PHP 7

Hi there, it’s been almost two years, but I just updated the backend of the site to PHP 7, doing some basic restoration work on the site that comes with it. In particular, this breaks the Pokehub application, which was never fully restored anyway, and I also noted a few other things that were long since unsupported (like the OSU Dining Map).

Steam Summer Sale Haul, Mini-Reviews

As the Steam Summer Sale draws to a close (the deals are around for only about 36 more hours), I’d like to give little mini-reviews for everything I’ve acquired in the past week or two. To keep this short, all of these reviews have at least a Very Positive review rating (as far as I remember). I noted review ratings for games with an Overwhelmingly Positive rating. Most games I haven’t played for more than a half-hour, but there’s no purchase I’m really dissatisfied with yet.

Valkyria Chronicles: SEGA, what you get if Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, and Battalion Wars were mixed together. You have strategy that comes through both what you do through turn-based top down views and third person shooter views.

Astebreed: Edelweiss, an arcade shooter with an anime-type story that switches camera angles dynamically throughout stages. Has risk/reward tradeoffs that I generally like in games – you can make it as easy or as hard as you want. Haven’t played too much yet.
EDIT: After playing this a bit, I requested a refund. I don’t see myself having much fun with this type of game (crazy shooters).

Broken Age: Double Fine, a point-and-click adventure game spawned from a popular Kickstarter. Seems nice so far, but also a bit kiddy (not a problem for me personally – I know it’s very early in the game).

Cities: Skylines: Colossal Order, SimCity without the always-online requirement. And better. 95% positive review rating on Steam.

Crypt of the NecroDancer: Brace Yourself Games, a roguelike RPG with rhythm elements. Slightly disappointed that it’s less song-dependent and more just knowing how to keep a beat. Haven’t played too much, but I’ll probably be coming back. Singing shopkeeper worth mentioning. 98% positive review rating on Steam.

Democracy 3: Positech Games, a low on pretty graphics government sim. You decide the budget and issue positions through charts and graphs, and watch your decisions shape your country for better or worse. Through charts and graphs. Haven’t played much yet.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition: Koei Tecmo, slaughter alarming amounts of enemies in this action game. Gamers are kinda salty because despite the Complete Edition label, there is still a wealth of paid DLC.

Freedom Planet: GalaxyTrail, this Totally Not A Sonic Game is a 2D platformer with multiple characters with different moves. And yes, it is compared to Sonic a lot. 97% positive review rating on Steam. Demo available.

Grow Home: Reflections, an Ubisoft Studio, this platforming/exploration indie game involves a robot trying to grow, and get to, the top of a massive tree. You control the way it grows. Doesn’t require uPlay.

Mini Metro: Dinosaur Polo Club, an EARLY ACCESS title nearing completion, this simple-to-learn, tough-to-master strategy game involves you making a simplified subway network with limited resources while trying to not let any one stop fill up with passengers. Runs well on touchscreens! Quite fun, in my opinion. 97% positive review rating on Steam.

One Way Heroics: Smoking WOLF, this roguelike RPG with randomized worlds involves you constantly heading right to escape the oncoming darkness. With multiple playthroughs, your character gets stronger and unlocks more classes. 95% positive reviews on Steam, expanded edition coming soon.

Remember Me: DONTNOD, this beautiful action/adventure game is kinda similar to Assassin’s Creed in the shallow (but still fun in my opinion) combat system, and the fact you’ll be hanging from and jumping between ledges a lot (but in a far more linear manner). The world of 2084 Neo-Paris feels full of life, and the puzzle-like Memory Remix portions of the game are quite fun.

Tiandiren: The Quest for Xirang

I wanna point out a game, just released today, made by a fan of my game First Fantasy – Tiandiren: The Quest for Xirang. This game is heavily influenced by First Fantasy (it’s positively mind-blowing to me that my game had that kind of impact on someone), but has a story drawing from centuries of Chinese legends and mythologies. Check it out!

The developer, FlyingColours, first told me about this almost a full year ago and let me play around with an early build (which encompassed maybe about a third of the game then). He is considering a sequel if it’s received well, so play it and let him know you liked it if you did and want to see more!

TQfX.fw

My Trip To Cebu, Philippines!

Well, I said this was coming, and I wanted to do this for a long time. I finally get to pound it out!

As I mentioned in my LDR post, I got the fantastic opportunity to travel to the Philippines in January to meet my girlfriend after a year and four months together. I meant to write this way earlier, but at first I was procrastinating due to the long length this would undoubtedly be, and then when my relationship with my girlfriend fell apart, it was obvious to me that writing this then would have prevented the wounds from closing. And then I just kinda forgot about the post some more. I am now, I feel, at the point where I write this and focus on the good and the interesting things – which the trip did have in abundance. Plus I need to write this soon before I start to forget details…

First, some background: Metro Cebu is the Philippines’ second largest metropolitan area behind Metro Manilla, the capital. The Philippines is a newly industrialized country. In Cebu, I saw a downtown city area not at all behind what you might see in a ‘lesser’ large US city, and the slums, a community down by a river whose buildings seemed basically like large pieces of scrap metal, and basically everything in between.

Language in the Philippines is a bit of an odd affair to Americans: because there are many islands, many different languages have taken root in the country. There are two official languages in the Philippines: English and Filipino (a standardized form of Tagalog and it seems like the two terms are used pretty interchangeably). Many parts of the country also have their own regional language – Cebu has Cebuano. My girlfriend’s home had Waray. Most people speak English, but only to a certain extent. In Cebu, Cebuano was preferred. Nearly everyone knows enough English and Tagalog to get by, but they won’t use it if they don’t have to. When my girlfriend was speaking to other people on my behalf, it was never English. Signs, notices, and websites, however, were frequently in English.

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