Youtube links that open in a window are fixed

The short story is that non-embedded Youtube links randomly decided to go on a strike and refuse to play in the page, and then I fixed it. There were all kinds of things that needed to be turned off and tweaked, and removing the default Twitter and Facebook integration (because punching everyone in the face with “whore me out” buttons seemed cheap and classless) messed with the cropping and window size, forcing me to hide that stuff in weird ways that make this place more Frankenstein monster than website; Facebook was easy enough to make disappear without any problems, but Twitter refused to play ball and I ended up having to change the link to an empty image embed and throw in a hidden white-colored period to keep the window from going crazy. This place is pretty much held together by scotch tape and rusty safety pins.

A strange new site quirk: videos refuse to play on mobile browsers that use a “request desktop site” feature (to bypass the mobile theme) until they’ve been tapped twice to pause and unpause.

New hosting, (hopefully) fewer errors

Okay, so it’s that time again and I’ve moved to a new host. Hopefully this means the daily error 521 and 522s are a thing of the past, and if I can write reviews without constantly hitting a 500 internal service error when I preview posts, that’ll be great, too. The site also seems to be a bit faster overall. As with all site stuff, though, various things might be broken. Hopefully not, and I did take a look through stuff and fix a couple images that didn’t survive the transfer for a weird reason that seems to have something to do with capitalization, but site maintenance stuff always carries the risk of something unexpected no longer working. Mostly because this stuff gets complicated and I go into monkey-with-a-hammer mode.

(Mind the Gravity Rush header image; I just had a bunch of screenshots left over.)

Game accessibility, new fans, and Fire Emblem

Radiant Dawn, my favorite entry in the Fire Emblem series and quite possibly my favorite game of all time, sells for something like 75 dollars used. The game before it, Path of Radiance (which is also a great game) costs almost double that on Amazon right now, again for a used copy. Being an early fan of something is hard, and this is doubly true when that something has been as comically mismanaged as Fire Emblem; Nintendo has consistently printed too few copies of Fire Emblem games to meet the demand from fans, leading to these ballooned prices that make many of the best games in the series unobtainable for anyone who didn’t snatch a copy early, and for a long time this allowed Nintendo to believe that there was no demand for the series here. This, despite PoR and RD receiving rave reviews from fans. I think this is what makes the success of Fire Emblem Fates so frustrating to me; this is really only the second Fire Emblem game they’ve actually marketed in any meaningful way (and even then, far more than Awakening) and printed enough copies of, so it’s no wonder the game is selling as well as it is. It’s merely tapping into demand that’s always been there. Still, one could easily be fooled into thinking that the Fates games somehow deserve more recognition than earlier games. Read more →

Dear Square-Enix: what the hell is wrong with you?

[UPDATE: The always-on DRM in Lightning Returns has been stripped out. There’s apparently still a requirement that cloud saves be on, which is weird, but from what I’ve been able to tell from reading users’ stories on the Steam forums, saves stay offline if you don’t sync to the servers. To be honest, this whole thing has rubbed me the wrong way and done a ton of damage to my opinion of Square-Enix, but at least they finally realized how stupid their original decision was.]

Dear Square-Enix,

I only rarely plan out the games that I’m going to play ahead of time, but I had a good chunk of December mapped out in a way that made me genuinely happy. I just finished playing through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 for the first time in what must be a decade to get in a Star Wars mood before the new movie comes out, and I figured the cherry on top would be following that up with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, which we all know is the third game in your XIII trilogy. Given the fact that my PS3’s disc drive is broken and I’ve no real motivation to find out how to fix it, I was content to wait until it saw a PC release. There were many frustrating delays, of course, but I was happy to wait if it meant the PC version was released in a better state than the first two games. Now, it’s no secret that I loathed the first two games for various reasons, but I’m already invested in the series and I’ve heard that the third game is the best one. Who knows? Maybe I’d even end up liking it. Crazier things have happened, and it is the season of magic and rampant commercialism. We both stood to gain. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found out that Lightning Returns uses always-online DRM. You do remember that this is a single-player game, correct? I don’t know if this DRM is intentional or just the result of someone whose job revolves around cloud saves failing spectacularly, but I have to be completely honest—neither possibility is inspiring a great deal of confidence in you. Pirates are already playing the game (with offline saves, it should be added), so any argument for this DRM revolving around piracy is already dead in the water. I have to ask: what the hell is wrong with you, Square-Enix? Read more →

Life Is Strange theories

Life Is Strange is the last game I’ve played as of this writing, and I loved it. I can’t remember another game that’s allowed me to become so totally invested in its characters, and that’s saying a lot considering how many of those characters are of the “dumb insecure teenager” type that so often manages to be little more than grating. Even my cold, unfeeling heart was sporadically moved to feel twinges of emotion over the course of the game’s five episodes. That said, there are a number of niggling story details that didn’t add up to me. Are they plot holes left there to slowly drive me mad? I suppose that’s always a possibility, but I still can’t help but believe that a lot of the stuff in the game is purposeful and hinting at the truth behind the events in the game being more complex than it first appears. Oh, and in case it’s not painfully apparent yet, this post will be full of hella spoilers, shaka brah, so stop reading unless you’ve finished the game or just don’t care. Read more →

Save files: Ankh

I was knocked out of my normal sleep schedule recently, so I figure I’ll post some saves for the next game I’m going to review today, screenshots tomorrow, then the actual review itself the day after that. Otherwise a whole laundry list of spelling and miscellaneous grammatical errors become likely, and Ankh deserves better than that; this is one of Deck13’s earliest games, and it’s filled with the same kind of lovable weirdness that makes games like Venetica so worth it. It’s a shame the game is so rare, with it only seeming to be available secondhand or in the criminally overlooked Ankh – Anniversary Edition (which supports higher resolutions) available on Steam. These saves were made on the latter, though I confirmed that they work on the original game, as well. Read more →

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