Chicory: A Canvas for Inspiration

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a perfect title for a game that fills all the gaps of an inspirational journey of a custodian turned artist. I purchased the game on my PS5 based on recommendations from friends. I’ve enjoyed it much more than I had anticipated. Chicory has charm of Undertale as an indie game. The characters you encounter build your confidence to fight the mysterious darkness plaguing the world. I didn’t expect any combat mechanics and was off guard when the first boss fight occurred.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

I feel that Chicory is all about self expression through art and seeing the world as a canvas. Behind all of that are the characters that help you and encourage you throughout your quest. There’s plenty to do asides bringing color back into the world. The game offers plenty of collectibles such as finding all of the kids which are adorable cats stuck in trees, or picking up trash to exchange for other items, and oh so many outfits.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale screenshot, character collecting trash.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale

You also gain different brushes throughout the journey which don’t really have any impact on the game but it does help make better artistic choices when replicating artwork or coming up with your own at the art college. My character even earned their art degree. I’ll try and print it out to see if it is helpful irl. The game’s creators made sure to show off your gorgeous artwork throughout the journey as well.

There’s a nice metroidvania mechanic in gaining new powers such as the ability to swim that definitely adds a level of complexity to the game. There’s a nice splash of puzzles that extend the depth of the gameplay and provide the player with a challenge to progress forward.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale screenshot of a puzzle.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Chicory: A Colorful Tale is likely one of the most feel good games I’ve ever played. The developers presented an array of characters with different personalities that shine through. I think the best message received is to keep trying no matter how loud the thoughts of doubt are presented throughout life. It takes time and dedication to make something great and Chicory: A Colorful Tale is exactly that.

Tango de Ghostwire: Tokyo

There’s something interesting about Ghostwire: Tokyo that keeps me engaged in the post-apocalyptic world of downtown Tokyo, and I can say that it’s definitely not the combat system. While running around saving the world from the supernatural forces, petting as many dogs as possible, chatting with cats, and missing a large percentage of my attacks, I have to say I like this game. Slight game mechanic and storyline spoilers ahead.

The game kicks off with the protagonist, Atiko meeting his demise after disaster strikes from a mysterious man in a mask bringing about the end of life for humanity in Tokyo using a forbidden ritual. You’re given a second chance by a powerful spirit, KK, who shares his ghost-busting powers with you to take on this unknown enemy. You go through some quick tutorials to get a feel for the really well intended but difficult to manage combat system.

Aiming is pretty bad, but there is a snap to enemy feature that helps a little. You have 3 main ranged and 1 wide mid-ranged attack, all which have the ability to be charged. Wind attack is a weaker quick attack with a charged ability to shoot consecutive wind attacks at an enemy with what may be a homing ability, who knows. Water attack is a mid range attack that can be charged to hit more opponents at once with an outward crescent shaped water projectile. Fire attack is the most powerful, as it can be charged and fires at a slight arc to do a wide area of effect blast. There’s a spirit bow that can be charged and is great for when your picking off ghosts in the sky, or suddenly have been separated from KK. You don’t die when KK leaves, but we’ll just call it a plot hole and keep on keeping on.

You get access to talismans as well. You can create a decoy, stun the enemy, and some other fun stuff. I really haven’t used the talismans, but you can use them when KK isn’t available during the storyline.

Convenience store with floating cat as clerk.

The game world is fairly wide open, but there’s places you can’t explore until you purify a shrine and the fog of death is dissipated in certain areas. You can explore the subways, malls, hospitals, apartments, and saunas. There’s also spooky haunted tree objects that you have to destroy the heart of to purify, freeing souls for you to rescue. Once a shrine is purified, there’s a nice present inside, such as bracelets that enhance your abilities or defenses. There’s side quests that lost souls give you to complete for the in game currency, experience, and more saved souls.

Game Image Absorb Spirits with Paper Doll in Hand

Spirits are stored in Katashiro, paper objects that you can purchase more of over time. The more spirits you turn in at once, the bigger exp and mekia payout, steering ever closer to saving the 240,300 lost souls. The cap of Katashiro you can carry is 50.

You level up as you collect experience, slightly increasing your SP. If your SP depletes, you’re reverted back to your last save or quick save. You can gain great amounts of experience and mekia by uploading spirits into a special phone booth where you get messages from a mysterious voice. Those are mostly found on the streets in the cities and neighborhoods. There’s a subterranean level as well. Don’t get lost, use the map.

Game Image of Downtown Tokyo

All in all, I enjoyed my time with Ghostwire Tokyo. There’s a lot of sub quests to do such as chase ghosts and purify corrupted trees. I didn’t feel as if the game was scary but it haunts my list of games I completed in 2022. I didn’t take any images of the ghosts! I think they’re too spooky so if you want to see them you’ll have to play the game!

Giant Lucky Cat with face mask in Tokyo.

Spring Cycling Kick-Off

We’ve been waiting for spring for what feels like forever. One of the events I’m participating in for a spring kick-off is 30 Days of Biking and it starts today! Day 1 of 30 Days of Biking is April 1st, and there’s a hosted kick-off event in Minneapolis. We’ll gear up for a quick 4-5 mile ride along paved paths and “the river” at a slow pace. Entry is 5 bucks and we’ll start meeting at 5:00 PM at Graze Provisions + Libations, then ride at 6:30PM. Let’s get into shape for a nice spring and a warm summer. #30daysofbiking

Fat Bike - Winter Cycling
Fat Bike – Winter Cycling

Later in the Fall I’ll be participating in my first charity ride. The Red Ribbon Ride is a fundraiser to help end HIV in Minnesota. The ride takes place over 2 days and is over 150 miles. The organizations we’re supporting are the Aliveness Project, One Heartland, and Rural AIDS Action Network.My fundraising goal is $1500 so any support is greatly appreciated. https://give.redribbonride.org/fundraiser/3808454

Raise a Finger to Elden Ring

When I first stepped foot into the realm of the Elden Ring I already had expectations based on previous Souls games. I knew I’d die within the first 5 minutes. No disappointment there. What I didn’t anticipate was the scale of the game that I had just stepped foot in. 90 hours later, and 99 levels up, I wasn’t even closed to being finished. I wanted more, and I knew the endgame was approaching.

I’ve spent a lot of time soaking up all of the different biomes encountered through this adventure. Mountainous regions, poisonous swamps, blood-curse ridden bogs, lush forests, and deep caverns. There’s more, but the devil is in the details of every centimeter of the game is like an endless masterpiece of thoughtfully placed game objects and carefully crafted prefabs. I’m taken aback by it all. My favorite thing about this journey was stepping into a new castle, tower, or dungeon. As a sorcery castle, my favorite places were the ones lined with books, bookshelves, and baubles of the arcane.

About 20 hours in, I realized my fatal mistake in previous souls adventures, which was the desire to use really cool weapons. Magic was where the gap was closed between extremely high death counts, and high death counts. The distance between you and your foe became key to success, along with proper timing to cast a spell to get the drop on an unsuspecting death dealer. I’m fast approaching the first major boss encounter, and I’ve just stumbled upon one of the most important resources moving forward, the Table of the Lost Grace.

There’s nothing like a productive roundtable. In Elden Ring, the area is the hub for shopping, smithing, powering up, or just taking a rest at the Table of the Lost Grace. It seems to be ever changing with the array of characters that appear in this area. They all have a different story, and a different purpose. Sometimes, their purpose is to catch you off-guard and bring you to your knees. You’ll eventually find more about the fate of the roundtable, which sent chills down my spine.

Another key component is your trusty steed. Without this feature, the length of this game would have likely doubled or tripled. I cannot express how much I appreciate a well programmed mount with pretty damn good mechanics. I’ve fallen off of a couple cliffs, and dismounted in the middle of a battle, but I will always appreciate riding into the sunset while tossing glintsone sorceries a foes way.

I appreciate the metroidvania aspects of the adventure, where you need specific items, keys, medallion halves, or quest-lines completed to venture forth. At first I was worried when I’d use a Stonesword Key to access a blocked off area, or secret dungeon, but eventually found that there appeared to be ample opportunities to acquire these items. I can say for sure that the mini-dungeons are a fun addition to the adventure, as they can primarily be skipped, but are excellent in keeping the journey fresh and challenging.

55 hours have elapsed in the game, when I finally realized how useful summoning spirits from ashes were. I’d hit a hard stop at a pair of vicious gargoyles, a nice tribute to Demon’s Souls, but growingly frustrating. I eventually gave up and ventured back out into the vast world. I downed another boss with the assistance of a trio of Raya Lucaria Soldiers, in place of a real-live player, which made it a bit easier for me to pummel foes with more powerful sorcieres, while the summoned spirits took the brunt of the attacks. These spirits cost fp, and eventually can be leveled up to become even more powerful allies. From what I can tell, they are only available during most boss battles.

If you’re new to Souls type of games, I describe them as a high risk low reward type of challenge. Elden Ring is the most polished version of this type of core game mechanic. Even the use of healing potions has had some polish. I’ll be really surprised if From Software is able to create something better than Elden Ring, which has been a real challenge for software companies when they release a masterpiece. How can the developers and artist create something even better than before?

My best advice for this game is to seek the Mimic Tear Ashes and be your best self.

Current playtime: 92 hours in. Level 127

Restful Respite

After some thought I’ve decided to close out my blog for a while. I need to switch gears for a while and focus on other things. If something changes I’ll definitely drop a phoenix down on this blog and post some of my 16 drafts that I haven’t finished.

I’ll continue to use my spare time to enjoy cycling, game development, cooking, and video games. I’ve wrapped up a few projects in game dev and I’ve started drafting ideas for games I’d like to create. There’s a lot of moving parts to be considered so I alone can’t accomplish this task.

Combating climate change is an even larger task I can’t combat alone. You can do your part by studying the effects of climate change and taking steps in advocating for a reduced carbon footprint. Changing purchasing habits, plant based diet, and commuting without a vehicle are some examples of what can help.

NASA: Vital Signs of the Planet



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