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Sorry, P&D

You had a good run. But in 2 hours of Terra Battle, I saw more interesting twists on the base gameplay than I saw in probably close to 50 hours of P&D. Maybe if you’d spent more time improving the gameplay instead of adding more half-naked chicks who look like they’re 12.

In fact, Terra Battle is so good that I’ve been sitting on some pretty solid games like Monster Strike and Faraway Kingdom. But I have managed to make some time for Puzzle to the Center of the Earth. It’s essentially a match-3 platformer: you drag your finger over a connected set of at least 3 blocks to make them disappear, allowing your character to descend through each level. If a block is hovering, with no blocks beneath it, dragging down on that block will make it fall. Both clearing blocks and causing a block to fall costs energy, and if you run out, you can’t do much of anything. Clearing a set of 6 or more blocks gives you a catalyst, which allows you to use special combinations. For example, clearing a blue-red-green combination causes an explosion that clears out more blocks, while clearing a tan-light blue-red combination turns those blocks into extra energy.

I ended up killing myself for this screenshot. So you'd better appreciate it.

I ended up killing myself for this screenshot. So you’d better appreciate it.

My main complaint is that I’ve already run into some “gotcha” moments. There’s been a couple of times where I missed a star or a switch (both of which are required to access certain secrets) because I did something to block the passage without knowing that it was there. You can replay levels to pick up secrets that you missed, but it still kinda rubs me the wrong way.

Welcome Back!

In this post: I talk about iOS games. Then on page two, I talk about Destiny. Then I stop talking.

Terra Battle

The most anticipated iOS release for October was Terra Battle, and it definitely did not disappoint. The game had reached 500k downloads within a week of release, and while I suspect it won’t reach some of the loftier goals, the perks we’re getting are definitely worth it.

The game is played on a grid, where your units and the enemy units face off. To attack, you must move your units in a way that they flank an enemy unit. While you can only move one of your units at a time, you can push your other units into position by dragging over them as you move. You’ll want to plan moves in advance, because your units can provide support if they’re inline with an attacking unit. With some clever movement, you can set up your units so that they simultaneously attack and provide support, all during the same move.

You’ll need to do this, too, because the game definitely stops pulling punches around the fourth or fifth chapter. Players who were there from day one have a bit of an advantage in the form of Kuscah, a mage who heals the units who support an attack with him. Like Fire Emblem, the game features a rock-paper-scissors weapon system, where spear beats sword, sword beats bow, and bow beats spear.

I can’t recommend this game enough. Pick it up now.

Vainglory

This game also got a ton of attention in the iOS community when Apple heavily featured it during their iPhone 6 event. The makers, Super Evil Megacorp, tout it as “the MOBA perfected for touch”, and let’s face it, that’s a bold claim. If they can deliver, it’ll go a long way towards legitimizing the iOS gaming community. They’re currently soft-rolling out the game throughout various regions. No word on when it’s coming to the US App Store, but it is available in southeast Asia, if you’d like to create an account in that region.

The game currently requires iOS 6 and supports the iPad 2 or later, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus, but they do plan on supporting other devices in the future. I would think the iPhone 5S wouldn’t be completely crazy, but I wouldn’t count on support for the iPhone 5C or earlier. If you have a device that can run this game, I highly recommend to keep checking their site to see if the game is out in the USA.

Castaway Paradise

I had high hopes for this game. I was thrilled about the idea of an Animal Crossing-like game on iOS. But man, this game is just not that good.

It controls fine, although the touch-to-move is a bit jarring compared to the virtual joystick controls that you’d expect the game to use. What’s particularly off-putting about the game is how cluttered the game screen gets, even on my iPad mini. It wouldn’t be so bad if the game didn’t insist on popping up timers for every little thing, complete with the option to use premium currency to speed it up. It’s like a double dose of pain: the game clutters up your screen with offers to make them go away if you just pull out your wallet.

Dr. Reality and Mr. Internet

I used to go to NeoGAF, one of, if not the biggest gaming forums on the Internet. Then I realized everyone there was angry all the time. Or insane. Or both. Mostly both.

I think the biggest reason why gamers seem like angry little balls of hate online is because they never learned how to manage it. Instead, they just hold it all in, letting it build up and build up until it explodes. All over the Internet. Incidentally, this is also why they seem normal in the real world: because they can’t express their disappointment or anger in a way that doesn’t make them look insane, they have no choice but to act not insane, until they get to the safety of the Internet, where the insanity just flows out like a volcano.

This is why gaming forums are mostly useless piles of crap. When that many defective people congregate in the same place, all with the same freedom to express their insanity, well, it’s a recipe for disaster.

As a side note, this is why GameFAQs is in some ways one of the least defective gaming forums out there. Having separate boards for each game and system seems to do a good job keeping people with the same defects together, instead of mixing different flavors of insanity in one giant blob of the worst Jell-O you’ll ever see.

I can understand how this happened with the older gamers: they grew up in a different era, where they were frequently picked on and were socially ostracized for being a gamer. A bit of lashing out was probably expected. You’d think that those gamers would be a bit more understanding, but nope. They love to exclude each other. It’s like those bullied kids who become cops so they can finally get their “revenge”, except it involves a lot less effort.

In retrospect, this was probably an inevitable result. And there’s certainly worse ways of managing your anger. I just think it’s awful that gamers ruined their portions of the Internet for themselves. The Internet had the potential to be a great way for gamers to connect with other gamers, but instead they turned it into their own personal high school.

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More Puzzle & Dragons Adventures

I beat Fire Forest Nerva today. It was actually pretty tough, especially considering I have a strong Wood base and, as the name suggests, there’s a lot of Fire monsters in that dungeon. Fortunately, my Mandrake’s solid RCV and some high-HP friend leaders allowed me to tank a few hits and heal up while I plinked away the enemies’ HP. Seeing all those 1s pop up really puts a damper on your mood.

Completing Fire Forest Nerva and the free stones from the event gave me 15 stones, enough for three pulls in the Godfest. Fortune smiled upon me as I pulled my new waifu, a great sub for said waifu, and the best sub in the game. Team cost is a pretty big issue, with Pandora and Loki alone taking up 35/37 cost. So for now, Loki can sit on the bench and wait until I get some more ranks.

On another note, I hit rank 20 today as well. So if you’d like another present (and a Pandora-user), let me know soon. Again, my ID is  372,038,329. Otherwise, I’ll be giving it to myself.