Cadrin

On a single credit - CD-Action 08/2016 [English]

Jul 25th, 2016
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  1. "On a single credit" - stolen and translated (Polish to English) from the 08/2016 issue of the video gaming magazine 'CD-Action'. (Fragments _surrounded by underscores_ were originally written in bold. Section titles are marked ==like this==.)
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  3. Keeps coming back to that one game: (Written by:) Kamil "Berlin" Krupiński
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  5. _Your plan for tonight will probably be a game of League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, Overwatch, or something similar. Alternatively, you might be planning to finish one or two quests in The Witcher, and then watch some "e-sports" channel on Twitch. I have this to ask of you: please do something for me and change your plans. Insert the disc we've included in this issue into your disc drive, and install Crimzon Clover._
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  7. No matter what you think of yourself and how high or low you rank, for a long time you've been one of 10+ million hardcore gamers. You probably check out the most recent gaming hits from time to time, but not only are their prices exorbitant (TL note: the minimum wage in Poland is about three or four times lower than most countries in Western Europe, yet prices of games on digital distribution platforms such as Steam remain the same for us. A single AAA title, priced at 60€, is more than 1/5 of the minimum monthly salary), completing them takes you only about two days, after which there is no reason to replay them. Instead, you return to That One Game you're used to and are really good at. Almost as good as your five year-old sister at Candy Crush Saga.
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  9. You've spent in League of Legends - or whatever other game you might have chosen - so many hours that I would have no chance against you. That commands my respect and admiration. You know a hundred tactics, the optimal build for your champion, a response for every contingency, the skill rotations, and your APM is so high, if you went a little higher, you would beat a fourteen-year-old Korean in Starcraft. You've got all the skills necessary for climbing the leaderboards, all you need is practice. You might not realize this, but you have already proven to the world and yourself that all it takes is a little bit of patience and dedication to make it through any game. You've got all that's needed to beat Dark Souls, Ninja Gaiden, or any other similar game. Don't give in to the foolish propaganda that tells you otherwise. I could reach platinum in Dark Souls if I wanted to, but you could trounce me in Counter-Strike so hard you'd make me weep.
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  11. And so I want to ask you once again: install and play Crimzon Clover. You've gotten it for free, it's on the CD included with this issue of our magazine, Cross (TL note: a nickname for one of the journalists working for the magazine) prepared a Polish translation of the game, it will run on a toaster, and you probably have summer vacation right now, so this is the best chance you have. _It's a game you probably wouldn't normally give a chance yourself, and it can offer you something the gaming industry tries to forget for one reason or another._
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  13. ==First credit==
  14. And that's fun stemming from pure gameplay that doesn't pretend to be something more than it really is. Satisfaction from achievements hard-earned, not given to you on a silver platter. Knowledge that every challenge posed to you is fair and designed to be overcame. You already know all this, because after all, these very feelings make the online games which you spend so much time with, worth playing.
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  16. Alas, you might not have noticed all this, as simple things like these are easy to overlook. Especially when they're covered with a thick layer of fat, filled with cynical psychological tricks aimed to squeeze money out of you: constructed addiction and monetization systems (TL note: I think the author meant microtransactions?...), encouraging spending real money for useless cosmetic items, covert gambling. All that becomes apparent in games watched on Twitch, because it's so important, it becomes one of the reasons for playing them. But the moment you stop wanting to reach the first place on the leaderboards, and instead start playing to earn virtual currency which will let you unlock a new skin for a character, is when the Money Extortion Specialist wins the uneven battle with the Gameplay Designer.
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  18. Crimzon Clover is a love letter to the simpler times when things were different. You were supposed to insert a złoty (TL note: 1 złoty = 1.00PLN, currently worth roughly 0.25USD, so in essence, about a quarter dollar... for convenience I'll refer to them as quarters from now on to keep with the arcade lingo) in the arcade cabinet and fall in love at first play - otherwise you wouldn't spend another quarter. You were meant to immediately get the general idea on how to play the game, and learn it so well as to be able to play it from start to finish using only one credit. A loveletter to the times when each quarter would give you another shot, and you wanted to squeeze the maximum amount of bang from your buck - fully focused, you would do everything in your power to win, because every mistake was a tangible financial loss to you. You didn't care about reaching the credit roll - the greatest reward was your place on the scoreboard and applause from people watching behind your back for the last half hour as the magic happened on your screen. _Crimzon Clover is no different from your favourite online game - all it did was remove the additions suggested by the Money Making Department._
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  20. ==Second credit==
  21. You're a tiny good ball that flies upwards and shoots. Pitted against you are thousands of evil balls that fly downwards and want you dead. Do not get killed. That's all you need to know about Crimzon Clover and similar such shoot-'em-ups to have fun playing it. Sounds trivial, and I know it's not easy to go back to things this primitive when modern titles administer continuous, pleasurable, numbing doses of enjoyment at no effort on your part. Even such little details as the screen shake that occurs when unpacking a new pack in Hearthstone, or the perfectly adjusted amount of time it takes to open a new crate in Team Fortress, are addictive. That's why they're there. Likewise, old movies seem boring and difficult to watch when contemporary box-office blockbusters have so many special effects, a fast pace, and brilliantly timed witty dialogues.
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  23. But here's a challenge that will take you some time. Play Crimzon Clover and defeat the second boss. Then do it again on a single credit. You will fail your first time, but do not worry - notice how every new attempt lets you make it a tiny bit further. Observe how you feel when your new strategy works and you start to cut through enemies like a killing machine. When you become a better player, and the only thing that remains on your road to victory is your individual skill level. You are not dependent on your team, latencies, or the random number generator.
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  25. How you feel when you - a tiny shooting ball - crush with your bullets legions of other balls trying to kill you. When you fit into the ten pixel-wide gap on the screen flooded with curtain fire, and slowly, methodically, turn the battle around. When you learn to hold back panic, and dance between beautiful, slithering bullet barrages. When you get a game over because you became overconfident and got taken by surprise, and swear never to make the same stupid mistake again.
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  27. All the feelings which you will identify are already known to you from other games, but are mere side effects and accidents - miniature stories you tell yourself while playing. The adrenaline rush caused by the final headshot that caused you to win a close game of CS while you were at 1 HP is your personal adventure - and Crimzon Clover is built around such adventures. The satisfaction of choosing to take control and lead your team to victory in LoL is the result of confidence you gained after many hours of play - and the entirety of Crimzon Clover is based on conquering your fear, stopping running away, and proudly starting to take control when the situation seems hopeless.
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  29. On the CD you have a title that puts in the spotlight that which is unique to video games. A title that has no intention of apologizing to anyone for being a video game. A title that does not pretend, or try to convince you to play it with cutscenes and dialogues worthy of a book. On that CD you have a video game - and nothing more. Give it a chance, because it doesn't cost you anything. I bet by the time you make it to the second boss on one credit, you will surely understand why it is so important for me to make you feel the feelings I described. I'm also willing to bet that once you get there, it will also become important for you to make your friends feel the same.
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  31. Then you will realize how hard it is to convince people that being a tiny ball that flies upwards and shoots, pitted against thousands of balls that fly downwards and want to shoot it down - is the very essence of what video games have always been about. And you will feel as awkward as I do trying to explain it to them. Good luck. Remember: on a single credit, to the very end. |CDA|
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  35. Captions for images contained in the article:
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  37. 1) Do not fix your gaze on your ship. Observe the rest of the screen. Look for safe paths. Instead of sticking to the bottom of the screen, give yourself some room for retreat.
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  39. 2) Replaying the same levels will not be boring if every time you aim to get more points. Play smarter. More aggressive. Better.
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  41. 3) Smart movement and smart target selection are the cornerstones of every good action game. There is no unnecessary nonsense here, just the centerpiece of gameplay.
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  45. Large blurb in the article:
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  47. 100% fun, 0% bullshit. CC is distilled joy of playing video games.
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  51. A paragraph in a small frame beside the article:
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  53. ==Crimzon Clover has rhythm==
  54. And not only in level design, where the creators try to hurt us with increasingly sophisticated enemy formations, but also in the shooting itself. Hold down the laser button. (TL note: obviously the slow movement/lock-on button) Lock on the maximum amount of targets. Let go and watch your score multiplier shoot up along with the obliteration that follows. Rinse and repeat. Laser, lock-on, destruction. Finally, through your desperate struggle, you will fill the Break gauge, which will allow you to move to offensive, filling the screen with your bullets and feeling like a god. If that wasn't enough, with a bit of training you will be able to unleash the Double Break mode, and become more powerful than an atomic bomb. Eventually, Double Break runs out and the cycle begins anew. Laser, lock-on, the rhythm... it's nirvana.
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  58. Game description in the magazine's "what's on the CD?" section:
  59. FULL VERSION
  60. CRIMZON CLOVER: WORLD IGNITION [PL]
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  62. GENRE: SHOOT 'EM UP
  63. >PRODUCER: YOTSUBANE >PL VERSION: TEXT/SUBTITLES >CDA SCORE: 9/10 (08/2014) >MULTIPLAYER: 2 PLAYERS >PC: WIN XP/VISTA/7/8, CPU 2 X 2 GHZ, 2GB RAM, GF 8800 GT
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  65. You will find a real loveletter for this game written by Berlin on page 84. I'm just going to add that Yotsubane, the creator of this excellent shmup, made a Polish version of the game with the help of Cross, just for us. In short - a game for 101% hardcore gamers. [gem]
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  67. Controls:
  68. Arrow keys - ship movement
  69. Z - vulcan fire from both ships (TL note: I have no idea what he meant by "both ships", also the original wording was simply "strzał ciągły z broni obu statków" ("continuous fire from weapons on both ships"), but whatever, I like "vulcan" better)
  70. X - lock on targets at the expense of reduced mobility
  71. C - unleash the "break"
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