In the year 20XX….

It is inauspicious to launch into a new decade by posting a picture of Cheetahmen on the front page? Probably. But then, the decade doesn’t actually end for another year, so I guess I’m safe.

We still have a long way to go to get through the online edition of GameSpite Quarterly 3, so I guess it’s good for me to begin the new year all dutifully and stuff. Today’s entries include a sort of crappy Captain Commando entry by myself — it really doesn’t do justice to Section Z, I’m afraid. But that’s OK, because balancing it out is Nich’s brilliant Cheetahmen entry. My advice? Load the link at the bottom of the page in a separate tab and sing along aloud as the tune plays.

In other news, I decided to give a little more time to Order of Ecclesia now that I’m armed with the knowledge that the game includes a Vagrant Story-style weapon affinity system. If only the game itself had bothered to inform me! It’s less annoying this way, though still somewhat irritating. Even the appeal of playing it on the opulent DSi LL can’t quite overcome my annoyance at its general tediousness! At the moment, I’m having a much better time with Final Fantasy VIII and Avernum VI, so… I guess maybe I’ll try Ecclesia again in another year. Maybe if I keep chipping away at it an hour or two at a time, I’ll have it beaten by the next time the calendar flips the tens digit.

15 thoughts on “In the year 20XX….

  1. Weapon and enemy affinities have been in Castlevania since Symphony of the Night. This…this isn’t new.

  2. I’ve seen the Avernum series around for years, but never known anyone to actually play one. Always looked wayyy too “budget”, and that’s rarely a good thing when it comes to RPGs. Would be interested in reading a review or just general impressions on the game(s).

  3. ^^^^ Technically you are right, but in previous games they don’t matter.

    Jeremy, have some patience with Ecclessia. It kinda has to click. Also, make sure you use those rapid left right combos. They help a lot too!

  4. What’s this mess about the decade ending in another year? Nobody’s been calling this past decade the tw… twenty… hold on…
    Yeah, nobody’s been calling it the “Two-Hundred-First Decade”. And are you seriously going to tell me that 2000 was part of the nineties while 1990 wasn’t?

  5. Like you, I recently started another attempt to get into Order of Ecclesia after initially failing to do so, and it hasn’t clicked with me, either. I’m not far into it, so I want to keep playing until I feel like I can make a solid judgment on it one way or another, but I keep thinking about why I haven’t been able to get into it now or then. I thought it might be a personal failure, since I’ve been spending much less time playing video games overall and they’re failing to hold my attention right now (my attitude towards games seems to ebb and flow in a rough cycle), but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s off-putting for the reasons you described. I guess I’ll just keep at it, provided I can crawl away from the massive timesink that is Pokémon while ignoring the shame I feel coming from my growing backlog.

  6. Always looked wayyy too “budget”, and that’s rarely a good thing when it comes to RPGs.

    Spiderweb games do have a startling shortage of zippers, but I feel that the writing and gameplay more than make up for that little fault. I have to say that I prefer Geneforge’s systems over Avernum’s, though.

  7. nunix,

    Avernum is great. The graphics and sounds may be budget, but the game design, engine, and writing is great stuff. Originally, it was sort of an Ultima rip-off, but now it’s become its own thing. What makes it for most people is the character growth engine. There are about 15 different skills in which you can choose to have your characters specialize so you can make dedicated fighter, thief, mage, or any mix of those that you want. The puzzles are all pretty good, the battles are decently strategic, and the world is incredibly well realized. If you want to know more, ask on TT.

  8. Weapons and affinities have never had a use in Castlevania before. Gosh, how could I possibly be surprised that a completely superfluous element of the series has suddenly become a game’s unstated focus?

    As for the decade thing, the modern calendar began in A.D. 1. There was no year 0. That means the first decade was 1/1/1 – 12/31/10. Which means, 2000 years later, the current decade ends a year from now. Unless I’m to believe the first-ever decade was granted an exception that allowed it to be only nine years long.

  9. Also! Don’t be put off by Avernum’s appearance. Each entry in the series is basically a solid 1998-vintage PC RPG that fell through time to some other year. The games are made by a three-person team, so yeah, the aesthetics are a little rough, but the world and writing and character customization are great.

  10. Parish, you are right on the years and AD 1, but on the other hand, a decade can be ANY period of 10 years. So the “00s” could be said to have gone from January 1, 2000-December 31, 2009. That would be a decade as well.

    Now, if you were to say the “Two-Hundred-First” decade, then yeah, it would end in 2010, but nobody talks like that. Perhaps we should start a trend!

  11. guys, this is 2010. According to street fighter, this is the year of the final fight. Stockpile cyboplasm while you can.

  12. Maybe a distinction should be made between saying “end of the decade” and “end of the aughts?” Like, the aughts (or 00s, or whatever) was A decade that just ended, but THE decade ends a year from now. I dunno, did anything ever get resolved back when people had this argument about the beginning of the new millennium?

  13. 2010 is the start of the new decade, as evidenced by the zero. As you are well aware, zero will inevitably become one and eventually one hundred. Zero is the father of the one. To be a father, you must exist. 2010 exists, therefore it is more one than one. We must kill 2010 before it becomes 20100.

    This is good, isn’t it?

  14. Everyone, everyone. Please. Let’s focus on what is truly important here. That Cheetahmen article single handily justifies the existence of GSQ 3.

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