Operation Backlog Completion 2018
Oct 302015

What better way to conclude our celebration of Halloween than with a game all about Halloween?


Costume Quest isn’t a horror game. Instead, it’s a turn-based RPG from Double Fine Productions. When your twin is kidnapped by monsters on Halloween, you go on a quest to save them and stop the monsters.

With charm typical of Double Fine games (and much better than Broken Age, which disappointed me), Costume Quest includes many different aspects of Halloween.

To track down your twin’s location, you need currency. The currency here is candy, so you need to go trick-or-treating (while also exploring and completing side quests to get more candy). However, some of the doors you knock on will be answered by monsters, at which point a battle begins.

Your battle form is determined by the costume you have on. For example, if you wear the robot costume, you’ll appear in battle as a giant robot. Combat is turn-based, but includes quick-time events for certain moves. As you progress, you’ll meet party members and find parts to make new costumes. Each costume has its own unique attacks.

Costume-Quest-Grubbins-On-IceIt’s a short game, only about 6 hours long, but those 6 hours are filled with humor and Halloween charm.

If you enjoy Costume Quest but want a change of scenery, it has one DLC episodes, the winter-themed “Grubbins on Ice,” which adds a few new gameplay features but otherwise plays the same.

Costume Quest and Grubbins on Ice are available for PC, Mac, Linux, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android.

Its sequel, Costume Quest 2, expanded its console availability and can be played on PC, Mac, Linux, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U. However, I haven’t played the sequel, so I can’t vouch for it.

I love the original Costume Quest and consider it one of the most Halloween-y of Halloween games we could look at. What Halloween-themed games are your favorites?

(And don’t forget, you only have two days left to boost your chances of winning Alien: Isolation!)

Buy Costume Quest from Amazon
Buy Costume Quest from Steam

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Oct 282015

Yesterday, Gematsu reported the news that Bandai Namco registered four new trademarks, including “Tales of the Best.”


Tales of the Best? What in the world could that be?

First, we have to accept that it might be nothing. Bandai Namco seems to enjoy trademarking lots of Tales names and then only using a few. When Tales of Berseria was trademarked, two other trademarks accompanied it: Orfellia and Alestia.

Back in 2013, they trademarked eleven different Tales names: Zestoria, Creales, Castora, Link, Jin, Ansis, Zestiria, Zestias, Bibliotheca, Memories, and Favorite.

(Are we seeing how Bandai Namco comes up with Tales names? Do they trademark all their ideas just in case?)

From those eleven, two (Tales of Link and Tales of Bibliotheca) became Japan-exclusive mobile games, and one (Tales of Zestiria, which I’ve been LPing) became a mothership title.

So Tales of the Best might be the next Tales of Orfellia or Tales of Favorite, unused forever.

If it isn’t, though, what could it be? Several theories have been suggested:

  • Another mobile game
  • A crossover that includes the “best” characters from multiple Tales games
  • A fighting game, like the Japan-only Tales of VS.
  • A collection of popular Tales games bundled for a new system, such as the PS4, Xbox One, or PC
  • A collection of previously-unlocalized Tales games brought West for the first time

And of course, fans half-jokingly suggest a remake of their favorite game, because it’s the best Tales of.

I tried hard, but even though I managed it for the last batch of trademarks, I can’t think of a way Tales of the Best could be my Tales pipe dream, a Tales of Symphonia prequel.

I mean, unless it’s Tales of the Best Heroes Ever and the characters are now allowed to name their own games. But that would be silly. With that option out of the way, I hope it’s a collection of unlocalized or rare Tales games.

What do you think Tales of the Best is? What do you want it to be? Let me know in the comments.

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Oct 262015

October (and our Alien: Isolation giveaway) is almost over. That means it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo.

And I have no idea what I’m doing.

Unlike last year, when I had solid plans for The Nightbringer and couldn’t wait for NaNoWriMo to begin, I haven’t given it much thought this year. I’ve been too focused on other writing projects… and now it’s almost here.

I do have one thing, though: a MAP!

Pictured: one of my better maps

Pictured: one of my better maps

I made this map during Maria V. Snyder‘s Map Quest module at my June 2015 Writing Popular Fiction residency. At the time, I was excited, because I had a great idea for a story. My only regret was how many other stories would take precedence before I could work on it.

Well, I forgot the story idea, although I think it involved an imperial elven army and Lovecraftian horrors. So I have no plot, no characters, and no plan.

But I have a map!

NaNoWriMo 2015 might be a struggle, but maybe November will bring new inspiration. If you’re participating, what are your NaNoWriMo plans this year?

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