Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the month “December, 2017”

Sailor X-Sailor Generator (Sailor X Website)

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Have you ever dreamed of being in the popular magical girl anime, Sailor Moon?  Now you can with the new Sailor X dollmaker!  Create the existing sailor senshi or scouts, whatever you want to call them.  You can even create your own original characters to fight alongside them.  With this dollmaker, the sky’s the limit.

A while back, I promised I would review this dollmaker first.  I also promised that I would post reviews about board games, post pictures of my time playing them, fanfiction based off video games and board games and that you can submit your stuff.  While I do plan to review a board game soon, I’m afraid the pictures might just be a maybe for now.  I’m also not submitting fanfiction about video games but I have posted some dollmaker stuff I made.  However, I might submit some narratives in the point of view of characters, such as my time in Star Trek Online.  I recently joined a fleet and I’m hoping that they might let me blog about my adventures.  Unfortunately, I will only do this with characters that are truly my own.  Therefore, I won’t be posting anything about my time playing Mice and Mystics in Prince Colin’s point of view.  I might post some news about video games in the off chance that I don’t have a review to submit.  In fact, I’ve already done that with Telltale news, courtesy of Hashakgig from deviantart.  I’m also not allowing people to submit to my blog.  However, you are allowed to make suggestions about what I should post about.  I can’t promise that I’ll always take your suggestions, but I will always consider them.  Therefore, I haven’t lived up to every promise and I thought it would be best to clear the air.

Like many dollmakers, this game has no story.  You just take a character and create what you want.  You have to visit each section to change your character’s face, body and so on.  You can select different colors by the simple system of picking what’s available.  You can also use the more complicated system of figuring out the shade you want as well.  You can even download what you create and share it with your friends.  This is my latest creation of a fan charmer for the series Charm Cafe by animecolourful from deviantart.

Charmer Garnet Re-Done (Charm Cafe OC) by suburbantimewaster

 I also used an earlier version to create the main character for my magical girl series, Fairy Tale Warriors.  

SnowWhite/Faith Summers (Fairy Tale Warriors) by suburbantimewaster

However, like many dollmakers, you have no option to change the body type.

This game is fun and creative. I give it 7 out of 10; it’s a unique take on dollmakers.

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Delicious: Emily’s Christmas Carol (Gamehouse)

It’s Christmas in Snuggford and Paige is the star in the Christmas play.  As luck would have it, she screws up during rehearsal.  Therefore, Emily, Patrick and the rest of the family board the Miracle Express to meet Santa Clause and boost Paige’s spirits.  Unfortunately, Evelyn doesn’t want to come.  Can the family boost Paige’s spirit while finding out why Evelyn is so afraid to board the Miracle Express?

If the plot sounds predictable to you, you couldn’t be more right.  This is one of those Santa Clause is real storylines that became very popular in the eighties.  Such a subject is very delicate and you need to handle it with tender loving care.  In Fables, they did say that Santa’s real and, just like the rest of the characters, he’s a fable.  Therefore, in that case, they managed to pull it off.  In this one, they do an okay job but it’s not great.

The Miracle Express is, like the Polar Express, a train ride to see Santa.  The game, at one point, claims that only believers can power it.  However, Patrick and Emily do talk about having the former dress up as Santa in order to give Paige a pep talk.  Yet the train carries them to their destination with no problem.  Even when people ask why they would want to do such a thing, they still assume that it’s the workers taking the Santa act too seriously.

As I said earlier, the game is predictable and explores every Christmas Special cliché in the book.  In one venue, Paige manages to nurse Rudy the reindeer back to health so he can ride at the front of Santa’s sleigh.  If you’re wondering who Rudy is, let me give you a hint.  He has a big and shiny red nose.  Another venue explores the story of a rich and friendless kid who keeps all of his toys for himself.  You can bet that Paige befriends him and teaches him how to share.  However, I should tell you that, in my opinion, said child’s transformation happens a little too quickly to be believable.

Despite the many clichés, the game does have one shining moment.  It claims that Christmas magic can be for anyone at any age.  Anyone who’s read the Narnia chronicles knows that, after Prince Caspian, Peter and Susan could no longer visit Narnia.  According to Aslan, they’ve become too old and must live out their lives in the real world.  This also brings to mind a discussion two people who host a channel called Bad Fanfiction Theater had when reading My Inner Life.  They talked about Labyrinth and discussed one thing they loved about it.  Despite Sarah maturing at the end, the magic in her life doesn’t leave her.  It’s why they love the movie because, in their opinion, if you found a magical place you could no longer be part of when you grew up, it would drive you insane.  I have to say that I agree with them.  This is why, at the end of the game, when Evelyn starts to believe and wants to ride up front, she claims that you’re never too old for Christmas magic.

The game play is typical of your average Delicious game.  You deliver food to customers at tables or at the cash register.  In the case of the former, you have to clean the table in order to seat new customers.  You have to reach at least one star in order to advance to the next level, but try for three stars if you feel lucky.  Each level comes with a mouse you have to catch and a challenge you need to complete for diamonds.  Use the diamonds to invite people to Paige’s school play and, this time, Angela’s included.  You can also purchase upgrades between levels and unlock new products throughout the game.  Don’t forget to collect all of the trophies, if you want an extra challenge.

The game is simplistic and yet fun.  I give it 6 out of 10, not the best Christmas themed game but worth checking out.

Christmas Stories: A Christmas Carol Collector’s Edition (Big Fish Games)

Your uncle Scrooge writes you a letter, asking you for help.  In order to grant his request, you must work with his good conscience and the ghosts of Christmas to save him from himself.  Careful, because Scrooge’s evil alter ego seeks to undermine you at every opportunity.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure that you’re familiar with the classic story, A Christmas Carol.  It is the tale of a rich old miser who must change his ways for the good of the world and himself.  This game chose to take a different turn by having you take the role of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.  I’ll admit that this change is not one I’m crazy about at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against change and I do love the story Zombie Christmas Carol.  The only difference is that the zombie version managed to stick to the original theme of the story with an extra plot about the undead walking among them.  This version undermines the moral of the classic story.  In the original Christmas Carol, the three ghosts of Christmas visit Scrooge to scare him into changing his ways.  The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge his past, forcing him to observe memories from his traumatic childhood and demonstrating how it made him the man he became.  It also forces Scrooge to see the mistakes he’s made, such as choosing money over Belle, and showing the few bright spots in his life to make him see that he’s wrong.  Scrooge is helpless to change his past and the bad decisions he made, showing a deep regret for some of his choices.  The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the life he’s missing, such as taking him to Fred’s house, and the depravity of the world he refuses to face.  It also demonstrates to Scrooge how he has the power to do something about this depravity.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes the appearance of the grim reaper and never speaks.  This is to demonstrate how scary and unknown the future can be.  Its job is to show Scrooge the future he will have if he doesn’t change his ways.  Let me tell you, said future is not a good one.

In this game, the ghosts each make an appearance.  However, spoiler alert, you get to change Scrooge’s past.  I’m sure you remember the scene in the original story, when Belle didn’t like the man Scrooge became and broke off her engagement. Well, in this version, Scrooge tried to propose to Belle but the evil alter ego steals the ring and Belle gets angry, thinking Scrooge played a cruel joke on her.

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Don’t worry, you can get the ring and change Scrooge’s present so that he and Belle not only marry, but also get to have children of their own.  As I said earlier, the whole point of the Ghost of Christmas Past is to show Scrooge how bitterness and greed consumed him.  While Scrooge is helpless to change his past, he can still learn from it.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present asks you to take a letter to Scrooge from Bob Cratchit asking him to get medicine for Tiny Tim.  Unfortunately, said alter ego took the letter and tries to destroy the medicine.  That’s right, Scrooge’s current misery isn’t because he let greed and bitterness consume him.  It’s because a little demon goes out of his way to sabotage him at every opportunity.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come makes its appearance and it talks.  The whole point of this spirit is that it doesn’t talk.  You also get to see Scrooge’s miserable present, which doesn’t make sense considering that you changed his past.  He’s not the same man anymore, so he wouldn’t have a bitter future.  There are also two other plot issues, such as Fred saying that he misses Fan.  Since she died giving birth to him, he wouldn’t remember enough about her to miss her.  Another one is that, when you first get to Scrooge’s house, he has a Christmas tree.  The whole point of the story is that Scrooge hates Christmas.  Why would he put up a tree in his house?

The Collector’s Edition comes with an extra story line where you explore kitty cat world and help Sherlock Cat find Santa Cat.  It’s An American Tail with felines.

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I’ll admit, this story is adorable but it really has no point other than to get you to shell out more money.

The game play is actually quite fun, with you going around and collecting objects to add to your inventory.  You can use them to advance throughout the story.  Some items require you to take place in a hidden object scene for you to collect.

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You also play mini games that you have the option of skipping.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

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While this game seems like the typical hidden object formula, it also has one extra addition.  Remember Scrooge’s good conscience, who comes with you?  He can animate objects in order to help you with your quest.  In the extra storyline, this feature changes into a magnifying glass so you can collect paw prints.

This game is fun, but undermines the original story.  I give it 5 out of 10; making an adaptation that completely ignores the message severely damages the game.  However, the addictive game play makes up for it.

Mystery Tales: The Other Side Beta Test

The Twola TV Company’s giving away free super TVs all over town.  Only issue is that the police keep getting reports about dead bodies in front of these television sets.  Is it a coincidence, or are these TVs deadly for viewing?

I’m sure you already figured out on your own that there’s something suspicious about these TVs.  The actual mystery is about what is up with these TVs.  In the first few minutes, you know something’s wrong when your partner, Natalie, passes out in front of hers.  That’s right; it’s the damsel in distress cliché.  The use of this is particularly grating when you discover that Natalie collaborated with you on several other previous cases, all of them involving the supernatural.  Wouldn’t she know better than to fall into such an obvious trap?  If that wasn’t enough, one of the characters is a scientist with anti-television views people haven’t had since the 1950s.  Needless to say, this incident actually makes his argument stronger.  Despite these plot issues, the mystery is intriguing and I really would love to solve it.

The game play is typical hidden object with you going from room to room collecting various items to use in different locations.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes.  If you’re having trouble finding items, use a hint.  Let me tell you, I’ve only had to use the hint a couple of times throughout the beta test.  You can also play mini games that are easy to follow but, if not, you can skip it.  I’ve only had to skip one game, which is a good sign.  During the run, you collect notes and diary pages with only the former available for viewing.  You can read the latter when the full game comes out.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I can see myself buying the full version in the future.

Cathy’s Crafts (Gamehouse)

When Cathy’s parents go on vacation, they put her in charge of their store.  Meanwhile, her boyfriend wants her to go to New York with him.  Can Cathy find her own path in life, or will she live according to what other people expect from her?

The plot is your typical young girl wants to follow her dream job while everyone else around her is planning her life for her.  Thankfully, this only lasts for one section.  The rest of the game is about Cathy finding her way while her boyfriend, Mark, goes to Paris and tries to convince Cathy to get a job there.  I’ll admit that I have mixed feelings about him.  On the one hand, Mark does want Cathy to go for her dream and supports her for it.  On the other hand, Mark also has a tendency to be a little selfish and takes questionable actions.  For instance, Mark is the reason Cathy’s parents don’t come back to the hardware store in time because he used his hacking skills to send them to Timbuktu.  He also doesn’t really contact Cathy except to send pictures of himself in Paris.

In my opinion, Cathy is a terrible judge of character.  Let me tell you, when she gets a job at the florist shop, she fails to see that her co-worker is sabotaging her.  Let me point out that Cathy’s boss has a habit of playing favorites and it turns her co-worker, who’s been there longer than Cathy, against her.  Whenever Cathy leaves this co-worker alone with her tasks, they always end up sabotaged and, when this co-worker offers advice to Cathy, it goes against her.  Spoiler alert, instead of this being a lesson about not trusting everyone you meet, Cathy’s co-worker feels guilty and apologizes.

I should tell you that this game exists in the Delicious universe and Emily and Paige make a few cameos in the game.  The structure itself is similar to Delicious: Emily’s New Beginning where you have to pick the crafts for each level based on what customers will be shopping at your store.

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You also have a cat named Ming to take care of, who inspires many of Cathy’s designs.  Either the customers will go to the cash register to pick up crafts or they will go to a table to make their own.  When everyone’s done, you check him or her out and try to make enough money to get the first star in each level.

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Try to go for all three stars, if you feel lucky.  Between levels, you can purchase upgrades for each venue.  You can also get trophies and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to collect them all.

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This game is fun yet a tad bit cliché.  I give it 6 out of 10; only buy if you want to play every game set in the Delicious universe.

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