DEAD"; Maleven says he "LIKES CRIME" and will "SHOW YOU WITH YOUR FIRST BORN, I PUT HIM IN THE OVEN" with the hand motions and all. Maleven does this "FOR MONEY."

    Louis Theroux is clearly disturbed by this; he is, at first, unable to believe it, stating "I can't tell when that guy is joking," only to be reminded by his wise-to-the-ways-of-South-Africa guide that "these are CRUEL people" and, most importantly, they are REAL people. Theroux is so unable to process the insanity that he thinks: "IT MUST BE A JOKE," anything else would suck the light from his eyes.

    Anyway, which COMPUTER GAME character is most like MALEVEN?


    I think the player, if disconnected from reality, of any Grand Theft Auto, or by extension: the main character of any Grand Theft Auto game; which is an easy answer but: MONEY, CRIME, SELFISHNESS; that's all. Trevor if we want just one.

  • What are your favorite loiter joints?

    As a child, I loved my Nintendo DS. I was a child of a single mom and she had to take me with her on all her errands. All those activities--applying for Food Stamps, going grocery shopping, waiting at the doctors--seemed to drag on for multiple infinities. It felt like loitering.

    So, thank God and Jesus that I had my Nintendo DS to entertain me during those trying times. MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE LOITER JOINT THO:

    Church. Granny took me to church every Sunday. I was a smarter-than-average-try-hard so the preacher let me sit in the back and work the AV equipment. This was especially awesome because I didn't have to sit with my grandmother and sing (although I loved her with all my heart, RIP granny)--I could play Super Mario 64 DS in between queues of "How Great Thou Art" and "Our God Is An Awesome God").

    So, lemmy, what are YOUR favorite Loiter Joints TM?

  • Random Thoughts.....What are you thinking?

    this is a thread that i found on another website i post at. it can be really really interesting. i thought it deserved a place here.

    post your random thoughts for the day here, or anything else that intrigues you.


    i'm thinking about how #some of you will think this is NOT COMPUTER GAME RELATED and therefore a break of section 4 of #TheRules; however, NO: this is related to COMPUTER GAMES in at least ONE WAY.


    post a screenshot of your current desktop and explain (or don't)

  • #SuperAdvancedMonkeyBrains Chimpanzees Can Play Video Games Better Than Kindergartners

    (Inside Science) -- Look out, gamers: chimpanzees might be coming for your high scores. Panzee, a 22-year-old female chimp, significantly outperformed 12 children and 4 adults on a complex maze in a virtual-reality computer game.

    Chimpanzees Can Play Video Games Better Than Kindergartners

    >Look out, gamers: chimpanzees might be coming for your high scores. Panzee, a 22-year-old female chimp, significantly outperformed 12 children and 4 adults on a complex maze in a virtual-reality computer game.

    > took a significantly shorter route to the prize than the kids -- and even the adults.

    >So, will humans one day be fending off Panzee in Skyrim? "If you gave a chimp who liked doing the task enough time, maybe," said Dolins. "They're curious, and intrinsically motivated to find more information about the world."

    be warned. a couple million years and Panzee will be outperforming YOU in your favorite computer game, which by then will be re-released for the thousandth time AND remastered into a nasal spray.

    oh yeah, and you will be dead.

  • Tactical Espionage Action and YOU

    how come this is more 'fun' than "bashing the action button"

    What happens when you're SCARED? >Nerves from the brain carry impulses to glands which produce adrenaline, released into the blood. Adrenaline causes our heart rate and blood pressure to increase making us ready to run away quickly.

    >your body releases epinephrine, adrenalin, and that causes your heart rate to go up, causes your blood pressure to go up, causes your eyes to dilate. So these are all your body's responses to some type of threat

    this is counter-intuitive in TACTICAL ESPIONAGE ACTION, as the goal is to wait not rush and run. you know if you get caught it's all alarms all the time, and that makes you scared, you want to run from danger while you're hiding behind the boxes; you never know if the man in yellow will check the other side; you're scared, it's fight or flight but you MUST REPRESS and DO REPRESS once you've mastered TACTICAL ESPIONAGE ACTION; this repression creates an exciting inner turmoil that releases when you finally get to break from your hiding spot and ambush the man in yellow.

    simply "BASHING THE ACTION BUTTON" does not achieve this level of chemical contradiction

  • KILL ALL MONSTERS - Dragon Quest Monsters and Death Ethics


    in this essay & video, we discuss Dragon Quest Monsters (GBC) and tie it into animal rights; covering not only the game itself but the ethics of factory farming and eating meat (death ethics)




    This is a world in which “Monster Masters” collect and battle monsters in bloodsport against other “Monster Masters” just for the sake of it; pitting creature against creature in a manner not dissimilar from dog fighting. Only, unlike dogs, these creatures can talk; they can vocalize their pain in human tongue.

    Much like the Mystery Dungeon series, random occurrences are a key feature – not a bug.

    ... like the farmer selectively breeding chickens with the largest pectoral muscles – that succulent white breast meat so thoroughly craved by the drooling populace – each Monster Master has their own selectively bred creature to tear through their opposition’s flesh.

    Dr. Hannibal Lecter would be proud to know that little Slime Jr. is eating members of his own species.

    Pontificate too much and you’ll think yourself into a lobotomy.

    And we’re no closer to figuring out why human lives are more important than other creatures’ lives.

    We don’t want to die.

  • PAY THE SANZU TOLL [Armored Core VI]

    In the Armored Core VI mission “Eliminate V.VII” you are presented with a choice before killing the mission target (Swinburne); he grovels for his life and you (“the player”) can “ACCEPT” or “DENY” this grovelling; if you “ACCEPT” and spare his life a new opponent comes flying in, screaming “PAY THE SANZU TOLL!”

    This “PAY THE SANZU TOLL” is entirely unexplained in game; as such, i was unsure if it was in-game lore or just some random-cool-sounding-phrase; but after some #OnlineSearching i found it’s actually a reference to the Japanese myth of the “Sanzu River”


    Per wikipedia,

    The Sanzu-no-Kawa (三途の川, lit. “River of Three Crossings”, or the “Sanzu River”) is a mythological river in Japanese Buddhist tradition similar to the Chinese concept of Huang Quan (Yellow Springs), Hindu concept of the Vaitarani and Greek concept of the Styx.

    Before reaching the afterlife, the souls of the deceased must cross the river by one of three crossing points: a bridge, a ford, or a stretch of deep, snake-infested waters. The weight of one’s offenses while alive determines which path an individual must take. It is believed that a toll of six mon must be paid before a soul can cross the river, a belief reflected in Japanese funerals when the necessary fee is placed in the casket with the dead


    The pilot who comes in guns-blazing shouting "PAY THE SANZU TOLL" is named "Rokumonsen" which translates to "six sen coins," completing the referential-circle.

    What I found especially funny about this interaction -- after putting all the pieces together -- is that Rokumonsen is described in the game's arena as "well versed in long-lost classical theater, he has a particular interest in "ninjas" and "kabuki," relics of the past that he learned of from the Japanese immigrant culture which now heavily influences his eccentric style."

    Basically, this pilot is a FULL-BLOWN-WEEB shouting OBSCURE-JAPANESE-REFERENCES at his opponents.

  • Follow the Mice

    I'm playing Metal Gear Solid and in the very beginning when you are in the first air duct, you find some mice. You are told that male mice will kill offspring that are not theirs, to preserve their bloodline. It's a natural genome project.

    Big Boss is the male rat.

  • The Final Fantasy Legend – So Begins Our SaGa

    … like reading a Vampire Hunter D novel (but without all the vampires and misogyny)

    The Final Fantasy Legend – So Begins Our SaGa

    the beginning of the SaGa saga; an analysis on the creation of the SaGa series, the weirdo quirks of the SaGa series, and using your imagination.

    there's even a video!


    "Seizing the opportunity like Oda Nobunaga in the face of overwhelmingly bad odds at the battle of Okehazama, Kawazu chose to build on the concepts he introduced in Final Fantasy II, with the goal of creating a series of his own quirky machinations."

    " ... solidifying itself as one of the major players in the Japanese role-playing computer game pantheon and sits among Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest as part of the Square Enix “warring triad” of sorts."

    "You take aim at the bright red light and pull the trigger; a blue bolt escapes the barrel; traveling elegantly through the air, piercing the eye of the beast. Almost instantly, the robot drops its arm and collapses to the ground, spewing sparks like blood as a sickeningly loud buzz emanates from the thing."

    " ... the brilliance of these “low-graphics” games lies in their ability to inspire players to imagine a much more detailed and nuanced world than what is presented on screen, filling in the gaps imposed by the hardware’s limitations."

    "The final boss area is a prime example of this nightmare in action, with no option to return back to town, a save here could easily result in a death sentence forcing you to restart the game entirely; making the true final boss the Savestate Ouroboros, Ruiner of Computer Games With Poorly Conceived Save Systems."

  • ever wonder how Shiren, Roguelikes, and Mystery Dungeon are similar to the mythical Japanese racoon dog? well, here's your answer: Shiren the Wanderer – Fate, Fortune, and Tanuki

    an essay more about furry animals than computer games; actually about half-and-half

    there's even a video!


    "A key component of their shapeshifting ability is their pouch, or in cruder terms, their ball sack. Frequently using their ball sack as a secondary object of transformation; for example, a tanuki may shapeshift into a samurai, armor and all, but shapeshift their ball sack separately into a sword; or they may shapeshift into a merchant and use their ball sack as their vending stall."

    "To illustrate this distinction between foxes and tanuki, consider their differing approaches to stealing food from human villages. While a family of foxes may resort to scheming and backroom dealings with humans, using their shapeshifting abilities to pose as businessmen offering seemingly attractive deals with hidden strings attached, akin to the treachery of organized crime or a pact with a demon, a tanuki family is more likely to transform into an alien spacecraft or ghostly apparition to scare the villagers away, thereby allowing them to sneak into the homes and steal the food."

    "At every turn, the game is merciless and seemingly out to get you, but it can also be extremely generous and offer unexpected rewards; eating some grass could make you sick and lead to your death, or it could make you gain three levels and become super-fast; this playful unpredictability is quintessentially tanuki-like, and Shiren 5 captures this essence in less than 600 megabytes."

  • Tactics Ogre: Reborn – Ruminations on Resentment, Regret, and Retribution

    Introduction or: a brisk summer breeze and fishing in the pond Every summer as a child, my parents would send me to stay with my grandma in Charleston, South Carolina. It was during one of these su…

    Tactics Ogre: Reborn – Ruminations on Resentment, Regret, and Retribution

    a major step up from the previous work on Final Fantasy XII, this essay explores "GRIM DARK" themes presented subtly in the masterwork: TACTICS OGRE; while also delving into personal issues and analyzing how the gameplay itself reinforces the game's narrative themes.

    there's a video too!


    "Tactics Ogre: Reborn is an outstanding game with engaging gameplay, a compelling story, and narrative themes that prompt introspection in a way that you may not have experienced since your broody teenage years, as evident from this article. "

    "Ultimately, I saw myself in Vyce; and that’s a tad bit scary."

    "This concept of “generational despair” highlights how the pursuit of revenge can spiral into a cycle of violence, perpetuating conflicts that span generations.

    Even the game mechanics serve to further emphasize this theme by demonstrating how minor battles can escalate into more revenge-driven conflicts. For instance, after eliminating an enemy unit in one battle, their spouse may appear in the next battle, seeking revenge. Of course, in the interest of unifying Valeria, you have to eliminate the vengeful spouse as well, thus continuing the cycle of violence."

  • Final Fantasy XII - A Comprehensive "Review"

    the first essay on; a dry, humorless mess of an article. too long to read and likely not worth the time (I can say this because I wrote it!)

    you're better off watching the video analysis instead:


    "Remember when Squall lifted his blade to the heavens, summoning a massive beam that dropped down on his foes, zooming out to show the beam landing on the planet? Or when Zell ran around the world a few times before punching his opponent? Now Vaan just throws a tornado at the monster"

    "The brilliance of the gambit system is figuring out how to automate every encounter; it’s like Factorio but for weebs."

    "Sadly, the overall gameplay loop in Final Fantasy XII isn’t as enjoyable as the battle system. Most of the game entails running back and forth between different locations, often revisiting the same areas multiple times. While there are some fast travel options, it’s just not enough, and ultimately, traveling becomes a dreaded time-sink that gives the player too much time to think about real life (which is a video game NO NO). The Zodiac Edition helps alleviate this issue by introducing a speed-up feature, but no game should have to rely on such a feature to prevent becoming tedious.

    "In conclusion, Final Fantasy XII should be experienced by all JRPG fans at least once. It contains one of the genre’s most unique battle systems and a beautifully crafted open-world, even if that world is a chore to traverse at times. The plot and characters leave much to be desired, but the overall gameplay is enjoyable for the first 40 hours. If you do play the game, I recommend the Zodiac Age Edition as it ups the resolution, improves the license board system, adds the evil speed up function, and includes a number of other improvements."

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