This Week’s Game: Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

Well, here we are. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. I’m not sure how to say this, so let me just be blunt: I didn’t care for it.

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Pictured: a crazy man talking to a chicken. He said it, not me! 😯

…Alright, I didn’t get stabbed in the back of the head right after writing the sentence, that’s good. Since I appear to still be alive (for the moment) why don’t I tell you about my experiences with the game, and you can tell me why I’m wrong. 😉

By the by, I’m not going to do a separate SPOILER section for this review. Unlike with the previous two games I reviewed, I haven’t actually looked up the story of this game, and so I can’t talk about the ending; and in fact, I barely got into the story when I actually played it (more about that in a bit). So I can only talk about the plot in the broadest of terms anyway. Furthermore, this game is rather late in the series, in both era and development, and so most of the elements that… you know what? Let me start at the beginning. Continue reading

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Sunday Digest: Stuff and nonsense. (No, not Oompa-Loompas.)

I miss Gene Wilder. Don’t you?

Gene Wilder
Of course you do.

Well, never mind. Since this is a writing blog, I will sum up all the writing I’ve done this week: none. 😦

Ok, that isn’t fair, I suppose. I did my review of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Monday, which was technically writing. Just not fiction writing. I’ve added a few paragraphs to Anubai 23, but it isn’t exactly getting done in a hurry. Just an FYI, I usually aim for about 3000+ words per chapter of Anubai, and the current chapter is sitting at, let me check… 666 words.

Hang on, let me go write another sentence quick… :\

…Ok, there we go, added another paragraph. 753 words, that seems much safer. ^^;

So yeah, we’ll see when I finally get that done. Aiming for next week, but I’m not going to over-pressure myself again, so we’ll see. As for tomorrow, I’ll be writing a review for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Spoiler: I have more criticism than praise. If the game happens to be your favorite game ever, please make sure you have your torches and pitchforks on hand. 😛

Setting that aside, two other items of business. First, my daughter turned 4 years old yesterday! I think the highlight gift was the Batman blanket from her grandma (my wife’s mom).

Secondly, and much less importantly. You know about Amiibos, right? Nintendo’s figurine line? They have game functionality if you scan them into your Switch (or 3DS, I guess) but I had decided to save money and not get any of them, since they are absolutely not necessary.

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Well, so much for that.

In my defense, Mipha from Breath of the Wild is absolutely adorable. Even if she is a strange fish person. 😛

Eh, well. That’s all I’ve got for this week. Tune in tomorrow for my game of the week review, and have a wonderful evening! Thanks for reading! 😀

No chapter today either. But an entertaining recommendation?

Yeah, I haven’t spent much time writing this week; just absolutely haven’t been in the mood. In return, my stress levels are down, and my taxes are almost done. So call it a wash.

From my point of view, anyway. I suppose people who are waiting for the next chapter of Anubai are more than slightly disappointed with me. And to be frank, so am I; the scenes are there in my head, but it won’t do anyone any good until I get them down on a page, and that process has been stalling badly. But if I get too hung up on that, I just stress myself out, and that’s not good for anyone either. So I’m doing my best not to engage in the cycle of self-blame, and just working on it a bit at a time.

I don’t want to leave everyone with absolutely nothing, though. So. Fairly recently the team of Outside XBox + Outside Xtra (go check them out on YouTube, if you haven’t already 😉 ) recorded some videos of themselves playing Dungeons and Dragons, to my great amusement. (Hopefully that link works. 😛 )

I happened to mention it to a friend of mine, who suggested a Dungeons and Dragons podcast called The Adventure Zone, where three brothers and their dad play 5th ed. D&D. I have been listening to it (again, on YouTube, although I am sure there are better ways) and I have found it extremely fun. So yeah, that’s my rec. Go listen to the Adventure Zone. (And Outside XBox / Xtra. They are awesome too. 😀 )

Ok, I’ll be back on Sunday, and my review of AC: Syndicate will be Monday. Just so you know: my first impressions of the game were not very good, but it’s grown on me. A bit. 😛

This Week’s Game: Rise of the Tomb Raider

So, remember how I mentioned a big snowstorm was coming to my area? Guess whose daughter had her school cancelled today? That’s right, this guy. So, this is getting done way later than I anticipated.

But ya know? A snowstorm is not entirely inappropriate for the game this week. The majority of Rise of the Tomb Raider is set on a frozen mountain in the Siberian wilderness, after all. There is snow, there is ice and there is Lara, running around shivering while people try to kill her. Good times.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
I can’t see how this could possibly be dangerous.

Continue reading

Sunday Digest: Still no chapter, but here’s a teaser.

Good evening, everyone. Hope you are all well. Me? I’m hanging in here.

Welp, I didn’t finish Anubai chapter 23 this week. I apologized for that on Friday, though, so I’m not going to do it again. I have plans, though, oh do I have plans… 😛

Anyway, I’ve sunk some hours into ROTTR, and as expected I’m having fun. So I’ll be writing a post about that tomorrow. I’m being consistent with the wrong thing, but meh. At least it’s writing.

I also have been playing the hell out of Super Mario Odyssey, since its much easier to find opportunities to play it. I’m not going to write about it, though, so I’ll just say here: I’ve got every listed power moon in every kingdom except:

  1. 100 Jump rope record (Tricky and boring)
  2. 100 Beach volley ball record (tricky and even more boring than (1))
  3. [Redacted for spoiler, but the very final final challenge] (Fun, tricky, and unforgiving of error)

I will, eventually, get number 3, since practice will eventually pay off. Probably. But 1 and 2 are so boring, I don’t know if I will bother… I’m still missing a couple hats, though. I suspect I’ll get one for completing 3, but… I really don’t want to do the jump rope and beach volleyball challenges, so if that’s a requirement, I might not get all the hats… ;_;

Yeah, I could just look it up, but that’s boring. 😛

Well, that’s all for now. Supposedly we’ve got a major snowstorm moving in tonight, so that should be interesting. It will be even more interesting for my son, who has to walk to school through it. Poor boy. ^^;

And as thanks for reading, here’s a little teaser from near the end of Chapter 23 of the Anubai Hero:


The fat man coughed, spitting up more blood which also disappeared before it could hit the floor, and spoke. “Forgive my… sudden intrusion… I’m afraid that I don’t have time… for anything subtle…” He coughed again. “Ahhh… I haven’t felt this pain… in a long… long time… I guess… I feel responsible… this time…”

The Weaver gestured, and two of her spiders leapt at the intruder again, with as little effect as the first time. The fat man didn’t even seem to notice, as he continued speaking. “I’m… not allowed… to interfere… to intervene this far… is fairly costly…” He laughed, a low, self-deprecating sound. “This too… is Karma…

“I bring you… warning… This place… this construct… your Underworks… will collapse soon… releasing… the ancient evil… sealed within… You have no idea… it’s worse than you could expect… You need to… run…

The fat man coughed again, then suddenly stood up straight. He spoke normally for the first time, sounding almost conversational as he said, “Ah. It seems this is as far as I go. A pity; I would have liked to see how it ended–”

Sun Mia shrieked as a sudden gush of blood spurted from the fat man’s body, directly from his heart. He had a twisted smile on his face as he collapsed backwards. Only Dolgo Mehek, who had been standing closer than the others, caught his last words as he fell: “Seek safety in the Abyss.”

But before the fat man’s body hit the floor, it had vanished as abruptly as it had appeared, leaving not so much as a bloodstain behind.


Have a good week, everyone, and stop by tomorrow for my examination of Rise of the Tomb Raider! 😀

Arghh… no chapter today.

It’s not that I blame anyone but myself, but… I just haven’t had the will to write at all this week. I have a pretty good idea of how the chapter is going to go, I just couldn’t make myself sit down and write it. So I had resolved myself to finish it last night… and then this happened:

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Well, ok, that’s after I cleaned a lot of it up, but… after I left Yuki’s room last night, after reading to her, she completely ripped up what I thought was her favorite book, as well as part of a kids cookbook. I mean, she loved The Bears’ Vacation, I don’t even… When I asked her why, the impression I got was that she thought I could just give her a new one. It doesn’t work that way, Yuki… ;_;

So yeah, that instantly dropped my mood into angry/depressed territory, and completely killed any chance of me writing last night. So there you go. #parentingishard

…Guys, I don’t think I can keep up with scheduled posts. I just can’t manage it. I am 100% absolutely going to finish this arc of Anubai, so don’t worry about me suddenly dropping it, I just… can’t be reliable about releasing to a schedule. Frankly, it’s taking everything I have to stay sane right now. Thank god for my wife, that’s all I have to say… :\

So yeah. Consider this my apology for stating my intention to do something I wasn’t able to do. Sorry. Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me, and I’ll get Anubai done as soon as I possibly can. Take care of yourselves, everyone.

…On a more positive note, I’ve really enjoyed playing Rise of the Tomb Raider, the short time I’ve been able to play it. And they’ve announced a third game, so that’s cool. (Third game in this chronology, I mean, I’m not trying to ignore all the earlier TR games. 😛 )

This Week’s Game: Dishonored

So yeah. Dishonored. Good game. I like it. But it could have been better.

If, for some reason, you’ve never heard of this game before, a quick synopsis: Dishonored is set in the fictional, London-esque city of Dunwall, capital of the Empire of the Isles, which is currently in the grip of a terrible plague. The player character, Corvo, was the bodyguard of Empress Jessamine until he was framed for her murder and the kidnapping of her daughter, Emily. He eventually escapes prison with the aid of the “Loyalists” and is tasked with killing the traitor who took over after the empress was killed, the Lord Regent, and his allies.

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Early spoiler: He’s a jerk.

Continue reading

Sunday Digest: It’s been a week. That’s about it.

Happy Sunday, y’all. Sorry this comes so late, but I was away from home for much of today, and the time I was at home… Ok, I admit, I was playing the hell out of Mario Odyssey. Damn Nintendo and their addictive collect-a-thons! 😛

Anyhow, I finished the twenty-second chapter of the Anubai Hero on Friday, and I’m starting to see how things are going to play out in the climactic scenes of the book/arc/whatever. Assuming I don’t let things go completely sideways again… the Underworks were a late addition to the plot, and I hope the cracks don’t show too badly. ^^;

Other than that, I haven’t really been working on anything. I’ve been playing Dishonored most nights this week, so I’ll have something to write about tomorrow. Sneak preview: I really like the atmosphere, but I believe they made a specific misstep that makes it more difficult to enjoy the story. 😉

Let’s see, anything else… Well, I’m learning to manage my daughter a little better, I guess. I have a grasp of what triggers her behaviors, so I can avoid having to deal with a lot of screaming fits, which reduces my stress as well. Sadly, I wasn’t able to convince her to stop wearing her swimsuit to school, but at least I convinced her to wear her snowpants over it. >.>

And she insists on having about five changes of outfit in her bag, so at least they can encourage her to change clothes at school too. She has both an ECSE class and a day treatment program through Fraser in the same building, one after another, and all her teachers are excellent. And it has helped a lot; Yuki has learned so much in the past year, I can’t praise her teachers enough. 😀

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This is from last summer, but that is exactly the swimsuit she’s been wearing to school. The temperature has been well below freezing outside. I sometimes wonder about my girl… :\

Well, that’s enough about my daughter. I guess I’ll try to go play a final session of Dishonored before I write my review tomorrow. Maybe find some half-decent screen shots, I haven’t really got anything too cool so far. Oh well. Have a good night, everyone. 😉

 

The Anubai Hero, Chapter 22

Chapter 22

I had been walking through darkened tunnels of the Underworks, trying to figure out where I was and to find a way out, when without warning everything changed. I suddenly stood amongst a forest of beautiful crystal trees, shimmering with iridescence. Overhead, three bright suns floated across a blue sky, and beneath my feet the earth had an unusual feel, soft like a bed of leaves.

But even more than the sudden change from darkness to light, I felt the change in Breath. Ever since I had realized the true nature of the Anubai concept of Breath, I could feel the Breath of the world around me. I could feel the movement within the air, the water, even within solid rock — I could hear it, like a song, a haunting, familiar melody. For the first time, I felt connected to the world around me. It was a wonderful feeling.

It was also extremely confusing. I could hear, feel, too much. Perhaps, if I had been back in the Crystal Palace beneath the Cerulean Abyss, or even by myself in some secluded part of the forests surrounding North Pine City, I might have had an easier time adjusting to my new sense of motion. But the tunnels I had found myself in, after my encounter with the Oracle, were damaged in ways that even now I find difficult to describe. There was something very wrong about the Breath in the Underworks, and I did not have nearly enough experience to unravel the ways that time and space had been twisted in that place. Continue reading

This Week’s Game: Introduction

I like games. All sorts of games, really: board games, card games, logic puzzles, number puzzles… and of course, video games.

I’ve been a gamer since before being a gamer was a thing. The first game I ever remember playing in my own home was Space Quest III, that classic Sierra adventure game. Ah, the memories… of dying every twenty steps or so. But they made death fun, let me tell you. 😉

Well, that was a long time ago. Nowadays, I have several gaming systems, including every single Sony Playstation (PSOne through 4), a (slightly outdated) desktop PC, and even a Nintendo Switch (thanks to my slightly-extremely doting wife). Naturally, my gaming library is absolutely huge, containing everything from the aforementioned Sierra adventure games, to old FPS like Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, to big RPGs like the Witcher (1 & 2, I haven’t picked up 3 yet) to indie platformers like Axiom Verge (go play this game!), to strategy and tactical games like… like… actually, when was the last time I played a strategy game? Disgaea 5? Huh… And I have weird, hard to classify stuff as well. I have enough games that, if I treated it like a job and played them eight hours a day, I might still never get through them all before it was time for me to retire.

That, and my brain would probably explode. It honestly sounds less appealing as an actual job than I might have thought when I was younger. Guess I’ll stick with househusband for the time being. 😛

So anyway. I’m nothing like a game journalist, nor am I really an expert at actually playing games. I’m not bad, mind, but I’m nothing special. But I have this giant library of games, and a blog to write about them, so… why not, right? 😉

Well, that immediately presents me with the problem: what am I going to write about? I could say a word or two about the systems, and compare them to other similar games, or I could talk about the music, or the graphics — but if I was going to point to my actual area of expertise, as it were, it would be the story. And if I start talking about the story of the games, well, that’s spoiler territory. Personally, I don’t get too worked up about spoilers; I’m the kind of guy who reads the last chapter of the book first, after all. But I don’t want to alienate anyone who wants to play the games themselves…

I guess I’ll do both, then. From now on, I’ll try to focus on one game a week (starting with my PS4 library, for convenience sake), play it as much as possible considering my other responsibilities, and then write an article every Monday about my experience with the game: the first part will be a spoiler-free review of the how the game looks, sounds, and plays; and the second part will be my analysis and feelings about the story of the game.

Naturally, if the game doesn’t have a story, or the story doesn’t feature much, I’ll acknowledge that too. In the end, I’m mostly doing this to put my own thoughts in order about the game, so it’s just fine if you’re not too interested in this section. I promise, I will still be releasing one chapter of the Anubai Hero each week, regardless of anything else. Still, I hope people find these articles interesting and informative.

So, first on my list: Dishonored. Specifically, the PS4 definitive edition. I don’t expect to get through it in a week, but frankly I’ve already got a pretty good grasp of the story from other sources, so I expect I’ll be able to talk about it to some extent anyway. I picked the game up… well, mostly because I want to play Dishonored 2 in the future, and I have a minor personality tic about finishing games in order. It’s honestly a habit I’m trying to break… Anyway, I’m very interested in the game’s mechanics, so I’m still slightly pumped about playing it. So, starting today through next Sunday, I’ll spend as much time with the game as I can, and make my report next Monday. See you then! 😀