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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wizard World Portland Comic Con

WWPCC (whew, long name) is the first convention I have attended since moving to Oregon. I have never attended any of Wizard World's cons so I wasn't sure what to expect. Dok and I chose to just go on Saturday which purchasing ahead of time was $50; at the door would have been $10 more. We also decided to not deal with costumes so we could be comfortable and able to gauge what we could do for next year cosplay-wise. Keep in mind that my observations come from living in Arkansas and dealing with poorly-run local cons, then going to A-Kon (Dallas, TX) for a number of years then moving on to Dragon Con (Atlanta, GA).

Everything was held at the Oregon Convention Center. The Advanced Sales line moved quickly once the doors opened at 10AM, and since the tickets had a QR code, it was super painless to get our bands and move on to the con floor.

We basically saw all of the con within an hour or two in. There were plenty of vendors near the entrance, further back was Celeb signatures and photo ops, and Artist Alley was to the right side. Panels were outside the main room.

The con was ran well. Lines moved smoothly due to polite and attentive volunteer staff and security personnel. They had a few interesting sights like one of the Impalas used for Supernatural, celebs like Bruce Campbell, Ron Perlman, and Norman Reedus, in addition to well-known cosplayers like Ivy Doomkitty and Yaya Han. Dok also got to meet the cartoonist Shannon Wheeler which was a rather big surprise for him since his work is rather niche.

The only problem for me personally was that we simply ran out of things to do. Sure there were celebs I could creep on *cue heavy breathing*, I could totally pay $5.25 for a very basic hotdog, and I could look at all the t-shirt vendors I've seen at other cons. A big part for my con-going experience is also the cosplayers. The number of cosplayer attendance was low, both closet cosplays and more intricate ones. I think it will be better next year as a dry run for Dragon Con costumes. Being in costume may keep me around longer.

All in all, WWPCC is better than the local cons I attended back in Arkansas. Bigger space, more people, and more things to do. I think I am just spoiled with the size of Dragon Con and I need to appreciate how good Oregon cons can be.

Have a random picture of Norman Reedus

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Long Live The Queen Review

The moving and holidays are over so no excuse for me to slack off with the blog and what not any further. Therefore, I will try to post more regularly either in vlog or blog form. I will unofficially call it Something Sundays; as in I'm going to post something on Sundays.

This is my review for the indie game "Long Live the Queen", made by Hanako Games. The point of this is you (Elodie) being the princess of a land called Nova. Your mother the Queen has died and your father the King-Consort has brought you back home from school to learn what you need to survive to adulthood (15 years old) and receive the crown.

This plays like a visual novel so there isn't any hacking and/or slashing required on the player's end, though having your little reluctant princess pick up some offensive training doesn't hurt...unless you fail to train enough in it and try to duel people. This game reminded me a lot of the old Princess Maker games.

Like Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, LLTQ seems to expect you to play through multiple times. The assumption is you've been shot, poisoned, blasted, drowned, or any other number of ways your pretty, naive maiden will die. The only way to survive I have noticed is to pay attention to what skill check failures pop up during events and to work on those skills preemptively the next go around; do not always focus on skills that have the highest bonus due to your mood.

One thing I found rather entertaining (and frustrating) was the nobility family lines. Memorizing names and titles and land ownerships was a bit arduous, though with multiple playthroughs the bigger picture of who was in line after Elodie for the throne, who was picking fights with who, who didn't have heirs, where power transfers were taking place, etc. became clearer. If you do not want to get too in-depth with that, there is also a little "?" box in dialogue to pull up an info card of the noble you are talking to.

According to Steam, I have played this for about 6 hours and managed to successfully live to my coronation. I played a couple times afterwards to gain a few more achievements but decided I didn't completely care about gaining all 39 (currently at 18).

All in all, I would recommend this game to anyone who loves the cutesy style of shoujo with a bit of skill balancing and murder. The best ending I have encountered so far is the with the "Angel of Music" achievement (the feels!) so try to get that one if you can.

Pros: Good story, Choose Your Own Adventure, cute anime style, can be educational, option to save a log of your playthrough to c/p and share with others
Cons: Music was repetitive and unoriginal, sometimes you just get no choices where one should be present (LIKE NOT EATING THE I'll let you find out).