Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bits of Oz

Sorry for not blogging in awhile. Haven't had many Ozzy topics on my mind recently.

Something that may be of interest to some readers is that I'm moving in with Audrey and Shaun, my sister and her husband, so we can help each other out. It'll be beneficial to us all. It might even loosen up finances enough for me to finally make it to an Oz convention next year!

I read an Oz book I bought, The Ork in Oz. A pretty fun story, a few faults (including that the author overlooked the Ork's name in The Scarecrow of Oz and gave him a new name, though the name Baum gave the Ork is pretty easy to miss...), illustrations not exactly to my liking, but overall, a good book.

I've also been working on the next podcast and the Oz book I'm writing. I got the plot figured out, and written the first two chapters' first draft. Don't expect me to put the book here, though, as I think it might be a fun story to read in book form. (There will be a free PDF, though.)

I've also been messing about with OpenOffice, free software that includes a word processing program, and been using it to design books to give to my family at Christmas.

And I've taken a few shots at The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, the English translation of the DS game Riz-Zoawd. Nice music, nice graphics, but I've some problems. Coins are hard to find, and weapons and armor upgrades are kind of pricey. ("Money in Oz? What a strange idea! Do you think we are so vulgar as to use money here?") It's difficult to tell where you're going, where you've been, and although the trackball control is interesting, it gets a bit hard to handle.

My biggest problem are the battle scenes. I've played some turn-based battle games before, but this is the strangest I've seen it. You select which characters will fight, what they will do, and let your round of "turns" go from there. I've had times when a character will go in with a pretty high health bar and will "fall" in battle. The lack of being able to control exactly what you will do on each turn and it being unpredictable how many attacks the enemies will make during the round makes it pretty difficult. You can't make the characters defend themselves when they're being attacked, so the cost is heavy. (You can set a character to a defensive mode, but seeing as that would make them do nothing, you'll either have them attack or you'd use another character.)

Welcome to an Oz where money is there, but rare, and death is common.

Probably the most fun is you get to name your characters. My party consisted of Dorothy, Strashee, Lion, and Nick. (The Lion joins you after the Scarecrow here.)

All that Oz and nothing to say...


Nathan said...

The renaming of the Ork also bothered me, although I think the book did include a mention that "Flipper" was what the Ork's father called him. I also didn't think the author really got the Ork's personality down, but I quite liked the story otherwise.

What kinds of monsters appear in the DS game, anyway? I guess it would be too much to expect Kalidahs.

Jared said...

Just about the only enemy from the book I've seen are the wolves. The enemies have names like "gummy ghost," "jelly fighter," "flying pig-bat," "crabby crab," "chestnutty," "poison anemome," and, the most humorous name: "Deady Gas."