the violet circus

navigation! useful politics stuff home helpful internet things

under construction! go look at something with more to it. all i talk about in here right now is videogames, and progress on this section is slow-going (eventually music, TV, books, manga, etc. will be in here. maybe with some javascript magic to switch between them). if you insist on staying, however:

some games i think you need to play

i like these games a lot. not necessarily my Entire Definitive Opinion™ on them all

  • Fear & Hunger - content warning for rape, mutilation, bad shit. the second one has far less of the rape and the dicks, but still a fair amount of dicks and like one rape. however, it uses this imagery in a way that i would argue genuinely adds to the gameplay experience (insane, I know).
    The threat of something *that bad* happening to you as a consequence of any decision or even as a result of the simulated whim of the gods through the coin flip mechanic is a significant contributor to the oppressive, desperate atmosphere that this game evokes through all aspects of its design, from the aforementioned ever present threat of fates worse than death to its tactical dismemberment (that applies to you and your party, too) to its resource management with hunger, health, and mind (effectively sanity/mana), to the immersive sim elements with various environmental hazards - this all truly ties together as you play more and realise you don't really know how much of this game there is. you keep finding more new things as you play, hearing about stuff you weren't even aware existed in the game - maybe even despite having "finished" it. so you keep thinking about the dungeon.
    the game's labryinthine web of hidden systems and passages and interactions and items when combined with how unwilling it is to tell you anything outright means there's a lot of room for imagination, for replayability. the game transcends ludonarrative dissonance to such an extent that the act of gameplay almost mythologises itself; it's as if the dungeon of fear and hunger's spell has caught you, too. I understand that that's very subjective, to be fair, but for the game to be able to evoke such an emotion in even one person speaks to its quality, I think. the game dev industry talks a lot about immersion in a very reductive, boring way; usually referring to graphical fidelity and not much else. in spite of this, fear and hunger is the most immersive experience with art i've ever had.
  • Fear & Hunger 2: Termina - this game improves on almost everything that was present in Fear & Hunger 1, providing many quality of life features (sprint button i love you), more of a plot and a larger cast of interesting and genuinely likeable characters. However, the mechanical improvements almost take away from the "I shouldn't be playing this"-feeling that the first game had; but this is more than made up for with an equally oppressive atmosphere, greater depth of systems, exploration, puzzle solving and character interaction. It's also significantly harder to figure out where to go, which suits me just fine. Amazing game.
  • Fallout: New Vegas - I need to think about what to say about this one. You've probably played it. Great story and characters, immersive atmosphere, strong game and quest design even if the engine was already outdated by the time it came out. I highly recommend playing it with the Viva New Vegas modlist, it'll make it run far smoother and doesn't take long to set up.
  • Ultrakill - I need to think about this one too but I'll get around to it before New Vegas probably
  • the Lisa series - essential RPGMaker game series. it's bleak and depressing but also funny and has an interesting spin on the typical JRPG combat system and a unique approach to navigating through the world. I'll have more to say about this when I get around to replaying it
  • Yume Nikki - just wander around and look at weird shit for a while. some of the best atmosphere in any game I've played. Influential beyond belief. if you like it definitely check out some fangames, .flow and yume 2kki especially

What I'm Playing Now

self explanatory. might contain some thoughts

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey - This game's exploration gameplay loop is extremely engaging. I love the dungeon design and first person navigation, although I prefer the combat of SMT IV.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster - I hacked my switch and got this for free, then modded in un-compressed BGM. If you can't get it for free and mod it, play the original on an emulator. the atmosphere is crazy good
  • Ultrakill - i'm never getting that 50 cybergrind high score
  • Street Fighter 6 - one of the best fighting games of all time. still not as good as Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 to me though
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - fuck this game
  • Fear and Hunger 2: Termina - fuck this game

some games i think i need to play

current backlog

  • Most MegaTen games - remembered I had a hacked 3ds and played through SMT4 and now I'm hooked. Once i finish 3 and SJ I'm getting the neutral ending in 4 and then playing through 4A. then probably soul hackers or devil survivor
  • Hylics 1,2 - got these on sale and I played the first for like five minutes.
  • RE2 remake - really enjoyable game so far. interesting and inspiring level design
  • Pathologic 1,2 - I've been playing the first one but apparently the second is just a better version of one of the routes in the first game or something. I have no clue what the hell I'm doing
  • Nier Automata - Sold a bunch of TF2 keys to buy this when it went on sale. the raid in FFXIV was fun and I like 2B's boots
  • Baroque - interesting ps1 dungeon crawler thing I want to check out