Odds and Ends: February 1st 2014

I am towards the end of Final Fantasy VIII, but my interest is seriously starting to wane as is my obsession with Animal Crossing, but that game is more of a on-and-off affair anyway.

  • The Bravely Default demo is pretty fun and as a result, I am planning on buying it as soon as it comes out. It is the spiritual successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (originally read that as Final Fantasy IV and was a bit confused). Old school style RPG with implied pros and cons, job based combat and character progression system, SUPER awesome music and art style.
  • I purchased the Thief Gold, Thief 2, and Thief: Deadly Shadows package off of Steam and modded it to my liking (note to self: post about that later). Cautiously excited about Thief 4, but mostly because it is a break in the stealth game drought. I have a sneaky feeling though that it will not remain too faithful to the series.
  • The Legend of Zelda 4 Swords Anniversary Edition is free through tomorrow on the 3DS Nintendo eShop. I love competitive co-op games, especially those that give you the opportunity to fuck over other players in a friendly manner.
  • We have a bird feeder and it’s kind of awesome. YAY birds.
  • Finally got around to picking up The Lies of Locke Lamora and am greatly enjoying it thus far.

ACNL Island Beetle Farming Guide

Want to make 300 bells in 15 to 20 minutes without using the stalk market or resorting to duping? Farm beetles on the island. The basic idea is that the island has a low creature spawn limit: As in, only about 4 to 5 bugs can be on the island at any time. You can increase the chance of an expensive bug spawning by decreasing the chance of a cheap but spawning. The expensive bugs only spawn on palm trees.

First off remove absolutely everything (trees, bushes, stumps and all) from the center grassy area. When you are finished, the grassy area should be bare. Next, remove the trees along the bottom of the island. These trees are way too close to the edge, making it difficult to sneak up to anything that spawns on them. This should leave you with a total of 8 palm trees, 4 per side. Now, you can do one of two things depending on your farming preference: 

  1. Leave all 8 palm trees, farm by continuously walking around the island. Pro: easy to check for and scare off hermit crabs and locusts that spawn on the top half of the island. Also makes it easy to check for large fish and shark fish, which are worth quite a bit. Con: you have to be really careful when looping back down to the bottom of the island. It's easy to scare beetles off as they come into view.
  2. This is the method I use: Chop down the top two palm trees from either side, leaving two on the lower right and two on the lower left. Run/walk back and forth along the bottom. Pro: it's much faster in my opinion. The bottom two trees on either side are very easy to se from the bottom of the island. Con: not very good for fishing and you still have to check the top half of the island for cheap bug spawns occasionally.

Tips and observations:

  • If you are hitting a beetle dry spell, run a circuit around the island/center and check for hermit crabs as well as other cheap undesirables. Remember that they are taking up a “bug slot” and will greatly decrease the chance of an expensive beetle spawning.
  • If I recall correctly beetles will spawn after 5pm but the best time to farm is after 7pm (locusts do not spawn after 7).
  • Golden Beetles and Horned Hercules’: Creepy slowly. Holding the stick all the way forward, even while holding down A is still too fast. If you hold it down about half way when you get within about 2 spaces, you should be okay.

If you are still having trouble catching bugs, try digging a hole in front of each tree, as the optimal bug catching distance is exactly 1 space. However, keep in mind that any hole sthat you dig will reset eventually (after about a day?). Any bananas and shells that you move will remain.

On Pirating Things

1. I don’t feel piracy is theft in the traditional sense (a direct deprivation of another’s property; As in, X had a car but now does not because it was stolen). That said, if your only motivation for piracy is not having to pay for something, that is at best immoral.

2. You are not going to stop high school and college kids from pirating media. Ever. They are an audience of people with zero money and infinite time; So stop needlessly punishing the rest of us by saturating things with DRM of for the sake of chasing the white whale.

3. For working-age adults, things tend to fall into one of two categories: Buy or don't buy (the first category becoming increasingly small). If I feel that a piece of media is good enough to consume, I will just purchase it. If I am not willing to purchase it then it is most likely a waste of time that could be spent doing other activities.

4. If you make something that I want to pay for unreasonably unaccessible (literally not available for legal purchase, laden with DRM to the point of being borderline usable, etc), I will probably just torrent it. It is really sad when you don’t allow me to give you money. Why won’t you take my money?

5. Christ on a bicycle, absolutely everything has malware in it nowadays. You see, back in my day…

FFVIII (Steam) FMV Audio Stutter Fix

The Steam release of Final Fantasy VIII is a pretty terrible and lazy port. FYI, If anyone else is using an ASUS Xonar sound card and has been experiencing a sound stutter approximately every minute into any FFVIII FMV sequence (for example: At the point where the feather leave’s Rinoa’s hand during the intro movie and literally every minute after that): I was able to instantly resolve this issue by disabling GX DPS Mode in the Xonar Audio Center; No other audio setting that I tested (Dolby headphones, audio channels, etc) had any effect on the stutter. If it matters, I am using the UNi-Xonar drivers.

If you are still having problems after disabling GX, then I have no idea what is causing it. Neither the Roses and Wine soundtrack mod nor the FMV replacement mod had any effect whatsoever.

A Year in Gaming: 2013

  • Posted on: January 9, 2014
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

My very short term gaming resolution for 2014: I shall make no more purchases off of Steam until I finish some of the games that I already own; And by 'already own,' I am specifically referring to the 4 games that I had just purchased the other week. 

2013 was a fairly light gaming year for me. I am not sure if I could necessarily say that it was a bad year in gaming since there were a few decent titles (BioShock Infinite, Metro Last Light, etc), but I wouldn't say that it was the strongest given the sheer number of unimaginative sequels, games teetering on the edge of mediocrity, and outright stinkers (CoD, Sim City 5, and friends). 2013 in general seemed like it was an awkward in between phase given that both the PS3 and XBox 360 are at the end of their lifespans. In general 2013 had its ups and downs.

I felt that it was a strong year for indie games: I find myself gravitating more towards indie releases and releases from smaller studios; Way more than any previous year. I like indie games because they are A. Cheaper than AAA titles by a considerable amount and B. They take risks and push bars that major studios are unwilling to touch and/or can't afford. Nintendo also seemed to have a decent year in that they actually released multiple decent titles (more than 0!) and I either purchased or am planning on purchasing in the nearish future.

Keiya’s game of the year: Animal Crossing New Leaf
No game has occupied more small segments of my time or stuck more of a resonance with me this year than this odd game. It is cute, relaxing, and something that I can easily pick up and play in short 10 to 15 segments. The seasonal events are also fairly well paced. Renovating/expanding my house and building up my village to my liking has the  feeling of a long term project within a simulated persistent world, which is a quality that I enjoy (it is not truly persistent since the game does not continue to run when you quit out of it. ACNL does however take time passed into account when you load your town).

Dave's game of the year: Hearthstone
This game was Dave's pick for game of the year if closed betas even count. Well polished, easy to understand, and actually reasonably fun to watch for a card game in an eSports environment. It just feels nice to play and doesn't turn into an incomprehensible pile of card abilities and combinations (I'm looking at you and that damn artifact deck).

Consolation Prizes:

  • Runner up: BioShock Infinite
  • Favorite 2012 games played in 2013 because they were on sale: FTL and Saints Row 3 (Dave's pick)
  • Biggest disappointment: Sim City 5
  • Favorite multiplayer gun porn game: Battlefield 4, not that there were a whole lot of options in this category.