Falling blocks, flashing lights

I was starstruck in my first moments with Lumines, a falling-block rhythm puzzler that seems to alternate between “universally acclaimed cult hit” and “actual nothingburger” depending on who I ask. SHININ’ hit me like a train, and that was that. I was hooked.

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2018: FINALE

It always takes me a while to get around to these writeups. The elegant reason? “Writing takes time, and I want to approach these with some perspective.” The actual reason? “I absolutely cannot look at this shit anymore. Please god just give me some time. Fuck.”

 
Making SRB2Kart scripts replay-friendly

SRB2Kart 1.1 introduced the Replay Hut, which allows you to save demos of multiplayer races. This is cool. It also doesn’t store nearly enough information to guarantee that replays using Lua scripts will sync, which is less cool.

 
Friction

There’s an xkcd (there always is) about automating menial tasks, proposing a breakpoint where you’re spending more time designing the automation than you save by automating. For certain types of brains, mine included, it’s a nice reminder to rein in the neurotic optimization tendencies before they start getting in the way. It makes sense, and my rational mind accepts the logic, but mindless repetition eats away at my soul.

 
The "stop being a gigantic bitch" guide to party play

Acidic rant about brainlets and assholes in Duty Finder.

 
Arcaea's Potential system is ass

I lost 0.03 PTT for fatfingering the pause button, got tilted and wrote an article in 10 minutes.

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2018: AFTER

As usual, this batch of games was the most incomprehensible one yet, because some of them were actually pretty good. That’s the mixup. I guess it was a Christmas miracle that some decent games were added to the garbage, or I probably would have died.

 
Discord permissions make me want to commit picross

Sane inheritance? Comprehensible groups? Any sort of credible preview functionality? Nah, fuck it, more memes in the loading screen

 
KurtzPel is ass

This article will have no image or video examples, because it’s more work than the game deserves and I don’t feel like opening it again. Instead, please enjoy this clip of the training room camera showcasing the Auto-Upskirt feature.

 
So, no one is joining your Kart server

Games that use community servers are cool, because you can host any style of game you want and cater to whatever crowd you desire. But maybe you’ve been sitting in your empty server for half an hour, wondering where the thousands of players are and getting kinda disillusioned with the whole process. Here’s what you can try to fix that.

 
Rotating macro menus in FFXIV

Creating a monster with /hotbar copy and lighter fluid.

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2018: BEFORE

Everyone has a holiday tradition. Mine is a month of digital self-flagellation that will someday have paid service to every shitty fighting game ever made. This probably seems weird to you, but as far as I’m concerned it makes about as much sense as anything involving Die Hard.

 
Arcaea's progression is weird

Do I look like I know what an anomaly is?

 
Make these goddamn cookies

The best goddamn chocolate chip cookies ever made, arrived at through two parts miracles and one part science.

 
TL;DR: ZeroRanger

“Hardcore” games are sometimes caught in a strange place. Embracing what die-hard devotees love the most—deep systems, punishing challenges, endless reward for endless investment—can create something impenetrable for newcomers. Go the opposite direction, focusing on simplicity and accessibility, and the result too often feels like it’s had all its identifiable qualities sanded off, quirks and secrets and jank disappearing into a generic composite image.

 
Programs you don't use but should

This article exists for two reasons. First, I’m tired of seeing every outlet list the same three programs in articles about useful utilities. Second, I needed an excuse to try using WebM video on this site. Hopefully you’ll appreciate the former, at least.

 
FFXIV triage, explained

Healing is hard. Well, good healing is hard, at least, and it’s hardest when things get hectic, with multiple sources of damage resolving on multiple split players. Point-and-click reaction healing might keep you afloat for a while, but eventually you’ll run dry on mana or let someone slip through the cracks.

 
Cash of Exile

If you’re new to Path of Exile, welcome to Wraeclast, and I’m sorry nothing makes any goddamn sense. While you’re working out the difference between “more damage” and “increased damage,” here’s a quick writeup on how to get the most out of the game’s cash shop.

 
HELLSITE™, an experiment

Network effect is a bitch.

 
Kusoge Vacation Calendar

October 2017. A 20-something Australian looks up from Jackie Chan In Fists Of Fire and fills the words “Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance” into a spreadsheet. After a moment of consideration, he hits Tab and amends the entry with three letters: “GBA”.

 
Clemency is a microaggression

Dear Random Duty Finder Paladin, who I invented as a strawman to write a self-righteous article…

 
Why Icons has offline input lag

Icons died shortly after I wrote this. Please ignore this article.

 
Pyrrhic victory

I have newfound empathy for DShift players. That’s the strangest thing about this, really. A week ago, I was struggling to understand how anyone could play a deck like that—where strategy, calculation and instinct, the soul of any card game, all take a back seat to the way a computer deigns to sort an array. You become an automaton, playing whatever cards you receive in a joyless preprogrammed order. Why would anyone subject themselves to that?

 
Seriously, don't play Support Cannon

The Rotation format steadily marches forward, and Tempest of the Gods will soon be banished to Unlimited, languishing in a realm of Big Shadow and Fairy Wisps. It leaves behind a legacy of the biggest mistakes that have ever seen print in Shadowverse history.

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2017: FINALE

The least important undertaking in human history.

 
Plus On Whiff

Elsword Online is a 2.5D anime beat-em-up MMO, and so it naturally follows that Elsword is also an affront to God. I have no memory of why I started playing it, but I am always happy to explain in vivid detail why I stopped.

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2017: Week Three

Somehow, it persists.

 
PuyoTet PC is...something

Yet another incomprehensible SEGA port. Oh well, at least it’s not Square Enix. (Mostly no longer relevant after updates.)

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2017: Week Two

Before I started on this marathon, I said things like “You can’t subvert my expectations if I don’t have any.” This is a belief grounded in a universe that makes sense, where events logically follow each other through a chain of cause and effect. A universe like that couldn’t produce the games on this list, and so it naturally follows that I ended up being dead wrong.

 
Building a Steam Link setup

This month, in an ongoing effort to liberate my roomies from their desks, I finally put together a couch gaming setup, centered around Valve’s ultra-cheap streaming device, the Steam Link. Things have been stable for a while now, so I figured I’d do a quick writeup on the hardware I used and some of the pitfalls I ran into.

 
Kusoge Advent Calendar 2017: Week One

“Kusoge” (糞ゲー, or クソゲー) is a Japanese compound word—”kuso”, meaning “garbage, crap, shit”, and “ge”, short for “geemu”, the Japanese pronounciation of the word “game”. It means, quite literally, “shit game”.

 
Swordcraft is for idiots

I became deathly ill while trying to write an article about TCG design.

 
YOUR MIC SOUNDS LIKE ASS

SO YOU’RE ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF IDIOTS WITH NO IMPULSE CONTROL THAT BOUGHT THE AMAZON STREAMER STARTER PACK (BLUE YETI, ELGATO CAPTURE CARD, LOGITECH C920, IRRATIONAL DELUSIONS OF CHARISMA). MAYBE SOMEONE TOLD YOU THAT THE BLUE YETI IS GARBAGE, AND YOU PROCEEDED TO DO ABSOLUTELY ZERO RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING AN XLR MICROPHONE AND AUDIO INTERFACE. MAYBE YOU DIDN’T PUT IN ANY FUCKING EFFORT AT ALL, AND YOU’RE USING YOUR LAPTOP MIC INSIDE AN ACTIVE WIND TUNNEL AS PART OF YOUR SOUNDCLOUD RAP DEBUT, WHICH IS TOTALLY A SUBSTITUTE FOR A REAL JOB.

 
Getting Over Yourself

“I created this game for a certain kind of person, to hurt them.”

 
Incomprehensible automated fever dreams

YouTube bots ruin a perfectly good friday. A fundamentally stupid article about a fundamentally stupid event.

 
Don't play Support Cannon

If you’ve ever tried to build a deck out of Swordcraft’s dysfunctional amulets, you’ve probably felt Support Cannon’s strange, seductive magnetism. Next to cards like Castle in the Sky, it seems pretty good. It can hit face, it can hit followers, and you can activate it with plenty of cards. Sounds like midrange paradise, right? Unfortunately, every Support Cannon deck shares two critical flaws…

 
Fuck Gyazo

Gyazo is the worst screenshot uploader in human history. At best, it’s inconvenient, slow, and missing features: at worst, it’s a bandwidth-draining malware risk for everyone who views your images. There is absolutely no reason to use it unless you’re too lazy to spend 5 minutes installing another program.

 
TL;DR: Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania manages an elusive balancing act. It’s made with the zealous passion that only true fans can provide, but gleams with the polish of a full-fledged release. SEGA’s latest is a delicious sampler plate of classic 2D Sonic, new ideas and familiar locations refined to near perfection, and it sports the best presentation the franchise has ever seen.

 
Quake Champions: the eternal beta

So we’re 4 months in, Bethesda is hosting tournaments, and the game isn’t even close to release yet. Neat.

 
TL;DR: Redout

Redout is a game about going fast while screaming: an anti-gravity racer with slick visuals, deep controls, and an unrelenting sense of speed. It’s rough around the edges at times, but speed maniacs will find a lot to love.

 
Is it real?

Review scores suck. Let’s try something else instead.

 
Not Reviews

I’ve been thinking about a handful of games lately, but don’t have enough to say for a full article. I’ve got a bad habit of sitting on drafts for ages, so instead of trying to stretch my scattered thoughts into full-blown reviews, I’m just gonna throw them out. Have fun!

 
Brook converters: Not just for consoles

I picked up a Brook PS3/PS4 to Xbox One Super Converter today. I don’t own an Xbox One. But I do own a PC and a pair of PS4 controllers, and after my latest batch of controller issues, I don’t ever want to touch a third-party gamepad utility as long as I live.

 
Quake Champions Beta: Day 1

Bethesda, it’s not a “closed beta” if you give out keys to everyone who clicks a button.

 
Demon Phaleg, Lord Of Jank

Take a shot every time I try to guard an attack that doesn’t hit me.

 
PSO2: Sword PA Minimegaguide

Sword is a simple weapon with a handful of subtle quirks and optimizations. Making the most of those little things is how you take it from “awkward and slow” to “indestructible meme-powered lawnmower”. (Outdated as of October 2017.)

 
Troubleshooting "Lag" in OBS Studio

OBS problems are actually pretty easy to diagnose once you know your way around. With that said, if you can only describe your issue with “OBS is lagging”, you’re gonna have a shitty time searching through the support forums.

 
FUCK MEDIUM LOL

The Medium editor is a gigantic piece of shit, which is something I noticed approximately 3 milliseconds after opening it for the first time. Everything is done through the mouse, save a handful of half-assed formatting toggles that are almost staggeringly good at picking the least intuitive behavior. The site constantly tries to fight your styling and impose its own, down to the kind of dashes you use. The inclusion of somewhat graceful image captioning is really the only positive thing I can say about it.

 
PSO2 Battle Arena: Day 1

IT’S A MEME

 
UMvC3 PC: Day 1

Technically, UMvC3 PC is pretty unremarkable. Performed without a hitch on my GTX 970, which is standard for a game this old. The graphics menu includes controls for resolution and some mediocre anti-aliasing. Bare-bones stuff, but it works and it hasn’t crashed yet.

 
OverParse: the sort-of-retrospective

It’s been a few months since OverParse, my damage log reader for Phantasy Star Online 2, was officially deemed ban-worthy: that anyone found using it was in danger of Unspecified Administrative Action.

 
UNIEL PC: Day 1

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late is a ridiculous title. It’s also out on Steam now, and after a few hours with it, I’m pretty pleased. Here’s some stuff you might wanna read if you’re thinking of picking it up.