Creation Line Deck Boxes

I’ve been designing card-based games for over a decade now, but only stumbled upon my trio of life-saving and very-short-run printers a few years ago.

However!

As much as I love my Printer Studio and my Game Crafter and my Make Playing Cards.com, however, none of the three have packaging solutions that fit my product. (Reviews of all three coming soon, btw.)

This is partially due to the fact that my games tend to be made up of several hundred cards (lots of elements + lots of choices), since I’ve designed them 1) with near-infinite replayability, and 2) for use within the college classrooms where I teach various communication courses.

Lugging the games from office to classroom has been a bit of a chore, of late.

But NOT ANYMORE, for I’ve stumbled up0n the lovely (and inexplicably-coloured) Creation Line of Deck Boxes from Dex Protection!

Here are some photos to tide you over until I get to post the rest of the review. (They had to be aired out in our formal dining room, as the “Saffiano leather” exteriors brought quite an aroma (of “chemicals and or plastic rubber whatnot”) with them.)

 

Final Fantasy VII for iPad

I would bet a chocobo that this “review” will actually turn into an LTR, aka Long-Term Review, aka “an ongoing account of my observations and experiences with this thing.”

Where “this thing” = “the app in the title above,” which, in this case, is Final Fantasy VII for iPad.

(Who cares about an on-going journal when there’s sooooo many reviews already out–by people who have, in fact, already played through the game?

WELL, sir, it’s like this: I’m not playing the game for fun or for nostalgia (well, not JUST for those things, hah), but instead, am concerned with 1) what changes have been made, 2) how the changes have affected the game (in general), 3) how the “changes” are taken by those who’ve NEVER played the game (on PS or PS2, for example), 4) how the changes are taken by those who HAVE played it before (ie Moi), and 5) how specific options (ie Random Battles OFF and Max Stats ON) change the game play for those who’ve played it before.

WHY do I care about all that boring stuff? Well, it’s not boring to me, of course! I’m interested in the psychology behind a developer’s decisions–and the way intended audiences take those decisions.

AND, of course, how those decisions may be used to GAMIFY the whole “learning stuff” thing (aka SCHOOL and/or the SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS).

(See? Everything’s connected. But you already knew that.

:)

DR.B (who apparently turned this alleged review into an official abandoning of the whole format altogether.)

Kenzo Yasukawa Main Story REVIEW

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

1. This was the FASTEST Main Route I’ve EVER READ. Like, in the whole world. Voltage or otherwise.

2. It didn’t feel rushed, though.

3. Even though this was one of the few main routes (of late) to feature a hook-up before the end.

3.5. And it becomes a mainish plot point (not as much as in Kenshi’s route/LLFTX. tho)

4. LOTS of questions remained, and it irked me, ie How far did he go with the high-schooler?  We never even find out in HIS POV, I think.

5. Speaking of which…

6. Contrary to what one might expect, Kenny’s actually pretty straight-forward; so much so that I even forgot that I read HIS POV. He basically said what he thought, aka the writers had a big deadline and forgot about it till ten minutes before it was due OR — oh, that’s the only option I could think of. Sigh.

7. BTW, lest anyone get some pervy ideas about why I was so very interested in whether Kenny got it on with the 16-year-old, it’s NOT to do with the me that’s reading it, but with the MC (which I don’t identify with since, well, I have a brain and self-respect, while the MCs frequently act like they’re high and/or have the IQ of cloth (not to diss people who are high in drugs but not intelligence).

7.5. I mean, seriously… wouldn’t you want to know what a potential suitor’s done, all told, and especially, who with? Wait, I might have to retract that. But not now, for there are more reviews to be written!

All told, Final Grade of B to B+.

(For the record, the LOWEST grade goes to H. SERA’s route, which didn’t rock. But more on THAT in a bit.)

PS- I’m pretty annoyed, now that I think about it. And NOT coz I couldn’t find a place to mention Video Games, Professor, Silkies, Kenzo’s REAL job, and, hmm… PROFESSOR!!?

;)

Kenzo Yasukawa Main Route (Spoiler-Free??)

(From 17 May, originally)

This is the first Voltage main route that I almost mistook for a sub-story.

Length-wise, of course, since there were just as many misunderstandings, shenanigans, and MC wussery as in any of the 30+ Voltage apps I’ve tasted.

(Thirty times fiveish routes each, so… yeah. I’ve “lived through” lots of shameful behaviour on the part of the MC. (Though it’s the author who permitted poor MC to behave so abominably, of course. Though one might say “but that’s the romance genre for ya,” or even “hello, hast thou forgotten about ka-ka-ka-kawaaaaiiii?!?!” (Well, to the latter, I say that “kawaii is pretty kowai,” so there. But then, there’s lots of cultural stuff from around the world that undermines the 1) behaviour, 2) reputation, 3) respect, and/or 4) treatment of women. That’s another tale for another day, though.

And yes, I know how many closing parentheses are supposed to follow, but :P to them for now.)

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 1.21.38 AMLong story short, this story was SHORT.

But not as tiresome as some of the routes in this app, nor as tiresome as some of the apps in general (well, not the plots of the apps, but ALL the love interests in one app, or the main premise of a particular app).

The pacing was ok–MC didn’t plod along with no developments for weeks (like in H. Sera’s route, it felt like, and also in Shinichi’s route)–for a tale of this length.

Or how long it felt, anyway.

(To me.)

Hmmm!

I don’t know where to go from here; this is my first spoiler-free review (or attempt), and I am having a really hard time with it!

So here’s my best version:

MC is thrown into the attempted set-up by the owner of Timeout; lookie here, it’s Kenny! After a quasi-flirtatious lob in her direction, we head into the whirlwind…

Soon after, MC’s busybody ways have caught up with her, and she finds herself wondering if the rumoured fling between Kenzo and a troubled loner student is even partially true.

Lots of drama ensues, they end up together, and that’s it.

(Ok, maybe I’ll stick to the SPOILED ROTTEN versions, instead!)

Aigo Main Route!

I don’t really know what to say about this!

It’s like a recycled Takuto (LLFTX) Main Story, except Aigo’s not rude to her (aka doesn’t “tease” her).

I liked the CHARACTER of Aigo a LOT. The plot was pretty forgettable, though. (Otome plots aren’t usually THAT twisted–and they don’t need to be. But…)

The MC was passable this time around.

Reading this route, it was like… oh, got it! It felt as though I’d been editing rough drafts of the same tale for a month, and there were literally NO surprises. (Except for the fact that there was no final battle with the Final Boss? Who seemed like a creepy goth-wannabe version of Sephiroth…? With a lace mask? That apparently infected me with that wretched question mark disease…????)

I mean, I know that I’m good, but I must’ve gotten REALLY good to predict plot points AND lines I expected to materialise.

It wasn’t an unpleasant read at all–except for the fact that I wanted MORE with Ai (even just more cute dialogue. Ugh. What’ve you done to me, Voltage??!?)… and the fact that the tale was not worth more than $1.99. (At least it wasn’t as annoying as the Aigo EPI was. And it wasn’t as SHORT as the Kenzo Main Route, which literally took me like an hour. Hmm.)

Anyway.

Final Grade: B — NOT bad, but just over-priced for what it was. (Or perhaps I’ve just gotten too familiar with Voltage. That can happen, you know. But anyway.)

Aigonorus Epilogue REVIEW

(Original post date: 20 May 2016)

This MC is a BRAT. Seriously. Ai just wants to do something SO CUTE AND SWEET, right?

Right.

What does she do?

Acts all fuddy duddy and creates drama galore.

Her most DIABOLICAL set of lines includes something to the tune of “I love you, Ai! But I love my work just as much.”

HELLO?!

You don’t deserve a man, MC.

Especially one as hot as him.

PARTICULARLY one as SWEET as him.

I know that “romance stories” (and all fiction) need a conflict, but there’s a ZILLION ways of accomplishing the SAME THING… but in a manner that makes MC even two drops LESS of a JERK.

Oh, the heart-break.

OH, and just in case you made the mistake of thinking “ah, well, the ending will MORE than make up for it, I’m sure!”

Lemme tell you what, son.

It DIDN’T.

Make up for it, I mean.

Aigo’s MAIN ROUTE was bad enough (no, not BAD, really, but just, simply “not bad”)–really predictable, but at least he got all cute and clingy at the end. (I’m using “clingy” as it’s used by Voltage; is this how Japanese people think of clingy, btw? Coz in the US, clingy is “needy” and almost universally decried. In the US, I mean. Speaking as one educated in the US (mostly), I think the word they’re alluding to is “affectionate” or “really affectionate.”

Then again, the loser MC *DID* think he was taking it too far, so maybe they were using “clingy” in the same manner. (That I thought they weren’t, I mean. Not that the US owns English, but it’s the only language “we” speak, and it’s the first language of most “Americans.” (Not mine, tho, btw.)

Look, just… this was disappointing. When you “BUY” a character route, unfortunately you’re also buying that route’s MC.

And as my long-time followers, fans, and/or chums will tell you…

I have a BIG OLE PROB with a majority of the MCs in Voltage apps, especially.

(They’re not always SO annoying in Solmare… ahh, beloved Solmare! and other companies’ offerings. But that’s another tale for another trollop. Ooops, I mean “Traipse.” Too lazy to hit backspace, though. Easier to keep on blathering, eh?

FINAL GRADE: C- (and that’s QUITE generous. I think I might need to get out the Haruu’s Headcanon Hat again…)