Archive for Blog Entries

In Brief: Harvest Moon: Pocket Ranch

click here to go to the developer’s website

This is technically not part of a series of articles I’m doing that covers the entire Harvest Moon franchise, but you can still read what I’ve covered over here.

I keep meaning to add to my Harvest Moon coverage, but the next game I want to talk about is Rune Factory Frontier, and that game is a serious time sink.  I’ve played 60 hours and am only in my first fall.  Each in-day game takes me an hour of real time, and of course I need to be able to play about a week in one sitting to make progress.  It’s an ugly cycle, but RFF is worth it.

That game is old news to Harvest Moon fans at this point.  Brand spanking new, however, and completely unexpected, is Harvest Moon: Pocket Ranch, available for iOS devices.  Ushi no Tane was the site that broke the news and provided the links where Harvest Moon fans can get in on the beta version.

I suspect this is the US adaptation to the recent Japanese release Minna de Bokumono, an online Harvest Moon game that is browser-based.  The two aren’t very similar, at least at this stage in Pocket Ranch’s development, so maybe this is an independent game and there’s still a chance of the browser-based version coming out here.  Minna de Bokumono seems to be driven largely by farm-based quests assigned by the Harvest Goddess and carried out by a team of harvest sprites in a large island farm, whereas Pocket Ranch is more about maintaining your little plot of land by your lonesome with your harvest sprite avatar and occasionally getting a little help from your friends.

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BLOG: Howdy

It’s been awhile, but it’s not that Wanda and I haven’t been gaming. I’ve been flipping out over PSP–Ys Seven, Ys: Oath of Felghana, and Tactics Ogre. Or getting spanked in Dominions 3 play-by-email. And I’ve been involved with the OHRRPGCE community, making games and writing for their webzine Hamsterspeak. Plus, new Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup revisions keep coming out…

Wanda’s been working hard too, flirting with babes in Rune Factory Frontier and playing Warren Spector’s boring new Mickey game, as well as Pokemoning (lots of this) and Dragon Questing.

On the contrary, we’ve been gaming too much to do anything else. Hopefully Wanda and I will get serious and update again. But with Pokemon Black and White coming for Wanda and me restarting (god damn) Valhalla Knights again, maybe not.

We’re glad to see you again.

Blog: Galloping Ghost Arcade

Today Wanda and I took a break from wrecking games at home to wreck games elsewhere—Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL. From the ruins of former Chicago, IL, Galloping Ghost is a short suburban hop with plentiful parking. Pay $15 (add $5 for reasonably priced snacks and beverages) and you can hang around until 2AM and school a massive game variety, all free-play. I prefer more shmups and classics, but here’s the breakdown.

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BLOG: Wanda’s Apathy

Quite simply, there haven’t been any updates because I haven’t been beating games.  I got a new job where I make about half of what I used to, and quite frankly, I found out that my drive to beat games came from my love of buying them.  As I was not really in a position to buy a lot of games anymore, I couldn’t muster the energy to beat them.  That’s just sad.

I’d love to write articles on the games I’ve started.  Rei Cho Aniki?  Fantastic.  I only made it a little more than halfway through.  Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman?  I’d love to write about it.  It’s great.  I can’t seem to get a grasp on the balance necessary to keep monsters powering through my tunnels through more than 5 or 6 waves of heroes or a dozen challenges (I’m always one goddamn lizardman short, it seems).  Willy and I both wanted to write about Phantasy Star Portable, because it’s fantastic, but our bickering over who would write it petered out when I got to the last chapter and failed to finish it.  But what a great game anyway.  And I’d love to do an update for Persona PSP, to see if that version is any better, but I didn’t even want to start that until I’d finished Nocturne, which is stalled towards the beginning.

But I’ve got a big bonus check and a Wii coming to me, and I think that will help get me back in the routine.  Willy will start again when I start.

Also, new Harvest Moon came out, and that always gets me back into playing games.  We’ll see how that goes, or if I muster the energy to write the series overview I’ve been planning.

BLOG: Our New Home


So we had this website two or three years ago, up someplace else.  It was a big pain to update, because every update required manual text formatting, individual graphics for every page, manually updating all the menus, a manual update to the updates page, cropping and locating images… you get the idea.  I stopped updating it, even though Willy was into it.  Recently, I’ve wanted to talk about video games a lot more.  Since I enjoy venting my opinions to the internet at large, here we are.  A wordpress site is easy to update indeed.

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