Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, The Last Man on Earth, GM’s Day Sale, NXT , Tom Francis’ GameMaker Tutorial Series, Built to Spill
In case you haven’t picked up on it already, I’ve gone to a dedicated Tuesday – Thursday schedule for Futile Position. I’m striving to consistently bring awesome things to your attention, so I hope you’ll come back and check out what’s going on.
Trails in the Sky Second Chapter
I have not finished the first Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. I admit that I was, at first, turned off by the incredibly generic title. I mean, Legend of Heroes? That does not sound like a thing that I would want to spend my money on. However, when I finally went in on it late last year, what I found was a a very compelling, deep and interesting JRPG. Of course, being a JRPG, that also means that it has a history of long play times to live up to, and it currently weighs in right around 40 hours over on HLTB. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the folks over at XSEED are in the process in the process of bringing over the game’s sequel, appropriately-titled Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter. There is a really interesting blog up over on XSEED right now about the game’s localization and general progress. It looks like it is about twice the size of the first game (10 chapters, versus 5 in the first), so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on for those looking for a good, PS1-style JRPG. Second Chapter was originally released in 2006 in Japan and there is also a Third Chapter, so hopefully the whole thing makes its way over eventually. Now to make it through the first one.
The Last Man on Earth
I enjoyed the first two episodes of Will Forte’s The Last Man on Earth. This write-up will have some spoilers for the first two episodes, so steer clear if you don’t want that. I’ve had my eye on it for a bit, but I admit that I wasn’t that enthralled with the first trailer that they showed of it (or, at least, the first one that I saw) a while back. Still, the show has a very different pace than most network comedies and (spoilers) as of right now only has two characters: Will Forte and Kristen Schaal. Forte and Schaal are great together, and I like the idea that the last two people on Earth, at least at first, don’t have anything in common and don’t like each other that much. If you aren’t familiar with the premise, Forte’s character begins the series searching the United States for any remaining humans after a virus wipes out humanity. After leaving signs that he is in Tuscon (not where I would have picked) Forte consigns himself to his life along. Of course, what starts off as an awesome life of car bowling ends up with giving up entirely, as he was in the middle of trying to kill himself when he sees the smoke from Schaal’s fire. Their relationship gets off to a rough start, with Schaal being disgusted by Forte’s, well, disgustingness but things are already thawing by the end of the second episode, so I’m curious how long the show can maintain its momentum and if there is another big twist in the future. I actually like that it’s 30 minutes, and that will probably keep me invested longer than it would than if it were stretched out for an hour, although I’m not sure it’s a show I could see doing a 20+ episode season order. Of course, Forte could prove me wrong. You can check it out over on Hulu. Or on ‘TV’ if you still watch such things.
3/4/2015 NXT Recap
You can really tell that NXT is in the middle of a reboot of sorts. Adrian Neville is gone and Sami Zayn is all-but-absent, so the top of the card feels a little light right now. Kevin Owens is great, but they’ve got some work to do in the next three weeks to get more invested in Owens – Balor. Right now, I’m more interested in Owens – Alex Riley, which took another step forward this week. I didn’t watch wrestling at all during Riley’s main roster run, but he seems to be a solid talker, and they’ve done a good job of giving him legitimate beef with Owens. It was a promo heavy episode, with Enzo and Cass doing a nice job, as well as a solid promo with Emma and Bayley, with Emma questioning if Bayley can be a success while still being so nice. Most of the matches were short, although I thought Bull Dempsey – Solomon Crowe was solid until Crowe’s finisher which looked incredible weak, at least this time. Dempsey continues to spiral further down. I wonder if it’s going somewhere or if they just aren’t interested in him right now. Sasha Banks – Charlotte was easily the best night in a night of short matches, with Sasha going over with her feet on the ropes. It was not their best match, but they did a good job of making it a little stiffer and a little more personal this time. Oh, and I actually really enjoyed the flash we saw out of Angelo Dawkins, even if it was in a jobber-y role against Blake and Murphy, who are quite good in the ring, but I have zero investment in. NXT is developmental, so I’m not concerned about the vacuum at the top, but certainly the show feels less compelling in Neville and Zayn’s absences. The beauty is that someone else will get to step up (plus it looks like Rhyno and The Brian Kendrick may stay for a while, which will help) and the cycle will start again. But, then again, it’s just starting.
GM’s Day Sale
A bunch of companies are doing a GM’s Day Sale over at DrivethruRPG. It originally caught my eye because of Cubicle 7, which has made a number of roleplaying games that I have a great fondness for, including The One Ring, so I figured that I would pass along that they are doing a GM’s Day Sale, with 30% off several of their products, including the aforementioned The One Ring, the Doctor Who RPG, the World War Cthulhu setting for Call of Cthulhu, and the Norse-inspired Ygdrassil. The retro-inspired Rocket Age looks pretty swell, too. It and Ygdrassil are the two things that are really catching my eye, personally, as well as some of The One Ring supplements (I’ve never gotten to play it, but the core book really just nails the Tolkien thing). The Firefly Roleplaying Game, Shadowrun 5th Edition and ICONS (each from their respective publisher) also bear mentioning.
Tom Francis’ GameMaker for Beginners Series
In all seriousness, if I had to pick one thing that was taking up all of my free time right now, it would be the Make a Game With No Experience Youtube series from Gunpoint designer Tom Francis. Francis is immediately likable and relatable, but also does an excellent job of quickly getting you to the point in Gamemaker’s free Studio verison. In all seriousness, the odds that I would ever stick with learning a proper coding language long enough to get something workable is extremely unlikely, but with following along with this series, I manage to feel at least marginally competent quickly, even if it is really Francis’ own expertise instead of my own. A very nice way to get into making a game with no experience. I’ve embedded the first episode above. If this sounds gushy, well, I’ve watched like 11 of these in the past week or so, which means I’ve spent basically all of my leisure time, so I’ve found it very worthwhile. He’s up to episode 16 so far, so I’ve got a few more to go, as well. That is what I will be doing once I finish writing this blog, likely.
Music – Built to Spill “Living Zoo”
Okay, that was all a lot of words. Seriously, much longer than I expected it to be. So, to wrap things up – as I do – I bring you music I quite like: This week it’s the new song Living Zoo from Built to Spill off of their upcoming album Untethered moon. It’s got fuzzy guitars and tempo changes. I usually avoid songs that start with almost a minute and a half of instrumentals, but I really find this one quite compelling.