Mystic Messenger Trash: Behaving Badly in V’s Route

Mystic Messenger Trash: Behaving Badly in V’s Route

Welcome back to Mystic Messenger Trash, where I chronicle playing Mystic Messenger. The following contains spoilers for V’s good and normal routes in the game, passing mentions of the bad endings, and general in-game lore that you learn outside of Another Story. There are also some spoilers for Rika Behind Story.

Another Story, which encompasses both V’s and Ray/Saeran’s routes, takes place six months after Rika’s “death” (unlike the routes in Casual Story and Deep Story, which take place two years after). Another Story is basically an alternative universe of Mystic Messenger, where the player-character shows up earlier than in the Casual and Deep Stories. For the sake of length, I’m going to assume a baseline level of MM knowledge. (more…)

Coffee Talk Brews Up Coziness with a Splash of Discomfort

Coffee Talk Brews Up Coziness with a Splash of Discomfort

Content note: this piece discusses racism and police brutality.

Now that I’ve started commuting to the office, most of my mornings are rigidly structured. I wake up at 6:00 a.m. and get up by 6:20, at which point I make my pourover. Depending on how motivated and quick I’m feeling on a given morning, this takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. I frequently joke that it takes me longer to make coffee than it does for me to put on my makeup and get dressed, which causes my husband to grimace and apologize. Over the last year or so, he has made brewing a good cup of coffee into a hobby, a hobby that I have since inherited. (more…)

Review: Bratz: Flaunt Your Fashion is in Rock Angelz’s Shadow

Review: Bratz: Flaunt Your Fashion is in Rock Angelz’s Shadow

Like many people, Bratz was a staple in my childhood and teenage years. Owning the first edition Cloe doll in 2001, watching the Starrin ‘n’ Stylin’ film in 2004 and dancing to the Space Angelz music video in 2005 and playing the original PS2 games, in particular Rock Angelz, Forever Diamondz, and The Movie in 2007 was somewhat revolutionary for me. (more…)

A Critical Evaluation of FFXIV Boyfriends for Cuffing Season

A Critical Evaluation of FFXIV Boyfriends for Cuffing Season

Winter is upon us poor souls in the northern hemisphere. Or, as it’s also called, cuffing season. People talk about staying in and cuddling with their partners, as well as bringing them home to meet their families. If you’re single, you might have decided that a fictional boyfriend is much less work. But who are the best fictional winter boyfriends? The story-rich MMO Final Fantasy XIV offers many options. Here are a few characters I think would be good (or bad) to celebrate the holidays with, and why. (more…)

How My Favorite Mobile Game is Choosing Inclusion

How My Favorite Mobile Game is Choosing Inclusion

This piece contains descriptions of explicit sexual content (aimed at mature audiences).

Cheesy ads.

Predictable heterosexual smut.

Carbon copy plots.

These are some of the complaints I see people make about the mobile visual novel genre, a category which includes obviously named apps such as Choices, Episodes, and Chapters. However, as somebody who has been playing these sorts of games for years now, I am very happy with the strides that many of these apps have made to become more inclusive. If you like LGBTQ+ love stories but were disappointed in the past by apps like these, I think Choices is worth your time. (more…)

Horizon Forbidden West: Vast World, Shallow Worldbuilding

Horizon Forbidden West: Vast World, Shallow Worldbuilding

Taking place just six months after Aloy defeats the corrupted Hades AI in Horizon Zero Dawn, Horizon Forbidden West is a direct chronological sequel that expands on Zero Dawn‘s groundwork. Forbidden West is bigger in every possible way, from the narrative ambition to map size to collectible items to the number of machines, weapons, and mechanics. More often than not, this works to its detriment. In multiplying the scope of the world, Horizon Forbidden West also magnifies the problems inherent in its narrative. Because it reproduces real-world politics in a way that is at odds with what the story is trying to say, Horizon Forbidden West presents a disjointed story with incohesive worldbuilding. (more…)